Shadowrun Returns brings back one of our most original & cherished game settings as a 2D turn-based RPG for tablets & PC. Read more
This project was successfully funded on April 29, 2012.
About this project
Including PayPal, our final total is $1,895,772!!!
A-freaking-mazing! Wowsers! Bibbidy-bobbidy-boo!
We are so happy to be associated with such a wonderful community.
Backers, we'll hold our Second City Survey soon and contact you for your Swag info!
For now, we're heading over to Shadowrun.com and our new forums!
See you on the other side!
Holy cow! You're killing it! Keep up the momentum!
With just one day left on the Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter, the energy you’re projecting into our little closet is absolutely crackling. (Thanks, we need it!)
In his fireside chat video update, Jordan waxed poetic about your personal Shadowrun stories and how they’ve inspired us. So much, that our normally camera-shy team members (and couple of our friends) were compelled to share some of their Shadowrun stories with you.
So while you’ve been pushing the project closer and closer to $1.75m and we’ve been crunching to finish our latest game, our friends at Bootstrapper Studios edited together this little ditty.
Again, we thank you for your incredible support in the closing hours of this amazing adventure.
World of Shadowrun Primer (What is this Shadowrun thing anyway?)
"I'm a Backer!" images for your blogs and Facebook pages
If you can't use Kickstarter, you can use PayPal!
Written Interview with Jordan
Podcasts with Jordan
Shoot Straight. Conserve Ammo. And Never Cut a Deal With A Dragon.
Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun, is back and Shadowrun Returns (for Apple & Android tablets and PCs) is the game that Shadowrun fans have been waiting for a long time. A graphically rich 2D turn-based single player game with deep story interaction, meaningful character development, and highly-contextual tactical combat, Shadowrun Returns is not only going to make some old geeks (like us) very happy but it will introduce new players to a dynamic gaming universe that is beloved around the world.
Created almost 25 years ago, Shadowrun remains one of the most original and cherished role-playing settings. The game world’s origin story mashes-up the dystopian Cyberpunk future of a Blade Runner with the high fantasy creatures and races of a Lords of the Rings in an organic way that produces iconic characters, environments, and situations.
Here's how it works:
According to the Mayan Calendar (and lots of tabloids), the world will end on December 21, 2012. It’s part a 5,200 year cycle of death and rebirth that, in Shadowrun, actually charts the ebb and flow of magic from the Earth. So, on 12/21/12 magic will return, end this world, and wreak holy havoc while starting the next. Aboriginal cultures, who maintained their mystical traditions, are the first to feel the return of magic and use their newfound power to reshape the political, financial, and physical world around them. As the magic increases, Elf and Dwarf babies are born to very surprised parents who carry the right combination of long-dormant genes. But all of these events pale in comparison to the horror of "goblinization", which painfully reshapes the teenage bodies of those unlucky enough to carry dominant Ork or Troll genes. And then the first Great Dragon rises from its 5,200 yearlong hibernation and circles over Tokyo, signaling that the world has truly AWAKENED.
Fast forward two generations, to a world transformed not only by the growth of magic but by the acceleration of cyber technology—a continual effort to improve upon the gifts that nature gave humanity; by the inevitable maturation of the World Wide Web into the Matrix—a network directly accessible by the human brain; and by the near elimination of governments as they are replaced megacorporations—monolithic entities who see only customers, not citizens.
And moving through the dark shadows cast by the gleaming towers of the corps, are Shadowrunners – disposable assets and corporate pawns scratching out a living using a combination of technology, magic, and street smarts. Shadowrunners live between the cracks and operate outside the law, doing the dirty work that corporate wage-slaves won’t soil their hands with and occasionally acting as the only protection the citizenry can turn to.
Welcome to the world of Shadowrun, where man meets magic and machine.
There are a couple of key ideas at the core of Shadowrun Returns.
Deep, Interactive Stories
We intend to follow a braided anthology structure for our story. Jordan, his partner Mitch Gitelman and Mike Mulvihill, who led Shadowrun game development at FASA Corp. will craft and structure the meta-story, then supply key information for a group of writers to weave into their own short stories, which we'll then use as the basis for our missions. To ensure an authentic tone, we'll incorporate the storytelling skills of many Shadowrun authors and designers who've been carrying the flame over the last 23 years such as:
- Michael A. Stackpole
- Mike Mulvihill
- Tom Dowd
- Malik Toms
- Mel Odom
- Jason Hardy
- Stephen Kenson
The result should be an overall narrative that is layered, textured, and satisfying.
One of the many innovations in Data East’s Shadowrun Super Nintendo game was a unique conversation engine that opened up new avenues of conversation based upon information you learned through interactions with characters and objects. We intend on taking a similar path with a new twist or two.
