Thursday, April 5, 2012


Via Stabbed Up, I discovered that there is Kickstarter project to fund a new Shadowrun PC roleplaying game.

Shadowrun is a setting that mixes high fantasy and cyberpunk, taking place in a dystopian near-future where governments have been made largely irrelevant due to the power held by corporations. It started as a pen-and-paper role-playing game that remains mildly popular to this day. It also spawned several video games. The most recent was basically Team Fortress 2 with a Shadowrun skin. Given that it was a FPS rather than a RPG, I considered it a bit of an insult to the franchise. However, based on professional reviews it's apparently pretty good considered purely as a TF2 clone with an odd theme.

It also gave spawned one of my all time favorite console RPGs. When I was an undergraduate one of my roommates had the Shadowrun game for the Sega Genesis. Despite having elves, it remains one of the best cyberpunk video/ PC games I have ever played (Deus Ex is also on that list). It was an early console sandbox. Much like Morrowind, Fallout III, and other modern RPG sandboxes there was a story you could follow if you cared to. However, the game would also randomly generate missions. You could max out a character just taking random jobs to kill fools or hack corporate databases. The hacking game put you into a 3D cyber-world where you had an avatar that moved around in cyberspace, decrypting nodes as you came to them and fighting security programs (ice). It didn't take long to become so powerful that nothing in the game was remotely challenging, so the sandbox didn't last very long. But for a console game in the early 90s, the freedom you were given was astounding.

I found this cartridge in a used gaming store in 2001. I promptly bought the game and a Genesis just to play it.

All in all, Shadowrun is one of my favorite fictional settings. The Kickstarter Shadowrun project had already reached its goal when I discovered it. However that didn't stop me from donating my $15, giggling like a schoolgirl, roughly ten seconds after I found out about it. I'll get a DRM free copy of the game if and when it ever gets made. The game described sounds awesome, if slightly oldschool: a CRPG with 2D turn based combat and an editor that will let users make new scenarios and distribute them freely. I plan to recreate Hamlet with proud orcs, devious hacker elves, and machine guns ;-)

If the thought of a modern Shadowrun CRPG fills you with the same delight as me, feel free to head over and donate.


  1. Same here. By the time I learned of it it was already a touch over the $400K goal, but I still kicked $30 its direction anyway.

    I loved the 2nd edition pnp version as well as the series of novels that went along with it all. Wish they were still being written. The world was simply awesome to me.

  2. The last time I checked the ratio of dollars to donors put the average donor at more than $40. It's obvious that the setting some pretty passionate supporters.

  3. I've already supported four projects, so I'm having trouble justifying any more. But this does look really good.

    Choices, choices...

  4. I think of it as buying a game I'm pretty sure I'll want before it gets made. Particularly in this case where they hit their funding target before I even donated. If the game never does come out, I will have set less money than I typically do on Friday night in a bar on fire ;-)

    I'm curious, what have you donated to?

  5. I threw my $ into it. I think I've invested in about 6 or 8 Kickstarter projects by now.

  6. Apparently we won't be able to play together. But we can both blog about it :-)

  7. Or you can hire my character as a henchman and I can hire yours.

  8. I've got a question for you -- please email me at, thanks!