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Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut // Dev Diary #4: New Visuals & UI

This is the last of four Dev Diaries in which we discuss the new additions and improvements in Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut, a standalone release of our critically-acclaimed Dragonfall campaign which first premiered as a major expansion for Shadowrun Returns. (Note: Backers and existing Dragonfall owners will receive the Director’s Cut for free!) Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut goes on saleSeptember 18th for $14.99 on Steam, GoG and the Humble Store.

Trailer // FAQ // Dev Diary #1: New Missions & Content // Dev Diary #2: New Music //Dev Diary #3: Combat Mechanics

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Hey guys, Mike McCain here again – Game Director and Art Director on Dragonfall. Today I’d like show you some of the many interface and visual improvements we’ve made in the Director’s Cut. But before we dive into that, guess what? Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut launches one week from today! Here’s the trailer in case you missed it:

Oh and one more thing – here’s Felicia Day saying some nice things about Dragonfall! Y’all should let her know to check out the Director’s Cut next week. ; )

Anyway that’s enough PR talk – onto UI and visuals!

New Visual Effects & Animations

Steven and Hollie (our Effects/Tech Artist and Animator, respectively) dedicated several weeks during Director’s Cut development towards further honing our many combat effects and animation. Our main goals here were to 1. make combat feedback more viscerally satisfying (death, damage, spells, etc.), 2. tighten up timing/polish in some places, and 3. create new effects and animations to support the new abilities that the design team added in the Director’s Cut. I think their efforts have made a big difference! Steven and our engineer Sheridan implemented completely new systems for blood splatter effects, directional deaths (characters used to only be able to fall in one direction when dying), dismemberment, and possibly-slightly-over-the-top-gibs upon critical-hit deaths. We’ve found that these really help make your actions in combat feel powerful and satisfying – check it out:

Hmm, is that his... brain?

Hmm, is that his… brain?

On the animation front, not only have we been able to tighten up some combat timing (for example, the time it takes to cast certain spells) but we’ve added totally new animations for several new abilities. Here’s Glory’s new claw-kick ability, which is one of the new Crew Advancement upgrades you can decide to give her.

Interface Improvements

Last week, Trevor talked about all of the new combat mechanics we’ve implemented. To emphasize the new systems and new data, our combat UI has also seen a similar upgrade to more clearly show you each potential target’s status. You’ll see a different targeting disc beneath enemies depending on whether you have a “clear shot”, i.e. if you are flanking the enemy’s cover position or if they are standing out in the open, vs. if they are in cover. On mouse-over you’ll also be able to see exactly what type of cover the enemy is in, and we’ve made the shield icons representing cover state more obvious above enemy heads.

An example of a flanking attack on an enemy in cover. Also note the addition of white armor pips above each character's health bar.

An example of a flanking attack on an enemy in cover. Also note the addition of white armor pips above each character’s health bar.

We’ve also updated our health bar display to show how much Armor each character in combat has, represented by white “pips” above the bar itself. Each attack that hits now includes quick animated feedback on how much armor was applied against the damage being dealt, how much armor (if any) was stripped by special attacks, and how much damage was done. This is complemented by some improvements to our above-head text “floaties” that appear when you attack. Lastly, this is a small thing, but world interaction icons now have a short text description attached to them, similar to characters, that appears when you mouse-over them (or when you hold down the ALT key to reveal them.) This is nice when you’ve got a lot of inspects or pickups in one place and you’d like to know what you’re dealing with before clicking.

Anyone want to play some Galaga?

Anyone want to play some Galaga?

Oh and we also mentioned the new Crew Advancement system a couple weeks ago – here is what that looks like in action:

crewAdvance

Combat HUD Redesign

Another thing we were itching to update is the combat HUD itself! So for the Director’s Cut, our engineer AJ* and I took a good chunk of time to almost completely rip out the old system and build a brand new HUD. Our goals here were to better take advantage of common widescreen displays and to improve discoverability of abilities – making it both easier to learn what things do, and fewer clicks to access those things. We also wanted to streamline it so that it does its job and gets out of the way, direction more of your attention towards the world. Here is a shot of the new HUD:

Now all of your weapon abilities and one "bucket" of your items, spells or special abilities are available with one click from the new central ability bar.

Now all of your weapon abilities and one “bucket” of your items, spells or special abilities are available with one click from the new central ability bar.

*You may know him as ‘Aljernon the Talismonger’ in the campaign.

New Environments

As Andrew mentioned in our first dev diary a few weeks ago, there’s several new environments in the Director’s Cut that correspond to the new missions we’ve added. These environments each have their own unique new music and art. Here’s a couple more screenshots of new places you’ll get to visit in the Director’s Cut.

