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Default The Witcher - Interview @ GameShark

June 8th, 2007, 05:25
CD Projekt's Michal Madej has popped up again in an interview at GameShark about The Witcher. This topic created a bit of discussion recently so here's another explanation:
Secondly, a large proportion of games tend to – simply through their construction – severely restrict their own ability to create the build-up before dramatic decisions are to be made. Moreover, and probably more significantly, players can save their progress before making the choice, verify whether its outcome is beneficial enough to pursue, and only then make the actual decision, depending on what proves most advantageous. Now tell me, where is the fun in that? We addressed the problem by introducing a certain time delay before the consequences of any decision become apparent. Only after a couple of hours of gameplay will the player have to confront the outcomes of his choices. As a result, the gamer will truly have to follow his own consciousness, as he increasingly empathizes with Geralt and his predicaments. Even more significantly, however, whatever choices are made, all are equally valid, as all make the plot progress. Moral dilemmas, therefore, need to be treated as a price to be paid for the attainment of results. The consequences of these choices will steadily keep building up throughout the plot. A point I would like to add is that players will always be made fully aware why they are where they are in the story, as special cut-scene “flashbacks” will be employed.
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June 8th, 2007, 05:26
The clarification about the adult material in The Witcher is explained very well.

I cannot believe the reviewer asked if the combat is similar to Diablo

I'm not a Diablo hater but that's like comparing oranges with apples - Diablo isn't much of a story driven RPG either. To me, at least.

Hark, I hear the distant angry murmurings of an approaching mob. Now where did I put my asbestos suit…
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June 8th, 2007, 08:02
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
The clarification about the adult material in The Witcher is explained very well.

I cannot believe the reviewer asked if the combat is similar to Diablo

I'm not a Diablo hater but that's like comparing oranges with apples - Diablo isn't much of a story driven RPG either. To me, at least.

Hark, I hear the distant angry murmurings of an approaching mob. Now where did I put my asbestos suit…
Diablo had a story? Compared to Pong, possibly.

No secret I'm fond of the game and the genre but anyone who sees Diablo as a story-driven rpg needs to put down the pipe. I'm glad Madej made it clear that this will not be just another clickfest.

I hope they get their 'M' rating and aren't forced to cut anything major for N.A. Atari is pretty hung-up on getting its titles into WalMart and such.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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June 8th, 2007, 10:17
You people actually consider Diablo an RPG….Hahahahaha…more like an action/adventure that tries to be an RPG but failes miserably.
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June 8th, 2007, 10:25
Well, what counts is the interviewee not the interviewer since the former is working on the game. Much better answers to unworthy questions.

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June 8th, 2007, 11:30
This is another of those "Mm, interesting" ones. I like what they're saying about the design goals; if they actually pull it off — choices with consequences, great dynamic combat with well-balanced and divergent character development, a deep world that goes beyond good-vs-evil clichés — it might be a classic.

Then again, G3 aimed for all of this too, and fell rather tragically short.

I'm in "wait-and-see" mode over this one.
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June 8th, 2007, 14:18
- I like the discussion of the moral stuff and mature content.
- Nice about the flexible camera and control system.

But I'm having a hard time getting past this:
Consequently, we avoided any unexciting static turn-based play, thoughtless and mind-numbing mouse-clicking, or a “click and forget” system.
OK, sure I like real-time combat, and the click-click combo system sounds very interesting as well … but for some reason that comment just grates on me … perhaps it is because I feel that there is no need to put down alternate combat systems, especially brilliant turn-based ones, in order to promote their own unproven system.

