A Run Worth Funding

Hoi, Chummers!

I’ve been on quite the Shadowrun kick lately. It’s not surprising, considering it’s number 2 on my list of favorite Role-Playing settings of all time. Last week, I had the pleasure of sharing my story of how I got into the world of Shadowrun, and my excitement to see Catalyst Games’ new SHADOWRUN 2050 Campaign book. This week, I still focus on Shadowrun, but I switch gears.

I was going over the daily divination in the Poor Wizard’s Almanac, and it has become apparent to me that the year 2013 is going to be dubbed “Year of the Shadowrunner.” Why? Well, because 2013 is going to be big for all Sixth World fans. Shadowrun has essentially been a dead property when it comes to electronic media. The last good Shadowrun titles came out almost 20 years ago, and the latest one didn’t even hit American or European shores. What’s that, you say? Yes, there was one made in 2007, but notice I was talking about a “GOOD” Shadowrun game.

Now, some of you may have heard that Jordan Weisman, one of the original creators of Shadowrun, has re-acquired the license for Shadowrun. This is great news, but it’s also OLD news. He and a little company called Harebrained Schemes are making a brand new Shadowrun game…


When I heard another Shadowrun game was in the woks, I was worried. When I saw Mitch Gitelman (responsible for the 2007 game) was on the project, I was horrified. When I did a little Data Searching on the Matrix, I was not only relieved, but overjoyed with what I saw. There isn’t much available right now visually, but the artwork, setting, and features are all hitting just the right spots with me. Among the features are:

*Graphically rich 2D turn-based single player game

*Deep Story Interaction

*Meaningful Character Development

*Highly-contextual combat

*Level Editor to create your own content

*A more AUTHENTIC Shadowrun experience

Hell, this game is such a return to form that it takes place in the 2050’s (1st & 2nd Edition Shadowrun), and includes characters and locales from The SNES and Genesis games! To place a lovely cherry on top of this sundae of supremacy, they even tracked down the composers of the music from those older Shadowrun games to make an updated score for the new game! Now THAT, my friends is “Shadowrun Returns” if I ever wanted to define it!

This game started as a kickstarter project that asked for $400,000 to finish it. That goal was hit in 28 hours.

…not even two days…

…folks, that is what a demand for a franchise looks like. People are so hungry for an authentic Shadowrun videogame experience that it took less than two days to hit their goal. That’s not the amazing thing about it, though. The amazing thing is that this kickstarter campaign netted Harebrained Schemes $1.8 MILLION in total; Four and a half times the amount they asked for. I’m floored by the community support for a great Shadowrun experience. Let’s continue to give everyone at Harebrained Schemes our full support for this project.

As grand as all of this is, it’s only half of the equation for the Year of the Shadowrunner!

There’s yet ANOTHER Shadowrun game in development by Cliffhanger Productions; the very candidly-named SHADOWRUN ONLINE.

This game is being produced in collaboration with Catalyst and the makers of the tabletop RPG (and its 2070 timeline) AND Harebrained Schemes with Shadowrun Returns. I’ve never seen a game making community come together so cohesively to create not just a few cool games, but an entire experience!

This game is going to be awesome, and if you can’t take my word for it, watch Shadowrun Online’s Kickstarter video:

..and take a look at some of the prototype Gameplay:

A turn-based MMO that ISN’T a new skin on the World of Warcraft skeleton? An Online game that is faithful to its tabletop rules set?


However, as excited as I am to see this project go forward, I think there’s going to be a slight Glitch in this particular Shadowrun. The Kickstarter campaign has already started, and has been going on for awhile. They have only 9 days left, and it appears that as of the writing of this blog entry, Shadowrun Online has only 47% of their funding. They’re asking for $500,000, and they currently have a little over $235,000. Shadowrun Returns had their full funding of $400K in less than 2 days.

Does this mean that people aren’t as geeked about a Shadowrun MMO?

I really don’t think that’s the case.

So what does THIS wizard think about SRO’s lack of funds? Well, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to tell you that it may have been a bad idea to start a Kickstarter campaign for a Shadowrun MMO (which requires MORE funds) right after the one for Shadowrun Returns ended. Faithful Shadowrun veterans were just asked to shell out some serious nuyen to back a new game, and now they’re being asked again not a month after the fact. I think it’s safe to say our credsticks are tapped out for the moment. I know you need the money, SRO, but good Lord, let us come back to you AFTER we’ve done a few runs to replenish our supply of cred!

I’m worried that the project will go belly up if it doesn’t receive all of its Kickstarter funding. A few months ago, I inquired on Cliffhanger productions forums if we’d be allowed to donate in smaller amounts over time to earn a better backer reward, and the answer was “Yes,” and that “donations will be taken after the Kickstarter is over with.” I hope that hasn’t changed. After all, I’d LOVE that $1,505 Backer reward, but that’s not something I can just reach into the ol’ wallet and slap down on command.  I’d need a few months to spread out that kind of expenditure. I’ll happily donate it, but I need some time, and I’ll bet others would like to do the same.

So, to all of you at Cliffhanger productions, I bid you good luck…and please keep donations open beyond the Kickstarter; I know there’s plenty of people out there who will gladly donate to the project if they’re given a little time to replenish their bank accounts. You can put me down for $1,505…eventually. I’ll just need a few months to put it together.

For all the rest of you, go to Shadowrun Online’s Kickstarter page and donate generously! If you already donated to Shadowrun Returns or just don’t have a load of money on you, donate what you can. Every little bit helps!


Posted on August 5, 2012, in Role-Playing Games, Video Games and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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