Part 3 of Mike Pondsmith’s Introduction

Click here for part 1

Click here for part 2

The Right Team

This is the most important thing. The Team has to love the material. The Team has to want to be faithful to the material. The Team has to have the skills to execute the material and see that vision through to the end. They have to be on fire with the desire to make an extraordinary game.

And that leads, at last, to why we hooked up with CDPR.

Over a year ago, when the CDPR team first approached us about doing a Cyberpunk® game, we were understandably skeptical. As I’ve said before, it wasn’t the first time we’d been at this particular rodeo. So we started digging into their bonafides. Resources? One look at the REDengine had my developer senses tingling. They’d actually produced triple A titles that had polish, full execution and above all, STYLE. So Right Resources? Definite Check.

Right Feel? We dug out copies of Andrzej Sapkowski’s brilliant Witcher novels and compared the game to what we saw on the screen. It was obvious that the ambiguous, adult flavor of the novels permeated every part of the the game iteration. Heck– Geralt of Rivia could almost be solo Morgan Blackhand’s long lost brother; a tough but compassionate professional; a killer with a conscience, driven not just by money, but to fulfill his own quest to do the right thing, even if in the end it was doomed. Romantic loners in a dark decaying world? Adult realism? Right feel? Check and double check.
Right Tech? Not only was that obvious from CDPR’s almost obsessive attention to detail in rendering Geralt’s medieval world and all its trappings—swords that looked right to my trained fencer’s eye, cities and forests that made you believe they were actually photos from Europe circa 1000A.D. But even more; when we talked to the CDPR team, it was obvious that they knew our own Cyberpunk® technology and its roots. They talked about the weapons; the technologies of our game like they were old friends. They wanted to know the process we used to evolve that technology and its roots in the real world. So Right Tech? No problem. These guys got it.

Which leads us at last to the Right Team thing. It was obvious from the start that the CDPR team was going to give us a true to to life rendering of our Cyberpunk® world—they were fans. Most of them had grown up PLAYING Cyberpunk® at a time when RPG’s of any type were far and few between in a then-Communist Poland. For many of them, this was a dream come true. So we knew the team loved the world as much as we did (maybe even more, if you counted the many obsessive crushes on the lissome Alt Cunningham I encountered while over there!) Get it right? Are you kidding?

Skills? Execution? All I had to do was play a level of the Witcher to see THAT. It wasn’t just gorgeous to look at—it was dense, complex, and immersive. It was so well done that it made you have to play it. We looked at what the crew at CDPR had created in their exacting recreation of Sapkowski’s world and we positively drooled at what the same crew could do with OUR world. And knowing that they loved Cyberpunk® as much as we do just sealed the deal.

So at long last, we found the perfect rodeo partner. Have we made the right choice? Well, we sure as heck think so—enough for the RTG crew to participate in online joint team meetings at ridiculously early hours (Poland is nine hours ahead of Seattle); enough to face long plane flights and mind-crushing jet lag on a regular basis so that we can get face time and thrash out the intricate details of making this game REALLY great. Yeah, that’s why we think hooking up with CDPR was the perfect outcome—and we suspect that when you see what we’ve been cooking up between us, you will too.

  • Viggo

    Delicious!

  • Fgre

    cool to read
     

  • M i k e

    This ambitious project requires a BIG publisher and his money. Who will it be?

  • Zam

    The blog entries are great! This is the first time I follow a game this early in developpement, the wait for the release will be unbearable! Thank you :)  

    • http://twitter.com/7seconds_ FrankCastle

      me too!

