Recipes for kick-ass cyberpunk games #2

Attention! Could the following punks contact RED’s Community Manager at marcin.momot@cdprojektred.com with their username and the words “Free game please – kthx!” in the title, and they will receive a free copy of this week’s game – You lucky, lucky people: Ledah Lamedh, Jarek Obważanek AND as a bonus for their insightful comments: Wisdom000 & Sera Non who wrote “Whatever you do, make sure that people can create their own characters and can play the game the way they want to.”

Today we carry on our light hearted culinary exploration and take a look at other games set in a cyberpunk universe, whether they are RPGs, straight up shooters or even 100% Multiplayer goodness, if it smells of Cyberpunk, we’ll look at it!

We will talk about a classic, single player, British dish. A recipe produced by a good friend of mine: Peter Molyneux*; a dish that most people must have tried (or heard of) whether or not they were old enough to play it when it came out back in 1993.

*We’ve never met; he has no idea who I am.

Cyberpunk is served – bon appétit!

I am talking about Syndicate (senior), of course!

3 ingredients that make it excellent:

1 – Cyborg Agents
You are in control of a bunch of cold blooded killers; four threnchcoat-loving cyborg agents, to be precise. With little to no backstory, other than the rather disturbing intro depicting a man having his limbs pulled out and replaced by bionic ones; the fantastic four will be yours to  customise like the Cybernetic Mr Potato Head ™that they are. You spend money on them and look after them after each mission, and you  eventually start getting attached to them, despite the clear lack of love in their cold eyes. They are cool, they are badass and they are yours to command and customise.

2 – The Research/Upgrades/Customisation
One of my all-time favourite ingredients is the ability to spend your hard earned cash on weapons or modifications research (<3 XCom).  The surprise of unlocking a new upgrade, or a new weapon for your agents, will make you want to play “one more mission”, just to see what sort of super cool toy you will receive next turn. This sort of reward system is highly addictive.
Throwing money at science will let you customise your own team, with sexy new weapons that will turn your agents into the killing machines these androids always dreamt of becoming. It’s just as well since most missions will involve bullets meeting at least one unlucky person’s face – Which leads us to our last and most spicy ingredient.

3- The Violence
Whilst I very much condemn violence in real life, I certainly don’t when I play video games or cowboys and Indians with my nephew. Any decent Cyberpunk world out there absolutely has to be a ruthless, violent environment, with angry punks and corporations fighting each other. Syndicate is no exception.
You start off by creating your own corporation (a sign that you may not be the good guy here – just sayin’) and, as mentioned above, you will use your bff agents to complete various missions in order to take control of the world, one territory at a time. Those missions often include: killing people, kidnapping  escorting people, killing bystanders bad guys, blowing up cars that were probably owned by bad guys, killing people by accident and shooting bad guys in the face. Make no mistake; violence is often an abused and overused ingredient. It will ruin your meal if it becomes meaningless or simply doesn’t fit with the world you have created – In the case of Syndicate, it totally does and it tastes great.

Next week we will pick your best comments and discuss what YOU want from a Cyberpunk game. 
Many of you mentioned other great games set in Cyberpunk universes like the Deus Ex series or even Hard Reset from the guys at Flying Wild Hog; so why don’t you post the name of your favourite Cyberpunk themed game, followed by the one ingredient that makes it your favourite Cyberpunk game of all time!
Who knows, we may even have some more giveaways for the most interesting posts!

Damien “Chef Du Jour” Monnier

  • http://www.levelcapped.com/ Chris Smith

    Hmmm. While I have a soft spot for Syndicate, for me, cyberpunk is about the problems of mainting humanity in a world that resorts to stripping it out. Corporations want to milk consumers, just getting by on the up-and-up is increasingly difficult, and so people have a choice: die in cold obscurity, or join the escalation of cybernetic augmentation in a never-ending race to stay on top.

    It’s about what we DO in an attempt to maintain whatever little humanity we have left, while giving in to what we have to do to survive. The technology doesn’t have to be significantly advanced, and while a lot of cyberpunk settings feature a lot of violence, those are the circumstances that cyberpunk characters have to deal with, not necessarily look forward to.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=532131020 Jose Holguin

    The Original Deus Ex. Masterpiece.

  • ek79

    A good soundtrack: Vangeli’s Blade Runner, some cool instrumental electro-industrial-EBM music.

    PS: a PS3 – Xbox360 version, please.

  • Wolfato!

    My favorite is the original Deus Ex, mostly because even though the game happens in the 2050s, despite the whole cyberpunk setting, they managed to make a perfect blend of “future” and “current days”. For example, even though you visit some hi-tech locations and facilities through the game, you still go through places in the game that still look like something from the current days. I think it serves as a message that, even though time goes on, the old stuff doesn’t disappear like smoke, lots of stuff are still there decades later. The game had really futuristic locations AND “normal, current days” locations despite the fact that the game happens in a somewhat-distant future. I mean, the game came out in 2000, but the story happens in 2050, fifty years is a lot of time. I did like Human Revolution, which came out a year ago, but i wasn’t too fond of the overly futuristic setting since the game happens in the 2030s. I think the setting would’ve made a lot more sense if the game happened in a far more distant future.

    I know the whole cyberpunk idea is to have a grim and futuristic setting, but i enjoyed the whole “The future is not so -different- at all” feel that the original Deus Ex had.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thore.ottosson Thore Ottosson

    Syndicate series is awesome, actually gonna go play the latest right after this comment.
    But my favourite is Deus Ex. The reason, transhumanism. This is a series of games who explores what it is to become more, and less than a human. Often in this series there is a side that condemns augmentations for various reasons and another that say it is the best thing ever… Either or even both of these tends to be some corporation/secret society hellbent on world domination and a few people that are like me.

    Me being someone who believes that humanity has stopped evolving, and is pretty much devolving now instead given the rapid rise of allergies, asthma, vision debilities and other physical infirmities. Why not look to technology and science to force our own evolution? Ie I am a transhumanist.

    So I like the philosophical side of Deus Ex and the wild conspiracies. And in some places the have even managed that dystopic gritty feel of real Cyberpunk.

  • Sirnaq

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oNlaZBRQ7j4

    Messiah has one of the best cyberpunk worlds out there. But what’s best in messiah is combat mechanics that would fit perfectly in pnp system of cyberpunk.

  • http://www.facebook.com/edd.potts.5 Edd Potts

    Syndicate was probably the first cyberpunk game I ever played. It’s a shame that it’s name is now associated with yet another FPS.

    As for my favourite cyberpunk game, that’s probably the relatively unknown Tom Clancy’s Ruthless.com. In the game you’re the head of a corporation trying to compete with other corporations, whether by outselling them or doing more entertaining things such as hacking their servers, firebombing their offices or kidnapping their CEO.

  • Cookie

    The truest of true Cyberpunk, the tabletop RPG, always left me kinda cold, most likely because of lack of commitment at the time. I have come to love a whole slew of Cyberpunk-themed stuff along the years.

    Perhaps my first Cyberpunk-love was the movie Demolition Man. Though not having much in the way of cybernetics or even punk, I still feel inclined to classify it as a Cyberpunk movie due to its atmosphere. RoboCop, Johnny Mnemonic, The Matrix, the works of William Gibson and such came somewhere along the line.

    As for games, I remember playing the heck out of Syndicate and Syndicate Wars, but I can’t say they sparked any great love for them. Now, thinking backwards, I think the game that I’d classify Cyberpunk and has left the strongest impression in me is System Shock 2. A perfect survival horror game in a vast spaceship ruled by… Shodan.

    Not only is she scary hot, but she has a vision. And we can see that vision manifest. Without spoiling much more of the plot, it’s an intriguing study of what it means to be human; the perplexing paradox of being an individual and part of a collective, how and how we still have not managed to reconcile the conflicting freedoms and responsibilities that come with both.

  • http://twitter.com/Chromie192 Chromie

    One of my favorite adventure games and cyberpunk games is Beneath A Steel Sky.

    BASS’s three ingredients that make it amazing are the story. Finding out how Foster’s past is linked with the city itself was just great. I go back to the game every year.

    The setting it’s one of my earliest memories for a cyberpunk game and it was a unique setting in an adventure game. The artwork and sprites were amazing. Dave Gibbons brought the game to life and to this day I find the environments beautiful to look at.

    The puzzles. No adventure game is complete without them but BASS’s puzzle were challenging but always made sense. I would sit there for a long time and after finally finding out the solution I would feel dumb for how simple it was. I think that’s what made the puzzles more fun for me.

    And last who didn’t love Joey? He was a moody sidekick and he hated his junk body. He stands out among the already incredible characters. He insults Foster but he brings that Lucas Arts charm (from their adventure days) to Sierra style story.

    • Baudolino05

      I can’t agree more with your last sentence, man, but even if I have a strong p&p background, I’m pretty sure that videgames and tabletop RPGs need a different balance between player skills and character skills. 

      They work in different ways and they are fun to play for different reasons. Tabletop RPGs are cooperative games that give players an huge amount of freedom. Computer RPGs are not. In this kind of games involving players in their character’s actions it’s good game design: enhances the fun. Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m not speaking about redundant and boring subgames that suck more often than not. I’m speaking about vital sub-systems like stealth or dialogues. If you are playing a 100% sneaky guy, is it better to have a “to win button” like in Fallout or in Arcanum, or a complete stealth system like in Deus Ex/Bloodlines? And for dialogues, what do you prefer: Planescape or any other Computer RPGs?
      Video game players need to get involved into the action. During a fight, even with a turn-based combat system (my favorite kind), they are, because they have to make tactical decisions. Their skills are part of the equation anyway. During an action entirely solved by the character skills they are not.
      Good game designers know that and struggle for a “good” balance.      

    • Baudolino05

      Crap, I replied to the wrong post :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lars-Anderson/100003291510443 Lars Anderson

    If I had to pick among recent releases, Hard Reset. My Cyberpunk wet dream is a game with Hard Reset’s fast paced combat, amazing visuals, stellar boss fights, but in an open world setting. The sheer expanse depicted in the later stages when you get on top of the hospital are breathtaking. You can smell the pollution, feel the grimy streets beneath your feet. If one game nails the cyebrpunk atmosphere it’s this one. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.m.koehler Joshua Martin Koehler

    Depth. I like to see how the different faction, character types, or what-have-you live. To use the old 2020 character classes, if I’m a Cop, I’d like to have some Cop-specific areas, maybe start with a wife and a kid and the apartment we share, and have some story moments specific to that. Maybe they get threatened later, and maybe I have to choose between saving a larger group of people and saving my family (but include a difficult way of saving both!)

