Developers need to “protect” traditional controls – Levine

Irrational Games’ Ken Levine took to the stage at Sony’s E3 press conference this year to reveal that the upcoming BioShock Infinite would sport PlayStation Move controls. Despite his original pessimism, Levine spoke about how Move could bring a new audience to BioShock as well as present new ways to interact with the world.

He was also insistent that motion controls should never get in the way of a traditional control scheme, something he’s reinforced in a recent interview with OXM.

“Any experience that sits in the realm of motion play needs to be kept separate from the main experience,” he said. “It needs to be firewalled off so that if this experiment isn’t for you, or doesn’t turn out to be all that great, you just ignore it.

“Any new experience we add, we need to be able to protect this experience. I like the stuff they’re doing with Mass Effect 3, in terms of making some of the interface aspects a little less thorny – more the squad commands than the conversation, as that’s a bit of a challenge on the controller,” Levine continued. He is, of course, referring to Mass Effect 3‘s E3 showing which displayed Kinect integration.

He added: “What you don’t want to do is add something in and enforce it on anybody. Do an experiment, fine! We’re in the experimental stage, and people shouldn’t be afraid of experimenting as long as we can firewall off and protect what we know works. If we don’t experiment, we don’t progress.”

It’s clear Levine’s heart is with the hardcore on this issue. “I’m a hardcore gamer,” he concluded, “I do most of my gaming on mouse and keyboard. I’m always open to new things, but I’m a really conservative guy at heart. I’ll try it out slowly, but I’ll be doing so very conservatively.”

BioShock Infinite launches in 2012.