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Cyberpunk to apply lessons learned from The Witcher 2

Tuesday, 19th June 2012 09:15 GMT By Stace Harman

CD Projekt RED has said it will apply the valuable lessons learned from The Witcher series to its current RPG project, Cyberpunk. In particular, the developer is keen to better introduce the complex story elements to novice players to avoid them feeling left stranded.

Speaking to Gamasutra, CD Projekt RED acknowledged that it needs to do more to invite players into its complex RPG worlds.

“What we learned from The Witcher series is that we need to attract people with a smoother learning curve when it comes to the storyline,” said studio board member, Adam Badowski.

“In The Witcher 1, for example, we were throwing people in the middle of the story, and we assumed that players would know what is happening! But a lot of players told us that they didn’t really understand this relationship or that relationship,” added studio co-founder Marcin Iwinski.

For the the launch of The Witcher 2 on 360, CD Projekt RED added additional material to to ensure that players better understood the game world. Similarly, the PC version was patched to include the extra content and to make the opening stages of the game easier.

Iwinski stated that these lessons would be taken into account for the firm’s upcoming sci-fi RPG, Cyberpunk, “In [Cyberpunk], we want to create a story that is very profound, but the novice players should be introduced to [the world] better than they were in The Witcher 2,” he said.

However, the company’s head of marketing, Michal Platkow-Gilewski, moved to assure fans that this does not mean that Cyberpunk will be any less complex, just better paced and with more player-choice:

“Players should be able to choose how deep they want to enter the story or the plot,” he said. “If they’re really hardcore, they can really dig deeper and deeper and deeper, and if they’re just casual, they can still learn about the characters and the story, but they’ll do that by going in another direction.”

Iwinski concluded, “Just to make sure we’re understood correctly by our fans, this does not mean that we are going to simplify our games. That’s definitely not the case.”

“But for some audiences, the learning curve should be improved, and particularly the introduction to the world needs to be better.”

Cyberpunk is currently in development at CD Projekt RED. It is based on a pen and paper RPG system created by Mike Pondsmith, set in a futuristic world featuring a degenerated society.

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18 Comments

  1. roadkill

    Oh. No! They’re dumbing it down.. :( I wasn’t expecting this from them. Damn it!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. sh4dow

    @1 Well, it should be just perfect for you then. Seeing as you apparently didn’t get past the first couple of paragraphs…
    “Just to make sure we’re understood correctly by our fans, this does not mean that we are going to simplify our games. That’s definitely not the case.”

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Edo

    @1 Don’t worry dude I don’t think they are.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Gekidami

    How could you “dumb down” something thats already so basic?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. GwynbleiddiuM

    That’s it CDP is the new BioWare. STOP CATERING TO EVERY FUCKING ONE!!! Be an RPG for those who actually wanna play the damn thing. There’s no hope left for this industry anymore. A RPG game is all about digging deep in the fucking story otherwise just make a shooter and get on with it… 5 hours of gameplay, 1 hour of story and every one of those sheep that like CoD, Gears, Halo for the campaign would love you for it, throw a multiplayer mode to make everyone else happy. There I solved your issue, no need to bother with Role-Playing in the GAME anymore.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. YoungZer0

    @5: Yep, i think it’s official. The guys who wanted to be just as good as Bioware, became much better than Bioware. I think we should also applaud Namco Bandai who published it, instead of forcing them to do a game that’s not an RPG, just to sell it better.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. stretch215

    @5 please stop. You are being ridiculous. Thanks! :D

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Da Man

    Sheep play overhyped glorified point and click adventures and tend to think highly of producers like Kojima and Molyneux (although the latter at least made some videogames in the past).

    #8 2 years ago
  9. freedoms_stain

    So they talk about improving their story telling and suddenly they’re dumbing down their RPG elements. Riiiiiiiight.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Gadzooks!

    #5

    Your rant is completely baseless. Pointless, too.

    First off CDP aren’t toning down, dumbing down, simplifying or shortening. They are looking to provide a BETTER LEARNING CURVE, which is most definitely needed. Witcher 2 is anything but a simple game. In fact the use of potions and blade coatings is fairly cumbersome.

    Secondly your uneducated rants about Gears and Halo campaigns are totally off. Cutscene-to-gameplay ratio and campaign length are way off and you conveniently ignore all the other goodies that come in the box like Horde/Firefight/Forge/Beast modes.

    CoD campaign, fair enough. But even CoD comes with zombies/specops.

    Really, do some basic research before ranting.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. GwynbleiddiuM

    @7 Oh yeah?

    @10 So better learning curve means “Players should be able to choose how deep they want to enter the story or the plot,”! That means playing a shooter with linear story, that is not a ROLE-PLAYING GAME. That’s Mass Effect 3 like feature, when you start your game with the option of I just wanna play an action game sort of experience. That is like scanning through a novel without actually reading the story. That’s like watching a movie with the voice turned off, that’s like watching the picture’s on a comic book without reading the dialogue boxes and captions.

