Update #3: Wow (again) and Stretch Goals

Stretch Funding Goal

Let’s get this right out of the way—your extended backing has already enabled us to add the following to Shadowrun Returns:

  • Mac version – available for everyone and also included at the $15 backer level (We can’t change what the description says but it’s true!)
  • Additional languages: German, French, and Spanish
  • And . . . RIGGERS!

Yep, that’s right. We’re going to include Rigger characters and the drones they control, dramatically expanding the game play in all sorts of fun ways. Again, these are NOT stretch goals – they’re going to be in the game, thanks to your kind support.

As Jordan mentions in the video, the game is set in Seattle and every dollar above our initial goal will go into making a richer, deeper, gameplay setting with more stories with more assets.

But if we hit a stretch funding goal of $1m we will be able to add the following:

  • A second city to explore. Which city? Well, that will be for Backers to decide! We’ll create a list of cool places for you to vote on. More on that later!
  • A more powerful and more accessible (less ugly) mission editor, so more people can tell deeper stories in the world of Shadowrun.
  • A musical score that resonates like the SNES and Genesis soundtracks did in the Long-Ago.

We continue to be blown away by your level of support and your passion for Shadowrun. In fact, we were almost carried away on the wave of enthusiasm over the last couple of days. But yesterday we took a step back and refocused on our core design principals and what we want Shadowrun Returns to be. (That’s why you create core design principals in the first place—to refer back to them in situations like this.)

As part of our review, we came to the conclusion that feature additions such as a Linux version, Multiplayer PvP, and Cooperative Play are beyond the scope of the project and would cause us to lose focus on the game you reacted to so positively (and the game we really want to make).

When Shadowrun Returns comes out (and is the success we all want it to be), we promise to look at these features as the core of a future release.

We are totally focused on our core goals of creating a kick-ass single player game with deep stories and thoughtful turn-based gameplay in world we can all play with. We hope you respect that decision, and again thank you for your enormous support and encouragement.

35 Responses to “Update #3: Wow (again) and Stretch Goals”

  1. Avantenor
    April 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    Why do you exclude an Linux version from beginning? You’re scoping for 1 million dollar, already having collected 600k and still more than 20d to go. Why not adding a linux version – let’s say – after reaching 1.5 million? That’s the milestone, Brian Fargo was able to guarantee a Mac and Linux version for Wasteland 2.

    Meanwhile, even Banner Saga also supports Linux, the same for Double Fine Adventure, Leisure Suite Larry promisses to add a linux version if the exceed their funding goal, also Jane Jenson. Don’t know exactly if Takedown will have a Linux version, but at least they were willing to add it.

    Linux might be a good addition to keep the spice flowing, if there is a real chance to reach that goal.

  2. AlleyDog
    April 7, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    It’s 2012. Multiplatform means Linux, too. If there is a Mac-Version then Linux shouldn’t be excluded, anything else leaves a bad Impression. Either you don’t like Linux, then I would feel offended and wouldn’t back the Project or you can’t develop on Linux, then I would wonder if you are able to really develop a Game at all and wouldn’t back your Project.

  3. Zts
    April 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Looking at Kickstarter, harebrained-shemes managed to get the backers start a windows vs. linux flamewar. Be proud of yourself, you really have archived something special!

  4. Drizzt
    April 8, 2012 at 3:47 am #

    As part of our review, we came to the conclusion that feature additions such as a Linux version, Multiplayer PvP, and Cooperative Play are beyond the scope of the project and would cause us to lose focus on the game you reacted to so positively (and the game we really want to make).

    Boy, am I glad I waited with funding this project. No Linux support means Wine and I don’t like using Wine for stuff I funded. (Seriously though: if you write your code on top of SDL* and similar libraries with an eye out for cross-platform compatible code (always a good idea), I don’t see that much extra costs attached to making a Linux version. If you do it right™, the only thing needed is another build run. I must say I’m a bit disappointed, especially after the hopeful lines in the second post here.)


    * SDL 2.x will also support all major mobile operating systems, from what I’ve heard.

    • Drizzt
      April 8, 2012 at 3:50 am #

      I forgot the link to SDL: http://www.libsdl.org/

      P.S.: You might want to change your CSS for blockquotes. 😉

      • April 8, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

        Hehe, will take a look when I get a chance. Say hi to Guenhwyvar for me.

        • Drizzt
          April 9, 2012 at 2:10 am #

          Done. Guen is hunting something, not sure what at the moment… 😀 (thanks for the CSS fix; by the way – I didn’t test that extensively – your comment system seems to not filter any HTML input, maybe check that to keep undesired things out…?)

    • KRunner
      April 8, 2012 at 5:49 am #

      Sooo true. I also agree with what Avantenor and AlleyDog wrote.

