"Shadowrun the Awakening" was a Xbox 360 title that was based on the 1980s classic Shadowrun IP where magic and technology co-exist in a near future alternate reality. The re-emergence of the IP meant we needed to deliver visuals both the hard core Shadowrun fans as well as a mainstream audience would enjoy. We explored a couple different directions but as the project took focus, we felt a more realistic "The Matrix" meets "Lord of the Rings" approach was an ideal direction that fit well with the story. Unfortunatley, "Shadowrun The Awakening" was canceled in the spring of 2005 and although Microsoft did develop a multiplayer only Shadowrun, it is a different product all together and I was not part of that effort.

Concept art by Dorje Bellbrook and Craig Mullins

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The concept that magic is returning to the world implies that legends and myths of monsters and magic would be likely influenced from an earlier time when magic was part of a common culture.

The premise that legends and myths were based on an earlier reality made perfect sense, so we used some of the ancient mosters of lore as inspiration in our many of our creature designs. The most obvious of these were with our "Spirit Animal", which is largely influenced by the legends of lycanthrope and werewolves.

Other characters were fantastical in a technological way with one of main characters, Dr. Nakamura, almost completely robotic with the only "human" thing left in him being his morals.

Concept art by Patrick Shettlesworth and Arnold Ayala

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Art Tech Prototype

Once the vision had been locked, the team began working on the Vertical Slice, starting first with a tech demo to help establish core visual features and a quality bar for the rest of the project.

Working closely with the tech team, we designed and prototyped an engine whose features had yet to be realized in the industry. In the early stages of development, we had no tools to help implement or iterate the content and technical skills as well as artistic skills were necessary for the prototype.

The demo was highly received within MGS and was used to present the capabilities of the Xbox 360 and Next Generation Gaming to Bill Gates.