Lowered Expectations -- reality is what it is:
This revolutionary MMORPG of mine (other thread) isnt likely to happen - this company simply isnt capable of it (with all the fancy new features it would require to be MORE than some genric lame 'run-of-the-mill' MMO). Maybe 10 years on when a dozen other companies are already using the new Player Creation MMO systems (process proven and profits being made), they can look back and remember how popular Rapture was as a genre.
But long before then, heres something 2K/IG/whoever might actually have a chance to make happen :
Not Massive, probably Multiplayer (and Solo) First Person Shooter (NM-MPS-FPS ) with PLAYER level MOD creation for the same/similar/existing game engine. A modified Bioshock game program that accepts mod'ed levels for Solo and Multiplayer (same Unreal 2.5 - no need to upgrade) -- Reuse much of the programming already done (saving big $$$)
Modding tools to create 'levels'- will cost $$$, but such interfaces have been done before and there wont be much 'reinventing the wheel' (maybe Unreal already has tools that can cover more than a little of this - saving some $$)
Reuse asset data from the BS1/BS2/MP/DLC games (weapon/physics/lighting mechanics/props - both objects and terrain/NPCs/Terrain rooms) to save alot of $$$$$$$$$$$$$. Use pretty much the same game mechanics/inferface options as were in the solo games. There is alot there already existing to make use of, even without creating ANYTHING new or players having to create complex assets themselves (stuff like texture substitutions are 'easy'). Just recombine the existing elements (chopped up fine enough into building blocks) to allow crafting completely new scenarios ...... Using a placement editor, exposing scripting for the more complicated bits if needed. Dialog editor (see description of that in the MMORP wall of text posting)
Tap into the Players Creative Imagination.
The best part of the Bioshock games were when you first arrived and had never seen the places you are led thru before and had things jump out at you (without already knowing where EVERYTHING was after the 6th replay). Dark and creepy. New modded content could give you that feeling again. Yes, there would be alot of wannabee/unimaginitive garbage to wade thru (as always with MOD'd games) and discard (thats what online forums are for), but some players are REALLY good and can create level scenarios superior to what we got in the published games.
Level builder tools to place and combine those building block thingees (preferably easy to use/visualize)
MP mechanism that allow use of new MP levels and provides same MP scenario game mechanics (AND BETTER --- add NPC capabilityy so that cooperative scenarios could be made).
Open Level publishing/distribution model same as done with so many other mod'able systems (mod pack system for any NEW assets)
Allow chaining of levels to facilitate bigger (multi-level) scenarios (for stuf fthat dont all fit on one level - also handy to simplify for Platform performance).
Platforms ?? How different/difficult to allow playing the new levels (if not run the creation tools which might only be on the PC)??? Was the data really so different between the platform versions of the game (and we arent changing the game programs that much - hopefully). Could the level 'baking' tools handle this without players having to do the heavy lifting??
MAYBE have a player run persistant MP server system like Neverwinter Nights had -- BUT with program support (program interface) this time to allow players to do more server world customizing and building things the company never bothered to provide (like the bank storage, cross level transfers of characters, spawn controls, external AI programming in place of their abominable scripting language, multi server support, etc...).
A seperate/improved lobby system from that buggy 'Live' interface.
Company would provide a sampling of 'levels' to act as templates/project skeletons for easier mod build ups. These would also serve as the test scenarios that would be used (in-company) to make sure that the system did what it was supposed to and be not too buggy for players to use. They would also allow it to be sold as a stand-alone product with a number of pre-made scenarios making it worth it to people uninterested in getting 'levels' externally (the better player created levels could be periodicly vetted and packaged for patch distribution -- NOT DLC PLEASE).
Broader appeal (gots to sell this thing, after all):
Simple Unreal Tournament 2000 like scenarios (solo or MP) would obviously be possible with the usual MP style cut-down circular level maps (a decent AI for the NPC opponents probably could be done by a few good players - if the company doesnt want to spend the $$$ )
Cooperative MP scenarios (NPCs running in MP - they dont have to be genius AI)
Modding community obviously (with player tutorials, level distribution, commentaries, etc...)
Nostalgia from players who wished to visit Rapture one last time...
Name..... Call it "RAPTURE FOREVER" .... or "RAPTURE XTREME !!!!"
What really matters to the company to make this happen --- $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ :
Would this be (alot) cheaper than creating a new Solo game in yet another sorta-Bioshock genre ??? (Meaning would there be a profit in reselling the same Rapture genre in this form??)
How hard (as in effort/cost) would these Tools be to develop AND required changes to the game programs AND the assets slice/dice (off-shore that tedious job to India/China to be done at a fraction of the cost????).
After Infinite is done and gone, they might look for a 'quickee' project to make a few bucks off the Rapture Bioshock branding.
Get another studio to do it ???
I suppose they could do the same to Infinite (seperate engine, seperate project)