Which Witcher Is The Witcher 2, 2.0?

By Jim Rossignol on September 27th, 2011 at 7:44 am.


CDP have spent the months since the release of The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings putting yet more work into the title. This all comes to a head with the release of the 2.0 patch on the 29th. This enormo-patch adds a load of content (even – gasp – a tutorial!).

We spoke to CDP’s development director Adam Badowski to find out what the Polish development studio had been up to, and how they’d reacted to the feedback on their game. We also asked whether it would take four years to get to sequel, and were told that the team are still considering whether to make a full-blown expansion…

RPS: What was the mood in the studio like once The Witcher 2 had shipped? Was it relief at having shipped, or a feeling that there was more work to do? A mix of both?
 
I’d say it was a mix of both. We were very pleased with the final shape of the game, but at the same time we knew there were things that could be improved. So, even before the release, we decided that we would continue working hard to make the game even better after release. Once the game was released, we slowed down, but not by much. Instead of working nearly 24/7, we went to working, say, 12/6. That’s still quite a lot. Of course, some team members took time off after working extremely hard for many months, but most of the team continued to work. That’s why we were able to release several patches so soon after the release and in relatively quick succession – almost one after the other, in fact. And that is why we will soon be releasing version 2.0, which is very big update of the game – and here we are just 4 months after release!


Actually, this crazy pace of ours has had one rather negative side effect. Namely, some people think the game was really buggy or unfinished. They got this impression when they saw the number of improvements we implemented after release. Some “game industry experts” even suggested that we should produce fewer patches, or at least refrain from mentioning all the corrections and changes in the readme files, as this creates the impression that the game was unfinished. That’s just the wrong way of thinking to me, and it goes against our company values. Hiding facts? Taking a manipulative stance towards our customers? Come on – that’s pure bullshit!

Of course, the game wasn’t perfect. It had its strengths and weaknesses. Yet even with the version as initially released, I’m confident in saying that we achieved a level of quality well above the average we see coming from the games industry these days. I think it’s important that we reacted so quickly to all the comments. There were things that needed improvement, and I’d say that 80% of them have already been, or will be improved with version 2.0. So, we’re getting closer and closer to a really super–polished gaming experience, and that’s not a common beast in our industry.


There was one thing that proved a huge thorn in our side at release. It was the Internet architecture put in place to support online registration. The external company that provided all that proved to be insufficiently prepared. We had to react very quickly – servers were replaced and the first patch was released. We severed relations with the third–party provider and adopted a different solution, relying more heavily on internal resources. Also, we simplified the installation process by removing DRM with our first patch (the fallout from this has included being sued by our publisher in French court, but I remain confident that we made the right decision).

To summarize, we’re happy with our success. The original Witcher retains a Metacritic average of around 81, The Witcher 2 has a score of 87. Of course, it would be nice to have even higher scores, but it’s also good to have room for improvement. And constantly raising the bar is one of our goals.

On another note, we’re still learning one very important thing: Producing better games is not just about knowing what constitutes a better game. It’s also about creating a business set up which makes that possible, a set up in which, for example, quarterly or annual financial results are not a key factor in determining a release date. None of that is easy, because under current standard set ups, developers have little to say. Publishers remain masters of the situation, and their decisions are quite often driven by corporate priorities that may actually be harmful to the development process. That’s why we would rather rely on our own financial resources, and why our model for cooperating with publishers has been slowly evolving from a publishing to a distribution arrangement under which we retain sole responsibility for key decisions. I’m pretty sure this will help us make even better games in the future and avoid being sued for decisions that favor our customers (two of the three charges made by our publisher relate to this: removal of DRM and of obligatory IP geolocation on GOG.com).

RPS: To what extent were your plans for updates following release changed by the feedback you got from the launch?

Badowski: Basically, we focused on two areas. The first related to things that we knew for certain needed improvement – and we worked on those without waiting for any feedback. Then there were the unexpected things, things that surprised us – these mostly related to specific hardware and software setups. We realized that the nearly one hundred different rigs on which three different teams tested the title prior to release was simply not enough. The sheer variety of hardware and Windows configurations in users’ hands proved quite a challenge for our freshly formed tech support team. By the way, this team worked 24/7 on three shifts just after release – necessitated not only by the number of incoming requests, but also by time differences across the globe.


RPS: Can you tell us exactly what the 2.0 update includes and why you chose to focus on these issues?

Badowski: We approached version 2.0 similarly to how we approached the Enhanced Edition of the first Witcher – we wanted to correct things gamers didn’t like and add features we had wanted to include in the game, but failed to add prior to its release due to time constraints. The main difference between TW1 and TW2 in this respect is that we wanted to act quickly to provide players with a superbly polished edition soon after release. The Enhanced Edition of the first Witcher came one year after initial publication. It took us only four months to produce version 2.0 of TW2. But the size and scale of the update is comparable. It was our own technology, the RED Engine, which chiefly made this possible. It is far more flexible and user–friendly for developers than the old tech, as well as being much more reliable. Our team is also far more experienced this time around – that’s important and it really paid off.

We focused on further polishing the game to produce an extremely smooth gameplay experience. Yet I wouldn’t call this the key aspect, as we have already released quite a few patches that introduce many improvements. Still, there are more than forty new improvements on the way.

We were really intent on correcting one element of the game that had received a lot of criticism – namely, the insufficient tutorial and steep learning curve at the beginning of the game. To alleviate these problems, we have created a new, extensive tutorial component that takes the form of an additional adventure set in a completely new location – a village in the kingdom of Kaedwen. This module explains everything step by step, from the basics to the most advanced elements. I don’t think we’ll get any more complaints about the learning curve, at least from players who complete the new tutorial. Most of the problems people were having early on in the game issued from the fact that they did not know how to use more advanced combat tactics.


Then there’s the ‘Arena’ module, which we think is a load of fun as well as being very addictive. This is perhaps the biggest new feature. And it’s not a bare bones arena. It’s a location that feels very real, alive. It’s a place where you can talk to people, hire mercenaries, play mini–games, walk around a dungeon and see a live crowd react to your gladiatorial exploits. We created a lot of new assets for this mode, including a completely new opponent: the werewolf.

Our main reason for adding this new feature was that we wanted to provide something a little less serious than the core game, something with faster and more intense gameplay. We also had quite a few requests from fans for just such a feature – not surprising given that everyone would like to see how the witcher would perform as a gladiator. The arena can also be used to try different combat tactics on the various foes you find in the game, so it’s also useful as a training ground.

The final significant element is ‘Dark’ mode, for which our motivations were pretty simple. A lot of people complete our game more than once (which, incidentally, we see as a very big complement), so we wanted to provide some variety for those second and third playthroughs. We wanted to introduce something that would be as challenging but not quite as sadistic, or rather masochistic, as ‘Insane’ mode! Like ‘Insane’ mode, ‘Dark’ mode is a special difficulty level. Once you start the game at this setting, it cannot be changed. Unlike ‘Insane’ mode, players can save game progress and load saved games in ‘Dark’ mode, which also brings some modifications in the game itself. There are a set of new super powerful items (eighteen in total), three new mini quests related to them, and a handful of other dark–themed elements. There’s also a competition connected with ‘Dark’ mode: the first person to complete the game at this setting will win a prize. Look for details at our website.


RPS: Which do you regard as the most important of these changes and why?

Badowski: All of them are somehow important. The forty plus technical improvements because they bring the game closer to being perfectly polished. The new tutorial could prove really valuable to those about to start their first playthrough – and we suspect this could be quite a large group, as good RPGs have a long lifecycle. On the other hand, those who wanted and planned to play the game again will, I think, really appreciate ‘Dark’ mode. Finally, there’s the ‘Arena’ – the single biggest added feature that should bring a lot of people enjoyment. Hmm, so which one wins? Probably ‘Arena’ mode!

RPS: Do you think the new tutorial will genuinely make the game more accessible for newbies? How does it do that?

