Tell us how
CD Projekt RED came together?
Rdzany, Technical Producer: CD
Projekt RED studio was founded in 2002. It grew from CD Projekt
Ė a Polish game distributor and publisher. The company was
started by Michał Kiciński and Marcin Iwiński, who are huge fans
of RPGs and are gamers themselves. To expand the company they
wanted to made a console version of a famous PC RPG, but this
project suddenly changed into making a game development company,
which created The Witcher in 2007.
was it to create The Witcher based on the novels by Andrzej
You must know
that Sapkowski is sort of a cult writer in Poland. In high
schools and colleges almost everyone has read him and he is
considered our best popular writer. I canít exactly name the
person who said Ė letís talk to Sapkowski, but you must know Ė
that almost everyone in Poland knows him. And if you look at it,
youíll find the witcher a great character for a video game. A
professional monster hunter, subjected to mutation, with a
variety of skills that allow him to overwhelm many foes.
your first steps in translating the book to the video game?
The first step
has to be reading the book. This might sound obvious, but
Sapkowski created a really extensive universe and when we chose
to make it the setting for a game, we wanted to make the best
recreation possible. This gives the game an authentic feel and
allows players to dive deep into the lore. Our story team knows
the books by heart and I must say, I admire how they recreated
the world and I really feel like Iím in the novels.
The best part of
this is that the games give a very good introduction to the
setting. You donít have to know the novels to know whatís going
on. This is a great thing Ė fans will feel at home, while
newcomers will have an idea of whatís going on.
programming language was used to create the Witcher?
We used C++ and
our own scripting language, but the details aren't really that
important. We used a lot of tools while creating The Witcher 2.
If you want to talk more about the technical aspect of the game,
keep in mind that we created our own in-house technology, the
REDengine. We created it from scratch and designed it for our
own needs - making complex and non-linear games. You can see the
results by playing The Witcher 2. Itís a perfect set of tools
for our own needs and it proved to work for both platforms the
game works on.
difficult in porting the game from the PC to the 360?
We donít know.
We actually adapted the game to the Xbox 360 and didn't port it.
This means we have completely rewritten big portions of the game
code so it feels native to the platform. This requires more work
than a simple port and is more difficult, but hard work is
usually the solution to any problem.
We also added
new content Ė 4 hours of new quests, new characters, animations
and cinematics. You canít call this approach the usual porting.
So if you consider porting difficult, we made something that
required even more work.
Tell us why
Geralt of Rivia is such an interesting, likeable and cool
Although he is a
mutant, he feels human. There isnít a lot of pathos to the
character, but in the same moment he feels unique. Like our
whole world he is somewhere between good and evil. This makes
him more believable.
As I mentioned
before Ė Geralt is a natural choice for a video game character.
He is more deadly than an average human and the possible range
of encounters is so wide, that it can give player multiple
What are some
of the Easter Eggs (hidden surprises) in The Witcher 2 that we
may have missed?
And which have you found? Did
you see whatís not so far from the ballista in the prologue?
Thatís one of the easiest Easter eggs to find. But we encourage
players to look around them to find pop culture references and
so onÖ I donít want to spoil your fun :)
Why did CD
Projekt RED decide to create an enhanced edition of The Witcher
2: Assassins of Kings for the XBox 360?
We wanted to
introduce the idea of mature RPGs to console players. We also
knew from our PC fans about some things that could be corrected
before the release Ė thatís why we decided to create the
Enhanced Edition for this platform (and to treat PC players
right give them the upgrade for free). We thought that consoles
lacked a title like The Witcher. Sure, there are many great RPGs,
but we have some unique aspects which distinguish us from other
titles. We are a truly story driven experience, which shows that
your actions have significant consequences. Also we treat
players as grown-ups Ė both in matters of content and also in
the difficulty level.
editions support the Kinect or PlayStation Move?
Itís too early
to talk about the future editions of our game. We want to make
games for a mature audience and at this point, I donít see how
motion controls could be implemented to our game. It is very
likely that waving your hands or controller when playing such
game could break the experience instead of enhancing it.
The game is
currently sitting on 90 out of 100 on Metacritic, have you had
your party yet?
partying, because we made a great game. There is too much fuss
about Metacritic in the industry today. Really there are other
things we can cheer about: our game sold well, we made our first
console release and fans love our title. So we partied hard.
