Recipes for kick-ass cyberpunk games

Whilst CyberPunk 2077 has its own unique, incomparable flavour, it is always important as a Dev chef to take a look at existing recipes in order to understand what sort of cyberpunk experience players have already come across and, most importantly, what you can learn from it.

Today, I will share one of my favourite recipes for a super sleek, fast paced , 100% Cyberpunk treat for the whole family. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Dystopia and I give out the secret behind this tidbid.

Cyberpunk is served – bon appétit! 

Dystopia is a full flavoured, Half Life conversion –  A team-based objective-driven game that sets two teams against each other: The Punks (good guys)  and the Corps (bad guys who think they’re good guys),  in a very bleak futuristic dystopian world.

Think of a ‘Hi-Tech – Low life’ version of Team Fortress Classic: Add a layer of cool implants, some Cyberpunk flavouring and a generous dose of weapons that-go-boom (adjust amount depending on personal taste).

3 ingredients that make it excellent:

1 – The Cyberspace 

Cyberspace is this incredibly attractive, beautifully trippy world where Hackers can take over all sorts of devices. Your actions in the CyberSpace world are reflected in the real world. Consequently, if you play as a Hacker your team will absolutely rely on your mad hacking skills to open doors or even shutdown security systems– It adds an insane amount of pressure on your little punk shoulders:  Jack-in, hack stuff, trip balls and die*.

*Noob sidedish, serve cold.

2 – The maps

Gameplay challenges aside, a  good Cyberpunk environment is quite tricky too make. Simply put: the world has to make sense.  Dystopia manages to create some great, moody environments that make you feel  as if you are part of something much, much bigger than the map you’re on.  From scummy slums to the clean interior of major corporation, they have absolutely nailed it. Proper Cyberpunk isn’t just dirty neon lights or huge billboards advertising the NEUron Spanker 3000™ energy drink; it’s the sound of distant traffic, it’s the dirty posters plastered on the walls next to an old glowing generator,  it’s the Punks blowing your head off with a homing robotic spider grenade.

Artistic representation of the culprit drawn by me – Damien

3 – The implants

Implants make you extra cool – Full stop.  Amongst many other things, they allow you to leap around like a ninja, or switch to Thermal vision for that ultimate predator feel. Dystopia’s implants complement any style of play (even mine). Implant customisation is the one ingredient most cyberpunk games have in common, but making yours unique, fun and balanced is an art that few Dev chefs have mastered.

Did I mentioned it‘s free? Go try it yourself at:

Next time we eat: A bunch of Cyborg muffins with headshot chocolate sauce.

Can you guess which game I am talking about? Write down your guesses in the comments below – The first 5 people to guess correctly will receive the game for free – BOOM!

Damien ‘CyberChef’ Monnier – Designer

  • Oh man…I remember this. Being able to take over the turrets, doors, and cameras via cyberspace was a great addition, with the team having to guard the runner. Good times….

  • Hock Seng

    System Shock (one and two)

    Deus Ex


    Circuit’s Edge

    I think that’s all the Cyberpunk games in existence now that I think about it. Odd how all except ripper are well regarded as total classics or aught to be (especially circuit’s edge. Cyberpunk + Middle eastern setting = Best adventure game ever!)

  • Tuggis

    Fun article. If you nail the points made here (amongst other things), Cyberpunk 2077 will be a great game.
    About the riddle, I have no idea so I’ll simply guess System Shock.

  • Neo Tokyo

  • Piotr

    System Shock 2 🙂

  • Deus Ex?

  • Deus Ex?

  • Neuromancer

    Hard Reset

  • Console Cowboy

    O. It’s a contest.

  • Sebastian

    Dystopia is/was a blast! Nice to see you taking inspiration from that.

    For the next game in the series; I’ll have to go with Hard Reset. (Wasn’t that made by people from amongst others CDPRed?)

  • System Shock 2

    •  System Shock 1 is a better example, honestly.

  • System Shock 2

  • Dominik Dalek

    Flashback had this awesome headshot cover.

  • Michal

    It’s definitely Hard Reset.

  • Total Distortion

    System Shock 2

    Deus Ex

  • Deus Ex

    • Cyberpunkish as hell >.>

      • Warer

        Mechromancer is a cyborg, and chocolate sauce sounds like slag to me

  • Lukas Schwartz

    No singleplayer = not interested.

    • Griffonstone

      I agree. I was hoping for a more RPG based game. Yes have multi player as an option but no single player, not interested.

      • Console Cowboy

        Check this: The RPG coming to computer but sans RPG (more a Bioware Action RPG button masher). Let’s try for V3, shall we? Let’s take a great game, rail it like 4eMMO, feature immersive coding, but no player engrossment. Any ‘Punk would say frack that! No buy in. No pay off. No thanks.

        Anyone with a lick of market research experience knows this is sampling bias played out here. But it’s cheap? Rock steady on.

  • Dystopia 🙂

  • Altair

    Deus Ex

  • Deus Ex

  • Wyatt Kelsey

    Neo Tokyo…the kick ass Half Life 2 mod, not the kick ass anime.

    • Strictly speaking, Neotokyo is probably post-cyberpunk, like the Ghost in the Shell it was modeled upon.

      • Wyatt Kelsey

        Yeah, but it still fit the cyberpunk theme, even if it did just scratch the surface of it.

