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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

  • 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 Working As Intended 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.



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  • 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.



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  • 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).

    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • 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.

  • apotheosapotheos Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2007
    There are many horror films where the kid gets it.

    It's rather dodging the point of bringing the idea up to select scenes from 18A rated features. The problem with Pirates 3 is really in that ITS A GOD DAMN FAMILY MOVIE.



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  • MinionOfCthulhuMinionOfCthulhu Registered User regular
    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.
    Spoiler:
    Spoiler:

    mgssig.jpg1152dt.gif
  • CherrnCherrn Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    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..

    I don't know about that. Imagine if you could shoot them, that'd open up a whole new ballpark of creepyness. Like shooting them in the leg so they crawl around leaving a bloodtrail screaming for help, etc. (I'm sure someone else can come up with something sicker than that)

    Now, imagine that scene in contrast to the footage they've already shown. It seems very out of place to me. Bioshock is a dark game, but not that dark. It's not Berserk, children are not torn in half or impaled on spikes. I think this is a perfectly rational decision without necessarily being an "OMG CENSORSHIP" deal.

    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
    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.

    FROG BLAST THE VENT CORE


    Back to the idea of modeling morality in a game, without holodeck-esque technology I think the best we can ever hope for are
    a) decisions trees, as BioShock has just elected for
    b) really half-assed AI based models that do nothing but show you how weak the system is (say, Oblivion? There has to be a better example)

    I'm glad they've set this decision, controlled expectations, and moved on to making the game rock out.



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  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited May 2007
    I was surprised too, to be honest. Cheap shot, but it establishes that Beckett is a villian (as if no one noticed).

    Oh, and the third Star Wars prequel then. Kid Vader butchers a whole lot of "younglings". Just 'cos.

    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • RookRook Registered User regular
    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.
    Spoiler:
    Spoiler:
    Spoiler:

  • Target PracticeTarget Practice 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.

    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 only killed Louis Pan once, and I reloaded right after. I just wanted to see what, if anything, would happen.

    He's an annoying little fuck, though.

    sig.gif
  • Sharp10rSharp10r Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Fireflash wrote: »
    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.
    Excellent observation for the debate on videogame violence! Most of us do, afterall, have limits on the types of violent acts we will perform in-game. Don't let Jack Thompson find out! ;-)

  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    well, fair enough, i'm listening now and while i didn't doubt that they'd strayed away from the emphasis on moral choices, it sounds completely like that element is still at the core. I was afraid that the system might water it down a little, make it more of a gameplay choice than a moral choice, but i feel fairly confident that it'll work out fine.

    edit: also, i like to hear developers talking about their responsibilities, and acknowledging the boundaries they won't cross. Too many times the media likes to portray them as sensationalist jerks, so it's good to hear someone say where they will, and won't, go.

    edit 2: from the way he talks about it, it almost sounds more like you have to take them to some kind of facility, to either harvest, or return them to a more normal, human state. That would be pretty disturbing, taking a small child off to be harvested.

    i'll be saving everyone.

  • XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Athough I personally would have not gone around killing the Little Sisters, I'm still kinda disappointed this was removed.
    It almost feels like they're giving into controversy.

  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Xagarath wrote: »
    Athough I personally would have not gone around killing the Little Sisters, I'm still kinda disappointed this was removed.
    It almost feels like they're giving into controversy.

    You can still kill them. You just can't beat them to death with a wrench.

  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I don't like this one bit...it definitely sounds like an immerision-destroying thing to have these girls be invincible aside from when you make that choice. I mean, take a look at the "hunting the big daddy" video, where there's a huge firefight, bullets and grenades and fireballs flying everywhere...and now this little girl caught in the midst of it will always come out unscathed so I can make the binary "save" or "harvest" decision? That just feels off to me.

    I do believe I'll be harvesting every last one of those kids though, since it's a game, and it's not real, and they've made it feel less real via this decision, I see no reason not to seek the solution that rewards me with more ADAM to use.

  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Xagarath wrote: »
    Athough I personally would have not gone around killing the Little Sisters, I'm still kinda disappointed this was removed.
    It almost feels like they're giving into controversy.

    yeah, what Rook said. I wouldn't say they've tried to avoid being controversial, but they're accepting responsibility for the game. He explains that they've thought long and hard about how to present this so as to get the most effect, without being labelled as 'that game where you shoot kids'. Which is how the media would, and still will, jump on it. But at least now they can say "no, we've gone a long way to make this a moral choice for the player", and hopefully it'll be defensible in the same way a film or novel would be.

  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I don't like this one bit...it definitely sounds like an immerision-destroying thing to have these girls be invincible aside from when you make that choice. I mean, take a look at the "hunting the big daddy" video, where there's a huge firefight, bullets and grenades and fireballs flying everywhere...and now this little girl caught in the midst of it will always come out unscathed so I can make the binary "save" or "harvest" decision? That just feels off to me.

    I do believe I'll be harvesting every last one of those kids though, since it's a game, and it's not real, and they've made it feel less real via this decision, I see no reason not to seek the solution that rewards me with more ADAM to use.

    You really ought to listen to the podcast before saying things like that. The choice you make is more than "kill little sister, get Adam" "don't kill little sister, don't get Adam". Your actions will have further consequences in the game world. By not killing them, you're showing to other NPCs there that you can be trusted not to go around fucking up Rapture for your own needs, and maybe those other NPCs might help you, just as you helped the little sisters.

  • skaceskace Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I'm disappointed for 2 reasons.

