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Kickstarter -- New System Shock game

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An update today addressed the RPG elements being considered:


So the RPG Stuff...
As I mentioned before, we have a pretty good vision of where we want to take things and what RPG systems we’ll be leaning towards within our budget. Also, RPG systems can imply a lot of things, so I'll go over some core concepts that we're following with the overall systems design.
Stats are boring - Instead of letting the player feel stronger with stat boosts and level identification, we’re more in favor of ability and skill depth. As the player progresses, they will get more abilities/weapons, which will take skill to master (player skill, not skill points)
Things should make sense - We want to have vending machines, but they're mainly for food/drinks that the player can get to help heal themselves or provide a slight boost to their abilities. You won't hack a vending machine to get a gun, since why would a vending machine on a space station have a gun?
Upgrades are good in moderation - Throughout the game, the player will find upgrades to their abilities and find better weapons. We're not going to get crazy with this one since the point of the game is to have fun, and not noodle around in your inventory. If something is tedious, don't expect us to do it.
Multiple ways to solve a problem - We're going to assume our players are smart and want to find creative solutions to problems/enemies. We'll provide the tools/weapons/abilities, and the player will decide how they want to solve the problem given their playstyle.
I know that isn't very detailed, but it's still early in the game’s development, and things can change. Those rules above are what we're confident in delivering. At the end of the day, we always ask ourselves “What would Looking Glass do?” and strive to carry on their tradition of innovation and quality while being as faithful as we can be to the original game.
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I imagine most of the music will still be of the...electronic variety and fitting of the game. There are several paragraphs about the sound and music on the page:




(scroll down to "Music and Sound").




Al, please forgive me if you've covered this already somewhere (and if you have, kindly point out the article and/or podcast) but if I recall from the interview you did on ANTIC a while back you worked for Looking Glass/Ion Storm for several years, right? Weren't you part of the team that worked on both System Shock 1 and 2? What did you do with the games, if anything?


Must feel pretty good to know the games are available leagly on GOG and Steam now after such a long absence and the whole mess with the rights. :)

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  • 7 months later...
  • 11 months later...
:x :sad:

Kickstarter Update from Stephen Kick, CEO of Nightdive Studios

In March of 2016, Nightdive Studios released our video of our vision of System Shock Remastered. Done in Unity it was an immediate hit with almost a half million views on YouTube. In June of 2016 we launched a Kickstarter campaign to make the vision into a reality. It was tremendously successful with over 21,000 backers contributing over $1.3 million to the campaign. We put together a development team and began working on the game. But along the way something happened.

Maybe we were too successful. Maybe we lost our focus. The vision began to change. We moved from a Remaster to a completely new game. We shifted engines from Unity to Unreal, a choice that we don’t regret and one that has worked out for us. With the switch we began envisioning doing more, but straying from the core concepts of the original title.

As our concept grew and as our team changed, so did the scope of what we were doing and with that the budget for the game. As the budget grew, we began a long series of conversations with potential publishing partners. The more that we worked on the game, the more that we wanted to do, and the further we got from the original concepts that made System Shock so great.

Ultimately the responsibility for the decisions rests with me. As the CEO and founder of Nightdive Studios, a company that was built on the restoration of the System Shock franchise, I let things get out of control. I can tell you that I did it for all the right reasons, that I was totally committed to making a great game, but it has become clear to me that we took the wrong path, that we turned our backs on the very people who made this possible, our Kickstarter backers.

I have put the team on a hiatus while we reassess our path so that we can return to our vision. We are taking a break, but NOT ending the project. Please accept my personal assurance that we will be back and stronger than ever. System Shock is going to be completed and all of our promises fulfilled.

Stephen Kick

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Yeah, saw this earlier today. Sounds like a death knell for the project. I'm guessing they spent all their money and will have to basically restart the project. And putting people on "hiatus". If these are people who were dependent on whatever salary they were receiving, this means they'll be looking for another job, and at least some number of them will not be available should this project actually start back up. And if Nightdive Studios did spend all their money, well, they'll need the backing of someone with deep pockets to continue funding it, as it's not likely anyone's going to give them more money the crowdsourcing way.


Pretty disappointing, and I kicked in $150 to this project.



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Pretty disappointing, and I kicked in $150 to this project.




