Very few series have the same cultural impact as South Park, and even better, South Park games are a reliable adaptation of the source material. With the exception of the mobile game, South Park: The Stick of Truth and The Fractured But Whole were great role-playing games in the universe. When fans found out that another game was in development, it would be an understatement to say that many of them were thrilled.
There are still a lot of questions about what kind of material South Park will adapt, how the game works, whether it will match past games or move away from them, and so on. However, fans know that South Park is being developed by Question Games, a company made up of developers who have worked on a number of AAA games, including BioShock. And these BioShock influences may well shine through.
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South Park and the Question Games
Question Games is a relatively small studio, which reportedly employs no more than 50 people. While this complicates some larger projects, it gives the advantage that studio members maintain a unified vision. Since its formation, he has released The Blackout Club and The Magic Circle, the latter of which has been highly praised by fans. However, in both of them, BioShock’s cohesive work, storytelling, and gaming approach can be seen in small cracks throughout the game. Considering that BioShock games are among the most popular games in the industry, this is a good starting point for comparison.
Of course, just because the developers worked on BioShock does not mean that it will be so. Expect it to be too much. However, the presence of BioShock in its pool of experience is undoubtedly good for South Park. After all, the previous list of vacancies in Question Games describes the exciting expectations of the level designer:
Each good level tells a story — a cherished dream that the player can share with his friends. Stories like “Well… did I forget that fire is spreading in this game? All these bombs that I collected exploded right in front of my face, and I have only one health left. I was *shaking*.” For the player, this experience was one of a kind and 100% his own. But their silent partner is the person who put this chemical kit next to a big tempting button with the inscription DO NOT TOUCH… it was you.
In other cases, the story of the level is that all the NPCs appeared inside the geometry and endlessly overlapped on top of each other, unable to achieve anything and begging for the sweet release of death. It was you, too. You’re pushing the boundaries of what a game scenario can do to make a first-type story possible without leaving too many second-type stories hidden in the walls.
How BioShock Should Affect South Park
Indeed, this very job application describes how a developer should use his experience in BioShock here. BioShock has made sure that storytelling, characters, and level design go hand in hand, whether it’s the City of Delight or later Columbia. Delight is more than enough to inform the fictional city of South Park in Colorado. Making sure that the chosen narrative matches the tone should be more than doable, considering how each animation, ability, and more matched the BioShock themes. His characters reveal the painful, psychological themes of a city where South Park is a city created by his foul-mouthed children, a police director, fine city workers and many others. And his level design goes hand in hand with that, whether it’s a subtle hint of Mysterion’s personality or a big “Don’t Touch” button that Cartman could never avoid.
Of course, none of this means that fans should expect a dark, psychological experience like BioShock, but the skills needed to create this world, combined with the more personal scope of games with questions, promise good results. These skills can be seen in The Blackout Club and The Magic Circle, and thanks to The Question Games game, fans can enjoy playing in South Park, where everything is put together, not fragmented, but whole.
A new South Park game is in development.