Interview: CD Projekt On Cyberpunk, Future Of DRM

By Nathan Grayson on June 19th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

You'd think Future Technology would allow him to do something about those horrific forehead veins.

Don’t worry, members of Witcher‘s (thankfully not immortalized in card form) lover legion: Geralt’s not gone for good. He is, however, enjoying a bit of a vacation, and – for the foreseeable future – CD Projekt’s giving its frequently sexed up brand of swords and sorcery a break. But, on the upside, we’re now in for a change of pace. Announced late last month, Cyberpunk‘s promising a non-linear world with “advanced RPG mechanics” and “mature content.” So then, is it Witcher meets Blade Runner? Or does the on-paper description of this pen-and-paper adaption barely even begin to, well, describe it? I spoke with CD Projekt CEO Marcin Iwinski to find out. And then we also talked about DRM for some reason. 

RPS: Why did you decide on Cyberpunk for your next game? What drew you to that specific license and world? 

Iwinski: We were looking at the settings we were interested in, and obviously, Cyberpunk was something close to the hearts of a lot of people on the team. I personally didn’t play [at the time], but the bulk of the studio was playing. So when we approached  Mike Pondsmith, the team was like “Wow, we never thought we’d get to meet the creator.”

But it’s a great setting, and it allows us to build a fantastic RPG. So if you look at how we approached The Witcher, we wanted to eliminate the risks that could possibly lead to a bad game. When you’re starting a game, you need the technology, so we licensed the Aurora Engine. You have to have a setting, world, and story, so we took The Witcher books. And then we just focused on making a great game. That was already very challenging on The Witcher 1. We spent five years developing it. Then in Witcher 2, we already had our own technology, and the setting was still the well-proven Witcher world.

So for the new IP, we were looking for something that’d allow us to focus on the gameplay, on the feel of the game, and deliver a great story. So the Cyberpunk setting is great, and – most importantly – there are 44 books. That’s more than 5000 pages about it. Meanwhile, over 5 million people have played, so it’s definitely recognizable. Maybe not with all the young people, but it’s something that rings a bell.

Also, funny thing: with The Witcher, the books were published [in the US] three or four months after the release of the game. With Cyberpunk, it’s the other way around. Whenever we talk to people in the US, they’re like “Yeah! That one!” But the books have never been published in Russian.

But I think it’s a good balance for the two IPs and the two studios. Most of all, I think it’s a super exciting setting for an RPG.

RPS: This is the second time you’ve chosen to adapt a setting with a heavy literary background. And it seems like, a lot of the time, books tend to lend themselves to games better than, say, TV shows or movies.

Iwinski: [chuckles] Game of Thrones.

But yeah, when I started the company in 1994 with a friend, we first got a lot of experience on the business side of things. So we were looking at a lot of games for distribution and working with a lot of people, and what sank a lot of creations was that the world, setting, and idea were shallow. Incomplete. And if you look at The Witcher, the author spent 16 years writing it. That’s an amazing foundation. So let’s say you’re working on a game, and it’s a four-year development cycle. So you’re spending, what, a year creating the world? What’s that compared to a book by someone like George R.R. Martin? So you have a very profound, deep thing, and it’s much easier to build a game around it. Movies don’t have that.

RPS: Is there any interest at CD Projekt in breaking out of that cycle and creating wholly unique worlds – removed from someone else’s license? 

Iwinski: We definitely want to do things right. So obviously, we’re not abandoning The Witcher. We’re not talking about what’s next right now, but you can guess it’ll be happening sometime in the future. And then there’s Cyberpunk [occupying our other team]. So, for the foreseeable future, that’s what we’ll be focusing on. And these aren’t just books or – in Cyberpunk’s case – pen-and-paper games. They’re worlds. And they allow us to tell great stories with different kinds of gameplay. And we probably could’ve just stuck with The Witcher, but it’s a new setting. So it’s great for our developers who wanted to try different things. Because, for some, it’s like “How many more years will I be working on swords?” So now they can work on great guns or implants. I think that’s a good balance for us.

I’m not saying “no” [to the idea of a wholly original IP], but we’ll take probably a long time to come up with a system.

RPS: Why didn’t Cyberpunk get an E3 showing? How long has it been in development? 

Iwinski: It’s early in development. We definitely wanted to communicate to the world that we’re working on the game – obviously to see what the reaction would be like. It’s really important to gauge that. And with Cyberpunk, there’s the pen-and-paper game and there are books, but recently, there hasn’t been much happening around it. But based on people’s comments [after our announcement], people just loved the idea. We also got to announce the second team – which actually formed quite some time ago. But we’re still looking for new talent, so that was sort of the initial goal of this announcement.

But, moving forward, we’ll be showing more and revealing how things work.

RPS: Do you have any sort of timeframe for when that’ll happen?

