Here is the latest intel on our project. As some of you might have seen already, we have entered into a cooperation with Nordic Games for the physical distribution of Shadowrun Online. First and foremost this agreement means that we will release our game not just digitally; Nordic Games will help us ship and produce a boxed version, which allows anyone who prefers a physical copy to just grab it from a store nearby and also of course is part of our kickstarter fulfillment.
However this deal allows us to also improve Shadowrun in a couple of areas which you and everyone will benefit from. First of all bringing Shadowrun Online to stores means that a lot more boxes will be produced, which in turn also means that we can crank up the quality of the box without costs exploding. Nordic Games creating the box and handling logistics also means that we have more time to actually work on the game itself, increasing the quality of the finished product. And last but definitely not least, this deal allows us to release Shadowrun Online not just in English: We’ll also have a French and a German version (and maybe translations into other languages as well) by launch! As they are distributing the game, not publishing, they have absolutely no influence on the development of the game, but it will also help us with PR and marketing and such, making sure Shadowrun Online gets seen by more folks out there.
This is just the tip of the iceberg though – we’ll have more announcements about Shadowrun Online in the next days and weeks. Stay tuned!
It has been a few weeks since we gave you an update on the development process, so we are going to make this one count – brace for wall of text! There are a number of topics today, so let’s get things rolling!
We have had repeated comments and complaints from people who are expecting our game to be a full-scale, open world MMO. Now we have made it (hopefully) clear from the beginning that this is not the case with our limited budget, but a lot of folks don’t really read past the name tag and then go berserk on us for not delivering. As we approach launch, we want to prevent negative comments heaped on us for something we did not commit to in the first place (there is enough things we really did mess up…). So we want to change the name of the game, to make it more apparent what it is about. With our friends at Harebrained moving from Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall to Shadowrun: Dragonfall (and Hong Kong – Wohooo Kickstarter backers! :) ), basically calling their games “Shadowrun ‘Episode name’”, there is further confusion added to the mix. This is why we decided to rename our game.
We are currently considering renaming the game to Shadowrun 2076. This title distinguishes the game from the 2050’s Returns setting, it says “modern” in a nice way and does not mislead people into associating an MMO. Now it does not say what exactly it is about (other than Shadowrun), but that means people will have to dig a bit deeper for the intel…and it never hurts to read. Let us know what you think of this and if you have suggestions for a cool name, don’t hesitate to come back to us. Not all the people out there are as well informed about development as our backers, so we have to make sure they don’t go in with false expectations and then are disappointed.
We have already mentioned this would happen post-launch – we want to focus on the game for now and not on packing boxes and fiddling with t-shirt sizes :). However things are moving forward on that end as well. Our partners at Catalyst are almost ready to get the Boston Lockdown Campaign book out to print (from then it still takes a good long while to print and ship) and we are about to partner with a local company to create the special collector’s edition boxes for our backers.
We are talking to people about the minis as well, though these are a pain to ship without getting damaged, so we are still trying to figure out how to do this without it costing us an arm and a leg.
As you may have seen in our dev diaries, the production of backer NPC/PC images has also commenced again, so we are good on this end.
T-Shirts have been looked for and we are trying to get organic fabric at an affordable price, but we need to figure out the logistics (print and ship from the US and Europe separately or print in a third place and ship from there?). All this without postage and packing killing us from a cost point of view…since we did the kickstarter, shipping prices have gone up considerably. Anyway, we ARE working on it and will keep you updated.
Oh and by the way – for all of you, who will get the cool pdf version of the campaign book, we will throw in a little extra if things go well…we will let you know ;).
EXCLUSIVE BACKER ONLY LIVE DEVELOPMENT VERSION
Some people complained about game updates being too sparse – up to now, we tried to stay away from publishing “dev only” versions due to bugs and instability that plague so many other Early Access versions. But we are confident enough in the technical side of things to offer you the EXCLUSIVE BACKER ONLY LIVE DEVELOPMENT version as of the end of next week.
The live dev version is exactly what it says – it is the very same game version we are working on and it updates regularly. Now sometimes this may mean the version is down and it will mean you will have to download the game repeatedly, may lose any progress you have made and things explode when you touch them. It is the uncooked, raw and bloody piece of software that we are using ourselves and if you have never experienced before what live dev versions look like, beware! If you want to go for this and be a part of the wild ride that is Shadowrun game development, here is your chance now! But don’t come crying to us about broken balancing and repeated death ;).
To access it, you need to join the appropriate Steam Beta version (no worries, you can always switch back to the regular version). We will send an update which will explain how to do this when everything is ready. Please do not post this key to the public – it is only usable if you already have the Early Access version, so it isn’t a free version and due to its nature, we don’t want it to fall in the wrong hands.
Of course let us know your feedback to things you discover and like or dislike! We won’t send out lists of updated content or features each time, but we are sure you will notice them :).
Things to come
We are working on a number of features currently around improving the co-op experience and adding Character Creation. But the immediate future will bring the missing parts of the RPG experience: Items/Shops/Rewards, Armor, Grenades, Medkits and the like – so stock up on that SOTA gear, chummer! Based on feedback from you, we are also planning to separate non-combat interactions into a separate skill tree that includes a number of stat-like abilities. Finally, we have also improved our Combat UI and of course added more content, but you will be able to see this evolving in the live build!
