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Default Shadowrun Returns - Update #52, Chris's Dev Diary

May 26th, 2013, 08:30
There's a new dev diary published on Kickstarter for Shadowrun Returns. The topic in the diary goes over art, character models and painted portraits.
Character Portraits: Up Close and Personal



It is in the portrait that you will see a lot of detail and psychological depth in your character. As of this writing, there are nearly 200 player portraits in Shadowrun Returns. When our portrait artist, David Nash, started painting we put a special emphasis on the inner life of each character. To give you some idea of what I mean by that, here are some early portrait notes I pulled from an old e-mail, “Male elf, the handsome grifter. He’s the double-crosser, the guy who is always one step ahead of his enemies with a trick and a quick one-liner. He can move easily from the highest society to lowest gangs and seems to know everyone… He will shake your hand and promise you an honest deal even as he is stealing the watch off your wrist.” And one more example, “Human female, the brutal survivor, she was orphaned at a young age and has survived on the streets by making the hard decisions that others would flinch from. There is nothing -nothing- soft about her.”

The In-Game Model: Your Runner in Action

Complementing your portrait is the in-game model, which has to succeed in a completely different way. In the game environment details can get lost, or, worse, make the character look muddy and hard to understand visually. In Shadowrun Returns your character will have access to over 30 different gear sets (we’re still putting the final touches on the last few so we don’t have a final number yet), and we have designed each to immediately communicate an idea about your character in the isometric environment. Mike did a great job in Update 48 explaining how we get our (pretty small) characters to pop visually in the game environment. Check it out if you are interested! Here I want to talk about how those gear sets influence the look and feel of your character during legwork and combat.



At the beginning of the development process we were thinking of gear sets as exactly that: sets of gear that a character might wear. We realized pretty quickly, however, that that wasn’t quite the right way to think about it. Given the zoomed-out isometric camera the gear sets weren’t something a character might wear, the gear sets were characters. I reworked some of the concepts, looking for that big visual punch. We found that once we started concentrating on distilling the clothes and gear down to the very essence of an idea, that defiant Shadowrun individuality really started to show up in game. It became pretty clear that we were on the right track when we started spontaneously referring to each set with nicknames like “Street Monk” or “Slick Mage” and everyone understood each other. All those names are just our internal shorthand; the gearsets aren’t tied to your archetype and you will be able outfit your character as you see fit from the in-game vendors.

Putting it all Together: Alchemy




And this is the result when you combine the portrait and model on the character creation screen. Once you choose a gender and metatype, you will be able to select a portrait. We have assigned each portrait a corresponding skin color, hairstyle, beard, hair color, and (where applicable) set of horns so as you scroll through the portraits your model will update to match your selection. But let’s say you want a little more control over the look of your character… no problem! you can unlock the model and the portrait and toggle through a variable (say hair color or style) for the model by hand. In addition to working up lots of cool visual effects for the game, technical artist Steven Rynders has collaborated with AJ Bolden on the engineering side in order to make sure the system handles all the different elements.
More information.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; May 26th, 2013 at 08:44.
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May 26th, 2013, 08:30
Can't wait for this one.

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May 26th, 2013, 12:19
I'm looking forward to this one a lot too.
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May 26th, 2013, 15:00
Is this still scheduled to be released in June? I certainly hope so, but with all the excess funding it wouldn't surprise if it gets delayed a bit more…

And yeah, looking forward to it!
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May 26th, 2013, 16:46
Yes, it's still scheduled for a June release, last we heard.
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May 26th, 2013, 17:25
looks to be shaping up really well!
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May 26th, 2013, 19:17
Yeah, this game is looking all sorts of awesome!!



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May 27th, 2013, 03:59
Is there a more specific date yet than just "june"?
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May 27th, 2013, 06:09
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
Is there a more specific date yet than just "june"?
I had the same question last night, so I looked a little but not a lot. Steam says only June, as does the developer's website.
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May 27th, 2013, 09:33
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
Is there a more specific date yet than just "june"?
Nothing official, but on the Shadowrun.com forums, June 26th has been rumored to be the release date (taken from a Jordan Weisman's interview, IIRC). Incidentally, that would be about the same date as the new edition (5th) of the PnP Shadowrun RPG is supposed to be released too.

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May 27th, 2013, 20:30
I find the way this game has been developed and handled to be kind of shady (DRM thing and stretch goals funded and then turned into DLC, for ex) and the lack of any updates with substance seemingly forever, along with lack of gameplay info/footage seems a bit weak this close to release.

One could save a buck or two preordering but I'm just gonna wait for release, or at least wait until there's more substantial info available, even if this SHOULD be exactly the type of game I want (turn-based, classic style, IP I like, etc).
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May 27th, 2013, 20:36
To me the updates have been very nice so I don't really relate to where Voqar is coming from. It just seems like another case of perceived entitlement.

I'm also looking forward to this one; the combination of a turn-based, team-oriented Shadowrun CRPG makes it particularly juicy. Hopefully it will be successful enough to drive a follow-on effort.
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May 27th, 2013, 21:32
I kickstarted this, but also have had some doubts lately. I mentioned before that it would not have looting from characters and that was an engine limitation apparently that this group had run into with the unity engine, which I never heard of before.

I think the game may end up being a bit more simple then people will want.

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