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Angry Shadowrun Fans get to Playtest Shadowrun...

CountZeroInt

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Dec 27, 2005
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So even a Microsoft Program Manager got so irate about Shadowrun being an FPS and being so insulting that he was offering the studio manager to come punch him in the face.

Since then it seems like things have mellowed out a bit and this fellow and a couple of his RPG friends got to visit FASA and playtest Shadowrun.

http://www.philiprichardson.org/blog/default.aspx
http://spaces.msn.com/adnauseam/

Running in the Shadows

(this is my first attempt at writing an entry via the blogging feature of Office 2007. Sorry if it craps out in some bad way, and you get 500 copies of this post, or something)

There’s a bit of backstory involved in this post. The post in general entails high levels of geekery, including references to role-playing games, video games, and the all important geek topic of what is and what isn’t ‘cannon’ in a given fantasy universe. If you aren’t interested in at least one of these topics, this is probably one of those posts you can skip.

Let’s see... some years ago, Microsoft bought FASA Studios, mostly for the Battletech IP, which along with the Crimson Skies IP, has seen moderate success on the PC and Xbox. Along with the acquisition came the Shadowrun and Earthdawn RPG’s. Shadowrun was an RPG that first appeared in the late 80’s, and combines fantasy and cyberpunk, neither of which is terribly innovative on its own, but the Shadowrun combination meant Elven hackers, wizards with spellbooks on PDA’s, and big ol’ trolls with bigger machine guns. It had video game releases on NES and Genesis many years ago, but in recent times, FASA has been quiet about what they were doing with the brand. Turns out they’ve been quietly working on something for a few years now, but they waited until the E3 expo last month to show anything.

What they showed surprised a lot of people, but not in a good way. Their game was a first person shooter, set some 30 years before the original Shadowrun game, and moved from the original default city of Seattle and into Brazil. It didn’t look like the Shadowrun most people knew. How do you introduce magic and spellcasters into a shooter? How does a decker or a rigger, both staples of the Shadowrun universe, fit in to a shooter? Most typical Shadowrun adventures deal with finding something, or stealing something, or sneaking in somewhere, with some exciting shootouts along the way, but as a whole, a shooter? It just didn’t make sense. They’ve bastardized Shadowrun, the detractors said.

I wasn’t enthusiastic about what I saw at E3. On an internal RPG discussion list (yeah, we have corp supported discussion folders for RPG’s. one of the minor perks of working with 30,000 other geeks) my friend Philip posted “I heard the butchered it. Did they butcher it?” and I responded “If by butchered, you mean changed the date from 2050 to 2021, moved the game to Brazil instead of Seattle, broke the game down to either “you’re an Elven Shaman or Elven Mage,” and reimagined trolls as lizard skinned, bull horned brutes then yeah, I guess they butchered it. “ Philip took things a step further. On his blog, he posted a pretty scathing entry, ending it with “If you work for FASA and you are reading this then I welcome you to take the shuttle over to my office and punch me the face. Seriously: I won't be offended since your damn game just kicked me the metaphoric balls.” Harsh.

So apparently, when you blog something like that, here’s what happens: The manager of FASA studios, only two levels removed from Peter Moore himself, sends you an email saying “can we all come over and punch you in the face, or just one of us? Instead, why don’t you come over for lunch and let us show you the game. See if you change your mind.”

Phil agreed of course, but then had second thoughts. Would they really show him the game, or just slit his throat and leave his body in the dumpster? What if they all lined up for their turn to punch him in the face? He opted to bring along Tim and I, just so there’d be witnesses if things turned sour. That lunch meeting happened today. I’m typing this, which you can take as a sign that none of us had our throats slit. We got to see the game, and play the game, and my impressions are different than they were based on just the E3 trailers I saw.

Different enough that they warrant their own post, immediately following this one.
Legwork: Hacking FASA

Just getting into any of the Xbox related buildings at Microsoft requires an invite. While employee badges will get you in to just about any campus building, at any time of day or night, they won’t get you in to any of the Xbox buildings. Or Bungie, or FASA. We had a golden ticket though, and her name was Dana. Through the lobby we were first greeted by a couple of big (5’) replicas of planes from Crimson Skies. We went around a corner and into the Fasa studios proper, which were furnished with a bunch of the old cockpit pods from the Battletech virtual pilot game center places. I remember trying one of the places in Vegas back in… 1994 I think? I recall there were a bunch of pilots there that were really into it.. one guy had a flight jacket with medals on it and they all referred to each other by their call signs. I guess the game centers weren’t too successful, as all the pods were now in use as decorations. I tried not to be too fan-boyish as we went passed, but I did peek in to one of the pods, and saw that the flight sticks and controls were still present. Cool.

