Harebrained Schemes On The Future Of Shadowrun

Last week I ran the first half of an interview with three-time Kickstarter winners Harebrained Schemes, in which they fielded my own questions about their upcoming cyberpunk-with-magic RPG sequel Shadowrun: Hong Kong. This time, they’re fielding your questions – including what they’ve got planned for the future of the series, cyberpunk’s Asian influences, how the stories are becoming increasingly less linear, avoiding Eastern stereotypes with the new setting, and improving the game’s pace.

Oh, and at the time writing the Shadowrun Hong Kong Kickstarter has now brought in $750,000. They’d asked for $100,000. They’ve now unlocked 12 stretch goals, and promise an additional mini-campaign if they hit $1 million. There are still 19 days to go. *blinks*.

RPS: draglikepull says “I loved a lot of the improvements in Dragonfall, but the game also had some really long, repetitive combat sequences. Have they given any thought to splitting up some of the longer combat-oriented segments of SR: Hong Kong with some exploration or story in the middle?”

Mitch Gitelman (Harebrained Schemes co-founder): Yes, absolutely. We recognise that some combats had some pacing issues, and we are actively breaking it up into smaller, bite-size chunks.

There’s this interesting thing that we’re doing now, based on feedback from the audience. We’re allowing you to move in and out of turn-based mode at your command, so that you can position yourself before you open a door, for example, to enter combat. So you’re entering combat with your brick in front and your long-range guy in the back, that kind of thing.

RPS: Oh good. There were a few bits in other games where the enemy was two rooms away and you had to wait turn after turn for them to get over to you.

Jordan Weisman (Shadowrun creator): Exactly. So that’ll answer some of the pacing issues by itself.

Mitch: But really it’s just a matter of clean level design, and that’s just a matter of us improving our game.

RPS: Darkheart says “Haven’t had the chance to play Dragonfall, yet, so I don’t know if it changed by now, but what greatly irked me was the lack of a loot system. That’s kinda half of RPG fun missing for me at least. Will this be rethunk in the Hong Kong iteration?”

Mitch: So we’re not just revamping a loot system or something like that, because it’s really not part of the Shadowrun setting. First of all, you don’t get experience points for killing people, you get what we call Karma for completing objectives or doing things cleverly. For example, in Dragonfall, there are more things to find, more things that drop during the game, but one of the things we’re adding in Hong Kong is the ability to when you pick up something that’s been dropped, you can assign it to any one of your team members. The ability to swap inventory items between your team mates, we’re giving you much more control of that as well.

Jordan: In Shadowrun, we don’t think picking random stuff up off the floor is a lot of fun. So everything that drops on the floor is actually useful in some more significant way.

Mitch: There’s stuff to find though in the game. By searching you can find things, which is more of a Shadowrun thing.

RPS: Zallgrin says “How do devs intend to approach the theology of China? Lots of Western devs tend to fetishise and simplify the Chinese culture, and as consequence it becomes a parody of itself. Do the devs have spoken to people living in Hong Kong or do they have by chance any freelancers from China on their team?”

Mitch: We do have gamers in Hong Kong that are Shadowrun Gamers, who are helping us out. We also have someone from the university of Washington Asian Studies department helping us out. We have an employee stationed over there too, for Golem Arcana, who does quality control of our manufacturing too, so we have our own employee boots in the ground.

It’s just like with Dragonfall, because we did the same thing with people in Germany who helped us out, we’re not interested in making a cartoon version of Hong Kong. I think we succeeded in turning Berlin into something really cool in 2054, and we’re looking forwards to making something really cool and authentic-feeling in 2056 Hong Kong.

RPS: This is kind of my question rather than a reader’s, but by moving to an Eastern setting I guess maybe you’re moving closer to more established cyberpunk tropes. It was kind of an open book in Berlin, but there’s much more established fiction and tropes to take from here. How much do you play with or against that?

