CDP Augments Cyberpunk’s Name, Location, Combat

By Nathan Grayson on October 19th, 2012 at 11:00 am.

Man, what even is a Cyberpunk? CD Projekt announced that it was making one earlier this year, but tossed us back into the rain-slick, neon-bathed streets starved for details. For the longest time, I assumed it was some kind of cleaning device – perhaps a rival to the Dirt Devil – but eventually came around to the idea that it could also be a videogame. Turns out, the latter is correct, as CDP’s finally seen fit to toss a few chunks of concrete information our way. For one, the decidely un-witchy RPG’s full name is now Cyberpunk 2077, catapulting it forward in time from the pen-and-paper game’s 2020. Also – perhaps most tantalizingly of all – it’s one-upping The Witcher’s non-linear ways with a full-blown cybernetic sandbox.

The news emerged during a recent CDP/GOG news-a-polooza, during which it was also revealed that Cyberpunk’s sandbox will center around Night City – with locations ranging from “a combat zone completely taken over by gangs” to “the legendary Afterlife joint” to “the nostalgic Forlorn Hope.”

Combat, meanwhile, will be based on the pen-and-paper game’s core mechanics, but with an eye toward, well, actual structure. CDP explained in a post on the new Cyberpunk 2077 blog:

“This is why adapting pen & paper rules to video game is not as easy as it can appear at first glance. The flexibility of an in-person RPG has to be replaced with a strict set of rules. Every skill, attribute and game mechanic has to have a clear definition and place in the game.”

“For example, the Cyberpunk 2020 “Wardrobe & Style” skill governs the knowledge about the right clothes to wear, when to wear them and how to look cool even in a spacesuit. As you can see, this skill covers quite a big area of lore and can be interpreted differently, depending on the situation and the players. In Cyberpunk 2077 this skill has to be tied to a specific gameplay mechanic. And all of these  mechanics have to be clearly defined so they can work well with other elements of the game and, at the same time, be easy to understand for the player. After all, we don’t have a referee or game master to explain or interpret the rules as you go.”

For now, CDP isn’t talking exact specifics of how it plans to grapple with that issue. However, original creator Mike “my buttery rasp is humanity’s most inspiring moments given voice” Pondsmith is heavily involved in the process, so there’s a definite focus on adhering to his original vision as closely as possible.

By the looks of things (and by “things,” I mean nothings, as we still haven’t seen any screenshots or videos), Cyberpunk’s still very early at this point. If nothing else, though, CDP’s obviously starting to ramp up its efforts, and CEO Marcin Iwinski did tell us during E3 to expect more toward the end of the year. So then, 2077′s a long way off, but hopefully, it’s a little closer than we think.

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70 Comments »

  1. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    This is going to be incredible. I don’t think I’ll need any other games once this is out.

  2. Harlander says:

    Are they going to be dealing with the weirdness that came up in Cyberpunk 203X, which pushed the game into an interesting post-cyberpunk direction, I wonder

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      It appears that they want to make it more based on how the world is right now, extrapolating forward from our current time to 2077 “looking to extrapolate current trends and fears”.

      They also hinted that it would tie into the nuked Arasaka building.

      • greg_ritter says:

        Oh man, i’d prefer the world after Datacrush, because the sole idea of Datacrush is unbelievably awesome.
        But alas, Arasaka it is.

        • TormDK says:

          I have no clue what so ever what you just noted.

          Could you give some settings background on why this is important please? :)

          • mrwonko says:

            Was about to ask the same, google won’t help me. Sounds intriguing, whatever it is.

          • Ansob says:

            Arasaka are the big bads of 2020, a Japanese-born transnational megacorp in the traditional 80s cyberpunk vein.

            With Cyberpunk 2030 (the next version of the game), R. Talsorian progressed the plot to the 2030s (duh), and set the game after a virus erased 99% of the world’s data (that’s the Datacrush). 2030 is set in a post-Datacrush, post-apocalyptic society with a heavy emphasis on Diamond-Age-style nanotechnology, whereas 2020 is all about Chiba City and Ono-Sendais, if you get my drift.

            (If you don’t get my drift: 2020 is what people expect when they hear “cyberpunk,” i.e. Neuromancer/Snow Crash.)

          • TormDK says:

            Thanks much for the response!

            So the Datacrush period would be considered “low tech” – given that information went *poof*?

