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Thread: System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition

  1. #26
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    I don't think Kick would be adverse to promoting mods and directing traffic your way through Night Dive's channels or putting a link to the forum in the readme or mentioning it in the mod descriptions or something.
    Yeah, maybe they'll do that. But Kick has not exactly been known for giving credit where it's due. And none of the modders even asked him to do that.

    So Kick has no real reason to do so, except to avoid the embarrassment that was brought upon him last time, when I called him out on ripping off the results of our community work.
    If I hadn't done so, there's a real chance he wouldn't even have asked these modders for permission to use their work. But since he did ask them, they're too flattered to be among the chosen ones, to ask for money or even a backlink.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    It seems this was a risk that the authors were willing to take, I guess.
    That's probably what they think. "It's my work, I can do with it whatever I want."
    But most of these mods are also the result of a lot of discussions. No one ever came along with a finished mod that wasn't improved by the feedback of the community.
    By giving them to NightDive like that, they act as if none of this mattered. If even one new modder finds us because they played a mod in NightDive's SS2EE I shall be very surprised indeed. But who cares about that, when my mod is in the re-re-release of a nerdy RPG from the 90s by an actual company!

    I think you'll notice this whole thing has left me a tad bit disappointed and jaded. Not for my own ego (I hope), except insofar as I clearly had not managed to instill enough self-respect into this community to demand to be taken seriously. I just realized that the ideals that had driven me to build a community website and that had provided for this community, were clearly not shared by this community.
    There was a point when everyone hopped upon that deal when I considered to act the same way. It's my work after all and I can do with it what I want, right? So why not sell the damn website, at least the stupid domain should be worth something to someone, no? It was not a happy week. In the end I didn't do that, because I don't feel it belongs to me. And that I probably should pursue my ideals for my own sake and not for them. So I guess it's an ego thing after all. \_(ツ)_/

  2. #27
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Wait, Kick offered to buy systemshock.org?

    Still, that's a completely different thing from giving permission to include a mod. Nobody's who's having their mod included will be losing control of it.

    But just theoretically, let's say I, for example, refused permission to include SHTUP. It's not like I could reasonably demand money, because it's been contributed to by many different people. So SS2:EE would just not include SHTUP as an option by default. People could still go download and install it themselves. End result not really much difference.

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
    Yeah, maybe they'll do that. But Kick has not exactly been known for giving credit where it's due. And none of the modders even asked him to do that.

    So Kick has no real reason to do so, except to avoid the embarrassment that was brought upon him last time, when I called him out on ripping off the results of our community work.
    If I hadn't done so, there's a real chance he wouldn't even have asked these modders for permission to use their work. But since he did ask them, they're too flattered to be among the chosen ones, to ask for money or even a backlink.
    I'm inclined to give him the benefit of a doubt that at least half of that might have been GOG's fault, if not most of it. Be it as it may, though, he has reached out to the community and has been willing to listen and fix mistakes. And he seems to be a genuine fan of SS2. If this was EA or Squeenix, they wouldn't give a rat's ass and the best you'd hope for dialogue would be a hired "community manager" doing PR and having no real influence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
    I think you'll notice this whole thing has left me a tad bit disappointed and jaded.
    Um, weren't you the one who wrote that incredibly pissy open letter right at the start, calling Kick a parasite who has never achieved anything on his own and whatnot for selling the game he bought the rights to? I haven't really noticed any significant change to your attitude ever since.

  4. #29
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    @ZylonBane - No, Kick didn't offer. That's not what I meant. And yes, you're right it's not the same, because you still have control over your mods. But I felt it was the same because it was an egotistical decision of everyone involved. We should have at least talked about how we as a community want to deal with this offer. Instead everyone decided for themselves. Good job by him, splitting us up that way. We should have been smarter, especially since it wasn't the first time he came around to harvest.

    If you had refused as by your example you can bet that Kick would have made you a better offer, because SHTUP is worth a few thousand dollars of work that his team would have had to put in themselves to get an equally polished game out the door.
    He could never even have called it an Enhanced Edition without SHTUP or putting in the work. People would have looked at it, laughed, pointed at your thread at ss.org and said: "Thanks but I prefer the community's enhancements."
    Now they are gonna say how great SS2EE looks. End. That is a very real difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Um, weren't you the one who wrote that incredibly pissy open letter right at the start, calling Kick a parasite who has never achieved anything on his own and whatnot for selling the game he bought the rights to? I haven't really noticed any significant change to your attitude ever since.
    Yes, that was when Kick sent his Larry to demand SSPortable to be taken down. One might say not much has changed on their side either, since NightDive still haven't released any game of their own making. Instead they are releasing an Enhanced Edition with mods. That is what we are talking about here. And you're right, my attitude about the value of voluntary community work has not changed.
    Last edited by Kolya; 17th Feb 2021 at 20:50.

