ShadowRun: Returns

Studio: Harebrained Schemes

The year is 2054. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. You are a shadowrunner – a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies, surviving day-by-day on skill and instinct alone. When the powerful or the desperate need a job done, you get it done… by any means necessary.

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Available on Steam for Windows and OSX.

ShadowRun: Returns and RAIN

RAIN’s modular AI suite, specifically its behavior tree, pathfinding, and sensor/aspect system, was used to craft much of the enemy behavior in ShadowRun: Returns. Here’s a developer diary excerpt from Harebrained Schemes’ head of engineering, Chris Kohnert.

“Once an AI has perceived you and identified you as a threat, it drops down into a high level planning system where it determines what types of actions it should perform. Things like staying near a VIP to protect him or her or barrelling down the hallway to take out the interlopers are resolved at this level. This level of logic, in our system, is implemented using behavior trees. They can be very useful for choosing among high level alternatives and goals…[The AI Character] selects the best option (or two) and queues it up to be performed. This may also involve moving to get in range (or better range) and/or possibly moving to take advantage of nearby cover.”

Lead AI Developer on ShadowRun: Returns, Chris Aardappel also commented:

“RAIN’s Behavior Tree Editor allowed us to rapidly re-shuffle our individual behavior nodes; which was extremely helpful near the end of the project.”

The sequel to ShadowRun: Returns, ShadowRun: Dragonfall is set to release at the end of January 2014.


About the Studio

Harebrained Schemes is a small team of passionate game developers led by Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun, Crimson Skies, BattleTech, MechWarrior, and many other acclaimed properties. Founded in 2011, the Seattle-based studio is centered around collaboration between seasoned veterans and fresh talent.

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