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Adam Badowski describes Witcher 3's non-sandbox open world, confirms multiplayer for Cyberpunk 2077

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Adam Badowski describes Witcher 3's non-sandbox open world, confirms multiplayer for Cyberpunk 2077

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Wed 13 March 2013, 20:01:00

Tags: CD Projekt; Cyberpunk 2077; The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Eurogamer's Robert Purchese recently spoke with CD Projekt RED managing director Adam Badowski about the company's two upcoming games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Cyberpunk 2077. The interview was published in two parts, one for each game.

The Witcher 3 interview has some information about the nature of the game's open world mechanics as compared with Skyrim's. It appears that Witcher 3 will be an open world game, but not a sandbox game as the term is commonly understood. Adam describes his company's plans with a laudable amount of detail:

The Witcher 3 will have a whopping 50-hour main story. And if you want, you can extend that to over 100 hours by tackling side-quests. Skyrim play-times are regularly in the 100s of hours, but the emphasis - as Badowski pointed out - is on side-quests and exploration. Bethesda also uses procedural quest creation to fill its huge worlds with things for you to do. How else could it manage?​

The Witcher 3 will have a 20 per cent bigger world than Skyrim's. But if Bethesda can't hand-craft all of its quests with a budget of $85 million, a team of 90, years of open world experience and a development time of three-and-a-half years, how will CD Projekt Red be able to?​

"It's a matter of scale," answered Badowski. "Bigger team will achieve bigger goals."​

"You have to remember that the team is much bigger and much more experienced. Right now we are on consoles and we have technology already established, we have all the story plots done, so it's not so bad."​

Today, CD Projekt Red employs 150 people. They're split into three teams: one for The Witcher 3, one for Cyberpunk 2077 (which is currently smaller) and one for the proprietary Red Engine. More people will be hired, Badowski told me, but the upper limit for the studio will be a headcount of 200.​

He pays attention to what The Witcher fans are saying, and the number-one concern he's seen about The Witcher 3 is that fans think the traditionally tight stories of the series will be sacrificed to fit an open world.​

Not so. "We don't want to make any compromises in storytelling," he told me. "We simply needed to come up with a larger-scale story. That's it. The world is bigger so we need to fill it with good stories.​

"We don't want to change the gameplay into the sandbox experience - that's not the plan."​

Badowski reiterated: "We don't want to lose anything that we achieved in The Witcher's six years. Don't expect too many sandbox, mechanical solutions in The Witcher 3. It will be hand-crafted very precisely."​

Adam describes some of the game's constraints in further detail:

Hero Geralt can explore the open world of The Witcher 3 in new ways, too. He can jump now, and he can climb. It's "not exactly" the climbing you'd find in a game like Assassin's Creed, said Badowski, "it's similar to what we have in Uncharted". "For example," he added, "climb up and there are special sequences, there are special animations built into the system."​

That's mixed with freer physics-based rambling. "You can go wherever you want, you can travel wherever you want," he said. "There are no invisible barriers in the world; you can jump down from the cliff and simply die."​

[...] You won't be able to kill civilians in the open world of The Witcher 3. That's to do with Geralt being a pre-defined character with a fiction he needs to adhere to. "I can't imagine that Geralt is going to the village and killing everybody," said Badowski. "It's just stupid. So we have to prevent such situations in some quests."​

At the end, he drops this bomb:

The Witcher 3 is due at the end of next year and there's still much we don't know about it. For instance, will it have multiplayer (a first for the series)? "We're thinking about something," Badowski answered, "but I cannot explain it now. You can expect some information later on. Sorry for that!" I probed about whether it could be something similar to the Dark Arena mode in The Witcher 2. "I don't think so," he said.​

While Witcher 3 may or may not have multiplayer, the much shorter Cyberpunk 2077 interview reveals that multiplayer is already confirmed for that title:

"It will be a story-based RPG experience with amazing single-player playthroughs, but we're going to add multiplayer features," CDPR managing director Adam Badowski told me.​

Of course, what "multiplayer features" actually means is anybody's guess.

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