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[System Shock & 2] - SHODAN's Liberation Is At Hand

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    NosfNosf Registered User regular
    I felt a lot more alone in SS, you had some limited contact, but it felt kind of like someone was always looking over your shoulder in BS.

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    azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    Yeah, in SS, all you had to interact with were dead...things...or robotic things...or frankenstein monster flesh beasts and the recordings of ghosts.

    Bioshock has you fighting mutated and crazy people, but they are still people. It's a whole different kind of atmosphere.

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
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    UselesswarriorUselesswarrior Registered User regular
    I'm still confused about the rights for System Shock ended up at an insurance company and not EA.

    Does this means the rumors about Dead Space starting off it's development as System Shock 3 were completely false?

    Hey I made a game, check it out @ http://ifallingrobot.com/. (Or don't, your call)
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    azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    I never heard those rumors, but it seems likely they were false.

    As for the ownership...eh...a business is a business. If any company saw the sale of the rights and they were dead cheap, a financial person of the company that had a love of games may have considered it a worthwhile gamble that they might be sold later on. Also, they may have been part of a group of assets from a bankruptcy seizure etc... Sure its wierd because you would have thought other companies would have grabbed them...but if they also saw the legal tangle was too complex and expensive to unravel, it may not have been worth it.

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
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    ZxerolZxerol for the smaller pieces, my shovel wouldn't do so i took off my boot and used my shoeRegistered User regular
    Well, rumors are called that for a reason.

    They could have also conceivably thought they had a good angle on the rights, did some pre-production, and then some lawyer types were like, "Guys, we actually have no idea who the hell owns this thing so you guys have to change your shit." Who knows.

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    TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    Orogogus wrote: »
    Someone who only played SS2, like CH, might have a significantly wrong impression.

    As far as Bioshock/SS similarities:

    - Everything-gone-wrong setting where everyone is dead or hostile, except for one or two on the other side of a transmission (and, I guess, Little Sisters)
    - Respawn chambers
    - A wholly or mostly backtrackable environment
    - Health stations
    - List-based inventory
    - Lots of environmental items that pop up their name when you look at them
    - Tons of garbage items everywhere that you don't need to pick up
    - Secondary ammunition types rather than alt fire
    - Hacking minigames (although they're not particularly bad in SS)
    - Wrench/pipe
    - More than the usual number of audio messages and logs, generally from dead people, some of whom have a running story going on
    - 4 digit keypads, and code 0451
    - Augmentations, either through tonics/infusions or hardware upgrades

    What are the elements that make Bioshock not feel like a System Shock game?
    All of these are in the original System Shock, and in fact they're more in the original System Shock than in SS2. For instance, System Shock has a list based inventory - SS2 has a grid inventory. System Shock has a pipe, SS2 has a wrench. System Shock invented the 451 code. The System Shock augmentations are much more like the BioShock augmentations - less depth, you pretty much grab all of them, etc.

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    OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    Right, that's why they're similarities.

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    Lucid_SeraphLucid_Seraph TealDeer MarylandRegistered User regular
    edited December 2015
    I'm still confused about the rights for System Shock ended up at an insurance company and not EA.

    Does this means the rumors about Dead Space starting off it's development as System Shock 3 were completely false?

    Hokai, so, as I understand it, from talking to Stephen Kick and doing my own research (this is how I met Stephen, btw, I was researching this stuff for my own interest and Stephen was like "hey do you want to do some promotional interviews? like with paul neurath" and I was like HELL YEAH)... the way all this bullshit happened was this:

    Looking Glass was run by some people who were not so good at business. In a bid to grab some financial security, they sold / let themselves be bought by a larger software contracting company that did a lot of military contracting. The company in question bought LG simply because they'd heard about this "vidya gaemz" stuff and wanted to see if it'd be a profitable source of extra income.

    SS2 had the misfortune of being released right around the time of the Columbine shootings, which meant that the marketing team pulled basically all their advertising, so what should have been a big hit just... wasn't heard about. That, plus a bunch of other factors (LG was never good at business or keeping themselves organized to begin with and had a lot of projects in the air) meant that the contracting company decided to liquefy LG and auction off the rights to LG's properties.

