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View Poll Results: Will Nightdive deliver the promised System Shock remake?

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  • Yes...and it will be true to the System Shock vision!

    1 16.67%
  • Yes...but it won't be true to the System Shock vision!

    3 50.00%
  • Hell No!

    2 33.33%
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Thread: Nightdive Studios Takes a Dive!

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: The Spiraling Sea

    Nightdive Studios Takes a Dive!

    A message of buffoonery, from Nightdive Studios...https://www.kickstarter.com/projects.../posts/2115044

    Sometimes You Need To Take a Step Back In Order To Take Two Steps Forward

    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
    As I've mentioned over and over again...If you kill the goose that lays the golden egg, you'll lose every time.

    This is because it's not simply about "trying to make a great game"...it's about making a great game that incorporates the core design principals which made it great to begin with, so as to be a great System Shock game.

    Such an error in judgment inevitably brings strife and sorrow.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I think where they went wrong was trying to turn the gameplay into that of SS2. The first game is quite different and trying to change that was always going to piss a fair few people off.

    Change something too much and you'll be left with an end product that is nothing like the original. I think much of the alluded to "loss of focus" was down to that, as once you start changing core mechanics then your basis of comparison starts to diverge a fair bit, which makes porting/bringing over stuff that bit more harder.

    And then you have the visual changes with the new enemy looks and types. I think they would have been better off, having it be a new System Shock entry rather than a reboot. Would have given them FAR more freedom and as we're already set to get SS3 people would be MUCH more willing to accept divergences in gameplay.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    It's their first game and game development is rarely silky smooth. I think they deserve some slack, especially when they are willing to respond to backers' concerns to such an extent.

    Oh, and I'm a backer, btw, if that matters any.

  4. #4
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    This is really disappointing. I'm guessing most projects like this that go off the rails like this never recover. Sounds pessimistic, but to go so public with this means there are likely some serious or fatal issues, or they'd just handle it all in-house.

    The thing I don't get is, and granted I'm not 100% sure on when the project changed, but... They sold it via Kickstarter as a remake or remaster, and that's the premise that got them all of their cash. So why change the scope of the project after that? All you can really do is piss off our supporters in that scenario. I'm not a backer, but if I had threw in 50 bucks or whatever for an SS remake, and then it suddenly changes after the campaign is over and money is collected, I wouldn't be too happy. Especially with Otherside already handling the "new SS story" part. Not sure what they were thinking here.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    A lot of projects go off the rails like this. In fact, Thief: The Dark Project started out as a very different game.

    I guess they could just not have informed the backers and put the project on a hiatus without telling them, but isn't that even worse?

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Dammit man you promised a faithful reboot and could've accomplished that if you'd stayed focused.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Damn straight.

  8. #8
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    The moment the words "dismemberment system" left someone's lips was the moment they should have realized they'd gone off the rails.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: Location, Location
    I'm happy to be proven wrong in this, but I'm going to call it now: they aren't going to reassess and resume development. This was to head off any future inquiries about the progress of the remake and get people to forget about it. This project is dead.

    I suppose it's a good thing that they came to realize that they didn't actually understand the original game well enough to do a faithful remake of it, and rather than charge ahead and put out something which shit on its memory, they showed restraint. But from the beginning a System Shock remake felt to me like a "too-good-to-be-true" scenario, and I'm not particularly affected by news that it's not happening.

    Deepens my pessimism about System Shock 3, though.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Trance View Post
    ...they aren't going to reassess and resume development.
    Yeah. They'd need a fresh infusion of capital to even start, and with the Kickstarter money already gone but the debt to backers still there, they'd need to convince someone to pony up enough money to do the project with a large chunk of its returns already realized and spent.

  11. #11
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    They cheated their backers by turning a faithful remake into a reboot, then they cheated their backers again by failing to deliver even that reboot. They deserve no sympathy.

    I am happy I cancelled my pledge when I saw the signs.

  12. #12
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Between this situation and the "tech ninjas" bit from a few years back, I'd say this guy's credibility is close to shot.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: The Spiraling Sea
    He'd have to make a drastic atonement in order to escape his otherwise obvious fate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Melan View Post
    They cheated their backers by turning a faithful remake into a reboot, then they cheated their backers again by failing to deliver even that reboot. They deserve no sympathy.
    Agreed...That's exactly how it went. It was a betrayal of community trust and resource to handle the 1.3 million in such an incompetent and/or devious manner...There simply isn't any good excuse for such behavior.

