Shadowrun Returns is a tactical role-playing game developed and published by Harebrained Schemes. It takes place in the science fantasy setting of the Shadowrun tabletop role-playing game.

Shadowrun: Returns Steam page.

You receive a call from one of your fixers. Is this the moment that you’ve been waiting for? “Hey, hotshot! I got a gig for you to run. This one’s urgent. I need it done ASAP! I’ll send over the deets. If you get this done tonight… You’ll be the next Big D of Seattle.”

No kidding. You fished a big one, a real big one: ¥10,000 nuyen.

You read through the details of the gig, and Mr. Johnson wants you to extract a drone inside Royale HQ, Dragon MK. II.

Find a way inside Royale HQ and extract the drone. Sounds easy enough, right?

Shadowrun: Tame The Dragon, or TTD for short, is a User Generated Content (UGC) questline from a team of two developers: Emanuel Garcia (myself) and Alex Chimienti (game writer). It was a 2-month long project to showcase immersive sim elements in a traditional CRPG game. Below you’ll see screenshots and videos showcasing the different mechanics, triggers, and level design methodology with environmental storytelling.

Level Design with Storytelling

The levels were designed in two scenes: open market (and bar) and Royale HQ. Each scene provides its own storytelling elements using environmental assets and character barks. Here are a few examples.

Collaborative Branching Dialogue

The character dialogue was written in collaboration with Alex Chimienti. He wrote the character dialogue for Gloria, Weimin, Captain Drucilla, and Wesley. To work collaboratively and effectively, we wanted to use a tool where we could both work and see each other’s notes and comments. First, we did our initial draft using Figma. From there, we proofread and edited the text to then implement it in the editor with their respective conditions and variables.

The Immersive Sim Challenge

The most difficult challenge to this project was creating immersive sim elements for a CRPG game. We limited our scope to a small area that contained up to three quest items and five interactable characters. Our original goal was to have every character provide additional insight to other characters (whether they were in your party or having an item from a specific character). Instead, we kept the immersive sim mentality with the quest items.

Here are a few examples of what you can do with the “Blue Drink”, “Mateo’s Badge”, and “Weimin’s Information” that you overheard on the second floor of the bar.