Jordan: If you’re looking at the Blade Runner interpretation of cyberpunk and the dominance of Asian culture, which was purely an outbreak of the era in which cyberpunk was originally written, right? At that point everybody believed Japan was going to own the world. They were wrong…

Mitch: China’s going to rule the world!

Jordan: Yeah. We’re probably wrong about that too. But I do think that though it was Western-created, it dressed itself in a lot of Asian tropes. In that era, we too had a very strong Asian dominance in the world. You had Japan controlling a fair chunk of California, for similar reasons of the era it was written in. And the currency of the world was called New Yen for the same reason.

I think Shadowrun is always going to have a solid foot in Asian culture. It’s not alien for us to go there with this game and this campaign. It’s kind of woven into the context of Shadowrun all the way through. Even phrases like the Street Samurai [clarification – this is a term for a character type which exists across the Shadowrun universe, rather than something added for Hong Kong]. It really it is a merging of aboriginal cultures from around the world. One of the premises of Shadowrun is that magic empowers aboriginal cultures, and so that’s why we have the Native Americans as such a strong thing, but that’s also true with the Shamanistic nature of Japanese magic as well, as it comes back into the forefront.

Mitch: Also, just like in Berlin, the Hong Kong setting, especially the 2056 setting, has been described and written about, but not in intensive detail. Which is perfect for us, there’s a lot of great stuff for us to trigger our imaginations and inspire us, but not too much that it bogs us down in already-written detail. It’s a great balancing act, just like it was for Berlin in Dragonfall.

RPS: Danarchist says “In Dragonfall I found it very difficult to acquire enough resources for some of the longer missions. Most specifically having enough medkits and summons in my inventory to get through the entire mission. When I hit the lab this became especially troublesome and I had to restart from an earlier save. Basically would it be possible to make inventory items like medkits etc stack, or could alternative/optional income sources be added so we do not have a finite amount of creds available?”

Mitch: That’s a pretty specific question. All I can say is that we’ll look into it. One of the things we pride ourselves on is listening to our audience. Even though we don’t comment on every single suggestion or smaller feature request, the design team is very active in scouring the comments and listening and taking notes. We can’t promise that we’ll do everything, but we are listening.

RPS: I guess you’ve got to strike a balance between stuff a lot of people are asking for and stuff one person is upset by.

Mitch: Well, it’s time and people. Everything’s got to be prioritised.

Jordan: And you’ve got to watch out for something that, as you said, is specific to one player’s case.

Mitch: That request would make the game much easier to other people, for example. That guy could turn down the difficulty and take less damage instead.

RPS: Morlock says “I would just like to know where they see the series going. Are there any plans to at some point switch engines? The stronger dedication to PC opens up new options. I would also like to know whether there are any new plans for the editor and whether they ever considered multiplayer (perhaps with Neverwinter-Nights-type DMing)?”

Mitch: That was seven questions in one. I’ll take the first one. For me personally, interacting with the world Jordan created is the exciting part. In success, what I’d like to do is travel the globe, showing the world of Shadowrun, how magic returning to a cyberpunk world is affected by different cultures, and how it affects different cultures. There have been Shadowrun sourcebooks written in just about every major city over the globe, and showing different aspects of how this is a global thing, that’s what’s exciting to me.

Jordan: To me, I think the locations are great backdrops, but it’s all got to come down to great stories of the characters and for the players. I think so long as we keep coming up with great stories and characters and interesting choices, we’d love to keep making them.

In terms of big things like adding multiplayer or co-op, those are really big feature sets. The current engine wasn’t built to go there that easily, and so that’s going to require either us doing really well and being able to fund it, and believe there’s a big enough audience, or we bring a much bigger opportunity to crowd-funding. We’re a very small studio. We’re kind of bootstrapping the entire thing.

RPS: Lars Westergren says “For such a famous historical port, will they have some waterfront locations, docks, quays, maybe even ship to enter?”

Mitch: Yes. Absolutely we’re into that. In fact, the very first scene in the game is on the waterfront.

