Witcher 3 dev discusses redefining the open-world genre

CD Projekt Red game director says studio's hope is for "every inch of the world to be interesting and believable."

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt aims to redefine the open-world genre by making "every inch" of the gameworld compelling and believable, according to to game director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz.

"Think about closed-world games," Tomaszkiewicz told Examiner. "Their storytelling is usually quite good because fewer possibilities for gamers mean that developers can plan more and concentrate solely on the finite number of locations in the game."

"We want to take that quality and extend it to an open world," he added. "We want every inch of the world you'll traverse to be interesting and believable. That's our way of redefining [the open-world genre]."

To do this, Tomaszkiewicz said CD Projekt Red must deliver new experiences to gamers within the world as they travel between in-game destinations.

"There was a time when open world gameplay meant that you just had to travel from point A to point B with nothing to do in between," he said."Nowadays, there's like a second game between point A and B. If you want, you can forget that point B even exists."

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt launches in 2014 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. For more, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Discussion

598 comments
gen85
gen85

this looks amazing though i couldn't beat the last witcher i couldn't stand that whole potion crafting bs. still i might give it another chance before wild hunt comes out

Raxyman
Raxyman

"(...)making "every inch" of the gameworld compelling and believable."

That's something i want to see. I'm playing The Last of Us as of late, and i've gotta say, it's better than some movies already, graphically and immersive. I'm simply stunned.

CD Projekt, you guys are already high ranking on my list, but if you actually pull that off on an open-world game... I don't even have words to describe the awesomeness...

vadagar1
vadagar1

characters i remember in skyrim:

dovakin ....

that guy... with a beard and the other guy in robes...and ...yah...

charcters I rememebr in witcher:

1-triss

2-shani

3-danolin

4-zoltan

5-saskia

6-king foltest

7-king damavand

8-lady of the lake

9-alvin

10-iyorvith

11- adaa

12- de wit

13- letho

14- leo

15- cedric :(

16-sile

oh i can list pretty much everyone 

I can even list mission and loactions

skyrim.... i remember NOTHING, it was an empty experience, in contrast I can remmeber stuff from morrowind (vivic, dagoth, the last dwemer)

yah Bethesda.. if u have alarms they should be ringing loud and clear now   

GunEye
GunEye

In the books Geralt died... you know what happened.... etc... Isn't that spoilling the ending or at least a whole lot of the game?

GunEye
GunEye

Really now?!  and yet on the closed-world game that was TW2, you still filled the game with boring fillers like: easy arm-wrestling and dice minigames, and whores.....

I am sorry, but as much as I liked The Witcher 2, and have a neat poster of it on my wall. That game was FAR FAR from perfect. It felt un-polished in some circumstances: for instance on the town under flames part on act 1, you could enter a house, see it on flames from the inside - yet the elves who live there are still mopping dust from the floor?

Anyway, TW3 still is one of the most anticipated games for me, but we only saw the same trailer over and over since e3, no real gameplay.

Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

The Witcher 2 : Assassins of Kings was one of the best games made in last ten years . That Gem now belongs to library where old RPG titles from Bioware , Square Enix , Obsidian and Bathesda are , it earned it's place . Now they are going open world , an open world Witcher game .???? I want it NOOOOOWWWWW !!!

czdesigns
czdesigns

Any chance of a complete trilogy on the PS4? :D

Cashmoney007
Cashmoney007

Take notes Bioware, this trilogy could put yours to shame!

alpha_unit97
alpha_unit97

I think comparing this game to Skyrim is kind of... wrong, If Skyrim hadn't existed who knows how this game would've turned out. Obviously it will be better than TES: V because it's releasing three years later and has had time to learn from the mistakes and triumphs of 3 extra years worth of titles (including Skyrim).

Think about it, if Skyrim released now and not 2 years ago, it would be a completely different game. Comparing the two is like comparing GTA:2 to Red Dead Redemption, two different games, two different times. Now Dragon Age 3 on the other hand...

GreyArt
GreyArt

Can't wait to play this game! wish tomorrow is 2014 XD 

MegaMark1991
MegaMark1991

Witcher 3 or Metal Gear Solid 5 for GOTY 2014?

Raxyman
Raxyman

@vadagar1I agree that the Witcher devs deserve a great deal of respect. I've played Witcher 1 and i've loved it, already bought the second.