  • No one remembered the poor Syndicate games D=

    • Tim Grant

      i did 🙂

  • Sopello_przecudny

    the longest journey :O and Dreamfall… at least parts of it.. if I remember correctly 😛

  • What ever you do, make sure that people can create their own characters and can play the game the way they want to.

    Also – Deus Ex was cool but the cyberware upgrade system was easily the weakest part of it.

    Make sure there’s LOTS and LOTS of cyberware to choose from, and that you can have tons of it or none of it (depending on your empathy stat or whatever, of course), and have it do genuinely creative things… like, stuff way above and beyond recoil reduction and ‘take more hits to kill’.

    Let us play a corpie if we want to. That means letting us have our own stylized goons to customize and equip, that can look like anything from yakuza, SWAT guys, hired gangers, whatever we want.

    Focus on making lots of individual story threads, rather than one giant overarching plot. Cyberpunk is a genre of potential, and a linear story severely limits that potential.

    • Wisdom000

       I agree with everything you said but the corpse bit… especially the part about a non linear story.

  • Would be nice to log-in to a visual internet mmo and battle others away from the single game experience.  Do you get what I’m trying to say?

  • Binary Domain

  • DeadboltDon

    Here are some titles that haven’t been mentioned. I have no idea what damien’s talking about though. 

    I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
    Blade Runner

  • Caleb Brian

    If you mean haedshots as an interesting part of gameplay, Binary Domain.

    Headshot as in boxart? Hard Reset.

  • Wisdom000

    From what I can see… this game is exactly what I do NOT want from a game based on Cyberpunk 2020.  It’s just another first person shooter, nothing any deeper that that.  There is nothing wrong with a first person shooters, I own and anjoy several.  But they are inherently shallow.  Cyberpunk is not a shallow game.  Cyberpunk is not about goofy weapons, or waiting to respawn.  It’s not about running around in a frenzy… its about style, immersion, and a world as rich as any character in the game.

    A sandbox game like Saints Row 2 or Sleeping Dogs is the only way to go… its the only way players are actually going to be able to interact with the richness of the world.  A fallout 3 style game (but animated in 3rd person) would be the ultimate ideal, except that Fallout lacks the vehicles necessary to truly feel enveloped in a cyberpunk world.  I know you have already confirmed its going to be a sandbox game, but I cannot stress enough how important that aspect is to make the game truly immersive. 

    A proper sandbox is a world you never want to leave, even after the story is done.  And it must let you continue to play… It must be heavily populated, it must feel alive.  It must be more than just an arena to shoot things.  You must want to explore every inch, keep coming back for more, and always finding something new or different. 

    I am sure you were just giving some free advertising to a game you like, I am sure that you didn’t mean to imply anything about Dystopia being the direction you want to take the game in.  But this is the first blog post about the game so far that has made me step back in caution.

    I don’t mean to sound arrogant, or demanding… but please understand… I have been living, breathing, and sleeping Cyberpunk 2020 since 1990.  I run the largest website in the world dedicated to the game.  I have written, and continue to write, volumes of material for the game.  In fact, I believe I have written more material, by far, than any of the paid paid and published authors of the entire game line.  What I am trying to say is, I understand the game, I understand what it needs to be, and more importantly, what it does not need to be.  True, I may be far too heavily invested personally, but I beleive, with all my heart, that you have the potential here to make a game unlike any other… a near future open world sandbox with unrivaled depth.  This game should be so immersive, with so much to do and see, that it blows everything else out of the water. 

    • Tim Grant

      Wisdom : I’m sorry you feel that way but i know that feel 😉
      If you haven’t tried it, you should its a surprisingly deep (gameplay wise if not story) game, even for an fps, im a bit biased as i helped create it. we were trying to capture the pressure of being a hacker with a team counting on you, or rocking out with a minigun protecting that hacker, the core of Dystopia is teamwork, and feeling like you’re doing something to take down (or protect) an evil corporation.

      That said if you tried it and aren’t a fan, or just aren’t a fan of the idea of it on principle thats cool too 🙂

      I know we’re both looking forward to Cyberpunk , so there is definitely something we share

      • Wisdom000

         Don’t get me wrong… like I said, I like shooters… I play shooters.  Dystopia looks like a pretty kick ass shooter game… and you are right, that is a cool premise to add to the genre of multiplayer games… but Cyberpunk is about so much more than that… Cyberpunk needs a living breathing world, (which I understand CDPR did so wonderfully with with the Witcher series.) Cyberpunk needs a story that goes beyond being an excuse for the next killing spree, a story that a multiplayer shooter by its very nature simply cannot deliver.

        In fact, I am truly begging that CDPR do not include a multiplayer mode at all.  A 2-4 player free-roam co-operative mode would be the way to go.  By all means share the game experience with your friends…

        I know that decision would dissapoint a lot of people, but I have never seen a multiplayer mode in a game were the story and single player focus did not suffer heavily from it. 

        Shooters are valid games, they can be spectacular and beautiful.  The new COD looks awesome, I was a fan of Killzone.  It’s just not the direction I think the Cyberpunk game should go.

        Plus, there are tons of Shooters out there, many of them are pretty cyberpunk… and Dystopia looks like one of the better ones… but there has never been a decent Cyberpunk genre Sandbox, and Cyberpunk 2020 needs to be that open world sandbox to fill the niche.

    • Baudolino05

      A good team-based fps (or any other kind of fps) definitely lacks the kind of depth I’m searching in a Cyberpunk game, but Fallout 3, Saints Row and Sleeping Dogs: are you serious, man? If Distopia is shallow gameplay-wise, what are they?