RPS: VexingVision says “Please ask them about branching plotlines. Will the new plot be as rail-roady as the other SR Modules?”

Jordan: One of the things we’re extremely focused on is more content. One of the reasons we’re careful about responding to requests for more feature sets is we want more content, and more content means less linearity. With Dragonfall we took that next to step to less linear, and with this one we’ll take that step even further to less linear. It’s not an open world game, it’s never going to be GTA, but in terms of more branches and choices for a player to move down, we are incrementally getting better and better.

RPS: Thanks for your time.

Shadowrun: Hong Kong has another 19 days to go on its Kickstarter. It’s brought in over $750k, but has more stretch goals left to unlock.


  1. Ryuuga says:

    >Branching plotlines
    This, a thousand times this! Make it wild and wooly and nonlinear! Make it feel open, full of opportunities! This would be my main complaint with the Dragonfall games: there is more or less one single optimal way of dealing with a problem, and that’s that. And you always need a decker, and s/he’s usually a drag outside of decking, where the solution is generally more firepower, or possibly a bit of charisma to talk your way past something. Make me want to replay the game just to see what happens if I choose a different fork in the road, or a different class!

    I really like the games, the stories, the characters, but I never really feel that I make my own mark on them. I just play them through the way they’re supposed to, and do what everyone does. I imagine many games actually are more like this than one realizes, but cleverly disguises it by sleight of hand, or just draws your attention elsewhere – even greats like Planescape Torment. Nevertheless, when I feel like this, it’s a problem.

    Oh, and if I can have a second wish? Put in some great, crazy, loony, neon-decked, wild, weird cyberpunk stuff! All the color and vibrancy and chrome and crazy technology and crazier people of the very best William Gibson cyberpunk!

    • Zallgrin says:

      Non-linearity is cool and I am always happy to see it implemented well, but it doesn’t work well with small teams. Non-linear stories rise exponentially in complexity and become a clusterfuck after a short time, after which it becomes hard to communicate, connect and improve the game.

      Harebrained Schemes delivers great short, snappy stories with good reactivity. But I don’t think they can deliver a truly non-linear branching game, especially due to constrained resources.

      • Ryuuga says:

        Very true about the resources & associated troubles. However, even going some ways toward it, rather than going full original Deus Ex, could help a lot. Or even find other ways around it, like e.g. Planescape torment did. Heck, many pen & paper RPG adventures are actually fairly linear – but they don’t feel that way. There’s gotta be some tricks one can pull, here, right? Even Fallout 1 or 2 didn’t feel that linear, and really, I don’t think they have a large number of paths that truly exclude one another – mostly just the order in which you do things, or resolve a few key situations – but those effects don’t really ripple, right? Just having the option there to join the slavers or kill the ghouls, with associated terrible effects, opens up the world. I guess those are not examples of using resources where you get the most bang for the buck, of course – you’d rather want a situation where you choose between two reasonable alternatives (say, alliances) and some later missions change shape accordingly.

        I realize I compare Shadowrun to some of the heaviest hitters of the old school here, of course – and HBS’s resources may not come even remotely close. Still, it’s a compliment, too, right – being good enough that people have to pull out the very best to point out what you can do better?

        • thekelvingreen says:

          Pen and paper has the advantage of a human GM who can improvise react; we’re still a long way from a computer being able to do that.

      • HidingCat says:

        What he said. HBS is small and I’d rather have a tight plot with good pacing than wandering all over the place trying to decide where to go next.

  2. baozi says:

    Aboriginal cultures? What? Also, samurai and Japanese magic, in Hong Kong?

    I’m not familiar with Shadowrun, and my view may be uninformed, but even the original sounds like it is stereotyping and conflating.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      They seem to know the difference between China and Japan ( believe me, many don’t ) and then they slap in something so inextricably tied to the Japanese history like Samurai. Uhm.

