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Shadowrun Comes To Linux, MMO Planned

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the two-for-the-price-of-two dept.

Games 51

New submitter junkrig writes "After a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, Jordan Weisman, creator of Shadowrun, has returned to bring the series back to the screen as Shadowrun Returns; an old-school, turn-based tactical RPG. Their successful initial fundraising (over $1.8 million) allowed them to commit to developing a native Linux version of the game. A second team, working closely with Weisman, now hopes to bring a similar, turn-based Shadowrun game to life: Shadowrun Online. To be built with the Unity 4 engine, Shadowrun Online will be massively multiplayer and have native Linux support from the start — assuming, of course, they manage to fund their project. Both games are expected for release in 2013."

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go games on linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40885083)

to heck with ms

Die Six (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#40885095)

I still think the Shadowrun kickstarter should have given out 20 d6s as part of the $50+ package. =)

Re:Die Six (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 2 years ago | (#40885221)

Why add the expense of something every donor already has?

Re:Die Six (3, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#40885271)

Then make it 20 D6 dice without 2's 3's or 4's printed on them. Those useless numbers dont need to be on there.

Re:Die Six (3, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#40885471)

You can never have enough d6s. :p

I always take about 100 to our Shadowrun gamedays, and it never seems to be enough for my friends.

Re:Die Six (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40885651)

Must be old edition Decker...

Re:Die Six (1)

JanneM (7445) | about 2 years ago | (#40885379)

I love the Shadowrun game and setting â" except for the dice mechanics. Shadowrun with the D20 system mechanics would be great.

Re:Die Six (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#40885461)

I dunno, I'm a D&D nerd, but there's something very satisfying about rolling vast handfuls of dice. In 4e, I rolled up a barbarian that rolls around 10 dice on an attack (which if you know 4e, is rather unusual).

The Gaussian mechanics also have some nice properties that D20 doesn't have.

Re:Die Six (1)

Shinobi (19308) | about 2 years ago | (#40885753)

It's been tried, and it's fucking horrible.... especially when they D20'ified more than just the dice mechanics...

Re:Die Six (2)

Spacelem (189863) | about 2 years ago | (#40886257)

It wouldn't be terribly difficult to meet half way. Roll 2d10 (or 3d6, or something) + skill level, and then create a Unisystem style success table (e.g. up to 12 is +0, 13-15 is +1, 16-18 is +2 etc. -- that gives you the same mean number of hits for a given skill level).

You'll get a bit more variance (compared to the original system) in number of hits for low skill scores, and less for high skill scores, but it would be a pretty good approximation.

cookie cutter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40885195)

shadowrun online made with unity no thanks..

Re:cookie cutter (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#40885251)

Cookie cutter just because it's made with Unity? That's like saying Unreal engine games are cookie cutter. Or any game made with any full featured third party engine is cookie cutter.

Re:cookie cutter (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#40885273)

Well the main character in Gears of War has been around in Unreal Tournament for several iterations....

Re:cookie cutter (4, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#40886063)

Cookie cutter just because it's made with Unity? That's like saying Unreal engine games are cookie cutter. Or any game made with any full featured third party engine is cookie cutter.

I remember an age just before hardware accelerated graphics -- Those game devs who wrote their own (3D) engine had games that looked very different than the others who licensed the Wolf3D, Doom or Quake engine. After hardware accelerated graphics everything sort of looked the same for a while until GPUs had more features to select from -- The fixed function pipeline "look" is easily recognisable. Vertex & pixel shaders have given us back almost all of the flexibility and diversity that software rasterizers have, enabling Homogeneous computing could get us the rest of the way...

Unfortunately, the diversity gained in modern GPUs has been diminished a great deal by the prolific use of just a few 3D engines. Even when the game tries to be visually different I can usually tell at a glance what engine the game's using: It's a running joke among my friends & colleagues, we show a vid and guess the engine. Most games are all too easy. Very few have us scratching our heads, and of those even fewer used a dominant engine like Unity, Unreal, etc. Eg: I can look at a game like Borderlands and say, Ah yep, it's the same engine as Gears. The slow texture streaming on level load is a dead give-away, but there are many other similarities too... It's sameness that otherwise wouldn't exist if not for the re-use of an engine.

Prolific use of only a few physics engines, like Havok, also reduce variety in gameplay a great deal.

I'm not saying reusing software is bad, writing engines is hard work, but it's really not THAT hard (far easier than writing software rasterizers)... I think we need A LOT more engines out there to stave off the sameness we currently have.

