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Witcher 3 dev: too many features make for an “average, crappy game”

Thursday, 20th June 2013 00:32 GMT By Brenna Hillier

CD Projekt RED is prepared to cross a few things off its wishlist if it makes The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt a better game.

Speaking to GamesIndustry, executive producer John Mamais said the development team on The Witcher 3 isn’t letting the power of nhext-gen consoles and a new engine go to their heads.

“When we started out, we had this massive backlog of features that we wanted to create, but you have to do an ROI [return on investment] analysis of your features, and that’s what we did,” he said.

“We’re constantly going through the process to figure out which features are the most important, but take less time potentially. Those are the things we do first. Things that are really cool, but maybe they don’t add as much value to the game? We have to cut them out. We have to make choices.

“I don’t want to give you any specific details. There’s still some stuff that we really want to do,” he added.

“There’s one awesome feature that we want to do, but we’re starting to realize how much work it’s going to take. The thing is, if you don’t focus on a few features and you try to do too much, then you’re going to end up with an average, crappy game. We’ve got to pick what’s important to the game and do it right.”

The rest of the interview includes some interesting discussion of how CD Projekt RED has ramped up its engineering team and how its approaching next-generation consoles.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is due on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2014.

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8 Comments

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  1. POOP CRUSTY

    Sigh…..no no no. It totally depends what type of game it is. A game like GTA or Saints Row is a great example on a lot of features being a good thing. An open world game like W3 should have more “content” not features. Skyrim is an example. Huge game with many things in it.

    #1 10 months ago
  2. Tavarish

    @1 Naturally it depends on project and what you want out of it. Still he has good point there. If game is too feature bloated / heavy, just any game, it may become more annoyance than fun thing. Especially if most of the features are half arsed into game just because.

    #2 10 months ago
  3. Sanwiches

    “Especially if most of the features are half arsed into game just because.”

    Yeah, that was the point :p These things they say are always so generic & ovbious, but I don’t blame them. They don’t demand interviews and they can’t say specific details obviously. It’s just doomed to be lame :p

    #3 10 months ago
  4. LooneyLad

    Exactly, thats why Batmab Arkham City failed for me.

    #4 10 months ago
  5. Edo

    @4 Maybe you should’ve played Batman:Arkham City instead.

    #5 10 months ago
  6. Tavarish

    @3 Still a lot of developers ignore this rather generic & obvious shit as they develope theirs game and end up with e.g. a lot of half arsed features :D

    #6 10 months ago
  7. sh4dow

    @4: I felt that way too. I found Arkham Asylum great but Arkham City… it all felt so disjointed and chaotic to me that I didn’t know what to do first and so eventually stopped playing it after a couple of hours.

    #7 10 months ago
  8. TheWulf

    I honestly think that the LEGO games are a fantastic example of loads of different features and playstyles working well. There’s not a problem, there. The problem is getting lazy and half-arsing them, but if you can do a good job with each of those features, it can lead to a richer, deeper experience.

    I can honestly say that I had more fun with LEGO Batman 2 than I have with most other open world games, including Skyrim. I really enjoyed the vast variety of characters, it was fun, and I’m far, far too excited about LEGO Marvel Heroes too (I’m in full fanboy mode about that all ready).

    So a lot of features can work, it’s just that most developers are too lazy to do it well. Try LEGO Batman 2 to see a game which was obviously created with a lot more love than most open world games, so that you can understand where I’m coming from.

    It might be controversial to say, but Arkham City had nothing on LEGO Batman 2. But I suppose that many won’t be able to get over their insecurities about how colourful games somehow impact their manliness to even try it. Which is a damned shame.

    (Though it’s kind of obvious how much love they put into that game from Superman alone. When you take off as Supes, it starts playing his movie theme. And that’s pretty much one of the greatest things to have happened to a superhero game. It’s a blast. It’s such a little, simple feature, yet it adds to the game so much.)

    #8 10 months ago