Shadowrun Returns - All News
Tuesday - November 19, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Dragonfall Expansion
Harebrained Schemes announces in the latest post-funding update that the Berlin DLC is now a full expansion, and has been renamed Shadowrun: Dragonfall.
Tomorrow, we will announce the title of the new Berlin expansion, Shadowrun: Dragonfall. Along with all the details, we’ll also be unveiling the game’s logo and a cool new illustration to go with it. As our Backers, we wanted to share this with you before the rest of the world gets it.Here’s the official scoop:
BERLIN. The Flux-State: a stable anarchy enforced by an ever-shifting coalition of megacorps, political factions, and savvy power players. A place where almost anything goes and the right connections can be the difference between success and starvation. Dangerous jobs abound and there’s no better place to earn a quick payday - provided you live long enough to spend it. For you and your team of battle-scarred runners, it’s just another day in the Free City of Berlin.
But a new threat is rising, one that could mean untold chaos and devastation. The only clue: whispers of the DRAGONFALL, a long-forgotten event from the earliest days of the Awakened world. As you find yourself drawn into a maze of veiled dangers and strange machinations, you will come face-to-face with a grim spectre of the past… and alter the course of Berlin’s future.
SHADOWRUN: DRAGONFALL FEATURES
- Experience a New Full-Length Campaign: Return to the “Tech meets Magic” future of Shadowrun as you and your team of runners get drawn into a treacherous conspiracy. Operating out of an offbeat central hub neighborhood, you’ll choose which missions to accept and how you’ll approach them while navigating the dark underbelly of “the Flux”.
- An Exciting New Locale: Shadowrun: Dragonfall transports runners to the Free City of Berlin, a thrilling Shadowrun setting full of gorgeous new hi-res environments, a diverse new cast of characters, and a new soundtrack by the composer of the original Sega Genesis Shadowrun game, Sam Powell.
- Command Your Team: Lead a small team of shadowrunners, each with their own outlook and backstory. Each member of your team is designed to play an interesting role during missions and has a unique set of skills, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
- New Weapons, Cyberware, Enemies & More: Try your hand at the long-range sniper rifle, devastating grenade launcher, or stun-inducing taser. Chrome yourself out in the latest cyberware and take on deadly new enemies - including new magical creatures like gargoyles and fire drakes. Dragonfall brings a host of new items, characters, portraits, and improvements to the Shadowrun Returns experience.
- Save Anywhere: You can save your progress at any time during the game. This functionality will also be added to the original Shadowrun Returns “Dead Man’s Switch” campaign.
- New Game Editor Features: A wide range of enhancements to the game editor for community content creators - including a scripting system to better control lighting, tracking mission objectives in the main game UI, placing exploding barrels, and allowing players to input keypad passwords and custom text strings in conversations. In addition, content creators will be able to use all of the new Berlin environment art, items and characters in their own stories along with assets from the original Shadowrun Returns campaign.
Shadowrun: Dragonfall will be released January 2014 for Windows, OSX, and Linux and will be free to Backers. You’ll get the same number of Steam keys you received for the original game via our Backer website and details about how you’ll get your DRM-free version will come in a future update. Dragonfall will launch at $14.99 and we’ll also release the Shadowrun Campaign Pack on the same day. The campaign pack contains the original game and the Dragonfall expansion in one package for only $24.99. We think it’s a great way to get new players into Shadowrun.
And finally, here’s a new wallpaper for y’all. We can’t wait to show you more Dragonfall over the next two months!
Tuesday - November 12, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - DRM Free Release
DRM's EndHey Everyone!We just want to send out a quick update to share some good news. Thanks to a new agreement we were able to negotiate with our partners at Microsoft, Harebrained Schemes is pleased to announce that we are now able to release fully DRM-free versions of Shadowrun Returns and future expansions such as Berlin.
The DRM-free versions of SRR and Berlin will continue to be fully supported. You'll be able to download all game patches, use the Shadowrun Returns editor and experience user-generated content downloaded from third-party sites such as Nexus.
We’re starting work to get Shadowrun Returns available on GOG.com right now - not sure how long that will take but we’ll let you know as soon as we have an answer.
We’re very excited we’re finally able to offer Shadowrun DRM-free to everyone and look forward to making it available!
Thursday - October 31, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Linux Version Released
Harebrained Schemes has a new post-funding update for Shadowrun Returns to announce that the Linux version is finally available for backers.
We’re pleased to announced that the Linux version of Shadowrun Returns is now available on Steam and in the Download section of your HBS account (which you’ll find here). From this point on, Linux will receive updates at the same time as the Windows and OSX versions of the game. Thanks to all the Linux Beta Testers for their feedback. Much appreciated!
In addition to Linux support, version 1.1 of Shadowrun Returns has moved from Beta to release and the game will automatically update the next time you launch it on Steam. As mentioned in our last update, we also added quite a few new editor features in this release in anticipation of the Berlin campaign. You can find the entire change log here. Our next big code update will feature expanded save game functionality.
In other news, we are doing the final passes on the French, Italian and Spanish versions of the game which will be ready for release in the next few weeks. We anticipate the German and Russian translations to be delivered from our translators in November, and after we do a little in-house testing we will release those as well.
For GMs using the editor to create their own Shadowruns, we’re working on some new tutorial videos for you. We’ll put them up on our YouTube channel in the next couple of weeks.
Tuesday - October 29, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - 33% Off on Steam
Steam is offering Shadowrun Returns for 33% off for the next two days.
Daily Deal - Shadowrun Returns, 33% Off
MAN MEETS MAGIC & MACHINE. The year is 2054. Magic has returned to theworld, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. You are a shadowrunner - a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies, surviving day-by-day on skill and instinct alone. When the powerful or the desperate need a job done, you get it done... by any means necessary.
In the urban sprawl of the Seattle metroplex, the search for a mysterious killer sets you on a trail that leads from the darkest slums to the city’s most powerful megacorps. You will need to tread carefully, enlist the aid of other runners, and master powerful forces of technology and magic in order to emerge from the shadows of Seattle unscathed.
The unique cyberpunk-meets-fantasy world of Shadowrun has gained a huge cult following since its creation nearly 25 years ago. Now, creator Jordan Weisman returns to the world of Shadowrun, modernizing this classic game setting as a single player, turn-based tactical RPG.
Thursday - October 17, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Patch 1.1 & Linux Beta
Harebrained Schemes has a new post-funding update for Shadowrun Returns with details on a new patch, and that the linux version is now in beta.
Patch 1.1 and Linux now in Beta!
We thought we’d pop our heads up for just a bit and let you guys know about the latest developments for Shadowrun Returns. The big news today is about Patch 1.1, which has two major parts: early access to the code improvements that we are putting in Berlin and the initial release of the Linux version of both the game and editor!
We’re doing things a bit differently than the previous patches we’ve released. We’ve pushed a version up to Steam in a special opt-in “public beta” channel before releasing it to the general public. We will be monitoring this build and the forums closely for any bugs or issues that people may encounter, and if things go smoothly, we expect to promote it to the main release after a week or two.
So if you’re interested in helping the community by reporting bugs, or just need to play with the new toys right away, you’ll want to head over to the Steam forums to learn how to join the Beta and help out. If you’d rather wait for the main release, that’s fine, too!
Just a quick note here: we do not plan on providing DRM free versions of Beta builds during this process. We will of course be putting up final builds in the Backer site when the patch is ready for prime time, but while we work through any last minute issues, Steam will be the only place to get the bleeding-edge (possibly slightly buggy) version of Shadowrun Returns.
Patch 1.1 will see the Linux port of Shadowrun Returns sit alongside its Mac and PC brethren as a first class citizen at last. We now have a couple of Linux machines in house, and have been busy ironing out the major kinks internally as fast as we could. We know a lot of you have been waiting patiently for this bad boy, and after we give it a bit of time to cool off in the Beta period (again, the Beta is only available through Steam), we’ll be pushing it live with the rest of the 1.1 goodness. From that point forward, it will receive updates on the same schedule as the Windows and OSX versions.
Other Updates of Note
Save Game Improvements: We're happy to report that progress is still being made on the improvements to our saved game system. The code architecture is now in place and we are working through all the extra logic required to save the myriad game states that already exist within the code base. As soon as the feature is complete and fully tested, we'll release it for Dead Man's Switch but we don't want to rush something this complex. We definitely plan to have it fully implemented in time for the Berlin release.
Physical Goods: Most of you have already received your Backer rewards, but there are still a few packages still in transit. The final shipments should head out the door by the end of next week -- BUT if you have never provided us with your shipping address, then we don’t know where to send your stuff! Brian in the office here has been drawing up sketches for the fort he plans to build out of leftover Anthology hard-cover books -- but we’d much rather mail them out to you! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know you have never given us your shipping info.
Saturday - October 12, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Interview @ EGM
EGM has a new interview with Shadowrun Returns Creator Jordan Weisman to talk about what it was like to release one of Kickstarter’s first gaming successes.
EGM: As a Kickstarter-funded project, was it ever at all nerve-racking or stressful to develop the game?
Weisman: This is the most stressful game I’ve ever made, and I’ve been making games for almost 35 years now. I think that’s because of that dialogue and connection with players all the way through [the process]. The fans who backed us were people who had an emotional connection with this property. It did create a huge amount of stress—stress that helped the product—but stress. At the same point, as a thing that helps our company survive to make more games or more Shadowrun, we knew that it had to be something that reached beyond those 30,000 backers.
EGM: I found Returns challenging to review, because I wasn’t sure if I was reviewing the campaign or its potential from user-generated campaigns. Is that something that the fans clamored for?
Weisman: It’s something we thought was very important from the beginning, because from the pen-and-paper origins of Shadowrun, it’s a collaborative storytelling experience. The power of that is that you can tell your own stories with your friends, and we thought if we could capture some of that in what we’re doing in the electronic version, we’d have something more powerful than just those stories we’re telling. We never viewed The Dead Man’s Switch as the story of Shadowrun Returns—we simply view it as the first story. Obviously, we put a lot of effort into trying to make a good campaign and to tell a good story there—but that’s all built on top of what’s obviously the largest effort, which is creating a platform that the audience could use to tell their own stories and that we could use in the future to tell stories. Everything we release is more building blocks for people to build their stuff out of.
EGM: Are there any interesting secrets or nods or Easter eggs tucked away in the game?
Weisman: There are three tribute characters that we gave major roles to, people who had passed away—fans whose family members or friends made us aware of them and their devotion to the game during the Kickstarter or after. We tried to write characters that did them some homage. And sitting at the bar is the ghost of me, but you only see him if you’re a backer. I tell stories about different parts of the Shadowrun creation, hand out a couple of extra grenades, and things like that.
Saturday - October 05, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Interview @ GameInformer
GameInformer interviwed Executive Producer Mitch Gitelman about the games inspirations, and his response to critics of certain game features.
If you had another several months of development time before release, what features would the team have focused on to develop and/or improve?
On the engineering side, without a doubt, our save game system. From a content perspective, we would have liked to see more optional shadowruns. There’s always more you want to tweak but those are the two big-ticket items.
Some have criticized the game’s approach to tutorials and teaching new features to the player. Is it a challenge to balance in-game tutorials against the desire to keep players involved and moving forward in the story?
It is a challenge. There are excellent games out there that blend their tutorials with their narrative seamlessly. There are others where you feel that you need to wade through the b.s. justification for going a step at a time. Shadowrun Returns has been praised for its writing and for getting its tone right. The combination of time, budget, and our focus on getting the tone and story right caused us to prioritize tutorials this way. Plus, the game has a very old school sensibility about it and our tutorials are no exception.