We also walked passed a wall covered with concept art for Shadowrun. I’m a big fan of art like this, and really would have liked to spend several minutes just checking it all out, taking in each sketch, drawing, and full color piece, but we were still unsure what kind of reception to expect, and I thought it best to just stay with our host. If I ever get an invite back, I’ll try and spend some time checking out the wall. As we walked passed, Dana looked back at us “we’ve used you as a fund raiser, and collected $5 from each person that wants to punch you in the face. They’re all lined up back here.” We laughed nervously, unsure how serious she was. She told us that there was a playtest going on, and that they would take us in to one of the rooms to watch. The rooms are set up across the hall from each other. One door is labeled Corp and the other Tribal, for the two factions in the game. I could hear gunfire coming from behind the doors, which I hoped was coming from the playtest, and that we weren’t about to walk in to the Flame-Blogger-Execution-Chamber. Just before we entered, we were introduced to several more FASA folks, including the community manager. He’s the poor guy taking all the heat in the online forums from the diehard Shadowrun fans. They described to us a little about what was going on inside the rooms. Each room was set up with 8 stations, with an Xbox and a PC at each one. The playtesters were on Xbox today, but they test on PC as well, depending on which build is more stable on a given day. You could tell that these guys played the game a lot. There was lots of communication about what they were doing, movements and tactics by the other team, etc. There was some mandatory trash talking, too (“I got sniped by Snoop? Dude, there’s no way he’s fast enough to snipe me.” “Hey, even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes.”). Dana and the others we met on the way in explained to us what we were seeing. They’d point out interesting things on the heads-up-display, like a player’s available mana or essence, or describe a spell effect we were seeing.

I decided something after watching for about 45 seconds. This game was Shadowrun. Big guns, little guns. Trolls with katanas. The magic effects were modified to fit into a shooter, but they were there and recognizable. The game we were watching was constant firefight action, not a stealthy Splinter Cell type game. I asked if the frenetic pace was typical. “Depends on the map, and the gametype,” someone explained. “It actually varies based on where the teams are with regards to the current objective, with this gametype. We have another gametype that’s more strategic. This map is also a little small for 8v8, so you’re seeing lots of engagement.” We watched for a while, our hosts pointing out things that were happening as we went. They mentioned several times that this game was about teamwork. You needed a balanced eam, with a mix of races, magic and tech to be successful. Between matches, the players would talk up what they were doing, who was buying what, to get ready for the next round. They pointed out one player using a new power, one he had just coded and was using for the first time. I won’t give it away, but for RPGers, there’s a pretty common reconnaissance technique Shadowrunners use before going in somewhere, and this was the shooter style implementation. They were all excited about it and kept giving props to the dev that worked on it. After a bit, they suggested we go grab some lunch and talk somewhere not so riddled with the sound of gunfire.

They apologized for their cafeteria on the way over. It was small, but typical for a campus trough. We grabbed food and joined our 5 hosts at a table. They asked us what questions we had. I went first.

“Ok, you’ve captured the feel of Shadowrun, which doesn’t really show through in the E3 trailers, but I saw it today. I still want to ask though, why a shooter? Microsoft already has 2 studios putting out shooters, why do another?”

“Because we haven’t done one yet.” The pride and passion about their work was immediately apparent. “FASA studios has been about great multiplayer experience, so we know we can do this well.” I had to agree with that point. My experience with their games has been primarily on Xbox with MechWarrior and Crimson Skies, but both those games offered great multiplayer and innovative gametypes. It was clear that all these folks were gamers. They talked about their WoW characters. They talk about RPG’s they’d played, and other games they’d worked on. One of our hosts explained that playtest sessions like the one we’d seen take place twice a day, every day. The first 16 people to show up go in to the rooms and start playing. They only had one map they played at first, but they still had to turn people away every day. For two and a half years. That’s dedication to making the best product they could. For two and a half years, they had one map, and twice every day they turn people away from the playtest because they have enough.

We asked them about Live Anywhere –this will be the first game that will allow players on Xbox to play with players on PC’s. We asked them about some of the changes they’d made to the Shadowrun cannon. They became a little more serious at this point. Many people inside FASA weren’t happy with the concessions they’d made. It came down to time/money/resources issues. There were things they wanted to do differently, but couldn’t. Here’s a secret about Microsoft – the company doesn’t have big piles of money, the board of directors do. Individual product groups have very tight budgets and have to fight for and justify every $ they spend. When you’re a big product like Office, it’s easier to get money, which means more developers, more testers, and more features. When you’re a smaller product group and your total forecast revenue would be a rounding error for the Office team, you have to make do with what you have. That’s what happened to FASA. They’re dealing with some legacy groundwork in the game – changes to the cannon they made to support features that they’ve now had to cut. Most of the player races in Shadowrun are in their game, with one glaring omission – they just don’t have the resources to add it in, balance it against the other races, and still finish their product. They don’t have the luxury of pulling a Bungie “we’ll ship when we’re ready.” Bill Gates stood up and announced that they’d ship on Vista and Xbox at the same time, at the Vista launch. Since they can’t extend their date, and they can’t get more resources to work on it, they have to cut some things out in order to make their dates. No one at the table was happy about it. Clearly, they all were very proud of what they were able to accomplish, and wanted very, very much for people to like their game.