            You went over my head, but I don’t follow alot of the cyberpunk stuff, but it sounds like an interesting setting

          • Ninja Foodstuff says:

            “DataKrash”. Basically an anarchic computer virus that swapped files belonging to different people around, in an effort to aid free speech. Kind of like wikileaks, but without the “opting-in” part.

          • greg_ritter says:

            Datacrush is a virus, created by some deranged genius, who wanted to make all information free. His reasoning was that the information would become free if it was worthless.
            Datacrush swapped or rewrote all information in the Net, thus making it impossible to know for sure the history and culture of humanity. You can’t verify anything, even with old-timey books, because on every argument for your point of view there are hundred false facts in the net.
            Alexander of Macedonia destroyed Babylon with nukes, Jesus was an alien, americans went to the moon to war with the Nazis – these facts are all true, because there is no way to prove them wrong.

            Essentially, the world of Cyberpunk now have no past. You just create your past as you like it.
            That leads to new cultures, new religions, new philosophies.
            The world is not low-tek, it’s just something comletely new and insane.

            That’s why Datacrush is the best idea ever

          • Aedrill says:

            Oh shit, now I MUST get this CP book and start playing! It sounds absolutely great!

  3. Tyrmot says:

    Words cannot describe the mouth-watering anticipation I am feeling for this one!

  4. vonkrieger says:

    Here begins Cyberpunk’s sprawl over the industry.

  5. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    I’m only just discovering William Gibson, so this really couldn’t come at a better time. Let’s just hope they don’t just go the physical cyberpunk route, as DX:HR did, if you know what I mean.

    • Cinek says:

      I think to a degree they will – that’s part of the universum after all.

    • iniudan says:

      They will most likely will, since one of the concept art was a woman with quite visibly artificial body that had secret compartment in her forearm from which blades were out from.

      • The Random One says:

        I don’t know if I know what he means, but I think he’s referring to how DXHR! wore the trappings of cyberpunk, but didn’t carry the themes to the end. Which is not surprising – under the traditional cyberpunk mythos it’s very obvious that HR’s villains should have been the high tech corporations that are creating the augmentations, and that’s shaky ground when the game was developed by a high tech corporation and published by another. That’s why the guy that’s opposing augs is a Jack Thompson style religious luddite whose viewpoints would surely be forgotten in due time. If I was writing it the anti-aug faction in the game would have turned out to be secretly funded by Sarif Industries itself to have people who oppose augments be associated with a group that hates progress, and in the end you’d meet a Richard Stallman like figure who doesn’t have a problem with augs per se, but wants to ban them because they essentially allow big corps to remotely shut down your legs.

        tl;dr DXHR looks cyberpunk but doesn’t feel cyberpunk; if it did, it’d be a thinly veiled fable against DRM

        • tormeh says:

          DX:HR, the way I see it, isn’t cyberpunk, it’s just science fiction. Brilliant science fiction. It neatly includes and summarizes all the key arguments in the post-humanism debate (yes, there is one and it’s dead serious); that non-augmented humans would be left behind, the inherent security risks of depending on technology you can’t fully control for basic functions and the incredible potential of the technology (though the game mostly explores that in a military context). It went way over the line and into the absurd with the whole project doom-thing, but it’s otherwise great.

          SF doesn’t need to be either “everything’s shiny and spandex!” or “corporations are evil!”. Space Opera and Cyberpunk are but two of SF’s subgenres and arguably not the most exciting ones. I like it better when SF is thoughtful and try to illustrate a novel concept or idea rather than just expressing genre dogmas.

          • x1501 says:

            I really hope you mean it’s a brilliant science fiction game, because, compared to a good book, the overall quality of DE:HR’s writing is anything but brilliant.

          • tormeh says:

            The storyline and the characters were bad writing. The setting, however, was brilliant. The way they actually bothered with all the fashion stuff was very nice. If you want good story and characters in video games then there’s no way getting around The Longest Journey or, more recently, The Witcher (Roche in the sequel is one of my favourite characters). The settings in both cases weren’t anything to look at though.

            It would be cool if someone managed a good setting AND a good story/characters. Yeah, I know, Torment, but a more recent example would be nice. Unfortunately, Project Eternity seems to safe it out with some variation of high-fantasy. Sure, the story’s probably going to be great and I’m backing it but I wish they were more daring. The world has enough high-fantasy worlds. And space opera for that sake. Mass Effect’s setting bores me to death.

