Latest News

DRM-Free Shadowrun Returns Now Available To All!

HBS is happy to announce that as of today, Shadowrun Returns is now available for Windows and Mac on!

And please let all your friends know they can purchase the game at the special release price of $11.99 through tomorrow, 12/11/2013. Here’s the link:

The DRM-free version of the game will continue to be fully supported and you’ll be able to download all game patches, use the Shadowrun Returns editor and experience user-generated content downloaded from third-party sites such as Nexus. If you are a Kickstarter Backer or pre-ordered the game, we are happy to send you a GOG key if you contact us at

We are also pleased to let our Linux-loving fans know that they’ll soon be able to access the game through the Humble Store. We’ll let you know about it as soon as possible.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall, the expansion for Shadowrun Returns, will also be available on GOG and the Humble Store when it’s released in January.

Spanish, French and Italian are in Beta!

We’re excited to be so close to releasing the final localized versions of Shadowrun Returns in Spanish, French and Italian but we need your help!

If you speak any of those languages, we’d love it if you’d help us Beta test the translations. This link will take you to directions on how to download the Beta version of the game and share your suggestions for better translations with us.

We want to turn this around quickly so we need your feedback by Sunday, December 8.

Thanks for your help!


Shadowrun: Dragonfall

Hey All!

We’re excited to announce the title of the new Berlin expansion, Shadowrun: Dragonfall. Check out all the details as well as the game’s logo and a cool new illustration to go with it below!


BERLIN. The Flux-State: a stable anarchy enforced by an ever-shifting coalition of megacorps, political factions, and savvy power players. A place where almost anything goes and the right connections can be the difference between success and starvation. Dangerous jobs abound and there’s no better place to earn a quick payday – provided you live long enough to spend it. For you and your team of battle-scarred runners, it’s just another day in the Free City of Berlin.

But a new threat is rising, one that could mean untold chaos and devastation. The only clue: whispers of the DRAGONFALL, a long-forgotten event from the earliest days of the Awakened world. As you find yourself drawn into a maze of veiled dangers and strange machinations, you will come face-to-face with a grim spectre of the past… and alter the course of Berlin’s future.



  • Experience a New Full-Length Campaign: Return to the “Tech meets Magic” future of Shadowrun as you and your team of runners get drawn into a treacherous conspiracy. Operating out of an offbeat central hub neighborhood, you’ll choose which missions to accept and how you’ll approach them while navigating the dark underbelly of “the Flux”.
  • An Exciting New Locale: Shadowrun: Dragonfall transports runners to the Free City of Berlin, a thrilling Shadowrun setting full of gorgeous new hi-res environments, a diverse new cast of characters, and a new soundtrack by the composer of the original Sega Genesis Shadowrun game, Sam Powell.
  • Command Your Team: Lead a small team of shadowrunners, each with their own outlook and backstory. Each member of your team is designed to play an interesting role during missions and has a unique set of skills, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • New Weapons, Cyberware, Enemies & More: Try your hand at the long-range sniper rifle, devastating grenade launcher, or stun-inducing taser. Chrome yourself out in the latest cyberware and take on deadly new enemies – including new magical creatures like gargoyles and fire drakes. Dragonfall brings a host of new items, characters, portraits, and improvements to the Shadowrun Returns experience.
  • Save Anywhere: You can save your progress at any time during the game. This functionality will also be added to the original Shadowrun Returns “Dead Man’s Switch” campaign.
  • New Game Editor Features: A wide range of enhancements to the game editor for community content creators – including a scripting system to better control lighting, tracking mission objectives in the main game UI, placing exploding barrels, and allowing players to input keypad passwords and custom text strings in conversations. In addition, content creators will be able to use all of the new Berlin environment art, items and characters in their own stories along with assets from the original Shadowrun Returns campaign.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall will be released January 2014 for Windows, OSX, and Linux and will be free to Backers who will get the same number of Steam keys received for the original game via our Backer website.  (Details about getting the DRM-free version will come in a future update.)

Dragonfall will launch at $14.99 and we’ll also release the Shadowrun Campaign Pack on the same day. The campaign pack contains the original game and the Dragonfall expansion in one package for only $24.99. We think it’s a great way to get new players into Shadowrun.

And finally, here’s a new wallpaper for y’all. We can’t wait to show you more Dragonfallover the next two months!

