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April 6th, 2018, 22:04
The April update for System Shock remake.

New screenshots from @SystemShockGame oozing atmosphere and color! pic.twitter.com/Z4wjIpx7dR

— Stephen Kick (@pripyatbeast) April 6, 2018

April Update


General Update from Hiatus

Hey everyone, it’s Stephen from Nightdive with the latest update. The last few weeks have been challenging, but at the same time it’s been enlightening. As some of you know I’ve been spending more and more time with the community in Discord answering questions and making reassurances that yes, we are still developing the game. I’ve also been speaking and interacting with many of you one on one so as to better understand how the latest news impacted you and your feelings towards the project. The vast majority of you agree that we are doing the right thing and that what you want is a high quality game that adheres closely to the vision of the original System Shock rather than the reinterpretation that we were previously working toward.

We had a brief respite, and took the time necessary to make some tough decisions which included saying goodbye to some of the developers that you’ve come to know through past updates. What we’re left with is a concentrated team that consists of the original developers who worked on the Unity demo. With that said, let’s take a look at the work we’re doing.

So what does this mean?

It means we’ve gone back to the original vision we shared with you at the start of our Kickstarter campaign - this time with more reliable performance and higher fidelity visuals thanks to the Unreal Engine.

Are we starting over, is this all that’s done?

No, we’re not starting over. We have been able to re-use the majority of work we’ve done over the past year and we’re making significant progress in a very short amount of time. With that said we’ll be inviting our highest tier backers to privately test the game beginning in September at which point we estimate that the game will be fully playable, from start to finish. The majority of the art won’t be finished, but we’ll be ready to start high-level testing.

What else is changing?

Along with the return to the previous art style and overall direction, the audio department is also re-re-re-examining their priorities, and drawing new conclusions. I’ll let Jon take it from here…

Hey folks. I'm very excited to be able to show off this suite of some of the various pieces of music from the medical deck.

Since the beginning of System Shock, it's been my job to take the music from System Shock 1 and figure out how to capture that in a more modern way. I don't think we hit that in the music for the Kickstarter demo, and since then I've been able to more thoroughly explore what a modernization of System Shock 1's music means without losing the heart of the music. Its music, though limited by the technology of MIDI in its original form, was very inspired by the electronic and industrial music of the time. And 1990s electronic/industrial music was characterized by its own technological limitations.

So I have explored what it would mean if those technological limitations of the '90s (low samplerates and bit-depths, shitty DACs, digital skipping) carried over to today. Or even further - if we could exploit those limitations creatively and define music through it. When Stephen told me about the plan for System Shock, he told me to go and grab the essence of what we were trying to do with our Kickstarter build. We decided that I would do a demonstration of Medical's music and base it on the themes from the original SS1 Medical Deck music. I was able to take all of that stylistic definition and apply it back to the original System Shock 1 music. The first half of the track is more 'exploration', using the melodies of the "walking" state of the original game and building a more meandering musical piece from those melodies. And the second half, the original MIDI guitar was changed to a gritty industrial bass synthesizer which is developed and drives the whole 'combat' section.

I'm so excited to be able to apply all of this musical direction back to the System Shock 1 music! All of the gear that I've acquired for the sake of this project was entirely built around the idea of finding the heart of the SS1 music and intentions and extrapolating that past its MIDI limitations. The original music that I have to work with is far beyond its time, and I'm so happy to be able to take it into a modern - but still OH-SO-90s - light.

[…]
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April 6th, 2018, 22:13
Glad to see this is moving forward again. I wish they would release more screens though, and I'd really like to see what the cyberspace levels are looking like.
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April 6th, 2018, 22:19
A belated April's Fool joke, sure.
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April 6th, 2018, 22:19
Belts officially tightened. I'll bet there will be an EA release in the offing down the road. Well good luck to them.
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April 6th, 2018, 22:28
Well, perhaps the prior news for this project isn't as dire as was suspected. Whatever it takes them to complete this game, I wish them luck and hope to see it finished very soon. Like, next year soon maybe.
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April 6th, 2018, 22:53
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
Well, perhaps the prior news for this project isn't as dire as was suspected. Whatever it takes them to complete this game, I wish them luck and hope to see it finished very soon. Like, next year soon maybe.
My real complaint seeing this news Silver just posted is: if the prior news wasn't as dire as we first thought, then why Mr. Stephen Kick made it sound like it was (dire)? Bad choice of words? A big PR issue?
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April 7th, 2018, 02:02
He said the project was going on a hiatus which it did for a short time. I think some people chose to interpret it in the worst way.

I'm glad they're going back to the original vision though. All I wanted was System Shock with modern graphics, sound, and controls. I was never big on the ideal of them adding things that weren't in the original game.
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April 7th, 2018, 16:34
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
He said the project was going on a hiatus which it did for a short time. I think some people chose to interpret it in the worst way.

I'm glad they're going back to the original vision though. All I wanted was System Shock with modern graphics, sound, and controls. I was never big on the ideal of them adding things that weren't in the original game.
My thoughts exactly - and to be honest, that level of poor project management makes me leery of things going well. Even in these screens there is a mix of 'oh cool, System Shock' and 'yawn, generic UE4 corridor shooter'.

Hopeful, but not in a rush, and expectations very low.
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April 7th, 2018, 21:13
Yeah, given that even pro studios like Larian and Obsidian have flirted with bankruptcy, I think a major screw up like this does not bode well. I'd be surprised if this succeeds, but nice if it does.
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April 8th, 2018, 14:22
"Along with the return to the previous art style and overall direction," At least they realized their BIG FCKIN STUPID Design Mistake!!!!!
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April 8th, 2018, 14:29
And what exactly was their mistake ?

Originally Posted by mercy View Post
"Along with the return to the previous art style and overall direction," At least they realized their BIG FCKIN STUPID Design Mistake!!!!!
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April 8th, 2018, 18:30
Originally Posted by you View Post
And what exactly was their mistake ?
They went from this:
A modern take on System Shock, a faithful reboot; it’s not Citadel Station as it was, but as you remember it. Many improvements, overhauls and changes are being implemented to capture the spirit of what the original game was trying to convey, and bring it to contemporary gamers.
To instead making a generic console corridor shooter, totally mismanaged money, time and resources, lost the vision, and so on.

Good synopsis: https://shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=42010
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April 8th, 2018, 20:35
My point is that it wasn't a design flaw it was a business decision flaw. As far as I know (and i don't know a lot of details) the design was great - they just didn't have the funds to execute it.
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April 8th, 2018, 22:03
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
They went from this:

To instead making a generic console corridor shooter, totally mismanaged money, time and resources, lost the vision, and so on.

Good synopsis: https://shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=42010
Thanks - that synopsis was an interesting read.
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April 8th, 2018, 22:47
Originally Posted by txa1265
Good synopsis: https://shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=42010
Excellent read, indeed :thumbs up:
Like Shamus in that article, I just wanted their original Unity-based pitch. I don't believe for a second there was a significant part of the fanbase that wanted console support or that there was a split in that fanbase "between the retro look of the demo and reimagining it similar to what Doom and Wolfenstein had done". I call bullshit.
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April 9th, 2018, 03:02
Thanks for linking that article, @txa1265.
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