Badowski: Absolutely – yes. It starts off by explaining very basic things, like quest completion, looting items, using the Inventory and quest log, and preparing potions (alchemy). After introducing all these elements, it leads players to an arena, where combat movements and tactics are explained step by step. Anyone who completes the tutorial should have no problem understanding how to play the game and figuring out the tactics to be against different kinds of opponents.

I mentioned that part of the new tutorial is set in an arena. This basically means that these two new modes are interconnected, though you don’t need to complete the tutorial to have fun in ‘Arena’ mode. While neither of these features link into the main story of the game, they themselves constitute a kind of short story. I feel I need to stress this, as I want to make sure that people don’t think of the tutorial and ‘Arena’ modes as simple elements stripped of any and all narrative. Both of these features incorporate story elements, including dialogue and voice–overs. All this was done in the name of providing more fun and promoting immersion in the game world.


RPS: Do you have any other update and DLC plans to follow this update? Is there still more to do in improving The Witcher 2 experience?

Badowski: Of course we plan to do more. We always do! But nothing big is likely to come out this year. As we have already revealed, the Xbox 360 version will include some features that will also be added to the PC version simultaneously with the Xbox release. One of those will be a new, four–minute CGI intro by Oscar nominated and BAFTA winning animator Tomasz Bagiński, who was also responsible for the intro and outro of The Witcher 1. So, you can expect this to appear as an update somewhere during the first quarter of 2012 along with some other features. But I feel it’s far too early to talk about them – we’re still working them out.

RPS: What is CDP’s feeling towards DLC generally? Is it a positive trend within games? What do you see as the problems with it?

Badowski: We don’t see the idea as wrong, but we definitely don’t like to see gamers treated like dairy cows that are primed for milking. All too often, DLC is seen as an additional revenue opportunity. That’s not bad in itself – we’re not only in this industry to make games, we’re also here to do business. But we shouldn’t look at it exclusively from the latter angle, because that sometimes leads to decisions that could leave a bad taste in one’s mouth. If you only think about the business in terms of the money it can generate, I think you could come awfully close to forcing players to buy something additional in order to enjoy fully a game they just bought. And that’s simply not fair. Of course, it’s not always like that. There is interesting DLC out there, featuring a lot of new content (new areas, opponents, quests and so on), as well as DLC that is entirely optional, not needed to enjoy the game itself but valuable to the biggest fans. And it’s hard to blame game authors for charging for such things…

Anyway, our approach is different and relatively simple. All DLC for the PC version is and will remain FREE. That’s not likely to be the story for the Xbox version, because of certain Microsoft policies that need to be followed. But on PC, once you buy our game, you don’t need to worry about any additional costs – we will provide all updates, including those featuring new content, for free. I think it’s reasonable than when you buy our product, you can expect us to service it for you quite a long time after release, though less intensively as time goes by. Any payable DLC that appears is likely to be a more classic expansion pack along the lines of, say, Baldur’s Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast. But this is a purely theoretical discussion at this point, as we have yet to confirm or even plan any official expansion packs.
 
RPS: When should we expect more news about what is to follow The Witcher 2?

Badowski: Version 2.0 will be the main story for the next weeks and months, and this version and its features will remain most important for us this year. Early next year, as we near its completion, we’ll reveal more about the Xbox version. As we’ve said before, this will be an “adaptation” rather than a port, and you can expect some interesting additions and changes. Some people have speculated that we’re calling it an adaptation because we’re changing the game visually so much by having to downgrade it. I can assure that this is simply not the case. As we release more and more videos, it’ll become obvious that the game looks unbelievably good on Xbox. So, the Xbox 360 version will be the main story for the first quarter of 2012. Next year will also see us reveal some other news, but the exact timing will depend on how business issues play out – we need to close some deals first, and given that we’re a listed company, we’ll be obliged to reveal the information at specific times. Anyway, next year should be no less interesting than this year was in terms of the news we reveal.


RPS: Will we have to wait another four years for The Witcher 3?
 
Badowski: Hmmm! What can I say? We’re gaining experience, our technology is becoming more and more complete every week, every month. And we’re definitely looking for ways to optimize and reduce development time. It’s no secret that we’re constantly hiring. Our team will soon number one hundred, of which almost 10% come from outside of Poland. (A small advert, if I may: game developers, go to wwww.thewitcher.com to look for job opportunities; we need passionate, experienced devs to strengthen our team. And don’t be scared – Poland is a great country, the people are warm and friendly, the girls are positively beautiful, and we’ll help you relocate… So apply today!). Given all that, our next game should take us less time to create overall. Of course, other factors will come into play. If, for example, we decide to produce an expansion, that may slow the process down a bit.


RPS: How do you feel about how The Witcher 2 has done since launch? Has its success been what CDP hoped for? What could have gone better?

Badowski: What could have gone better? As I mentioned, the release’s single biggest flaw were the online registration problems. Basically, we’ll never outsource this small but crucial element again. But generally… Hmm, we’re quite a young studio and relatively inexperienced, especially when you compare us to industry giants like Blizzard, BioWare or Valve, so we make mistakes. There’s certainly room for improvement if you look at our average scores. It’s a dream and a goal of ours to develop solid 90+ titles – and not from time to time, but consistently. We want to learn how to achieve this with every upcoming product without exception. Blizzard is probably closest to that. They make their games for a different audience, but they’re a good example quality–wise. We’re maybe different in that we would also like to be a leader in the quality of graphics and visuals, while Blizzard’s games look slightly dated upon release (and I know Blizzard fans will want to kill me for saying that. Don’t get me wrong – we love their games and half of our team is waiting for Diablo III (is that enough to save me?). In summary, we’d love to create games that will produce confidence in players. When they buy them, before they install them, players will already know that they can expect a very polished, top–class gaming experience. I know that may sound ambitious, but after The Witcher and now The Witcher 2, we’re actually quite close to achieving this goal, which we set for ourselves some ten years ago, when we did not have a single person on board who had developed a game or other software. We just need to be consistent and proceed in that direction step by step. Naturally, we must at all times remember our core values, first among which is our continued dedication and fairness to our fans and customers.

As far as how we feel about the sales results, The Witcher 2 is selling slightly better than expected (as of today, around one million units sold through worldwide). Our goal was to generate 30% better sales than The Witcher, and we’re achieving that. Given how the market has changed since The Witcher was released, I think this was both a realistic and ambitious goal. So we’re fully satisfied with what we’ve achieved. Of course, it would have been pleasant to see a nice surprise spike in the sales charts, but that was simply unrealistic. Anyway (and another advert, if I may, if there are any readers out there who have hesitated to buy the game, now’s a good time to jump in. You can get a very good deal on the game on Steam ($29.90) and the same will soon be true at GOG.com. Each legally purchased copy is important to us and will help us develop great games in the future! But don’t worry – you don’t have to buy the game for us to like you, though we do think that those who have pirated TW2 know no shame.

RPS: Thanks for your time.

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141 Comments »

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  1. StingingVelvet says:

    Hahaha. I think it is their blunt and indie dialogue style with the community that makes me love them most. DRM free and making awesome action RPGs are up there too.

    I’m not too jazzed about an expansion honestly, I would rather just get to The Witcher 3. Judging by the ending of TW2 the next one is going to have a really great setting for RPGin’.

    • EOT says:

      I had to enter a product key and register the game online. These are not problems for me (apart from when it refused to accept my key) but it does make your DRM free statement false.

    • elfbarf says:

      The DRM was only active for the first week or so, they removed it with the first patch.

    • Unaco says:

      The DRM was also only present in non-GoG versions of the game, probably at the insistence of the Publishers (hence them being sued when they removed it).

    • Tomsik says:

      I only had to register my copy online to get launcher to auto-update and that is entirely understandable. If you really have to pirate the game you can install the patch yourself, but it’s a little bit sad and sends the wrong message to the publishers.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Much as I like Badowski’s style, and he sets a great example for game developers, I find it difficult to show any interest in his game while it has no first person option. Add that, and CDProjekt have a sale from me.

