Marcin Iwinski - Witcher Boss Interview
Glixel interview Marcin Iwinski about the origins of CD Projekt Red and about the thinking behind the companies projects.
At the very beginning of The Witcher 3, Vesemir says to Geralt: "It used to be simple. Monsters were bad, and humans were good. Now things are all confused." That's the theme of the whole game.
In the literature and in the game, the worst monsters are humans. I really don't want to use the word "mature," because it hasn't got the right flavor, the right color, but we developed these games and wrote the story for adults. We want to entertain them. We want to surprise them. We want to play with their vision of the world. The Bloody Baron quest: It's fantasy, there's this unborn child that turns into a monster, but still it's a real, tragic situation.
I'm not playing as many games as I used to, but I love to consume culture. Whenever I go for a certain form of entertainment, I want to be surprised. I want a certain freshness. I want something new. If I'm going to the cinema, and from the very beginning I know what's going to happen, where is the reward for me? I want the story to play with my intelligence, with my knowledge about the world, and maybe deliver something new. I hope that's what we are delivering in our games.
I was hoping to finally finish The Witcher 3 before we talked, and I just couldn't quite get there in time. Is there a reason you wanted the game to be so long?
The thing is, when a game isn't finished, you have a certain vision of the story. You want to make it rich, you want to make it great, and in our case nonlinear, deep, with very strong personalities and characters. And so you run wild.
And then you put it all together, and, "Wow, boy, it's big." You do a lot of cutting, because that's what development is. It's about thinking what you can sacrifice to get to the launch.
If I count my time, I spent around 200 hours in the game, with the expansions. You can finish the game in, what, 60 hours? That's probably what my 14-year-old daughter did. There's a certain feeling of accomplishment at the end.
I'm really curious how my second playthrough would be, but I don't have another 200 hours. What we are all fighting for as creators is people's time. With family and running a company and traveling a lot, I'm more and more paranoid about allocating my time.
I even started keeping a log last year of what I read, what I watch, the culture I consume. I'm so paranoid that I started rating it, and when I see that I spend a couple days on a book and then I give it 3 out of 10 - I'm asking myself, "Why didn't you throw it away?" Because I could have done something else. The backlog is really long.
Just to be clear, I'm not running development. I'm running the company. Of course, I take part in the key decisions, along with the storytellers and the developers working on it.