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If you can't use Kickstarter, you can use PayPal! Go to http://harebrained-schemes.com/shadowrun/paypal  to back the project! 


Update #4: Where’s the Linux love?

It’s obvious that there are a lot of very passionate fans out there who are clamoring for Linux support, and we would love to be able to include everyone in Shadowrun Returns.

As we said over the weekend, we’re being very careful not to over-commit to ideas and features (especially just to get more funding).

When we added the Mac version of the game (thanks to your enthusiastic support), we did it because we have the necessary Mac experience in-house and our development environment already supports PC and Mac. We were confident that we could deliver without over-burdening the overall product.

Linux is a bit of a different story, however. While it’s true that we have a great environment for cross-platform development (how else could we target PC, Mac, iOS, AND Android!), it does not, at this time, include support for Linux. Because of this and because we needed to add Linux to our small studio’s skill-set, we felt that committing to a Linux version was unwise, so we (reluctantly) took it off the table.

Since that time, two important things have happened:

  • We reached out to members of the Linux community to better understand the scope and developmental risk that a Linux port would introduce.
  • Our partners at Zipline Games (the creators of our dev environment, Moai) have rearranged their development roadmap to support Shadowrun Returns and add Linux to their list of supported platforms.

So here’s the deal: We can now say with confidence that if we hit our $1M stretch goal, we will be able to partner with the right external developer, port Shadowrun Returns to Linux, and deliver it in a reasonable amount of time after the game is released.

We’ll also add it to the $15 reward level (alongside the PC/Mac versions). Now if you’re a Linux-only user, you’ll have to wait for your version, but from what you’ve told us, you’re willing to do that.

Thanks again for all the support, the constructive comments, and for your patience.



Update #3: Wow (again) and Stretch Goals

Let’s get this right out of the way—your extended backing has already enabledus 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 aLinux 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. 

Update #2: You did it! Holy cats!


Update #1: Whoa, Nelly!

Wow, that was incredible. 

From the bottom of our hearts, we'd like to say THANK YOU to everyone who has backed us so far. If we weren't working our butts off on our new game, we'd be dancing around the Closet (our tiny office) with tears of joy streaming down our faces. Instead, the team is heads-down at their computers, sniffling loudly and wiping their eyes with their shirt-sleeves.

To everyone asking about a Mac version of the game, we've been saying that if we hit the $425,000 level, we'd add it. Linux support is definitely on the table too! (After all, who'd be a better Decker?)

In Jordan's video update below, he talks about things we could add to the game if we hit higher funding milestones. We're working on clarifying those milestones and will have an update for you before the weekend (in Seattle). 

Let's keep this going! Do the Social Media Dance of Love:

  • Share the link to our Kickstarter page via Facebook, Google +, Twitter, Westeros Raven, whatever.
  • Like the Harebrained Schemes Facebook page and start talking.
  • Tweet and RT your love. Use #shadowrunreturns so we can all participate.

Thanks again.

HBS loves you!


Shoot Straight. Conserve Ammo. And Never Cut a Deal With A Dragon.

Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun, is back and Shadowrun Returns (for Apple & Android tablets and PCs) is the game that Shadowrun fans have been waiting for a long time. A graphically rich 2D turn-based single player game with deep story interaction, meaningful character development, and highly-contextual tactical combat, Shadowrun Returns is not only going to make some old geeks (like us) very happy but it will introduce new players to a dynamic gaming universe that is beloved around the world. 

Created almost 25 years ago, Shadowrun remains one of the most original and cherished role-playing settings. The game world’s origin story mashes-up the dystopian Cyberpunk future of a Blade Runner with the high fantasy creatures and races of a Lords of the Rings in an organic way that produces iconic characters, environments, and situations.

