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Bioshock - choice *is* wrong

RookRook Registered User regular
edited July 2007 in Games and Technology
Update New game footage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5yUcQIaDkE
Better quality http://xboxyde.com/stream_3911_en.html

New thread as the old one went a bit weird.

So on 2ks official Cult of Rapture podcast Ken Levine clarified some of the aspects of the game that we had spent a long time arguing over. In short, you can't go around killing little sisters. Your weapons have no effect (I assume this'll be more of a can't fire whilst pointing at them, rather than bullets bouncing off them all the time) and you can't set them on fire or use your bio-psionic-whatever powers on them.

Basically you only have one interaction with them, and it's a binary choice.

All we allow the players to do is to make the moral choice of harvesting the Adam from them, a process they will not survive, that’s true, or to save them, to turn them back into what appears to be normal little children. And that choice is not graphically shown in any way. It is really sort of suggested. It just shows the player enough so they know the consequences on his choice. We went back and forth a lot on this choice to make sure we were handling it with the respect and seriousness necessary for a game that takes on these issues.

So giving how vehement the arguement was, how do people now feel about it? I'm pretty satisfied this is a good way of sidestepping what was the troubling aspect of the game, whilst leaving the core of the gameplay in tact.

edit:

You have talked a lot about the choice to either Harvest or Rescue the Little Sisters, but from your description are you concerned about allowing a player to Harvest, and thusly harm, a Little Sister? Do you think that’s appropriate for a video game?


I think it’s like asking someone, “you have this character in this movie that does this horrible thing.” I believe that movies are vicarious experiences. If you never have ever been excited by an action film or brought to tears by a drama or had your heart beat because of a romance, you know there is a certain amount of projection that happens in movies. And if you asked a filmmaker, why do you have characters doing terrible things in your movies? Any time that a person does a morally unsavory act in a movie, you understand it’s part of the story and you have a vicarious relationship with it. Games just take that vicarious relationship and take it a little more literally with the player actually making those choices rather than experiencing the emotion of those choices. I think what will be striking to the player is that they have to live with those choices. They are not predetermined like they are in a movie. Now, I think we have a responsibility to do it tastefully, to not exploit the elements of the moral choice that don’t matter. For example, in BioShock, you cannot harm the little Sister in any way… you cannot use your weapons against a Little sister, or set her on fire, or send your swarm of insects after her like you can the other AIs in the world. All we allow the players to do is to make the moral choice of harvesting the Adam from them, a process they will not survive, that’s true, or to save them, to turn them back into what appears to be normal little children. And that choice is not graphically shown in any way. It is really sort of suggested. It just shows the player enough so they know the consequences on his choice. We went back and forth a lot on this choice to make sure we were handling it with the respect and seriousness necessary for a game that takes on these issues.

This is the first time you have really talked in-depth about the choice the player has with the Little Sisters. There has been some speculation among media and on forums that you can just go around shooting Little Sisters indiscriminately. Are you worried that people will dismiss this game as “that FPS where you can kill Little Sisters” or on the flip side, that people will be disappointed in how you actually interact with Little Sisters in the game?

Well, you can only negatively impact the Little Sister with the Harvest choice. You can’t shoot them, you cannot harm them in any way outside of the Harvest choice. To us, we weren’t interested in exploring those other elements because it wouldn't further the moral choice we wanted the player to have to make. And anything that would provide a prurient experience to the Little Sisters we thought was inappropriate and not what we were interested in doing, because that’s not what this game is about. We spent a lot of time soul searching on this to make sure we were presenting things responsibly. That’s the key to me. Not that a game maker should not present these choices, but that they should present it in an informed and sensitive manner and mostly important, that enough of the challenging material should be told in a way that supports the story and the moral choices we are talking about and nothing beyond that. In terms of people being disappointed, I don’t think it’s disappointed not to have those things. I'm interested in shooting monsters, and I'm not sure why someone would be interested in [shooting Little Sisters]. . It’s not about pointing a gun at something that appears to be a child, it’s about a larger moral choice, and asking that question. All that other stuff had no part in that question.