Iwinski: By the end of the year.

RPS: So, beyond Cyberpunk proper, are there any other cyberpunk works the team is drawing heavily from in crafting the game world and story? 

Iwinski: Well, that’s definitely more of an individual thing, because obviously members of the team have their own experiences. But yeah, William Gibson’s an obvious one, and Blade Runner’s a no-brainer. I actually watched it again on the flight [to E3] just to get a feel for it. Because, you know, sometimes you have [inaccurate] memories. But I was really surprised by how close the movie was to what I had in my head. So that’s truly amazing.

It’s also a bit retro and date, so it’s not exactly like what we want to have in the game. It’s more retro-cyberpunk, and we’re going for more modern cyberpunk. But we won’t be going super far into the future.

RPS: Can you discuss any general plot or story threads at this point? Or perhaps combat?

Iwinski: No, no. Unfortunately.

RPS: OK then: DRM. Not for Cyberpunk specifically, because CD Projekt’s sworn off DRM. Meanwhile, though, Diablo III recently launched with an incredibly restrictive online policy, and it’s been having all sorts of awful, uncomfortable hiccups. But a lot of developers still seem to be convinced it’s “the way of the future.” What’s your take on that? Can they please all be wrong? I’d like that very much. 

Iwinski: I’ve been thinking about it a lot in general. With Diablo, we were discussing it a lot internally. Actually, we’re going to be the Polish distributor of Diablo III. We’re launching it soon. And so, with Diablo III, people complain [about DRM] on forums and things, but they still go out and buy it. And I’m one of those people. [laughs]

Yes, it probably could’ve been done differently. I wasn’t working on the game, so I don’t know exactly how. But your character is stored online and you can jump right into multiplayer. Maybe if that was better explained to users, [there'd be less of a negative reaction]. But what I’d do, I’d make the single-player part offline. It’s as simple as that. Then people would be happier.

But people ask if I think there’s a “right” copy protection for games, and my answer is simple: the protection is the experience. So if you want to eliminate piracy and go online, make it work. But yeah, I think a lot of companies – a lot of people in the industry – they want to put their worlds and experiences online because it enhances the life cycle of the product and people spend more time with it. That’s where the industry’s going, and we can already see it at this show. A lot of online games with lots of people talking about DLC.

And, whether we like it or not, it’ll probably go this way. I feel that there’s still a place for offline single-player experiences, but there’s more and more people who want to play online. So they’ll get what they want. And this will be, on the business level, a much better concept to monetize. Because, whatever single-player game you release and whatever protection you put on it, it will be cracked. It will be pirated.

I was always saying that Blizzard’s the best innovator in terms of protecting their game. Diablo II – in our experience in distributing it in Poland – is one of the best-selling games ever. People still buy it today, and it’s mid-priced. It’s not even budget yet – after 10 or 11 years, because people still want to be part of Battle.net. And it worked because you could play the game offline, and then you could go online. It was the perfect medium.

Check back tomorrow for part two, which is mostly about, er, nakedness!

__________________

« | »

, , , .

101 Comments »

  1. Hoaxfish says:

    I’d be surprised if there isn’t at least a minor side-quest in which you get to hack some DRM.

    • The Random One says:

      I doubt even CDProjekt has the guts to shine the spotlight on that. Which sucks, since DRM and how it’ll affect a world that depends more and more on technology is what modern cyberpunk should be about.

      One day I’ll stop being a lazy bastard and actually work on my idea of a game that actually deals with the stuff Deus Ex HR stopped just short of because they’re Ubi, such as what happens when a company makes you sign an EULA that allows them to force you to install “upgrades” that actually remove features…from the software that lets your robo-eyes see.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      In their case its more likely you would get to mass sue low-income people via insanely disproportionate lawsuits. Maybe hack into some computers and databases to get access to the info, then pass it on to Evil Cyberlawyer, get a nice cut of credits.
      Would surely fit a dystopian future setting. Or, you know, the reality of now.

      Last thing I read there were some lawyer firms actually auctioning off databases of users one could send pay-up-or else letters to.
      That’d be right up CD Projekts alley, too, maybe for a side project, ey?

      Also of note: How the guy from “the anti-DRM!!!11 company” basically went from that to “Huhuhu yea isn’t Diablo 3 funny that way, I helped support DRM there best I could and bought it, too. And really, isn’t Diablo an awesome brand? Still kicking it hard over here! No need for budget prices! Got to love it! Battle.net, the win! ..hm? Us? Involved financially with Diablo in some way? Putting a slant on things? Oh, well, we kindasorta get to distribute that game ourselves. But hey. Everyone secretly wants to play online-only anyhow, amirite? Enhances gameplay experience and makes people spend more time with it!”

