Developers Cloud Chamber seem to have big plans for BioShock.
2K Games recently announced that the next BioShock game was in development at newly set up studio Cloud Chamber, and though the studio claims to be a couples year away from talking about the project (even though it’s reportedly been in the works for some time now), there are other ways to learn more about the game.
For instance, the studio recently put up a bunch of listing for job openings across its two studios in Montreal and California (via GamesRadar) as it prepares to ramp up work on BioShock 4 (or whatever they will end up calling it), and one thing that a few listings mention is a reactive world, something that seems to be a big focus for the developers.
The listing for Lead World Designer, for instance, talks about “bringing a rich and dynamic game world to life.” BioShock 4 is apparently looking to create a world that is “populated with memorable experiences that complement the game’s main story.” The ad also talks about the game’s world being “at the nexus of story, architecture, and design”, and “a compelling systemic environment that players are hungry to explore.”
The listing for Lead Combat Designer, too, makes mention of “player expression and experimentation within a highly reactive world.” BioShock 4’s combat is, as per this listing, looking to be a “systems-driven experience” that embraces the idea of “player expression” through emergent design. Finally, the listing for Senior AI Engineer also puts a lot of chips on the game’s systemic nature, with mentions of “an urban crowd system and the systemic tribal ecology of a sometimes hostile AI.”
If these job listings are any indication of what direction Cloud Chamber are taking with BioShock 4, there’s certainly plenty of cause for optimism. It looks like the developers are keenly aware that storytelling and thematic depth are going to be crucial in a BioShock game, but they’re also putting a great deal of emphasis on emergent gameplay and player expression, sort of like an immersive sim. Of course, it remains to be seen just how well they can put their money where their mouth is, but at least the early signs seem positive.