Cyberpunk 2077 composer Marcin Przybyłowicz Talks About Designing Atmosphere with Sound

October 1, 2018Written by Gerard Howard III

cyberpunk 2077 art

In a recent interview with Gamer Professionals, Cyberpunk 2077’s composer Marcin Przybyłowicz opened up about the task of making a hyper-futuristic world come alive. Pryzbyłowicz begins by talking about his humble beginnings, which was scoring Zoo Vet: Endangered Animals, which released in 2008. Five years ahead of that he went on to score the incredibly poignant and atmospheric soundtrack for Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Now, a decade later, he talks about what it means to approach such parallels in a genre.

The video game as a medium is really, it’s kind of the same as a T.V. series, or a motion picture, or a theatrical play, for example. It needs to have a custom approach with the music, a custom approach with the sound. Like with directing set decorations, characters, narration, all the other stuff. If we talk about The Witcher, obviously the source of inspiration would be totally different than with Cyberpunk 2077, or with any other project I did.

Pryzbyłowicz even talks about his three favourite games: DOOM, Heretic, and Baldur’s Gate. That love of industrial sci-fi and hardcore RPG game types provides ample assurance that Cyberpunk 2077’s soundtrack is in hands that will no doubt respect the genre.

There will be a heavier focus on source music this time around because of the game’s futuristic setting. Various devices, clubs, and media outlets will need to have their own distinct sounds to help shape the world accordingly, whereas The Witcher 3 was somewhat limited by the setting’s lack of technology.

So, in terms of source music you could have a band of bards, for example, in Novigrad playing some catchy tunes, but apart from that, that was basically it. You couldn’t go beyond that because it wouldn’t sit well in the world. It wouldn’t be believable. People wouldn’t buy it as a part of the background for Geralt’s story. With Cyberpunk, things are completely different because the world itself allows us to go crazy with placing specific musical cues in the world and treat them as part of the audio layer in the world. So, for example, that’s a very big change for us.

Fans of CD Projekt Red who are expecting a Blade Runner type of experience will have other surprises within the game’s score. Przybyłowicz says he doesn’t want his sounds to only be reminiscent of the dreary detective hold up in a bar drinking himself silly with bourbon.

We are trying to show that cyberpunk doesn’t have to always be all about a rainy night and depression, that at least is how I understand cyberpunk. Also, having experience playing Cyberpunk 2020 in high school, I think this game is all about the attitude in terms of atmosphere. So, I am trying to reintroduce punk with the music to our project. It doesn’t mean we would have Sex Pistols playing all the time, for example, in-game because it’s still supposed to be 2077. But what I am trying to nail down is this atmosphere of having both, basically.

What are your thoughts on the famed composer going from one of the most successful fantasy RPG’s to a highly anticipated Sci-fi? Let us know in the comments!

[Source: Gamer Professionals]