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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.

At GDC, a "Shocking" Announcement

Posted by Jason Fader (Collaborator)

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 (, 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                                                                   

♪ 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


Shout Outs

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."

Available now:



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!



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    1. Guru Zeb on

      Well like many i am not very happy with the looks of the UE video, but in all fairness there is NO reason at all the look of the Unity demo cannot be recreated in UE. As many have said previously UE is far more adaptable and feature laden than Unity.
      Since it looked to me that a large part of the Unity look was slightly pixilated dirt maps, am going to assume the textures in the UE video are just basic placeholders.

      But what i am CONCERNED about is the moves the make the game more console friendly, no offence to console users. for me moves to make complex inventory and interaction systems console controller friendly usually spell the death or complex inventory and interaction systems.

      i just hope am wrong

    2. Missing avatar

      Carlos Avila on

      I have to agree with other backers: the game as shown in the new video is generic and uninteresting.

      Maybe it needed more work? Please don't let it be the new direction of this project.

    3. Patrick on

      I've read the crosspost, which gives me some hope, and I'm also just adding to the chorus here but, currently, the state of both the visuals and the soundtrack do not impress me very much. I think it should not be underestimated how nostalgic towards the look of the original game backers are, with it's unique color palette, and for good reason. And the new music, while not bad by itself, is also just the blandest modern dark sci-fi score we have all heard a million times, and I would much prefer it moving closer to the synthesizer sound of the original (and not in a cutesy 'we'll homage it once or twice by adding in one or two massively distorted versions of existing themes way). Please don't go for a safe, bland, unoffensive, dime a dozen reboot; make the unique, quirky game the fans of the original came here to support.

    4. Andre on

      I don't want to comment too much on the way the game looks or the atmosphere at this time. I have to watch the demo videos from Unity and Unreal and compare them as well as play the Unity demo. There are differences for sure...I just cant narrow them down, but both look good in their own way. The only criticism I have is the high pitched voice of Shodan. I like that it fluctuates as it did in the original games. The low pitch sounds really good, but there are a few instances of the high pitch tones sounding bad.

    5. Missing avatar

      David Brittain

      Thanks for the cross post Shaun Gupta. But they really should of held off this update and the pledge manager till after GDC when they could of actually taken time to answer questions as the 3 days radio silence was not a good look.

      My reaction to the trailer would of been a lot less horrified if you hadn't of said this just before the trailer "After a lot of hard work, the corner was finally to a point we were happy with, which brings us to now!" and then showed a trailer that quite frankly makes the game look awful and gave me a sinking feeling and flashbacks to other projects that shall not be named.

    6. Missing avatar

      Franz Luger on

      Oh no! :-( UT4 performs miserably...
      The Unitiy preview material already was a disappointment, the UT4 version doesn't look any better: everything looks like greasy plastiline formed by giant clumsy fingers.
      I don't understand you! Do you really want to ruin your own project? :-(

    7. Judicator on

      This is a vertical slice and not the final product. As far as what's in it I don't feel particularly shocked or underwhelmed mainly because i didn't liked much the first playable teaser either.

      I mean I think they are going a path of modernization I don't agree with for the most part and I said it countless times during the campaign.

      The video is technically not bad at all, we can't see the code, and honestly I'm not in the position to judge it, and aesthetically it's just ok.
      What really, really strikes me is how far from the original title NDS idea of this game actually seems to be.
      SS had atmosphere, tension, immersion, great sounds an visuals, innovation and most of all it was unique as far as controls, plot, mechanics and situations are concerned. System Shock was a game in which you could do everything with just the mouse, every effing thing in the game could be done with just one hand on your mouse.

      This video teaser shows just what I was afraid of: NDS want to make a generic game FPS targeted at a broad audience, a watered down, simplified, streamlined generic title inspired to System Shock 2.

      While I can understand their motivations I can't help but think that one of the best and influential games ever made deserves a better treatment.

      I don't know exactly what they are planning on doing for this game or where the development is heading but simply put: you can't and shouldn't reinvent whe wheel especially when said wheel is a perfectly made, perfectly working one.

