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What The Witcher Taught CD Projekt about RPGs: A Gamasutra Interview

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What The Witcher Taught CD Projekt about RPGs: A Gamasutra Interview

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Mon 16 July 2012, 20:32:28

Tags: CD Projekt; The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings; Witcher, The

Gamasutra has put up a three-page interview with "key staff members from CD Projekt RED" (namely, Marcin Iwinski, Adam Badowski and Michal Platkow-Gilewski), with questions concerning The Witcher, the RPG genre, as well as CDPR's upcoming sci-fi game. Have a snip:

In Cyberpunk's case, how are you approaching the series' existing pen-and-paper rule set? Is it influencing the way you approach design?

MI: We are not limiting ourselves to using a certain set of rules, but rather we're looking at it as a general [guideline]. We'll use it as much as it makes sense, and of course we'll really rely on the support of [Cyberpunk creator] Mike Pondsmith.

He's a game designer who's also knowledgeable about computer games, and he's been really excited to work with us. We think we can really use his expertise to the advantage of the game, and that's something we didn't have with The Witcher. He's consulting with us on a fairly regular basis.

[...] AB: The idea for Cyberpunk is quite simple. You have this universe... and it goes back to what you were asking before. The license aggregates all ideas about cyberpunk as a genre. It has elements of Blade Runner, it's futuristic, but it's also a bit retro... there's almost everything in this universe. We have a lot of experience with storytelling after making The Witcher 1 and The Witcher 2, and we have to use it. We're not going to make compromises when it comes to that, and I think what we're doing will surprise our fans.

Speaking of The Witcher 2, I'd love to hear about the lessons you all learned during that game's production. Looking back, what sort of things did you learn from The Witcher 2, and how are you carrying them forward into Cyberpunk?

AB: It's quite complicated, but it all comes down to design. We spent days discussing a general postmortem after we finished The Witcher 2. What we learned is that we need to attract people with a smoother learning curve when it comes to the storyline.

On the other hand, we want to keep that mature setting, and offer something deeper than the usual war between good guys and bad guys.

[...] MPG: Players should be able to choose how deep they want to enter the story, the plot. 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.

AB: Sometimes you might find some external characters, or some scripts to read that reveal different branches of the storyline, and this stuff is very interesting for our hardcore players who really want to learn more.

MI: With Witcher 2 we hit another problem, where a lot of people came in new to the franchise, and they were like, "I don't even know what happened in The Witcher 1!" So we're thinking about ways to introduce people properly to a complex story.

Take Gears of War. A lot of players don't care about the story, but there is a huge universe around that series. For us, it's very important to attract player and make them want to explore the storyline. If you think of a game has having a gameplay level and the story level, we need to find the perfect mix between them.​

Click here for the full interview.

There are 35 comments on What The Witcher Taught CD Projekt about RPGs: A Gamasutra Interview

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