  • Wisdom000

    If you had any more of my support I would have to start selling organs… I don’t do this often, but “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”

    I am a man who fears the passage of time, despises it even… and I still wish I could wake up and today was the release date…

    I am crossposting about this game, and seeing a resurgence in popularity for the pen and paper game.  The facebook page for this game has been open a bit over a month, and already has nearly 8000 likes… and the game is still in pre-development… surely that says something to the number of hard core fans of Cyberpunk 2020 are out there still…

  • Piotr

    @fb82efb171d81968fac075a169c83646:disqus   CDPRed has got enough money to do this game by themselves. In Poland CDPRed publish their games by themselves too. In the rest of Europe they  have a deal with Namco Bandai (Witcher 2 – PC and XBOX 360), in the USA they chose Warner Bros (Witcher 2 – XBOX 360).

  • Wisdom000

     One things actually bothers me quite a bit.  Witcher 2 was only available for PC and X-Box.  This game needs to be available for PS3.  In fact, the limitations of X-Box are is what is keeping the current generation of games down… so developers can cross platform, they almost never use as much of the disc space as they could for PS3, leading to a lower quality game.  This is evident in SR3, as compared to SR2 where so much was taken out of the game from previous versions so it could fit on an x-box disc without sacrificing the new engine or graphics.  But its also evident in the lower graphics seen in Witcher on X-Box as opposed to the PC version.  I am not one to denigrate the x-box, I have both systems, but I do always find it odd when publishers choose X-Box over PS3, and put out a game that doesn’t live up to its full potential due to disk size.

    • Misterx232

       Cyberpunk 2077 will come out on next-generation consoles. Definitely not these old toasters.

    • Hit-girl

      Really? Space disk? try a 7 year old system!! thas why TW2 is ugly un X-box!!! do u think that in the PS3 its gonna look much better? Think again!!!

    • Ramt1nekpl

      They won’t release it for old gen consols. On the web U can find an interview about it. The same goes for The Witcher 3

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alexander-Mzhavia/100001213415042 Alexander Mzhavia

        Can you please give a link?
        I hope they focus on next gen and not even bother with current gen. This project should be aimed for the future not present…

      • http://twitter.com/Aver88 Aver Raiher

        Alex, just type “Cyberpunk” and “next-gen” in google. You will find a lot of sources. They were saying that in every interview. After all Cyberpunk is planned for 2015. By then, nobody will be releasing games for current gen with exception of EA Sports ;) .

      • vojtasass

        Alexander Mzhavia  Adam Kicinski, CEO of the CD Projekt RED Group, was interviewed by journalist of TVN cNBC business channel. He said that CDPR won’t develop anything for current-gen consoles. So there won’t be TW2 for PS3.

    • Slashman

      Really? The PS3 couldn’t even handle Skyrim properly because of its silly RAM implementation.

      I’d just as soon they keep it off consoles entirely. At least they usually follow the common sense dev cycle of making it for PC first and porting it to consoles.

      As long as they continue on that trend, I’m a happy camper.

      The PS3 is a pain to code for. Sony thought they were being all clever with their non-standard architecture. Turns out that convoluted for the sake of it is just plain dumb.

      • Console Cowboy

        As it is always. You cannot have style over substance with so much substance abuse, friend.

      • ConsoleCowboy

        As it is always. You cannot have style over substance with so much substance abuse, friend.

    • Jettpack

      I think those fears are missplaced. The witcher 2 was developed for PC first. They didnt really make any concessions porting it to 360 other than graphics and load time. Additionally, CDPR didnt make any sacrifices when developing the witcher 2 on pc in order to put in on xbox. So if your issue is that you want it to be on ps3 as well as 360, thats fine, but in the case of the witcher 2 it being on 360 did nothing to hurt other version of the game. 

      And lets be honest, a hypothetical ps3 version of the witcher 2 probably wouldnt look much better than the xbox version. Porting to the ps3 is notoriously difficult and tend to have to develope exclusively for the platform to take advantage of its superior horsepower. 
      Also the reason why the xbox 360 versions of multiplatform games tend the focus is because the 360 has a larger install base in europe and north america. It is a more efficient use of a developers time (not to mention easier) to focus on the 360 version.. Its all about sales and money. 

