2K Games' official Cult of Rapture website has been updated with seven sound samples from the game, as well as a short Q&A with audio designer Emily Ridgway and sound assistant Patrick Balthrop.
Q: What was your inspiration for creating the ambient sound in Rapture?
A: System Shock 2 was a strong inspiration with its use of dissonance and tones in the ambient bed. It's relentless psychological effect on players was a huge contributor to the cult success of SS2, and that's definitely something we wanted to replicate in BioShock.
Also, do you remember the movie Return to Oz? It was the movie sequel to the Wizard of Oz and it was made in 1985.
I saw this when I was 5 or 6 and I never forgot it. It was scary and art deco, and it was done in a very antique rusty steam-punky kind of way. If I can make someone feel like how I felt watching '˜Return to Oz' as a five year old, then awesome. We have weird sounds and you don't know what they are, but don't expect your typical "scary movie" synth/string pads. Our ambience definitely has a connection to the real world and also, hopefully, evokes an emotional reaction from the player.