    • James T says:

      As said before, it’s part of the lore. A witcher has to prepare himself before big fights, that’s what makes him stronger than monsters. I’m glad they kept it that way, sure it feels a bit odd to sit down for drinking potions, but it’s much more realistic and closer to the books than just quick drinking your potions during the boss fights.

      That’s why I mentioned the shield spell; try downing a potion during combat without it and your enemies will flatten you. And finding yourself unable to meditate because there are other enemies several rooms away makes a mockery of the idea of preparing yourself first.

  2. El_Emmental says:

    Now I feel guiltiness for not having bought it yet (since I won’t even have the time to play it for at least 12 months – got the first one, haven’t launched it once despite my clear motivation for that series).

    Damn you developers-caring-about-their-games !

    • evilmatt says:

      Damn you developers-caring-about-their-cash-from-Nvidia-more-than-their-game-or-their-Eyefinity-using-customers!

      Fixed that for you ;)

    • El_Emmental says:

      haha, I actually read the WSGF and the thread you linked, you’re swimming in an ocean of ignorance, it’s rather amusing…

      You’re misunderstanding what nVidia program “The Way It’s Meant To Be Played” is, it’s a co-marketing (the TWIMTBP logo is displayed during game intro, The Witcher 2 is displayed inside a few nVidia ads), nVidia send their own engineers to the developers’ studio to provide a technical support for nVidia specific technology (like 3D Vision), and provide a temporary access to their computer farm (with all nVidia graphic cards) for testing the different build of the game. There is NO money exchanged.

      ATI has a similar program (less developed though, as ATI doesn’t think it’s really necessary – an enormous error imho).

      The madness you built up over the 1.3 patch is preventing you from having a relevant opinion on the subject.

    • evilmatt says:

      So why doesn’t it work then? Sure, I’m not expecting centred HUD or anything, but what’s stopping the engine from at least rendering at 16×3 correctly, when it works fine for nvidia surround? Both technologies simply dupe Windows into seeing one large monitor when in fact there are three, after all, so it shouldn’t need extra API calls to drivers to render the game world (hence why so many games just work natively without any help whatsoever from AMD/Nvidia). Please enlighten me oh wise one.

    • evilmatt says:

      Patch notes http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-09-27-the-witcher-2-2-0-patch-notes

      “An option has been added to the configuration tool enabling aspect ratio to be set independently of resolution.”

      Sounds promising. We’ll see.

    • Pinky09 says:

      Wow, i applaud you guys. If dlc costs money, you complain. if it doesn’t you complain about something else. i guess even after all this time, there isn’t a limit to how much gamers will complain about any little detail

    • rayne117 says:

      And now you’re complaining.

      If you don’t complain then things can’t get better.

    • Damien Stark says:

      “If you don’t complain then things can’t get better.”

      I’m fairly sure this blatantly false yet widespread misconception is at the root of much suffering on the Internet.

    • unknownsock says:

      He’s not misunderstanding TWIMTBP played program, there have been many examples of when its been blatantly obvious Nvidia have been involved with developers to gain advantage over AMD.

      Your entitled to call him ignorant but I’d call you naive.

  3. coldvvvave says:

    Maybe I’ll finally finish TW2 after this update. I’m in the second act and it’s kind of boring.

  4. MD says:

    Have you used ‘Who Witches The Witcher?’ yet?

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      ‘Who witches the Witchmen’. :)

    • Cyberpope says:

      I dunno, Ghostguard?

    • Sinex says:

      Excellent “Watchmen” reference! :-)

    • kael13 says:

      Which Witcher witches Witchiest?

    • The Colonel says:

      Which? Car

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      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Excellent Juvenal reference.

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      Stellar Duck says:

      Thanks for setting that one straight VelvetFistIronGlove. It drives me bonkers when people attribute that saying to Alan Moore.

      Another argument for making Latin a mandatory subject in school. :D

    • The Colonel says:

      Drives you bonkers? Hmmm. Next you’ll be saying that Darwin didn’t invent the idea of evolution!

  5. Premium User Badge

    sonofsanta says:

    These guys do seem mad.

    I think the most important thing they can do next time is to keep bringing in fresh testers, and listening to them when they point out how annoying some things are. The early learning curve was the obvious example, but things like brewing potions, and the game automatically selecting the rarest ingredients, and doign so after every time you’ve brewed a potion – that’s just fucking annoying. If I’ve chosen all pretty flowers for my ingredients the first 6 times I’ve brewed this potion, please assume those are the ingredients I want to use. It was the kind of problem that you just got on with after a few hours though, so I suspect they forgot how annoying it was. So: fresh pairs of eyes through development, to stop crap like that slipping through.

    Hiding facts? Taking a manipulative stance towards our customers? Come on – that’s pure bullshit!
    Greatest interview quote ever. <3

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      Joshua says:

      I do recall that in the first Witcher, a potion using certain ingredients with certain components added bonusses to the potion. So if you had a dominent … albedo? the potion would also give you a health bonus or something (which is quite usefull, especially when you use it with your health potions!). So the game might automatically try to do that for you.

  6. primatewithagun says:

    I think CDPRed is a pretty cool guy. eh kills bugs and doesnt afraid of anything.

  7. Ondrej says:

    That was a good read. I was holding off TW2 mainly because I’ve got a backlog of things to play and no free time whatsoever, but I’m going to jump into the 2.0 straight away as soon as it’s out. Those guys in RED really appear to know their stuff.

  8. jettpack says:

    fucking awesome. this is the birthday present im getting all of my gamer friends

    • Drakon says:

      Uh, my birthday was is august, but can I be your gaming friend anyway?

  9. JonathanStrange says:

    I love it when developers seem genuinely excited not only about their own work but the industry as a whole. All too often it seems especially with bigger studio that everyone involved in the project exists in some sort of vacuum but here we have someone talking eagerly about their own game as well as current trends in gaming, inspirations, and even other developers work. It’s refreshing. Something you expect from indie developers not studios boasting 100+ staff with sales in the millions.

    Speaking of which informative interview as well, plus name dropping Baldur’s Gate is always an easy way to earn my respect if not necessarily my love. But then I’m easily bribed I’ve found, not sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing but it seems to work out better than being needlessly cynical with unreasonably high standards.

  10. Sicram says:

    One one side: Free updates! Hooray!

    On the other side: Darn it, I have to put off the playing until the most major things are out! D:

    Also, getting it from GOG.com earns them the most money. Both GOG and CDP are awesome companies.

    There are some stuff about TW2 which I don’t like though; the blunt inventory system and drinking potions thing. The latter is a major design flaw.

    • Paul says:

      No, it is great design decision, bringing Geralt closer to how it should be.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stellar Duck says:

      What most things? I played the game at launch, and aside from the online registration thing I encountered no problems in the game. I know I’m not representative of all players everywhere, but it really didn’t strike me a buggy game.

    • Premium User Badge

      Llewyn says:

      The thing that specifically bugged me about the first game (well, one of many) is that the importance of both alchemy and preparation is stressed but then you get to the first boss-type fight and have no opportunity to prepare – potions taken before leaving the cave have worn off because it apparently takes 8 hours to walk outside and argue about whether to burn the witch.

      I’d like to support CDPR because I’d really like their model to be successful, but so far little about the Witcher has justified the idea of buying the sequel.

    • James T says:

      If by the “potion thing” you mean the way Geralt can only drink them during meditation, I couldn’t agree more. You’re often barred from meditating because there are baddies waiting a few rooms away, so you’re essentially not allowed to prepare yourself; it also means you’re not allowed to down an emergency potion while you’re shielded anymore, which was hardly an objectionable exploit in Witcher 1 — drinking a potion took about as long as the shield spell lasted.

    • Maldomel says:

      As said before, it’s part of the lore. A witcher has to prepare himself before big fights, that’s what makes him stronger than monsters. I’m glad they kept it that way, sure it feels a bit odd to sit down for drinking potions, but it’s much more realistic and closer to the books than just quick drinking your potions during the boss fights.

