Cyberpunk 2077 is easily one of 2020’s most anticipated games, and on the 10th December 2020 gamers around the world finally were able to travel to Night City, an awesome new world developed by CD Projekt Red.
The game instantly had everyone talking, after years of excitement and speculation on what the next entry into CDPR’s game portfolio would be like. Last week, the world finally got the start of their answer to that.
Yet, what most people likely do not know, is that a Maltese man from Attard formed part of the Cyberpunk 2077 team – his name is David Chircop.
Lovin Malta reached out to Chircop after a status he posted about his involvement with the Cyberpunk 2077 development garnered attention on Facebook. Speaking to Lovin Malta, Chircop went further into detail about his exact involvement on the project explaining that, as part of the Encounter Team of Cyberpunk, they acted as “the connection between the quest team and the level design team.”
“We were going into detail into the moment-to-moment action, designing different pathways of how a set-piece can be completed, where and which enemies spawn, designing stealth pathways, enemy patrols [and] flow of battle.” Chircop explained, noting that the Encounter Team also assisted in working on boss fights and general combat throughout the game.
This included assisting other Cyberpunk development teams in aspects such as working on “open street stories as well as RPG perks related to combat, loot across the world et cetera.”
When asked about how the world of Cyberpunk compared to the world of the Witcher trilogy that CDPR became a beloved and international sensation over, Chircop explained that “There is quite a big difference in the type of world. In The Witcher, there was a lot of empty space, meant for travelling and scenery.”
“Night City needs to feel like a living breathing city. So, everything is a lot denser. Of course, the Open World team had a much tougher job on their hands this time and I think they handled it excellently.”
Asked whether the Cyberpunk Team felt the pressure to live up to the hype and quality expectations that fans looked for in CDPR’s work Chircop, who joined the company in 2016, that whilst there was a feeling of pressure – for him at least it felt like a “standing on the shoulders of giants” kind of situation.
He went on to explain that the many of the people behind CDPR’s acclaimed Witcher: Wild Hunt game were also involved with the development of Cyberpunk.
“There was a lot of experience gained from that project carried over to Cyberpunk” Chircop explained, “Sure, many challenges were different, but the experience was there.”
Chircop joined CDPR around the time that the last expansion of the Witcher: Wild Hunt came out (Blood and Wine in 2016), Chircop was able to reflect on the shift that was noticeable.
Having previously also worked on other CDPR titles Gwent: The Witcher Card Game and Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, he was able to confirm “total confidence in [the] ability to ship the game” despite the large scale that the game was being released on.
Interestingly, Chircop explained that he joined the company when coming from a board game background and began with the development team making Gwent. He described the project as one “that really made use of my skills and it was a good fit.”
When asked why CDPR was the company he chose to apply for, the Attard-native explained his love of The Witcher franchise as well as a desire to move to Warsaw at the time and so, his plans and dreams were able to all come together.
Noting the sheer scale of Cyberpunk 2077’s release and what it means for CDPR, Chircop reflected on the highlights of working for one of Europe’s leading game developers. For him, the biggest highlights always counted as the releases of games he has worked on.
“After toiling away for a long while, releasing something to the public and seeing the response is a massive reward that makes all the work worth it.” He said, noting that due to the size of these types of projects, outside response was impossible for several years during the development phase.
Yet, it is Chircop’s hope that Cyberpunk 2077 is able to become “a landmark game” as more of its content is released in the coming months and years.
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