In the original Dragonfall we never really got to show what life "on the other side" looks like in Shadowrun - the cushy corporate enclaves of the future. One of the new missions will take you into a much more upscale residential area of Berlin.

In the original Dragonfall we never really got to show what life “on the other side” looks like in Shadowrun – the cushy corporate enclaves of the future. One of the new missions will take you into a much more upscale residential area of Berlin.

I probably shouldn't give anything away about this place. : )

I probably shouldn’t give anything away about this place. : )

Did somebody call for maintenance in here? Hello?

Did somebody call for maintenance in here? Hello?

Helping Eiger on an important errand will take you into dangerous territory.

Helping Eiger on an important errand will take you into dangerous territory.

Hair!  

Our character artist Fiona added a ton of new hairstyle options to the game to customize your character with! (As well as some new skin color shades to choose from.) Here are a few of the new selections I thought it’d be fun to share:

A couple of these are modeled after HBS team members.

Post-Processing

Post-processing effects are something I’d always wanted to fiddle with way back when we were working on Shadowrun Returns, but we never quite got the chance. There are a lot of fun effects that you can play with – and I certainly spent a few hours messing around and making the game look all kinds of bizarre – but at the end of the day, less is more, and subtlety is key with this kind of thing. We’ve added some light bloom effects, a small amount of color correction, a better vignette effect, and a (VERY) slight film grain effect to help liven up the scene a bit. I’m happy with the extra visual depth these post-processing settings add to the game environment but we know this can be a really tricky thing to get *just right* for everyone’s tastes – so if it’s not for you (or if you need a small performance boost) Post-Processing can be easily disabled from the options menu.

Steam Achievements and Steam Cards

Lastly – I suppose this doesn’t quite fall under the category of visual improvements but it DOES involve some art – we’ve included full Steam Achievement and Steam Card support in the Director’s Cut! Here’s a sneak peek:

Screenshot - 9_11_2014 , 12_47_39 PM

Anyway, thanks for reading! I can’t wait until next week – taking the existing campaign and getting the chance to add to it and make it better has been a rewarding experience, and it’s not something that developers always get the opportunity to do. We’re excited to put the final product in your hands and in the hands of many new players as well.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut // Dev Diary #3: Combat Mechanics

This is the third of four Dev Diaries in which we discuss the new additions and improvements in Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut, a standalone release of our critically-acclaimed Dragonfall campaign which first premiered as a major expansion for Shadowrun Returns. (Note: Backers and existing Dragonfall owners will receive the Director’s Cut for free!) Stay tuned each Thursday for another Dev Diary, leading up to the game’s release on September 18, 2014.

Trailer // FAQ // Dev Diary #1: New Missions & Content // Dev Diary #2: New Music

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Hey there, I’m Trevor King-Yost, Design Lead on Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut. I first worked with Harebrained Schemes back on Crimson: Steam Pirates, with Mitch and Jordan on fleshing out the Steampunk setting’s peril and plunder by designing and scripting the levels. When they launched the Kickstarter for Shadowrun Returns, I jumped back on board to lend my skills at creating RPGs. It feels like just yesterday, but here we are two full campaigns later! It’s been a lot of fun working with everyone on the team to make Dead Man’s Switch and Dragonfall into a reality, and we couldn’t have done it without the backers.

Today I’m going to talk about the changes we’ve made to combat in the Director’s Cut.

Cover, Critical Hits

During development of the original Dragonfall expansion, we focused most of our time on the new campaign’s story, missions and gameplay (though we did manage to squeeze in some time for new weapons and combat tweaks). This overall focus on content and story paid off, and the feedback we’ve received about Dragonfall’s narrative has been really great to hear.

But coming off of Dragonfall’s release, we knew we wanted to update the engine’s combat to try to address the things that started to bother us during development, and to respond to feedback we got from fans. So, the first thing we took a look at was the way that Cover behaved in the game, and the way that Critical Hits occurred.

If you’ve played Returns or Dragonfall before, you know it’s a bit of a “black box” when it comes to dealing damage. Your “specialization” skill (e.g. Pistols, Rifles) will increase your chance to do a critical hit (greater than 1.0x damage) and decrease your chance to get a “weak” hit, (0.5x damage). At the same time, the enemy’s Body and Armor would increase the likelihood of taking 0.5x damage, and decrease the chance for you to do a critical hit. Cover was also a factor in this black-box equation. Overall, it could just feel random when an enemy jumps out and hits you for double damage even though you’re behind solid cover.

