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This Original Pitch For BioShock Is Bananas

Would you believe that, at one point, there was no Rapture in BioShock?


 There is no water dripping off of this logo!
The only way to get your weekend started properly is to read old design documents and  pitches for the games you love. Thoughtfully, the folks over at Irrational Games have released part of the original game pitch for BioShock! It's a fascinating look at what BioShock was originally perceived as, especially since this pitch was created five years before the game was released. Oh yeah, and the game described in this pitch is wildly different from the BioShock released in 2007. 
 
What changed in the five years between pitch and release? How about the fact that BioShock was originally not about Rapture? According to the pitch, there is no underwater city of any kind. Instead, BioShock was originally going to take place on an island, and you were sent to rescue a lady, but there's a cult on the island and genetic mutations extracted out of animals and weapon customization and...
 
Oh, who am I kidding? Stop reading this story and go to the Irrational site to check out the first part of the pitch document. Irrational will be releasing more of the pitch in the near future, complete with commentary from the developers involved with the game's design and production. You should read it! I want to read it again! I'm out! I got reading to do! 
 
Here's a fraction of the pages from that BioShock pitch. Would you kindly go and read the rest?  

 
Totally bananas! What do you think about the game that BioShock might have been?
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Posted by MattBodega

 There is no water dripping off of this logo!
The only way to get your weekend started properly is to read old design documents and  pitches for the games you love. Thoughtfully, the folks over at Irrational Games have released part of the original game pitch for BioShock! It's a fascinating look at what BioShock was originally perceived as, especially since this pitch was created five years before the game was released. Oh yeah, and the game described in this pitch is wildly different from the BioShock released in 2007. 
 
What changed in the five years between pitch and release? How about the fact that BioShock was originally not about Rapture? According to the pitch, there is no underwater city of any kind. Instead, BioShock was originally going to take place on an island, and you were sent to rescue a lady, but there's a cult on the island and genetic mutations extracted out of animals and weapon customization and...
 
Oh, who am I kidding? Stop reading this story and go to the Irrational site to check out the first part of the pitch document. Irrational will be releasing more of the pitch in the near future, complete with commentary from the developers involved with the game's design and production. You should read it! I want to read it again! I'm out! I got reading to do! 
 
Here's a fraction of the pages from that BioShock pitch. Would you kindly go and read the rest?  

 
Totally bananas! What do you think about the game that BioShock might have been?
Posted by Rekka

awesome!

Posted by emkeighcameron

Man, THIS premise should've been used for Bioshock 2, would've made that game way cooler.

Posted by Video_Game_King

So it's like Dr. Moreau mixed with what BioShock would eventually become? Fits with what it became, in more ways than one. Specifically, two.

Posted by snide

Still waiting on the next Freedom Force game.

Edited by Babylonian

"It's a fascinating look at what BioShock was originally perceived as" 
 
Don't you mean "conceived as"? But yeah, that's nuts. This doesn't seem to resemble the game we know and love at all.

Posted by ShaneDev

I thought this was released ages ago, I remember hearing something similar before.

Posted by Sil3n7

I love insider info like this. As a student of game design in college I wish more stuff like this was released. I'm working on a pitch currently as well.

Posted by Icemael

Sounds a lot better than the actual end product. I mean, I liked Bioshock and all, but the game being described in this pitch is a hundred times better.

Posted by Jimbo

The original pitch for Bioshock was... Far Cry?

Posted by MarkWahlberg

So game development is about the same process as movie development? Makes sense i guess.

Posted by ryanwho

Glad they changed it.

Posted by MisterMouse

Thats cool that they are releasing the pitch!

Posted by Captain_Felafel

It sounds so different from BioShock, that I think I'd actually like to see them make this next!

Posted by S0ndor

Manipulating the environment would have been awesome.

Posted by miva2

saved it, i'll read it later, but it looks really interesting.
i'd like to see more of this. the rest of the pitch and also pitches of other known (or perhaphs unknown) games. that would be awesome

Posted by AdventChild

I think you meant 'banar-nars'

Posted by JDUB_XL

I like how Multiplayer is listed in the contents.

