Bioshock Infinite [Beta – Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC]

BioShock Infinite is a first person adventure game and the third entry in the BioShock series. Previously known as “Project Icarus”, it is being developed by Irrational Games for a February 2013 worldwide release on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. In August of 2012, several high-level developers from Irrational that had been working on Infinite announced their departure from the company; these included art director Nate Wells, who began working with Naughty Dog, and director of product development Tim Gerritsen. At the same time, Irrational announced the addition of Rod Fergusson from Epic Games as their product director while Scott Sinclair, art director from the original Bioshock, replaced Wells.

There are some features that were removed or not implemented from BioShock Infinite beta version. For example Ken Levine revealed in an interview with Gamasutra that the plot’s conflict would have been originally about tech geeks against luddites, those who resist the proliferation of technology. Some more rumors about the problems with the development of the game tell that various multiplayer modes were tested in a prototype form, but later removed. Even if Levine told Kotaku that multiplayer wasn’t guaranteed to be in the game, but in May of 2012, job listings at Irrational hinted that the studio was in fact working on a multiplayer component. Also, the 2011 E3 demo, seems to have been much different from what we’ll be able to play in the final game. For more beta differences and unused characters / items / models from BioShock Infinite will have to wait for when the game will be finally published.. in the meantime, here are some early screens and videos!

Chris Henzler noticed some more beta differences:

  • HUD is different from final game
  • various voice actors changed from final version of booker and Elizabeth
  • story has changed alot
  • atmosphere of the game has changed
  • some of the vigors seem different in the final game
  • the twins seem absent in the beta versions of the game

There are also some unused content that you can check at the Bioshock Wikia! If you played the final game and see more differences, please leave a message below! :D

Thanks to Inspector for the contribution!




BioShock 2 [Beta – PC Xbox 360 PS3]

BioShock 2 is a FPS developed by 2K Marin and Irrational Games, released in february 2010 for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Users at 2K Forums noticed many beta differences in the early trailers of the game, especially in the “Hunting the Big Sister” demo:

  • It would have been possible to explore areas from the 1st game (some of them underwater)
  • Tenenbaum was going to be the player’s guide
  • Splicers ran away in fear from the player
  • Textures looked more like the original Bioshock
  • You were able to carry more health packs and eve hypos
  • The whole demo is set up differently. It starts as the normal game would, but the path and events are fairly different, including the final scene of the demo, that location, Fontaine Futuristics, is towards the end of the game.
  • Looks like the drill recharges when it’s not used. In the final game you had to find drill fuel.

Also, as we can read on Wikipedia, the original story and gameplay elements related to the plot were changed / removed from the final game:

The story received major changes over the course of development, with two of the most important relating to the player’s character and the Big Sister. Initially there was only going to be one Big Sister who would continually hunt the player down throughout the course of the game and then retreat once she was defeated.

This Big Sister was written as a Little Sister who, as she grew up on the surface, could not leave the memory of Rapture behind and eventually returned. The reason for the change, as explained by Zak McClendon, Lead Designer for 2K Marin, “If you have a single character that the player knows they can’t kill because they’re so important to the story you’re completely removing the triumph of overcoming that encounter with them.”

Jordan Thomas explains however, “The soul of the original Big Sister character still exists, but in the form of somebody you get to know over the course of the game.” The other major change is that the player’s character, Subject Delta, is no longer the first Big Daddy, but rather the fourth prototype. He is, however, the first to be successfully ‘pair-bonded’ to a single Little Sister.

Also, according to Rockpapershotgun’s BS2 review the special edition’s art book shows lots of unused designs

I’ve already completed Bioshock 2. None of these things were in there – the Big Daddy with arms like tortured tentacles, another which looked like a spaceship on legs, the Splicer whose grotesquely mutated face had become a fleshy whirlpool, a hideous sea-beast halfway between a merman and giant phallus, a frail, frock-wearing Big Sister who carries her hulking oxygen tank around on a rickety hand cart… Where are they? What happened?

Thanks to Robert Seddon, Robert and Dr. Swank for the contributions! If you can find more differences in the early Bioshock 2 screens and videos, please let us know!




BioShock [Beta / Concept]

Originally, BioShock had a storyline which was significantly different from that of the released version: the main character was a “cult deprogrammer”-a person charged with rescuing someone from a cult, and mentally and psychologically readjusting that person to a normal life. For example, Ken Levine cites an example of what a cult deprogrammer does: “[There are] people who hired people to [for example] deprogram their daughter who had been in a lesbian relationship. They kidnap her and reprogram her, and it was a really dark person, and that was the [kind of] character that you were.”

This story would have been more political in nature, with the character hired by a Senator. By the time development on BioShock was officially revealed in 2004, the story and setting had changed significantly. The game now took place in an abandoned World War II-era underground laboratory, which had recently been unearthed by 21st century scientists. The genetic experiments within the labs had gradually formed themselves into an ecosystem, centered around three “castes” of creatures, referred to as “drones,” “soldiers,” and “predators.” This “AI ecology” would eventually form the basis for the “Little Sister,” “Big Daddy,” and “Splicer” dynamic seen in the completed game. [Infos from Wikipedia]

In some early screenshots and concept arts, we can see different designs for “Big Daddy” and a removed “Garden Level” area.

