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.
It’s amazing that this update is one of the last before Shadowrun Returns gets into your hands. It’s been an amazing adventure, and as we round the final corner and see the finish line in sight, we want to take a moment to reflect - not on how we got here, but on why we started in the first place.
For us, the mission has always been clear - we’re making Shadowrun Returns because we believe that after 24 years of tabletop, console, board, card, and action-figure games, plus all those novels, Shadowrun remains a rich, vibrant, and relevant setting to play and tell stories in and we want everyone to be able to share our love of it.
From the beginning, this whole thing has really been about a shared community experience.
- Shadowrun itself is a shared world. For decades, tabletop Game Masters have been sharing their Shadowrun stories with players in their living rooms, novel authors have been sharing their Shadowrun stories with readers, Jake Armitage shared his own story in the Shadowrun SNES game, and so on.
- Our Backers shared a belief in the project, the cost of development, and the year-long + experience of watching the game develop.
- With the Shadowrun Returns Editor, everyone is empowered to author and share their own stories with the community, to support each other’s creativity, and to improve upon the work we’ve done to get things started.
- We see our Seattle campaign, “The Dead Man’s Switch”, as the FIRST story of what we hope will be thousands of stories, rather than as THE story of Shadowrun Returns. When the game ships, you’ll have access to our entire Seattle campaign using the SRR Editor, allowing you to use it as a reference and starting point for your own stories. We hope that by sharing our campaign in this way, we’ll accelerate the growth of Shadowrun storytelling.
- Harebrained Schemes, Catalyst Game Labs, and Cliffhanger Productions all share in the Year of Shadowrun and the management of the shadowrun.com community website - a great communication hub and collaboration site for community created content.
Our approach to the project was inspired by our old-school tabletop roleplaying roots - we developed the World (the game systems and art), and the Rule Book (the Editor), and your first adventure (the Seattle campaign).
After the game ships, the power is in your hands. As we’ve said from the beginning, our Seattle story is just the beginning of what Shadowrun Returns can be and we are eager to see what this amazing community will create with the tools we’ve developed.
In fact, it's already happening.
Backers with early access to the Shadowrun Editor are already building things that surprise and delight us after only two weeks since its release. Check out some of the cool stuff that’s surfaced so far (note that some placeholder art still exists in these videos):
A reverse of our Alpha Gameplay Video by McDougle
A scene by scene recreation of the Shadowrun SNES game by Ledeir
A thread about The Lost Lamb Mission by Dislexicoder
Some images of cool maps for Deliver Me From Evil Module Conversion by Johnny_Memphis
Shadowrun Identity by Opifer A call for participation in a full-length (100+ hours) community-made campaign. The goal is to recreate the world of Shadowrun using the original pen-and-paper sourcebooks, published adventures and novels.
It’s incredibly rewarding to see these folks jumping in with both feet and charting a path for others to start their own creations when they get the game. A buzz runs through the studio when someone finds one of these links and passes it around to the rest of the team.
Oh, and before we go, we thought we’d leave you with these brand-spanking new screenshots of never-before-seen stuff. We hope you enjoy them!
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.