      I guess he meant spending time with it in terms of looking at login screens, timeouts, queues, other timers I guess?
      And yes I read about the perfect balance of SP offline, MP online that got stuffed in afterwards.

      • alundra says:

        But hey. Everyone secretly wants to play online-only anyhow, amirite? Enhances gameplay experience and makes people spend more time with it!”

        All I see around the web is users arguing how much they like offline SP and/or how they are moving from MP online gaming to offline SP gaming.

        So, besides a few mindless drones who genuinely enjoy COD or D3, it’s pretty obvious that all the argument in favor of the “qualities”of MP gaming, you know, lag, hacking, angry quitters, angry kickers, mic spamming, chat spamming, etc… it is a campaign from the industry to try and herd everyone towards online only games, either by forcing them, like in the case of acti-bliz, or just campaigning for it like what CPD and 4A are doing…we have offline but we strongly believe online only is the way for the future yada yada bim bong bang.

        One last thing, FB integration, yeah, sure, like if I want to let my bosses and relatives, and the government lately, know how much time I invest in gaming and what kind of games I play.

        • Malibu Stacey says:

          So, besides a few mindless drones who genuinely enjoy COD or D3,

          This just in, people with different tastes in games to you can be dismissed as ‘mindless drones’ apparently.

          Also before you chime in, I don’t own any of the CoD or Diablo games nor have any intention of playing them thanks very much.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          When you say “a few mindless drones” what you really mean is “the vast majority of the PC gaming market”, but don’t let the facts stand in the way of your tirade.

          • alundra says:

            Oh yes Joshua, when I say mindless drones I refer to you and only you, my darling center of the universe.

          • InternetBatman says:

            It is silly to claim to be the majority on either side without numbers to back it up.

            Furthermore, the desire to be online varies for me at least, and probably others, with the type of game I’m playing. If I’m playing an MMO, then yeah, online doesn’t bother me. If I’m playing a single-player game, then I don’t want the hassle of online stuff.

          • Lamb Chop says:

            As a member of the RPS collective and appreciator of indie and sandbox RPGs as well as a mainstream competitive online gamer, I often find myself sustaining entire comment threads just by expressing my cognitive dissonance.

            “You shallow idiot, your sheep-like acceptance of DRM is killing my gaming experience!”
            “You’re just a noob who couldn’t get a KDR above .5! I bet your APM is like 10!”
            “You don’t value immersive storytelling!”
            “You can’t appreciate balanced competition!”
            “Customizability!”
            “Player Interaction!”

            Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s all go play the games we enjoy. I’ll probably be playing Binding of Isaac while watching livestreams of Starcraft II.

    • jimjam says:

      Regards DRM check out this artcile from el reg..
      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/05/usedsoft_vs_oracle_ruling_analysis/

      It seems the European high court state that game publishers get control up to first sale of item but not resale. Meaning that DRM is actually not suposed to be enforced after one sale.

      QUOTE
      ‘“Such a transaction involves a transfer of the right of ownership of the copy. Therefore, even if the license agreement prohibits a further transfer, the right holder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy.”’

      This makes a mockery of Blizzards approach but most likely wont stop them trying.

      In fact I woud go so far as to state most AAA titles will now be online only esp in EU… :(

  2. Balerion says:

    I just came… here, to say that OOOOOH YEAH! Cyberpunk! Sadly, there’s not enough good cyberpunk games and that sadly, makes me sad, like very very sad. Like, really sad. Now, I’m going to actually read the interview!

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Me too!

      On the other hand, I’m so happy about this that the mere mention of it makes me feel slightly sick. Kind of like when you have a really good night out and don’t want it to end, but at the same time you need to make yourself sick so that you can carry on enjoying it without your body slowing you down.

      Um, oh dear.

      I guess I’ll go read the article too now and go have a lie down.

  3. MattM says:

    Grump. If they didn’t want to do another Witcher game right away perhaps they should have had a more conclusive ending in The Witcher 2.

    • MasterDex says:

      You missed the part where they mention that they have a different team working on Cyberpunk and a team still working on The Witcher.
      “So obviously, we’re not abandoning The Witcher. We’re not talking about what’s next right now, but you can guess it’ll be happening sometime in the future. And then there’s Cyberpunk [occupying our other team].”

      • MattM says:

        They said that they would be focusing on the cyberpunk game for the time being. They might mean that they would be focusing media attention not development resources. In generall I am a bit grumpy about “to be continued…” at the end of story heavy games. Even if they get to make a sequel, it’s often years and years later. It’s a bad way to tell a story.

        • Vorphalack says:

          If it’s quality, it’s worth waiting for.

        • Korrandar says:

          Man, you must hate Game of Thrones then. I’ve been waiting for years for the conclusion to that story, and it’s always been worth the wait. So will TW3. In the meantime, I also get to enjoy other forms of entertainment and stories by these great devs.