I know this is Slashdot, but one thing I've learned is to have an open mind and consider the other side of an argument: Why does someone feel this way? Is there merit to their point of view? Argument is worth less than discussion, IMO.

You've taken the GP's comment to an extreme -- Every game that uses the same engine is not cookie-cutter just because they use the same engines, but the complaint is valid. There is a certain samey look to the Unity, IDTech, Unreal engine, etc. engines, and it takes a fair amount of effort to actually make a game look different while using these engines -- Many gamedevs don't make the effort.

Publishers don't want to hear, "We're making our own engine" -- That's risky, they'd rather you license a popular engine -- Until the indie game resurgence it was very difficult to get into the game industry if you wrote your own engine -- This is why there is so much graphics sameness among AAA titles, IMO. Differentiation comes at a price, and publishers don't want to take the risk.

There would be much more diversity if we used a more diverse selection of game engines. This is why I support the idea of writing a new engine. Even if you don't personally recognize the similarities, can you not believe that some do? I put it to you that more engine diversity naturally begets more diverse games.

Re:cookie cutter (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#40886689)

I haven't really taken his comment to an extreme. It was exactly what he said. He implied merely for use of Unity, the game would be cookie cutter.

I think you put too much into the idea that engine diversity would really mean more diverse games. Of course there's similarities between games made in different engines. DOF, HDR, SSAO, etc, will be the same tech between the games, unless the games re-implement them (many do). It's not impossible to recognize the implementations, but it's also not blindingly obvious. Those details aside, not much else can be the same without the similarities being intentional or the idea just being too generic. Using Unity or any other engine doesn't preclude you from thinking out of the box and doing something new. The tools are all there. It's not the engine's fault if they want to make another modern military shooter in FLAVOR_OF_THE_YEAR_COUNTRY and they all start looking the same.

Re:cookie cutter (2)

mcvos (645701) | about 2 years ago | (#40888417)

Even so, isn't the content of the game, the gameplay, how the missions work, what they're like, how you get an resolve them, much more important than the graphics engine?

Of course it should also have the distinctive visual style of Shadowrun, but I think that's more a matter of art design than the engine they use.

ANOTHER Linux game story? (0, Flamebait)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#40885243)

This is getting ridiculous... people will start believing this crap if they keep writing stories about it.

Oh, look at the time, it's almost time to enroll my son at Hogwarts!

Re:ANOTHER Linux game story? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#40885351)

Hey, it beats the overtly political stories any day. Just look at all the frothing of the mouth at "teh military industrial complexxx!" on the F-22 story. Give me conversations about Linux any day. Save that other crap for any of the other millions of websites out there that are not for nerds.

Re:ANOTHER Linux game story? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#40886199)

This is getting ridiculous... people will start believing this crap if they keep writing stories about it.

The rumor of the stock market's imminent crash greatly contributed to the crash. Belief is a powerful tool -- In this case, it's not being used for evil, so I'm cool with that.

The real story is what I've been saying for years: Screw the Platforms they're just APIs from a dev's point of view, its the applications that matter most -- I don't care if my users want to use a proprietary or FLOSS OS. Cross platform deployment is the future (it's here now) because we all want choice in OS unhindered by what programs we want to run, and vice versa. When developers start with a cross platform tool chain they don't have to needlessly ignore any market segment (read: money). It's not any more expensive to click [Build .EXE] than to click [Build .RPM] or [Build .DEB] or [Build .APP] or [Build .APK], etc... Porting costs disappear and are replaced with more moolah. Software houses with tons of legacy code (and no foresight) have a hard time bringing games to other platforms, but that doesn't have to be the case, or even the norm.

I'm not talking Java or other VMs here either. My "build all" command builds native binaries for Linux / Windows in x86 and x64, signed .APKs for Android, etc. The price of bringing games to Linux and Mac is now next to nill, so here they come.

wow, even more closed source bullshit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40885279)

linux is selling out faster than you can say "we wish we were apple!"

Re:wow, even more closed source bullshit (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#40885309)

linux is selling out faster than you can say "we wish we were apple!"

Linux is not your SeKrIt KLuB.

Also, you must be one of those people that stops liking a band that becomes popular.



I thought I'd never actually use that word here, but there it is, Linux hipsterism.

