GL_TEXTUREMODE GL_NEAREST read my knuckle tattoos. People on the bus gasp when they see my twenty-four fingers curl around the grab rail and I think “Yeah that’s right, normies, I bet you are shocked: no texture filtering, not even mipmapping. I bet it’s freaking your nut out to discover how real video games should really be played.”
So I’m mortified to discover that Nightdive Studios are enabling texture filtering in their System Shock remake [Kickstarter page], after it was so wonderfully disabled in their Kickstarter demo. But hey, they are improving the demo in ways too.
If you’ve played the System Shock Kickstarter demo, you might have noticed that looking at textures close-up you can see individual pixels. Which is great! Nightdive’s remake combines the old look with modern technology in a charming and stylish way, as Alec examined, and the unfiltered textures are a great part of that.
Now Night Dive are preparing an update to that demo, with nice changes like improving the feel of melee combat, making grenades and other consumables functional, and – oh no! – enabling texture filtering. Night Dive explain:
“In the current demo, some textures look ‘pixelated’ up close. This actually has nothing to do with their texture resolution. Before video cards became commonplace in the late 90s, textures did not get filtered. We’re doing the same thing to have a bit of a retro touch. In the next demo update, we’ve switched from no filtering to trilinear.”
They share a few before/after screenshots, showing it’ll go from e.g. this (the ugly cropping is all me – follow the link for full-size versions):
I suppose it’s a relatively minor change but I do hope Nightdive add an option for unfiltered textures. There’s a beautiful crispness to them, exposing the raw matter of the game. In retrospect, it was a terrible shame when 3D accelerator cards took off in the ’90s and games made to look unfiltered lost their detail in the high-tech smear. I was excited as anyone to get my first Voodoo card but ah, it doesn’t have the same charm does it? Not all technology is progress.
You know, I don’t feel I’m old enough yet to be saying things like that. But here we are.
Anyway! With 23 days still to go, the System Shock Kickstarter stands at $797,877 towards its $900,000 goal. Well! This is going to happen, isn’t it. And then, System Shock 3! You can still download the remake’s Kickstarter demo from Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store.
Oh, and for RPS Supporters only: you can read about my shock at Alec tarting up Quake with all sorts of awful modern flair, which I believe to him is the games equivalent of me owning pristine first pressings of The Jam’s complete catalogue. He’s awfully cruel, that Alec.