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File: System_Shock_intro.png (82 KB, 640x360)
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Discuss.

>The Looking Glass Studios guys once said back in the day that immersion in gaming came from SIMULATION mechanics, NOT from RPG mechanics.
>They were 100% right. Thief is probably the best game ever made and it works because it's literally just "here's everything you need to be a thief.. NOW GO BE A THIEF!"

Except SS1 puts one gigantic nail right into that specific concept (which originated with "dungeon simulation game" Ultima Underworld 1).

>wat
>System Shock has much less in the way of RPG mechanics than UUW (and for that matter, I've heard that the RPG parts of Underworld were only added for fear that players wouldn't understand the game without them).

It's very tricky to explain, but it's kind of the whole point of the game. I'll try though.
(cont)
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>>4517550
1. Constant droning game-inside-a-game motif (desktop -> System Shock -> Cyberspace (you gain something, email, opening closet locks, but don't lose anything important in the context of the game in all the levels except one) -> handheld games like pong (you don't gain jack shit except for highscore)).
2. Devaluation of death through vita-chambers.
3. Constant ambushes and more subtle ways (like loot generation on the moment of initiating the search of enemy's body) to encourage savescumming.
4. Hodgepodge art-direction, packed with references and just plain fooling around. The only clown that takes this absolutely seriously is Shodan.
5. Cyberspace is inconsequential and unnecessary for completion of the game in all the levels except the last (thus it's conceptualized as the like of handheld games). The failure in the last Cyberspace level makes your character die in the "upperworld" as well - WHICH RESULTS IN JUST ANOTHER LOADGAME WITHOUT YOU, THE PLAYER, LOSING ANYTHING. Moreover, the Shodan bossfight is set up in such a specific way, that it's pretty much impossible to win without knowing beforehand just what exactly you're supposed to do - which, obviously, nobody tells you, thus you need to learn it via trail-and-error WITH THE FIGHT BEING SET IN THE SPECIFIC WAY THAT EVERY ERROR RESULTS IN CHARACTER'S DEATH. At the last Cyberspace difficulty you have, like, half a second more than you absolutely need in order to kill Shodan until it kills you. Moreover, you die by Shodan's face substituting the entire screen, INTERFACE INCLUDED. Meaning, the entirety of character's consciousness gets absorbed by Shodan. Difference it makes with all the other deaths? Jack shit, you still LOAD THE GAME IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. WHICH IS THE ENTIRE POINT. Something absolutely inconsequential gets dramatized to the point of absurdity.
(cont)
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>>4517554
6. Now, pay attention. The crucial thing for solving this is actually relation between cyberspace and upperworld parts of SystemShock. First things first, System Shock is genre work, it's cyberpunk action game, and cyberspace (as the AIs and greedy unethical corporations) is an expected attribute of cyberpunk works, as per Gibson. So, well, cyberspace is, among others, a piece of pandering for cyberpunk fiction fans. Second, the simulationist aspects of SystemShock framed it as a sort of "cyber-reality game of its time" (basically, "virtual reality as cyberspace"). Developers even complained that if using digital gloves (and well, EVERYBODY eventually ended up complaining about controls the game ended up with) with VR sets was an options, they'd go for it. Third, as I've said earlier, in all the levels except the last one, cyberspace is unnecessary and inconsequential, with every "death" there you just lose a FRACTION of health (it's impossible to die that way) and you get a bit less time for your next attempt (although the time you get is ALWAYS enough to complete the cyber-level). Moreover, you progress in cyber always retains, which encourages not reloading the main game, and just going for another dive immediately after having been forced out (devaluing being forced out and framing it as inconsequential). Moreover, you discover all of the handheld games, again, within the cyber-levels, which establishes the link between them. In other words, throughout the game cyberspace is strongly framed as "the like of Pong and other handheldery".
7. The aforementioned Shodan bossfight though is set up in a specific way TO DESTROY THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN CYBERSPACE AND UPPERWORLD PORTIONS OF THE GAME. The whole act of substituting the entire screen, interface included, with Shodan's face kind of conceptualizes it that THERE IS NO PRINCIPAL DIFFERENCE, IN SOME SENSE, BETWEEN CYBERSPACE AND ANY OTHER PART OF THE GAME. Meaning, that AT THIS MOMENT this link,
(cont)
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>>4517557
(cont) this link, this association between cyberspace levels and handheld games, GETS TRANSFERED TO SYSTEM SHOCK SINGLEPLAYER CAMPAIGN AS A WHOLE. One is meant to begin to associate handheld games with System Shock as a whole. What exactly does this mean?
8. In order to answer this specific question, you need to look back at what exact spot do handheld game occupy in the context of System Shock's campaign. And the place they occupy is extremely simple. You play them INSTEAD OF DOING SOMETHING ELSE. Playing them DOESN'T PROGRESS THE ACTUAL GAME IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER. WHATEVER YOU GAIN IN THE CONTEXT OF ANY OF THOSE GAMES (highscore, for example) STAYS THERE WITHOUT HELPING YOUR MAIN QUEST IN ANY WAY. PLAYING PONG DOESN'T EVEN MAKE YOU BETTER AT SYSTEM SHOCK. They. Are. Simply. EN. TER. TAIN. MENT.
9. And so is System Shock 1 as a whole. Simulationist "Imma cyberspace virtual reality game" pretense or not. You play it instead of doing something outside the context of the game, and whatever you "gain" in that context of that game, stays there. The only thing that transcends the boundary is information, a sort of better understanding of how you, the player, happen to think as a human being. And Shodan is a fool for exact reason of ascribing any value to any piece of ingame content in-itself, and, as such, to its "power" over it. Alas, it didn't have the AWSHUM powers of savescum to boot.
10. It doesn't really simulate jack shit since it's speculative fiction, now does it? It doesn't make you prepared for any "similar situations" because no "similar" situations ever happened in the first place.

