CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3 has influenced a number of open-world games, such as Horizon: Zero Dawn and Assassin’s Creed: Origins, with regards to quest design, and for good reason. Each side quest in the game, regardless of how simplistic the story appears at first glance, is greatly entertaining thanks to good writing, complete with a few plot twists and multiple choice-based consequences. CD Projekt Red is adding more layers to their quest design prowess with their upcoming first-person perspective (FPP) RPG Cyberpunk 2077 by adapting how the story unfolds based on which quests you finish first.
Similar to The Witcher 3’s content-packed expansions Heart of Stone and Blood and Wine, Cyberpunk 2077 will have some instances where players can complete quests in varying orders. Additionally, Cyberpunk 2077 will also adapt to the various paths you take in the story, quest designer Patrick Mills told Gamasutra in an interview. To better illustrate this concept, Mills used their behind closed doors demo at E3 as an example. Here, players could either go straight to an appointment with a crime lord or a cybernetic augmentations doctor:
“Those scenes pretty much play out more or less the same, but there are little bits of reaction, little bits of differences, even something as simple as that, you want to make sure they reference once another,” said Mills.
Mills also detailed their development principle for Cyberpunk 2077, which involves proper team facilitation and recognition of job roles for designing the level, story and other elements in a quest. “This is the first place I’ve ever had this specific breakdown of responsibilities. It’s how we make our quests, by having dedicated quest designers who are, in essence, directors of the many individual stories that a story is made up of.”
Aside from story beats, quest design is also more complex this time around due to the three character classes available: Solo, Techie, and Netrunner. Potentially, this element alone means a quest can go in three different ways.
Cyberpunk 2077 will launch in the near future for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. CD Projekt Red has yet to give a specific release date, but promises to make the announcement and open pre-orders “when it’s ready.”