Interview Dezember 2006 - englisch

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Interview with CD Projekt RED, December 2006

We had the chance to ask Michal "Funky Monk" Balaszczuk, Junior PR Specialist at CD Projekt RED some questions. Here they are:

Which inspiration did you get from the Polish mythology and folklore?
There is a deep Slavic, and European background in the game. You’ll notice certain nomenclature, and style: the way monsters look, and people dress :), the way whole environment and urban locations are created. Very hard concept work was engaged to assure coherence in this matter. Small part of this work, (such as based ona Slavic legends bestiary) was already done earlier by Andrzej Sapkowski in his books - Shtrigas, Frighteners, Cocatrixes.for example are all from the Polish and Slavic mythology.

How is the world geographically structured? Are there different areas like forests, swamps, islands or arctic regions? Will there be something like an underworld? Will there be many dungeons or similar locations?
As you already had a chance to notice on the screenshots - you’ll be exploring such locations as forests, marshlands, and more rural as fields, villages etc. I can’t describe some of the unique ones we created without spoiling :). As for the “below” locations, there will be of course some dungeons and prison dungeons, caves, cellars etc.

What about collecting items: How many items you can find in the game, will there be very rare items or sets of multiple items?
Witchers are not exactly those kind of guys that engage in combat just to collect what’s left from the enemy, and run to the nearest pawnshop before the increasing supply for cheap swords will make prices hit somewhere around a nickle. As far as weapons are concerned - witchers are masters in sword fighting, that’s what they’ve been learning since their childhood. The obvious choice for us was to enable player to upgrade Geralt’s swords instead of changing them. You can of course wield any other small arms, but some actions normally possible with swords won’t just work.. An interesting feature is the whole alchemy system. There will be dozens of ingredients waiting to be found, bought, ripped from the monsters etc.
There is plenty of it.

What do you concretely get experience points for? Only for killing monsters or also for other activities?
Killing enemies is one source of experience points. There is a special algorithm calculating it’s amount on the basis of the difference between the difficulty value of the opponent and the level of Geralt. The second source are of course game quests: main, and side ones. There will be also some special events.

How do you travel between the different locations in the world?
After arriving to a new location, player begins at the starting area. At this moment you have to explore until reaching a transition point. After finding one, you can choose to cross into a nearby area. Once visited, the area becomes active on the local map and can be automatically accessed from designated places. It’s worth to notice, that there are also some areas not shown on the local map, and reachable only by foot.

How many cities will be in the game, and how many NPCs will the player find there? Do NPCs have a scripted daily routine or is it somehow random? Can you enter the houses and what's about thief abilities?
Generally there will be one very large city of Vizim, divided to few large districts, there will be also few small villages to visit. Streets of Vizim are full of NPCs living their own life and taking care of every day problems. They’re behavior depends on your and other NPCs attitude, on weather, and of course a daytime. Depending on type of a character they play different roles from certain group of actions as: work, relaxation, sleep, and break.
You can enter almost every house in the game, but finally we decided not to allow the thievery option. There were no crooks among witchers guild.

Is the story linear, or can you choose freely what you do first? Is there a chapter-separation like in Gothic or Diablo?
Story is not linear and almost every quest can be completed by a number of ways. What’s interesting is that player’s choices are not divided between good and evil, and further effects of your decisions will appear with some delay. This adds a nice sense of responsibility for your actions. You can check our E3 story video if you’re looking for an example.
Concerning the main plot – yes, it is divided to chapters.

Will there be some small puzzles to solve? For example like the drinking competition in Gothic 2 where you have to replace a bottle of juniper with water before the actual action can begin?
Yes there will be few mini-games, how we call them. It’s also quite possible that one of them will be available in the internet too, as a special standalone version. This is a dice rolling based game of luck and smartness, quite popular gambling among citizens of Vizim who enjoy to waste their money :).

Can you tell us a typical fight situation? How often do you have to fight in the game? Are there also sometimes other ways of solving a quest, for example to sneak over an enemy? Are the fights scripted or random?
Combat is not the most important feature of the game, but in fact you have to fight quite often. Nevertheless it’s how you make your living as a professional monster slayer.
Anyway, some quests require killing an enemy, and there is no way to avoid it. Hence, obviously some fights are set with a quest story.

Can you tell us yet what hardware one will approximately need to play the game with full details? Can you maybe compare the requirements with the requirements of Oblivion or Gothic 3?
Well, sorry, but the requirements are not officially announced yet.

Can you tell us in which stage of development you are at the moment?
Tools and engine are already done for some time ago. There are still some graphics, quests, etc. and of course testing and optimizing. We plan to have a completed game on Spring 2007.

Now, since you have a publisher: Will there be a German version? Will the game be fully translated or will there be subtitles?
There will be a German version. As far as I know it will be subtitled but this is a decision of a local publisher, and it might change.

Thank you for taking your time to answer our questions.

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