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Shadowrun Returns Interview at GamesIndustry

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Shadowrun Returns Interview at GamesIndustry

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Wed 17 July 2013, 20:46:16

Tags: Harebrained Schemes; Mitch Gitelman; Shadowrun Returns

GamesIndustry offers an interview with Harebrained Schemes' Mitch Gitelman on Shadowrun Returns, where Mitch stresses the high cost of switching from top-down to isometric as well as Harebrained's plans for a new Kickstarter campaign. Have a snippet:

"It was a very organic, and very, for lack of a better word, 'customer-oriented' approach, which I'm kind of proud of," Gitelman said. "But from a planning point of view, the executive in me says something different. And the designer in me says something different."

While Gitelman says he has no problem telling his inner executive to go sit in a corner, he is not so disciplined when it comes to design issues. As an example, he brought up the decision to go from a top-down 2D game to a 2D-3D hybrid with an isometric viewpoint as one with cascading consequences for development.

"That one decision right there added amazing complexity and cost to the development, that one decision more than any other," Gitelman said. Beyond the greater demands on the art team, the user interface was similarly complicated by the switch, impacting things like line-of-sight calculations.

Between the change in perspective and the assortment of stretch goals tacked on when the game more than quadrupled its initial $400,000 asking price, Gitelman said the scope increased to the point where the game would be unable to meet its original January 2013 release date. Gitelman wasn't too broken up about that, noting, "A game's only late until it ships, and a good game is a good game forever, hopefully."

[...] With one Kickstarted project nearly in the can, Gitelman confirmed Harebrained Schemes is prepping to take a second shot at crowdfunded game development. He clearly enjoyed his first go-around on Kickstarter, and hopes to see it become a sustainable platform for game development, even if he can already identify some growing pains.

As Gitelman explained, "The real question for me is, 'Is Kickstarter a viable place where you can come with a new IP or an out-there idea and find an audience for that?' What I'm looking at with Kickstarter is whether we can really innovate in this space. Can we use that as a bully pulpit, and to cut through the noise enough to find an audience to support it? But now that Kickstarter is so big, it's almost like the iOS marketplace, so you have to market your Kickstarter and now you have to do even more work to get noticed. It's an evolving animal, and I hope it works out because I really like the idea of allowing gamers to voice their support in a way that allows indies to follow their passion."​

Full interview here.

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