The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – An Interview about secret characters, challenges and mud wrestling
Fans of epic RPGs will love the upcoming months. Many fans are eagerly waiting for the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, coming in february 2015. We received very interesting answers in our interview with the good guys of CD PROJEKT RED to keep all the impatient fans (including us) happy. Our interview is all about the challenges concerning the development, favorite characters and of course the problems occuring during the progress. Triss will be there somewhere too. And now: enjoy reading!
Interview with Miles Tost, Level Designer at CD PROJEKT RED.
[dropcap]?[/dropcap]This time, your collector’s edition is a really awesome package. How long did it take you to determine the content and who was involved in designing and selecting its contents?
Oh, this is a complicated process that takes a really long time. First of all, CD PROJEKT RED always tries to push this aspect of publishing to the limits, I mean, our standard edition contains items that are normally reserved for limited editions of other games, and we’re releasing them for the standard price. The Collector’s Edition content was squeezed in up until the very last moment–we wanted every centimeter of the huge box used, hence the signatures of the entire team printed on the lid. Also, the Geralt Battling a Griffin figure, that took a long time to prepare, and is nicely illustrated by the making of video we released some time ago. It’s a real sculpture, created by real sculptors, and not a 3D printed model from the game. It’s really unique.
[dropcap]?[/dropcap]What has been your biggest challenge during the development process of The Witcher 3?
It’s really hard to answer that question because every department faces different challenges. In general, I think that maintaining the creative vision behind the game, and keeping everything coherent was a very difficult part. I mean, it’s a HUGE game, and it’s super important to always have a bird’s eye view and constantly check if we haven’t veered off course.
Talking about locations, which is my area of expertise, I think it was coming up with interesting and fresh places for players to visit, while keeping things believable in good old Witcher fashion. With a world this big it’s easy to fall into patterns that get repetitive real quick. However, thanks to an incredibly talented and creative team, I believe we hit a pretty cool sweet spot, which results in the world holding many surprises for players to find and explore.
[dropcap]?[/dropcap]How difficult has it been to fill such a vast world with interesting and reasonable content?
As I mentioned in regards to the previous question, it was quite the challenge. We almost doubled our quest team if you compare it to The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings; same goes for the team working on creating the locations. Everything has to have a purpose within the game world; it needs to be believable within its space. When you play the game, you will notice how everything is connected somehow. We’ve been talking about the importance of the choices you make during your journey as Geralt. This is highlighted by how these choices affect the world around you as well as Geralt himself. As such, your choices can not only affect people, but in fact, entire locations.
Now, coming back to your question, this allows us to fill the world with different states of individual locations that reflect and showcase each player’s individual story. It greatly enhances our ability to create different and interesting locations within the world, but at the same time posed an immense challenge as multiple states for locations mean more work and are harder to keep track of, given how large our gameworld is.
[dropcap]?[/dropcap]How long would it take me in real time to travel through this vast games world? Hours, days or even weeks?
It’s definitely not weeks and days, even MMOs aren’t that big *laughs*. I don’t know to be honest, I haven’t tried that. Covering every inch there is would take you quite a while, especially if you roam the world unprepared. There’s plenty of stuff to keep you busy. We’re 35 times bigger than The Witcher 2, and that was a pretty big game after all. Our goal is for completing the game to take you roughly 100 hours, 50 hours of the main story, and about 50 hours of side-quests. And if that’s not enough – play it again, see what else could’ve happened if just your choices had been different.
[dropcap]?[/dropcap]Will there be errands like „bring me this“, „give this to“ etc?
Yes, there will. But we always try to make these quests special, we always try to give them a special twist. It’s not your typical “kill 10 this and 5 that” kind of thing. Also, in some instances I recall, you can just say ‘no’, leave, and – well – deal with the consequences of your choice later.
[dropcap]?[/dropcap]Please tell me, who is your favourite character and what is your favourite quest in the game?
I can’t tell you without spoiling some of the plot of the game. It’s a new character we haven’t revealed yet. Ask me again after we launch the game!
[dropcap]?[/dropcap]Which kind of gamer is your target audience for the TW3? Does its staging make the game interesting for fans apart from the RPG genre? If so, why is it or what makes ist such an overarching experience?
I think that Wild Hunt is a game for people who love dark fantasy adventures. It’s not your typical fairy-tale fantasy where good and evil is evident, it’s really brutal and down to earth, so you have to like mature stories, too. Within that, things don’t always go as you want them to go. It’s a deep story set within a deep world, but it also has a lot of cool gameplay in it, combat for example. We’ve totally revamped it to make it more accessible, but it’s also a lot more tactical at the same time.
[dropcap]?[/dropcap]To be honest: the last chapter of The Witcher 2 has been quite lightweight und has upset a lot of fans in comparison to the awesome rest of the game. Will there be a grand finale this time? How to you lead to the big showdown?
Yes, we’re planning to end Wild Hunt with a bang. But, for obvious reasons, I can’t say more. I firmly believe you will not be disappointed by the quality of the endings.
[dropcap]?[/dropcap]Could we look forward to seeing Triss and Yennefer doing some mud wrestling?
[dropcap]?[/dropcap]How big is the difference in graphics between the PC/ PS4/ and Xbox One Version? Which resolution and framerate do you strive for on PS4 and XBox One.
We strive to deliver the same experience across all platforms. As for resolutions and framerate, we’re still optimizing the game, so it’s impossible to tell you that now. We have our own ambitions about this of course, but again, we’ll get back to you guys with this when the time is right.
[dropcap]?[/dropcap]What was your biggest challenge, while bringing this game to the consoles?
Consoles have not limited us, if that’s what you’re asking. I mean yeah, we could create the game in such a way so only 5 PCs on the planet could run it, but that’s not the point. It was creating the game that was challenging, not the platform.
[dropcap]?[/dropcap]How important is the gamescom convention for you, as to introduce The Witcher 3 to the gamers?
It’s Europe’s biggest gaming fair if I’m not mistaken, so it’s really important for us. We love talking to fans directly and, globally, GC is one of a kind in this regard as it’s more consumer oriented than other events similar in scale. I mean, just watch our gamescom video on youtube. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeUGOlXlOgg) It was a blast!
Thanks to CD Projekt RED’s Designer Miles Tost for the interview! The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC on 24th February 2015.