We recently got in touch with Peter Gelencser, Senior Level Designer at CD Projekt RED and were able to ask him a number of questions regarding The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Check out the entire interview below.
GamingBolt: The landmass figure for Witcher 3 is 35 times bigger than in The Witcher 2. How much of that is bigger than Witcher 1?
Peter Gelencser: I have no comparison. I would say a lot. [laughs] I don’t know for sure.
"To be honest, itself. Because we don’t create properties to be compared and to be based on other values. It should be good on its own. "
Do you have any idea how big it might be compared to, say, Skyrim?
We have no comparison for that, to be honest. We only have our own game that we can actually measure. It’s supposed to be bigger than it, though.
Skyrim’s kind of an obvious comparison that everyone draws. As designers, what game would you like The Witcher 3 to be compared to? I mean any games or television programs…
To be honest, itself. Because we don’t create properties to be compared and to be based on other values. It should be good on its own. We are iterating, basically, the feedback we got on The Witcher 1 and 2. We want to make it comfortable and accessible and efficient for you guys. So it’s your game. That’s why it’s not like it’s better than Skyrim or better than something. It’s good for you and you like it, and that’s it.
What are the explicit changes in combat?
Quantity-wise, more animations, of course. Smoother and everything. It has to look nice and it will look nice. In terms of updation in the input. It’s a combination of feedback and features encountered in dedicated fighting games. So it’s like, you press a button, something happens. It’s straightforward, smooth, responsive and it gives you full control.
"It depends on the hardware differences. The experience should be identical. The individual little tid-bits might be different of course because they are different hardware."
Are there many differences between the versions? Because this is the first game you’ve developed on both consoles and the PC. Witcher didn’t come to consoles, The Witcher 2 came to the Xbox 360, which was a year and a half later, and that was the Enhanced Edition. Are the versions for The Witcher 3 pretty much identical?
It depends on the hardware differences. The experience should be identical. The individual little tid-bits might be different of course because they are different hardware. That is the point of it. Of course we are trying and aiming to provide the same awesome experience to everyone, with no compromises.
Will the differences between the PS4 and Xbox One versions will boil down to individual hardware?
Is there any customization of Geralt himself?
I mean, we’re trying to maintain the standards we’ve established with the RPG features in the previous games. So customization will obviously include customization of items and equipment and all that. Other than that, we’re considering many possibilities, of course, and if we come to terms with any of them, we will probably feature them in one of our later presentations.
"The vast open world is going to be full of opportunities and chances. So it’s not like everybody said “oh, let’s make an open world game and let’s fill it with chickens and whatever.”"
Because that kind of epitomizes what makes The Witcher really good. You take a mission where you, okay, “go kill the troll” and turn it into something completely different.
You might remember something very similar from the presentation, and this is happening. We know how it is happening, and we will maintain it. It’s going to span all over the world, I guess, this kind of smart story weaving. We have a lot of very talented story guys and I think they actually enjoy these kinds of missions and they definitely want to include multiple quests. But that’s my personal opinion and even I have yet to see what they come up with.
The Witcher 2 wasn’t exactly open world. Do you think going open world in TW3 presents a risk of losing what made The Witcher 1 and 2 so concise?
Actually I don’t think so. Because it was the story that came first, and then it kind of pushed out the environment. Because again, as I said, basically the vastness of the open world is there for you to explore the story. We really mean that. It’s going to be better than this. The vast open world is going to be full of opportunities and chances. So it’s not like everybody said “oh, let’s make an open world game and let’s fill it with chickens and whatever.” We came up with a huge story, that we have to put in some sort of a box. And this box is going to big.
Aside from the random encounters with the creatures, is there much in the way of boss fights?
Boss fights are non-existent in the world of Witcher. The creatures you find and hunt for are basically the things that other games refer to as “bosses.” But since we’re an open world and Geralt is a monster hunter, it’s kind of fitting that he actually hunts them down. So instead of having a corridor or a tower with levels, we have something that’s more open that you can approach from different directions and you can access these kinds of monsters and defeat them.
"Boss fights are non-existent in the world of Witcher. The creatures you find and hunt for are basically the things that other games refer to as “bosses.”"
Yeah, I guess it wouldn’t make sense to have closed boss fights in an open world.
It’s kind of more comfortable like that. I mean, in a classical sense, the players are comfortable with the concept of a boss fight. So this might strike them as something fresh and new and would definitely give them a new experience.
Could you talk a little about Charles Dance?
[laughs] Yeah, I’m still collecting my jaws from the floor. Because I learned that just like you did. I think I stumbled upon it on some of my colleagues’ Facebook posts, saying we have Charles Dunce. And I’m thinking ‘why’s that familiar?’ … Okay, okay, Game of Thrones and all that. [laughs]
His character in the game isn’t exactly similar to Tywin Lannister.
The actor has a rich voice, vocal character, per se. That’s an inspiration for us and the character is going to be an inspiration for him. And the amalgamation of these two is going to result in something unique yet familiar. We have chosen him for a reason. Personal opinion, of course.
"We’re experimenting a lot of things, because with the new hardware, the new excellent consoles are offering a lot of things which we are very happy about because of the possibilities."
Is there any touchpad support?
Touchpad on which controller?
I think a lot of things like that are being considered. I can’t really say anything specific on that. I mean, we’re experimenting a lot of things, because with the new hardware, the new excellent consoles are offering a lot of things which we are very happy about because of the possibilities. So let’s use them if we can. But again, story first, game first. We’re not going to waste our time into something that does not serve the purpose of the story and your experience.
What’s the leveling system like for Geralt?
That’s a question I can’t really answer at the moment.
Okay, fair enough. So what’s the projected release date for The Witcher 3?
It’s next year.