      Besides, the duration of effects from potions and oils are really long enough to kill stuff in fashion.

    • brulleks says:

      @themightyodog

      “See, I like story driven games, and I like drinking while playing story driven games. It’s a tricky balance purely due to the fact that it’s very easy to get shitfaced and completely have no idea, when I come back to the game the next day, about where I am or what I’m supposed to do”

      Nice. Will be interested to see what you have to say about Dragon Age, as I have similar feelings of antipathy for ‘indirectly controlled’ RPGs but also learned to love The Witcher (not tried TW2 yet, as am waiting for version 2). DA is definitely on my list of ‘must try when very cheap in sales’.

  11. Paul says:

    Best interview EVAR.

  12. thesisko says:

    I’m slightly surprised by his “Given how the market has changed since The Witcher was released” comment. I would have thought that the rise of digital distribution platforms like Steam and GoG.com would have benefited them. Is PC gaming really worse off now than in 2007?

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I’m not sure what they meant by that, given that they said that the Witcher 2 has also sold 30% better than the Witcher 1. Maybe they meant that the market got better? I don’t know.

    • Noodlefighter says:

      No the PC gaming market is actually a lot better then before if it took The Witcher 1 to achieve 1 million copies it’s first year and only 2-3 months for The Witcher 2 then of course it’s doing better. The reason digital sales aren’t as big for this title is because do you see how much content is in the retail versions and at a regular price of course a lot of people are going to go with retail. Not to mention this game’s main market was the European PC market.
      Digital distribution is huge just not with this game, take a look at Portal 2 and many others.

    • coagmano says:

      The market is much much better, which makes it witcher 1 sales x adjusted for better market x 130%

    • thesisko says:

      I dunno guys, it sounds like he thinks the market is worse. He says that 30% more was ambitious because of the changed market. Personally, I think Steam and GoG will benefit them more in the long run because good games can continue to sell for years.

    • DjchunKfunK says:

      I think he is talking about how the market has moved on and in depth RPGs like The Witcher 2 are not as popular as they were. Since the first game came out companies like Bioware have moved away from classic rpgs towards more action orientated ones eg Dragon Age 2. Also the FPS genre has taken over completely.

      I think this is what he was getting at when he mentioned the changes in the market.

    • thesisko says:

      “I think he is talking about how the market has moved on and in depth RPGs like The Witcher 2 are not as popular as they were. ”

      Based on what? I recall Dragon Age: Origins selling more than both Witcher 2 and DA2, and that game is more “classic RPG” than The Witcher.

      Also, “not as popular as they were”? I don’t see how anyone could make the case that they were more popular in 2007, since except for NWN2 there was barely anything released in the genre after 2002.

      “Also the FPS genre has taken over completely.”
      I’ve seen nothing that would indicate that the success of some FPS games has reduced the potential sales of other genres. Successful FPS games simply seem to sell a lot more than other games, very much like “The Sims”-games do.

    • fearghaill says:

      maaaaybe he was referencing that the global economy in general is a lot shitter than it was when the first Witcher came out?

  13. Binary77 says:

    That was a refreshingly honest interview, which is great to see. I may just buy this now out of sheer respect for the devs.

  14. Gnoupi says:

    - Checked the job offerings,as it would be a dream job (and dream location for personal reasons) to be in their team.
    – Realized I don’t have the profile or experience for any of those.
    – Came back to developing J2EE beans for a financial program.
    – Weeps.

    • Drakon says:

      *comforting shoulder pat*

    • Burning Man says:

      Give your resume a good ole spitshine and send it on over anyway. The worst that could happen is them rejecting it outright. Which is what’s happening now anyway, because you’re auto-rejecting yourself.

    • Gnoupi says:

      @burning – hmm, I heard that advice earlier…
      Oh, right, it was with girls, as a teenager!

      Joke aside, they are mostly in a Windows environment, and based mostly on C++, eventually C#, .NET. My experience is more centered around Java, some bases of C++ from student years, and UNIX environments for scripting.

      Guess I need to stop playing games during weekend and start trying to make some. Or at least polish my knowledge on language which can actually be used in the game industry. Not going to get anywhere in game dev with a J2EE background only. (Yes, I know there are some games in java, but that’s rare)

    • adonf says:

      Not all development work is done on the engine, you know. So they might still be using Java on tools, or C# but it’s easy to adapt to C# when you know Java. Also I believe that smart employers know that a good experience in development in general is better than a shorter experience in the precise language they’re looking for.
      So go, Gnoupi, and you can be our insider guy at CDP!

    • Ashen says:

      Does crunching 24/7 (or “only 12/6″) really sound like a dream job? That pretty much puts Rockstar to shame.

      I guess no matter the geolocation the industry, industry never changes.

  15. Rao Dao Zao says:

    This man’s attitude is excellent.

    However, it makes me want to wait for a final GOTY/Platinum/Bacon Edition, so that everything that will ever be done to the game has been done and is on disc — rather than having half a game and a billion downloads to do.

    • CilindroX says:

      This. Went rushing straight to Steam and purchased the Director’s whatnot Edition. Eagerly waiting for the patch to fire it up.

      Here, take my money handsome.

    • Zenicetus says:

      If this upcoming 2.0 version is equivalent to the Enhanced Edition for Witcher 1 like they’re saying it is, then this will basically be the final Platinum Bacon edition.

      It sounds like the only thing that will be added after the Xbox release in 1st qtr 2012 will be the new 4 minute CGI intro.Judging by the patch list, all the minor problems like parry and attack lag have been dealt with, and the basic mechanics should be very solid now. I doubt they’ll do any major changes to some of the other things people have complained about like the inventory system.

      Anyway, I played through once with the current version after the initial patches, and never ran into any real problems. Just minor annoyances like the combat lag, and a personal distaste for the over-use of QuickTime events. It’s a fantastic game, overall. Play it after the 2.0 patch, don’t wait until next year.

      I had started my second playthrough and got barely into Flotsam when I heard about the upcoming patch. I’ll now wait and re-start the game. I don’t need the tutorial at this point, but I’m curious to see how they did it, and what the Arena looks like.

  16. Polycrates says:

    Great interview. The passion clearly makes a huge difference – despite its flaws, it’s a game that was clearly made with a lot of love, and it radiates out of every pore of the game. That’s probably ironically where most of its flaws came from – you get the feeling from the initial release version that they didn’t quite step back and give it the cold, dispassionate glare of someone not intimately acquainted with the game, its mechanics and its world.
    And on that note, my one wish for an Enhanced Edition is a more useful world map with English translations of the runic script, a small picture of the coat of arms over every country and a big fat X over wherever my current location is. And I would like that shoved in my face in the opening part of the game and during every transition from one major location to another. It’s such an easy way of getting the contextual feel of this whole world and figuring out which country is which for those of us who haven’t read the books and can barely remember the first game.

  17. rustybroomhandle says:

    I was going to start punning here, but noticed an abundance of references in the text to the game being “polished” already.

  18. Shinryoma says:

    ” but we definitely don’t like to see gamers treated like dairy cows that are primed for milking. ”
    Respect.

  19. Mitchk says:

    I think I’m in love with these guys after reading this! Definately need to pour more effort into my TW2 campaign now.

  20. Saiko Kila says:

    “a level of quality well above the average we see coming from the games industry these days” – while TW2 indeed has its problems, sadly I have to agree with that guy. Games so often feel like perpetual beta, that it has become a new industrial standard. I’m currently playing FNV (Steam, updated version), and almost can’t understand how it is possible to have so many bugs. Some of them have been carried over from Fallout 3, so they are fully matured bugs now. I’d really prefer if they have killed them instead of pumping numerous DLCs first. When you polish the game, then you have a biggest incentive to bring DLCs next, when you bring the DLCs… I doubt you’ll find a will to polish the game after you milked the players dry. I like the fact that guys from CDP have reversed the usual course of action.

