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A first look at Shadowrun Returns

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It started as a humble little video game homage that took it’s chances on Kickstarter, with a hope that the Shadowrun brand name still garners at least enough respect and popularity to generate a sum of money large enough to fund it. Harebrained Schemes decided to shoot low for a video game project; $400,000. “Surely,” they tought,  “we can produce a small game that will please some old-school fans of Shadowrun?” None of them were prepared for the tidal wave of fan-backing that they received in record time. In just over 24 hours, Harebrained Schemes had it’s $400,000…and the fan generosity did not stop there. By the end of it’s Kickstarter life, Shadowrun Returns had earned a staggering $1.8 MILLION dollars. Read the rest of this entry

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Mitch Gitelman: You’re okay.

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Intellectual properties are a fickle thing, especially when it comes to fans of said franchises. Fans can be sent into a panic over the slightest transitions, be it a new company picking up the rights for it, a director or a writer making radical changes to established canon, or the whispers of the dreaded “reboot.”

 
It doesn’t matter what fandom you follow; each one has its own particular idiom and temperament, some more volatile than others. Anime fans have their trend and cosplay snobs, Tolkien purists won’t stop “quoting the man himself,” Ghostbusters fans won’t accept you unless you constructed all of your props accurately and by hand, and steampunk…well, there’s a good chunk of the steampunk community that are nigh-quixotic in their delusion of the Victorian lifestyle. Granted, these are all extreme examples, but the fact remains that fans can get ugly. Read the rest of this entry

Apocalypse Not Now

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It was foretold long ago in centuries past by the ancient Mayans. The end of a B’ak’tun; a time period in the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar. Some New Agers think that it was going to mark the birth of a new positive spiritual or physical transformation for mankind, and others think that it marked the end of it all.

What does this entail? Well, four good friends of mine have always put it best… Read the rest of this entry

Conjuring Cash with Kickstarters

The love of money may be the root of evil, but the possession of money is the necessity of progress. No grand idea or project ever saw fruition from empty coffers (unless you’re a member of the government). It is unfortunate that most folks who have great ideas are not people of means.

 
There are many great games out there that are nothing more than a small prototype lovingly hand-crafted, or a mere thought in the mind of an aspiring game designer. Unless you’re a game-publishing mega giant like Fantasy Flight Games, attempting to publish a game without a great deal of money is practically doomed to failure.

 
Thus, the aquisition of funds is the greatest hurdle to the aspiring game-maker. Read the rest of this entry

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… Read the rest of this entry

Back to the Shadows

I cherish those moments when I happen to stumble upon an unexpected gem that I never in my wildest GameMastering dreams would think a company would ever put out. I had one of those moments recently.
Let me tell you about a chromed up cyberpunk love affair with high fantasy that I had through high school and well into college. It was with an eclectic grab-bag of awesome called SHADOWRUN.
My first exposure to SHADOWRUN was not actually the role-playing game proper. It started back in the early 1994 with our family’s usual weekly trip to the local video rental store, and while I was perusing the game section like always, a peculiar Sega Genesis title caught my eye… Read the rest of this entry