Are you looking for some amazing explanation to put your players in the mood for your Cyberpunk 2020 campaign? We were wandering around the ‘net when we stumbled upon a superfan called Gizmo, a self-proclaimed hobbyist and CP2020 fan creating videos which explain foundations and society in the Cyberpunk universe. Read on for an interview with Gizmo about his inspiration for his video projects. Our humble thanks to Gizmo for honoring us!
Do you know anyone creating amazing art, videos, music, or stories based on any of R. Talsorian’s properties? We would love to hear from you!
You will find links to Gizmo’s channels, music and video clip credits at the bottom of this article. Thanks to Gizmo for an amazing creation.
Tell us a little bit about yourself as a creator.
Editing and making video clips is a hobby for me – I’m no professional. One of my passions is to tell a story in a visually compelling way. It’s easy to say something and put random imagery or video running in the background, but I believe I can match the story with visuals that will draw the viewer much more deeply into the story and give a better experience for the narrative. The visuals should guide and aid you in understanding what is going on.
What kinds of projects really inspire you?
When I set out to do this story, I wanted to tell it in a way that would come across naturally and informative but also enjoyable. When I created this, the main inspiration came from Street of Rage [Sega], especially the music they used and the setting it was in – peaceful city taken over by the mob and you have to fight to overthrow it. Remember that intro with sliding pixelate night city and the intro music? Those were good times, Choombatta!
Since I’ve never done a lore video on YouTube before I thought it best to draw inspiration on style from people I have followed over the years. Back in 2012 I was really enjoying content from WoodenPotato and found the way he presented the Guild Wars 2 lore easy to follow and enjoyable. Then there was Every Frame a Painting; his in depth and interesting footage drew me and many other viewers. I really liked his style of narration. And lastly, I would say VaatiVidya was inspiring. They used deep knowledge, amazing voice over, and the music composition/editing were something that blew me away. When I set out to do my first lore video, I decided I would try to emulate these 3 as much as possible.
When did you start playing Table top RPGs and what are some of your favurites?
Can I be honest? If you promise not to kill me… I have never played a table top game in my life, more due to lack of opportunity than lack of interest… Care to recommend one?
Can you speak to the history, sociology, and lifestyle of Night City and what about it inspires you?
For me, Night City is like a phoenix that has risen from the ashes. Everything is miserable and it’s cool to break the law, or is it the circumstances that make you do it? You tell me. As for ordinary folks, those who are not Powerdealers or Corpzoners – I think the only way of expression for them is giving the middle finger to the big man and taking matters into their own hands. The city was born on naive ideals, but it turned on itself and churned everything through its meat grinder. But you know what – that’s ok, we can handle it! Kerry Eurodyne puts it best: “I always knew what I had to do. It was really obvious. There were these scum out there who were messing with the world. They were killing people, raping the land, and lying in our faces then we caught ’em. So I decided I had to put the heat on ‘em and make ‘em sweat.” …And that’s what makes Night City so special.
Tell us about your creative process: What in this video makes Cyberpunk a reality for you?
I started to work on the clip in early October 2016, doing it in the evenings/weekends after my normal day job and other social obligations. A lot of things changed during the production of the clip; things got rearranged, added, and removed.
To begin with I spent a few weeks reading source material to see what I could cover in depth. As I got to know it, a story of Night City started to emerge. For me it was important to get the story right. I also wanted to get the mannerisms and the slang right to make it authentic. So I made detailed notes and compiled a script – after several rewrites and different approaches, I was happy with what I had.
I spent a few weeks re-watching old movies, animations, and gathering imagery. I wanted to use elements from past and present, things that people would recognize and go – “oh I know that” or “oh I remember that” – that were cool. From the get go I wanted it to be an experience that you would have if you were visiting the Night City and actually using a DATATERM for further information. I remember years ago when I last saw Blade Runner [Ridley Scott, 1982] it had an amazing intro with a man overlooking a dark city as he was waiting for interrogation to start. It was perfect. I decided to recreate that opening in similar fashion, except for make it ‘Cyberpunk’.
I also liked how CDPR’s Cyberpunk 2077 teaser trailer started with text typing, which I adopted to give the opening credits in my clip. The whole intro was part of building the atmosphere.
For the voice over I initially considered acting as ‘Maximum Mike’, mainly due to him breaking the 4th wall, but as I progressed I felt it didn’t fit, so I used the narrator and to compensate I used Mike’s sound clip instead.
The clip has 6 parts -, Intro, Cyberpunk World, History of Night City, Night Life in Night City, Local Law Enforcement, and the Future. So for the viewer it is: what is this place you’ve come to visit, what is the city all about, what is the night life about, how safe or inevitable is it that you will never leave it again, and I ended it with why you really came to the city – I mean who wouldn’t want to live on the Edge?
I used a mix of footage and cyberpunk imagery to give the visual aspects of the storytelling, using quintessential cyberpunk visuals for what it’s like to be in the Night City for each particular segment.
For soundtrack I did quite a bit of research on what to use; I knew I wanted to use Street of Rage original game soundtrack as it’s something many of us grew up with. The rest was mix of futuristic 80’s, 80’s Synthwave, and Cyberpunk music.
I never thought it would blow up as much as it did. I was mainly concerned with whether I have done Cyberpunk 2020 and 2077 justice and would it be a good trip down memory lane. I am humbled and glad that so many found it enjoyable!
So thank you Choombatta, Mike Pondsmith and CDPR for inspiring me to put this together. I’ll see you in the future….on the Edge!
You can find more of Gizmo’s work at:
- Portfolio of his other vids is on the right side of the screen here.
- Gizmo’s 2 Old Gamers channel is here.
Footage Credits: Bladerunner (Ridley Scott, 1982), Ghost in the Shell (Mamoru Oshii, 1995), Ghost in the Shell (Rupert Sanders, 2017), Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988), Batman: The Killing Joke (Sam Liu, 2016), The Expanse (Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, 2015), Cyberpunk 2077 Trailer (CD Project Red).
Imagery Credits: Night City Logo (Gizmo), Thumbnail (Jacek Babinski), First image (Night City Guide, R. Talsorian Games 1991), Shot (Richard Alix Night), Construction Mechs 1 , Construction Mech 2, Mob boss, Pole Dancer (by Maciej Kuciara), Night Club Girl (Adamkuczek), Leaving the Night City in Body bag moment (Quantum Quest concept art), Cops 1 (Brad Rigney), Cops 2, C-Swat member (Jon Asdero), Corporate Zone: Futuristic City, Map of Night City Centre (Datafortress2020), Corporate Zone 2: Satellite Reign Concept Art, Security – Satellite Reign concept art, Skyscraper View, Club Lush Tokyo (Feng Zhu), You are Cyberpunk – Chrome Book 3 (R. Talsorian Games, 1994), Cyberpunk 2077,
Music Credits: The Ladd Company Logo Intro sound (Blade Runner movie, 1982), The Galloping Redeemer (Bourgeoisie, 2015), The Streeet of Rage (Sega, 1991), Seraphim Extended (Olivier Deriviere for Remember Me Original Game Soundtrack, 2013), Eros Song from The Expanse series (2015), Bullets (Archive from Cyberpunk 2077 teaser trailer, CDPR), A.B.R.E. (Olivier Deriviere from Remember Me Original Game Soundtrack, 2013).