  21. Lobotomist says:

    Best PC company today , best RPG !

    Makes me have hope in PC gaming again

    I cant wait to play the game in dark mode….

    And well – Bring on Witcher 3 !!!

  22. evilmatt says:

    Why does everyone seem to put CDPR on a pedestal like they’re the defenders of the PC development faith? The broken 16×10 patch and Eyefinity/Surround debacle shows they can’t even code a graphics engine that scales to aspect ratio properly (or maybe they can, but then they locked out Eyefinity because Nvidia supported the game’s development…)

    http://widescreengamingforum.com/blog/ibrin/2011/08/29/stop-playing-favorites

    http://en.thewitcher.com/forum/index.php?/topic/22241-nvidia-vision-surround-support-but-no-eyefinity-support-why/

    • Premium User Badge

      Revisor says:

      Sorry, bro, these are really very minor things compared with the great storytelling, well written characters, wonderful art direction and a LOT of meaningful choices in the game. This was a first game in their new engine, so what.

      Judging by your (so far) two posts here you obviously have an anti-CDPR agenda and that’s a no go in my book. I will stand against this astroturfing!

      Anyway. Witcher 2 2.0 = Gifts to my friends and family. This is a masterpiece.

    • evilmatt says:

      Which is fine, and I’d have no beef with them whatsoever, if they just fixed it (their engine clearly CAN do 16×3 aspect ratios, as Surround works, so why is Eyefinity locked out?) but when it was brought up on their forum the company’s stance was rude and condescending.

      A game’s feature list should not be dependent on the vendor of the hardware components I own, particularly when the restriction is artificial!

    • El_Emmental says:

      I checked that forum (and some pages of the WSGF thread), and it’s full of Eyefinity users going into crazy hypotheses :

      – multiple monitor users are a majority (Steam hardware survey = 9.58%)

      – 50% of gamers are using AMD/ATI graphic cards. (Steam hardware survey = 33% / nVidia = 60%)

      – nVidia bribed CD Projekt RED, so now they (CD Projekt RED) are actively blocking Eyefinity.

      – it’s a conspiracy by nVidia, who sent its engineers to block Eyefinity with their multi-monitor module. (note: ATI actually did such thing on DE:HR, but most Eyefinity users seems to forget that, they only remember the possibility of blocking a competitor).

      – there’s no need to contact ATI/AMD regarding that problem, it’s all CD Projekt RED’s fault.

      – the 1.3 patch specifically blocked the homemade fix for Eyefinity, it was released only for that purpose. I mean, a patch never change anything regarding the game engine, not even when its the devs own engine, still currently in development, why would they change anything regarding their game engine ?

      – the fact that the nVidia multi-monitor mode is still not 100% functionnal in all multi-monitor modes is just a coincidence, it changes nothing : multi-monitor support is an easy task, CD Projekt RED are working with nVidia to block Eyefinity.

      – whenever a homemade fix is programmed by a user, it proves the official devs are incompetent and not willing to fix that problem.
      => Platform certification, stability and compatibility testing, Eyefinity official requirements, unofficial dev/user’s programming skills specialization, workforce availability don’t come into account, official devs are just the dumb and evil.

      – CD Projekt should listen to Eyefinity users first, only after that it should be allowed to work on adding contents (like tutorials for beginners) for other users.
      => helping players who stopped playing the game is less important than letting people play the game on several monitors at the same time.

      – CD Projekt don’t know how to program a game engine at all, so they’re not worth gamers’ money. (The Witcher 2 being CD Projekt’s second project, first game running on their first proprietary engine, doesn’t matter).

      – CD Projekt being an independent developer of less than 100 devs doesn’t change the fact they should fix it as fast as other gigantic studios.

      – The Witcher 2 can not be played using only 1 monitor, it is not possible.

      – When a devs confirms Eyefinity support was never announced nor planned, and that nVidia sent their engineers to them and wrote the module for multiple monitor support (without asking/giving money)(note: ATI works the exact same way => send team of engineers, they write the module, everything is for free since it’s making ATI graphic cards more interesting), he’s being arrogant and irrespectful, it’s an insult to all gamers.

      – a public-relation employee apologizing for the lack of Eyefinity support and making her best (= terribad) at handling the situation (despite her lack of any multi-monitor experience/skills), is a declaration of war by CD Projekt RED.

      So excuse me dear “I-got-enough-dosh-for-3-full-HD-monitors”, but you can’t ask a small indie dev trying its best to make an excellent game, going as far as removing the DRM system even if they’re being sued by their french publisher for that, to do everything you want simply because you spent an enormous amount of money on your rig. I haven’t seen such bragging, self-entitled self-centered gamers in a while, this is impressive.

      There’s other people you know, 90% of them, who don’t own several full HD monitors, and would like to get into the game (and would benefit from such “new content”).

      The threads regarding Eyefinity are so full of arrogance from multiple-monitor owners, it’s amazing. Seriously, you all know you’re being the exception, that you’re not being the average $100-$150 GPU gamer with a 1680×1050 resolution, why can’t you understand it has its own disadvantages ?!

      – Why none of you contacted ATI regarding that ? Where are the official emails/announcements of ATI ?
      – Why none of you tried to establish a contact between HaYDeN and CD Projekt RED ?

      – You bought 3 full-HD monitors, yet you can’t give $10 to HaYDeN (or the WSGF staff) so he/they could work on fixing the Eyefinity fix rapidly ? There’s a boatload of solutions if you really need to play on several monitors AND can’t wait.

      With the WSGF community, you could set up a team of widescreen/multi-monitor specialists, who would contact ATI and nVidia everytime a game really need widescreen/multi-monitor support, who would provide technical support for devs when ATI/nVidia refuse to help or when it’s really necessary.
      And for that, you need at least one full-time employees (+ part-time programming specialists). So you need a monetary contribution.
      => And suddenly, I bet most of multi-monitor users will go apechips, crying how they shouldn’t have to pay for that, that they’re should get what they already paid for, devs are lazy, etc…

      If you’re that serious about multi-monitor, get serious about lobbying it.

    • The Colonel says:

      Apechips?

    • Commissar says:

      @evilmatt

      [ ] not told
      [X] TOLDASAURUS REX
      [X] Cash4told.com
      [X] No country for told men
      [X] Knights of the told Republic
      [X] ToldSpice
      [X] The Elder Tolds IV: Oblivious
      [X] Command & Conquer: Toldberian Sun
      [X] GuiTold Hero: World Told
      [X] Told King of Boletaria
      [X] Countold Strike
      [X] Unreal Toldament
      [X] Stone-told Steve Austin
      [X] Half Life 2: Episode Told
      [X] World of Warcraft: Catoldclysm
      [X] Roller Coaster Toldcoon
      [X] Assassin’s Creed: Tolderhood
      [X] Battletolds
      [X] S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shatold of Chernobyl
      [X] Toldasauraus Rex 2: Electric Toldaloo
      [X] Told of Duty 4: Modern Toldfare
      [X] Pokemon Told and Silver
      [X] The Legend of Eldorado : The Lost City of Told
      [X] Rampage: Toldal Destruction
      [X] Told Fortress Classic
      [X] Toldman: Arkham Told
      [X] The Good, The Bad, and The Told
      [X] Super Mario SunTold
      [X] Legend of Zelda: Toldacarnia of Time
      [X] Toldstone creamery
      [X] Mario Golf: Toldstool Tour
      [X] Super Told Boy
      [X] Left 4 Told
      [X] Battoldfield: Bad Company 2
      [X] Toldman Sachs
      [X] Conker’s Bad Fur Day: Live and Retolded
      [X] Lead and Told: Gangs of the Wild West
      [X] Portold 2
      [X] Avatold: The Last Airbender
      [X] Dragon Ball Z Toldkaichi Budokai
      [X] Toldcraft II: Tolds of Toldberty
      [X] Leo Toldstoy
      [X] Metal Gear Toldid 3: Snake Eater
      [X] 3D Dot Told Heroes
      [X] J.R.R Toldkien’s Lord of the Told
      [X] Told you that ps3 has no games
      [X] LitTOLD Big Planet
      [X] Rome: Toldal War
      [X] Gran Toldrismo 5
      [X] Told Calibur 4
      [X] Told Fortress 2
      [X] Castlevania: RonTold of Blood
      [X] Guilty Gear XX Accent Told
      [X] Cyndaquil, Chicorita, and Toldodile
      [X] was foretold
      [X] demon’s told
      [X] http//:www.youtold.com
      [X] Tolden Sun: Dark Dawn
      [X] Tic-Tac-Told
      [X] Biotold 2
      [X] Toldbound
      [X] icetold
      [X] Told of the Rings