      • Jettpack

        just realized there were a lot of typos in that. my bad. 

  • Anon

    Okay, CDProjekt, ground rules.

    No Day 1 DLC or releasing an unfinished game, claiming it’s complete. No appealing to wider audience and if it’s available on Steam, you’ve got my purchase.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Justin-Case/100003772398650 Justin Case

       you obviously don’t know anything about CDPR.

      • Kevin Tierney

        I’m half wondering if this was a sarcastic troll.

  • http://twitter.com/7seconds_ FrankCastle

    Great words, Mr. Pondsmith! Thank you!

  • clint_thompson

    Sounds perfect and can’t wait to see what develops. As far as the comment regarding the Xbox holding back the games capabilities stating the PS3 would be a better choice, I personally feel consoles as a whole tend to scale back production of any game negatively as the focus is now to ensure compatibility across more than one platform. It’s a huge mistake in my opinion because so much more can be utilized with a PC if done correctly over their console ports resulting in developers taking the easier route to develop around grade C settings when grade A is clearly available. If you come out of the gates
    lowering the bar just to be compatible with multiple platforms (especially ones with less processing power and capabilities), quality is already predestined to be much less than only the best.

    Are there any plans to optimize the code for multiple CPU cores and support multiple GPU cards directly?

  • http://corylea.com/ Corylea

    I’m coming to things from the opposite direction.  I loved the first Witcher game and was impressed by the second one.  I’d never heard of Sapkowski’s novels before playing the first Witcher game, but playing that made me want to read them.

    I’ve never heard of the Cyberpunk paper-and-pencil RPG, but I’m in love with what CDPR has accomplished.  They made me love Geralt of Rivia, so I’m pretty sure they can make me love Cyberpunk, too.

    Signing with CDPR will bring your vision to a whole new set of fans, Mr. Pondsmith, fans who’ve already come to respect CDPR as makers of fresh, new, adult RPG’s.
     

    • Kevin Tierney

      Pretty much in the same boat.  Don’t really know much about Cyberpunk.  But CD Projekt made a believer out of me not only because of the exceptional quality of the games they deliver, but the way they do business makes them stand out.  These guys are gamers making games for gamers.

  • Cookie

    Anon, have no fear. CDProjekt Red’s DLC has all been free of charge thus far. If you look at some of their interviews on YouTube, you’ll grow to love their attitude :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alexander-Mzhavia/100001213415042 Alexander Mzhavia

    Bring it on! :D

  • http://twitter.com/Ricza92 Ricza92

    hope so too ….wait & see !! this partnership seems the best it could be for an rpg like cyberpunk

  • http://www.facebook.com/giorgio.crimi Giorgio Crimì

    BETA TEEEEST…soon as possible please :P

  • Mazin82

    Fantastic introduction… Mike’s the man… wishing you all the best guys. 

  • CPGM

    Mike, staying up early is a good thing especially
    during the milestone project!

    As you mentioned there were and are many Cyberpunk pen
    and paper players in Poland as in whole of the Europe – Western & CEE
    region.

    There are even LARP teams that are running around
    deserted industrial facilities or wildernesses with demo armaments and fake
    MetalGears.

    So the people are dedicated to the system and skillset
    is there regarding the IT development, art concepts and other firepower. What
    lacks in Poland is certainly a good project management and global overview but
    I keep my fingers crossed for the PM. What was the name of this guy? Yeah, what
    are the names of the Team members. Team without member names is not a team
    Mike.

    What is the challenge is to control the hungry people
    to act against the market trends of making The Game a short term financial
    success so product which is 1-2 weekend long of good entertainment and you will
    forget about next month.
    Remember that the game is as long talk about as it is being played that is why
    we are here today to discuss this project or I would like to call it program.

    Please also not to be afraid of this word, the budget.