      This teaser doesn't seem System Shock 1 at all, doesn't feel like it a bit, it has nothing of System Shock, It looks just a System Shock 2 remake.

      There's no need for this. What made System Shock great is totally different from what made System Shock 2 great, I don't need a System Shock 2 with sprinkles of Shock 1 elements on it, this is just bad, they are completely different games.

      The look of the teaser doesn't fell like System Shock, the music doesn't, the character movement doesn't, the animations doesn't, the general feeeling doesn't, the station seems to belong to System Shock 2. What see screams System Shock 2 all over the place.

      Honestly my biggest fears seems to be coming true, this is the reason why I didn't pledge more than 30$, I feel like NDS don't want (re)make System Shock, a faithful remake, they just want to make a game with SS2 mechanics, inventory and controls.
      Basically a SS2 located in the Citadel with SS2 feeling, aesthetics, mechanics with just some element from SS1, this is so sad. :(

    8. Remember Citadel on

      @Petrell: Console is a must these days. I also prefer playing with a game controller on my TV, despite being mostly a PC gamer. Re-designing UI and inventory systems post-launch to support gamepads is not viable.

    9. Petrell on

      I REALLY REALLY hope switch does not lead to console focused development and consolisation of the PC version. Game, controls and interface should first and foremost be designed according to PC controls (mouse&keyboard) and hardware performance with no consideration to what controls and capabilities consoles have. Once PC version is done and released, then and only then the PC version is reprogrammed and adapted for consoles and any limitations due to console performance and controls (gamepad) only apply to the console version.

      Beyond that I think Unreal Engine 4 is better choice for the project than Unity. I just hope your budged can handle it. 1,35 million $ is not much for project of this size after all.

    10. Missing avatar

      Mirko Sainz on

      And read the first sentence from the trailer: All content subject to change. ^^

    11. Missing avatar

      Mirko Sainz on

      @Rob: They always said while the campaign was running that they plan with Unity but will consider UE4 as an answer to enough backers who asked why they don't use UE4. At this stage there was no one who said "Unity is the best choice". Just "why no UE4?". That's why I was impressed by the feedback...Even though it came mostly from the half-baked trailer. Okay 21k Backers and 20 people complaining, maybe I read to much into it. xD But the change could always happen.

      I see your point with the real space station. But through enough media we have a roughly understanding that space stations are full of metal and cables etc. And also that it wont be an iPod space station all clean and glossy white.

      And if a game engine can provide a more realistic metallic look, with more realistic lighting with better reflections, shaders, blabla. Why shouldn't they use it? Imo Unity is not a bad engine but what I really hated about the demo was that metal just looked like old plastic, no reflections, and no cold steel around me same with the render trailer where you can see robots, plastic robots. But NDS said it took them half a year to get this build. Sorry but if you play the demo again, it is just the combination between dark rooms and shiny sparkles which look fine. I just trust them that they can achieve their goals faster right now. I saw enough demos where people build awesome looking rooms with UE4, yeah it's not the same thing. I know it's always something else to build a game but it is possible.

      As I said in forums I am more concerned about the soundtrack.

      In the end we will see if they do. That's why I hope there will be another trailer with better visuals.

    12. Missing avatar

      Rob Gerhardt on

      @Mirko Sainz: Sure, I do hope NDS will manage to get the game out but I've been working in the industry for 17 years now, and UE4 is one of the worst programs I've worked with.

      Maybe it's because I'm a programmer and everyone's shit fall on us. Artists and designers will probably be most amazed with the switch because they don't care why has to fix all the broken stuff.

      I can also see that the video was rushed but, if this was such an important announcement, they should have put out a better video or just announce it later. Watching that was disheartening.

      And the thing that most puzzles me is why everyone is so obsessed with "reality". I mean, Citadel is not real, no one of us (correct me if I'm wrong) has been to a space station, so how can you conclude that Unreal will deliver a more realistic look if you don't really know how things look like?

      The last thing is, why didn't they tell us that they were thinking on switching the engine? As I said, for me, using Unity was one of the selling points and it's one of the reasons I backed the project.
      So, without asking the backers, they forced a decision of us that may have cause people to not back the project. They may have thought that everyone wants Unreal Engine, but that has not been the case, and they should have asked first.

