System Shock - 25th Anniversary Livestream, Warren Spector Interview

LookingGlass Technologies' System Shock was released on September 23, 1994. And in order to celebrate the game's 25th birthday, Nightdive Studios, the team behind System Shock Remastered Edition, organized a livestream together with some of the original System Shock designers, who are now working on System Shock 3 over at Otherside Entertainment.

Apart from a sharing a lot of stories from back in the day and answering some community questions, the livestream also announced the limited collector's run of System Shock: Enhanced Edition that you can currently purchase for $59.99 over here. And here's the VOD:

On top of that, you may also be interested in this recent GameSpot interview with Warren Spector that's primarily focused on System Shock 3 and the design principles behind it. Here's a sample:

When you say that every game should do something that other games haven't done before, can you talk about anything System Shock 3 is doing that you might consider that?

Sure, in about nine months! It's a little too early, but I will tell you that we have two things that I think are really going to set the game apart. I really hate to be coy, but I'm not ready to talk about them because they may not work in the way you want. You fall short a lot of the time, but we're trying two things. They're both kind of similar to what other people have done, but we're taking them much further and in some interesting directions. Next time we talk, we'll have lots of interesting things to talk about.

It seems like a unique situation to me that you're making the sequel to one of the games that established the genre. Where do you see System Shock 3 fitting into the modern immersive sim landscape?

Well, the simple answer is that it has to. I know that doesn't answer your question, but in terms of level design, depth of simulation, and storytelling technique, there's been so much advancement that we need to at least keep up. Early on we put together a list of things we were going to do to match the state of the art. And then we have a couple ways in which we want to push things further. Given the whole "playstyle matters" approach, I'll give you a couple of hints.

It's not like we're going to take first-person combat places that it's never been before. But there are some ways in which we need to push further; level design. In particular, the interconnectedness and the three-dimensionality of levels nowadays has changed. Games like Bioshock, which is again not exactly an immersive sim in my mind, but clearly a cousin, took environmental storytelling to a whole new level. You walked into a room and you know the room's purpose. You see writing on the wall and it advances the narrative.

There've been so many advances that we need to keep up with and we're going to do that, and then innovate in a couple of other areas where creativity and design coincide, and actually count for as much or more than budget and team size.