Interviews

The Witcher 2 'it's about pushing the limit again and again'

Lead level artist Marek Ziemak on creating the epic RPG

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Is there anything you would have liked to bring into the Witcher 2 that you didn't quite have time for? Things like multiplayer for example?

Multiplayer to be honest wasn't a feature we were thinking about, because it would be too difficult and we have no design for it yet. Because we are really a story driven game, we were afraid that multiplayer might have spoiled it a little.

I think the things we would like to see in the build is we would like to continue improving the game, all the developers are crazy about making their stuff better and better. There always comes a time when someone tells you 'that's enough, you've been working on [that feature] for like ten weeks now, hardly anyone can see the difference.'

But we're always like, "no, come on, one more rock, one more scratch' and stuff like that. I think this creative freedom makes us improve the game constantly. As a developer I would always like to improve my stuff to make it as good as possible.

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Hopefully this won't be the last we see of the Witcher?

Hopefully of course, but we haven't made any decisions yet, we know we want to create two new games in 2014 and 2015, that's what we've announced and we will stick to the RPG genre for sure. But on the other hand there are decisions to be made on a management level - on what the will be, what will happen to the Witcher series and what's going to be the other thing if we choose that... there's a decision to be made still. Right now we're just focused on delivering 400% the Xbox version and making it as good as possible. Then we'll have this creative freedom of thinking what to do next.

CD Projekt are already working on their next-generation Red engine, what do you hope that will deliver? Is it just a case of sheer graphical horsepower? Or is there more that next-gen engines need to do?

That's a hard question, but sure since forever it's all about horsepower and what a good quality you can get out of a game, but on the other hand games are evolving, you have different controllers now, motion controllers like Kinect and Move.

So I'm sure we'll have some surprises. The console creators will surprise us with something and we'll have to create those features in the game engines. Games are evolving their slowly changing so horsepower is needed but in the end I think horsepower may just be the background, like in your car, at some stage you have enough power and you're thinking about the accessories, the airbags, things like that, cool new features like air-conditioning. I hope its time comes soon and we won't have to fight about pixels on the screen but worry more about delivering a true experience. What we can deliver, the emotions we can deliver through the game.

What would you personally like to see from Xbox 720 and PS4?

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I'm a level artist so for me, it's all about the visual quality, I want more creative freedom and more great graphics that's what really makes me want to create games. It's like pushing the limit again and again, creating bigger and greater stuff. I'm looking for like real-life animations on consoles. I don't know when it's going to happen, but I want to see this, these great graphics being there on the screen, that's what I'm looking forward to seeing.

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