Posted by BD_Mr_Bubbles
@ryanwho said:
" Glad they changed it. "
Posted by Hef

"Vanilla weapon archetypes (e.g slug thrower, missle launcher, chemical projector, etc.) that are found around the island can be molded into more powerful, customized versions (e.g fully automatic acid tipped armored piercing assault rifle, etc.)"
 
Why did they not keep that!!?!?

Posted by TooWalrus

I really like Bioshock, but this premise is interesting as well. I doubt we'll see it resurrected, but it's totally interesting.

Posted by TheChaos
@Icemael said:
" Sounds a lot better than the actual end product. I mean, I liked Bioshock and all, but the game being described in this pitch is a hundred times better. "
Posted by 234r2we232
@emkeighcameron said:
" Man, THIS premise should've been used for Bioshock 2, would've made that game way cooler. "
You mean a rough idea of how the first game would have gone had the process of this lil thing called 'development' not interfered? Not a deep interesting story that compliments the first game? Yeah, sure. Makes perfect sense :/
Posted by Cornman89

This is nuts.

Posted by Jimbo
@Hef said:
" "Vanilla weapon archetypes (e.g slug thrower, missle launcher, chemical projector, etc.) that are found around the island can be molded into more powerful, customized versions (e.g fully automatic acid tipped armored piercing assault rifle, etc.)"  Why did they not keep that!!?!? "
It was too good at neutralizing alkaline-based enemies.
Posted by Sanious

Pretty good read, interesting to see some of the stuff that sticked and what didn't. Some of the other stuff under 'Mod the World' seems pretty awesome, we know which one actually made it to Bioshock. :p

Posted by Fallen189
@snide said:
" Still waiting on the next Freedom Force game. "
Ssssshhh. The more you say it, the less chance it has of being real!
Posted by Brendan
@Hef said:
""Vanilla weapon archetypes (e.g slug thrower, missle launcher, chemical projector, etc.) that are found around the island can be molded into more powerful, customized versions (e.g fully automatic acid tipped armored piercing assault rifle, etc.)"  Why did they not keep that!!?!? "

Alot of these things in game pitches are not really feasible to do (at least all at once) when it comes to actually developing the game. 
Posted by CornBREDX

What an odd sounding game that pitches. If that had been released I dont think I'd have been as interested. One of the things I liked about Bioshock was how different the world is. I mean, damn, its an underwater city in the 50s run by a eccentric mad man who loses control because we as humans can never be satisified so when given the opportunity we manipulate the world enough to destroy it.  
 
This pitch sounds generic but very ambitious as well (i read the whole thing). There's also some things missing from it but that isn't really important, just something I noticed. 
 
Seriously, if writing a pitch is that easy I may have the wrong job. This is like a rough draft for one of my insane stories. The environmental changing thing they outlined was an interesting concept. I dont know how that could possibly work (which is probably why it was ultimately canned) but on paper it sounds amazing. If that could ever be done with an actual use in the game that wasnt contrived it might make for an interesting game. 
 
I can see how they got to where they did from this as far as mechanics and even somewhat in the way the population of rapture are (as the people of rapture worship the flesh, vanity, greed, and other such evils to a degree that could be considered a cult in a way). This pitch also shows how the second game comepletely missed the mark. 
 
Very fascinating to read that.
Posted by Volkodlak

This seems like a great game idea, but it doesn't seem like it'd have as many iconic moments as BioShock; but maybe that's just me, either way it's cool of Irrational to release this look into early BioShock, and I continue to be super excited for whatever they're cooking up now.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

I have to say, this pitch is certainly interesting, but I'm glad Bioshock turned out the way it did. This original pitch sounds too much like the first Far Cry for my liking.

Online
Posted by blacklab

Excerpt from one of the pages on the Irrational site: 
  
Bioshock will: 
-... 
-Scare the hell out of people. 
 
MIssion accomplished!

