Cyberpunk story more accessible than Witcher's - Dev

Polish studio admits its Witcher games provided gamers little context for source material, says that won't happen with upcoming future-set role-playing game.

The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red is working to establish a "smoother learning curve" with regard to the story in its new Cyberpunk game, developers at the Polish studio told Gamasutra in an interview published today. The Witcher and its sequel were based on a series of novels from Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, and looking back, company cofounder Marcin Iwinski admitted not enough was done to introduce players to the novels' various storylines.

CD Projekt Red promises to better introduce players to the story in Cyberpunk.

"In The Witcher 1, for example, we were throwing people in the middle of the story, and we assumed that players would know what is happening! But a lot of players told us that they didn't really understand this relationship or that relationship," Iwinski said. "With our future games, we want the player to be able to get more context, and we need to introduce the game and its characters to people more properly."

CD Projekt Red managing director Adam Badowski said that after development had wrapped on The Witcher 2, the studio took time to devise ideas about how to effectively introduce players to source material in future games.

"We spent days discussing a general postmortem after we finished The Witcher 2," Badowski said. "What we learned from the Witcher series is that we need to attract people with a smoother learning curve when it comes to the storyline."

Iwinski explained that the job of making an accessible story for Cyberpunk is similar to what is achieved on HBO's show Game of Thrones. He explained that while this series strikes content found in George R.R. Martin's books, it keeps what is essential to telling an engaging story.

"And that's what we want to capture. In [Cyberpunk], we want to create a story that is very profound, but the novice players should be introduced to [the world] better than they were in The Witcher 2," Iwinski said.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

109 comments
aimmy79
aimmy79

oh no! i just want the witcher 3!

carl_rayer
carl_rayer

When they say accessible i hope they don't mean dumb downed I like stories where i can go away and think about what happened 

Outatomomega
Outatomomega

I went into The Witcher 2 without knowing anything about the it. It took a lot of research and 2 playthroughs for me to fully understand what was going on but I enjoyed every it. I would love to play another title made by these guys without that steep learning curve. 

Hurvl
Hurvl

This seems like the good kind of "accessible", immersing players more into the game's world and the relation between characters, not simplifying the story, because they don't think gamers want games that makes them think.

system3142
system3142

The Witcher boys are doing a cyberpunk game? Where do I sign?

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

in this day and age all i can say is they just better not screw this up. If i see another of my favorite series wasted through pure laziness im going to show them what a cyber punk really does.  Mark my F(*@ing words.

jackbrazil
jackbrazil

They better work on story, yes!

Witcher 2 is a great game , it starts great but slows down as u go further, in the last chapter i just didnt care anymore for wht was coming, uninteresting plot for me.

Pyromk1
Pyromk1

to be honest I liked that i didnt have my hand held all the way through the Witcher in terms of the story. It actually made me seek out and read the books ( the ones that that have been translated that is) it felt like there was history to Geralt that most games protagonists lack

TJORLY
TJORLY

Its good to see the devs are actually thinking about how to implement the story. Most devs nowadays just make it the last priority and botch it.

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

i'll definitely preorder this game.  i would preorder all of their games, after witcher and witcher 2.

telefanatic
telefanatic

Cant wait! I love there games, and this will be day 1 for me.

Lotus-Edge
Lotus-Edge

The game is called "Cyberpunk"? 

Hmm....

soeppel
soeppel

CD Project Red will never turn into post-EA Bioware. Cyberpunk is gonna be great!

 

BTW: Pointing out the obvious here, but by doing this CD Project Red will have a fantasy and a sci-fi franchise just like Bethesda and BioCrap before them.

 

To all those mentioning Shadowrun: As I understand it Cyberpunk will be based upon the pen-and-paper RPG with the same name. So there will be no magic, dwarves, elves etc. Of course both draw from the same inspirations. Just hope they rewrite the timeline (I think the timeline in Cyberpunk 2020 start in the early 90s or something), so we don't get an alternative reality like in the Fallout series. I really, really, really want a realistic, dark sci-fi-noir RPG set in the near future.

no_fear_in_hell
no_fear_in_hell

I get some people had a hard time coming into the Wicher 2, but you would also had a similar reaction if your first game would be Dragon Age 2 instead of Origins....(more so cause Dragon Age 2 sucks Tibetan monkey balls...)

