The Witcher 3 includes some spectacular quests, which in turn required a spectacular amount of work.
The Witcher 3's Battle of Kaer Morhen took a lot of work
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an amazing game, but sometimes it takes stepping back to really appreciate what's involved in making your experience so delightful.
In a fascinating Q&A on quest design and writing on the CD Projekt RED forums, designers Pawel Sasko and Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz answered a query as to which quests were the most difficult to develop.
"From a technical perspective it was the Battle of Kaer Morhen quest," Tomaszkiewicz said.
"In 11 years of my career as a quest designer, I have never implemented such a technically challenging quest as Battle of Kaer Morhen," Sasko agreed.
"From the early state of paper design we knew that it was going to be a huge and complicated quest – and it turned out to be even worse than we expected."
Spoilers ahead! Battle of Kaer Morhen is so complicated because it varies depending on the results of multiple side quests available earlier in the game. The player may be supported by between nine and 16 characters in any combination. All of these characters had to have supporting scenes, as well as scenes accounting for specific combinations, like Roche, Ves and Letho.
It's not just a matter of supplying story material, though. Sasko pointed out that every supporting character has their own contribution to the battle, and these can combine in various ways as well. CD Projekt RED had to balance the battle for all these possibilities.
The tremendous amount of work may go totally unnoticed if you aren't aware of the contingencies, but it's an important acknowledgement of the player's actions up to that point.
"All scenes and gameplay situations were designed to give the player a reward from what they did in all the quests before," Sasko said.
Both designers agreed that the Bloody Baron storyline quests were the most challenging in terms of writing, which isn't a surprise; that whole sequence stands out as one of the most memorable and emotional in the whole game.
The full interview is super interesting, especially if you're keen on narrative-driven games. Go take a look through the link above.
We're all on tenterhooks at the moment, waiting on a release date for the next and final Witcher 3 expansion. Blood & Wine is about as hefty as Skellige in the main game, apparently, and is expected before E3.
If you're yet to finish, don't forget our enormous Witcher 3 guide and walkthrough. Don't miss a single quest as you prepare for the very end of Geralt's saga.