The Witcher 3 is a Huge Open World with No Loading Times
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is said to offer over 100 hours of game time, and even a speedrun took internal testers 25 hours to complete. The full map of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is absolutely huge, and there are many different areas and environments that players traverse in during their countless quests.
Senior Environment Artist for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Jonas Mattsson in an interview with Gamespot, discussed the open world environment of The Witcher 3 and lack of loading.
No, there’s no loading times. Only when you actually start the game, when die and load the game, or when you fast travel. That fast travel loading time depends on how far you have to travel of course. If you just fast travel a little bit, it’s a really short loading time.
One of the goals we had, was to keep the experience as fluid as possible. When you play, you don’t want to have the loading screen because it takes you out of the game a bit. We wanted to make sure that it was as smooth as possible, one big experience. For us, that was really important. I think we achieved that because, as you said, just going in and out of a building, there’s no loading time. Nothing. It’s just creates this really nice experience.
He also talks about the make up of the world,
You can wander around on your own, definitely. We have the main land, which is basically Novigrad and No Man’s Land where you were playing. You have the big city in the north, the metropolitan are, and then as you move to the south, you come to this war torn, ravaged area,
That’s one huge open world. For story purposes, we do have some places like the Prologue Area, as we call it. The introductory area. It’s a smaller open world created to make sure that the player understands the rules of the game and get to grips with the controls and so on. It’s a mini open world, and once they’ve mastered how it plays, we just unleash them into the full open world.
Of course, in addition to that, we also have a group of islands off the coast. Way off the coast, actually. You have to fast travel to go between that because the distance is also very large. To travel on a boat, it would take too long, so it wouldn’t really make sense for the player.
Nvidia has recently released a gameplay video for the Witcher 3, showcasing Nvidia HairWorks, PhysX and other features. A behind the scenes video released by CD Projekt RED shows Game of Thrones’ Charles Dance talk about his role in the Witcher 3.
The Witcher 3 is only three weeks away from release, and as we have previously covered, CD Projekt has already announced that pre-load options are already live, as well as the unlock times for The Witcher 3.