by Nightdive Studios
Not too happy with what I am hearing. My favorite games of all time are Deus ex and system shock. Considering that I still heavily play a lot of SP games this is very telling. Games with interesting rpg systems, many avenues of approaching things and juicy exploration. Modern design principles do not a good game make. I feel games have gotten progressively simpler, less interesting and less challenging. Less grenade types? I want more! Hearing you want to use the "progress" in gaming since SS1 makes me scared for this title. A lot of this so called progress is the exact opposite in my mind. I will not lose hope, but I remain sceptical until I see more.
Hey guys! Don't worry too much about the naysayers here - they're concerned because they love the game so much, and while you won't be able to please everybody, I'm confident you can make something that stays faithful to the original while expanding upon it in creative ways. For example, I loved the exploding liquid nitrogen barrel to freeze enemies, as well as the fact that level geometry looks much more natural now - ie, an actual layout for a space station.
Hey Guys, I have question about Backerkit: Why do I have to pay shipment twice when I want to add a T-shirt to my physical reward?
Sorry to ask this again, but what happened to the artbook promised as an extra reward redeemable on backerkit? And, as Andreas already asked, why do I have to pay shipment twice if I want to get a physical reward?
Thank you for alleviating my fears with this post. Rock on!
Things which should be improved from previous games quick item selection and inventory management, it was a problem for both games you need go inventory to change use items or weapon loadout specially in battle. I believe what original developers meant by "to many grenade types" you don't need different grenades for different types one grenade can change its type even player may add new types when new blueprint found or new skill aquired. Original developers knows better as they created the game . With new game engines and technology games have better game play even when you play on PC you can have 10 quick slots for items so have more items and weapons than 10 would be problem ,you can mod or hack some weapons to add new functions you don't need to add different items for that, also you don't need a different key for every action new engines allow you to use few key , action button helps you tackle obstacles ,take cover or search depending where you are in game world. Bioshock and Deus ex best games in sci-fi and they have better gameplay than System Shock because it was created long time ago. It's better to have a solid gameplay and easy controls, you can take time to play and use different tactics than struggle with controls and inventory. This game will be great if everything works fine. A classic rebooted.
The first game's interface was kinda of a mess and definetely need some polish, and I totally understand the reasons behind the art looking less refined since you switched to another engine mid-production, therefore you had to basically start anew save from the assets that can be converted.
On the other hand, tho, some of your claims raise some eyebrows, and for good reasons. The whole "we are converting it to consoles to allow other people to play isn't true. You are doing it for business reasons, being the console market a large and profitable one, which is something perfectly fine, as long as it doesn't mess with the game interface to accomodate an hybrid solution that would make the PC experience less good do to compromises. Just go the Dragon Age Origins route, where the interface was clearly meant for PCs and they made somehow of a decent adjustment for consoles. They didn't mess up with the controls because they wanted it to be good on both systems, resulting in the minimum common denominator, which is a thing lots of games do (**COUGH**COUGH**Bioshock**COUGH**COUGH).
About the comments from LGS and "ignore 20 years of progress", those genuinely worry me.
I think that too many developers nowadays don't get what even THEIR OWN old games had that made them so good, and that's technical limitations.
There's a reason Jack White used to play old, untuned guitars and formed a Rock Band with a drummer that lacked any formal knowledge of the instrument, and that's because he knew that working with challenges would help him make something truly special.
As strange as it sounds, it has been proven again and again and again that, when artists that made somehting truly great in the past gain acccess to new technology to create something more close to their original vision, the result is weaker than what they made when constrained by limits.
Think Ridley Scott and Prometheus. Is it better than Alien? Is Chronicles of Riddick better than Pitch Black?
It happens with gamest too. Kickstarter backers should know better than everyone else. Too many "spiritual successors" turned out meh. Were LGS tasked to do the same thing today with new technology, chances are that the game would be worse, not better.
I'm not suggesting you to avoid adding improvements to the game, but remember that most of what you define in terms of "advancements" in level design, inventory handling and gameplay that came out in the last 20 years is actually a step back, not a progress.
