Mike Pondsmith says Cyberpunk 2077 is based on real experiences

Aug 30 2019 3 min read

Mike Pondsmith says Cyberpunk 2077 is based on real experiences ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

In an interview with PCGamer, Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith talks about how the fantastical world he created is based on real-world experiences. His first example regards city planning and highlights two very different districts in the game. Watson is the bustling commercial district from the E3 demo we’ve seen while Pacifica is featured in the Gamescom demo.

He calls Pacifica the playground by the sea that didn’t work out. "The way I looked at it, it was supposed to be like if Atlantic City had gone tragically wrong," says Pondsmith. It was a massive development which its investors later decided to pull the plug on. As a result, the homeless and criminals moved in, making it a lawless and forgotten community.

"There are all kinds of incredibly subtle details buried in the architecture of the city," he explained. "There's a lot of familiar cyberpunk stuff there. Neon, Japanese signs, trench coats. But there's reality too. I was walking through Seattle at night once, and I thought, yeah, I get it. This is why Night City works. It has a dark side, just like any city today."

Pondsmith talks a little about his life in the ’80s, bar crawling with a friend. It was around the time he wrote the original tabletop game Cyberpunk 2020, taking his inspiration from bizarre bars that were amazingly cyberpunk. “We were walking through the rainy streets of San Francisco, and it was dangerous. I had a big-ass afro and mirror shades, and I was packing a nine-inch knife."

Its experiences like these he put into the original and has helped him continue to shape the world of Cyberpunk. Pondsmith goes out of his way to find new experiences to build upon his creations, like trying out different handguns and putting a bulletproof pack through rigorous tests of his own. "It's a cool backpack, and I needed a backpack, but I got it because we talk about bulletproof gear in Cyberpunk. I've been thinking about its weight, how it fits into the environment, whether people notice it,” he commented.

The amount of detail Pondsmith and CD Projekt Red have put into Cyberpunk 2077 is far from just cosmetic. Its complexity is there for those with a hunger to find it. The game is similar to the Netflix sci-fi show Altered Carbon in how it tries to marry the intellectual aspects of the cyberpunk genre with intense action scenes. Only in the case of Cyberpunk 2077, the player gets to determine just how much of either they want.

From the game’s Trauma Teams to its abandoned district, Cyberpunk 2077 plans to tell an authentic, interactive story. In Pondsmith’s words, “It's basically environmental, it's personal, and I think people will be able to relate to it. And I think it'll be interesting to see if we've changed the markers of what cyberpunk is."

Today in a livestream, CD Projekt Red will share a 15-minute video of Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay. This time it will focus on Pacifica and will include developer interviews about this deserted looking district. The stream will begin at 11:00 am Pacific on CD Projekt Red’s Twitch and Mixer channels.

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