The Witcher 3 Interview: Sexuality in the Franchise, Developing for PlayStation & More
PlayStation LifeStyle recently had the chance to speak to CD Projekt RED regarding one of 2015’s biggest games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. In our exclusive interview, Level Designer Miles Tost weighs in on sexuality in the franchise, developing for PlayStation platforms for the first time and lots more.
PlayStation LifeStyle: It has been said that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be wrap up the story of Gerlat of Rivia, does this mean that there are plans to move onto a new protagonist?
Miles Tost: That means there are no plans to continue Geralt’s story after we release The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. And I don’t want you to think that this is a dodging answer, we’re simply moving on to Cyberpunk 2077 when we finish Wild Hunt.
PSLS: Why has it taken so long for The Witcher series to come on to a PlayStation platform? And are there any plans to re-release the first two Witcher titles for fans that didn’t have access to the previous games?
MT: At this particular moment in time, there are no plans to re-release previous Witcher games on the PlayStation. We’re also a bit bummed that it took us so long to release a Witcher game on the PlayStation but we’re a quality-comes-first studio and releasing The Witcher 2 on three platforms was above our technical capabilities back then. We chose Xbox because of the less complicated architecture (The Witcher 2 was our first console game). Things are different with the PlayStation 4. By the way, if you’re afraid that you won’t get what’s happening in the game without playing the first two games, you may stop worrying now — for newcomers, Wild Hunt will seem like a totally standalone game.
PSLS: Each of The Witcher games contain some level of sexuality in them, and that has caused a bit of controversy in the past. What are your thoughts about sexuality in gaming and how have you approached the subject with The Witcher 3?
MT: We make mature games, for mature players (every Witcher game is for adults only) and sex is, well, a part of adult life. The key thing is not to overdo it, not to sell your game with sex. As long as you remain tactful in what you do, as long as you have a legitimate reason to put sex in your game, I think it’s quite safe to do so.
PSLS: Will there be any kind of catch-up for people that missed the first two games, especially for PlayStation gamers who might be diving into The Witcher franchise for the first time? (If there aren’t, why?) Maybe a quick recap, digital comic of some sort?
MT: Like I said before: you don’t need to know the previous games to have fun right off the bat. Still, we will definitely prepare some sort of a recap so that everyone who wants to get up to speed can do it.
PSLS: Has CD Projekt RED thought of doing a “The Witcher Collection” of some sort that will house all the games in the series and maybe developed to capitalize on the current consoles’ power?
MT: Currently we’re focused on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Cyberpunk 2077. Collections like that are a thing of the future, and I’d rather not discuss them now.
PSLS: With next-gen consoles and next-gen development in full swing, are you be planning on leaving last gen development any time soon (PS3/Xbox 360)?
MT: If that answers your question, we’re releasing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on next-gen hardware only.
PSLS: What challenges did you face coming to consoles that weren’t an issue on PC?
MT: Oh, a lot. A locked performance budget is one thing — PCs, although I’m not saying this is a best practice, allow you to raise the bar in terms of visuals because you can always upgrade the hardware. It’s different on consoles, as you have a fixed performance budget, you need to stick to. Also, there’s a lot of TCRs you need to meet to pass the certification process. We had to learn all that.
PSLS: Will there be some form of unlimited, randomized quests? A bounty board for example.
MT: No, all locations and quests in the game are hand-crafted by us.
PSLS: Will PC gamers still get to import their Witcher 1 and 2 game saves for a customized experience?
MT: Long story short: yes.
PSLS: For those who didn’t play past Witcher games, how will they transition to the game’s combat to make it as painless as possible?
MT: I think the fact we revamped the combat system will ensure that no transition is needed. You’ll just sit with the game, and it will teach you how to play, and leave you alone when you’re ready to devise your own tactics. It’s easy to understand for newcomers but definitely has a lot of room for experienced gamers to exploit and really show off their skills.
PSLS: RPG fans are generally a fickle bunch and can be hard to please, regardless of the platform. In what ways do you feel The Witcher 3 embraces the genre that might make RPG fans giddy with joy?
MT: Take a really good story (and I mean really good, book-grade story), add a whole bunch of smaller stories, and mix that in a truly vast open world. You’re a guy that slays really ferocious monsters, does it like a cold and calculated killing machine, and you can go anywhere and do anything. Players will get this sense of wonder and excitement when exploring the open world, that feeling many people love when they get to play an amazing open world game for the first time and that makes them remember the game fondly later on. We’re trying hard, to create that feeling for literally tens of hours of gameplay. For me, that’s a pretty good reason! And if that doesn’t convince you there’s also a much improved combat system, alchemy, crafting…
We’d like to thank CD Projekt RED for taking the time out to chat with us. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be available for the PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on February 24, 2015.