CD Projekt RED - What developing Witcher RPGs taught the developers
GamaSutra has an 3 page interview on what developing the Witcher RPGs taught the deevlopers of CD Project RED when it comes to develop RPGs. They also talk about how the transfer licensed properties to a gaming medium. They also discuss how all this has affected the future plans of the company.
A quote about what attracted them to the Cyberpunk License:
First of all, I'm curious to learn more about what drew CD Projekt RED to the Cyberpunk license. What about that franchise attracted you as a studio?
Marcin Iwinski (Co-founder and joint CEO): It was the setting. That's what we're really excited about. Adam Badowski (Studio head): And we're an RPG-focused developer, so making a game based on a pen and paper game made sense. Those games have always been very important to us. MI: We're really excited! We really wanted to make Cyberpunk, and when we started digging around in the team, we saw what people were fans of, and it turned out that a lot of people on the team played pen and paper games, so we thought, "Okay, we'll take a look at that."
A quote on how to blend story and characterization in games:
So how do you plan to overcome those challenges? Something like Skyrim, for example, has a lot of customization, but its story is less about the character and more about the world. The Witcher's story, meanwhile, really played up Geralt's history, his personality, and things like that.
AB: We're not really sure yet. I mean, there's no one true workflow when making RPG games, but we’re trying to combine things, we're mixing different ideas. But we've been very impressed withSkyrim, particularly in how they've made that game and its content so diverse.
MI: In terms of what you can expect from us, you can expect a rich story, and there won't be any easy shortcuts that say, "Hey! You're this unknown guy..." You know?
A quote on what they learned during the development of Witcher 2:
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.
MI: Just to make sure we're understood correctly by our fans, this does not mean that we are going to simplify our games. That's definitely not the case. But for some audiences, the learning curve should be improved, and particularly the introduction to the world should be improved.
A quote about the future plans:
Looking ahead, are there any other platforms you have your eye on?
AB: Yes. We'll be releasing the visually-stunning Witcher 2 on Android! (Laughs) MI: (Laughs) No, no. When the time comes, we'll be talking about the new stuff, but as you can imagine, we're looking to really push the boundaries of the next generation of platforms, so that's pretty much the place for us.
AB: This is why we developed our own engine. Speaking of which, after going through all the hurdles to make your own engine, do you have plans to license it out to other developers?
MI: We're thinking about it, but it's far too early. We'd have to prepare the tools in the right way... We have some ideas of course, but we can't talk too much about them now. Stay tuned...
Source: RPG Codex