      You can hardly find a gameplay more simplistic than the one these games offer out there. Even Fallout 3, that at first glance looks like a deep game, after few hours turns in a parody of its great ancestors. Do you really want to play in an huge game world stuffed with anonymous areas, pointless combats and tons of almost linear quests?I don’t.  
      Sandbox and open world are not equivalents, an bigger isn’t necessary better. I definitely would prefer a game like System Shock, Thief, Deus Ex, Arx Fatalis or Dishonored. 

      • Wisdom000

        I would most definitely rather have something like Fallout 3 or Saints Row.  Deus Ex was pretty, I loved it, and it was fun.  But ultimately it was a one trick pony I never went back to.  I had zero interest in the DLC, and once it was beaten I never played it again, because there was no point to it.  Once the game was beaten you don’t get to go play with all the fun toys you have earned, the game is just over.  Bollocks to that. 

        I don’t want the kind of linear gameplay Deus Ex forces you along, nor do I want some bullshit boss monster at the end of each level that doesn’t adhere to the rules of reality as set forth in the game. 

        I want to be able to have the run of the entire game world long while the story is going, and long after its over.  I want a garage full of vehicles I can customize, I want a closet full of guns.  I want a huge world, at least the size of RDR or San Andreas, with at least as much diversity in environment.  I want to be able to play my character and tell my own stories with the game.  I want to have plenty of crap to keep me occupie when I don’t want to do missions.  Deus Ex and the other games you mention simply do not provide that. 

        In the end, Deus Ex convinced me of one thing.  If a game can’t hold my interest for at least 2 weeks, I am not going to spend money on it.  Even then if it doesn’t hold my interest for at least a month, I feel let down.  Deus Ex, didn’t even last a week, it was the straw that broke the camels back for me… because I had been so excited about it. 

      • Console Cowboy

        I am down with most of what you’ve expressed. Haven’t read your other reviews.

        Deus Ex fails because the ending is nothing short of a multiple choice alignment test. I would also prefer not to be shuttled to missions, and I would like my support cast to be less…. “sympathetic” in a cyberpunk game.

        And CP 2077 = CP 2020 mean LIFEPATH “origins” written into in-game complications. Yeah, that’s right, I am calling out Bioware’s GOTY 2009 for bullshit.

        Just my thoughts. Apparently nothing to do with this game from what I read.

      • Daendyr19

        I completely agree with you.

    • I don’t think it’ll be just a shooter maybe Cyperspace but not the entire game.

      • Console Cowboy

        In the PnP game it was a crossword puzzle. But the imagination of the GM had to make it another world. FPS won’t do that. Scaling down for a pacman maze run won’t be acceptable. 

        My vision sees a game within a game – which is what a Cyberpunk theme is about.

    • Kodaemon

       The problem with having a sandbox with vehicles is that the gameplay in such games inevitably gravitates toward chaotic silliness. I’m actually wondering how Sleeping Dogs will resolve this problem.

      • Console Cowboy

        Player engrossment is your answer, Ace. Immersive coding daemons are boss but BITD we didn’t have graphics and we could play this game to beat the band with only pen and paper. Shame to see it go away, if that is the Nerd Obsession I am reading in these posts. Good Ole Games have much to teach – not only to keep CDPR afloat in cash flows. People still play those games.

        MacLuhan much anyone? Heat the medium too hot and you got a great paper weight with no replay value and profit eaten by coders. GoG spares the coders and reaps the profits, underheating the medium.

        Witcher’s a nice game but not the $5M 3A target of a CP2077. 

      • Kodaemon

         I meant Watch Dogs here, obviously.

    • Daendyr19

      Regarding your second comment, you are completely wrong. First of all, by making huge open world games, you lose some of the depth other non-open world games have. For example, Skyrim is huge and all that, but it has mediocre story and characters. Do you really want that in a cyberpunk game?

      Second of all, you said that you don’t want linear gameplay that Deus Ex forces you along. What are you talking about? Deus Ex was praised for plenty of gameplay choices, including different approaches to a mission (sneaking, guns blazing etc.) So how is that linear gameplay? (I am talking about the first Deus Ex, but even Deus Ex HR is like that.)

      “I want a garage full of vehicles I can customize, I want a closet full of guns.”

      This isn’t GTA. It’s Cyberpunk. I’m pretty sure that Cyberpunk isn’t about stealing cars, causing destruction etc. It is about immersion, atmosphere, story, characters.

      If you consider games just means of entertainment, then yes, you are completely right about everything. Games should entertain you for a long time. However, if you consider games as art, like I do, you are completely wrong. If games are art, games should be focusing on quality (story, characters, atmosphere), not quantity (replay value).

      Since you consider yourself as an expert on this subject, you should know better. I don’t understand Cyberpunk that much like you, but at least I know there are MUCH more important things than replay value, because in the end, I will remember the rich characters that filled the world, not the world that was filled with characters.

