Cyber City 2157
Cyber City 2157 is a visual novel game tells about an adventure story of discovering space and future city in other planets. This game was created by Harotobira, a Japanese game designer who’s been focus on game programming for more than 5 years.
“2157 far enough and at the same time close to our time. It was very comfortable to create exactly the universe which partially came into the game.” (Harotobira, 2016)
Harotobira consider to set up the timeline of the game in the specific year 2157, which showed he did researches of the possibility that how future world would be like.
When playing this game, many players showed positive feedbacks for the mystical background music and unique frames. In fact, Harotobira also did many researches about other movies and pictures of space.
“Because the game is product of postmodernism, most scenes are direct or indirect quotations from different works.” (Harotobira, 2016)
In this game, scenes were created as late 90’s Nintendo game. According to what Harotobira said, scenes of different cities in this game were referenced to some citys all around the world, and they were created with postmodernism style. It is wonderful that postmodernism could be an main theme of future cities. To also balance the different frames of the game, Haratobira also made some renders and make the game looks some kind of cartoon but also brings the feeling of space that bridge the game between the adventure of future cities and the adventure of the space:
“The main visual goal for me was to show how similar cities in different countries. All original images taken from photographs of the different cities, but weaving in the game, they become inseparable.” (Harotobira, 2016)
Thus, in the game Cyber City 2157, there are some scenes that Haratobira would like to use to express his idea:
Although many parts of those cities in the game showed low resolution pixels, they were more powerful to bring players deep impressions and thoughts. Haratobira thought in the future, cities will have evolution that they become similar, no matter about countries. This interesting idea is also the main theme of this game.
For the visual part of Cyber City 2157, most scenes are static. However, as a visual novel game, Haratobira made an interesting story line which made player follow each step to finally reach the final part. The origin story is long. However, with multiple interesting visual renders, players would like to keep a detective mind to keep discovering the game.
For the artist Harotobira’s artistic chase, he said:
“Honestly, sales of the game have not reached the values that we expected. The primary goal for me was to create a project for my portfolio. In the game I did everything but the translation into English. But probably not be discouraged because of the first failure in any work.” (Harotobira, 2016)
He thought this first game art is failed because of the low sales volumes. However, he did great job of the inner design of the game Cyber City 2157. Also, Harotobira have confidence to try hard on other games he’ll make.
To consider the cultural importance, Cyber City 2157 is a kind of new game art that showed as visual novel for player to enjoy a new kind of adventure. The postmodernism style constructions inside the game with low pixel renders made the game retro while interesting. It could also be a kind of visual art because of its unique scenes and renders.
To sum up, Cyber City 2157 is a game that showed the theme of postmodernism in the year of 2157. The story content contains multiple parts of space adventure and future city discovering. The special renders made the whole game unique. To consider these three parts, Cyber City 2157 is a new kind of game art, and also as the cultural importance that Cyber City 2157 brings us.
Harotobira, “Cyber City 2157” Interview by Zhicheng Yang. May 22, 2016