The End.
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Uhm...SS thread?
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What the hell
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I think System Shock is a pretty cool guy. Eh kills mutants and doesnt afraid of anything
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>I've heard that the RPG parts of Underworld were only added for fear that players wouldn't understand the game without them).
The skill system in UW is a lot more complex than many contemporary games which only had a level that increased as you killed monsters.
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tl:dr

System Shock 1 is a better game than 2.
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>>4520898
wrong
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>>4517554
>vita-chambers make dying lose value
>being able to reload after dying makes dying lose value
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>>4517550
>from /v/
Fuck off.
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>>4520958
Herein lies the difference. System Shock 1 deliberately deconstructed UUW1 to hell and back. While System Shock 2 was its straight retelling in sci-fi setting.
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>>4520972
If the vita-chambers work like the ones of Bioshock they do.
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>>4522912
They absolutely do.
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>>4522957
So what's the point of no-respawning enemies after you load the game?
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So
>system shock isn't good because its not immersive, and its not immersive because you can respawn or load saves as opposed to having to start the entire thing over whenever you die?
That's just dumb. It's a good game. As is the second.
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>>4523016
>system shock isn't good
Where did you read that?
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>>4523048
>The Looking Glass Studios guys once said back in the day that immersion in gaming came from SIMULATION mechanics
>Thief is probably the best game ever made and it works because it's literally just "here's everything you need to be a thief
>IE simulation=immersive=good game, thief is example of this
>It (system shock) doesn't really simulate jack shit
That's how I came to my conclusion of what was written
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>>4523075
The first two quotes are from a poster different than that of the fourth quote. The latter might disagree with the whole "only simulators might ever be good" notion.
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>>4517550
Actually, there is a contradiction.
The purpose of this game is to demonstrate, that a videogame can't affect shit in anything that doesn't belong to said videogame. Meaning, it can't cause any significant effect upon "outside reality".
Which is contradicted by this game itself.
First of all, it did affect me. I completed it two years, I still think about it, about this whole point of "inability of a videogame to cause an effect upon something that's isn't part of it". That's a fucking lasting effect, I'd say - and I'm definitely no System Shock's "character". So, that's for one.
Second, if the author (Doug Church, I presume) believed what he was saying, he wouldn't have said it through the videogame in the first place. And, yet, he did. That's for a second one.
Third. This game was obviously meant to be "immersive sim manifesto", an example of how it's possible to Make Games This Way, as an artistic gesture. It was meant to inspire and to lead other developers, as well as players. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT IT ACHIEVED. System Shock 2, Deus Ex 1 and nuPrey are just SOME of the examples of the games which wouldn't look the way they actually look, if not for System Shock 1. Which is, again, a pretty lasting fucking effect.