      • T_Gonzo

         Totally agree… The thing is, I’m trying not to expect The Witcher 2072 or a FPS, but although it’s simple to say what I don’t want, not so much to say what I DO want in terms of gameplay, or at least gameplay that works.
        For me, the chapter approaches work, otherwise you just end up with lots of backtracking quests which are terribly annoying. You totally hit the mark about the depth of the open world games. It is just too expensive to build a vast and deep world.
        They will also have to move a little bit away of the Wither combat gameplay, as in the future guns play a larger role. This point is bound to upset a fair amount of people. Although not perfect, there are lot of good ideas to extract from Mass Effect, Deus Ex: HR, Dishonored and even the Witcher (I like the slow down to select abilities…). I don’t even think it has to be complex, just varied and non-exploitable.
        As for the rest, CPR did an excellent  job adapting The Witcher and I’m confident they will manage to do the same with Cyberpunk. For me, that alone would make me buy the game, even if the gameplay is less than polished, as it was the case for the first Witcher

      • Wisdom000

         This is a game based on a tabletop role playing game… Replayability is absolutely vital.  Giving the character the absolute utmost in personal choices for customization, story progression, and objective fullfillment.  Creating a world that feels like you are a part of it, that you can go anywhere, do anything… this is the heart of Tabletop RPG’s and Cyberpunk in particular.  As such to do the game its based on any justice at all, the game must be an open world sandbox, where players can choose to do the missions or not, and still have plenty to keep them entertained.

        Deus Ex: HR was a linear game masquerading behind a thin veneer of open world elements.  If you chose not to complete the objectives, you were left with nothing to do.  Yes it gave you some slight leeway in the order you chose to accomplish the objectives… at least until it came time to move to the next “boss level” nonsense.  You could not freely travel between zones, you could not go from Hong Kong to detroit, you could not get in any of the vehicles, and when the game was over, that was it… it was utterly dissapointing, regardless of how pretty it was.

        You said it yourself, you don’t understand the subject, you didn’t play the TTRPG.  It sounds like you have never played any TTRPG… because if you did, you would understand that by their nature, the more you are forced along a path, the worse the game experience is.  And for the video game to be a decent representation of the TTRPG, it must understand that.

      • Wisdom000

         Oh and you said

        “This isn’t GTA. It’s Cyberpunk. I’m pretty sure that Cyberpunk isn’t
        about stealing cars, causing destruction etc. It is about immersion,
        atmosphere, story, characters.”

        That makes it pretty obvious you have never played Cyberpunk 2020… because its about ALL those things… immersion, stealing cars, atmosphere, causing destruction, story, customizing your vehicles, characters and equipment, the story, and sometimes, just driving around seeing whats going on.  Its about style, and freedom…

    • Gawdzila

       “Creating a world that feels like you are a part of it, that you can go
      anywhere, do anything… this is the heart of Tabletop RPG’s and
      Cyberpunk in particular.”

      I love the TT game too, but you really have to consider the limitations of the video game medium and what a team can reasonably accomplish in the time they have.  You *can’t* have absolutely free choice since every choice must be programmed in, and every man-hour spent designing cars, or random side-quests, or the inside of the 217th non-story-related area is not spent writing characters or creating quests that deepen the main story.  It simply can not all be done or even accounted for.

      Now they’ve already said outright that it is going to be a sandbox, but there are still a lot of ways they could go.  All Daendyr pointed out — rightly — was that there is a real decision to be made about whether to include a car customization system or whether to write in those other interesting characters they had in mind.  He simply came down on the side of deeper story rather than “things to do” (like customizing cars), and I have to say that I agree.  And regardless of what your involvement in CP has been, it doesn’t make your opinion about what’s important any more valid than someone elses.  We all have our own priorities for what we want to see in the game.

      And I have to say that your ideal of a “Fallout 3” type game is something I really hope *doesn’t* happen.  FO3 had great atmosphere and all, but that’s about it.  The story was practically non-existent with characters as shallow and useless as t*ts on a nun, and vehicles wouldn’t have made me any more interested in it at all.  The game needs to have something to keep you emotionally involved, and that means a deep story with memorable characters that engender strong feelings and whose stories are entwined with your character.  There are exceedingly few sandbox games that are involving that way.  Not that it is an impossible thing to do, but when the goal is to make a giant world with a bunch of random things to occupy yourself with, the time it takes to write good stories and scripts is often forfeited in pursuit of “sandbox-y stuff”.

      • Console Cowboy

        THIS ^^

        “needs to have something to keep you emotionally involved, and that means a deep story with memorable characters that engender strong feelings and whose stories are entwined with your character.” 


    • SenatorPalpatine

      Calling Dystopia “just another first person shooter” makes me 100% sure you’ve never played Dystopia. Skip to 1:30 of this video, and tell me it’s ‘just another FPS…’

      (Didn’t waste my time reading past the first three sentences of your post.)

  • Forceflow

    Dystopia is awesome. The meatspace/cyberspace combo works so well.

  • I love dystopia

    Ha Dystopia is the closest I ever got to actually playing a Cyberpunk world. I loved decking in that game, yea it’s purely multiplayer but man was it a blast back in the day. I remember one of my friends laughed his ass of during a LAN party when I was decking and dueling with katana’s and I go “BRO IM A CYBERNINJA”.

  • Jack_in_theGreen

    Well, Damien… as you hinted Cyborgs and headshots somehow, I think the game is Hard Reset…

  • It doesn’t look like this game has nailed anything. CDPR should look at Flying Wild Hog’s Hard Reset for an amazingly rendered cyberpunk dystopia.

    • Console Cowboy

      The thing is, as I read Mike Pondsmith’s postings, Witcher is the Gold Standard for Cp2077 and CDPR produced it, currently a company financed by (a retro game conversion company). Everything else to be discussed seems to be of no consequence. Even the story is set at this time, with no mention of the PnP RPG’s famous Lifepath. 

