Irrational Games wants to hire a a senior programmer to focus on artificial intelligence and gameplay, perhaps offering a bit of insight into the revamped BioShock developer's next game.
According to a job posting published on Gamasutra this week, interested candidates with knowledge of Unreal Engine 3 and 4 — the studio built BioShock and BioShock Infinite in UE — will have an advantage. Irrational is also looking for those with three or more years of experience "working on current generation AI." skills with AI crop up several times in the listing, saying potential programmers will "design, schedule, document and develop AI behaviors and systems," which is why they should have "extensive experience crafting AI for different game types."
It's not clear if this is a new position or, given the Senior Programmer title, if it's the same position that the BioShock series creator has been looking to fill since late last year.
Ken Levine, the co-founder of Irrational Games, announced in February 2014 that the studio was "winding down" and laying off all but about 15 employees. "I'll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two," he wrote. That restructure led to about 75 layoffs. Last November, Levine's new studio announced that it was hiring again.
Irrational's next game remains unannounced, though Levine has spoken several times about what he's interested in creating.
In October 2013, as Irrational was still working on BioShock Infinite's Burial at Sea downloadable content, Levine told Polygon of a "thought experiment" he was mulling over, which centered around narrative.
"I've been working on a concept I call narrative Legos which is how do you take narrative and break it down," Levine told Polygon. "What are the smallest part of narrative that you can then remix and build something out of? Mix and match."
Late last year, he wrote of the shortcomings of player choice in games, while praising Monolith Production's Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. And early last month, Levine offered more hints about the underpinnings of the game Irrational is working on.
"The whole system that I came up with and that we’re developing is based upon the fact that to make an interesting character, you have to have a character who has a bunch of passions, wants, and needs," he said. "The player now has the ability to facilitate those wants or needs or go against those wants or needs or ignore those wants or needs. The reason I think the system is going to work is because it’s a very organic way to look at a character. It’s a quite systemic game. The system we’re in, the character’s feelings about you change, they go up and down. But the heart of a character is still wants and needs, and that makes it no different than anything I’ve ever written before."