Mike Pondsmith’s Introduction

Mike Pondsmith’s Introduction


Believe it  not, almost none of my friends in the digital or the tabletop game industry has ever asked me why the heck we committed our Cyberpunk® baby to the tender mercies of a bunch of guys in some far off place like Poland. Some of them have wondered why I’m willing to endure nine hours on a plane and days of crushing jet lag to work personally with the Cyberpunk® dev team, but  in the main, CDPR is pretty well respected in the circles I run in and my colleagues all think we were damned lucky to hook up with them. (And when the jet lag clears, I usually agree.)

As I’ve often said about the quest to get a great Cyberpunk® computer game developed, “This isn’t exactly my first rodeo.” We’ve been down this long and tortuous trail several times before and up to this point we just haven’t been able to find the right team with the right balance to make the RPG game we’d be proud to put out in front of our fans. We’ve tried  working with huge studios and tiny ones. We’ve tried to cram the essence of Cyberpunk® into everything from massive multiplayer games to tiny phone games. Sometimes these projects crashed because the developer’s ego led them down the fatal path of trying to make something that was Cyberpunk® in name only (alien invasions and bi-engineered animal warriors anyone?). Other times, the project crashed because the developer lacked the team resources or money to execute on the project in the end. One of the most promising iterations, an ambitious MMO that actually involved Talsorian staffers working on it, crashed when a critical member of the development team was unexpectedly drafted into military service! So you can see that getting Cyberpunk® to the digital stage has been a long,  painful and in the end particularly frustrating experience.

So while I could just tell you in a few words why the Talsorian crew decided  that CDPR was a good fit for doing a Cyberpunk® CRPG (computer role-playing game), after some thought on the matter, I decided it would tell you a lot more about our choice if I went into the elements we knew would be needed to  to make a truly exceptional Cyberpunk® game and how we eventually found all of them in a distant development studio with the unlikely name of CD Projekt Red (and they still haven’t told us what the CD stands for).

So what do you need to make a great Cyberpunk® video game? Like getting a man on the Moon, you have to have the Right Stuff; in this case, the Right Feel, the Right Tech, the Right Resources and (most important) the Right Team.

To be continued…

50 thoughts on “Mike Pondsmith’s Introduction

  1. Really really looking forward to this. Love The Witcher and I love the Cyberpunk setting. 2077 can’t come soon enough.

  2.  “CD” stands for “Compact Disc”, because first job of the company, in early 1990’s, was importing to Poland games on CD-Roms. 😉

  3. CD stands for “Centrum Dystrybucyjne”, “Distribution Center” and has nothing to do with CD disc. 😉

  4. They simply MUST use your voice in the game either as a game’s narrator or an actual character,you sound incredibly cool.

  5. Maximum Mike, you are the bloody man… I have faith in you, and that gives me faith that CDPR will be my favorite video game of all time…

    The fact that you are keeping aliens, and goofy tech levels out of the game, instills me with confidence.

    And I will second Podracings comment, that your smooth “Al Greenesque” voice should be one of the voice actors.  Or better yet… the narrator… because I want to play in a game where my GM is Mike Pondsmith himself.

  6. Phew, I’m pumped for two reasons:
    1) Another Cyberpunk game! There definitely aren’t enough of those.
    2) The first CDPR game that isn’t based in the Witcher universe.

    The second reason in particular makes me super excited about how this is gonna turn out. I’m certainly gonna stay tuned and closely follow the development of this.

  7. That one concept art/wallpaper image has me slightly worried about the game looking to “clean” and bright. The atmosphere of the setting is a crucial part of cyberpunk IMO and I really hope you go more for Blade Runner than Minority Report. I am TOO HYPED for this game!!!

  8. I feel like you couldn’t have selected a better team. CDPR have shown with the Witcher series that they are the premier RPG developer of today, and I really can’t wait to see how this turns out. I know it will be amazing.

