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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.

Giveaway and Audio Update

Posted by Jonathan Peros (Collaborator)

System Shock Kickstarter Giveaway

We are currently holding a giveaway/raffle for an awesome System Shock Limited Edition Screen Print Poster & T-Shirt. It runs until the end of the Kickstarter, and you can even do things every day during the raffle to keep entering. And by entering more times, you’re helping us to spread the word to continue to make this game awesome!

To enter, please click here. [Facebook link]

Limited Edition Screen Print Poster
Limited Edition Screen Print Poster


System Shock "Insect" T-Shirt
System Shock "Insect" T-Shirt

System Shock Music & Sound Design plans

Hey everyone! I'm Jonathan Peros; I'm handling the audio efforts on System Shock. I've been working with Nightdive Studios on this demo since it started. The Shock games have always had some of the most immersive sounds for its time and it's been my job to make sure that our game hits the same benchmark of quality. 

Just so you guys know where we are coming from, I'd like to start by posting the "Purpose" section for the audio from our own internal audio design documents that we refer to when making decisions: 

The Shock series’ greatest strength was always the intense atmosphere present in the game; the isolation, the tension, even the outright horror. The purpose of the score of System Shock is, more than anything, to strengthen the immersion and atmosphere of the game. Secondary goals of the score are to structure the narrative and represent characters/environments, increase tension in extreme stress (such as combat), and using diegetic music in the world to tell the story of Citadel Station through its own environment. 

Plenty of restraint will have to be used on the score, to keep the atmosphere of the game intact. It is important to avoid a more arcadey, extreme approach like other games (see DOOM), but there are points in the game in which it could fit, if used sparingly. 

We have received a lot of feedback when it comes to the balance of electronic and orchestral elements in the soundtrack, and fans who feel very strongly about both directions. I'd like to clear things up and put fans' minds at ease. We are planning to have many more electronic elements in the score for the final game than we have in the demo. While we feel that porting the original music over would run counter to our vision, we don't intend to lose the Cyberpunk feeling of the game by neglecting to reflect that Cyberpunkness in the music. We believe it is possible to retain a strong atmosphere, while incorporating many synthetic elements in the soundtrack. Check out the first minute of my Intro remix with zircon for reference:

We believe it is possible to blend these elements with orchestral elements to great effect. While the synthetic elements provide a great setting for Citadel Station and make the game feel like a System Shock game, orchestral layers can provide a level of emotional tension and immersion that is more primal and psychological when it comes to creepy atmospheres. It is a delicate balance, but one that we think will give System Shock a very unique flavor in contrast to most modern FPS games - something that is both very "System Shock", but also stands today as a score for a modern game. 

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Replay with sound
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We also have plans to bring back old System Shock music as often as we can while still keeping it in the atmosphere in the station. Some clever fans have found an example of this in our game files: the original music for the elevator, redone to sound like music that would actually be coming from the speakers on the walls of an elevator:

As much as I want to talk more about our musical plans, I've got plenty that I want to talk about on the sound design front as well!

Many of the same principles apply to the soundscapes of the game as the music. More than anything, we want to promote a strong oppressive atmosphere (have I said that word enough?) for the player. This is where the old System Shock games (System Shock 2 in particular) really excelled. The sound design in the old games were as much a part of the emotional experience for the player as the music. We intend for the same in System Shock: Heavy and oppressive atmospheres, the feelings of isolation, pacings and breaks from the oppression where the player can take a breath (like the elevator) before being buried under the weight of Citadel Station and SHODAN again.

Some of the sounds in the demo are very good and some are temporary sounds, standing in until we reach full production and we can replace them. I'd like to share a few plans about our foley system, to give some insight into our dedication to sell a compelling experience to our players. Once the game reaches a point in production where we can get a full list of all of the foley sounds needed, we are going to have full custom foley for the game (no library sounds). We intend to mic this foley at different angles and distances, so that at the game's runtime we can dynamically mix these elements for the player (i.e. as a mutant is further away, you hear more of the far mics in the mix than the close mics and vice-versa). We are planning systems in which the foley responds very dynamically and closely with the engine to make the sound fit exactly what is going on in the game, both in sounds and mix. Things like speed, acceleration, movement type, changes of direction, etc, will all impact what the player hears during gameplay, making the player feel like this is actually their body. This is only one small system out of dozens and dozens that we are planning or have already created and implemented, and I hope that this helps to demonstrate our commitment toward making the sound work for the player to make the game as compelling and immersive as is available in games today. 