          I’m sure you can see how silly this all sounds. I’d hope so, anyways.

          • belgand says:

            You should get in line behind the Wheel of Time fans. The series was first published in 1990 (and RobertJordan apparently started writing it in ’84) and twenty years later the series still hasn’t been completed. Even after absolutely stating that the 12th book would be the end (for what appear to be thematic reasons as much as anything), the publishers decided to push it out to 14 after Jordan died. Its become akin to the Duke Nukem Forever of the fantasy genre and a likewise cautious lesson to not, y’know, take so long you die before finishing.

    • kyrieee says:

      The story the game is about has an ending. It doesn’t resolve every conflict in the fiction, or provide closure for every character but that’s because its world is much bigger than just this one game. It has a past and a future, geralt isn’t there to make everything right.

  4. Mordsung says:

    Again I will voice my hopes that this game contains a suitable amount of ultra-violence.

    All dystopian future settings require ultra-violence… and bowler hats.

    • frightlever says:

      A suitable amount would be “a spot of”.

    • Iskariot says:

      And a lot of cool gadgets, implants, drugs, weapon mods, etc etc.
      Oh… and I want a flying car just like in Blade Runner.
      And there should be androids and robots in it and, and, and…….
      I so much want this game.
      For me this is finally the Cyberpunk game I have been waiting for all those years.

      • Njordsk says:

        I’m not even that much interessated in cyber-thingy, but CDP got all my trust, and the way they presented the project I’m already eagerly awaiting it.

    • Jackablade says:

      Just so we’re clear, exactly how much beating with a giant phallus is likely to be involved?

  5. Iskariot says:

    “I feel that there’s still a place for offline single-player experiences, but there’s more and more people who want to play online.”

    Strange, with me the development was in exactly the opposite direction and I have completely stopped playing online altogether.
    I am sick off all the online bullshit, the low quality social interaction that interferes with immersion, the childish grieving, the superficial and narrow story telling, the mindless grinding etc. etc. etc.

    I own several games that feature online multiplayer, like Star Craft II, Dawn of War I and II, Supreme Commander I and II, Crysis 2, GTA4, Minecraft etc etc and I never played any of them online, and I never will.

    I am sick of online multiplay. I want to completely immerse myself in a cool interesting, exiting, challenging game world with a deep immersive narrative and I want to forget about all the rest. No more online mp for me, ever.

    • greenbananas says:

      As one who’s also not particularly fond of online play and knowing how candid these CDP blokes usually are, I was actually kinda disappointed that sentence went the way it did, instead of:
      “I feel that there’s still a place for offline single-player experiences, but there’s more and more developers trying to get people to play online by tacking on a MP mode into games where it doesn’t really belong, and not for the best of reasons.” Och.

    • Xune says:

      Try Frozen Synapse. You have to like the underlying point of the game, symetrical turn based tactics, but it integrates multiplayer and social media (in the form of optional youtube videos of completed matches) very well.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      +1 to what Iskariot said.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      -1 to what Iskariot said so we’re back to a net effect of 0.

    • Vorphalack says:

      +1 to what Iskaroit said, so back to a net effect of fuck always online.

    • jrpatton says:

      “I never played any of them online, and I never will.”

      That is quite ignorant of you. Passing judgement on things you’ve never tried. Please consult the guide on how to play video games, subsection “If the game has multiplayer”

      kotaku[dot]com/5911869/how-to-play-video-games

      It’s too bad, because mentioning tacked on multiplayer and how immersion should not be sacrificed is an important point, but your ignorance make your opinion worthless to me.

      • Vorphalack says:

        You might have a point if reviews, demos, past experience with similar products, and youtube lets plays didn’t exist. But they do, so you don’t.

      • Iskariot says:

        @ Jrpatton.

        I have several decades of gaming experience. I have been active online for a long time (longer than most of you probably exist) until I could not stand it anymore. So I know what I am missing out on.

        I was not talking about ‘tacked on multiplayer’, but multiplayer in general.
        I simply stated how I personally perceive online interaction in games in general as distracting, as an annoyance, as a waste of time and as immersion destroying.

        Perhaps, compared to you and many other gamers who enjoy multi player, I might be considered rather anti-social. I do not find pleasure at all in most of the social interaction that is going on online or elsewhere. I even got rid of my mobile phone, if that is any indication. :)
        I play games to forget about the outside world, not to be confronted with it through low quality multiplayer social interaction.

        So my opinion should indeed be worthless to you, because you perceive the online ‘bullshit’ quite differently from me. Which is perfectly fine of course!
        I just am who I am.

      • InternetBatman says:

        Ewww. Kotaku. Gross.