Couple of posts from the cult of rapture forums
i've been thinking about your discussion about immersion in the game, and i wanted to give you my two cents. the Little Sister is a comprehensive character and has lived in rapture long enough to know the darkness of the place. she is scared of you. she isn't just out in the open for anyone to take a shot at. and the Big Daddy is her father-figure, and protector. he will do his damnedest to not let you touch a hair on her head. often, when i encounter her, he is a hulking beast of metal blocking my way, and doing harm to her, without going through him first, would be a very difficult chore to pull off.

another point, as a realist. in today's society, if you had been allowed to shoot Little Sisters in the game, it would have CERTAINLY been rated AO. then there would have been no BioShock, and nothing to play.

however, that point is moot, since harming the Little Sisters by torture, fire, gun, or otherwise was never the point of their role in BioShock in the first place.
Ken Levine wrote:
Hey guys-



So some thoughts on the situation. First of all, this approach was entirely directed by me, not by any corporate marketing department or the ESRB. I’m going to use the word “I” in this post a lot, instead of “We” not because I did the wonderful Little Sister animation (that was Shawn Roberston and team) or I implemented their AI (that was John Abercrombie and team). I just want to be clear that I called the shots on this, and if people have issues with this, they should direct their issues at me and not marketing or members of the team. 2k has stood by us on this morally challenging and very, very intense game.


My goal has always been to make the game impactful and disturbing but not exploitative. BioShock is the thematically darkest game I’ve ever made. It might be the thematically darkest game I’ve ever played. (SOME SIGNIFICANT SPOILERS IN THE REST OF THE PARAGRAPH) Insurgents hang from street lamps. Entire families are found in obscene, undying portraits, a bottle of poison sitting on their coffee table. The streets of Rapture are filled with a thousand individual scenes, of lives and dreams obliterated in a brutal civil war at the bottom of the ocean. Even the woman advising you not to harm the Little Sister in the game is a scientist, a survivor of the the concentration camps who once experimented on her own people.



At the end of the day, you are indeed choosing to either rescue or take the life of one of these little sisters. However, given the nature of the subject matter and the gameplay impacts of this choice, we took a very particular course of action regarding the Little Sisters for the following reasons:



1) Intention.

As another member posted, Little Sisters and the Adam they carry are indeed a limited commodity in the game. In our original testing, we found people were unintentionally having violent interactions with the little sisters all the time. This really pissed off players who were intent on rescuing them.

Well, you might say, how could this happen? BioShock is a game with a huge amount of player expression and, well, controlled and uncontrolled chaos. Setting a trip wire trap for a Big Daddy and having a Little Sister stumble frankly sucked from a gameplay perspective. A gunshot goes wild, fire spreads throughout the world and ignites passersby, a grenade takes a bad bounce…

For the player really pushing down the character growth path of Little Sister rescuing, the insults of potentially dozens of unintentional attacks on Little Sisters

2) Impact. Remember the original E3 demo video? There was a bug there and a Little Sister got caught in the crossfire. From where I’m sitting. It wasn’t impactful. It wasn’t shocking. It wasn’t anything. The action was unintentional, at a distance, and made an emotional impression of zero. (on me at least, I can’t speak for others out there). In contrast, the sequences now where you save or harvest the little sister is pretty intense. When you’re fighting the Big Daddy, she’s pretty vocal:

“UNZIP HIM MR B!”

She shouts, referring to Mr. Bubbles, the nickname she has for the Big Daddy.

"TEAR HIM INTO LITTLE BITS!"

-she cries, until the Big Daddy goes down. After you kill a big daddy, the little sister is found literally mourning over the corpse of her former protector. She’s crying, and you can hear her lamentations over the loss of her friend. It’s kind of awful.



“…what am I going to do now…” she cries, or pathetically intones “Muh-muh-muh Mr. Bub-bub-bles…”

And there she is, defenseless. And you’re left with a choice. And this isn’t a choice you make at a distance. It isn’t a choice you make when her protector is breathing down your throat, that you can later make excuses for. This is a choice you have to make when she’s standing right in front of you, weeping because the closest thing she knows as a parent is lying dead in front of her.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not making a game that has anything to do with the joy of hunting down a childlike creature with a gun. My goal was to distill the choice down to what it’s really about. There’s something that may or may not be a child in front of you. If you want to survive, if you want to save the wife and family of the man who’s been helping you survive Rapture, you must harvest the Adam from these Little Sisters.

