BioShock was one of the most anticipated titles of 2007, and rightfully so — the blend of briskly paced action and emotionally engaging story redefined the FPS genre and attracted many players that had never played shooters before. Little do most casual fans know that BioShock once had nothing to do with Big Daddies, Little Sisters or even an underwater metropolis. In an October 2004 interview, Ken Levine talks a little about the concept of the working title:
BioShock takes place in a mysterious genetic laboratory. Other than that the complex is strewn with corpses (also for reasons unknown), nothing is clear to you. From what you can tell, the laboratory complex is apparently a holdover from World War II–you’ll see remnants of the war as well as peeling paint throughout the complex. Something apparently happened back then that caused the complex to be abandoned by whoever was using it. In fact, the complex has only recently come back into use by the scientists circa the early 21st century, and advanced, top-secret contraptions used for arcane biotechnology experiments have been hastily bolted into the rotting walls of the complex.
It’s a stolen glimpse into a workshop that’s doors are now closed, but completely fascinating none the less. The concepts of this early incarnation seem to fit the name a bit better than what it became, but I think this might have been a less interesting FPS despite the talent at hand. The downloadable artbook has some more of the early concept art, including the Little Sisters as tin can robots, but seeing these actual enviroments really hit home for me. We don’t always realize how lucky we are to get the games we get — or how close they may have come to not existing at all.
[Via Gamespot, thanks Geoff!]