    If I’m a Nomad, then when the game starts my family caravan is just getting into town, and the things I do influence the caravan and the story as a whole. If I break into a Trauma Team Int place during a mission, I can RFID tag a few shipping crates so that my caravan can vaccinate themselves from the deadly plague that shows up later in the story, or I might miss it and my caravan suffers.
    If I’m a Corporate, then  have some story moments that make it clear that I’ve sacrificed family and friends and even my humanity for my wealth, and maybe something I signed off on ended up killing people. And maybe I get the chance to sign off on things with my PDA that change the game a bit, like launching a surprise softdrink promotion that attracts a mob of sugar junkies to cover my escape or provide a distraction, bribe people with either hard cash or a corporate favor, or I can pull some strings to get a building used by dangerous gang condemned instead of fighting my way through it like all the other career paths have to.

    • Wisdom000

      I agree with absolutely everything you said…

      I don’t know if the system limitations will allow for all that, but it would be very nice. 

      I will say, and this isn’t just personal bias talking… that if limitations make it necessary to keep the character story more confined, then my suggestion would be to start the character as a nomad.

      Its not just personal bias, with a nomad character you could have the character discovering the  regionthe game takes place in at the same time the character is.  It means the tutorial features won’t seem so heavy handed.  You will learn the city as your character does.  Plus it gives you a reason to have a wasteland desert type environment outside the city…

      Also, I do not know if the developers have seen Interlock Unlimited or not… my rewrite of the games rules.  But you may want to check it out, just for how it handles Roles.  9 I can e-mail it to you if you wish).  In the original CP 2020 rules, characters were limited to one Role, they could take another, but it never worked smoothly.  With Interlock Unlimited, characters can take as many Rles as they wish, they just have to designate a primary, and the primary must remain one point higher than the others.  In relation to the video game, it means every character could experience the breadth of every role through the course of the game.  One role would be their primary, but they could dabble in all the others, getting a taste of that life.  This could be combined to some extent with the ideas of the poster above quite easily and effectively. 

      Anyway, if you want to take a look at IU, let know, and I will send it to you.

      • skyray_us

         Hey Wisdom, you just said 2 big words that make me wonder if they even CAN  translate the Cyberpunk we know and love into a current MMO environment. “System Limitations”. There are also 2 words that give me a lot of hope and eagerness to see what they come up with: “Mike Pondsmith”. That’s one of the few reasons I think this might work. Without countering any of your points or observations, let me just describe some things I might like to see. A skill based system that makes people actually want or need to try to do things that they haven’t “Set up” their character to do well. Like the real game. A full selection of PC types like you had in the original: Solos, Fixers, Techies, Rockers, Cops, etc.
        Here’s the problem though..how do you translate some of the special abilities of those types into an electronic game that won’t feel artificial or contrived? How do you get some players to actually role play those in game?? I roll in, hit the sidewalk and the gangers stop and surrender because I pressed my “Authority” button? Not nearly as exciting as the time I yelled out “Hey PUNKS! Run if ya want some lead. Hit the WALL if you want a place out of the rain for tonite!”  Don’t get me wrong, I’m really excited about this but I don’t WANT it to be like any of the games you guys are mentioning because none of them are as good as the ‘real thing’ IMO. If they were, I’d be playing them!

      • Wisdom000

         Skyray…. really digging what you have to say.

        Just want to touch on one bit you mentioned, roles and special abilities.  You may want to check out Interlock Unlimited.  You can get it by going to my site, Datafortress 2020.  It’s a re-write of the Interlock rules system of Cyberpunk 2020.  The reason I bring  it up is because fixing the roles/special abilities of the original rules was absolutely needed.  Too many special abilities were theese wierd abstract ideas with no real idea given to GM’s as how to implement them… they were also in many cases, dependent on the character actually being employed… such as the cops Authority, or a Corps Resources.  Interlock Unlimited Fixed those issues, I don’t know if that’s something they will be able to implement in the video game, but if they do plan on bringing roles and special abilities into the game as represented by the Pen and Paper game, the IU method would really be the only way to do it…  (if the file archive is down, I can e-mail the files to you)

        As you noticed, System Limitations is going to be a big issue, regardless of if the game will be current or next gen, or just a computer game, the system will have limitations.  And some roles, no matter how much certain people like them, just won’t translate well to a video game version.  Even the original 9 roles…. It would be hard to run a Rocker in a video game where its also feasible to run a solo.  At least in any kind of way that would work in an open world sandbox game.  I mean you could maybe get away with it in one of those old top down, turn based crap rpg games… but that would prevent me from buying it altogether, because it could never emulate the frantic action, freedom, and grittyness of Cyberpunk 2020. 

        Cyberpunk isn’t Dungeons and Dragons… It’s not Final Fantasy.  There are no hit points, no magic spells, no bullshit quests to save a pricess.  Combat is fast paced, hard core and lethal.

        I really hope that the designers handle Roles something like this.  Roles should merely provide bonuses to certain skills.  Players should not be limited to one role, but should be able to assign points to them, as well as to skills.  Sort of like how Fallout does it.

        Seriously, a game like fallout New Vegas, where you replace all the mutants, monsters, and ghouls with customizable vehicles (with driving physics like GTA or Saints Row 3) and wide array of cybernetics, have a densely populated city with diverse zones, that covers at least half of the map (a map at least as big as Fallouts)… and you have the framework for the perfect cyberpunk 2020 video game. That’s the framework for the game, the story is another discussion altogether, but the stories definitely need to be deeply involved, but non linear, with tons of small sidequests and other story opportunities.  The game should tell one overarching story, but the smaller quests and side stories should really kind of feel like they let you tell you own story, in how they are resolved and the choices you make.

        We know this kind of game can be achieved, because other companies have put out games that have come so very close to achieving it already.  GTA San Andreas had a weak story, but had the world.  The most recent Fallout games definitely had the size and scale of the world, and if they didn’t waste so much on the goofy monsters and mutants, they could have added vehicles easily.  Saints Row 3, Sleeping Dogs… they both fall way short of what I would want out a cyberpunk game in terms of story, replayability, and longevity, but come so close in the potential for what the game could be.

        There are some out there who just want the game to tell a good story, and want freedom to take a back seat to that.  That doesn’t work for me, that doesn’t work for Cyberpunk.  That sounds too much like a railroad.  Yes I want there to be a good story… but I want that story to be MY characters story, not the game designers.  If I am sitting down to run a game, which I do, at least once or twice a week.  I am not running my story… I am running the story of my characters.  My job as a GM is to have a background plot of events, then let the world react to the actions of the characters.  Whether the players choose to interact, or how, with the events that are unfolding, is up to them.  If I am playing in a game, and the GM refuses any action that doesn’t fit with whatever story he is running in his head, then I am left to ask why I am bothering to roll dice in the first place…if the GM wants to tell his own story, he should write a book.  Pen and Paper games are a collaborative process, its the characters and their actions that make the best stories.  And I say this as someone who GM’s far more often than I play.  And the game designers need to understand this as well.  A central story is great, but there needs to be much more for the character to do… and I am not talking about bullshit minigames either.

    • skyray_us

      Thanks Joshua. That sounds a lot more like the kind of Cyberpunk I might want to play.
      Some of the rest of these comments seem to be talking about some other kind of game.

  • Wisdom000

    I would be hard pressed to name my favorite Cyberpunk video game of all time… but not for the reasons you think. 

    While I have never gotten the chance to play Syndicate, I have only ever
    heard good things, and I remember back in the days when the
    rec.games.frp.cyber newsgroup was still active people talking all the
    time about basing their campaigns on the world.  A lot of it came
    through with the early online community material as well.

    Sure their are the obvious choices.  the Ghost In The Shell games for PS2 and PSP were amazing and action packed, although they were really just level based shooters, they understood the source material, and succeeded brilliantly at bringing it to the game console. 

    I loved Deus Ex, and Deus Ex:Human Revolution, while too short and possessing only the thinnest veneer of open world elements, was absolutely stunning in its beauty.  In fact, if the game did not look so good, I likely would not have been nearly as dissapointed, but as it was I wanted to spend far more time in that world than what I got. 

    Perfect Dark was pretty damn cyberpunk, but again, it was just another shooter, and even worse, they ruined it with the alien elements.  So many Cyberpunk sources, across all genres, are ruined for me by using the crutch of the supernatural, or extraterrestrial, or superhuman.  Split Second would have been a better movie if the killer was human, instead the tacked on demon just sucked me right out of it.  I realize I am in the minority here, but it just always seems like a weak gimmick to throw into a movie that could have stood alone on its own.  It’s why I could never get into Shadowrun, even though the old console RPG version of it was pretty good,  but the magic and fantasy elements killed it for me as much as the game it was based on did. 

    Hard reset was pretty, but it was just another shooter, and the guns were far too goofy for me to ever really get into.  I see it gets a lot of love here, and that’s ok, but for any game, especially a shooter… especially a cyberpunk shooter, if they get goofy, you have just lost me completely.

    I would love to say Bladerunner was my favorite game… I certainly wanted it to be… but I could simply never get it to work right on my computer… any computer really.  And while it sits, lovingly, in my game collection… it was really the last time I purchased a game for my PC.  Now my PC won’t run anything really.  But that’s a different gripe altogether.

    Now Snatcher… oh my Snatcher… I loved this game so very much.  And for the time it came out, playing on Sega CD, it looked to be near perfect for what a Cyberpunk game could be. 

    But none of these are my favorite Cyberpunk games… They all have the trappings, but they were so limited, that they never let me feel like I was a part of the world. 

    For me, the best Cyberpunk game ever, was Saints Row 2.  The character customization was unrivaled.  Finally I could be my own character, in a sandbox world where I could do anything.  Yes the storyline of the game was pretty weak (though leaps and bounds better than SR3) but it was fun, and it didn’t matter, because in my head I was telling my own story anyway.  I created my character based off my favorite Cyberpunk character.  The weapons he carried were of the same type I envisioned my character would carry.  The vehicles in his garage were tricked out the way I felt he would trick them out.  In my head, all sorts of things were going on.  The fact that there were a few cyberpunk trappings in the game didn’t hurt either, nanotech, futuristic motorcycles…. 

    Now I would have rather have been playing in a world the size and diversity of San Andreas, my second favorite game in this vein, so my character could run around in the desert all mad max styley (he was a nomad after all).  Only sandbox games can capture this feeling.  If you don’t have a giant world to play in at your leisure… to interact with beyond just killing things… then the game you are creating will never capture the feeling of the game its based on.

    If truth be told though, I turn almost every game I play into a Cyberpunk game in my head.  If I am playing Tekken, in my head its a cyberpunk kung fu time.  Kung fu fighting is important.  With Fallout 3 and New Vegas, I was again playing my cyberpunk character (nomad remember).  Hell, even if I can’t play my own character, I am still playing Cyberpunk in my own head when I am playing.  Sleeping Dogs, any GTA title… its all Cyberpunk to me.

