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System Shock remaster put on hold after raising $1.3 million on Kickstarter

By Shawn Knight · 16 replies
Feb 16, 2018
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  1. Backing projects on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter is a risky proposition, even if the creator is a well-established company. Just ask one of the more than 21,000 backers that pledged money to support Nightdive Studios’ remake of the 1994 classic System Shock.

    The campaign, if you recall, launched in June 2016. When it was all said and done, 21,625 backers had collectively pledged more than $1.35 million to help Nightdive finish the game and deliver it by the end of 2017.

    On Friday, backers were dealt a harsh bit of news.

    Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick in a campaign update revealed that at some point along the way, “something happened.” The vision began to change, he said, adding that they eventually moved from a remaster to a completely new game. He recounts the team’s decision in March 2017 to move from Unity to Unreal Engine 4 – a move they don’t regret – but notes that as the concept grew, so too did the scope of what they were doing and the budget for the game.

    Ultimately, Kick said, he let things get out of control. It has now become clear that they took the wrong path and turned their backs on the people who made the journey possible – the Kickstarter backers.

    Accepting full responsibility for the snafu, Kick said he has “put the team on a hiatus” as they reassess their path so they can return to their original vision. They’re taking a break, he said, but they aren’t ending the project.

    Kick promises that System Shock will be completed although unfortunately, no timetable has been given for the game’s eventual release. For now, it looks as if the project could be just another statistic.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2018
  2. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,176   +2,417

    I love how these guys give some BS story about such and such. They should have updated backers every step of the way, let alone changing the whole damn thing without telling the people who pay them. No wonder kickstarter dropped off in popularity. They need to require developers to provide regular updates and provide proof of progress. Nearly every failed kickstarter to date should have been stopped early if they did this and people could have gotten at least some sort of refund.
    psycros likes this.
  3. Fluffmeister

    Fluffmeister TS Enthusiast Posts: 30   +21

    Translation: We're all on the beach drinking cocktails!

    PS. Thanks for the cash.
    ross01 and psycros like this.
  4. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 5,231   +4,374

    Shades of Star Citizen.
  5. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 527   +986

    I had a gut feeling about this all along especially when changing engines half-way through. Quite honestly, I'd have been happy with something much simpler and lower budget like simply re-doing SS1's levels as a Dark Engine mod (the engine on which SS2 and Thief 1-2 were based), maybe improving some textures but otherwise keeping the original audio assets, etc. There are a huge amount of top-notch Thief 1-2 mods out there that show what can be done including HD packs that turn this into this (compared to this which is what SS1 looks like). The biggest problem with SS1 is the horrendous controls (no mouselook = absolutely painful, like playing an FPS with a keyboard but no mouse) and clunky "takes up half the screen UI" whereas SS2's controls and minimalistic UI (example) actually had a solid feel to it.
    Reehahs likes this.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,919   +3,294

    Maybe they should put the "micro transactions", up on Kickstarter too. I mean, if they're going to screw you out of the game altogether, there's no sensible reason they should lose money on loot boxes and such, they'll never get the opportunity to sell.

    Come to think of it, "Kickstarter" itself, seems like a big giant overflowing,"loot box", for people perpetrating the hoax they're going to have a salable product one day.
    psycros likes this.
  7. Jamlad

    Jamlad TS Maniac Posts: 173   +158

    Why did they shift engines? Any reasonably modern engine would have looked lightyears better than the clunky polygons of the original, and as another commenter said, made it playable with modern controls.

    I was really looking forward to this to. SS2 was one of my favourite games from when I was a teenager. Thoroughly engaging and scary, although the plot went a bit off the deep end towards the finale.
  8. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 503   +620

    It's a familiar sounding story and while they might get accused of all sorts when it comes to the money raised, it highlights to me how expensive it is to build a game these days. It wasn't always the case, it's just the cost of modern game development is enormous.

    Seems to me a lot of people go into developing these titles unaware of how much money you need, to have a team of people working on a modern engine to churn out a decent sized project. You burn through cash faster than Tesla Motors.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,919   +3,294

    How about you cut them another check fot as much as you can afford, to get this show back on the road then? Give til it hurts. They have special donut shaped pillows to alleviate the pain from hemorrhoid operations, and Kickstarter campaigns.
    senketsu likes this.
  10. mrtraver

    mrtraver TS Evangelist Posts: 397   +93

    But at least these guys realized what was happening and are trying to fix it, instead of digging the money pit deeper.
  11. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,312   +1,923

    This is why you should never back anything that doesn't have a timetable and a refund policy.
  12. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,176   +2,417

    This isn't about the cost to build a game. They were paid to do a remaster and they decided to do something entirely else.
  13. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 503   +620

    It's obviously a large part about the costs to build a game. I highlighted how expensive it can be, especially if you switch engines.

    I didn't concern myself with the rest of the project's details, you can argue that over with someone else more interested.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,919   +3,294

    You should talk to these people at Nightdive Studios’ doing the remaster of the game. Maybe they'll make you their press agent.

    Fair warning though, you're liable to have to pay them to allow you to do the job. It's all good though. Like you say, "sh!t costs money".
  15. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Maniac Posts: 250   +171

    I still have System Shock 2. I tried playing into it but it's so old and runs so slow I just can't enjoy it like I enjoyed games like Quake 2 and Half Life.

    Remake it. Or stop talking about it.
  16. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,176   +2,417

    Again, they weren't supposed to be making a game, they were supposed to be doing a remaster. Switching engines was not required and it was a terrible decision on their part. Just because they're inept doesn't suddenly mean everyone has the bar set to their low money management standards.
    Jamlad likes this.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,919   +3,294

    Yeah, and that Bitcoin exchange that just lost $500,000,000.00, is "going to pay it back", too.

    And as soon as you cut either of these ventures another check, they'll get right on it! (y)

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