Shadowrun Returns Q&A with Jordan and Mitch

And voila: our Mitch and Jordan SRR Q&A! As most of you know, Mitch and Jordan had no idea what they were going to be asked, so all their answers are deliciously raw. But as far as those answers go, you know the drill: everything’s a work in progress, ideas are subject to change, some ideas in the video just burst up on the spot—all that jazz. Basically, the video’s totally honest, but honest for what’s true right now. As with all game development, we have to balance what’s cool versus time and money. And some of our ideas just don’t come out the way we imagine them. But hey, we hope this video will show that we’re not only listening to your questions and suggestions, but also that we appreciate them. Having such an enthusiastic crowd supporting our work is pretty much the best. We look forward to reading your comments, debates and constructive suggestions. Thanks again for everything!

48 Responses to “Shadowrun Returns Q&A with Jordan and Mitch”

  1. Masque
    July 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Excellent work guys! Loved the frankness and honesty here. Very transparent and hell, I missed your videos! You’re inspiring and seeing your passion for the game and material is great.

    • Masque
      July 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

      Got to the Matrix part. You know, I was one of the first people actively engaged in the Matrix conversations and I wasn’t a fan of the overlay system as I figured we’d see Deckers as a half assed support ‘door opener’, but you guys clearing it up has really gotten me on-board for the overlay. Thanks for that.

      • Beckett
        July 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

        Agreed, I was also very worried at first because it sounded like Decking was just going to be “plug in at point X and the doors open, plug in at point Y and the cameras get shut off.” But the clarification they gave here allays my fears significantly, it sounds like there actually is going to be more to it than that. They mentioned combat with ICE and so forth so while it may not be AS deep as the Genesis mini game it also doesn’t sound like it’s an automatic “plug in and it happens” either which seems like a fair compromise.

  2. Mister Bright
    July 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    I love you guys…

    CANNOT WAIT for the game to come out…

    Keep up the great work…

  3. Stella
    July 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    I REALLY appreciate the females question. Soooo many game developers never have to answer that question, they never have to even think it through so they go off into a cul-de-sac of hyper-sexed super-exoticized unrealistic women.

    My best tip comes from my college film professors: always consider the characters inner life. Does she have motivations and desires that exist outside of a man’s interests. If so, she’s a character, if not, she’s an object. Just demonstrate that she has independent motivation.

    Thank you all for making this game, I really look forward to it!

  4. sabin1981
    July 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Oh HELL yeah! Thanks guys, I’m beyond hyped for this… if someone said to me “What do you prefer out of Shadowrun and Dragonlance” – I’d say “Shadowrun and I hate you for making me choose, now slot off chummer” XD

  5. WarFalci
    July 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Hey, that was fun! 😀 Could you add some closed captions to the next ones? It would help guys like me understand it that little bit more (and don’t forget subtitles in the game either!).

    Also, how about some short story writing contest between backers or forum members? I’d love to write something to take part of it! :)

    Regarding the world layer scheme, I get a bit worried that I’ll have to spend a large part of the game constantly switching views so that I can check all that a scene has. Adding some tips to change views in specific places would be great.

    • Beckett
      July 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

      Pretty sure they’ve said in the past that this game is not going to be voiced, so… you’re in luck, subtitles will be the default (and only) option!

  6. B.
    July 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Awesome, thanks a lot!

  7. July 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    WarFalci, a short story writing contest is a fantastic idea. I’ll get on that ASAP. Thanks so much for suggesting it!

    • Masque
      July 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

      This. This right here is a great chance and reason to write a story in the Shadowrun world. I’ll be all over this.

  8. Varuna
    July 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Thank your for your time and answers. I am really, really looking forward to the release. It is gratifying to see the honesty and thought behind the answers you gave plus the passion and love you have for this world gives me (and I’m sure everyone else) alot of confidence that this is going to be done right!


  9. rekzkarz
    July 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Cool video!
    You skipped my posted question (re: timing w/Deckers & shaman/mages) but I infer some of the answer based on the turn-based & the expl of Deckers.
    Missed the art mentioned in the video.
    Good stuff, sounds exciting!
    Glad I’m a backer…!

  10. OneSchott
    July 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    So fraggin pumped for this. THANK YOU! for not rushing this thing. As far as I’m concerned you guys can take as long as you want. Thanks for answering my questions about the matrix! Feel much better about the direction it is going and feel even better that you guys want a matrix as cool and worthy as I do. This is going to be great!

  11. Thorstein
    July 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Sounds perfect. I love the answer to the matrix question (and to mine own!). That sounds great! The overlay, still doing some hacking, ICE, Can’t wait. And I hope it is great and does well so that we may see sequels!