      Maybe they have a better explanation on that and we’re just being pedantic over the little context provided in that response. Or maybe we’re right and this is indeed a little sad.

      The third option would be that they should have provided Japan as a setting from the get go, but that’s just personal preference.

      Eitherway i waited long enough, time to install Dragon Fall DC.

      • Alec Meer says:

        ‘Street Samurai’ is their broader term for a certain type of urban fighter across the Shadowrun universe – i.e. in Berlin and America and wherever else too – rather than something specific to Hong Kong. That’s an example of what they mean when they’re talking about Shadowrun’s cyberpunk being rooted into the US/Japanese culture fusion predicted in the 80s.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          So it boils down to me not knowing crap about the setting. Phew, that actually feels better than the assumption they’re half-assing stuff and abusing the rule of cool, thanks!

        • Einherje says:

          Shadowrun as a setting lovingly builds on cyberpunk fiction from the eighties. I believe the term street samurai was first coined by William Gibson in his novel Neuromancer. If you’re a Shadowrun fan you should definitely read Hardwired by Walter Jon Williams and Gibson’s sprawl triology.

      • rossy says:

        I might add that the term street samurai originated to my knowledge in Neuromancer. A novel that many cyberpunk fiction including Shadowrun took huge inspiration from.

        • Rizlar says:

          Read Neuromancer for the first time over Christmas and yeah, it’s absolutely ridiculous how much stuff is entirely based on it. Of course it probably had it’s own influences but whenever I see a female character with blades that come out of her fingertips…. yeah.

          It’s a great read as well, an absolutely enjoyable romp. Highly recommend it.

          • Hex says:

            Johnny Mnemonic was also written by Gibson, I believe. And I’m pretty sure the fingernail-blades lady in it is the same character as the street samurai in Neuromancer.

          • MrUnimport says:

            I had a very difficult time getting into the Shadowrun reboot because everything was the same old Gibson tropes with the names swapped around, or otherwise with the names left intact, with a heaping dose of fantasy and magic slathered on top. Nothing felt cohesive.

    • Ace Rimmer says:

      Street Samurai is a generic term for (more or less) a crew’s muscle. Red Samurai are soldiers of a Japanese megacorp. I don’t know what the reference to Japanese shamanism was about, except that it’s been hinted before that the campaign will involve oddities in the magic of Hong Kong.

      The Shadowrun world is a child of the late Eighties and early Nineties, when Japan was cool (Samurai!) and seen as ascendant, so in that world’s alternate history, Japan exerts a disproportionate amount of cultural and financial weight. Except that of course nation states have been rendered irrelevant by the rise of the corporations. Because cyberpunk.

      Edit: I’m late. So very, very late.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        You’re late but with a valid question, the shamanistic nature of japanese magic is surely tied to their folklore and their love for nature’s forces and it’s spirits and demons and stuff.

        I shouldn’t probably recommend an animation movie over some of their proper books and all the rest, but i’d say Princess Mononoke sort of explains everything. Or even Totoro just to remain in Miyazaki’s territory.

        • Ace Rimmer says:

          Thanks, but I meant I wasn’t sure why they brought up Japanese shamanism in this particular context. Probably it was just as another example to go along with the Native American.

        • pepperfez says:

          It is always appropriate to recommend Miyazaki, no matter the context.

        • Rizlar says:

          Pom Poko, surely?

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            I never watched that one, but to apologize i’ll add Spirited Away!

      • malkav11 says:

        I think they were discussing the broader context of the setting, not that they specifically plan to have Japanese shamanism in SR: Hong Kong. Although they might do. It’s not like there wouldn’t be any Japanese people in Hong Kong, and one of the announced characters has historical ties to a Japanese corporation.

    • Rizlar says:

      Street Samurai and Japanese shamanism is referring to Shadowrun’s setting, stuff that already exists, not this new game set in Hong Kong. They are just saying that Shadowrun has always had ‘a solid foot in Asian culture’. And aboriginal cultures just means whatever was there before westernising influences. As they mention in the interview, part of the Shadowrun setting seems to be that with the return of magic to the world old, spiritual, shamanic cultures came back and became a really big thing.

