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The Making of The Witcher 2

Eurogamer has a massive article up today on the making of The Witcher 2 and how it was ported to the Xbox 360 and a host of other topics. This is absolutely worth a read, although you may want to bring a snack.

It’s Brakke-esque in its length.

There’s a ton of tech talk here if you are into that sort of thing but the big take away, for me, was that the people at CD Projekt RED are not to be messed with — this is a ridiculously talented group of developers, programmers, writers and artists. They deserve every accolade they get and I cannot wait to see what they do next.

Let’s just hope they don’t go down an all to familiar road…

I loved this bit about the community in regards to both DLC and DRM:

“We create and deliver DLC as a way to retain our loyal fan base and don’t want to alienate them by nickel-and-diming them every time we release something new,” explains executive producer John Mamais. “Hopefully we can also pick up some new fans along the way with such a philosophy. The community is very important to the continuing success of a game development studio, and we always try to listen to our fan feedback.”

Mamais also hopes that the studio’s noted dislike of DRM helps reduce the impact of piracy.

“I think we’ve gained lots of respect in the gaming community because of it and hopefully that’s mitigating some of the piracy,” he says. “When W2 pirates openly converse on forums they are often lambasted by other would-be pirates because of our policy – look at the comments on 4chan, where pirates were getting trolled for trying to download our game. To some extent, that’s evidence that our way is not only right, but actually makes an impact. We need folks to buy the game so we can earn enough cash to make the next one – but customers should feel that they want to buy it. That’s why we put so much care into our community.”

How can you not root for these guys?

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Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

8 thoughts to “The Making of The Witcher 2”

  1. That’s a really interesting article from a programmer’s standpoint, and yeah, I’m very happy for CDProjekt RED’s success given the respect they seem to have for their customers. (Even though I’m not really that interested in playing the game… The first one presented a bit too much forced grimness for my taste.)

    Somewhat nitpicky complaint about the article itself: Wow, I hope that your own editorial standards (as opposed to Eurogamer’s) prohibit the incessant use of four or five overwrought synonyms for the perfectly usable word “says”. Confirms, reveals, explains, affirms, recalls… A few change-ups is good to break up the monotony, but that was really distracting.

    Also, I was rooting for an “avers” and never got it.

      1. Well, Hobbes the Tiger has always been a reliable and conscientious advisor, so I may have to check it out at some point.

        1. The grimness is definitely there, but I don’t think it’s forced. Mind you, I’ve not played the first, so that may be different.

          The thing is, it’s grim but realistic, honest, and gritty.

          But it’s also actually really funny, there is some genuinely funny writing, including some out-of-nowhere references. You go down a dead end early in the game and there’s a collapsed straw cart with a guy in a white cloak lying dead in it. Geralt says “They’ll never learn.” I don’t usually laugh out loud at video game humour, but that one got me. So yeah, grim, but funny too. There is levity.

  2. Wow, what an INSANE concept to combat piracy. Treat the consumer fairly, respectfully, and give them a quality product. Generate brand loyalty and give the consumer a desire to buy your product. Become heroes- not villains- to the people that buy your merchandise. Maybe then people won’t be so quick to steal from you. NUTS!

    Every publisher in the business needs to listen to what these guys are doing. I’ve only played one of their games, but I’ll buy anything they put out if only to support healthy, old fashioned business smarts applied to the games industry. To think that there’s committees, rooms full of people hired to show powerpoint presentations at these AAA studios about how to combat piracy, and suits nodding affirmatively at draconian, “all customers are criminals” policies when there’s a small developer working out of Poland that has it right on the money says a lot.

  3. It’s devs like these that, for me, really show the way forward. Only 2 published games; one a moderate success, and the other a multi-platform hit, but many years of experience behind them.
    I was just reading their Wikipedia: CDP established their reputation by translating Baldur’s Gate, Planescape, Icewind etc to Polish, including voice work.
    And then there’s Gog.com, a retailer that maintains their sense of ‘give the customer what they want, but also more than they’d expect’ approach. I can only say I’m happy to be their customer.

  4. The depth of field quality is, for me, the absolute greatest feature ever. An example: Running through the Flotsam forest, it starts to gently rain. As I approach Lobinden, torches and campfires smear and blur into view through the haze, gradually coming into focus. When I first had that experience, it was breathtaking.

  5. My birthday is coming up. Can’t wait to get it for Xbox! This game is just incredibly from whatever perspective you look at it.

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