General Cyberpunk Research

Task 2.1

Collect a range of general primary and secondary research focused around your chosen profession to identify sources to help with idea generation for your Cyberpunk themed project.

a. Mind maps.

I feel like I can come up with more ideas when I write a list of words instead of a mind map, since I can just write down lots of different things and not worry about them linking to each other, but of course linking to the main theme of Cyberpunk.

20191117_202302I decided to do a list of words which I can think of which relate to Cyberpunk, I really like some of the words on here since they help me think of some really cool stuff I could have in my game, but some of these words on here also helped me come up with ideas of more stuff, like Vaporwave helping me think of Outrun and light trails and grid lines.

b. Mood boards.

From my list of words I’ve picked out 7 words which interest me, I then made moodboards on Pinterest with these words so I can get an idea for what I want in my game.


I feel like in these vaporwave mostly gravitates towards lighter colors and often flirts with pastel color palettes, the opposite of Outrun, these feature lots of white tones sometimes black, pink tones, blue tones and purple tones, and these tones tend to be very highly saturated and neon.

Vaporwave has a very 90’s feel to it, since in most photo edits, the fonts and styles are usually based on simple early computer graphics and technology, and vaporwave sometimes have japanese text in it too, this is because, with vaporwave it’s supposed to feel nostalgic, and sometimes, on the vaporwave photo edits, you will have quotes written out, and in a lot of vaporwave pictures there is statues in them.

This Vaporwave board would help me during my research and development of my game since it would give me an idea on what colours to go for when developing my game, and it would also give me an idea on the atmosphere and what sort of models I could include in the scene.

The pros of using something like this in my game is that it would be fun to implement it in, and it would be great fun to pick out the colours, I’m sure something very impressive looking could be made out of using this as a style theme for my game, it would also pique the interest of Vaporwave fans, since there isn’t too many vaporwave style games out there.

The cons of working with this theme is that it has a very specific colour pallet, if I were to stray from it even slightly, it wouldn’t look vapourwave anymore, which means I can’t have many very detailed 3D models, and I would most likely have to make my game have very basic 3D models which I would have to make which are very low poly so I can fit it into the theme of my game, this would take up production time unlike my last project which was Western, I feel like this topic is very colour-restrictive.


Outrun (Synthwave) is pretty much the complete opposite of Vaporwave, but sticks to the same neon-bright-colours theme which is in cyberpunk, outruns tend to favor a darker color palette, another difference between Vaporwave and Outrun is that Outrun has clearer colours, unlike Vaporwave, which has much softer colours.

In outrun, there tends to be a lot more technology, even though Vaporwave’s aesthetic is based off of 90’s computer graphics, Outrun has more cars, and everything feels more Cyberpunk in the Outrun theme, and Blade Runner has a very Outrun feel to it, which gives you a better idea of what the difference between Outrun and Vaporwave is. I also feel like Outrun is aimed more towards 80’s technology, which I feel is a very fun topic to make a game based on.

There’s a game which I like called Thumper, which has an Outrun style to it, with a dark black background and bright neon lights, this was mainly my inspiration along with a PS2 game called Rez these games both use very Cyberpunk outrun colours and they feel amazing to run, this has inspired me to make a game similar to the style of these two.
I’ll use this research to help me come up with colour ideas which I can use for my game and to help me figure out what I want to put in my game, like what shapes and what models.

The pros of working with this theme is that I know a lot reference material I can use to make my game very Outrun style, and it’s a very fun theme to work with, I really prefer the darker tones of Outrun in comparison to the lighter tones of Vaporwave, another reason why I think Outrun is a very good theme is that it has

Captain Says (2019) – Amy Elliott 😀

a lot of technology in it, which is very related to Cyberpunk, and in Outrun there is more grids in it then in Vaporwave, and I personally love having grids in my games since it reminds me of the tutorial section of one of my games I’ve made a few months back, and I love this tutorial section of the game. 
The reason why I love it so much is that it gives a very 90’s computer vibe to the game and I absolutely love this vibe, and I made my Captain Says tutorial section without even knowing what Vaporwave and Outrun is.

The cons of working with this theme are exactly the same as the cons with working with Vaporwave – Outrun has a very specific colour pallet, so I can’t stray from it, and my game would have to stay with very basic 3D models, which in my opinion is a good thing, since I don’t want 3D modelling taking up all my time.

The Difference Between Vaporwave and Outrun (2019) – Pinkas

To help me understand both of the Vaporwave and Outrun (Synthwave) I found a video on youtube and a blog which delved into detail about both of these themes.