      Basically they are saying that it’s not just going to be generic cyberpunk with Asian window dressing.

      edit: Also late. Later than that parcel I ordered before Christmas…

    • baozi says:

      I just think (and agree) that if the East Asian part of your lore is so clearly based on the appropriation of one particular East Asian culture it doesn’t make that much sense to take it and place it in another, because you’re gonna bewilder both.

      Unless, of course, they do add to the lore with elements more native to the setting. Not like Chinese cultures don’t have their own shamanistic traditions…

      I guess we’ll see?

      Regarding aboriginal cultures, so western = technology and non-western = magic because not advanced enough for technology?

      • MisterFurious says:

        “I just think (and agree) that if the East Asian part of your lore is so clearly based on the appropriation of one particular East Asian culture it doesn’t make that much sense to take it and place it in another, because you’re gonna bewilder both.

        Unless, of course, they do add to the lore with elements more native to the setting. Not like Chinese cultures don’t have their own shamanistic traditions…

        I guess we’ll see?

        Regarding aboriginal cultures, so western = technology and non-western = magic because not advanced enough for technology?”

        You have no idea what you’re talking about. Do some damn research before spouting off about something.

        • baozi says:

          So when I read something about Street Samurai like “They often adopt codes of honor, from simply not killing bystanders to more complex codes like bushido (…)” on the Shadowrun Wikia, I am to assume that’s an interpretation by fans, is that right? Because it does sound like gross cultural fetishism.

          • Phasma Felis says:

            Cod-bushido is not any major part of the setting, no. Some street sams do adopt rough-and-ready codes of honor to convince themselves that they’re not just high-tech thugs, but there’s no organized effort at recreating actual samurai ethos in-game.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      You’re misunderstanding what’s said about aboriginal culture, because you’re not familiar with Shadowrun. One of the features of the Shadowrun universe is that magic has ‘returned’ to the world, and this has amongst other things shifted the balances of power in the world in the favour of (for example) shamanistic cultures everywhere (so that, for example, a megacorp called Aztechnology headquartered in “Aztlan” has become the largest “magical industry” megacorp in the world) . But these are all things you should experience in the games for yourself rather than me haphazardly trying to convey the lore. Rest assured they have nothing to do with any kind of stereotyping.

    • MisterFurious says:

      “and my view may be uninformed”

      It is.

      • baozi says:

        Yes, you mentioned that before, no need to say it twice. Does it feel good?

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Guess what. Stereotypes are much more fun than trying to make any game an anthropological study. The Shadowrun universe definitely integrates a lot of stereotypes, and if you don’t like it, boo hoo.

      This said to make this game they have some freedom beyond the canonical Shadowrun pen and paper universe, and I wouldn’t object to some more realistic cultural bits in the characters, plot and dialogues, as long as making the game fun and over-the-top-cool stays a priority.

  3. Ace Rimmer says:

    In addition to the regular KS updates, the devs (mostly Mitch Gitelman) are quite good about answering questions in the KS comment threads, even if their response to most new feature requests is a (quite reasonable) “nice idea, but beyond our scope.” The improvements to the basic mechanics mentioned above along with the revamped matrix and elaborated magic and cyberware systems should be plenty to keep them busy.

  4. eggy toast says:

    Since you guys read all the comments, apparently: I think you did a great job sticking to your guns here. Loot is fun in an RPG but a professional thief wouldn’t stop and pick up every 9mm from every guard for a whole host of reasons. Much better to use the money from the job to buy your own kit and know it wasn’t used for anything weird and that it’s in good condition and so on.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Or maybe you’re actually buying the very same stuff that you didn’t loot yourself!

      Maybe there’s a group of scavengers always stalking you.

