Shadowrun Returns dev wants to avoid a “Han shot first” situation

Friday, 21st June 2013 06:08 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The world has changed since Shadowrun was first conceived of, and a lot of the future its creator envisioned has been proved incorrect, but he’s not going to pull a George Lucas and mess with canon fans hold dear.

“The prognostication that I did 25 years ago got some things right and some things really wrong,” Shadowrun creator and Harebrained Games lead Jordan Weisman told Shack News

“Even those wrong things are part of the Shadowrun canon and, for some players and readers, those things still have an emotional resonance to them. So it’s been an interesting process of updating the absolutely minimal possible that we felt would be a suspension-of-disbelief breaker for a new audience. It came down to a handful of little things that we changed and tweaked slightly to avoid that breaking of suspension of disbelief for new players.”

Weisman said messing too much with the franchise would cause a “Han shot first” moment.

“The vast majority has really tried to be respectful to the original vision of the future from 25 years ago,” he said.

“I, like many people, was upset with George [Lucas] for going back and messing with his movies. Then I was working on [Shadowrun Returns], I found myself tempted to go back and fix things that I didn’t like, but I realized, ‘I know what the feels like from a fan’s point-of-view…don’t do that.’ So we restricted ourselves to the barest minimum that wouldn’t disenfranchise new players.”

“Han shot first” refers to an edit made to later version of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in which Han Solo does not make the first move in a shoot out.

Shadowrun Returns comes out in July on PC and tablets.



  1. DSB

    I feel kinda bad for not backing it. I had no idea Harebrained Schemes had the guys behind Crimson Skies, and when I brought Crimson Steam Pirates on iOS I felt even worse, because that game was fucking awesome.

    I’ll definitely pick it up on Steam as a mea culpa though.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Joe_Gamer

    Their kickstarter has ended but I believe you can still “fund” them on their website for the same bonuses.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. TheWulf

    I think that Shadowrun is just one of those IPs that you have to have an inclination towards novelty to actually enjoy. I know some people enjoy things which are easily stratified and categorised, small and simpler things. I’ve often seen the desire to destroy, assimilate, or at the very least ignore that which is unfamiliar enough. It’s that attitude that’s left me tired of the mainstream, because everything is in these… I don’t know, these uniform, tidy little boxes.

    If you look at TV Tropes, there are hundreds of thousands of them, but it’s like the mainstream is stuck within the same twenty or so. Everything is very painfully average, it’s a game of averages, the mainstream is competing to make the most average game. You almost always have your chiseled male hero; Games are far too frequently focused around niche power fantasies; Games tend to be about accruing power to be better than other people, to smack down other people, realistic people especially; A game has to have a watered down, simplified plot set in one of a handful of settings which have also been further simplified ans stripped of any uniqueness they could have had; Almost everything is a massive sausagefest (sometimes you have to petition to get women in a game, and there are even mods to remove women from games); Women represented in games are often tits to stare at, but often have painfully one-dimensional personalities because interacting with a believable woman too much would be gay (obviously); And so on.

    I’m kind of sick of that.

    I miss the ’70s/’80s/’90s when games were so niche that we had crazy shit going on that was hard to actually put into one of the mainstream’s boxes of today. And Shadowrun is a perfect example, it’s very similar to Arcanum, and lots of blending of settings we had back then. But today? Shadowrun would never make it in the mainstream because… well…

    Hey, this game… does it go in the MEDIEVAL FANTASY: SWORDS & TITS & DRAGONS OH MY box, or does it go in the STEROID-PUMPED MARINES OF THE FUTURE box?

    I don’t know…


    I… huh… I don’t… I DON’T KNOW, MAN. I just don’t know!!! I’m scared. Hold me.

    This is one of the reasons I’m so glad that Kickstarter is a thing, so games don’t have to fit into the mainstream boxes. Someone needs to burn those boxes.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. TheWulf

    In other words… I’m glad I backed this, and backed it I did. I’m glad because it’s actually something a little bit different. “And the person you’re chatting up in a bar might actually be a dragon in disguise,” the trailer said. I want that! That’s an inherently noble thing.

    Why don’t we have more dragons at bars, anyway? I’m sure it sounds silly, but this stratification just gets me down. According to the typical fantasy bullshit, a dragon must be:

    * A creature that lurks in a cave or underground complex.
    * A creature which can fly on typically leathery wings.
    * A creature of magic, of boring magic.
    * A creature which has a hoard of pointless shinies, never used.
    * A creature which leads an army of minions to war.

    Even D&D got cleverer than that, before everyone somehow forgot.

    How about a wingless dragon with augmented magitech limbs which runs a multinational organisation? What about a dragon that pushes the field of biotech, and dabbles in the arts? THEN WHAT? :I

    I missed you, Shadowrun.

    #4 2 years ago

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