Here we go...
This update is full of information about Backer Rewards, distribution plans, pre-orders, and more. No sexy behind the scenes look at how we’re making the game this time. Just good, clean process. This is important stuff (like deadlines) that everyone needs to know, so make sure you read it!
The last chance to get the Shadowrun Returns Collector's Edition is Sunday, April 28th, 2013. Please tell your friends! (More on pre-orders later.)
When can I give you my information for my Backer Rewards?
We are happy to announce that the Harebrained Account Website is now open for business! It’s not pretty but it’ll get the job done! Starting today, Backers will begin to receive emails from us (as you’re imported into the system) containing a link to the website and a password. If you haven’t heard from us by Friday, April 12th, drop us a line at email@example.com. (Preorder folk will receive separate emails later.)
If you’re a Backer, please log in as soon as possible to enter your mailing address and (based on your Backer Level) upload your picture for your DocWagon card, tell us which shirt and size you want, and all the other information we’ll need to get you your much-deserved rewards.
IMPORTANT: In order to get your rewards on time, you must log in and fill in your information by Monday, April 22nd, 2013. Otherwise, your rewards may be left out of the shipment, get shipped to the wrong address or other, more heinous horrors.
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!
Here’s some examples!
Why do I have to wait until after the game releases to get my physical rewards?
First, picking, packing, and shipping your physical rewards is an expensive proposition. If we send out physical rewards in more than one batch, the cost will be prohibitively expensive (like twice as much!). That would be a considerable percentage of our total budget and that money could go into the game. Our focus is (and always will be) on using the funding you’ve generously provided to make Shadowrun Returns great. So we’re doing one big shipment of all physical rewards at the same time.
Second, in order to press the discs containing the game and the soundtrack, the game and the soundtrack actually have to be done! So, because we’re shipping everything in one batch and because we can’t press discs until the game is done, the physical rewards will ship about 3 weeks after the game is released.
Unfortunately, this also means we can’t put the game and other stuff on the USB Dog Tags as we said we would during the Kickstarter. If we did, we'd first have to wait for the game to be done, then we’d have to wait for the manufacturing of the flash drives, and then wait again for them to arrive from China, adding at least a month to the wait. On the plus side, we’ve already received and approved functional prototypes of the dog tags, so we know they’re going to be awesome. (If you were at Emerald City Comic Con or SXSW, you got a chance to see them yourselves.)
And here's what the Doc Wagon cards will look like.
When will the game be released?
Shadowrun Returns will release in June.
How will I download the game when it’s released?
After a lot of prototyping and research, we decided that our best delivery option for OSX/Windows/Linux is to go the route that great games (like Skyrim!) have taken and embrace Steam and the Steam Workshop. Steam allows us to provide up-to-date downloads and patching along with a vibrant ecosystem for developing community-created content and file sharing.
So, we're happy to announce that all Backers will receive a Steam Key for the game and will be able to contribute and browse community-created content using Steam Workshop.
We realize that for some of you, releasing on Steam isn’t your first choice but there are a lot of really great things we get from this decision that allow us to focus on the game rather than on making things like backend servers to deploy and manage shared content. From the start, we’ve had to make practical decisions like this one to ensure we get the most out of the support you’ve given us. We consider this to be the best option for everyone.
Now, that may prompt the question, “What about DRM-free?” To honor our original promise of a DRM-free version of the game, the Harebrained Account Website will also contain a downloadable version of Shadowrun Returns that does not include Steam integration. While this version will include the Seattle story (and Berlin, via a one-time update), without Steam integration, it will be unable to browse and play community-created stories from within the game. Any future DLC will only be available through Steam.
Will people be able to pre-order the game on Steam?
Yes. Pre-orders for Shadowrun Returns and the Shadowrun Returns Deluxe Edition will be available on Steam Monday, April 29th 2013. Again, the last chance to pre-order the Collectors Edition or get the pre-order discounts on harebrained-schemes.com is Sunday, April 28th 2013. Please spread the word.
When do I get the Linux version of the game?
As we said during the Kickstarter, we will release the Linux version in a reasonable timeframe after launch. We've done a few test builds in house but there are a fair number of issues remaining to be fixed. Rather than delay the entire release of the game to everyone, we're going to focus on the non-Linux platforms first as they have the most support and are the furthest along in development.
What about the iOS and Android tablet versions of the game?
Tablet versions of Shadowrun Returns are not part of any Backer reward levels and will be available for purchase from the Apple and Android App Stores. Tablet versions will not include the Editor or have the ability to browse and play community-created content. We hope to bundle and add the best community-created content to the tablet versions of the game in the future.
What about the German, French, and Italian versions of the game?
We plan to release translated versions of the game around the same time as the Linux version.
What sort of DLC can we expect?
Here’s what we’re planning to make available for paid download after launch:
- Berlin Campaign (new campaigns also allow you to build with an expanded set of tiles)
- Map Packs (new terrain tiles and props for you to use in your own campaigns)
- All New Shadowrun Stories (created by HBS)
- Additional Outfits and Portraits for your character
Now to be clear, our Backers and Collector’s Edition Pre-orderers will get the Berlin Campaign at no charge. Any DLC developed after launch will require payment.
Do I have to pay for Community Created Content?
Stories created by the community will be available through Steam Workshop at no charge. However, if you download a story created with optional DLC (such as Berlin) that you don’t have yet, you’ll need to purchase that DLC before you play it.
What type of modding support will there be?
While we have not spent a lot of time creating hooks for modding in the core game code, we're confident that clever Shadowrun GMs will manage to do some amazing and creative things that we haven’t even dreamed of yet! We don't plan on getting in your way but we also don't have the resources to officially support a modding community beyond what the Editor is able to create (which is already a lot - it’s powerful and flexible).
So that’s a big ol’ info dump! (Hmm, could be a cool band name - Info Dump.)
If you have questions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.