      • TormDK says:

        Licensing in the Shadowrun universe is a real thing, because everything is tracked. Even soda cans have computers built into them and will feed usage data back to the corp that sold it to you.

        So technically, you could loot everything you saw, but you would be tracked untill you had the licensing removed. (At least in the current edition, which is set some 20 years in the future compared to the setting Harebrain is working in).

        • Ace Rimmer says:

          That really threw me when Shadowrun Returns tickled my nostalgia gland enough to make me pick up the latest edition of the game, for the first time since the late Nineties: Apparently technology will move to wireless connections sometime between the late 2050’s and 2070. I for one can’t wait.

          • TormDK says:

            The wireless matrix initiative begins small scale in 2064, but due to the matrix crash 2.0 was not rolled out very fast, and it wasn’t untill sometime in the 2070’s that it was considered “unhackable” by the Grid Overwatch Division (GOD), the Corp “caretakers” of the Matrix.

            I would encourage anyone even remotely interested in the lore behind Shadowrun to have a quick glimse of the timeline; link to shadowrun.wikia.com

            You could skip the 2050-2060 periode if you did not yet play Dead Mans Switch, or Dragonfall, just to avoid spoiling yourself storywise :)

      • Hex says:

        If I could code, I would be working on a roguelike in which the player controls a not-very-combat-capable guy trying to make ends meet by scavenging left-over loot from the aftermath of adventuring parties’ dungeon runs. All about avoiding notice and getting in and out with some sweet over-looked booty.

    • teije says:

      Yeah, I’m good with the lack of random loot. Frankly, it can become a chore in lot of games like Skyrim or Divinity Original Sin, since you don’t want to “miss out” on something great so you end up opening every stupid crate and bale of hay.

  5. Wowbagger says:

    So the turn based combat is going back to Fallout mode right? when enemies can’t see or detect you real time mode engages? Sounds good to me!

    • Ace Rimmer says:

      Real time mode (where you control your main char. and the crew just tags along in your wake) outside combat, turn-based (controlling the crew individually) triggers on contact with enemy. The new thing is that you can trigger turn-based at will, to arrange your troops, e.g. before opening a door if you think there may be hostiles on the other side.

  6. Contrafibularity says:

    Danarchist says “In Dragonfall I found it very difficult to acquire enough resources for some of the longer missions. Most specifically having enough medkits and summons in my inventory to get through the entire mission.

    I’ve only played through Dragonfall once, with a ranged character, so this might not be entirely representative for melee players, but given that players could freely choose your skills and your team, there is absolutely, positively no way that Dragonfall had too few resources or nuyen (anywhere, ever). I hate to say this, but you were very possibly playing the game wrong. I do like the idea of medkits stacking (though more than 2 per stack would be overdoing it) but for reasons of inventory management rather than being able to carry more medkits, which were anything but sparse in SRR and Dragonfall.

    I would welcome some more flexibility for characters, by having more equipment/weapon/spell/inventory slots, but it’s a delicate balance between giving the player more options and making the game too easy (on hard difficulty) because the player will always have more options and resources than the enemy AI NPCs. I would like the combat to remain challenging.

    Great to hear we’re getting the option of switching turn-based mode, too.

  7. Danarchist says:

    “Mitch: That request would make the game much easier to other people, for example. That guy could turn down the difficulty and take less damage instead.”

    I just got called a noob by a game developer, maybe it’s time for me to go back to reading books instead lol. Basically I want to be able to do my pre-run “footwork” and go into a mission feeling prepared. As it stands you really do have a finite resource pool. Ya I could turn the difficulty down I guess…blech

    • Contrafibularity says:

      Don’t take it the wrong way. One of videogaming’s distinctive features is that they’re played, rather than read or watched, and that this presents a challenge. Challenges aren’t really meant to be overcome on the first go, and the player is supposed to fail (opinions differ on that, but I think all could agree there’s a general truth to that, so for example you’re not meant to excel at chess on your first game, for example). Learning to play a game and master its systems, especially one so replayable as Shadowrun, is half the fun. I thought both SRR and Dragonfall were very forgiving (except maybe if you totally botched your character’s build, but that would seem to require intent given how straightforward it is, or if you for some reason or other were too stubborn to use cover or even positioning, or some such). But I tend to use ranged cyber characters, so it might be you had a much tougher time as a street sammie or shaman/caster?

