NPCs won't refer to you by gender in Cyberpunk 2077

mongeese

TS Addict
Staff member

At a recent interview with VGC, CDPR level designer Max Pairs described their goals with representation, and how they want to meet them. “In the genre of Cyberpunk as well, it asks such deep questions about what it means to be human, let alone what it means to define your gender. Having that customization match how you feel is your representation of how you feel… it’s important for us and it’s important to the lore of this world, too.”

For starters, NPCs won’t engage with your character’s gender, so if your V isn’t someone the developers anticipated when writing the scripts, you’ll still have the freedom to play like that. “One of the things we’ve done to make sure the game addresses things a certain way is a lot of the time NPCs are just going to refer to you as ‘V’, because you won’t be able to choose your name. That way it helps people know that it’s their character that’s being spoken to and also however you’ve envisioned your V, that’s still your V.”

“That’s been our focus: your version of V is your version as the player and that’s how you will be addressed in the game,” he concluded. It’s a small detail but a significant one, as romance can be a significant part of the story of the player chooses. That includes non-straight relationships, too.

Tragically, however, there’s no getting frisky with Keanu Reeves, who plays Johnny Silverhand. “Keanu plays a crucial role in the game, but as for the option to romance him, I don’t believe you can,” Pairs said. I know, I’m just as disappointed as you must be.

In case you missed it, senior concept artist Marthe Jonkers explained the choices players get to make in an interview with Metro UK late last month. “For instance, you don’t choose your gender anymore. You don’t choose, ‘I want to be a female or male character’ you now choose a body type. Because we want you to feel free to create any character you want.” Genitalia is based on body type, which, if you play a certain way, you might see on screen.

“So you choose your body type and we have two voices, one that’s male-sounding, one is female sounding. You can mix and match. You can just connect them anyway you want. And then we have a lot of extra skin tones and tattoos and hairstyles. So we really want to give people the freedom to make their own character and play the way they want to play.”

CD Projekt Red’s decision is certainly a bold one, as developers usually shy away from such moves given the toxicity of some gamers. But ultimately, creating a game designed for every player to connect with should be the goal of every studio, and CD Projekt Red are doing a fine job.

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m4a4

TS Evangelist
Heh, just sounds like they're capitalizing on a convenient bit of lazy writing; not needing to record or code for both genders.
And they also can say "look! We're being LGBT friendly too!" to get those browny points from those outspoken people who wouldn't buy the game anyways...
 

Hardware Geek

TS Addict
Heh, just sounds like they're capitalizing on a convenient bit of lazy writing; not needing to record or code for both genders.
I agree with you here.

And they also can say "look! We're being LGBT friendly too!" to get those browny points from those outspoken people who wouldn't buy the game anyways...
So why was this necessary? It's insulting and presumptuous. Is it somehow a bad thing to be inclusive when designing a game? I don't see how it takes away from the experience, but I don't think that's what was happening here, I think they were just being lazy.
 
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bluetooth fairy

TS Booster
They shouldn't let it go too far, or it may ruin the atmosphere of their own game. I mean just remember a typical mod, it usually plays around gender, sexuality and such. It's fine for a multiplayer game, though. They don't want to make a joke out of the singleplayer campaign, do they?
 

bluetooth fairy

TS Booster
Maybe they should just give the option XX or XY as you can't change that lol.
Good point for a dispute, but no one will argue against their genetic gender. In fact CDPR speaks about feelings, because it will matter during gaming later. If we apply your approach, it may sound like "how do you feel, r u xx or xy?", that's really lol.
 
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m4a4

TS Evangelist
So why was this necessary? It's insulting and presumptuous. Is it somehow a bad thing to be inclusive when designing a game? I don't see how it takes away from the experience, but I don't think that's what was happening here, I think they were just being lazy.
It sounds like they're pandering (caving) to the wrong crowd. And being a bit loud about it.

And it does take away some from the experience as they've generalized gender (the story can't be as personal). You always lose something when you dumb things down (remember that they didn't add a "no-gender" option, but removed all gender)...

But don't get me wrong, it is a better setting to do so, I just am not a fan of the general pandering that has been happening lately in media. Tip-toeing around certain groups that don't represent your consumer base.
I just want to hear about the mechanics and such, not the media focus on how exclusive they say they are.
 
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Yeah, this nonsense just "broke" the game for me. I won't waste time with a game or company that panders wholesale to fictional, Langley-induced agendas designed solely to confuse, annoy, and depress people.

I mean I've never played any of their other games either but now I have zero reason to try one. I'll stick to Deus Ex, Perfect Dark, and other sci-fi games that don't suck outright and don't buckle and cave under fake social pressure from fake people.
 

Dawge

TS Rookie
So why was this necessary? It's insulting and presumptuous. Is it somehow a bad thing to be inclusive when designing a game? I don't see how it takes away from the experience, but I don't think that's what was happening here, I think they were just being lazy.
It sounds like they're pandering (caving) to the wrong crowd. And being a bit loud about it.

And it does take away some from the experience as they've generalized gender (the story can't be as personal). You always lose something when you dumb things down (remember that they didn't add a "no-gender" option, but removed all gender)...

But don't get me wrong, it is a better setting to do so, I just am not a fan of the general pandering that has been happening lately in media. Tip-toeing around certain groups that don't represent your consumer base.
I just want to hear about the mechanics and such, not the media focus on how exclusive they say they are.
I think it has more to do with wanting to publicize their game by giving voice to a small minority of criticism and touching on sensitive and controversial topics. People on Twitter yap about anything and everything, it doesn't matter unless it's highlighted upon by the target. This is all a deliberate publicity stunt by journalists for a story or CDPR for attention. Pretty sure being called V was always implemented to prevent having to record both gender variations.
 
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