    For that reason we have shooters with linear story that you could forget about, Gears of War is a great example for that. Story is forgettable but gameplay is thrilling and fun. That’s my point. I have played those games so I know that “uneducated rant” part is just coming from someone who doesn’t understand the term “Role-Playing” in a game genre at all. I don’t need to research the shit I played. And in no way I said Gears of War or Halo or CoD were crap, I said those who like these sort of experience don’t give a damn about RPG features in a game.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Malmer

    Sounds great! Loved the Witcher 2, but in some places it surely needed a better learning curve. Has nothing to do with depth. It is a matter of quality. Better pacing and better balanced learning curve are all good things.

    However, judging from some comments above, I guess some people think good game design is throwing the player directly to the final boss without teaching the player anything about the mechanics or the world. Because that is somehow deeper…*sigh*.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. GwynbleiddiuM

    @12 I bet none of you actually played something like Baldur’s gate or Neverwinter Nights that came with a novel size manual books just to explain the basic mechanics of an RPG and when you chose to neglect your proper character progression you had to dump that character entirely, where you had to know what each spell or ability does before randomly smashing buttons. And this guy was talking about story more than anything, when you design t a game that revolves and thrives on the progression of that story you’ll not make it so that player can choose how deep they wanna get into that story. Players should be able to have choices that will define the story not skipping it or working around it. A fixed story could work for hack n slash RPGs, those games are a different story and have rather different progression. Titan Quest, Diablo even Borderlands are great examples. But so comes a game like Divine Divinity every now and then that mixes the story and play-style in a great way and Witcher games where exactly the same, they come and mixed a great story with great RPG.

    That dude is not talking about gameplay “smoother learning curve when it comes to the storyline” THE STORYLINE is the keyword here.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Maximum Payne

    PMS alert.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. YoungZer0

    @13: “I bet none of you actually played something like Baldur’s gate or Neverwinter Nights that came with a novel size manual books just to explain the basic mechanics of an RPG”

    And that is the #1 reason why so few people played RPG’s back then. You can’t do that today and for goddamn good reason. If you can’t implement a proper tutorial into your game, you fail as a developer. I could play Witcher 2 without any problems, because i played the first one. I imagine some people had trouble with it. The tutorial level didn’t hurt the game at all.

    If you want a fine example of what they mean with making it more accessible; look at Witcher 2. They stripped a lot of things away from the game and made it more enjoyable and more playable, yet it didn’t feel dumbed-down or easy to play. On lower difficulty you weren’t even that depended on alchemy.

    I can’t believe you talk this bad about the developer while having that username.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. DSB

    @11 I think you’re choosing to read way too much into that.

    Designwise, The Witcher 2 was a fairly simple game, but when it came to the actual story and the combat, it was anything but. How is that not the best of both worlds?

    Mass Effect is an entirely different story. It barely had any story worth mentioning in the sequel, and while I can’t speak for the last one, people didn’t seem to respond well to any kind of “depth” that it may have tried to pull off.

    This isn’t going to be Gears of War, or Mass Effect. CD Projekt Red doesn’t have EA breathing down their necks telling them to dumb everything down, and they I don’t see why they would freely choose to make the game according to arbitrary focus groups.

    They made a name on The Witcher 2 being of the quality that it is. Why throw that away? I don’t think Bioware chose to become shit, I think they had to become shit to please the new owners.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. GwynbleiddiuM

    @DSB Maybe you’re right but if you look back at Mass Effect, BioWare started dampening on story elements, I have issue with gameplay but that is not what I’m trying to get at right now. I’m talking about what he said about the storyline. If you can play a role-playing game and skipping the story in order to have more action we have another Mass Effect that goes in the wrong direction. Maybe I care about story too much or maybe I like CDP too much and think they’re straying away from their ways in order to cater to masses.

    I have no problem on making the game more understandable and accessible to other people and putting things out there that helps people gathering clues about the story. If anything I always said that in our arguments about WoW and how they’re trying to make the game more accessible to masses, giving more options for the things that average player base might not be able to get into easy, like LFR, random BGs and LFD. But he said that they want to do something about the storytelling to be more simple to grasp. Allowing players to work around the story in order to get less dialogue isn’t the solution here to me it kinda diminishes the whole point of storytelling process. It’s like wanting to read a book but let’s say instead of reading through 200 pages of detailed content just hand pick 30 pages that the key elements of the story are there and skip over everything else. I keep hearing that when I read those quotes.

    @YoungZer0, I’m not talking bad about the developer I’m just paniced by what he’s trying to say. I love CDP for the purpose of the Witcher games and I’m thankful for the experience I had, they where sheer fun for me. Either I’m failing to describe what this means or you guys just pick the things out of my comment selectively, or maybe a bit of both. All in all I hate it to see another great developer falls victim to consumers lack of appreciation just because their products have more to offer and suddenly having more to offer is not good enough because they’re being worked out by the publishers to enjoy less in everything for huge prices.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. YoungZer0

    @Gwyn: Well, you really do sound very negative here. I think you should have more faith in the developer. I doubt they are going to throw away everything they stood for. Far as i know, they haven’t been bought by anyone, so they still have all the power.

    #18 2 years ago

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