After we finished lunch, they asked the coolest question ever: Did we want to go give the game a try?
Showdown: Hands on with Shadowrun

We made our way back to the playtest room, where the playtesters had cleared out to go back to their real jobs. Our hosts came with us, some of them pairing up with us to coach us through the game, others sitting down to join the game to give us someone to shoot at.

I need to make something clear that I had it backwards until I got a chance to see and play the game myself. Everyone who saw the trailer and said “that’s not Shadowrun… Shadowrun would be xxx” is doing it backwards. FASA took a different tactic. They wanted to build a shooter. That’s what they do best. Then, they took the Shadowrun IP off the shelf, and figured out how to fit some of the Shadowrun coolness into it. This is a game that will appeal to FPS fans first, and Shadowrun fans second. For fans of both, it’s like peanut butter and chocolate: two great tastes that taste great together.

We picked teams, and they explained to us a little about the different races. Elves, for example, are the most magical race. They have the most essence, which means they can cast more spells before running out of mana, and their mana recharges faster. They also move faster, and they recharge health when they’re not being shot at. Elves move a little slower when carrying big weapons. Makes sense, I guess. The dainty little dandelion eaters don’t have the muscle to haul a big gun around, and with the lowest health of all the races, are really more suited to hit-and-run guerilla style tactics. Trolls have the most health, but they’re slow. Dwarves also have some very nice powers that make them unique and fill another specialized role on a team. Like they told us earlier, a successful team will have lots of different types of characters. When a game starts, you get a shopping menu, not unlike Counterstrike. You only start with just a little money to spend. Will you buy a rifle? A resurrection spell? A smartlink? The game has actually started when the shopping menu comes up, so you don’t want to spend too much time deciding. Different things you do in the game will earn you more cash, like killing opponents or capturing the flag. If you resurrect a fallen teammate, you get money for it, and you also take half the money they earn after you resurrect them. It’s a nice strategy twist – you can still make lots of money playing in a pure support role for your team. The shopping model effects the pace of the round, too. In early rounds, each team is limited to cheap weapons and spells, so the game is a little more strategic. As you start earning money for the bigger effects and guns, the action gets hotter and faster.

I dropped most of my money on spells, and the way these are implemented is a nice mix of things that fit well in the game, but still have a Shadowrun flavor. When you die, you drop your weapons, and I died a lot, so investing in spells that I retained from round to round make more sense. You map your spells to the triggers on the Xbox controller, so it’s really easy to drop a healing tree where your teammates need it. The teleport in particular is very well implemented. When you hit the button, it hops you ahead in whatever direction you’re heading. If you jump and teleport, you’ll end up on the floor above where you were. If you’re running towards a wall, you’ll appear on the other side of it. I was able to pick up on using it pretty easily, and hopped through a wall to fire my shotgun at the troll guarding the flag on the other side. As he turned around to shoot back, I backed up, teleporting through the wall again, leaving him no one to shoot at. Since I was staring at the wall I’d just teleported through, I could see the effect of the wall melting back in to place behind me. “I like that effect.” I said. “yeah, it’s cool.” Said my host. “the guy that wrote it is right there,” he added, pointing out one of the guys we were playing with. Again, these guys were very proud of what they’d done.

For the next round, I decided to grab a sniper rifle and take advantage of my newly perfected teleport skills to get to a vantage point for some headshots. I popped a couple rounds into the head of a troll that was peeking around a corner. “Nice shot!” I heard someone say. “if you crouch when firing, your accuracy goes up.” A nice touch, I thought.

Phil had a meeting to get back to, so we had to wrap up our visit and make our way back to main campus. We chatted a bit more as they walked us back out.

I was again struck by how proud they were of their product, and how much time they’ve put in to it. I get the impression that they were genuinely surprised by the vitriolic feedback they’ve gotten, and their feelings were hurt by it. The danger of working for years on a project in secret means that you can lose touch with your target customer, and I wonder if they’d forgotten how much a departure this was from the RPG. They’ve been defining Shadowrun as a shooter for the past 2+ years, and have forgotten that the rest of us define it differently. They shouldn’t change their game – it’s great at what it is. They need to work on their messaging. This is a game for FPS fans looking for a new twist. The Shadowrun RPG fans should look at this as a way to introduce more fans to their beloved tabletop game.

“What do you think? Do you like it?” These questions were asked several times during the course of our visit. They really love this game. They really want it to be successful, and for other people to love it too. You could see it in their eyes, in their questions, the pleading: Like our game, please.

