Ken Levine on BioShock Infinite's Bro-Tastic Cover Art

dessertmonkeyjk

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Grey Carter said:
LtFerret said:
Um, quick question. Where are people getting this silly notion that any previous Bioshock's box art was good? They were pretty generic as well. "big daddy is about to punch you" and "Delta glares at you." This is par for the course.
You can argue that their layouts great, but I don't think you can argue that the covers aren't distinctive. How many games can you name with a giant in a diving suit carrying a little girl on the cover? How many you name on which a white man holds a gun and stares off into the middle distance while something explodes/catches fire?
If that's the case then why not have the guy moving through the city with the sky-hook? Let's people see there's a flying city, the twisted culture aesthetic, and maybe Elizabeth somewhere. Just an idea.
 

Jonny49

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Sylveria said:
Jonny49 said:
Sylveria said:
As much as I want to condemn this decision... I can't. There's been more than a few times that the cover of a game has caught my eye because it was relevent to my interests and caused me to look at it. Conversely, as someone who couldn't be less interested in dude-bro shooters, this cover wouldn't warrant a second glance, let alone a closer inspection. But, this industry is ruled by the whims of the dude-bros, sadly. I miss the days when gaming was just for the nerds and artistic integrity wasn't so readily sacrificed to bring in "the main-stream."
While I'm not a fan of the box-art, what's wrong with wanting more people to play your game? He wants more people to play Bioshock, people who might have otherwise turned it down. Granted, I'm not sure how big an influence box-art has on sales numbers, but isn't it better to risk the integrity of the box-art than the integrity of the game itself?
On it's face? Nothing. If there was a choice between turning Bio-shock in to Halo 5 or putting on a box-cover specifically engineered to entice the dumbest, drunkest, side-ways-hat-wearing, frat bros, I think we'd all rather have the box cover. But, I think this is going to backfire. If they go in thinking this is going to be some 'Merica romp over corpses of the brown-race-du-jour, they're going to be disappointed and likely start review-bombing cause they were miss-lead. Or, even worse, they buy it and then start bitching that it needs competitive multi-player.
I doubt those people are going to take the time out of their day to review bomb a game that was below their expectations, and even if they did I doubt it would matter. To be honest there's a heck of a lot of snobbery going on here, and it's worrying. Calling the mainstream audience "dumb, drunk, side-ways-hat-wearing, frat bros" doesn't do anybody any favours other than make you look like an asshole. We should be open to letting others experience games like this instead of acting like dicks than won't share their toys because we're afraid they might mess it up for the rest of us. If it comes at the cost of making the box-art as clichéd as hell, then do it.
 

Porecomesis

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The Tall Nerd said:
Porecomesis said:
Is it not simply possible to do both? I mean, the original Bioshock's cover was interesting enough to attract such a large audience and make Bioshock Infinite possible in the first place. The original Bioshock's cover managed to convey what you were in for if you bought the game.

Also, is it just me or are devs beginning to use that "we need to be successful" reason as an excuse to slack off in the art department? It's a perfectly valid reason, don't get me wrong, but there's no reason why you can't make something appealing to the masses and artistic at the same time.


yeah, no
... Does that meme really work like that?

By the way, you mean "you're".
 

Porecomesis

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Treblaine said:
Porecomesis said:
Is it not simply possible to do both? I mean, the original Bioshock's cover was interesting enough to attract such a large audience and make Bioshock Infinite possible in the first place. The original Bioshock's cover managed to convey what you were in for if you bought the game.
Did it do well? Compared to the likes of GTA4 or Mass Effect 2 or Skyrim which had similar metascores at least, bioshock did not do as comparatively well. The cover arts was likely only a small part of that, though.

And did the cover art of Bioshock REALLY tell you about the game? Or did it just corroborate what you already knew from other sources that most others had not read or seen.
It was still popular enough to spawn two sequels and merchandising. You can't say that's bad at all.

It more communicated atmosphere and that you were going somewhere that was less than pleasant. The Little Sister holding the syringe brought across that there would be something dead wrong with Rapture, especially.
 

