I honestly didn’t see this interview coming, because the announcement of the next-gen Shadowrun proposal to Microsoft came out of nowhere. Nevertheless, it’s very much true. So I talked to Daniel Connery (the leader of the Dragonpunk team) for quite some time today, and while I was doing so, I soon realized that it would be much better if I turned Connery’s answers into an interview instead of an article (thus the interview that you got infront of you right now). So without further ado, please enjoy our interview with Dan Connery =) (and don’t forget to check out the “Dragonpunk: Tribe of Gods” mod for “ARK: Survival Evolved”!).

Robin TGG:
I think we better set the record straight from the very start to avoid any potential misunderstandings or such. So is it correct that you want to make a remake of the original Shadowrun game? Or is it a new nextgen “Shadowrun” title that you aim to develop? Furthermore, what kind of an game will it be?

Connery:
Sorry for the confusion, but no. We want to create a next-gen Shadowrun platform to allow traditional, new, and mod campaigns. For example, there would be no reason why you couldn’t remake the old games as a mod, just like they’re doing with the SNES game in Shadowrun Returns. There are always challenges with next-gen modding, but as Modders ourselves for the last three years, we know exactly how to handle that!

It would be an Action-RPG/Multiple player title, of course! Like the RPG glory days of Mass Effect with multiplayer elements like Destiny.

nextgen shadowrun daniel connery

I truly hope that Daniel Connery (and Team Dragon Punk) will get a chance to make a nextgen remake of “Shadowrun”.

Robin TGG:
I could be wrong now, but doesn’t Microsoft own the Shadowrun IP?

Connery:
Microsoft does indeed own the video game rights for Shadowrun (not book rights or anything else though).

shadowrun mega drive

The very first “Shadowrun” video game was released for the SNES and Mega Drive console back in the 90s (94 for MD the version, and 93 for the SNES version).

Robin TGG:
How did this nextgen “Shadowrun” project even came to be? I mean, no offense meant, but I thought you worked on X-Com mods?

Connery
I led a team at the University of Texas at Dallas to create an augmented reality game than rendered graphics in the cloud. We tried to pitch it to investors, but we were young, and they didn’t take it. Even though I have a degree in video game production, I gave up on the game when I got recalled back into the Army. My father knew it was my dream, so he’d always say, “when are we gonna make that game of yours?” (Even though he knew nothing about computers). Three years ago, he was fatally shot, and I promised I would do everything possible to make a next gen Shadowrun game. I’ve sold everything I have, including my car, to get to this point. So every September, I write Microsoft to ask permission to make a next-gen Shadowrun game.

shadowrun 2007

Yep, Microsoft does still own the “Shadowrun” IP (the last “Shadowrun” title that MS published was the FPS game from 2007 for PC and Xbox 360).

Robin TGG:
Has Microsoft said anything so far? And have you launched an online petition or such for the nextgen “Shadowrun” proposal?

Connery:
In our experience, online petitions do not seem very helpful. Publishers want to see actual demos and player count. That’s exactly what we’ve been doing with Dragonpunk over these last 2.5 years. The first year, I don’t feel that Microsoft took me seriously (just my opinion). The second year, Microsoft was respectful, but still declined. This year, they’re taking the proposal much more seriously, and we’re hoping to show this as much player support as possible.

harebrained schemes shadowrun

Harebrained Schemes have been very supportive of the nextgen “Shadowrun” proposal. However, they are not involved in the project on any level whatsoever.

Robin TGG:
Is Harebrained Schemes involved in this project in any way?

Connery:
Harebrained Schemes has been very respectful, but they’ve declined to assist.

Robin TGG:
So, has anyone else offered you guys a helping hand? (developers, publishers and so on).

Connery:
No, Microsoft would be the publisher, so it’s completely up to them. They have the funding and developers. So it’s just a matter of risk mitigation.

Robin TGG:
If Microsoft gives you a green light to make the “Shadowrun” remake, then which “Shadowrun” game will the nextgen title be based on? The Mega Drive or Snes version? Or the later “Shadowrun” games?

Connery:
That will be up to Microsoft. What we’re pitching right now, is a project tentatively called “Shadowrun Anthology” in which there are three types of campaigns: traditional, new chapters, and mods. The traditional missions are straight from the books with all the characters and plots players love. “New Chapters” are completely new campaigns, and may have a completely different feel. You know, in my mind, campaigns like “Shadowrun: Hong Kong” would fall under this category. Finally, mods are player created stories. Mod support would be built in from the beginning, so you’ll see a mod campaign in the same game list of available campaigns for each respective area.

Robin TGG:
What do you aim to achieve with the nextgen “Shadowrun” game? And what could the fans expect to get out of it?