Don’t worry FASA, I do like your game. I won’t be the only one.
As mentioned earlier I had lunch with the Shadowrun team today. I was invited over to FASA studios (part of the Microsoft Game Studios) because I'd had some passionate things to say about their new game. I also brought along a couple of other gamers: Adam and Tim who are also long term SR fans. Although I should point out that we are NOT rapid fans. I'm actually selling up my Shadowrun books since I'm playing less RPGs nowadays. If anyone is interested please email me. I'll cut you a special deal if you work for FASA (I'll even through in a receipt so you can expense it).

At first I was a little nervous and hoping I wouldn't have to invole the name of Robert Scoble to avoid any blog induced retribution. Fortunately everything was very friendly and light hearted so there was no need for Robert to appear in a super hero costume.

So I played the game and let just say this: it's good. Yes folks: it's share price increasingly good. I can't blog about specific features but I can say I enjoyed it and I have low pain threshold for crappy games. It is an excellent and well thought out squad based shooter. It will appeal to PC and Xbox gamers alike and shared PC/Console gamespace will change the way people think about online gaming.

Now, on to the difficult bit: The Shadowrun universe. I know have a good understanding of how the team arrived at the current storyline (why a squad based shooter actually needs one is a matter of debate). I have to say that the game itself actually works really well in 2050 'classic' Shadowrun. There are couple of tweaks (needed for a squad shooter - but these are entirely neccessary and forgivable). The stuff which was shown at E3 does not do justice to this game. Here is a quick summary of the 'fan offensive' level of the game:

Artwork: Feels like Shadowrun. Good Job! The SR universe has a lot of different types of artwork (as Tim pointed out yesterday). From the gritty stuff in the early source books to the more cartoonish work in the more recent editions.

Gameplay: Feels like Shadowrun. One particulary moment struck me as 'very' Shadowrun: When I saw an Elf meld through a wall carrying a submachingune.

Backstory: Needs some work here. A bit of butchered Shadowrun. My advice to FASA: Cut it out. You don't need much backstory for a squad shooter!
 

Brobzoid

how do I slip unnoticed out of a gloryhole booth?
May 8, 2006
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CountZeroInt said:
*shitload of text with no bolds and/or cliffnotes*
so, where they pleased?


or rather, how angry were they?
 

Littleberu

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Jun 6, 2004
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Brobzoid said:
so, where they pleased?


or rather, how angry were they?
well, the b.s. guys is saying, in the end, that it was all shadowrun, and that an elven walking trough a wall with a machine gun is Shadowrun for him. whatever.
 

GashPrex

NeoGaf-Gold™ Member
Jun 7, 2004
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I am pretty sure the shadowrun people here would refuse to even try the game and if they did like it would never admit it
 

SnakeXs

about the same metal capacity as a cucumber
Dec 20, 2005
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GashPrex said:
I am pretty sure the shadowrun people here would refuse to even try the game and if they did like it would never admit it
In my case, you're right. But I'm as far from an MP player as can be. I enjoy it time to time, but I doubt I'd ever buy an MP only game.

Add in the whole point that it's AN MP ONLY SQUAD BASED FPS GODDAMNIT, with the Shadowrun shit tacked on simply to rape the name for what it's worth, and yeah, you're right.

I would however try it and admit it was fun if it was. If.
 

Jiggy

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Sep 10, 2005
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Everyone who saw the trailer and said “that’s not Shadowrun… Shadowrun would be xxx” is doing it backwards. FASA took a different tactic. They wanted to build a shooter. That’s what they do best. Then, they took the Shadowrun IP off the shelf, and figured out how to fit some of the Shadowrun coolness into it. This is a game that will appeal to FPS fans first, and Shadowrun fans second.
That's the whole problem.
 

jedimike

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Jun 7, 2004
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I've always felt this game would be a much better Counter-Strike. I'm sure it will be fun as hell... however, when you think about the Shadowrun license, you just don't want it to be a shooter. Call the game Cyber Strike or whatever... but don't call it Shadowrun.

Nonetheless, I'm a huge Counter-Strike fan, and I'll buy this game for those aspects.
 

border

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Jun 7, 2004
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The ideas for the game always sounded kind of cool, but with all the magic and shit I worried that it would end up really janky and unbalanced.

The main thing that still seems unexplained is why the Shadowrun IP had to be used for this particular game. Most of the resentment seems to come from turning an RPG IP into an multiplayer action game.....essentially removing the major elements of an RPG (stats, character customization, story).
 
Oct 28, 2005
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Littleberu said:
well, the b.s. guys is saying, in the end, that it was all shadowrun, and that an elven walking trough a wall with a machine gun is Shadowrun for him. whatever.
Come on man, it's more than just elves teleporting through walls. Don't forget:

I decided something after watching for about 45 seconds. This game was Shadowrun. Big guns, little guns. Trolls with katanas. [plus Magic]
It has to be Shadowrun now since we have big and little guns!!!

Unless there's a game mode dedicated to datajacking, hacking, and doing REAL runs. It's not Shadowrun.
 