  5. #30
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
    Yes, that was when Kick sent his Larry to demand SSPortable to be taken down. One might say not much has changed on their side either, since NightDive still haven't released any game of their own making. Instead they are releasing an Enhanced Edition with mods. That is what we are talking about here.
    So, once the remake releases, you'll have a different opinion about Kick? I somehow doubt that. And Kick's dev credentials aside, I'd say that things like being open to dialogue and feedback and releasing the source code indicate that Kick's motives are not simply preying on / exploiting the community in blind pursuit of profit.

  6. #31
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    I'm not really interested in your speculation about my future or in convincing you of my opinions, Starker. Didn't you say this kind of discussion bores you?

  7. #32
    Zombified
    Registered: Sep 2004
    ->
    Quote Originally Posted by voodoo47 at systemshock.org
    I see it like this, we allow NDS to use our stuff (mods/fixes), they allow us to use their stuff (SS2 source code release, SS2EE exclusive resources).

    win-win?

  8. #33
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
    I'm not really interested in your speculation about my future or in convincing you of my opinions, Starker. Didn't you say this kind of discussion bores you?
    I'm not really speculating about your future. I'm doubting your sincerity and questioning your rhetoric of casting Kick as a villain and lambasting the community for selling out.

    The way you portray it, it's as if the SS2:EE has little to no worth in and of itself and all Night Dive is doing is slapping mods on the game and calling it SS2:EE.

  9. #34
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    I'm not really speculating about your future. I'm doubting your sincerity and questioning your rhetoric of casting Kick as a villain and lambasting the community for selling out.

    The way you portray it, it's as if the SS2:EE has little to no worth in and of itself and all Night Dive is doing is slapping mods on the game and calling it SS2:EE.
    to say nightdive is doing absolutely nothing else for ss2ee would be a stretch, afaik they're:

    -- porting the game to kex just like everything else they've done
    -- releasing a portion of reverse engineered source code (which is nice, but it's not the dark engine source dump to end all source dumps or anything)
    -- "fixing" multiplayer
    -- adding in half-baked vr support
    -- making weird new model replacements because apparently rebirth has that bad of a reputation

    so yeah i guess that's rad, except i'm personally skeptical that they'll actually implement any of this well, and they're still piggybacking off fanmade mods? i would love if they proved me wrong but i'm not counting on it. i'm sure stephen and his team are trying to maintain some form of open dialogue with the community because a. that's just common courtesy and more importantly, b. it's good pr for them. i still don't believe that they necessarily have the community's best interests in mind and that judging by the last decade they're in this business for profit first and foremost. i may or may not change my tune when the ss1 remake actually comes out >:3

    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    Wait, Kick offered to buy systemshock.org?

    Still, that's a completely different thing from giving permission to include a mod. Nobody's who's having their mod included will be losing control of it.

    But just theoretically, let's say I, for example, refused permission to include SHTUP. It's not like I could reasonably demand money, because it's been contributed to by many different people. So SS2:EE would just not include SHTUP as an option by default. People could still go download and install it themselves. End result not really much difference.
    i'm well aware that arguing with zylon is sisyphean but i'll mention this - the majority of players aren't going to get off their asses and install shtup or any mods themselves, because modding is hard and they have absolutely no interest in learning how to do it. this is why modpacks and automated mod installation have been the subject of several heated debates for.. decades(?) in almost every big modding community i can think of. this is also why mods being included in an official release like ss2ee is such a big deal to begin with, even though the same people will think it's nightdive's work and not fanmade work. you can't win with these people

  10. #35
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    The way you portray it, it's as if the SS2:EE has little to no worth in and of itself and all Night Dive is doing is slapping mods on the game and calling it SS2:EE.
    Maybe you'd like to point out where I did that. It would be really odd, because I know of the enhancements they're building into SS2EE and apart from the inevitable engine split it sounds all good to me. I liked the models they presented so far and said so. My opinion of what I've seen of SSR has also been generally positive.

