System Shock Remake Update


#1

ICYMI:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt9I-NfH81M

If this is really how the game is going to look like, it is going to be AWESOME.


#2

My jaw DROPPED looking at some of the concept art areas!! I’m excited just looking at the ideas conveyed in the concept art, and the environment design is very promising. Lots of space to drop in hints of what the space station was like before things went wrong, and SO much can be done with the lighting alone…

Definitely want to see how the Citadel looks in another few months!


#3

It looks fantastic!


#4

Yeah, I’m That Guy again, apparently. :smiley:

Of course I loved the look. If this were an entirely new game, I’d be wiping drool off my keyboard.

But… it’s not an entirely new game. It’s using the name and ideas and some content from System Shock. So I keep expecting this new thing to look like the old thing in its geometry, like the untextured image shown off recently of the area just below the starting Medical section). But then it doesn’t. I can’t recognize any of the new places.

They’re certainly shiny! And I think I’m going to enjoy exploring that new Citadel Station.

But it’s not my Citadel Station.

“Get over it,” I guess.


#5

It’s only natural that the geometry is not going to be as easily recognisable. You have to fill it with more detail these days for the game to hold up. Can’t just have some walls with textures.


#6

NightDive’s SS reboot team are going well beyond simple texture replacement and detail-adding. (Which is, in fact, all I wanted from them.)

If you’ve seen their most recent updates, they’re significantly altering the actual layouts of the original game – that’s what I meant by “geometry.” The Reactor level, for example, appears to be considerably taller, rounder, and approached by corridors whose size has been altered as well. There also seem to be some differences in connectivity with the rest of the level.

Again, I’ll stress that I know this reaction is a personal one. I think the further the NightDive team go from the original game’s structure, the less useful it becomes to explain to today’s gamers why the original gets as much praise as it does. But maybe that’s just me trying to rationalize my admiration for and enjoyment of the great game the Looking Glass team created.

Of course nothing’s perfect; I’ve said myself that the puzzles of System Shock never really were developed enough to contribute meaningfully to the game’s mechanics or atmosphere. I also wish the initial difficulty settings had been applied to deliver more visible consequences. Cyberspace also could have been better integrated with the game’s story.

Even so, it was a darned well-crafted game, and deserves to be praised as an inspiration to many games that followed it. I wish the reboot were more true to that game, but it’s not, and so I acknowledge that and look forward to seeing what kind of fun this new “inspired by” game offers.


#7

Er… yes… for more detail, you need to change the geometry. Pipes and debris have to go somewhere, after all.

Also, you can never replicate the original, not matter how hard you try. For that, you would need to replicate the culture of 80s and 90s, all the games and movies and books surrounding the release. The reason System Shock was a hit has to do as much with the wave of cyberpunk and culture in general as everything else. I doubt most young people would even know who Max Headroom is these days.


#8

System Shock? A hit? Both Shock games sold at a loss. Definitely a bit mad they’re making a third and a remake, and multiple spiritual successors have come and gone. :smiley:

It’s because it’s pure solid gold, the devs know it, the players in-the-know know it, and everyone else is sheeple of evil video game megacorps until converted :smiley:


#9

Success is also measured by other ways than sales numbers. System Shock has been critically acclaimed and it has influenced a lot of games, so it was a critical hit, rather than a sales hit, if you will.


#10

And it helped create the reputation of the developers within the genre.


#11

I’m almost certain you were talking about System Shock in the context of a popular hit (and therefore also sales).

Reading over again, no. No you were not. My apologies.


#12

You may still get your wish. There is a thread in General Discussions covering their recent hiatus update if you haven’t heard the news yet.


#13

Thanks, Decaf – I did see it, and replied there.

I wonder what influence Warren and the principals at OtherSide had on this decision?


#14

To be clear, OS has already announced that SS3 is NOT affected. Separate teams, budgets and companies.


#15

If that was meant for me, then to be equally clear, my comment wasn’t “will SS3 be affected”; it’s “I’m curious whether advice from anyone at OtherSide contributed to NightDive’s decision.”


#16

Oh, no, it was actually meant for everyone to clarify, because that was the first thing I thought about: Will SS3 be affected, and there is I think an official tweet from the OS twitter that it definitely won’t.

Just wanted to share generally.


#17

Okey-doke.

I get enough stuff wrong; I didn’t think I’d honked this up, too. :smiley:

I’m just mildly curious about the conversations between the expanding SS reboot team and former Looking Glassers. Was “we’d implement fewer grenade types” tacit encouragement to NightDive to make lots of changes? Or actual, direct encouragement?

Did anyone ever say, “Hey, maybe don’t try to change so many things for your first project?”

I don’t expect any such publication of private conversations. And I’m not really wagging a finger at OtherSide if no one advised restraint (not their job).

It’s more that this seems like a useful cautionary tale for first-time game developers. Some insight into what conversations and advice actually went down before the “hiatus” might help some people.


#18

As a backer I’m obviously a bit disappointed in the current state of the Nightdive Kickstarter, I was willing to cut them some slack on their desires to do more than just update the graphics etc. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t be tempted to do more with the Shock license once you got your hands on it!? But now it seems they really did not have a clear plan at all and fell into some serious feature creep pitfalls, which anyone with a bit of common sense should have been earning them of.

In all honesty I just want them to go back and deliver what they originally planned - the Unity demo from during the campaign was stunning and I would happily play the entire game looking like that but with no real gameplay changes.


#19

That’s at least what they say they are planning. We’ll see in the coming weeks either way.


#20

I’m excited to see what the remake will look like once NDS finishes it!

(Now to speak as a non-OSE representative, and just as myself…)

I can totally understand how the feature creep got out of hand. I was just thinking of the Majora’s Mask port for the Nintendo 3DS a few years back, and how even a simple idea of “remaking the game for a newer system” requires a lot more work than just upgrading the assets. Sure, there’s the overall asset overhaul, but think about the framework the older games are built upon. You have to recreate the systems and improve them for performance and visibility. For example, you know you’ll have to remake an entire map system anyways, so it would only take a bit of extra dev time to add in mini-markers, which would make tracking your position much easier. Plus, this is your opportunity to add in things that you KNOW would make the game a lot better: more save points, a more convenient way to use items, add in a minimap and…

…oh no. This is a huge undertaking!

Particularly with handling an ambitious project like SS, can you imagine having the opportunity to talk to the original developers about what they intended for the game, and then realizing there was even MORE they had to cut simply for time and hardware limitations? (Mutant dismemberment, for example.) It’s VERY exciting to be caught up in the dream that you could be responsible for making that vision come true, along with introducing a classic game for modern gamers to enjoy.