Same, and I agree, don't have high hopes they will ever release a product. The fact that he assures they will be back doesn't help. They also said they were simply going to remaster the original, and then after taking 1.3 million dollars decided to "change the vision" ?? Seriously WTF is that? LOL Anyone that does something like that can't be believed.

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I just got that message, too. Thanks for translating the Kickstarter Apology language to something I could understand. I wish he would just say, "sorry, money's gone, so is our reputation" rather than the doublespeak.


I can't remember how much I put into this project, but I can play the GOG enhanced version if I somehow "needed" to put aside my gargantuan backlog and wanted to play SS.


I have backed a lot of crowdfunding projects. It seems as if they don't deliver within six months of receiving funding, they never will.

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I have a way they can still make good on everything.


Step 1. Start a new Kickstarter campaign for potato salad.

Step 2. Collect a million dollars.

Step 3. Make potato salad for approximately $30.

Step 4. Use the rest of the money to make System Shock.


Easy peasy.

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I'd say you're both basically correct. It's not really a "donation" but good luck getting your money back since they've already spent it all. Here's what the Kickstarter TOS has to say about that:

When a project is successfully funded, the creator must complete the project and fulfill each reward. Once a creator has done so, they’ve satisfied their obligation to their backers.

Throughout the process, creators owe their backers a high standard of effort, honest communication, and a dedication to bringing the project to life. At the same time, backers must understand that when they back a project, they’re helping to create something new — not ordering something that already exists. There may be changes or delays, and there’s a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised.

If a creator is unable to complete their project and fulfill rewards, they’ve failed to live up to the basic obligations of this agreement. To right this, they must make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to the best possible conclusion for backers. A creator in this position has only remedied the situation and met their obligations to backers if:

  • they post an update that explains what work has been done, how funds were used, and what prevents them from finishing the project as planned;
  • they work diligently and in good faith to bring the project to the best possible conclusion in a timeframe that’s communicated to backers;
  • they’re able to demonstrate that they’ve used funds appropriately and made every reasonable effort to complete the project as promised;
  • they’ve been honest, and have made no material misrepresentations in their communication to backers; and
  • they offer to return any remaining funds to backers who have not received their reward (in proportion to the amounts pledged), or else explain how those funds will be used to complete the project in some alternate form.
The creator is solely responsible for fulfilling the promises made in their project. If they’re unable to satisfy the terms of this agreement, they may be subject to legal action by backers.


Personally I'm glad I had no nostalgia for this game or I'd probably be in the same boat.

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Nope. Some individual projects may offer refunds, but generally speaking, your money is considered to be a donation with nothing guaranteed.

So aside from the post below yours where legal action is potential, it's no better than the less than great looking to start indiegogo and others where once you push the button it's basically gone if it hits 100%+ of the requested funds. I'm glad I've never no matter how tempting ever paid a penny into any of this garbage because of the repeated stories like this in relation to game related stuff I've seen off and on years now.

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I'm glad I've never no matter how tempting ever paid a penny into any of this garbage because of the repeated stories like this in relation to game related stuff I've seen off and on years now.

To be fair, I've funded about a dozen Kickstarters and have not been burned on any (this particular one is still debatable)

It's frustrating to be sure, but to suggest it's simply garbage is a bit harsh. My copy on Mythic Battles is now going for over double what my Kickstarter pledge was, and at one time people were selling Savini Skin Jason from Friday the 13th (a skin I got free through Kickstarter ) for hundreds of dollars. Hardly garbage IMO.


Bottom line is, not unlike many things, there are no guarantees. You might get hit by car while walking down the road tomorrow, knowing that, does this mean you'd never leave your house? Sometimes when you're tempted by something, acting on it can pay off greatly.

Another point to mention, states and feds have successfully sued people who started Kickstarter campaigns and then didn't deliver. It can be considered fraud, so to say it's basically gone, isn't exactly true near as I can tell.







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I'm calling the concept garbage because with any of them you're basically gambling with your money or just giving a wishful thinking donation with the hopes they'll keep a promise for whatever any product it is being pitched actually is done and as promised too. It's fine if someone wants to pan handle for money to get a project going, it's nothing new, but now it's the court of your peers instead of having to suck up and blow countless bank managers hoping to get a loan, and those you DO have to repay making it even more vital your idea isn't crap and that you actually get it out there and bought up before the bill is due.

