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.