So we decided to break this system down into something with more cause and effect. In the Director’s Cut, shooting through medium and heavy cover now reduce your critical hit % to 0 – you’ll always either do 1.0x damage or 0.5x damage. Shooting through Light Cover, you’ll always do 1.0x damage, no more or less. This goes for the enemy’s attacks as well of course, so using cover will become much more important for all involved. If you’re caught out in the open, or you are flanked, the chance to take critical damage is going to increase drastically – you’ll always take 1.0x or greater damage. If you want to dispatch enemies quickly – and safely – you’ll want to flank them, and attack them from behind cover.

An example of a flanking attack on an enemy in cover. Also note the addition of white armor pips above each character's health bar.

An example of a flanking attack on an enemy in cover. Also note the addition of white armor pips above each character’s health bar.

Due to this change, melee combat has more risk & reward than before. You’ll do critical damage much more often, since enemies are never in-cover from melee attacks, but you will want to be careful to not end your turn exposed to your foes. Of course, there are magical ways to add cover to an area, or protect yourself. In our internal testing we’ve found these changes to make the combat more tactical, fun, and dynamic. We’re looking forward to seeing what kind of combinations the community comes up with, too.

Armor

When we designed the combat system for Shadowrun Returns way back in 2012, we tried to convert the damage system from the Pen & Paper into a form that would work in the game. As I alluded to before, Armor along with Body would increase the likelihood of taking 0.5x damage, which we called “light” damage, where 1.0x damage was akin to “medium”, 1.5x “serious”, and 2.0x “deadly”. It was a tenuous connection, but we thought it worked well to keep the spirit of the tabletop, even though we moved to a numerical HP system instead of the 10 boxes of the Pen & Paper combat.

So what we have done with Armor, is again create a much more “cause and effect” based behavior. 1 point of Armor will reduce any incoming damage by 1. Stacking more and more armor on will protect you more and more from damage – that’s it.

Of course, now you’ll have to deal with the enemy’s armor, which before was an invisible stat behind the scenes. You’d probably notice during gameplay of the original Returns or Dragonfall that your Crit % would be lower on some enemies, higher on others. This was due to their body & Armor. Now, you’ll see exactly how much Armor an enemy has, so you can react to your opposition more tactically. If you come up against an enemy with 8 Armor, and your firearm only puts out 10 damage, you’re going to be plinking away at their HP for a long time unless you have a backup plan.

Mitigating Armor

Along with this new Armor behavior, we’ve added ways for you, and the enemies, to counteract its effects. Certain weapons, spells, and abilities will have an Armor Piercing value which bypasses an amount of armor. There are also spells and abilities which can strip Armor from the target entirely. Whether you want to carry high-explosive grenades, or you want to sling spells that remove tougher enemies’ protection from them is up to you.

AI Improvements

With these changes to the overall nature of combat, we knew we also needed to update the AI to better react to changing situations and put more pressure on the player. One of our programmers, Sheridan, devised a new scripting system that lets the AI make more intelligent decisions based on a logic tree. He started from scratch and tried to mimic the same actions as the original AI. Over to Sheridan.

Sheridan jumping in here, hello! Instead of using a rigid logic tree built into the game code, I created a plain text script named gumboscript. The script takes basic verb commands, and adjective modifiers to make a flow using plain english. The script looks similar to the sentence, “If an enemy shoots me from a flanked position, use a medkit, look at my enemy and perform an area of effect attack or run and hide.” Because scripts are easier to read and write, we had fast iteration and surfaced the different decisions and actions that give the AI some intelligence. When an AI makes an unexpected decision or can’t complete an action, the specific line in script is shown to the designer so they can decide what to change. Different combatants can also have different scripts. A mage will evaluate buffs and debuffs whereas a soldier will think about melee or charging in to get a flanked shotgun blast. We want users to create some challenging enemies for their campaigns so anyone can design AI scripts for use in their own UGC. You can even create an AI vs AI competition match and see which AI comes out on top! The wiki is updated right here: http://shadowrun-returns.wikispaces.com/GumboScript

It will be great to see what the community does with the new tools. And now, back to Trevor.

Once this AI system was created, Sheridan and our other Designer Kevin created behaviors to flank, react to being flanked, and use the right weapons at the right time. You’ll see enemies more intelligently using cover, grenades, and spells to hopefully keep you on your toes.

Crew Equipment

We received a lot of feedback that players wanted to customize their team even more, such as buy them new weapons or spells. In the Director’s Cut, you can now loan your teammates gear at the start of a run, if you’d like to override their normal loadouts. Any loaned items will be returned to you at the end of the mission. So if you’d like to give Glory a Shotgun, or Dietrich the “Blur” spell, you can! Of course, anything you’d like to dole out will need to be purchased with your own nuyen, so choose wisely. Your teammates “stock” gear will still upgrade as you go through the game, so this is entirely optional.