Aug 24, 2005
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Noone really gives a shit whether or not it feels like Shadowrun or is a good shooter, it's not the game anyone wanted. There are plenty of good shooters out now and coming out that look a hell of a lot better than this. It's a total misuse of the franchise and a huge missed opportunity.
 

Borys

Banned
Dec 12, 2004
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Poland baby!
border said:
The main thing that still seems unexplained is why the Shadowrun IP had to be used for this particular game. Most of the resentment seems to come from turning an RPG IP into an multiplayer action game.....essentially removing the major elements of an RPG (stats, character customization, story).
That's a pretty easy question.

Because FPSes sell better than RPGs.

Here's why it's smart and why it will pay off to MS in the end:

1) They make a Shadworun FPS, Xbox FPS guys love dem shooters and because they don't have Halo 3 yet and Gears of War isn't a FPS they buy it and love it.

2) RPG Xbox guys ignore it. "WHY NOT AN RPG?!?!?" They buy MASS EFFECT instead.

3) Because FPS guys numbers >> RPG guys numbers Microsoft profits.

4) Time passes (2 years).

5) Microsoft announces second Shadowrun game for Xbox 360 - an RPG.

6) RPG guys buy it. "FINALLY!" (note that they have bought 2 sci-fi RPGs now! and neither one cannibalized each others sales!)

7) FPS guys buy it because now they know what Shadowrun is and want to learn about it more. They wouldn't have bought it if not for that Shadowrun shooter 2 years ago!

8) ...

9) FASA & Microsoft: PROFIT !!!

There you have it!

(note that same was said about Deus Ex: IW and we know how that shit turned out and how it pathetically BOMBED in sales and neither FPS guys nor RPG guys have bought it)
 

Razoric

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Jun 8, 2004
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Dave Long said:
Everyone has overreacted in a major way. This game played really well at E3. I sat down with it on two occasions and came away wanting to play it more. Just because it isn't what you wanted doesn't mean it isn't good.
exactly... some of you are such babies sometimes.
 

border

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Jun 7, 2004
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Borys said:
That's a pretty easy question.

Because FPSes sell better than RPGs.
That doesn't explain why they need the Shadowrun IP to make a squad FPS. FPS players aren't interested in Shadowrun, Shadowrun players aren't interested in FPS titles. The license does absolutely nothing to help sell the game and thus far has only helped it garner tons of negative attention.

At the end of the day, KOTOR, Fable and Oblivion have probably outsold the majority of FPS titles on the Xbox and Xbox 360. You might wanna rethink the "FPS > RPG" mentality as well. Note also that "multiplayer only squad FPS" games are not very popular, even on Microsoft's platforms.
 

Fix

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Jul 23, 2004
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Backstory: Needs some work here. A bit of butchered Shadowrun. My advice to FASA: Cut it out. You don't need much backstory for a squad shooter!
I like the way this guy thinks. Build the brand by eliminating the one true thing that binds you to the material. So you're woefully out of time? **** the story, I'm sure that the TOTALLY ORIGINAL GAMEPLAY will carry you to the real sequel you all really want to make. :lol
 

Acosta

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Jun 9, 2004
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The game can be fun, I found it fun, it´s seems a really interesting counter strike clone. But still it´s a pretty unimpressive game from a technical viewpoint with a potential lack of content if the 8 map thing is final.

And yes, there is something of Shadowrun inside... But just "something", a shadow of what it is Shadowrun.

This is no Shadowrun, everyone who knows this universe can say that the game is much more than elves with guns teletransporting themselves through walls. This game is an abuse of the license and that is exactly what drive crazy to its fans, and will keep being like that even if the game is ultra fun and the best seller game on Xbox 360.
 

rastex

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Jun 6, 2004
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Razoric said:
exactly... some of you are such babies sometimes.
Fortunately, the number of them is incredibly small and I realize will have very little impact on the development of the game. This game could get quite a bit of attention if pushed hard enough by MS (which I think it will). While there are quite a few shooters coming for the 360 in the rest of the year, they're mostly war games, and seem to be slower paced. There will be a need for a fast paced action multiplayer FPS by next year, as that role is currently being fulfilled by only PDZ.
 

Borys

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Dec 12, 2004
12,094
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Poland baby!
border said:
That doesn't explain why they need the Shadowrun IP to make a squad FPS. FPS players aren't interested in Shadowrun, Shadowrun players aren't interested in FPS titles. The license does absolutely nothing to help sell the game and thus far has only helped it garner tons of negative attention.

At the end of the day, KOTOR, Fable and Oblivion have probably outsold the majority of FPS titles on the Xbox and Xbox 360. You might wanna rethink the "FPS > RPG" mentality as well. Note also that "multiplayer only squad FPS" games are not very popular, even on Microsoft's platforms.
You don't quite get the business side of that agreement.

Microsoft is very... aware when it comes to which franchise can be coined into cash.

