Watch This

Christopher Kline, lead programmer of Bioshock, just gave an excellent post-mortem on the project at a Montreal IGDA event. I always find it interesting to hear about design decisions which seem obvious from the outside but took multiple iterations to get right internally. Namely, the Little Sister characters started out as sea slugs and only ended up as young girls after a number of rewrites. Obviously, we feel a lot less empathy for slugs than children, and the game’s central moral choice – to harvest or to save the Little Sisters – would be a lot less meaningful without that empathy.

So, how did they start so far off the mark with the sea slugs? Shouldn’t it be obvious that the players would have a whole different game inside their heads once they are making a decision about a fellow human being? This question is key to understanding why good game design is so difficult. When you build a game from scratch, nothing is obvious. Games are only as good as the number of times your team can go through the design-implement-feedback loop. The sooner you start – and the wider a net you cast for play testers – the better.

Btw, does anyone know how I can embed this video without having it stick to the left margin?

11 thoughts on “Watch This

  1. “Btw, does anyone know how I can embed this video without having it stick to the left margin?”

    In the embed statement there’s probably a statement like this:

    You need to change that to:

  2. OK, sorry for the triple post. I just realised I can’t use the tags in these comments, they get interpreted.
    It should be [] … [], without the angular brackets.

  3. surround the object tag with a div and style it with an absolute position. css is your friend.

  4. On the centering, trying changing the element containing the embed from a [p] to a [div].

    Using ‘align’ like that is pretty old school HTML. A better, but initially more complicated way: give a class to the div and set the centering property in the stylesheet, so the look and feel of the videos is controlled in one file.

    Something like this:

    [div class=”video_holder”]
    [embed …]

    And in the stylesheet “style.css” that your blog uses add the line:

    .videoholder {
    text-align: center;

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