Bioshock Creator’s Judas Features A “Narrative Legos” System That Is Highly Reactive To The Player
Bioshock creator’s next project, Judas, will feature a “narrative Legos” system that will be highly reactive to the player.
Speaking during an interview, Bioshock creator Kevin Levine stated that his next game, Judas, will feature what he terms as a “narrative Legos” system that will be much more reactive to the player than in his previous games.
He also mentioned that the team is still working on how exactly they’re implementing the “narrative Legos” system in Judas, and that they haven’t talked about it publicly yet.
Regarding the development of Judas, Levine stated that he started with a small team and a concept for a new game system, but no specific game, characters, or world. The development team had to build everything from scratch, which has ended up taking a long time. He also attributed the lengthy development time to his and his team’s commitment to quality and their desire to avoid the high-pressure work style of previous projects. He mentioned that Levine that the studio has had a lot of people coming in and out of the project, including many people he’s worked with before on previous games.
While he may not have gone into detail about the system itself, this isn’t the first time Levine has brought up the term “narrative Legos”. He had previously discussed the idea during his GDC talk back in 2014, where he had stated that interactive media’s strengths lie in player participation, the ability to engage with content in diverse ways across multiple playthroughs, and the dynamic nature of the experience. According to him, it is crucial for narrative to fully embrace these elements. He had talked about a system that constructs non-linear, replayable sequences within the narrative. At its core, the idea is to break down the narrative into its tiniest, tangible components and explore methods rearrange them, and create an extensive range of narrative possibilities from these building blocks.
Levine coined the term “narrative legos” from an analogy he had presented during his talk. He said that childhood play sets, such as the Death Star, were specific and visually striking but served a singular purpose, in contrast to Legos. According to him, while Legos may appear less captivating and appealing on their own, they possess the ability to be endlessly recombined and repurposed.