Cyberpunk 2077‘s Night City, at least the brief glimpses we got from the recent gameplay reveal, looks richly detailed and full of life, and it sounds like we have SimCity to thank in part for that.
Recently speaking at PAX West, Mike Pondsmith, who created the Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop RPG and is working closely with developer CD Projekt Red on Cyberpunk 2077, revealed that he prototyped Night City’s original design in SimCity on an Apple II.
“I built [Night City] in the early versions of SimCity and then I screwed it up deliberately to be the most difficult place to travel around,” Pondsmith said (via VG 24/7). “Night City is a place where the Cyberpunk world comes together. It has a life of its own.”
Pondsmith also revealed that Night City’s six districts were “designed on what I call the Disneyland Principle. If you look at it, there’s a China Land, a Japan Land, a Mafia Land, a Corporate Land.”
Based on what we’ve seen so far, Cyberpunk 2077‘s Night City looks like it’s going to be one of the most complex urban settings ever in a game, so it’s interesting to see how a single writer and designer like Pondsmith was able to wrap his head around the original version by using another game as a visual and engineering tool.
Thankfully, CD Projekt Red has stated that it plans to introduce a photo mode to the game so we can capture Night City’s many landmarks and tourist sights. Beyond the setting, Cyberpunk 2077 is promising to offer a deep, weaving narrative with real consequences tied to player choice.
Cyberpunk 2077 is currently in development for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.