Just adress what you genuinely feel were actually bad design choices at the time, and don't try too hard to please new players, because, you know what? If you take a look at all the Kickstarted game that tried doing that, you'll see a lot of failures and a lot of ruined reputations.
There's a reason Inafune's second Kickstarter attempt was a total failure. Do not ruin your reputation following the same missteps. Stay true to what you promised to backers, which is a FAITHFUL adaptation of the game, not a "faithful" adaptation.
Uhm...and sorry for all the mistypes, I didn't proof-read it before posting my comment.
The one thing that me and my wife were at odds about with the video from last week was that collision and combat don't seem like they're all together there yet. We both understand that the game is still pre-alpha and lots of work is still needed but one thing that would be nice would be a more savage animation type to the enemies. Something that makes them appear terrifying just from how they move. I remember when I first played Fallout 4 one of the things that stood out to me the most and made me like the game was the way feral ghouls lunged at you and attacked with reckless abandon. The video didn't really give us the best look at what these monsters will do to the player in retaliation (they kind of just stood there and got their heads caved in the whole video) but I'm sure the final project will be a massive improvement. Love your work so far! Can't wait to play the final product!
P.S. And, I must agree, the music, the atmosphere, the animations, movements, fog and lightining effect, etc. from the 1st trailer were MILES ahead of the last video. As I wrote, I get that you didn't delve into the artistic rendering, but you will eventually. And if you can't recreate the same feeling with UE4, you may as well ditch it and go back to Unity, because otherwise it would only hurt your public image.
Level design definitely doesn't feel like it's improved over the years, quite the opposite, so I'm eager to see what "modern level design principles for pacing and exploration" means exactly. When I hear something like that I think "corridor shooter" for the most part. I know you wouldn't stoop that low so looking forward to elaboration.
"...but we also don’t want to ignore the last 20 years of progress level design has made."
I wouldn't call ALL of the last 20 years progress... I wouldn't even call HALF of it progress.
Personally when I backed this project I was hoping for something similar to what Black Mesa for Half-Life is.
Too many artistic liberties taken will lead to a totally different game- which is not what I signed up for.
I'll be keeping my fingers crossed... after all this can't be as bad as the 2014 reboot of Thief... or can it?
As far as the technicalities and designs etc, that are involved in making a "modern" game go...well, I'll leave that to those that know about these things. Personally, for a 65-year old Granddad who played this great game all those years ago (when I had all my original teeth and a "shock" of non-grey hair!) I find myself getting excited again...a prospect us silver-surfers sometimes forget....every time I read something new about the process. If this "reboot" is only 50% as good as the original (Unity\Unreal notwithstanding) then I, for one, will consider my money well spent.
Unreal is a very strong engine and it was used for many great games before unity, I like unity but with UE4 they can create a great remake of System Shock Unreal engine is easier to customize that's probably why most developers choose it
Wow, I missed all the controversy. Now that I've seen the video, I can comment.
It looks great, sounds great and SHODAN is creepy as hell. I'm really looking forward to playing this game.
I hope that the HUD you come up with is user-configurable - that was one of the things I really liked about System Shock.
Nice work, keep it up.
I want Jon's rig.
Well I'm a little surprised that people needed to be explained that the video was a proof of concept with the Unreal and not the a actual game.
Glad to hear that the music isn't there yet, the one in the video just sounded out of place for the game to me.
I'm hoping to see what they do with hacking. I hope that its close to the original and not simplified to death.
I trust the developers and I know that this early look was just a way to say "hey, we didn't waste a ton of time switching engines!", but I guess that they are now aware that some people are very sensitive about this. We've seen great series ruined before, but in most cases they were owned by people who didn't love them in the first place. I think System Shock is safe in their hands.
I don't think there's a lot of people here thinking "I loved System Shock mostly because of all the grenades!", but I know that some people are still touchy with what happened with Deus Ex: Invisible War. "The melee combat doesn't look good to me." Yeah, but you'll only be depending on that crowbar until you get your first gun, right? Even if the melee combat was that bad (and it won't: remember the demo), just relax: the game will be more than a sum of its parts.