      And to that I’d like to add, that true multi platform offerings are what set indie titles apart from AAA titles (with some exceptions like Neverwinter Nights). But that is also changing, as most/all major game engines either already sport Linux support (e.g. Unigine) or are about to gain it (e.g. Source (+Steam?)).

  5. Gurh
    April 8, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    I have a bad feeling about this. Now new updates, comments or anything new. The lack of presents, caused a Flame-war on Kickstarter. It seems like after Work-hours nobody cares about this project anymore. Together with the lack of Linux support and the take down of previously announced Features, it seems to me those people simply lack the flexibility and understanding, necessary to work on Project (in a generic sense). I don’t have any trust. I even suspect, they don’t have the Rights to produce “Shadowrun” Produkts and will announce they need more money to buy a licence….

    • Drizzt
      April 8, 2012 at 7:44 am #

      I think that is a stretch. If they don’t have the license you could be sure, that the news already would have broken, because the current copyright holder wouldn’t want anybody to use its trademarks, names and other rights.

      That they don’t seem to reply/engage during non-business hours is a little old school. And maybe inadvisable if you employ social media tools for your campaign, but I wouldn’t construe out of that, that they lack the abilities to build the game in the promised ways. But then, BioWare promised a lot (like an ending to ME, that is affected by your choices in the previous games) and didn’t deliver (ok, there are three endings for colour fetishists 😉 ). Anyway: a flame war can hardly be a reason why somebody is incapable of doing something else (it might show, that they’re inept at managing diverse communities) and they having a nice Easter weekend should also not be held against them.

      In the end only hard data and a delivered game will show what comes out of this.

  6. Derpington
    April 8, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    This is getting ridiculous – The Linux Entitlement Brigade is in full effect and one Gurh here is starting with the tinfoil hats.

    Linux was suggested but never promised. Perhaps the complaints will cause them to re-evaluate that decision, but could we please refrain from name calling?

    And because they suggested co-op and PvP as possibilities and later withdrew them, Gurh, that somehow indicates that they don’t actually have the license to make the game?

    Feel free to complain about things that you are disappointed with, people, but PLEASE be a little more adult about it…

    • Derpington
      April 8, 2012 at 7:41 am #

      one = now (in the first line)

    • Drizzt
      April 8, 2012 at 7:46 am #

      Awesome: advising others to refrain from name calling and then calling others names… (“The Linux Entitlement Brigade”)

      Apart from that, I’d also advise to refrain from name calling. :-)

  7. Gurh
    April 8, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    Well, Harebrained might have a license or not but it seems actually Microsoft is holding the Rights, am I right? At least Microsoft had them at some point and I didn’t read they sold them. That explains why Linux got “off the Table” and this stupid Flamewar on Kickstarter.

    • Drizzt
      April 8, 2012 at 11:18 am #

      Did you read the Kickstarter campaign page? All of that is answered there (except why they don’t do a Linux version*). There is this diagram showing the licensing chain. As far as public information goes, the rights for interactive titles in the Shadowrun universe are still held by Microsoft and licensed by Smith & Tinker (another Weisman company), which in turn must have sublicensed these rights to Harebrained Schemes.
      Please note, that the rights for other products (i.e. non-interactive/video games) are held by Topps and the current licensee is Catalyst Game Labs. The FASA/FASA Interactive split seems to have produced a split license for Shadowrun as well (what fun copyright can be *sigh*).


      * The campaign page talks about restrictions placed upon the license that made big publishers shy away from funding the project. Even though these restrictions could include Linux that seems unlikely for two reasons: 1. A possible Linux version was mentioned in the FAQ on the Kickstarter campaign page, and 2. as Linux is not the major market for games at the moment, it seems unlikely Microsoft would bother to limit a licensee there. I’d guess the restrictions are more of the “we get a big revenue chunk” type or “no other console than Xbox may be supported”.
      My guess as to why they don’t want to do a Linux port would be, that they either fear the technical side, as they don’t have in-house expertise with coding for Linux, or that they think the amount of money to be made from a Linux port is too small. Or a combination thereof.

      • Gurh
        April 8, 2012 at 11:39 am #

        sublicensed? still not convinced they do have a license. the whole thing seems more and more fishy to me. Anyway, Microsoft still have the Right which also could mean, the could revoke the license (for some reason) or forcing relicensing after some time. Assuming this is true, this could be the reason why big publisher are not interested. In Order to keep/get the license some ass-kissing is in order, like to not make a Linux version.

        • April 8, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

          There are no licensing issues regarding Linux or the game itself.

        • Drizzt
          April 9, 2012 at 2:20 am #

          sublicensed? still not convinced they do have a license. the whole thing seems more and more fishy to me.

