Shadowrun Online Steps Into the Light

Shadowrun Online Steps Into the Light

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A new browser-based Shadowrun game is in the works with none other than original designer Jordan Weisman helping out with production.

It's been a few years since the last time we saw a Shadowrun videogame, that being the thoroughly mediocre Xbox 360/PC shooter that came out in 2007. Hopefully things will go a little better for Shadowrun Online, a browser-based online game currently in pre-production at Cliffhanger Productions. Full-on development is scheduled to start next month and Cliffhanger is doing its best to keep expectations reasonable.

"It will be a decent quality, but it won't be what some call AAA. The reason for that is simple: we are doing a browser based game," the studio explained in the first Shadowrun Online newsletter. "This means anyone can access it at any time from their PC, no downloading, no hassle. But that also means we need to limit visuals. I hope you agree that gameplay is king, so we think the visuals are decent enough."

Because it's so early in the process, the nature of the game is still very fluid, but it will be broken down into two major components: the action map, where missions will be carried out, and mission preparation, which will take place on an overview map of the city and involve using contacts, skills and resources to gain information about the upcoming job, bribe guards, prepare spells and so forth.

It's not much to go on but the presence of Jordan Weisman, who Eurogamer said is assisting with development, is bound to make fans happy. Weisman is the founder of RPG giant FASA and its videogame counterpart FASA Interactive, both now sadly defunct, and one of the principal designers of the original Shadowrun role-playing game. Microsoft licensed the rights to Shadowrun, along with the Mechwarrior and Crimson Skies properties, to Weisman's Smith & Tinker startup in 2007.

More information about the new Shadowrun game, including the unequivocal statement that "it is nothing like the Xbox game," can be found at "The Big Shadowrun Online Question/Answer Thread" on the Cliffhanger forums.

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Like me some Shadowrun. I've been hoping for a Shadowrun MMO style game for years. Great world for it too. Hope this turns out as fun as I'm now imagining it will be.

Roganzar:
Like me some Shadowrun. I've been hoping for a Shadowrun MMO style game for years. Great world for it too. Hope this turns out as fun as I'm now imagining it will be.

Ditto, i read this and got all happy. Granted browser based makes me a bit apprehensive but they certainly couldn't do worse than that 360 abomination.

Oh HELL YES.

Hmm, if Adam Jensen were a Shadowrun character, how much Essence would he have left?

Now, the big question is: Can my mage cast Mass Orgasm on a group of security guards as a means to get away?

Also, they allowing character gen by Karma points or just plain xp?

Gah.. sad that it will be a limited browser based game as opposed to a full featured client based MMO. Shadowrun really is perfect for that sort of thing just like The Matrix was before poor MxO was so poorly handled post launch (and launched before it was ready). Still, after reading through the Q&A, it does sound like this will at least be an interesting diversion. Heck, it's already sounding 10x better than the 360/PC game from a few years back.

When I seen the thread title, I thought I would need a grinectomy, but as soon as I seen it was going to be a browser game, I got a little iffy on it... Not due to the lack of visuals (I loves me some Roguelikes) It's just that browser games tend to suck, with the whole AP/Energy bull... But... I don't think it could be any worse then that intellectual abortion of a PC/360 game... So I remain cautiously optimistic.

SachielOne:
Oh HELL YES.

Hmm, if Adam Jensen were a Shadowrun character, how much Essence would he have left?

Lets see he was mainly a head and torso with some leg parts so I'd guess 0.35 remaining essense. Plus it was top of the line gear so more stuff for less Essense cost.

I kinda liked the shooter. I think fantasy and FPS should cross more often. Perhaps in a more polished game...

"it is nothing like the Xbox game"

A very important if not down right critical statement, because that game was dog shite on a broken plate force fed to you by a burly inmate.

I love that they are taking WebGL to the next level with some proper games, but I also fear this will make the game slip by the gaming community unnoticed.

I still have Shadowrun for the Genesis...

is this based on 4th Edition?

I used to have a shodowrun online site bookmarked back in the day but seemed the project in general was in limbo, think they went through 3 or 4 engine switches during the time i was peeking in.

Good to see it got somewhere, browser based or not hope its good.

Thedek:

Roganzar:
Like me some Shadowrun. I've been hoping for a Shadowrun MMO style game for years. Great world for it too. Hope this turns out as fun as I'm now imagining it will be.

Ditto, i read this and got all happy. Granted browser based makes me a bit apprehensive but they certainly couldn't do worse than that 360 abomination.

I dont know why people knock the 360 game.

Yea, it wasn't Shadowrun, but it was fun for a while.

OT: I hear browser based MMO, and then I am somehow reminded of Torn City or the numerious other Browser Based MMO's that use that exact same system.

Then I has a sad.

Hopefully though it ends up with graphics and a play style sort of like Runescape [NOT runescape, but how the player controls the character and such].

Kalezian:

I dont know why people knock the 360 game.

Yea, it wasn't Shadowrun

I'd say that's probably why they knock it. :)

It's the same as (though not quite as bad, IMO) as the new X-Com and Syndicate games. No one is saying that they are out and out bad games. Heck, they're not even out yet so absolutely no one is in a position to judge them in that regard at all. What fans of the license have issue with is how these games are a slap in the face to those who have followed the series for any length of time.

Interesting. Could be really good, could be horribly bad.

Anyway, what's Shadowrun without a bucket full of D6?

Yes, I love Shadowrun! Well, the world of Shadowrun. I never played the game and I understand it uses more dice then a Yahtzee Poker Dice Backgammon triathlon.

So I'll be on the lookout for this.

