CD Projekt RED’s lead cinematic animator talks about how the upcoming RPG will differ from The Witcher in this respect.
There’s a certain expectation everyone has from a game that bears the CD Projekt RED tag. With their The Witcher trilogy, the Polish studio built a solid reputation for themselves as excellent storytellers and mature writers, and that is something everyone is hoping will carry over into their upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 as well.
But how exactly do CDPR plan on achieving the same heights of cinematic storytelling with the upcoming RPG, which is so different from The Witcher in so many ways? The question was presented to the studio’s lead cinematic animator, Maciej Pietras, in an interview with CG Magazine Online, and Pietras said that with Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt RED are going to change things up a little.
“I think it revolves around how you define the phrase “cinematic experience,” because what we do is tell a story in an open world that is also an RPG,” Pietras said. “At the end of the day, is still a heavily narrative driven game, and just because of that we just redefine how we approach “Cinematic-ness”. How we tackled story in The Witcher, of course, is we utilize the camera work; we worked with editing, character composition, with framing and editing very much as a cornerstone of the dialogue and cutscenes in The Witcher. For Cyberpunk what we are doing is using the open world and RPG experience, splashing them together and wrapping them in this interactive scene system overcoat.”
Pietras then went on to talk about Cyberpunk 2077’s setting – a living and breathing city – as well as its new first person perspective, both of which CDPR plans to use to achieve new heights in storytelling.
“So, because of that overcoat, what we think about storytelling and how to create this narrative experience always involves thinking about how the player will experience that from the first-person perspective,” he said. “One of the ways we think about designing is around the experience of cinematic moments.”
“This is kind of how we approach this cinematic storytelling and transforming the experience with it; thinking that this is a living breathing world,” Pietras continued. “The NPC’s set in that world are fully fleshed out characters [and] not just templates, because we approach design like that. It means that you somehow got here. You’re here, you’re doing your job, you’re working, and I approach you and we have a discussion. The outcome is mostly dependent on the player choice. I could pull out the gun and the conversation will go in a very different direction. This example outlines how we think about cinematics and narrative content. So obviously it’s a huge challenge when compared to The Witcher.”
Cyberpunk 2077 is currently without a release date, but recent reports claim that it might be launching in 2019. Read more on that through here.