or login with

System Shock 2’s project manager comments on Arkane’s ‘spiritual successor’ plans

17 Aug 2013  by   Peter Parrish
Tweet about this on Twitter5Share on Facebook0Share on Google+1Share on Reddit0
system shock 2 -3

Can you wrench yourself away?

You may have seen in Thursday’s news that Arkane does, in fact, appear to have taken over development of the Prey 2 project for Bethesda. In addition, the plan is now a full reboot with the inspiration being “the spiritual successor to System Shock 2.”

As luck would have it, IncGamers was speaking to two former developers from the original System Shock 2 on that very day; so we asked for their early reactions.

Jon Chey held a number of roles, but was primarily System Shock 2’s overall project manager and the man responsible for AI behaviour (as well as the day-to-day running of the fledgling Irrational Games.) Dorian Hart, meanwhile, was “the numbers guy,” in charge of gameplay and economy balancing, damage stats and the like. He also built some of the game’s levels.

Here’s Jon Chey’s response to the news.

Peter [Parrish]: I was wondering … there’s actually some System Shock 2 related news that has emerged today. Arkane, who made Dishonored, are now taking over the development of Prey 2 and they’ve said they’re aiming to make that the ‘spiritual successor’ to System Shock 2.

Jon [Chey]: Oh really? Wow. Interesting.

Peter: I don’t know how you feel about that?

Jon: It’s, um … Prey 2 by my understanding was … I don’t know a lot about that project but it seemed like it was pretty far advanced. I haven’t been following exactly what’s been going on with it, but yeah that’s interesting because obviously BioShock games are spiritual successors to System Shock 2 in many senses. But then I think there are other aspects of System Shock that, because it is such a multi-faceted game, the BioShock games have mostly run with the narrative side of it. The gameplay side of it they’ve sort of veered off into a different direction, a more classic action direction. So it’d be interesting to see if somebody would pick up the … I don’t know what they mean by that, if they’re intending to spiritually succeed it in terms of its atmosphere or its narrative or gameplay, or …

Peter: I’m not sure. It’s a lone email that says their pitch for Prey 2 was “spiritual successor to System Shock 2.” I mean obviously … I don’t know if either of you guys played Dishonored, but they pretty heavily influenced by aspects of the Thief series.

Jon: Well I mean, Harvey Smith worked on Deus Ex, so that came out at a very similar time and has a lot of similar ideas to System Shock and so that’s … I’m not surprised that they’re working in that area.

And I think System Shock 2’s one of those games where it probably didn’t spawn a whole host of similar games. There wasn’t an obviously gold mine to be dug there. But on the other hand I think it certain has influenced a lot of other … like Portal games, for example. They’re different games but they have the rogue AI which is taunting you, interacting with you and guiding you through …

Dorian [Hart]: … a strange, science fiction environment.

Jon: So a lot of different games have picked up a lot of different bits and pieces, which of course is true of the games industry in general. It always feeds off itself. But yeah, I’d love to see more people try to pick up the legacy and do things with it.

I’m very tempted to try to do something like that myself. There are a lot of interesting things that could be explored, perhaps focusing more on the sort of stuff we were talking about earlier, the angst-driven resource scarcity and fear aspects of the game.

The full audio and transcript will be up later in the week on IncGamers.

Tweet about this on Twitter5Share on Facebook0Share on Google+1Share on Reddit0

Related to this story

Have you got all our top PC game picks in your Steam library? Follow the IncGamers Curator list.
Register an IncGamers account to post comments, enter giveways and more!
You can also post through a social network or without logging in.
    
or login with

  1. YoFoSho
    +4

    Just friggin’ make SYSTEM SHOCK 3 ALREADY. SHODAN IS STILL ALIVE!

    August 18, 2013 at 4:16 pm

  2. saluk
    +2

    Um… every game is a successor to system shock 2. Show me an fps without skill points and ability paths that you unlock. How about a game that doesn’t attempt a strong narrative story. Show me a game that doesn’t have audio logs of what happened some time ago with many methods besides just cutscenes of telling the story. You can’t just be an rpg, or just be an fps, or just be an open world game anymore. Everything is a mix of these different elements, and system shock 2 (well, ss 1 before it too) was one of the early successes in genre blending.

    August 18, 2013 at 7:21 pm
    1. Avatar of
      Peter Parrish
      +1

      Good points – and funnily enough we talk about a lot of that ‘legacy’ in the interview.

      August 18, 2013 at 7:31 pm

  3. Paulo RM

    I don’t know about you guys, but I refuse to waste my time playing anything labelled as “Prey 2″ by Bethesda or Arkane.

    January 23, 2014 at 9:44 pm

You're too late! The comments are now closed.

Game advertisements by <a href="http://www.game-advertising-online.com" target="_blank">Game Advertising Online</a> require iframes.