2K surprised everyone when it announced classic horror first-person-shooter BioShock would be coming to iOS devices. The first title in the BioShock series will be getting a port to both iPhone and iPad and will be available before the end of the year.
For it to work, there are some issues to be resolved for the game to get an iOS release. First person shooters traditionally have complicated control systems, and BioShock was no exception. So how will that translate to a touch-screen display? Will the latest iOS devices be able to keep up graphically? Will it only be avaliable on iOS devices?
KYM had a lot of questions, so we spoke to Brian Lowe, Senior Producer at 2K, to find out how porting the game to mobile devices worked and what the future holds for 2K in the mobile gaming space.
KYM: What inspired a release of BioShock for iOS devices?
BL: "There is a growing demand for premium, core gaming experiences on the mobile platform, as showcased by the success of XCOM: EU on mobile.
"With such a strong following and positive reputation in the industry as one of the best first-person-shooters of all-time, it would be a missed opportunity for us to not have looked into bringing BioShock to a mass audience through the convenience of their mobile devices."
What were the main technical challenges in bringing Bioshock to iOS?
For BioShock specifically, a lot of hard work went into porting Unreal 2.5 to mobile, and due to power and file size limitations of the hardware, we had to make some minor changes to the graphical features (such as removing dynamic shadows, or changing the way fog is displayed).
How difficult was it to create a new control system for the iOS release?
We had the goal of 1:1 gameplay experience, but adding touch controls to a FPS did come with a challenge. There was a lot of iteration on the controls, as we wanted to ensure that the Plasmid and Weapon usage was as smooth as possible, but I think we did a good job in meeting our objective.
Will the BioShock mobile release ever make its way to Android devices?
It’s always a possibility, but right now we’re focused on trying to make it the best iOS game we can.
Would iOS devices be able to handle a BioShock 2 release? Would that be something you’d like to do?
Right now, we are focused on bringing the original BioShock to the platform.
Are any other 2K titles for iOS in the works?
“I can really only talk about BioShock coming to iOS right now”.
It comes as no surprise 2K are keeping the cards tight to its chest but it seems there may be some work going on behind the scenes to bring other classic titles to the platform. If you could have any kind of classic game brought to mobile devices, what would it be? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share your excitement for BioShock on iOS that we should see later in the year.