Another thing entirely is people that dont particularly like Fantasy RPGs and heavy story games... That is perfect and I understand it... maybe it wasnt the game for you, and it's OK.  :)

 

My point, gamers that enjoy fantasy RPGs dont usually find a problem understanding the Witcher plots.

TheTrueObelus
TheTrueObelus

This is a smart company. They are listening. I played Witcher 2 but I never had any real idea what was going on and no investment in the characters which hurt the experience

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

i don't know, if you live in a world, you won't be explaining the places that you and everyone else knows, or events that everyone knows, or people that everyone knows. to me, not every game has to have a "fish out of water" character so we can be spoonfed everything.

 

both the witcher and a song of ice and fire (aka game of thrones) don't use any method of explaining what happened, which is fine, and you still understand the story fine.

RYPER
RYPER

Regardless of what the studio thinks of Witcher 1's story, it was SO much better than it's inferior sequel. After a marathon session of playing The Witcher:EE and The Witcher 2:EE beginning to end I have to say that the first is an amazing experience, with its bugs and all it's still much better than W2. I just hope for our sake that CD Projekt Red does not follow BioWare's example with DA2 and ME2/3 by dumbing their games down to "make it more mainstream." Ow but wait, they already did. 

pogswarts
pogswarts

This sounds really cool... still got to get around to playing the Witcher 1 &2 though.

ydnarrewop
ydnarrewop

I can`t help but to think of something akin to a steampunk style Shadowrun. And anything Shadowrun-ish gets me very excited!  :*D

Tsuska
Tsuska

I think it's nice to leave some stuff (a little) to the imagination. Like at the end of Witcher 1. XD. Don't need to spell everything out for us =P. But yea...first playthrough of the witcher 2 left me reading a lot of the character backgrounds and getting my head around who is who and what is going on and where it is happening. And i've read the two english translated books + the 2nd collection of short stories by fan translation.

KerrinScott
KerrinScott

This is precisely what ended up turning me off about both games. Not to be too critical, but the in-media-res nature of the stories plus the grossly disconnected continuities of the characters was a huge turnoff. Ten years ago, the depth of the gameplay might have won me over, but in my early 30s, well, I need more narrative substance in my RPGs to sustain my desire to play. I'm incredibly glad they want to rectify this because I really do believe their a fantastic dev group.

emacdaddy08
emacdaddy08

I never got around to playing the first Witcher, but I have to say the second one was probably the closest to a perfect game I've ever played. If this new game of theirs is half as good I'll love it.

altairdarius
altairdarius

Even if the relations of Geralt in the witcher series were a little tricky, the story was changeable enough and very profound. BUT if they go to the levels of game of thrones series line-story in this next RPG, well they are going to make the best of the RPG games.

IndySandbagTrik
IndySandbagTrik

I'm currently playing The Witcher (on PC) with The Witcher II awaiting me post that for Xbox 360 - reading 'The Last Wish' as I play also, it's great.

 

Thanks CD Projekt Red and A.S. for the great games and equally great source material!!

dah_master
dah_master

Witcher 2 was one of the best RPG's I have ever played. If they plan to make it better than that, then i will be a happy Geralt...

Psycho_Hands
Psycho_Hands

I got to thank CD Projekt Red for introducing me to the witcher novels.

BigPhil121
BigPhil121

I don't see how the stories of the Witcher and Cyberpunk can even be mentioned in one sentence. The Witcher followed a story of seven books and a TV-series to go with them. Seven books! It took me half a year to read all of them and I was captivated from the beginning to the very end and I played Witcher right after finishing the books, so it was a great experience for me when I had all the events of the books still in my memory. Cyberpunk has no such literary base to build upon, so the writers should have more freedom in crafting a story they feel is appropriate and thrilling. That's why, IMHO, these products cannot be compared in terms of story.

Revelstone
Revelstone

If the Witcher series is any indication, this game will be gold as well. can't wait.

lucifer_goosife
lucifer_goosife

Here CD Projekt, you can have my money now, in the meantime I'll wait patiently over here until you finish the game.

BloodScarlet
BloodScarlet

Picking up anything CC Projekt, they still have not disappointed me.