Here's how it works:

According to the Mayan Calendar (and lots of tabloids), the world will end on December 21, 2012. It’s part a 5,200 year cycle of death and rebirth that, in Shadowrun, actually charts the ebb and flow of magic from the Earth. So, on 12/21/12 magic will return, end this world, and wreak holy havoc while starting the next. Aboriginal cultures, who maintained their mystical traditions, are the first to feel the return of magic and use their newfound power to reshape the political, financial, and physical world around them.  As the magic increases, Elf and Dwarf babies are born to very surprised parents who carry the right combination of long-dormant genes. But all of these events pale in comparison to the horror of "goblinization", which painfully reshapes the teenage bodies of those unlucky enough to carry dominant Ork or Troll genes. And then the first Great Dragon rises from its 5,200 yearlong hibernation and circles over Tokyo, signaling that the world has truly AWAKENED.

Fast forward two generations, to a world transformed not only by the growth of magic but by the acceleration of cyber technology—a continual effort to improve upon the gifts that nature gave humanity; by the inevitable maturation of the World Wide Web into the Matrix—a network directly accessible by the human brain; and by the near elimination of governments as they are replaced megacorporations—monolithic entities who see only customers, not citizens.

And moving through the dark shadows cast by the gleaming towers of the corps, are Shadowrunners – disposable assets and corporate pawns scratching out a living using a combination of technology, magic, and street smarts. Shadowrunners live between the cracks and operate outside the law, doing the dirty work that corporate wage-slaves won’t soil their hands with and occasionally acting as the only protection the citizenry can turn to. 

Welcome to the world of Shadowrun, where man meets magic and machine.

There are a couple of key ideas at the core of Shadowrun Returns.

Deep, Interactive Stories 

We intend to follow a braided anthology structure for our story. Jordan, his partner Mitch Gitelman and Mike Mulvihill, who led Shadowrun game development at FASA Corp. will craft and structure the meta-story, then supply key information for a group of writers to weave into their own short stories, which we'll then use as the basis for our missions. To ensure an authentic tone, we'll incorporate the storytelling skills of many Shadowrun authors and designers who've been carrying the flame over the last 23 years such as:

  • Michael A. Stackpole
  • Mike Mulvihill
  • Tom Dowd
  • Malik Toms
  • Mel Odom
  • Jason Hardy
  • Stephen Kenson

The result should be an overall narrative that is layered, textured, and satisfying. 

One of the many innovations in Data East’s Shadowrun Super Nintendo game was a unique conversation engine that opened up new avenues of conversation based upon information you learned through interactions with characters and objects. We intend on taking a similar path with a new twist or two.

Contextual Gameplay in Four Realities

Four realities overlap in the world of Shadowrun (the Physical, the Digital, the Mystic, and the Astral) and associated character classes such as the Street Samurai, Hacker, Combat Mage, and Shaman, each have the ability to view and interact with the world in ways the others can’t.

Here are some ways that selecting each character type allows you to see the map from a different perspective:

  • Street Samurai see a threat assessment overlay of the environment that notes enemy appraisals, options for cover, potential weapons, and statistics for drawn weapons.
  • Combat Mages see magical auras, granting them the ability to locate magical items, identify spells being prepared, and find the intersections of magic lay lines where they can recharge their power.
  • Hackers/Deckers see the digital control circuitry that allows them to manipulate the physical world via the digital one.
  • Shaman see the “true world” that lies in the astral plane, distinguishing the true nature of people, plants, creatures, and magical objects while buildings and other “dead” objects appear as mere shadows.

Missions (aka "Runs") in Shadowrun Returns can require interaction with all four realities simultaneously, requiring you to use information learned from each character’s perspective to coordinate their context-sensitive actions to get the job done. . . and survive.

That’s why we decided to make Shadowrun Returns a turn-based game—so we can offer you a wide range of context-based gameplay options from which to craft a your plan.

The Streets Tell a Million Stories

One of the things that we feel most strongly about is that the world of Shadowrun was created for all of us to tell stories within. That’s one of the beautiful things about in-person tabletop role-playing—the stories are extremely relevant to you and your friends because they were made by you and your friends.