What response do you have to players who feel that the campaign is overly linear for an RPG?
I refer to your earlier question. Harebrained Schemes is a small studio working with a small budget and made a good looking RPG with a classless character creation system, fun combat, and a decent story in about a year and priced it at only $20. The games we’re being compared to often have 10-100 times the budget and team size and sell for as much as $60.
But my most important response is that we invested enormous time, budget, and effort to create an editor that allows people to unlock their creativity and create their own stories which players can download from Steam at no extra charge.
I am very, very proud of the team and our accomplishment.
Friday - September 27, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Tablet Versions Released
Harebrained Schemes announces that the tablet versions of Shadowrun Returns are now available in this new post-funding update.
When Jordan created the original world of Shadowrun, he didn’t predict that people would one day interact with that world on touch-screen computers more powerful than the one that took us to the moon. It is extremely gratifying that the enthusiasm for this game setting has stood the test of time and that we are now able to deliver it on mobile devices to a new generation of gamers.
The iOS and Android tablet versions of Shadowrun Returns is being released in the Apple and Google Play stores for $9.99 on Thursday, September 26. The tablet versions doesn't include the editor and will not contain access to community created content but we do plan to bundle the best community content and release it on tablets at some point in the future.
As we've said before, we know a most paid marketing efforts are kind of useless. Most of us rely on the opinions of people we trust to help us figure out what we want to play next. So please help get the word out that the iOS and Android versions are available by sharing the links below, along with some Shadowrun love.
Friday - September 20, 2013
RPGWatch Feature: Shadowrun Returns Review
GhanBuriGhan decided to have a closer look at Shadowrun Returns and came back with a review of the game.
Combat is turn-based with a simple action point system - one AP allows you to move a certain distance, fire a weapon, or cast a simple spell. Other actions, such as some spells, throwing grenades, etc., may cost 2 or more AP. Since the Shadowrun universe mixes high-tech weaponry, melee-oriented street samurai and magic, there is a nice array of different attacks, buffs and debuffs available to the player between the different types of runners. Each individual runner may not have that many different options each round, but with a group of four that matters relatively little. Paying attention to positioning is encouraged by a simple cover system that grants you a directional defense bonus. Using single-use amulets, Shamans may conjure spirits to aid them in battle transferring some, or all of their AP to the spirit in the process. Spirits, of which there are various kinds, each have their own set of attacks and spells.
Interestingly spirits can escape control of the shaman (the more easily the longer you keep them or the more AP you give them), and turn against the group. The more technically inclined can instead control drones, which work in a similar way to spirits. In some scenarios you may need to jack into the matrix to reach your objective, and the game will switch back and forth between the real world fighting and the activity in the matrix. This all adds up to a pretty neat TB combat experience, when you finally encounter some challenging and interestingly designed fights in the late parts of the game. In the early stages, the encounters are generally rather easy, and as a result a bit boring. The difficulty curve may vary considerably based on your character choice and choice of companions. My own experience is based on playing a shaman, rather a weak class. Playing a Street Samurai will probably give you a far more powerful character in the late game, and therefore less of a challenge.
Saturday - September 14, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Dev Diary on Berlin DLC
Harebrained Schemes has a new update for Shadowrun Returns. The main topic concerns the Berlin DLC, and gives us all a status update.
Design: For the last few weeks, Trevor and Kevin (our designers who did the bulk of the level design for the Seattle campaign) have been prototyping a variety of gameplay ideas for missions. We want to create meaningful choices for the player within scenes. As an example, Kevin’s working on a run against a corporate facility with several possible ways for the player to gain entry depending on their party’s skillset. The choice of approach isn’t always clear cut, however – one path may allow the player to slip in undetected but at the expense of some innocents. We’re also working on some more unique non-combat elements – the other day Trevor created a dog character in the Haven area that you can interact with and get to follow you around.
Systems: In between their work on the other big-ticket dev tasks, the engineering team’s been able to complete some fun new features for us to use in Berlin. We now have the ability to display important mission data directly in the game’s UI. This makes it easy for us to communicate custom mission objectives (For example, the number of rounds before reinforcements arrive, # power junctions remaining, etc.) Another cool new toy is… exploding barrels! Because… video games. (Actually, our engineers went above and beyond with this feature and now we can make any actor explode with any type of effect or damage, and even leave behind damage-over-time effects on the tiles in the area.)
What’s Next: This week we’re shifting from pre-production to production. I’ll be finalizing our story with the design team, along with Jordan and Mitch, to make sure we’re constructing this campaign on a strong foundation. We’ve flowed out a schedule from now until the end of the year so that we can budget our production time appropriately. The environment team is moving from concept art to full tileset production on our Haven location. Our story is being broken out into discrete mission outlines, with each designer taking the lead on a set of missions. Kevin’s created a great “mission doc” template that we’ll use not only to document a clear set of goals for each mission, but also to track feedback and important hotspots for our test team to pay attention to. Our next milestone as a team is to construct a full first-playable of our Haven neighborhood, with the player able to explore the area, talk with the locals, buy equipment, and maybe complete a small side objective or two – then return to their base to get to know their team. This will establish a strong template for both the Haven location and the characters in it that we can build the rest of the experience on.
Sunday - August 18, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Berlin DLC Delayed
Shadowrun Returns has a new post-fuding update informing us that the Berlin DLC is being delayed, and that a save everywhere option might be forthcoming.
Beyond working on bug fixes, translations, Linux, and finishing the tablet versions of the game, the engineering team has been investigating improvements to our save game functionality. We are aware that there are a number of people who would like the ability to save in the middle of scenes. However, we also know that adding this feature would involve major changes to the core infrastructure of the game. It’s still too early to say whether this is going to be possible, but we wanted to let you know that we’re actively investigating it and will let you know more in the coming weeks.
We've heard a lot of questions from you wondering what to expect from Berlin. Well, our original plan called for a modest-sized campaign that we could ship by the end of October. However, after listening to your forum discussions and feedback, it became clear that you would like to see something bigger (and so would we). So, we've decided to spend more time on Berlin to create an experience closer to the size of Dead Man’s Switch. A story of that scope will take longer, so we’re targeting January for its release. While we're still in the early stages of development and many things could change, we’d like to share what we’re planning so far. For example - we know that we want our next story to feel more like the player is part of a shadowrunning crew and contain more corporate intrigue.
Saturday - August 17, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - News Roundup
Shadowrun Returns has been patched on Steam to version 1.0.4. Here is some of the changes:
New Features, Improvements
- Steam Trading Cards are now available
- Shotguns: Kneecap cooldown reduced to 2 from 3
- Headshot: Critical hit chance increased. AP cost reduced to 1 from 2.
- Cooldown of 2 added.
- Drones: Aim now works like the Aim ability that normal characters use. AP cost reduced to 1 from 2, cooldown of 3 added.
- UI Tweaks and revisions.
- Increased ESP movement speed so they can keep up with their masters.
- Updated tutorial about essence loss and spell slots.
- Slightly improved load times between levels for some users.
- Editor: New trigger “Remove prop by tag.”
- Editor: New trigger “Remove item by skill type.”
- Editor: New trigger “Check for weapon holster state.”
- Editor: Allow heal HP Damage trigger to revive
Also the Nexus now has a new site for mods to give another option to those that don't want to use the Steam Workshop.
I’ve received an unprecedented number of requests to release a site to help support the Shadowrun Returns community. Shadowrun Returns was one of the first high-profile video game success stories to come from Kickstarter when it received over 400% of the funding that was initially requested and the game was launched towards the end of July to much fanfare
Monday - August 05, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - New Patch 1.0.3 Released
Seems patch 1.0.2 introduced some problems so Harebrained Schemes has released a new quick update on Steam for Shadowrun Returns.
Release 1.0.3Fixed an issue with asset caching and optimization that was causing some users significant stalls and occasional crashes while playing. This update also includes a one-time verification of assets on startup to repair any potential cache issues introduced by prior patch.
Sunday - August 04, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - What’s Happening and What’s Next?
Harebrained Schemes has released a new post-funding update for Shadowrun Returns. In the update they go over future goals, and the various problems of the current version.
What We’re Working on Now
After taking a deep breath, the team is back at work supporting the game and making sure we meet our commitments. Here’s where we are:
Ongoing Bugfixing, Balancing & Support
As you’ll see below, the team is busting on several fronts simultaneously, but we’re watching the forums and reviewing bug reports for important issues to fix. When we have a critical mass of fixes ready to go or we find something important that needs to be addressed ASAP, we’ll do an update and provide documentation as noted above.
We have started working on the Linux version of Shadowrun Returns this week. We have our build machine up and running and have started making test builds. It’s still unclear just how much more work is necessary, because the builds are pretty rough in spots. For example, we can create characters, but there are errors when loading into the first apartment scene. The editor is now compiling in Linux, but unfortunately crashes when trying to load scenes. We’re confident we can work through the various Linux-related issues, but it is going to take some time to wrangle them into submission.
We’re also actively pursuing localizations of the game so Shadowrun fans around the world can enjoy Shadowrun Returns. We’re extracting all the text in the game and sending it to our translators. Based on their estimates, and budgeting for unexpected issues (always plan for the unknown), we believe we’ll have Spanish, Italian, German, and French versions ready to play by early October.
Development of Berlin art is already underway, and our design team is also starting to prototype gameplay and mission ideas for the Berlin campaign. We’re targeting late October for the release of Berlin.
iOS and Android Tablets
While we wanted to get tablet versions of SRR out at the same time as the PC and Mac versions, our main priority was creating the best game possible on all platforms. To that end, we delayed the tablet release for a few weeks to make sure they meet our quality bar. We expect the remaining work on the tablet versions should only take a couple of weeks, but we don’t know how long it will take for the game to go through Apple certification so we can’t give you a specific release date yet. As a reminder, the tablet versions will not include the editor and will not contain access to community created content. We do plan to bundle the best community content and release it on tablets some time in the future.
Saturday - August 03, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - New Patch 1.0.2 Released
Shadowrun Returns has received a new patch on Steam. Here is the full list of changes.
New Features, Improvements
- SMG: Aimed Shot now uses 4 bullets, down from 6.
- SMG: Spray and Pray now uses 6 bullets, down from 8.
- SMG: the Beretta, Uzi, Colt, and HK are slightly more accurate.
- Shotgun: Kneecap now has a HP DMG penalty of -6, up from -3. It now has a -5% accuracy penalty, and a cooldown of 3.
- Shotgun: All shotguns have had their accuracy falloff increased slightly, lowering hit chance at long ranges.
- Rifle: Full Auto's accuracy penalty was not being applied properly at high skill levels. It should now always be 15% lower than a single shot's percentage to hit.
- Rifle: Smartlinked rifles were less accurate at very long ranges instead of more accurate. This has been resolved.
- Rifle: The FN HAR and HK G12 were very similar in every aspect except price. The FN HAR is now more accurate and holds more ammunition than the HK G12.
- Rifle: Ammo capacity of the HK G12, Colt M23, and Ares Alpha have been reduced to 32, 34, and 38 respectively.
- Rifle: The Colt M23's damage is now 15, down from 16. The Ares Alpha's damage is now 16, down from 18.
- Grenades: Reduced store prices of all grenades.