    Are you really sure that it will be sufficient to create a milestone product or
    the CDPR would like to create something like the Witcher 2, a nice product I
    have described above?
    How bigger/smaller is the budget for this project comparing to the Witcher 2?
    What other fundraising activities will be performed and who will be involved?
    What is the time schedule and project tasks and the Gantt chart?
    And other question like “What technical solutions will be utilized from the
    REDengine and how you want to realize the sandbox and world mechanics?” had to
    be answered fast if you would like to keep community focus on the project and
    get a word of mouth effect.
    You have to be open and informative and not to try to control the information flow.
    In today world it is not possible and even not recommended. Remember that you
    are talking to mature CP audience.
    If CDPR would not like to do it and pop up with another off the shelf product
    is their choice but it is certainly not the way to conquer the current market
    in my opinion and to utilize the Cyberpunk community resources and obtain its commitment.

    And guys, if you are thinking about capitalizing on a
    long term program please start from something as simple as forum with a global
    repository or even something more innovative – a collaboration platform. This
    one cannot even be time stamp sorted and general discussion is mixed with
    solutions. Why not to connect people to the project team collaborative platform
    or at least linkedin mailing list to make real crowd sourcing input to The
    Game.

    There is tons of material lying on each CP player hard
    drives in terms of art, music, quest, stories. You will certainly need it in a
    long run. Just do it right from the beginning because from what I see up till
    now the approach is standard and ultimately I will stay with the pen and paper.

    The Game may become a bright spot in the current
    global gaming trends but it is up to the Team how fast it will turn
    innovative and collaborative enough when time is scarce.

    • ConsoleCowboy

      Gantt Chart? In Poland?! Hahahaha. But what you preach is word Chomba! Word. Word lost to this unsortable chaotic and subsequently meaningless thread… Trevor will get this done if he doesn’t sleep and clones himself.

      You gotta have some cynicism to move ahead. That’s the Cyberpunk way. Rose coloured glasses – not so much.

      • CPGM

        Excuse me, but Gantt Chart is basics in the construction industry here and IT projects and is present even in Poland, not in all of them though. Even western european conglomerates do not utilise it when it should be so it’s not only polish problem.
        Btw. I love those colonial phrases. We have one here in Poland – Kongo that means totally messy and unpredictible as this forum is now.

      • CPGM

        Ok Cowboy, I will start to search for my glasses. Where the hell I have put them…

  • robert70r

    Thanks, Mike for your nice words.
    As a gamer, I think, and more – I am sure – the game is going to be really great. :)

  • EDOJHVKHV

    Another brilliant piece.It’s a good thing that you guys “clicked”,CD Projekt Red is not only capable but ACTUALLY cares about people that buy their games.

  • Nihil

    “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!” :-)

  • msz

    I don’t like the explanatory sound of these articles. It feels like we (Poles) were some kind of barbarians you should think twice before trusting.

    There’s no need to explain yourself. Just let people play The Witcher series, and they will see the decision is right.

  • cyber+

    you know what you are talking !!

  • cyber+

    I hope you will tallk about the character designs in your blog!

    I am very interested in that.
    I loved the artwork. The outfits and really much the hairstyle. I hope you will give the player many ways to personilyse his character.

    and please make this Mohawk hairstyle in the game!!
    I love this look!!

  • T_Gonzo

    I’ve played a bit of Cyberpunk 2020 some lots of years ago, but I can’t say I  really know everything about it.

