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Witcher 3 “quest per pixel” as “high as humanly possible”

Monday, 22nd July 2013 06:42 GMT By Brenna Hillier

CD Projekt RED is willing to bet it’s packed as much content into each inch of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt as it possible could.

“The quest per pixel (we should trademark this!) metric is as high as it’s humanly possible in The Witcher 3,” game director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz told Stickskills.

“We’ve added quite a few people to the departments responsible for quest design and writing – we’re willing to go very far make side-quests seamless and coherent with the whole world you’ll get to explore.”

Tomaszkiewicz said CD Projekt has tried to avoid generic content and clichés as much as possible, and to build everything manually rather than auto-generate.

“We try to give every NPC a convincing backstory and every part of the land a bit of their own folklore. If you remember our E3 demo, where we showed the Leshen and the monster’s impact on the local folk who build something of a ritual around it, yeah, that’s what we mean. And it was ‘just’ a side-quest,” he added.

In a similar vein, the developer said that although The Witcher 3 has taken the series open world for the first time, that’s not really the point.

“What we excel at is reaching that centre of the brain that’s responsible for evoking emotions – we constantly put stuff in and observe a full palette of gamers’ reactions,” he said.

“Adding the open world to The Witcher is just another step to make it a more complete experience and not the main feature of the game. We’re still focusing on the narrative, the world just got a lot bigger and the borders within it disappeared.”

Although it might not be the team’s first priority, Catherine took a look at The Witcher 3 at E3 and was blown away by what she called an “open world done right”.

The RPG sequel is due on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2014.

Thanks, OXM.

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19 Comments

  1. KAP

    Not having played any of The Elder Scrolls games apart from Skyrim, I loved the side quests. I put 272hrs in to the game. So if Witcher 3 is promising a more richer and polished world an quest structure then I’m super excited.

    My only gripe is I’ve not played the first two Witchers so I’m gonna feel a little disjointed stepping into this…

    #1 1 year ago
  2. dsr

    Personally, I’m sick of quests.
    Witcher 2 was just a fantasy movie with poor combat and lots and lots of dialogue. Just like Mass Effect and Dragon Age were.
    I think we need games like Dark Souls, less bullshit, more game. You had some set of goals there, but other than that, its free for all. You could finish the game talking only to one or two NPCs, jumping around and skipping half of the game, or you can search every nook and cranny, speak with every person you meet, read all lore you can find.
    Just my opinion.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Telepathic.Geometry

    Yeah, I’m hoping that when this is released on PS4, that they also release Witcher 1 and 2 on there too. Possibly in the lead up to its release…

    That would make good business sense and please dudes like me who really wanna play it, but don’t wanna shell out for a 360 just to play Witcher, Fez and Rez.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. NocturnalB

    Don’t feel too bad, I’ve never even seen the first Witcher, and only demo’d Witcher 2, and I have to admit it was one hard game for me to play mechanically and difficulty wise, and I love RPG’s. I’m definitely excited for this game and it does encourage me to want to at least play 2 through… but I’ll be damned I think it just may be too hardcore for me lol. Guess I need to give it a playthrough on noob mode? Is there anything below easy?

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Digital Bamboo

    @3 I’m of the same mind too.

    I’d even be fine if they waited until after Witcher 3 dropped, and offered 1 & 2 as enhanced digital downloads, as Bioware did with ME1 on PS3 (though preferably not taking as long) since they likely don’t have the resources to port the two previous Witcher games before the release of the new one.

    However, unlike the Mass Effect trilogy, I suspect that each Witcher game is, (or will be) considerably better than the last. As happily as I would hand over $100 for a Witcher trilogy on PS4, perhaps CD Projekt RED only wants to look forward.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. silverstorm

    Really like the what they’re doing with this game but what i like even more is the studio. They just seem to give a shit about people who play their game, and that is something rare nowadays.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Telepathic.Geometry

    I’ve heard that the very start of that game has a brutal difficulty spike, but that once you get past it, it very quickly becomes manageable. If that is the case, then I wanna give it a shot…

    If you’re like me and you love your RPGs and action/adventure style games, it’s extremely hard to miss out on one of the big ones. I’m sure that the next Zelda will break me for sure, and force my hand on gettin’ a Wii U.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. NocturnalB

    Yeah T.G I definitely hate missing out on the big ones even when it’s a franchise I normally never play. This game definitely gives me that vibe, I know for a fact all of my old PC buddies will be in the loop on this one and I don’t want to miss out, unless I just absolutely can’t find any interest of my own in the game I will definitely try to give it a push through the “brutal beginning”, that way I can at least say I gave it a shot.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Telepathic.Geometry

