Shock3 News at Unity Keynote Monday


Hey everyone! Good news for those of you interested in System Shock 3… Warren Spector and Elizabeth Legros will make an appearance during Unity’s keynote on Monday to share news (and visuals) on System Shock 3:

It’s not made explicit here, but you’ll see on Monday :slight_smile:


I’ll be curious to see if it’s all forward looking chutzpah,or if there’s any over-the-shoulder at UA, and awareness of not making the same mistakes. Carmack and Sweeney were always good at this, taking a raw look at things.

The ‘look’ just needs to be sufficient, not the driving force; if Unity can parcel in lots of sweetness and effiencies without too much cost, great - but the game-play is still king. I dont doubt Elizabeth knows her chops (her research path is interesting for the geeks) but it’s also a question of emphasis. I get that it’s a Unity shop-window…but I also remember when UA made a big play of it’s
‘authored look’ thing.


I see no reason why they would or should bring up UA in a Unity-focused keynote.


Ordinarily I’d agree…


To be a little more clear, looking at UA’s lack of polish at launch, not being similar enough to UU for some fans (and I don’t mean that dismissively), the development team’s design choices, or 505’s influence on the launch date, I don’t see any one of those as having anything at all to do with SS3 being talked about in a Unity keynote as an example of a Unity game.

Now, if somebody wants to ask Warren about UA in a post-speech interview – assuming he’s doing any – I’d say, go for it. And then he can give the 100% predictable (and not unreasonable) response, “It’s a pretty good game on its own merits now – have you played the latest version? – but we’re a different development team using a different engine to make a different kind of game to be published by a different publisher.”


Of course it’s a stretch, I get that it’s not at all reaistic, or usual, all of those things.

But actually, it does have some bearing, direct and indirect, on how they approach things (and Unity’s role in dev, good and bad).

But the point about post-showcase off-the-cuff questions is a good one. As long as the questions are asked at some level (hopefully the dev have asked themselves) then it doesn’t really matter where or how. Awareness is the thing (and no, I don’t necessarily take it for granted, whatever pedigree is at stake.). As for differet team/game/publisher…yes, up to a point.


The Unity keynote should be centered around Shock3’s development and how some programs / tools in Unity are used for building the systems.

Also, as a side note for the hardcore, I’ve started to update the OSE site… more to come during the keynote once our teasers are posted.




Now I need gameplay.


Wish I could share some gameplay video…

Additionally, I uploaded some new screenshots to the Shock 3 homepage for anyone who wanted to see some of the scenes in more detail…


In a separate channel, I watched the Unity keynote up through the SS3 presentation.


I think it’s going to be a while before I’m ready to discuss any of that.

March 19 Weekly Update!

please, PLEASE Otherside, don’t screw it up :slightly_smiling_face:


I don’t know how to feel about this one. I’m a long time System Shock fan. Both games. On the one hand this trailer did feel steam punk, reminiscent of the first game, but on the other hand, it feels like it completely missed the mark what a System Shock game should feel like. This was very in your face where System Shock was all about the mystery, the feeling of isolation, and most importantly the ever creeping feeling of suspense and dread about what’s just round the next corner, while the excited anticipation of what you’ll discover up ahead propels you forward. And why does SHODAN look like a terminator robot (Seriously, what’s with the neck, SHODAN doesn’t have a neck and doesn’t need one). SHODAN is a virtual construct of a malevolent artificial intelligence. In this video she looks more like a wierd mix between the Terminator and the Queen of Blades. I would even say she feels cartoonish. It just feels all wrong. Seriously Dev’s, I think you need to replay the first two games and recapture what SHODAN is.

And try to remember, SHODAN is not your basic villain that does nothing but spout how great they are and how weak you are. SHODAN was more than that. She was imposing and malevolent sure, but she was also mischievous and extremely intelligent. Not only in lore, but also in what she did. She didn’t taunt you for the sake of posturing. She taunted you to distract you. She used it as a tool, to make you focus your attention on her while she set “other” plans in motion. Like at the end of SS2 where you focus on killing her on the Von Braun only to find out after the end credits that she escaped on an escape pod. SHODAN was the ultimate AI villain every bit as much for her intelligence as her malevolence and I’d very much like to see that recaptured in System Shock 3.