    And I think you got me wrong regarding Kick. It could be that he does everything right: ie NightDive might implement a mod manager in SS2EE that allows to update the mods, highlights authorship and maybe even links to their relevant threads, so people can discuss these mods and get involved.

    It's just that no one thought to ask him to do so when they handed over their mods. They just gave him the benefit of doubt. Now I don't know about you, but when someone has fooled me once, I don't tend to do that.
    But when I'm pointing this out now, I'm necessarily in the anti-Kick corner. Not because I have such a one-sided opinion of him, but because the people I'm addressing are trusting him blindly to do the right thing.

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
    Maybe you'd like to point out where I did that.
    You said that Night Dive wouldn't even be able to call it SS2:EE without the mods, no?

  12. #37
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    Yes, I said he couldn't call it an Enhanced Edition without SHTUP or putting in the work, of updating the textures themselves. That doesn't mean NightDive's own work was negligible. And because it's not, they need SHTUP to keep the balance.
    Have you seen the game without SHTUP lately? And have you seen the models they are planning to add? There would be a jarring quality difference when of these new protocol droids walked though an originally textured door or past a monitor. You would notice right away that a big part of the game is 20 years old and some are new. That sort of thing is actually worse than everything being slightly blurry.
    And yeah, people would rightfully ask how it's an enhanced edition when 70% of the the game is a blurry mess. Especially everyone who played SHTUP before.

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
    And I think you got me wrong regarding Kick. It could be that he does everything right: ie NightDive might implement a mod manager in SS2EE that allows to update the mods, highlights authorship and maybe even links to their relevant threads, so people can discuss these mods and get involved.

    It's just that no one thought to ask him to do so when they handed over their mods. They just gave him the benefit of doubt. Now I don't know about you, but when someone has fooled me once, I don't tend to do that.
    But when I'm pointing this out now, I'm necessarily in the anti-Kick corner. Not because I have such a one-sided opinion of him, but because the people I'm addressing are trusting him blindly to do the right thing.
    Well, I can't get inside your head, so I can only rely on my observations, and the first one that set the tone for everything to follow was your letter attacking Kick's character and motivations. That's a major reason for me to believe that you're guided more by your personal antagonism towards Kick than merely being reluctantly forced into it by circumstances.

    Also, I don't think you are really taking into account how much worse it could have been if Squeenix or any other big corp had nabbed the IP instead of Kick. He actually wants to do something with the game, instead of just sitting on it. And, regardless of his motives, he actually seems to want to have some goodwill in the community where a corporation would just not care. And he's not minding fan projects like the Citadel remake and letting them go on unhindered and doing other things like hiring Robb Waters and even people from the community to work on the games.

    I guess what I'm ultimately trying to say is that it's not the case that the community has everything to lose and Night Dive has everything to win. It's a much more reciprocal relationship than that.
    Last edited by Starker; 20th Feb 2021 at 16:59.

  14. #39
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    Well you don't have to get into my head. Instead of interpreting everything through this pinhole of an angry forum post I made when I had to take down SSPortable, you could just begin taking into account what happened before and in the 5 years since that post. And you could try to understand that this here is only tangentially about Kick. Because his behavior in this was entirely as expected.

    And "It could be worse" has always been a terrible justification for anything.
    If someone like Squeenix had the Shock IP, NewDark would exist anyway. And Malba would have released "SS1EE" for free and with it the reverse engineered source code of SS1.
    And I highly doubt that a big corp like Squeenix would have acted so unprofessional to release public (and partly anonymous) fan works.

    So both System Shock games would exist in their current modern form without NightDive. Without any company earning a shit ton of money from fans. What a terrible thought.
    SSPortable would likely still have been taken down. On the other hand we might be playing SS3 right now instead of waiting for another SS2 re-re-release.
    Mmh. I might even still have my original hair color.

    If NightDive make great strides in SS2EE and if they ever release SSR, that will be the first times they truly will have something to give back in this "win-win", "reciprocal relationship" after 9 years.
    Of course we will have to pay for that, unlike they did for everything they took, but me, I'll be cheering for them anyway. As I have done on several of their SSR announcements.
    But not before. I hope you can forgive me that.
    Last edited by Kolya; 21st Feb 2021 at 22:18.

