The Witcher III Writers Were Very Worried the Game Wouldn’t Have Enough to Keep Players Busy
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt Complete Edition launched on Nintendo Switch yesterday, as attested by the launch trailer below.
Even though the base game launched in May 2015, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt remains a pristine example of excellency in the action RPG genre. And yet, it seems that the game's writers were quite worried during development that there wouldn't be enough to do for players.
Speaking to Eurogamer, CD Projekt RED's Lead Writer Jakub Szamalek explained that this conviction came to pass mostly due to the particular sort of tunnel vision that developers sometimes experience when working on a project for a long time, not to mention the particular intricacies of writing a game instead of, say, a theatrical play.
We had a lot of tables and trees and diagrams and post-it notes to try and build the whole picture but it was extremely difficult. We were actually very worried that we didn't have enough content. We were seriously concerned there weren't enough quests, enough dialogue sequences, there wasn't enough to keep the player busy. Obviously we were hugely mistaken because the density of the experience is definitely not lacking - but it was so hard to assess it when the game was still being made.
What people outside of the industry don't always appreciate is a game is constructed from so many pieces and you don't see the final product until the very end so it's hard to plan for unforeseen problems. When you're working on a play in the theatre, you might not have the costumes or the set, but you can see the actors interpreting the lines, you can imagine what it will look like - in games that's extremely hard. Even if you do have a clear goal and direction, you might end up in a different place because a certain part of the game gets cut or a new mechanic is introduced and this requires you to change the storyline, or it turns out that a tester says the game is lacking this or that.
Luckily for gamers, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt wasn't lacking content (or anything else, really), which made it one of the best games released in recent years and the primary reason behind the massive hype that now surrounds Cyberpunk 2077. As a reminder, the next big open world RPG by CD Projekt RED will launch on April 16th, 2020, while fans of Geralt will get to see the titular Witcher later this year in the Netflix series starring Henry Cavill.