  6. Dances to Podcasts says:

    “Man, what even is a Cyberpunk?”

    Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. http://vimeo.com/50829258

  7. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    I can’t contain my enthusiasm as a tremendous fan of William Gibson, Blade Runner, Deus Ex, System Shock and Human Revolution (I love the game so much I feel it deserves special mention, as to merely say ‘Deus Ex’ could suggest only the original). I do almost wish CDP would have abstained from a reveal for some time as the prospect of this endeavour is just too tantalising and there are too few details with which to manage expectation; will it even be first or third-person for instance? It’s just too far away as it is.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Nothing beats Snow Crash.

      • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

        I greatly enjoyed Snow Crash but Gibson’s writing in Neuromancer is unmatched as prose in the entirety of science-fiction in my opinion, it’s just so inherently beautiful and poetic, owing a great deal to William S. Burroughs’s landmark Naked Lunch and Raymond Chandler yet possessing its own modes and rhythms.

        If you’re talking about literature generally… I personally think that proposition is really untenable, in so far as for the sake of argument it’s possible for one book to ‘beat’ another.

        • Ninja Foodstuff says:

          No, I was thinking in terms of pure cyberpunk porn.

          • Malibu Stacey says:

            Then you’re still wrong.

          • Harlander says:

            Snow Crash is great (with the possible exception of that tedious digression by the virtual librarian) but it’s almost a pastiche or affectionate satire of cyberpunk. Neuromancer, while not the first in its genre, is probably the most iconic.

        • Lagwolf says:

          Yes Gibson early body of works tweaks Snowcrash by just a hair. I am a cyberpunk fan & even written cyberpunk novels myself. I hope they keep this true to the cyberpunk ethos & yes I am very much looking forward to it.

    • Arglebargle says:

      An interesting note: Sterling and Gibson were writing Schismatrix and Neuromancer at the same time and trading chapters for comment and critique. They found they had actually come up with some of the same slang independantly.

    • Rise / Run says:

      I personally prefer Hard Wired to Neuromancer, but that’s just me. The original cover is also amazing in an ’80s kind of way.

  8. Cytrom says:

    Shut up and take my money!

    • Gira says:

      Come on, really? I once joked that every single RPS comments thread would have at least one instance of “shut up and take my money” and one instance of “yes yes a thousand times yes”.

      I guess it was not a joke after all.

  9. fitzroy_doll says:

    That’s quite an auspicious date in the Fallout universe: 2077 .

    • Jakkar says:

      Well spotted. Which reminds me, there was something about the classic Fallouts which did have a strong touch of the cyberpunk about it, particularly around the Boneyard, manned by Regulators, ringed by barbed wire fences, with the Gun Runners just outside. An urban, dirty, very coldly real feeling totally missing from the modern games, even NV.

      I want Fallout to feel like nuclear winter again. Cold, grey, dirty, sad and threatening, rather than an exploration themepark of glowing orange sunsets and cheerful cliche. The slip began with Fallout 2… I miss that original harsh atmosphere.

    • Bart Stewart says:

      And comes just five years after The Hacker encounters SHODAN in System Shock in 2072.

      I’d like my military-grade neural implant now, please.

  10. El_Duderino says:

    Speaking cyberpunk, I wonder when we get a game based on the Takeshi Kovacs novels. Rarely have I read anything that could so readily be transferred wholesale into a computer game while still being great reads.

  11. Coroner says:

    At first that P looked like an F to me, which really got me excited, but I guess this is OK as well.

  12. MistyMike says:

    I hope they will explore the idea of how clothes influencing people’s reactions and skill of the PC. In games there’s only ever plates, mails, tactical vests blablabla

  13. Nameless1 says:

    A sandbox like It was for Bloodlines would be just perfect imo.
    I f* love those guys.

  14. MikoSquiz says:

    Are they seriously implementing the Wardrobe & Style skill in game? That’s.. unexpected.

  15. Brainkite says:

    Looks a lot Blade Runner-ish

    AWSOMEEEEE !!!!

  16. Yosharian says:

    Fucking awful title.

    Game is going to be utterly brilliant.

  17. ghost55 says:

    I now have a massive, raging cyberboner.

  18. Grapeykins says:

    Well this doesn’t look exactly like every other T’n'A sci-fi aesthetic before it at all.

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