Born into the year Tom Hanks famously loitered at a bus stop, Roberto Baggio cost Italy the World Cup, and Liam Gallagher declared his life eternal—the original System Shock celebrates its 24th birthday later this year. All going to plan, Nightdive Studios' modern reimagining will also land in 2018.
When it does, expect a game that both pays deference to its quarter-of-a-century-old source material, while boasting its own ideas along the way. Its latest Kickstarter backer update comes courtesy of the game's art team, and offers some interesting behind-the-scenes insights into new-age System Shock's art direction.
Led by art director Kevin Manning, here's that:
From that, environmental artist Robert Simon's words on balancing modern tech with the style and designs of the original game are most interesting.
"The original system shock was full of normative game ideas, but it terms of its graphics it was very much limited by the computing power of the time," says Simon. "In other words: the developers had to use a handful of polygons to their full potential, so they ended up with these really creative levels and architecture which became synonymous with the game.
"For this to still feel like System Shock, we took a similar approach. We tried to achieve more with less. That means simpler but interesting dominant geometry, but with pockets of concentrated detail to sustain it. The retro cyberpunk aspect of the game gives us a lot of creative freedom. We can be playful with the lighting and the world design, but all of this is grounded in reality."
Simon underscores that the style of the remake takes cues both from the original game and '90s technology mixed with current gen tech. This means that, crucially, the System Shock world must be "functional to be believable."
Nightdive's System Shock reboot was successfully crowdfunded in 2016, and is still taking donations via Backerkit. At the time of writing, it's accrued over $1.4 million—it's Stretch Goals can be perused over here.
Again, no hard release just yet, but I will point you towards Tyler's chat with game director Jason Fader from last year. 'Tis very interesting.