Layoffs at OtherSide


Elizabeth Legros, who spoke at GDC this year:

OtherSide Entertainment
Total Duration 2 yrs 6 mos

  • Senior Graphics Programmer
    Dates Employed Jun 2019 – Nov 2019
    Employment Duration 6 mos
    Location Austin, Texas Area
  • Programmer
    Dates Employed Jun 2017 – Jun 2019
    Employment Duration 2 yrs 1 mo
    Location Austin, Texas Area


Robb Thomas, a Junction Point veteran:

Senior Software Engineer

Company Name OtherSide Entertainment (Full-time)
Dates Employed Jul 2017 – Nov 2019
Employment Duration 2 yrs 5 mos
Location Austin, Texas Area

AI lead on System Shock 3
Created Parallel Behavior Tree system for AI in Unity.
Adapted Behavior Tree system in UE4 to run multiple trees in parallel,
Responsible for four NPC archetypes with variations.
Implemented behaviors and animation code to make movement look realistic.



Really curious whether these are hostile or non-hostile NPCs…

(Also, yikes.)


ResetEra has taken notice:


Extremely sad to see the Austin team affected by layoffs.

FWIW, I know people are concerned about the state of the studio. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried as well. Someone from the Shock3 team has been speaking about their experience over here on the RPGCodex, if it hasn’t been linked already. In that thread, there are more concerns about OSE shutting down and what it means for Shock3 as well as ongoing projects.

I want to say, having been at OSE while layoffs were happening and having left just before this next round in Austin, I deeply admired every single developer I had the chance to work with. Having played the internal SS3 demo, I know the Austin team worked their asses off and made some stunning progress in the past couple of months. It hurts to see many of these developers out of a job on a project they worked so hard on. Some of the developers in Boston, like Jared, still haven’t found full-time work since June.

I understand this is the reality of game development, and doing this kind of work at an indie makes this so much harder. I watched firsthand a lot of the struggles that went into publishing UA. I wish all of our fellow former- and current-OSE employees the best of luck with their endeavors. I imagine the studio felt similarly a few years ago, when UA was floundering for funding. They pulled through, somehow. I hope OSE can pull off the same, while still maintaining the quality and lessons learned.

I genuinely wish and hope that the additional Boston project and SS3 continue to steer forward.


Thank you, Sam. May everyone find edification in their next steps.


John Sizemore, UI Programmer:

Senior UI Developer

Company Name OtherSide Entertainment
Dates Employed Apr 2018 – Oct 2019
Employment Duration 1 yr 7 mos
Location Austin, Texas Area

System Shock 3!


Origin veteran Chris Douglas:

Senior Environment Artist

Company Name OtherSide Entertainment
Dates Employed Aug 2017 – Oct 2019
Employment Duration 2 yrs 3 mos
Location Austin, Texas Area

Grayboxing, proxying, detailing, level building, and concepting-on-the-fly environment assets for a next gen 1st person immersive sim. Extensive work with Unity “Next Gen” PBR engine during its pre-release as part of a partnered development studio.


Just to point out… these past two ones stopped being at Otherside back in October - still a shame though


Herbert Piland:

Senior System Designer

Company Name OtherSide Entertainment (Full-time)
Dates Employed Jul 2017 – Nov 2019
Employment Duration 2 yrs 5 mos
Location Austin, TX


Here’s a new one - Chase Jones, Design Director:

Design Director - System Shock 3

Company Name OtherSide Entertainment
Dates Employed Aug 2018 – Feb 2020
Employment Duration 1 yr 7 mos
Location Austin, Texas

Manage internal design team using mixed methodologies to drive direction and quality of overall experience while staying within budget and on schedule. Align company leadership on project goals and priorities. Define key project concepts and features for the experience. Manage and communicate with key stakeholders and departments to ensure IP consistency and quality. Direct writers to craft complex systems for immersive and organic storytelling. Support team with hands-on design work as needed including writing, greyboxing levels, balancing, tuning, level scripting, level creation and prototype experiences.

Meanwhile, Jason Schreier from Kotaku has gotten involved:

Definitely accurate that they’ve downsized. I know Warren Spector is still working on the game, and working on finding a way to make it happen. Don’t know how many other people are still there.


The games media is all over this now. How much longer can Paul and Warren continue to hide the state of the company?


If funding is a problem then why not try a kickstarter?


I hope that’s a joke


Reach big publishers. That is the only sensible way I think. The profiit is there and the big boys know it.


The profit isn’t there. Immersive sims are dead again because Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Dishonored 2 and Prey all sold poorly.


Then make it an online 1st person VR shoot-em-up (with offline content). An immersive world crawling puzzler with plot driven twists and other players with which to deal ???


Whatever “immersive” means, other people are the exact opposite of that.

If being designed as online games, where live humans interrupting each other’s fun is where the “content” comes from, is the only way to save the immersive sim genre, then let it die.

Alternately, as I’ve suggested over on Discord, there are a couple of options:

  1. Reduce the cost/risk of making immersive sims by creating a library (similar to SpeedTree) of imsim features (whatever people can agree those might be).
  2. Define Bethesda’s games as “immersive sims.”

You can’t say the Fallout and Elder Scrolls franchises haven’t been enormous commercial successes. If those were defined to be immersive sims, the genre would clearly be doing just fine. Of course, you could argue those games aren’t immersive sims because of this or that or some other “but they don’t do X” reason… but I could just as easily argue they aren’t all that far off – certainly they’re closer to being immersive sims than a lot of other kinds of games are.

So there’s a question: for those who are certain Fallout and TES and the upcoming Starfield are definitely not immersive sims, what features – specifically – would those kinds of games need to have in order to tolerate calling them immersive sims (and, one hopes, attracting other developers to try to make more such games)?




Level Designer on System Shock 3

Dates Employed Apr 2019 – Mar 2020

Employment Duration 1 yr

Working in the outer reaches of the galaxy on a //REDACTED// that might //REDACTED//

But he’s apparently still at OtherSide Boston?