Talk to you soon,


Dragonfall Wallpaper 1920x1200 (Click for full-size image)

Dragonfall Wallpaper 1920×1200 (Click for full-size image)

Shadowrun: Dragonfall Wallpaper 16:10 | 1920×1200 | 1680×1050 | 1440×900 | 1280×800

Shadowrun: Dragonfall Wallpaper 16:9 | 1920×1080 | 1600×900 | 1366×768 | 1280×720

Shadowrun: Dragonfall Wallpaper 4:3 | 1600×1200 | 1024×768


Patch 1.0.9 is Live

Just a quick note to announce that patch 1.0.9 for iOS is live! This patch contains memory and load time improvements for issues connected to iOS 7 and should greatly reduce mid-scenes crashes as well as crashes in general.

DRM’s End

Hey Everyone!

We just want to send out a quick update to share some good news. Thanks to a new agreement we were able to negotiate with our partners at Microsoft, Harebrained Schemes is pleased to announce that we are now able to release fully DRM-free versions of Shadowrun Returns and future expansions such as Berlin.

The DRM-free versions of SRR and Berlin will continue to be fully supported. You’ll be able to download all game patches, use the Shadowrun Returns editor and experience user-generated content downloaded from third-party sites such as Nexus.

We’re starting work to get Shadowrun Returns available on right now – not sure how long that will take but we’ll let you know as soon as we have an answer.

We’re very excited we’re finally able to offer Shadowrun DRM-free to everyone and look forward to making it available!

Take care,  HBS

Linux Time!

We’re pleased to announced that the Linux version of Shadowrun Returns is now available on Steam and in the Download section of your HBS account (which you’ll find here). From this point on, Linux will receive updates at the same time as the Windows and OSX versions of the game. Thanks to all the Linux Beta Testers for their feedback. Much appreciated!

In addition to Linux support, version 1.1 of Shadowrun Returns has moved from Beta to release and the game will automatically update the next time you launch it on Steam. As mentioned in our last update, we also added quite a few new editor features in this release in anticipation of the Berlin campaign. You can find the entire change log here. Our next big code update will feature expanded save game functionality.

In other news, we are doing the final passes on the French, Italian and Spanish versions of the game which will be ready for release in the next few weeks. We anticipate the German and Russian translations to be delivered from our translators in November, and after we do a little in-house testing we will release those as well.

For GMs using the editor to create their own Shadowruns, we’re working on some new tutorial videos for you. We’ll put them up on our YouTube channel in the next couple of weeks.

And while we’re talking about the editor, Jordan and Mitch’s Let’s Play #3: Razor’s Edge by Obsidian_Razor is up on our YouTube channel now. You can grab some popcorn to watch the full version or take a look at the Highlights Reel. We’re very excited about the cool content you’re creating and the boys look forward to playing more of it! And remember, if you subscribe to the channel, you’ll automatically get mail to let you know when a new Let’s Play or tutorial is released.

Onward to Berlin!



Patch 1.1 and Linux now in Beta!


We thought we’d pop our heads up for just a bit and let you guys know about the latest developments for Shadowrun Returns. The big news today is about Patch 1.1, which has two major parts: early access to the code improvements that we are putting in Berlin and the initial release of the Linux version of both the game and editor!

Beta Process

Beta Process: We’re doing things a bit differently than the previous patches we’ve released. We’ve pushed a version up to Steam in a special opt-in “public beta” channel before releasing it to the general public. We will be monitoring this build and the forums closely for any bugs or issues that people may encounter, and if things go smoothly, we expect to promote it to the main release after a week or two.

So if you’re interested in helping the community by reporting bugs, or just need to play with the new toys right away, you’ll want to head over to the Steam forums to learn how to join the Beta and help out. If you’d rather wait for the main release, that’s fine, too!

Just a quick note here: we do not plan on providing DRM free versions of Beta builds during this process. We will of course be putting up final builds in the Backer site when the patch is ready for prime time, but while we work through any last minute issues, Steam will be the only place to get the bleeding-edge (possibly slightly buggy) version of Shadowrun Returns.


Patch 1.1 will see the Linux port of Shadowrun Returns sit alongside its Mac and PC brethren as a first class citizen at last. We now have a couple of Linux machines in house, and have been busy ironing out the major kinks internally as fast as we could. We know a lot of you have been waiting patiently for this bad boy, and after we give it a bit of time to cool off in the Beta period (again, the Beta is only available through Steam), we’ll be pushing it live with the rest of the 1.1 goodness. From that point forward, it will receive updates on the same schedule as the Windows and OSX versions.