  12. NeonSamurai
    July 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Keep up the Great work. . .

    Great Video also, and stay in Contact with the Community.

    Rock on !!!

  13. Surloch
    July 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    Excellent, met my expectations and beyond. Can’t wait to see some of the assets that are coming soon (art etc) as mentioned in the Q&A. Also, great to see a Princess Bride reference in there lol.

  14. Egon
    July 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    I would agree that you would want to stop before Big D’s death. Big D’s last will makes a better starting point for a sequel then an ending. (Big D’s will has to be the best GM plot tool ever printed)

    I have always liked the issues of racism dealt with in the Meta Human Rights argument. It deals with a real hot button issue in a fictional way. No one questions that humans (as a whole) would discriminant against Orcs/Trolls, but as you run with your mixed race group and deal with Trolls and Orcs social problems you get a bit of enlightenment.

    There is also the human on human racism which seems greatly reduce. A black man with a white girl seems a lot less shocking when when they are standing next to an Troll/Human couple. Just that idea the racism will shift based on available targets.

    When its common to replace an arm, leg, eyes … whats a little cosmetic surgery at the mall? The CyberPunk genre normal draws a real clear line between physical attractiveness and sexy on the inside. When physical attractiveness is cheap and easy its devalued in away.

    Ya, no classes…

    Body swap is bleeding edge in 2070s. I wouldn’t think it would be common for some time, 2080s maybe.

  15. ryan
    July 9, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    How much of this game is turn base and how much of it is like free roaming. I just hope this isn’t going to be like a magic card game type of game. Was a big fan of the snes and hope for something like that. Also would be cool to bring back that same music or have the option to select it. Good luck and the art work looks good.

  16. Sean McDonough
    July 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Thanks for taking the time to give us an update. Personally, I expected the January 2013 RTM date to go out the window. I work for an ISV myself (previously as a product manager), and given what you guys have to do, the timeline seemed way too aggressive.

    On the topic of a beta: understanding that you’re probably constrained with regard to QA resources, I’m sure you could rope the community in to help if you so chose. I, for one, would be happy to sign an NDA and put the tools + engine through the paces. Set up someplace to file bug reports, and you could have your crowdsourced QA on the cheap …

    Regardless, please keep the updates coming. My friends and I are very happy that we backed the project, and we love what you’re doing. Each time you share your vision and progress against the ultimate deliverable, it gives us a small boost and another trip down memory lane to playing SR in college back in the early ’90s. It means an awful lot to us.

    Oh, and as far as “when” you set the game: we love that you’re choosing the SR/SR2-ish time frame. Those were the best years (IMHO) :-)

  17. West316
    July 9, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    I am a bit disappointed about the matrix. My first Shadowrun experience was the Genesis version. I would spend hours in there just stealing data for fun. Other than that, it sounds good. I really like this answer format. It is heartening to see a real Shadowrun game being made again. I can’t wait to play it. I also don’t mind the delays due to change in it’s
    scope, though.

  18. Dr. Curiosity
    July 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Relaxin, new from the creators of NERPS! :-)

  19. Rartemass
    July 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    I would love to have the timelime start before Dunkelzhan’s death, but part way through the story the dragon dies. This way we get to experience the fallout of his Will.

  20. Vict0r_Cr4ne
    July 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    I’v been missing your videos, thanks for being awesome =)

  21. Dan
    July 9, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Please dont screw this up. Please! Please please please!

  22. FCL
    July 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    I am 100% with you guys on your ideas and concepts for the game so far. I loved the SNES Shadowrun game for it’s atmosphere, music, storyline and it’s conversation engine, and to me it’s just awesome that you seem to be seeing things the same way. I am thrilled that you hired the original composers of the original games and that you are adamant on setting the game in the 50’s. I understand the limits you have to deal with and the Matrix overlay system sounds excellent. I am all pro for focusing on a good storyline and good gameplay vs sinking large sums of time and money trying to make a larger sandbox type of game (which also has the unfortunate tendency to divert from the storytelling in general).

    In other words, I could not have wished for a better game than what you guys are planning to deliver and this is making me so happy.

    Keep up the great work and thanks for the Q&A!

  23. Simonious
    July 9, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    I’m always excited when I see a new release from you guys in my inbox, it’s a special treat.

    Like many above, I’m not hung up on the release date. Keep the updates coming and don’t be afraid to add a few things in here and there.

  24. Jake Armitage
    July 10, 2012 at 1:50 am #

    Great interview guys! You had me laughing in some parts lol. A lot of valuable information was given and I hope that you can do this again for us in a couple months…hint…hint

  25. pesco
    July 10, 2012 at 2:25 am #

    WRT the story arc, what I’d like to see would be parts where the “quest” sequence kind of drops and only reappears later while you’re doing something (seemingly) unrelated. So the game won’t hold you by the hand all the time like it seems to have become common in modern RPGs.

