The Gatekeepers and the entrance

Getting inside the club is the first major goal of CyberFunk. This is not the most difficult of feats, but it needs to have enough challenge to feel like an accomplishment. One of the major elements in your way are, like any club, the bouncers. These guys are often tough, but mostly they’re just imposing. However, this is a setting where augmentations and body enhancements are commonplace, so being able to contend with the mechanical equivalent of juiced up testosterone junkies isn’t just a necessity, it’s the difference between going home or to the hospital at the end of the night. So they needed to seem like a proper obstruction, and especially so to four musicians.

With them I wanted their combat to show that the CyberFunkers didn’t fight with brawn but with instinct and smarts, and their capabilities and instruments allowed them to overcome pure force. On the flip side, most of their defeats are from getting overconfident, since hubris is definitely an issue with our ‘funksters with attitude’, so I liked that it would be both their greatest asset and curse.

While fighting them was definitely a possibility, I wanted to make sure you could beat them in other ways, preferably comical ones. Through these I tried to make sure that these big brutes aren’t necessarily bad guys, they’re just two dudes doing their job. They also aren’t all the bright, and Cat Daddy can run rings around them if she pleases, but whatever choice you make I wanted to make sure they were in no way a cardboard cut out standing between the player and the entrance. Despite the fact that they were simply gatekeepers to the next scene, I wanted them to be people you could empathise with, laugh at, pity, and scorn.

Once you do get in, the last gatekeeper is the girl who is ever present at the bigger clubs of reality – the hand stamper. She appears even if you go around the back, not because she’s stationed there but because she is just -that zealous about her job-. An overlap between Cyberpunk and reality that I find under utilised is the idea that in the post-industrial future getting a good, well paying job simply isn’t possible anymore. Getting a job -at all- is a serious accomplishment, and if you mess up there’s a thousand people outside waiting to take your place. So she doesn’t sit there and passively stamp hands, she makes damn well sure everyone in the club is stamped! As jobs become scarce, the rat race only gets stronger. Coupling this idea with saving your game was, at first, simply convenience. But when editing, I realised that that little stamp, a minor detail that a players mind (and Cat Daddy’s) would gloss over, would in fact be the means to saving all along. The call back to it if you’re defeated pre-D-Kline was a personal favourite detail of mine, look out for it!

Next up let’s take a look at D-Kline’s fans!

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