As the title suggests, this thread is for discussion the video update of the System Shock Reboot. What did you think? Anything make you pump your fist in the air and shout, "Yes!" (I heard a couple things like that!) Anything make your jaw drop, followed by exclaiming, "What Are You Thinking?!" Anything make you stroke your chin thoughtfully and murmur, "Hmmm...." To get this party started, here are some thoughts I thunk based on this latest update.... -------- Firstly, a big thanks to the team for this update. That it answered some questions and raised others is a feature, not a bug! I would like to say that my own preference is for text updates, not video. I don't mind the occasional video, especially when there are new art assets or dynamic behaviors to show off. But I generally do not enjoy being held hostage to the delivery speed of someone's narration; my personal preference (as just one data point) is for text updates. That said, on to specifics. 1. 0451 -- heh. 2. In the art section, was movement done using a controller? Or mouse & keyboard? If a controller (for some reason) is being used, will mouse & keyboard control get as much dev/testing time so that this experience feels as polished as the controller experience? 3. In James Henley's section, I saw "lean" in use. Strongly approve. 4. "...adjustments to layouts in order to support a variety of play styles and approaches to problem-solving." This is both gratifying (awareness that supporting multiple play interests is worthwhile) and terrifying (it can be used to justify any amount/degree of changes). In what areas do the design team believe the original game failed to sufficiently support multiple play styles and solution approaches, "necessitating" potentially major changes? I'm not looking for some reason to object. If there's a plausible reason for why some area of the original game didn't support different ways of dealing with a challenge as much as can be done today, I'm ready to agree. But I'd like a better idea of what those areas are first. 5. "Our goal has been to ground Citadel Station's levels in believability," and "to couch them in realistic, recognizable contexts taken from the world around us." Would I be correct in thinking this is one of the "modern level design principles" frequently cited by NightDive as a reason why altering the original game's geometry is required? I've got some strong concerns about "realism" as a design metric for imaginative computer games. I think "plausibility" is a much more useful (and achievable) yardstick, and that this distinction is not just some semantic nuance. But the larger point -- of engaging today's players with the novel (not-real) features of an invented world by more-or-less faithfully rendering certain aesthetic and physics-based characteristics of the real world they know -- is not a bad one altogether. If the selection of recognizable objects and processes is handled thoughtfully, with constant reference to what delivers the core "feel" of the game, then that's just good game design regardless of what year it is. So I'm tentatively on board with "believability" as a reason for changing the original System Shock's levels... but I'd like to see and hear more, in more detail, to sign up fully to it. (I mean, for whatever that's worth. ) 6. From James's brief mention of "skulking" and environmental manipulation and direct combat as general modes of play, I get the impression that the overall design notion is to apply the old Thief / Mage / Fighter model of play styles to System Shock -- that this model is one of the "modern design principles" NightDive want to apply. If that's something like accurate, I'd first note that this trinary model is not exactly a new thing. Secondly, I could maybe make an argument in favor of tweaking the gameplay and objects of System Shock to fit better in this model if the deeper intention is to retcon System Shock into looking and feeling and playing more like System Shock 2: "Skulking" = Thief = Navy/Hacker Environmental manipulation = Mage = OSI Direct Combat = Fighter = Marine If this is the idea, I don't know if I support it. My gut feeling is that if someone wants to play System Shock 2, they can play System Shock 2 -- the original System Shock had its own unique feel in which these different ways of playing, while supported, weren't treated so distinctively but were more organic. It would be a shame to lose that, IMO. (Also, I need to think some more about how to better describe this viewpoint.) Note: I never played any Metroidvania games, so I have no idea whether, rather than Thief/Mage/Fighter or SS2, the actual intention is to try to warp System Shock to feel more Metroidvania-like. If that's the case, I really would appreciate some deeper explanation. 7. "Agency": this is a magic word. I'm looking forward to future updates where it's spelled out in more detail how NightDive intend to emphasize player agency as a core design tenet in this reboot, and how doing so will change the original. 8. More seamless "level" transitions: sounds interesting -- how will this work with gating the player through different parts of Citadel Station as the usual means of enforcing plot point motion through the main story? 9. "I'm not talking about open-world here.": You say that like "open-world" is a dirty word. What specifically about open-world games is it that you feel would be inappropriate for a redesign of System Shock? -------------- Overall, a nice, meaty update, with plenty of material to chew on. Also, apparently it's suppertime here. Thanks to the NightDive team!