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.
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