Also, a closed beta is planned before the release. If something was *really* wrong with the game, you'll hear about it before the game is released, and hopefully it will be fixed.
Personally I'd recommend not worrying to much about making all of your backers happy all the time. Since there are often going to be people on both sides of a lot of these discussions, trying to make everyone happy all the time isn't a very realistic goal.
I would just focus on on the design/art direction that you discussed above, and not worry about defending every little decision that you've made.
Also, I loved the Shodan recording, very excited that Terry is part of this project. Keep up the great work!
Any word on when the art book will be added to the backer kit?
"Personally I'd recommend not worrying to much about making all of your backers happy all the time. Since there are often going to be people on both sides of a lot of these discussions, trying to make everyone happy all the time isn't a very realistic goal."
This. I wouldn't want to miss more cool early looks like the Unreal Engine video because some fans overreacted!
If I remember correctly we have been talking about a classic mode with all the old school gameplay without skill tree etc. It's glued to my mind that you said there will be an old school mode. I hope I remembered this correctly. If I am wrong I hope you consider to add this mode. I would like to play the game comparing both modes.
What I'm interested to know is if there will be a paper manual. You know, the manual? The thing that games used to come with that shared interesting little tidbits about the background and lore of the game in addition to being an overview of the controls? The cool paper thing inside the case that literate people glanced and and smirked as they thumbed through?
I miss manuals...
I have to echo Matteo on one point: sometimes the original creators of works aren't the ones who best understand what made the originals successful/compelling/etc. I mean no disrespect to the original SS1 team (quite the contrary, I have a huge amount of respect for them), but this phenomenon has been seen over and over in many different media. Sometimes reboots are better handled by super fans of the original than the original creators. I'm not saying you shouldn't be taking advice/feedback from the LGS vets, just keep this in mind.
Personally I think the original SS1 was a bit of a mess in terms of controls and interface. What I love about the original is the variety of options and depth of gameplay, not necessarily how it controlled or how the interface worked. I think that updating the game could be a positive thing, but only if you don't compromise on the best elements of the original (first and foremost, the depth of gameplay) when you update the controls and systems. Clearly people here are concerned about the idea of the game being "dumbed down" or compromised, and I share that concern. Hopefully future updates will clarify how you are retaining the complexity/depth of the original game and put our minds at ease.
@OldManGrim: "Personally when I backed this project I was hoping for something similar to what Black Mesa for Half-Life is."
Black Mesa took liberties with the original source material as well. Some content was improved from the original, some was cut outright. It respected the original game, but also recognized the parts that needed to change (the upcoming Xen section being the biggest change of all).
System Shock has room for improvement and refinement. I'm sure we'll recognize the core experience from the original, but we have to accept that some things need to be changed.
@Charlie4077, all tiers $25 or more appear to have the Digital Tri-Optimum Handbook. From early descriptions, this should be the manual you speak of (I envision it like Claw Marks from Wing Commander or something similar). The Big Box Collector's Edition (and higher) also have a physical Tri-Optimum Handbook. I don't see the physical version as an addon on BackerKit, but if there's enough demand, who knows - they might add it.
@Zack @Kitarraman @Matti Peltoniemi, according to stuff I've seen on Discord, Art Book is still coming - no idea when tho'.
Left my rather lengthy feedback here in two parts. =oP http://forums.nightdivestudios.com/index.php…
"We’re not going to dumb things down, but we also don’t want to ignore the last 20 years of progress level design has made. "
Well, if you look at all "modern" game design, all of them are corridors with little choice. all of them take you back to the start of the "map" for "convenience" and that is something I hate with all my heart. I want levels to feel like level, not holding my hand an telling me where to go next in the most obvious way., I want to think, to explore, to find my way out, like in the first system shock. To find hidden routes, o multiple ways to achieve my goals.
Don´t simplify the game, work over what you have and improve it, its not the same thing.
