At GDC, a "Shocking" Announcement
A word from our Game Director.. actually a lot of words...
Hi everyone! Jason here this time to share some really important news. As some of you may have heard (http://www.polygon.com/2017/3/1/14784082/system-shock-reboot-unreal-engine), we have officially switched our engine for System Shock to Unreal Engine 4. I know this seems like a risky move, and in some ways it is, but we’ve mitigated that risk by switching over early. To shed more light on how we reached this decision, I’ll need to go over a timeline.
August: After listening to everyone during the Kickstarter campaign, it became clear that console support was very important to a lot of you. We took a hard look at what Unity could do on consoles, and what we wanted to achieve for both visual quality and performance. While Unity is a great engine, it was clear that we needed to use an engine that fit our project goals more closely. We took a few weeks to research various engines (mainly Lumberyard and Unreal).
September: After the engine research and evaluating feedback on our visual style, we decided to try out Unreal and see what it had to offer. Around the same time, we needed to fill critical spots for the leads team. Recruiting takes time (actually, a lot of time, especially for the senior positions). I think we went through about 30+ interviews for various candidates from Sept-Dec. Most of the folks we selected were developers I had worked with on Fallout: New Vegas, so it made getting them up to speed on things pretty quick.
October-December: During this time we focused on getting the nuts and bolts of the content inside of Unreal. Around the end of October, we were confident Unreal was the right way to go, but we didn’t want to announce the change just yet, since we wanted to prove to our backers (and ourselves) that we could deliver a slice of the game in Unreal with the updated visual direction. Couple that with the lengthy time recruiting/onboarding takes and we were steadily making progress towards our goal by the end of December.
January: The next step before being ready to reveal our efforts was to establish a proper level using everything everyone had built up for Unreal. This is essentially for the “Vertical Slice” phase, but the early stages. I like using an iterative corner approach to vertical slice, meaning we would work on a small section of the vertical slice content, iterate and refine it until we were happy with the end result (typically finding problems and correcting them, tweaking things here and there, etc). Once the corner (in this case it was actually a series of rooms, a vent shaft, several hallways, and a lovable mutant named Marty) was finished, we would be ready to expand on the rest of the vertical slice content.
February: After a lot of hard work, the corner was finally to a point we were happy with, which brings us to now! That pretty much paints a picture of where our heads were at with all of this. We didn’t make this decision lightly, and wanted to be sure we could do the game justice with this engine shift. Feel free to ask questions either in the comments or the Discord server. Let us know what you think! We want to ensure you feel we’re going in the right direction with all of this.
- Jason Fader, Game Director
and now for the video...
Slacker Hackers for BackerKit
As promised, BackerKit is live and you can now modify your pledges, as well as invite your friends to help support this awesome reboot at http://www.SystemShock.com
♪ Music ♪
Hey! Jonathan Peros, Audio Director of System Shock here! We released the Polygon video, and in it an alpha (emphasized!) version of the main theme of the game. The music is very indicative of the style that we are going for, and captures what was great about 90s sci-fi but in a very modern context. I figured some of you may appreciate being able to hear the music without the SHODAN voiceover! I've loved the ability to work on such a great soundtrack and I'd love to hear what you think!
- Jonathan Peros, Audio Director/Composer
Torment: Tides of Numenera
From our friends at InXile Entertainment, we wanna celebrate Torment!
"Torment: Tides of Numenera is the thematic successor to Planescape: Torment, one of the most critically acclaimed role-playing games of all time. Immerse yourself in a single-player, isometric, story-driven RPG set in Monte Cook’s Numenera universe. What does one life matter? Find your answer."
Anew: The Distant Light
Our very own environment artist Josh Powers is working on another exciting project. Anew: The Distant Light is an indie game currently in pre-alpha. It is being created by veteran developers Steve Copeland and Jeff Spoonhower, with an original soundtrack by Wilbert Roget II.
Please check out their Kickstarter and support another awesome project!