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…