A few people have asked about VO for System Shock. Yes, Terri Brosius is reprising her role as SHODAN, and yes, she still sounds spot-on for the part after 20 years. Just listen to her voice in the Kickstarter video! We have also been working with some new talent for the project. In the demo you heard Rachael Messer, a newcomer to the Shock series, acting wonderfully as Rebecca Lansing. The original System Shock was one of the first games with full VO, and in the same vein we don't want to settle for anything less than exceptional acting in System Shock.

System Shock Remix Album (stretch goal)

Lastly, I'm very excited to talk about the remix album stretch goal for the project. We have a roster of talented musicians on board to help us remix the original System Shock 1 OST. 

The first artist that I would like to reveal that we are working with is none other than Robotkid (Josh Randall) of the original System Shock 2 music team. We know that there are a ton of fans of the System Shock 2 music and of Robotkid's style throughout it. 

Robotkid, aka Josh Randall (System Shock 2, Harmonix, etc.)
Robotkid, aka Josh Randall (System Shock 2, Harmonix, etc.)

I have been working with the programming department in the game to try to get this remix album in the game as an alternative or unlockable mode for the game. Nothing confirmed on this yet, as it is a lot of programming work to make it happen, but do know that we are trying to make this work for people who want a more nostalgic experience than a modern one. 

We are going to continue to announce more musical artists that are taking part in the remix album as the project gets closer to being funded at that stretch level! Please help share the project around so that we can reach that goal and give you guys this awesome soundtrack!

 - Jonathan

Brandon Blackmoor, Raventail, and 116 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      krimhorn on

      @Richard T. Williams: It's actually the opposite. What you're seeing in the game is textures that are point filtered. This means that there's no "averaging" going on when you get close to the texture so you see the texture as it's created. The update changed the textures to trilinear filtering which performs an averaging between the pixels surrounding any given pixel AND blends between the mip-map levels. The result tends to look smoother but at the cost of a blurrier appearance as well.

      As for it being an option, the devs mentioned in another thread that Unity doesn't allow texture filtering to be applied at runtime but, rather, on import so it seems like it's a static choice. Unfortunately.

    2. Missing avatar

      Sean B. Brown on

      I think you guys are going the right direction with everything. People really can't handle change. It's not as if the original will cease to exist. Keep up the good work and don't let the vocal minority bother you too much.

    3. Richard T. Williams on

      I read a response before that said the textures ARE high resolution but are intentionally being manipulated to look worse. Couldn't we just see the original textures like they would appear in any normal game instead of doing weird stuff to them?

      That said, I get why people might like the original implementation. So why can't texture filtering be optional? Surely there's a way to add some sort of toggle in the shader to enable / disable the retro pixellated look you were originally going for? When anisotropic filtering is so inexpensive these days it's weird to see its absence.

    4. Missing avatar

      krimhorn on

      Sweet. I was going to ask about the possibility of using the remix soundtrack (if the goal is hit) as an alternate soundtrack in the game. Glad to hear you're looking into it (even with no promises). :)

      At the end of the day I'm loving every aspect of the game's vision. Retro-modern is an aesthetic that most games don't try for since it's definitely harder to pull off that "true" retro and full-on modern. Definitely hope it goes well during development.

    5. Josh Brandt on

      Robotkid? Cool!

    6. Missing avatar

      AdnaeDMorte on

      Facebook? Sorry, but why???

      It should give you people who don't want Facebook. :(((

    7. Missing avatar

      Mirko Sainz on

      Great Sound so far. Keep up the good work. SS needs cyberpunk.

    8. Missing avatar

      JAAHAS on

      A T-shirt with "REMEMBER CITADEL" in a bloodstained font over the TriOptimum logo would be a nice add-on.

    9. Missing avatar

      Robbie on

      Music sounds fantastic so far

    10. Roy Evers on

      Thanks for taking my worries away. Cyberpunk needs electronic atmosphere music!! I am very eager to hear what you come up with.

    11. Missing avatar

      Mark Buckley

      Can we buy the T-Shirt anywhere? I'd like one...

    12. Erwhann-Rouge on

      Well, I don't want to bitch but I still prefer the original soundtrack.
      The orchestral part of the score is good but it's way too much to my taste. It a bit : "hey, were is cyberpunk here? I don't want System Shock to sound epic!". At least sounded like the Sevastopol station from Alien Isolation… but not like Citadel.

      Then you posted this update about music (among others subjects) and I was exited. At first I thought that the techno/clubbing remix of the intro was not that bad, it brought back memories. Then I listened to the original music. I think the original is still way better than the remix.
      All those screaming squeaking sounds fantastically worked to make the player nervous about wandering Citadel.