The Little Sister is defenseless in front of you. Gone are the tools of the first person shooter, the tools that you use so often and after years of gaming, without thinking. What you now have in your hand are the almost surgical tools of Adam extraction.

Rescue or Harvest. Rescue or Harvest.

It’s up to you.





(note: for those worried about the fictional justification for the Little Sisters resistance to damage from sources other than the Adam extraction tools, they are indeed in the game. If people want to know more about this, I can post on the topic.)
Alexx Key wrote:
I think the things that allayed my fears the most were, paraphrased: "we tried that already, it didn't work"
Did we *ever*. LSs became invulnerable as part of a gradual process, that had as much to do with gameplay as any other factor. As long as they had *any* vulnerabilities left, we kept finding ways for clever players to get their ADAM without having to deal with the Big Daddy, thus negating one of our core gameplay elements. We tried tons of different solutions, before settling on what we finally did. As Ken said, emotion and intention had a lot to do with it -- but there was also a healthy dose of 'exploit avoidance'.

Alexx Kay, Designer, Irrational Games

Rook on
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Posts

  • Cynic JesterCynic Jester Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    There's still no release date, right?

    They're aiming for a release sometime before DNF hits the shelves.

  • TubeTube Says some shit Administrator, ClubPA admin
    edited May 2007
    You can still fuck 'em though, right?

  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Kiith wrote: »
    You can't shoot them, but you can 'harverst' them dry till they are little more then empty shells? Pleasent.
    Bow a chicka-wow-wow.
    That's even worse I guess.

    I think you're adding your own words (fantasies?) there. :p
    Does not killing them effect the game at all? Like, does it change the ending if you spare a certain amount?

    I think the overall goal, is how you'll play will effect the game. Say for example your simple goal was to escape. Would you feel different if you had to destroy rapture to achieve that goal, or not? Kind of like the KoTOR light/dark choices just without the actual light/dark points so you can "score" your morality.
    There's still no release date, right?

    The announced release date is reported as August 21, 2007 in North America and August 24, 2007 in Europe according to 2k.

  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    oh..

    honestly, that's not really what i wanted to hear. I don't mean to say i wanted to shoot girls in the face, but i don't like the idea of being given such an explicit choice like that. If i kicked off a giant firefight right near one, i'd feel bad if my actions caused her to be killed by some of the fallout from that. Now, it sounds like they're nigh-on indestructible, unless you actually walk up to one and choose to 'save' or 'harvest'.

  • MinionOfCthulhuMinionOfCthulhu Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Well there goes my purchase.

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  • TubeTube Says some shit Administrator, ClubPA admin
    edited May 2007
    Well there goes my purchase.

    The ONLY thing you wanted to do in this game was kill little girls?

  • Dublo7Dublo7 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I'm still so buying this game.

    I'm not really into murdering children anyway.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • WheezerWheezer Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Although I'm usually against any censorhip in any media, I can understand the reasoning behind the decision. I do not enjoy imagining violence against children, and if I were making a game, I too would think long and hard whether in my game you could have fun by hurting children or not.

    Now, if in Bioshock the little sisters are not little children, but mutants, monsters or some other form of enemies, instead of just little children who are protected by such a monster I find no reason to cut the possibility of hurting them.

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  • DashuiDashui Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Seems to me you can still murder them, you can't just put a bullet in their head. I mean, harvesting them does kill them, right? That seems even more gruesome than shooting them down. Still, you shouldn't base your purchase on that whole aspect of the game (killing children). Fuck that guy who says he's not going to buy it anymore because you can't shoot them dead, sick sonnuva'bitch.

    Xbox Live, PSN & Origin: Vacorsis

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  • CherrnCherrn Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Yeah, that's a pretty ham-fisted way of doing it. Can't say it influences my excitement about the game in any way, but it sort of contradicts the trailers they already released. But then again we don't know how it'll play out exactly.

    But it does make sense in relation to the gameplay/story. Obviously they wouldn't have designed them to be really fragile if transporting Adam was their main purpose. By not being just able to shoot them in the head it means that you really have to deal with the big daddy, instead of just luring him away or something after popping a girl in the head.

