Shadowrun Returns with Kickstarter campaign

Widely-adored cyberpunk pen & paper RPG Shadowrun is coming back as a turn-based 2D video game RPG, or at least that's the plan behind creator Jordan Weisman's new Kickstarter campaign. Assisted by other FASA veterans, he's hoping to bring the fine mix of magic and technology to PC, and iOS and Android tablets.

The Kickstarter for Shadowrun Returns, as it's called, is looking for $400,000 to develop the game at Weisman's studio Harebrained Schemes. As with other recent Kickstarters that set our nostalgia glands pumping, it's racing towards that, passing $120,000 in around five hours.

Shadowrun Returns is described as "A graphically rich 2D turn-based single player game with deep story interaction, meaningful character development, and highly-contextual tactical combat," which sounds just splendid. The last Shadowrun game was the 2007 Shadowrun shooter, which took story elements from the RPG and slapped them into a deathmatch FPS, albeit it a novel one.

Fascinatingly, it's looking to follow a "braided anthology" structure, with an overarching plot told through numerous "short stories." Weisman's plotting it out with veteran Shadowrun developers Mitch Gitelman and Mike Mulvihill, then several Shadowrun authors and designers will write their own stories around key nuggets of information, which will become game missions. Which sounds splendid, and pleasingly reflects the tabletop roots.

In the same vein, there'll be a level editor so players can create their own stories, then upload online to share with your chums or the whole world wide web.

Pledging at least $15 will get you a copy of Shadowrun Returns when it's finished. The escalating rewards for higher pledges include bonus in-game abilities, Shadowrun RPG books, and becoming an NPC in the game.

Should Harebrained Schemes pass its target, which is looking awfully likely, it plans to make a Mac version, then add translations, then, if it's lucky enough, expand the team to make extra content.