Thanks for reading! Next week, there’ll be dev diary by our Game Director, Mike McCain, talking about the new UI and visual updates we’ve given the Director’s Cut.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut // Dev Diary #2: New Music!

DirectorsCutLogo

This is the second of four Dev Diaries in which we discuss the new additions and improvements in Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut, a standalone release of our critically-acclaimed Dragonfall campaign which first premiered as a major expansion for Shadowrun Returns. (Note: Backers and existing Dragonfall owners will receive the Director’s Cut for free!) Stay tuned each Thursday for another Dev Diary, leading up to the game’s release on September 18, 2014. 

Trailer // FAQ // Dev Diary #1: New Missions & Content

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Hi, I’m Jon Everist, Composer for Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut. Today, I’m going to talk a bit about the music of Shadowrun, and what to expect in the upcoming Director’s Cut. I’ll also give you a sneak preview into a few of these new tracks.

First off, let me say that the SNES Shadowrun was incredibly influential to me as a kid, so needless to say, I was thrilled when I was asked to work on this project. My first contribution to the Shadowrun world came from the launch trailer music I wrote for Shadowrun Returns. By the time I had joined, Marshall Parker and Sam Powell (who scored the original SNES game), had already filled the world with some amazing music that really set the tone for the score. For Dragonfall, I was first asked to do the trailer music and to write a few pieces that were scene specific, namely the final battle music “Dragonfall” and the Kreuzbasar music “The Haven,” with ten more pieces being added to the Director’s Cut. The team provided an advanced copy of the game and I was blown away by the writing and care that went into it. I hadn’t felt this invested in a group of characters in ages. It’s one of those rare games that quiets the world around you and takes control of your soul for a while.

I have a classical background and enjoy scoring full orchestral music, but I also have a deep love and history with electronic music and have been in electronic bands as a producer since I was a kid. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work within such a rich and diverse fiction. It’s one of those worlds where, as a composer, you start salivating at the possibilities and creative freedom you have. At one moment I could be writing for a 60 piece orchestra and the next moment I’m recording gypsy guitar with some grimey synth pulsating in the background over a distorted breakbeat. It really is a dream come true creatively. Cyberpunk, to me, is this dystopian absence of musical rules, like some near future when all genres of music have kind of coalesced into some savage construct that defies logic, and is totally rad.

So, as I said earlier, I’ve composed 10 more pieces of music for this Director’s Cut that I’m really excited about and I can’t wait for you all to hear. A big part of this new expanded score is the music for the companion missions, which will give players the chance to play character specific missions with some heavy story content. As I mentioned before, I really enjoyed getting to know each character in the game, so writing for them was a huge pleasure. My approach for each piece was to respect the game world and existing score while trying to introduce my own take on these characters’ complex lives and backgrounds. One of my all time favorite scores is the one Vangelis did for Blade Runner, which captured the smokey neo-noir dystopian future perfectly. I really wanted to mix live instruments and synthetic ones, which I think mirrors a lot of the story and universe of Shadowrun as a whole. Here we have complex characters (many of which are a synthesis of tech and organics) who are feeling real emotions and classic dilemmas against an extreme, synthetic and supernatural backdrop.

Glory, to me, is one of the most memorable RPG characters I had ever come across in a game. Her piece includes several motifs which represent her as a character. The clarinet has a falling melody that comes in every so often, representing her childhood memories. The piano strides on rather emotionless, almost keeping the clarinet from falling too far or Glory from feeling too much. But, there’s a moment in this track where tension starts to build and the clarinet falls and is repeated by the ‘cello, which allows the piano to open up and moves the piece into what I called Glory’s ‘feeling’ motif, where she finally allows herself to experience her emotions or open up to those people who care about her. Her combat track represents her taking control of her pain and channeling it into power and rage, using her past not to define her future but to power her rebellion against it. The instruments that once represented her pain now imbue her with unbelievable power.

The next track we are showing off is for Blitz’s mission. Not to spoil too much about the story, but lets just say that I was thinking a lot about espionage and sneaky tactics while I wrote it. It’s definitely a lighter track than Glory’s, but I think it fits Blitz well. One of my biggest inspirations for this piece came from what Amon Tobin did for Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. There’s a lot of syncopated live drums mixed with synths I created and a lot of found-sound glitches going on here. Blitz’s legwork track is really setup to build anticipation, it has a slick synth that pulses and drives the piece forward, while guitar and strings accent the ‘sneaky’ vibe. When you get caught or get yourself into a battle, the next section is setup to answer that anticipation with high energy. Frenetic drums and throbbing bass lines with plucked strings and heavily digitized electric guitar help keep the track moving while you struggle to survive.