    All creature will die and all the things will be broken. That's the law of samurai.
  • MeizMeiz Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Well there goes my purchase.

    The ONLY thing you wanted to do in this game was kill little girls?

    It's not the only thing I'd like to be doing personally.

    It's just that games are an outlet and say, they're annoying little raspy voiced shits, it might be nice to set them on fire.

  • DarmakDarmak Godking of the Snerkywizards Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Well there goes my purchase.

    The ONLY thing you wanted to do in this game was kill little girls?

    No, but it'd have been nice to have the choice to do so.

    PIZTDhW.jpg
  • MeizMeiz Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    It'd be like Postal 2 without having the ability to urinate for instance.

  • TubeTube Says some shit Administrator, ClubPA admin
    edited May 2007
    Darmak wrote: »
    Well there goes my purchase.

    The ONLY thing you wanted to do in this game was kill little girls?

    No, but it'd have been nice to have the choice to do so.

    Oh quite, but to not buy the game because that tiny, slightly twisted element has been removed is a little strange.

  • MinionOfCthulhuMinionOfCthulhu Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Well there goes my purchase.

    The ONLY thing you wanted to do in this game was kill little girls?

    Well, not the only thing. Well, I'll still buy it, but it's kind of like when they took out being able to stab children in the head in Fable. Having the choice to do so is nice, so to speak. It's just that fear of offending people that damages the verisimilitude of some worlds in games (The fact that children are invincible in games like World of Warcraft and completely absent in games like Oblivion, for instance).

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  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    yeah, i'll still be buying this game, but i think the dampener for me is that firstly, it'll be presented in an awkward manner. I'm most likely wrong, but i'm picturing walking up to the girl, then being given an option to either "left-trigger to save, right trigger to harvest", which i guess will work, but now starts to make me think of KOTOR. I'm not going to pass judgement until i've seen reviews and hell, played the game, but i think i was hoping for something a little more seamless.

  • TubeTube Says some shit Administrator, ClubPA admin
    edited May 2007
    You don't often see children being killed in cinema either. I can't offhand think of a time a child was killed onscreen in any kind of graphic way.

    In a way, it sucks, because it removes gameplay options and reduces immersion and all that. On the other hand, I honestly didn't miss children in Oblivion, and I think that in the end, it's a fairly redundant feature to have in a game. I mean, when you think of Deus Ex, no one says "wasn't it awesome that you could kill louis pan?"

    It's also not censorship, it's market forces.

  • edited May 2007
    Killing the girls is not something I ever planned to do anyway, so I can't say I care

  • StollsStolls Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Rook wrote: »
    I think the overall goal, is how you'll play will effect the game. Say for example your simple goal was to escape. Would you feel different if you had to destroy rapture to achieve that goal, or not? Kind of like the KoTOR light/dark choices just without the actual light/dark points so you can "score" your morality.

    Given what's going on in Rapture, I don't think that carries the moral weight it normally would. Send a derelict subaquatic base and the hubris that created its inhabitants to the bottom of the ocean in many small pieces? I was taking that as a given at some point :P

    I can sort of understand why the choice is pared down so, but if they're completely invulnerable - even from friendly fire, so to speak - then it just comes off as kind of a quick last-minute fix to a complicated problem; one they invited by including these things in the first place, much less by making them appear to be children. Children with giant injector guns that drink the remains of dead people. If they weren't prepared for the controversy something like that would surely invite then they may have been better served just nixing them altogether.

    Not that this really dampens the game for me, mind you. I'll be too busy kicking ass with a tommy gun to really care at the moment, but it does seem a bit off nonetheless.

  • SzechuanSzechuan Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    As long as this doesn't herald oversimplification in other aspects of the game, I don't see a problem.

  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Seems to me that this removes the morality/gruesomeness of the choice. I can't imagine that 'harvesting' them will be very graphic at all -- no screams of pain or anything. she'll just die. Plus, not being able to shoot the little sister will remind me i'm only playing a game (on top of the control pad in my hand and all that), so who cares what you do?

  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Harvest option - I don't know, has you walking towards her, arms outstretched, her eyes widen, then the camera darkens and you hear a scream?

