A Shadow Man is Coming…
Welcome back to part two of our exclusive interview with Nightdive Studios. In Part One, we spoke about with Stephen Kick, the CEO of Nightdive Studios, about his company and their mission to remaster classic video games (you can read part one of our interview here). This time, we are focusing on Shadow Man Remastered.
The game recently released on consoles this week and the Switch version releases on January 17th, 2022. Weask Stephen about why he wanted to remaster Shadow Man, why the console version took longer to release compared to the Steam/PC version? Will there be a Limited Run Games Release? And will they continue to update the game post release.
Again, we would like to thank Larry Kuperman, Director of Business Development at Nightdive Studios, for helping set up the interview and Stephen Kick, CEO of Nightdive Studios, for finding the time to take part in our interview and for answering all of our questions. We would also like to thank Mario Kroll and CJ Melendez of Uberstrategist for providing the photos, screenshots and other assets that you will see in this interview.
Let praise be to Loa as it is time to continue with part two of our interview with Stephen Kick of Nightdive Studios:
Nightdive Studios on Reviving Shadow Man: (Part 2)
Miketendo64: Shadow Man Remastered is the latest game from Nightdive Studios to come to Nintendo Switch so let’s talk a little more about that. How do you guys feel about the game coming to the Switch?
Stephen Kick: We’re really excited to finally see the game launch on Switch. We know there are a ton of fans of the original N64 release that have been waiting patiently for a return to a Nintendo platform so we wanted to take our time to ensure the experience would have parity with the PC release. You wouldn’t think a game this old could challenge modern hardware but the sheer scale of Shadow Man pushed the Switch to its limits.
Miketendo64: The game saw release on Steam back in April 2021 and is only just now releasing on consoles. Were there problems during development to get the game running on console? Was it always planned to have an extended time period between the two releases?
Stephen Kick: Nightdive is still a small development team and while we’d love all our titles to have a presence on all platforms day one, it’s become a challenge to account for the dramatically different requirements of each one. Switch is definitely the least powerful of the three and requires a different approach towards optimization to deliver smooth performance. Our goal moving forward is to aim for simultaneous releases, so in that regard Shadow Man represents a big step forward. While the game did initially release on PC the three console ports will all release together.
Miketendo64: As we touched upon the subject in a previous question in our interview, can you talk specifically about the extra content that has been added to Shadow Man Remastered?
Stephen Kick: There are 3 new levels, the Summer Camp, Salvage Yard, and Asylum Station 2 as well as remastered music, sound effects, and restored cut and unused voice dialog. There are restored animations, textures, and models as well. We were very fortunate to have the help of the original game’s composer, Tim Haywood, to help us with the music, sound effects and informing many of the decisions that were made when implementing the cut content.
Miketendo64: What was it about Shadow Man that made you want to remaster it?
Stephen Kick: Shadow Man is a classic that deserved the remaster treatment. It was one of the first M rated titles to appear on a Nintendo platform and it offered a dark, compelling narrative for anyone willing to get lost in its world. Shadow Man offered hours and hours of challenging puzzles, combat and exploration and was truly a landmark title for its generation. It’s our hope that fans of the original game and comic by Valiant Entertainment get to experience it again and have the opportunity to share it with a whole new generation.
Miketendo64: Like some of the other games developed by Nightdive Studios, will Shadow Man Remastered also get a physical release, courtesy of Limited Run Games?
Stephen Kick: Yes! We’re very excited to work with Limited Run Games once again to deliver a physical edition of Shadow Man. We’re consistently impressed with what they create and we couldn’t think of a better partner to deliver a definitive physical edition of Shadow Man.
Miketendo64: Will Shadow Man Remastered feature mappable buttons or customizable layouts? For example, would you be able to play the game on a Nintendo 64 Controller and have you tried it? (We know that Quake and Turok 2 can be played with the controller as we have tried it ourselves).
Stephen Kick: Yes, Shadow Man Remastered features mappable buttons and customizable layouts, but we are unable to test the N64 Controller because we can’t get our hands on one!
Miketendo64: Quake and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil have seen quite a lot of developer support in the way of updates and new features being added. Will Shadow Man Remastered be treated the same way? What kind of after-launch support can we expect?
Stephen Kick: As good as our QA team is there are always bugs that get through, but we’re very quick to offer updates as reports roll in. You can expect the same level of support on Shadow Man that we’ve provided on our other titles.
About Shadow Man Remastered:
He is coming, stalking criminals in the spirit world and the real world. A possessed man is coming, a voodoo mask in his chest and lines of power in his back. Shadow Man is coming, trailing evil from Liveside to Deadside. To stop an apocalypse. To save your soul.
Stalk criminals across two worlds: Explore crime scenes in the Louisiana, Swamplands, a New York tenement, a Texas prison, the asylum and many other locales.
Send Evil back to darkness: Go in armed with high-caliber guns or soul-destroying voodoo powers.
Unravel the Mysteries of Deadside: Gather sinister voodoo artifacts in order to solve puzzles.
Live the Nightmare: Over 40 immersive cut-scenes and hours of in-game speech.
Shadow Man: Remastered is a complete overhaul of the classic game with restored, previously cut content!
3 New Levels:
- “Summer Camp, Florida” (Day and Night)
- “Salvage Yard, Mojave Desert” (Day and Night)
- “Asylum Station 2 – Experimentation Rooms”
New Audio (from the original games composer, Tim Haywood):
- Remastered music and SFX
- New music and SFX for the restored levels
- Restored cut/unused voice dialog in levels
- HD Textures for all levels and objects
- Nvidia Intro Cutscene Textures
- HD HUD and inventory icons plus a new icon for the Shadow Gun
- Restored unused animations
- Restored several cut and censored models from the original levels
- N64 Gad Icons
- New weapon wheel to select weapons faster as time is slowed down
- Improved controls
- Improved destructible objects using Bullet Physics
- Auto targeting
- Tweaked/improved AI
- Levels rearranged as originally intended
- A ton of fixes across the entire game to each level from object to geometry fixes
- Fixes to the localization for English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian
- Over 30 achievements
- A second Violator (Consistent with the N64 version)
- Sawed-off Shotgun (replaces the second regular shotgun)
- New model and many sound variations for the Shadow Gun
- Yort Floater
- The Seraph Queen
- Dead Worm
- Unused zombie restored in Station 2
- One arm Tenement Zombie.
- Dynamic Per Pixel Lighting
- Clustered Forward Shadow Mapping
- Order-independent transparency
New Post Processing Effects:
- Ambient Occlusion
- Anisotropic Filtering
- Motion Blur
- Film Grain
- Depth of Field
- All the secrets from the N64/Dreamcast/PC included in this remaster
- Plus many more to be discovered!
Part two of our exclusive interview has now come to an end but in part three, we will be talking about what lies in store for the future of Nightdive Studios and what games they would like to remaster next. We will share a link to part three as soon as it is live right here!
Tags: Gaming, Interview, Larry Kuperman, Nightdive Studios, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, Remaster, Shadow Man, Shadow Man Remastered, Stephen Kick
This post was written by Mike Scorpio