KOTOR: KOTOR = STAR WARS. Star Wars fanbase = millions and millions of people, 90% of them are gamers.

FABLE: Fable had a name going for it - Molyneaux.

OBLIVION & MORROWIND: they were both a part of a much larger and older franchise, very respected: The Elder Scrolls.

Shadowrun doesn't really have anything. No designer name, no living franchise, no large fanbase, no nothing.

Yeah, a small, hardcore fanbase, much, much smaller than Star Wars'. Did the hardcore fanbase helped any SEGA games (Panzer Dragoon Orta, JSRF etc.) on Xbox ? Nope it didn't.

FPS gamers don't need to care about Shadworun, I know that. THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT SHADOWRUIN, they care about a good & fun shooter, especially if it has a strong MP support.

Building a 360 fanbase of Shadowrun franchise around a Shadowrun shooter is a smart idea IMO. They can (and will) further enlarge it by releasing a Shadowrun RPG. Both camps will be happy.

And please, majority of those who are yelling "NO RPG = NO SALE!" right now will be day one at this game's launch.

All I am saying is that a good game is still a good game no matter how biased your perception might be.
 

Acosta

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rastex said:
Fortunately, the number of them is incredibly small and I realize will have very little impact on the development of the game. This game could get quite a bit of attention if pushed hard enough by MS (which I think it will). While there are quite a few shooters coming for the 360 in the rest of the year, they're mostly war games, and seem to be slower paced. There will be a need for a fast paced action multiplayer FPS by next year, as that role is currently being fulfilled by only PDZ.
Prae loooks like 10x times better than Shadowrun as it is now, and is incredibly fast in multiplayer.

Quake Wars is all but "slow paced", offers group multiplayer combat and looks much better than Shadowrun.

F.E.A.R is other fast paced shooter in solo and multiplayer and still look better than Shadowrun.

And then you have a lot of shooters that are not FPS but feel like one, Gears of War or Lost Planet for example.

So I disagree with you, action games genre is very well covered on Xbox 360 catalogue. And even if this were not the case, Shadowrun shouldn´t be a fast paced FPS in any case, because that doen´t do justice the name it uses.
 
Jul 24, 2005
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Borys said:
That's a pretty easy question.

Because FPSes sell better than RPGs.

Here's why it's smart and why it will pay off to MS in the end:

1) They make a Shadworun FPS, Xbox FPS guys love dem shooters and because they don't have Halo 3 yet and Gears of War isn't a FPS they buy it and love it.

2) RPG Xbox guys ignore it. "WHY NOT AN RPG?!?!?" They buy MASS EFFECT instead.

3) Because FPS guys numbers >> RPG guys numbers Microsoft profits.

4) Time passes (2 years).

5) Microsoft announces second Shadowrun game for Xbox 360 - an RPG.

6) RPG guys buy it. "FINALLY!" (note that they have bought 2 sci-fi RPGs now! and neither one cannibalized each others sales!)

7) FPS guys buy it because now they know what Shadowrun is and want to learn about it more. They wouldn't have bought it if not for that Shadowrun shooter 2 years ago!

8) ...

9) FASA & Microsoft: PROFIT !!!

There you have it!
Great Theory!
 

rastex

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Jun 6, 2004
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Gaijin To Ronin said:
So I disagree with you, action games genre is very well covered on Xbox 360 catalogue. And even if this were not the case, Shadowrun shouldn´t be a fast paced FPS in any case, because that doen´t do justice the name it uses.
Ya, you're quite right. There's also Quake 4 hahaha. I was pretty damn wrong about that actually.
 
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Why do you assume FPS players are going to buy this just because it's a FPS? They'll be lucky to get 100k out of it and the IP will end up like Crimson Skies or Mechassault - on the shelf.
 

Acosta

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Borys said:
You don't quite get the business side of that agreement.
h a part of a much larger and older franchise, very respected: The Elder Scrolls.

Shadowrun doesn't really have anything. No designer name, no living franchise, no large fanbase, no nothing.

Yeah, a small, hardcore fanbase, much, much smaller than Star Wars'. Did the hardcore fanbase helped any SEGA games (Panzer Dragoon Orta, JSRF etc.) on Xbox ? Nope it didn't.
Doens´t have anything? doen´t have a beloved universe fully developed over years of pen&paper work?

Maybe you don´t care about Shadorun franchise, that is why you don´t seem to understand the situation. Fans of the game don´t care at all if the game sells millions and is the best FPS in the story of humankind, they will still hate the game.

That FASA or Microsoft or you doesn´t care of fans because is an "small fanbase" and business is the important thing? Good, but you can´t expect they stop complaining about the situation.
 

Razoric

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Jun 8, 2004
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Gaijin To Ronin said:
Doens´t have anything? doen´t have a beloved universe fully developed over years of pen&paper works?