- Grenades: HE Phosphorus grenades were not showing up in the store. They should now be purchasable along with the other Tier 3 weapons.
- Cyberware purchase screen is now more user friendly.
- Vendors will now sell more things in various places throughout DMS campaign (such as more med-kits).
- Visual improvements to the summoning grid.
- General UI Improvements.
- Added additional debugging for finding walkable tiles in debug mode.
- Added messaging to alert user when last auto-save occurred.
- Black IC is now less lethal.
- Added an explanation of how Leylines work in the world of SR:R.
- Added a definition of SIN in glossary.
- Player can no longer sell a currently equipped outfit.
- Swapping outfits will now correctly give the correct enhancements.
- Player can now equip an outfit if they do not currently have one equipped.
- Drones will now retain their Rigging bonus between levels.
- Wired reflexes no longer dodge friendly effects.
- Spirit death from overwatch no longer causes occasional hardlock
- Reduced load times when loading new assets after version update.
- First time OSX play will start in windowed mode to work around a crash issue for some users.
- Move marker will now be visible over walls.
- Fixed a crash that could occur when transitioning characters one-by-one out of the scene and into the next.
- Fixed issue with equip screen item filtering.
- Fixed issue with installing upgraded cyberware on individual locations of a pair.
- Fixed issue with hiring screen adding incorrect selected runner.
- Fixed a slew of typos.
- Fixed cases in conversation where attribute or skill checks were applied incorrectly.
- Fixed character preview not showing 3D Character in some cases.
- Fixed bug where user could enter missions that require a decker without having any runners with a Cyberdeck.
- Fixed various issues with hiring Coyote.
- Work around some Steam Workshop upload timeout issues
- Editor: Changes to scene or story variables will refresh that variable in the scratchpad.
Thursday - August 01, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Shadowrun Identity Mod
Shadowrun Identity is one of the latest and so far best mod announced for Shadowrun Returns.
Shadowrun Identity is looking for Shadowrun Returns (SRR) players like you who want to use the built-in editor to contribute to a full-length (100+ hours) community-made campaign. Our goal is to recreate the world of Shadowrun using the original pen-and-paper sourcebooks, published adventures and novels.
Each adventure in the Shadowrun Identity campaign takes place principally during a one-month time period in-game over the course of 2050s.
We have three volunteer positions available for each adventure (once you fill a role, your name/tag will appear on the Shadowrun Identity website and in the credits):
1. Project Lead: responsible for the initial release of the beta (est. 6 months) and the finished product (est. 12 months).
2. Map Designer: using the Editor to rebuild the world of Shadowrun, assembling the maps piece by piece "Lego-style."
3. Scripter: creating characters, writing dialog and scripting triggers.
You will have the freedom to build your adventure as you see fit while enjoying ongoing guidance, technical support and constructive feedback from Opifer, a longtime Shadowrun GM and SRR Kickstarter Backer. Hope to hear from you soon!
The makers of the mod are looking for help. You can visit this forum post for more information. Credit and apologies go to Lucky Day for this late post.
Wednesday - July 31, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Review Roundup #5
Perhaps one day we will have one too, but for now I'll just add these 3 reviews to the long list of reviews that we already covered for Shadowrun Returns.
As a standalone experience, Dead Man's Switch is a delight: a clever but short whirlwind tour of the oft depressing world of the shadowrunner. It is not, however, the entirety of Shadowrun Returns. Instead, it merely serves as an example of what can be crafted with the complex editor tool that all players have access to.
It’s been awhile since the last traditional Shadowrun experience, so it’s great to see this one bring back the classic feel of the series and updates it to fit this generation. It may not last long and it may have issues with its save feature, but the time spent adventuring in this futuristic vision of Seattle will be well worth any frustrations you may encounter. If you’re looking for an engaging throwback to a classic that features a great story, missions, and a fun combat system, Shadowrun Returns won’t disappoint.
I find it hard to provide a verdict for Shadowrun Returns. On one hand, it has clear flaws, some that are even glaring. It’s short as hell, and a playthrough will take you something around 13 hours tops. Its replay value is a bit questionable. It’s more of a fast-food kind of deal than an actual full-scale game.
On the other hand, you have to be fair and keep in mind the game's limited budget in the context of its flaws. Not to mention that the peanuts this game costs offer you a tremendous ratio of bang for your buck. There's also the prospect of fan-made scenarios coming out from the editor. And, finally, what I guess has the most (albeit subjective) say on the matter, is that I simply fragging enjoyed my time with the game. I'm keeping my fingers crossed tightly for the upcoming official campaign in Berlin that's supposed to have a more open world and more side missions.
Tuesday - July 30, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Review @ StrategyInformer
StrategyInformer has posted their review for Shadowrun Returns.
While there are a few flaws in Shadowrun Returns, most notably linearity, the lack of a save function and a slightly under-utilized world, the excellent and consistently fun writing and XCOM-inspired combat make it a worthwhile experience. Even better as fun as it is the 15-odd-hour long campaign is not the end of Shadowrun Returns since the robust modding tools and encouragement from Harebrained Schemes near guarantee a steady flow of user content. It’s not the greatest RPG ever but it is a damn fun one in an engrossing world, and if you hadn’t backed Shadowrun Returns already it’s well worth a punt – and if you’re still not sure, wait a few months and see if the game’s Steam Workshop page has filled up with user-made goodies. Honestly though, if you just want to consider it a cyberpunk XCOM: Enemy Unknown with RPG elements that’s fine too.
Also the game has been patched on Steam.
Patch 1.0.1Fix for issue with final battle occasionally not advancing.
Fix for issue with AI occasionally not using self-buffs and IC Charge.
Version number is listed inside your PDA
Monday - July 29, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Interview @ Gamasutra
Jordan Weisman is interviewed by Gamasutra on the Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter.
It was a little over a year between the end of the campaign and your launch. That seems...quite efficient, despite a minor delay. What's your advice to independent studios who are working towards a deadline for a crowdfunded game?JKW: In the scale of video game development, our budget was very small and we felt that while our backers were amazing, their patience would not be infinite, so for both reasons we knew we needed to move quickly. We embraced a very agile development methodology which really worked due to the extremely collaborative nature of our studio.
We had some pretty solid, larger design goals established, things like capturing the essence of the pen-and-paper mechanics, player character creation with a high diversity of character archetypes, team based tactical combat, and most importantly powerful [user-generated content tools. But the thousands of decisions needed to realize those goals were mostly worked out in real time over short sprints and with high iteration to allow us to attempt something, and then quickly rev it until it worked the way we wanted it to.
This process means that scope is constantly changing, most often downward, but not always, as the team constantly identifies things that were not considered previously, or that need to be reconceived. The biggest example of that is how we approached the Matrix. We felt that we did not have the budget to “do the Matrix right,” so had early on decided on an abstract mini-game to represent the Matrix and we communicated this to our backers. But after several attempts at that abstract mini-game had failed we finally bit the bullet and implemented a real Matrix experience.
Saturday - July 27, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Review Roundup #4
Well sit back and relax because we have the fourth round of reviews for Shadowrun Returns.
GamertechTV - 4/5
Controller Online - 8.5/10
Shadowrun Returns is a win for the crowd funding model, as well as the revival of old intellectual properties. Harebrained Schemes have lovingly recreated the Shadowrun universe in the form of a fun and very reasonably priced game. Fans of PC RPG’s, cyberpunk, or turn-based strategy games shouldn’t miss. It's a game that shows you can have broad appeal while staying true to your roots and your vision.
GamesBeat - 85/100
Shadowrun Returns stumbles a bit in its effort to re-create on the PC the isometric RPG world gamers fell in love with on classic consoles, but it redeems itself by providing players with a seemingly infinite toolbox to craft their own adventures.
Unigamesity - 5/5
Shadowrun Returns is NOT a crappy game, on the contrary. It is a game that manages to brilliantly mix together story and artwork, characters and skills, combat and tactics and deliver an absolutely amazing product. It is complex, it is charming and you end up loving it and all the characters that you encounter during your play time. A must play, without any doubt!
TechHive - 4/5
I thoroughly enjoyed Shadowrun Returns. This is the first time in years we've seen an ambitious isometric RPG from anyone other than Spiderweb Software, and I loved playing it. It's the first million-dollar crowdfunded game to actually come to market, an excellent final product that sets the bar high for future Kickstarter-funded games.
I got invested in the world of Shadowrun Returns. I enjoyed chatting with the colorful characters—including my best friend Mr. Kluwe—roaming the streets with an assault rifle in hand or a katana on my back, and barreling through corporate computer systems in pursuit of illicit information.
Put plainly, my biggest complaint is “I want more of this game,” and that's hardly a bad thing—as long as it doesn't take another two decades for a well-deserved sequel.
PixelBedlam - 9/10
The game isn’t without its flaws, the save system is god awful. The game will autosave when you enter a location and that’s it, no manual save. This sounds fine apart from when you are in combat for about 20 minutes and have to replay conversations and any character upgrading you’ve done.With it’s slightly complicated choice of language and location the game may be hard to get into for some players, but with the potential for one of the most deep RPG’s of recent years and the sheer fun of reading what the characters have to say I heartily recommend this game to all.
It’s also pleasant to see a Kickstarter game actually get released, sure it’s had delays but what has come out has real potential if the community picks it up. As a standalone game without the community it is still a fun ride that given the chance will grab you by the collar and not want to let go until you hand over your cred-stick.
IncGamers - 6/10
In short: this isn’t the second coming, but it’s not a bad way to spend £15. If you’re on the fence or short of nuyen, though, I’d wait and see what the community’s deckers comes up with.
Friday - July 26, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Review Roundup #3
Well here we are with the third round of reviews for Shadowrun Returns in just one day.
SpiderDuck - 4/5
At the end of the day, Shadowrun Returns is a great experience. It throws you into a world that you might already be familiar with or are learning about. The overall story is good, even if the character interaction can be a bit lacking for a game like this. I do wish there was more to do outside of the main story as it's just too linear. The gameplay is solid even though it doesn't really do anything new, but I did like what they did the The Matrix and it made those parts enjoyable to play through. However, the possibilities with the editor will keep me coming back to the game for years. It's a game worth checking out.
GamingTrend - 87/100
Shadowrun Returns exceeded my every expectation. The videos I’ve shown you are just a small portion of what this game has to offer. The combat is engaging and rewards good tactics and class understanding. The Dead Man’s Switch storyline is a great start to this new universe, and the included editor opens the door to literally everyone to craft their own stories.
While there is no voice work in the game, the descriptive portions that tell the story match the capabilities of any GM I’ve sat across from during a pen-and-paper gaming session. Stepping back and looking at what the team has completed in the time since their Kickstarter closed on April 29th of last year, this game is an amazing example of what true fans of the source material can do when not constrained by traditional distribution methods.
The fact that this game costs less than a night at the movies (Steam price is $19.99, though you can pick it up for 10% off for a very short span after you read this) and delivers a storyline you’ll want to play more than once, as well as the promise of infinite expansion, it’s very easy to recommend. Welcome back, Shadowrun — welcome back to the Sprawl.
Overall Shadowrun Returns is a great game to play and has a really captivating story which makes me happy it has so many gameplay hours hidden away and even user created content for those who can’t get enough of a fix.
VideoGamer - 7/10
Shadowrun Returns' first campaign feels like it was written by what D&D players would call 'the stubborn storyteller' - the dungeon master whose 'important decisions' always feel like they lead to the same place. Thankfully this story - and your interaction with it - are strong enough that, for the most part, this can be overlooked.