I love the movie Akira, I think it’s an amazing movie and it’s changed the movie

Akira (1988) – Katsuhiro Otomo

industry a great amount from it’s release, and Akira has a very Cyberpunk/Sci-Fi feel to it, but unlike my other Cyberpunk research, Akira has a much darker colour pallet, although the city is bright and colourful, there isn’t an awful lot of stylish-neon lights, but it has everything else which Cyberpunk has, like the motorbikes with the trail lighting, and the freakish technology, the whole movie set in a neo-tokyo, which is a bright technology-advanced version of tokyo, after the original tokyo was all destroyed due to a large explosion which lead to WW3.
This blog is good and short for understanding the movie and why I feel like it really relates to the theme.

The atmosphere of the movie is very dark, with a very dark story running through it, the characters are lively, and brutal, and there are a whole pallet of different characters.
The city, Neo-Tokyo is a complete contrast to Old-Tokyo seen in the movie, with old tokyo being destroyed, full of trash and a complete slum and Neo-Tokyo being bright, colourful, fun with happy people walking around. 

This research can really help me come up with a darker, grittier colour pallet for my game if I were going to have a destroyed city and a new, technology advanced city, this research will also help me come up with ideas on how I want to build the area for my game and how I want everything to be laid out, and another way it could help me is that I feel like Akira was shot really beautifully, with many perspective shots at many different angles to help convey different emotions, I could use all the film-tricks used in this movie to help me come up with a game which is presented more beautifully. 

The pros of using this research is that there is a lot of pictures on google of Akira, and it’s a very well known movie, so of course, I can get all the screenshots I need to help me develop concepts and finished pieces of art for my game, another reason why using this is so good is that it has a very interesting story, and I can make a game which is inspired by the story, or inspired by the technology used in the movie, of course I wouldn’t copy it but I would take inspiration from the movie and make my own concepts.

The cons of this is that there is so many colours on the screen  at the same time that it would be hard to pick out a colour pallet with only a few colours with a huge screenshot full of colours.


This is another aesthetic theme similar to Vaporwave and Outrun, but this theme is based off of computers and technology, most of the photos in here are purely photo edits, in them there is darker colours, very similar to the colour pallet you would use for Outrun, but with reds and blues unlike outrun with purples, pinks and blues.
The reason I feel like this colour pallet is more toward reds and blues is in photo editing, you can make images 3D using Chromatic Aberration, but Chromatic Aberration also appears when people simulate what they think a glitched computer graphic looks like. 
There’s a lot of floating heads and statues used in Cyberspace, so it’s similar to Vaporwave in that perspective.

I could use this research to help me figure out how I want my game to look, with the help of using the theme outrun too, I could combine these and come up with an amazing colour pallet which I can use in the game and then I can take reference from this pinterest board for things I could have floating around in the background, I think it would be real cool to have a statue just chilling around.
I also think it would be cool to make use of Chromatic Aberration, because I just love using it, and I would love to put glitches into the game as well.

The pros of this theme is I can make a really cool looking game using these references, and similar to the vaporwave and outrun theme, I could make my game look really nice and polished by only using the limited but bright colour pallet.

The cons of this theme is the limited photos I could find on google, since there isn’t too much under this title, but I feel like it’s too similar to Outrun, so I can just combine this theme and outrun if I ever need reference for Cyberspace

Light Trails

Similarly in my Akira moodboard, I described how light trails are used a lot, and that gives a movie, or a theme a very cyber-punk feel to it, also like in my Outrun theme, there is typically a lot of cars with light trails, these light trails tend to be very bright neon colours since, well, they’re light.
In these pictured they’re red or white light trails, that means that these were taken from a road and the light trails were from cars, which have red and white lights on the back, and if they’re any other colour, they tend to be made by a person with a coloured light.
I done some photography work at my previous school on how to make light trails, and I found it a lot of fun to make for photography and I feel like it looks very appeasing as well, if it’s in the game it would draw the player in since they could be driving, or flying or running around and they could produce a light trail, this is similar to planes when they create a vapor trail, it shows direction and speed.

I may use this research to help me put light trails onto my player character when I begin production of my game, it could help me make my light trail look realistic and fascinating, it could also help me achieve the colour I want.

The pros of using this research is that there is many photos of light trails out on google which are both in real life photography light trails and there is also many games which have light trails on the character, this is a very good way to indicate movement which in turn makes the player more intrigued in the game.

The cons of this research is I feel I don’t have too many pictures of light trails in games in this mood board.

Here are some extra mood boards I’ve made:

c. Screen shots/images from a selection of sources.


d. Practitioners work.

2.3 – Produce a Bibliography