      Maybe calling it backstabbing is a bit too much, but definitely feels like it and the lack of communication of their intentions hasn't help either.

    13. Joey on

      @Shaun Gupta: Thank you!

    14. Leo Borg on

      That text needs to be put out in an update.

    15. Missing avatar

      Mirko Sainz on

      @Shaun Gupta: Thank you!

      @Rob Gerhardt: Yeah I'm talking a bit too bad about Unity. Unity is okay but imo not enough for a game with realistic touch. Everything in Unity looks a bit rough and I often read that the kit is not easy to use.

      UE4 is also not perfect, some developers had been complaining about the default state the engine is delivered. I know that but NDS are no newcomers, they considered what they could achieve with UE4, Lumberyard or Unity and they saw the best in UE4 so we need to trust them first.

      That this video was just put together in some nights wasn't that hard to realize. Don't misunderstand me I wasn't impressed either and I'm fine with constructive criticism but it is far to early to sharpen the pitchfork.

    16. Shaun Gupta on

      Jason Fader (Game Director) answered a few things on Discord and asked for a crosspost, so these are a few things he said:

      "Hey everyone, sorry about the delay in answering questions. Been busy nonstop at GDC and it's not over yet. Going to answer all of the questions I can around Monday after my brain recovers
      Keep in mind, my brain is running on empty...
      So, the engine change and visual change are unrelated. Things would pretty much look the same in either engine, but the big difference is performance
      The visuals are still a work in progress and know that I'm listening. What you see in the video is a rough style we are experimenting with to push crisper visuals
      Art direction was a lower priority for the engine change since we wanted to be sure the technology could do what we needed first
      Now that we have the pipelines set for getting art into the engine, we'll be iterating on the style and mood
      The other thing I heard was people were worried that the gameplay was becoming stripped down due to the simple combat shown in the video. Gameplay wasn't a priority for assessing the engine since, again, everything we've researched indicates Unreal can offer the same (if not better) foundation for the gameplay systems
      We're only 20% through our vertical slice, and there's still a lot to do. The next steps are getting interesting creature and environment behaviors, while also iterating on the hacking puzzles, cyberspace, weapons, and items
      This is a big game, so we're trying to tackle these components in order, starting with a solid tech foundation and an effective the process for getting art into the game. For now, we chose to bring art in we could finish quickly so we can get the other departments (like design) testing their stuff in engine. More elaborate and iconic art is coming, but remember, for this early stage of v slice, it's about establishing a solid foundation to build upon.
      That's it! If someone can cross-post this on the forums and direct folks to my explanation, that would be a big help.
      I'm kind of surprised I haven't passed out yet :-P
      Oh, another thing worth mentioning is that the UE4 video represents 1.5 months of direct content creation, whereas the unity demo had about 6 months
      That was another reason for the switch, content took too long to get into unity. Not exactly the fault of unity, but as you can see, it's easier for us to create content in unreal
      Yeah, there were a great numbers of factors into this decision. The console request was just the catalyst, but once we started exploring unreal deeply, the team really liked its features and content creation tools"

    17. Shaun Gupta on

      @Joey, they appear to be sending out surveys gradually (we don't know by what criteria). That will likely need to be sent out before you can manage anything.

    18. Joey on

      What's going on with BackerKit? This update says "you can now modify your pledges", but BacketKit doesn't recognize me, it just shows pre-order stuff.

      I tried to create an account with the email I used for Kickstarter, but still nothing here.

      I tried to use the Lost My Survey feature but got "We found a survey for (EMAIL), but the project did not send your survey yet. You will receive an email as soon as the project is ready."

    19. Missing avatar

      Rob Gerhardt on

      Hi Mirko,

      As I said, I could do with the engine change, but at least they could have shown the same result on UE4.

      Besides that, I think you underestimate Unity, which has a very powerful lighting system.

      I work on a soon to be released title made with UE4, and for me it has been a development horror story. It has been out for almost 5 years and things like streaming are not ready yet, support has been less than ideal and integration of engine versions, a nightmare.