I’m still processing what I saw, but Val’s comments – especially “SHODAN was the ultimate AI villain every bit as much for her intelligence as her malevolence” – reminded me of why the games I’ve enjoyed most over many years were made by Looking Glass: they were smart.

The Looking Glass games – and Deus Ex – were intelligent games made by intelligent people for intelligent people. They never dumbed things down; they never pandered to a lowest common denominator; they never spoon-fed or hand-held or condescended. They weren’t made to be punishingly hard twitchfests, or unintuitive “guess what the developer was thinking” adventure game-like puzzles. They were, rather, creatively designed places that had visible internal consistency, engaged with ideas, and rewarded thoughtful exploration.

And so it was with the villains of these games. Father Karras, Bob Page, SHODAN, Edward Diego, even “Frank Fontaine”: they weren’t merely insane, or incompetent, or melodramatic – even when they were horribly wrong, they were never stupid. They reasoned, they planned, they pushed back when you (albeit in a story-scripted way) interfered with their schemes.

I miss this visible intelligence in today’s games. That’s what I want OtherSide to become known for through their games, so that everyone recognizes them as a worthy successor to Looking Glass.

So as more is revealed of System Shock 3, that spark is what I’m going to be looking for.


On the subject of SHODAN’s intelligence and other memorable villains, it’s dawning on me that a part of the appeal is the thrill of being outsmarted (or outplayed)! A lot of bosses in traditional fps games are ones you can beat out in simple shoot-outs and tests of raw power, but the villains you TRULY remember and fear are the ones you respect.

It is always really tricky to get the balance just right for a game, especially one that is largely linear in terms of the story. But inserting little ways for the player to push back and test their own intelligence against the villain’s and then show that the villain (and thus, in turn, the DESIGNERS), had a counter prepared for your actions is really fun!


Excellent post Flatfingers. And groan now because I’m going to point up the obvious - much if not all of the ethos you describe was lacking in UA, not just iun the implementation (obvious) but in the various designs (less obvious). Social influencers, Feats, fizzy neon levers and all…need to go n the bin.

The worst thing the dev team for SS3 can do is look over their shoulder at what ‘expectations’ there are, ‘genre influences’, and the rest. Once you settle on an idea of your average player, you’re pretty much sunk. It’s a race to the bottom, with tick-lists a-plenty.

Also broad linearity needn’t be hampering…it can also be the solid foundations of a good game, and freeing. Defined limits to what’s possible allow expansion in other areas.

The SShock world is a blend of elements, much as UU was (and broadly similar in some ways). You need to keep the breadth of mechanics from the originals to have those foundations, and allow an increase in possibilities with new features (if there are to be any).

Btw, the Shodan evident in latest clip of NightDive’s remake makes the SS3 version look (and sound) a bit anodyne. I hope Otherside ups the ante here.

I also hope the AI is given a lot of attention. The new clip of SS3 doesn’t show anything meaningful, but is pretty enough. Otherside, given the history and alums, is always going to be judged on their gameplay, atmosphere, and sense of ‘world’.


It looks pretty cool but… why can’t I click on them to view them in full screen ? Looking at the source image it’s much bigger than the small thumbnail displayed on the website, and nothing happens when I click on it. I can only click next/prev.


I finally watched the SS3 trailer more closely. I need to look at the first parts again, but I finally figured out what the SHODAN part reminded me of:

The Lawnmower Man.

from about 6:08 on.

This is not necessarily a criticism. The Lawnmower Man was a 1992 movie (not the Stephen King story!) that was basically a cyberpunk nightmare, complete with trippy computer graphics including digital facial animation. To my eyes, there’s more than a little resemblance to SHODAN’s face in this teaser trailer, to the point that I honestly wonder if Lawnmower Man wasn’t a visual influence for it.

If so… cool. :smile:

But if there are going to be references to cyberpunk movies in SS3, I hope somebody at OtherSide Austin watched Johnny Mnemonic (1995), which doesn’t get enough credit.


Fixed the thumbnail problem! They should enlargen when you click on them now; Wordpress is surprisingly picky about how their images are shown.