In honor of that tradition, we plan to release our PC-based level editor when we release Shadowrun Returns so that everyone can create their own Shadowrun stories & “runs”. When you upload your stories, you can make them available to your Friends Only or the entire Shadowrun community. 

The game we want to make is very humble by modern blockbuster game standards but it is still way beyond the ability of a small start-up to fund by itself. The restraints on the license from Microsoft made it impossible to get established publishers interested in Shadowrun and so it remained just a dream for a long time until Jordan saw the recent successes of some other veteran designers on Kickstarter.

Crowd sourcing to fund creative content represents truly profound change to the status quo. While we watch financial models for the creation and distribution of creative content continue to erode, Kickstarter charts a direction for how fans can directly impact development of creative content they want by funding its creation.

We hope that Shadowrun Returns is a creative concept you want to help make into a reality and we thank your consideration and support.

It is strange to be required to license your own game in order to make a new version of it but that’s what can happen when you’re old and keep changing companies. Here's the fast-forward version:

And so, our favorite game has come full circle and Jordan is again leading the development of a world he started oh, so many years ago.

And for those of you that have been around since the very early days, we want to make sure that YOU understand that WE understand and that we'd love to see things like this (and more) in the game. 

Ares Predators and Ruger Super Warhawks (yes, with smartlinks), Maglocks and Doc Wagons, datajacks and  credsticks, dermal plating and wired reflexes, “chummer” and "drek", Ares and Fuchi and Aztechnology (Oh my!). 

But that's not all. 

Mr. Johnson(s), Lofwyr  (can’t leave him out can we?), gangers, toxic spirits, Renraku Arcology, The Sprawl, the Redmond Barrens & the Ork Underground (oh yes), UCAS, Tir Taingire and even the Sioux Nation, but most of all you WILL be saying (or is that screaming?). . . “Never EVER Deal with a Dragon!”


  • PayPal for Shadowrun Returns is LIVE! Go to http://harebrained-schemes.com/shadowrun/paypal for details.

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 12:46pm EDT
  • The world of Shadowrun is a dangerous place, especially for runners. Normal ambulances tend to shy away from firefights and magical fireworks, so smart runners subscribe to Doc Wagon™, a service that provides heavily armed medical extraction teams to swoop in and save their ass and deliver emergency medical attention.


    In the game, this free Doc Wagon subscription (game money, not real money) will help keep your character and friendly NPC’s alive. This is important, because if one of your NPCs is killed during a mission, you can’t use that NPC again. 

    In real life, the Gold and Platinum cards let people know that you're a badass willing to contribute to The Cause. In-game, we'll likely up the free service.

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
  • The level editor will be the one we use to make the game—ugly and powerful. (In other words, it’s about as far from the polished Little Big Planet editor as conceivable.) But we believe in you. If we can use it, you can use it, right? Then again, with some additional funding, we might be able to put some lipstick on it.

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
  • We are setting the game in the 2050 era of the Shadowrun timeline. We chose this setting because it’s the one that we originally created and the one that the fans of the SNES and Sega Genesis know and love.

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
  • In 2007, Microsoft published a game called Shadowrun for Xbox and PC. The game was a unique and innovative first person shooter but it took way too many liberties with the Shadowrun story and mythology. As a result, the game “was not received well by fans.” Jordan’s partner, Mitch Gitelman, was the Executive Producer on the game and with Shadowrun Returns, he’s taking his shot at redemption. Let’s all be supportive of this mythic journey back from the dark side.

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
  • For mobile tablets, Shadowrun Returns will be available via iTunes, Android Marketplace, and the Amazon Android marketplace. For PC, the game will be available on Steam and our website.

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
  • Unfortunately, the app stores make it very difficult for independent game developers to give away free game this way, so we had to go with PC only. We've heard about other teams investigating ways of doing this but they haven't succeeded yet, so stay tuned.