Contextual Gameplay in Four Realities
Four realities overlap in the world of Shadowrun (the Physical, the Digital, the Mystic, and the Astral) and associated character classes such as the Street Samurai, Hacker, Combat Mage, and Shaman, each have the ability to view and interact with the world in ways the others can’t.
Here are some ways that selecting each character type allows you to see the map from a different perspective:
- Street Samurai see a threat assessment overlay of the environment that notes enemy appraisals, options for cover, potential weapons, and statistics for drawn weapons.
- Combat Mages see magical auras, granting them the ability to locate magical items, identify spells being prepared, and find the intersections of magic lay lines where they can recharge their power.
- Hackers/Deckers see the digital control circuitry that allows them to manipulate the physical world via the digital one.
- Shaman see the “true world” that lies in the astral plane, distinguishing the true nature of people, plants, creatures, and magical objects while buildings and other “dead” objects appear as mere shadows.
Missions (aka "Runs") in Shadowrun Returns can require interaction with all four realities simultaneously, requiring you to use information learned from each character’s perspective to coordinate their context-sensitive actions to get the job done. . . and survive.
That’s why we decided to make Shadowrun Returns a turn-based game—so we can offer you a wide range of context-based gameplay options from which to craft a your plan.
The Streets Tell a Million Stories
One of the things that we feel most strongly about is that the world of Shadowrun was created for all of us to tell stories within. That’s one of the beautiful things about in-person tabletop role-playing—the stories are extremely relevant to you and your friends because they were made by you and your friends.
In honor of that tradition, we plan to release our PC-based level editor when we release Shadowrun Returns so that everyone can create their own Shadowrun stories & “runs”. When you upload your stories, you can make them available to your Friends Only or the entire Shadowrun community.
The game we want to make is very humble by modern blockbuster game standards but it is still way beyond the ability of a small start-up to fund by itself. The restraints on the license from Microsoft made it impossible to get established publishers interested in Shadowrun and so it remained just a dream for a long time until Jordan saw the recent successes of some other veteran designers on Kickstarter.
Crowd sourcing to fund creative content represents truly profound change to the status quo. While we watch financial models for the creation and distribution of creative content continue to erode, Kickstarter charts a direction for how fans can directly impact development of creative content they want by funding its creation.
We hope that Shadowrun Returns is a creative concept you want to help make into a reality and we thank your consideration and support.
It is strange to be required to license your own game in order to make a new version of it but that’s what can happen when you’re old and keep changing companies. Here's the fast-forward version:
And so, our favorite game has come full circle and Jordan is again leading the development of a world he started oh, so many years ago.
And for those of you that have been around since the very early days, we want to make sure that YOU understand that WE understand and that we'd love to see things like this (and more) in the game.
Ares Predators and Ruger Super Warhawks (yes, with smartlinks), Maglocks and Doc Wagons, datajacks and credsticks, dermal plating and wired reflexes, “chummer” and "drek", Ares and Fuchi and Aztechnology (Oh my!).
But that's not all.
Mr. Johnson(s), Lofwyr (can’t leave him out can we?), gangers, toxic spirits, Renraku Arcology, The Sprawl, the Redmond Barrens & the Ork Underground (oh yes), UCAS, Tir Taingire and even the Sioux Nation, but most of all you WILL be saying (or is that screaming?). . . “Never EVER Deal with a Dragon!”
The world of Shadowrun is a dangerous place, especially for runners. Normal ambulances tend to shy away from firefights and magical fireworks, so smart runners subscribe to Doc Wagon™, a service that provides heavily armed medical extraction teams to swoop in and save their ass and deliver emergency medical attention.
In the game, this free Doc Wagon subscription (game money, not real money) will help keep your character and friendly NPC’s alive. This is important, because if one of your NPCs is killed during a mission, you can’t use that NPC again.
In real life, the Gold and Platinum cards let people know that you're a badass willing to contribute to The Cause. In-game, we'll likely up the free service.
The level editor will be the one we use to make the game—ugly and powerful. (In other words, it’s about as far from the polished Little Big Planet editor as conceivable.) But we believe in you. If we can use it, you can use it, right? Then again, with some additional funding, we might be able to put some lipstick on it.
We are setting the game in the 2050 era of the Shadowrun timeline. We chose this setting because it’s the one that we originally created and the one that the fans of the SNES and Sega Genesis know and love.