Maybe you don´t care about Shadorun franchise, that is why you don´t seem to understand the situation. Fans of the game don´t care at all if the game sells millions and is the best FPS in the story of humankind, they will still hate the game.

That FASA or Microsoft or you doesn´t care of fans because is an "small fanbase" and business is the important thing? Good, but you can´t expect they stop complaining about the situation.
who cares about close-minded fools that refuse to like a game because it's not what they wanted it to be. They should all run back to their little shadowrun forums and work on one via RPG Maker 2005. :lol
 

Aaron

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Borys said:
FABLE: Fable had a name going for it - Molyneaux.

MORROWIND: they were both a part of a much larger and older franchise, very respected: The Elder Scrolls.
90% of the people who bought these two games knew nothing about Moly or the Elder Scrolls franchise. The first was hyped to high heaven, and the second had minor levels of hype plus strong word of mouth. Shadowrun could have both, depending on how much further the game will be developed past what's shown at E3. I agree though that the Shadowrun name means almost nothing in this context, but that's neither here nor there towards the overall sales. I'd say it's all up to MS just how much they want to support this project. Though one thing that really hurts it now happens to the the most shallow aspect: the visuals. It helped sell Fable, it's going to help sell GoW (not that it needs it), and it'd go along way to win over the crowd who bought GRAW because of bloom lighting.
 

Azih

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For the love of God get the Shadowrun name out of there. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET THE SHADOWRUN NAME OUT OF THERE!
 

border

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Borys said:
FPS gamers don't need to care about Shadworun, I know that. THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT SHADOWRUIN, they care about a good & fun shooter, especially if it has a strong MP support.
Why use the Shadowrun IP then?

I think you really underestimate the RPG fans' disinterest in squad shooters. I ignore RPGs and play occaisional shooters and I'm not even that interested in it. What makes you think that so many people are going to buy a game in a genre they don't like just because it's got a franchise that they are familiar with? Your whole argument seems to be that FPS fans will buy it "just because" and Shadowrun fans will buy it "just because". The fact of the matter is that so far, multiplayer-only titles have tanked on MS's platform and RPG fans will probably not buy an action game just because of the IP.
FABLE: Fable had a name going for it - Molyneaux.

OBLIVION & MORROWIND: they were both a part of a much larger and older franchise, very respected: The Elder Scrolls.
Are we really going to pretend that "Molyneaux" and "Elder Scrolls" actually meant something to the mainstream console gamers that made those titles a success? At the time of Morrowind's release, Elder Scrolls meant about as much as Shadowrun does now. Jade Empire had no discernable pedigree and still did fine.....Mass Effect is getting big press without a franchise. If you make an incredible RPG it will get attention. If you make a shitty-looking squad FPS, it will probably get less attention than the incredible RPG.

The idea that you have to rebuild an RPG IP as an FPS just to get any kind of success is retarded.....especially considering how crowded FPS market already is. The "FPS = MEGASALES" equation doesn't work. Plenty of FPS titles come and go without a bang.
 

Azih

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Hell PDZ whiffed. And it was a RECOGNIZED FPS FRANCHISE WITH GOOD MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT and a lot of marketing dollars. Shadowrun is a weaker sell than PDZ in EVERY WAY without even considering the unbridled (and completely reasonable) hate it's getting.


You ****ing lose MS.
 

Acosta

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Razoric said:
who cares about close-minded fools that refuse to like a game because it's not what they wanted it to be. They should all run back to their little shadowrun forums and work on one via RPG Maker 2005. :lol
They are making a noticeable noise that you can be sure dosn´t make happy to the members of the studio.

The funny thing is that the game is hated for a full community, as meaninglesss as you want, while is doen´t have anyone who is clearly pleased about it. It doen´t have anyone being enthusiastic about the project out of MS doors, there is only apologism and damaging control at its finest like "but, uhm, the game can be fun given the demo" (which I subscribe).

So is not like the game looks like Gears of War and has amazed a different type of gamers over the rpg community. The game is, at this moment, average looking for people that never cared of the franchise and hated for Shadowrun lovers community. Is not a good record.
 

Borys

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Dec 12, 2004
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Poland baby!
Okay, the hatred towards this game is indeed strong :lol, let
me try from another angle.

Gaijin to Ronin, border:

Supposing this ends up as a AAA, 9+/10 multiplayer FPS shooter recognized on GameSpot, IGN, TeamXbox etc.

Now if you don't buy it then just "because it's not an RPG" there's a problem with you, not with Shadowrun's designers.

And if that AAA title bombs in sales because Shadowrun ellitist "fans" denied its existence guess what happen next?

You get a Shadowrun RPG?

Bzzt! ****ing wrong !!!

The franchise has bombed despite developers delivering a tremendous, amazing title. Microsoft throws it to the trashcan and you get ZERO, ZIP, NADA.

You know who's the winner then? Those people who bought it and enjoyed it, not some jaded, hardcore group that decided to boycott it.

