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As Seen on TV

Simply want to talk about games, in a neutral light, the pros, the cons, and of course toss in my own personal opinion, right or wrong doesn't matter, because I don't see it as such.

Author: WolfClaws

Harebrained Schemes or Legit?

Posted by WolfClaws Friday April 20 2012 at 11:40AM
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Well, it has been some time since I produced anything here.  I thought it worth mentioning about a Kickstarter I found recently.  It is called Shadowrun Returns.



This is a site that allows folks to fund different projects through donations.

If you have not heard of this, you should check it out. Perhaps fund a project or create one of your own.  Essentially the project starting works like this... you create a project, and you set a goal.  You have X number of days to complete your goal.  If you meet it, you get the money.  If you dont...You dont get squat and the money is returned to the investors.

Why is all of this important?


The Creator

Jordan Weisman.  The creator and one of the designers of Shadowrun. He was also the founder of FASA and several other companies you may or may not have heard of. FASA Interactive (Mechwarrior series), Smith and TInker, WizKids.  He also worked with Microsoft (for which he apologized for that Shadowrun game that people hate) and obtained some licenses from them.

This all tends to get a little hazy, and several questions arise, but I will save that for another day. 

In a nutshell, he has the Shadowrun license again and he plans on creating a Shadowrun MMO.  Actually, from my research it will be two SR games.

I am a little scheptical on this whole matter from Weisman's track record of founding and selling off his companies only to start over again and the cycle continues.


The Dream

In my previous posts I have gone on and on and on about what it would take to make a successful game.  Naturally, in the last four years, no one  has listened.  Maybe one day my ideas will be idolized in some museum stating how wise and brilliant I was.  But back to the real world before I start buying lottery tickets.

Shadowrun Returns.  2D turn based game that takes place in 4 realities.  Taken from the Kickstarter page found here:

  • 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.
It will also have the following Race/Classes :

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.

Plus there will be a level editor that will be made available to everyone.  You can share missions, even your characters and NPCs with your friends. 

When I heard this, I figured it would be a facebook thing.  Which is an immediate turn-off.  But there is more.

The game will be available on the PC, iOS to include the iPad.

How serious are the fans?  Shadowrun Returns goal was $400,000.  In 28 hours of starting off Kickstarter, they met and exceeded their goal.  They are currently at $1.2 million.  Wow.

Rewards for Backers

Backers is a term for those who donate to the creative project.  Founders usually include some sort of incentive to backers for donating money.  This project is no different.  Some things are pretty cool and other things are standard.  An example is :

For $10,000 you get:

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.)

Only 3 of these awards were made possible and all 3 were "purchased".

One of the rewards sends you a physical boxed set with the game.  That pushes me away from my facebook game speculation.

Other rewards include a Platinum DocWagon card, a T-shirt and a USB Dogtag set.


The key thing to remember if you want to donate, is that you are donating.  Whatever you get, is just a bonus.



Right now, the donation thing, you really do not have a clue as to whether or not this is serious.  Just a few videos shot and posted on the webpage of Harebrained Schemes and that is pretty much it. 

There are no traditional forums, or media outlets, screenshots of the game, concept art, nothing.  This game is so tight under wraps that nothing has been released yet.  Even though the game is not funded, they must be something somewhere.

They did include a chart, that was interesting though.


Again, it is on their website.  It seems they will have "Kick-ass" music.  And the level editor will have lipstick.  Not my words, theirs.

Still, I wish they had more information to release than just, we are wanting to fund the game and a forum to talk on.

There are websites that are dedicated to Shadowrun, and this project is talked about on it.


Harebrained Schemes or Legit?

I have to make a decision, as will you.  With all the facts you can dig up, is this real or a scam? 

For myself, I am giving them the benefit of a doubt.  I truely enjoy the Shadowrun Universe and hopefully the game will be worthwhile and who knows, if it revitalizes the IP, then my money is well spent.  I did donate, and it was not for $5.  I dontated a significant amount.  So good luck and please feel free to comment on this entry and others.


See you in the shadows, chummer.