System Shock

Created by Nightdive Studios

System Shock is a complete remake of the genre defining classic from 1994 built by a team of industry veterans. Remember Citadel.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Common Questions and Patch #1 Preview
over 2 years ago – Thu, Jul 07, 2016 at 12:55:57 AM

Happy 4th of July!  Jason here again.  What an amazing week this has been!  Thank you all so much for your continued support.  Once again, you folks are great! :-D 

As most of you have seen, the volume of feedback we’ve been getting has been HUGE. We’ve all been reading through a lot of your questions and concerns, and we’re doing our best to keep up with all of it. In case we missed your question or comment, please go to our Reddit forums and post there if someone hasn’t already asked your question. That’s the best place for us to organize and respond to feedback right now:   https://www.reddit.com/r/systemshock/

Common Questions

Before getting into patch stuff, I’d like to quickly answer the biggest questions I’ve been seeing:

  • Pixelated / low-res textures - In the current demo, some textures look “pixelated” up close. This actually has nothing to do with their texture resolution. Before video cards became commonplace in the late 90s, textures did not get filtered. We’re doing the same thing to have a bit of a retro touch. In the next demo update, we’ve switched from no filtering to trilinear. Some screenshots are below in the patch preview section
  • Orchestral vs. electronic music - We’re going to have an audio update written by Jonathan, our audio engineer and composer, to go over this stuff in more detail some time this week. Until then, the short answer is that the final score will definitely be more cyberpunk than just straight orchestral. Also, the full orchestra stretch goal will not change the music style. It will make all orchestral elements crisper while maintaining the electronic pieces.
  • Story / plot changes - We won’t be deviating from the main story or plot from the original. We will be rewriting most of the text (well, when I say “we”, I actually mean my good friend, Mr. Chris Avellone). The overall story will be the same, but we might change some details/wording here and there for the sake of consistency and pacing.
  • RPG elements - We understand this is a pretty vague term and has been confusing to backers. The original System Shock was ahead of its time and introduced a lot of new elements to gaming. We want to preserve that innovation and present a game we feel modern gamers will enjoy. Our goal is to have the gameplay somewhere between System Shock 1 and System Shock 2, with sprinkles of BioShock on top (rich melee attacks and ranged weapons, vending machines, upgrades, and damage types). If there’s enough of a demand, we’ll add a “Classic Mode” to one of the stretch goals that disables all RPG stuff as an option.
  • Engine - Our pre-alpha demo is in Unity, and that is the technology the team has been using for the past several months. However, we are familiar with other engines and are open to exploring options that make sense. Changing engines during a project is a pretty big risk and not a choice to be taken lightly. At the end of the day, we will use the technology we feel is best suited to deliver the highest quality game with the resources we have.

Pre-Alpha Demo Patch #1 Preview

In a few days, we’ll have a patch out for the demo. Here are some things you can expect:

Trilinear-filtered textures

As mentioned above, the current version of the demo is using point-filtered textures. In the next patch, we’ve switched this over to trilinear to see what our backers think. Here are some before/after shots:

Before
Before
After
After

 Here's an album with higher-res images and more comparisons.

Grenades and items

All consumable items should be usable in the next patch. The item that looks the most interesting to use is the grenade :-D

Animated gif of grenades
Animated gif of grenades

We’ve also improved the responsiveness and feel of melee combat.

On top of that, we have lots of fixes and some performance improvements. We’re hoping to get the patch out within a few days. Once it’s out, we’ll post another update with some patch notes.

Kickstarter Launch Party

Stephen, Corey, and several other members of the team in the Portland area threw a Kickstarter Launch Party with our fans.  They had the demo on a huge projector and even had a fan drawing contest!  Here are some photos from the event.

I think that’s it for now! Let us know what you think about things. We’re always looking for feedback and want to make the best System Shock game for you folks! :-)

 - Jason

Giveaway and Audio Update
over 2 years ago – Thu, Jul 07, 2016 at 12:54:56 AM

System Shock Kickstarter Giveaway

We are currently holding a giveaway/raffle for an awesome System Shock Limited Edition Screen Print Poster & T-Shirt. It runs until the end of the Kickstarter, and you can even do things every day during the raffle to keep entering. And by entering more times, you’re helping us to spread the word to continue to make this game awesome!

To enter, please click here. [Facebook link]

Limited Edition Screen Print Poster
Limited Edition Screen Print Poster

 

System Shock "Insect" T-Shirt
System Shock "Insect" T-Shirt

System Shock Music & Sound Design plans

Hey everyone! I'm Jonathan Peros; I'm handling the audio efforts on System Shock. I've been working with Nightdive Studios on this demo since it started. The Shock games have always had some of the most immersive sounds for its time and it's been my job to make sure that our game hits the same benchmark of quality. 