There’s at least one more campaign in the works right now (supposedly set in Berlin), but the real future for Shadowrun, in my mind, will come from the players themselves via the bundled editor. A good start.
CalmDownTom - 4/5
It’s probably going to appeal more to those who remember the original, or love the Shadowrun universe, but anyone who likes turn based strategy in weird retro-futuristic worlds will enjoy it. It will be the community and the user created adventures that will determine whether Shadowrun Returns is a brief diversion or an all consuming passion. And it will be Harebrained Schemes job to nurture and support that community.
FTG - 7.5/10
It may sound like I’m crapping all over the gameplay of Shadowrun Returns, but once I figured out how everything worked, I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. The big thing is that Hairbrained Studios allow access to the Shadowrun Returns toolkit, meaning determined fans of the series can create their own campaigns like they would in the old days on table top.
Shadowrun Returns - Released
Shadowrun Returns is now available on Steam. The game is available as a standard edition and there is also a deluxe edition. Though I do think many of you know already.
MAN MEETS MAGIC & MACHINE. The year is 2054. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. You are a shadowrunner - a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies, surviving day-by-day on skill and instinct alone. When the powerful or the desperate need a job done, you get it done... by any means necessary.
In the urban sprawl of the Seattle metroplex, the search for a mysterious killer sets you on a trail that leads from the darkest slums to the city’s most powerful megacorps. You will need to tread carefully, enlist the aid of other runners, and master powerful forces of technology and magic in order to emerge from the shadows of Seattle unscathed.
The unique cyberpunk-meets-fantasy world of Shadowrun has gained a huge cult following since its creation nearly 25 years ago. Now, creator Jordan Weisman returns to the world of Shadowrun, modernizing this classic game setting as a single player, turn-based tactical RPG
Thursday - July 25, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Review Roundup #2
Found a couple of more reviews for Shadowrun Returns.
Ultimately, I suppose, this feels like a vindication of the “hey, let’s do nostalgia and turn-based RPGs” thing on Kickstarter. I’ve always been sceptical of the inclination to look to the past, but this is actually giving us something we wanted. Something we needed. In this case I feel like it was filling a void. A rain-slick, turn-based, isometric elf-shaped void with mirrorshades and a shotgun.
Pixel Enemy, 8
This is the Shadowrun game we’ve been waiting for. Going back to its roots, Shadowrun Returns is easily one of the best entries in the series. With a lengthy campaign (which deserves to be played multiple times with different classes) and the limitless possibility of user created content; Shadowrun Returns is giving you a lot for its $20 price point. Does it have flaws? Yes, but If you’re a fan of tactical role-playing games, and enjoy the dystopian, cyber punk theme, than you owe it to yourself to check out Shadowrun Returns.
I'm very pleased to see a good new RPG in this classic isometric style, and its The Dead Man's Switch story has some well-told twists while it lasts, and the light tactical combat has enough depth to make it a worthwhile adventure. But the bite-sized scope and limited choices available make me more interested to see whatwill be a year from now, after the community has used the included mod tools to build on it, than in what it is today.
Shadowrun Returns is the type of game that has long been abandoned by the mega-publishers of the gaming landscape. It eerily feels like the Shadowrun games of old (shooter excluded), though it’s noticeably more polished and has a coat of visual and audio gloss on it that lets it stand shoulder to shoulder with anything being released in proximity. For the uninitiated, Shadowrun Returns will be a brilliant introduction to one of the most imaginative works of fiction that has ever graced the gaming world. Newcomers will surely need to put some time in to get up to speed, but this game makes this pretty easy to get sucked in to the universe right away. Sure, because of the type of game that this is, it won’t be for everyone, but this is Shadowrun at it’s finest, and it never has been.
And yet with all its failings, I thoroughly enjoyed Shadowrun Returns. This is the first time in years we've seen an ambitious isometric RPG from anyone other than Spiderweb Software, and I loved playing it. It's the first million-dollar crowdfunded game to actually come to market, an excellent final product that sets the bar high for future Kickstarter-funded games.
Shadowrun Returns - Post-Funding Update #57
Harebrained Schemes gives their latest post-funding update by reminding us the launch of Shadowrun Returns is today, and giving an update on whats next.
Jordan here with our last update before Shadowrun Returns gets into your hands. (Wow, I can’t believe I just typed that!)
I want to take a moment to personally thank you again for all your support over the last year or so. It’s been so great hearing from you on the forums, meeting you in person at cons, and eating the bagels and pizza you sent us. It’s definitely an experience I’ll never forget!
I also want to publicly thank the team at Harebrained Schemes for all their incredibly hard work over the past year. What a great group of people! They’re passionate about making games, about working in a highly-collaborative, high-energy environment, and about making Shadowrun Returns. They’ve really risen to the challenge and it’s been a pleasure going on this adventure with them.
On behalf of the team, I sincerely hope you enjoy Shadowrun Returns. It’s been a labor of love and represents one of the greatest collaborations of my career. Thanks again for the opportunity.
Shadowrun Returns - Review Roundup #1
Well today we have the first batch of reviews for Shadowrun Returns. Most are very positive so I can assume it will be a hit. What about you?
EuroGamer - 8/10
For those who just want to relive the isometric action of the SNES and Megadrive days, Shadowrun Returns easily delivers. It's not the deepest or most flexible game of its type, but there's a lot to be said for simple ideas realised intuitively. Add in some excellent writing and, judged purely as a standalone game, it's an unambiguous success.
There's more to Shadowrun Returns though. Much more. And it won't be until the community gets its hands on the editor, starts remixing the current material and generating its own, that the game will really begin to blossom. When it does, the patience of the hardcore will be well rewarded.
Softpedia - 8/10
Shadowrun Returns is a great comeback for the old franchise and proves that there's a lot of life left in it. While it only features a single story at launch, the promise of more from developer Harebrained Schemes and the possibility of getting new campaigns from players themselves via the editor makes the game an investment over time.
The title is a tough experience for newcomers but, provided they keep at it and continue to explore the many complex mechanics, it's quite rewarding, especially for those who enjoyed the comebacks of other franchises like Fallout or XCOM in recent years.
Polygon - 7/10
Despite the strange omissions and Shadowrun Returns' habitual blinking in the face of bigger gameplay ambitions, it's still an engaging return to a world and fiction that's sat dormant for far too long. Shadowrun is still a singular take on a pair of genres that have been drowned by cliche elsewhere, and it's exciting to consider where the game can go from here. Here's hoping that Harebrained is willing to go a little further down the rabbit hole if they do.
Hardcoregamer - 4.5/5
Even with the few flaws it possesses, Hairbrained Schemes have knocked it out of the park with Shadowrun Returns. This is one of the most satisfying and complete tactical roleplaying experiences to come out of 2013 and realistically the last few years. It’s strong in narration, sporting one of the best scripts we’ve seen in a long time, rich in customization and solid in its combat sophistication.
Gizorama - 4/5
Shadowrun Returns is a fine little turn based RPG and a standard that all Kickstarter games should look to aim for or beat. With the probable challenges that they faced, it’s amazing the game is this solid through and through. Sit yourself down, you drek and null sweat chummer as you jack in, because this game is wiz.
FanBoyFeed - 8/10
One of the biggest and most ambitious additions to this game is allowing the community to create User Generated Content to ensure the game has tons of DLC beyond what Harebrained Schemes has planned for the future. There’s already some content for the community to enjoy starting launch day.
Thanks to all the Kickstarter backers for helping make this project a huge success and great revival for the series. A lot of gamers that still have a bad taste in their mouth from the Cross-Play Shadowrun that was made for PC and Xbox 360 need to play this game. It’s a true revival of Shadowrun and the perfect HD upgrade that the series needed with a soundtrack that takes you back in time.
Shadowrun Returns - Interviews
I have managed to round up two more interviews for Shadowrun Returns. The game is set for release today so reviews should be available soon.
Max: You guys haven’t made any bones about the fact that is not going to be the kind of game that holds your hand, even though as you said it is more streamlined. Do you see Shadowrun Returns as something that’s going to bring Shadowrun into the popular gaming circles, or is this more of a love letter to the classic, old-school fans
Weisman: You’ve hit on the issue we’ve been wrestling with the entire development because luckily the property has this very loyal fanbase. They’re the ones who’ve helped bring this project to reality with their funding and Kickstarter and their continued support, so it is a love letter to them. Yet as we’ve acknowledged from the very beginning it’s in their interest as well as ours to make sure that this is a reintroduction of the universe to the larger game audience, to people who have never heard of Shadowrun, because otherwise the 40,000 people who supported us on Kickstarter aren’t enough to make a viable game. We need to reach hundreds of thousands of people. So we’ve been very conscious of the fact that we’re trying to make a game for a much broader audience than the people who reached out right away on Kickstarter. It’s not a casual game, it’s a gamer’s game, it is deep tactics on the combat and management of the resources and team, so it is a gamer’s game. We think there is a big audience for people who love that kind of game and are looking for something new in the genre.
Between the original Kickstarter goal and the limited time spent in development, one of the things I was concerned about is the length of the game overall. About how much playtime can people expect, and is there side content?
There are some side runs in Shadowrun Returns. It’s not like Neverwinter Nights where you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a side quest, but there’s one main story in the game and side missions that go off of that. Also, say you’re outside running around, there are other things you can do within that scene, but it’s not a huge open world. We didn’t have the time and money for something like that. In terms of playtime, our testers logged somewhere in the neighborhood of a dozen hours playing the game. Mileage may vary if you’re more cautious.
Are there plans to expand on the campaign, maybe with DLC or expansions?
So, we announced that we are creating a new campaign environment based in Berlin, same timeframe of 2054. We’ll put out a complete story of that in the Fall of this year. We’re also releasing the mission editor along with the game, and people have already starting making their own stories with it. We released the editor to some of our backers and they’ve had it for at least a month, and they’ve already started releasing all sorts of cool stuff. We’re also shipping all the scenes and the campaign itself so you can edit it, take it apart, change it around, that kind of thing.
Tuesday - July 23, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Interview @ Gamingbolt
Gamingbolt interviewed Creator Jordan Weisman to find out more about Shadowrun Returns.
Ravi Sinha: The game can be completed using either lethal characters or by having combat-oriented NPCs help you fight. The idea, using the level editor, is to create stories without needing to rely on combat. When looking at a game like Fallout, for instance, which allows for any and all kinds of decisions and outcomes, what kind of scope does the level editor for Shadow Returns allow for helping players craft their own narratives?
Jordan Weisman: The Shadowrun Returns editor does indeed allow Gamemasters (what we call UGC creators) to design stories or even entire campaigns that could require no combat all or offer players different paths – some that require combat and some that don’t.
The game supports this through a powerful conversation editor that links to our trigger system and interactive objects. That combination opens up “adventure” game style interactions and I’m sure there are other creative uses for them we haven’t thought of yet.
Ravi Sinha: Could some one effectively recreate the first game using the level editor? Or maybe classic missions from the same.
Jordan Weisman: We have already seen our Early Editor Access Backers starting to recreate the SNES game using the level editor. Another team is dedicated to recreating every book ever published in the Shadowrun line – which is a project so ambitious that the mere thought of it awes me.
Harebrained Schemes is releasing our entire campaign in editor format so that Gamemasters can take any part of what we have created and mod it, change it, or take whatever parts of it they want to create whatever they want.
Ravi Sinha: What is the estimated play length for Shadowrun Returns?