Posted by ApolloBob
@snide said:
" Still waiting on the next Freedom Force game. "
This.
Posted by I_smell
Irrational is fuckin GREAT for showin off weird old stuff they've cut out of games. You should see the crazy Left 4 Dead sim-type game they were gonna make.
 
@miva2 said:

" saved it, i'll read it later, but it looks really interesting. i'd like to see more of this. the rest of the pitch and also pitches of other known (or perhaphs unknown) games. that would be awesome "

 http://www.unseen64.net/
Posted by fishmicmuffin

Some of that stuff sounds bad ass. Maybe they'll incorporate it into a different game.

Posted by sixghost
@snide said:
" Still waiting on the next Freedom Force game. "
fucking right dave.
Posted by Milkman

Still sounds pretty cool to me.

Posted by emkeighcameron
@sofacitysweetheart said:
" @emkeighcameron said:
" Man, THIS premise should've been used for Bioshock 2, would've made that game way cooler. "
You mean a rough idea of how the first game would have gone had the process of this lil thing called 'development' not interfered? Not a deep interesting story that compliments the first game? Yeah, sure. Makes perfect sense :/ "
What I mean is that I found Bioshock 2 had a suck-ass story and wasn't nearly as interesting as its predecessor, so yeah. This story sounds way cooler to me than what BS2 tried to do.
Posted by 234r2we232
@emkeighcameron said:
" @sofacitysweetheart said:
" @emkeighcameron said:
" Man, THIS premise should've been used for Bioshock 2, would've made that game way cooler. "
You mean a rough idea of how the first game would have gone had the process of this lil thing called 'development' not interfered? Not a deep interesting story that compliments the first game? Yeah, sure. Makes perfect sense :/ "
What I mean is that I found Bioshock 2 had a suck-ass story and wasn't nearly as interesting as its predecessor, so yeah. This story sounds way cooler to me than what BS2 tried to do. "
I thought the story in the sequel furthered the legend of Rapture and its inhabitants pretty well. Especially considering what the first game left us with.
Posted by emkeighcameron
@sofacitysweetheart said:
" @emkeighcameron said:
" @sofacitysweetheart said:
" @emkeighcameron said:
" Man, THIS premise should've been used for Bioshock 2, would've made that game way cooler. "
You mean a rough idea of how the first game would have gone had the process of this lil thing called 'development' not interfered? Not a deep interesting story that compliments the first game? Yeah, sure. Makes perfect sense :/ "
What I mean is that I found Bioshock 2 had a suck-ass story and wasn't nearly as interesting as its predecessor, so yeah. This story sounds way cooler to me than what BS2 tried to do. "
I thought the story in the sequel furthered the legend of Rapture and its inhabitants pretty well. Especially considering what the first game left us with. "
WELL I'M SURE AS HELL NOT GOING TO TOLERATE A DIFFERING OPINION ON THE INTERNET
 
*PUNCH*
Posted by Lambert

Wow, if they actually followed their original pitch, the game might have been good...
 
It goes to show you how desperate console gamers are for a good game when they take a shitty, and dumbed-down version of System Shock 2, and consider it good.
 
What do you expect from the same people who buy God of War, or Halo?

Posted by Kazona

They should use this for the next Bioshock. Start fresh with this script.

Posted by 234r2we232
@emkeighcameron: HOW DARE THEE
 
*RUNS USER OVER WITH CAR*
Posted by RandomInternetUser

I'm going to be honest, that games sounds like something I would like a lot more than BioShock if they delivered on all the promises.

Posted by Little_Socrates

I would love to see this game released, even if it's not the original idea. There are a few ideas I don't love, per se, but it's still sweet sounding.

Posted by VoshiNova

That is so cool to see how Bioshock started, thanks for sharing the info!

Posted by TwoLines

Haha, you'd be able to make your own custom weapons..
Too bad they've changed that. Also, it had multiplayer.

Posted by Dalai

That shit is indeed bananas. 
 
And MattBodega ain't no hollaback girl.

Posted by Murdouken

Very interesting read. I'll be honest though, the pitch sounds like it'd be more suited to my play style than the current bioshock. Sounds like a mental version of Far Cry.

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