Last week I told you about Gustave Dore, an artist who worked 150 years ago to create artwork to inspire the dark city of Verge. This week, the inspiration is a little newer. Bioshock, a computer game by 2K Boston (now Irrational Games) is a creepy, claustrophobic, first person shooter that puts you in the centre of a dangerous mystery in a seemingly inescapable city. Hell, it sounds like Verge! There is strange technology, friends where you expect none, and dangers in the form of both horrible creatures, nefarious mastermind-types and environmental hazards. It is dark, alien, but almost familiar which is a feeling I am trying really hard to create in Verge. I also love the art-deco styling of the city of Rapture, and I am trying hard not to lose the medieval / fantasy elements of my own city!
From the moment I started playing Bioshock I felt totally emerged in the game, stuck in a little submersible, horrible scratching on the outside, knowing the only escape was to enter the strange, fallen-down, blinking darkness of the mysterious underwater city. The game made me feel driven to keep moving through the city, choose sides without knowing the real details or repercussion of my actions (did you rescue those little girls, or harvest them?), to use my wits wherever possible and swift, bloody action when my wits failed. Through the windows and glass tunnels you could see interesting features of the city, just out of reach. Rapture is beautiful, but falling apart – a dangerous character in its own right, as interesting, formidable and tricky as any adversary in the game. I am hoping the City of Verge will be as inspiring.
What was your favourite part of Bioshock?