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System Shock is a faithful reboot of the genre defining classic from 1994 built by a team of industry veterans. 

Remember Citadel.
System Shock is a faithful reboot of the genre defining classic from 1994 built by a team of industry veterans. Remember Citadel.
21,625 backers pledged $1,350,700 to help bring this project to life.

Feedback Process // U.I. & HUD Concepts

Posted by Nightdive Studios (Creator)

New Question/Feedback Process

In an effort to better serve our backers, we’re going to consolidate most of our feedback/answers to Reddit in It’s been incredibility difficult to respond to every message and comment we get, and we needed a better solution to organize things. Please direct general questions/feedback there, and check there first to see if someone else has already asked your question. We’re not directly running , but several team members are moderators there and can respond directly to your questions.



System Shock U.I. & HUD Concepts

Hello Everyone,

My name is Corey from the Nightdive Studios U.I. // U.X. team. As a fan of the shock series since its inception, I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity to work on this classic remake. 

Though the U.I. and HUD are still in a conceptual phase and will not be updated in the first patch to the pre-alpha demo, we thought we would share some of our concepts. Keeping in mind that this is only one direction prior to the full user interface and user experience study that will take place after Kickstarter – we are happy with the stylistic direction that has been explored thus far.

There are many challenges in redesigning the interface and HUD of System Shock (1994). There are a few antiquated features that have to be either removed or completely replaced. One example is the toggle-able ability to see behind your head with a cybernetic implant. The original game built this in as an “implant” or “ability” because the turn radius was quite low, making the player vulnerable from mysterious attacks from behind. This is just one of many things we are looking into outside a fresh modern look.

The new HUD concepts shown here are based off of a minimal yet futuristic cyberpunk aesthetic. Concepts for the new HUD will be based on the idea that this interface that the Hacker is interacting with is projected on his retina. The grid, shown above is meant to keep all elements aligned as though on a surface before they are “bent” for the radical look.







karl maly, Mike McGehee, and 224 more people like this update.


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    1. Liam Bourret-Nyffeler on

      For sensaround, I get that there's no longer a strong need to see behind you as much as there was back in the day. Perhaps a mod that increases FOV so you can activate it to 180 or 360 degrees. It increases awareness but it's a little disorienting so there's a bit of a disadvantage.

    2. Judicator on

      Not to be that guy but the "antiquated features that have to be either removed or completely replaced. One example is the toggle-able ability to see behind your head with a cybernetic implant" is called sensaround.
      Forgive me but are you NDS guys really fans of SS1?

    3. Константин Владимиро on

      У вас все просто охуенно парни, и ui, и процесс, и все остальное.
      И мы ждем этот римейк, и надеемся на вас.
      Не забудьте полностью задействовать vr (oculus)!

    4. Missing avatar

      Erasmus on

      think twice before changing _anything_ !!

      The implant to make you look backward is there because it's cool to have a rear view. It's about hacking / improving your body.

      Also, the movements were _extremely_ well balanced. I am slow (and was) in reaction so usually I like turn-based RPGs and strategy games. I was able to play SS, though.

      If anything you could consider updating the sound of SS. It was based on what folks were used to and expecting from a futuristic environment. That sense of hearing has changed, compare this to the MCU-movies.

      The slightly bended projection of the projections on the retina sound cool. But remember: the hacker wore glasses. Just like google glass.

      I think the cyberspace could use a drastic redesign. Again, compare to what people might visually expect. Check contemporary SciFi.


    5. Gary Whitfield on

      And although I am more than happy with my "Cyborg Enforcer" pledge level, I have just realised that this does not seem to include the digital wallpapers.

      Are they actually included, or can I increase my pledge by $5 to get them?

    6. Missing avatar

      Dwargh on

      I'm glad that I have supported this project! Can't wait to see it in action!!

    7. Gary Whitfield on

      Really like the new HUD. The curved idea to replicate it being actually within the eye is brilliant, hope you keep that - as an option at least.

      Maybe have the graphics draw down a black screen, have the HUD change, then the black draws up again, like you have to blink to change the display mode.

      As to the rear view mod, I didn't use it much originally, but would use it more if you put on a pair of glasses that had a silver strip down the outside. Not enough to reduce the forward viewing angle too much, but enough to make you question if it would be better to have some sight behind you, or a full peripheral vision?

      As to skill/perk systems, I thought "Skyrim" 's was one of the best. You increase skills that you actually use, not just choosing one skill out of the whole set. Maybe have something that locks an upgrade if you haven't used the skill enough that level?

    8. Missing avatar

      Ferdinand von Schenk

      The curved UI is a great idea !
      I can also live with the separate inventory screen.