  15. #40
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I'm not justifying anything. I'm saying the situation is far from terrible. Pretty damn good, actually.

    Is it really so bad that Malba is getting paid?

    You are right, though, that Squeenix would never have released fan works. Or tolerated a fan remake or a SS1EE, for that matter.

    And what a terrible thing indeed that people are able to purchase the games legally if they want. Such a "lose" situation. And SSP was allowed to be put back up without the assets and game data, no?

    As for SS3, after the Thief reboot, I have more faith in Warren Spector (yes, even with Tencent backing) than Squeenix pulling it off, at least as far as creative vision is concerned. And he might well fail, for nothing is certain in game development.

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    Quote Originally Posted by prengle View Post
    i'm well aware that arguing with zylon is sisyphean but i'll mention this - the majority of players aren't going to get off their asses and install shtup or any mods themselves, because modding is hard and they have absolutely no interest in learning how to do it
    I think you're wrong about that. Only hardcore original fans would want to play this game vanilla, and not many of those. Anybody "new" who knows about SS2 and is interested enough to obtain and play a semi-obscure sci-fi RPG from 1999 is going to be aware of the visual upgrades and want them. And you don't have to learn how to mod to install mods.

    this is why modpacks and automated mod installation have been the subject of several heated debates for.. decades(?) in almost every big modding community i can think of.
    Huh, what? Are you implying that mods should be difficult to install, so that only the modders can enjoy them?

    this is also why mods being included in an official release like ss2ee is such a big deal to begin with, even though the same people will think it's nightdive's work and not fanmade work. you can't win with these people
    As long as they ask permission and give credit, I don't think you have any right to complain at all.

    Bottom line: These aren't your mods to control.

  17. #42
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    I think you're wrong about that. Only hardcore original fans would want to play this game vanilla, and not many of those. Anybody "new" who knows about SS2 and is interested enough to obtain and play a semi-obscure sci-fi RPG from 1999 is going to be aware of the visual upgrades and want them. And you don't have to learn how to mod to install mods.

    Huh, what? Are you implying that mods should be difficult to install, so that only the modders can enjoy them?

    As long as they ask permission and give credit, I don't think you have any right to complain at all.

    Bottom line: These aren't your mods to control.
    you'd probably be surprised by the number of people who are ok with playing ss2 (and other games) sans graphics mods - not everyone wants them, whether they're an og fan or a noob like i was once upon a time. i've honestly noticed more people playing with vanilla-ish visuals than i did just a couple of years ago, at least in bethesda modding circles. to nightdive's credit afaik the included graphics mods are technically optional, so there's that... maybe

    and you'd also probably be surprised by the number of people who aren't even willing to learn how to install mods properly either - it really is that bad. i don't want mods to be intentionally difficult to install, but i think mod users should do the bare minimum and at least attempt to learn the basics of modding before using them. lord knows that game journos can't be bothered to. either way, gatekeeping isn't really the issue here, i mentioned modpacks because of the inevitable shitstorm about mod permissions that always pops up because of them

    i think i explicitly stated somewhere that if these modders are ok with giving their work away for free then that's on them and they shouldn't be persecuted for it or anything, i'm not complaining about permissions here because that's how modding fundamentally works. i'm only taking issue because ss2ee has a price tag attached to it
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    As for SS3, after the Thief reboot, I have more faith in Warren Spector (yes, even with Tencent backing) than Squeenix pulling it off, at least as far as creative vision is concerned. And he might well fail, for nothing is certain in game development.
    ...have you actually played underworld ascendant?

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by prengle View Post
    ...have you actually played underworld ascendant?
    I backed it. It's more like a tech demo than a real game, but it also got some of the immersive stuff very right. I've said it before that it has the bones of a great game in it. With proper management, it could have been a cool short indie game and with proper financing, it could have been a great full-fledged immersive sim. But game development doesn't work out more often than not, that's the nature of the beast. I'm fine with having given Looking Glass alumni a shot at this, though.

    Anyway, I'm not sure what your point here is, as Warren Spector is in an entirely different city, leading an entirely different team. And yes, that project too can fail, there's nothing set in stone. But I think I'd rather have the original talent try and fail their hand at a real immersive sim rather than a big corp give us a slightly System Shock flavoured shooter or something.

  19. #44
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    It's more like a tech demo than a real game
    Isn't the entire point of tech demos to be technically impressive? UA is like, the exact opposite of that.

