"really small budget development," it's still put on lists that harbour games with "30-40 million dollar production budgets," says Hairbrained Schemes' Jordan Weisman.
The team have already burned through their Kickstarter backer funds, which flourished so well thanks to 'fan nostalgia'. A lot of projects have succeed because of an "emotional tie" to the audience.
Weisman sincerely hopes there's a lot more than just those 37k Kickstarter backers who are willing to part with their money for Shadowrun Returns, otherwise "we lose the gamble."
"When you look at the scope, it’s really small budget development. You have to have a project that is more design-focused than technology-focused. We have a lot of content in our game, but not compared to one of these giant epics," said Jordan Weisman in an interview with .
"The funding platform and the amount of money we raised there does lead you back towards this kind of game," he said. "There's an overlap with the audience that's on Kickstarter. It tends to be an older audience, ones you can afford to take a little risk, and who have an emotional attachment. I think the majority of games that have been funded there to large numbers are people or properties that have an emotional tie to the audience in some way."
"Certainly that's the case with Double Fine, Wasteland, Shadowrun, the Obsidian guys... these are all examples of that."
Shadowrun Returns asked for $400k but received over $1.8 million when its campaign ended.
"We have 37,000 backers on Shadowrun Returns," Weisman said. "Our hope is that there's a lot more of them than just those 37,000, because if not then we lose the gamble. We've spent every penny and more that they gave us to make the game; we haven't made any money."
"I'm hoping it's not just the nostalgia player, but that there's an underserved market of people who really like depth of story, like depth of tactics. I'm sure they still enjoy a great first-person shooter, but they're looking for this to be part of their gaming mix, and not finding a lot of it in the marketplace. It is historically considered to be too small of a niche over the last decade to be of interest to major publishers."
Hairbrained Schemes recently released a 'first look' of alpha gameplay footage for Shadowrun Returns.