In the beta videos there is a very early looking beta hud and a removed plasmid called Speed Boost that makes you move faster so you can avoid the turret. Also at one point near the end you see a little sister get killed by a splicer which can’t happen in the final game. At one point in development the developers wanted plasmids to have a more permanent effect and permanently alter your body much like the splicers. For whatever reason they decided to cut it out of the game, but you can still see it in the second beta video. You can see that after he uses that one gunk ball plasmid thing and switches back to his weapon his hands still stay altered from using the plasmid until he switches to a new one. Where in the final game if you use a plasmid that alters the way you look and switch back to a weapon your arms and hands instantly go back to normal.

At Irrational Games’ website they published even more info on the early / unused characters:

Frog with a Funnel in its Anus: Before BioShock’s “gatherers” became Little Sisters in an artistic process characterized by false starts and filled garbage bins, they were sea slugs. Nobody empathized with the creatures enough to care whether they lived or died. When the call went out to come up with a character that players would pity, Art Principal Scott Sinclair submitted this insipid image of a toad with a funnel and sun tea jug attached to its anus. Scott insists that fellow artist Shawn Robertson’s “dog in a wheelchair” is more embarrassing by far.

Stay Puft Bouncer: Initially reluctant to add a drill arm to the Bouncer Big Daddy variant at Creative Director Ken Levine’s insistence, artists Nate Wells and Robb Waters started exchanging a series of images in which they attached marshmallows, human butts, and other items to the character’s hand.

SloProFum: SloProFum, the studio’s internal name for this prototype Big Daddy variant that mauled players with an enormous hook and fired iron bearings from a barrel, stands for “slow projectile/fucked-up melee.”

Also, in another article they talks about an atmospheric pressure system and other things removed from Bioshock:

BioShock was slated to simulate deep-sea atmospheric pressure changes. In fact, the feature was functioning when the game shipped.

Technical Director Chris Kline explains: “Any area in BioShock could be associated with a ‘pressure region.’ Machines in each region allowed players to change the local pressure between low, normal, and high parameters. For each room in the game, there were entirely different light, fog, and HDR rendering setups, and when the pressure was changed, the whole atmosphere in the room would smoothly blend from the current setup to the new setup. In addition, every AI responded differently to pressure, meaning that, depending on the current pressure, the AI would have different animations, vocalizations, appearance, speeds, vulnerabilities to different damage types, and damage bonuses. […]

“In practice, the system was a disaster because it caused several gameplay and production issues. Most importantly — and this is the issue that put the nail in the system’s coffin — was that we never found a good way to clearly convey the effect of pressure through audiovisual changes.

Interestingly, some remnant of this system shipped with BioShock. “While we ‘cut’ pressure from the game,” Kline says, “the portion that controlled lighting and fog changes was left in the code. At one point, I discovered (to my horror, because the code hadn’t been tested in ages) that artists were hijacking the pressure system to script lighting and fog changes — most notably in the Arcadia level when the trees die and are brought back to life. So I suppose that the code was solid.”

“Early on during BioShock’s development, we went through a phase that placed much more emphasis on biotechnology,” says designer Alexx Kay. “Audio logs, instead of being tape recorders, would be squishy, organic things, with lips and ears. Machines that seemed mechanical on the surface would actually have mutated humans operating them behind the scenes — something that players would only come to realize partway through the game. There is a small remnant of this notion in the hacking mini-game; originally, the fiction behind it was that you were increasing the flow of Adam to this addicted, mutated slave, and he was giving you extra benefits in gratitude.

BioShock’s insect-based ecology: According to designer Alexx Kay, “One of the original inspirations for BioShock was Ken Levine’s belief that it was getting too hard to create meaningful human interactions in games. His first take on a solution: model meaningful insect interactions, like you would see on a nature show. BioShock would feature a complex ecology of creatures that interacted in simple, easy-to-get ways. Harvesters would gather resources and bring them back to Queens. Aggressors would attack the Harvesters, Protectors would guard them. (The Queens were large, immobile creatures, with lots of Adam, who could summon Protectors if attacked.) There would never be any speech, or any indication of higher intelligence.

BioShock’s navigation robot: During the middle stages of Bioshock’s development, the team realized that due to the complex connectivity of Rapture, players needed assistance in order to navigate the city and complete quests. Technical Director Chris Kline says, “We wanted a map, but were concerned that this would take too much programming and design/art time to implement. So I came up with the idea of Nav-Bot: You could press a controller button to summon your Nav-Bot, activate him with another controller button, and then select from a list of destinations in a 2D user interface. You could then follow him to the designated location.

Thanks to Earthwormjim and Robert Seddon for the contribution!