Not too long ago, we reported that things were sounding a bit wobbly over on the System Shock remake’s Kickstarter page. Plans to divert from a pure remake to redesign the game from the ground up had spiraled out of control, and money was running low.
While some less optimistic folks took this as a death knell for the project and declared it done and dusted at the time, the reality of the situation doesn’t seem to be nearly so dramatic. The game is officially back on track using their previous design, but it has come at a cost of time.
Thanks to PC Gamer managing to pin down the Night Dive head folks at GDC, we now know that the System Shock remake is alive once more. After a brief hiatus, the studio have re-refocused their efforts back to their previous path, and the game is on course yet again, albeit delayed until sometime in 2020.
Apparently returning to the original, smaller focus of the game has made it somewhat more palatable to publishers and investors once more, so unless disaster strikes again, then the money will continue to flow until such time as the project can be completed. Do remember that as nice as a seven-digit Kickstarter budget sounds, £1.35m is minuscule budget for any kind of lengthy, modern single-player game. They would have almost certainly needed to find a publisher one way or another – this has just forced them over that particular barrel a little earlier.
Rather than go entirely back to their earlier prototype build of the game, they are continuing development using the Unreal engine, a side-step away from Unity. With both engines still in a rapid state of flux, whether this will even mean anything worth mentioning in two years is unlikely, so that’s probably not as much as an issue as it sounds.
Either way, it’s good to know that the project isn’t dead, just delayed. Unfortunate that this turned into such a time-costly snag, but that merely puts it alongside the other 90% of Kickstarter projects that underestimated just how much work had to be done between Here and There.