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Experience Shadowrun with your friends and plenty of enemies in a true cross-platform game and determine the future of the 6th world!
Experience Shadowrun with your friends and plenty of enemies in an action strategy game and determine the future of the 6th world!
Experience Shadowrun with your friends and plenty of enemies in an action strategy game and determine the future of the 6th world!
6,003 backers pledged $558,863 to help bring this project to life.

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Physical Rewards Survey and August update

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Hoi Chummers,

the summer has struck with full force and we are all sweating away working on the Chronicles update to be released late October. We have the designs down and the story has been completed and right now we are building the maps and lists of new items.

The story is going to pick up where we left with the players in search of Bozeman, who has vanished from the Market. Pllayer will be discovering something about themselves in the process that will play a big role in the future of not only themselves but all of the Shadowrun continuity...

Since the first of this month the remaining team has found a new office and after setting up we are now in full swing on creating the game - starting with finally releasing the patch and the Red Challenge this week (complete with critical un-nerf and end-game weapon rebalancing). We have had a lot of support and feedback from our beta testers and every backer is of course invited to also particpate in future beta tests, allowing you all to feedback and improve on the game as we develop it. Just write to support@cliffhanger-productions.com with the topic Beta Test and your Steam account name!

Physical Rewards Survey

As we have hinted at, the physical rewards are posing a bit of a problem for us - financially, as we would rather invest the money in development and logistically, as we would rather use the time for development. Here is our latest take on this:

1) We have now prepared the survey we talked of, which allows you to let us know the items that are most importnat for you or graciously forego physical rewards in return for picking an equivalent value of pdf's from any Shadiwrun book that we can get our hands on - which includes 3rd, 4th and 5th edition books including the latest releases. The survey should reach you over the next days, as we send out the mails.

The idea here is to get a picture of what the most important items would be for you, so we can create a package that satisfies most of our backers while still affordable for us (including shipping and packing).

2) Miniatures: I know this was a big attractor, but we have simply not found any way to get the minis done without a huge cost - they would cost as much as all the other stuff put together. The problem is, that the amount of minis we need to do is too low for an actual mass production (usually done in China) and doing them in other ways (and we have explored every possible angle here) drives the cost up to over 45.000 USD before shipping, which is massively more than we had estimated. We had been willing to absorb that extra cost before the insolvency - we had already contracted a manufacturer and created the 3d models adjusted for the process, but now there is simply no way we can afford this. We have tried a number of approaches (such as ordering more together with Catalyst or licensing them out to a manufacturer), but that is difficult due to our license (we can give them away, but we are forbidden to license to anyone to make money from them) and also not easy to set up.

We are now working to release them on a 3d printing site, so they can be ordered individually or the relevant files downloaded if you do have a 3d printer near you. Unfortunately 3d printing is far too expensive and does not scale with the amount of things printed, so that is not something we can afford to pay for. But at least you may be able to get your hands on some minis this way (well, you can also make them larger in this case, so they are maxis, I guess).

We are really sorry - we were very excited about them - but with the budget we are running on this would be over a month of our full team paid and that is not something we can afford to spend unless we drop the add-on and let everyone go. Of course you will all get a pdf coupon for this (in excess of the cost of the minis) instead, but I know that may not be a consolation.

All this is very unfortunate, but if you followed our updates you know that this is the best we can do under the circumstances. We are trying to honor as many of our promises as we can given the fact that we are basically living from hand to mouth right now and any dollar we pay for physical goods is a dollar we can't use for development.

We will keep you udpated on the rewards as well as on the add-on progress, but for now I will be taking a 2 weeks (unpaid) holiday...my family has not seen much from me in recent months and I need a bit of time off after all of this.

see you in the shadows

primetide

Cliffhanger July update

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Hoi Chummers,

we have been silent for a while here at Cliffhanger Central, as a consequence of the insolvency procedures involving Cliffhanger Software. We've had a lot on our hands and are still in the process of getting the Cliffhanger Games company into shape, with our main goal being the continuous maintaining and expanding of Shadowrun Chronicles.