          Yeah, “sublicensed”. That is a standard procedure for many trademarks and franchises. Sometimes it is rather straight (you have an copyright owner who doesn’t want to deal with licensing and thus gives a rather broad license to some intermediary who in turn will issue sublicenses), sometimes not so much (to the point where even lawyers don’t seem to know a) who owns what and b) how to get around all the nasty restrictions that piled up to make product out of the property (again)).

          Apart from the general fact that copyright law around the globe has almost nothing to do with protecting artists (or others who create things, like programmers) anymore (say hi to all those nifty buy-out contracts). But hey, it at least protects the interests of some big companies and their friends, so it can’t be all bad. (For people with a defective sarcasm detector: please have it repaired and reread the previous sentence.) Anyway, I fail to see, why the licensing deal going on behind the scenes should be fishy, or at least more fishy than most of them are.

  8. April 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    Hey everyone, we’re really glad you’re excited about the game and appreciate you taking the time to give feedback.Let’s play nice though – we promise we don’t have a grudge against any operating systems! (Except Windows ME).

    A couple things:

    Regarding our radio silence yesterday, we simply had to take the holiday weekend off to be with family. In addition to this Kickstarter campaign, we’re crunching VERY hard to get our other game out the door this month. So bear with us! We’re absolutely not the kind of people to “sign off” after business hours (as our families and significant others will readily attest).

    Anyway, we want to let you know that we’re definitely listening to your feedback and you can expect a full, considered response about Linux early this week. As a company, we are being very careful not to over-commit to ideas and features just to get more funding – everything we decide to include in Shadowurn Returns needs to be within our ability to deliver as part of a great product.

    We hope you understand and please keep the constructive feedback coming. We love how the community is coming together to support the Cause!

    • OllieB
      April 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      Hi Mike,

      glad to see one of the team here.
      As a win user, I am not directly affected with your decision not to do a linux version.
      Nonetheless I can understand (up to a certain point) the dissapointement of your linux-based backers out there.
      But apart from this problem / (misunderstanding?/misinterpretation of your announcement?), I just wanted to tell you and all of your team how much I appreciate your efforts to bring us a new Shadowrun game.

      I wish you all a happy easter weekend and my best wishes for the success of your project.

      • April 8, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

        Thanks for the support Ollie!

      • Drizzt
        April 9, 2012 at 2:39 am #

        As a win user, I am not directly affected with your decision not to do a linux version.

        I’d say most Linux users could just Wine, so they wouldn’t be blocked from playing the game. But that can only be a less-than-ideal solution. Especially when I consider that I invested in the company to make a certain game.

        Nonetheless I can understand (up to a certain point) the dissapointement of your linux-based backers out there.
        But apart from this problem / (misunderstanding?/misinterpretation of your announcement?), I just wanted to tell you and all of your team how much I appreciate your efforts to bring us a new Shadowrun game.

        That is the crux: There has been an FAQ entry (almost) from the beginning of the Kickstarter campaign on the campaign’s site talking about a possible Linux version (yes, that wasn’t definitive or a promise, but it didn’t say outright “no Linux version” either) and later that tentative first statement was emphasised (Linux support is definitely on the table too! (After all, who’d be a better Decker?)) which made many people very hopeful (at least that is how it was for me). And then the very next thing you read is, that a Linux version gets lumped together as an “additional feature” with PvP and co-op (the latter two are real features, the former is not really a feature IMHO) and won’t be considered. This in turn had the ring of “we promise many things to get more money and then do what we planned from the beginning, those few Linux lunatics won’t be a real issue” (not, saying this was the thought process, it just looks like it might have gone down this way; personally I still stand by, what I wrote earlier).

        • Puldoro
          April 9, 2012 at 7:59 am #

          True, they didn’t promise anything but I still feel like they should support Linux. First, I think developing for Linux will very much benefit stability and overall quality of the code. Second, I don’t think it’s that much more effort compared to a Mac-Version, in any case I doubt the content will suffer to a point anyone will miss something. Third, the experience and the skills learned, the tools for that known will sooner or later pay off. Last, in my opinion it’s like to be conform to a new etiquette for community sponsored projects. I mean the Humble Indie Bundle kind of started it and it went on like this on Kickstarter with DoubleFine Adventure and Multiplatform is simple the way to go nowadays.

          • Puldoro
            April 9, 2012 at 8:10 am #

            Oh, and about selling it….

            It might be true, that the market isn’t that big for Linux compared to Windows or Mac, so you might not sell that much copies BUT if you don’t support Linux than you won’t sell anything at all! I mean, with boxed games I somewhat can understand the decision to only go for the bigger market but with the Internet and digital downloads that argument is invalid, since you can reach a wider audience than ever before with little to no cost.

