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Interview Cyberpunk 2077: Mike Pondsmith interviewed at Rock Paper Shotgun

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: CD Projekt; Cyberpunk 2077; Mike Pondsmith

    After harassing Cyberpunk 2077 Project Lead Mateusz Kanik a few days ago, the guys at Rock Paper Shotgun have followed up with an interview with Mike Pondsmith which is a bit more interesting. Like I said before, he's definitely no Sapkowski:

    Whether due to legally binding contracts or a lack of regard for the medium, some creators will let just about anyone adapt their bouncing baby brainspawn into games. But not Mike Pondsmith. He’s been trying to find Cyberpunk a loving virtual home for years, but – by and large – his search has just been a series of sobering false starts.​

    “The only one that was outstanding was a cellphone-based game done in the mid 2000′s by a Spanish company called Arasaka’s Quest,” he explained to RPS. “It really got the feel. Many of the other attempts died when the developers couldn’t pull together enough funding, or pull off the technology, or more importantly, made it pretty clear from the outset that they didn’t know the Cyberpunk world and pretty much just wanted to paste the name on something else they had in development.”​

    [...] “Cyberpunk 2020 is about key places, characters and technologies,” he said. “You have to have characters like Morgan, Johnny Silverhand and Alt’; they’re fan faves that have generated tons of fan fiction. You can’t have Cyberpunk 2020 without the evil ninja-corp Arasaka and it’s paranoid corporate heads. Places like the Afterlife; the Forlorn Hope – these are the sites where a million adventures started in so many player’s own games. CD Projekt’s team are fans, and they get that these things are important; that they make Cyberpunk what it is. They remember things I’ve forgotten about my own world sometimes.”​

    [...] “I’m actually pretty involved in 2077,” Pondsmith said. “I’ve been part of the story and dev conferences both on-site and via the net. I get over to Poland about every 5-6 months and spend at least a week there meeting and talking to the whole team. I see the updates when they get posted and I talk to the whole team at least once a week in long Skype meetings where we cover mechanics, concepts, plots, dumb ideas – you name it.”​

    “My task has been to extrapolate what has happened since the 4th Corporate War in 2024 all the way up to the 2077 timeline. The biggest issue is explaining how the technology has not evolved far more than 50 years would actually allow. I’ve been working this out as a videogame for years, actually. I sometimes consider my time on Matrix Online as a good prep for this project, but [Cyberpunk owner] R.Tal was actually involved in an official Cyberpunk 2020 MMO back in the late 90′s, and we had to work out many of the issues back then. We have tons more tools to work with now, and the ability to make sandbox worlds that accurately reflect the elements of tabletop game play.”​

    Mike also has an opinion on other cyberpunk (or perhaps not-so-cyberpunk) games:

    And that, in all honesty, might be the biggest weapon in Pondsmith and CDP’s arsenal: real game design savvy on both sides of the equation. While it’s (at best) a one-way street for most adaptations, this one was technically a game from the get-go. So naturally, Pondsmith loves games of all sorts. But being a good game and a good cyberpunk game are two very different things in his eyes. He explained:​

    “I played the original Deus Ex and enjoyed it a lot. Warren Spector is a master at layering complex plots and inferences. But Deus Ex always felt more like a conspiracy game than a cyberpunk game to me. Mirror’s Edge is great, but too clean. System Shock and Oni [from Bungie] are also good. Perfect Dark. Ghost in the Shell. Matrix. And Grand Theft Auto 3 is basically cyberpunk minus the hardware.”​

    “In the end, there has to be the right atmosphere. All echoes and dark city caverns. The right level of engagement. A world of human scaled characters fighting inhuman organizations, using technology to level to odds – but not to become supermen.”​

    GTA3, eh? That might ruffle a few feathers.

    Bonus news: If you were as impressed as I was by Mike Pondsmith's voice, then you'll be glad to hear that CD Projekt are very much aware of his vocal talents. In a recent interview with Dutch site GameStalker (partial English transcript available here), designer Lukasz Szczepankowski said:

    “The Barry White voice of Mike attracts considerable attention. Obviously we want to try to give him a cameo in the game. It is the express wish of the development team.”​

    Groovy.
     
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  2. MicoSelva Prestigious Gentleman Don't call Abigail Patron

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    I really wonder if this game is going to pay for itself. Cyberpunk 2020 had only a limited following even back in its heyday in the early 90s, so the name will carry the game for them. I think that if they don't spend a lot of cash for marketing, it may flop. Although I'm hoping it won't.

    I did not mention the quality of the game on purpose, as in today's world it does not mean in terms of commercial success, or even positive reviews.
     
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  3. hiver Guest

    hiver
    Nah, the setting of cyberpunk is well known, familiar to mass audience through movies, literature and recent DX:HR - and just unexplored enough to be a novelty in gaming. From a marketing stand point its a golden laying duck.
     