For the last few weeks we had to go through a lot of administrative stuff, dealing with banks and trying to come to an agreement with our partners, who were understandably scared about the prospects of Cliffhanger Games also going down. Our equipment was seized and we lost access to our former office, which had us working on an alternative that would allow us to regroup, set up an external server, get our systems running again and get everyone remote access to them, in order to keep working. Things did not come to a stand still; we've went on preparing the next update with the Red Challenge and a bit of crit chance un-nerfing (as well as Mark improving crit chances), but with all our employees enjoying forced holidays and limited access to a joint server, things have not exactly been speeding along either. That being said we are testing the update build and should hopefully be ready to release it in two weeks, as we also have to fix the nasty grouping issue that has been popping up repeatedly.

We've also had meetings and talks with the remaining team to see who would be willing to keep going and how we could work together most effectively. Everyone has been working incredibly hard during the last months and the exhaustion and frustration over the turn of events hurt all of us personally and as a group. Our deliberations had us look back at the mistakes we made and formulate a plan to sustain our vision of an ideal company in a less than ideal world. The emerging vision has certainly energized the team and got the creative and collaborative juices flowing. Now we need to pour this into concrete terms and structures in order to bounce back with full force.

Our current plan is to release an add-on for Chronicles towards the end of October (once you are all done with the no doubt excellent SR:Hong Kong), and we are in the process of discussing and estimating the features and content for that. The rough plot fo the campaign part is done and greenlighted with Catalyst and now we need to detail things out a little more. The fate of Jane (determined by your decision at the end of the campaign) will play a large role in the story to come – currently a slight majority of people have decided to kill her, but with the next update we will make the choice and consequences clearer hopefully, so people how their decision will affect Jane, which may change that. Of course, the winner of our recent band contest will also influence the future of Bozeman (who vanished from the Market) and two more contests in July will determine the fate of a couple of more people such as our fearless reporter Alison Sanborn as the puzzle pieces come together for the fall of the megacorp. Yes, that one is still on and we are building up to it (albeit slowly).

Some more changes are going to be made to the way we operate - we want our players to take a more active role in beta testing (and get out of the frantic balancing patches) and will grant access to our staging servers again. If you are interested in joining this (everyone who had access to the "backer" beta version in the past will have so again) please send a mail to support with your email, steam account name and OS - we love to get feedback, especially from all you experienced players out there.

We are also done with the upgrade to Deluxe edition DLC, it is sitting in Steam's review cue and should hopefully see the light of day soon.

For the Kickstarter backers we already mentioned we would try to save as much of our physical rewards budget as we can for game development and some of you were gracious enough to be willing to forgo the physical rewards completely to support us. Thank you again for that! Thankfully, our friends at Catalyst have agreed to allow us to put up a number of their books in pdf format as a replacement for any physical swag we intended as rewards. We will send out details on this in the coming weeks, but basically you can swap your physical reward tier for a number of coupons of equal value and redeem those for pdfs. We know not everyone will go for this, so we will send out yet another survey about who would be willing to do so.

That is it for now – we will keep you updated as things continue to evolve, of course, but expect us to still be less responsive than we usually are for the next two weeks. There is just SO much stuff to set up and organize, that we are pressed for time.

see you in the shadows primetide

Hanging in there

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Legend Runs Galore!

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This week is filled with Legend Runs galore, kicking off with another appearance by Jordan Weisman and following up with exciting opportunities!

Here is our schedule and if you are a VIP backer, you can always apply for a place in one of the runner teams! The schedule is subject to change depending on the availability of the individuals, of course. Any streamers out there are invited to stream the runs (and let us know about it!)

May 14th
4 pm PDT/7 pm EDT/May 15th, 1 am CEST - Join Jordan Weisman, creator of Shadowrun and Shadowrun Returns
5 pm PDT/8 pm EDT/May 15th, 2 am CEST – Meet Shadowrun writers Kevin aka Red, Robyn aka Winterhawk and Dylan Stangel for a run and APPEAR AS A CHARACTER in one of their fiction pieces! (They select the character they think the most interesting!)

