WatchNon-threaded

Forums » Writing Workshop » Read Message

Toss around ideas and brainstorm your story.

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago
As I would appear to be the only one in my friend circle that just has no way at all to get Keanu inside me, I did contemplate killing myself for a bit, but have decided instead to make a work of interactive fiction to help ease the pain for others in the same sad situation.

I've written regular science fiction before, but what would you say are the core elements a setting needs to be cyberpunk? Besides the aesthetic, what separates it from a regular sci fi dystopia?

And is there anything you'd personally like to see in a storygame? One of my dilemmas right now is whether to make it open world with missions or more plot focused. Open world would be more difficult of course as I'd have to use scripting.

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago
Or just buy me an Xbox and I'll leave you folks alone.

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago
I'm sorry, we already emptied out the CYS Communism fund buying somebody's liver back from their drug dealer. But good luck with your game.

I'd really go with a more narrative focused thing over open world, at least for your first game. The latter (and probably even the former) are going to require far more work than you may be expecting.

Afraid I can't be much use here otherwise, I've just never been that into cyberpunk and I'm not too knowledgeable about it.

Now if it were splatterpunk, well we once had a site member who was reinventing that, and I'm sure she's succeeded completely by now.

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago

I think the best cyberpunk makes a commentary on the anxieties and grotesqueries of our world by drawing an extreme version of it. All the classic cyberpunk is a reflection of the time; the Yellow Peril, the massive increase of corporate power following the Reagan-Thatcher era, and the fears of nuclear annihilation are all reflected pretty well in the original tabletop roleplaying game and Gibson's cyberpunk phase. 

If you want to just write about street samurai and netrunners that's totally fine, as long as your characters are stylish and cool and maybe there's an elaborate conspiracy with shady corpos and the CIA. 

If you wanted to take it a step further, I'd say you should try and observe the world around you, predict how these current trends would look in a sci-fi dystopia, and put them in your work. 

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago
This is useful, thanks! Seems like the genre is a little more flexible than I thought, which is good because my idea isn't completely traditional.

I'm not in a place where I can write right now but I have the first pages thought up, you'll start out as a corporate drone doing some meaningless repetetive task every day for the last ten years, when suddenly you're fired without explanation and thrown out on the street where you can become involved with different factions while just trying to survive.

Everyone sees you as just a pawn to exploit at first, but slowly you build your reputation and gain new knowledge and skills.

The theme is partly about how alienating extremism is, and partly how everyone is considered a commodity and resource before a person, even by the "good guys".

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago

Chrome! At least that was the official answer in the original cyberpunk game.

OK more seriously, the defining feature at least for me is an ecology of subcultures with very different opinions attitude and lifestyles. The future is everything that ever was, just more so.

Even more verbose version: Everybody is into some kind of overdrawn style. So you might be chased by a goon who is into a 1980 style, so he wears an ill-fitting 1980s suite, has an old fashioned pistol and drives what looks like a 1980 police car, only the suit is bulletproof, the pistol fires micro-missiles (but has a little speaker for the authentic bang-sound) and the car can fly. Around the next corner there is a group of punks, they look like 1970s-London but the wear little devices on their ears that project old sex pistols footage onto their mohawks. You run into a hotel that is roman republic themed. Guests are given a complimentary toga. On a screen Julius Cesar gives a speech. Of course it's not a recording of the real cesar, but the studio that produced it rendered it as a black and white silent film with old movie artifacts to make it look authentic (If it's not 3d it must be ancient, right?)

I think a story game needs a story, don't think open world would fly unless you made a huuuuge effort.

Recommended Reading / Viewing

  • Blade Runner (Obviously)
  • Strange Days
  • Neuromancer (William Gibson)
  • Snowcrash (Neal Stephenson)

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago

Burning Chrome is Gibson and it fucking owns, as well. It's way more concerned with street scum than Neuromancer, which is more about the machinations of the elite. OP is writing about a street-level criminal, so he might get more benefit out of it. It's also just an entertaining heist story in general.

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago
Good point.

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago
All the different cultures is something I want to explore too, and it ties into what hetro malk said about trying to think ahead to the future. Everyone is surrounded by a different kind of propaganda from birth and locked into a certain way of dressing and acting and thinking about the world, and hostile and dismissive to anyone else. And this is all designed to just keep them distracted from what's really going on.

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago
Ooh I love that!

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago
Progress has been slow but I'm working on it. The biggest decision I've made is to cut back as much as possible on cyberpunk slang, and introduce things so people new to it all can follow along. It makes sense for the character anyway as he's been sheltered his entire life and has to learn as he goes too.

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago
I"m still in the process of learning variables, but I know I want to track the number of credits you have. What I'm not sure about is if it's something readers would care about to have gender and sexual preference selectable. The character has a name and appearance already when I think of him, but I do want there to be some freedom, and there may be scenes where it matters. I know that's not the normal thing here so I don't HAVE to worry about it, but what I want to know is if anyone thinks it would add to the experience for them.

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago

Quick suggestion from a nobody.

Make the story using the gender and sexual preference you are interested in writing, then if you feel up to a fairly significant amount of work, add those features.

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago

The 21st century thing would be to make it selectable ... and have a lame ill-fitting story as a result. Think of a random story and switch the gender of the protagonist, does it work? I think you could almost get away with changing Frodo's gender in Lord of the Rings, though the interaction with Sam would change quite a bit. Changing the gender of any other member of the fellowship of the ring would change the social dynamics substantially and some subplots would stop working entirely. With stories that delve deeper into relationships the effects would be downright comical.

So either you don't care about the intricacies of social interplay, or you would have to rewrite a substantial part of the story. Taking overhead for scripting into account it would probably be less work to write a different story. And, that is perhaps the best solution. Just make one story that fits for a certain gender and orientation and then perhaps a separate one for something else.

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago
The reason we generally say not to bother is that no one finds a generic pronoun swap all that interesting. It would 'add to the experience' if it changed character interactions or the plot in some interesting way, but I'd rather have a set protagonist and a more immersive plot with character development and depth than one where everything was kept generic instead so that it would be easy to swap a few minor details around.

And I actually really detest the CoG standard of switching out the parts and sexuality of important NPCs just to cater to player fantasy, it makes them go from proper characters to faceless agender mannequins.

Cyberpunk essentials?

3 months ago

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the protag being a faceless agender mannequin in a cyberpunk setting.