    I’m not particularly fond of the auto-journal with a convenient list of quests and obvious hints where to go for the next step of each. It exposes too much of the narrative structure, if you know what I mean.

  26. KageRyuu
    July 10, 2012 at 4:17 am #

    I very much look forward to helping test this wonderful game.

  27. Andee
    July 10, 2012 at 4:36 am #

    Good stuff. I’m really excited for the possibilities of the games direction after watching this Q&A.

  28. Nuddy87
    July 10, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    Love love love the direction of this game. Count me in for BETA testing. Uh-maz-ing. Ps. I’m enjoying a Relaxin right now…aren’t you?

  29. Gravitas
    July 10, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    Wow, Super excited about the direction the game is taking. You guys mentioned that there are no Marketing team members, and it shows. Every update and all the information we’ve received has been uniquely genuine. I hope for all the success this game can have, and that maybe your style of creation and fan interaction will rub off on the gaming community as a whole. Thank You!

  30. Jax
    July 10, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    So I’m a mere 3 minutes into viewing the video right now. And Mitch? You just used a Princess Bride quote in context. You are now officially my favorite human being of ALL TIME! That’s my top movie of all time.

    • Jax
      July 10, 2012 at 11:11 am #

      And having watched the whole thing, I could totally hang with you guys. You know, if I didn’t have a full-time job, live outside Chicago, have a wife, kids, car payments, mortgage … you know, never mind. I think I’m starting to depress myself. As you were!

  31. EdgeMage
    July 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    I love the idea of a Cause/Effect Matrix system. In the P&P game we didn’t like a decker in the group because the Matrix interactions kept the rest of us waiting around. So we always had an NPC decker that the GM pre-rolled dives for so we saw the immediate effect when we reached the terminal. It was awesome to see how it played out and I would expect something similar from this system.

    Very cool and streamlined, imo.

  32. The_Arbitor
    July 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    Conversation system … Solution system …. could i rebuild my old Face charictor? (big grins)

  33. vecna00
    July 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    I like this video, I really do. I cannot wait for this game.

    My Troll Combat Mage wants in!

  34. McDougle
    July 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    “Which was muuuch smaller.”
    “Yes. Before our stretchgoals.”
    “And then you gave us mooore money.”
    *Jordan making that gesture with his fingers*

  35. OgreLXXV
    July 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Great Q&A. Thanks, guys. Every time I read an update, I get more excited for this thing to be done. Take your time and do it right, but know that we are chomping at the bit!

  36. Drizzt
    July 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    On the forum was a discussion about a central mission repository [0] for UG runs. And a suggestion there was to have Johnsons hand out these runs as “random” runs. That would be (IMHO) the best way to simulate a big and living world why also getting over the “need” for a random mission generator.



  37. Harvey Danger
    July 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    When did Jason Sudeikis start losing his hair?

  38. Felix
    July 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    +1 for the focus on story and conversation! That’s exactly the way to go!

  39. Dragon
    July 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    WOO our question was number 2 lol

    In all seriousness, extremely informative interview, and I know we all appreciate the honesty. We will stick with this the whole way as long as we arent misled.

  40. ChipBoundary
    July 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    I have literally never been so excited for any game, on any system, by any company, in my entire 27 years of life, as I am for Shadowrun Returns. I am absolutely thrilled with everything I have heard about this game and what it’s going to represent in the gaming community. This will be a milestone for the game industry, this will be the bar by which other games are measured.

    The quality and patience the entire Hairbrained Schemes team has shown through this entire process clearly shows the passion and intent that the game industry has been sorely lacking for well over a decade.

    I am proud to be a backer of this project and I will definitely be a backer of any future projects expanding upon this initial project, should there be any. This is human ingenuity and imagination at it’s finest. The da Vinci of the gaming industry, in my opinion, doesn’t quite cover the entire scope and magnitude of what is being created right now.

    Thank you Mitch and Jordan for everything your pouring into this project, it is a monumental undertaking for you guys and we are grateful for everything that you do. I anxiously look forward to the beta and release of Shadowrun Returns and I know you won’t let us down.

    P.S. Sally, thank you for getting this Q&A out to us. This is the kind of dedication Shadowrun Returns needs and demands.

  41. Sichr
    July 20, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Nice work guys. Well, for those not so good in spoken english, is it possible to publish some kind of text transcription of this interview?

  42. July 20, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Hey Sichr!
    That’s certainly possible. We’d be happy to do that. I’m sure that some of our hearing impaired fans would love that as well. I’ll get to work on that asap, and post a link here and on our other venues (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Thanks so much for drawing our attention to this!