    People talk about themes of cyberpunk, and try to give it very specific definitions.  They are missing the point.  Cyberpunk isn’t really a genre, its a setting… saying Cyberpunk is just cooler than saying “near future”.  But the best cyberpunk stories out there are really something else anyway.  Bladerunner was a pulp noir film…. it was Sam Spade in a near future setting.  Robocop was just dirty Harry with Bionics.  Appleseed was SWAT with much more awesome guns and cyborgs.  And the pen and paper game encompasses all of this, and so much more, and wraps it up in that near future setting.  And you making a video game version, and understanding all of this… as I said, its a dream come true.

    I am sorry for the length of this post.  Thank you so very much for mentioning me and the prize.  I have a feeling we a re going to be getting to know each other very well. 

    • Baudolino05

      Man, you keep describing Saints Row as the game that it is not: a game that lets you play as you want. 
      GTA, Saints Row, Red Dead and all the roaming games out there sure are huge games and sure have lots of contents, missions and sub-games that you can play in any order, or ignore if you want. But here ends the freedom these games offer to you. Their missions are designed in a 100% linear way, the decisions you make as a player are meaningless story-wise and with very lesser consequences gameplay-wise, the character you play is set in stone (its a criminal, a gunslinger, etc…), your playstyle is decided by the developers, and last but not least, all the sub-systems of these games are pretty shallow, starting with the driving and finishing with the shooting.  In short, they are funny games but definitely not RPGs, and more important definitely not nearly as deep as a good sandbox game should be. 

      • Wisdom000

         When I talk about freedom, I am not talking about the story.  Any game that has a story, is going to require you to follow it.  Even Fallout 3 and New Vegas which offered unparallelled freedom in how you play and the consequences of your decisions, still pushed you along a narrative, even if you could take your own sweet time getting there. 

        I haven’t played Witcher, I have a PS3, so I cannot say what the story structure there is… but I can’t think of any game that has a story, that doesn’t push you along it. What is paramount, is that you have plenty to do, see, and experience between the story bits.  Sandbox/open world gamse are the only thing that gives you that freedom.  Don’t want to go on missions, awesome, just drive around.  Get in a shootout with cops or whatever.  Explore every inch of the landscape.  Hell, see how many times you can roll your car, or how many perfect corners you can make.  See how high you climb.

        And like I said in another post, I like story, I love story.  I wouldn’t be running games if I didn’t.  But in a game like this, the freedom to explore the world, is as important to me as the  story.  Story in a game doesn’t last forever, I want reasons to keep playing after it’s is done. 

        All I know is, if the only option I have to keep playing after the story is over is to start all over again from scratch… then I won’t even bother with the game. 

    • Gawdzila

      Freedom in story is just as important — MORE important, I feel.  Yes, a narrative has to go more or less along a planned arc, but the choices within that arc are still meaningful.  For instance in the first Witcher — no matter who Alvin goes with, or who you side with, events play out largely the same except with a few different characters, and dialogue lines, and people to fight.  But, assuming the story is good enough to care about, those differences *matter*.  When a story is well-designed, we become emotionally invested in which characters live and die and the overall state of the world no matter what it means from a purely gameplay perspective.

      I agree that having plenty to do and see is important, but without feeling connected to those things there is no motivation to actually do them.  Story doesn’t last forever, but neither does interest without it.  I’d replay a game with a great story, but I wouldn’t even bother finishing one that couldn’t make me care about the things I was doing.  Skyrim is a good example of such a game; it had a lot — in fact an *infinite* number of quests to go on.  But you can only run so many randomly generated errands, solve the same puzzle in the same (but slightly different) cave so many times, and fight so many frost dragons before the whole exercise feels like a pointless treadmill.  The way I see it, having “things to do” isn’t the same as having “reasons to keep playing”; the hugest map ever created doesn’t mean jack if the game can’t make you care about the things that happen in it or the characters that inhabit it.

  • http://l0ner.github.com/ Paweł Sołtys

    My favourite Cyberpunk game? Hard question. If it was a move I’d name “Jhonny Mnemonic” without a blink of eye. But games… I liked many. I liked System Shock with it’s hacking mechanism. Damn, that was good, nothing like new DeusEx stupid minigame with nodes, but real 3d virtual reallity, with files displayed as blocks, and devensive systems displayed as masks that you needed to fight against. I liked “Beneath a Steel Sky” for it’s great story. I liked new Sindicate for it’s visuals and music which is badass (Skrillex dubstep track during fight against first boss: EPIC!). I liked original Deus Ex both for it’s story and RPG gameplay. I like “Dream Web” for it’s unusuall wievpoint, rich descriptions of every item I find in game, and kinda strange story.
    What I expect from a Cyberpunk game, a game that would earn title of being perfect, is rich, full of life world; many side-quest that’ll allow me to “feel” the world (good example here is Skyrim, even if it’s not a cyberpunk game, in which I spent more time on exploration and side-quest than on a main story), and people that live there; and not hours, not days, but MONTHS of gameplay and exploration. I don’t want it to be another AAA shooter that I can finish in couple of hours (like new Sindicate), I want to immerse myself in the world (naturally open), become a part of it, and return to it day after day to explore. And once I finish the game, I want to feel that I’ll discover something new if I play again, that there are things that I haven’t discovered yet. And I want a good background music. Music that fits. I remember I had my moments of “WTF” while I think I was playing Fallout 3 (If I remember good). Nearly-empty, devastated world, and orchestrals in the background… it didn’t fit. I want to create my character like I want to, not like game-devs decided. I want to try playing with muscle-pumped but stupid tank character, weak but intelligent hacker, cunning and nimble-tounged but unlucky gambler that tries to save his ass from debts that haunt him. I don’t want to be limited by classes, who said that my Cop can’t be a hacker and fight both on street and virtual reality?
    What I want is epicness. Epicness and openess. We have epic and open fantasy-themed games (Skyrim again), but not a Cyberpunk one. It’s time to change it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/R0LL1NGW0LF Jeremy V. Nuñez

      I’m gonna have to give you negative 100 points for even mentioning skrillex.

  • Massa FX

    System Shock. Play it. You will see. You will be in awe. Best game ever made.

  • Nathan Marché

    A quality Cyberpunk game needs to pay heed to that underlying theme intrinsic not only to the genre itself, but to human social development in general: struggle. Whether it is the historical struggle between the oppressors and the oppressed (the Punks and the despotic Megacorporations), or on a more basic level the struggle between the individual and his environment (the lowlife who struggles to survive in the hostile and apathetic climate of a concrete jungle), or the struggle to keep up with increasingly rapid technological development constantly remolding our perceptions of reality (a person without cybernetic implants is excluded from a whole new level of experience and is at a considerable disadvantage to those who do have them). 
    As ubiquitous as it is, it is essential for the aspect of struggle to be central to the Cyberpunk narrative, for it adds an entire new layer of depth and meaning to an already gripping world. Consequentially, since struggle is so integral to our species’ being, it will be a lot easier for players to fully immerse themselves in the game as the characters now have genuine and (more importantly) relatable motivations behind their pursuits. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/johan.nagy Johan Nagy

    I’m a bit surprised noone mentioned the system shock series !

    As english is not my mothertongue, I don’t feel like I’ll succeed into describing what this game has that is so precious to me.

    But let’s just say that crazy A.I. stories are almost everytime very interesting, when it’s well done anyway. I mean, SHODAN was really an interesting character in many ways, not only because of her personnality but also because of her character design, especially the one featured in System Shock 2. A woman’s face composed by electronic components? It’s super creepy and super cool at the same time! And her voice, man, it’s just unforgettable, it will haunt your nightmares for a lifetime… Just hearing this distorted voice menacing you, while a lot of other little voices are repeating her speech in the background.
    The famous “running in my corridors” quote from the SysShock 2 intro is the perfect example of what makes this character great.

    But of course, the game isn’t good just because of this unforgettable villain. The citadel station was a great place to! Well… Not the kind of great place you would want to go. But man, I’m still having the creeps when I’m hearing the odd mechanical noises heard in the maintenance area. And what kind of cyberpunk chef d’oeuvre can be qualified of “awesome” if there’s no genetically altered humans turned into disfigured monsters and/or biological machines which brains have been hacked so they are turned into creepy and mindless killers ? Citadel Station had all of them!

    Add some weird but catchy electronic music, and you’ll be totally sumerged into another world. A world where almost everything is now electronic. A creepy world where there’s not much space to escape the cyber atrocities that want you dead.

    And the gameplay was just so rich, it’s outstanding even for our times. A character you can control every moves? Check. A hundred objects with a lot that can ACTUALLY be useful? Check! A lot of creepy monsters to fight with a ton of futuristic weapons? Check. Complex mini-games necessary to hack different systems? Check. A lot of upgrades for your military grade cyber implant, even some that are just here for fun? Check. Motherflippin’ Cyberspace exploration? Hell yeah!

    There was just so much to do, it was literally impossible to get bored. When you launched System Shock, man, you were in for one hell of a game. Don’t type that launch command in MS-DOS if you’re not aware that when you go to Citadel Station, you’re going to be hooked, and it will be quite impossible to forget what you’ll see.
    There is a life before System Shock and a life after.

    My only regrets would be that I would have love to see a Sytem Shock who would be settled on good ol’ earth. Space stations are nice, but I think things are even creepier or more fascinating when they’re in a set that is kind of familiar to us, like the cities in Deus Ex. I think the most perfect cyberpunk setting would be a city that is balanced between realism and cyberpunk delirium.

    Also, the plot was great but it lacked some brainy parts. My best exemple of an almost perfect scenario for a cyberpunk work of fiction is a classic: The “Ghost in the Shell” Anima. The original one.

    I will just conclude by adding that to my, a more or less subtle form of erotism is required in a mature cyberpunk universe. Not only because erotism is a good thing when well executed, but also because I find it especially interesting in a world where the frontier between humzns and machines is so small.
    The scenes where Motoko is naked in order to activate her camo-suit is a good start, but it won’t be enough.
    A contrario, the lesbian scene in the original uncensored manga was a bit too much. I’m not against some really explicit lesbian intercourse, but these 3 pages? Come on, it didn’t deserved the plot, and it was more porn than real hot erotism.

    So, well, I’m getting a bit off topic here. But anyway, yeah…. System Shock? Great game. The second one was very nice too. It’s a really good example of a creepy cyberpunk world. If you could have some parts in Cyberpunk 2077 who would be as creepy in maybe a more subtle way, it would be so friggin’ cool.

    Also, Cyberspace dude, friggin’ cyberspace.

  • http://www.facebook.com/johan.nagy Johan Nagy

    I’m a bit surprised no one mentioned the system shock series !

    As english is not my mothertongue, I don’t feel like I’ll succeed into describing what this game has that is so precious to me.

