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February 24th, 2013, 12:11
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.
More information.
Last edited by Myrthos; February 25th, 2013 at 00:40.
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February 24th, 2013, 12:11
'Microsoft (for the license)'

Microsoft have the Shadowrun license or did I misunderstand?
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February 24th, 2013, 20:04
Perhaps they have the Shadowrun computer gaming license?
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February 24th, 2013, 20:39
I'm a longtime fan of the Battletech IP, Shadowrun's sibling and it's an interesting story.

So Jordan Weisman founded FASA (Freedonia Aeronautics and Space Administration… from the movie Duck Soup) back in the 80s. The big property to come out of there besides Shadowrun was Battletech, an introduction of giant mecha to US consumer using, in part, Macross robotic designs by license from the Japanese creator. Harmony Gold separately imported the rights to do actual Macross film and series distribution. The two eventually tangled in court in a weird set of circumstances I won't get into and FASA/Battletech ceased using all licensed mecha imagery to concentrate on their own artwork.

You can see the legacy of that mess here under rule 8 where I'm a moderator.

In the meantime Jodan had set up FASA Interactive to focus on the Mechwarrior pc game brand which included Shadowrun. Microsoft bought it along with Jordan and his team back in 1999. In the meantime Weisman, the serial entrepreneur that he is, founded Wizkids and got the whole click-base collectible miniature genre started with MageKnight and Heroclix.

In 2001, FASA proper decided to close its doors while they were still somewhat ahead. I suspect personally that the court mess earlier had something to do with the decision, but not due to bankruptcy. The German company FanPro (the guys who make Das Schwarze Auge and licensed the Arkania/Drakensang series… see? it all comes back full circle!) bought the IP for both Battletech and Shadowrun and published those lines until 2008 when In Media Res founded Catalyst Game Labs to run the product lines through today. WizKids got bought by Topps who holds the IP now.

Microsoft and what used to be FASA interactive hold the electronic rights to that same IP, so they're split. Weisman left awhile ago to do his newest startup but has a strong enough relationship that he got a deal with MS to make a new Shadowrun. One Kickstarter later and I think you're all caught up with all of it.
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February 25th, 2013, 00:04
The link in the article goes to Delver's Drop for me. This is the link to the update for me.

I liked that they are upfront about not trying to be more than they are on the storytelling front and relying on us. Moving away from the keyword system to more traditional dialog tree sounds like a really good move to me. I've never really liked those systems and could be an issue for Wasteland for me but I'll get over it. Anyway looked up the release date which is May/June 2013 now for anyone who was curious.
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February 25th, 2013, 00:41
Fixed. Thanks!
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