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  4. Scruffy The janitor Patron

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    Codex 2012 Torment: Tides of Numenera Codex USB, 2014
    I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
    i'm 70% feeling this will be shit and 30% hopeful, i don't know...
     
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  5. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    lol, as expected the RPS commenters are butthurt at Pondsmith for excluding Deus Ex from the holy cyberpunk category.
     
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  6. Oesophagus Arcane

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    Shit, this might actually turn out to be good. Question is whether Pondsmith's contributions amount to more than reviewing/commenting on the devs' ideas
     
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  7. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    That Cyberpunk cellphone game he mentioned:
     
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  8. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

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    He owns the company. In previous videos, it feels like he is pushing his employees to make a good combat/skill system with this. But I await for more specific info.
     
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  9. IronicNeurotic Arbiter

    IronicNeurotic
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    GTA III is cyberpunk minus the hardware?

    What? How is that cyberpunk?

    Can somebody explain cyberpunk as a gerne to me? Because it looks like my definition of it is very wrong.
     
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  10. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    cyberpunk - cyber = punk

    Mike Pondsmith obviously loves gritty stories about "the street" and all its bizarre characters, and about people rising up from the street, and GTA provides that in spades.
     
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  11. hiver Guest

    hiver
    I guess he meant the anarchy angle of GTA, like the - go around... open world.... do what you want....use uh, technology to....wait ... What? .... that doesnt make sense.
     
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  12. Hellraiser Arcane

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    GTA was life in the gutter, a mean existence where laws mean little if you want to survive and that is what Pondsmith believes is a key point in Cyberpunk. Basically the concept of "living on the edge" from the rulebook.
     
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  13. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    Cars and carjacking are to GTA what computers and hacking are to cyberpunk.
     
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  14. Harg Harfardarssen Cipher Patron

    Harg Harfardarssen
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    Also the idea of various people and organizations of varying levels of legitimacy, friom criminals to corporations, struggling with each other for wealth and influence in a shadowy world, of which the average moderately well-off person is blissfully unaware, is common to both cyberpunk and GTA.
     
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  15. hiver Guest

    hiver
    Those are all peripheral features cyberpunk sometimes uses in its settings, which are mostly dystopian, something GTA isnt.
    Cyberpunk is about exploration of internal changes to human psyche and unforeseen shifts of paradigms, spurned and caused by specific human mind - machine - virtual reality technologies.
    And unintended consequences of such changes to whole of society and development of humanity at large.

    Which is something completely absent from GTA.
     
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  16. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Don't tell that to us, tell it to Mike Pondsmith. He doesn't agree with the "Cyberpunk = TRANSHUMANISM" thing. For him it's more about how humans use technology than how they're changed by it.
     
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  17. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

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    When I played GTA3 the first time it reminded me very much of the Genesis/Mega Drive Shadowrun only without the RPG elements and grinding (that would come with San Andreas). Modernpunk.
     
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  18. That sounds like.. you know, the entire genre of science fiction?

    As long as humanity is interpreted a bit liberally anyway.
     
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  19. hiver Guest

    hiver
    That doesnt make any sense. Cyberpunk was never about specific ideas of transhumanizm... What is then this "how humans use technology"?
    How do they use it?

    to pop moles?
     
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  20. Harg Harfardarssen Cipher Patron

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    Also cyberpunk is much more heavily influenced by crime fiction tropes, particularly the hard-boiled/film-noir variety. For example, Neuromancer used the traditional heist story as the skeleton around which the story was built.
     
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  21. hiver Guest

    hiver
    I guess you could say GTA has some of the secondary features Cyberpunk uses.

    such as:
    This layer is something familiar in cyberpunk settings, though maybe a bit more conspiracy heavy - while it also uses an image of individual fighting such inhuman cabals, or feeling outside of ordinary (blind) society and often even using that as a kind of advantage.

    Living on the edge and the gutter are just consequences of wild proliferation of technology that ordinarily, in cyberpunk, dissolves the usual society pillars, such as governments, laws and constitutions, or traditions.
     
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  22. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    Who are you trying to convince, hiver? The creator of the Cyberpunk 2020 role-playing game thinks those things aren't secondary. He thinks they're primary.

    So feel free to be mad at him for that.
     
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  23. IronicNeurotic Arbiter

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    So, Godfather or any gangster movies are essentialy punk and would totally be cyberpunk if played in a futuristic world?

    My god

    Shit got real
     
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  24. hiver Guest

    hiver
    He doesnt think anything of the sort. If he knows his Cyberpunk which i think he might, to put it mildly.
    You think he thinks that. BIG difference.
     
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  25. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    :lol: He calls GTA3 cyberpunk and you're trying to attack me?

    Reposting:
     
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