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Witcher 3 Dev Defends Blood and Wine Gruesome Screenshot: "It's an Adult Game"

Senior animator Jamie Bury reveals his thoughts on the matter; read the full interview below.


Last month, developer CD Projekt Red released a screenshot for The Witcher 3's upcoming expansion, Blood and Wine. Some players expressed shock at the gruesome nature of the image, to which the developer has explained the reasoning behind. Speaking to GameSpot about the topic in an interview, senior animator Jamie Bury said, "My answer generally would be that it's an adult game, and it's a very unpleasant world that Geralt has to live in, and these things happen."

Do you think this is too gory?
Do you think this is too gory?

The image in question (above) was posted as an exclusive for the game's forums and featured Geralt standing over the body of a man who was literally ripped apart, with what appeared to be the victim's entrails in a bucket nearby. Bury said of the expansion's inclusion of gory scenes, "We could try to censor those things and shy away from them, but it's an adult game and adults are playing and we shouldn't baby them by telling them what they can and can't see."

While Blood and Wine does not officially have a confirmed release date, CD Projekt Red promised "lots and lots" of new information about the expansion to be released later this month. Blood and and Wine is set in Toussaint, a colourful region occupied by frivolous folk. The expansion will introduce an upgradeable home for Geralt, which other characters can visit. Get more details on what Blood and Wine includes in our full article.

More recently, a listing on Steam revealed all of the expansion's achievements and trophies. According to a page that was posted to Steam and later removed, Blood and Wine will be released on May 30. A retailer listing also suggested the expansion will launch on June 7, but a CD Projekt Red representative told GameSpot, "No official date had been announced."

You can read our full interview with Jamie Bury below. Bury was previously employed at Crytek as senior animator and has worked in the industry for 16 years. We asked him to share his thoughts on virtual reality, upgradeable consoles, and how long it would be before we see true life-like graphics in gaming.

GameSpot: As an animator, what is your opinion on the rumours of consoles that are upgradeable to be more powerful. Does that make your job harder?

Bury: For me personally, I don't think so. When we do the animation they're animated as a source file and they're exported to the game. There's a thing called animation compression, it's almost like zipping up an animation. It lessens the quality slightly, but makes it a much smaller filesize.

If you have an upgradeable console that would enable us to not do that, it's not really any additional work for us. Because the work we did is already at the best quality it can be, it's in our source package and we can just re-export that to a higher quality.

I think it's quite an interesting idea, what they're saying about upgradeable consoles. But I worry about it fracturing the player base. I think if there's a game that I'm playing but I want to play it with someone else but they don't have that version… I think it could get messy. It worries me a little bit.

The other thing is, with PCs normally you have that problem. It's very hard to take into account all of the configurations. One of the reasons people have always enjoyed working on consoles is that it's one piece of hardware and you can tailor your game exactly for that piece of hardware and know that everyone who plays on there gets exactly the same same experience. The same framerate, the same graphics.

You have a lot of experience in the technical space of the game industry. Visually speaking, The Witcher 3 is incredibly impressive. With technology where it's at now, how long do you think we have before we reach true life-like graphics?

It's tough. That's a tough question! I don't know. I hear people throw around things like in five years we'll be able to do this, in ten years… I still think we're a long way away from this kind of thing. I think the uncanny valley thing is not simply about making a model that looks realistic. It's about the animation, the textures, the hair. Basically anything that you have in there that isn't perfect is going to pull you out of that experience and make you feel weird. Like something just seems slightly wrong. I think the amount of time it's going to take us to get all of this working together is going to be a long time. But I also think to get to that level will require a lot more work.

In the old days, you could have a team of three people make a game. Nowadays you can have a team of 300 people make a game. In order to put that quality in, there will need to be some big changes in technology. Probably the tools and the things that allow us to make this stuff. I think it's just not achievable right now, and I personally don't see a light at the end of the tunnel where I think, "soon." It's still a way away for me.

Broadly speaking, what are your thoughts on virtual reality?

It's interesting. I don't think it's quite there yet, but I am very curious to see what the next generation is going to be like. I own a DK2 and I bought a Vive, but a lot of the games feel like an experiment and tech demos right now. But a few games I have played, and I feel that tiny element of, "This could be incredible." I'm excited for the future, but I think they need to find a way to stop motion sickness. There was a game I played on the DK2, I think it was Alien: Isolation, and I had to take it off after ten minutes. I had to go lay down on the floor because I felt really sick; it affected me a lot! But once they get the technology to fix this, I think it could be really cool.

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