In this interview during the BAFTAs, Irrational Games creative designer Ken Levine talks about BioShock Infinite, Elizabeth and how the development team struggled through blood, sweat and tears to humanize her as much as possible. In the first part of the video, Levine also discusses the importance of Elizabeth as an AI during combat, interacting with objects and just doing her own thing. The video centers the spotlight on the two actresses behind Elizabeth – the voice and the motion capture actor. There’s a shorter footage (without commentary) of Elizabeth and Booker at the beach that we saw earlier this month. Booker seems as human as Elizabeth despite being the character controlled by gamers, responding to pretty much everything his new companion has to say.
Simon Parkin interviews Levine in the next part, asking several questions about how he got involved in the gaming industry. Levine discusses how he was influenced by his brother to play video games, how video games were his “friends” throughout his younger days when he “was literally friendless” and dealing with the tough reality of jobs. Then he talks about the wonder of meeting a “tribe” of “deeply committed gamers” compared to those he encountered before who lacked dedication to video games. He briefly touches the world issue of violence and video games, saying that current trends such as video games often spark controversies.
The last third is the Q&A session where journalists ask typical questions – the challenges of creating characters like Booker, the controversy with religions in BioShock Infinite, the power of emotional engagement in the game, the difference between the third-person and first-person perspective in games, where Levine’s bizarre game setting ideas come from and so forth.
If you love Ken Levine, BioShock Infinite, video games or all of the above, watch this interview. The video is almost two-hours long and worth every second of it with Levine offering a very interesting viewpoint of the industry and sharing the story of striving with his pre-Irrational Games career.
Mark your calendars for March 26, folks, because BioShock Infinite drops in exactly ten days for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Damn, that release date sure looks close!