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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. Missing avatar

      Mirko Sainz on

      Awesome decision! Imo Unity is oookay but UE4 is far better. Not just the visuals but also the hardware requirements. Tbh I was hoping for this announcement. Thumbs up. Interesting that you considered Lumberyard too but Crytek engines have never been a good for consoles. Not enough optimization.

    2. Xi The 11th Weapon

      Small "Missed opportunity" at the end of the trailer yiu could have had the B In backer "Corrupt" into a H for "hacker"

    3. Adam Fairbrother on

      Oh good, Unreal engine now. Well bye bye to the Linux port I guess.

    4. Missing avatar

      Shmerl on

      Switch to Unreal sounds good, but as long as it doesn't impact the Linux version negatively. For instance, Everspace struggle to release the Linux version until now, and they are bugged by shader translation issues in Unreal. Did you encounter anything of the sort?

      Also, do you plan to release the updated demo using Unreal engine? And it woud be interesting, if you could use Vulkan in UE, though some features there like proper Linux support for Vulkan, deferred rendering and SM5 engine features for it are still WIP, but they should arrive this year.

    5. Craig Dinwoodie on

      Just watched the video, and IMHO, it looks much better. I think it's a great new direction. One of the biggest complaints I had about the Unity engine (but kept it to myself) was that everything just seemed way too shiny/glossy. It never felt quite right playing through the demo. Getting things more muted and matte fits the overall atmosphere better. Speaking of, are we going to be getting access to a demo in the new engine after a bit?

    6. Matthew Coussell on

      It looks absolutely incredible, very well done! Will the engine change mean more potential with regards to AI complexity and behaviour?

    7. Jordan Joestar on

      The demo with Unity was really nice.
      I'm not disappointed but what I saw with Unity was good.
      Chance the engine is good? Or is a bad idea? We will see.

    8. João Eiras on

      Unreal Engine, great choice !

    9. Missing avatar

      Jaramide on

      Looks like I'm in the minority here but looking at the old pre-alpha demo and this video side by side I really don't like the change to Unreal 4.
      The Unreal engine makes everything look like plastic and well, for lack of a better word, Unreal. As in not really there, where the old demo in Unity had a more gritty and physical feeling to it.
      Oh well, as I said, I'm in the minority but I can't help but feel dissapointed with this change.

    10. Daniel Liu

      I am assuming that there will be a BackerKit invite forthcoming?

    11. Fiel Veredus on

      Unreal4 version looks really nice. Thank you for the team effort to listen and shift the engine early. :)

    12. Andrew Gibbons on

      Unreal is definitely solid choice, great graphics engine, also VR support is aparently excellent.

    13. Nevertheless on

      Thanks! Video looks great by the way!

    14. Missing avatar

      Adam Eberbach on

      If you can add console support without impacting Linux and Mac release, and without dumbing down the control scheme to cater for console I salute you. But you might enter the history of gaming as the first to do so. Great intentions but it's really hard not to be skeptical.

    15. Jason Fader Collaborator on

      Hey everyone, I'll try to answer some questions real quick before I pass out (this was A LOT of work recently).

      Mac/Linux support is not in question at all. If you go to you'll see the Linux and OSX icon happily next to the other platforms. Still planning a simultaneous launch.

      Can't answer much about Turok stuff. That's a different team, but you can post on the Nightdive Turok forums for an answer from them.

    16. Nevertheless on

      Will the engine change have any influence on Linux support ? And now that I got you answering questions. Does Turok 2 support Linux ? :-)

    17. Missing avatar

      Kurt Kohle on

      Unreal footage! ;) ;)

      For real though, the engine looks much better than Unity. Can't wait to see how it progresses.

    18. Spellbind Studios on

      And now the status of Mac support is ......

    19. Bryan Kwiatkowski on

      This looks AMAZING!!!!

    20. Missing avatar

      sergk on

      Console ports are important, but should we be concerned about the Linux port now? Lots of backers did support this complain specifically for SteamOS/Linux.

    21. Scolex on

      Promising! Any idea when beta's coming?

    22. Peter Eriksson on

      Please don't pitch her voice to high so she's sounds like a smurf

    23. EduB on

      Oh, shiny frozen things...