Interview With CD Projekt Red (Witcher III)

Are You Ready For The Wild Hunt?

Recently I was able to ask the Developer CD Projekt Red, the Developers of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, a few questions. Though varied, most have to do with the upcoming projekt… Enjoy!

1.We like to start of every interview with the same question, to see the many responses we will get. The question is very simple. What game has been the biggest influence in your life and why?

Wow! That’s a tough one! I’ve been a gamer my whole life and played so many different games that it would be hard to pick just one. Of course there were some that were really excellent and had huge impact on my life but, again, it’s really tough to choose just one. Definitely Street Fighter II on NES and Mortal Kombat II on Amiga 1200 – these titles got me into the fighting games genre which remains my favourite up until today. With Street Fighter series probably being my favorite series of all time. Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast – this title holds a very special place in my heart as, for me, it was the first real multiplayer game (light saber only servers FTW!) that I’d invested a lot of time in – and I mean A LOT! I met a lot of cool people who I stay in touch with even today (and to remind you, that game came out in 2002). When I think about it, that’s the game that made me fall in love with community activities. I remember setting up my first clan forum, participating in online tournaments and overall being a part of the scene was just something wonderful.

2.With this new wave of “Next-Gen” Consoles there will be a large amount of gamers new to the Witcher series. Would it be helpful to go back and play the other two games? Or will they be able to jump straight into Wild Hunt and be able to keep up with the story?

We’ve managed to write the story in such a way so it’s a natural continuation for the gamers who played The Witcher 2, and a standalone title for first timers at the same time. This means that new players can jump in and have fun without knowing what happened in the previous games. The Witcher 3 takes place roughly six months after what happened in the previous game. Geralt is untangled from all the political affairs and is free to roam the world as he pleases. In the meantime, a new enemy comes into play, the ominous Wild Hunt.

3.Touching on our second question, has your team ever considered making a box set of all three games for “Next-Gen” Consoles, to allow those who didn’t get a chance to experience this wonderful series, to experience it in full?

That’s a big task, even for us. Currently we’re focused on delivering The Witcher 3 on all next-gen platforms.

4.The Witcher series has always been full of amazing creatures and monsters. What goes in to creating these wondrous beings? How is the creative process started?

Since the game is based on a series of books by Andrzej Sapkowski, a renown fantasy writer here in Poland, some of our work is done for us, as we don’t need to design everything from scratch. Additionally, many things in the game are taken from various mythologies. Take No Man’s Land, it’s very Slavic at its core and many of the quests and beings you’ll encounter here are something you could find in local folk tales. The Skellige archipelago, on the other hand, is a land heavily inspired by Nordic mythos, and it’s closer to the anglo-saxon way of seeing things. The game, in it’s entirety, is a really potent mix, really.

5.The Witcher series has always been known for its “Mature” aspect of gaming. The series does not shy away from adult themes like sex, politics, and violence. Can we expect more of the same in the next game? What difficulties has your company found in making one of the more “Mature” games for consoles?

Definitely. Maturity is something that constitutes the world that Mr. Sapkowski created and we’re sticking to that to the fullest possible extent. And you can expect that in the Wild Hunt as well, it’s what makes The Witcher truly unique. When it comes to the difficulties you mention, well, sometimes we get accused of putting mature content just for the sake of doing it, or because sex sells. It’s not true. We’re putting these elements in the game because we believe that they’re a part of adult life.

6.Reading and listening to other Companies interviews with you, I had heard the idea of a Focus System in combat thrown around. Can you elaborate more on what this will entail? Will it be an ability unlocked from the very beginning of the game, or a perk that will be unlocked by some means later in the story?

You’re referring to Witcher Senses, yes? Geralt, as a superhuman monster hunter, has some abilities which are inaccessible to even the best swordsmen out there. Thanks to his heightened senses, he can see objects from afar and even perceive sounds. You’ll use this during monster hunts, mostly. This is all I can say for now.

7.Compared to the Witcher 2, how much larger of a world can we come to expect in the Witcher 3? How much more content was developed for this game than the previous ones in the series?

The world of The Witcher 3 is roughly 35 times bigger than the one in The Witcher 2. I can’t even begin to describe how much more content the guys from the dev team put in there. I mean, some teams here in the studio have been tripled in size to deliver our vision of an open world.

8.Since we worked so hard on developing our stories in the Witcher 2, can we expect our saves to cross over to the Witcher 3? Do you have a plan intact to allow this to happen, or will you just be using the most popular decisions made in the previous game in your development of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

We will definitely allow save game imports on the PC. It’s a bit harder to do on the Xbox, since this is a totally different platform. Still, we’re exploring the idea on consoles as well. We’ll let you know when we come up with a solution.

9.I know your company gets tired of the Skyrim questions, so I will only ask one. In Skyrim, the game actually never ends, quests are randomly generated to allow your experience in the game to continue long after you have completed the main story line. Does the Witcher 3 have an ending, or will gamers be able to quest till their heart’s content?

Skyrim is a different game than The Witcher 3. It’s great, don’t get me wrong, just different. We’re story driven game, while, I think, Skyrim is a pure sandbox game. Having said that, Wild Hunt does have an ending, simply because we think that every good story has a beginning, a middle and an ending. You’ll see what I mean when you finish the game. Also, we don’t generate quests per se, we make everything by hand, so everything fits the world perfectly right and is coherent with the world and main story.

10.Lastly I want to take the time to thank you on behalf of Xbox Culture for the interview, I know as the resident RPG gamer on staff that this is one the games I am most excited for on Next-gen. My favorite thing to do in RPG’s is to spend countless hours exploring, not even on a quest, just searching for anything. Can gamers, like myself, expect to spend hours exploring in your game completely off the beaten path? Are their secrets to be found or will the gamers need to stick to the storyline to get the full effect?

In The Witcher 3 you can do anything, anytime. I mean, there is the main storyline spanning over 50 hours, but we do offer you another 50 hours of side-quests, and stuff to experience. You’ll have the possibility to hunt monsters for gold, sail in search of long lost treasures, or just breath in the atmosphere of the world, while riding your horse into the sunset. It’s all here.

Recently CD Projekt Red released a 35 minute gameplay trailer for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt; and as you all know this is one of the games I am most excited for and this 35 minute trailer had me on the edge of my seat the entire time!

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Written by: Hugo

“Don’t be so gloomy. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” ~ The Third Man

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