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Original 'System Shock' Code Open Sourced, More Updates Promised (kickstarter.com) 39

"The folks at Nightdive Studios this week released the source code for a Mac version of Looking Glass Studios' 1994 classic System Shock," reports Gamasutra. Friday the game's new owners unveiled on GitHub "the original, unaltered source code that was discovered by OtherSide Entertainment and graciously shared with us a few months ago... We have been hard at work updating this code and plan to release a new version of System Shock: Enhanced Edition as well as the code in the near future." We've gone back to the original vision we shared with you at the start of our Kickstarter campaign -- this time with more reliable performance and higher fidelity visuals thanks to the Unreal Engine... We have been able to re-use the majority of work we've done over the past year and we're making significant progress in a very short amount of time. With that said we'll be inviting our highest tier backers to privately test the game beginning in September at which point we estimate that the game will be fully playable, from start to finish. The majority of the art won't be finished, but we'll be ready to start high-level testing.
Going forward there's even a Twitch component. "In an effort to remain transparent throughout development we're going to begin streaming on a regular basis and inviting the backers to join us." And the audio department has also revealed some of the music from the medical deck.

After their Kickstarter was funded, Nightdive had explored making a "bigger, better game" after receiving a verbal commitment from a game publisher, but then "were left high and dry after making crucial, consequential changes in staff and scope... We still have the funds necessary to complete the game, but the timeline will inevitably move back with our shift in direction..."

"This will be closer to a 1:1 remake with updates to the weapon/character designs but without altering the core gameplay of the original."
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Original 'System Shock' Code Open Sourced, More Updates Promised

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  • "After their Kickstarter was funded, Nightdive had explored making a "bigger, better game" after receiving a verbal commitment from a game publisher, but then "were left high and dry after making crucial, consequential changes in staff and scope..."

    Holy cow has nobody learned their lesson about Kickstarter?

    1. MAKE THE THING YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO MAKE.
    2. DO THE EXTRA STUFF.

    People seem to always skip to step 2 and never manage to hit step 1.

    • Holy cow has nobody learned their lesson about Kickstarter?

      1. MAKE THE THING YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO MAKE. 2. DO THE EXTRA STUFF.

      People seem to always skip to step 2 and never manage to hit step 1.

      While we're discussing teachable moments, let's touch on "making crucial, consequential changes in staff and scope" based on "a verbal commitment".

      • While we're discussing teachable moments, let's touch on "making crucial, consequential changes in staff and scope" based on "a verbal commitment".

        It's the other way around. They were trying to do more and more based on the strength of the verbal commitments they had, and when they realized that their development staff were going hog wild with that extra stuff, that's when they made the "crucial" and "consequential changes in staff and scope" in order to rein it in and bring it back on track.

        From a Februar [kickstarter.com]

      • The problem is that for some reason investors don't like a kickstarter campaign that surpasses the goal and then delivers the product with no fuss. That was my experience anyway. I was told "Well, then anyone who wanted one already got one and there's no point in entering production on a larger scale".
  • by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @10:41PM (#56399957)
    Shamus Young did an excellent writeup of how this Kickstarter project has probably destroyed any future hope of a reboot/remake:
    https://shamusyoung.com/twenty... [shamusyoung.com]

    TL;DR - In the pitching/fundraising stage the demo appeared to demonstrate a clear, plausibly attainable vision of what a System Shock remake should be.

    Then, well into development, the vision inexplicably changed from a faithful remake to a soulless clone of every other AAA shooter, with time wasted on cutting edge graphics (engine change from Unity to Unreal) and features (like a gun to freeze and shatter enemies, something that wasn't even in System Shock). They were also producing lots of high-quality concept art (again, well into development).

    From the available evidence, Young suspects they were trying to attract a "savior" publisher to fund the project, instead of delivering on the Kickstarter goal of an earnest remake. But as he points out, there isn't enough of a fanbase for System Shock to be a AAA game:

    If you spend fifty million dollars making System Shock then you’ll never get a return on your investment. This game is only viable as a low / mid budget title, and Nightdive has made it clear they’re not interested in making that sort of game, even if they somehow got another infusion of cash.

    So the only hope was the modest budget title which these guys promised they were going to do, and then they essentially betrayed the backers.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Then he should be pleased that they have gone back to the original design they had for the remake.

      https://www.kickstarter.com/pr... [kickstarter.com]

      Hell, having them release the source code for the original game was worth the price of admission alone.

    • Simple solution: rename it Duke Nukem 3D. There was a freezing gun in it!

  • System Shock 3 needs to be good!

  • I picked it up from Google about a month ago. Once I figured out the controls, I was immersed.

    Seriously a very addictive game. How did I miss this?

    Yeah the graphics are dated and what amazed me in design of the space station has begun to irritate me.

    Still a great game. Speaking to my whole afternoon trying to begin the reactor self destruct. Well worth a playthrough!

    • Next you need to play through System Shock 2, it's even better.

      • by Vreejack ( 68778 )

        I didn't like it at first, but after letting it sit in my desk drawer for a year I tried it out again and loved it. Especially the tribute level, that made my skin crawl.

        • The co-op is kinda dodgy to get working, but if you can get it up and running with 2-3 friends it's one of the best co-op experiences I've ever had.

          There's also some mods that improve the graphics somewhat.

    • by Destoo ( 530123 )

      1994 was a great year for new 3d games.
      The game came out the same month as Doom 2.
      There were also Descent, Under a Killing Moon and Magic Carpet that were released that year.

      Lots of opportunities to miss that one but if you were an Origin fan at all, you could not miss System Shock.

  • I fondly remember the original game. It showed how a rich narrative could be realised with a FPS engine. And what a great story it was!
    A remake with modern graphics without touching the story is perfectly sufficient.
    • by Vreejack ( 68778 )

      I always wanted to do a story re-write that would incorporate scripted NPCs as in Half Life. As it is there is just you, alone, finding bits and pieces of old recorded emails. Finding actual, living survivors would add a huge dimension to the game.

  • Interesting choice. GitHub apparently doesn't recognize \R line endings, which is understandable, considering \R line endings are brain damaged. At the end of each line, let's direct the cursor to the beginning of the line! Not to the next line. To the beginning of the current line. Think different! Really brings back memories. The last time I compiled Mac OS classic sources was 19 years ago, when "mac weenies" had currency, and hockey-puck mice were a thing. Cooperative multitasking in the gulag, ZIP drive

  • Else you're going to produce a disaster.

    First, System Shock (the first) was a nightmare to control. The controls were stiff, very clunky and a far cry from today's expected fluid and responsive controls. They were closer to Wolfenstein 3D than Quake Arena, if that makes sense. Because it WAS closer to W3D than QA. We're talking about a game that was released close to Doom.

    Even if you remade SS2 you'd be going for disaster. Because what made those games unique back then is old today.

    System Shock was one of t

    • You seem to be very unfamiliar with the point of a remaster of a game.

      1. A remaster of a game updates the controls and graphics to modern standards.
      2. People want to play the original game, with the original gameplay and story, with modern graphics and controls. Bugs and rough edges can be fixed and smoothed out.

      If you don't want #2, then there are PLENTY of other games out there for you. If you want #2, then this is the ONLY way you can get it.

  • I have it in my arcade retropie https://retropie.org.uk/ [retropie.org.uk] system, perfectly working under Dosbox, available after a launch time of a few seconds... nothing beats playing the original

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