Witcher 3 - Interview @ StickSkills
StickSkills interviews Game Director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz on topics such as the games comparisons to Skyrim and next-gen challenges.
StickSkills: We keep hearing about Wild Hunt’s open world, and how the geography players will be able to explore is more than 30 times bigger than what was seen in The Witcher 2. Does that mean the game’s quests and personality might be more dispersed, or will The Witcher 3 continue the series’ trend of being a “dense” RPG?
Konrad Tomaszkiewicz, Game Director: The quest per pixel (we should trademark this!) metric is as high as it’s humanly possible in The Witcher 3. We’ve added quite a few people to the departments responsible for quest design and writing – we’re willing to go very far make side-quests seamless and coherent with the whole world you’ll get to explore. Nothing is generic; we try to avoid clichés as much as we can. There’s a lot of hard work involved as everything is being done by hand, we try to give every NPC a convincing backstory and every part of the land a bit of their own folklore. If you remember our E3 demo, where we showed the Leshen and the monster’s impact on the local folk who build something of a ritual around it, yeah, that’s what we mean. And it was “just” a side-quest.
SS: At this point in development, are you sick of hearing the Skyrim comparisons? What do you think sets your game apart?
KT: Skyrim is a great game and it’s always a good thing when people think well of your game. Having said that, The Witcher 3 is a story-oriented experience. What we excel at is reaching that center of the brain that’s responsible for evoking emotions – we constantly put stuff in and observe a full palette of gamers’ reactions. Sapkowski created a really believable and dark universe and this is something really unique to us. In this regard, adding the open world to The Witcher is just another step to make it a more complete experience and not the main feature of the game. We’re still focusing on the narrative, the world just got a lot bigger and the borders within it disappeared.
SS: Does The Witcher’s narrative priority at all hurt the combat? This is a franchise built on its story, but what are you doing in this third game to keep players interested in the mechanics?
KT: It’s not like the narrative ever hurt the mechanic, or at least we hope so! To cater to the needs of those who prefer a good brawl, we’ve completely redesigned the combat while retaining the things that gamers told us worked in The Witcher 2. The fighting will be more intimate and the pace will be a bit slower making the whole experience less chaotic and more tactical. We’ve had several approaches to what we thought would be the sweet spot of a superior combat mechanic and this time, with all lessons learned, we think we nailed it.
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