    But let’s just say that crazy A.I. stories are almost everytime very interesting, when it’s well done anyway. I mean, SHODAN was really an interesting character in many ways, not only because of her personnality but also because of her character design, especially the one featured in System Shock 2. A woman’s face composed by electronic components? It’s super creepy and super cool at the same time! And her voice, man, it’s just unforgettable, it will haunt your nightmares for a lifetime… Just hearing this distorted voice threatening you, while a lot of other little voices are repeating her speech in the background… Eugh!
    The famous “running in my corridors” quote from the SysShock 2 intro is the perfect example of what makes this character great.

    But of course, the game isn’t good just because of this unforgettable villain. The citadel station was a great place too! Well… Not the kind of great place you would usually want to go in. But man, I’m still having the creeps when I’m hearing the odd mechanical noises heard in the maintenance area. And what kind of cyberpunk chef d’oeuvre can be qualified of “awesome” if there’s no genetically altered humans turned into disfigured monsters and/or biological machines which brains have been hacked so they are turned into creepy and mindless killers ? Citadel Station had all of them!

    Add some weird but catchy electronic music, and you’ll be totally sumerged into another world. A world where almost everything is now electronic. A creepy world full of closed spaces crawling with cyber freaks that want you dead.

    And the gameplay was just so rich, it’s outstanding even for our times. A character you can control every move? Check. A hundred objects with a lot that can ACTUALLY be useful? Check! A lot of creepy monsters to fight with a ton of futuristic weapons? Check. Complex mini-games necessary to hack different systems? Check. A lot of upgrades for your military grade cyber implant, even some that are just here for fun? Check. Motherflippin’ Cyberspace exploration? Hell yeah!

    There was just so much to do, it was literally impossible to get bored. When you launched System Shock, man, you were in for one hell of a game. Don’t type that launch command in MS-DOS if you’re not aware that when you go to Citadel Station, you’re going to be hooked, and it will be quite impossible to forget what you’ll see.
    There is a life before System Shock and a life after.

    My only regrets would be that I would have love to see a Sytem Shock which would be settled on good ol’ earth. Space stations are nice, but I think things are even creepier or more fascinating when they’re in a set that is kind of familiar to us, like the cities in Deus Ex. I think the most perfect cyberpunk setting would be a city that is balanced between realism and cyberpunk delirium.

    Also, the plot was great but it lacked some brainy parts. My best exemple of an almost perfect scenario for a cyberpunk work of fiction is a classic: The “Ghost in the Shell” Anime. The original one.

    I will just conclude by adding that in my opinion, a more or less subtle form of erotism is required in a mature cyberpunk universe. Not only because erotism is a good thing when well executed, but also because I find it especially interesting in a world where the frontier between humans and machines is so thin.
    The scenes where Motoko is naked in order to activate her camo-suit is a good start, but I don’t think it’s enough.
    A contrario, the lesbian scene in the original uncensored manga was too much. I’m not against some explicit lesbian intercourse, but these 3 pages? Come on, it wasn’t relevant to the plot, and it was more porn than “just” real hot erotism. (I’m not supporting the censoring done on these pages, though…)

    So, well, I’m getting a bit off topic here. But anyway, yeah…. System Shock? Great game. The second one was very nice too. It’s a really good example of a creepy cyberpunk world. If you could have some parts in Cyberpunk 2077 who would be as creepy in a maybe more subtle way, it would be so friggin’ cool.
    Also, Cyberspace dude, friggin’ cyberspace.

    • Cookie

      I actually did mention SS2. There are like 4 posts between us ;)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EBVPJE5SWDGS5VAXRJW2XC3WXY Ian

    I readily admit I don’t have much experience with cyberpunk games. I’m going to cheat and list 2 games which share the same ingredient: System Shock 2 and Deus Ex. They have different ways of achieving it, but they both have truly amazing level design.

    I knew that duh, level design is important in a video game but I had never tried making my own game or anything like that before so I never really thought about it. About half a year ago I was fumbling my way through Minecraft, learning a number of lessons about how to make a building, make it unique, make it functional and balanced. I didn’t cheat, I collected every item and had to come up with ways to easily access high up places. I found myself with some unused area above the ceiling of some rooms and thought it would be cool if I could create a secret entrance to that place. I found another part of the building with unused space; the fireplace. Remembering that in the first Thief game there was a hidden ladder inside of a fireplace, I did the same thing. Without any hints I had some friends look around to try to find it and it took them a while.

    This inspired me to remake my simple box castle into a work of art, full of secrets and puzzles, using all the tricks I had learned. Every new room I built had a purpose like in a real castle, every unused area could be a hidden entrance or could hide a secret switch. I was truly designing and it was a great feeling. It made me really appreciate how System Shock 2, Deus Ex (and Thief, which is a steampunk game) crafted levels that were challenging but enjoyable, and full of surprises.

    Deus Ex, which has been talked about a lot, had multiple ways of getting from point A to B, but it made me want to backtrack and try finding alternative solutions. Was I going to use intelligently placed boxes for cover during a gunfight, or after some careful searching, would I sneak past some guards and use the sewer access to bypass some unnecessary fighting? Maybe I could around back and use a password I found somewhere else to get in through the back entrance. Deus Ex gave me options that felt thought out. It was my world and I could conquer it as I saw fit and feel rewarded every time.

    System Shock 2 did have different ways of approaching problems sometimes, but I think its design strength was making every corner matter. You never knew what could pop out, or where some ammo or a new weapon might be hidden. Just like in the Thief games, there could be something dangerous or beneficial in any room. You didn’t just run through an area, you tried to deal with or avoid any enemies nearby (kinda hard in System Shock 2) before seeing what goodies were around. There was a lot of planning and care put into everything. A game like Oblivion definitely had places that were well thought out, but it also had lots of places that were just kinda there because they needed to fill up space. While obviously not every single square inch in a video game will have a great purpose, you can create an environment where it feels like every step is important. Take your time, make sure you didn’t miss anything like some ammo or a security camera, don’t run too fast or you could alert an unseen enemy around the corner, stuff like that. Also because there was always a sense of urgency in that game, backtracking wasn’t a chore.

    I put a lot of care and thought into my Minecraft castle which I have yet to finish. I even have ideas for other things I want to build near it. Every decision from the style to the size of a room to its purposes matter to me, and it was important for me to convey to others that I didn’t just make each room haphazardly. That’s something I think Half Life 2 really did well. Every epic boss type fight was set up in such a way to convey excitement and danger and having the odds stacked against you. Crossing some broken walkways underneath a bridge with some enemies was a different experience, but when you had to cross them and use a rocket launcher to fight a very mobile gunship, it became a very unique and memorable experience. Thanks to how that area was designed, I remember that fight far more than all the other gunship battles.

    In a cyberpunk world where there are so many styles and nuances and moral choices, a really good level design helps keep those other qualities in mind. Games like Doom 3 and Amnesia gave you that creepy feeling that you could be attacked at any moment because enemies could appear out of nowhere. You were constantly aware that you were playing a scary game where your life was on the line. But what happens when all the enemies are killed or all the scripted events have been triggered? You’re just wandering around dark hallways with no fear and the immersion is gone. All the best graphics and moral choices you faced 15 minutes ago are forgotten. But, when the design creates an environment that you’re constantly engaged in because you’re looking for a secret entrance or something like that, the immersion isn’t lost. You’re still deeply involved with the game.

    When planning what you’re going to do is just as fun as pulling it off, you have a design that makes every step of the way engaging. When you make the player stop, look around, and then really look around because they want to, they’ll feel just as rewarded finding something they discovered themselves as they would defeating a scripted enemy around the corner.

    Level design is what made the Mario games so fun, the Legend of Zelda games so intriguing, and made every big encounter in Half Life 2 so damn epic. I believe if you guys can use design to not just create an engaging cyberpunk world, but one that keeps us involved every step of the way as much as possible, you’ll have a very successful game.

  • Case

    Deus Ex. Why? Because it was way ahead of its time, it had a brilliant multi-path level design, thanks to which all the skills and implants are useful (from hacking to speed enhancement and swimming), the story is very well written and the atmosphere is just amazing. So many details in this game.

    Deus Ex is a game that you can play however you want and the only RPG that lets you play non-lethally from the beginning to the end. Its blend of shooting and stealth elements with RPG mechanics is still unsurpassed by any other game.

    • Case

      LOL, I forgot to add my favorite ingredient. Deus Ex rewards you for solving missions and exploration, not for killing your enemies. That’s why this “do whatever you want” approach works so well.

  • CDyberPunkjectFan

    While I could simply agree with all that’s been said about Deus Ex, I’ll bring another game up, that most wouldn’t think about when talking about Cyberpunk:

    The first StarCraft. Yeah, the setting is Science Fiction, but if you take a look at the Human Campaign only, it seems very Cyberpunk-y:
    There ARE aliens, but your main concern is to bring down the corrupt government, that doesn’t give shit about the lifes of citizens and brings down entire planets for being not loyal to them. So you help a group of rebels to revolt and create a better government,

    SPOILER
    only to discover after you succeed that the rebel leader is an egomaniac asshole that’s not better than the former regime in the slightest and instantly labels you as terrorist for objecting AGAINST slaughtering innocent people.
    /SPOILER

    The setting and the design of the game further help:
    The terrans are basically space nomads, criminals, esper and cyborgs exiled from earth, loosing their original route and finally crash-landing in a system where they have to create a new society on their own.
    They are not like the Protoss with their shiny sci-fi tech, their buildings look like they’re made out of scrap metal even when they are brand new, many of their units are advanced versions of today’s technology and most of the military personal are brainwashed criminals that nobody would shed a tear  about when they are killed by the hundreds.

    So, while it may not be the most “by the book” Cyberpunk setting, it still feels like Cyberpunk.

  • http://twitter.com/kaLL0 Kalle Väisänen

    Deus Ex, Dream Web, Bladerunner, Shadowrun for Snes.

  • trexal

    Violence as an option is ok.  But it needs non lethal ways to reach the goal, it’s more believable.

  • Kohno

    The original Deus Ex is definitely the best Cyberpunk computergame I’ve played.

    I don’t doubt the CDPR’s and Mikes capability to create an interesting and true to the foundation gameworld, but I what needs to be played close attention to is the rulesystem. It needs to appropriately reflect the characters abilities and make it clear that the character (the way the player has built him/her) is the one who acts out the tasks the player gives him.

    For example, it makes no sense to me that when the player assigns points to a firearm skill, the gun just does a couple of more points of damage. That doesn’t properly reflect the characters growing in ability, and only underlines a (imo) cheap design structure of faster handling of bulletsponge enemies. The best way to tackle this would be to make the combat turnbased, but since I doubt that will happen, other means could be aiming and general handling capabilities with appropriate skill/stat requirements (for one example).