But to say that Skyrim is an empty experience you're just pushing it. Paarthunax, basically ANY Daedra (with honorable mention to Sheogorath), Miraak, the main conflict of Imperials vs Stormcloaks (which i still think both sides are assholes), the Aetherium forge, nothing is memorable?

Besides, Witcher and Skyrim gameplay are open world, but their storytelling is different, Witcher tells the story of Geralt, which is, regardless of moral choices inbetween, still a linear story. Skyrim is more open to changes, while you can't simply ignore the main quest you can still pretty much shape anything else with your decisions. Skyrim is a lot more sandbox than Witcher.


I've seen people compare those two games already. Honestly? I think Skyrim is more fun to play, but Witcher's story is indeed remarkable, and CD Projekt is one of my favorite studios, they seem a bit like Valve who cares about gamers and their own games. But no absurd comparisons please.

benelori
benelori

@GunEye 

The games are after the books though...TW2 flashback scenes explain generally what happened, but the devs say that they will go in more depth, especially when it concerns Yennefer as well...

benelori
benelori

@GunEye 

That's why I never buy products early after release....both TW1 and TW2 were unpolished when they came out, but kudos to the devs who kept a good spirit and updated the game, listened to demands etc...

I am a big fan of the Witcher, but even the best games need patches and updates...so I will wait for those...


And I loved those minigames...it gave such a good feeling to the world...."left hook, watch out for the left hook" ...oh god I love taverns XDD

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

@GunEye Mini-games were ok and arm-wrestling gave me nightmares at times.
Never heard or seen any elves in a burning house in act 1, yet I scavenged and checked the whole territory at least twice.
We didn't see gameplay. So? We don't need it to be sure that the Witcher 3 will be ideal.

thermalmotion
thermalmotion

@Cloud_imperium The Witcher isn't for everyone. It seems like a fascinating world but I hated the second game. I really hope Witcher 3's open world is awesome, I'm ready to give it a chance.

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

@czdesigns Maybe. It's CDPR, they have the potential to do an extra good thing.

blueinheaven
blueinheaven

@alpha_unit97 Skyrim released now wouldn't be any different. Like all TES games it would be visually and technically light years behind everything at release till the modders got hold of it and 'fixed it' for free like they always do.

jawslover
jawslover

@alpha_unit97 like there weren't open world RPG's before Skyrim..come on Skyrim didn't innovate anything, they just perfected the formula (except the god awful combat)

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

@alpha_unit97 Usually it's trolls comparing Skyrim to the Witcher to create disturbance in the force. The only comparison is "open-world", which many rpgs have.

NovahJCMP
NovahJCMP

Look I haven't played any of the Witcher games but they look amazing and I've heard they are awesome but don't underestimate Metal Gear. Don't let metal gear rising ruin their rep. MGS 4 is one of the best games and is truly breathtaking. Their both great games.

GunEye
GunEye

@benelori @GunEye I am sure Yennefer will be a main character in this game. It was suggested Geralt is going after her. And it was revealed that this game is about the wild hunt - who SPOILER ALERT

--

--

according to TW2 cought Yennefer. Think of the epic encounters with the specter/wraiths on horseback? I call a scene where Geralt is chased by the whole wild hunt through glorious vistas and waterfalls :D

GunEye
GunEye

@benelori

Yup, that I give them credit! PR sure know how to support their games. I was amazed by the amount of awesome tweaks, smoothenings, additional content and bug fixes that were constantly and frequently provided to us through patches. FOR FREE (Unlike other games *cough cough* Dragons Dogma Dark Arisen 40$ "full game price" cough cough*)

Unlike many other companies, PR takes their job, their games and their fans - us the clients - very seriously. They provide full support, and keep the game alive long after the release date.

I can't say I am not excited, hell, I can't wait for this game already. But I gotta be REAL. TW2 had some problems: combat could have been deeper and more involving. Areas more dense and wide. Story to give more choices and elements. System to work better, etc.

They seem to offer all that on TW3. I just hope they sure deliver! Thumbs up for TW3!

GunEye
GunEye

@RC-Sev mini-games were boring and silly. Arm-wrestlings were pointless too and still easy. Burning house was there, I have seen it and was one of the greatest moments of laugh I had in video games for years.

"TW3 gameplay will sure to be amazing" - that's just not using common sense.

