Interviews// Shadowrun Producer, Mitch Gitelman

Be warned though...

Posted 8 Mar 2007 17:21 by
Games: Shadowrun
Shadowrun is blinking fast. That?s the first impression I got of the game when I had a quick demo recently with Mitch Gidelman, the game?s producer from Microsoft?s FASA Studios (pictured).

The other impression was that it?s genuinely a ground-breaking game. As it?s not only one of the fastest moving, team-based online shooters I?ve ever played. It?s also also claimed to be the first ever true cross-platform game. You can play it on Xbox 360 and PC: together.

Yep, that?s right. The game is central to Microsoft?s roll-out of its ?Live Anywhere? strategy ? which Peter Moore and Bill Gates outlined at last year?s E3 - so strategically is a vitally important title for the company.

The game itself is multiplayer heaven. Two teams of eight battle it out in futuristic arenas, making use of some rather nifty technology, magic and big old guns.

Like Deus Ex and Half-Life 2 before it, Shadowrun has been described as a ?thinking mans fps?, and is based on the 17-year old pen and paper RPG - and subsequent board, card and action-figure games (plus some early console RPGs from ?back in the day?) ? of the same name. It?s themed around a sophisticated blend of futuristic technology (the gliders in the game, which enable your character to fly about and above the whole battlefield, for example), magic (the teleport feature really stood out for me) and big fat futuristic weapons (swords, I soon found, were no match for rocket launchers!)

There?s been a minor outcry from the hardcore Shadowrun fan community, which was really hoping that the game would be an RPG, but generally its reception has been more than favourable. From my recent hands on, I can see why. Be warned though, you are going to need a good couple of hours on the training courses before you enter into the actual deathmatches themselves. Otherwise you will find yourself very quickly pwned like I did!

So what?s it all about then? I sat down with FASA Studio?s Mitch Gidelman to find out more?

SPOnG: Hi Mitch, so we?re here to talk about Shadowrun, latest from FASA Studios and widely hyped by Microsoft as the first ?Live Anywhere? game ? allowing cross platform play between Xbox 360 and Windows Vista. Firstly, what?s your role?

Mitch Gitelman Well, I?m the studio manager at FASA so I oversee? pretty much everything [laughs].

SPOnG: What was the size of the Shadowrun team?

Mitch Gitelman It varied in size from around fifteen or so at prototype stage, up to around a hundred when we were in full-on production mode.

SPOnG: And how long has the game been in development for?

Mitch Gitelman Around three years.

SPOnG: Shadowrun has been heavily ?sold in? as the first ?Live Anywhere? title?

Mitch Gitelman Really the first cross-platform title, yeah?

SPOnG: So, just going back to the initial concept stage for the game, was that before you?d thought about making a cross-platform title?

Mitch Gitelman Oh yeah, for sure. FASA Studios is all about making great games, not about making cross-platform games. That?s a different element to it. No. We started with Shadowrun?. Do you know who Robbie Bach is?
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Games: Shadowrun

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