New UGC Goodies

There are also quite a few new features that come along with the 1.1 patch. We highlight a few in this update, but the full change log can be found here.

Physical Adepts: Chi abilities have been changed to provide passive benefits. They can be “activated” as before to get the full benefit. Physical Adepts now should be able to use Roundhouse Kick and Disarm while Killing Hands is active.

Text & Numpad Input in Conversation: Want to setup a keycode-accessible safe? Or password protect a data terminal? Now you can with these versatile new conversation input options. We’re already having fun with this feature in the Berlin campaign and we’re sure you’ll come up with many great uses for it too.


Light Scripts: We’ve seen a lot of clever tricks people are doing with triggers for lights. In order to make that a lot less painful (and even more powerful), we’ve introduced a small scripting language to control the fading and animation of light colors. That discotheque can now come alive like never before! Check out the wiki page for more info:

Objectives UI Labels: These are on screen elements that allow you to give players feedback toward intra-scene goals. For example: “Bombs to defuse: 2 of 5”. We figured these might come in handy. Again, check out the wiki for more info:


Triggers for Items: We’ve added trigger events for when players use items. This actually winds up being super useful for making a lot of creative and reactive levels. We’ve got our own nefarious plots for this particular feature, but we’re curious what you guys can do with it.

Visible Trigger Regions: You can make trigger regions visible in game now (with a color of your choice!). Sometimes it’s easier to “Get to tha’ choppa’!” if you know where the heck to go. Now you can!


Other Updates of Note

Shadowrun Returns Let’s Play #3: Jordan and Mitch recently had a blast getting their butts kicked in Silver Angel by Nao. If you missed it, check out the video. Perhaps you can do a better job than they did.

We’re pleased to announce that we have cued up the next Let’s Play which will be will be Razor’s Edge by Obsidian_Razor.  We’ll be  working with him to polish up his mission over the next week or so. Please play through it and send him your feedback. The community has been awesome at supporting SRR Game Masters to make their stories great.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the HBS YouTube Channel if you want to receive notification when a Let’s Play goes live.

Save Game Improvements: We’re happy to report that progress is still being made on the improvements to our saved game system. The code architecture is now in place and we are working through all the extra logic required to save the myriad game states that already exist within the code base. As soon as the feature is complete and fully tested, we’ll release it for Dead Man’s Switch but we don’t want to rush something this complex. We definitely plan to have it fully implemented in time for the Berlin release.

Physical Goods: Most of you have already received your Backer rewards, but there are still a few packages still in transit. The final shipments should head out the door by the end of next week — BUT if you have never provided us with your shipping address, then we don’t know where to send your stuff! Brian in the office here has been drawing up sketches for the fort he plans to build out of leftover Anthology hard-cover books — but we’d much rather mail them out to you! Please contact us at if you know you have never given us your shipping info.

That’s it for now!

As always, much love from everyone here at HBS!

Tablets Away!!


Hey, Everyone!

When Jordan created the original world of Shadowrun, he didn’t predict that people would one day interact with that world on touch-screen computers more powerful than the one that took us to the moon. It is extremely gratifying that the enthusiasm for this game setting has stood the test of time and that we are now able to deliver it on mobile devices to a new generation of gamers.

The iOS and Android tablet versions of Shadowrun Returns are NOW available in the Apple and Google Play stores for $9.99. The tablet versions don’t include the editor and will not contain access to community created content but we do plan to bundle the best community content and release it on tablets at some point in the future.

As we’ve said before, we know most paid marketing efforts are kind of useless. Most of us rely on the opinions of people we trust to help us figure out what we want to play next. So please help get the word out that the iOS and Android versions are available by sharing the links below, along with some Shadowrun love.


Google Play: 

And here’s the new Facebook cover photo for you.

Welcome to the Sprawl, Touch-screener!


Dev Diary – State of Berlin

Hi guys! Mike McCain here – I’m the art director for SRR, and now I’m heading up creative development of the Berlin campaign so I wanted to give everyone an update on where we’re at and where we’re going.

Story: We’ve completed a first draft of our story for the Berlin campaign. There’s still plenty to refine and iterate on but we’re all excited about where it’s heading and agree that the “bones” of it are solid. Without venturing into spoiler territory, it has a lot of fun Shadowrun elements and really plays to the strengths of the Berlin setting – the anarchist Flux state, the many varied factions and ideological viewpoints present in Berlin, and the sense of teeming opportunity for the savvy Shadowrunner. Berlin is a new standalone campaign, not a sequel to Dead Man’s Switch. As such, you’ll start the campaign with a new character. The player is cast as a more seasoned runner this time around, who’s recently relocated to Berlin. You’re running with a small crew which you’ll get to know well as the game progresses.

