BioShock Infinite has created a game world environment that is as unique as it is breathtaking. Now we have a wealth of artwork to admire from the talents at Irrational Games. Firstly Ben Lo has released his environment concept art that helped to create the beautiful Columbia. Dark Horse have published the 184-page hardcover concept artbook entitled The Art Of BioShock Infinite, reviewed in-depth on Parka Blogs. Finally, there is a feature in the latest issue of 3D Artist on the design and development of the city in the sky, with some interesting insight into the sources that inspired the 1912 era artwork.
I think Columbia is so layered and dense, I’d need to spend time reverse-engineering a core example to state what its aesthetic is in a sentence. The quick answer is that Columbia is a massive stew of references. Some of the key research came from sources like Hello, Dolly!, Gangs of New York, Main Street (USA), Moulin Rouge, the 1900 Paris World Expo, the documentary America 1900, Boardwalk Empire, as well as a handful of websites like www.shorpy.com
Read on for the concept art and book review video.