Cyberpunk Red: Meet the new Edgerunners
When it came time to work on Cyberpunk Red, we had a few questions we needed to ask ourselves. One was, of course:
How has the world of Cyberpunk changed since the end of the 4th Corporate War?
But another question, equally important, was this one:
How was the real world changes since we published Cyberpunk 2020?
The biggest and most obvious change, of course, was the smartphone revolution. We’re all carrying constantly connected tiny computers in our pockets and that’s altered the landscape of life as we know it.
Beyond that, a less noticeable but equally revolutionary change has come in the form of prostheses. Modern materials, computer technology, and 3d printing have changed the landscape when it comes to artificial prosthetics. As research continues, we get closer and closer to the bionic concept of fully functional cybernetics.
It is cyberpunk in the best way.
Mike wanted to find a way to include this real world ray of hope in our bleak Dark Future. He was especially inspired by a photograph he saw online of a group of young geeks, all with prosthetic limbs, at DragonCon. Long story short, he reached out to the group and asked if they’d like to help create a few characters for Cyberpunk Red.
They said yes. We got to work.
Cyberpunk Red will feature a new piece of fiction by Mike Pondsmith. We’re not going to share too many details yet, but the story will feature a team of Edgerunners, created with input from our new friends, on a mission that begins in Night City and shows off the world in the Time of the Red. Today, we’d like to introduce the characters who will be featured in that story and the brilliant people who helped us create them. We’re going to include links to their social media. We encourage you to check them out. They’re all astounding creators.
Kepler was created with the help of Ashley Sherman aka the American Cyborg in London and was recently a model on Glow Up on BBC Three.
Peumo was created with the help of James Young. There’s a decent chance you’ve seen him on BBC Three’s YouTube Channels.
Damian was created with the help of Brian Marquez, an associate producer at Adult Swim Games.
Zara was created with the help of Angel Giuffria, Bionic Actress, Cosplayer, and Archer.
Originally, Trace Wilson created another character but as Mike worked on the story, he realized that an existing character, Trace Santiago (aka the son of Nomad Santiago from Cyberpunk 2020) worked perfectly. Also, Trace Wilson’s name is Trace! Clearly, this was a sign. Mike and Trace collaborated to merge their two ideas together to create the Trace Santiago of Cyberpunk Red.
Trace is a speaker and author of the children’s books Uniquely Me and Uniquely Brave.
And finally, we’d like to introduce Amelia Kołat.
While writing, Mike realized the story was missing something. Specifically, it was missing a Rockerboy.
After all, doesn’t every good Cyberpunk story have a Rockerboy?
For help creating a new music legend for a new era, we turned to Amelia. She’s already one in real life, leading the charge as the community manager for Cyberpunk 2077. She’s also been one of our lifelines, helping to keep us connected to CD Projekt Red and keeping us from getting lost when we visited Poland.
Thanks for joining us in this big character reveal! We hope you enjoyed it and, once again, we encourage you to check out and follow our skilled collaborators. They’ve done a legend’s work, both in the real world and in the world of Cyberpunk Red.
There’s one last thing we’d like to say before we wrap up for today.
When we decided to work with Ashley, James, Trace, Brian, and Angel we also decided to put our money where our mouth is when it came to bringing the positive possibilities of Cyberpunk into the real world. As such, we’re going to be donating a share of every sale of the Cyberpunk Red core rulebook to a not-for-profit that helps fit kids with prostheses. We’re still researching exactly which charity that’ll be but we’ll announce it when we’ve found the perfect match.
Thanks, choombas. And until next time, do something good on the streets.
“The biggest and most obvious change, of course, was the smartphone revolution. We’re all carrying constantly connected tiny computers in our pockets and that’s altered the landscape of life as we know it.” – Wrong. I don’t. If one wants to be a dog on a leash, then he is free to carry notsmartphone with him.
What NO Fixer!…..this is great stuff and loved reading about each character creator on top of the character can’t wait to get my hands on the core book plus Maximum Mikes new fiction!
There’s a Fixer in the mix but they aren’t one of these characters. 🙂
My makerlab does Empower2Make and it is an awesome event. Makers, Knowers, and Sponsors all get together to produce new, useful assistant technology. There’s been loads of 3d printed prosthesis and new assistful devices created. I’d definitely recommend checking it out for anyone wanting to get involved.
Any chance you could revise your definitions of “cybernetics”?
e.g. “the scientific study of control and communication in the animal and the machine.” – Norbert Wiener,
or “The art of creating equilibrium in a world of constraints and possibilities.” – Ernst von Glasersfeld.
Many of the tropes that identify cyberpunk as a genre, are cybernetic in nature; yet it is often only used to refer to biomechatronics.
The Cyberpunk Red starter, is admittedly better in this regard than many Cyberpunk RPG’s.
Cyberarm, cybereye etc. are more correct than cybernetic eye; as the human optic system is already a cybernetic system.
I’m mainly saying this because you are the main Cyberpunk theme RPG in my mind, and it’d be nice to read one that got it right.
Plus, an RPG engine itself is a cybernetic system; a collection of rules which exist to allow players to work towards a goal (defined or not).
You are correct that the definition of cybernetics used most often in cyberpunk is just ONE definition instead of the ONLY definition. For the time being at least, the one we’re focusing most closely on is the concept of biomechanical implants and grafts.
That use is certainly the most commonly held definition, and it is understandable that you would wish to stick with this; but it mainly exists because of it’s use in cyberpunk literature and media in general. As far as I’m aware, no cyberneticist has offered such a definition.
Cybernetics is one concept/theory which contributes to the creation of biomechanical implants/grafts, but the objects themselves are prosthesis or augmentations; It would be like calling an aircraft, aerodynamics or lift.
I merely wished to offer a wider view or an aside; as the topics discussed by various cyberneticists are incredibly relevant to cyberpunk as a whole: social stability, governance, dynamic systems, biocost, embodiment, autopoeisis etc..
Which may be of interest to those interested in cyberpunk.
e.g. Von Foerster’s, Ethical Imperative… “Act always so as to increase the number of choices.” could be an ethos for cyberpunk.
You can almost pick up any book on cybernetics and it’ll be discussing something relevant to themes of cyberpunk, but very few would even mention prosthesis.
But, thank you for your time.