        • Midroc says:

          Kotaku and IGN are just puppets in the hands of the large game publishers nowadays. They’ve lost all credibility as journalists. Just a few days ago IGN posted an article with the title “why do people hate EA?” where they asked EA(!) why people hated them. It can’t get anymore farce than that.

    • Aatch says:

      Personally, my issue is the idea that it is one or the other, rather than both. In some cases it is more work and possibly not worth it, sometimes it is little extra work.

      I am a programmer, so I will approach it as such.. With Diablo III, if you make it with the multiplayer system in place immediately, then assuming reasonable architecture and separation-of-concerns, you should be able make a dummy server-interface that actually just stores and pulls all the data of a local disc. The extra work is in writing this layer (trivial if you have just written a server that does the same thing, but more complicated) and detecting which one to use when (again trivial assuming explicit selection).

      If I have a ping of 0 on the interface when playing offline, I can live with that, I don’t care. If I can’t take my characters online, I don’t really care about that either. Adding offline to D3 was a marketing choice, for a team like Blizzard, there were certainly no technical considerations that couldn’t have been worked around (such as offline chars being offline only).

  6. TariqOne says:

    I’d love to see them make this without some stock douchebag player character. But character creation is probably too much to ask for.

    • MasterDex says:

      If you’re referring to Geralt as a stock douchebag character then uhhhh, you were the one that made him a douchebag, since the player pretty much controls how Geralt reacts in most situations. So, if you were referring to Geralt then character creation would just lump you with a custom douchebag character.

      Also, character creation doesn’t lend itself well to a strong narrative.

      • jezcentral says:

        Eh? How does character creation affect narrative?

        All you need is a male VA and a female VA. And possible a zombie VA. The rest is just a character morph. None of these affect gameplay or narrative.

        • Quirk says:

          @jezcentral:

          Unconstrained character creation blows great big holes in narrative. The less information the writer has about the character, the worse they are at creating believeable past antagonists and old friends. You end up with generic slop designed to weakly fit both the guy who just escaped from lifetime slavery in the salt mines and the mincing dandy whose father is a big shot in some town twenty miles away; in which slop the character’s social status is vague, their history is unclear, and any new relationships they are meant to form with others muddle along with little reference to common ground.

          The more you constrain, the better your results. Many reasons contribute to Planescape being generally considered a vastly better narrative experience than Baldur’s Gate, but one of the chief ones is that forcing players to play the Nameless One rather than some random they’d knocked up in a character creator gave them a solid starting point, a basis in the world to build on; a reputation to live up to (or live down).

    • The Random One says:

      I’d prefer character creation as well, but if there is a setting where a stock douchebag character would work, it’s probably cyberpunk.

    • TariqOne says:

      Advocate against freedom in creating the role you’re playing all you want, I’m trying to picture playing Cyberpunk and being told I’m a ponytailed dude with an appropriately menacing eye scar who is half netrunner half rockerboy but I can choose whether to favor rockerboying or netrunning and whether to be surly and gravelly or just kinda gruff and whether to side with the Wintermute-like AI or try to destroy it. What happened to rolling your character?

      I prefer RPGs to narrative experiences. Even the semi-incompetent, beautiful bastards at Troika worked out how to make a proper-enough RPG with a propulsive narrative. It’s not impossible.

      Anyway other sources are reporting character customization and classes will be in this so color me preliminarily hopeful.

      • Aatch says:

        The problem is actually that tabletop RPGs are entirely unlike computer RPGs. since you have a DM that propels the story, you can literally have any character that doesn’t break the game and the world will react naturally. Computers are not appropriate DMs, and therefore you need some limitation of what your character is and is not if you want an engaging story with realistic interaction, unless you are expecting somebody to sit down and right all the possible combinations of character attributes, histories, possible player actions to that point and then figure out how many different conversations to write with a semi-important npc about a single topic. I’m guessing that this would probably require on order of tens of thousands of conversations, per character. Have fun downloading 18 TB of voice and text that might have a game attached.

        The other option is a lesser storyline, like the Elder Scrolls, but there is often little you can do to express the story you made for the character. If I refuse to help fight the dragons, nothing happens, the game simply stops. It could admittedly force you into it by making the story follow you, but then you are back to the first problem of needing to track so many variables that it becomes infeasible to do, and thus we get Skyrim.

        • TariqOne says:

          I guess I imagined Bloodlines, the Fallouts, various Baldurs Gates, Mask of the Betrayer, KotORs, and others.

          Each his own. I find The Witcher games and DX:HR and their ilk to be a bit regressive for my tastes in their eschewment of choice in character design and much of the glorious math in favor of telling me a story with Choices and exciting clicky, mousey, rolly, consoley combat but whatever.

          Anyway seems CDP is gonna try and honor the license with character design options and classes in this one so yay I (may) win.