      So this post seems to be advertising an old game as a contest to finance itself, nothing more.

      • I thing to note: CDPR is not financed by They have a common owner so they are more like siter companies and actually CRPR is bigger than

        • Console Cowboy

          The leaner GoG is helping cash flow the fatter CDPR as a SBU keeping overheads low and profits better. You just clarified that.

  • Case

    There is a long Cyberpunk 2077 interview on Polish. Can somebody translate it?

    • Console Cowboy

      Already there Cowboy.  Here’s some points (from the comments):

      – They want to work with Uncle Mike to “translate” Pen and Paper to Video Game rules
      – Players will have opportunity to highly customize hi/her character
      – “No comment” on Pen & Paper version -> watch the game blog for such infos
      – Game will be Sandbox(more like GTA than Deus Ex) taking place in Night City, size of in game area is still confidential
      – “Afterlife Club” as other significant places will be present – It will be Night City as we know it but 57 years later

      But seriously to call DeX:HR sandbox is a little too much. Open environment; yeah, okay. Sandbox? Well, if offing everyone and anyone is what they call sandbox…. we’re talking FPS like Syndicate then. Alas, the confusion in the discussion here…. Plus Lifepath seems to be history or they would talk it up.

      Surprised no one mentions it here. I would have thought anyone from the VFTE board would be all over that. It will be an expense to implement but a decision that must already have been made if it is to be included.

      Sad because “Uncle Mike” was in Warsaw two weeks ago talking about the project… and no word on Lifepaths.

      I get the feeling they’re looking more for a coder to write rather than a David Gaider.

      • Wisdom000


        I think the other VFTE guys are just waiting for the forum to open…

        As for lifepath… I can see why they wouldn’t bother with it… How much personal backstory does a video game character need?  It seems like it would be a lot of trouble to go through and eat up a lot of space, for very little in return.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Lifepath, but its not something I would have them spend resources on for the game.  What would be cool, is downloadable “character sheets” for your character, to be used with the tabletop game.  But again, even that might eat up too many resources that could be better spent elsewhere.

        • Console Cowboy


          Your Toon gets generated in CP 2077 and a roll up on the Lifepath happens. (Wow, a toon different with every play on two axis, like a better pixelated Baldur’s Gate game in a more immersive environment. I wonder how that will be met by the gamer community? GOTY maybe?)  

          Statistically, say there are 30 events any Toon might have in their back story and these events are unknown to the player at the start. The player just gets a generated character they can equip and choose a role, and the game itself provides the outline of a gritty Cyberpunk story, like this one for example: 

          Now while you play the cross country return to Night City, where you try to figure out the double-cross, and complete the mission (or not) you get your complications – the Lifepath generated for your Toon. 

          Someone shows up and you have to figure out how they relate to you. Bad prior boss? Jealous lover? A kid? A busted partnership? I am not going to outlay all 30 potentials and their in-game foreshadows but you have my wisdom on the topic now.  😉

          Lifepath is as much a part of Interlock as background is to Traveller. You seriously want to create a faithful video game of the PnP? You have the Lifepath. And, as a bonus, you get replayability because your Toon’s past can show up at any time chombatta.

          It’s not complicated unless you think fetch quests are complicated. Just this is not a fetch quest. This is player engrossment and DIRECT INVESTMENT OF YOUR TOON INTO THE WORLD (unlike DE:HR for example).

        • Console Cowboy

          Your Toon gets generated in CP 2077 and a roll up on the Lifepath happens. (Wow, a Toon unique with every play on two axis, like a better pixelated Baldur’s Gate game in a more immersive environment. I wonder how the gamer community will greet that? GOTC maybe?)  
          Statistically, ay there is 30 events any Toon might have in their back story and the specifics of these events are unknown to the player at the start. Let’s say you get a few names with a one sentence link to you as a background you can read before play. The player gets a generated Toon they can equip and choose role, and the game itself provides the outline of a gritty Cyberpunk story, like this one for example: 
          Now while you play the cross-country return to Night City, where you try to figure out the double-cross, and complete the mission (or not) you get your complications – the Lifepath generated for your Toon. You die? Roll again. Piss on respawn. That’s cybersissy not punk.
          Someone shows up in your Toon’s life (from the Lifepath) and you have to figure out how they (or you) relate. Bad prior boss? Jealous lover? A kid? A busted partnership? I am not going to outlay all 30 potentials but you have my wisdom on the topic now.  Fortunately it ain’t rocket science to code.
          But you have to have an imagination. Forget playing 4eMMO in the office CDPR. Play some actual PnP CP2020. (Yea, you heard me right, munchkin)
          Lifepath is as much a part of Interlock as background is to Traveller. You want to create a faithful video game of the PnP? You have the Lifepath. And, as a bonus, you get replayability because your past, different with each char-gen, can show up at any time, chombatta.
          It’s not complicated, wisdom 000, unless you think fetch quests are complicated. But unlike a fetch quest, you have player engrossment and DIRECT INTERFACE OF YOUR TOON WITH THE STORY OF THE GAME, which is the only reason a punk gives a good shit about anything outside his or her world. It’s not complicated, wisdom 000, unless you think fetch quests are complicated. But unlike a fetch quest, you have player engrossment and DIRECT INTERFACE OF YOUR TOON WITH THE STORY OF THE GAME, which is the only reason a punk gives a good shit about anything outside his or her world. The player is the anti-hero not Greenpeace. So the game has to focus there.

