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Looking Glass Studios Interview Series - Audio Podcast 5 - Ken Levine


Part 5 of a continuing series, where I interview members of the now-defunct but highly influential Looking Glass Studios (1990-2000), which wrote the book on 3D first-person narrative game design throughout the 90s, in such games as Ultima Underworld, System Shock, and Thief.

In this episode I talk with Ken Levine, creative director of Irrational Games and mastermind of the Bioshock series, who got his start as a writer/designer at Looking Glass. Ken was one of the main creative forces in the early days of Thief, helping to shape its eventual story, world, and core mechanics. I talk with him about his memories of working at the studio, his writing and creative process, and how his experience at Looking Glass relates to his later work at Irrational Games.

If you ever wanted to know what film noir has to do with Thief or whether the Master Builder really exists, check it out!

Download the podcast here.

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Hi Matthew,

These interviews are SOOOO awesome. You've done such a great job.

You mention in one or two interviews that you had talked to Doug Church in the past... but is that not part of this series? Do you have any more interviews as part of this series, or as part of some other collection?

I'd love to hear more. :)

- Murray


Amongst all the great minds and ideas at Looking Glass, I find it cool that some members were musicians and screen writers.

It makes sense why the games ended up with the emphasis on such great audio environments, and story writing elements!


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