  7. TNG says:

    “(…)complain [about DRM] on forums and things, but they still go out and buy it. And I’m one of those people. [laughs]”

    *sigh*
    I get depressed when I read this sort of things: people that complain, kick, scream and argue against DRM but once a game they like launches with even worse restrictions, they gently acquiesce and forfeit taking the only effective measure which is not buying the bloody product.

    • Durkonkell says:

      I didn’t buy Diablo 3 despite the probability that I’d enjoy it. The only thing I accomplished was to deny myself some enjoyment.

      • Minsc_N_Boo says:

        D3 is the first game that I have really wanted to play, but didn’t buy due to DRM and the really money BS . It is hard reading the reviews heaping praise on it, but then I read about accounts being hacked, and hardcore characters being killed due to lag, and I think I have made the right decision.

        • Vorphalack says:

          I didn’t buy it either, and spent the £35 on my last trip to Europe. Win Win ¬ ¬

          • bjohndook says:

            You guys did make the right decision – it’s really a bit of crap game, and then you get to inferno where it basically devolves into the olde style MMO end-game grind for gear.

            You’re not really missing much.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        But only because others didn’t follow suit.
        Boycott of DRM is 100% effective if 100% deny the sale / financial support for it.

    • secuda says:

      I am kind if depressed that people think that they are the same people just because the game sold alott.

    • alundra says:

      I didn’t buy D3, and I don’t buy games with limited activations or always online drm.

      Incredibly enough, that bullshit some try to pull on you… “oh it’s your loss! you are missing awesome games”, well, I have huge backlog of awesome games and none of them feature draconian drm.

      So I’m boycotting the greed in the industry *and* doing fine in having fun.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Well, despite all the kicking and screaming I guess people see that the general trend is heading against them and that they are one very tiny microscopic insignificant non-voice in an ocean of money and so lose hope, give in and buy the game hoping to enjoy the best of a bad situation. In the occasions when I have felt that way you regret it because the game usually lives up to your fears and that manages to obscure any joy.

  8. abandonhope says:

    I never really got into The Witcher. The combat was something I tried to get over, but more than that I’ve just been burned out on medieval fantasy settings for a long time now. Despite that, I have a lot of warm, fuzzy feelings for CD Projekt, so I’m glad they’re taking on a setting that is of significantly more interest to me.

    • Askeladd says:

      I somehow have a feeling that it’ll be a first person kind of game and I’m worried that they don’t have much experience with ‘gun-play’ in games. Maybe they are the first dev studio that’s able to make them feel like they should.
      Yes I’m looking at you recoilless full auto assault rifle.

  9. Hunchback says:

    I really hope they manage to build an awesome game again. They’ve done an amazing job with The Witcher, and The Witcher 2 is just even MOAR OOOOSUM and epic and all! So we know they have the talent, now they even have a Cyberpunk setting/story all ready, all they have to do is create an epic game of awesomeness!

  10. noodlecake says:

    I’m slightly worried about the non-linearity of this game. People are so obsessed with creating non-linear games nowadays and what you tend to end up is a game with a terrible narrative that you can’t become properly immersed in because they’ve gone for quantity over quality like with Skyrim. I really want a tight, story driven game like The Witcher 2. That was the most powerful, immersive, moving game I have ever played (on the PC). Unfortunately I will be comparing this to that when I play it, which is probably not a good idea really.

    • Brun says:

      There’s a difference between non-linear and sandbox games. “Non-linear” is a pretty broad term and can mean several things, but typically it refers to any game in which the objectives can be achieved in more than one way. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the story or gameplay progression is non-linear. Most people would consider DXHR and Crysis 1 to be non-linear games, since although their story and level progression is linear, the levels themselves are not. Sandbox games are a specific subset of non-linear games, in which there is a single game world or “level” that the player is free to explore and interact with. These are games like Skyrim, GTA, Minecraft, or Just Cause 2.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        In fact, TW2 also is very much a non-linear game. It uses quest hubs, has side-missions and most importantly half the game can be told from a completely different point of view depending on the choices you make. That’s non-linear, and perhaps even more so than games like Crysis or DXHR.

      • InternetBatman says:

        Absolutely. If you think about it, even games with heavy scripting like Stacking can be somewhat non-linear since they give you multiple puzzles to solve at the same time.

  11. wodin says:

    Who are these more and more people wanting to play online than single player!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Please tell me and I will kill em all…

    What i think is the out of touch business end and even developer shave it in their heads everyone wants online multiplayer (also helps with the piracy issue funny enough).

    The whole point of computer game sot me back in the early eighties onwards was that i could play the games I liked without the need to find someone with a similar interest (I owned plenty of RPG rules and never played them aswell as some board wargames). So gaming to me has been a solitary experience in an immersive world. I’ve yet o play a game online that is immersive…seeing others bunny hoping up a street in London or running this way and that breaks immersion instantly for instance. Sorry but MMO’s and online gaming on the whole is rubbish and is only suited to shooters.

