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CD Projekt Developers Talk About Witcher 3's Open World C&C at Rock Paper Shotgun

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CD Projekt Developers Talk About Witcher 3's Open World C&C at Rock Paper Shotgun

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Tue 5 March 2013, 16:53:31

Tags: CD Projekt; The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

There's an interview with two CD Projekt personnel over at Rock Paper Shotgun today. The topic is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and in particular its open world design. The interviewer, Nathan Grayson, asks them some good questions about how they actually intend to implement a choice-filled narrative worthy of the Witcher series within this framework. Here's an excerpt:

RPS: How do you a tailor an open world to be conducive to really good storytelling? In general, they’re best for player-driven types of things. When you’re trying to tell a player a story, how do you change open world design?

Jakub Rokosz: In our case, in The Witcher’s case, it helps in some fields. One of the biggest problems we had in The Witcher 2 is that to keep pace between the story and the game itself, we had to sometimes overload the player with information. Just so they could understand the mechanics and the world and the consequences of their choices. What the open world gives us is that, because we have this open world consisting of three different regions, we can build areas up from local communities to whole countries or peoples, and we can tailor the whole experience, the whole story arc of what Witcher 3 will be about… We can tailor it at both the macro and micro levels.​

Even the smallest quest about some person who has troubles with monsters outside of his hut, we’ll tell you a little bit of story about it. Maybe this pack of monsters arrived because the war’s on and they were driven away from where they used to be. We got to a point where we decided to tell the whole story at every single level.​

RPS: It sounds like those types of missions will fill in the gaps. They’ll tell you a little bit more about the world. With the main story, though, Geralt’s quest, how linear will that ultimately be? Will that just be like, “Go to this city. Now, to continue the main quest, go to this other city”?

Michał Platkow-Gilewski: What you just said, that example… This really conflicts with our point of view on the open world. It doesn’t make it an open-world game if you just make a huge world and ask the player to go from point A to B to C in exactly the same order every time. When we create our game, it’s always in our heads that the player can go anywhere and do anything in any possible way.​

We think that the main story will cover around 50 hours. The thing that you said about the other quests filling the gaps, that’s probably another 50 hours of content. Then there’s a lot of other gameplay quests. But to answer your question, we don’t want to make anything linear. Where we can get away with not making it linear, we’ll do it.​

As an example, there will be a main plot, a main storyline, but we won’t treat it as a chain of quests. It’ll be more like the theme for everything you’re doing. You’ll travel through a diversified world, and in the different regions, you’ll have a main storyline for each region. You might complete it, or you can abandon part of it. All that will move the main plot somewhere. By doing something or not doing something, by being involved in it or by skipping whole quests.​

Jakub Rokosz: Also, not doing something… When you’re finishing the storyline for some area, there’s also a significance if you choose not to do anything in relation to things people ask you to do. The story will be all around you, to a greater or lesser extent. Sometimes you may think that you’re not doing anything related to the main plot right now, that you’re not advancing it, but in reality you will be. It may have some impact on the main plot as well.​

In addition to this, the interview also reveals that The Witcher 3 will feature morale and surrender mechanics for human enemies, and that it will introduce a "Witcher sense" ability. This ability will highlight points of interest in the environment (in before Skyway) and in certain places may allow Geralt to visualize events that happened in the recent past.

There are 37 comments on CD Projekt Developers Talk About Witcher 3's Open World C&C at Rock Paper Shotgun

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