    I am happy I cancelled my pledge when I saw the signs.
    You and me, both.

  14. #14
    SShock2.com
    Moderator

    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: 100 Rads Bar
    Quote Originally Posted by Melan View Post
    They cheated their backers by turning a faithful remake into a reboot, then they cheated their backers again by failing to deliver even that reboot.
    Exactly my thoughts. I wasn't pleased at all with the way this was going. When I backed the project I was expecting a faithful remake. I was even hoping that they would use the original audio logs in the game. Instead I just watched them getting more and more 'creative', much to my dismay.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    Yeah. They'd need a fresh infusion of capital to even start, and with the Kickstarter money already gone but the debt to backers still there, they'd need to convince someone to pony up enough money to do the project with a large chunk of its returns already realized and spent.
    Not necessarily. If Night Dive is making enough money as a publisher, they can afford to keep a small team working on this, especially if it's not a 15 contractors kind of team any more.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Well, yeah, I suppose if they have enough money they could convince themselves to pony it up. Strictly speaking they've basically agreed to, one way or the other - if they admit the project is dead and they have the money, they're obligated to refund the kickstarter. Not sure how strong that obligation is.

    On the other hand, if they put this project on "indefinite hiatus" and then fund something else to which they're not obligated to deliver ~20,000 copies that are already paid for... That's got to be financially very tempting.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    The other problem is that Night Dive could never go to Kickstarter or similar service again as their credibility is gone. This was their first big games project and they failed to listen to the fans, instead going with what they wanted the game to be more like.

    Reputations are everything with Kickstarter. Have a goid amount and people will feel more encouraged to back every project you put forward. Have bad rep and you aint got a chance in hell of getting backing.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Wonder what would happen if Night Dive were to go belly up. Which one of the big companies scoops up the rights to the games?

  19. #19
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Sounds like they had drifted into George Broussard-Duke Nukem Forever development hell territory but thankfully they've woken up from their fever dream and reigned the project in.

    https://www.polygon.com/2018/2/16/17...dive-interview
    A source familiar with the project, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Polygon that “mission creep” and unrealistic ambitions had eaten up the Kickstarter funds, something that Nightdive largely confirmed. In an interview with Polygon, director of business development Larry Kuperman said that a strategy to pitch the game to publishers, in order to secure more funding, had not been successful. He added that around 15 contract workers will no longer be working on the game, but that Nightdive is not laying off any full-time staff.

    Kuperman said that he had been speaking with various publishers about funding development, but that Nightdive’s vision and ambition did not match with market expectations. “A shiny new thing comes along and gets added to the project,” he said. “And our developers wanted to add their own ideas. The vision expanded.”

    After the hiatus, said Kuperman, development will begin again, with some creators of the original demo — which attracted so much interest on Kickstarter — likely returning to work on the project. When pressed for a timeline, he estimated the game’s release at “18 to 24 months” from now.

  20. #20
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Wonder what would happen if Night Dive were to go belly up. Which one of the big companies scoops up the rights to the games?
    Otherside or SS3's publisher Starbreeze would probably grab the IP in the fire sale auction since they're already in early production for SS3. Otherside literally staffed a new team in Austin, TX to specifically to work on SS3 after all. I think Starbreeze has already floated a good million $ for development at this stage too.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Well, that's unless EA or someone wants to overbid them.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Under that scenario I'd be most wanting Otherside Entertainment to get the rights to System Shock *crosses fingers*.

    I quite like what I've been reading from the numerous KS updates for Underworld Ascendant. Project appears to be going to scope and not beyond. Though you have a HEAP of experienced staff across all roles on the project. What you were told in the KS is exactly what your getting with that one.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Heh, you've not been to the Otherside forums, have you? There's a ton of griping about Otherside's design decisions.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I frequented over there for a while, but stopped a while ago. Wasn't a whole heap of new threads popping up. And I did not know about the griping.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    There's a ton of griping about Otherside's design decisions.
    Yeah? What kind of gripes?

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