The origin of the bemusing yet loveable dancing bread boy from Bioshock Infinite has finally been explained by the animator responsible.
You’ll no doubt remember the jubilant subject of this here article from Bioshock Infinite’s Burial at Sea DLC, where he can be found acting exactly as one should after acquiring a baguette in France. Legend says he’s still dancing around that column today.
random sensory flashback to the Bioshock Infinite DLC where they wanted to communicate to the player “you are in Paris, France” so they put a little kid in the game dancing around in the street while holding a baguette over his head pic.twitter.com/E77jzW0AirFebruary 4, 2022
It’s all thanks to a tweet from Pocklecool that we now have an explanation for baguette boy – not that we needed one, of course. Again, there’s nothing here to suggest anything but a wholly healthy relationship with bread, but since it stands out as such a flagrant indulgence in the stereotype that French people like baguettes, it’s good to have a definitive answer at last. And, yeah, it turns out there probably wasn’t a whole lot more thought put into it than that.
As animator Gwen Frey explained (opens in new tab) in a response to the above tweet, Bioshock Infinite’s bread boy was put there to liven up the Parisian scene. Frey said most of the game’s background characters were referred to as “chumps,” which means they’re programmed to loop through a basic animation instead of wander around with AI pathfinding, and bread boy is no exception.
“I thought the Paris scene was too static & needed more motion, I but couldn’t afford another AI walking around,” said Frey. “I figured a chump running in a circle around that cylinder could work since I could just expand the collision of it to prevent the player from running through them.”
Since Frey didn’t have a canned running-in-circle animation on hand, she used the dancing animation from this Bioshock Infinite scene (opens in new tab) and thus began bread boy’s carb-fueled tango. Originally, there were two kids dancing around together, but they were clipping into the ground and each other, which would make for a very awkward dance.
“So I deleted the boy’s dancing partner and attached a baguette to his hands. Bam! Boy dances with baguette! Ship it!
“I figured if anyone asked I’d just say ‘bread is great right?!’ I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but this boy is the most viral thing I’ve ever made”
Ultimately, Frey is 100% correct; the scene is self-explanatory. Still, we appreciate the clarification as well as the reminder to show the same level of enthusiasm every time we get our hands on some fresh-baked bread.
Grab a baguette in the name of bread boy and get hyped for these new games of 2022.