    9. Missing avatar

      Florian Kanngiesser on

      The new HUD looks great!
      About the RPG elements, I personally don't think a level based RPG System makes sense for System Shock. It'd make it appear too much like games like Skyrim or Fallout. If you want to add a skill/perk System I'd think it'd make sense to design it around an action-adventure like system in which you improove your skills and learn new perks by doing something. For example shooting, fighting in close combat, interacting with objects etc.
      Not sure what you guys think about that but I've never been a big fan of grinding levels like a mad man.

    10. Missing avatar

      Jörg Werkmeister on

      And pls integrate some of the original music and sounds from ssh 1994.


    11. Missing avatar

      Jörg Werkmeister on

      THX for your great Work. The Demo looks very good. Also the sounds ..feels like System shock 1994! Pls update the ui careful. Its old but good. Also it stands for the beginning of 3d rpg. The look of the ui and the elements are important for the reel ssh feeling!

      I played ss1 and ss2 many times and the hud / ui was fine. The possibility turning
      the elements on off myself is also part of real ssh feeling.

      S h o d a n

    12. Missing avatar

      Daniel Longwing on

      No clickable stand, kneel, crawl with lean controls for each level? Why did I back something that deviates from SS1994's best design elements!?

      (Just kidding, I think it looks fantastic.)

    13. Missing avatar

      Daniel Longwing on

      I'm glad to see the Biometer making a comeback. It's actually one of the reasons I backed the project. It seems to me that someone at Nightdive understands some of what made the UI actually GOOD.

      Personally, I'd love to see the look-behind module make a comeback. Whatever the dev's initial intentions, I found it to be a useful (if paranoia inducing) mod. Rather than discarding the idea as old-timy, why not make it more relevant to the current design? I'm sure we'd all love to see behind us if enemy AI actually promoted sneaking up on the main character. I stil remember sneaking around the darkened engineering level, watching that rear-view for the nearly invisible mutants from the level. It was a harrowing and memorable experience, even if it was largely a boogyman of my own imagination.

      Incidentally, while I realize it's a nearly impossible dream, any chance we'll get the reconfigurable UI from SS1994? The ability to activate different modules in the right, left, and center slots was AWESOME. It made me feel like I was working with an actual cybernetic OS instead of a game UI. This is really unlikely, but I figure it doesn't hurt to ask.

    14. Emilijan Stamfar on

      It looks good as it is. Making it customizable is genius, to meet everybody's taste.

    15. Daniel Jewell on

      Looks pretty cool, I like the direction the HUD is going. Of course once it's a little further along it would be cool to see it inaction, but it's a wait and see thing.

    16. VicViperGradius on

      +1 for a straight edge UI atleast give that option hoping to see as much UI customization as possible rear view and i never used in the original ether

    17. Shaun Gupta on

      Great update - thanks! Posted on the reddit with some thoughts too!

      @Ryan, sounds like you might have some malware already - the reddit link is fine. Try a scan with the free version of software from

    18. Leo Borg on

      @Nightdive studios: Will you update with a pre-alpha demo version for Mac?

    19. Missing avatar

      Sam Speight on

      Embrace change people it's coming. The original or remaster still exist if you want an unadulterated experience.

      @Aditya. Might pay to ask on the subreddit like they suggested in the opening sentence of the post. :)

    20. Missing avatar

      Gary MulQueen on

      See behind you, nah... Just give visible enemy options on the map???

    21. Missing avatar

      Matt Harmon on

      But I'm not on Reddit and would really rather not be forced to. I find its method of categorization and organization of topics and posts frustrating and messy to navigate at best. The projection of everything is incredibly sloppy and poorly thought out despite the overall simple look the basic theme pretends to have. Also the formatting is atrocious and leaves nearly half of my screen completely blank white because it doesn't properly scale with high resolutions.

      tl;dr Get a better forum than Reddit.

    22. Missing avatar

      Ryan on

      The reddit link keeps blasting malware to my firefox browser.

    23. Missing avatar

      Solace on

      Will there be subtitles? Please answer this..

    24. Missing avatar

      Joseph Travinsky on

      So far it looks pretty good to me. Looking forward to playing the final game. The demo was fun.

    25. Andre on

      Regarding the look behind display......if it is kept another option would be just to make it smaller...about the size of the email reader.

    26. Andre on

      Ive seen some comments asking if hacking is going to be in ss. I think it should be simple like in SS2....Ice picks and nodes....or like in Decker. hahah.....that would really give it the retro feel.

    27. internisus on

      How modular and customizable will the interface be? This was my favorite aspect of the original—it really sparked my imagination by plugging so directly into the cyberpunk theme—and I'd love to see you guys take it really far with lots of minor implants whose functionality and UI elements can be activated and disabled and repositioned.

    28. Missing avatar

      Bubbysoup on

      I like it. When it comes to something like the UI, I don't want to be wrestling with an old UI for the sake of nostalgia.