    The first scenario is the most likely one, I'm playing the good guy. And part of being the good guy is controlling my gun fire and protecting the little sisters during fights. Not just once the fight is over. I can't just throw grenades into a room with one in there, I have to plan my attack, like hostage rescue situations. But if they are invulnerable, this goes out the window, being the good guy becomes easy (or easier).

    The second scenario is one of those whatif scenarios, where you play the intolerant man of faith. Everything in this place of sin is condemned. From the little sisters to it's creator, you are god's hand come to clean the filth. And by that, I mean you'll kill everything and it will be glorious. Ok so maybe I would play that way once through.

    Meh.

    Edit: I'm obviously still getting the game, I just can't see this as a smart move on their part.

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  • guidedbyvicesguidedbyvices Registered User
    edited May 2007
    They're tweaking a small percent of the game?

    Well, I'm still getting it for the other 99% of content.
    Just saying.

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  • CrimsonKingCrimsonKing Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Rook wrote: »
    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.
    Spoiler:
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  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    They're tweaking a small percent of the game?

    Well, I'm still getting it for the other 99% of content.
    Just saying.

    not really. The moral aspect (and all its consequences) has actually been billed as a very large proportion of the game. People (myself, at one stage) feared that by changing it in this way, it would dilute that effect. After hearing Levine talk about the situation, it sounds like it'll work out just fine. Amusingly, the people that aren't buying this because you now can't shoot girls in the head or set them on fire, are probably the kind of people that Irrational wanted to avoid anyway.

  • CrimsonKingCrimsonKing Registered User
    edited May 2007
    So, whats the big deal about popping a little girl in the first place?

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  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    So, whats the big deal about popping a little girl in the first place?

    some want to, some don't, and some would like the option as part of collateral damage. Irrational decided "maybe this'll upset too many people, and get us the wrong reputation", so changed it into a more binary choice, where you can either help them and turn them back into normal human girls, or harvest them for Adam, which is a process they won't survive.
    I'm still picturing this as dragging them off to some kind of facility for the procedure, rather than right there in the street, so to speak.
    I'm thinking Quake 4.

  • AgemAgem Registered User
    edited May 2007
    darleysam wrote: »
    some would like the option as part of collateral damage.
    This is what I'm thinking of. It does help to remove some moral ambiguity from the game.

    I mean, if you're trying to kill the Little Sister, maybe it really doesn't matter if you "Harvest" or shoot her, so they went with what was more tasteful. But what if you've made the decision not to kill any of them, but one accidentally dies because you weren't a good shot or used something explosive on some actual bad guys? And even though it was an accident, do you then harvest the Adam from the dead body? Is that really that much different from killing the Little Sister intentionally?

    But really, I don't care that much about it. I'll be getting the game either way and I'm not terribly disappointed one way or the other. That's just what popped into my head when I read the OP.

  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    yeah, that's my only real qualm with it now, but it's one i'm happy to put aside for the sake of the game.

  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Agem wrote: »
    darleysam wrote: »
    some would like the option as part of collateral damage.
    This is what I'm thinking of. It does help to remove some moral ambiguity from the game.

    I mean, if you're trying to kill the Little Sister, maybe it really doesn't matter if you "Harvest" or shoot her, so they went with what was more tasteful. But what if you've made the decision not to kill any of them, but one accidentally dies because you weren't a good shot or used something explosive on some actual bad guys? And even though it was an accident, do you then harvest the Adam from the dead body? Is that really that much different from killing the Little Sister intentionally?

    But really, I don't care that much about it. I'll be getting the game either way and I'm not terribly disappointed one way or the other. That's just what popped into my head when I read the OP.

    I had to admit when I first heard of it, the idea of your weapons being unable to harm the Lil' Sisters sounded a bit stupid. But if you look at it as Ken clarifying as easily as possible the absolute limits of what you can do, then hopefully people will be more relaxed about this. I pretty much trust Irrational not to break the immersion by having invincible little girls walking around the middle of intense firefights, oblivious to the destruction around them. They're better than that, and their pedigree more than clearly shows this. Hopefully when firefights start, they'll be running to their vents, or hiding behind the big daddies, who'll be doing their best to cover the girls, taking shots for them when needed etc.

    Quite simply, if the game is done right, then that shouldn't be a scenario you need to worry about, because the AI will cover it.

  • JJJJ Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The Blob 80s remake shows kids getting killed. That kill wasn't graphic I think he just gets outright crushed or pulled underwater.

    Also, I'm certain that Postal movie shows a bunch of kids getting shot to death.

    Mr. Banballow was so badly maimed, he turned into a hideous monster, oozing and bleeding, snarling and growling like a beast---enraged and bent on revenge. He tracked down the kids responsible for the fire and killed them one by one----with a blowtorch. That wasn't enough for Banballow. He won't leave his inn or his memories, so there he waits....in ambush....
  • XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Rook wrote: »
    Xagarath wrote: »
    Athough I personally would have not gone around killing the Little Sisters, I'm still kinda disappointed this was removed.
    It almost feels like they're giving into controversy.

    You can still kill them. You just can't beat them to death with a wrench.

    Yes, but they're breaking the immersion, and forcing the whole thing down a black/white path.
    If you could kill them by accident, it;d be horribly memorable.

  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Xagarath wrote: »
    Rook wrote: »
    Xagarath wrote: »
    Athough I personally would have not gone around killing the Little Sisters, I'm still kinda disappointed this was removed.
    It almost feels like they're giving into controversy.

    You can still kill them. You just can't beat them to death with a wrench.

    Yes, but they're breaking the immersion, and forcing the whole thing down a black/white path.
    If you could kill them by accident, it;d be horribly memorable.

    for some. For others (seemingly some posters in this thread), it'd be a goal. That's the kind of attitude that Irrational want to discourage, it would seem.

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