Polish style. Although the amount of tequila we had would suggest something
more of Mexican style ;)
been some controversy that Warner Bros staff have been asked to
post "high" user scores, is there any truth to this rumour?
suggested that on Metacritic Ė thatís where the rumor comes
from. Of course itís not true. People in the industry have
better things to do, than write reviews on Metacritic. The PC
version got also great user scores and nobody suggested that
those were written by developers or publishers. Haters gonna
hate Ė so you canít take your information from one angry
What was the
most difficult part in creating the world of The Witcher?
member would give a different answer to this, but for me itís
fitting all our ideas into the time and technological
constraints. Sometimes it was really painful to abandon some
great ideas because we hadnít had enough time to implement them.
Hopefully some of these ideas will appear in our future games.
What was your
favourite part of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced
In the Enhanced
Edition I liked both the new side quest lines. The third act is
superior to what we released earlier. One of the reviews I read
said that it felt like a Doctor Who episode in a fantasy
setting. That's a great compliment. Also I love the new intro Ė
itís really breathtaking. As for my favorite element of the game
itís the whole of Act 2. Iím a great fan of RPG games. For me
one of the most important things in such games is having an
influence on the story line and the world. I love to see how
things are changing depending on my choices. Act 2 is very
strong example of showing to what extent your actions can change
the situation in the game. Depending on few important decisions
in Act 1 you can have a completely different setting in Act 2 Ė
including different location, set of quests opened for you and
characters you can meet. Thatís what I was always waiting for in
true RPG games.
If you were
in the game, which area would you like to visit?
Elven baths ;)
seriously it probably would be forest around Flotsam. On one
hand dangerous and somewhat scary place, on the other, very
beautiful and full of secrets like the remains of fallen
Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition, what should
gamers look out for?
not a game that holds you by the hand. Itís difficult if you
forget about preparation before combat. So you have to watch out
all the time.
Remember Ė this
game isnít impossible to beat Ė you just cannot treat it as a
hackíní slash. Our combat is actually tactical
Why did you
decide to make The Witcher games adult orientated?
We thought that
the market lacked games like this, i.e. titles for a demanding
gamer who wants ambitious gameplay. We ourselves wanted to play
a game like that and couldnít find it. Thatís why we decided to
address our game to adults.
And the second aspect Ė it
wouldnít be faithful with the novels if it werenít just like we
made it. The world has to be adult to present moral greyness.
You canít have this aspect of the game in a land of butterflies
Who came up
with the idea of the sex scenes in the game?
Our game has a
fantasy setting, but uses themes from the real world. Nobody
came up with the idea of sex Ė it just exists around us and is
something normal. Sure it might be a subject of taboo, but in
the world of people struggling for power it has to be a major
For those who
are still playing the game, can you elaborate on some of the
"special" items in the title?
The most unique
items are found on the Dark difficulty setting. In each act you
can craft a set of cursed gear. Together, these items simply
work and are really powerful, but if you donít have the complete
set they work against you. Also even with the full set, wielding
a ďdarkĒ sword causes the world around you to change. These
items really make the Dark mode more interesting.
When will the
PlayStation 3 version of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings be
We just finished
one release and itís hard right now to talk about future
What is the
most powerful potion in The Witcher 2?
There is no such
thing. Every potion and magic sign has a specific purpose. One
potion will be crucial in a boss fight and will be useless in
another situation. The same can be said with most tactical items
you can find in the game Ė bombs or traps. If you look at the
Mongoose potion, for example, it has an absurdly high poison
resistant buff Ė but is useless when you fight with most
begun making The Witcher 3 and if so, what is the estimated
You have to wait
for an official announcement to hear more about it.
What can we
expect in the Witcher 3?
You can expect
that it should be a worthy sequel to The Witcher 2.
What will be
the title of The Witcher 3 be? (We tried to get a scoop!)
The Witcher 3?
Ten words to
the fans of the games?
Thank you guys
for all of your support you show us in various occasions. It
really matters for us and gives us more power to achieve even
more ambitious goals.
CHECK OUT OUR
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH TRISS MERIGOLD