Shortly after Night City Wire Episode 2, the official Cyberpunk 2077 Discord community had the opportunity to sit down with Senior Level Designer Miles Tost and Lead Quest Designer PaweÅ‚ Sasko. The community was given the chance to discuss how they felt about Night City Wire Episode 2 with the developers. At first it was an absolute mad house coming fresh off the hype that the episode had generated, but everyone quickly calmed down after Lilayah put her foot down (As all great Community managers do).
This is available in both English (First Half) and Polish (Second Half starting at 58:00) We’ve gone ahead and broken down the English part of the Community Chat into an easy to read format, edited for clarity, for people to grab information from. Let’s dive in shall we?
Community Question:Was the Johnny Silverhand Gameplay sequence a braindance?
PaweÅ‚ Sasko: I can’t currently comment on this, the players will have to find out!
CQ:What was the song that was played in the Weapon Overview Section of Night City Wire Episode 2?
PaweÅ‚: Can’t say yet, but it’s used in a very special sequence in the game that the players won’t forget for a very long time.
Community Members are discussing the state of how well all combat looks compared to previous versions shown, especially Melee combat.
PaweÅ‚ chimes in saying that they hope we like it because they’ve been working extremely hard at getting it just right, including tuning and weight.
CQ:Do the side quests offer the same amount of choices as the main story or do they differ?
PaweÅ‚: It all depends, you know? We always start from the plot, so if it makes sense for the plot it usually means it’s there. If it doesn’t make sense for the plot, it means that there might be less choices depending on what it is. It all depends on what was introduced to the story, because we want to make sure it makes sense and feels good. Our core principles are always that we want to give the player as many choices as possible, but at the same time remain reasonable because we need to stay within our given budget.
Another thing we’re always trying to do, is give players options that feel natural. For example if the played thinks “I should be able to do this”, in most cases you will be able to. There will be scenarios where you won’t be given choices you’d prefer to make, in order to not destroy too much of that particular story, but in general, there are plenty of options. We’ve put a lot of attention and detail in them. Obviously the Main Quest has a far larger budget than side quests and other smaller content. So because of that, you’ll probably have slightly fewer options depending on the quest. It’s not really a rule, the rule is a derivative of the plot itself and I think that makes the most sense for us.
CQ:What is your favorite lifepath so far?
PaweÅ‚: Oh damn, to be honest, I like all of them. I mean if we didn’t like it we wouldn’t add them in, or we would replace them or fix them. So I can’t really say, It’s really hard for me to pick something I don’t like in the game, because if I knew there’s something I don’t like, we would try to fix it or change it, unless we really can’t because it’s insanely complex or something. They’re all really unique in their own way. If there was something we felt was off or didn’t like, it would be altered or changed. We wouldn’t keep crappy stuff in most cases.
CQ:On Motorcycles, if you go full speed, do you rag doll once you hit a wall?
PaweÅ‚: I mean, honestly, I never tried *chuckles*
CQ:How confident are you guys in the November Release Date?
PaweÅ‚: If I were to answer this question *chuckles* I would set the discord on fire.
Lilayah (Community Manager): Please don’t *chuckles* we’re very confident in the November release date.
CQ:What’s your favorite district to explore?
PaweÅ‚: I think it has to be Japantown, because it’s the most dense and has the most interesting architecture, but it really depends on what you’re looking for. They all have their own treats in store to surprise players.
CQ:How long will this game be?
PaweÅ‚: I’ve had this question every interview. It’s very hard to tell. I really don’t know, it really depends on the choices you make and what type of gameplay style you decide to go with. There are far too many complicated factors to give a solid number.
CQ:There was a recent news article on your comment about how you don’t have to finish the main quest to finish the game. Is it possible for you to expand on that? Is it how people are assuming? That depending on how you play out your side quests, you could get an early ending? Or is it a lot simpler than what people are assuming?
PaweÅ‚: I would love to clarify that, I really would, but I’m afraid it’d make headlines anyway. Yeah, nowadays it’s difficult without the internet running wild on it. What I stated in that interview is correct, but it depends on the definition you’re using for what is the side quest and what is the main quest. That’s the whole problem. The jist of what I said is: when you decide to do side content, It opens up new paths that allow you to finish the game in ways that were previously closed for you, and that’s really the jist of it. I tried to explain it the best I could to the journalist, who mostly understood what I meant, but some wording wasn’t completely precise and was google translated in different ways. Some people understood it correctly and some people obviously started stretching it all over the place. At that point, when I try to clarify, it creates even more confusion, so sometimes I prefer not to comment on it further because I rather not make a mess and cause further confusion. It’s difficult at times to explain some things in simple terms due to the complexity of our systems.