    Same with additions of minigames for (in example) lockpicking and hacking. The character is not reflected, and even if the character through his stats should be a master hacker, the player might be incompetent with the minigame – or in reverse, if the character is incompetent, but the minigame is pisseasy for the player why is he bothered with it? There is no design solution with minigames that would be fair to every player, so having the character do what he can on his/her own abilities through the players initiation would be the most fair, and most consistent solution.

    There are other methods and other likely better solutions, but the crux of the point is that the rulesystem that will be made for the game should be more character than player centric.

    I can’t stress enough how important (at least to me) a consistent and effective rulesystem is for this game, if it is actually going to keep up with its PnP roots.

    • Baudolino05

      I can’t agree more with your last sentence, man, but even if I have a strong p&p background, I’m pretty sure that videgames and tabletop RPGs need a different balance between player skills and character skills. 
      They work in different ways and they are fun to play for different reasons. Tabletop RPGs are cooperative games that give players an huge amount of freedom. Computer RPGs are not. In this kind of games involving players in their character’s actions it’s good game design: enhances the fun. Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m not speaking about redundant and boring subgames that suck more often than not. I’m speaking about vital sub-systems like stealth or dialogues. If you are playing a 100% sneaky guy, is it better to have a “to win button” like in Fallout or in Arcanum, or a complete stealth system like in Deus Ex/Bloodlines? And for dialogues, what do you prefer: Planescape or any other Computer RPGs? Video game players need to get involved into the action. During a fight, even with a turn-based combat system (my favorite kind), they are, because they have to make tactical decisions. Their skills are part of the equation anyway. During an action entirely solved by the character skills they are not. Good game desi

      • Kohno

        Yes, I know. And agree. I’m not really asking for an emulation of a PnP
        game… well, I am (optimally, for me, the game would be point’n click,
        isometric and turnbased, with a large world, deep storytelling and
        characterization, and most focus used on writing and adapting the core
        ruleset as much as it is, and artistic style; and less focus
        used on graphical quality, cutscenes/CGI and VO), but I am also aware
        that ain’t happening, so I’m more out for at least a decent compromise
        (of which there are none in the market right now save for a few upcoming
        Kickstarter titles).

        The trick is to find the balance between
        character aptitude and player involvement. Building the character to
        succeed throughout the game is something I do consider player
        involvement, so with that in mind, I don’t see harm in having some
        aspects going through the character in full (like hacking and
        lockpicking) rather than the player (through minigames); while some
        others having the players own controlskills/wit hindered by the ruleset
        in an approriate manner that makes it clear the character does not know
        how to tackle the given task (like aiming or properly using a certain
        weapon or using a certain item — Deus Ex had skillbased gun handling done fairly well, with the dynamic recoil throwing the aim aside if you lacked skill for example) – and of course, once the appropriate
        level is reached, s/he will succeed more easily giving the player the
        reward from his choices to build the character appropriately.

        The
        way I see it, this only creates consistent and fun gameplay for an RPG
        player (regardless of if certain tasks are not in full control of the
        player) – which, obviously is the target audience since CDPR is quite unsubtly advertising how HC this game will be.

        That’s why I am asking for the utmost attention given
        to the ruleset adaptation. I want the game to feel like an RPG, or – more accurately – like a
        cRPG that genuinely respects its PnP foundation even if going for a more
        “this-is-a-computer-game” route (which is of course expected since this is a computer game), rather than some sort of halfbreed
        action adventure/frankenshooter that has few numbers tacked on for mostly decorational purposes (like
        with games like Fallout 3 ‘n co.). The rules need to matter and make a
        difference.

        Now, I’m not a game designer, so I don’t have any
        indepth knowledge about how these things operate, I am only applying
        (what I consider) common sense in how this kind of game in my opinion
        should play out and feel like.

        Your post kinda cuts off abruptly, btw. So I don’t really know what your conclusion was going to be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Grand.Lord.Rushardi Revan Rushardi

    Genre busting video games is difficult to make in short time, i think this game will take a while so take your time.
    as long you guys make it with passionate , love, and many aspect that you enjoy during creation this game it’s ok
    once again don’t follow trend make a new trend in video games industry

    so have CD Projekt developer team

  • Hangmans Tree

    I want to mention a game which conveys Cyberpunk really well. Black Light Revolution.
    I’m in love with the design. Its only an online shooter, but its the cyberpunk flavor I get high on. It has the essence, the flow, high and low, its razor sharp with fast paced action. You can plan and use different tactics.

    Customising gear and weapons is done well, something similar could be implemented for Cyberpunk 2077 imo. Plus implants, the whole cybertech of course.
    With option for netrunning the mix would be a blast.

    Locations are fun and very climatic, latest addon with weather effects make it very realistic.

    I have to mention Ghost Recon Online here too – movement and cover mechanics, best I’ve seen since… pong.

    If we could marry those features and add script marvelously thick on story, ancapsulate it with hard rpg shell – what we get is a new combat drug, seconds from God, highly addictive traveling on seraphs wings on info-hi-way million miles per hour.

    • Hangmans Tree

       God what a typo – I ment BL Retribution. Really, I shouldnt be typing when at work… to find my mistakes when I get back home…

  • cybercyber

    I like your posts but i hope you will show us soon something new about 2077

    i am so interrested! cant wait!!

  • Mal

    It’s not a game, but to me, the epitome of ‘cyberpunk’ has always been the various interpretations of Ghost In The Shell.

    In Ghost In The Shell we have The Major, a cyborg policewoman working for what amounts to a black-ops militarized police force following World War 3, a war that left Japan as the new world economic superpower, America as a fascist, nuked out hellhole and due to the war, medical, consumer and military technology has been advanced far forward.

    We now have the ability to replace entire body’s or just parts of bodies, sans brain, which is placed in a special steel case with built in life support. It’s also possible to remote control prosthetic bodies, should you be skilled enough. We also have mobile thinktank units that in some cases have developed true, emergent AI, a global network of connected cyberbrains akin to the internet, and in the new landscape, crime has grown ever bolder.

    People scalp and sell organs as they’re now a commodity more than ever, military grade prosthetic upgrades that cost so much money you have to be under contract to a government or acquire them via black market now power soldiers and some police, people are routinely brain-jacked and ghost-hacked for nefarious means, in way that can even permanently erase people’s memories or leave them catatonic.

    Soldiers can download software via the net to their prosthetic bodies to help handle certain weapon types better.

    Prosthetic bodies do not require food, but they require micromachines in the form of gluten and proteins, pressed into food-like form to give the consumer a feeling of being organic again, to help maintain and clean the internals of their bodies

    The average consumer can also purchase their own androids specifically designed to look like humans, to do their chores, pick up the kids from school, etc. Enterprising lowlives can also purchase illegal sexbots if they so wish. We’re also asked if fullbody cyborgs can still have and enjoy sexual relationships.

    And through all this, we are treated to heady politics that don’t attempt to dumb themselves down, they expect the watcher to keep up. There are governments fighting each other for programmers or trying to cover up third-world-war atrocities, long thought dead, that have resurfaced. There is the ever increasing appearance of emergent ai and its implications, as well as asking what it means to be human, if there is any important difference between cyborgs and organics, and how can you know you are truly who you think you are in a world like this (Without any cheap Bioshock-style revelations! I love bioshock, but the trope is played out.).

    And through all this, we never have to suffer the Singularity Nerd-God delusion. As put by the ever precient Warren Ellis,

    “The Singularity is the last trench of the religious impulse in the
    technocratic community. The Singularity has been denigrated as “The
    Rapture For Nerds,” and not without cause. It’s pretty much indivisible
    from the religious faith in describing the desire to be saved by
    something that isn’t there (or even the desire to be destroyed by
    something that isn’t there) and throws off no evidence of its ever
    intending to exist. It’s a new faith for people who think they’re
    otherwise much too evolved to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster or
    any other idiot back-brain cult you care to suggest.”

    Deus Ex is amazing, but the NuGod easter egg was…. underwhelming. Every man a god unto themselvces. No god, no managers. The singularity will not save you and it’s a concept that’s been explored too much and should be ignored.

    Anyway, this is just my two-cents on cyberpunk and Ghost in the Shell. It’s the essence of Cyberpunk for me, and I hope to see Cyberpunk 2070 keep to the idea of “Low Life, High Tech” and explore new ground and maybe tread some old ones too. Maybe a Motoko cameo, as well?

  • http://www.facebook.com/serge.hagopian.1 Serge Hagopian

    wouldn’t a pen and paper game best be suited in an mmo style 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christian-Guipit/785633475 Christian Guipit

    What I want? I want..

    UNPREDICTABLE CHOICE AND CONSEQUENCE

    There was a great article on RPS http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/05/04/how-the-witcher-dealt-with-choice/ which I think you guys replaced with something equally great in TW2 but I’d like to see both with this game

    I basically want CHOICES THAT DO NOT SEEM LIKE CHOICES! being visibly armed or not,buying a certain upgrade and taking a shit that day may or may not have a consequence which was my primary reason for buying TW2 after TW1 since it’s a huge step forward in RPGs for me.

    I’d like to see consequences with cutscenes on upgrades like replacing your arm with a gun like this http://www.imfdb.org/w/images/5/5d/GITSSACArm3.jpg could destroy handcuffs in a certain cutscene and give you a choice you wouldn’t otherwise have.

    This way the player is always alert never knowing what consequences on action would take rather than him just being conscious about what he says in some dialog tree.

    Oh and don’t forget to check the Cyberpunk Wishlist thread over at the Witcher forum. We have tons of other ideas over there!
    http://en.thewitcher.com/forum/index.php?/topic/32872-cyberpunk-2077-wishlist-thread/

    I invite everyone here to join the forum if you haven’t already. It’s a great place to hangout.

    • http://www.facebook.com/R0LL1NGW0LF Jeremy V. Nuñez

      I’m waiting for the official Cyberpunk 2077 forum to open and I plan on staying there until our World ends. =)

    • CPGM

      If you really want “choices that do not seem like choices then voting by your legs” has to be applied. So not only what you say but what you do will have influance your universal standpoint. It is also the way how to create “living on the edge” feeling.

  • Sardukar

    Transhumanism, loss, hard choices made not to advance but just to stay alive. My favourite Cpunk games are not open-world or freedom-based, they are flavour-heavy and character-rich.

     System Shock 1 and 2. The Deus Ex Series. Omikron.  Shadowrun (SNES or SG).

     These games all share a sense of strong character change, a dark, post-modern setting, ( or further out, in Omikron’s case), cool hardware and memorable NPCs.

     If you are choosing between freedom and flavour, strong story or as open-as-possible character creation options, I hope you will keep the bias firmly towards a Cyberpunk game, not a game with cyber and punks.

       More Witcher, less Grand Theft Auto. Don’t forget my Sternmeyer CG-13!

    • Wisdom000

       Witcher was a Novel series, stories from a singular author.  It has a main protagonist.  Telling a fairly linear story from that is to be expected.