KillerBill316
KillerBill316

Been waiting for a good cyberpunk themed RPG. I'm sure they won't disappoint.

pip3dream
pip3dream

< Happy girl here.  Seriously, I AM SO OVER ELVES AND DRUNK DWARFS and a billion throw away fantasy games.  Long live cyberpunk! Plus, it's way sexier.

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

 @Crush_Project  @ing Grumbles in a gutter somewhere wearing an old trench coat, reeking of booze and eventually dying from a bullet wound to the skull due to unpaid debts owed to a multinational corporation?

TJORLY
TJORLY

@Lotus-Edge Its based on the PNP rpg that was called 'Cyberpunk 2020', atleast thats what I think its name was.

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

 @Lotus-Edge cyberpunk is a genre of fiction in which magic and technology clash with one another.  i doubt the game's name is actually that, as I've seen this reported as a "cyberpunk RPG" as opposed to a game called cyberpunk.  it'd be like calling a book romance novel.  maybe it is called that but it isn't clear from the article.

SciFiRPGfan
SciFiRPGfan

 @soeppel Bro, I hope for the same, I do (though I also don't think that BioWare are as bad as you are making them out to be), but you really should never say never.

 

Times are tough, CD Projekt may get into some troubles or their patience with steadily, but quite slowly growing profits may run out and... who knows... we may not recognize them few years from now on. :/ They wouldn't be the first company to change dramatically.

 

So, let's not vouch for something we can't influence and also, hoping for the best, but being prepared for worst, usually pays off. For now though, CDPR for the win! <3

jollybest1
jollybest1

 @no_fear_in_hell What is a RPG game without a story?  Nothing, People are just lazy, they like games that are predictable or a main plot that can be understood by a 3 years old child. I loved the Game of thrones game for it's amazing story and twists and and it was amazing, I didn't even watched or read any books. When I've started playing The witcher I didn't knew about the books but after finishing the first game and seen that the story was great I started to read the books, then played the second, now I want more.

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gussu
gussu

 @RYPER I personally felt ME2 was much more replayable and enjoyable compared to ME. The customization etc options were less, but the combat was definitely better.

jollybest1
jollybest1

 @RYPER I don't know how did they dumbed down anything. Ya ya less playtime, less chapters, the ui was kinda strange but the story still was great, kinda hard to grasp if you didn't play the first or/and read some of the books. This "dumbed" down thing isn't valid in TW series. Both games had their ups and downs. The second was different not dumbed down. As for ME series I loved all 3 games except for the ending which killed every damned thing. Played TW1 (a lot of playtime but the fighting became dull at one point, just upgrade the igni sign and you will be ok even on the hardest difficulties) 3 times from start to end, TW2 3 times now I am playing for the 4th time . If you want a great example of dumbed down game play DA2 same damned zone/places, dull quests, few customisation options, few spells and powers thats if you compare it with DA-O and so many bad things but still the story was ok and for me if the story is great I will like the game.

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Crush_Project
Crush_Project

 @downloadthefile cyberpunk was a specific game that was closed down in the 80's by the government.  

 

Its since turned into a genre, that they add pink unicorns and all kinds of other nonsense to get around the gustapo, but cyberpunk is definitely its own thing.

Moloch121
Moloch121

 @SciFiRPGfan

 Well CDProjekt RED is owned by CDProjekt a huge publisher in Europe already. I doubt we'll see them become like Bioware and besides have you seen how their cofounder talks about DRM and games? I get the feeling he really enjoys games and doesn't just say it.

leikeylosh
leikeylosh

 @jollybest1 You are right. Game of Thrones RPG has horrendous dated graphics, stiff animations and boring combat, but the story is awesome.

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

 @jollybest1 Thank you! I'm glad to hear someone else save me the trouble of stating this, lol.

 

The only reason I can think that someone would have difficulty in understanding the Witcher series is if they have an adversion to ACTUALLY making their brain cells THINK. Seriously, it's not that hard to follow....

 

I just recently started playing the first game and I find it plenty easy to follow. Of course, I grew up in the ol' skool ways of actually READING books and things (until the gen of gamers out here now....), so I like to think my reading comprehension ain't too shabby, lol.