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    Friday - 7.30.1999
    THE SYSTEM SHOCK 2 DEMO IS HERE! - 4:30pm EST - Digital
Go to download.com and get it now. NOW! GO!! RUN!!!

There should be other mirrors popping up. Try 3dfiles.com, or gamecenter.com

    The System Shock 2 Box - Photos! - 4:15pm EST - Digital
The lucky punk Will Stevenson decided to taunt us today with photos and a movie of his shiny new System Shock 2 box. That box had better be empty, or that man's gonna be hunted down.... :)

  • Front
  • Back
  • Front & Side
  • Close-up
  • Moive (mpeg)

    Very nice.... :) Thanks, Wiil!

  •     Thursday - 7.29.1999
        A Great SS2 Review on PC Zone, Dead Tree Edition - 3:30pm EST - Digital
    As reported by Pyros, the one who knows:
    Just recieved my pczone mag 6 page review lots of pics. Pitty its on paper not the net. There verdict-

    Hugely atmospheric - gripping storyline - Fantastic graphics - Big scares - mind bogling depth

    Training abit of a let down - some may find it overwhelming - not many people to talk to

    score 95%
    A sci fi horror masterpiece

    Seems the training missions you don't actually get to do just automatic once you pick them. but it looks damn amazing to me and DOH reviewer its suposed to be issolationist

    Sounds great, Pyros! I guess that PC Zone is one of those mags that review unfinished games! Oh my! With a score of 95%, let's not complain.

        Assault the Fried! - 3:15pm EST - Digital
    Aside from the disappointment caused by that movie being so poor quality, I suppose the other disappointment would be how they skipped around so much, to the point that you really couldn't tell what was going on until you watched it 3 times, other then the fact that the player was basically trying to blow up and kill lots of things. Of course we understand that they had to do this to appeal to the action crowd, but I hope that the RPG crowd won't be alienated by how "shooterish' they made the movie seem. Like SS1, I do believe that this game will be long moments of suspense broken by brief seconds of utter panic... :)

    I've two other things to report, and since they content what many people would consider spoilers, I won't post them here, but link to them.

    The first concerns an article, or soon-to-be series of articles on pc.ign.com concerning the weapons and armor in SS2. You can read it, and spoil some surprises, right here.

    The 2nd concerns Evil Spirit's (Tim Stellmach, SS2 playtester and Thief 2 Mastermind) post on our forum quashing doubts caused by a disappointed SS2 rant posted on a different forum. The guy was complaining that SS2 was far too difficult and frustrating, and Tim basically reported that "whoever wrote this is really misrepresenting what happens." Nuff said, as far as I'm concerned. However if you wish to read a very in-depth description of what they are talking about laden with specific details about gameplay, enemies, weapons, etc, then go read the thread!

    Oh yes, and in response to another Thread, DoktorX, I believe it was, reported that there is indeed a psi power that lets you convert psi to energy.

        New movie and wallpaper! - 10:30am EST - Trimfect
    The official SS2 site has been updated with a new wallpaper and a new movie!

    The wallpaper isn't anything special, just once again an image of everyones dear old friend - SHODAN. Nevertheless, it is worth the download. Preview

    Sadly I haven't seen the movie yet, but I see no point not downloading it. So download it.

        Wednesday - 7.28.1999
        Mr. Cortex #2 walks among us - 10:30am EST - Trimfect
    14 days and about 5 reavers to go. We have seen a walking Cortex Reaver, sure. It's not a big deal - but what if, just if, the reaver would walk on it's 2 feet?

    Mr. Cortex #2.

    You are free to exploit him any way you want.

        Tuesday - 7.27.1999
        Ask Doktor X - 1:30pm EST - Digital
    DoktorX, a.k.a. "Xemu," System Shock 2 head honcho, has been answering a few questions on the SS1 & 2 forum regarding SS2 system requirements, mods, and other things:
    . . . You will get a bit boost from increasing your RAM, and also of course a boost from a faster processor but that's a bigger upgrade.

    Your machine (200 mhz, 32 ram - ed.) is definitely not up to our "recommended" spec, but the game should be reasonably playable. Of course, different people have different opinions of what playable is. You aren't going to get a blistering frame rate on a 200.

    - - - - - -

    Sorry to disappoint, but there are no cameras that the player can look through. It was just a technical feature that got cut due to time constraints.

    However, cameras in Shock 2 are MUCH more "real" in the sense of actually working as part of a security system that can be hacked, summon reinforcements, etc...

    Just for reference, the rendering issues, while definitely something of a problem, were not the real limiting factor. Mostly it was AI and motion system issues that kept us from doing it.

