Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cyberpunk 2020 Getting a Revival

Story is here, discussing how the  CD Projekt RED use of Cyberpunk as the basis for their forthcoming new RPG (these are the guys who did The Witcher, fyi) is leading to a revision of the original Cyberpunk into a modernized retake of the setting rather than a retro cyberpunk world.

Back in the 90's there was one game I played almost as much (and sometimes more) than AD&D 2nd edition and Runequest 3: Cyberpunk 2020. CP 2020 was absolutely an amazing system, the Interlock engine (before Fuzion bastardized it) was excellent for the sort of games one could tell in the dark future of the Cyberpunk universe, and it seemed at least somewhat plausible back in the early nineties.

Today, of course, not so much. But I would really love a revision that brought the actual CP 2020 universe as envisioned therein up to a sort of "2040 retake" or something similar. Maybe 2050. We seem to me moving a bit slower on the singularity curve these days than guys like Ray Kurzweil are willing to admit.

Anyway, moving the game into the future mostly requires serious cleaning up some of the archaic tech (this game models the Cyberpunk future prior to the internet taking off, cell phones, tablets, virtual worlds as we know them now, or just about anything else we'd consider plebian today). It could use some more focus on transgenics, too. The scary megacorporations? I think they are still as relevant (if not more so) today than ever. Hmmmm maybe tone down the Japan-fetishism a bit, though.

I think it's interesting that CD Projekt RED now owns the game, and it sounds like they plan to publish it. Also nice to see they are retaining Mike Pondsmith for it. Regardless of how one might feel about CP v3, Mike's writing is a serious strength, and CP 2020 would not have been nearly the success it was without his authorial voice and ability to set mood and tone just oozing off the page.

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