    • Emeraude says:

      Well, let’s put it that way, I played on very hard, and I come from it at the opposite of you: I though the resources where generally too plentiful, making for a too forgiving experience overall.

      We’re probably outliers, but Mr Gitelman is right in that there’s a balance to be reached so that the game remains enjoyable for the most.

      From your comment I wonder: is that mostly a psychological effect, by which I mean, do you want to *feel* like you’re prepared for everything going in, but in the end don’t really need the resources, or do you actually need them once in situ ?

      • Danarchist says:

        I am guessing my character build has allot to do with it, I just really don’t want to start all the way over. When playing the pen and paper game I have always been a big fan of investing more heavily into gear I may not need rather than getting in-theater and finding myself short on bandaids. Could be the combat medic in me, but more is definitely better in my case. (Ironically I started playing this in the sandbox) I have always enjoyed the equipment gathering, cyber body part installing, etc in Shadowrun. Maybe next time I wont build a melee/mage/summoner =P

        Also quite possible I have started to suck at strategy in my old age

        • HidingCat says:

          Nah, you might still be suffering from paranoia built from the tabletop game.

          Here’s a hint: Just make sure you can kill things really fast, and hack really well. Specialise one guy for killing; I went with rifles for my main and can drop most enemies in a single burst. Game was fairly easy for me.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Let’s just say you’re a perfect example of why game developers should rarely listen to players.

  8. draglikepull says:

    Glad to see that they’re giving some thought to the pacing of missions, which was my only real complaint with the otherwise excellent Dragonfall. That final mission in particular felt like a slog.

  9. coppernaut says:

    I think they’re finally getting closer to making the Shadowrun game every Shadowrun fan has dreamed about. If they stay with this license I would be a happy man.

  10. sapien82 says:

    Why the fuck are they asking for more consumer cash , when they have likely made enough money off the first release to make more games ! Surely they cashed in big with shadowrun returns and had enough money left over to develop more games without starting another kickstarter!

    Oh sure lets all fund your games for you then , make us buy them once you release them too.
    is it just me or are game devs now completely hooked on kickstarter , micro transaction, pay to win , shit that
    even though they can afford to they will keep using this system to milk gamers of their cash and thus increasing their profit margins.

    Take rocket for example, no kickstarter , but essentially took an engine , modded it , created dayz , released it on alpha and everyone bought it, he had enough money to finish the game in less than a year , but still keeps working on it and dragging it out as long as possible, and us the idiots keep lapping it up!

    • malkav11 says:

      They say right up front that yes, they had enough money that they could have essentially made another Dragonfall but with a different plot, setting and characters. They wanted to get a little more ambitious than that, and they need more money to do that.

      But regardless, why exactly is it wrong for developers to consistently crowdfund projects? Would you rather they get their funding from publically traded corporations like EA and Ubisoft? They’d certainly get more of it, their games could have a broader scope and better graphics…they’d also have to make sure it appealed to several million people minimum, ran on at least four platforms with compromises for every single one of them, bolt on useless DRM, probably implement some sort of multiplayer and those microtransactions you’re so fired up about…and that’s assuming they could even convince a publisher to bother with the sort of game they’re pitching at all. Shadowrun the turn-based CRPG was certainly a non-starter, but Microsoft was certainly up for making a multiplayer console FPS out of it!

      Suggesting that developers completely self-fund out of their own reserves is, frankly, not particularly practical and not the way most developers above a certain size (i.e., a handful of people) operate because it’s just too easy to have those reserves run out and then they’re out of business.