— Mike
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June 8th, 2007, 18:08
I think you're reading it wrong. They're only putting down the unexciting turn-based systems, and thoughtless mouse clicking etc. They don't say anything bad about good turn based or mouse-click systems.
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June 8th, 2007, 19:19
I am trying to get to grips with the flashbacks and what their purpose might be. Sure i know what flashbacks are (hey i once played 'flashback' years ago!) because if the consequences of Geralts actions and choices will not become apparent right away but at some time later then flashbacks could prove a useful function….a prompt for second thoughts maybe or strategic save-game point?
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June 8th, 2007, 19:27
Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
I am trying to get to grips with the flashbacks and what their purpose might be. Sure i know what flashbacks are (hey i once played 'flashback' years ago!) because if the consequences of Geralts actions and choices will not become apparent right away but at some time later then flashbacks could prove a useful function….a prompt for second thoughts maybe or strategic save-game point?
Yes, exactly. It's so you know what triggered a certain event. Then if you replay the game, you can try something else the next time around. They are actually trying to prevent players from making 'strategic' saves on the first playthrough so you'll only get the chance to try a different approach on the second or third or whatever time through the game.
I'm wondering though how difficult it will be to keep track of every single trigger. There's definitely a bit of potential for this to get completely out of hand but we shall see about that when the game is released, I guess.
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June 8th, 2007, 19:30
Yes indeed Mo' but isn't that a "dumbing down" tactic.
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June 8th, 2007, 19:46
Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
Yes indeed Mo' but isn't that a "dumbing down" tactic.
No, why? Do you think that there should be no hint at all? No flashbacks?
Remember: They said that even seemingly small decisions/actions can have very severe consequences later on so I think it makes sense to give the player at least some little clues.
I mean, honestly, how many games do you finish or even replay? How much time do you have for gaming? What would happen if you played a "flashback-less" Witcher? Would you go through the game 50+ times just to find out where the hidden triggers are? Or would you buy the official stratgey guide and go your preferred/ideal route through the game? Or print out walkthroughs from the Internet? Would any of that be fun?
See, I don't think that it's practical to have a game where even small actions can have severe consequences many hours later w/o a clue what exactly it was that triggered an event. To have no flashbacks or clues would be really lame. We're all playing games to be entertained and not to be punished and tortured, right?
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June 8th, 2007, 20:51
I can take a bit of punishment in the name of accomplishment, but not like Arx Fatalis-style punishment!
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June 8th, 2007, 21:39
And this is where i differ……(x)

If as you progress through the game and gain more info' you realise that maybe you should have made an alternate choice two or three flashback waypoints downstream, i wouldn't mind that at all, i call this meandering progress, however reloading a save game from say twenty or thirty flashback waypoints back, i think could put most players off reloading and continue with the given consequences.

Now if, and this is open speculation, the game seeks to 'hold the hand' of the gamer by allowing to sense or 'see' a better route through the game story by back-tracking just a few flashback waypoints back down the line, this would in some way be dumbing down the game. It would of course be dependant on flashback numbers probably.

(x)……for me i don't mind going back to the start of a good game, i do this often, enjoyment sure….a tough challenge even better! This indeed would be true ingame challenge/difficulty rather than the sliding scale adjuster.
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June 8th, 2007, 23:11
Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
Now if, and this is open speculation, the game seeks to 'hold the hand' of the gamer by allowing to sense or 'see' a better route through the game story by back-tracking just a few flashback waypoints back down the line, this would in some way be dumbing down the game. It would of course be dependant on flashback numbers probably.
I don't think this is the way it works. They said that some of the triggers will be completely non-obvious. I don't know if they are planning on unlimited save slots but you would probably basically have to make a database of save games to be on the "safe" side so that you can try out different stuff later. But if you'd do that then you'd be playing save game administrator more than the actual game . They specifically said that they do not want people to make saves to be able to reload and try something different. That's why the triggers are well hidden. There is no obvious route or a guideline according to what they said.

To make up an example (totally made up by me, not based on game info): You get this really boring quest in the beginning of the game to clear a cellar of rats. Typical standard role-playing crap quest. So you just do it without giving it too much thought.
Then, 27 hours later at a critical point in the story, you experience a flashback cutscene where you find out that the rats were in reality poor slaves who were transformed into rats by an evil witch and you killed them all!
The clue for you here is when you play the game next time to look for alternative ways, to do more research and to maybe try and find the evil witch or something like that.

It would be dumb luck if you had a save game right before this completely ordinary quest so I don't see how the flashback "dumbs" anything down. It's just a clue that there is something there that might require a little more careful approach and some more investigating next time.

(x)……for me i don't mind going back to the start of a good game, i do this often, enjoyment sure….a tough challenge even better! This indeed would be true ingame challenge/difficulty rather than the sliding scale adjuster.
OK, this is where we have a fundamental difference in preference then . I absolutely hate replaying stuff, especially in RPGs where the story will most of the time only be ever so marginally different on a replay. That just bores me to tears real fast. But if The Witcher keeps its promise of offering vastly different experiences depending on your choices along the way, then this might be one of the very few games that I will play a second time. I'll believe it when I see it though… too many games have not kept that promise at all .
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Default This game just went from not interested to must have

June 9th, 2007, 01:45
For years, I have thought that the worst part of RPG's was the immediate payoff on decisions, both because it made the effects seem anti-climactic and because of the gameplay mechanics - you save right before the difficult situation, completely removing the tension. Tension only comes from consequences.

They found the solution I have been hoping for. Give the player interesting moral decisions, but don't place them in the context of immediate results. So you choose to help out a kid on the street. Later in the game, he gets you into the thieve's guild. You turn him into the cops instead. Later in the game, the cops purposely let you escape from jail.

One of the things people most love about Fallout was the unexpected consequences. Getting turned away from home in Fallout 1. The results at the end, of what happened to each town. That kind of experience resonates for years. I really hope the Witcher pulls it off.

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