Cyberpunk's Night City Is Based On A Screwed-Up SimCity

Image: CD Projekt

Before you could jump online and generate resources for your pen-and-paper RPG at the press of a button, you had to make do with what you had. For Cyberpunk 2020 creator Mike Pondsmith, he decided SimCity was the right tool to help him visualise the RPG's infamous Night City. And it worked — all he had to do was play the game as poorly as possible.

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Pondsmith revealed this neat titbit to VG247's Matt Martin during PAX West:

“I did it on the Apple II and I said ‘how badly can I screw this thing up?'” he said ... “Night City evolved because I wanted to have a city where people who didn’t know anything about Cyberpunk could really grasp what the world was like. It’s 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. It is also fairly well researched,” said Pondsmith.

He goes on to say that the "early versions" were cooked up in SimCity, with the intention of making it "the most difficult place to travel around".

It's actually quite brilliant, when you think about it. Prototyping different layouts — ones that have some basis in reality — would be way easier than doing it by hand, and you'd be free to save various revisions and test theories.

I guess it's only a matter of time now before someone cooks a replica up in Cities: Skylines.

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Cyberpunk’s original Night City was prototyped in Sim City [VG247]


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