    - - - - - -

    To the same extent that people have been doing them (making mods -ed.) over in the Thief world, they should also be do-able in the Shock world, assuming the editor is released down the line. You can construct fairly complex game logic through the editor's "trap / trigger" system. Though it is a bit different from Thief's, I think it is at least as powerful. That lets people make new scenarios, etc.

    By overriding files and making new .crfs (which are essentially just zipped up data directories) you can provide new audio, skins, object icon art, etc. Similarly, there is no inherent reason you couldn't add new "variant" monsters using similar data by adding objects to the .GAM file or tweaking data, etc.

    - - - - - -

    Unfortunately, multiplayer doesn't allow you to specify a difficulty level (the game treats MP as it's own special diff level).

    Down the road, people can make themselves hacked versions of the game system or whatnot to roll their own "mp challenges", but that would require some work from the fan base...

    Thanks for the comments, Rob!

        Eight New Screenshots & a "First Impressions" Article - 12:20pm EST - Digital
    'Ello, all. This will most likely be the last batch of screenshots that I shall be posting up here, since soon we won't need screenshots to see how this game looks. *cough*demo*cough*

    The first batch is a new set that LGS put up on their official site a few days ago:

    Just Call Me Mr Freeze! - 640x480,  91K Do You Like Fire?  I'm Full of it! - 640x480,  156K This Rumbler Won't Fit in Your Tape-Deck - 640x480, 118 K Corpses Carry Cool Stuff - 640x480,  132K

    The 2nd group is from the SS2 First Impressions article that went online a few hours ago on CDMag.com:

    Thank TriOp for Unbreakable Glass - 800x600,  117K Information at Your Fingertips - 800x600,  98K Just Messy Pipes - 800x600, 122 K A Skinny Dead Guy - 800x600,  91K

    So there you have it. Now for some advice for everyone. I am going crazy getting everything that I need to do that is important done before SS2 comes out. This is simply because I know that SS2 will take up 99% of my time as soon as it's in my hands. I suggest the rest of you fanatics do the same... :)

        Saturday - 7.24.1999
        Cortex Reaver of the Week - 5:00pm EST - Trimfect
    About 18 days to go. Twiddling thumbs for couple of days, but it still leaves many days for no activity at all. Have no fear, we are happy to announce the Mr. Cortex of the week! Well, actually it's not a weekly event since there is at least 2 new Mr. Cortex's a week. Here he is:

    Mr. Cortex #1.

    You are free to exploit him any way you want.

        Thursday - 7.22.1999

        SS2 Data.Node Pre-Release Info Center Has Opened! - 4:10pm EST - Dan
    The SS2 Information Data.Node is, in one incarnation or another, older then this site. It was a conglomeration off all available information on System Shock 2, at least, all information avilable before Christmas of '98, when the person who was maintaining it retired from the post.

    Well, it's finally received an update, and it's much more than an update. Anyone who had visited the thing knew that it was a massive document, extremely redundant, and rather hard to find anything in! All this has changed now, for the document has been revised from the ground up. All the redundant info has been compressed, and all the new info has been added. What's more, it has been divided into a group of pages, rather then one. Throw in links to screenshots, and you've got yourself a winner!

    It also has a slightly changed name: The Pre-Release Info Center. The new concept is that the center is designed for people who have not yet played System Shock 2, (all of us, at this point) and wish to get an idea of what the game will be like. If offers a nearly complete collection of pre-release info, which basically means that everything in here has been deemed by the developers as "okay" to know before you start playing. There are no spoilers in there!

    At the risk of sounding immodest, note that this group of documents renders all previews written thus far totally obsolete. All it lacks is info on the multi-player aspects of the game, and it will be complete.

    Ready to dive in? Go for it!

    Note that the old Data.Node in Q.A. format is still viewable here.

    One last note: We noticed that there is a great deal of first time guests coming in today. I'd like to take the time to welcome you to the Through the Looking Glass fansite network. If you're interested in System Shock 2, then you will of course want to take a look at Thief: The Dark Project, and the rest of the Looking Glass Studios titles.

        System Shock 2 Has Gone Gold! - 3:10pm EST - Dan
    We aren't sure if it happened today or yesterday, all we know is that it's true! System Shock 2 has gone to the manufacturer! It's done! It will be in stores on August 12th! (pending disaster) The wait is almost over! If anyone feels like celebrating, I'll be in the chatroom (#system`shock`2 at polaris.starchat.net) for the next few hours. (I'll be busy elsewhere, but there... :)

        SHODAN Elected As One of the Top 10 Best Villains! - 1:30pm EST - Dan
    Gamespot just did an article about the top ten best computer game villains ever, and guess who was the only woman among them? SHODAN of course! (The is the first time I've seen SHODAN called a femme fatale!) It's great to see the evil sadistic thing that she is get the honor she deserves! You can check out the article here, or skip right to the good parts with SHODAN here.