" The music isn't "synthy" enough. "
What you have shown us in the trailer is not synth, in the sense of what it means in a system shock vive. I want punch, i want beats, i want catchy music.
here you have the original music, to refresh your minds https://www.youtube.com/watch…
And about Shodans voice, well I think you overdid with the effect applied to her.
I baked for a remake of the original game not a re-imagine of "what it could have been with modern standars". That group of word means a lot of negative things in this days.
The demo and all the things you tell us in the campaign pointed in that way, don't lose your original goal.
I echo the level design sentiment. Dont make convenient shortcuts to in every level (remember skyrim ugh...). Make interesting to navigate places. Use signs to show where things are, like in real life. And definately reward exploration. Again ill use skyrim as example: exploring a dungeon for hours, finding an hidden chest and be rewarded with the steel sword of shock that you already found a hundred times before. This might be modern game design but It totally killed this game for me. No point in exploring the nice looking world.
Thanks Jason, great FAQ.
What you said is exactly what I would hope to read, and what you describe sounds like it should be better than SS1 to me (its one of the best games of all time, but it wasnt perfect, and weve learnt a lot about game design in the last 20 years). Im hopeful that you will soon(er or later) release another playable vertical slice like the unity demo in the unreal engine, showcasing the vision you describe so the concerns raised from the unreal trailer, and addressed by your FAQ can be eliminated and we can all go back to being incredibly excited by this project!
+1 Glenn McMath:
"Personally I think the original SS1 was a bit of a mess in terms of controls and interface. What I love about the original is the variety of options and depth of gameplay, not necessarily how it controlled or how the interface worked. I think that updating the game could be a positive thing, but only if you don't compromise on the best elements of the original (first and foremost, the depth of gameplay) when you update the controls and systems. Clearly people here are concerned about the idea of the game being "dumbed down" or compromised, and I share that concern. Hopefully future updates will clarify how you are retaining the complexity/depth of the original game and put our minds at ease."
+1 Necdet Orkun Osken (inventory, controls)
I don't know. I feel like every time NDS try to address our concerns they get worse. I also don't want to bash people's work and their efforts.
They always say that they need to change aspects of the game while my point is that there are little to no aspects of the game that need to be changed.
The game is excellent still for today's standards. I can understand there could be something to ADD to SS1 but not, as I said, something to be changed, replaced, modernized.
Your meaning of innovation may be very different from the one of us gamers.
I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out how froze and shatter enemies can be considered "innovation", "a concept unheard of".
What can be good in "get combat feeling more reactive and systems" unless you are trying to make a run & gun or a twitch shooter?
"Levels will harken back to the original game thematically, but the layout will see a pretty big change to apply modern level design principles for pacing and exploration".
What's so good in modern level making? What's so good in corridors-like levels?
I think that there is room to EXPAND by ADDING to the excellent base of System Shock.
That I can see it as an improvement. On the contrary changing, modernizing it by looking at modern games is simply wrong especially when 90% of them are several steps back from SS1.
@Judicator I honestly think one of the biggest issues SS1 had was the level design; It felt less like a space station more like a Wolfenstein maze. Seriously, take a look at one SS1 maps and ask yourself; Does this make any sense?
Also; SS1 was released before DOOM, so in perspective the phrase 'modern level design' includes everything from DOOM and Half-Life to BioShock and System Shock 2; It doesn't mean 'this will be a corridor shooter'.
Remember, the Kickstarter pitch DID specifically state all these changes were being made. It never said 'this is a carbon copy with pretty graphics'.
@Jouni Lahtinen System Shock released after Doom (and Doom 2). Doom's levels, fwiw, are incredibly abstract and don't actually make sense from a "logical" perspective.
I don't really think the level design in SS was too abstract (outside of Systems Engineering :O) when you take into account the limited space available on a circular space station and the need to cram a ton of stuff into it. The main problem that I had was that the limited textures and geometry made it so that every hallway looked the same and made it hard to figure out where you were without constantly checking the map.