    • evilmatt says:

      @El_Emmental

      I would quite happily get serious about lobbying for it, given the opportunity through WSGF or elsewhere, but the attitude I meet everywhere is either ignorance or “full of arrogance from multiple-monitor owners, it’s amazing. Seriously, you all know you’re being the exception, that you’re not being the average $100-$150 GPU gamer with a 1680×1050 resolution, why can’t you understand it has its own disadvantages ?!” which hardly encourages the effort. “It works fine for me, I don’t have 3 monitors, so shut up”

      Edit: Also, to address several of your points (small indie dev, help from nvidia/amd, certification etc) : Trine. Also indie dev, no help from amd/nvidia afaik, not a certified Eyefinity game, yet multi-monitor works flawlessly out of the box…

    • El_Emmental says:

      polite way for foreigners for saying “apeshit”.

      well, as you may have noticed already, english is far from being my native language.

      Since I learned speaking that language using a paper dictionnary (Robert & Collins) and TIE Fighter/X-Wing objectives and dialogues (then walkthrough and forums)(nb: school really fails at english in my country, we can’t make 2 sentences in a row), my english skills are limited.

      If I can barely speak/write english (to be more precise, international american), my lack of knowledge regarding the english culture is so important that I prefer to follow few simple rules, one of them being “do not swear unless it is really necessary or you know what you’re doing”.

      I don’t really know when “apeshit” is acceptable and I don’t really need it there so => apechips.

    • El_Emmental says:

      a) Lobbying for multi-monitor support :

      Even if I can’t afford a multi-monitor setup, I actually like it when devs and ATI/nVidia work on that feature. One day I might be able to get such rig, and some people (10% ! Last time I check it was a low 5%, that’s pretty good news multi-support is becoming a bigger thing). No one hate multi-monitor rigs.

      But please, don’t act like if it was _normal_ when devs are supporting it, be all grateful and everyting (“thanks a lot ! this is really amazing you took the time to work on that feature !”). Even if you “deserve” it.

      I’ve been in a gaming minority more than once (at least 5 times), and being full of myself never ever worked. The only small victories we got was from being positive and rewarding the few devs making something for “us”, lobbying is NOT protesting. Protesting is fine, but after a week or two it’s time to start lobbying.

      b) Trine works flawlessly ? good news !
      “Ultimately our engine has evolved to be one of the best engines for the games we have created, as Shadowgrounds and Trine are technology wise very similar games.”, Frozenbyte CEO and Trine designer Lauri Hyvärinen.

      => Shadowgrounds was released in 2005, its engine is internally called “Storm3D”.

      => “Storm3D is partially based on work by the awesome Finnish programmer Sebastian Aaltonen, from whom Frozenbyte team bought the original code in 2000/2001″ (moddb).

      So you have a code base from 2001, modified during 4 years for Shadowgrounds (2005), modified again for Shadowground Survivor (2007) during these 2 years, then 2 years later Trine is finally released. Since 2001 (the code base), 8 years of development passed.

      Meanwhile, CD Projekt RED made the first The Witcher using a modified Aurora Engine (from Bioware) and released it in 2007.

      We’re in 2011, and only 4 years passed since they started working on their own RED engine, and they just shipped a game with it (just like it took 4 years for Frozenbyte to make Shadowgrounds on their own engine).

      In 4 years, if the CD Projekt RED game doesn’t support Eyefinity out of the box, then we’ll be able to compare it with Trine.

      Being positive and optimist is the only way to reach a company/devs.

    • evilmatt says:

      I would be interested to ask Sebastian Aaltonen if his graphics engine was hard-coded to 4:3 in 2001, and Frozenbyte had to work on it to enable widescreen and up; or whether it handled whatever aspect ratio you asked of it rather than assuming everyone has a 16:9 monitor.

      Edit: I am entirely in agreement with your positivity towards devs doing these things right, btw. I’m only upset by CDP because their engine works for one vendor and not the other, and they show no interest in rectifying that. If the 2.0 patch resolved the issue I’ll be the first to put my money where my mouth is to thank them for it.

    • The Colonel says:

      @El_Emmental

      I hadn’t realised that you weren’t a native speaker – your English is good.

      Also, that’s a good rule about not swearing.

  23. Jimbo says:

    Arguably they would need to make worse -or at least safer- games in order to reliably score a 90+ metacritic, so I hope they don’t get too hung up on that. There is very little room for having something diversive in your game if you want to average that highly, which leads to safe design choices. You have to make something which can be liked by everyone, rather than loved by your audience but possibly hated by others.

    Setting out to make the best RPG you can or setting out to achieve the highest metacritic score you can would lead to very different games I think. The second act split in TW2 would likely be cut in favour of spending more time improving the action side of the game and accessibility for instance – less ambitious, but safer.

    • thesisko says:

      Scored Over 90% in 2011:
      Portal 2
      Shogun 2: Total War

      That’s it. No company reliably scores over 90% on metacritic with their PC games.
      Though admittedly console game reviewers are a lot more generous towards aggressively marketed “AAA” titles.

    • John P says:

      Yeah I thought the same thing. If you’re chasing review scores that means you’re keeping the likes of IGN in mind as you make your game, which can’t be a good thing.

      If they want to compete with the giants, good luck to them, but if it means their games are compromised in the interest of simplicity and wide appeal, that would be a shame.

    • Jimbo says:

      I don’t know, Blizzard products seem to be pretty safe bets for 90+, which is the company they name drop. I’d be happy putting money on Diablo 3 scoring 90+, ditto Skyrim, Mass Effect 3 and Bioshock Infinite. Ok it isn’t guaranteed, but even from this far out I can say it’s very likely, because I know those guys understand how to make 90+ games and they have the resources and ability to make it happen. Maybe ‘reliably’ wasn’t the best choice of word, because Bioware, Bethesda, Valve etc. don’t do it every time, but they’ve shown more than once that they do know how to do it.

      My point is that if their main ambition is for The Witcher to be in that sort of company, then there is a price to pay in order to do that. The price is that you prioritise accessibility and polish over depth and ambition, because you will be harshly punished if you lack the former but not particularly rewarded for the latter. It’s more about not doing anything wrong, rather than doing anything especially right – it’s the handful of 60s which will sink your metacritic score, not a lack of 100s. The trick is to first and foremost make sure there isn’t a single excuse for a reviewer to justify a punishingly low score.

      In strictly metacritic terms, the second act split was a luxury whereas a decent tutorial and more polished combat should have been priorities. I have no doubt that making that trade would have resulted in a higher metacritic, but I don’t think it would be a better game. That’s why I hope they don’t get too hung up on the 90+ thing.

    • El_Emmental says:

      Metacritic scores ? Oh please, anyone who checked the reviews perfectly knows the scores can jump from 85% to 60% if some cheap gaming news website ship a bad review made in 2 hours.

      Metacritic says they put more weight on quality reviews, but if you verify it you clearly see that a review giving 40%/50% to a game without having played the game (it happened) still weights a lot, same with multiplayer games played offline with bots, a game constantly compared to another game (despite the obvious differences between the two games, so it’s just a fanboy saying “my favorite game is still better than this one”).