CQ:When it comes to character relationships, will you be able to see them outside of quests? In other words, can you interact with them outside of quests or do you have to proceed to talk to them during quests?
PaweÅ‚: It’s a romance question, If I say something, it’ll be a headline. I’m sorry, you’ll have to play the game to find out.
CQ:It was mentioned months ago that you guys were planning to announce the expansions prior to the game releasing. Is that still on the table?
PaweÅ‚: I haven’t heard of any change of plans, so as far as I know that is still happening. Although, we’re still working on the main game, so it’s really a matter of company strategy. If anything changes we’ll make sure we announce it.
CQ:I noticed that driving is smooth on rough terrains, like out in the badlands. Are we looking at camera shake effects depending on terrain?
PaweÅ‚: It’s not a rough question, no doubt. But it’s still a work in progress. The thing is, we’re still experimenting with a lot of stuff, and trying out a lot of different things for what would feel best and what makes the most sense. So we are trying to triangulate the best model for the players that enjoy our games and find a good balance, without it being a racing sim.
CQ:Who is Takemura?
PaweÅ‚: I have no idea.
CQ:Will the replay value be like in The Witcher 2 for example, where you had to play the game twice in order to get the full experience or can you see everything in one playthrough?
PaweÅ‚: I think it’s going to be way more. I think you need to play the game a few times. You’re really going to have to track your choices to fully experience everything the game has to offer. In one playthrough, you’ll definitely get the core of the game, but to see everything, I think it’s impossible unless you decide to play through it a few times. I think you’d have to be pretty disciplined to always pick options that you didn’t before, like different builds, different life paths, different choices, let alone character customization, I don’t even know how you’d track that.
CQ:So probably like four or five times?
PaweÅ‚: It’s hard to say. Yeah? Possibly? Maybe if you stick to whatever you’re picking. Hard to say, honestly. Like, I don’t see how it’s humanly possible to track every little thing you do in this game and keep up with it.
CQ:How many branching options are there? Another member chimes in: “That’s… an insane question”. Theoretically I know there is a mathematical answer to that.
PaweÅ‚: There is an answer to that question, but I can’t tell you, although I know exactly how much it is.
YOU DO? *Community bursts into laughter*
CQ:In the world book, it mentions that around Watson, around City Centre, Corpo Plaza and such, there are road blocks. Are those actual road blocks that you can cross, or are they gameplay road blocks that you can’t cross until you’re done with something like the prologue?
PaweÅ‚: It all depends on the case. Your description was a bit broad. There are scenarios where some parts won’t be accessible due to story elements, but It will always be explained to the player why that is. Outside of that, there are always scenarios where players will run across road blocks where it will telegraph to the player that it will be easier to get around them by foot, rather than by bike or vehicle. It’s just a suggestion to the player, although you’ll probably be able to do it in any way you please. It’s just a telegraph to the player that you have different choices you can make in those particular situations. I don’t think you are very often forced away from certain locations, we’re very careful when it comes to those things. Of course, in specific story moments they can occur but you can easily compare this to what we did in Witcher 3.
CQ:In Night City Wire Episode 2, during the Guns and Modifications section, there was a scene where V is fixing his pistol in third person perspective. Is that just a thing you guys did for the episode or is that an example of third person cutscenes?
PaweÅ‚: It’s actually in the game. It’s called “The First Equip”, which is basically a cool animation you get for a new item you’ve obtained. It was cut like that for the trailer but yes, it’s in the actual game.
CQ:How many options do we have when it comes to obtaining clothes ? Do we buy them from shops or can we find them on the ground?
PaweÅ‚: Both, you can find them as lootable items and you can also buy them. Your typical RPG options are covered.
CQ:What about Jewelry, such as necklaces and rings?
PaweÅ‚: We haven’t disclosed that information yet. No comment.
That was the final question for the Community Chat with Pawel Sasko. Special thanks to him and the community for asking these questions.
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Video game fan since TMNT: The Manhattan Project, I'm always on the lookout for games that could top Outer Wilds or Disco Elysium, or for new songs to listen to.