...................................................................................

As for me personally - I don't care about Shadowrun as much as you people here, I had my sci-fi cyberpunk fix with games like Deus Ex and System Shock 2, games infinitely better than the Shadowrun game I played on SNES.

But I care about good games and if it ends as a GOOD game then Microsoft gets my money, if it ends as a 6/10 title then it is indeed a waste of license.
 

Aaron

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Actually, the possiblity of a Shadowrun RPG is screwed either way. If the FPS bombs, the franchise is tainted and won't be given another shot in any context for some time. If it's a success, all we're going to get is another FPS because it's now 'proven' this is where the franchise can be properly used. For a chance at an RPG, the FPS has to be DOA and maybe we'll get one in another ten years, or it's such a big hit that they do an RPG as a spin-off game while working on a sequel to the FPS one.
 

beelzebozo

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Apr 24, 2006
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I know very little about how this game is coming along, but...

is there a comparison to be made to Metroid's transition from third person to first person between Super Metroid and Metroid Prime?

I wouldn't say Metroid Prime represented as dramatic a gameplay shift as the new Shadowrun seems to be, but it's a thought.
 

border

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A.) Why not make a a AAA, 9+/10 RPG recognized on GameSpot, IGN, TeamXbox etc. in the first place? A game that's highly acclaimed in the RPG genre will generally do pretty well...a game that's a multiplayer-only shooter probably has less of a chance at success. I can name a ton of successful RPGs on Microsoft's platforms and not so many big multiplayer FPS titles. Games like Counterstrike and Unreal Championship outright tanked.

B.) Shadowrun fans aren't going to buy a game they don't want just because there might be a chance that if the game is successful that they might get the game they wanted. You can whine all you want the Shadowrun fans are "elitist", but RPGs are light years away from Counterstrike. I honestly don't see what's elitist about not wanting a game in a genre you don't care for. If they turned Halo into a card battle game I wouldn't blame Halo fans for ignoring it.

C.) Everything you've said is based around really shaky assumptions. The assumption that the game is going to be fantastic, the assumption that MS will actually make an RPG if the FPS game does well, the assumption that a multiplayer FPS will sell in large numbers to an audience that generally demands a 1P campaign...

D.) You've pretty much already said that this game is "a waste of license". The FPS fans don't care about the license, the Shadowrun fans are so insignificant in number that they cannot substantially increase the game's sales. Time and again, companies have built successful RPGs without an FPS predecessor, so I really don't see why a Shadowrun RPG would need one.
Aaron said:
If it's a success, all we're going to get is another FPS because it's now 'proven' this is where the franchise can be properly used.
That seems WAY more likely than Microsoft just deciding to make an RPG after a successful FPS. How many other Microsoft IPs have had such a dramatic genre shift after a popular first iteration? None to my knowledge.
 

Acosta

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Borys said:
I don't care about Shadowrun as much as you people here, I had my sci-fi cyberpunk fix with games like Deus Ex and System Shock 2, games infinitely better than the Shadowrun game I played on SNES.
Tell me, what would you feel if EA recovers System Shock and make a mindless console shoot´em up with a poor story and few of the elements that made great System Shock. Now imagine that game is very well made at its own merits (that have nothing to do with System Shock) and gets AAA score from magazines and great sales. It uses System Shock name to earn notability, it seems a really good shoot´em up, but without the RPG elements, background, scary factor and story of System Shock; would that make you happy or upset?

I can say you that as a lover of System Shock and Deus Ex I would feel upset about someone using that names for something that clearly takes them in a completely different way. You can innovate and add new formulas, but if you want to do something radically different, there is always the option of using a new name and avoiding all this.

What do you think of Invisible Wars by the way?

I would like to make clear that I don´t hate anyone or anything, that people are professionals that are doing his work and that deserves my respect. From a personal point of view I deeply dislike the core idea of the game, from a professional viewpoint I think the demo was fun but the games lacks technical punch and fails to impress at all.
 

Kabuki Waq

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Shadowrun name means nothing to Casuals.


This will be marketed as a Cool Sci-fi FPS. It will sell more than any shadowrun rpg would IMO.
 

Blame!

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Kabuki Waq said:
Shadowrun name means nothing to Casuals.


This will be marketed as a Cool Sci-fi FPS. It will sell more than any shadowrun rpg would IMO.
QFT, etc.....the indignant rage of fanboys is fun to watch...and also a little sad.
 

Azih

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Kabuki Waq said:
This will be marketed as a Cool Sci-fi FPS.
Didn't work for Perfect Dark Zero, which had an established FPS brand name. And had a solid Multiplay base and a Single Player campaign. Shadowrun is purely multiplayer.

It will sell more than any shadowrun rpg would IMO.
Look at the hype Mass Effect is getting. It's a brand new Cool Sci-fi RPG and it also has a name that no casual cares about.