      I understand that artists prefer Unreal tools, but UE4 is still not ready and I don't think it will ever be.

      You don't know how I wish that Night Dive really nails this game, but right now it seems that they want to do a game that has nothing to do with what they originally showed and what made us put our money in, hence the disappointment.

    20. Missing avatar

      Mirko Sainz on

      There is a difference about going for "the looks are a bit bland hope you improve this etc" or THEY STABBED OUR BACKS. I'm not talking about the people who have given proper feedback about what they like and don't like. It is also useless to look back. If you add the same filters to the demo like the Unity one it will already look much better. There will never be a Unity version....hopefully.

    21. Remember Citadel on

      Backers give feedback. This is what we do. And fan collaboration is what kickstarter is all about. And no matter how critical the feedback, it's important for Nightdive to hear our suggestions as well as our concerns. It's completely up to them to listen or to follow their own vision instead.

      And right now feedback is more effective than it will ever be, because development has just started and things still can be changed with reasonable effort.

    22. Missing avatar

      Mirko Sainz on

      Seems too much of a shock for some people. I can't understand your tears. They just build some alpha footage and you cry soooo much. Yes it's bland but everyone knows how powerful UE4 is and it will be much better in later Updates. Unity is "special"? Come on, only because it looks shitty it isn't special. Unity looks like some budget engine which tries to disguise the weaknesses through flashy lighting.

      People just tried to convince the team to change to UE4 because enough of us know this engine is limited if you want to have a more realistic look. I cannot understand how some wanted to have the sprite look. Maybe as a retro point in options. Now they changed got a sneaky peak and you complain as if you saw 1.0.

      You cry because of the console release these days? Are you stuck in 1999? You NEED to have a console port to generate sales. Now any fucking platform get's a release, that's not baaaad no it fucking awesome. Even Apple plebs get their hand on this beauty.

      One point: Yes I also don't like the new Main Title it's not Cyberpunk enough like:… But last time we insisted to get more electronic sounds they listened.

      So wipe your tears, be friendly, stay put and let the team do their work.

    23. Missing avatar

      Reupel on

      Ok, after reading the short polygon interview it's pretty obvious were they are going with this, and I don't like it. Somehow Nightdive sees the need to "update" the games' design for modern players but this won't work. The backers and fans of the original will hate it because they expect a faithful recreation (especially after the demo) and new players will not care about it. People looking for "modern design principles" play tiple A shooters and not some low budget indie game.

    24. Missing avatar

      Reupel on

      I don't care about the engine change, but as everybody else has said: the demo captured the original's feel perfectly (mostly because of the original level design and the colour palette) The new trailer has nothing to do with system shock. And once again I have to add: shock is not shock without its original soundtrack (with updated instrumentation of course).

    25. Jouni Lahtinen on

      One thing I need to point out to folks blaming solely the engine for the style change; Most of the uniqueness of the Unity demo was achieved via shaders and texture filtering tricks - and you can do that with Unreal as well. It's just a matter of implementing all that - and I'm hoping that just hasn't been done yet.

      As the old geek saying goes; Engine does not a game make.

    26. Michael Hoffmann on

      Nice video, but what does it have to do with System Shock? If I wanted to play a generic shooter I could get dozens of them on Steam for a few bucks. This is not what I pledged for,

    27. shockedder

      Disappointed to see the change from the Kickstarter demoed engine to this new engine.

      What the video shows is something bland and uninteresting, a far cry from what I thought I backed.

      Hope you'll turn this around.

    28. Missing avatar

      Rob Gerhardt on

      You really shocked us.

      But I'm afraid that it hasn't been for the good.

      For me at least, using Unity was a sign that the game would be distinct among the sea of standard Unreal shooters, and I loved the art in the Unity version.

      What you've shown us in the latest video is a real bummer and a disappointment, as everything System Shock has vanished.

      I can live with the engine change (even though I think the reasons you give for it don't sound right to me), but why change everything you got backed for?

      I really hope we get the game we've been dreaming of, but I don't feel positive about the way the game aim has changed, specially on the art side.