    Looks like Cyberpunk will have a mulitplayer component and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the main part of it. I was hoping games like the Star Wars MMO would have finished them off altogether as a bad job. Now we will get endless F2P ones instead. These developers could be developing top notch amazing and maybe even ground breaking single player games instead.

    • noodlecake says:

      Mitt Romney and David Cameron. It’s their fault. Kill them! Kill the scary conservatives!

    • Brun says:

      The “immersiveness” of any game is partially a function of how much you’re willing to invest (mentally) in being immersed. Obviously it’s easier in some games than in others (Skyrim being an example). But ultimately it will come down to how much effort you put into being immersed – how much you’re willing to ignore unrealistic game mechanics, etc.

    • Jesus H. Christ says:

      yeah, cdprokered looks to be going for the console market hard. this game will have a simultaneous console release and apparently the story as compared to the witcher games is going to be streamlined so as to be more accessible for a wider audience (see gamasutra). That combined with online multi makes me think this is going to be more of generic console oriented experience than anything.

      But whategver, I’m not funding the game nor do I have several hundred employees relying my decisions to work out so they can feed their families.

      • Revisor says:

        Well you take some liberties with what they are saying and then add some of your assumptions.

        Here’s a link for those who want to read what they really said about the story:
        http://gamasutra.com/view/news/172242/From_The_Witcher_to_Cyberpunk_Making_a_complex_story_more_accessible.php

        “CD Projekt still wants to ensure that Cyberpunk’s world remains satisfyingly complex for the game’s diehard fans. Unlike in The Witcher games, however, the studio doesn’t want to jam this complexity onto the game’s critical path. Instead, it’ll be readily available to players who choose to seek it out on their own.”

        And the last sentence which you obviously haven’t read:
        “Just to make sure we’re understood correctly by our fans, this does not mean that we are going to simplify our games. That’s definitely not the case,” Iwinski said. “But for some audiences, the learning curve should be improved, and particularly the introduction to the world needs to be better.”

        • fitzroy_doll says:

          That sounds fair enough.

        • Midroc says:

          Of course they would deny causalising the game for the console market, such a statement would generate a lot of negative feedback from places such as this, but you only need to read the first phrase again to understand that’s what they’re doing. Removing complexity from the games “critical part”, or the main game, is obviously streamlining the game. The complexity that players can seek out on their own sounds an awful lot like some kind of achievementesque “make it harder for youself” option, like “play through act 1 using only your fists” for example. I love DCPR but i have some bad feelings about this.

          • Revisor says:

            They are talking about the story, not about gameplay. So they won’t overwhelm you with 10 characters in the first 5 minutes and the backstory will be in optional dialogue trees.

            Also why would they deliberately destroy what they are known and loved for – complex, mature narratives?

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Sorry but MMO’s and online gaming on the whole is rubbish and is only suited to shooters.

      Dota 1 & 2 and their clones would quite strongly disagree with you. As would the 10 million or so people who pay for WoW every month. And all the Starcraft 1 & 2 players around the globe. And….

      You should hook up with Vinraith & create some sort of community where you don’t play with each other or something.

  12. Xardas Kane says:

    My biggest beef with BioWare isn’t the Mass Effect 3 ending (the game was awesome up until that point), nor Dragon Age 2 (I still consider Jade Empire and the Neverwinter Nights solo campaign to be way worse), it’s that story-wise they have been making the same game over and over again for a decade and a half. You always save the world from some evil, you always have to go to four places (districts in NWN, the 4 planets in KOTOR and so forth), you always gather a group of followers with which you can interact in peace on the ship/around the fire, it’s all just too similar. I look at Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins, and the only difference I see from a story perspective is that in the first you gather a group of badasses, while in the other it’s whole nations. And in both you do it to destroy some Ancient Returning Evil (TM). They did try to do something different with ME2 and 3, but it’s hardly enough.

    CDPR on the other hand really break the mold and seem to constantly try to do something new, interesting and different. And that’s exactly what makes them so great in my eyes. Can’t wait for more details on Cyberpunk.

  13. deadly.by.design says:

    Starring the guy from Burn Notice?

  14. Ministry says:

    There should be a rule punishable by death if broken, that you must wait until your game has been in development one year before announcing it. Excited for this but It prolly won’t be out for 3 years or so.

  15. nimzy says:

    Cyberpunk is deaaaaaaaaaad. ‘Cause we’re living it every day.

  16. Dances to Podcasts says:

    “It’s more retro-cyberpunk, and we’re going for more modern cyberpunk.”

    So, they’re more, say, Chromatics than, say, Com Truise?