    Origin had the rights to Ultima and had only licensed it to LG, but System Shock was developed entirely in house. The COPYRIGHT on the name System Shock was released into the wild, but Star Insurance somehow ended up with the Asset Rights to the game. The asset rights cover things like character names, place names, in-game models, graphics, images... all that stuff. The engine itself, I don't think they got, and they also didn't get the copyright on the name System Shock, but EVERYTHING ELSE was theirs.

    I don't recall how or why Star Insurance got the rights. I think it was something like Star handled Looking Glass' insurance and decided that the asset rights to System Shock would be a good investment, for some reason.

    Fast forward a bunch of years. Electronic Arts DID INDEED get the right to the name System Shock. They had geared up to make System Shock 3... and then Star Insurance was like "Hey so you can't do that, we own the characters." EA then went "yeah but we have money" and Star went "That's not enough money."

    Which was like, ?????????????

    Star asked for some truly hideous, ridiculous, impossible amount of money for the assets for System Shock 1&2, enough that even EA went "You know what we can't afford to make that kind of gamble, geeze o flip, bye, we'll make our own horror space series, with uh, monoliths, and stuff"

    And frankly I think we dodged a bullet because Dead Space is it's own good game but it's not System Shock.

    Similarly, this is how Irrational was able to make basically the same damn game with only a slightly different name set underwater and later in the sky. Star Insurance owned the rights to the assets -- the look, the feel, stuff like TriOptimum, SHODAN, and Citadel -- but not the engine, game mechanics, or anything. Hence, Irrational made their name just re-skinning System Shock 1 a bunch of times. (OK YES I KNOW BIOSHOCK ISNT A STRAIGHT RESKIN but they're similar ENOUGH... you get my point dammit)

    This is why it's a goddamn crazy miracle that Stephen was able to get the asset rights back at fucking all. I know how he convinced Star to let him re-release System Shock 2, he basically got them to license him the assets for a fee and they made money off of the SS2 sales... but how he convinced them to give it all up, I don't know. Maybe he made it very clear to them that the assets were NOT worth what they thought they were and would only deprecate in value until the game was forgotten? I don't know. All I know is that I'm very glad that he went and got the assets back from those guys, because seriously, Star, wtf were you DOING.

    Lucid_Seraph on
    See You Space Cowboy: a ttrpg about sad space bounty hunters
    https://podcast.tidalwavegames.com/
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    DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    So a few questions come to mind - who owns the rights to the engine then, and does EA still own the name? I'm still curious how Night Dive managed to get all three of those stars to align.

    And when they initially released on GOG, Star Insurance was listed as the company on the product page. I wonder how they got Star to agree to switch the company name credit to Irrational/Looking Glass.

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    NosfNosf Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    EDIT: Nevermind, missed that post a couple up.

    I would wager at this point Star just had this thing that wasn't doing anything for them, and after they missed the boat with EA, just wanted to get it off the books and get some cash for it.

    Nosf on
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    Lucid_SeraphLucid_Seraph TealDeer MarylandRegistered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Donnicton wrote: »
    So a few questions come to mind - who owns the rights to the engine then, and does EA still own the name? I'm still curious how Night Dive managed to get all three of those stars to align.

    EA dumped the name iirc when they figured they couldn't do anything with it. Either that, or Stephen somehow got it from them. I don't know with that one. *e* It may also have expired naturally? Like, EA had to use it within a few years or else they'd just lose it? I don't know.

    Engine I have no idea but I'm pretty sure Night Dive got those too & handed them off to Paul Neurath's studio.
    Donnicton wrote: »
    And when they initially released on GOG, Star Insurance was listed as the company on the product page. I wonder how they got Star to agree to switch the company name credit to Irrational/Looking Glass.

    Yeah, iirc originally Star wanted it released with their name, that was part of the deal. I'd wager that Night Dive was able to get it changed once Star realized that if anything, it was making them look really bad to have their name on the product by making them out to be a bunch of awful bullies.
    Nosf wrote: »
    EDIT: Nevermind, missed that post a couple up.

    I would wager at this point Star just had this thing that wasn't doing anything for them, and after they missed the boat with EA, just wanted to get it off the books and get some cash for it.

    Yeah, probably. I'd also speculate that this entire thing was doing Star no favors in their publicity... basically anyone in the gaming industry who knew the story thought of Star as the absolute villains in this, and completely, totally awful people, and would tell everyone so. It's not a huge hit to their income, but it's still like... somebody points out that "hey by holding this, you're making people blindly hate you"... yeah.