Just so you guys know where we are coming from, I'd like to start by posting the "Purpose" section for the audio from our own internal audio design documents that we refer to when making decisions: 

The Shock series’ greatest strength was always the intense atmosphere present in the game; the isolation, the tension, even the outright horror. The purpose of the score of System Shock is, more than anything, to strengthen the immersion and atmosphere of the game. Secondary goals of the score are to structure the narrative and represent characters/environments, increase tension in extreme stress (such as combat), and using diegetic music in the world to tell the story of Citadel Station through its own environment. 

Plenty of restraint will have to be used on the score, to keep the atmosphere of the game intact. It is important to avoid a more arcadey, extreme approach like other games (see DOOM), but there are points in the game in which it could fit, if used sparingly. 

We have received a lot of feedback when it comes to the balance of electronic and orchestral elements in the soundtrack, and fans who feel very strongly about both directions. I'd like to clear things up and put fans' minds at ease. We are planning to have many more electronic elements in the score for the final game than we have in the demo. While we feel that porting the original music over would run counter to our vision, we don't intend to lose the Cyberpunk feeling of the game by neglecting to reflect that Cyberpunkness in the music. We believe it is possible to retain a strong atmosphere, while incorporating many synthetic elements in the soundtrack. Check out the first minute of my Intro remix with zircon for reference:

We believe it is possible to blend these elements with orchestral elements to great effect. While the synthetic elements provide a great setting for Citadel Station and make the game feel like a System Shock game, orchestral layers can provide a level of emotional tension and immersion that is more primal and psychological when it comes to creepy atmospheres. It is a delicate balance, but one that we think will give System Shock a very unique flavor in contrast to most modern FPS games - something that is both very "System Shock", but also stands today as a score for a modern game. 

We also have plans to bring back old System Shock music as often as we can while still keeping it in the atmosphere in the station. Some clever fans have found an example of this in our game files: the original music for the elevator, redone to sound like music that would actually be coming from the speakers on the walls of an elevator:

As much as I want to talk more about our musical plans, I've got plenty that I want to talk about on the sound design front as well!

Many of the same principles apply to the soundscapes of the game as the music. More than anything, we want to promote a strong oppressive atmosphere (have I said that word enough?) for the player. This is where the old System Shock games (System Shock 2 in particular) really excelled. The sound design in the old games were as much a part of the emotional experience for the player as the music. We intend for the same in System Shock: Heavy and oppressive atmospheres, the feelings of isolation, pacings and breaks from the oppression where the player can take a breath (like the elevator) before being buried under the weight of Citadel Station and SHODAN again.

Some of the sounds in the demo are very good and some are temporary sounds, standing in until we reach full production and we can replace them. I'd like to share a few plans about our foley system, to give some insight into our dedication to sell a compelling experience to our players. Once the game reaches a point in production where we can get a full list of all of the foley sounds needed, we are going to have full custom foley for the game (no library sounds). We intend to mic this foley at different angles and distances, so that at the game's runtime we can dynamically mix these elements for the player (i.e. as a mutant is further away, you hear more of the far mics in the mix than the close mics and vice-versa). We are planning systems in which the foley responds very dynamically and closely with the engine to make the sound fit exactly what is going on in the game, both in sounds and mix. Things like speed, acceleration, movement type, changes of direction, etc, will all impact what the player hears during gameplay, making the player feel like this is actually their body. This is only one small system out of dozens and dozens that we are planning or have already created and implemented, and I hope that this helps to demonstrate our commitment toward making the sound work for the player to make the game as compelling and immersive as is available in games today. 

A few people have asked about VO for System Shock. Yes, Terri Brosius is reprising her role as SHODAN, and yes, she still sounds spot-on for the part after 20 years. Just listen to her voice in the Kickstarter video! We have also been working with some new talent for the project. In the demo you heard Rachael Messer, a newcomer to the Shock series, acting wonderfully as Rebecca Lansing. The original System Shock was one of the first games with full VO, and in the same vein we don't want to settle for anything less than exceptional acting in System Shock.

System Shock Remix Album (stretch goal)

Lastly, I'm very excited to talk about the remix album stretch goal for the project. We have a roster of talented musicians on board to help us remix the original System Shock 1 OST. 

The first artist that I would like to reveal that we are working with is none other than Robotkid (Josh Randall) of the original System Shock 2 music team. We know that there are a ton of fans of the System Shock 2 music and of Robotkid's style throughout it. 