So there’s my sneak peek into writing music for Shadowrun: Dragonfall and the Director’s Cut. I’m so honored to be able to write music for such a compelling franchise, it really is a dream come true. I hope you all enjoy it and get your hands on the Original Soundtrack as well! Follow me on twitter @JonEverist and ask me anything, or visit me at everistsound.com, I’d love to hear from you!

Check back next Thursday for a look at the new & improved combat systems in the Director’s Cut with Design Lead Trevor King-Yost.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut // Official Trailer + Feature List + PAX Details

DirectorsCutLogo

Hi guys! Mike here again. I’m excited to share with you our official trailer for Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut*. Check it out!

In addition to the new trailer, we’ve also released a full feature list for the game on our brand new “coming soon” page in the Steam store. If you have friends that haven’t experienced Dragonfall – or even Shadowrun – before, give them a heads up!

*If this is your first time hearing about the Director’s Cut, here’s the scoop: It’s a standalone release of our critically-acclaimed Dragonfall campaign that includes a bunch of new content and improvements we’ve made to the game. It’s $14.99, releases September 18th for Windows/Mac/Linux, will be available on Steam, GoG and the Humble Store, and is FREE to all existing owners of Dragonfall (including Backers.) And it’s coming to iOS/Android tablets in ~October. More information and FAQ here.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut at PAX Prime

And one more thing: Dragonfall will be at PAX Prime in Seattle this weekend! Harebrained Schemes will be on the 2nd floor of the Convention Center, Room 209. We’re sharing the space with Green Ronin Games, and we’ll have both Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut and Golem Arcana available to play. Myself and other members of the dev team will be there Friday through Sunday – come by to check out the games or just to say hi!

I hope you enjoyed last week’s dev diary with Andrew about all the new missions and content we’ve added to the Director’s Cut. Check back this Thursday to hear more about the new music with composer Jon Everist – who may even give you a sneak peek at one or two of the new tracks.

Until next time,

- Mike McCain, Game Director

P.S: Here are some new wallpaper images we’ve put together based on the new trailer for your desktop enjoyment!

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Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut Dev Diary #1: New Missions & Content

DirectorsCutLogo

This is the first of four Dev Diaries in which we discuss the new additions and improvements in Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut, a standalone release of our critically-acclaimed Dragonfall campaign which first premiered as a major expansion for Shadowrun Returns. Stay tuned each Thursday for another Dev Diary, leading up to the game’s release on September 18, 2014.

Hi, I’m Andrew McIntosh, Lead Writer on Shadowrun: Dragonfall and the upcoming Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut. As a long-time Shadowrun fan (I started playing with 2E, way back in 1992), working with Jordan and the team on Dragonfall was an incredible experience. Now, with the Dragonfall Director’s Cut, we’re thrilled to bring you even more of the magic-meets-cyberpunk storytelling that we delivered in Shadowrun: Dragonfall.

Today, I’d like to tell you about some of the brand new content we’ve added to the Director’s Cut. Don’t worry, I’ll keep this post spoiler-free; it’s safe to read on, even if you haven’t played through Shadowrun: Dragonfall yet.

Companion Story Missions - From the very beginning of our work on Dragonfall, we wanted to include missions that would tie directly into the back stories of the game’s major companion NPCs – Glory, Eiger, Dietrich, and Blitz. Unfortunately, during the development of the campaign, it became obvious that we weren’t going to have enough time to really do justice to the concept. Ultimately, we decided that if we couldn’t do these missions right, we shouldn’t do them at all.*

After Dragonfall was released, it became clear to us that our players wanted to experience these missions as much as we wanted to write and design them. This is why, when we decided to move forward with the Director’s Cut, companion story missions were at the top of our to-do list.

 DFDC-08

In Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut, you will find three new full-length missions that tie directly into the personal stories of Glory, Eiger, and Blitz. These stories range from supernatural horror to techno-thriller to dark comedy, and each mission touches on a different aspect of the Shadowrun universe.

Your companion characters can also earn unique rewards for completing their story missions. Blitz, for example, can gain the ability to corrupt hostile IC in the Matrix, forcing it to fight with him rather than against him. There are two different rewards for each story mission, but you’ll only be able to obtain one of them on any given playthrough. These rewards are separate from those gained in the Crew Advancement system (see below).

*The only concession to this idea that made it into Dragonfall was Dietrich’s involvement in an early mission of the game. By the way, don’t worry – we’re adding a unique reward for him, too.