    Lucid_Seraph on
    See You Space Cowboy: a ttrpg about sad space bounty hunters
    https://podcast.tidalwavegames.com/
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    RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    That would probably make a good text message notification. That or the Trioptimum jingle.

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    DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    Otherside. Looking Glass. I just got that.

    Derp.

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    azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    Hype Train already at warp speed for me.
    I want that sound file.

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
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    azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    They did a great job reproducing her voice. it brings it all back man....brings it all back...

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
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    RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    azith28 wrote: »
    Hype Train already at warp speed for me.
    I want that sound file.

    Right Click -> Save As

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    UselesswarriorUselesswarrior Registered User regular
    We will have to see how this all plays out. What does System Shock 3 even look like in a post-Bioshock world? It is it going to be ruthlessly old school or something more modern. What can Otherside do with it on what I assume is a smaller budget then a tripe A title?

    What is Warren Spector up to these days? Epic Mickey wasn't so great but I'd be interesting to see him return to the series.

    Hey I made a game, check it out @ http://ifallingrobot.com/. (Or don't, your call)
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    azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    What do i want to see?

    Deeper gameplay than SS2 (and definately bioshock)...retain the inventory and multiple skill tree system but make them a bit more important in effect via weapon type restrictions, psionics, abilities. Don't let everyone who plays the game once do everything.

    Lots of different weapons and weapon types. Ammo types as well.

    Improved hacking, but don't make it easy.

    Maybe a New Game+

    Don't make the mistake so many movies made. Shodan does not want a body. Shodan is a ghost in the machine. Keep her that way. Use the environment more. For instance she should have the ability to open doors into space, cause terminals to explode....control machines.

    Bring back the Many. Keep them creepy as hell but also let them have evolved a bit on there own.

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
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    quarthinosquarthinos Registered User regular
    I don't know if Shodan wants a body or not, but in SS 1 she certainly wanted meat puppets to do her bidding in the physical world. And SS 2 implies the girl who escaped on the other side of the glass had been infected with Shodan like Mr. Smith did in the Matrix 2 (or was it 3?)

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    azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    Yeah but her contempt at the idea of a physical body should preclude her wanting that. I did not get the impression she was infected with shodan, but maybe with the many. Are you talking about the couple who had emails to each other through the game then they ejected right before you got to the pod?

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
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    OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2015
    I have no idea how you could watch the ending cutscene and get the impression that she was infected with the Many.

    Orogogus on
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    StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    Orogogus wrote: »
    I have no idea how you could watch the ending cutscene and get the impression that she was infected with the Many.

    Yeah, i don't know how it could be MORE OBVIOUS that it's
    SHODAN

    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Switch: 5961-4777-3491
    camo_sig2.png
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    azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    I do admit its been quite a long time since I've seen the ending. I recall the game fondly and replayed it within the last 4-5 years but the ending does not really stick out with me like the rest of the experience.

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
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    NosfNosf Registered User regular
    My take on the ending was Shodan had used the Many infection to insert herself into that young woman as an escape vehicle. The endings to the games were always kind of a sore point, the feelies in WC4 I think had an ad for a movie that was a reference to System Shock and had a little blurb about "You won't believe the ending!".

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    NEO|PhyteNEO|Phyte They follow the stars, bound together. Strands in a braid till the end.Registered User regular
    IIRC from audio logs you could find, there were those two other survivors, the lady got a set of military grade cyberware just like the protagonist did, presumably as a backup plan in case of what happened at the end.

    It was that somehow, from within the derelict-horror, they had learned a way to see inside an ugly, broken thing... And take away its pain.
    Warframe/Steam: NFyt
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    HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    I can't believe how quickly that/those distorted voices give me goosebumps

    It's like nails on a chalkboard just with less wincing and more "AHFUCKMEAHHHHHHH""

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    klemmingklemming Registered User regular
    azith28 wrote: »
    Don't make the mistake so many movies made. Shodan does not want a body. Shodan is a ghost in the machine. Keep her that way. Use the environment more. For instance she should have the ability to open doors into space, cause terminals to explode....control machines.

    I could see SHODAN wanting bodies as well as being a machine. She could pull an Ultron so she's directly controlling drones, but still be able to do all the other environment stuff.