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
  • Shadowrun Online is a 3D in-browser, mission based MMO with an emphasis on co-op and PvP gameplay being developed by Cliffhanger Productions and scheduled for release in mid-2013. The game is set in the 2070 era of Shadowrun and will pick up on some of the plotlines and characters in our game, Shadowrun Returns, which is set in 2050.

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
  • Mac is a Go! We're adding it to the $15 reward tier!

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
  • Linux is a Go! We're adding it to the $15 reward tier! 

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
  • We are translating into French, German, and Spanish!

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
  • That sounds really cool but it's not our plan right now. Maybe if we exceed our funding goal, we can find a way to add it.

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
  • In many areas of Europe, you can use your Visa Debit or Visa Electron cards to pay online.

    If you don't have a credit card or debit card that Amazon accepts, there are other ways you can pledge.

    First, buy a Ukash voucher, then convert it into a Ukash NEO pre-paid Mastercard. From there, you can use it with Amazon's payment system.

    (Thanks to our friends at Double Fine for the pointers!)

    Another option is to get a "Virtual Visa Card".  This is a pre-paid virtual card designed for Europeans to purchase things on the internet.  You can find more information about it here:  http://www.visaeurope.com/en/cardholders/virtual_cards.aspx

    More on this as we learn it!

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
  • If you are a non-US Amazon Mechanical Turk user you may experience a problem trying to pledge. We've alerted Amazon about this bug. Sorry this is annoying. Please view these instructions to pledge: https://www.jungledisk.com/secure/signup/mturk.aspx.

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
  • That's the plan. We have yet to determine if Backers will get their free version from STEAM, though. Stay tuned.

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
  • No. It will allow you to make your own shadowruns.

    Last updated: Wednesday Apr 11, 7:06pm EDT
Ask a question

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

pledged of $400,000 goal

Pledge $15 or more Pledge $15 or more

10239 Backers

A Digital Downloadable copy of the game, DRM free on PC + one totally sweet, exclusive desktop WALLPAPER for your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device.

Estimated Delivery: Jan 2013

Pledge $30 or more Pledge $30 or more

5156 Backers

Previous reward + your character will start the game with a SPECIAL ABILITY only available to backers + a PDF version of the Shadowrun Returns Anthology, an ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF SHORT STORIES written for the game and edited by Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun.

Estimated Delivery: Jan 2013

Pledge $60 or more Pledge $60 or more

2745 Backers

Previous rewards + a Shadowrun Returns "BACKER" T-SHIRT + a PERSONALIZED DOC WAGON CARD will be sent to your home + you will also get the IN-GAME DocWagon benefit of a fully-armed emergency ambulance or chopper to save your team of runners when the drek hits the fan. Note: This is an in-game service only. No armed medical extraction team will actually arrive at your home. More details in the FAQ. (Please add $5 for international shipping)

Estimated Delivery: Jan 2013

Pledge $100 or more Pledge $100 or more

2514 Backers

Previous rewards + A HARDCOVER EDITION of the Shadowrun Returns Anthology + your NAME IN THE CREDITS of the game AND the anthology book + a GOLD Doc Wagon card sent to your home. (Please add $15 for international shipping)

Estimated Delivery: Jan 2013

Pledge $250 or more Pledge $250 or more

225 Backers • Limited Reward (775 of 1000 remaining)

Previous rewards + A SPECIAL EDITION, SIGNED & NUMBERED HARDCOVER of the Shadowrun Returns Anthology (this replaces the edition you get at $100) + EARLY ACCESS to the LEVEL EDITOR so that your shadowruns can be the first into the game (date for editor TBD). (Please add $15 for international shipping)

Estimated Delivery: Jan 2013

Pledge $500 or more Pledge $500 or more

51 Backers • Limited Reward (49 of 100 remaining)

Previous rewards + the shadowruns you design will be MARKED with a special GLYPH so they'll be highlighted and easy to identify + a PLATINUM Doc Wagon card sent to your home. (Please add $15 for international shipping)

Estimated Delivery: Jan 2013

Pledge $1,000 or more Pledge $1,000 or more

27 Backers • Limited Reward (23 of 50 remaining)

Previous rewards + we'll use YOUR IMAGE to CREATE AN NPC CHARACTER for the game. It's our choice what NPC you'll be but if you have a suggestion, we'll listen.