    @Digital Bamboo: Because they were PC games, I’m thinking that 1 and 2 could be more or less trivially converted over to the PS4 or xbone. Well, obviously it’s not trivial, but I guess it’d be way WAY more straight-forward than for the PS3 architecture…

    #9 1 year ago
  10. infernalism

    @3 & @5
    The Witcher 2 on PS4? Quite possible, the game is already designed to play well with a pad, and the console seems to be easier to code for than the 360, so it might happen down the road.
    Witcher 1 on PS4 and/or XBone?
    Not going to happen without a serious amount of development time (say, maybe something like with TW2 on the 360), since the game has an isometric view (they have a different, over-the-shoulder camera, but it also doesn’t really fit the pad that well, to be offered on the consoles “as is”), and that kind of a game can only be played with a mouse.

    TW1 also didn’t really age that well, and the english voice acting (I’m Polish, and I don’t even like polish voice acting either) is some of the worst in recent years (save Geralt himself), so I think that would also have to be re-recorded…I think for TW1 to appear on next gen consoles, we would need something akin to a remake, not just a few fixes, and fortunately (though, not in this case obviously), CDPR and CDP are not EA/Bioware, to do something like ME1 on PS3.

    I would advise you to play it on your laptop, TW1 doesn’t require the best specs by recent standards.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. FatalTee

    #9Telepathic.Geometry

    For Witcher trilogy complete I would recommend PC with Steam Big Picture and controllers of your choosing (I am using PS3s, cause I like dualshock design). But I know…. decisions, decisions.

    #10infernalism

    TW1. I very very recently got into that. I have to try Polish and Czech voice acting, thanks for tip! (I am from that not brightly known country on southwest border of Poland). But even though it is “a bit” quirky and stiff I see no problem with voice acting. (It is not a bug, I find it to be a feature.)

    But to point, I got into that just with recent massive Steam Summer Sale (3,74E for series, you kidding me?) and I am enjoing the first Witcher very very much. On PC it ages beautifully (with knowledge that this is 2007 game) and exactly as you said, I can play it on my laptop even in FHD.

    But I tried it on gamepad and while it is technically possible to map controls somehow, It misses to acheive playability . Whole interface for Journal/Inventory/Alchemy etc is not very gamepad friendly. And battling is in least tricky in full impossible.

    Article.
    I already like the way they interconnect central narrative to side narratives and how it very nicely paints a picture of the social world behind pixel and polygon characters. So yeah, I won’t preorder — never a good idea — but I certainly try and most likely buy afterwards.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Mjorh

    It sounds incredibly promising !
    Like FatalTee said,4 those who haven’t played Witcher1&2 i recommend PC version , don’t worry about specs or sth it’ll run smoothly n don’t 4get a controller cuz its almost impossible 2 play with keyboard!
    Witcher2 had a lot loose ends in story n so many things gonna be revealed n i’m super excited !

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Telepathic.Geometry

    Great to see we have a strong European representation here. ^-^

    I don’t mind losing Witcher 1 as long as the events of Geralt’s past are explained somewhere in Witcher 2. Like was done with the absolutely excellent PS3 version of Mass Effect 2.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Telepathic.Geometry

    @FatalTee: One day, I’ll get my paws on a Steambox, and on that day, Deus Ex, Witcher, Half-Life etc. will ALL be downloaded and played. ^-^

    #14 1 year ago
  15. infernalism

    FatalTee, Baldurs Gate also aged well, but it’s not coming out on consoles is what I’m saying :D.

    When I remarked about the game “not ageing very well”, I meant in terms of a possible console release. On PC it’s quite OK, especially after the Enhanced Edition release. I remember playing it in 2007 (i think it was 2007) on my old desktop and the loading times were killing me. Today, the game runs like a breeze on any modern PC.

    I bought those two games in retail about a year ago for 99 PLN (circa 25 Euro), and got a DRM free GOG digital copy of them as an added bonus. It wasn’t quite close to 3,75 Euro, but I thought it was quite a steal. :]

    On the topic of TW3…I can’t remember being as hyped for any title as I am for this one. Fallout 3 maybe? Starcraft II? But those came after a long hiatus in their respective franchises (I was disappointed in F3, but New Vegas made the wait worth it).

    They are really trying to make the game of my dreams in one of my most beloved universes. The action and challange of Demon’s/Dark Souls, the open world of Skyrim, and the choice/consequence heavy storytelling that they themselves are known for. Plus the dynamic weather and NPC behaviour that impact the world, plus the gorgeous next-gen graphics…If they can deliver, then for me it just might be the best RPG ever made.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. roadkill

    @2 You a fucking idiot!