Great news. Now if only I could port my old pen and paper Orc Street Samurai, complete with Wasp helicopter, into the game.

Kalezian:

Thedek:

Roganzar:
Like me some Shadowrun. I've been hoping for a Shadowrun MMO style game for years. Great world for it too. Hope this turns out as fun as I'm now imagining it will be.

Ditto, i read this and got all happy. Granted browser based makes me a bit apprehensive but they certainly couldn't do worse than that 360 abomination.

I dont know why people knock the 360 game.

Yea, it wasn't Shadowrun, but it was fun for a while.

OT: I hear browser based MMO, and then I am somehow reminded of Torn City or the numerious other Browser Based MMO's that use that exact same system.

Then I has a sad.

Hopefully though it ends up with graphics and a play style sort of like Runescape [NOT runescape, but how the player controls the character and such].

Well if they basically decided to scale up the genesis version and don't get too big they might can do it. I dunno.

I'd try it regardless especially as a free to play micro transaction thing.

To be truthful I only started playing GTA games because I was hoping they'd be like shadowrun genesis, only in modern day with cars and no magic.

To this day the only real gta like game I haven beat is saint's row two as it doesn't get super hard and annoying like half way through.

Mafia 2 but I don't think it counts as it's linear as crap.

SachielOne:
Oh HELL YES.

Hmm, if Adam Jensen were a Shadowrun character, how much Essence would he have left?

Very fucking little.

a proper shadowrun game ABOUT DAMN TIME.. its been a wasted IP for years and now finally :D yay.

i wonder how they will go including riggers? drones maybe?

Wonder if this will be like that Neverwinter browser based game on facebook..

roll 42 d6's target number is 11

Shadowrun was an excellent game that flopped for two very stupid reasons: Vista only compatibility and a menu screen that looked like Halo's.

Pumpkin_Eater:
Shadowrun was an excellent game that flopped for two very stupid reasons: Vista only compatibility and a menu screen that looked like Halo's.

NO that shadowrun game flopped because microsoft took a beloved and great ip with a ton of depth and lore behind it and turned it into a bleeping fps game, to every perosn that ever played shadowrun it was slap in the face and sure sign that microsoft had no intention of doing ANYTHING with the SR IP that was worth anything.

So almost to fan noone bought that game for that very reason.

Oh and also at about the same time there was a small company working on a shadowrun mmo proof of concept on their own time and dime and they had a fully working engine and art assests made and even some working code, and microsoft strung them along until they hit them with a cease and desist order soon after they announced their sudden new "shadowrun" title.

And yea they copped a lot of the classes and blance of the game to make the fps they made and it probably was great and way different because it had so much rpg behind it draw from, but people were waiting for an rpg or a mmo to strip that all down to fps was an insult, especially since the xbox is console that a fps is a dime a dozen, wth did they have to turn a rpg franchise into another fps exactly in the first place?

JaredXE:
Now, the big question is: Can my mage cast Mass Orgasm on a group of security guards as a means to get away?

Also, they allowing character gen by Karma points or just plain xp?

I knew SOMEONE was gonna ask about that.

Still, I don't think this'll be all that long-lasting, for all the reasons that Shadowrun hasn't been intensely popular in the past.

Hoi Chummers!

I wanted to get this in before the rash of F2P comments really kick off today... I posted it as a reply elsewhere and realized it pretty much expresses what I want to share on the subject. I know it's tl;dr, but please skim it before raging against free to play *in this case*

Shadowrun Onlines's devs said this in their FAQ:

"Well simply put, the game will be free. As in: You don't have to pay anything to get it. The premium subscription allows you to have an easier time and is an option for players who want to spend less time grinding. It will not allow you to power buy into winning." They also pointed out "...the best items will always only be available as in-game rewards, loot etc. There will also be restrictions on using them, to prevent players from just stocking up their characters and waltzing in. You need a certain reputation or experience to get to the good stuff."

I'm pointing this out because...well... I hope you'll read on. I HATE/DESPISE/LOATH and am REPELLED by the freemium model so many games have used, but...

Free to play (or freemium) games have been changing lately. The original intention of them was to provide a full game experience to demo the capabilities of a game, while offering cool non-game-breaking incentives to customize a character, in-game home, or what have you to support the games development. You know, awesome but superficial premiums.

Unfortunately, a plethora of greedy bastards went and misguidedly abused the free to play model, and I totally agree that it has a bad reputation for a reason.

However, I've noticed that some developers recently, have taken the hint and focused once again on gameplay, in the hopes a good, free game will win us over, and interest us in paying for superficial extras. They also offer non-game-breaking boosts that help to reduce grinding, without powering up a character unfairly. This saves a lot of people time, who don't have the time to spend hours grinding, but still love to play games.

One such game is Strikefleet Omega from Harebrained Schemes. It's a fun, free game, that does allow you to purchase "Megabucks" to help cut down on time spent grinding for Megabucks, however, you can play through the entire game without spending any real money if you don't want to. It's a fun game, and the free to play model for it is done right, without screwing gamers. Note: Some people think the game isn't possible to complete without buying Megabucks. If you suck at a challenging game that many other gamers had a great time completing without spending a dime, then the problem is yours, not with the game or developer. Learn to strategize!

I wrote all that, because Shadowrun Online's devs, seem to be focusing on making an awesome game, with a free to play model that is returning to the right way to develop such games, so people really can enjoy them for free, and if they really like the game, have additional, superficial options they can pay for, to save a little time, and to customize their characters even more. This is not the freemium model we've all gotten used to, and I suggest reading their FAQ on the bottom of the main page before you bash 'em. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1964352341/shadowrun-online ^_^

 

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