    I'd be hard pressed to even call UA a proof of concept demo.

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    Quote Originally Posted by prengle View Post
    i'm only taking issue because ss2ee has a price tag attached to it
    I know. Let's see how much improvement Night Dive puts into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    I backed it. It's more like a tech demo than a real game, but it also got some of the immersive stuff very right. I've said it before that it has the bones of a great game in it. With proper management, it could have been a cool short indie game and with proper financing, it could have been a great full-fledged immersive sim. But game development doesn't work out more often than not, that's the nature of the beast. I'm fine with having given Looking Glass alumni a shot at this, though.

    Anyway, I'm not sure what your point here is, as Warren Spector is in an entirely different city, leading an entirely different team. And yes, that project too can fail, there's nothing set in stone. But I think I'd rather have the original talent try and fail their hand at a real immersive sim rather than a big corp give us a slightly System Shock flavoured shooter or something.
    I didn't really care that much for the teaser they showed during the Unity keynote. It was looking a bit too much like Doom 3. So I was half hoping that Tencent would replace the development team. What's the latest scoop? Is Otherside in Austin still leading?

  21. #46
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    I backed it. It's more like a tech demo than a real game, but it also got some of the immersive stuff very right. I've said it before that it has the bones of a great game in it. With proper management, it could have been a cool short indie game and with proper financing, it could have been a great full-fledged immersive sim. But game development doesn't work out more often than not, that's the nature of the beast. I'm fine with having given Looking Glass alumni a shot at this, though.

    Anyway, I'm not sure what your point here is, as Warren Spector is in an entirely different city, leading an entirely different team. And yes, that project too can fail, there's nothing set in stone. But I think I'd rather have the original talent try and fail their hand at a real immersive sim rather than a big corp give us a slightly System Shock flavoured shooter or something.
    the funny epic joke i was trying to make was that underworld ascendant turned out to be a limp floppy pool noodle of a game, and that most famous 90s "rock star" devs like warren spector are complete and total washed up hacks - deus ex didn't turn out as amazingly as it did because of spector, i'd rather believe that it was people like sheldon pacotti and harvey smith who made that game as good as it was. maybe i'm just coping idk

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Sure, one person isn't going to make a game like this. It takes a whole team. I guess I was using Spector as sort of a shorthand, which is a bit ironic, as he so commonly rails against this practice. I guess it's easier to heap the responsibility on the one person who's visible than the people you don't know.

    And it's not that uncommon for a person to produce something amazing and then work on a flop after that cough*Invisible War*cough.

    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    I didn't really care that much for the teaser they showed during the Unity keynote. It was looking a bit too much like Doom 3. So I was half hoping that Tencent would replace the development team. What's the latest scoop? Is Otherside in Austin still leading?
    From what I gather, OSE still working on the game and Tencent is publishing. I don't think there's anything more known beyond that.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    Isn't the entire point of tech demos to be technically impressive? UA is like, the exact opposite of that.

    I'd be hard pressed to even call UA a proof of concept demo.
    Depends a lot on the demo and what it's for. Anyway, I'm pretty sure it can be generally understood that by "more like a tech demo than a real game" I did not mean to say that UA was technically impressive. Even so, I did like the fire propagation and the magic system quite a bit. Haven't seen many games play around with fire that way since Far Cry 2.
    Last edited by Starker; 25th Feb 2021 at 08:22.

  23. #48
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2016
    at least harvey admitted that he screwed up and took the blame for invisible war being lame as hell over a decade ago - that doesn't always happen with lead designers

  24. #49
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Do we know for sure OtherSide is still working on System Shock 3? Prior to Tencent's involvement, the OtherSide Austin office was closed and all the employees were let go. The Boston office was working on a different, new project in the Unreal Engine, and other than Tim Stellmach and Paul Neurath, it wasn't clear who was there anymore. The Project Director, Lead Writer, Lead Level Designer and Lead Programmer for Underworld Ascendant have all long-since left OtherSide.

    On the official forums, after the Tencent announcement people asked the community manager if they were still working on System Shock 3 and she basically just gave us a "no comment."

    I haven't been paying much attention since then, so maybe there have been some new developments, but passively I haven't heard or noticed anything. So do we really know Warren Spector or OtherSide are still involved in the project?

  25. #50
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    I'm pretty sure the project is moribund for now.

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