      Cyberpunk 2020 is a role playing game, it has many many protagonists, every role is different, and what GM’s and players do with the game is incredibly diverse.  

      There is simply no way to encapsulate that with a purely story driven game.  This doesn’t mean I don’t want a story, of course I do.  Story is very important to me… but in a game like this, freedom should not be sacrificed.  Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.  I quite liked the storyline for GTA4, and for Sleeping Dogs (though the latter was a bit short). 

      The problem is, if you make you the game about a specific theme, such as Deus Ex: HR’s whole transhumanism thing, or Mirrors Edge’s “fight the power” thing… then you are putting to much focus on what is a very miniscule part of what Cyberpunk 2020 is.  The game isn;t about any one thing, and even if it was originally meant to be, that plan was lost the minute it hit the table, as players had other ideas, and other aspects they wanted to explore.  The only central character of Cyberpunk 2020 is the setting itself.  And exploring that setting, surviving that setting, and finding your own place in that setting is the only thing that can truly be said to be a universal theme with the game.  That’s why, by pretty much necessity, the game must be a GTA/Sleeping dogs style Sandbox… because its the only way you can properly emulate the freedom the RPG gives you.

      That being said, I would very much like to see the following innovations to the genre… (be warned I will be repeating these ideas on the forum when it appears):

      1.  Mission replay would be a must, but more important than that, after the games main storyline is complete, what would be really fantastic, really innovative:  Is a random mission generator.  Maybe multiple types.  Like a combat mission generator, where you jsut input the number of enemies you want to fight, how heavily armed you want them, and the game just puts them down in a random location somewhere in the city.  A stealth mission generator… where it sets up random checkpoints your character has to navigate without being seen.  A car chase generator, where you can either be running, or pursuing.  A hack generator, where you have to hack a random target.  There doesn’t have to be prizes, or dialogue, or anything like that… just gives the players something new and fresh to do after they have beaten the game.

       3. Damage induced need for cybernetic replacement.  Not sure how exactly you would go about this… but in most games I have run, few characters start out with much in the way of cyber.  Most start with none and many strive to keep it that way.  The number one reason people start getting cyber in my games is because they get the meat parts shot up beyond repair.    I mean there is always the choice to get cyber at any point if the player chooses, but having a system where limbs are blown off or made “gimpy” sounds pretty good to me.

      4. A complete skyscraper you can explore, assault…ok maybe not the whole thing, but enough of one that feels..chunky.  I remember going through the sears tower in Parasite Eve, and loving the idea of it.  It didn’t really have anything to do with the story or the game, it was just there, and it was awesome.

      5. Customization differences by zone.  For instance, in most of the city you would have standard options. 
      Normal and edge wear clothes, the standard vehicle customizations.  Things like colors, adding spoilers or different body options,speed/handling upgrades, window tinting, underglow whatever…  But in nomad areas you would have those options plus things like adding steel plates, brush bars, barb wire trim… a rusted or dirty paint job.  Clothing in the nomad area would be leathers and football pads, the mad max/Fallout look.  In a corporate section you get armor plating that doesn’t change the outward appearance of the vehicle, bulletproof glass, maybe some james bond gadgets.  Clothing stores in the corporate zone would be suits and high end fashion.

      6. Garages your co-op partner(s) can enter… because when you customize your rides, you want to show them off.  And the ability to trades rides with each other, maybe outfits as well.

      more to come later…

      Of course I realize this is probably all just wishful thinking on my part… but in my dream game, these would be a reality.

      • Sardukar

        I utterly disagree that the game “must be” a GTA-style sandbox game. I understand that’s you what you would like, but that does not equate to necessity.

           If you think Cyberpunk the RPG is about freedom, than we certainly have very different views on the RPG and the genre. Cyberpunk is much about consequences, typically unpleasant ones. The main characters, whether they be Case or Cowboy, the Major or the nameless hacker in System Shock, are typically thrust into unwanted situations by powers greater than themselves, forced to adapt and survive. These choices and the setting flavours that surround them, are what attract me to CP2020 and the genre itself.

         Cyberpunk is a game where you fight and survive and make the least-worse of several ugly choices in a world defined by corporate control, decaying humanity and sudden violence. Plus smart-chipped weaponry.

         It is not, to me, a game where you “strap on” your Dragoon FBC and rampage about the streets of Night City willy-nilly, then reload and steal an AV-4 from Trauma Team and crash it into City Hall as your “Police Interest” level climbs.

          I would tire of it quickly, having already done non-CPunk versions of that in GTA and Saint’s Row and even games like Fallout 3 and Skyrim.

         By all means, have a living, breathing city that adapts and changes as your character and the story progresses.

         But -have- that strong story, that definitive tale. I want to feel like I’m accelerating down a slope to a fantastic landing, not cruising around glancing at my quest log occasionally.

      • Wisdom000

        Sardukar:

        We are not necessarily at odds.  I want a great story too.  I want something deep that sucks me in.  I want a character drama about trying to claw your way out of the neon gutter, to live in a world where technology has become so pervasive we have literally infused ourselves with it. 

        Where we differ is that I realize for the video game to be reflective of the Tabletop game, the option to – “strap on” your Dragoon FBC and rampage about the streets of Night City
        willy-nilly, then reload and steal an AV-4 from Trauma Team and crash it
        into City Hall as your “Police Interest” level climbs.” – has to be there as well.    I want a strong story, I want a story that immerses me in the world.  But I also want to be able to go off the rails.  To blow off steam.  Or just to do whatever the hell I feel like doing in the world.

        In other words, just like in a tabletop game, I don’t want to feel railroaded.  I don’t want to feel confined to the story.  I want the story to be there, but I want it there on my time. 

        I don’t want to play a game like Deus Ex, where I can see cars, I can jump up and down on them, but I can’t enter them and drive them around.  I don’t want to see a huge city, but be confined to 2 blocks of it by a 3 foot high barrier.  I don’t want to see AV’s flying around and not be able to pilot them, take em back to my pad and store em for later use.  In fact, I don’t want to see anything in the game, be it guns, outfits, vehicles, whatever, that I can’t, if I choose, grab for myself.  Doesn’t mean it has to be easy, hell it can be pretty much suicidal to even try… but the option needs to be there.  These things need to be possible, no matter how improbable.

        What I definitely don’t want, is a save the world game.  Because that’s not what Cyberpunk 2020 is about.  It can be, if you want to run that game.  It can be anything if that’s what you want to run… but Cyberpunk 2020 is about the streets of the near future… its about trying to claw your way out of the gutter, and hopefully survive long enough to make your mark. And, as the Chrome books, Max Metal, and several other books prove, its also about toys and style.

      • Sardukar

        Re: “Sardukar:

        We are not necessarily at odds. I want a great story too. I want something deep that sucks me in.” 

        Mmm. I see what you’re saying and of course, who could object to such a gloriously possible world as the one you describe? Deus Ex, only fully-interactive?
          I guess my issue is that the GTA-style Dragoon craziness detracts from what I feel Cyberpunk 2020 can achieve, in favour of allowing players a freedom to be fools. Followed, with any luck, by being dead fools.

         I have no objection to that being an option in-game, (who didn’t try clearing out all the cops in Detroit in DXHR for fun?), as long as it doesn’t take away from the solid story-telling we see in Witcher.

         For me, part of being a cyberpunk “hero” is being caught up in a world beyond my own immediacy. What point to have freedom if you can’t make some kind of statement with it?

         I, too, hope it’s not about “saving the world”. Ugh. Terrible idea. Try, “saving your friends”, or “saving your sister”, or
         ”convincing people that Braindance will kill them”. I hope the overall plot of CP 2077 is one of pathos, treachery, grit, wonder and loss.

         Not one where the world hangs on you. Because silly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maria.miles.98 Mary Hth

    Make it the game I´ve been dreaming of for more than 10 years. Which it looks you´re doing!

  • Master_Drow

    E.Y.E Divine Cybermancy. Had a great atmosphere and allowed multiple ways to complete any objective. Plus you could buy new cyberware and weapons, get drones, and it had some fun cyber/magic like powers (I am not advocating magic for 2077) that were fun to use and fun to learn. Sure the game had problems but it had a lot of potential and I think several of its elements were just amazing. Too bad it was never picked up by someone with some money so it could become a nice full game.

  • Jackal

     Hey, I wanted to add Full Throttle by Lucas Arts. It’s got a lot of cyberpunk themes but it’s set in the desert. It’s an old game but it has unique puzzles in it that you have to figure out in order to get past certain areas. Like there is this one part where you straight mount a hover chassis onto your motorcycle so you can jump this huge canyon. In a cyberpunk game I also think being able to use your “conventional” cybernetics in “unconventional” ways is awesome. For example: There is a star wars expanded universe story (I forget which one right now) but Luke Skywalker ends up getting locked out of some bulkhead door because the power is out or something, so he wires up his cyber-hand and repowers the door with that but then his hand is out of juice until he can re charge it or something. Also there are lots of cyberpunk books where characters are running around with microsofts slotted in their heads but as they encounter different situations they have to change up their chips. I love the idea of actively having to manage/customize your cybernetics for different unique situations. Also it will not be cyberpunk unless there is a “slice n’ dice” monofilament whip! classic! That’s all I got for now. Cheers.

    • Jackal

       Oh and I also just wanted to add NETRUNNERS! It was text based mud game for android phones, it was awesome and captured the concept of netrunning perfectly in my opinion!

  • Trave Michewgieelro

    System Shock 2. The power of evil all within reach of one rogue AI

  • http://twitter.com/Ian_TWL Ian Garris

    I shall take an unpopular position:

    Deus Ex: Invisible War hold is the only game to date that has ever scared me.  Doom 3 holds an honorable mention for startling me; the “monster closet” (if you’ve played the game, you’ll understand) inside another monster closet, populated by a pink demon?  A stroke of genius.  i almost voided my bladder, but I had a chaingun out  and ready just in case, so it could have gone a lot worse.
    But Invisible war?  It terrified me.  It horrified me.  While Adam Jensen, guided by my invisible hand has done some very bad things to some very bad people, my conscience is clear in Human Revolution.  

    Spoilers follow:

    Invisible War gave me the guilt of the child who I met, got into an elite school on behalf of his mother, and died when extremists blew up the school.  

    Invisible War gave me the terror of plugging myself in to merge with the AI Helios with no assurances the process wouldn’t hurt, I’d survive, I’d die, the gambit would succeed, or anything else at all.  No other game has ever caused me to pause for five minutes, at the threshold of victory, to get my breathing under control.  

    Spoilers end.

    Invisible War badly botched a lot of the trappings, but got the important parts incredibly right.

