While most developers eagerly create choices, CD Projekt RED has created a world, the state of which organically moulds itself around the consequences of the player’s actions. You will never see everything that the Witcher series has to offer, but then, your journey feels uniquely your own.
“You don’t even want to know how much work that takes,” laughs Maciej Szcześnik, lead gameplay designer on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. “Really. We’re making a game with 36 different possible endings, 12 world states and three fully playable epilogues. And all this is powered by your choices and is interconnected. If you want to get the scope of it, picture this: 100 hours of gameplay, a ton of quests and decisions to be made. Imagine the time needed to put all this into one coherent piece. Yes, you don’t even want to know.”
As the last part of the trilogy, it promises a fittingly epic conclusion to Geralt of Rivia’s story, not to mention the journey taken by the studio itself over the past decade. The independent Polish studio has grown enormously from its inauspicious origins as a distributor, branching into videogame development in 2002 after dalliances in the localisation market and a brief flirtation with porting console games to PC (the predominant format in Poland). 2007’s The Witcher was CD Projekt RED’s inaugural release, the most expensive game developed in Poland at the time, using BioWare’s Aurora Engine and with the majority of the development team learning the ropes as it went along.