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I'm calling the concept garbage because with any of them you're basically gambling with your money....

You're acting like this is a terrible thing though. I've gambled with my money often over the years. I'm 46 years old and I'm in a position to never have to work again because of it. If you never throw caution to the wind and never take chances, you'll never gain anything. I dunno, I can't get behind what you're saying. I can say that if this all falls though and I lose every cent I put into it, rest assured, all the other things I've invested in will still be in place and just as great, and I won't lose sleep over it.


There are people who don't wear seatbelts, because they say they have heard of people who died in a wreck because they couldn't get their seatbelt undone. What they fail to take into to consideration is that has happened to 1 out of 1,000,000 people. So in their mind the concept of wearing a seat is "garbage" because that one person dies. Do you agree with that logic? Seems like people who poo-poo the idea behind Kickstarter, always mention "some guy" who lost some money to a failed project, while completely ignoring "the other guys" who have benefited and had zero problems with sometimes dozens of projects.


I'm like you, in that I have been tempted by awesome idea's over the years and you know what? In most cases they have paid off. Why would I be turned off because 1 went sour (which BTW it hasn't officially yet) It's true if you never take a chance, you can't lose anything, I'll give you that, but trust me, taking chances is not garbage, even if you occasionally get burned. What about the half dozen other temptations that would have paid off if you would have followed your instincts? I guess you can only imagine.

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I'd like to throw my own experience with Kickstarter in the ring because I've probably had more Kickstarter experience than the average person... I've backed 46 projects. Of those 46 projects, I'd say around 30 of them have actually delivered. I've given as much as $135 and as little as $15. The full amount I've given over the entirety of my Kickstarter life is $1,642. I've backed mostly video games, but I have also given to web comic books, music albums, a plush, and more! There are around 5-6 projects I've completely written off because I know they are never going to deliver.


The first project I backed (Super Retro Squard) is probably the biggest failure among those as it completely shit itself. That goes back to 2013.


The second biggest one would be Mighty No 9. I gave to them... twice. :( I have all my rewards at this point (about 2 years later than I should have), and that game was just a general disappointment.


One of the best ones I've backed has become one of my all time favorite games... You may have heard of it? Shovel Knight. Without Kickstarter, we may have never gotten Shovel Knight. If anything is an argument FOR Kickstarter, it is that game. There's other success stories like Kung Fury (getting a sequel!), Hyper Light Drifter (another great game!), Project Eternity (now called Pillers of Eternity), Shantae Half-Genie Hero, Moon Hunters, Children of Zodiarcs, Shadows of Adam, and probably several more that I never backed. (Sorry I just wanted to promote some of the ones that I both backed and delivered as they're all pretty great games!)


I backed one project where the person running and designing it took the money and run! (Goblins: Alternate Realities. Card game for a popular web comic Goblins.) There was one project that included "Triple A staff to make the RPG you all want!"... Project Phoenix. That one quickly became a lie and a shitshow as they proceeded to neither make the game promised or even try to deliver. They're still working on it, but I doubt I'll even play it when I get it. Story War completely succeeded, but then the company went completely under after they delivered... Like 6 months to a year later. :lol: I could go on and on, but I won't.


As moycon stated, Kickstarter is a risk, and anytime you invest your money, you are risking something. However, I have learned a few things before putting anything into a Kickstarter. I realized there were projects I should have put more into, projects I shouldn't have cancelled backing, and projects I should have just walked away from. I could make all sorts of suggestions about what to and not to do, but honestly? I'd say Kickstarter is kinda done. What few real projects came along have already been done and finished. It seems most projects from there can't be trusted anymore. :lol:


EDIT - Sorry I keep editing to clarify and better state some parts of this.

Edited by KeeperofLindblum
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Sucks for this project, I didn't back it but my friend just got me into playing System Shock 2.


I always feel that if you can't deliver the product then the backers at least deserve to receive the truth for the price they paid. These guys are not being up front about what's really happening, their wording is too vague. But if they don't want to come clean then the truth is probably worse than you expect.


I didn't really follow this project because I was never into the SS games but if I had then a big red flag would have been this studio's previous games. It's really nothing but minimal port jobs. What they were trying to do here was rebuilding a game from the ground up. It's a totally different assignment and so in hindsight it's not surprising that they're stuck in this rut.

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