Night City Wire Episode 2 - A Community Chat Part 1: Lead Quest Designer - Pawel Sasko

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August 10, 2020

hortly after Night City Wire Episode 2, The Official Cyberpunk 2077 Discord community had the opportunity to sit down with Senior Level Designer, Miles Tost & Lead Quest Designer, Pawel Sasko. Where 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 shortly calmed down after Lilayah put her foot down (As all great Community managers do). A huge shout out to Peridonkle on Discord for recording the entire Sasko interview and sending me the audio so I could write this for everyone.

You can read Part Two Here.

This is available in both English (First Half) and Polish (Second Half starting at 58:00) Excuse the burping troll towards the beginning of the video. There's always at least one immature child in public voice chat when something large like this happens. Never fails... amirite?  I've gone ahead and broken down the Community Chat into a easy to read format for people to grab information from. (and you don't have to deal with burpees!) Lets dive in shall we?
Edit: The Polish Part of The Video is being Translated.. be sure check back in for that!

Was the Johnny Silverhand Gameplay sequence a braindance?

I can't currently comment on this and the players will have to find out!

What was the song that was played in the Weapon Overview Section of Night City Wire Episode 2?

Can't say yet, but it is used in a very special sequence in the game that the players wont 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.

Pawel 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.

Do the side quests offer the same amount of choices as the main story or do they differentiate?

It all depends, ya know? we always start from the plot. so if it makes sense for the plot it means its there. if it doesn't make sense for the plot it means there might be less choices depending on what it is. it all depends on what all was introduced to the story because we want to make sure it makes sense and feels good. Our Core principles is always, we want to give the player as many choices as possible but at the same time stay reasonable because we need to stay within our given budget(as that's a given).

Another thing is we're always trying to give options that feel natural to player in example "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 from a design standpoint in order to not destroy too much of that particular story, or sway too much from the vision of choices given for that particular quest. But Generally there are plenty of options for side quests. We've put a lot of attention and detail in them. Obviously the Main Quest has a far larger budget than side quests and smaller content. So because of that you'll probably have slightly less 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 most sense for us.

What is your favorite life path so far?

Oh damn, to be honest, I like all of them because I mean if we didn't like it we wouldn't add it in. So I can't really say, It's really hard for me to pick. 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.

On Motorcycles, if you go full speed, do you rag doll once you hit a wall?

I mean, Honestly, I have yet to try that *chuckles*

How confident are you guys in the November Release Date?

If I were to answer this question,*chuckles* I would set the discord on fire (Pawel trolling Community members, calm down guys) - Lilayah Chimes in - Please don't *chuckles* We're very confident in the November release date.

Whats your favorite district to explore?

I think it has to be Japantown, because its 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.

How long will this game be?

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.

There was a recent news article on your comment about how the you dont have to finish the main quest to finish the game.. Is it possible for you to expand upon that? Is it how people are assuming? How its like how you play out your side quests and you get an early ending? is it a lot simpler than what people are assuming?

I would love to clarify on that, I really would.. but I'm afraid it'd make headlines anyway. Yeah, now adays its difficult without the internet running wild on it. It is correct what from I stated in that interview, 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 more ways that were previously closed for you and thats 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 wasnt completely precise and was google translated in different ways. Some people understood it correctly and some people obviously started to really stretching it all over the place. At that point when I try to clarify, it creates even more confusion so sometimes I don't prefer to comment on it further. So 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.

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?

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.

It was mentioned months back that you guys were planning to announce the expansions prior to the game releasing. Is that still on the table?

I haven't heard any change of plans from that changing. 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.

I noticed that vehicles do drive abit  smooth on rough terrains, like out in the badlands. Are we looking at camera shake effects depending on terrain?

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. Also trying out a lot of different things for what would feel best and make most sense. So we are trying to triangulate the best model for the players that enjoy our games and find a good balance but this isn't a racing sim.

Who is Takemura?

I have no idea.

Will the replay value be like the Witcher 2 for example to where you had to play the game twice in order to get the full experience or can you see everything in one swing?

I think its 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. Like in one playthrough.. you'll definitely get the "Core" of the game. but to see everything.. I think its 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.

So probably like Four or Five times?

Its hard to say... Yeah... Possibly? Maybe if you stick to whatever you're picking. Hard to say, Honestly. Like I don't see how its humanly possible to track every little thing you do in this game and keep up with it.

How many branching options- all in all are there? Nerm Chimes in - "That's... an insane question" Theoretically I know there is a mathematical answer to that.

Yes, 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*

In the world book it mentions around Watson, Relating around City Centre, Corpo Plaza and such. There are road blocks.. Now are those actual road blocks that you can cross or are they actual gameplay road blocks in a sense that you can't cross into that area until you're done with, lets say, the prologue?

It all depends on the case. Your description was abit 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 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 off in 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.

In Night City Wire Episode 2, During the Guns and Modifications Section, There was a scene where V is fixing his pistol. He's in 3rd person perspective. Is that just a thing you guys did for the episode or is that an example of 3rd person cutscene?

Its actually in the game. Yeah its called "The First Equip" Basically like a cool animation you get for a new item you've obtained. It was just cut like that for the trailer but Yes, its in the actual game.

How many options do we have when it comes to obtaining clothes in the game? Do we buy them from shops or can we find them on the ground?

Both, You can find them as a lootable items and You can also buy them as well. Your typical RPG options are covered.

What about Jewelry, such as necklaces and rings?

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.

Also Special Thanks again to Peridonkle on Discord for supplying me with the audio to make this happen. Stay tuned for the Miles Tost Segment of the Community Q&A coming tomorrow, as well as some other goodies in store.

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