    #16 1 year ago
  17. TheWulf

    I can’t say I agree with #2 on the dialogue front, but this game is representing a lot of RPG fatigue for me as well. In some ways, the previews I’ve seen seem to represent what’s wrong with the genre at the moment. And I’m all too happy to explain.

    * The obsession with a terrain-generated open world, thus eschewing any kind of level design;

    * The obsession with padding and the quantity > quality design ethic, padding is rife in RPGs;

    * Becoming ever more obsessed with stale fantasy tropes over creative settings;

    * Rabid wolves, rabid wolves everywhere, because no one bothered to dream up better foes.

    At this point I’m ready for more RPGs with levels which can be completed in different ways. Not unlike Alpha Protocol, I suppose.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the Witcher’s setting, but in all honesty I think they left the actual setting behind with 2. 2 felt way more homogenised in regards to Western fantasy. It was a very different game from the first Witcher, which was by far a more enjoyable experience.

    Allow me to offer a counterpoint: New Vegas. A lot of people complained about that one because they used a lot of invisible walls. In the areas where things actually happened, Obsidian really gave their all in regards to level design. Yet people complained about having actually interesting areas just because they couldn’t climb over such and such a mountain.

    What this leads to is increasingly generic games. Skyrim was a fantastic example of such a game, as it was tiresomely generic. The best thing to happen to Skyrim was Moonpaths, but that had separate ‘levels,’ all of which were brilliantly designed.

    And yes, I’m tired of dynamically generated ‘kill X’ quests, I’m also fed up of settings being so creatively drained that they don’t have any imagination whatsoever.

    I’m in a brilliant fantasy world! Oh, the possibilities! The adventure! Oh my! Now to kill ten wolves.

    :I

    I really hope that at some point CDPR remembers what made the first Witcher so great, because I’m really not sold on this one.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. TheWulf

    @1

    I’d honestly start off with the first Witcher, as it was by far the better and more interesting game. Plus, on top of what I’ve already mentioned, in the Witcher 1 they didn’t boil down all moral choices into good/evil BioWare/Bethesda binary choices. In 2 they pretty much did.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. infernalism

    @17 & 18
    ” in the Witcher 1 they didn’t boil down all moral choices into good/evil BioWare/Bethesda binary choices. In 2 they pretty much did.”.
    I’m sorry, what? What was evil or good about Roche, or Iorveth for instance (and every choice that involve said characters? What was more evil, sending two people to be killed by a wraith, to atone for their horrible past crimes, or to save them…because they yet live, despite their cruelty? Or maybe killing the succubus instead of a murderous elf? It’s still living off of peoples blood, and that drove the elf insane, even if said succubus didn’t actually kill anyone. Do you help a Nilfgaardian sorceress, who had a hand in kidnaping your woman, or kill her outright? Just to name a few very “good and bad” choices indeed.

    “And yes, I’m tired of dynamically generated ‘kill X’ quests, I’m also fed up of settings being so creatively drained that they don’t have any imagination whatsoever.”
    I understand you’re talking about Skyrim here, but you also continue your previous point, about TW3 going in the wrong, mainstream RPG trend direction.

    * The obsession with a terrain-generated open world, thus eschewing any kind of level design;

    * The obsession with padding and the quantity > quality design ethic, padding is rife in RPGs;

    They are mentioning in almost every other interview, about how they’re not going to have fedex quests, and how every NPC and quest will have a story behind them. Every single one will be hand crafted, not randomly, or dinamically generated. About how they create the open world, basing it on medieval Amsterdam (Novigrad), slavic medieval (No Man’s Land), and nordic medieval (Skellige ISlands) themes. One whole f***king trailer is basically about them taking inspirations, while visiting Scottish moutains and cliffs. Come on man…

    * Becoming ever more obsessed with stale fantasy tropes over creative settings;

    * Rabid wolves, rabid wolves everywhere, because no one bothered to dream up better foes.

    If you are bored of this low fantasy world, than wait for Cyberpunk 2077. If you are also ALREADY bored with that setting, then go replay Alpha Protocol, or wait for The Stick of Truth, since you seem to enjoy Obsidian games so much.
    On the topic of rabid wolves…did you see the design of the Fiend, or Leshen? Two of the 80 types of monsters in this game? Did you hear about their special abilities, and how they, especially the latter, can use the environment against the witcher, hence the rabid wolves, and the forest itself attacking Geralt? I guess you did, and it didn’t impress you…

    New Vegas is the best open world RPG to date in my opinion, but TW3 is not succumbing to the mainstream tropes just because it’s set in a fantasy world.

    #19 1 year ago

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