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Shadowrun creator Jordan Weisman is hoping to make a PC and tablet game that does justice to the pen-and-paper role-playing game. In order to secure money for this project, Shadowrun Returns, he and Harebrained Schemes LLC have turned to the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.
"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," says the game's Kickstarter page.
Shadowrun's setting is a mixture of sci-fi and fantasy. In the near future, magic and supernatural creatures have returned to the world. Technology has also progressed at a stunning rate. People can augment their body with cybernetic implants and the Internet has evolved into a virtual reality-like Matrix. Megacorporations have risen to power throughout the world and wage secret wars with each other. These corps hire mercenaries known as "Shadowrunners" to handle their dirty work.
The Kickstarter page describes it in a more sexy way than I did: "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."
In Shadowrun Returns, players will create their own Shadowrunner and then hire other characters to fill out their team. You'll then undertake missions based on short stories written by authors and designers of the pen-and-paper RPG. Players will be able to make their own missions with a level editor as well and then share them with the community.
Harebrained Schemes is hoping to raise $400,000 for the game through Kickstarter by the end of the month. Right now they're targeting Shadowrun Returns for a January 2013 release.