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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.

When will they show us some actual game?

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Hoi fellow runners!

The above question has been asked – in increasingly less patient ways - for a while now. We completely understand how unsatisfying the lack of concrete gameplay and visuals must be. We thank the many of you who have remained patient and positive and active in the forum. And we can only apologize for keeping you all waiting for so long. 
We have our eyes set on a first playable version towards End of March. This will allow all of you to play a number of missions and get a good idea of the core gameplay (although obviously it will expand in variety), but it will not be the complete game (so you will have predefined characters for example). But at least it is something to finally put into the hands of our backers and fans. 

So why does it take us so damn long? For one, as many of you know, we had to find more budget for the game whilst not going to a publisher to get it. This was not an easy task. It actually took us almost a year to get the game securely funded (in the way we wanted it). That is the harsh truth of an independent developer: Even projects of limited ambition are hard to do with a small team and an MMO for that matter is not an easy thing to create. 

We found ways to cross-finance the game with another project (AERENA – you can check it out on Steam or Android in its Alpha form), so we could share the cost for building the base infrastructure of a cross-platform online game. We worked through a LOAD of prototypes – it has been over a year since we played the first one. We went back to paper prototyping to get some more iterations done without having to tax our coders’ resources. We changed the skill system … then changed it further to incorporate stats. We tested the “deadliness” of encounters relative to player health and group size. And then we put all that back again into a playable online version. You can do cool things like hacking a gun and forcing it to eject all ammo (leaving your enemy with an empty gun and a stupid look on their face), we have status effects (like bleed, stun etc.) working, we have specific damages and resistances (magic vs tech vs physical), individual chances to hit based on weapon type and range and skill and cover and evasion and so on. And we have determined the actual level sizes and movement ranges etc. 

Until this last step was done, creating graphic assets made little sense. How big is “a table”? Should it provide full or half-cover? How should things providing cover be visually set apart from others? Or does a potted plant provide cover as well? How big are our characters - how big is one meter on the screen? Can I still make out the size difference of my dwarf vs a troll on a mobile device? How many light sources can we use in a scene on mobile devices? How much light needs to be baked into scenes themselves or even painted into the textures (making objects less re-usable)? A lot of questions needed to be answered before we could work on making the game pretty. Below you can see some of the schematic views of a prototype underground level (by now changed to a decent brownstone sewer environment more fitting to our Boston location). 

Our level designers fought for one way to create levels, our producers suggested another, designers, artists and coders chimed in. We hope we have found a sensible system now, allowing us to build more interesting levels but not having to create huge amounts of scripting for each. Features for the future could be cameras, drones, access spots and all kinds of interactive objects that can be placed quickly, each with their own, limited AI and range of possible actions (the easiest one would be the famous button opening a secret door, but it can also be an entire system of linked security devices putting each other on alert and for example activating the deadly laser traps when spotting intruders). 

We also have narrowed down our art style (as always a compromise between performance across devices, amount of work and making it as pretty as we can) and are in talks with the crew at Catalyst and leading Shadowrun artists to make sure it fits the universe. A sample can be seen below. Now the characters in this picture are a bit too small and some of the assets are game assets while others are ripped from somewhere (whoever can name the lady on the wall first gets a brownie point), but this is a lab level for the game… 

We like the look – clean yet with enough contrasts. You can also pretty much tell where you can find cover at a glance. It is not the typical street corner – we are getting to that later. 

So the next weeks will be exciting as things finally come together – we have 5 new people in the team (welcome guys and girl!) to help us, greatly increasing the team size and we have an exciting and no doubt wild ride ahead of us. Expect more pictures of actual levels next time we do a game update (after a few more of the short stories our favorite and energetic writer Scott Schletz has whizzed up). It is getting real, folks (and about time, too)! 

See you in the Shadows 

primetide

Madevil, Darklord, and 33 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Paul Smith on February 1, 2014

      Showing progess != playable demos. There are tons of ways to keep your backers in the fray without giving them demos. Screenshots, gameplay videos, and concept art make a lot of people happy. When people back a kickstarter, they aren't just saying "I WANT A COPY!" They are saying "I want to be involved in shaping that." When you keep everything a secret, you tell us, that "Our vision is more important than what you want." And that is a great way to see your project be a complete failure at launch day.

    2. Kevin Alford on January 30, 2014

      For what it's worth, I'd like to lay out a reminder for anyone with cold feet:

      You already paid. You want to play the game. It will come out eventually. You might as well keep waiting. There have only been fantastic SR games in the past (maybe the shooter wasn't exactly fantastic) and I don't think they want to tarnish the rep. It's going to be a cool game. Hell, if it's multiplayer Shadowrun Returns, it'll be fantastic. Just wait and be patient. Rome in a day, one leg at a time, naninanninani just wait.

    3. Jesse Nash on January 28, 2014

      While I "appreciate" this update what I basically read was "We didn't ask for enough money and we didn't have a clear vision of how to proceed even once we had the money. With the absence of vision and leadership we've more or less flailed for the past year or so but we're finally making some headway... We think". Eh, crowd sourcing... sometimes you fund a Sentinels of the Multiverse expansion, sometimes you fund Shadowrun Online.

    4. Missing avatar

      Robert C Miller on January 25, 2014

      At this point, Id like to know how to seek a refund on this. Who should I contact? I have heard that people can receive them if they wish, and at this point, I wish.

    5. Night1Candi on January 25, 2014

      I agree with Adam, please take all the time you need to mix the awesome sauce.

    6. Space Monkey on January 21, 2014

      Thanks for the update! That's the sort of update I'd like to see more regularly, so I hope we'll hear from you again in the next few weeks!
      Regarding the characters, I also preferred the zoom level and angle that we saw in the prototype content during the KS funding period (but this looks good too though).

    7. S.D. on January 18, 2014

      It's damn good looking, primetide. Keep it coming, even boring updates keep us knowing you're jacked in and engaged (this is *not* a boring update, BTW). Of course we can go to forums, but after hundreds of Kickstarter "runs", this runner pretty much only scans KS updates these days, chummer ^_^

    8. Missing avatar

      Mikhael Blackthorne on January 17, 2014

      I personally do not think those characters are too small but that is just me. I am not a fan of the enlarged characters that are not giants in their environment. Except Trolls because obviously they are giants.

      Love the look of this level. Very new cyberpunk. I do not think this looks like SRR aside from the obvious cyberpunk influence and the camera angle. Visually I would never confuse the two.

    9. Missing avatar

      Mikhael Blackthorne on January 17, 2014

      Unless it is a badass table then it should not provide cover at all. Way too many things in games provide cover that in reality only provide concealment.

    10. Russell Brown on January 17, 2014

      Christian: I might not care, except it looks very visually similar to SRR to me. I was expecting something a little different. I'm not saying I will be disappointed if it turns out to look a lot like SRR, but in the original videos, the camera was a lot closer, and more directly followed your character on a 1:1 ratio.

    11. ThomasN on January 17, 2014

      PRETTY! Don't change anything, especially not the look of the cut on the horizontal plane.

    12. Adam Lundström on January 17, 2014

      If it's time you need to make a good game, then by all means take your time.

    13. Christian on January 17, 2014

      @Russell Brown

      Which I'd actually much appreciate ;) No seriously, it should be possible to move the camera of course but I really like isometric.

    14. Steffen Reinke on January 17, 2014

      Thanks for the update! Been waiting to hear something - anything - new. :)
      Also, kudos for the visuals. The art style preview really looks fantastic and fits the look of the corporate sixth world. Much like Mr. Brown I would also hope that we'd at least have the option of zooming in a bit closer, even if it doesn't look as fancy.

      As for the tables ... here's an idea. Make them (or at least some of them) interactive! Normally providing half cover, you could spend an action to tip them over, turning them into full cover if you cower behind them. I'm sure we've all seen this in a lot of movies, and it might fit the style of Shadowrun!

    15. Sofa_Tr0n on January 17, 2014

      Good stuff guys, looking forward to seeing some gameplay footage. Agreed on the timing - don't rush it, just give the backers a fully realized game that does shadowrun justice!

    16. Gabriel Rotar
      Superbacker
      on January 17, 2014

      Looking good and totally worth the wait.
      Looking forward to future updates ;).

    17. Missing avatar

      Sleet
      Superbacker
      on January 17, 2014

      Thanks for the update, guys. I'm glad to see you've gotten to the point where you have some fancy assets to show off, maybe that'll help appease the more impatient people.

    18. Thiago Palmeira de Carvalho on January 17, 2014

      I really don't care if it takes long as long I as can play b4 I die. = )
      Seriously, if this game comes out as the masterpiece you are making it look like I really don't care how long it'll take. Just be careful not to fall into the Diablo Syndrome: where Blizzard took so damn long, talked so damn much and created such astounding expectations to release the worst Blizzard game ever made.

      Take as long as you need, but make this time worth. Don't go Blizzard on us. ; )

      In the meantime, let us study because this game promisses to take our lives and jobs away from us. =D

    19. Blackstaff on January 17, 2014

      Nice !

      Can't wait to see more of it.

    20. Russell Brown on January 17, 2014

      So will the camera viewpoint be this zoomed out? It looks almost 2D Isometric from that far away.