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 BioShock 2 's creative lead  is going independent
BioShock 2's creative lead is going independent
July 2, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

July 2, 2013 | By Kris Ligman
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More: Indie, Business/Marketing



BioShock 2 creative director Jordan Thomas is departing 2K Marin to found a new, two-person independent studio, GamesIndustry International reports.

"While BioShock spoke to me, it'll never be for me what it is to Ken," Thomas told GamesIndustry, referring to Irrational Games co-founder and BioShock author Ken Levine. "I've expanded on that legacy here and there, but I could never have created it from scratch. I need to build something that is, to me, what BioShock is to Ken. No matter how long it takes, I have to start now."

Thomas's collaborator in his new independent venture is for the moment unknown. However, Thomas said the two are looking at developing a Thief-like sim "with a radically different focus."

"We'd love to keep it as lean as possible for now, in the hopes that we're not writing checks our asses can't cash," Thomas added. "Indie ambition is its greatest strength and its greatest weakness."

The move is comparable to that of another high-profile triple-A developer turned independent, Steve Gaynor, who left a career as a level designer for Irrational Games to found the four-person Fullbright Company, now developing Gone Home.

Asked to elaborate on his reasons for leaving 2K, Thomas said that he was inspired by indie games such as Braid and potential for creating unique experiences.

"I was such a fidelity whore for so long that I would refuse to engage with the meaning of more primitive-looking constructs, and I think that was my weakness. But quite the opposite is happening lately. The projects made by two or three auteurs, or sometimes just one, are the ones that are speaking to me and taking me out of my comfort zone. I feel like out of my comfort zone is where I'm forced to stay learning, to retain that student mind."


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Comments


Michael DeFazio
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Best of luck Jordan,

I always maintained the "game" part of Bioshock 2 is superior to Bioshock 1 (at every turn I tell people to buy it, because I the pacing, challenges, variety and moment to moment fun of the game really shine through). I've played through Bioshock 2 3 times... whereas, I just cant seem to get motivated to play Bioshock 1 again (I just remember long stretches of gameplay boredom in BS1)

Anyways, looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Llaura Mcgee
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I agree, personally I think Bioshock 2 is a more interesting game overall, albeit without having the same impact of originality.

It has a fantastic second half but mostly suffers from a very weak beginning. There's an abundance of interesting thematic material too that doesn't get the attention it should because it's not going for the same notes as the original, or as loudly.

Best of luck to Jordan. I love his work so far, (the Cradle, Fort Frolic & the later levels of BS2 are highlights in their respective games, fantastic design), and I can't wait to see what he does next.

I feel like having great designers going independent is a hugely positive move and perhaps hasn't really been seen/been possible as much since the 90's (when Ken left Looking Glass to form Irrational for example).


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