    29. Remember Citadel on

      System Shock 1 did have versatile environments. If you look at the first level (Hospital), the color palette goes from aqua blue to a blackish violet to red, black and white. But to me itt's clear that the creative freedom of Looking Glass at that time was very limited back then in the mid 90s. 23 years later we no longer have these limitations in terms of how a game like System Shock can look.

      That said I am okay if the game looks different than it did. However the demo created a certain amount of expectation as to what to expect. The demo basically took the existing designs and transported them to a modern game engine. Although it was a rough and hastily put together patchwork of what to expect, it kind of worked. All the little details you'd see in the original System Shock were present. I went through the demo last night and spend almost 30 minutes with it, slowly walking through the corridors and taking it all in. And I loved it.

      If the environments of the latest trailer represent only a small portion of the game I'd be okay with that. As I said we're now in the 21st century and I am okay if things evolve. I am also okay if this is a multi-platform title. It's not like the development for various plattforms is as much as an issue as it was in the 90s. Game engines support multi-platform development, so why not use it? Nightdive after all strives, as every company does, for progress and growth. And targeting a large market gives them a chance to get their name out there and create some revenue. However it's sad to see the cool retro vibe the demo had (and don't tell me it didn't stand out from the mainstream), replaced by generic hallways, super dark environments and the often mentioned shiny surfaces. It now looks generic and I hope Otherside Entertainment has different things in mind for their upcoming System Shock 3. The demo after all was the reason for many to back this project and expectations are ultimately tied to it.

      Maybe it wasn't a wise move to do something entirely different than the demo for the latest video update. I would have loved to see the door at the end of the demo open and our protagonist advancing from there.

      To clear these issues up, I'd suggest Nightdive to do a Twitch Q&A to address some of the concerns people are having and to shed some light on the art direction for the game. If this is indeed medical, it looks like a complete re-design and a huge step in a different direction.

    30. Missing avatar

      David Brittain

      The game has definitely lost it's atmosphere. Where is the weird retro claustrophobic geometry the original demo had? All I see in the new trailer is endless generic sci-fi corridors with boxy uninteresting rooms. The lighting seems all wrong, it should emote a queer sense of starkness and a sense that something isn't quite right, All I see in the new demo is lots of dark patches with glaring red strobe lights everywhere. What was wrong with the harsh bright lights of the original demo? I think it added to the creepy sense that you can't escape Shodans surveillance of you.

      I'm hoping the combat is going to be better than what I saw, it just seems like random flailing rather than slow heavy precise strikes, you guys need to get the combat right as players are probably going to be doing a lot of it and what I see now is just disappointing.

      Where is the original HUD? I rather liked it and felt it added to the atmosphere, why is having a visible HUD in games a taboo now? Its a sci-fi game having a HUD in your vision is perfectly justified.

      All in all very disappointed, I really think you guys should look back at your original demo especially the lighting and level geometry.

    31. robert renstrom on

      The autism is strong in these comments.

    32. William Thomas on

      Engine change in itself is not an issue to me.

      The wording of you update stressing console support, that was disappointing - yes I know it was going to be multiplatform but before it felt like PC had Priority (they way it should). changes to the console version could be expected - but worded this way it sounds like a focus on console - which is very disappointing as that makes me expect a dumbed down game that will have minimal improvements to the PC version.

      "faithfull reboot" is concerning - but in itself we may be reading into it too much - I Hope...

      The trailer - Shodan seemed alright - but once I watched the action I was thinking if I saw this on Steam Greenlight I'd click "No Thanks / Not Interested" without a seconf thought. Somewhere in the transition it's lost its soul - hopefully this is just because it's an unfinished slice just to get the feel of the engine.

      BackerKit - It recognises my $75 level, but wants to charge an additional $20 in postage. I had messaged early on (last year) to confirm that postage was already thought of that I didn't need to add any. So holding off on completing that till I get a response to the new message I sent.

      I do hope this still turns out to be a great game - can't wait to see more that will show how epic this game can/will be.

    33. Missing avatar

      Gregory Neumann on

      Very disappointing pre-alpha footage you've got there... Sad to say, that "All Content Subject to Change" stamp is the best part of it!