  • DarmakDarmak Godking of the Snerkywizards Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Darmak wrote: »
    Well there goes my purchase.

    The ONLY thing you wanted to do in this game was kill little girls?

    No, but it'd have been nice to have the choice to do so.

    Oh quite, but to not buy the game because that tiny, slightly twisted element has been removed is a little strange.

    Oh yeah, that is retarded. I'm still going to buy it, I was just saying I'd like the option.

    PIZTDhW.jpg
  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Meh. I'm less excited now. If they're literally little walking "light side/dark side" points, I'll harvest the lot of them and laugh while doing it. I was a little more invested when the idea was that you had the option of hurting or helping people, not pressing "yes" or "no" on a big ol' "evil?" vending machine.

    Most games, at least ones where it's supposed to be something of an RPG, I'd like it if there were kids in a setting where it made sense. Maybe my evil character eats babies? I don't know, but I'd like the choice. In this case, the whole "oooo you could choooose to help or to hur- oh wait... people... think it's gross? never mind!" annoys me. That's the whole point of the game, right? How much of an evil jackass competing for a limited resource can make you?

    I mean, doesn't change the core gameplay, which looks quite awesome, but for christ's sake, people. Fallout proved that murdering children can be hilarious and educational, let's put down our hang-ups.

  • FireflashFireflash Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Developpers have always been wary of allowing players to hurt children in their games. But when we say there's nothing wrong with videogame violence (as long as we can make a distinction between games and reality, of course), why is it worst to shoot a bullet in a virtual child's face than it is to choke a virtual adult to death with a plastic bag?

    Both actions are made in a virtual world and have the same outcome in reality: If I kill innocent bystanders in GTA and don't aquire the taste to kill them in the real world, I won't aquire the taste to kill children if I get to kill em in a game.

    PSN / XBL: PatParadize
  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    You don't often see children being killed in cinema either. I can't offhand think of a time a child was killed onscreen in any kind of graphic way.

    In a way, it sucks, because it removes gameplay options and reduces immersion and all that. On the other hand, I honestly didn't miss children in Oblivion, and I think that in the end, it's a fairly redundant feature to have in a game. I mean, when you think of Deus Ex, no one says "wasn't it awesome that you could kill louis pan?"

    It's also not censorship, it's market forces.

    i would argue that it's not a redundant feature. A big angle of their marketing hype has been this element of morality-based decisions, a prime example being the player's emotional reaction to these little girls. Some may choose to help, some may choose to kill them, with all the ensuing consequences. This is presenting pretty-much the same situation, but it feels like it's been made more overt and restricted. It sounds like it asks you to make a binary choice with defined consequences (KoTOR, light or dark side?), rather than making it a smoother, more grey decision.

    edit: essnetially, i like the idea of being able to decide for myself, with my own morals, if this is something i want to do. I frown a little at being presented with a more clear-cut "do this good action to earn these points, do this bad action to earn these points". That just seems to undo most of the work they've put in.

  • core tacticcore tactic Registered User
    edited May 2007
    You don't often see children being killed in cinema either. I can't offhand think of a time a child was killed onscreen in any kind of graphic way.

    Pan's Labyrinth.

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  • TubeTube Says some shit Administrator, ClubPA admin
    edited May 2007
    You don't often see children being killed in cinema either. I can't offhand think of a time a child was killed onscreen in any kind of graphic way.

    Pan's Labyrinth.

    True, but can you think of anymore? can you think of say, five, off the top of your head without struggling? Pan's Labyrinth is an exception that proves the rule, it was shocking when a child was killed.

  • RamiRami Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    You don't often see children being killed in cinema either. I can't offhand think of a time a child was killed onscreen in any kind of graphic way.

    Pan's Labyrinth.

    Precinct 13!

    But really, let's not start a list here, we all know there are exceptions to everything.

    Steam / Xbox Live: WSDX 3DS FC: 2637-9461-8549 AC:NL Trading List
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  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    darleysam wrote: »
    You don't often see children being killed in cinema either. I can't offhand think of a time a child was killed onscreen in any kind of graphic way.