    29. Andre on

      The hud looks great. I like the mini map and the curved look. As for the see behind implant.....I rarely ever used it in the original system shock. If you do keep a variation of it, maybe make it so that it shows a more 3d heat signature perspective of the enemies in your hud when it senses them,,,similar to the effect of the peeping tom plasmid from BS Burial at Sea or the way Robocop could see heat signatures. I admit this would probably make the game too easy and it has been done before in many games. Perhaps making it so it would only pop on enemy alert and only for enemies behind and optional. Just a thought, but removing it all together would make the game more challenging. The player would have to listen for the sound of enemies approaching. For example, the sound the cyber assassins made in SS2 as they approached (not always audible until they attacked) really added to the challenge. Since the new UI has full turn radius its not needed so just remove it completely.

    30. Missing avatar

      Kitarraman on

      Ok, that looks pretty good so far. How are we supposed to interact with the HUD? A mouselook function like the mod for SS1? As far as the rear camera is concerned, I never felt it really necessary, it's a plus, but I've never ever used it so far. It would be nice to use it, but it's not necessary IMO

    31. l-vizz on

      Is the plan to update the pre alpha demo several times so we can see the progress?

    32. Missing avatar

      Kvalyr on

      +1 for Laggerific's comment. The SS2 UI may not fit conceptually with the notion of a retina-projected HUD and so on; but it made interactions with the UI more tactile. It felt like it was a UI that, from an in-universe perspective, was over-engineered by TriOptimum to be an Operating-System-like way for the individual to interact with their cyber rig. It actually contributed to that cyberpunk sense of high-technology made imperfect by humans.

      The retina-projected-UI concept may be more realistic given what we know from contemporary systems like Google Glass, but the UIs in SS1 and SS2 were more than merely functional HUDs like every other first-person game, they actually reinforced the aesthetic and setting of the game - and that's worth something substantial.

      It also reinforced the feeling of vulnerability when you had to switch into menu mode without pausing the game, while retaining some visibility of the world around the player at the same time.

    33. João Melo on

      This is an UI i can get behind. I can recommend some things I'd like to see but it's definitely on the right track.

      Try to make it more solid. I don't think making it hanging in the air, Minority Report style, is very appropriate given the original cyberpunk aesthetic. I'd like it if it felt like something physical that was installed on your head, although not to the point of the original, as that was too restrictive, and blocked the view. Perhaps some kind of sparse wiring that anchors it to the edge of the screen for example.

      And I might as well take this as an opportunity to remind you to properly support all kinds of monitor resolutions. I own a 34" 21:9 screen, and it would be quite important that the UI adapts to that and doesn't stay in the 16:9 middle of the screen.

      In any case what you've presented seems very much a modernized take on GUI design without omitting info that was present in the very cluttered original GUI. I assume the log's text, when present, would show up either to the left or above of Lansing's portrait?

    34. Missing avatar

      Reupel on

      I don't really see what's so antiquated about the "rear view" implant. In a game were you can get ambushed from behind, it can still be useful.

    35. Zak Robinson on

      Instead of a see-behind-you implant, perhaps a more modern version would be a 3rd-person perspective implant. That might give a similar increase to situational awareness.

    36. Missing avatar

      Veli-Pekka Kujala on

      That concept actually looks pretty ok. Just remember to leave room for subtitles or a window where you can read the audio logs, emails etc. or something similar.

    37. Jason Fader Collaborator on

      @Edouard Martins-Pascoal: We're planning on making elements of the UI customizable, but to what extent is still up in the air. We'd like to at least have elements of the UI toggleable.

    38. Missing avatar

      Rory Cresswell on

      I really hope we can disable the planned curvature for the HUD. I think straight edges would actually suit the games style better and having a games HUD float at some arbitrary angle is honestly a visual cliche I am tired of seeing in sci-fi games. It was novel and impressive in Metroid Prime but it is just overused and annoying now.

    39. Missing avatar

      Erich Wetzlmaier on

      I love the new font style and the curved HUD! Looks great!

    40. Missing avatar

      Erich Wetzlmaier on

      I think the whole UI should carefully be updated... it's not necessarily bad only because it's old. I fear that with a radically changed UI, much of the old charm of System Shock could be lost.... but I think I have to play it again to see how I really like the old UI ;) It´s been 5 years or so, since I played it the last time.

    41. Missing avatar

      Connary Fagen on

      Don't change the look and feel of the UI. It's excellent as it stands!

    42. Edouard Martins-Pascoal on

      I just hope you make the HUD customizable,

      I would turn off the bio meter and compass, the "conversation" thing on the lower right, would only pop up temporarily when someone is talking to you, so it wouldn't bother me too much, still, If I could turn it off, I probably would

    43. Missing avatar

      laggerific on

      I really want to be able to drag things around the environment, as well as my inventory...I like the pop out and minimize interface of the original game, and little HUD elements you could all have on the same screen (or hide), while playing.

      I did not like the inventory of the demo...having to go to a separate screen was annoying...I really liked the tab to switch between aim and interact modes from system shock 2, and the mouse mod on the original (best) system shock.