Jordan Weisman: The Dead Man’s Switch campaign, set in Seattle, takes most players about 12 hours to play. Your play time may vary a little based upon how cautious a player you are. After that, we hope there will be endless hours of gameplay from the community. We are working on the Berlin DLC campaign now.
Friday - July 19, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Launch Trailer
Harebrained Schemes has released a launch trailer for Shadowrun Returns on the developers youtube channel.
The year is 2054. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. You are a shadowrunner -- a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies, surviving day-by-day on skill and instinct alone. When the powerful or the desperate need a job done, you get it done... by any means necessary.
The unique cyberpunk-meets-fantasy world of Shadowrun has gained a huge cult following since its creation nearly 25 years ago. Now, creator Jordan Weisman returns to the world of Shadowrun, modernizing this classic game setting as a single player, turn-based tactical RPG.
Shadowrun Returns launches on Steam July 25th, 2013.
Wednesday - July 17, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Post-Funding Update #55
Harebrained Schemes has posted a new post-funding update for Shadowrun Returns. In this update it's announced backers should have received their steam keys.
Starting today, emails containing Shadowrun Returns Steam keys are going out to all Backers and HBS website Pre-order customers. This will help ensure that everyone has their keys in time for the launch on July 25.Please note that the keys will not unlock the game until it is released on July 25th. Once we flip the switch, you’ll be able to begin the download from Steam and play the game when it completes. More specifics on loading your Steam key will be included in the email we send you.
Also on July 25, your DRM-free version of the game and the digital rewards for your pledge level will be available via your HBS Account. Go to https://account.harebrained-schemes.com/ to download them on launch day.As a reminder, your physical rewards will begin shipping in the first week of August. Delivery dates are determined by geographic location.
We thank you for your patience in advance! It is likely to take a few days to get all the emails out, so please watch for the email, check your spam folder and, if you don’t receive yours within a few days, contact us at email@example.com
Friday - July 12, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Post-Funding Update #54
Shadowrun Returns in the latest post-funding update announces the art team will show their work outside of Kickstarter at the Raygun Lounge on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Just in case you can't make it you can see some of the artwork in the update.
We’re really proud of the Shadowrun Returns art team and excited that they have the opportunity to show off some of their work with an art show at the Raygun Lounge on Capitol Hill in Seattle. The show includes a large selection of art and concepts from the game as well as personal contributions by members of the art team.
If you’re in the Seattle area, come join us tomorrow night starting at 6pm for the opening of the show! Make sure to check out the pieces down the street at Gamma Ray Games, too.
- The Art of Shadowrun Returns
- July 11, 2013
- 6pm - 9pm @ The RayGun Lounge
- 501 E Pine Street - Seattle, WA 98122
Can’t make it tomorrow? The show will be viewable through August 7. Here are just a few pieces that are in the show.
Monday - July 08, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Gameplay Footage
Kotaku has a new Shadowrun Returns Let’s Play with over 30 minutes of gameplay. If you want to see the game in action, and have time to spare here it is.
Tuesday - June 25, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Two Interviews
I rounded up two interviews for the soon to be released RPG Shadowrun Returns.
Techzwn - "Interview with Mitch Gitelman"
TechZWN: This game is being labeled as an indie title, but has actually been a long time franchise. When working for the project, does it feel more like a more humble indie game production or something larger?
Gitelman: Shadowrun has been around a long time but you can’t quite label it a franchise because it’s gone through so many owners and developers. It hasn’t been controlled by one company for many years. Harebrained Schemes has no publisher and no marketing department. We work directly for our players. As I look around the room at our team of tired developers, I can tell you – it feels really indie to me.
TechZWN: I noticed on the provided website there will be conversation editing and character editing. Will this be done in Unity or another package? Will this editor be free of charge? Does Harebrained Schemes intend in seeing a lot of user mods for this title?
Gitelman: There’s far more than conversation and character editing! We’re releasing our complete game editor – exactly the same tools we’re using to make the games. In addition, we’re releasing the entire campaign in the editor so you can see how it was built and borrow as much as you need to jump-start your own creations. The editor comes with the game on Windows and Mac and we hope to see a ton of community created content for it! Here’s some of the stuff our Kickstarter Backers are already making with the early release version they got a couple of weeks ago
Here is the provided Alpha Gameplay Video.
Shacknews - "Jordan Weisman Discusses Shadowrun Returns Level Editor"
"Basically, the game masters can create any story, any adventure they want," Weisman told Shacknews. "The only limitations are that this is not an open-world system. From the beginning, we said it wasn't an open world. It is based on narrative and Shadowruns. You create a series of runs that can have all sorts of interdepencies with each other and you can create hub locations, like we have in our campaign, that can give you access to the runs. We've published as part of our Seattle campaign, and later with Berlin, a huge amount of building blocks to be able to build environments, both exterior and interior."
In addition to using the game's own assets, Weisman says that they'll also give creators the ability to make their own assets. "We are also going to release a kind of art guide for people that want to build their own environmental building blocks," he explained. "The editor has support for you to bring in and use your own art for your environments. That will be there as more of an unsupported feature, because there's a lot more that goes into bring art in. But if people want to do that, the mechanism exists for doing that on the environments."
"Ultimately, what's played around the tabletop is a world that is created by the game master and the players," said Weisman. "We don't view our campaign as *the* story for Shadowrun, we view it as just the first story for Shadowrun. It's just a building block for everything else.
Wednesday - June 19, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Delayed to Next Month
The Kickstarter for Shadowrun Returns has word from Harebrained Schemes that the release of their turn-based RPG is delayed until July 25th, after being planned for this month.
Here it is: The Official Release Date for Shadowrun Returns is July 25, 2013.
We know we’ve been saying June for some time, but now that we’ve reached this final stage of development, and although our Kickstarter funding was spent some time ago, we've decided to invest additional time in bugfixing and polishing the game. That means a longer crunch period for a tired team, but everyone agrees that it’s worth it.
One of the most common pieces of Backer feedback we've received over the past year is that we should take the time we need to ship this game. We really appreciate that, and we know we've thanked you already about a hundred times already, but we're doing it again because we mean it. Thanks.
You gifted us with your trust as well as your funding and we take that responsibility very seriously. You gave us the opportunity to contribute to something bigger than ourselves and something we think is worth all the time, sacrifice, and hard work. Soon, we’ll give it all back to you.
Important Note for Kickstarter Backers:
Your Steam key (for Windows & OSX) will be available a day early, on July 24th, from the HBS Accounts website, though the game will not activate until July 25th. (If you need help getting access to this site, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.) On July 25th, you will also be able to download your DRM-free version of the game and all Kickstarter digital rewards directly from the HBS Account website. More information about physical rewards delivery will be forthcoming in a separate Kickstarter update.
Monday - June 03, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Editor Detailed in Depth
DualShockers has a new article focusing on Shadowrun Returns with several videos. The videos are narrated by Environment Artists Jenn Tran and Tristin Ishmael and Producer Brian Poel. I picked one video visit the link for more.
This short tutorial will get you started using the Shadowrun Returns Editor: from launch to shooting it out with Lonestar in less than 5 minutes!
Sunday - May 26, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Update #52, Chris's Dev Diary
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.
Tuesday - May 14, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Interview @ VG247
VG247 has an interview with Harebrained Schemes founder Jordan Weisman to learn more about Shadowrun Returns
“The plot is based on secrets and mysteries, so it’s hard to talk too much about it without giving away something,” he began. “You’ve been hired by a woman to find out who killed her brother and ‘deal’ with them. Along the way, you’ll have to navigate corrupt cops, mega-corporations, body part peddlers, and ancient … OK that’s enough.”
The game’s futuristic Seattle of 2054 is going to be teeming with plot strands, dangers lurking in every alley and an assortment of enemies waiting to be engaged in combat. There will be much to consider, but Weisman stressed the game still won’t hold your hand. This is meant to be a tough experience for dedicated players.
“Call it respect for the audience or call it old-school gamer mentality but we’re honestly not hand-holding people through a bunch of training on the mechanics,” he said. “Once upon a time, there was fun in exploring and experimenting. We hope to give players enough info to get them rolling and understanding the basics.”
Watching the team’s alpha gameplay demo made it clear that combat will take an open-ended approach. There is great scope to adapt to threats the way you feel is best. Do you take a frontal assault approach and stick your team to cover, or do you try hacking and using alternate routes to gain the upper hand?
The possibilities are vast, and Weisman explained that by combining skills and character types you can really hit your enemies hard, “Our mindset is that you don’t need to balance your team’s skills but there are certainly benefits in doing so. For example, a Street Samurai might have a decent chance of hitting an enemy but if the enemy were slowed by a spell, he would be at a greater advantage.
Thursday - May 02, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Preview @ Cheat Code Central
Cheat Code Central released a short preview of the soon to be released kickstarter Shadowrun Returns.
The player will primarily control one main character, a Shadowrunner who takes on dirty jobs for the corporate powers who control the world. The player chooses this character's gender, fantasy race, and basic skillset at character creation. Although no one character can do everything well, Shadowrun Returns uses a classless system, allowing for a great deal of ability customization. Players will have the option to build, for example, a character with shamanistic and hacking skills or one with samurai and magic-using abilities.
Both in and out of combat, Shadowrun Returns includes a number of gameplay elements that aren't commonly seen in RPGs. Players can find and use disguises to trick their foes. Rigger characters can possess drones and use them for surveillance and combat. Decker characters will even have the occasional opportunity to enter the Matrix (whoa) during important hacking missions.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of Shadowrun Returns is the editor that comes with the game. The entire campaign was created in this editor, and players can use it to create new content for the game, which can be easily shared using Steam's Workshop service. Using the editor, players can create entirely new areas for the game, add quests, NPCs, and interactive objects, and otherwise do anything the game's original content developers were able to do.
Because of the limits of Kickstarter funding and the complicated nature of the Shadowrun license, the game's development has involved a few controversial decisions. Players will not be able to loot corpses because the programming challenge involved was beyond the project's scope. There are also some limitations on the DRM-free version of the game that was promised to the project's backers. It won't be compatible with future expansions or with player-made content that is developed using assets from those expansions. It appears that non-backers won't have access to a DRM-free version of the game, and will need to purchase it on Steam
Wednesday - May 01, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Pre-Purchase Now On Steam
Steam sends news that Shadowrun Returns is now avaible for pre-purchase . So if you didn't donate with the kickstarter now is your chance to buy.
Shadowrun Returns is Now Available for Pre-Purchase on Steam and is 10% off!
Based on the venerable Shadowrun tabletop roleplaying game of the 80s and a spiritual successor to the console games of the 90s, Shadowrun Returns brings back one of our most original & cherished game settings as a single player, turn-based tactical RPG.
The year is 2054 and your old friend Sam has been murdered in Seattle. You’ve been hired to find the killers and bring them to justice, one way or another. Soon you’ll be embroiled in a mystery that expands from missing organs, an antagonistic detective and biker gangs all the way up to the dynastic control of one of the largest Megacorps.
Saturday - April 27, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Update #51, There’s Something About Decking
Harebrained Schemes has a new update for Shadowrun Returns.