  • http://twitter.com/Ian_TWL Ian Garris

    Also:  Oni.  While cyborgs are not all over the place (spoiler!) they exist.  The tone of the game – the corruption that Pondsmith talked about – runs as rampant as the cyborgs do not.  And this doesn’t stop, pretty much ever, though heavy consciences lead to snaps of unexpected violent behavior from characters you’d never have suspected – confessions follow shortly after that.

    Also, the anime styling was very nice, and you can see a lot of what eventually became Halo in the assets of Oni.  The plasma shotgun, the surprisingly brutal melee combat… Add powered armor and remove the heavy anime styling, and you can see a lot of similarities in Bungie’s bastard child Oni.

    We can only hope that, now that the company is independent of Microsoft again, they revisit the world.  It has a lot of potential.

  • TurboSpeedy

    Immersion, immersion, immersion. A cyberpunk world is something that is living and breathing, retching and, at times, dying. It’s a world of colossal megalopolises, towering buildings, blinding lights, surreal, deafening clubs and crushing crowds. A world of crazy gangs; of hard-boiled, reluctant heroes and of dubious moral integrity. When I think of Cyberpunk, I think of the Cyberpunk of the 80s, with scrappy hackers, shadow organizations, terrifying corporations. Gibson’s Cyberpunk in many ways.

    A proper cyberpunk video game world should be large and capable of being fully explored. Few cyberpunk games have done this so far. Games in the Deus Ex series tried, but the cities they presented felt so limited compared to the massive, open-world beasts that have been released in other genres. The world needs a balanced aesthetic on top of that. Though not a stellar game, the recent remake of “Syndicate” had elements of different Cyberpunk aesthetics, combined into one experience. It had the dirty, neon-lit streets we saw in things like Blade Runner and imagined when reading Neuromancer, but it also presented an updated cyberpunk based on the modern world. Clean buildings and interesting architecture based on contemporary and futurist designs, firmly rooted in a sense of realism were featured throughout. Nothing was TOO out there or unbelievable.

    For me, Cyberpunk games have often been disappointing. I push for immersion because I truly love Cyberpunk as a genre and aesthetic and always wanted to explore a truly Cyberpunk-ish environment, complete with the personalities, places and atmosphere one expects from the genre.

    Gameplay is also important, though. If there’s a hacking system inherent in the game, it would have to be well-developed. Dystopia’s hacking system was truly great, and something similar would be great.

  • http://www.facebook.com/diabellus Piotr Skorok

    Beneath a steel sky. I have to say why? Probably yes, most of guys here probably don’t remember this game. But probably, if you don’t know this title you should google it. One of best cyberpunk storys ever told. And that is importatnt thing, if you want to create good cRPG… :)

  • eXuras

    Favor Cyberpunk themed game.. That’s a tough one. I would have to say “Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura”. I simply loved the fact how no two playthroughs are alike. For example, in the first town you’d encounter there would be a ogre in the tavern which could potentially join you. But it’s not a certainty i once tried this with two identical characters where i used the same conversation options. First time he simply refused to join me whilst the second he would be delighted to. The uncertainty aspect creates a feeling of a living breathing world which doesn’t play favorites because you’re the player.

    It gave me a feeling most other games lack, most games will adapt to the players decision. Here i had to adapt to the games decisions.

    • Case

      Arcanum is steampunk. It’s still a great game.

  • skyray_us

    That sounds more like the Cyberpunk I know than the other lengthy comments about “rule types” and “turn based” or any of the rest of that kind of white noise I’m reading.

  • skyray_us

    I don’t know…maybe I’m missing the point or some of the rest of you are. The best Cyberpunk game was the P+P RPG and I’m not sure how they can even do that and give it full justice. The game I used to play was one where your “character” could wake up in a corptown tower and look down upon what part of Night City he might be able to wring the most out of. Today. Or roll up a bag, fold up a house and walk past last night’s new corpse on the way to getting this morning’s kibble and coffee. Today. On the ride to the office, or walk to the dispensary, you could hear the tinkling sounds (or screams)of the scams colliding and falling apart in the background. When each face you saw on the lift going up, or the line creeping forward, might be the one that took you down. Today. Where in the office or on the street, you spent your day trying to grab hold of what was someone else’s that should have been yours, never asking if you should, but hoping that you could…before someone else did. Today. It didn’t matter if you were a cop tryin to make  bust or a ganger tryin not to be busted, a rocker looking for that new sound or a fixer looking for that new “in”. A Nethead moving like a will’o'wisp through ICE or a samurai moving through foes like a ghost. It didn’t matter cause, no matter who you were, all you really had was now. Today. The moment you forgot that in Night City, someone would come along who hadn’t forgotten and, you’d lose that too. And anything even like a tomorrow.  How are you going to get that feeling in a computer game? How can you?

    • Wisdom000

       Awesome post man…

    • Kohno

      “How are you going to get that feeling in a computer game? How can you?”

      They can’t. And it would be foolish to assume they could. A computergame can not possibly reflect all the diversity, flexibility and feeling of a PnP session. But they can come somewhat along the way with a – probably – nice interactive set piece in the CP universe if they do it right and give it all the justice they can with this medium. And that’s what they are doing; and that’s also what all the “white noise” about rules and stuff are posted for.

      • skyray_us

         Kohno, I agree that a complete, wholesale translation is impossible. You just can’t do it. But, as you also pointed out, if they look at and approach it without bowing to current convention, I think there’s a good chance that they can come up with something that’s both Cyberpunk and unlike most other MMORPG’s out there today. I’m not a programmer but I don’t see why certain kinds of approaches can’t be used in a different way with tech I have already experienced personally. What I meant by ‘white noise’ was hearing comments that made it seem to me like some posters may want a slightly different version of games they’ve already played. I may have misinterpreted their comments but I also wanted to say that a rework of what’s already out there isn’t what I’m hoping for. I would like there to be some differences in the actual way you play and the mind set that you play with. I don’t think that’s impossible and I do think that’s what Mad Mike would want in this game as much as it’s feasible.

      • Kohno

         Skyray.

        Why are you talking about MMO’s? Did I miss something because I’ve always thought this will be a single player game?

        I can’t speak for others but I’m most certainly not wanting a “rework” of anything. I don’t want a CP themed GTA, Witcher, GoW or [insert any game]. That is to say, that you can not draw any straight parallels between CP and the current mainstream blockbusters (there’ll always be some game it’ll be reminiscent of, that can not be avoided, but it can be at least somewhat diminished if done in a creative way).

        I am hoping for a solid and as unique as possible cRPG from both perspectives: Narrative design and structuring, and gameplay mechanics. I don’t think I’ll get even half of what I’d prefer because those kinds of games are not made anymore, but… hope for the best and fear for the worst.

    • Console Cowboy

      Funny enough, it is going to come down to the old fashioned criterion of story writing quality. From Gibson to Stirling to Cadigan to Shirley… all these guys were the movement and the inspiration to Mad Mike. He needs to find a hungry writer who stays true to the vision and knows how to write a cyberpunk story: a noir thriller that involves advanced technology in the every day.

      If a player stands back and says “WOW this is cool…” Fail. The player has to say ok, that’s useful and haggle the price down on the street. That’s how you feel you are in /today./

      Now fashion! That’s another thing. You don’t haggle the threads. It’s not as ubiquitous as technology. If it were, it would not be stylish.

      VFTE has a library of slightly advanced technology (I know I helped build it.) But I am unconvinced these guys have a writer on par with The Witcher’s Andrzej Sapkowski. And if they try to look for an established writer, they’ll buy the name and not sell the story. That is supposing they have the money for a Gibson and they do not.

      I saw the advertisement for the Senior Writer as it blipped on the Polish market. I would not be surprised to find these guys end up with a coder, hustling grammar and showing off the pretty toys in an immersive world rather than an engrossing story.

      If they even know the difference. AAA title? Let’s see. 5 Million USD is not in the bank yet.

      O – and Bullfrog’s Syndicate was my first Cyberpunk game back in the day. It turned me off. Huzzah!

      • skyray_us

         Console Cowboy, I agree with your view on the need for writers only I’d actually say they need a lot more than just one. The good thing there is that they may well HAVE more than one. There are many people whom are posting up here that used to play the P+P version that have written scenarios, minor and even major story arcs. If (or when) I could lay hands on my old notes about story outlines and such,I’d be happy to send them in and I wouldn’t be looking for money. I’d be looking and working for the best game. Nowadays they call it UGC (User Generated Content) and it can make a big difference in a game if it’s allowed to.
        As for CDPoject RED hiring an uninspired code monkey….I don’t know. I never played Witcher so I don’t have any experience with the kind of product they’ll be looking to put out. I do have an idea of what Mad Mike is going to want this game to look and play like so I’m really hoping that his presence will interdict that kind of road to the finished game. In fact, I’m counting on it. I really don’t want another MMO with standardized functions that’s wearing a Cyberpunk skin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/R0LL1NGW0LF Jeremy V. Nuñez

    I will go out on a limb here and just say New Vegas is my favorite “Cyberpunk” game even though it is more post-Apocalyptic than Cyberpunk.  It still has the futuristic elements with robots as well as a the city of New Vegas as the centerpiece and cybernetic implants throughout.  It is hands down my favorite game to date.

  • skyray_us

    Damien: Are there limits to what you want people posting up that they’d want to see in the new game?  I have a long list of what I do AND don’t want to see in a Cyberpunk MMO. I even have some suggestions about how some things might be worked in, conceptually at least. I’ll be looking forward to that discussion in any case. I just wish I’d found out about this sooner.

  • Console Cowboy

    @skyray_us

    Lisa has told me the story narrative is done. It was one of the tasks Mike and Lisa were doing in Warsaw a few weeks ago. But I read allot of incongruities between Mike’s post here and the company’s ideas and inspirations here. Having run a company in Warsaw, where I currently live, I know something about two-tiered management.
     
    The expat community being small, this will also inform you a little bit about my “in” at the company. I have no NDA of course and a cyanide tooth just in case.  I have submitted a local submission to write for this company but have not had any reply – suggesting the company has their eye on someone overseas. They are required to post a local ad before the government will give permission to bring over a foreigner.  That seems to be their strategy. Your guess is as good as mine for who that could be.
     
    You and I are in total syncopation about the need for character-driven story. Coders scream immersion. Players respond to engrossment.  Department Heads on this project are not making money near comparative to the USA. So bringing someone over will be difficult – unless they break their budget and hook a David Gaider type and pay for his name. 
     
    I am not sure anyone but investors will care who the writer is. Players would enjoy the game IF the story elements reflect the expectation of playing a Cyberpunk game. If the players are satisfied… that is the key.  I am reading allot about coding here – directly and between the lines. Sadly.