In 2007, Microsoft published a game called Shadowrun for Xbox and PC. The game was a unique and innovative first person shooter but it took way too many liberties with the Shadowrun story and mythology. As a result, the game “was not received well by fans.” Jordan’s partner, Mitch Gitelman, was the Executive Producer on the game and with Shadowrun Returns, he’s taking his shot at redemption. Let’s all be supportive of this mythic journey back from the dark side.
For mobile tablets, Shadowrun Returns will be available via iTunes, Android Marketplace, and the Amazon Android marketplace. For PC/Mac/Linux, the game will be available DRM-free from our website. We are also looking into a Steam release (and potentially Humble Bundle as well).
PayPal for Shadowrun Returns is LIVE! Go to http://harebrained-schemes.com/shadowrun/paypal for details.
While the details are still being worked out, we hate draconian DRM as much as the next guy. We expect there will be an account system but it would be primarily used to enable the social elements of the game like mission and character sharing--not to restrict access to the game itself.
We've added Mac & Linux downloads to the PC at the $15 reward level.
Unfortunately, the app stores make it very difficult for independent game developers to give away free game this way, so we had to go with PC/Mac/Linux only. We've heard about other teams investigating ways of doing this but they haven't succeeded yet, so stay tuned.
Shadowrun Online is a 3D in-browser, mission based MMO with an emphasis on co-op and PvP gameplay being developed by Cliffhanger Productions and scheduled for release in mid-2013. The game is set in the 2070 era of Shadowrun and will pick up on some of the plotlines and characters in our game, Shadowrun Returns, which is set in 2050.
Mac is a Go! We're adding it to the $15 reward tier!
Linux is a Go! We're adding it to the $15 reward tier!
We've added support for Italian (a standard localization language) to our list.
You bet! We've added a $125 reward tier that features a Deluxe Boxed Edition of the game.
In many areas of Europe, you can use your Visa Debit or Visa Electron cards to pay online.
If you don't have a credit card or debit card that Amazon accepts, there are other ways you can pledge.
First, buy a Ukash voucher, then convert it into a Ukash NEO pre-paid Mastercard. From there, you can use it with Amazon's payment system.
(Thanks to our friends at Double Fine for the pointers!)
Another option is to get a "Virtual Visa Card". This is a pre-paid virtual card designed for Europeans to purchase things on the internet. You can find more information about it here: http://www.visaeurope.com/en/cardholders/virtual_cards.aspx
More on this as we learn it!
If you are a non-US Amazon Mechanical Turk user you may experience a problem trying to pledge. We've alerted Amazon about this bug. Sorry this is annoying. Please view these instructions to pledge: https://www.jungledisk.com/secure/signup/mturk.aspx.
Let's start here--Shadowrun was never about the rules. It's about the game world. If you need proof, look at the 1st Edition rules. They were. . . lacking. But the world caught on and the rules improved. So we intend to be true to the world and take our rule cues from the 2nd and 3rd Editions. They best represent the 2050 era time frame.
No. It will allow you to make your own shadowruns.
Races: human, elf, dwarf, ork and troll. You can't do Shadowrun without them.
Roles: Street Samurai, Mage, Shaman, Rigger, Decker. Perhaps after the game comes out, we can add more.
We'll run a backers-only survey after our Kickstarter time period ends (4/28/2012). (Kickstarter doesn't allow backer-only surveys before then and we want to be sure to keep the decision purely for backers.)
As we scan your posts across the boards and forums, a few cities seem to rise to the top: Berlin, Chicago, Denver, London and Washington DC. We're still listening and there's still plenty of time left for debate.
Yes! PayPal Backers' contributions always count.
We still intend on investing in future Kickstarter projects but http://Kickstarter.com asked us to take the badge down, due to some confusion.
Are you aware that many of us don't want the special SNES/SEGA tie-in mission to be ONLY for Backers?
Definitely! And we appreciate the way the community is supporting one another. We'll definitely address it in our next video update, this week!
Yes! We've added a NEW $125 LEVEL TIER on our PayPal page and a new entry called "Upgrade from Previous Tier". Go to http://harebrained-schemes.com/shadowrun/paypal to find it.
Yep. We're on it. In order to keep international fees low, we'll make sure that the stuff we send you is valued at the contents of the box--not the amount that you backed us with!
We recognize that one size doesn't fit all, so our Backer t-shirts will be available in S, M, L, XL, XXL and XXXL.
Yes. That's the idea.
Adepts, the modern-day ninjas and berserkers, use magic to enhance the body’s abilities. An Adept's powers (magical abilities) become a natural part of the adept through study and training - the adept’s way is one of intense training and self-discipline.
Yup! Everything you get at each level should be clearly listed in it's description.