      It happens a lot with simulation/simulation-like games : you always end up with 2 or 3 reviews saying the game is “too complex” and “too hard to play”, while not being spectacular enough.

      And nowadays with the patching after release, you get 2 or 3 reviews shooting down the game for bugs fixed in the week following the game release. Are we reviewing the game, or the company behind it ?

      Metacritic is a joke (at least for games), I only use it for the hyperlinks to the reviews.

  24. johann tor says:

    I haven’t played the game yet, although I plan to. But this interview makes me wonder about two things:
    1) Can they really justify their policy of not charging for DLC when all their competitors do? I’m sure their investors will want to question the wisdom in that. If I remember correctly the Enhanced edition was really a way to remarket a game that was seen as somewhat below standards (not my opinion), are they now spinning it as free DLC ?
    2) These guys seem to have an advantage in content, if not technology. They really should start churning out as many games as possible with the present tech, and try to build a new audience for their games.

    • Nim says:

      Regarding the dlc point.

      The release of dlc for a game help spur sales of that game every time a new dlc is released. It may be felt that the game is supported after its release. So while they may lose out on the direct dlc income they indirectly profit from added game sales. Same thing with patches, while they may be seen as a symptom of a buggy game they also reinforce the point of developer reliability (unless the customer is particularly short-sighted and dim-witted) and may help boost sales.

      I’ve got no surveys or data to back this up though.

    • Xighor says:

      Actually, this is a marketing strategy. It’s called ‘black sheep strategy’.
      Here you have CD-Projekt (not CD-Projekt RED) CEOs talking about it: http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2010/12/cd_projekt_cofounders_talk_bla.php

    • UnravThreads says:

      First of all, CDPR didn’t have to go back and revamp TW1. I’ve seen plenty of games left in a worse state (Saints Row 2!) post-release. Is it not only fair that – considering the scope of the changes including new content and new voice overs – they try and get some re-compensation from it? Larian Studios also took inspiration from CDPR and revamped Divinity 2 – So it’s hardly a bad thing, right?

      Secondly, the EE upgrade was free for everyone. Yes, they remarketed the game, but it’s no different to major publishers putting out Gold, Platinum, GotY or Special Editions post-release as many do, especially on consoles with the Best-Of releases. At least they didn’t charge people £5 for a patch.

      Thirdly, they didn’t even compromise on that edition. There was a beautifully made larger release initially, which I never got, but after that there was a cut-down – but still high quality – more budget release of the EE which still had a lot of the extras.

      When you buy a CDPR game, you’re getting a lot for your money. It’s not like a Valve title where you get a crappy scrap of paper and a disc (And false hope), it’s not like a 2K title where you get a wafer thin manual and a disc. You got a thick manual, a guide, soundtracks, video footage – loads of good stuff.

  25. Casimir Effect says:

    I love these guys and really hope they get enough money at some point to break free of publishers entirely and become like Valva – self published. It seems to give so much more freedom. Although I will say that Atari must have been half decent at least, seeing as they were happy to let TW2 be developed for 4 years.

  26. Nihi says:

    I met one of the main developers for a prelaunch conference, and it was amazing, you can feel the passion he and his team have. Impressive really.
    Keep going CD Projekt, you guys are awesome!

  27. Burning Man says:

    I may have issues with Tomasz Gop’s attitude and I may have been upset with the fact that with all the lack of optimization and native res support, TW2 was unplayable for me on launch. But that was an ideal interview. He said everything I’ve been waiting to hear from somebody who actually makes games. Actually, he just said everything I’ve been wanting to hear. We treat our customers fairly, we believe in giving you tons of value for your money, we listen to our playerbase and incorporate feedback, and we aim to deliver excellence consistently. Very well done CDP Red. Do continue making games. We need more people like you in this world.

    • Paul says:

      What was wrong with Tom Gop? I found that guy awesome. He actually left CDP, which is a shame I’d say.

    • Burning Man says:

      Yeah, I happened to google him after I typed that out and realized he left only months ago. Sad, but I hope he finds what he’s looking for. About his attitude, I only recall some interview where he made some disparaging comments about the quality of Bioware’s games. I’m not saying that Bioware shouldn’t be criticized, heck, I’d do it in a heartbeat if you asked me to, but he just took it further than I’d ever seen a game dev go before. They’re usually very polite about everyone else, and their efforts, regardless of relative status in the gaming world. I also remember realizing the problem was endemic to the developers when I visited their forums. So yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have called out Tomasz Gop.

  28. Premium User Badge

    TheApologist says:

    I think these guys are great. Feels like less PR crap, and treat their customers like grown ups, not a problem to be managed.

    Will only get TW2 after I finally manage to finish the first game, but really looking forward to it, and the updates are keeping it in the front of my mind.

  29. Vexing Vision says:

    Well, Witcher 3 is mentally pre-ordered already. Any major expansions for Witcher 2 are also purchased.

  30. kwyjibo says:

    Really appreciate cdp’s work ethic and attitude. Comes across really well in the interview.

  31. adonf says:

    “You can expect us to service it for you quite a long time after release” sounds like a line from a Fork Parker interview.

  32. adonf says:

    Hey what happened to that Wizardry guy? I liked him, I like reliable commenter like him.

    • Keeper_Deven says:

      I doubt The Witcher 2 fits the definition of an RPG he would want to play. He has my sympathies.

  33. Pemptus says:

    I really hope there are some interface fixes in those additional improvements he mentioned. The inventory still gives me nightmares…

  34. Item! says:

    Well the full change list is up on Eurogamer…and it seems they have attempted to address all my issues with the game – namely those concerning the combat mechanics and keypress responsiveness…or lack of it!

    Hopefully this will eradicate the frantic Benny Hill running, spinning and rolling the game required of me first time around and gives me great hope for enjoying my second run through even more than the first.

    (list shamelessly C&P’d from Eurogamer!)

    Numerous improvements have been made in the targeting system.

    Parrying is now unlimited (even when Vigor is completely depleted), though parries no longer cancel all damage (maximum 50% reduction once the relevant ability has been acquired).

    Responsiveness of game controls has been improved. This includes but is not limited to casting Signs, parrying, and attacking immediately after evading an opponent’s assault.

    Geralt’s attacks are no longer interrupted by attacking opponents. Attacks are now contiguous and foes cannot interrupt Geralt’s attacks by landing a blow.

    Assorted fixes now prevent opponents from incessantly attacking Geralt after he has been knocked down. Geralt can no longer be knocked down repeatedly in quick succession. Also, he rises quickly while evading subsequent attacks.

    Geralt no longer attacks opponents located behind other opponents positioned nearer to him.
    The target locking system has been improved. Preference is now given to previously highlighted targets.

    Target selection has been improved. Priority is now given to foes affected by a critical effect facilitating the completion of a finishing move.

    The additional two steps Geralt took after mounting an attack with the W, S, A or D key depressed have been eliminated.

    Attacks can now be continued even when a key controlling Geralt’s movement (e.g. W, S, A, D) is depressed.

    Attacks can now be continued if the attack key is depressed immediately after the final strike of an attack animation sequence.

    Geralt can now pivot 180 degrees immediately after completing an attack.

    Assorted problems with key responsiveness have been resolved. Keys no longer need to be depressed twice or more to trigger a given action.

    A distance attack problem has been resolved. Geralt now mounts distance attacks (lunge with sword in hand in the Fast style) when opponents were located at a suitable distance from him.

    • Premium User Badge

      Revisor says:

      Wow, that sounds great.
      So The Witcher is now going to be not only a great story but also a wonderful action game.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Those changes will dramatically improve the flow of combat. Good job CDP!

      I was going to start my second full play-through after the 2.0 patch arrives on Hard difficulty (I did the first one on Normal). But with these combat improvements, I might just give the new Dark mode a shot. Maybe try some Arena rounds to see what it feels like.