One thing we’re particularly excited about is developing the player’s home base neighborhood, which we’re currently calling the Haven. In 2054, Berlin exists as a fully neo-anarchist state – it’s not a crazy, lawless frontier, but rather a grand experiment in self-governance and emergent social order. Neighborhoods in Berlin become their own entities, with small communities banding together and often operating completely independently of the rest of the city. These neighborhoods organize their own protection and resources, sometimes even to the extent of walling off the entire block. Technology (and the electricity to use it) isn’t always available, and some parts of the city have fallen back to older patterns of living. We’re focusing on one such neighborhood for the player. Not only do you have a home base in this area, but you can explore and meet people in the surrounding neighborhood – meet a contact at the cafe down the street, or head to that back-alley street doc for some new meds or cyber. While developing this Haven area, I’ve been working with the Shadowrun pen-and-paper team in Germany to make sure we construct a slice of Berlin that’s accurate to the spirit of the campaign setting.

The main campaign of the game will allow you to complete certain missions in the order you choose, and will present you with some different ways to tackle those missions as well as some optional side objectives. To be clear though, Berlin is not a sandbox environment or an open-world experience. What we are working to create is a more flexible story structure and an engaging “hub area” that will give the player some choices and a sense of place and purpose.

Design: For the last few weeks, Trevor and Kevin (our designers who did the bulk of the level design for the Seattle campaign) have been prototyping a variety of gameplay ideas for missions. We want to create meaningful choices for the player within scenes. As an example, Kevin’s working on a run against a corporate facility with several possible ways for the player to gain entry depending on their party’s skillset. The choice of approach isn’t always clear cut, however – one path may allow the player to slip in undetected but at the expense of some innocents. We’re also working on some more unique non-combat elements – the other day Trevor created a dog character in the Haven area that you can interact with and get to follow you around.

Also, this week we welcome two new members to our design team, Simon and Andrew, who complete the team for Berlin. (Simon’s our new level designer and Andrew’s our new writer.) It was really fun recruiting for both of these positions, as Mitch and I got to play everyone’s audition levels which showed off a lot of fun, creative ideas. In fact, Andrew wrote a sample NPC character for his audition that we now plan to use in the game. When these guys showed up on Monday, we actually wound up re-arranging the office a bit so that now the design team has a dedicated space right next to the Berlin art team. This should allow for more fluid iteration on scenes between designers and environment artists.

Art: Berlin’s a really exciting environment to explore visually – the concept of the Flux State creates a ton of opportunities for unique visual elements. The environment team’s already put together a great European museum interior set and is now hard at work developing our Haven area. It’s fun to think about how a neighborhood would become self-sustaining – the residents of this place have to have their own shared arrangements for power, food, communications… this district is independent from the outside. This means, for example, rooftop gardens and a central growing area with hydroponics technology allowing a high yield of crops from a relatively small area; solar panels plastered across buildings; a cafe at the end of the block which has become the community’s informal gathering place; jury-rigged street lighting along the main strip of the area; and a ruined, fenced-off building which has since become an agreed-upon dump location for unwanted items.


A sample of some visual development work for Berlin’s Haven area.

Berlin will come with several new tilesets, which will also mix and match well with the core game’s tilesets to create a lot of variety and opportunities. Our top priorities for Berlin environments are: 1. fully realizing the Haven area as a vibrant, dynamic community, 2. Creating a great European corporate office tileset (for all of our classic office-incursion shadowrunning needs), and 3. building a satisfying final-mission environment (which I can’t say more about without spoilers…). In addition, we have a cool industrial factory environment set underway and a couple of our environment artists have put together a great new set of Berlin advertisements, signs and graffiti.

We’re also working on other types of enemies and creatures for the game. So far we have some cool new supernatural creatures (such as a Fire Drake) and some new private security forces for you to contend with – Knight Errant. Berlin will also include some new player portraits, outfits, and Germanic totem choices for shamans.