May 15th
10 am PDT/1 pm EDT/7 pm CEST – Join Raben AAS – renowned Shadowrun artist and editor of Novapulse - for a German speaking run (other lingos welcome :))
3 pm PDT/6 pm EDT/May 16th, 2 am CEST – Meet authors Amy Veeres (who knows about the future of nanites!), Malik Toms (Shadowrun Returns Anthology) and Olivier Gagnon (Montreal 2074, Data Trails and more!)

As always VIP backers can reserve a place by sending us a mail to support@cliffhanger-productions.com 

See you in the Shadows!
- Primetide

Frag the lag and Legend Run with Jordan Weisman

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Today is the day! We have finally fragged the lag issue it seems when we patch today (3 pm CEST). We don’t want to jinx it, there may still be gremlins lurking around, but we seem to be back to normal. So, today, with our hopefully last lag related server patch, you will find your well-deserved apology gifts on your inventory:

  • 3 Flamethrowers (so you can flame enemies and think of us)
  • 1 additional character slot
  • 2 new Bioware augmentations (Zero Essence, usable for awakened characters as well)

Many people have given us good advice on how to handle the issues and told us what they suspected the culprits were. As it turns out, we had three main issues and tragically two of them have very little to do with our team’s ability to code and code well. It is both more tragic and more comical tale (that is if it hadn’t affected our rating s and sales so massively. Maybe one day, looking back, we can laugh without bitterness about it).

The first issue was not enough optimization in certain areas – as described previously, the game had been working so brilliantly from a technical and performance standpoint, that we did not dedicate too much resources to it. We knew we needed to do more optimization, but it did not seem to be a big concern. If it hadn’t been for the other two things, we might have been right.

Issue two was one of our middleware licenses actually putting the break on our servers once a certain number of concurrent users were active (which we were not aware of). Above that number it would slow down throughput, so all our other services (which kept listening to certain commands or pushing things to the client) slowed down with it. As some of them were serialized, meaning they were acting like a chain, they were actually really waiting for something to happen from the previous link of the chain, multiplying the effect of the license slowing down the speed at which commands were coming and going and putting other services like load balancing and thread management into overdrive, crashing CPU. Our servers overheated with waiting and managing that slowness, absurdly enough. This was fixed easily enough once discovered but it took us a few days to identify this weird behavior and the culprit.

The third and most tragic (or comic, depending on how you look at it) point has to do with the letter D. As in “enableD=garbage collector”. While we optimized the garbage collector (which cleans up “leftovers” on the server, so they don’t clog memory) and following some of the suggestions we got from our code-slinging community members, it did not seem to do the trick. We dug deeper and deeper into garbage collector settings but to no avail – each time the game would just use up the memory available and despite further optimization efforts this did not change considerably. The reason was finally found to be a missing “D” in the config file, which read “enable=garbage collector” instead of enabled. Of course we had looked at every line of this configuration file what must have been a hundred times, but you know how the brain tends to just create the word it expects to see, especially when you did not have more than two hours of sleep for days fighting a lag that was killing your game? This was one of the cases (and enable and enabled are not that far apart). Once we found it, we hit ourselves over the head repeatedly with blunt objects.

All three issues combined killed us in a most unfortunate way. Now with those resolved we actually have 10.000 concurrent players in our mass test and the servers don’t even get warmed up about that. We are cautiously optimistic we are ready to declare the lag fragged for good! Now we can get back to actually improving gameplay and adding end-game missions and rewards!

Please spread the good news and let your friends and Steam or Metacritic ratings know, so we can try and get the game off the ground again.

Thank you all for your patience and support in this really rough patch of our life as a developer.

Legend Run with Shadowrun creator Jordan Weisman

To start the new era of an actually lag free Shadowrun Chronicles we are happy to have none other than Shadowrun creator Jordan Weisman with us today on Friday 8th of May for the Legend Run and available in global chat at 3 pm PST, 6pm EST or Midnight CEST. VIP backers please send a mail to office(at)cliffhanger-productions(dot)com with your character and account name if you want to be invited to a run with Jordan. Streaming is encouraged!