Soak

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"Earlier this week", well, i've already seen it as a possible cover about two weeks ago, but ok :)
Considering BioShock is one of my favorite series, i've loosely been following the development of Infinite. I like BioShock so far, because it was one of the first games to me which tackled idealist/ political world views in a new and engaging fashion. In BioShock, very few people actually care whom they played, it was more or less "some guy getting into a place very unfamiliar and wanting to flee it". The Protagonist was Rapture itself, it's story, the ideas it was build from and what lead to it's ruin. At least that's how i played it.
And when i heard more and more about Infinite i thought "this looks like a huge change of focus", sure, it's still placed in an exciting city with lots of stuff going on, but now you have a protagonist with a face and a personality and relations (no, Delta from BioShock 2 doesn't count, considering Delta itself is an ideal, nobody cares about the face and the story behind the helmet and it was NOT Eleanors real father). Will this still inherit what i liked about the original? Then the box art occurred and i thought "what is this? obviously not what i found appealing before". But then, i thought about the context, that Levine wanted to make the new BioShock about cultural (American) exceptionalism (among other topics) and in a way it fits the context perfectly.

I'm skeptical, if, like most sequels, it'll change for worse eventually, but at the same time i still hope that it'll be as smart as before. The near future will show.
 

Dfskelleton

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Even if the cover does attract the "dude-bros" people are referring to, they'll probably put it right back down when they flip the cover and don't see "INTENSE MULTIPLAYER ACTION!" sprawled out across the back.
The cover art doesn't really bother me; the game looks great. I just hope that the art is the only thing they changed in order to try and broaden their audience (if that was the intention). Then again, I don't feel like Irrational would be ones to sacrifice the focus of the game just to try and broaden their audience (and their profit).


Although, the cover is justified considering that Booker is a Pinkerton Agent. The Pinkertons kicked so much ass that they needed 17 different pairs of shoes just to get through one week on the job.
 

Porecomesis

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The Tall Nerd said:
Porecomesis said:
The Tall Nerd said:
Porecomesis said:
Is it not simply possible to do both? I mean, the original Bioshock's cover was interesting enough to attract such a large audience and make Bioshock Infinite possible in the first place. The original Bioshock's cover managed to convey what you were in for if you bought the game.

Also, is it just me or are devs beginning to use that "we need to be successful" reason as an excuse to slack off in the art department? It's a perfectly valid reason, don't get me wrong, but there's no reason why you can't make something appealing to the masses and artistic at the same time.
http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/31625834.jpg

yeah, no
... Does that meme really work like that?

By the way, you mean "you're".
im using it because i found it , and it was oddly specific and i suppose since it includes the word all, it applies.

but your statement is gonna need the most ciaticous of citations
First line: Eh, fair point. This is the Internet, after all.

Second line: As I am just a forum poster, I really don't feel like providing any citations at all. I don't even know what I'm providing citations for, really. I don't even know how to find ALL of them.
 

Beautiful End

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"If you're a frat guy..."
Ah, there's your problem.

But seriously, the game COULD look like it will appeal to everyone but you don't have to take the bro-tastic route cause:

1. Bioshock is a well known franchise by now
2. CoD is Bro-tastic too but it doesn't appeal to EVERYONE
3. Just say its peer pressure and I'll take it

Look at games like Half Life that come in a crappy Orange Box that you would never guess belongs with that game. And yet, that game won Game of the Decade and has tons of fanboys and such.

There's just no need or excuse.
 

Gordon_4_v1legacy

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Beautiful End said:
"If you're a frat guy..."
Ah, there's your problem.

But seriously, the game COULD look like it will appeal to everyone but you don't have to take the bro-tastic route cause:

1. Bioshock is a well known franchise by now
2. CoD is Bro-tastic too but it doesn't appeal to EVERYONE
3. Just say its peer pressure and I'll take it

Look at games like Half Life that come in a crappy Orange Box that you would never guess belongs with that game. And yet, that game won Game of the Decade and has tons of fanboys and such.

There's just no need or excuse.
The Orange Box was a follow up package for Half Life 2 with a bunch of extra stuff around the time Episode 2 came out.

The original box arts for Half Life 2 were by no means creative, but they made sense.

You could have Gordon:


Alyx:


or the G-Man:


As much as I love her, Alyx's cover is arguably the worst with nothing but a faded shape in the background: Gordon's and the G-Man have got various bits or architecture in the background.
 

Beautiful End

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Gordon_4 said:
Beautiful End said:
"If you're a frat guy..."
Ah, there's your problem.