          • Drizzt
            April 9, 2012 at 11:32 am #

            [Replying to both of your comments.]

            While all your arguments are correct or at least not far off (coding for Linux and Mac OS is quite different, even though both are Unix descendants, coding for Linux and BSD would be much closer, at least if you code close to the system, if you use abstraction libraries like SDL (for games that are intended to fly on more than one platform and aren’t based on an already ported engine, sort of a must requirement IMHO; there are other options like ClanLib or Allegro, but those don’t support as many systems nor are they as battle-tested as SDL) and stay close to standard-compliant C(++) then there is not too much difference between any operating system and platform), I think most if not all of them hold almost no sway with somebody calling the shots in your average company. The only thing that really matters, is the bottomline.

            Again, I really think that the attached cost to porting this game to Linux if you keep cross-platform compatibility in mind from the outset, is minimal to negligible and you could earn quite a bit (just have a look at Oil Rush, where many have bought the game for Linux). Linux might not be the major market, but it is working for the Humble Bundles and other ports (Jagged Alliance 2, Neverwinter Nights, Unreal Tournament, etc.).

            At the end of the day I firmly believe, that doing a Linux port is viable and doable, especially when you collected 0.75 Mio. US-$ already. It might even drive the campaign further/again if you’d give an achievable goal like “when we hit 1.05 Mio. US-$ we’ll add Linux support” (I for one would pledge something too then). 1.05 Mio. because 1 Mio. is already set out and 50k should be enough to hire a dev for almost a month.


  9. April 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    I’m curious as to which extra city the community at large would want to see included in the game.

    I started an informal discussion on the topic here for you Redditors out there.

    • Drizzt
      April 9, 2012 at 11:37 am #

      I’d say something outside of the North American continent. Maybe even a stronghold of one of the metas. Some city in Tír na nÓg would sound cool to me. Or maybe a German city.

  10. docken
    April 10, 2012 at 3:48 am #

    My vote is Hong Kong – Dragon/Ley lines, Wuxing and Kowloon, to name a few things. Plus it would be a nice Eastern counterpoint to Seattle…though I do have a soft spot for Chicago!

    One thing I am crossing my fingers big time on no matter which city you choose; your ability to modernize that SNES Shadowrun score… that absolutely nailed the feel for me!

  11. Uuvv
    April 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Are you feeling the pressure?

    If you fail this game, nobody will ever buy anything from you again and neither sponsor you of course.

    You know what? I see you failing already and this while your funds are still rising.

    (read the comments on Kickstarter)

  12. docken
    April 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Hey Uuvv did you Goblinize recently, or have you always been a Troll?

  13. lu
    April 11, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    The news about the linux version is really disappointing.

    Would not the sole support of linux users which you are now losing, but gain if you went for the linux version, not fund the linux version in itself? Plus perhaps some more? You’re doing Mac version after all. There is very little difference to linux if you start with the right tools…

    Sounds to me like the only problem is a lack of a linux expert in your team, really… So is it not about time you hired one? :)

  14. April 11, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Everyone, please see our latest Kickstarter post concerning Linux. : )

  15. Spica2501
    April 13, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    If you add a second city to the game, all I ask is that it not be Chicago.

  16. BlackGauntlet
    April 19, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    Somewhere Oriental, definitely! You can’t have a game with Samurais and yet have no cities with Eastern influence!

    April 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    As a Windows User I am not really affected by the decision and I clearly get the idea of being aware of the problems which would come with an over-enthusiastic promise of a Linux-Version. Promising one thing and being unable to keep that promise is probably the worst thing a company can do to it’s fans. (I just point over to the Publisher with a big “E” and also a big “A” in it’s name)
    Yet a sluggish port would also be something that nobody would like. Not only it would add several problems, it would also cost quite a lot of dosh to keep up the support and deliver additional patches. So I somewhat welcome the careful way you guys want to keep.

    Aside from that, I donated as well, because I really like the idea. I’ve never played a single Shadowrun game, neither Pen and Paper nor videogame – unfortunately – but I recently rediscovered the really old games like ULTIMA or Realms of Arkania. And I don’t know if it’s just for the fact that I’m getting old (yeah, like 23 would be that old, lol), but I really like them. They’re so much deeper than any game could bring me these days. I don’t even like most of them, everything ends within 8 hours of playing on a moderate difficulty and than that’s it. And I’m sick of such games, therefore I like this editor-thing you guys mentioned. THAT would really make things way more interesting. Yet it would probably be even cooler to add own environments as well, but I haven’t read much about that point yet, so I can’t really tell before I’ve seen it.

    So, keep up the work and continue to inform us.

    (If you guys include an urban area, fine – I’d go for something oriental as well)