Pledge $15 or more
A Digital Downloadable copy of the game, DRM free on PC, Mac, or Linux + one totally sweet, exclusive desktop WALLPAPER for your PC, Mac, or mobile tablet.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $30 or more
Previous reward + your character will start the game with a SPECIAL ABILITY only available to backers + a PDF version of the Shadowrun Returns Anthology, an ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF SHORT STORIES written for the game and edited by Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun. + NEW You will also get the IN-GAME DocWagon benefit of a fully-armed emergency ambulance or chopper to save your team of runners when the drek hits the fan.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or more
THE ALL-DIGITAL REWARD BUNDLE
This reward bundle is completely independent of all other reward levels, does not include any previous rewards, and is not added to reward levels above.
A Digital Downloadable COPY OF THE GAME, DRM free on PC, Mac, or Linux + one totally sweet, exclusive desktop WALLPAPER for your PC, Mac, or mobile tablet + your character will start the game with a SPECIAL ABILITY only available to backers + a PDF version of the Shadowrun Returns Anthology, an ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF SHORT STORIES written for the game and edited by Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun + you will also get the IN-GAME DocWagon benefit of a fully-armed emergency ambulance or chopper to save your team of runners when the drek hits the fan + a DRM-free digital version of the GAME SOUNDTRACK.
This bundle includes no physical goods and helps with VAT, duty and shipping costs for our international backers.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $60 or more
Previous rewards + a DRM-free digital version of the GAME SOUNDTRACK + a Shadowrun Returns "BACKER" T-SHIRT + a PERSONALIZED DOC WAGON CARD will be sent to your home + you will also get the IN-GAME DocWagon benefit of a fully-armed emergency ambulance or chopper to save your team of runners when the drek hits the fan. Note: This is an in-game service only. No armed medical extraction team will actually arrive at your home. More details in the FAQ. (Please add $5 for international shipping)
Note: This is an in-game service only. No armed medical extraction team will actually arrive at your home. More details in the FAQ.
(Please add $5 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or more
Previous rewards + A HARDCOVER EDITION of the Shadowrun Returns Anthology + your NAME IN THE CREDITS of the game AND the anthology book + a GOLD Doc Wagon card sent to your home. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $125 or more
Previous rewards + a DELUXE BOX EDITION including the game disc, soundtrack disc, a mini-poster, and—check this—a Shadowrun Returns USB Dog Tag set, containing DRM-free versions of the game (PC/Mac/Linux) and soundtrack (and maybe one or two other surprises, too). (Please add $15.00 for international shipping.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $175 or more
Previous rewards (excluding the All-Digital Bundle) + ALL 3 Shadowrun Returns "BACKER" T-SHIRTS. These 3 shirts are NOT in addition to the shirt you get at the $60 level. At this level you get 3 shirts total. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or more
417 backers Limited (583 left of 1000)
Previous rewards + A SPECIAL EDITION, SIGNED & NUMBERED HARDCOVER of the Shadowrun Returns Anthology (this replaces the edition you get at $100) + EARLY ACCESS to the LEVEL EDITOR so that your shadowruns can be the first into the game (date for editor TBD). (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or more
100 backers All gone!
Previous rewards + the shadowruns you design will be MARKED with a special GLYPH so they'll be highlighted and easy to identify + a PLATINUM Doc Wagon card sent to your home. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or more
41 backers Limited (9 left of 50)
Previous rewards + we'll use YOUR IMAGE to CREATE AN NPC CHARACTER for the game. It's our choice what NPC you'll be but if you have a suggestion, we'll listen.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or more
12 backers Limited (8 left of 20)
Previous rewards + we'll create the art for one EXCLUSIVE CUSTOM PLAYER CHARACTER based upon your description and/or sketches. When your friends hire your character, they'll get to see it too! (Limit 2 revisions.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or more
0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
Previous rewards + 1 Large or 2 Small custom art assets created for you to be used EXCLUSIVELY in your missions (Limit 2 revisions) + a CONSULTATION with our Art director and Level Designer to help tune one of your shadowruns.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $7,500 or more
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
Previous rewards + spend the AFTERNOON AND EVENING at Harebrained Schemes World Headquarters. You’ll have LUNCH WITH JORDAN AND THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM and then PLAY SHADOWRUN WITH JORDAN. Your Game Master will be Mike Mulvihill, who led Shadowrun game development at FASA Corp. (You must be able to travel to Redmond, WA).Estimated delivery:
3 backers All gone!
Previous rewards + Mike Mulvihill, who led Shadowrun game development at FASA Corp., will COME TO YOUR TOWN TO RUN A TABLETOP GAME OF SHADOWRUN FOR YOU AND FIVE OF YOUR FRIENDS. (He'll even buy some snacks.)Estimated delivery:
- (24 days)