System Shock 2016 KS Update #3, $795,562 and Counting

The folks at Night Dive Studios have released a new Kickstarter update to respond to some of the feedback they've received during the campaign so far and also to offer a preview on the update patch they will be releasing soon for the System Shock remake demo.

It's project director Jason Fader himself who explains why the developers have opted for non-filtered textures (and how that might change in the future, starting from the new demo patch), what exactly they mean when talking about an orchestral soundtrack, how the story will be revised and in what capacity Chris Avellone is working on it, and what the developers are talking about when they mention "RPG elements."

For those of you who really dislike the Unity engine, an engine change is even mentioned as a possibility, though I wouldn't hold my breath, risky as the move is:

  • 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.