Witcher 3 - Preview Roundup #5
It's time for round five of previews for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
The Witcher 3 managed to position itself as one of the top titles of E3.
During E3 2013, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt received countless nominations and 49 awards, including “Best Game of E3”, “Best RPG of E3” and “Editor’s Choice”, from gaming magazines and websites worldwide.
“Humble as we are, we were amazed by the volume of positive feedback we received during E3. That’s why we would like to sincerely thank everyone for taking the time to watch the Gameplay Debut Trailer! We want to promise you one thing – The Witcher 3 will rock and we’re making it rock for you!” – said Adam Badowski, CD Projekt RED Studio Head.
In a similar manner that the Witcher 2 E3 presentation opened a couple of years ago, we started off by watching a brief animated short based on the game that saw Geralt encounter a woman and need and save her. The Witcher 3 will focus on Geralt's story and conclude his character arc - even as significant events that took place at the end of the last game continue to shake up the kingdoms. Wild Hunt is a new deadly force that has emerged and began sweeping the lands, and Geralt makes it his quest to follow deadly army and try to stop them for his own reasons. The developers say that gamers won't need to be familiar with the previous games to understand Witcher 3, as this is a personal story and a new adventure. There is a promised 50 hours of main story content in the game, and almost as much side content.
While the connection between a game or a film and the books that inspired them can sometimes be problematic, it’s clear from The Witcher developers that the Andrzej Sapkowski source material does draw some lines for them in terms of their game design. So no harpy riding, apparently. “No, no. It’s not that kind of game,” Ziemak said. “I think we have a very defined setting, and Geralt always used a horse in the books. So, that’s all he can use in The Witcher 3. You can’t ride different animals.”
And for those of us who enjoyed multiple playthroughs of the first two Witcher games, each time in a different language, it appears the developers are working to bring back the same voice talent that made a playthrough in Polish or German so refreshing and different. “The actors are very important for us, since we want to have a feeling of continuity for the story between games, and that includes voices,” Ziemak said. “So yes, in many cases we’re working with the same actors.”
Ziemak also went into some depth regarding how the eccentric—and often challenging—combat system from The Witcher 2 might be updated in the new title. This was a system that eventually required a tutorial to fully sell itself to many players. “You have new ways to dodge enemies and parry their blows,” he said. “But also, for each magical sign, you can use two versions of it. One is extended. For example, the Igni sign has a constant flamethrower thing whereas there’s also single, more destructive blow of fire. This is one of the new elements. We’re also introducing new alchemical potions, and other minor elements that will change the experience.”
We again hear that there are numerous different endings in store for players who reach The Witcher 3′s endgame, possibly as many as 36, according to Ziemak. The open-world environment should also allow game saves at any point and will accommodate fast travel to locations that have already been discovered, Ziemak said.
And here is an interview from Gamesindustry.biz with Executive producer John Mamais.
"Basically, we've built an engine team. On Witcher 2, it was just one team. A few engine programmers were on there as well, but now we've split the team up. Now we've got a big core engine team. There's like 15 programmers working just on the engine to create a cross-platform solution for the game. These guys have lots of console experience," said Mamais.
"It's all about staffing and team organization... we're in new territory now. It's not PlayStation 3, it's not Xbox 360. It's new platforms, so it's still a learning experience for us. It's going to be a real challenge to do a cross-platform simultaneous release. First time for us, too. It's going to be hard. It's going to come down to the expertise on our programming team to get that right."
"We're still working on the tile-based streaming system. We don't want any load times. That kind of thing didn't exist in Witcher 2, and now you can go anywhere you want to. It's a huge change in the architecture of the system to make that work," Mamais added.
"It's also expertise that we've had to add to our locations team: how to make assets. We don't want to make a game that looks procedurally-generated. We don't want a game that looks the same everywhere. So we've had to create a bigger locations team. Bigger team, but we've also had to beef up our toolset, so it's easier and faster for those guys to work."
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