    In a way, it sucks, because it removes gameplay options and reduces immersion and all that. On the other hand, I honestly didn't miss children in Oblivion, and I think that in the end, it's a fairly redundant feature to have in a game. I mean, when you think of Deus Ex, no one says "wasn't it awesome that you could kill louis pan?"

    It's also not censorship, it's market forces.

    i would argue that it's not a redundant feature. A big angle of their marketing hype has been this element of morality-based decisions, a prime example being the player's emotional reaction to these little girls. Some may choose to help, some may choose to kill them, with all the ensuing consequences. This is presenting pretty-much the same situation, but it feels like it's been made more overt and restricted. It sounds like it asks you to make a binary choice with defined consequences (KoTOR, light or dark side?), rather than making it a smoother, more grey decision.

    edit: essnetially, i like the idea of being able to decide for myself, with my own morals, if this is something i want to do. I frown a little at being presented with a more clear-cut "do this good action to earn these points, do this bad action to earn these points". That just seems to undo most of the work they've put in.

    I'm not sure where you got the idea of getting points for killing children. (ok, I might do, but I did mention that they weren't going to have any). Or why you think just because you can no longer toss a grenade in their direction that the choice has somehow been taken away from you. They make a good point how you will still have this choice to make, and that part of the game will be finding out exactly what the little sisters are, if they're still human or not and how that affects your play through of the game.

    I mean you really need to listen to the interview (or read it, most of it's transcribed with potentially spoilery bits removed), obviously Ken is going to be better at explaining the reasonings behind it than I ever will be. It probably helps that from an overall standpoint I'm totally in agreement with him that being able to walk around and smash a wrench into a childs head was just not what the game should have been about. Also I doubt the game would ever have got out of a media shitstorm had it been released with that.

  • CherrnCherrn Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    After listening to the podcast, I understand the decision more now (although he did dodge the second to last question pretty deftly)

    Basically, Irrational doesn't want their game to be known as "that game where you can shoot little girls in the face". That's not the game they're trying to make. The choice is still there, no matter how its done, and I would be very surprised if they didn't want there to be any negative consequences to harvesting every little girl you see.

    The option to kill them is still there. It's just not graphic, but done in a presumably tasteful manner.

    All creature will die and all the things will be broken. That's the law of samurai.
  • apotheosapotheos Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2007
    You don't often see children being killed in cinema either. I can't offhand think of a time a child was killed onscreen in any kind of graphic way.

    Pirates of the Carribean : At World's End pushes this envelope and the results are pretty much entirely distasteful.



    猿も木から落ちる
  • apotheosapotheos Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2007
    You don't often see children being killed in cinema either. I can't offhand think of a time a child was killed onscreen in any kind of graphic way.

    Pan's Labyrinth.

    True, but can you think of anymore? can you think of say, five, off the top of your head without struggling? Pan's Labyrinth is an exception that proves the rule, it was shocking when a child was killed.


    It's about context, though. My Girl and Bridge to Terbithia are KIDS movies where the kids die, but its lesson about life. Exploitative deaths are totally different, (see: Pirates 3).

    Here is the problem in a nutshell: If you leave the flexibility in, all you get is a million more ways to exterminate the kids. The ways to save them stay the same. This choice brings some balance to that.

    If it scares off some psycopaths from buying it oh well.



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  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    apotheos wrote: »
    You don't often see children being killed in cinema either. I can't offhand think of a time a child was killed onscreen in any kind of graphic way.

    Pirates of the Carribean : At World's End pushes this envelope and the results are pretty much entirely distasteful.

    Pfft, If you're talking about a kid at the start, I doubt there was a single person in the audiance that didn't want that trap door to open.

    The best example, and possibly a reason why I think the bioshock take is for the best is the girl in the red coat from Schindler's List.

  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Rook wrote: »
    darleysam wrote: »
    You don't often see children being killed in cinema either. I can't offhand think of a time a child was killed onscreen in any kind of graphic way.

    In a way, it sucks, because it removes gameplay options and reduces immersion and all that. On the other hand, I honestly didn't miss children in Oblivion, and I think that in the end, it's a fairly redundant feature to have in a game. I mean, when you think of Deus Ex, no one says "wasn't it awesome that you could kill louis pan?"