I think that for many people the Metroidvania level design is the main draw of the game (and is arguably the only thing it holds over the sequel). My dream for this is that they stick to that style of level design (even if they change the actual layout), but until they clarify what they mean it's pretty easy to come to the conclusion that they're aiming for the Half Life/Bioshock school of "Linear shooter with faux-exploration and dead ends."
Still haven't gotten BackerKit survey, still get "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."
So when will the invitation to BackerKit come?
I don't want "crisper visuals" I wanted matte, pixelated, graphics like the original video this Kickstarter was based on showed. The only reason I backed this Kickstarter was due to the style of that original video.
I received my backerkit email with no issues. But sometimes they get lost. You can search fro the project and request a lost survey here. https://www.backerkit.com/are_you_a_backer
Yes, when I use the lost survey field, I get "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."
Two weeks after this update was posted where "you should receive your survey within the next 48 hours if you haven’t yet already".
Same here. "We found a survey for [firstname.lastname@example.org], but the project did not send your survey yet. You will receive an email as soon as the project is ready."
With all due respect, folks, do get your act together!
I emailed via the BackerKit FAQ page support request and just got back a generic response from BK, not Nightdive
"Thanks for writing in, and my apologies for the troubles. The reason you haven't received your survey is that it's not ready yet. Once it's ready, you will receive a link to it.
I hope this helps. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions."
Also, I notice on the BK slacker site, that the art book is $35, but they only had us add $25 during the KS campaign. Seems like all pledges are more expensive there, though, so hopefully it's $25 once I actually get my survey/ability to pick addons. Can anyone who already got their email confirm?
Guess I can't edit, but I received a twitter response from Nightdive that they're still working with BackerKit on the missing surveys, and the art book is indeed cheaper for original KS backers.
Says "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" for me as well. :(
@Thrakker @everyone I just checked the backer site again to verify. For kickstarter backers the art book is 20 dollars and the shipping has been adjusted to 13 dollars for the book. The 35 dollars is for late backers. I do not know what the adjusted shipping is for the shirts and lighter items. I hope Nightdive fixes the issues with the missing backer surveys so everyone gets their pledges in order. This also hurts the post kick starter funding and some of those extra stretch goals being released. :(
The most important thing you have to do is make certain that Citadel Station feels like a real place, rather than a set of corridors or some kind of space dungeon. It's a real facility, the rooms exist for a reason, and the player just happens to be stuck there. Please avoid monster closets, obviously pointless corridors, and locations which obviously have no function. If you want to get really fancy, then we need plenty of bathrooms, living quarters, and places to eat food. The most you make our subconscious believe it's a facility, the better.
Citadel Station is a space station, not a collection of levels.
Why I can't change my pledge in BackerKit? During the campaign I ask for this and you said that it possible. Now I can't. Additionally, in backerKit didn't see the same collecor's edditon, so I lost my chance. I have the same option which have users whou didn't come to campaign. I'm disapointed.
From where will the packages be sent? From Europe? It's important for me.
I'm interested in a couple t-shirts, but how do I know what size I need? Is there a measurement chart somewhere?
Does anyone know when the beta access is supposed to start??
UE4 has garbage performance on both AMD CPUs and AMD GPUs. I want to know what you're doing about this problem, which is *inherent* to UE4.
I'm disappointed that you aren't keeping true to the demo you released. I first tried playing the original System Shock after having played System Shock 2, and found the interface frustrating. When you announced your kickstarter I downloaded the demo and was pleased at how faithful it seemed to be to the original.
That demo led me to believe two things:
1) It led me to believe you were mostly doing a remaster of the original (perhaps with stretch goals you'd add a new level of your own or other optional features so that those who wanted a 'pristine' experience could ignore them).
2) It led me to believe in your schedule and budget - because you had removed a lot of the risk for kickstarter backers both by providing a demo of what you would do and by not having to prototype and design everything.
I certainly hope that you deliver a great game on time, but I was very interested in the game demo I played, and I'm sad that that isn't where it's going.
As for deciding to this because you want to add things the original devs wanted - some directors' cuts are improvements on the movie, some are not, but many people want to see the original movie, even in the cases where others agree the directors' cuts are improvements.