Crew Advancement - You wanted more control over how your companion NPCs progressed in Dragonfall, and in the Director’s Cut, we’re delivering! Because Eiger, Glory, Dietrich, and Blitz are their own people, we aren’t giving you complete control over their character sheets; Eiger will always be a deadly ranged combatant, and Dietrich will never decide to give up magic and embark on an exciting new career as a decker. Instead, we’re implementing a system that will allow you to choose one of two all-new, unique enhancements for each of your companion characters every time they advance in skill.

For example, on a skill-up you might choose to grant Eiger the ability to fire a Dragon’s Breath round from her shotgun, penetrating armor and setting opponents on fire. Or you could give her the ability to fire an Interdiction round from her sniper rifle: a discarding-sabot HTI shot that completely ignores armor. Under this system, you will have the flexibility to choose how you would like to specialize your characters within their existing roles.

We’re also giving you the ability to customize the weapon, spell, and consumable loadouts for your companion characters, but I’ll leave the details on that for a future Dev Diary.

Additional Missions - In addition to the Companion Story Missions detailed above, two other full-length missions have been added to the game.

In “Trial Run,” you will undertake a mission for the mysterious Lodge, one of the side factions in Shadowrun: Dragonfall. Over the course of the run, you’ll learn how the organization conducts its business… but the Lodge will learn even more about you.

In “Lockdown,” you’ll get the opportunity to delve into the checkered past of the Kreuzbasar’s resident cybersurgeon, Dr. Xabier Ezkibel. Successfully completing this mission will unlock a variety of bleeding-edge bioware upgrades in Ezkibel’s clinic. Ever taken serious damage while out of range of a healer? Those shiny new Platelet Factories are just what the Doctor ordered… assuming, of course, that you have a big enough wad of nuyen to afford them.

Additional Endings - Without delving into spoiler territory, I can say that we’ve always wanted to explore some “what if?” scenarios related to Shadowrun: Dragonfall’s ending. There are two additional endings in the Director’s Cut; these new endings have been designed to give players even more agency in deciding how the story should unfold.

More Character Development - Several side characters from Shadowrun: Dragonfall have had their roles significantly enhanced, from the enigmatic Absinthe to the anarchistic Lucky Strike.

More Lore - There’s even more great Shadowrun lore in the Director’s Cut, including more easter eggs for long-time fans of the pen-and-paper game.

And that’s not all! But I’ll save the rest for our upcoming Dev Diaries.

I know that I speak for all of us here at Harebrained Schemes when I say “thank you” to you, the fans; if it weren’t for your enthusiasm and support, we wouldn’t have been able to spend these past few months revisiting the Flux State. We’re all looking forward to bringing you this definitive version of Dragonfall next month, so get ready to revisit the Flux State – or to dive in for the first time!

Tune in this time next week for our second Dev Diary, in which Jon Everist will discuss his experiences writing the music for Shadowrun: Dragonfall and the Director’s Cut!

Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut Details + Screenshots from GenCon!

DirectorsCutLogo

Hello from GenCon! As promised a couple weeks ago, we’re ready to tell you more about Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut. In fact, Mitch and Jordan will be talking about the game at their Shadowrun “What’s Next” panel tomorrow at the Crowne Plaza. If you’re at GenCon, come check out the panel! You can also drop by Booth 2343 to chat more with members of the Harebrained team, play some Golem Arcana, or catch a sneak peek of the new Dragonfall trailer.

But if you’re not here at GenCon, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Here’s the scoop on the Director’s Cut:

Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut will be released for Windows, OSX & Linux as a standalone title on September 18th, 2014 for $14.99. It will be available on Steam, GoG, and the Humble Store. And – in case you missed our previous update: as a continued “thank you” for your support, the Director’s Cut will be FREE to all Backers and owners of the original Dragonfall release.

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To tell you more about what’s in the Director’s Cut, we’ll be posting a new developer diary each Thursday between now and launch, looking at a different aspect of what we’ve been working on.

  • Week 1 (8/21): Andrew McIntosh discusses the new missions and other kinds of content we’ve added to Dragonfall.
  • Week 2 (8/28): Jon Everist talks about his experience composing music for Dragonfall and expanding the game’s soundtrack for the Director’s Cut.
  • Week 3 (9/4): Trevor King-Yost explains the major improvements we’ve made to Dragonfall’s combat systems.
  • Week 4 (9/10): Mike McCain shows the new in-game interface and talks about how it makes combat more fun and intuitive.

In the meantime – here are a few teaser screenshots of the new stuff!

The new Director’s Cut UI in action. Those pips above the health bars? That’s the new armor system. Stay tuned to hear more about that.

The new Director’s Cut UI in action. Those pips above the health bars? That’s the new armor system. Stay tuned to hear more about that.

An example of some of the game’s new visual effects and improved death sequences.

An example of some of the game’s new visual effects and improved death sequences.

