One of the darkest corners of my wheelhouse is the point where architecture and video games meet, so it’s great getting the chance — like I did today — to read some thoughts on the subject from someone who architecturally knows what they’re talking about.
In a piece for The Architect’s Newspaper, Extra Office’s Ryan Scavnicky has written a great piece called “Cyberpunk 2077 is an architecture critique with nothing to say”, examining the way the game’s buildings don’t just reflect a dystopian and chaotic future, but Cyberpunk’s own development issues as well.
Staff at Cyberpunk 2077 studio CD Projekt Red asked tough questions of their leadership at an all-hands video meeting on Thursday, including about mandatory overtime and far-fetched production goals, according to a new report by Bloomberg.Read more
My own initial impressions of the game’s architecture were jarring, in that the game felt less like a living city and more like an elaborate diorama made up entirely of homages, but Scavnicky is able to dig a lot deeper than that, finding issues with both the game’s architectural efforts and the sloppy way so much of it was hurriedly applied to the game world:
Among the various design disciplines in Cyberpunk, advertising, automotive, and transhumanist fashion are paid a lot more attention than architecture.
This resulted in a disappointing confrontation at the Konpeki Plaza Hotel. Introduced as a premier waterfront hotel in Night City owned by the monolithic Arasaka Corporation, the hotel is an antagonist in and of itself during a significant mission in the early storyline. Yet, it looks like a 3D model purchased on Fiverr. The hotel sports a poorly supported trellis structure out front which ends up making an appearance inside of the rooms themselves as a floating ceiling crowned by a single uncomfortable can light. The lobby is organised around a strong linear demarcation on the floor which moves toward the rear of the space and goes up the wall and out a window. Yet to my dismay, the continuity of this most important line in the building is ignored as it turns up the wall — the panels are incompetently misaligned.
You can, and if you’re into this kind of stuff at all probably should, read the piece here.