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Default System Shock - Dissecting the Cancellation Apology

February 25th, 2018, 16:56
Gaming Purists analyzed the problems of the System Shock remake project:

Dissecting the SYSTEM SHOCK cancellation apology

The Long (to say it mildly) awaited SYSTEM SHOCK remake by Nightdive studios was announced to be on ‘hiatus’ by it’s CEO Stephen Kick. This came as a massive disappointment for all of us who were rabidly anticipating the game. If there’s a game that needed a remake, it was the original SYSTEM SHOCK. It’s a groundbreaking classic that is responsible for pioneering a lot of the design trends, that eventually would go on to rehape the modern AAA Industry. It boasts the legacy of the legendary ‘Looking Glass Studios’ in its veins and that alone makes it forever validated as a piece of history.

Now that dream seems to be dead (for a while), all we have is a rather submissive, extremely self-critical apology from Kick. I had some free time on my hands, so I figured why not take the time to figure out what it all means (using the man’s quotes himself):

“Maybe we were too successful. Maybe we lost our focus. The vision began to change. We moved from a Remaster to a completely new game. We shifted engines from Unity to Unreal, a choice that we don’t regret and one that has worked out for us. With the switch we began envisioning doing more, but straying from the core concepts of the original title.”

Two things to keep in mind: 1) The original SYSTEM SHOCK was a very,very complex game. One of the most complex games you’ll ever play. It’s more like a Rubik’s cube the player gradually learns to solve, rather than a pick up and play ‘journey’ 2) They actually raised $1.3 MILLION in kick-starter cash. That’s a lot of money for a game that complex. Remaster or otherwise, that’s not a game that will be played by everyone. Which, if you’ve raised $1.3 Million for, you probably have to reconsider. You’re spending somebody else’s money on something whose intricacies will be lost on most players, obviously there is bound to be second guessing at multiple times during development.

[…]
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February 25th, 2018, 16:56
I’m confused. Are they saying they are over funded? Why does that matter? Invest the difference in the studio and talent?
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February 25th, 2018, 16:59
I get the impression that they've pissed away all the funds trying to make something that the initial bid was never intended to do. What a travesty, and I was really looking forward to an updated version of this.
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February 25th, 2018, 17:15
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
I get the impression that they've pissed away all the funds trying to make something that the initial bid was never intended to do. What a travesty, and I was really looking forward to an updated version of this.
Yeah, that is pretty much what happened.
I'd laugh hard if I had not invested money in this.

I might still laugh hard after my anger over lost & mismanaged money blows over, though.
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February 25th, 2018, 17:33
Yup, I've been burned on a couple of projects over the years, but this one I think smarts the most. I'll need to keep things like this in mind when I reach for my wallet in the future.
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February 25th, 2018, 18:20
IIRC I refused to back this project as it felt a classic con job.
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February 25th, 2018, 18:41
That's my first kickstarter backed project that fails. Well, this one didn't fail, but time will have to prove that it didn't fail.
I'm holding on to hope.
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February 25th, 2018, 19:34
So strange to see this project fail. Unlike many other kickstarters, they already had clearly set goals. Recreating system shock shouldn't be that difficult. It must have taken some real effort to fail in this venture.
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February 25th, 2018, 20:10
I'll be most curious to see what they actually produce, when all is said and done. Since they took monies, they do have to present something at some point.
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February 25th, 2018, 20:51
The entire letter reads like an apologist's note. It was a cock-up, pure and simple. A boondoggle. $1.3 million is not nearly enough for what they decided to attempt. That should have been recognized from the start. Or at least well before the money ran out.
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February 25th, 2018, 22:29
Does this mean refunds are out of the question?
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February 25th, 2018, 22:30
I think the problem is they 'assumed' they could get additional funding and when that failed they were screwed.

Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
The entire letter reads like an apologist's note. It was a cock-up, pure and simple. A boondoggle. $1.3 million is not nearly enough for what they decided to attempt. That should have been recognized from the start. Or at least well before the money ran out.
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February 25th, 2018, 23:22
I'm guessing hopes of additional funding necessitated the change from remaster to completely new game. It makes for better bait when fishing for a publishing partner.
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February 25th, 2018, 23:26
I don't believe it was going to be a completely new game. They talked about expanding the level design and fleshing out the story a little more, but it was still going to be System Shock.
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February 25th, 2018, 23:51
It's not cancelled, so the initial headline is as disingenuous as some people claim Night Dive has been. Night Dive screwed up, owned up to it, and will deliver a System Shock Remastered game as promised once they regroup from screwing up. They've never said otherwise.
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February 26th, 2018, 00:00
So, where'd the money go?
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February 26th, 2018, 00:31
My presumption is they spent it flushing out a larger project….

Originally Posted by Zephyr View Post
So, where'd the money go?
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February 26th, 2018, 00:52
Flushing, or, rather, flushed, certainly seems to be the terms most associated with where the funds wound up. In any case, we're not likely to see a product anytime soon, if ever. It doesn't sound completely abandoned, at least from what I've read, but the pulse is slow and thready at best.
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February 26th, 2018, 01:36
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I don't believe it was going to be a completely new game. They talked about expanding the level design and fleshing out the story a little more, but it was still going to be System Shock.
Then you don't believe Stephen Kick, CEO of Nightdive Studios?
"We moved from a Remaster to a completely new game."
"The more that we worked on the game … the further we got from the original concepts that made System Shock so great."
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February 26th, 2018, 03:33
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I don't believe it was going to be a completely new game. They talked about expanding the level design and fleshing out the story a little more, but it was still going to be System Shock.
I had this same opinion. And I believe most people with a slight interest in this project shared this same opinion as well.

That's why I got surprised when Stephen Kick just came in and said they were far from their original vision etc etc etc and the project would be put on "hiatus". It was like "WHAT?!?!?! The project was doing fine and then they discovered the were walking the wrong way?!?!?! How???? How many time did they take to "discover" that?

Since the first time I did read Mr Kick's words, I think there is something strange, out of place, hidden… I don't know what but I have this feeling.
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