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

@thermalmotion @Cloud_imperium Yet they made the game for more people with implementing simplified gameplay in W2. I hope it will be more complex in W3, actually.

thermalmotion
thermalmotion

God I hope they don't make Shepard HOP around like Geralt does.

alpha_unit97
alpha_unit97

@blueinheaven @alpha_unit97 Are you crazy? both Oblivion and morrowind were light years ahead visually and technically when they released. The same can't be said for Skyrim but it was still an excellent game without mods (no need to tell that to the millions of people who bought it and spent 300 hours in it mod-free).

orangesonic
orangesonic

@NovahJCMP i love the witcher series and MGS series, but MGS4 had too much cutscenes... didn`t like it very much

benelori
benelori

@GunEye @benelori 

Sile de Tanserville gives a hint about Yen, if you let her live when she wants to teleport away in the last chapter of TW2

GunEye
GunEye

@benelori @GunEye Wait what? what? she is free? she wasn't cought by the Wild Hunt? wait, so the wild hunt are after Geralt because he offered his soul?

EPIC DROOLING, still confused!

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

@benelori @GunEye Triss ftw.
It's unlikely we will see Ciri, there's really not much point in it, but I'd be delighted nonetheless.

benelori
benelori

@GunEye @benelori 

But Geralt managed to rescue Yennefer and she's in Nilfgaard now...he offered his soul or whatnot...

And yeah...they said that Geralt will go after his loved ones, and that TW3 will have a more personal touch to it...

I can't wait to see the Yen x Triss catfight :3 , and I'm looking forward to Ciri as well....

GunEye
GunEye

@benelori @GunEye I felt like that too, and felt bad about Dragon's Dogma as well. I loved that game, but it was too small and you travelled the same places over and over, too repetitive.

And I swear, give me Dragon's Dogma, in the rich Skyrim world, and I am affixed to the monitor! :D I hope TW3 would be like that - only bigger and better in terms of everything, mainly story and choices.

benelori
benelori

@GunEye @benelori 

Yup...and I like how they said that even side missions will be morally ambigous and the effects of choices during side missions will have unexpected consequences...

If you followed Kevin van Ord's cover on what they showed at E3, then you know what I'm talking about.

Regarding the overall progress in game design...tighter games before a great open world game...it reminded me of what Bioware was trying to go with DA2...

Too bad they messed up a bit, but to me it was clear, that the they made DA2 like it was, because they were going to blend both experiences from DA:O and DA2 in the third game. Too bad they had to rush their game out so...I hope DA3 will be awesome...

GunEye
GunEye

@benelori Amen brother, can't disagree with you. You are right, it makes a lot of sense to boost the series by delivering a tightly story driven adventure, with block-buster looks and production values, yet smaller and more focus. And later, when they are ready, and know what fans want and what they should improve - improve the formula by transfering it from closed to open world.

I will admit, I think they really are going to redifine open world action rpg gameplay and story.

About what you said on the game being story driven and not character driven - that is a change they are going to make: TW3 will not only be story driven (the world, the war, the characters) but it is going to be focused on Geralt's feeling, past, future and the shadows that chased him his whole life.

I love TW2 for its story driven cinematic experience. Games are getting further and further from that nowdays, unfortunately, it is hard to find proper story & characters in games.

PR however promise us the whole package :). I mean monster hunting on global scale? research on monsters and encounter them with the knowledege you gathered? events and choices that affect world-wide? What's not to like! This is something that was never done before

benelori
benelori

@GunEye 

There is a good reason though for the lack of depth, at least in the gameplay area and the closed level design...and that's their engine

They build the engine from ground up, and that's why it's not so expansive....the engine is tailored for awesome visuals and tight storytelling...and it's a pretty good engine too...

But it's their first engine, and they took this approach, because my guess is that they didn't want to jump in the huuuge responsibility that is an engine that can support open world.

But now they supposedly know what they are doing, so I hope they will deliver. But I still stand by my belief and I will wait for updates and other tweaks if necessary.

What I'm excited about is the story though. Even if it's a bland world, but has a great story in it, then I will play it, because the Witcher stories are usually very good.

That's where I disagree with you...the provided choices were enough, and I liked how they made two different 2nd chapters...that was a nice touch....

But I think there needs to be some consistency in the storytelling, and the Witcher series is story driven, and not character driven...and besides, there are already a few important differences and the Witcher's 2 endings that make me excited as to their importance in TW3.

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

@GunEye @RC-Sev I disagree on mini-games.
A trustworthy company that lives up to fans expectations can make such promises. Plus, they revealed some elements of gameplay which sound very original. And lastly, promising us average gameplay or saying nothing about it would raise suspicion, which is bad for PR. Fans need to be kept alive and happy, as well as excited.