How did Mike Pondsmith bring together Electronic Arts’ Sim City with Cyberpunk?
Pondsmith, the creator of the Cyberpunk 2020 table-top RPG, is involved with Cyberpunk 2077 as well, and he answered the question at PAX West: „I did Night City on the Apple II and I said ‘how badly can I screw this thing up?’ Night City evolved because I wanted to have a city where people who didn’t know anything about Cyberpunk could grasp what the world was like. It’s designed on what I call the Disneyland Principle. If you look at it, there’s a China Land, a Japan Land, a Mafia Land, a Corporate Land. It is also reasonably well researched. I built it in the early versions of Sim City, and then I screwed it up deliberately to be the most challenging place to travel around. Night City is a place where the Cyberpunk world comes together. It has a life of its own.
One reason Night City is impressive in 2077 is it’s so insanely detailed. You know what’s going on, not just where you are, but when you are; what groups of gangs are running around, what’s the news like, who’s running the politics, who’re the relevant people. When you hand a team like CD Projekt RED that much information they’re going to use it. While we’ve made changes in it [for Cyberpunk 2077] Night City is a hell of a fun place,” Pondsmith said.
It’s unbelievable if we think about it: he experimented on an old video game to create his table-top game, which, after a few decades, is being used in a video game. Without Electronic Arts, we might not have Cyberpunk 2077 (which is divided into six, almost entirely independent districts) as it is at the moment…