Polish game developer CD Projekt Red is starting to talk about its next big project, albeit tentatively.
Cyberpunk 2077 is the studio’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and visual effects artist Jose Teixeira has told MCV that it’s a far bigger project than anything CD Projekt Red has done before. He explained how the visual effects involved in creating a futuristic world offer a new challenge for him, but he said it’s a challenge that he’s relishing.
“Cyberpunk 2077 is a totally different style,” said Teixeira. “In a way, The Witcher helped Cyberpunk quite a bit because the game got so big and so complex that it really taught us. For The Witcher, I had the clouds, the rain, the petals of flowers, and things like that. Cyberpunk is going to be everything: It’s going to be explosions and fire and lighting effects and everything happening all at the same time. It’s going to be a mess of effects.
“I’m very much looking forward to it. It’s going to be a challenge. Our ambitions and expectations about the amount of visual information onscreen at any given time is going to be pretty brutal.”
The Witcher 3 offered players a massive game world to explore and up to 200 hours of gameplay. But Teixeira says that Cyberpunk 2077 is even grander in scale. “Cyberpunk is far bigger than anything else that we have done before,” he said. “Far, far bigger. We’re really stepping into the unknown in terms of complexity and size and problems we encounter.”
When I visited CD Projekt Red’s studio late last year, I found out that a small team — which fluctuated in size but was around 60 people at its peak — was already working on Cyberpunk 2077 while the rest of the staff focused on finishing The Witcher 3. My hosts at the studio remained tight-lipped beyond that, but I did find out some more about the birth of the project and its role in CD Projekt Red’s growth.
Back at the start of 2013, CD Projekt Red collaborated with the celebrated creative studio Platige Image to create a stunning trailer for Cyberpunk 2077. This was based on nothing more than a panel from the instruction manual to the old Cyberpunk 2020 role-playing game, on which Cyberpunk 2077 is based, and it’s something CD Projekt Red now has to live up to.
The trailer was intended to generate interest in the project and also act as a recruitment tool for the studio. It was successful at bringing new talent in from abroad, and as a result, the Cyberpunk team, which is now pressing ahead, is “truly international,” according to head of marketing Michał Platkow-Gilewski.