Systems: In between their work on the other big-ticket dev tasks, the engineering team’s been able to complete some fun new features for us to use in Berlin. We now have the ability to display important mission data directly in the game’s UI. This makes it easy for us to communicate custom mission objectives (For example, the number of rounds before reinforcements arrive, # power junctions remaining, etc.) Another cool new toy is… exploding barrels! Because… video games. (Actually, our engineers went above and beyond with this feature and now we can make any actor explode with any type of effect or damage, and even leave behind damage-over-time effects on the tiles in the area.)

Another thing we’re excited to add in this new campaign is some more weapon variety. So far we have a grenade launcher, sniper rifle, throwing weapons, and even a taser going in. There may be one or two other fun weapons that find their way in as well…

What’s Next: This week we’re shifting from pre-production to production. I’ll be finalizing our story with the design team, along with Jordan and Mitch, to make sure we’re constructing this campaign on a strong foundation. We’ve flowed out a schedule from now until the end of the year so that we can budget our production time appropriately. The environment team is moving from concept art to full tileset production on our Haven location. Our story is being broken out into discrete mission outlines, with each designer taking the lead on a set of missions. Kevin’s created a great “mission doc” template that we’ll use not only to document a clear set of goals for each mission, but also to track feedback and important hotspots for our test team to pay attention to. Our next milestone as a team is to construct a full first-playable of our Haven neighborhood, with the player able to explore the area, talk with the locals, buy equipment, and maybe complete a small side objective or two – then return to their base to get to know their team. This will establish a strong template for both the Haven location and the characters in it that we can build the rest of the experience on.

So that’s where we’re at! If you have any questions about Berlin, I’ll be stopping by the HBS Dev Q&A section of the forum as time allows – starting next week – so feel free to leave questions there for me (please put [Berlin] at the front of your thread title).

Until next time!


And… some other quick updates:

Kickstarter Rewards: Many of you have already received your dogtags and t-shirts in the mail but those of you who backed at higher levels were still waiting. Not for much longer though! We have finally received the hardcover Anthologies from our printer and have already started to ship them out.

Tablet Releases: The iOS version of Shadowrun Returns is complete and has been submitted to Apple certification. It’s hard to predict certification times but we’ll keep you posted. The Android version of the game is nearly complete and should be ready for release at the same time as the iOS version.

The Next Patch: We’re looking to release the next patch for Shadowrun Returns sometime in early October, and it will include a number of the new code and editor features mentioned in the Berlin update above (like custom mission objectives) so you can start using them in your stories before Berlin is even released! It will also include the usual bug fixes and improvements.

Linux Release: The next patch (again due in early October) will also include the Linux Beta versions of both the game and the editor. If you’re a Linux user, we’d love to get your help testing when it comes out!

Improved Save Games: Our intrepid engineers are hacking away at improving our save game functionality in an experimental branch of the code. We still can’t commit to such a major architectural change or to how long it would take to complete but we are diligently working on it, so please stay tuned.

Localization: We’ve pulled all text from the game and sent it to our localization partners, who are currently translating the game into French, Italian, German and Spanish. We should receive translated text back at the end of the month, after which it will require some heavy integration work into the game. We anticipate this work being completed in late October / early November. We’re also working on Russian and Chinese translations of the game, though we don’t have a timeframe for those yet.

And finally…


The Golem Arcana team has launched their Kickstarter funding campaign and it’s off to a great start – check it out, and tell your friends about it!

The Golem Arcana Kickstarter is LIVE!

We’re very excited to announce that our Kickstarter for Golem Arcana, the next generation of tabletop miniatures games, went live TODAY!  You can check it out HERE.


As we mentioned back in July, most of the Harebrained team continues to focus their efforts on fulfilling our commitments to Shadowrun Returns (more on that soon!), but a small group has been working on our new harebrained scheme – Golem Arcana. This game brings together Harebrained Schemes two passions – digital video games and tabletop games.

Golem Arcana is a digitally-enhanced miniatures board game that eases play with a free app that can be downloaded to iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. The app serves as the game’s rule book and referee all in one. Plus, the figures come pre-painted and assembled. We’re hoping that this game will take down some of the barriers that keep people playing tabletop miniatures games and get people playing around a table with their friends again.

In August and September, we brought the working prototype of the game to both GenCon and PAX where we were able to demo Golem Arcana for over 600 people. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

Now, we are bringing Golem Arcana to Kickstarter. There’s tons of information on the Kickstarter page including images of the Golem miniatures, concept art by Kekai Kotaki, a gameplay mechanics video, testimonials from people who have played the game and, of course, early bird specials.

Thanks for checking  it out and don’t forget to share it with friends who would also enjoy the game!

Jordan and HBS