In May this year, graphic designer Joe Trinder created a poster to advertise a BioShock Infinite Vigor. It was a “passion project” for him that he spent a couple of days working on. The Vigor, called Old Man Winter, doesn’t actually exist in Infinite, so the whole design and concept, despite being similar to the original BioShock’s Winter Blast Plasmid, was Trinder’s work.
After sharing the poster on the 2K Forums, Trinder received a lot of praise for his work. That praise got noticed by series creator Ken Levine, who says that when he saw the poster he thought, “holy s**t, this is f**king great.” After consulting with 2K legal team, Irrational contacted Trinder and asked whether they could purchase his design for use in upcoming DLC “Burial at Sea”.
“I mainly do t-shirt type graphics, but I studied illustration in school,” Trinder told IGN. “I’ve been doing it now for six or seven years. I’ve done pretty well, but this is definitely the biggest thing that’s happened so far for me in terms of my art.” What Trinder didn’t realise at the time, however, is that Irrational is using his poster for inspiration and actually creating a proper Vigor for “Burial at Sea”. Obviously, because the DLC is set in Rapture, Old Man Winter will be a Plasmid, but the design is staying intact. What’s more, this won’t be some additional Plasmid to bolster your arsenal; you will actually need it in order to progress the story.
“I really had no idea what they were doing it with it,” Trinder admitted. “I didn’t think it was going to be to this degree. I thought maybe it would be an extra collectible thing in the DLC, kind of like they did with Clash in the Clouds before that. They had a whole library of concept art, so I figured it might go that route. But I never expected it to be this involved in the game.”
Levine admits that he frequents pages like DeviantArt and really enjoys keeping up with BioShock fan art. “I’m constantly trying to think of ideas about how to leverage the fan community, because some of them are amazingly talented.” This is definitely one way of doing that.
You can grab a glimpse of Old Man Winter in action, as well as a few extra peeks at Rapture, in the IGN video below. Still no concrete release date for Burial at Sea, but it will be out before the end of the year.