Archive for March, 2010

Cyberpunk Hard Drive

March 31, 2010

Came across a cool idea in an article to create a physical object hard drive as a means of distributing a cyberpunk game.

A couple of the suggested points (to give you a sense of where this is heading):

  • Distribute a retro cyberpunk RPG this way.
  • You’d get an artist to gussy up the hard drive to look like some menacing bit of futuristic technology according to 80s design aesthetics. I’m thinking of early Walkmans with chunky, battered chrome, maybe with an LED readout — actually, especially with an LED readout. I’d probably keep some of the drive’s steel around just because hard drives look agelessly rugged and cool by themselves.
  • The game would be written in a user-editable web format (maybe an offline WordPress installation and crosslinked wiki) with the option to print a version or see it in PDF.
  • It would only be available via hard drive — maybe in cheap old 6GB drives (I was looking through my old Quantum 6GB drive from 1998 when the idea hit me, and looked them up – 5 bucks each on EBay for good ones, 99 cents for maybe-dodgy ones).

I think this very much comes out of a steampunk sensibility, and has a similar retro quality about it (now given cyberpunk’s vintage), and there’s a real appeal to the idea of a boutique kind of object as a container with which the game could be played.

To my mind, the biggest problem behind doing something like this would be to make it Win/Mac/Linux cross-compatible so that the user experience could be fairly consistent.