BioShock Infinite developer Irrational prototyped 'other games' before settling on its upcoming 1910 airborne adventure.
Irrational boss Ken Levine told CVG at Gamescom last week that the studio likes to work by trying out lots of different concepts and throwing out what doesn't work.
"[We worked on] a lot of prototypes for this game and other games," he said. "We played around with a lot of different things we were thinking about doing.
"We took six months after the first BioShock came out to figure out what we wanted to do next - that was a luxury we had. We did a lot of prototyping actually to determine if this was the right path for us."
He added: "So we started writing new code, we had a lot of people to hire and frankly the way Irrational works is we throw out way more of that than we use for our stuff. We start work, we try it, 'does it work? Does it now work? Throw it out'.
"That's a time consuming process but at the end of the day I think it makes a better game for the fans."
The most surprising part of Irrational's 'try it and bin it' development strategy is it only really came up with the core narrative idea for Infinite relatively recently.
"We had the floating city and the time period very early. We didn't have the notion of the American exceptionalism - that July 4th 1900 feeling with flags waving. We didn't have that until eight months ago," Levine said.
"This is how we work; it's like an ever-expanding circle. You start with the one core idea and you sort of go out and more ideas accrete. In BioShock 1 we didn't have the objectivism thing until relatively late. You can't imagine BioShock without Andrew Ryan but it WAS without Andrew Ryan for a very long time."