Re:wow, even more closed source bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40885327)

Damn you. That made me snort Strawberry Banana Orange juice through my nose. Do you know how much that stings? o.O

Re:wow, even more closed source bullshit (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#40885455)

Actually, I have never understood people who can't control their laughter that bit so that they don't burst juices of their mouth or nose.

Re:wow, even more closed source bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40885599)

We're just bursting with enjoyment for life.Sometimes it bursts out our noses.

Re:wow, even more closed source bullshit (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#40885921)

Oh, I know what you mean [] .

Re:wow, even more closed source bullshit (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40885405)

FYI, you've been false flag trolled.

Re:wow, even more closed source bullshit (3, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#40890169)

I've been hating bands when they become popular since before it became popular.

Re:wow, even more closed source bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40885663)

Linux has nothing to do with it. Anyone can make software work with Linux, closed or open.

Re:wow, even more closed source bullshit (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#40886591)

Perhaps you were sleeping in the 90s when that whole Linux and Oracle thing started happening. You've been able to "sell out" with Linux for a very long time now.

It's just trickling into the desktop now...

FYI about the MMO aspect of Shadowrun Online (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40885291)

It looks like the combat part of Shadowrun Online will be tactical turn based co-op team multiplayer, though you can play as a single player by hiring NPC's for missions and control them yourself.

There will be social hubs in various cities that will be MMO-like, where you move around in realtime to socialize (or not), do legwork (research/detective work to get intel on future missions), buy stuff for your characters with in-game money only on the Campaign servers or real money microtransactions on the F2P servers. Yes, they have both. You can "buy" the full core game and play on the Campaign servers, or just join the F2P servers and only pay for what interests you. The developer has stated firmly the game will not be pay-to-win, and they'll have mechanics in place to prevent pay-to-win.

People complained having two different economic models and two different servers might split the community, but the Campaign servers were added because there was already an entirely separate community that refused to play F2P games. So now both communities are served. If you have any interest in this, read more about it in the updates tab on their Kickstarter page.


Re:FYI about the MMO aspect of Shadowrun Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40885413)

"though you can play as a single player by hiring NPC's for missions and control them yourself."

So what is an NPC again?

Re:FYI about the MMO aspect of Shadowrun Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40885453)

Non-Player Characters.

In the game they're computer controlled NPC's until you hire them. In Shadowrun Online, you create your own PC (Player Character) as your main game character to play with other gamers or single player. But if you play single player and hire the NPC's they don't become your main characters, they're just there to aid in your missions/goals under your control.

At least that's how I understand it will work from following the project and reading the forums.

+1 internets for kickstarter (1)

Maquis196 (535256) | about 2 years ago | (#40885497)

I'm looking forward to the deluge of Linux games coming out kickstarter. Wastelands 2 is the version I'm waiting for with baited breath.

Here's hoping for Linux box releases, I like collecting commercial Linux games, I think I own them all now.

Re:+1 internets for kickstarter (4, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 2 years ago | (#40885789)

"baited breath" - phooye... You must be a Linux penguin. Normal people do not eat achovies or other kinds of fish bait.

Re:+1 internets for kickstarter (1)

lordofthechia (598872) | about 2 years ago | (#40888627)

Yeah, I think it sucks that it gets such a bad rap here. After hearing all the bitching and moaning about the shortcomings of commercial games, here comes a tool for us to literally put our money where our mouth is and fund the titles we want to see!

I'm stoked. I'm also very stoked that over half the titles are pledging Linux support.

Please help fund this (2)

dave562 (969951) | about 2 years ago | (#40886343)

The title says it all.

Even if you can only offer $5 or $10, that will help. Shadowrun is a great setting for a long term game. The world is rich with lore and the potential for deep stories is definitely there. This project has so much potential, but it is dangerously short of missing the funding goal.

They are set to make a big impact in the mobile market and the way that games are developed. It won't matter what brand of hardware you and your friends have. Everyone can play together.

For all of you Euro readers, the game is being developed in the EU. If you do not support it based on its merits as A. An already good looking game with great long term potential and B. A good game that can be played on Linux, then support it because C. It is NOT made in America. ;)

Meh (3, Insightful)

morari (1080535) | about 2 years ago | (#40887561)

I'll take my cyberpunk without the magic, please. Really, Shadowrun is little more than D&D with guns.

Re:Meh (1)

mcvos (645701) | about 2 years ago | (#40888491)

Then you should be happy with CD Project Red's latest project. Talsorian's Cyberpunk.

