Reading between the lines of the next BioShock
There are 40 job listings available at the time of writing, and while most of them deal with fairly dry subjects - the game will be made in Unreal Engine 4, for instance, and will be a collaborative project between Cloud Chamber's California and Montreal locations - a few are sprinkled with tantalizing gameplay details.
A listing for a senior AI engineer, for instance, says that "we have high ambitions for tying AI and storytelling together, and it will be your responsibility to crystallize that ambition around several AI systems." This includes "an urban crowd system and the systemic tribal ecology of a sometimes hostile AI."
When the new BioShock was officially revealed, 2K president David Ismailer assured fans it would deliver a "powerful narrative and iconic, first-person shooter gameplay." Sure enough, a listing for a level designer highlights "a stunning narrative and systems-driven experience." The nature of BioShock 4's combat is also mentioned in Cloud Chamber's job listings, and it sounds mighty interesting on paper.
One listing for a lead combat/AI designer outlines "an FPS combat paradigm that is accessible, satisfying, and allows for a high degree of player expression and experimentation within a highly reactive world." It goes on to challenge applicants to "look beyond direct conflict" and "accommodate various play-styles and design encounters that can be resolved through player ingenuity." The BioShock games have always offered a range of abilities and approaches, and it sounds like that flexible mentality will be expanded upon in the next game.