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Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter Update #39: Progress Report

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Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter Update #39: Progress Report

Development Info - posted by Crooked Bee on Sat 19 January 2013, 11:31:38

Tags: Harebrained Schemes; Mitch Gitelman; Shadowrun Returns

Harebrained Schemes' Mitch Gitelman has put up a new blog post having to do with, among other things, the progress being made on Shadowrun Returns:

On the code-side, over 30 character skills and abilities are in the game and working. That’s stuff like etiquette, snapshot, and conjuring. On top of that, decking, rigging, spirit summoning, and spellcasting are in too! This list represents a huge push from our engineering team to get the first draft of these features in before the end of the year and they delivered. Now, before you get too excited, all these systems are using “programmer art” so they’re. . . not pretty. But they prove the systems, can be tested, bug-fixed, and iterated upon before we spend the time prettifying them. It’s starting to feel like a game. It’s got bugs and there’s a lot to do but it’s starting to feel like Shadowrun.

But wait, there’s more. NPCs are talking! Our base conversation system is in and working. We’ve got branching dialog in the game that performs checks to determine what dialog options to give you – we plan to note the skill/attribute/race, etc. that allowed that option to appear. We (and you) can do all sorts of cool things with our conversation system combined with our trigger system. Things like attaching a conversation to a window prop so it feels like you’re overhearing people on the other side of the window or having a conversation that convinces someone to turn off the fog of war in an area and escort you to the mainframe.

One big task that can’t be underestimated in all of this was creating test environments for each of the above features to ensure they work according to our spec and continue to work while we bugfix and iterate on them. That took our designers a good chunk of time but it’s worth it because now we can have interns regularly run tests independently. It also gave everyone plenty of practice with the editor.

Our next undertaking is a major overhaul of the user interface. As you may remember from Thanksgiving, we were living with interface version 2.0 to see how we liked it. We wanted to give it time so everyone could play with it for awhile and enter their comments and suggestions on a master list so we could review it in its entirety. Mike, our Art Director, wrapped his brain around all the feedback and came up with a holistic plan to address everyone’s issues. After reviewing it with the team and making a few revisions and additions, implementation began this week. Everyone’s very excited about interface version 3.0 and can’t wait play it.

Last on the production-side, our Audio Director has been collaborating with our composers to make sure we get the right sound for the game. Marshall and Gavin are working on Seattle while Sam tackles Berlin. I think Sam has the tougher job because he’s working without concept art but he and Alistair (our Audio Director) think they’re on the right track. I love hearing the work-in-progress music because they throw in little bits of their SNES and SEGA tunes here and there.

So far, we’re tracking to our May/June timeframe but my palms are a little sweaty. This next bit will give you an idea why.​

The post then goes on to cover backer reward fulfillment, the problematic nature of setting up backer surveys, press coverage, and more. Read it in full here.

There are 22 comments on Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter Update #39: Progress Report

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