    But when I did play, I felt there was always a bleak despair  in the setting. There is something fascinating about the
    advanced technology in contrast to the general lack of faith in
    everything in cyberpunk. And currently, I don’t see any other developer
    or publisher willing to delve in those concepts. ANd it is really way
    more than silly gore or world-in-the-verge-of-destruction-plot.
    And just as a ay good sci-fi, I’m hoping there’s lot to explore not only in terms of plot, but also in terms of the setting…

  • Cyber

    Can we expect similar art style and graphics to this?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSXyztq_0uM&feature=related

    • Console Cowboy

      This comes as close to Blade Runner as I have seen thus far. Beats out Deus Ex HR for graphics, which would have been cyberpunk were it not for the story and the moral choice coming as a sadly executed multiple choice afterthought. Punks are supposed to make a difference, according to the original RPG, so the whole environment – which includes story and atmosphere – should be faithful to that. I do not foresee a PvP unless someone plays as a non-punk. Cyberpunk is not about mirror shaded hipsters. Street level Ripper Docs are for punks, unless you work for corp – but that makes you one part of the status quo, unless you have an AI manipulating the corp, of course. Then you’re a Neuromancer.

      That preview has the style. But the story will invest the style with substance.

  • skyray_us

    One thing I don’t remember anyone mentioning yet was how prophetic some of the depicted aspects of 2013 and 2020 we read about in the game actually were. The rise of corporate power and the revelation of how unhealthy that is for society, The advancements in the net and communications in general, The misuse of military forces, the falling dollar vs the rising euro. I remember reading about these things and thinking how much fun it might be to “play” in a world like that but, that I wouldn’t want to live there.

    Mike, I hope you’re visionary powers about the development of this game turn out to be as good as they were about the future of this world were back then. If you read what some of us are hoping to see in an MMO version of our favorite RPG, you’ll know why I say that. Personally, I’m praying that you’ve gotten better as a visionary cause I sure want to get in on this!

  • Edward Dillon

    This game is not just a want or desire, it is a physical undeniable need. If done correctly, which I have all faith in you guys to do, then this is going to be the new water mark, standing ahead of all other games for years to come. Please please please make it right. My money is already yours.

  • Dragosh Iarovoi

    Wait…. are you the cyber cook guy that’s on facebook and these forums? AHA! Gottcha!

  • Soulmask

    When i first saw someone talk about cyberpunk 2077′s trailer, I was skeptical. Maybe it was a ripoff mainstream game that wouldnt be that great. Maybe it was a text-only underground video-game. And then I watched the trailer. After that, I was shocked. Cyborg carnage? A lone cop hunting that cyborg? I instantly tought in my mind: Bladerunner. I had a rush. The graphics were cool too, it catched the real cyberpunk feel with a modern touch. Then I heard about it being from the crew of the witcher, another good news. Then I heard that it was actually THE cyberpunk, and that it’s creator was working with them. Straight after watching the video I was confused about how I should react to it. Was it only hype? It must be more than that, I had to realize it:

    This game sounds like the coolest game I ever heard of.

  • Andy Garza

    I still have the 2020 rule book and V3.0….Cyberpunk has been like, my favorite thing since like…forever. Duh! 

    Mike Pondsmith, if I send you my old, coffee stained 2020 rulebook will you please sign it for me then send it back? I love you man!

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.t.lacy.5 John T Lacy

    I am truly sad to say I never have the privileged of playing Cyberpunk, it’s not from a lack of wanting to, it’s simply that most of the gamer friends and stores/clubs in the areas I’ve lived have been either D&D, Pathfinder or Savage Worlds.

    The later was the closest I ever got to proper cyberpunk due to the DM being a fan and a dev for Interface Zero (which wasn’t in testing yet so we couldn’t play that)

    What I’m getting at, is that I’ve read a number of the books, have be dying to play this game, but the opportunity never came up, I’m hoping with this game coming out (When it’s ready and not a day earlier! I think that above all else (and the excellent music) is what jumped out at me in the vid)

    I respect a company that makes games because they love them and want to see them made, that’s what made Bioware great back in the day. You make money to, and that’s wonderful, but the end result of the game you always dreamed of is what this world needs more of.

    To that end, I think you have a match made in your wildest VR here mate, and I’m looking forward to more of these blogs :) Seeing the Devs and creators in action is something I love, kickstarter has been feeding that hunger as of late, and I’m hoping this will be even better :)