“We Wanted to Put the Punk in Cyberpunk”
A new year brings new hopes and prospects in the realm of gaming, especially when there are no release dates. Take Cyberpunk 2077, a sensation at E3 2018. After the expo, we received a lengthy demo that finally painted the neon world. A recent interview with CD Projekt RED reveals the inspiration behind Night City and its design.
Fans of the Warsaw-based studio might know, Cyberpunk 2077 was directly inspired by Mike Pondsmith’s pen and paper RPG. According to Senior Quest Designer Philipp Weber, in an interview with SECTOR.sk, the storytellers at CDPR had a list of properties to peruse before a single quest saw development. Specifically, the devs had to watch films like Bladerunner and Ghost in the Shell. They also had to understand the world in William Gibson’s novel, Neuromancer.
“The core of the inspiration: the entire studio likes “Cyberpunk 2020, the pen and paper, and just, generally, Cyberpunk as a genre, movies like Bladerunner, Ghost in the shell, books like Neuromancer,” Weber said. “So this is the same reason why we also made The Witcher, because we really, really love it and want to make a good video game with that in mind, that we want to play ourselves.”
In transitioning from a Fantasy game like Witcher 3, the team members of CDPR received a specific list of works to study, the aforementioned films and novel. When asked if the genre shift was difficult, Weber responded:
“In a way because, if you want to tell really, really good stories, you have to really know this world. So, story teams—the writers, the quest designers, cinematic designers—we had to assemble a list, you know. ‘These are the books you have to read,’ ‘these are the rulebooks of Cyberpunk 2020 you have to read,’ ‘these are the movies.’ We had to get really immersed in it. Of course, many of us who were fans of Cyberpunk knew those things already. It really was, ‘we have to know Cyberpunk just as well as we knew everything around The Witcher.’ On the other hand, we make mature games. We want to tell interesting stories with interesting themes. That hasn’t changed. Telling interesting stories is the same thing we did before, so in that way, it feels like something we know.”
The senior quest designer then emphasized, “We wanted to put the Punk in Cyberpunk.”
We already knew CDPR was hard at work detailing their new IP, but fans of the aforementioned movies and books might feel more at home now. What do you think of Weber’s comments on Bladerunner, Ghost in the Shell, and Neuromancer? Comment down below.