While the editor shipping with Shadowrun Returns will let you build new mission areas, insert dialogue, and (with a bit of tinkering) allow you to import new art assets into the isometric RPG it won’t let you add new weapons or magic.
This somewhat draconian measure is because the game’s lore doesn’t permit it.
Developer Harebrained Schemes have worked to construct a set of tools and a campaign which will act as the first flush of content for a game which will be expanded by modders. Much as Neverwinter Nights has seen years of mods expand out the original storyline, Harebrained are hoping Shadowrun’s players will create new campaigns and areas for other players to explore – keeping the game alive outside of official content releases.
However, according to an interview with Shack News, there isn’t space for players to expand on the skills and weapons provided by the developers. Harebrained have been keeping strictly to the pen & paper ruleset and out of respect to that will not allow new magics, skills, or weapons to be introduced.
It’s a shame that players won’t be able to create a whole new slew of assets for the game and are their creativity is restricted in some directions but with mission, dialogues, and locations all open for alteration there should be plenty of room for new content.
Separately, to help modders keep to the game’s aesthetic, Harebrained are “going to release a kind of art guide for people that want to build their own environmental building blocks,” says lead developer Jordan Weisman. “The editor has support for you to bring in and use your own art for your environments. That will be there as more of an unsupported feature, because there’s a lot more that goes into bring art in. But if people want to do that, the mechanism exists for doing that on the environments.”
Shadowrun Returns is due out on 25 July.