And you know what I'd say after the aforementioned three points? I'd say this. Videogames obviously don't and can't cause any MATERIAL changes to the "outside reality". But what they CAN and sometimes DO cause is that they sometimes persuade players in something players didn't agree with prior to playing them. And that, however you look at it, is an effect, even if immaterial.
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>>4524371
So, for me, the entirety of System Shock 1 boils down to this: PERSUASION.

In the context of System Shock 1, I view both its immersive pretensions AND its heavily information-saturated lean (the usage of cyberpunk setting with overabundance of computing devices, all the implants that allow you to acquire extra information, etc.) as metaphors for that central theme specifically.

I am more or less done with this game now. Thank you for your attention and time.
>>
Classic edition or Enhanced? Does the EE take any liberties with the game that detract from the core of System Shock 1?
>>
Alright so hold up with me for a second.
You are mad that a cyberpunk game has cyberpunk and game elements?
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>>4524693
No, I'm not mad. I just, well, explained, what I happened to see in System Shock 1. And what I happen see in it, is basically one giant postmodernist piece, or, if you will, The Witness' less retarded and much older brother of sorts (seriously, The Witness is probably the "closest" - meaning it's still waaaaay off - analogy artistry/concept-wise I am able to come up with at the moment). And it's just that I don't really know any other games like that.
It's also that I've listened to former LGS emplyees' audiopodcasts from gambit.mit.edu (more than 12 hours total) and read a couple of printed interviews on the game from some god-forsaken e-zines downloaded from archive.org, before playing the game, and of the stuff mentioned by me (and not mentioned - like game starting and ending with pretty much a dude looking at a computer screen - yes, that was specifically meant to represent the PLAYER as well as the character, lol), was actually specifically discussed there. Without that - and consequently having at least some idea of what they were thinking about while developing the game, everything mentioned above would probably flown over my head completely, since I'm not really all that good with postmodernism and such.

Also, here
>its heavily information-saturated lean (the usage of cyberpunk setting with overabundance of computing devices, all the implants that allow you to acquire extra information, etc.)
I forgot the most to mention the most important thing: the whole metagaming theme (using INFORMATION from previous attempts in order to succeed in the following attempts) subtly but insistently encouraged by the game. Meaning, that information-emphasis is not only there because "muh cyberpunk", it's a distinct theme, central to the core of the game.
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>>4524671
Enhanced if it has a newer control scheme.
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>>4524671
I didn't really compare. I didn't hear about any significant changes in EE, when compared to the previous versions (floppy and CD ones). I know they made it run natively on Windows, patched in mouselook and heightened resolution. Whether anything else was changed, I simply don't know.
Anyway, I only completed the game once, original floppy version (the one that doesn't have audiologs yet, they were the CD version's feature) without any mods, using mouse movement (not mouselook) and partly reconfigured (via AutoHotkey) keyboard layout. Some 5 years years before that, I watched a playthrough of the CD version (by some annoying letsplayer with heavy German accent), well, I didn't really remember anything from it by the time I decided to play it all by myself. So, yeah, that comprises the extent of my direct experience with the game.
>>4524789
>No, I'm not mad at the game
>employees'
>and SOME of the stuff mentioned by me (as well as some stuff NOT mentioned by me -
>everything mentioned above would've probably flown
>I forgot to mention the most important thing
Might as well fix all these.




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