In a recent interview, Cyberpunk 2020 creator and Cyberpunk 2077 collaborator Mike Pondsmith talked about how the in-game Netrunning moved away from William Gibson's Neuromancer, how they're bridging the story gap, weapon realism and more.
Pondsmith stressed that he's really excited over Netrunning, as it was a long and complicated project that went further than him and CDPR alone.
"The biggest problem with Netrunning right now, is oddly enough the Gibson-esque worldview of Netrunning, which is you go out into a vast cyberspace, you fly around and you do things", he said.
He and CDPR took another route, with some added danger. "[A Netrunner] can't sit back in his comfy chair with his keyboard and say 'go to the fifth level and open the door'. No, he has to go in there. You have to be under risk", he said.
Pondsmith says he studies computer architecture and even enlisted two friends who are computer security experts, all in order to design a more realistic system that is about "doing hacks of stuff", rather than "flying through cyberspace".
Cyberpunk 2077 may be in a different medium from its tabletop counterpart, but the two are very much tied together in terms of story. CDPR and Pondsmith made it a point to achieve continuity between Cyberpunk Red and the video game's universe.
CDPR had a bit of trouble nailing the style of weapons and Pondsmith is delighted with how they worked it out in the end, as it was back and forth all the time.
"They went out and built a wall of real-world guns, which is awesome I'd like to point out, and they had begun to see why the guns in our game work, because they're built in a real-world context, not a science fiction context. You know almost everything we do, we do really solid research on and make sure it works. So what that got us was the guns we're seeing now", he said.
In one of the funnier, albeit quite spot on, takes on artistic collaboration, Pondsmith said, "It's not like I handed the baby to them and said I'll never see it again. It was more like, okay well you babysit the baby for a while and then I babysit the baby and we, you know, trade back and forth. And if I catch him smoking it's your fault."