A game by any other name ...
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!