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Phantom Liberty game director says Cyberpunk 2077 sequel development is in a “fun phase”

Gabe Amatangelo, game director of the Phantom Liberty DLC for Cyberpunk 2077, in his speech at the 2024 DICE Summit game developers conference, explained how the CD Projekt Red team was able to achieve such a monumental task of rehabilitating the game after its disastrous start in 2020.

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Amatangelo elaborated on the hardest part: how to encourage a frustrated team to believe that fixing the situation is possible.

 

After the launch of Cyberpunk 2077, it seemed like everyone knew about the failure: the girl at the local coffee shop, the landlord, and everyone else. The feeling of failure was almost inevitable. This left Amatangelo with the critical task of restoring the team’s internal morale.

 

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He started by focusing on the positive, encouraging the team to celebrate the elements of the release that went well. He worked to build trust so that developers who needed help felt they could ask for it.

 

Amatangelo and his team came up with several key drivers that would ensure the success of the DLC development. These included the distribution of decision-making powers, integration and expansion of QA capabilities, and their close interaction with the rest of the team in the early stages of development. And of course, setting aside time for the developers to actually play the game a lot.

 

In a conversation with IGN , Amatangelo cited a number of insights that he carries over to the new game. He emphasizes the importance of contingency planning and the need to share backup plans both up and down the chain of command.

 

Speaking about creating a new game during the current challenging times for the industry, Amatangelo expressed hope that the sector will bounce back, perhaps learning important lessons about planning in the process.

 

As for the new Cyberpunk project, codenamed Project Orion, Amatangelo says that the “fun phase” of the game’s development is currently underway – idea generation, concept art, prototyping. He doesn’t reveal details yet, but shares an optimistic view of using AI to solve routine problems, freeing up developers for creativity.

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