So, things are pretty busy and exciting round here now and we are eager to see what you think of the development! See you in the Shadows, Chummers!
The long wait is finally over: With the Early Access Update 7 of Shadowrun Online we return with a MAJOR overhaul of the game that brings us much closer to the final state. We have been busy adding Friends, direct Co-Op, a World Map and the first prototype of real-time Hubs (where Fixers and Johnsons hang out) to the game. We’ve also done a massive rework of skills, visuals, team size and all that in a big chunk of ALL NEW missions.
As you will be able to play a slice of our second act, every character gets Karma points and weapons to start out with. Be sure to learn a few skills and equip the appropriate weapons BEFORE going into a mission!
Increased Party Size: Depending on the run you will now be able to select up to three henchmen who will accompany your character.
Co-Op with a friend: No need to play coop with random people anymore! Add fellow runners to your friend’s list and invite them to experience the story of Shadowrun Online together! (Please note: You will need friends in your friends list in order to play co-op missions)
Skill trees: Spend Karma in eight different skill groups - Conjuring, Spellcasting, Blades, Blunt, Pistols, Shotguns, Automatics and Hacking. Please note that the skills in these groups are only available up to Rank 5 for now. There will be more ranks in later versions of the game as well as a ninth tree for Rigging.
Skill rework: All skills have been revisited, some old ones removed and lots of new abilities were added!
Summoning: Skilling in the Conjuring Tree will allow you to summon a bear spirit, the first summon available in Shadowrun Online!
Non-combat skills: Hack security consoles, break open doors, unlock gates and talk to people (or harvest their organs).
New Missions: Experience a slice of the second Act of our Campaign.
Map of Boston: Where will the next run take you? Just take a look at our map of Boston!
New Metatype: Dwarves are now available as a playable character Shadowrun Online!
Improved Models: The old character models have been replaced with new high-res ones
Updated User Interface: The in-mission-UI has been overhauled with a new look and improved usability.
Fog of War: Parts of the map you haven’t seen yet will be hidden and enemies you currently can’t see will not be shown. In return, if the enemies can’t see you, they might not know you are there either …
Hub Prototype: Enter the hub in order to get hired for new runs or report your successes. Please note that this is just a placeholder and only available in solo play.
Dress for success: New items for the character customization screen are now available
Character Comments: Your characters will now comment on certain situations within a mission.
Be sure to check out the new version and tell us what you think on www.shadowrun.com or on the Steam Forums!
It’s getting cold outside and here at Cliffhanger Productions we’re staying inside warming our hands on our red-hot keyboards working diligently to complete Shadowrun Online!
These past few weeks took a good look at the game Shadowrun Online has become. So we went through the feedback you provided during the last months and also had lots of discussions with all members of the team, trying to answer two very important questions: “Is this game going to be fun to play?” and “How can we make Shadowrun Online a game that our fans can truly enjoy?” In doing so we reached the following conclusion: While we currently have a lot of good stuff in the game, some things aren’t working out the way they should and we are missing features that would add much to the gameplay. So we did a lot of brainstorming, evaluating and redesigning – and came up with a new roadmap that will incorporate several changes on our road to release.
For example a lot of you told us that they would prefer to have runs with four playable characters on bigger maps - and we decided to go for that. This might sound like a small change, but it has a lot of impact on the game: Having a bigger party allows runners to specialize more, giving them unique ways to not just defeat enemies, but also to interact with the environment. These non-combat interactions will offer alternative paths through the missions, access to additional loot as well as sometimes allowing you to achieve your goal without fighting at all. Picture this: A door with an electronic lock blocks the direct route to your goal. If you have a hacker in your team he might be able to unlock it, so you can take the short route avoiding the guards. If he doesn't succeed (or you haven’t brought a hacker), you could still go in guns blazing or look for an alternative path – perhaps a clever use of a camera informs you on guard position so you can slip by them? What your characters can do will depend on the skills you acquired, but also for example on the metatype of the character. Bringing more runners will also allow you to make more tactical choices and if things get ugly having one character down out of four is a lot better than losing one out of two. It might not even come to that though, as we’re also adding an often requested feature: Healing with Medkits. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what we have planned for Shadowrun Online.
“Sounds good, but where’s the catch”, you ask? Yes, there is one indeed: These changes require us to make adjustments to basically everything we have created for the game so far and this will cause some delays. First of all the next Early Access update will not be ready within our usual timeframe of four to six weeks after the last one. We are looking for December to show you the great leap forward. Secondly the changes in our plan also mean that while we were targeting a launch in Q4 2014 before, we’re now planning a release in Q1 2015. And even that will require us to focus on the PC (Windows, OSX and Linux) campaign version for the time being, putting the tablet- and free2play-variants on hold till after the launch – we want to focus on the getting the game right and only then on distributing across platforms. All free2play backers will get a campaign version till the f2p version is released as a compensation, so we won’t leave anyone out in the cold, of course.
We’re sorry for the delays but hope you’ll agree that it is but a small price to pay for all the improvements we have in mind for Shadowrun Online.
Let us know what you think and see you in the shadows, Chummers!