      • Wisdom000

        Damn cowboy… I see what you are saying.  Add lifepath as a simple text bit at the start, and it changes one of the in game characters reaction to you, or creates an event, or something of that nature. That could actually work really really well.

        I also kind of like the idea that the primary class you choose might determine where you start the game… say if you are a solo, you first appear at the airport, coming back from a job.  If you are a Cop, you appear at the precint.  If you are a nomad, you first appear outside the city and have to drive in…

        Although to be honest, I think the game starting you off as a nomad would probably be the best way to do it, as it would allow an in game tutorial, while introducing you to the city in a way that doesn’t feel trite.  After all, if your character is new to the city, then he can have it explained, as opposed to if he has lived in the city all his life it just would come off as silly.

        I am really hoping they take some of Interlock Unlimited… at least as far as the way it handles Roles… that way everyone can experience pretty much everything given enough time.  I don’t hold out for it, but it would be nice.

  • Is the next game NeoTokyo?

  • oh my guess is System Shock 2

  • Console Cowboy

    “Damn cowboy… I see what you are saying.  Add lifepath as a simple text bit at the start, and it changes one of the in game characters reaction to you, or creates an event, or something of that nature. That could actually work really really well.”
    Now while we’re at it, why not start the players in the middle of the adventure rather than have them grope around for it? Hey, did ya read that link, didcha, didcha, didcha? No. Well read it now:
    The idea is you can take a point of entry that has the players (and their team) completely tabula rasa, you could even work the game backwards story-wise, without having to resort to a cliché “meeting in a bar” or, I don’t know, Clint Eastwood walking into town with the sun behind him. If that’s the best innovation this game can offer, then the creative team is past it.  
    You just gotta think less linear, amigos: more pen and paper imagination and less codified choo-choo stratification. Brains gotta exercise outside the box or they become square.
    As far as the events… see, understand, if players want to start a strip club in an open environment and abandon the mission (assuming they can survive that option – check out my link for the darkness that is being a cyberpunk anti-hero) there is always someone from the past that can show up begging for money, the repayment of a favour, or plain old revenge… Hell you could do nice job with just 15 events. And since those events may have connections beyond the end of those first events, you get DLC. If you dealt with Suzy-Q in Lifepath then you probably want to double up on the DLC where her NOMAD brothers want a word with you.  Hey, your game play actually matters in an RPG. There is a WTF old school concept for ya. Is CDRP ready for that outside the box thinking or they gonna reskin Tron?
    Dragon Age Origins is a good example for sales. Look at the DLC featuring Morrigan and Liliana. Why? ‘Cause player engrossment with those characters carried DLC sales. Look at DA2 opening numbers and you see advance orders piled up ’cause of player engrossment. DA2 hit 3A status on its first day. Day-Fuckin-One cash register. Cha-ching! So say what you will about having toys and more real than real graphics (*cough*LANoire*cough) the formula that rocked the house was concentrating on player story. DA3 won’t be so lucky after the DA2 4e-like fiasco.
    Now take my idea about in-game Lifepath and future DLC mixed with player story. Talk about your choices biting you in the ass! THAT’S CYBERPUNK. That will rip a new one out of Bioware/EA. So, yeah, Lifepath is the gift that keeps on giving, tsure, and it is all Cyberpunk in that Blade Runner vein
    Trick is to think more in terms of the player’s story and less about the glitz. The glitz alone is just GTA. And no one loves you here for equating GTA with Cyberpunk, you dig?
    Yet, like @Daendyr19 explains here I am hearing that the story is a coder’s afterthought – and this despite the big pow-wow with Michael two weeks ago. How the story affects the players _is_ the cyberpunk. That’s why DeX:HR was not Cyberpunk. It had the gadgets and the setting but it’s not about the tech or the toys. Those things are the nonnegotiable things of the immediate future, pal. CYBERPUNK IS ABOUT THE CHARACTERS inside the story. They have to be cyberpunks. So far this Blog is reading like Doom Alpha Upgrade wearing a fancy coat that should be sold by not a 3A Cyberpunk product in development.  

  • Guest

    Great post guys. 🙂

  • Hard Reset? You guys should also share Chyper on here!

    • Console Cowboy

      This project’s character concept needs more Banksy and less cowbell, IMHO.

      “Think outside the box, collapse the box, and take a fucking sharp knife to it.” – Banksy.

  • Jarek Obważanek

    A bunch of Cyborg muffins with headshot chocolate sauce? That’s „Syndicate” for me.

  • T_Gonzo

    I go and read Mike’s fantastic 3 part entry about the soul of a cyberpunk game only to see it absolutely contradicted by calling a hi-tech shootout cyberpunk.

    I’m not entirely sure what was the purpose of this entry,  but I hope this is part of the vision of the designer, not the design team…

    • Fantasy_Footballer

      Welcome to Poland, Gonzo. Poland’s like Asia where the locals cannot express themselves in conversation wherever contradiction occurs for fear of appearing like less than experts…  You get your information at the end. As will Mike. As will we all. And no learning will occur.