  35. Dominic White says:

    For me, the one big thing I’m hoping for is a fix to the control freeze bug that has affected the game since V1.0 and has been widely known about, but hasn’t been patched yet.

    This has nothing to do with the inconsistently chainable attacks or strange combat responsiveness – there’s a known and replicatable bug that occasionally freezes all your controls except for movement (which is on a whole half-second delay) and camera rotation. Once this bug hits, the only solution is to roll back to an earlier save – even the developers have said this – and it’s not hardware-based, as the bug is transferrable, too.

    If you manage to survive and escape a fight once the controls lock up, you can save the game. Anyone who loads that game can now only turn the camera. No other keys will do ANYTHING, no matter what controller they’re using.

    This has been a known bug since first release, and it’s still unfixed. They need to have addressed this, or I’m just giving up on the game.

    • Paul says:

      Where are you people coming up with these bugs? I finished the game twice, first time actually with no patch (started playing on release day) and never encountered this.Or any other bug, really.

    • Unaco says:

      Nope… No ‘Control freeze bug’ here neither. Controls were responsive, fluid and quick.

  36. dajt says:

    Now I want to buy it, that’s annoying.

  37. Mman says:

    “Some “game industry experts” even suggested that we should produce fewer patches, or at least refrain from mentioning all the corrections and changes in the readme files”

    Someone needs to name names so I know who to never pay attention to ever.

  38. UnravThreads says:

    Hm… I have to say from the little I played of TW2 (I’m waiting for this new version now), I wasn’t overwhelmed. Yes, it was very good looking, but Triss’ animation in bed looked really wrong to me (No boob movements?) and Geralt’s foot clipped horribly with his boot when he put it on.

    I mean they’re minor flaws, yes, but for me they broke immersion. That said, I’m definitely excited about this new patch.

    • thesisko says:

      Wow, it broke your immersion that the rendition of boob-physics during a cutscene was inaccurate.

      I guess it’s not strange that RPGs are “streamlined” when their fans are more concerned about impressive cutscene animations than interesting gameplay.

    • Keeper_Deven says:

      ‘No boob movements’

      …good grief

      I like CD Project RED, and would prefer that you contaminate some other developer’s work with your invaluable feedback.

    • UnravThreads says:

      They didn’t break the game for me, but they seemed like moments of very low quality amongst a world that was otherwise stunningly well-crafted. It’s like when you have these great looking games and not even a hint of hair-movement. It just looks… daft.

      I stopped playing because I found the intro a pain and also because I hadn’t (And still haven’t) finished TW1, the little graphical issues like that didn’t stop me.

    • MD says:

      Rock, Paper, Shotgun: “No boob movements?”

  39. DrGonzo says:

    It’s all good to hear. I only hope the game becomes playable for me when the 2.0 patch is released. All the tweaking in the world couldn’t get the game to run smoothly for me. Most strange is it’s not that great a looking game. The design of the levels is very impressive, but it doesn’t look good enough to justify the absolutely terrible performance I get.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      erm, its the best looking RPG i’ve ever played (graphically) and i would even say that its better looking than most other games aswell.Maybe your GPU is’nt up to scratch to play it as it could be seen?

  40. Jnx says:

    Alright. I went back to try witcher 2 again. I didn’t get too far before being totally frustrated by the awkward controls last time, but I decided to give it a chance after all these patches.

    I’m trying to hold back on rage here, but wtf. After 4 months the combat still feels like it has 200ms latency to it. I try to use a skill, I have to rapid fire hammer on the button because Geralt doesn’t react. I hit and try to dodge. I need to rapid fire on the keyboard only to dodge after the enemy has landed 2 fucking blows on me. W T F is this shit. This guy takes like zero damage from my hits and when he lands a hit I lose 25% of my bar. And that is often because I can’t seem to do anything on time with the weird control input lag.

    Also when I load to try again, the guy takes a hit on me before I even have a chance to do anything. Potions might help but I can’t use them because I’m in the fight already. No meditating here. The input lag issue lowers the score from 90 something to 50. I can’t play this shit.

    I hope the grand 2.0 patch makes the combat such that you can actually play this. So far it’s 50 euros total waste.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      i’m sorry you cant get to grips with the combat, glad i didnt have this problem.

    • Nim says:

      It’s okay, really. Everyone has limits to their abilities, we, geralt, even you.

    • Paul says:

      Interesting, I finished the game twice on x360pad (first time week after released) and had zero problems with combat, in fact I had zero bugs.
      Game crashed once though.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I agree about the laggy feel of combat. Part of that is the way actions don’t overlap properly,. If you look at the 2.0 patch notes up-thread, it sounds like they’ve fixed just about all these problems. If Geralt can get a parry up when I hit the key, and not 50 milliseconds later after he’s already been hit, I’ll be a happy camper.

      Also, if you’re using a mouse, try turning off V-sync if you haven’t already. It probably plays better with a gamepad, but I just prefer using a mouse.

  41. LGM says:

    Finally, I’ve been waiting for this update forever! When the first “patch” came out for TW2 and Steam downloaded all 8GB of it (or whatever it was) I immediately uninstalled the game. I had such a backlog of stuff to play anyways, and I can’t just be dl’ing massive “patches” all the time. Now I’m ready to rock this game!

  42. AMonkey says:

    I love CDProjekts attitude and Witcher 2. Its just a shame that mainstream publication and consumers are more happy to play FPS brown and blown rehash #10.

  43. Isometric says:

    I love you Adam Badowski

  44. Timthos says:

    Psh, who needs a tutorial? Trial by fire. Hell, there’s a free strategy guide included with the game.

  45. Unaco says:

    Fantastic game getting better… What is there to complain about?

    I haven’t been holding off finishing this up (preordered on GoG, played to 1/2 way through Chapter 1 around release) for the 2.0 patch or anything, but have had a load of work getting in the way, and I prefer with a game like this, to avoid large distractions, so I can dedicate myself to it sort of. I think, with the 2.0 patch coming, this might leapfrog DXHR as the big game to lose myself in once the work is out of the way (this time next week hopefully).

    • Zenicetus says:

      Having finished one play-through each of DXHR and Witcher 2, I’d recommend dedicating the longer blocks of continuous gaming time to Witcher 2, just so you can remember what the heck is going on in that very complex game world. It was more difficult for me to keep my combat skills fresh in Witcher 2, if I spent too many days away from it.

      DXHR is much easier to jump in and out of at longer intervals, without forgetting how combat works, or what’s happening in the story. If I do a second DXHR play-through, it will be as a casual game where I can just do it for an hour at a time, to get in some sneaky head-shotting fun. Both games are very good, but the environment and stories in Witcher 2 are much more immersive.

  46. Premium User Badge

    mcnostril says:

    Aside from the whole eyefinity thing, are there any horrible issues with ATI cards?
    It’s always annoying to get a game and realize that it doesn’t work properly with ATI.

  47. nrvsNRG says:

    Excellent interview
    A super-polished Witcher2 is a dream come true. (my gripes with the game were minor anyway)
    Also looking forward to playing thru Dark Mode.

    I hope CDP succeed in making solid 90+ titles in the future…i really think they will achieve this, and their attitude is to be admired by everyone.

    …also i’m sure with TW2 360 version, sales will go thru the roof, which means more cash for them to put into more Witcher goodness!

  48. arccos says:

    I cringed a little bit about the crunch, too, because it sounds like its a point of pride and expected of their developers. Let the industry move on past this, please?

    Burning out your staff and expecting them to work like dogs may be cost effective, but it’s not the sign of a mature company.

    • Radiant says:

      He talked about shifts too.
      So I’d imagine it’s not the same people working long hours but people rotating in and out.

  49. Radiant says:

    Witcher 2 was a bloody GREAT game and I usually hate rpgs.

    If there is one thing they could change would be to vary the body shapes in /those/ scenes.
    I picked the fat lass cause she was fat but instead I got the same size 8 I ‘gave money for cleaning’ before.

    Sometimes a Witcher just needs to cuddle.