      A definite step back in terms of content, even if it is a step forward in terms of engine. I should be thankful for the early disappointment, as I can avoid the embarrassment of mentioning this game to my friends until it looks better: atmosphere closer to the Unity demo (and System Shock itself!)

    34. Joey on

      I'd like to echo NeutralX2's comments on the new video vs. the original Unity demo. This feels like a bait and switch. I can only hope the new version is refined to match the old look and feel we all thought we were getting when we pulled out our wallets. Here's to keeping up hope!

    35. Dizzy Gear on

      I Like the idea of using Unreal engine. i think everything looks more crisp then before. However i think Melee still looks way too clunky. i feel the melee needs to be on par with Bioshock's (2007) pipe wrench.

    36. Flatfingers on

      To add to my previous comment:

      I'm not actually concerned with the engine change per se. Nor am I am grumpy about the visuals and the music for what is obviously an early trailer. These are concrete assets that can and will improve.

      What depresses me is the apparent hubris -- as though gaining control over the SS license somehow also conferred an ability to see Obvious Defects in the original game's design.

      The question I never see NightDive answer is "why?" You mention changes you've decided to make, but you never explain why you're making them.

      Why do you believe your vision of System Shock is better than that of Looking Glass's designers? Why change the levels? Why try to force this classic game to fit a Metroidvania aesthetic? Why do you believe the original would be improved by adding RPG mechanics? I like Chris Avellone's work, but why did the original text need to be changed? Why did it become important -- after the Kickstarter ended -- to chase more console gamers?

      In short, why does NightDive feel it's qualified to alter the original System Shock beyond the concrete assets that Warren Spector mentioned?

      As I've said before, I fully appreciate that nothing said here will change anything. You own SS; you get to do whatever you want with it. So there's no question that you *can* make all these changes to the game you originally announced (to great support) you were reviving.

      The question is why you think you *should* tamper with this game's design.

    37. jomino on

      I pretty much agree with everyone else, I was really digging the art and style direction that this game was going in when we first played the unity demo. But now the new engine and art looks bland and silly imo. If you want to use the Unreal engine, at least make it look and feel like the first version you guys showed off that many of us threw tons a money at your team to complete.

    38. Missing avatar

      Alex Soto on

      Where is the backerkit for the Kickstarter pledgers? This backerkit is only setup for the Slacker Backers. The Artbook is not even there either.

    39. Ravenknight on

      What the heck is with that music maintheme - you had something great and instead youve settled for a soulless piece of standardmusic that could have been ripped out of any standard FPS of the 2010s.

    40. Missing avatar

      Edy Garcia on

      Thanks for that video, but where's the System Shock preview? I just see yet another generic shooter there.

      The previous demo closely captured the essence of System Shock. This one isn't even close. "Barely inspired on SS" is the most I could say. I can only see a standard shooter based on Unreal's Shooter'o'Matic template.

      Definitely not even close to something I would pledge $1000 on :(

    41. Missing avatar

      NeutralX2 on

      Personally, I am fine with the change of engines, as a lot of people were having issues running the Unity demo they released for their Kickstarter campaign. It seems like a smart move. What I am less OK with is the change in art direction. The original art direction was basically a modern take on the original low resolution art, and I thought it looked pretty dope. In fact, you guys made a pretty big deal about it on the campaign page, going so far as to point out:

      "We wanted the art of System Shock to be fresh and new while still remaining true to the aesthetics of the 1994 classic. We’ve maintained much of the original look, while accentuating it beautifully by an array of modern rendering features such as Physically Based Rendering (PBR), screen-space reflections, real-time global illumination, ambient occlusion (HBAO), volumetric particles, and dynamic lighting."


      "Leading our conceptual efforts is Robb Waters, the original concept artist from System Shock, the BioShock series, Thief, and Freedom Force. He’s been tasked with revisiting his work from 1994 and re-imagining it. It’s been very exciting seeing his designs evolve through the process."