  9. Btw, the hyperlinks to this blog is messed up.

    Hyperlinks should be cyperpunk2077.net and not simply cyberpunk.net.

    • Unless I was mistaken all along, someone had already corrected some of the url’s or hyperlinks at the time when I wrote the post above. 😐

  10. As a female crpg gamer, I hope this game has something for me. I love the genre. Note: I too love your voice Mike! Very Barry White. Do you sing?

  11. Been thinking a lot about the progression of the timeline to 2077.  I really hope and pray, that with this progression, the tech level in the game does not get to far advanced, especially in terms of personal weapons.  Part of what makes the game so gritty is the idea that for the most part, things work almost the same as they do now, it makes the game relatable, while also making it foreign and exotic… and dangerous.  In a game like this, the guns should feel familiar.  Bullet firing, maybe some special ammo, maybe some minor tweaks… but over all the same.  GITS: SAC understood this… even Cowboy Bebop, which had some ridiculous levels of tech involved with space travel, understood this.  Lasers existed but were ultra-rare and ultra expensive.    Reading through the Firestorm books, detailing the corporate wars, some of the tech got ridiculously overpowered.  Now granted, this was for the super high tech heavily funded 4th Corporate war, and it made sense for that.  But overall the 2020 tech level for personal weapons was about perfect. 

    Seriously… its been thirty 20 years since cp 2020 was released, and there really hasn’t been much improvement in the tech behind slug throwers people can get their hands on.  Sure their are some really advanced grenades that can be programmed to detonate at pre-set ranges and what not, but they are extremely expensive, and available only to militaries.  The actual rifles and handguns get groovy accessories, and are made from better materials, but overall, things are pretty much the same as they were 50 years ago.  Hell, the military still uses teh M2HB 50 cal… thats been around for nearly 100years.  The .45 cal semi auto 1911 handgun is still an incredibly popular weapon. 

    I trust Mike, I trust CDPR, I am just throwing up a reminder that the feel of cyberpunk is a very tenuous thing, and it gets hard to maintain if the day to day tech gets too far advanced… there is a point where it looks less like Cyberpunk, and more like Star Trek.    Other than that, as I have said, it makes sense to move the timeline further ahead.  It allows the advancements of the tech already present in the game to actually become commonplace, Cybernetics, full conversions… it allows them to exist and have legacy without trying to explain how they got so commonplace in such a very short period of time.

    Other than the guns and what not getting to far advanced, my only other concern is that it makes some of my favorite vehicles, especially old muscle cars, really hard to justify 😛  Nomads are my favorite class, and nothing beats the mad max feel of driving a junked out 70’s muscle car…  But thats my personal issue…

  12. Do you know what I see here? I see Blade Runner, I see Ghost in the
    Shell, I see a potential masterpiece… Ladies and Gentleman of
    CDProjekt RED, one of few gaming studios faithful to their fans, do not
    rush… Take it slow… Make it a Masterpiece… I am asking you as a fan, as a

  13. Do you know what I see here? I see Blade Runner, I see Ghost in the
    Shell, I see a potential masterpiece… Ladies and Gentleman of
    CDProjekt RED, one of few gaming studios faithful to their fans, do not
    rush… Take it slow… Make it a Masterpiece… I am asking you as a fan, as a

  14.  Your post highlights “Cyberpunk” as being a registered trademark. I thought cyberpunk was a common noun – referring to a genre, the title of a number of works (your RPG work), and so on. How could some one or some entity claim ownership? Is that not a problem for this CRPG?

  15. I’ve been to Poland. I ain’t no fool. Eastern European women are drop dead gorgeous… well worth a 9 hour flight. An awesome dev team is just bonus and a great excuse to visit Poland often.

  16. Knowing that you are attached to this game thrills me to bits, Mr Pondsmith! I loved the RPG, and even though I haven’t played it in years, I still read the books from time to time, because they are so well put together. “Listen Up You Primitive Screwheads” is a personal favorite.

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