Connery:
At its core, “Shadowrun Anthologies” would develop a base platform used for years to come by both professional developers and Modders alike to bring their Shadowrun vision to life. The first story in the anthology would de the Dragonheart saga, then the tail of President Dunkelzahn’s assassination.

Robin TGG:
What’s your history and relationship with the “Shadowrun” universe?

Connery:
I’ve been playing Shadowrun for over 20 years, and feel like the strategic and critical-thinking skills I developed as a player helped me lead over 834 troops safely through two wars over my 10 years in the US Army.

shadowrun hong kong

By the looks of it, the next-gen “Shadowrun” title won’t be an isometric title, but an Action-RPG/Multiple player game.

Robin TGG:
Will the nextgen “Shadowrun” title become an +18 title? Simply put, will the game become more violent and gruesome than the “Shadowrun” games that Harebrained Schemes has made so far? (think Fallout 1 and 2).

Connery:
Again, completely up to Microsoft. Personally, I’d like that to be “story dependent” as the original Shadowrun books ran a spectrum. I always felt that was their strength though – different authors exploring themes with varying styles in the same Shadowrun universe. We have two cinematic trailers story boarded and ready to make. Dunkelzahn’s Assassination is PG-13, while the Blood Mage is inherently 18+.

Robin TGG:
If Microsoft gives the nextgen “Shadowrun” title a go, then I take it that the game will be released to PC, PS4 and Xbox One?

Connery:
Good question. We’re pitching this as an XBox One X exclusive, though possibly with crossplay for PC. Ultimately, it’s up to them.

next-gen shadowrun the dragon letter

Will we get to experience the new adventures that awaits us in Connery’s proposal to Microsoft? Well, that’s all up to us really. As we need to let Microsoft know that we would like to see a nextgen “Shadowrun” title happen.

Robin TGG:
Are you having any thoughts on co-op and online functions?

Connery:
Oh yes. That’s mandatory! The entire reason we’re doing this, in fact!

Robin TGG:
What did you enjoy the most with the old “Shadowrun” games? (Mega Drive and SNES).

Connery:
My first Shadowrun was the Sega version, and that was incredibly impactful. In a time of Sonic the Hedgehog, I can think of only a handful of games that we’re even attempting complex RPG narratives.

shadowrun returns

I think that Harebrained Schemes has done a great job with their “Shadowrun” games so far. So let’s hope that the nextgen “Shadowrun” title will be just as awesome!

Robin TGG:
What’s your thoughts on Harebrained Schemes “Shadowrun” games? Furthermore, what’s your take on Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown (aka “Shadowrun Online) and the Shadowrun Snes remake?

Connery:
The Harebrained Schemes games are absolutely wonderful, and I think no one could have done a better job given their budget. Understanding scope is critical as a game developer, and that’s where Shadowrun Chronicles ran into issues. I’m friends with many of the developers, and they’re all talented people. Unfortunately, the scope of what they wanted, and I’d argue what all Shadowrun fans want, was far bigger than their budget. Budget and scope are why we continue to pitch Shadowrun as a Microsoft Game Studios endeavor. Realistically, no one other than Microsoft would be able to secure the large initial funding needed. As a Shadowrun Community, we have to come together to convince Microsoft that it’s worth the investment.

As for the Shadowrun SNES remake. That mod shows the incredible dedication of the Shadowrun Community, and exactly why mod support is so critical to any next-gen Shadowrun game in the future!

Robin TGG:
What’s your plans, hopes and expections for the rest of the year?

Connery:
Lol, we’ll start with the rest of the week. Our goal now is to raise awareness within the Shadowrun Community. One of the biggest challenges in making a next-gen Shadowrun is that every player is truly passionate about different aspects, and to include them all would be very expensive. Whoever makes this game, be it us or Harebrained Schemes, will need the combined support of the entire community. Once the initial game is a success, then new features can be added to cater to everyone.

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Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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7 Comments ON " Microsoft considers a next-gen Shadowrun game; sho... "
  • Manuel Rodríguez

    Not too long ago I played again on my phone. Really happy to see this happening. I love the narrative in the game, and all the style is just awesome to watch over and over. Hope they keep the essence and bring something new to the genre.

    • I’m glad to hear it man =) And I wish Connery and friends the best of luck with everything (I hope that MS will give them a chance to make a new “Shadowrun” game). I truly hope so as well, so let’s hope for the best 😉

  • Pingback: Anonymous()

  • Rafoca

    I hope these guys manage to succeed

  • twincast

    Next means upcoming. Xbox One and Playstation 4 are current-gen, haven’t been next-gen for years. 🙄😒

    • It’s the wording that they went with, so don’t blame me man 😛

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