      • T_Gonzo

        Discussions are always healthy and even the hi-tech shootout ideas are not without merit. What I hope is that the general artistic direction is not simply that, as I agree with Mike’s vision of cyberpunk being bigger than that.
        That being said, I would imagine they’re probably running all sorts brainstorming, design and gameplay tests, so individual ideas are bound to appear in the lots in this stage…

      • Console Cowboy

        I concur. I am a transplanted Yankee living in Warsaw for the past 10 years and that is the most common complaint here. Department heads never know what’s going on until it’s too late, and people without the skill are hidden within the company because people feel ashamed and there is a culture of cover up dating from Communism. 

        @t_gonzo:disqus I cannot see a social media policy that lets a lone designer post to a company blog comments that do not reflect design team policy.

        I like to think this was as clumbsy a presentation as was the presenter at the press briefs, trying to advertize an old game from CDPR’s cash cow sister through a ill-advised Brand-breaking contest rather than anything to do with the Cyberpunk 2077 brand Mike wrote passionately about.

        The groundwork stage is long done I have been told. That is what Mike was here concluding a couple weeks ago. That’s not to say they do not keep in constant touch via Skype or that Mike is asleep at the wheel but a significant chunk of the foundation has been laid in the last 6 months. We only get the information afterward not before.

        Let’s just say this was a clumbsy post and put it down to poor English, or whatever, and remain optimistic on the project. I am making no pre-order on this.

  • MarcinMCDPRED

    Guys, please keep in mind that it’s just the first in the series of articles written by Damien about our inspirations. I can definitely assure you that Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be a great RPG with all the key features of the genre. This post talks only about one game but it doesn’t mean that CP2077 will be a shooter. We’ve already mentioned Deus Ex, System Shock and Syndicate as our inspirations on previous occasions but there is more that we will be talking about in the near future so stay tuned:)

    • Console Cowboy

      YEAH Syndicate is MY FAVOURITE aR Pee.Geeeee not. 

      Say, just out of curiosity, is anyone playing the pen and paper Cyberpunk 2020 game in the office?

      • Fantasy_Footballer

        I would say that would be a “No.” 😉

      • MarcinMCDPRED

        You would be surprised how many of our developers grew up playing the original Cyberpunk 2020:) And to answer your question, yes we still play it:) 

      • Marek Mrugalski

        Well console cowboy, I see you:

        a) didn’t read the whole text carefullyb) even if, you didn’t understand it.
        I recommend to use google to find the meaning of the word INSPIRATION.Also what does ONE OF mean.Dystopia looks like one of many inspierations the developers have.And the aspects the author mentions are more about the game-world and not gameplay.

  • Guest

    That chef… Vegeta 2077?

  • Console Cowboy

    in reply to @google-82bbb5dff754c1a14a5e422e29330c7a:disqus 

    who wrote:

    Well, that’s the kind of immature, cybersissy response I expect from a limp wrist choirboy hipster whose only response requires any interested reader to Google. What’s your tough street name: Googlizer? Mr. Screamsheets?
    Listen to yourself for a moment and the argument you’re putting forth. “Game world is not going to affect game play.” Are you seriously making the argument: System Does Not Matter? The scary part about your argument, if you actually mean what you have written, is the fact you have more authority to affect this game than any one of the commentators here. Ignorance only means you live to repeat unnecessary mistakes, mistakes which are unbankable. Please tell me your job is marketing and not Development….  ;-o
    So rather than use this post for a kryto-reklama game giveaway, how about CDPR approach this discussion differently and discuss Cyberpunk 2020 as being the inspiration for the game you’re developing? Cyberpunk is the property you are translating/porting to video game, right? Sounds like your going to re-skin.
    My question about playing the pen and paper Cyberpunk role-playing game in the office (rather than the WotC 4eMMO) is serious. It informs what I just wrote about knowing your inspiration – know thyself. It seems you guys are not inspired by the pen and paper game but by other games. If nothing else, even if you think PnP is an archaic piece of history, the exercise and refresher will be good for this game’s development. Dontcha think?  *Cough*Lorraine Williams*cough*
    Thirty+ years after its release and given the fact this is the IP you are responsible to develop, Cyberpunk 2020’s system should be inspiring /you/. If you listen to the people here, you will hear people say nothing yet (and they provide a list) has been able to exactly captcha that inspiration from the original RPG.
    Time to return home, VDO-boiz. Bring up that EMPathy score before cybering up. THAT’s the Cyberpunk 2020 way, Chollo.

    • Case

      You’ll have to be patient. The truth lies between personal enthusiasm and good PR, if you see what I mean. Only time will tell.

      • Console Cowboy

        Well, ain’t that the truth, Case! 

        A social media policy wouldn’t hurt none either. Or would a good crash course to improve presentation skillz. (Or to hire a PR and a creative writer who both grok all this stuff for the large market.) But you’d think these CDPR go-gangers would get that stuff, rather than be befuddled by Twitter, if they want to compete against big boys who’ve read American Flagg.

        I guess I am saying you can’t live off of a Witcher’s old circuit board forever, and parts is parts. Hopefully this AAA construct doesn’t end up going south like Pauley.

        6-mo past launch and this is the best movement here? 

  • Case

    To Console Cowboy:
    You’re taking this too seriously. The game is obviously in a very early stage of development. Just be patient.

    • Console Cowboy

      There is a very strong disconnect myself and others have noticed between Mike’s vision in his posts and this one from the developer. At this stage, and so soon after intensive story meetings not two weeks past in Warsaw, the divergence in vision is unsettling.

      On the one hand, some rudimentary things can be corrected at the outset before they effect others in the chain.