As you may have heard, our Decker gameplay has gone through a few revisions. More than a few, actually. When we began Shadowrun Returns, we knew that trying to simulate the Matrix as it works in the tabletop game would be a huge task that we couldn’t commit to. So Jordan conceived of a system where the Decker would jack in and see an overlay on top of the physical world that displayed the local area network - what computers connected to others, what they controlled, and that sort of thing. An icon representing the decker’s avatar would then traverse the overlay and do stuff at different nodes. It gave us the ability to do some Matrix puzzle gameplay on top of the tactical combat system we were developing, but when we reviewed the design with our engineers, we realized that it would be challenging to integrate into our level editor, take too long to develop as a whole, and wouldn’t be an efficient use of our budget. So we abandoned this approach and started exploring other design concepts.
The other day, I held my breath and dove past our reasonably up-to-date design document and into the repository that is our OLD STUFF, looking to see how many stabs at decking we took - at least on paper. I found five, plus a sketch, a diagram, and the beginnings of what looks to be a card game. I know there are a few more documents on local hard drives. . .
Some of these designs were written during (what some would consider) normal office hours. But most were written late at night, over weekends, and sometimes during holidays. Each was an attempt by the author to move the ball forward to make decking a satisfying experience.
Finally, this February, we got together to review several other mini-game approaches - all of which were met with silence. (FYI, Harebrained isn’t known for its silence.) That’s when Trevor looked down, shook his head, exhaled his special exhale, and said, “Look, that’s not what Shadowrun fans want. They want decking. They want the Matrix.”
We all want the Matrix.
Saturday - April 13, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Update #50 What’s the Deal with DRM-Free
In update #50 of Shadowrun Return the developers explain the drm controversy, and answer other questions.
Our Tuesday Kickstarter update generated many questions, particularly concerning the Steam vs. DRM-Free versions of the game. As we said, we wanted to wait until today to allow time for everyone’s questions and feedback to bubble up so we could write another update to address as many as we can, in one place.
You funded this project because you saw something in our Kickstarter that resonated with you personally and made you want to be a part of it. Backers pledged more than financial support - you invested your belief in our ideas and gave us your trust that we would do what we said we would. We take that trust very seriously and are doing our best to be worthy of it.
With your support, we will always do our best to fix problems or concerns that arise, with the understanding that some of the issues we must deal with may not always appear obvious to the community. We will endeavor to communicate such things more clearly and promptly to you, our Backers, whenever it is possible for us to do so.
So let’s start here: We clearly left some critical information too vague, which resulted in some bad feelings and speculation. We are sorry about that and we’re going to fix that poor communication right now.
Wednesday - April 10, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Lots of Information
Lots of information about Backer Rewards, distribution plans, pre-orders, and more can be fofund for Shadowrun Returns.
When do I get my rewards?
- Your DIGITAL rewards (the game, the editor, the wallpaper, special ability, the soundtrack, the short story anthology PDF, etc) will all be available on the Harebrained Account Website on launch day.
- Your PHYSICAL rewards (the t-shirts, the DocWagon cards, the hardcover short story anthology, the USB dog tags, the deluxe box edition (which contains a bunch of stuff), will ship about 3 weeks after launch day. (We’ll explain why below.)
- People who pre-ordered the Shadowrun Returns Deluxe and Collector’s Editions will get their digital and physical goodies in the same timeframe as above. (And will download their digital goodies from the Harebrained Account Website too.)
- Early access to the Shadowrun Returns EDITOR will be available to eligible Backers at the end of April.
- Backers eligible to have their photo turned into an NPC or CUSTOM PC have already been contacted and work has already begun!
Monday - March 25, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Update #48, Developer Diary on Art
A developer diary from Mike MacCain on the art in Shadowrun Returns has been published last Friday using plenty of screenshots.
Shadowrun Returns mixes 3D characters, lighting & effects with a 2D isometric environment - a decision made early in our Kickstarter campaign. This hybrid approach gives us the best of both worlds from both a visual and art production standpoint. By going “old school” with 2D environments, we’re able to create much broader and more intricate environments than we'd have the time for in a full 3D game. Plus, painting the building blocks of the world directly allows us to stand out more with a rich, detailed rendering style.
2D isometric games generally use either pre-rendered environments (the Infinity Engine games) or tile-based environments (Fallout, Arcanum, Diablo). Pre-rendered environments are ultimately hand-crafted by artists and "baked out" as a single, finished environment - whereas a tiled environment remains a collection of many assembled parts. It's a plastic toy vs. a box of Legos. Shadowrun Returns uses a tile-based environment. While a pre-rendered approach could provide some more artistic freedom, modular tile-based art is more production-friendly and offers our designers far more flexibility to create and iterate on complex tactical combat spaces. It also, importantly, lets all of you guys build your own environments in the editor using our digital Legos!
Thursday - March 14, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Video Q&A @ Gamespot
Haven't had time to watch yet but the Q&A is up on Gamespot.
Today - Thursday, March 14 at 1pm PST - Jordan and Mitch will be doing a Q&A at Gamestop that will be on Twitch TV. This is a great opportunity for us to reach a larger audience that may not have heard about Shadowrun Returns yet.
This is the link if you can drop everything and check in on them. twitch.tv/gamespot
If you aren't able to see it live, the video will be available after so you won't miss a thing!
So sorry for the late notice!
Wednesday - March 13, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Interview @ Gameindustry.biz
Lengthy interview with Jordan Weisman on the 'really gratifying and enormously scary' Kickstarter audience.
Of course, Kickstarter is not the place for massive projects. "The funding platform and the amount of money we raised there does lead you back towards this kind of game," Weisman agreed. "There's an overlap with the audience that's on Kickstarter. It tends to be an older audience, ones you can afford to take a little risk, and who have an emotional attachment. I think the majority of games that have been funded there to large numbers are people or properties that have an emotional tie to the audience in some way. Certainly that's the case with Double Fine, Wasteland, Shadowrun, the Obsidian guys... these are all examples of that."
Shadowrun Returns was funded far in excess of its goal, but that doesn't mean Harebrained Schemes is rolling in money. "We have 37,000 backers on Shadowrun Returns," Weisman said. "Our hope is that there's a lot more of them than just those 37,000, because if not then we lose the gamble. We've spent every penny and more that they gave us to make the game; we haven't made any money."
Monday - March 11, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - First Look Video and Backer Level Upgrade
If you pledged for Shadowrun Returns and are miserable now because you did not select a higher tier, you can now upgrade your backer level through Paypal.
But more importantly, there is an alpha gameplay walkthrough video available that shows the current status of the game.
Since our story is about secrets and lies, we decided that our video should walk you through a side-mission so you can get a clear sense of how the game is played without revealing any spoilers. In this mission, you’ve accepted a job from a reliable Fixer (who’s totally fronting for Aztechnology) to locate a rival corporate test lab and terminate the test (with extreme prejudice).
Remember as you watch the video that all the environments, conversations, and tactical situations you see were created using the Shadowrun Returns Editor - the same editor that will ship with the game on OSX and Windows. For us, re-energizing Shadowrun doesn’t just mean making a game for you to play and enjoy (although that sounds GREAT). It means creating a set of tools for YOU to experiment with, express yourself with, and share.
Friday - March 08, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - First Look
The Harebrained team is pleased to bring you this alpha gameplay walkthrough video for Shadowrun Returns narrated by Jordan and Mitch. While no Bothans died to bring you this information, it’s been a wild ride to get to this point and there’s still plenty to do. But let’s not talk about the future for a moment. Let’s just take 20 minutes or so to relax and see the game in action.
Since our story is about secrets and lies, we decided that our video should walk you through a side-mission so you can get a clear sense of how the game is played without revealing any spoilers. In this mission, you’ve accepted a job from a reliable Fixer (who’s totally fronting for Aztechnology) to locate a rival corporate test lab and terminate the test (with extreme prejudice).
Monday - March 04, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Update #42, Artwork and an Upcoming Video
The latest update for Shadowrun Returns talks about a video wlakthrough of the game that will be released this Friday together with a set of real screenshots.
It is also mentioned that on Sunday, March 10th a live demo of the game will be shown in Austin.
Here is some of the artwork with more to be found at the link above.
Sunday - February 24, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Update #41
Shadowrun Returns has a new update with Jordan providing a lengthy dev diary. On the use of text:
When you net out all the costs of Kickstarter, Amazon/PayPal, Microsoft (for the license), the production cost of our Backer rewards, and the picking, packing, and shipping cost of those rewards, we have just under $1.2 million to actually spend on making the game - which is amazing compared to our modest initial plans but nothing compared to today's 100-million-dollar RPG behemoths - but that’s ok because we have two secret weapons!
The first of these powerful weapons is what I call “The Infinite Resolution Rendering Engine” an incredible piece of biotechnology developed over millions of years, capable of presenting the audience such vivid imagery so real they can smell and even taste it. Yes you guessed it, it’s the gray stuff between your ears and the imagination it is capable of. We can’t afford to put everything in our imaginations onto the screen, so instead we decided to put it into your imagination via “theater of the mind”. By combining beautiful environments and characters with cleverly-integrated text, we hope to inspire you to “see” and “hear” things that we could never afford to put on your screen or out of your speakers.
Shadowrun Returns integrates text into gameplay in four ways:
- Chapter and Scene Introductions set the context and emotional landscape for the scene you are about to play
- In-world GM pop-ups describe the sights, sounds, and smells that your character is experiencing at this moment. For those of you who are unfamiliar with tabletop role-playing, GM stands for “Game Master” - the person charged with setting the stage and refereeing the action.
- In-world character speech bubbles provide short quips from your characters and our NPCs, providing insights into their actions. Of course, sometimes, they’re just for entertainment.
- Our conversation window allows you to have in-depth branching conversations with characters in the world, as well as GM narration that helps bring those characters to life. (Although we can’t animate the single tear traveling down the street urchin’s face, we can type it!)
Thanks for the reminder, Von Paulus.
Wednesday - February 06, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Art Update
If you recall the Shadowrun Returns screens from a few days back, it turns out they were in-game assets posed in Photoshop - though the final look should be close. Harebrained has kicked up those same shots on their official site but they have also added a couple of character concepts and two shots inside their actual game editor.
Monday - February 04, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - New Screens
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Sunday - January 20, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - Update #39
Harebrained Schemes has put together a new update on Shadowrun Returns:
Let's start with a progress report!
On the code-side, over 30 character skills and abilities are in the game and working. That’s stuff like etiquette, snapshot, and conjuring. On top of that, decking, rigging, spirit summoning, and spellcasting are in too! This list represents a huge push from our engineering team to get the first draft of these features in before the end of the year and they delivered. Now, before you get too excited, all these systems are using “programmer art” so they’re. . . not pretty. But they prove the systems, can be tested, bug-fixed, and iterated upon before we spend the time prettifying them. It’s starting to feel like a game. It’s got bugs and there’s a lot to do but it’s starting to feel like Shadowrun.
But wait, there’s more. NPCs are talking! Our base conversation system is in and working. We’ve got branching dialog in the game that performs checks to determine what dialog options to give you - we plan to note the skill/attribute/race, etc. that allowed that option to appear. We (and you) can do all sorts of cool things with our conversation system combined with our trigger system. Things like attaching a conversation to a window prop so it feels like you’re overhearing people on the other side of the window or having a conversation that convinces someone to turn off the fog of war in an area and escort you to the mainframe.
Friday - January 04, 2013
Shadowrun Returns - The Archetypes @ GameInformer
GameInformer took a look at the character archetypes of Shadowrun a couple of days back. The game uses a classless system, so you'll be able to mix up these archetypes:
The hackers of the Shadowrun World, Deckers utilize cyberdecks to jack into the Matrix (an idea in Shadowrun that predates the popular films) and steal information. The Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics (ICE) that they encounter when infiltrating a system are as deadly as armed guards. Sometimes, facilities have pulled their networks off the Matrix, and a Decker will need to physically get into a building before being able to jack in.