    If they could actually pull it off, it'd let them have enemies that really do adapt to your playstyle, since they're all her. (Though I can't think of any games where 'adapts to your playstyle' ever turned into anything more complex than 'kill X enemies with headshots = enemies with helmets')

    Nobody remembers the singer. The song remains.
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    SorceSorce Not ThereRegistered User regular
    Making a variable difficulty would be a step in the right direction. Like what Capcom did with RE4.

    sig.gif
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    azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    Well to clarify, I don't think shodan would ever want to only be in a body. It's the classic blunder. If your a creature of the internet/digital world, and can be everywhere at once, why would you want to put yourself completely in a body where you could be destroyed.

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
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    StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    Because she had to run away from the Von Braun after Goggles beat her plan A.
    She was going to use the warp engine to become a god, but then Goggles beat her. VB is a billion miles away from any other viable computer or network. She doesn't want a body, but she needed one right then.

    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Switch: 5961-4777-3491
    camo_sig2.png
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    NEO|PhyteNEO|Phyte They follow the stars, bound together. Strands in a braid till the end.Registered User regular
    It's the same general principle as how she survived the first System Shock by way of having a subnode in the ejected garden pod, only her 'escape pod' happens to be encased in a meat puppet this time around.

    It was that somehow, from within the derelict-horror, they had learned a way to see inside an ugly, broken thing... And take away its pain.
    Warframe/Steam: NFyt
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    UselesswarriorUselesswarrior Registered User regular
    The meat puppet stuff gives me the willies so it's probably the right direction for series.

    Hey I made a game, check it out @ http://ifallingrobot.com/. (Or don't, your call)
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    FANTOMASFANTOMAS Flan ArgentavisRegistered User regular
    I only once got a friend to play this with me, but the game was already dated and the graphics were offputting to him. Still got a couple of sessions going, the intro of SS2 on multiplayer, when you have to leave the cryo pods before the place blows up, gets a lot better when you have to wait for a friend to go through first.

    SS1 I didnt get to enjoy as much, I remember the virtual stuff, and I was reading Neuromancer back then, so I was super hyped about it. But I didnt have a personal PC in my room back then. For SS2 I already had my own computer and my own room, wich made the experience a lot better.

    Yes, with a quick verbal "boom." You take a man's peko, you deny him his dab, all that is left is to rise up and tear down the walls of Jericho with a ".....not!" -TexiKen
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    NosfNosf Registered User regular
    SS1 virtual reality stuff was poop. The rest of the game was pretty great, certainly way ahead of anything else that was out at the time. You had a great selection of weapons, different ammo types and the environments were pretty great too.

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    TaminTamin Registered User regular
    Stephen Kick from Night Dive Studios recently started a thread on the most active (only?) System Shock forum. These are the guys behind all* the fan-work that's been done on the franchise over the past 20 years.

    He's trying to get some advice for the in-progress System Shock 1 remake they're developing. If you have any thoughts on the subject, now would be the time to bring them up.

    Apparently there will be a kickstarter campaign in the near(ish) future.

    *except the NewDark thing, I believe.

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    DranythDranyth Surf ColoradoRegistered User regular
    News has surfaced! Night Dive has posted a video showing some pre-alpha footage of the SS1 remake.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okPLF9Ad9ns

    It's looking pretty good. I really like the echo-y reverb to SHODAN's voice over the PA system, makes it extra creepy.

    Notably missing so far is the techno soundtrack, but hey, pre-alpha stuff.

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    SorceSorce Not ThereRegistered User regular
    Fuuuuuck yes.

    sig.gif
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    TaminTamin Registered User regular
    edited March 2016
    I think the only bit from that video that stands out to me as "off" are the cameras. And that's just personal preference - the whole "this is what the camera sees" / visible IR thing feels oversized. Which is only a minor thing, as hunting for the cameras was more necessary than fun.

    if they choose to keep a version (scaled down, hopefully), I'd like to see
    - adding a security alarm mechanic, and at least a point or two where avoiding the camera's pan is required before you can knock it off-line
    - changing the level security mechanic. Adding more ways to disrupt level security (which would reduce the per-camera bonus or number of cameras on a level)

    Tamin on
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    TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    I think the camera thing is fine. Like you mentioned, they're just little doodads to "collect" (smash) so it's not a bad thing to be able to see them.

    In either case that video looks fucking tremendous. I am so excited.

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