But seriously, the game COULD look like it will appeal to everyone but you don't have to take the bro-tastic route cause:

1. Bioshock is a well known franchise by now
2. CoD is Bro-tastic too but it doesn't appeal to EVERYONE
3. Just say its peer pressure and I'll take it

Look at games like Half Life that come in a crappy Orange Box that you would never guess belongs with that game. And yet, that game won Game of the Decade and has tons of fanboys and such.

There's just no need or excuse.
The Orange Box was a follow up package for Half Life 2 with a bunch of extra stuff around the time Episode 2 came out.

The original box arts for Half Life 2 were by no means creative, but they made sense.

You could have Gordon:


Alyx:


or the G-Man:


As much as I love her, Alyx's cover is arguably the worst with nothing but a faded shape in the background: Gordon's and the G-Man have got various bits or architecture in the background.
Oh, that makes sense. I was only thinking of the console versions..
But you've helped me prove my point. A cover art with someone's face and it's still a game that people go bananas about it.
I'm still buying Bioshock but...meh, could have been better.
 

sibrenfetter

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Looking at the boxart, all I can think of is that Nathan Drake is popping up everywhere. It would be nice if for once the main character would an Asian or a black guy, or maybe even an unattractive female black/asian small breasted girl. Just getting so tired of the stereotype caucasian good guy.
 

Hiroshi Mishima

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Interesting thought here.. but because I sometimes develop a kneejerk reaction to bad cover art (ie: I ignore it, and this is something I totally would if I didn't know what Bioshock was), I end up needing to go off and look online for information about a game when the cover or back of the box provides next to nothing about it.

These days, a lot of game covers insist on having two or three languages on the back, which greatly reduces the amount of information they can provide to tantalize potential buyers. Slapping a guy's picture who, most likely, we'll never see in game and have little to say (remember Jack?), instead of a truly iconic character like the Big Daddy is quite silly.

I would have put Songbird (if I didn't think the new design was ridiculous) or maybe just the floating city. If you've heard of the name Bioshock - and I can't see why you wouldn't at this point - the name alone should be enough to at least make you pick up the case and look at it.
 

Moonlight Butterfly

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Does anyone else think that the brotasticness aside that this is just straight up horrible. It has a lens flare ffs... It just looks like a cut and copy paste of some concept art.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the art guys who quit did so because of this horrible pandering or they were the ones who were meant to do the cover art and the job fell to work experience guy Craig.
 

Treblaine

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Porecomesis said:
The Little Sister holding the syringe brought across that there would be something dead wrong with Rapture, especially.
#1 you don't know from the cover she is a "little sister" or what that even is
#2 you can't know from the cover it is even set in a closed-off underwater city like rapture
#3 one freaky individual doesn't tell you anything about the whole place. Leatherface on the cover of Texas Chainsaw Massacre does not mean all of Texas is full of people like that.
#4 it's not clear is she is the playable character or a sidekick or an enemy. As Ken Levine said, going in with no prior briefing you'd think it was an artsy-fartsy game where you play a little girl bossing a big robot around.

It didn't ACTUALLY sell the game which is the ENTIRE POINT of having box art.

Well, I suppose another appeal is for the collectors sense of satisfaction, but the actual content creators put work into the box art to SELL the game, not to further satisfy those who are already in love with the game and would buy it even if sold in a blank case.
 

Treblaine

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Eclipse Dragon said:
or why the game needs to star a white guy in the first place.
It doesn't have to, it's just a trend that reflects the ethnic background of the people who MADE the games.

Are you equally surprised that Kung Fu films made in china mainly star... people from China.

Or that Indian Bollywood films mainly star people who are from... India.

I'm not the type of berk who refuses to watch an excellent Kung Fu movie because the hero isn't White-European... I don't see why anyone else should reject any other game for the race of the protagonists because that is the very definition of racism.
 

Eclipse Dragon

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Treblaine said:
Eclipse Dragon said:
or why the game needs to star a white guy in the first place.
It doesn't have to, it's just a trend that reflects the ethnic background of the people who MADE the games.

Are you equally surprised that Kung Fu films made in china mainly star... people from China.

Or that Indian Bollywood films mainly star people who are from... India.

I'm not the type of berk who refuses to watch an excellent Kung Fu movie because the hero isn't White-European... I don't see why anyone else should reject any other game for the race of the protagonists because that is the very definition of racism.
I never said I was rejecting the game.
Actually I never really opposed the cover art.
You're taking things too seriously.