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Shadowrun Awakened is dedicated the lowering barriers to entry for newcomers. These tutorials will guide you through the early stages of joining the project and represent various advice on how to get started and how to carry out task necessary for the organization. Deeper documentation on organization-level procedures are held in the process documentation.



If you are looking to help us out, then please read ahead to learn the very basics of joining the group. Everyone looking to join should seek to fill out a role in the group that applies their current skills, especially those skills you wish to expand in the future. The two main areas in the game are software and Assets. Assets breaks down further into theoretical literature, such as writing mission and characters (Writing), and practical applications such as building concept art, models, and textures (Art). We usually have a real glut of writers, but true software developers and artists are rare. The sections ahead are broken up per each big role. They are not mutually exclusive paths, just an easy way to divide up the organizational knowledge of the project.

How to Get Started (Anyone)

We are always looking for focused and reliable individuals to join the project. If you are enthusiastic about joining up, then please:

  1. Register on our Forums, since that is where we primarily communicate, and start a new topic in the Volunteer section of the forums to introduce yourself.
  2. Watch some of the latest videos on our YouTube Channel to see current progress.
  3. Read the Shadowrun Awakened project article to get an overall description of the project and our organization.
  4. Read the FAQ. It will knock out some early questions you may have about the project.
  5. Read the Game Design Document for a summary of the game itself and our current direction.
  6. Read the Roadmap to understand the scope of current work and how it will grow in the future.
  7. Start looking over this wiki and the forums to get familiar with the concepts we have built so far. Make comments and questions in the forums to help grow your understanding.
  8. Read on in this tutorial relevant to your area(s) of interest...

See Also

  • Most people will want to know more details on "what will the game be like?". The Game mechanics article, and relating sub-articles give a thorough description of current direction.
  • The google video on surviving poisonous people talks about handling social dissonance in open source projects and it guided us on how to formulate our community. This was found very early by some of the original members and has proven to be right time and time again.

Working in Software (UnrealScript, C++, C#, and SQL)

This area is intended for people who will use the UDK to make UnrealScript or Visual Studio to work in C++ or C#, acting as software developers for the project. The exact tools utilized by individual developers may vary with their personal preference. The instructions below list our most commonly used tools:

  1. Read the Game Applications article to get a high-level description of the software products envisioned for the game.
  2. Download and install Visual Visual Studio Express 2010 C++ and C# editions. NOTE: Any version of Visual Studio 2010 can be used to develop for the project, so if you have a pro version, use that!
  3. Download and install MySQL Community Edition.
  4. Download and install the June 2011 Unreal Development Kit (UDK)
  5. Download our development source code from the development branch of the Subversion repository (Connect to SVN Repo at this address:
  6. Apply the UDK config and UnrealScript files to your installation of the UDK using the How to customize a UDK install tutorial.

See Also

  • Working with source control can be complicated. TortoiseSVN is an easy and free tool that integrates directly with Windows. For an easy startup, follow our tutorial on How to get TortoiseSVN working with our project. AnkhSVN is an excellent plug-in for Visual Studio that integrates Subversion into the IDE.
  • If you want to work on a lot of SQL code, then we recommend installing a graphical front-end for MySQL, since the built-in command-line is quite limiting. There are numerous graphical front-ends for MySQL for MySQL. We recommend MySQL Workbench.
  • Programming in the UDK brings with it an entirely new domain of knowledge. The UDK Documentation contains invaluable information on getting started.
  • It's possible to edit UnrealScript in Visual Studio using the Pixel Mine nFringe plug-in for Visual Studio.
  1. Follow the nFringe installation instructions to download and install the plug-in.
  2. Build a personal unrealscript project in your local UDK folder and make your modifications there, then copy them back into source control using the UDK directory. NOTE: nFringe is great for editing the scripts, but you may still want to use the Unreal Frontend to build and run; depends on your success following the nFringe tutorials.

Working in Writing (Missions, Factions, Characters)

Aspiring creators of missions and characters should explore the following areas:

  1. Read about Shadowrun Canon and our view on preserving it in the game. This is key to maintaining our stature as a fan-oriented game (read: dogmatic approach in every detail).
  2. Read the trio of guides on marinading in the essence of Shadowrun: Writing guide, Writing the Classic Run, and Writing Classic Characters.
  3. Read the game mechanics articles on missions, campaigns, and storylines to understand the project's envisioned scope for storytelling in the game.
  4. Read the Writing rules to understand what you can and can't do with your missions and characters.
  5. Read the Missions section to see what other writers currently have in development and start thinking about how you will commit your own missions to this compendium of sagas.

Working in Art (Models, Textures, Level Creation)

People who work to create models, textures, or who wish to use the UDK to build zones should perform the following steps. Unlike in software, there is a little more diversity in tools, so we do not outline a specific path

  1. Read the Asset Style guide, which outlines our stylistic goals for art in SRA
  2. Read the asset checklists which are comprehensive lists of the intended items for version 1.0 of the game. These all represent "real" items from SR4 with a strong precedent in the universe.
  3. At the moment, the primary goal of an artist should be to, using the forums, private messages, e-mail, or other mediums, to collaborate on fulfillment of the assets checklists.
  4. A secondary goal would be to work with writers, whose missions have been given popular consent to move ahead, on creation of zone/mission/campaign/storyline specific content.

See Also

  • Blender is free and rather full-featured modeling tool. If you do not have access to high-end tools like 3DS or Maya, we recommend downloading and installing it.
  • Creating content in the UDK requires following some very specific process. The UDK Documentation contains invaluable information on getting started.
    • The UDK uses a special pattern for models where a high-poly of a model is created, a normal map generated from its surface, and a low-poly model is used for rendering during gameplay. This process is described in the importing static meshes. Also, UDK automatically handles level of detail for models, so only the high and low versions are necessary.

Other Roles for Contributors

There are other roles in the project that might be occupied by a much smaller number of individuals. If in doubt on how to help in an area not listed above, then drop by the boards, describe your skills, then we can figure collaborate on how you can help. Known roles include:

  • Web Developer - Someone who works on the website, supporting our web presence. Currently, Aaron is our only web developer. We are always eager to improve our web presence in any way possible, so if you have web development skills and time to help, please drop
  • Musicians - The game will feature in-universe music (which may include lyrics about 2070) as well as a dynamic soundtrack system (purely instrumental music). There is a specific area in the forums for music that contains a lot of the work so far and works in progress.
  • Commentators (Peanut Gallery) - Some people join the boards and just talk up a storm without ever writing a line of code or generating a normal map. That's okay as long as comments remain encouraging and/or thoughtful in nature. Often times, good ideas fall from a passionate fan who just posts once to say how excited they are.