  • skyray_us

    Console Cowboy

    It’s great to hear that Lisa’s working the storyline too. Maybe they’ll have Coty do some of the writing as well?  NextGen needs some experience too lol. I have to say though that I find what you’ve said a little scary for a few reasons. First, the 2 tiered management structure you mentioned could have some very unpleasant and unanticipated consequences on the “final” product. The only way I know to avoid this is to make sure that the creative leads are working hand in hand, side by side with Department heads, admin, etc.  That rarely happens.
    It can though and even has…at least once or twice lol. A principle storyline is great but I feel you need a number of major storylines as well. I’d go so far as to say that there should be at least one for each different ‘kind’ of character. Just as an entryway or tutorial to get into the main MMO. Then, there should be a large number of minor stories to flesh out the experience a PC will have living in Night City. All of this is possible but it’s also VERY EXPENSIVE!! Someone like you should be able to write up a beginning, middle an end to an adventure sequence or scenario and get a check for your work upon approval as content. I don’t think they really have the money for that. Hence, that’s why reinforcing the people they can afford (hopefully you..and good luck btw.) with people who have written presentable stories and scenarios, run them in a CP game maybe, and aren’t looking for money so much as just getting a credit or adding to a game environment that they love, would be at least helpful I think. (talk about a run-on sentence!).That’s why UGC may be a good way to build this game to a superior level before it’s even released. That’s also why a single big name writer may NOT be the best solution. One person that costs a lot will not be able to produce the volume of stories and arcs necessary to set this game ahead of the others. It will make it resemble more of what we already have, not something new, different and better. Case in point is the Star Trek MMO IP. That’s NOT what the lovers of the IP really wanted, it was a space game with a Star Trek skin which was all the company was willing, or maybe able, to invest in.
    I also feel that a good writer can potentially come from anywhere! History proves that. Why import if there’s good, local talent like you? That should only happen if someone has a proven and specialized talent. Let’s get Gibson or Stephenson or somebody like that if you just want a name lol.

    • Console Cowboy

      You’re chipped in to me, skyray_us.
       
      The history of CDPR is to go with the unknown; be the underdog. Witcher may not be up in the ranks of AAA players (yet) but Witcher was a strong entry. The company had the benefit of the Polish equivalent of a Dave Gaider, who wrote Bioware’s GOTY 2009 DA:Origins, The Witcher’s author, Andrzej Sapkowski. The characters’ Origins in DA were a basic Chinese knock-off of the Cyberpunk 2020 LIFEPATH.
       
      Maybe I am too green for this industry but I cannot see where the difficulty is in outlining and flow carting LIFEPATH into this game. Or maybe some people are too myopic. As an Old School Gamesmaster, we used to do this stuff with pencil and paper. I understand they play 4e in the office at CDPR. Like Mike Richards would say at Darkhorse in the 80s: e’nuff said.
       
      I have mentioned in a post here how LIFEPATH can work as a random background generator. Basically this means writing up a few short stories to tag the player’s character at generation. And /do/ character-gen just like Baldur’s Gate (another PnP classic come to life). This results in each character having unique stats, plus randomly determined personal LIFEPATH stories. You should be able to port these characters into the next game too, making this core necessary and a cash cow into perpetuity. Free patches can upload more LIFEPATH events to the core character generator based on registration (foregoing the need for harsh DRM since 1 game = 1 registration). Let’s talk long-term playability…. Seriously, the best the industry can say for an RPG customization is “I wanna play an Elf.”  Really, boys?
       
      Put in a main story line that hunts the players as they figure it out or die trying; create story complications with LIFEPATH; have LIFEPATH bring negative or positive story impacts to the party (better than DA’s gift me relationships) and release DLC based upon the reception of the game. If people like the core, they’ll buy the DLC. Bioware exposes the story behind the two sides of that model: the steaming turd that was DA2 explains DLC failure and GOTY DA:Origins explains DLC success.
       
      Beautiful crap that doesn’t sell is not the way of the AAA. Check it out:
      http://www.ebay.com/itm/261119708949?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
       
      The sad part for me is that all this great stuff I am talking about is not innovative for Cyberpunk. It’s not worthy for the innovator Cyberpunk is/was. But even this 30-year innovation is not being touted. It may be innovation for other games people are more familiar with. So you have to speak like: “you know this from Syndicate, and that from System Shock, and such-and-such from Dex: HR” to get them to understand. That’s not going to fire up the base. Pfft! Just look at the mess of this blog. (And I ask again where is the Senior Writer’s presence here?)
       
      Based upon the engine technology already available on the AAA market, everything I suggest is easy to implement. The press says Poland is /supposed/ to have the world’s most gifted IT specialists. Yet…   
       
      Saying this is a big deal does not make it so. I thought people into Cyberpunk 2020 would be a bit more savvy than that.

  • Tyrell

    Bloodnet, Deus Ex, and Shadowrun for SNES are pretty much the top of the heap for me. I really hope that 2027 has a really rich cyberspace world…something like an updated version of Bloodnet’s… I think that having hacking as sort of a side bar in 2027 would be a big mistake… Having a really detailed, immersive cyberspace with lots of different side quests maybe existing only there would make 2027 something really original and is something that is lacking in many modern titles. Come to think of it Deus Ex did’nt have that either, but man, it’s Deus Ex…

  • RansomStark

    Top picks for me: Deus Ex (of course), Bloodnet, Shadowrun SNES…

  • CPGM

    Just for all who are posting things like Deus Ex, System Shock ect. If CDPR will do another first person shooter the project will fail miserably.
    Shoting and killing is maybe 1/5th of the time of typical PnP session and it would be nice if we could stick with this ratio.

  • http://www.facebook.com/abrannigan 理安雄電

    I fell in love with Shadowrun on the SNES. At the time it had a story and setting that pulled me into so strongly that I felt I truly lived and breathed in that world. 
    At that point I had no idea it was a PnP game or had a series of books so imagine my surprise when, on Christmas morning, I opened my presents to find the secrets of power trilogy.

    I still have that cartridge of Shadowrun and it is a game that I replay on a yearly basis, love waking up on the morticians slab ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/abrannigan 理安雄電

    I fell in love with Shadowrun on the SNES. At the time it had a story and setting that pulled me into so strongly that I felt I truly lived and breathed in that world. 
    At that point I had no idea it was a PnP game or had a series of books so imagine my surprise when, on Christmas morning, I opened my presents to find the secrets of power trilogy.

    I still have that cartridge of Shadowrun and it is a game that I replay on a yearly basis, love waking up on the morticians slab ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/carloscostacox Carlos Costa Cox

    While looking up cyberpunk games it is important to also take a look at cyberpunk settings themselves, because the setting and the game are all connected in a very deep level. I’d suggest looking at other Pen and Paper RPGs such as Shadowrun, Gurps cyberpunk & Ultratech, and other source material such as the Ghost in the Shell series, Battleangel Alita and “Eden: Its an Endless World!”.

    Obviously, the Cyberpunk 2020 setting is good enough by itself but there are many awesome ideas about how technology can change the world and humanity in those settings.

    Speaking from a video-gaming perspective though, the gameplay should have the best of both worlds, in the sense that what makes an RPG become truly memorable and legendary is always a deep and powerful storyline, because the key element of a true RPG isn’t about playing a role or getting a stronger character or hoarding equipment or even exploring a world… it is about being part of a strong, powerful, surprising and emotionally moving narrative, with choices yes, but mostly a consistent storyline in its core. Telling a story is the core of what makes a great RPG become truly timeless and legendary.

    Mass Effect 3 had that (except for its 10 final minutes) because it focused on creating a powerful attachment to the characters

    Fallout 3 had something the Fallout series lacked in the past, which was a compelling main quest that guided the character towards its conclusion even though it also had such a rich environment to explore (although sadly its also a game that had a poorly conceived ending and a very weak antagonist)

    Other than those Oni is definitely a game you guys should check.

    The main problem with sandbox games is that in the misguided effort of giving freedom to the character creation process, the developers almost always turn the main character into this bland, silent blank slate, and it becomes impossible for the narrative to create a strong emotional attachment between the player and the main character. Balrdur’s Gate 2 (Shadows of Amn specifically) was a great game because while the main character was bland the supporting cast and primarily the main villain had some very powerful defining moments that mostly covered it.

    The greatest RPG of all time, Planescape: Torment had a very strong lead character, an incredibly rich and powerful setting (imo the best ever made), amazing supporting characters and most importantly it all centered around a deep insight into the human condition which was the question “What can change the nature of a man?”.

    That is also at the heart of the power behind Ghost in the Shell, the very name of the series giving away the main conflict which is “can a machine have a soul?” and it brings an incredible amount of questions with it such as, can an AI become as humanized as a human being? Is there even a difference between an AI and a person? Is it possible to hack thoughts? when information rules the world, what is the worth of a human life? What would be like to live in a society where everyone is connected to the internet at all times?

    These are the kind of questions Cyberpunk 2077 should be exploring with the added bonus of being able to extrapolate the problems we have with our world right now, where corporations and banks using the Media and the Military Industrial Complex to rule the world doing whatever the hell they please, the Social Contract, sovereignty and diplomacy be damned. Freedom of information is anathema to the Corporatocracy that rules the world which is exactly the conflict we should be focusing on.

    Terrorism being a fabricated illusion to misdirect the masses into allowing their rights, freedoms, morals to be completely eroded on the name of a fanatic brand of patriotic callousness, we are essentially already living in Cyberpunk, with drone strikes being sanctioned by a president elect against his own citizens for nothing more than mere suspicion, substituting ‘due process’ for “official agreement”.

    This is our world right now, with no one other than independent poorly funded media sources focusing on actually getting that sort of information out there.

    I apologize for digressing so much, but basically what i would like to see the most in this game is a strong narrative with a strong main character who actually takes part in whathever the hell happens around him, a character for whom the events happen and to whom it would be difficult, painful even, to decide the outcome of his actions and how they would change the world. Doing what is right even if it just fucking hurts or sacrificing the many to save the few who really matter to him/her… fighting against power or doing whatever it took to get it for oneself. The choices should take the story far to different places, but mostly it should always have a strong connection to the personality that the character were chosen to develop.

    The player makes the choices but the character is their own and would do the things their own way, going for whatever they Cared For the most.

    The same attention should be given to the villain(s), intelligent use of resources and planning to achieve their goals. Not the least of which is the center rule of a truly dark setting which is that there are no “good guys” everyone has a goal and Good and Evil is truly a messy gray area instead of a black and white proposition.

    I’m sorry i got carried away, having my own pet cyberpunk setting and strong attachment to the genre as well as a very long personal history with PnP and CRPGs i couldn’t help but to go all out and throw away my 2 cents here.

  • Korhall

    Power of law – it is the best cyberpunk tactical strategy with RPG elements for all time! It has it’s own very interesting world, it has live characters, implants, of course? weapons, hacking etc.

    http://www.mistgames.ru/

  • Sarah

    Final Fantasy 7 in particular had some cyberpunk parts, with Midgar significantly more advanced than the rest of the planet. But it goes more into science fantasy later.D: