Technical Itch: The Witcher 2

Spotted over on BigDownload (and posted below) is a nine minute developer diary from CD Projekt. In it the devs chat about the game engine and related matters (in Polish, although there are also subtitles) and show off a few chunks of the forthcoming fantasy witch ’em up. Lashings of detail in there about how CD Projekt’s bespoke tech works to make the world more atmospheric and authentic, and it’s pretty much another direct shot of anticipatulin to my hype gland.


  1. blargh says:

    My anticipatulin gland is bigger than your anticipatulin gland.

  2. Zogtee says:

    Yeah, this and Guild Wars 2. I want them now.

  3. strangeed says:

    Very much looking forward to this. Or at least I would be if I had a pc anywhere near what it will take to play this :(

  4. Rinox says:

    Most anticipated game in years for me, easily. The video wasn’t that informative though, tbh.

    • blargh says:

      Same here.

      They seem to be recycling the same footage of the game in those videos… but I guess we’re better off that way. Wouldn’t want to see too much of it before getting my hands on it.

      Any idea on when this is supposed to be released?

    • The Innocent says:

      Same here. Looks tremendous. This is the game that’s defining 2011 for me at this point (well, this and Brink).

      The release date hasn’t been confirmed, but everyone’s saying Q1 2011. Let’s hope that’s the case.

  5. Giant, fussy whingebag says:

    “We wanted the Witcher 2 to be a very film-like game. That was our priority.”

    Oh dear. Games are games, not films.

    That said, many story aspects of games could do with remembering a trick or twenty from film/television. But using cinematic techniques isn’t the same as being film-like.

    Luckily, it seems like he’s just saying the conversations are going further down the road that the Mass Effects and Alpha Protocol have been treading: animated and exciting, rather than looping, static and stilted.

    However, there were worrying reports of QTEs in the previous video…

    • jeremypeel says:

      I think when certain devs talk about making things film-y, they’re just talking about inserting a little tension/empathy/whatever into their cutscenes with some nifty cinema-inspired camera-work and a higher class of voice acting. Which I’m all for – I still need to write my imagined column about the jump from text + imagination to blocky 3D reality we took with RPGs a number of years ago, a jump we’re only now recovering from imo.

      It may also be what the majority (including shareholders) want to hear, whilst simultaneously making us groan.

    • michaelar says:

      I think jeremypeel said it well. For example, no matter what you thought of Mass Effect 2, it was markedly improved by using film style camera angles during the conversation parts. And the quality of voice acting for The Witcher EE was far and away better than the first release version. I think we’re all assuming that they can use what we’ve learned about cinematography over the years to make better dialog and story presentation, rather than turning it into some linear JRPG not-a-game.

    • Anonymousity says:

      He was talking about cut scenes being based on where the characters are standing before it and being malleable within the game and engine.

  6. Iloorf says:

    Looks nice. Hopefully it will not be boring as the first one.

  7. Melipone says:

    I’ll be upgrading my pc on the basis of the release schedule….that’s how fun I think this is going to be.

  8. Matthew says:

    Why am I so interested in this game, and yet so uninterested in Dragon Age 1 or 2? Ultimately, they aren’t that different. The devil really must be in the details.

    • Tuco says:

      Maybe cause this one has, you know, an actual world you can actually explore.

    • PHE says:

      Exactly, The Witcher focuses on the details. Day/Night cycle? Weather system? Not important says BioWare, we would rather focus on story. Yet despite that they come up with a subpar story that is largely uninteresting and bland. The Witcher manages to get the little details right and still produces a more interesting narrative.

      All of the things that BioWare deems unnecessary are things that make a game more immersive and engaging.

      Also, The beautiful palette and art style of The Witcher doesn’t hurt. I’m replaying it now in anticipation of the sequel and it still looks gorgeous.

  9. Torqual says:

    Those developer shown in the video should take a sunbath or two. Its not good for your health to camp in your basement, you know?

    The second developer this scripter guy has a strange opinion of implementing a plot in a game (film, book). I thought you first write the plot and then work an the scripts to tell your story. He sounds like he’s making some nice scripts and then tries to merge them into the storyline. Reverse engineering is not a technique of story telling, dear developer :).

    I hope Witcher 2 is not so bugridden as Witcher 1 on release. The platinum edition released a year after the main version, was very enjoyable. It was very nice to get it for free as owner of Witcher 1. In times of DLC (damn lousy content) this should not be underrated.

    Have a nice witchhunt

    • The_Terminator says:

      I got the impression he was saying that they made a nice scripting language, then wrote a plot based on what they could achieve with that – which is a very good idea. There’s no point writing a really amazing story where all kinds of cool things happen, only to find that you can’t actually implement it in the game.

    • Silv says:

      About sunbath :)
      Eastern-Europe doesn’t have that much sun as you think u california tweeb!:P

    • MacD says:

      You say that, but many of the best games (and even films) ARE created that way: take a setting/universe, think of cool stuff to do, cool places to see and visit, cool stuff to do in cool places, and then a story is added to string you along and play all those awesome scenarios.

      Deus Ex, God of War, I think Half Life 1 and many others have specifically mentioned that aspect of design: think of awesome stuff for the player to do, then create the overarcing story in which to do that.

    • Josh W says:

      I was going to argue that it’s just northen europe, but I checked a map, and the USA is rediculously far south compared to europe; if you compare latitudes, about half of it is in the med!

      It is plausible to create plots from single scenes in other media too; there are many novelists who have a few moments and transitions they want to happen, and they have to work out how to get their characters from [location,emotional state,knowledge,relationships, etc]A to [location,emotional state,knowledge,relationships, etc]B; what constraints those scenes put on the intervening scenes, and how to resolve those in a dramatically interesting way. Then fixing the central scenes can have an influence back on the original scenes that started the idea, leading to them getting tweaked.

      If this process starts to get out of control, you start to get mulitple parrallel plot fragments, and you have to decide which to emphasise etc.

      In short, a lot of plot “arcs” can be considered as two important scenes, and a transition that should appear between them, and each of the scenes does a little bit of the lifting moving from one to the other.

      If you run this process purely forwards in time you can just generate plots based on characters you are interested in, see what happens if they take this scene or that scene (and what plot opportunities it opens up or diminishes), and choose whether to follow one kind of story path or another.

  10. Alaric says:

    The first one was excellent. Here’s to the second one being even better!

  11. Alex says:

    06:12 “Some wear pants, others don’t…”
    And in the game!

    Sorry. Does look like it’s going to be an impressive game though, looking forward to it.

  12. noom says:

    Looking forward to this too. Came late to the Witcher, and still haven’t finished it yet, but it is indeed a great game.

    Probably a bit naive of me to hope they might make it slightly less misogynistic… it’s not even the sex that bothers me in itself; I actually think that suits the tone of the game. It’s more the infamous “playing cards”, and the fact that there are no strong female characters in it whose personalities aren’t based on sexuality.

    Mleh, gonna play it anyway… and probably try and bed every woman in it anyway, then feel dissapointed with myself for doing so ¬_¬

    • PHE says:

      No playing cards in the sequel.

    • steggieav says:

      Really? No strong female characters? What about the red-headed medic chick (forget her name), or Triss? Also, I can think of other, more minor female characters who have more to their personality than just showing off boobs. I will say that it was kind of annoying how every chick was throwing themselves at you for giving them an apple or some shit like that.

    • Nick says:

      I’d say triss had a pretty strong sexual element to her personality

    • BobBIghead says:

      Red Hair Girl = Shany.

      Played the game recently and reread the books. Gawd I can,t wait for that game!

  13. nmute says:

    mr albino bombshell genericoman gets to play mattress mambo with X number of improbably attractive women.

    oh, and it has swords.

    how eastern.

    • krisk7 says:

      “I can feel your anger. It gives you focus, makes you stronger.”

  14. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Hmm. Looks rather promising. And probably impossible to run well on my computer.

  15. MacD says:

    I’m excited for this game; seems they are focussing on the right stuff, too. And that castle shot? With what looked like some awesome paralax effect to make the whole thing look like this giant wall of stone (you know what I mean :P)? Wow, awesome setting.

    But I too am worried: no lightmaps and every light dynamic? My pc is gonna cry!

    As for the women-card thing? I’m surprised on how many people seemed to just focuss in on that and couldn’t let it go. I always think that says more about the person with the issue than anything else. And yet Mass Effect 2, where you hardly could get away from sexing anyone you chose to (really, you had to make an effort NOT to ‘romance’ your crew!) gets a pass … whilst the Witcher was much more realistic in portraying the womens attitude towards Geralt, the manly witcher who couldn’t get you pregnant or give you an STD. As for the cards … cellphones and pictures of your girlfriend; many here can’t tell me they’ve never done THAT. And I’m a perfect gentleman otherwise, so don’t tell me I demean women.