        Wednesday - 7.21.1999
        Quotes & Quips From the Forum - 1:30pm EST - Dan
    There is a wealth of information to be gained about this game from the forum! Here is some of the good stuff I found:

    Xemu (DoktorX) & Boojum on the miltiplayer patch:

    Obviously, you'll only know for 100% certain that we've come through on our promise when you have the patch installed and are skulking around bashing hybrids on-line with your buddies. However, the situation here is COMPLETELY, and I mean ABSOLUTELY different than with Terra Nova. For TN Multi we had a real plan to do an add-on project for MP, but as of the time of TN shipping, there was nothing but the barest sketch of a demo of MP-ready TN technology running.

    We have been playing Shock 2 multi around the office for a while now, and it is making great progress. The work is all done, it is just being debugged and tweaked and playtested and all that good stuff required to get a product up to consumer-ready levels. The point being, the work has really been done, unlike Terra Nova.

    The rub was that we had the single player game nailed pretty solid, and didn't want to hold that up while the MP (which a LOT of people will never touch) was being polished. The "patch available near release date" method is a bit clumsy, I admit, but seemed the best solution to get the single player out there and still have a solid multiplayer release. We figured that these days, enough people were savvy with patches that we would reach enough of the MP-interested audience with that functionality, even if it wasn't directly in the box.

    But just to reassure you, it would take a major unexpected technical catastrophe or radical change of opinion from higher-ups at EA to cause us to not release MP. This is not just an empty marketing promise -- I've played it with my own mouse! :-)

    -- Rob "Xemu" Fermier
    Shock 2 Lead Programmer

    Certainly all LG/Irrational can say at the moment is that the programmers expect the patch to be done by the time the game hits the shelf. That's based on their understanding of how much work is left to do and how much time is left to do it in, but there's no such thing as an absolute guarantee unless it was a guarantee to release the patch, whether it worked well or not (which is presumably not what you want).


    Ken Levine & EvilSpirit on the hiding in shadows:
    Seriously: no, there's no UI element indicating when you're in shadow. You have to just judge based on the lighting of the level. But then, the levels aren't really designed with a lot of deep shadow like in Thief. That's not where the focus of the game is.

    They do respond to light and shadow, but as Tim says, that's not the focus of the game. In other words, they're better at finding you than the monsters in Thief (better ears and eyes). But you're also better at dolin' out a little whut fer. However, combat is very tactical in a very different way than Thief, much more oriented towards resource management, psi powers, the right weapon/ammo for the right job, strategic advantages like hacking security, casting the right psi powers, etc. don't worry, we'll keep you extremely busy.

    And it's worth noting that I have hidden in shadows many times while playing System Shock 2. But usually it's more that I get caught unprepared (I know, foolish of me) by a creature who doesn't see me yet, and there happens to be a good shadow right nearby where I can duck in while I quickly change ammo, weapons, weapon settings, psi powers, or whatever.

    Ken Levine on Difficulty Levels:
    It is more like Thief. We have 4 levels of difficulty. Easy, Normal, Hard and Impossible (and we do mean it!).

    Difficulty levels change numerous parameters in the game and even add things (or remove them) entirely!

    Also, you can catch a glance at the SS2 box art (and coincidentally pre-order the game while you're at it, Right here! Thanks, 'money'!

        Scott "Skarz" Blinn Re: Screenshot Quality - 2:40pm EST - Dan
    Yes, that last batch of screenshots were an example of how NOT to take a screenshot! The reason they look so bad is explained by level designer Scott Blinn (now of Volition):
    I don't know who took them, but it looks like they need to figure out what the hell "gamma" and "contrast" mean. The game looks WAY better than those monstrosities. UGLY!!!!
    I couldn't agree with ya more, ol' pal... :)

        Official System Shock 2 Site at Lglass has been updated - 12:20am EST - Dan
    About bloody time, too... :) The Official System Shock 2 Site at Lglass has been updated with a few simple new things, among which are seven new screenshots.

    Security Terminal - 400x300, 94 K
    Very poor quality shot of a security terminal

    A Very Huge Gun - 400x300, 63 K
    A terrible shot of very poor quality, that shows off a very huge gun!

    Killing a Hybrid - 400x300, 80 K
    I think this is the only shot where we see the player actually kill something

    On the Streets of the City - 400x300, 79 K
    This is the streets of the tutorial / training / character gen prolog city.

    A Bio Systems Reader - 400x300, 77 K
    I'm not sure if this is a game-engine or interface feature, but it looks like a bio systems reader.

    Swimming in Hydroponics - 400x300, 67 K
    A cool shot of the player swimming, looking at a fancy room.

    Ugly Mess - 400x300, 70 K
    A gross scene with lots of blood and, oh my, the midwife again.

    Whew... That's quite a bit of action for this site in one day, eh?