One of the new Director’s Cut missions. It looks kind of hot in there…

One of the new Director’s Cut missions. It looks kind of hot in there…

We’re really excited to share the Director’s Cut with all of you and to bring a whole new set of players into the world of Shadowrun. We believe that with all of the new content and improvements, and with your support, Dragonfall can be the definitive Shadowrun PC gaming experience.

Lastly: See below for answers to some common questions we’ve been asked about the Director’s Cut, and stay tuned for our first Dev Diary next week!

- Love, HBS

 

Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut FAQ

Why did you guys decide to make the Director’s Cut?

We posted a Kickstarter Update recently explaining our motivation behind the Director’s Cut. Check it out!

The Director’s Cut will be the same price as the DLC? Why aren’t you charging more for this?

We decided to leave it at the same price because an increase didn’t feel right. After the original release, we frequently heard comments like ‘I wish it was standalone’ and ‘the story left me yearning for more’. By creating the Director’s Cut, we wanted to do both (and more!) without making your wallet cry.

I own the DLC version of Dragonfall, do I have to buy the Director’s Cut to play the new content?

If you purchased the DLC version through a major digital retailer, you’ll receive the Director’s Cut for free! Kickstarter backers that claimed their DLC code will also be given the Director’s Cut! It will show up as a separate title in your Steam, Humble, or GOG libraries on launch day – look for “Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut”. If you have issues finding it in your library, contact the store for help.

Can I use my existing saves with the standalone version of Dragonfall? What about my characters?

Saves and characters created on the DLC version of Dragonfall won’t carry over to the Director’s Cut. Since we reworked and added so much to the Director’s Cut, loading a DLC save would cause parts of the game to not make sense – both functionally and narratively speaking.

Will the DLC and Director’s Cut use the same Editor and Steam Workshop?

Much like existing saves and characters, the new editor has some pretty significant changes. To make sure your content remains intact, the Director’s Cut will have a separate Editor and Steam Workshop. Missions made in the SRR editor, will be uploaded to the SRR Workshop. Likewise, missions made with the DC editor will be available in the DF:DC Workshop. We’re putting together instructions on how creators can “update” their existing UGC missions to work with the new editor and Steam Workshop, so keep an eye out for further information.

What will happen to the DLC version of Dragonfall?

Because they’re both same price, the DLC version will be removed from sale when the Director’s Cut is released. However, if you already own the DLC version, you’ll still be able to access it at any time through Shadowrun Returns. (We’re just removing it from sale, not from your existing library.)

Is the Director’s Cut coming to tablet?

A tablet version of the Director’s Cut is also in the works! We’re shooting for an October release on iOS and Android.

Is there any possibility of a Director’s Cut for Dead Man’s Switch?

Currently, we don’t have plans for a DMS Director’s Cut. However, we’ve released several updates to DMS over the course of the last year, including a major update with the new save game functionality when Dragonfall first launched. A few weeks ago, we pushed another DMS patch which includes some balance changes to key parts of the game. While it’s not a Director’s Cut, we hope those changes will provide a better experience for everyone.

Does HBS have plans to create another standalone campaign?

We would love to – but we don’t have any firm plans for one yet. To be honest, we’ve been heads down on the Director’s Cut and are still exploring what to work on next. But rest assured, if we start on a new Shadowrun title, you guys will be the first to know!

A Special One-Year Anniversary Update!

Studio founders Jordan Weisman and Mitch Gitelman celebrate the one-year anniversary of the launch of Shadowrun Returns and talk about what’s next.

Save Your Game Anywhere Feature! Steam sale! Editor Contest Winners!

Steam Sale this Weekend!

Both Shadowrun Returns and Shadowrun: Dragonfall are on sale NOW  through Sunday,May 4 on Steam. At $4.99 for Shadowrun Returns and $9.99 for Shadowrun: Dragonfall, you’re getting both games for the price of one!

If you have friends who haven’t had a chance to play Shadowrun Returns or Shadowrun: Dragonfall, be sure to tell them that it’s on sale on Steam this weekend!

 

Save Anywhere Feature!

Besides the great price, both campaigns now come with the ability to save your game anywhere!! We have updated SRR to version 1.2.6 on Steam, GOG, Humble, and Android. The iOS version will be available next week, too. In addition to the new feature, there are also many other improvements that you can check out in the Release Notes.

 

Shadowrun Editor Community Contest

The prizes for the Shadowrun Editor Community Contest included a Design Consultation and a Shadowlab or Let’s Play video and it’s been great working with the winners of the contest to make those happen.