Re:Meh (1)

morari (1080535) | about 2 years ago | (#40888635)

I am indeed. Thanks for the heads up on that one!

Re:Meh (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#40890179)

I'll take my cyberpunk without the magic, please. Really, Shadowrun is little more than D&D with guns.

If this is accurate, I may have to increase my donation.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40890447)

You make it sound like such a bad thing. I love the cyberpunk genre, and I love D&D even more. It's a nice fusion if I say so myself.

Re:Meh (2)

xhrit (915936) | about 2 years ago | (#40890669)

No, it was Gamma World that is little more then D&D with guns. Shadowrun is like D&D with guns, except with d6 instead of d20.

Re:Meh (1)

Lotana (842533) | about 2 years ago | (#40891447)

Really, Shadowrun is little more than D&D with guns.

Indeed. Others have pointed out that Shadowrun is a result of a D&D nerd reading Neuromancer.

Re:Meh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40892621)

Neuromancer's undeniably the greatest of the trilogy, and most important in the development of the cyberpunk genre, but I think Count Zero's influence on Shadowrun is underrated. (Oh, and w/r/t "no magic", voodoo anyone?)

Re:Meh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40899163)

I love Sci-Fi, Tech and Fantasy. Shadowrun blends it well, and I enjoy the hell out of it. There's a lot more character to Shadowrun than there is to D&D, and I type this as someone who'd been playing D&D longer, reads the novels (yay Drizzt!)...etc

So, while I can understand someone preferring straight up cyberpunk, I don't grok the desire to go out of your way to dismiss Shadowrun as "little more than D&D with guns." I guess that's just part and parcel with the angsty punk side? - saying this as a regular 80's dweller next to the St. Mark's Anarchy Bookstore & Thompkins Square park punk scene.

I miss casual daily references to kennedy's and milkmen of the dead persuasion.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40912869)

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Yes, yes yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40888671)

I've been a fan of shadowrun since third edition and the setting is absolutely amazing. The thing I most like is the fact that it's more of a post-cyberpunk setting (yes, even third edition) and while it isn't realistic by any stretch the characters and fluff is well-written and believable. It's neither boring or over-the-top and really draws you in. And the sense of detail is also great, which admittedly can make the bookkeeping a bit tedious but really shines when a character wants to try to smuggle a silenced smg and a set of wired reflexes through a security checkpoint filled with drones by running a software agent kitted out with hacking programs to subvert the guards scanner implants before they're on to him.

Excellent use of scarce resources (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40890665)

How great! Resources are limited, and they're wasting time on a platform like twelve people will be playing their game on.

I'd have rather seen them support mobile platforms instead.

Re:Excellent use of scarce resources (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40892713)

If you'd read anything, you'd know they ARE bringing it to tablets, but not phones (thank ghod).because it's a real game that just doesn't fit in 3.5 inches with fat-finger-friendly scale. N810 was the last mobile I had that was any use for PC games, because resistive screens let you use a stylus. But capacitiives won because of legitimate durability concerns, and because fingers are OK for most stuff. When more phones have digitizers like the Galaxy Note's, we can talk about running the same games on phones and PCs again...

And when you're using a cross-platform library (Unity3d, IIRC) to target Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, and that library already supports Linux, they're not "wasting" much time, and if the fanboys donate more when you announce Linux, could make it all back.

Re:Excellent use of scarce resources (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40893069)

Uhh...Chummer, it helps to read the source material and not make snap judgements.

From the Kickstarter page itself: "Shadowrun Online - is a cross-platform, online PC, Mac, Linux(see FAQ), iOS/iPad, Android Tablet and Ouya based game, with deep, rich story, sleuthing intel called "legwork", tactical single player, co-op, and player vs. player role-playing action, plus large in-game community hubs, all set in the unique and persistent world of Shadowrun"

They've also explained that gamers using any of their supported platforms will be playing in the same game world together. So Android users, Mac users, Linux users, PC users...etc can all play together. Which is awesome for when my gaming group can't meet up in person, as we've had a difficult time finding an online game we all have an interest in that we can play together online due to platform diversity.

Exciting News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40896267)

This is some of the best news I have heard in years. The details coming out of this project just make me salivate. I have been a Shadowrun fan since it was produced by FASA corporation in the early 90s, before they had novels, before the XBOX was thought of. The D6 game, with its unique ruleset, backstory, and excellent art produced in a turn based MMO style RPG is a dream come true.


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