Two weeks ago, the Quixel blog posted a great interview with two of CD Projekt RED’s top artists. The article focuses on the online library of textures and objects Megascans, which greatly helped in the development of Cyberpunk 2077 .
Kacper Nepokulczycki and Michal Janiszewski answered the questions of Quixel journalists.
CDPR game development starts with plot and lore, they said, but in the case of Cyberpunk 2077, the source material was already Cyberpunk 2020. The team was trying to understand Mike Pondsmith’s ideas in order to bring everything possible to the game.
We tried to get into Mike Pondsmith’s head, to understand what he was thinking when he worked on it, so we went through every map, read every book, every manual. We were also lucky to work with him directly, which in turn gave us an understanding if we were on the right path.
If we pay attention to the game world, then it can be divided into four conventional styles. Poor areas are designed in entropism using the cheapest materials. The piece is created in kitsch with unorthodox facades in bright neon. The corporate neighborhoods are neo-militaristic, and the richest neighborhoods are neo-kitch.
CDPR’s goal was to make a first-person RPG. According to the developers, this approach gives the player the best immersion experience, whether in combat or outside. Wherever the player goes, buildings, neon, traffic, advertising – all this amazes with a vengeance thanks to the first-person perspective.
The developers created most of the objects on their own, but models like rocks, stones, pebbles, branches were taken from the Megascans library. This saved a lot of time – it was enough to throw the assets into the engine.
We also used a lot of vegetation. Some bunches of grass or bushes were just taken and added, but for more massive objects, our vegetation artist took Megascans polygons, texture atlases and on SpeedTree he created the natural looking foliage we needed, and even much faster than if he did it with scratch.
In the same interview, the developers noted that it was important for them to give players on any platform an “ultra-immersive Night City experience.” The game looks better on the new generation of consoles, but full versions of Cyberpunk 2077 are due out next year for PS5 and Xbox Series.
Running the game on next-generation hardware will make full use of their extra horsepower. Next-gen consoles are likely to take game art a few steps further by giving developers the ability to add more detail to scenes, supporting more polygons and higher resolutions.
When reporters asked if the developers would use Megascans in their next games, the artists did not say anything. Right now, the team’s number one priority is Cyberpunk 2077.
We are 100% focused on it.
The team is currently busy addressing issues related to poor performance on legacy consoles. At the same time, CDPR has to answer to investors who are going to sue the studio.
According to the developers’ plans, the console versions of Cyberpunk 2077 will be fully fixed by February 2020. Prior to that, there will be two major patches – the first in January.
Cyberpunk 2077 is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Series.