CD Projekt RED Dev Says the Studio Needs to Get Better at Finishing the Story Sooner
CD Projekt RED is often considered to be one of the best game developers, particularly after the release of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and its expansions. That's a big reason behind the massive hype for the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077.
However, that is not to say the Polish developers are perfect - and they know it. Speaking with Gamespot at PAX Australia, John Mamais, who's been with CD Projekt RED for almost nine years now, pointed out that iteration on the story in CDPR games takes a long time and that should improve in the future.
Something that we need to do better, from my perspective, is finish story sooner. Story is so important to the process for the games we make. We iterate on it quite a long time. Since everything else revolves around the narrative, the sooner it's brushed up the better it is for the development of a game. It's a catch-22, you don't know [how good the story is] until you get it in the game and start playing quests and see how it feels. If something doesn't feel right, you have to change it again. So it's kind of a tug of war. The more you can get done up front, conceptually, and locked in, the better off you are.
Mamais produced The Witcher II: Assassins of Kings and executive produced The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and its expansions at CD Projekt RED's Warsaw headquarters. However, in early 2016 he became head of the new studio based in Krakow and later in the interview he explained what the Krakow team has been working on within the Cyberpunk 2077 project.
In terms of content, maybe it's about a third of the game. We're doing some specific things. For Cyberpunk 2077, for the narrative part, for the cinematic part, there is something new called a Scene System. It's like our dialogue and cinematic system that occurs within the context of the gameplay of the game. It's really important because one of the pillars of the development of the project is the idea of full immersion and this new Scene System is all about full immersion. You don't break into a letterbox formula and see this cutscene taking place, you're actually in the cutscene and you can control the character or the camera, there are different levels of control depending on the cutscene. It's fully immersive; it doesn't take you out of the experience at all. So we're doing that and also other things too.
Cyberpunk 2077 is out on April 16th, 2020 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The game is also launching on Google Stadia at some point in 2020.