      The game now looks like every other bland sci-fi horror game, of which there are many. It has lost its unique visual identity that looked cool and made the game stand out from across the room. Disappointing to say the least. This is one of the significant downsides to Kickstarter. People can pitch games on there, have the community give them money based on what was pitched, then change aspects of it rather drastically without any input from the community that gave them money or accountability to that community. I realize that in the end its the gameplay that really matters, and I will probably still enjoy playing this game, but at the moment I am pretty disappointed.

    42. Adrian Marshall on

      You sacrificed months of potential production time to switch engines, and as I expected, not for the better. How far along could this project have been if the game had simply stayed where it was and continued development in the same fashion? You completed a significant amount of work, and it's difficult to understand why you wouldn't simply scale the assets from Unity Units to Unreal Units in a 3D content creation package, bring over the UI, then release screenshots and footage previewing the difference in visual clarity. We are talking a difference of meters and centimeters here. Among other things, I fail to see why a vertical slice was necessary, as the content we got to play and see during the Kickstarter was more or less exactly that. Aside from a few minor gripes, it was exactly what most Shock fans have wanted out of a remake. What you are showing us, for all intents and purposes, is absolutely a step backwards.

    43. Steve Tuns on

      Just feels like your trying to make a console game that's going to be ported to PC, That is NOT the way you want to go... If that isn't your intent then you need to make some sort of announcement, assuring people that's not what you had mainly planned, because at the moment you have A LOT of angry, confused and disheartened backers on your hands...

    44. Missing avatar

      Matti Peltoniemi on

      Nightdive Studios, your backerkit is hardly working. Pledges aren't showing up,there's not any kind of login, and like I mentioned before, where is the art book option that people paid extra for?

      On another note, if you want to stop this growing tide of dissatisfied backers, real fast, I suggest you remake original Unity demo in Unreal demo and make it as faithful to the Unity as possible. It would put a lot of people's minds at ease.

    45. nnn on

      I really want to wish this team the best, but this is a serious bait and switch to everyone expecting System Shock 1. They promised a faithful rebirth, put out a great playable demo that sold me on it, and the project page still quotes Warren Spector saying, “I’ve long said that if you updated the graphics, sound, and UI on System Shock you’d have something that directly competes with any game on the market.”

      That quote really sums it up. The own the blueprint to a classic. But instead of 90's neon cyberpunk and revisiting Citadel, we're getting...?

      I hope Nightdive releases more media soon, because this disheartening.

    46. Missing avatar

      Tom Shannon on

      I loved the original demo's style and was really looking forward to more. As of now, I don't care for the Unreal look.

    47. Missing avatar

      Matti Peltoniemi on

      Where's the artbook that was promised to come as 20$ option when backerkit came up? I pledged extra 20$ because of that. If it's not happening, I'd like my 20 back, thanks.

    48. Missing avatar

      Sebastian Koch on

      Have to agree with those who´re disappointed with the new art style. I never even played the original System Shock, but really loved the distinctive look of the Kickstarter Demo. This looks like dozen other bland sci fi FPSs though.

    49. Missing avatar

      David G Brown on

      I thought the engine switch might happen for the reasons stated. I see more then a few aren't to happy with loss of the non-compressed/processed textures from the Unity demo. I wasn't really sold on that, it was just how it was implemented. It just didn't seem like it was fitting to me...

      My thing right now I'm not on board with the Theme music. Its doesn't seem thematically right. System Shock soundtrack was known from its hard techno/synth. I've listened to the new theme a number of times, its not where it should be to be in System Shock. There is some very subtle synth and computer sounds at the beginning but 3/4 in i keep hearing the score from Fallout 4. The piano in the track is changeling a good space vibe but is this what System Shock is? System Shock to me has always been cyberpunk, techno/synth.

    50. Remember Citadel on

      Oh how much did I love the original pixel-look of the first unity demo. Glorious. Unique. System Shocky. Gonna play the demo again, just to get a glimpse of that feeling back. After watching the latest trailer 3-4 additional times I must say this isn't it folks. The soundscape lacks system shock and so do the looks. Although this is just a proof of concept in my understanding and things might change and look different in other areas of the station, this is not what I want the entire game to look and feel like. Not at all.