Mitch and McCain did a Google Hangout with the winners in the Maps and Props category. They had a great time chatting and Mike was able to share some great tips and tricks with the creators.  Jordan and Mitch also did a Let’s Play and a Shadowlab with the winners of the Short Story category – Ashram’s From the Shadows, Run and I0g41n’s Food Fight. Jordan and Mitch will be doing the same for the winners of the Long Story category, so be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel if you like that kind of thing.

 

Google Hangout of the Maps and Props Category

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxCuBvFUrKY&list=UUO0pndgsIKZdyf9qFmhmSSw

 

Shadowlab

From the Shadows, Run

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JWh8_5P65U&list=UUO0pndgsIKZdyf9qFmhmSSw

 

Let’s Play

Food Fight!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM2bLM4UC40&list=UUO0pndgsIKZdyf9qFmhmSSw

Congratulations to the Winners and Runners Up of the Shadowrun Editor Community Contest!

We are excited to work with all of them! Watch for more information about a Google Hangout for the Props and Maps categories and Let’s Play and Shadowlabs for the Short and Long Story categories. We can’t wait to share all of that with everyone!

 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Contest! We will be announcing the winners of the Sweepstakes in the coming week or so.

 

Props

Winner: Memphis Motors Vehicle Prop Pack
Runner Up: Geeked – Props and Portraits

 

Maps

Winner: Farmer’s Market (Mission Hub Map)
Runner Up: The Rag Shop (Hub)

 

Short Story

Winner: From The Shadows, Run
Runner Up: Food Fight!

 

Long Story

Winner: Shadowrun Unlimited
Runner Up: Nightmare Harvest

What a Great Response!

Wow, we’ve had such a great response to Shadowrun: Dragonfall over the last couple weeks!

dragonfallCallout

To us, the most rewarding part is all the emails, messages on SRR forums on Shadowrun.com, Facebook posts and tweets that have come from the community! We worked really hard to listen to your feedback and build on the success of Shadowrun Returns and we’re happy to see that the changes we’ve made are resonating with you.

That said, we admit that it’s also been gratifying to get some nice reviews from the critics, too. Here are a few of our favorite quotes and links to their reviews.

HardCore Gamer  http://www.hardcoregamer.com/2014/03/02/review-shadowrun-dragonfall/76435/

The new campaign setting is utterly compelling, the writing is some of the industry’s finest with astounding prose and character development and the added content simply equates to an experience that is only rivaled by the genre’s best.

PC Gamer  http://www.pcgamer.com/review/shadowrun-returns-dragonfall-review/

Jacking back into Shadowrun Returns for the new Dragonfall campaign, I thought I was ready for anything. In a post-magipocalypse future where trenchcoated, wizardly elves cast shield spells on hacker allies while orcs with machine guns shower them with lead, it pays to be prepared. Dragonfall managed to get the drop on me, though. I wasn’t expecting one of the most memorable and complex RPG stories of the decade.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun  http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/02/27/shadowrun-returns-dragonfall-review/

Now that’s more like it. Choice! Side-missions! A hub! A strong supporting cast who are up for a bit of a chat! Little-to-no mandatory decking sequences! A mother-lovin’ save (almost) anywhere system!

GameSpot  http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/shadowrun-dragonfall-review/1900-6415692/

There’s nary a dull moment in Dragonfall, and every mission is crafted to capture the right mix of mystery, fear, exploration, and action.

Destructoid   http://www.destructoid.com/review-shadowrun-dragonfall-271790.phtml

Die Hard Game Fan  http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/03/13/review-shadowrun-dragonfall-pc/

Eurogamer  http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-03-04-shadowrun-dragonfall-review

Gamespot  http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/shadowrun-dragonfall-review/1900-6415692/

Retro 101  http://www.retro101.co.uk/2014/03/shadowrun-dragonfall-review-pc.html

Cinemablend  http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Shadowrun-Returns-Dragonfall-First-Impressions-Better-Than-Original-62561.html

iDigitalTimes  http://www.idigitaltimes.com/articles/22142/20140303/shadowrun-returns-dragonfall-review-perfect-run-everyone.htm

Capsule Computers  http://www.capsulecomputers.asia/2014/03/shadowrun-dragonfall-review/

Gizorama  http://www.gizorama.com/computer/pc/shadowrun-returns-dragonfall-review/

The Mittani  http://themittani.com/features/review-shadowrun-dragonfall

Softpedia  http://www.softpedia.com/reviews/games/pc/Shadowrun-Dragonfall-Review-430668.shtml

We’ve had a blast developing this expansion and would love to create more stories in the Shadowrun Universe! To do that, we need to continue to get the word out.  We’re an indie studio and don’t have the deep marketing pockets of a big publisher so we’d appreciate it if you’d share these links with friends and forums you think would like Dragonfall!

Thanks!

HBS