Robotkid, aka Josh Randall (System Shock 2, Harmonix, etc.)
Robotkid, aka Josh Randall (System Shock 2, Harmonix, etc.)

I have been working with the programming department in the game to try to get this remix album in the game as an alternative or unlockable mode for the game. Nothing confirmed on this yet, as it is a lot of programming work to make it happen, but do know that we are trying to make this work for people who want a more nostalgic experience than a modern one. 

We are going to continue to announce more musical artists that are taking part in the remix album as the project gets closer to being funded at that stretch level! Please help share the project around so that we can reach that goal and give you guys this awesome soundtrack!

 - Jonathan

Feedback Process // U.I. & HUD Concepts
over 2 years ago – Wed, Jul 06, 2016 at 06:08:54 AM

New Question/Feedback Process

In an effort to better serve our backers, we’re going to consolidate most of our feedback/answers to Reddit in https://www.reddit.com/r/systemshock/ It’s been incredibility difficult to respond to every message and comment we get, and we needed a better solution to organize things. Please direct general questions/feedback there, and check there first to see if someone else has already asked your question. We’re not directly running https://www.reddit.com/r/systemshock/ , but several team members are moderators there and can respond directly to your questions.

 

 

System Shock U.I. & HUD Concepts

Hello Everyone,

My name is Corey from the Nightdive Studios U.I. // U.X. team. As a fan of the shock series since its inception, I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity to work on this classic remake. 

Though the U.I. and HUD are still in a conceptual phase and will not be updated in the first patch to the pre-alpha demo, we thought we would share some of our concepts. Keeping in mind that this is only one direction prior to the full user interface and user experience study that will take place after Kickstarter – we are happy with the stylistic direction that has been explored thus far.

There are many challenges in redesigning the interface and HUD of System Shock (1994). There are a few antiquated features that have to be either removed or completely replaced. One example is the toggle-able ability to see behind your head with a cybernetic implant. The original game built this in as an “implant” or “ability” because the turn radius was quite low, making the player vulnerable from mysterious attacks from behind. This is just one of many things we are looking into outside a fresh modern look.

The new HUD concepts shown here are based off of a minimal yet futuristic cyberpunk aesthetic. Concepts for the new HUD will be based on the idea that this interface that the Hacker is interacting with is projected on his retina. The grid, shown above is meant to keep all elements aligned as though on a surface before they are “bent” for the radical look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You're awesome!
over 2 years ago – Tue, Jul 05, 2016 at 06:07:06 AM

Hey everyone!  This is Jason Fader, the Project Director on System Shock.  This has been a crazy 24 hours and we're already halfway there!  The team was incredibly overwhelmed by your support and we truly appreciate it.  You guys are awesome!  :-D

A word from Stephen

Our fearless leader, Stephen Kick, the CEO of Nightdive Studios and Creative Director on System Shock has a few words to share:

I'm sitting at my desk after our first day of funding and I'm finding it very difficult to put into words just how grateful I am to everyone and the support they've given us over the last 24 hours. Your outpouring is inspiring and we're doing our best to answer the various questions, requests and concerns you have regarding the campaign, rewards, supported platforms and bugs you've encountered in our demo.

Here we go!

Platforms: We've been listening to your requests and have started discussions with Sony regarding a PS4 release - at this stage we can't confirm System Shock on PS4, but we will follow up with an announcement in the near future with more details.

The Demo: Thanks to everyone who has downloaded and played our demo - also thanks to those of you who have been sending us crash/bug reports. We're planning an update early next week that will fix various issues and bugs you've encountered while adding in a few additional features for you to experiment with.

The 'Limbs for Days' bug
The 'Limbs for Days' bug

RPG Elements: We're aware of the discussions going on and while there is still plenty of design work to do, we have the best intentions in mind of making a game that will both challenge the player, while still staying true to what people loved about System Shock.

The Plan

As Stephen mentioned, we're working on a patch with fixes and updates based on all of your feedback.  That should be out around Monday if everything looks good.

We're also looking into ways of connecting more closely with our backers with some snazzy things like access to a private Discord server so you can chat with the team while we work on stuff.  If you have suggestions about more ways we can connect with all of you, please let us know :-)

There's quite a bit more brewing based on your feedback, but I'll talk about that in another update.

Social Media Stuff

Here are some handy links to keep up with the latest news:

https://twitter.com/systemshockgame

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialSystemShock

https://twitter.com/nightdivestudio

https://www.facebook.com/NightdiveStudios

Again, on behalf of the entire team, you have our heartfelt thanks for believing in us and supporting us so quickly.  This game will be incredible thanks to all of you!  <3

 - Jason