Irrational Games’ Shawn Robertson on breaking out of Rapture

Shawn Robertson
If it’s up to Irrational Games’s lead artist Shawn Robertson, breaking out of the world of Rapture with Bioshock: Infinite was a huge blessing. “Bioshock is bigger than Rapture,” Robertson explained after his presentation to the press. “When we were looking at creating Bioshock Infite, there were no sacred cows for us. We really wiped the slate clean and only brought back things that we were really interested in preserving. Bioshock to us is foremost about telling a story and immersing people in an environment and secondly about giving them the tools to go through that environment and solve problems.”

Fresh start

“But if we’re going to do a city in the sky, we’re really going to do that 100%.”

Revealing the game at Gamescom Cologne, Robertson didn’t have a hard time giving presentations to hordes of approving members of the press. Development wise, Infinite was a completely fresh start for him and his team. “There are no shared assets, nothing, no code, no art and a totally new engine,” Robertson added. Though realizing the new vision for Bioshock Infinite wasn’t easy according Robertson, he praises his tech team for achieving the goals they set out to achieve for Infinite. “We don’t like to make things easy on ourselves,” Robertston admits. “But if we’re going to do a city in the sky, we’re really going to do that 100%.”

Bioshock Infinite

To the skies!

“I think we tend to be our own worst critics.”

Literally “looking to the skies for new ideas,” Robertson and the Bioshock Infinite team are determined to break new grounds and challenge themselves. “We always look at our previous games and try to see how we can outdo ourselves,” he explains. “I think we tend to be our own worst critics.”

Bioshock Infinite

While the game was being presented in a classical gentlemen’s club like room filled with luxurious Chesterfield couches, the outside hallways were filled with fictional propaganda praising the glory of a 1930’s United States in its scientific prime. One would consider those art pieces to be the brilliant work of a handful of Irrational employees, but surprisingly appears to be the collective effort of many. “We don’t really have a specific team set up for that,” Robertson admits.

Bioshock: Infinite is currently in development by Irrational Games and has been scheduled for release in 2012

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  1. Pingback: Videogame Visionary – Game industry, game studies, game culture. Making sense of it all. » Blog Archive » MONTHLY ARTICLE WRAP-UP

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