      If you really want to go for a new original score, I strongly suggest that you look for synthwave/retrosynth/darksynth wich are waaaaay more closer and cyberpunkish than what the score seems heading toward. Artists such as Perturbator, Dan Terminus, Carpenter Brut or Powerglove already made titles that would perfectly fit the Citadel. And I sure they might be awesome thing at remixing the original score.

      I hope my comment will be took for what it is : constructive (hopefully) criticism. Remember guys, I'm watching what you're doing to my favourite game of all time.

    13. Judicator on

      Thanks for the update and the efforts and passion you guys are putting into this.
      I, however, have to agree with Jesse: modern doesn't mean better at all, instead 90% is garbage.
      There're so few good modern games that honestly could be skipped for the most part.

      Why that social media crap in the raffle (twitter and Facebook)?

    14. Missing avatar

      Kenneth Fritz on

      If I hadn't already backed, that shady free advertisement attempt would've turned me away.

    15. Nicxan Brooks on

      I was a bit nervous about the music, but yeah, you guys have got it covered.
      And glad you're going to not neglect the sound design; I just introduced someone to SS2 and the sound design in that and the first one hold up so well even /still./

      I'm so excited!

    16. Shaun Gupta on

      Thank you for the great update! Super psyched by your plans, and while I initially felt unsure of going orchestral, I did like the music in the demo, and I'm totally onboard with the orchestral score mixed with cyberpunk and hints of the original (love that elevator music). I'd also DEFINITELY be in favor of that OST remix being an unlockable/optional setting, as it would encourage a second playthrough (but the first, I plan to listen as you intended)! So lets get there, people! Finally, as a Doctor Who fan, I did a double take, then a laugh out loud at the fact that there's something called a "Dalek Modulator" (also a Vulcan one for Star Trek fans) on your digital equipment!

    17. Missing avatar

      Gary MulQueen on

      Listened to the intro... OK, nice, swirly, good, then...
      Goose Bumps, head to toe...
      I can not wait!!!!!
      Safe hands, so good to know!

    18. João Melo on

      The excellent sound design in System Shock 2 was dependent on an outstanding sound engine. How do you plan on implementing positional sound with proper sound propagation and occlusion? Also, will enemies be responsive to the sounds made by the player in SSR?

    19. Missing avatar

      Jörg Werkmeister on

      Sounds very good. But pls Put some more of the original Music into. The elevator music is a good idea. In Main menu or also sometimes in game will be wonderful for all fans of system shock waiting 16 years for this moment!

    20. Missing avatar

      OldManGrim on

      To this day I still listen to the SS1 (MIDI) SS2 soundtracks on a regular basis (as well as many others from that era, but especially the SS2 soundtrack... MedSc1, Engineering, Hydro1, Ops 2, Credits... OMFG).

      A good soundtrack contributes to making a game great and more than the sum of all of it's pieces- it is something that the moment you listen to it outside the game you are whisked away right back in.

    21. Missing avatar

      Jay Smith on

      ok, a few items.

      1. I like what I hear so far. Awesome use of the latest tech. What toys we have now!
      2. The opening track sounds good, as many here have said too heavy on bass and drums. You can keep it sounding frenetic without so much of that.
      3. Use the good stuff, leave the mediocre. The themes that jumped out to me from the original were the opening, the medical level, elevator, and hothouse level. Maybe the final two levels were ok, but the sound cards at the time could not do justice to what was attempted for Shodan.

    22. Loig

      Tl;dr ;)

    23. Missing avatar


      I really love the ambient music. You perfectly captured the feeling of being alone on Citadel Station. Thanks for the link. I'm going to loop it in the background during my playthrough of System Shock: Enhanced Edition.

    24. Mike Madigan

      This is all very exciting for sure. You should have a reward having Terri Brosius as SHODAN recording you an outgoing voicemail message. I would bid on that reward in a heartbeat.

    25. Zanderat on

      For me, the sound design of both SS games were paramount. Glad to hear that it won't be an after thought as it is in most modern games.

    26. Jason Fader Collaborator on

      For those interested in the Raffle, here's a direct link to it:

    27. FredJokamotraye on

      As much as I appreciate the idea of doing new things, to freshen up the experience and allow people to rediscover and feel like it's the first time again, the big red flag for me was, "something that is both very "System Shock", but also stands today as a score for a modern game.". I think a better way to state what most of us feel is that efforts like this, will make this game feel like it belongs in the year it's released. To be dated, and eventually become archaic.