      On the other hand, a muddled vision at the very start of a project is a bona fide cause for concern. The senior writer’s presence is missing from this blog. WTF? From a AAA title? Seriously?

      You cannot have an apple orchard planting potato spuds no matter how good the gardener….  

      • Case

        Even if that’s true, there is nothing we can do about it. We’ll see. 
        Personally, I trust in CD Projekt.

  • Wisdom000

    OK… OK… Let me take a step back and say, I am still more excited about this game than any game before or since.  I have been personally invested in Cyberpunk 2020 for 30 years now, so I wanr you now, I am at times going to be watching the unfolding events very very cautiously.   I have pretty specific things I want to be able to do and see in the game… but I also have many things I do NOT want to see from the game.  I don’t pretend to really speak for anyone but myself, though after all this time I do think I have a pretty good idea of what I think many of the fans of the original game want and don’t want to see.

    All that being said, if you are just looking at this game for the backgrounds, the visual feel… then its a fair game to bring up, especially if it gives a sister company a little bit of free advertising.  And I am sorry if I jumped the gun a bit.

    CP 2020 fans are a pretty strong headed lot with what we want and expect.  I may be the worst offender.  However, I will be watching every step of the way, and voicing my opinions.  Praising you for everything I think you are doing right, and shouting from the rooftops if I think you stray off course.  I would give anything to be part of the team, but even from here in stands, I will make my presence known.  I hope, I pray this level of scrutiny does not frustrate you from making the game, because its something we have been waiting for for a loooong time… but honestly, I would rather the game never come out, than a game that won’t do the property the justice it deserves.

    • Wisdom000

       err… 20 years, not 30… damn I wish this was a forum so I could edit my posts…

  • Master_Drow

    The one game that I really liked that was cyberpunk feeling was E.Y.E Divine Cybermancy. Sure it had a few wonky things (hacking was a bit odd for one) but I really liked that atmosphere, the customizability, the fact that you could be one of a dozen different types of ‘classes’ just by choosing the right abilities and cybertech. Now if E.Y.E had been made into a much more full game it would have been amazing, as of last play it was a meezly 12 (or so) levels, but each level was free roam and had a fair amount of stuff to do and dozens of ways to solve each mission (which was the best part replay wise).

    Now should CP 2077 be a better E.Y.E.? No, what it needs to be is a large free roam. Probably take Night City and make it explorable. Have a bunch of skills that you can increase (like the Elder Scrolls or Fallout series) and just let the player go to town. Let them hack, let them lock pick, let them snipe civilians while hiding on a rooftop a mile away, and make it lethal. None of this ‘hit by a car and walk away’ stuff that GTA has. CP is known for how lethal it is, a large caliber pistol should be able to blow off an enemies arm. That is what the body bank is for, or cyberware. Ripper Docs are a vital part of cyberpunk and need to be important.

    Honestly, Cyberpunk is already really well suited for conversion to a video game. Most of the Rules that make the RPG difficult (long) to play can be run by the computer in tenths of seconds (I’m looking at you full auto). Might I suggest some system like what Fallout has with VATS, call it Cyber Assisted Targeting (CAT) or something, this makes the gunnery skills more useful rather than just having a good player never need these skills as he just compensates for kick/aim/whatever. But don’t limit the player, free them. Remember Fallout 3 has a main story that can be beaten in less than 5 hours, but people log hundreds of hours on that game. The world needs to be immersive, that is the most important thing.
    Now there are a few things that need to be updated as Cyberpunk is over 20 years old, mostly technologically. But that should not be too hard, just look at all of the other systems that already have that info (Shadowrun, Rifts, etc.) 

    So what needs to get done.
    1) Atmosphere
    2) Immersive world
    3) Cool gadgets
    4) everything else (main plot included)

  • dystopia is probably my favorite source mod

    its definitely past its prime playerbase wise at the moment, but to see it mentioned makes me happy

  • Sim Stim

    Interresting game, but me want MMO with brilliant story and tons of stuff to do 😛
    Something like mixed EVE Online way to do stuff + Anarchy Online with CyperPunk world. That would be the game of this millenium for me and I am 110% for many many many more solos, fixers, hackers, business mans….. out there waiting to wear some kevlar and take the gun of your style (dont forget to take your pills before fight though).

    Will try this Dysto one out as well though.

  • Tyrell

    Ingredients for kick ass cyberpunk game
    -dark futuristic style
    -open, detailed and immersive cyberspace  
    -hacking should not be a ‘minigame’, players should be able to enter cyberspace and manipulate things in the real world from there
    -cybernetic upgrades
    -Gangs, punks, hackers, burnouts, evil corporations struggling for power
    -some creepy SHODAN or some cool AI hidden in cyberspace
    -Guns, katanas
    -Tokyo/Bladerunner looking city
    -GOOD MUSIC!!!! So important to set right mood especially for this genre (Try bladerunner, deus ex for example)
    -Good rpg/action mix (not dumbed down)
    -Interesting characters….
    -No FPS games
    -Information has value…ie shadowrun

  • Tyrell

    wheres my comment?

  • Headline

    That’s what i mean. Dystopia is a great Game and you have to understand that as a Shooter it has to be fast as hell. For the Cyberpunk game we should remember the coolness of leaping over 5 Enemies an then attack from behind :-P. (Multiplayer would be World changing, but please put all your energy in a great Singleplayer Campaign before thinking about that.)