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The System Shock remake from Nightdive Studios was originally funded on Kickstarter, and after delays it was eventually released on May 30th, 2023 but two platforms have been missing - Linux and macOS.

For their crowdfunding campaign, the Linux and macOS versions were a stretch-goal. The base goal for the campaign was $900,000, but they put both Linux and macOS together on a $1.1 million additional goal which was hit, as the campaign finished on around $1,350,700.

Nightdive were pretty silent on both platforms for a long time, especially after they ended up having a lot of issues actually making the game, at one point they entirely paused development on it.

In a new Kickstarter update posted May 21st, 2024 they confirmed neither versions will happen now:

Is System Shock still coming to MacOS and Linux?

Unfortunately no, plans for MacOS and Linux releases of System Shock have been shelved.

macOS is not exactly surprising, Apple are notorious for making things more and more difficult for developers. On the Linux side, it's also not overly surprising given that we have Proton now which enables the game to run with a tick of box on Steam. I even showed it previously running really nicely on Steam Deck with Proton using the demo.

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55 comments
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WorMzy May 22
Very disappointing. Especially with the lack of communication all this time. :/
TimeFreeze May 22
And again one more reason not to buy from that Studio. Not that they made any good games to begin with anyway....
This is exactly why I have never and will never support Kickstarter or any other crowdfunding platform, including Steam's early access: developers are free to break their promises after taking your money, and there's nothing the consumer can do about it.
scaine May 22
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This encompasses perfectly why I gave up on Kickstarter years ago. Particularly disappointing given how much I advocated for it in its early days. Absolutely zero accountability from KS.

My last backed project was December 2014.
kerossin May 22
I would've had no problems if they said from the start that instead of native versions they will make sure or at least try to make the game work with Proton but as it is they basically lied to get more money. "Hey Linux and Mac gamers! We didn't forget you but need a little funding to bring the game to you", *gets well above the goal*, "lol no, we ain't doing it". Nightdives trustworthiness just dived for me like for a lot of big publishers/devs.
Now can I make a snarky comment? I assume no publisher will honor their promise of a Linux version unless they have a proven track record like Revolution with the Broken Sword series.

Previously, Previously, Previously, ...
rambo919 May 22
Given that the ONLY linux native version of any game to never give me problems that I can remember has been Stellaris..... this might be for the best.
mrdeathjr May 22
Quoting: Mountain ManThis is exactly why I have never and will never support Kickstarter or any other crowdfunding platform, including Steam's early access: developers are free to break their promises after taking your money, and there's nothing the consumer can do about it.

Yeah is a same reason because i never buy bloodstained*

*them use same situation, promise linux version but when them have required money proceed to cancel linux version

Pyrate May 22
Quoting: rambo919Given that the ONLY linux native version of any game to never give me problems that I can remember has been Stellaris..... this might be for the best.

This. I mean, the only bad part about this is that it was a goal, or a promise or whatever, that they're now throwing away or "giving up" on. Which is still pretty bad, don't get me wrong, not downplaying that part, especially for MacOS users, I don't think they have a Proton equivalent to play the game there? MacOS backers should get refunded.

But on Linux, I booted the game up yesterday, and it just works.... like, who the hell cares beyond this point? I asked the other day on this website what could the actual, real world disadvantages of playing through Proton vs Native, bearing in mind that Proton is slowly becoming the defacto Linux-supported method from game developers side, and other than large prefix folders potentially eating up space over time, it's pretty much nothing to bring up.
Quoting: PyrateI asked the other day on this website what could the actual, real world disadvantages of playing through Proton vs Native, bearing in mind that Proton is slowly becoming the defacto Linux-supported method from game developers side, and other than large prefix folders potentially eating up space over time, it's pretty much nothing to bring up.
I'd like to say that a native Linux port means developers will officially support the game when there are issues, but in practice ports may be abandoned afterward, and even when developers are told about fixes, they might not get around to doing them as every Linux user can just work around it.

Native games are more prone to breakage if developers don't bundle all the right versions of libraries and end up depending on dynamic libraries on the system. And sometimes old libraries don't work anymore but newer ones do because something on the system they depend on has changed in a breaking way (e.g. fontconfig, yes really). Native games should really be shipped through Flatpak, like Dr. Robotnik's Ring Racers. That guarantees non-breakage.

Putting aside distribution, you also need to consider the engine. For example, Unity writes worse Vulkan calls than DXVK, which means it will perform worse than Proton: https://www.gamingonlinux.com/2023/08/heart-of-the-machine-from-arcen-games-dropping-native-linux-for-proton/

The final issue with native ports, as I mentioned earlier, is developers abandoning them later. It is apparently not uncommon for developers to update the Windows version but forget about the Mac and Linux versions for weeks. It's not unique to OSes; developers might also not bother to update their builds on GOG but keep their Steam builds up-to-date.

So, if a game is affected by one or more of these issues, Proton is a better option. But Proton isn't perfect. Not every feature has been implemented, and those that are may not be correctly implemented. So you'll run into bugs that impact performance or cause crashes. But on the other hand, Valve are generally quicker to fix bugs than some developers with second-class Linux ports.

Native ports are still better if they are well-maintained and tested, and built in an engine that cares about high performance on Linux. Factorio comes to mind.

But as you said, it isn't about any of that. Nightdive Studios made a promise and they broke it. It's a promise several studios on Kickstarter have made and broken. I don't think "having a native Linux port" is a selling point anymore. "Having a well-maintained and tested Linux version we promise to support for as long as the Windows version, built for performance" is the new bar.


Last edited by pleasereadthemanual on 22 May 2024 at 1:24 pm UTC
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