    It's also not censorship, it's market forces.

    i would argue that it's not a redundant feature. A big angle of their marketing hype has been this element of morality-based decisions, a prime example being the player's emotional reaction to these little girls. Some may choose to help, some may choose to kill them, with all the ensuing consequences. This is presenting pretty-much the same situation, but it feels like it's been made more overt and restricted. It sounds like it asks you to make a binary choice with defined consequences (KoTOR, light or dark side?), rather than making it a smoother, more grey decision.

    edit: essnetially, i like the idea of being able to decide for myself, with my own morals, if this is something i want to do. I frown a little at being presented with a more clear-cut "do this good action to earn these points, do this bad action to earn these points". That just seems to undo most of the work they've put in.

    I'm not sure where you got the idea of getting points for killing children. (ok, I might do, but I did mention that they weren't going to have any). Or why you think just because you can no longer toss a grenade in their direction that the choice has somehow been taken away from you. They make a good point how you will still have this choice to make, and that part of the game will be finding out exactly what the little sisters are, if they're still human or not and how that affects your play through of the game.

    I mean you really need to listen to the interview (or read it, most of it's transcribed with potentially spoilery bits removed), obviously Ken is going to be better at explaining the reasonings behind it than I ever will be. It probably helps that from an overall standpoint I'm totally in agreement with him that being able to walk around and smash a wrench into a childs head was just not what the game should have been about. Also I doubt the game would ever have got out of a media shitstorm had it been released with that.

    i'm going to go listen to after posting this. I didn't mean to sound like you get 100 points for child murder or anything like that. But as far as i'm aware, the choices/consequences are along the lines of
    i need Adam > Little Sister has Adam
    A> kill Little Sister for Adam, but face potential wrath of a Big Daddy
    B> leave Little Sister alone, look for a source elsewhere.

    This does present choices and consequences to the player, but seems to leave the whole process with the thoughts and actions of the player. With what i'm reading about this now, you can't actually kill one by accident, but rather have to, say, walk up to one and are then given a choice, by the game, on what to do next. It's a small change, but it just feels like it's taking away part of that instinctive, emotional response that the player would have to make, and presenting it with something far more clear-cut and binary.

  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Mimic had 2 children getting killed, though it was kind of dark.

  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Cherrn wrote: »
    After listening to the podcast, I understand the decision more now (although he did dodge the second to last question pretty deftly)

    Basically, Irrational doesn't want their game to be known as "that game where you can shoot little girls in the face". That's not the game they're trying to make. The choice is still there, no matter how its done, and I would be very surprised if they didn't want there to be any negative consequences to harvesting every little girl you see.

    The option to kill them is still there. It's just not graphic, but done in a presumably tasteful manner.

    See, that seems insane to me. So, you kill kids, but in a very mechanical and detached manner that's ritualistic? That seems creepier. I mean, I wouldn't have made a game with child-killing in it because of monetary concerns anyways... but this deftly dodging it seems to be a bit silly.

    Actually, what annoys me is the whole "save" option. So now killing off big daddies is just what you have to do to save the little girls? I like them! They seem big and melancholy. I don't want them to be a speedbump for my good character too.

  • apotheosapotheos Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2007
    Rook wrote: »
    apotheos wrote: »
    You don't often see children being killed in cinema either. I can't offhand think of a time a child was killed onscreen in any kind of graphic way.

    Pirates of the Carribean : At World's End pushes this envelope and the results are pretty much entirely distasteful.

    Pfft, If you're talking about a kid at the start, I doubt there was a single person in the audiance that didn't want that trap door to open.

    Congratulations on attending the film with an audience full of sick bastards.



    猿も木から落ちる
  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Magus` wrote: »
    Mimic had 2 children getting killed, though it was kind of dark.



    Didn't Pitch Black have a similar scenario?


    ...we're going to turn this into a list of child deaths, aren't we.

    I'll withhold judgement until I see how it's implemented. Needless to say, though, I've always disapproved of indestructible allies/neutrals (cough cough Half-Life 2).

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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    This reminds me of the best game allies ever. The BOBs from Marathon.

    They'd murder you with fusion pistols if your shots "went wide" too often.

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