Weisman Says: “Most facilities have one or more LANs, each with several nodes that control elements of the facility. Using their cyberdecks, Deckers can take control of network-controlled doors, cameras, and even automated weapons. Core LANs may contain the facility’s data stores and CPUs, which the Deckers can hack into to steal data or implant viruses. Deckers use special programs to speed their hacking of nodes and reduce their chance of setting off alarms.”
The mysterious shaman archetype has gained the ability to summon forth spirits into the world. They utilize an aboriginal totem to find summoning points in the world from which they may draw out powerful spirits to harness in battle. Numerous spirit types exist, including nature, elemental, hearth, and toxic spirits.
Weisman Says: “When summoning, shamans must ‘invest’ their own action points into a spirit to control it. The skill of the Shaman and the level of the summoned spirit determine the base chance to do so. If the player attempts to use more action points than invested in the spirit, the chances of losing control of it go up dramatically. A spirit that breaks free from a shaman is a very dangerous rogue entity with a high likelihood of seeking revenge upon the one who summoned it. “
Friday - December 21, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Update #38, Awakening Day
Bit of a trend here with Kickstarter projects posting Christmas messages...Harebrained has a Shadowrun Returns update with a video fireside chat with Jordan Weisman (featuring music from the game) and revealing Shadowlands, a blog series from 2050:
Hey there, everyone! Happy Awakening Day!
Even though the 6th World’s Awakening was technically (according to 80s logic) in 2011, we at Harebrained Schemes, along with our friends at Catalyst Game Labs and Cliffhanger Productions are excited that today marks the start of The Year of Shadowrun. It’s going to be a fun (and REALLY busy) year of new games set in the Shadowrun Universe. To celebrate, we’re launching Shadowlands. It’s a series of blog posts and Tweets from the 2050s, so if you want, follow it on Twitter and Facebook. Oh, and if you’re a 2070s fan, check out Jackpoint!
Anywho, if you haven’t been subject to the apocalypse and/or surprise bodily transformation, we assume you’re sufficiently capable of watching Jordan’s Fireside Chat Video. Did you notice the music at the beginning and end? It’s new Shadowrun music! The samples in the video aren’t so much tracks from the game as they are homages to the music from the classic Shadowrun games, meant to give you a little taste of what’s coming up in SR:R.
Saturday - December 08, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Developer Diary: Chris Kohnert
Harebrained Schemes has an update from Chris Kohnert, head of Engineering, to talk about Shadowrun Return's AI:
One of the most important elements of any good single player game is a challenging and believable AI system. Since we’ve recently been tying up loose ends in the bulk of our core AI, I figured it would be a good time shine a bit of light into some of the elements of it, and how it integrates with some of the story-related gameplay elements of SR:R.
For this game, we have many different ways for you to approach any given scenario: do you try a frontal assault? Do you try to don a disguise and trick the guards into letting you into the server room? Do you need to protect that decker as he overtakes that computer node in order to take control of that mini-gun turret?
In order to facilitate this flexible approach to tackling a level, the AI must be able to interweave many different disciplines and game systems and respond to a lot of different situations. Let’s talk a bit about how this works at a very high level.
The very first thing an AI needs to do is to be aware of its surroundings. For instance, when you move around a scene and perform actions, a guard will make an “awareness” check (i.e. “Do I see him?”). This is where stealth, line of sight, and audible cues are sensed and perceived (and also where that awesome ninja suit might come in handy). Assuming the guard sees you, he must then make what we’re calling a “perception” check (i.e. “What do I notice about him?”).
This is where the non-combat elements of the game start to come into play. For example, if you’ve managed to procure a guard’s uniform, he may take a look at you and decide you aren’t a threat. Though, that uniform may not do you any good if you’re carrying a couple of assault rifles when the standard issue weapon is a pistol. (Yes, we actually model that level of sophistication! Though whether it gets into the final game is based on how much fun it winds up being. . .)
Friday - November 23, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Update #36, New Release Window
Harebrained Studios has posted a Thanksgiving-flavoured Shadowrun update that provides an overview of current development and a shift in the expected release date:
As we announced a few months ago, we’ve backed off our original delivery date of January 2013. It might’ve worked for the scope of the game we originally envisioned but as our ambitions (read that “features list”) grew, so did the time we needed to deliver! Plus, we made a big move from our original top down camera to an isometric point of view and that took serious R&D time. Right now, according to our estimates, we’re looking at May or June.
Based on the team’s feedback, we redesigned our first-draft combat interface, and the second-draft works much smoother. We’re going to play with it for a few weeks and keep a running list of the team’s feedback before making further revisions. We’ve also revised and debugged our base combat AI so they choose the right weapons (watch out for the grenades), use cover appropriately, reload, use medkits, attack aggressively or become cowardly, and respond to gunshots or calls for help. It’s taken awhile but they’re fun to fight with just guns, fists, and swords. Once NPCs start using tech and magic, things are going to really get crazy.
After many weeks of hardcore debugging, iterating, and reworking, we’re happy to say that we’ve “found the fun”. We’re happy with Run ‘n’ Gun and feel confident that we’re building the rest of the game on a solid foundation. Beyond all the design meetings and system writeups, our designers have created more than a dozen additional scenarios that exercise the editor, the AI, the interface, the combat systems, and our skill as players. And they did it without the use of our extensive trigger system which is just now being implemented. It’s sort of a spiritual successor to the trigger system we used on Crimson: Steam Pirates and a very powerful, flexible tool for our designers (and with some time and patience, you too).
Saturday - October 13, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - October Q&A Videos
You may recall Harebrained Schemes undertook a community Q&A for Shadowrun Returns - now the answers are up in the form of two videos:
We had such a great time addressing your questions in our first community Q&A in September that we decided to do another… and then another. We received so many great questions this time that they couldn’t be contained in just one video. So watch the first (longer) one for the broader questions, and the second (shorter, fancier-dressed) one for the more detailed questions.
We’re cranking away on development and we’re happy to share everything we (comfortably) can with you. So enjoy! And keep brewing more questions for the future: these won’t be our last community Q&A videos.
Tuesday - October 02, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Q&A Thread
Harebrained will be doing a second community Q&A for Shadowrun Returns - you can post in this thread on their foums if you'd like a question answered. We'll bring you the answers when they are ready:
If you remember last time, thanks to Sally, Mitch Gitelman & Jordan Weisman (The All-Father of Shadowrun) – HBS brought us a hilarious, informative and fun Video Q&A – comprised of answers to questions about Shadowrun Returns, asked by you! The best part was, they hadn’t seen the questions beforehand, making for some awesome impromtu answers!
And now, they’re doing it again! So go ahead and POST your new/unanswered questions about Shadowrun Returns below, and let’s see what else we can learn this time around! ^_^
To see how it all worked out the first time, here’s the first Video Q & A thread:
And here’s the link to Mitch and Jordan’s video answers! http://harebrained-schemes.com/post/shadowrun-returns-qa-with-jordan-and-mitch/
This thread will be open for about a week so get crackin chummers and ask away!
Sunday - September 16, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - PAX 2012 Highlights @ Harebrained Schemes
Harebrained Schemes just put up a youtube video which which shows hightlights for the PAX 2012 presentation for the game. Here's the intro:
We spent the last week or so putting together a highlights reel of Jordan and Mitch's SR:R presentation at PAX. So for those of you who weren't able to make it, you can now hear everything we revealed straight from the Jordan Horse's mouth.
To view the presentation video, please go here.
Thanks, RPG Codex :)
Source: RPG Codex
Tuesday - September 04, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - In-Game Assets Redux
Harebrained Schemes has followed up the recent Kotaku article showing some in-game assets with their own post covering the same media but offering more depth on the accompanying information:
When we started our Kickstarter campaign, we had a much more modest game in mind. But as the funding grew by a factor of five, our aspirations (and our Backers’ expectations) grew by an even larger multiple. We’re working very hard to meet (and maybe even exceed) those higher expectations.
One of the game’s largest growth factors was the change from a top-down to an isometric point of view, which is much more dynamic but also much more expensive to create. We explored several different methods to bring the rich details of the Shadowrun world to life in an isometric POV and settled on a hybrid approach that merges 2D environments and 3D characters.
The 2D background allows us to deliver a level of detail, depth, and expressiveness that we think will capture the tone we’re working toward, while the characters’ 3D structure allows for fluid movement, and a wide range of character design and equipment options. Based on the number of tests we’ve done, we think the 2D/3D mix is really working well.
Sunday - September 02, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - First look at characters and cityscapes
Kotaku has some "screenshots" and art from Shadowrun, with input from Jordan Weisman on what each slide represents. You'll have seen some of this previously but it's refreshing to see a developer explaining their marketing screens:
Monday - August 20, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - GenCon Updates
Harebrained Studios has posted some updates from their time at GenCon, including concept art of the basic in-game look for Shadowrun Returns they are shooting for:
While this is concept art – not a screenshot – it’s representative of the fidelity and art style we’re shooting for. For the uninitiated (or those seeking a quick refresher!) the concept above depicts the infamous Redmond Barrens* of the mid 2050s.
The game environment will be composed of painted 2D elements, so we should be able to deliver the level of detail, depth and expressiveness that you see here. Characters in Shadowrun Returns, on the other hand, are being constructed in 3D – which allows them the fluid movement and wide range of character design and equipment options you’d expect from an RPG. We’ve done a number of tests and the 2D/3D mix feels very natural.
We’re really excited about the direction we’re heading in and the progress we’ve made in the last 3 months. We look forward to showing you more soon!
Saturday - July 21, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Fluff and Smoke Part V
Stuck’s Carnival sprang up overnight in the blue-collar mecca called Auburn. In a community where residents lived hand to mouth, this wild “anything-goes” casino represented a chance to be more. Stucks fed on that hope, growing fat with profit. Now it had expanded to the point where it was practically a micro city—a glowing oasis of neon and glass so long as your nuyen kept flowing, you could at least feel like you were somebody.
Kat’s crew picked an outdoor patio space wedged between a brothel and a petting zoo. It looked like a good place to meet new talent. If the crew planned on having any more fast getaways, they had to get a rigger. Interviewing potential shadowrunners used to entail walking up to a guy in a bar and asking if they shot straight, but Seattle was growing, and finding the right mix of talent was more difficult than ever.
Thursday - July 12, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - New Wallpaper
A Shadowrun Returns wallpaper is available, showing the Renraku skyline.
Tuesday - July 10, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Q&A, Concept Art
The Shadowrun Returns Q&A we posted about a couple of weeks back, with Sally from Harebrained hitting up Mitch and Jordan SRR with community-submitted questions in a video interview:
And voila: our Mitch and Jordan SRR Q&A! As most of you know, Mitch and Jordan had no idea what they were going to be asked, so all their answers are deliciously raw. But as far as those answers go, you know the drill: everything’s a work in progress, ideas are subject to change, some ideas in the video just burst up on the spot—all that jazz. Basically, the video’s totally honest, but honest for what’s true right now. As with all game development, we have to balance what’s cool versus time and money. And some of our ideas just don’t come out the way we imagine them. But hey, we hope this video will show that we’re not only listening to your questions and suggestions, but also that we appreciate them. Having such an enthusiastic crowd supporting our work is pretty much the best. We look forward to reading your comments, debates and constructive suggestions. Thanks again for everything!
