Farewell, TriOptimum - 12:30am EST - Saam & Dan
Well boys and girls, after almost 2 years, it's finally time to shut the doors on TriOptimum: The Unofficial System Shock Page. It's been one heck of a ride, let me tell you. As founder of TriOp, I'm happy to say that because of this page and of your support, I've moved on to bigger and better things (TTLG). Not only did my dream of a System Shock sequel come true, it has exceeded my expectations. If you were a reader of my page since the very beginning, you know that I was running a System Shock 2 petition for over a year, finally getting over 1,000 signings, something which I'm terribly proud of.
For this special news post (the final news post EVER on TriOptimum), I'm going to go through my history with this page, and what it has done for both the SS world and myself. Shall we begin? :)
Before we begin, when I say "shut the doors" I mean that we won't do any more updates; the site will stay online, but I won't change anything. I was a System Shock fan back when Computer Gaming World started putting SS in its advertising section in its magazine, probably around May or June of '94. The way they described it, "Crawl through shafts" and "Immerse yourself in a first-person adventure..." made it sound so good. I waited for a few months, heard that the game was going to release around November, and when it finally did, I snatched the System Shock disk version on the first day it came out. I went home and played it, and was completely immersed. I knew that this was going to be the best game of all-time, hands down. After a few weeks of exploring Citadel Space Station, I finally beat the game, with complete and utter satisfaction. Never had a game been so good; I wanted more, and I wanted a sequel SOON.
Time passed, and barely any discussion came up regarding System Shock on the Internet. I was shocked to see why there wasn't anyone else talking about this marvelous game. I was fairly new to the 'Net, and after a few months of surfing, I decided that I was going to bring the System Shock world alive to the people across the world; I wanted them to experience the same thing I had with System Shock. So in effect, I started the "Unofficial System Shock Homepage."
My System Shock page was my first venture into web design/publishing, so those of you who were the early readers knew what a chinsy job I had done, and the many face-lifts I gave it. I was really psyched about making a System Shock page, but I suddenly realized something: Just what exactly am I going to put on the page? Well, I thought about it, and some of the answers were simple: screenshots (or ShockShots as I called it), an overview of SS, news, and a guestbook. After spending hours making the site, I finally launched it on January 7, 1997 at http://www.icode.com/shock, more than 2 years after System Shock was released to the public.
Now, the feedback was simply superb; I then realized that there was a few thousand people who, like me, were obsessed with System Shock, and were dedicated fans of the game. These gamers were true "shockers", people who spent hours night after night with the lights off trying to jettison the Beta Grove (hence my 'Net name of Jettison) on the executive level. However, people kept on telling me that my System Shock page would never be good, simply because not many people knew about it, and there wasn't much content to put on the site. Doom, on the other hand, had levels created, conversions, sounds, etc..I was slightly disappointed, but I wasn't out yet.
Making one of the biggest SS pages on the Internet certainly had its advantages; I started talking with the LookingGlass team, with people such as Doug Church (Lead Programmer/Project Leader of the Underworlds + System Shock, and my idol), Tim Stellmach (Designer of System Shock), Marc "Mahk" Leblanc (SS Programmer), Harvey "Witchboy" Smith (Lead tester for SS), Rob "Xemu" Fermier (Programmer for SS), and others. They're probably the nicest people I've had the chance to converse with; a definite class-act. I then realized that LookingGlass Technologies (as it was called then) wasn't just another game company- they were true gamers at heart, and gave the public what we wanted.
A few months later, a fellow reader emailed me saying that I should start up a petition, one that would gather enough signings to convince LookingGlass and Origin to develop a sequel to System Shock. I loved the idea, and I put up a SS2 petition page right away, around March 1st, 1997. I spread the word around different fan sites, usenet, and other places, and the results were good.
However, something weird happened that I'll regret for a long time- I stopped updating the Shock page for 9 MONTHS! It was online, but I never updated it in that time (April, 1997 to January, 1998). Sure, people were still submitting petition signings, but I had just run out of content to put up. In January, I thought to myself "I should start updating the Shock page again!", so I did. I did yet another redesign, added some content, and got the word of the petition spread around the big gaming sites, such as VoodooExtreme and Operation: 3Dfx. In a matter of weeks, the petition signings went up from 220 to a staggering 1070!
After a few more months, a kind fellow wrote me an email offering his help for the page; he stated that he was a professional web designer, and an avid fan of System Shock. This man, a person you have known as "Dan Todd" is probably the biggest reason why we're here today. He's the man responsible for making TriOptimum what it is today, with sections such as ShockData, the fantastic Guide to Citadel Station, and my personal favorite, the Voice of the Resistance.
Immediately after, the news that I have been wanting to hear for 4 years finally was announced: System Shock 2 was in progress by LookingGlass and Irrational Games (Tim said it perfectly in his Project Diary). Dan and I then started looking beyond TriOptimum and into other realms of creation; one such "realm" was a whole site dedicated to our favorite company, LookingGlass Studios. And thus was born "Through the LookingGlass."
I hope you have enjoyed visiting TriOptimum as much as I have had creating it and bringing it to reality. However, please note that my work will not stop here; I have very big plans for TTLG, and you will soon experience Dan and myself's "concoctions."
Many things goes out to all the hackers who helped us build TriOptimum. Volkov, Joey, Robert, Lee, the ever helpful yet annoying Nick, Klaus, and many MANY others. I thank you all.
And, to close my final words ever on TriOptimum:
Edward Diego, we shall meet again.
I'd like to say a few words in closing. It's been fun, it really has. When I first started work here, I had no idea where it would go and what it would become. I am pleased, very pleased, with what Saam and I have accomplished here. I'd like to say thanks. Thanks for making this all worthwhile. Thank you for your contributions and support. And thank you for 8500+ hits, before and after the re-design, that shows just how popular this site was. Thank you for the 1,000 petition signings that shows LGS just how much of a fan following Shock really had. I will miss the good ol' hard edge gold finish and starry background of the TriOptimum Corporate Network.
Before I go, I'd like to first ask everyone to keep signing the guestbook . Everything that goes in there will be on TriOp forever- leave your mark! Secondly, I am very pleased to introduce you to a document that truly captures how exciting it was to play System Shock. Shock is a legend, and now, so is TriOp.
Thank you, Goodnight, and never, ever, forget to salt the fries.
Please visit the News Archive for older news!!
This site has been an Elite Enterprises Production.
Looking Glass™ is a trademark of LookingGlass™ Studios. All rights reserved. System Shock™ is a trademark of LookingGlass™ Studios. Developed by LookingGlass™ Studios. Published and distributed by Origin™ Systems. Origin™ is a trademark of Electronic Arts™. All rights reserved. This site is ©1997, Saam Tariverdi, All rights reserved. An Elite Enterprises™ production. Elite Enterprises™ is a trademark of Richard W. Todd™ Business Associates. Richard W. Todd™ is a trademark of Richard W. Todd™ Business Associates. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.