  17. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I can’t wait to plough some cyberwitches. That’s how it works, right?

  18. karhazx says:

    I’m extremely excited by the steampunk/cyber setting CD Projeckt is tackling. I was a huge fan of Shadowrun and this looks in line with that theme.

    Also, DEATH TO DRM. I for one didn’t buy Diable 3 because of it’s BS DRM and because I can’t stand Activision.

    Kudos to CD Projeckt for their awesome stances on game booklets, art, and being DRM free – you’ve got a loyal customer here until you walk down the EA/Activision path.

    You guys rock.

  19. Srethron says:

    Good interview on something relevant to my interests. I’m already looking forward to the second part.

  20. skooma says:

    Really excited for this game. If the Witcher series is any indication they really know they’re doing when it comes to gritty, muiltpath storylines.

  21. Jackablade says:

    The retro-cyberpunk versus modern cyberpunk comment kinda disappoints me. Cyberpunk the P&P has a pretty distinctly 80s flavour as I see it. I was really hoping they’d try to capture that in the new game. The Haircuts and wonderfully hideous leopard print jacket have kind of supported that so far.

    I suppose it was too much to hope for that they’d go all out with Vice City levels of tacky 80s chic, but a man can dream. I think if handled well it could actually make for a great setting and something that’s distinct from the hundreds of other cyberpunk style games already out there. It’d make things a bit less grim and gritty, which are things that CD Projekt RED do well, but given the setting itself has a bit of inbuilt silliness, a lighter tone would probably suit it well.

  22. Ghoulie says:

    Aw man, I was really hoping for a heavily 80s inspired Cyberpunk, with fashion like that purple jacket up there and wires everywhere. A modern cyberpunk is cool too though.

  23. blacksun_redux says:

    For what it’s worth, this is what I’d like to see.

    1- A linear storyline, but with side quests and downtime sandbox play. Pretty much like witcher2, but maybe more solidified in space. Like you have an apartment and there’s an overall world map to discover.

    2- I agree with others that nothing turns an immersive game in to a grinding spreadsheet faster than other players online, blathering on about dps and stats. Maybe if there was an invite only co-op system?

    3- Sex. We want it, and it’s a part of cyberpunk. I thought the sex in witcher 2 was tastefully handled, but still actually kind of hot! More of this. It’s refreshing to be treated like an adult and not a child. (But blowing someone’s head off is A-OK for almost any age..?)

    3- Drugs. Ones that makeyou faster, a better hacker and ones that just get you high. a cornerstone of cyberpunk. Also, use of drugs as weapons.

    4- Hacking. Of course, this probably will be a huge part of the game. It would be refreshing to see it handled in a more technical manner. Like you actually have to learn a rudimentary command line language and deal with IP’s, port scans etc. At least, as a foundation for a little bit fancier programs. None of this running man stuff.

    5- Apartments. Games like GTA4 and DUEX had the right idea, but just put a few more interactions in there, a few more workable appliances, maybe a live in girlfriend etc.

    6- A fast motorcycle.

    7- Swords

    8- An underground dance club that doesn’t suck! Come on your can do it, just put more than 5 people in it, (fill it) add some strobe lights etc.. I’ve never seen a club in a game that’s done well. Now’s the time to do it!

  24. eclipse mattaru says:

    Hey, I would’ve loved a full-on retro-cyberpunk setting! Blade Runner-style world with Neuromancer-style naive techno babbling, and maybe some Sigue Sigue Sputnik-style soundtrack thrown in for good measure. In fact, I don’t think there’s any other way to make proper cyberpunk.

    Still, all kinds of pumped about this, I’ll be throwing cyber-monies at it the minute it hints at rearing its purple-haired head.

    By the way, I love this Grayson chap’s interviewing style. He was quite the revelation, really.

  25. tehsorrow says:

    Is it “tomorrow” yet? I’m dying for part 2

  26. UK_John says:

    One thing about multiplayer – before single player games disappear altogether – is that there has hardly been any growth in multiplayer. All the current MMO’s lose 1 million users and a new MMO gets 1.01 million for it’s new MMO!

    Surveys have shown consistently, for at least 15 years, that across console and PC, only around 50-55% play multiplayer with close to half still just playing single player.

    Also, we see each new MMO’s being given ever more critical comment (Elder Scrolls online?), as though gamers are getting fed up with the same old “grinding”, which single player games, even cRPG’s, have moved away from.

  27. Gentlemoth says:

    >But the books have never been published in Russian.

    Uhm, aren’t CD Project Red polish?

    • bulekman says:

      CDP Red is polish. The thing is that The Witcher books were very popular in Russia, Cyberpunk books aren’t so popular there. And in US It’s the opposite.

  28. guipit says:

    PART 2 NOW

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>