Estimated Delivery: Jan 2013

Pledge $2,500 or more Pledge $2,500 or more

6 Backers • Limited Reward (14 of 20 remaining)

Previous rewards + we'll create the art for one EXCLUSIVE CUSTOM PLAYER CHARACTER based upon your description and/or sketches. When your friends hire your character, they'll get to see it too! (Limit 2 revisions.)

Estimated Delivery: Jan 2013

Pledge $5,000 or more Pledge $5,000 or more

0 Backers • Limited Reward (10 of 10 remaining)

Previous rewards + 1 Large or 2 Small custom art assets created for you to be used EXCLUSIVELY in your missions (Limit 2 revisions) + a CONSULTATION with our Art director and Level Designer to help tune one of your shadowruns.

Estimated Delivery: Jan 2013

Pledge $7,500 or more Pledge $7,500 or more

0 Backers • Limited Reward (10 of 10 remaining)

Previous rewards + spend an afternoon at Harebrained Schemes World Headquarters and LUNCH WITH THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM including JORDAN. Ask us anything! Tell us about your favorite Shadowrun moment! Hear wild stories of a time before home computers when we played games in the same room! (You must be able to travel to Redmond, WA).

Estimated Delivery: Feb 2013

Pledge $10,000 or more Pledge $10,000 or more

3 Backers SOLD OUT (0 of 3 remaining)

Previous rewards + Mike Mulvihill, who led Shadowrun game development at FASA Corp., will COME TO YOUR TOWN TO RUN A TABLETOP GAME OF SHADOWRUN FOR YOU AND FIVE OF YOUR FRIENDS. (He'll even buy some snacks.)

Estimated Delivery: Feb 2013

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Harebrained Schemes is a small start-up that mixes grizzled old veterans like Jordan Weisman, Mitch Gitelman, and Mike Mulvihill with bunch of talented young people who were still in swaddling clothes when Shadowrun first came out. It’s a great merging of industry experience and youthful energy where everyone is involved in all aspects of development (Translation: It’s a small office with no privacy, so you’re constantly subject to everyone’s opinion about whatever you’re working on – which actually makes everything stronger).

Our first mobile game, Crimson Steam Pirates, was published last year by Bungie and became iPad “App of the Week”, made Entertainment Weekly’s “MUST List”, metacritic.com’s “Best iPhone Games of 2011” list, and was one of Apple’s “Benchmark games for 2011”. You can see a sneak peak of our next game on our website.

We build our games with Moai, if you're a developer you should consider doing so as well, check out Moai at the link below.

About the video:

Bootstrapper Studios in Seattle helped us craft this Kickstarter project video. As such, we'd like to note that the Bootstrapper folks there are not just purveyors of fine handcrafted videos.They're more like grizzled sherpas – you know the ones – kind, frank, opinionated – with Selleck mustachios and sunburned skin.

Yeah, they're versed in all the whiz-bang whatcha-ma-whose-its, but more importantly – they know how to push, pull, and prod your story into something simple and compelling – so you don't end up dead on the side of a mountain. Go ahead and get in touch with them – whether it's video promos/shorts, HD event recording + streaming, or the next killer app/device/software demo.

They'll make sure you come back alive with a kick-ass story to tell.

  1. harebrained-schemes.com
  2. bootstrapperstudios.com
  3. kickingitforward.org
  4. getmoai.com