Thursday, June 13, 2019

Wishing Well For Cyberpunk 2077

Of all the games shown at E3 this year, the one I want most to succeed is Cyberpunk 2077. Based on R. Talsorian's seminal tabletop RPG, this adaptation looks to be a faithful one not just for the aesthetics but also for certain classic game design decisions that "Maximum" Mike Pondsmith made a hallmark of R. Talsorian RPGs (e.g. a Lifepath system for backgrounds).

Why? First, because he's an old-school RPG designer who really ought to get far more recognition for what he's done. Second, because he's an old-school weeb--we're talking "trading tapes in the '80s" old--whose other two well-known games are both weebfests: Mekton (for mecha weebs) and Teenagers From Outer Space (for romcoms). If any Westerner has a chance of getting their original weeb-loving stuff before a Japanese audience, it's him.

While you don't see the influence so obviously in Cyberpunk, it's there due to the game acknowledging and allowing for recreating the seminal Japanese works in that genre: Appleseed, Bubblegum Crisis, Ghost in the Shell, A.D. Police, and more. If CP2077 hits hard enough, and I think it will, then the door opens for a Mekton game and that will likely involve CD Projekt Red collaborating with some Japanese folks to bring Mike's setting of Algol to live for that aforementioned game.

And that means there's a path for others--like me--to bring our own love letters to the land that inspired them, in the hopes of finding an audience appreciative of them. If Mike can make Mekton happen, and especially so if it succeeds, then that means there's a way for my fellow #AGundam4Us authors and I go also go East and get our stuff out there.

And maybe some truly talented folks like our Queen of E3, Ikumi Nakamura, will work their magic in bring our work to life.

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