July 06, 2023

Neural Eclispe: The Game That Will Never Be

I've wanted to make video games since I was a little kid, so have many men I expect. I often felt I lacked the artistic skill to create game assets, but I love imagining the worlds that could be and the stories I could tell in them. Like many people, I love starting projects I never intend to finish. So instead of starting this project I'll get it out of my system by writing about it.

The game is called Neural Eclipse.

And while I'm still not a good artist, Midjourney killed it with some concept art for me.

To play with the idea a bit more let's explore some game mechanics and story ideas. The mechanics and feel would be inspired by Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, mimicing A top-down 2D pixel art open world RPG, but the style will be inspired by cyberpunk. The gameplay will involve a turn-based fighting system. I don't want a simulacrum to the Pokémon monsters so we will need to introduce some alternative mechanic to replace them, perhaps equipment though that's not as endearing. We can come back to this.


The Main Character's Awakening: The player wakes up in a grimy cybernetic clinic with no memory, a common starting point in a cyberpunk narrative, but with the twist that they possess a unique and powerful cybernetic modification of unknown origin.

The Rising Power: A mega corporation is consolidating power in the city, using aggressive methods to suppress other factions and control the populace. They have a keen interest in the player's unique modification.

The cybernetic clinicView of the city

The Resistance: The player encounters a group of rebels opposing the corpos. They offer the player shelter, and an alliance begins to form.

The Betrayal: The Resistance has a mole who sells out the player to the mega corporation.

The Final Stand: The player, despite betrayal, leads a counter-attack against the mega corporation, aiming to topple it once and for all.

Alternate plot: For added interest the play could choose to join the corpos after they're betrayed and fight against the resistance in the final stand.

Character Development

The player character should have an upgrade path that's aligned with their own decisions. Then, depending on the player's choices, they could become a formidable combatant, a skilled hacker, or a charismatic leader. I don't like the eiter/or nature of a lot of RPG skill systems, if they player wants to master them all they should be able to. So balance to make sure they don't become too OP is important. Maybe it's not, maybe we should let the player become OP if they train hard enough.

The Resistance group members should have their own personalities, backstories, and side quests. Through side quests, players can strengthen their bonds and learn more about the characters, and potentially unlock unique abilities or mods. Those relationships will play heavily into the character's decisions. I think some of them should be aggressive, a few characters the player will love and a few they will genuinely dislike.

The mega corporation's leaders should be more than one-dimensional villains. The player should have opportunities to build relationships with them just like the resistance. They should have clear, understandable motivations for their actions, making players question the morality of their cause. It should be compelling when the betrayal happens, that the player genuinely feels torn between staying with the resistance and switching to the corpos. Perhaps a romantic interest is important here.

Gameplay mechanics

Cybernetic Modifications: Replacing the Pokémon mechanic, players could collect, upgrade, and customize some cybernetic modifications to enhance character ability. They could range from enhanced strength to hacking abilities, infrared vision, etc. Then their abilities in battle will reflect their modifications.

Hacking: Introduce hacking as a central mechanic. This could be used in combat to disable enemy tech, or in the world to bypass security systems and access new areas. Different tiers of hacking modifications will enable deeper control over enemy tech and higher security systems. I'd love it if the mechanics were similar to actual capture the flag exercises. Teach players some actual skills along the way.

Open World Exploration: The game will have an open world where players can explore different cityscapes, undergrounds, and cyberspace. Players could encounter different factions, hidden areas, and secret quests in the process. Nothing too different from typical RPG's here.


Nyx, A savy street rebel: Former gang member with an inside knowledge of city's underworld. Fierce and quick-witted, Nyx could provide side quests related to crippling other gangs or turning them against the Corpos. Nyx could also help the player navigate the urban labyrinth. Early friend. Could be sacrificed/die early on to drive the player's emotions

Dr. Asakura, The Cautious Cybernetics Expert: Once a lead scientist at the Corpos, Asakura defected due to moral objections. Now working with the Resistance, he assists the player with cybernetic modifications. His story could revolve around redemption and the ethical implications of his work. While most cybernetic modders in cyberpunk are arggressive and careless, Dr. Asakura is kind, more like a father figure and very deliberate in his modificaitons.


Rakket, An Enigmatic Hacker: An elite hacker known only by their code name, Rakket is a powerful ally in cyber warfare against the Corpos. The player could help Raiden dismantle Corpos's digital defenses, and in turn, learn more about the nature of cyberspace and its influence over the physical world.

Nova: an operative working directly under the Corpos CEO. A high-flyer with a reputation for getting the job done, she is initially a rival to the player. As the plot progresses, she begins to question the corporation's motives and her role in their grand scheme. A key player in the betrayal.

Side Story: The Cult of the Dyson Sphere

Cult of the Sphere: The Dyson Sphere is a concept latched onto by a group of disillusioned individuals in the city who dream of a utopia away from the Corpos' control. They view the Dyson Sphere as a promised land, a paradise beyond the stars where humanity can begin anew. The cult's influence permeates throughout the city. The player comes across the cult during their exploration. They witness the cult's charismatic leaders indoctrinating more people, including some friends in the Resistance. This sets off a chain of side quests where the player must expose the cult's deception or lose allies. The player could infiltrate the cult's ranks, climbing the hierarchy to learn more about their true intentions. This provides gameplay variety, as the player needs to complete various tasks to earn trust within the cult.

Final thoughts

I think there's a lot of fun dynamics that could be added here. Racing, LLM dialog/character development, side-quests, cybernetic upgrade system etc. Along with personal modifications, players could also find, repair, and upgrade robotic companions (possibly AI-controlled) for combat assistance, hacking support, or exploration. The player could develop relationships with companions through dialogue options and shared experiences. The bond with companions could affect their combat efficiency, willingness to follow the player into dangerous situations, and could unlock unique companion quests.

Anyway, I've got too many other interesting side projects to work on, so please someone build this for me because I really want to play it!