Harebrained has also released some early concept art on this page.
Sunday - July 01, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Update #22, Community Q&A Planned
A new Shadowrun Returns update has been posted, introducing "Editorial director" Sally, the Shadowrun forums and a proposed community Q&A:
We know we've been being pretty quiet about what we're up to-- Shadowrun Returns wise--and we'd like to be more open with you. So here's what I was thinking (I, by the way, am Sally-- HBS' new Editorial director. Hi there!): how about you guys post your most burning, relevant questions in this forum, and then I'll pick through them for the top ten most popular or most interesting questions.The forum is on Shadowrun.com, which you'll need to become a member of (if you aren't already) in order to post. You don't have to pay money or anything, and it'll just take a second :) Sorry for the little bit of hoop-jumping: it was just the easiest medium to use. So if you've got some questions, just go ahead and set up a profile, and post away!
And then comes the fun part: Mitch and Jordan have agreed to stay completely blind up until I make the Q&A video. That is to say, I won't physically blind them (that might make me the worst employee ever), but they won't hear the questions until I start filming. We won't edit the film, so you'll get to see all the awkward pausing, and you'll get totally raw answers. Honesty's the name of the game here, folks, and we want nothing more than to hear what you're wondering! Your questions and feedback are unbelievably valuable to us, and we couldn't be more grateful to have such a passionate, respectful, and opinionated fanbase. I'll be leaving the forum up over the weekend, and most of Monday (I'll probably take it down around 2pm PST), so get to posting as soon as you can! Can't wait to see what you have to say.
Also, if you'd like more updates on SRR, we've been posting regularly on our HBS Facebook page. If you 'like' Harebrained Schemes, you'll be able to get our most recent pictures and snippets!
Thursday - June 28, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Nothing But Fluff and Smoke #1
Harebrained Studios has kicked off a 12 part lore story series for Shadowrun Returns, titled Nothing But Fluff and Smoke. Here's an excerpt from Part 1: Old Friends and New Business.
Kat could think of better ways to spend her Saturday night than being tailed by ork gangers. They were behind her now, red leather jackets and pink mohawks blending into the chaotic mesh of bodies moving through downtown Seattle. She knew what they wanted—a pound of flesh, her cyberdeck, the usual. It all came back to the Gunderson run. That job covered rent for the month and left enough for decent takeout, but it meant crossing the Crimson Crush. Apparently they didn’t understand ‘just business’.
She sped up and her limp became more pronounced. Doc Maplethorpe called the pain psychosomatic; a memory of having her meat leg gnashed off by teeth as large as her body. Dragon teeth. Of course, her doctor also worked out of the back of a strip mall, so what did he know?
Kat glanced back, pretending to notice a glitzy neon storefront. The orks were still with her. She pulled her satchel closer, feeling for the important items within. Sega CTY-360 Cyberdeck, Colt L36 pistol, stun baton, commlink, and lipstick. Everything a woman of the 2050’s needs. It was too late to double back and lose them. She had a meet to make. Maybe they wouldn’t follow her into Matchsticks. The club was officially Halloweener turf. Then again, they’d strayed this far from Redmond already. She ducked into the club. A few moments later the orks followed.
Saturday - May 26, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Reddit AMA Next Tuesday
Harebrained Schemes will hold an Ask Me Anthing on Reddit next week, offering a chance to quizz Jordan Weisman about Shadowrun's nitty gritty details.
Wednesday - May 23, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Berlin!
The latest Shadowrun update announces Berlin has won the second-city poll in a come-from-behind victory:
It was a hard-fought battle but as any geek can tell you, There Can Be Only One. . .
. . . and that's BERLIN!
That's right, Berlin came from behind and swept past Hong Kong, taking it's place as the second city in Shadowrun Returns.
Wednesday - May 16, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Berlin vs Hong Kong
The Shadowrun second city survey ended with just 1% between Berlin and Hong Kong, so a second survey is away to backers. If you backed the project and didn't vote the first time, make sure you get your choice in this survey.
Friday - May 11, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Second Survey
A survey for which second city should be in Shadowrun Returns was sent out. Here are the details on the cities:
Berlin has seen many wars in its history and the Awakened World did not spare it. The EuroWars left it crushed yet again, but like a phoenix it continues to rise from the ashes. While the more modern western half turned to the corps, the more volatile eastern residents voted with their Molotov cocktails that anarchy was the way to go. The result is that Berlin is a dynamic dichotomy; home to many of Europe’s top corps, including the great dragon Lofwyr’s Seader-Krupp and Daimler-Benz, and home to Europe’s biggest collection of fixers, data thieves and gangs. Every runner considers it a badge of honor to run the streets of Berlin.
In the early 2050s, Chicago was your typical massive American sprawl. At least it was until anarchists blew up the Sears Tower. The falling debris destroyed blocks’ worth of buildings crushing thousands of people. No one has rebuilt any of it in the years since; the ghosts of the dead are said to haunt the area, and the increasing presence of ghouls there earned it the name “Shattergraves.” The rest of the Loop was likewise left to rot, and eventually become fully controlled by the Mafia. And don’t even get us started on the bugs, more and more of these magical entities that see humanity as a good place to lay their eggs seem to appear there.
The Treaty of Denver balkanized this city and now 6 countries control of parts of this sprawl. In an arrangement that made almost nobody happy, the new “owners” decided to wall off their sections from each other. That turned Denver into a smuggler’s paradise and a shadowrunner’s secret love…so many borders, so much valuable goods to sneak across them ... who could ask for anything more? And if that wasn’t enough to get a runner’s blood going, Denver is home to the Nexus. Known as the Denver Data Haven, it is the North American hub of information, and data exchange. And remember children, knowledge is power.
Hong Kong finds itself now as an independent city/state in 2050. Both ancient and modern Hong Kong seems to be at peace on the same island. It’s corporate sponsored City Center rivals any in the world for splendor and corporate intrigue. All the megcorps are there as well as all smaller ones that love to think they can play with the big boys (and maybe even steal a secret or two). Yet, just outside the city center you will find ancient temples and shrines. Each one situated on the many dragon lines that cross the island. Dragon lines are mysterious and powerful paths of magic that the monks claim hold the secrets of the great dragons themselves. Protecting the monks and running the underworld are the mysterious syndicate called the Triads – gangs that control their island, protect their secret masters and really really hate the Yakuza.
Buckingham Palace, the West End, the Tube, the Castles, Big Ben…it all screams welcome to London, but in 2050 London is not the sparkling jewel it once was. Sure you get those sunny days that allow you to walk the cobblestones of history. But now, the fog and rain are toxic, forcing the creation of the West End Underplex - a thriving city that tries to keep the mood and feel of London artificially alive underneath the acid washed old city. London is a nightmare which contains the bright palaces and friendly pubs as well as the ghetto of lost humanity called “the squeeze” but all of it is under the very heavy thumb of the city's Lord Protector.
Seattle is the home city of the Shadowrun Universe and where the game will be initially set. One option for the game’s “second city” is to add MORE depth to Seattle. Specifically we could add the following: a bigger chunk of the Renraku Arcology (remember it is home to 100,000 employees), a larger version of the Ork Underground, it’s an entire world beneath the streets of the Seattle metroplex, and Council Island where we can show the Native American Tribes flexing their newfound magical and military muscles.
My vote went for Hong Kong. Asian ancient temples next to a modern day metropolis is too good to pass on. That plus the gangs, dragon lines and megacorps all rolled into one area sounds like a lot of fun.
Sunday - April 29, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Funding Finished, Almost $1.9M Raised
The Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter campaign has closed with the final figure (including Paypal) $1,895,772 - quite an amazing uptick in the last two days:
A-freaking-mazing! Wowsers! Bibbidy-bobbidy-boo!
We are so happy to be associated with such a wonderful community.
Backers, we'll hold our Second City Survey soon and contact you for your Swag info!
For now, we're heading over to Shadowrun.com and our new forums!
See you on the other side!
Thursday - April 26, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Update #10, $1.5M Passed
There's a new Kickstarter update for Shadowrun Returns as their campaign cruises past $1.5M. With only 66 hours to go as of this post, there's a new video offering a new stretch goal - head over to hear about it.
Wednesday - April 25, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Update #9, The Music of the Night
Update #9 for the Shadowrun Returns ($1.43M. 4 days) Kickstarter campaign has fascinating news about the music they have planned:
One of the recurring themes in the stories we hear is how the music of the Sega and SNES Shadowrun games stays with you after all this time. Whenever we read your comments and whenever the team talks about it, the conversation always comes back to, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could get the guys who wrote the original music?”
So we did.
Today, we’re incredibly excited to announce that Marshall Parker, who wrote the music for the Super Nintendo game and Sam Powell, who wrote the music for the Sega Genesis game, have agreed to COLLABORATE on the music for Shadowrun Returns.
Sunday - April 22, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Update #8, $1.32M
I need a special Kickstarter section or something. Harebrained Schemes has added a new update for the Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter ($1.32M, 7 days to go) offering a new $50 digital-only level, more soundtrack stuff and some nice t-shirt designs for the appropriate reward levels. An excerpt:
THE ALL-DIGITAL REWARD BUNDLE
This reward bundle is completely independent of all other reward levels, does not include any previous rewards, and is not added to reward levels above.
A Digital Downloadable COPY OF THE GAME, DRM free on PC, Mac, or Linux + one totally sweet, exclusive desktop WALLPAPER for your PC, Mac, or mobile tablet + your character will start the game with a SPECIAL ABILITY only available to backers + a PDF version of the Shadowrun Returns Anthology, an ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF SHORT STORIES written for the game and edited by Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun + you will also get the IN-GAME DocWagon benefit of a fully-armed emergency ambulance or chopper to save your team of runners when the drek hits the fan + a DRM-free digital version of the GAME SOUNDTRACK.
This bundle includes no physical goods and helps with VAT, duty and shipping costs for our international backers.
Friday - April 20, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Update #7, A Little Fireside Chat
There's a new update at the Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter page ($1.25M, 9 days) responding to the controversy over the backer-exclusive quest offered in the previous update. The solution is the quest will be backer-exclusive only for a short period, then it will be opened up to all players:
It seems like everyone is really excited about the mission (we are too!), but an overwhelming number of you don’t want that the mission to be exclusive for backers. You want everyone who loves Shadowrun to be able to experience it.
Your generosity of spirit and your support for people who aren’t (yet, we hope) involved in this Kickstarter really says something important about the Shadowrun Community and we’re proud to be a part of it. But we still want to say “thank you” to everyone supporting the project and putting their faith in us.
So here’s what we’re going to do: If we’re lucky enough to get to $1.5m, we’ll create that story and make it available only to backers but for an exclusive period of time. Then, we’ll open it up so that everyone can see how the dots between Jake and Harlequin are connected.
Everybody plays. Everybody wins. Everybody calls DocWagon.
Sunday - April 15, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Passes $1M, New Update
As the Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter cruises past $1M, Harebrained Schemes has added a new video update offering a $1.5M stretch goal. Jordan explains they don't want to add additional features because they believe they have the right feature set. Additional funds will go to increase the depth of the games through additional content.
If $1.5M is reached, backers will receive an exclusive quest line that ties the Shadowrun SNES and Genesis games together - head over to watch the video.
Information aboutShadowrun Returns
Developer: Harebrained Schemes
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2013-07-25
· Publisher: Harebrained Schemes