      A more modern soundtrack sounds more like a movie score from today. You do not want to do that. Every forgettable movie score today will be laughed at years from now because it required no originality, no thought, and basically drew inspiration from what sold well.

      If I hear a single low horn blast, a series of sweeping fermatas, single note pieces, or specifically staged stings (like the window scene) then it'll be another forgettable mess. That is not System Shock. It is the Current Year fad, a meme generated from the stupidity that somehow the year and it's culture are exactly what something needs to be like.

      Please don't put in musical set pieces to insult my intelligence. You don't need to subliminally tell me how to feel, I'm not a toddler or an idiot.

      Regardless, if I were to tell someone I had an idea for a futuristic dystopian cyber space video game, and then told them I decided the soundtrack were Bach, I wouldn't expect the person to be interested in my product anymore.

    28. Missing avatar

      Rudolf P on

      poster is amazing! any chance of making it buyable as an add-on to the kickstarter? aesthetically i'd almost want it without system shock text, it'd look like a nice blueprint

    29. Rahul on

      I was doing this, anyway, without any incentive!

      Every morning, tweeting and posting on Facebook, without fail; and then, some more, during the day!

      Anyway. Will continue doing that.

      As someone says, it feels good to be a backer; monitory and spiritual!

    30. capt_carl

      Ibby is credit to team!

    31. Nightdive Studios Creator on

      [Jonathan here: a glitch on KS won't allow contributors to respond to updates]
      @Mike: I won't host an hour of audio, but I'll host a minute and a half! Loop to your own desires:

      @JTD121: I'd love to do more things like that - figure a backer update isn't the best place for a super technical update like that. I'm expanding my modular setup heavily for this game. I love posting stuff about my modular setup on Twitter @jonathanperos.

    32. Shagz on

      Thanks for the extensive update. I'm sure you will achieve the right balance for the audio. I myself am totally about atmosphere so I am looking forward to the final product. Sadly, no FB account so I can't play along with your giveaway but hope it does help spread the word. Best of luck on the continued development.

    33. JTD121 on

      I'd also really love a bit of a breakdown of the second video of the vulcan and dalek modulators; how is the sound made, where is it being recorded from? Etc, etc

    34. Missing avatar

      Sean B. Brown on

      I'm really liking the sound of the music so far. Also really looking forward to hearing more of the more subtle tracks. Also, for anyone interested, it seems Fearful Ferret is doing a System Shock 1 (Enhanced Edition) speedrun at SGDQ this evening. It's an Any% run, which means it'll probably have lots of glitches, exploits and skips used. Should be fun to watch.

    35. JTD121 on

      As much as I generally loathe to use FB for basically anything, that poster (and to a slightly lesser extent, that shirt) are worth it to me.

      Also want to echo (and slightly modify) Joshua Bill's "It feels good to be a hacker"

    36. Missing avatar

      Matti Peltoniemi on

      Good update. Personally, the intro remix left me a little cold. There's too much focus on bass and drum, and the real melody just fades into the background. I'd rather really just like the old main theme. But on the other hand, elevator remix is wonderful, so I'm going to wait and see because it looks like Night Dive might give us a chance for remixed original soundtrack in addition to newer one like we heard in the demo. The track that plays when you enter the access corridors and when you look out at Saturn towards the end of the video, give me more heavy suspense / horror vibes. Which are really appropriate for game like System Shock, got to admit, but having option to change between old/remixed and new soundtrack would be SUPER :D

    37. Ghost101 on

      I honestly never really liked the music in the original System Shock games, and ended up muting it since so much of it was goofy sounding. I think as long as you make it so there's plenty of ambient noises it should be fine; then if we do turn the music off there's still lots of things to hear.

    38. Missing avatar

      Samir on

      FB?!? What about us who don't FB???

    39. Blood Dragon on

      Less than thrilled the giveaway is locked behind FB login. The audio sounds good, though!

    40. Missing avatar

      Qualified backer

      The "To Enter, please click here" link in the update redirreces to facebook.
      In the future please tell where links are going when you use link shorteners,
      then people who do not use Facebook can avoid them.
      Thank you

    41. Missing avatar

      Mike Bermudez

      Can I just get an hour long loop of that ambient noise from the video? It sounds amazing!

    42. Joshua Bill on

      It feels good to be a backer.

    43. Nathan Camp on

      Awesome update, I am very happy to hear about the use of synthetic elements in concert with orchestral elements. Looking forward to seeing how it progresses!