In some ways, it is hard to believe that it has been five years since the release of the iconic Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. When CD PROJEKT RED first announced in 2013 that it was working on a third installment to the series, it immediately gained attention from fans and gaming sites. The previous two games had already gained a reputation. At the time, one of the most popular franchises, The Elder Scrolls, still very much dominated the RPG space. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings challenged Elder Scrolls with cutting-edge graphics and a new style of storytelling. To this day, it can still tax even the most powerful gaming rig in 4K with maximum settings. Wild Hunt would continue on this path of expanding the world, and history, of Geralt and his many companions.
Kirk McKeand, of VG24/7, reached out to CD PROJEKT RED and was given the chance for a Q&A with lead writer Jakub Szamałek. In this interview, we get a glimpse of the changes that occurred in game development, such as how many islands the Skellige Isles would comprise and their size, as well as the afterthought to include underwater exploration missions and how that changed gameplay mechanics. There were also challenges the company simply could not fulfill at the time, such as an ice-skating sword fight scene featuring Ciri. Evidently, this was a thing from one of the books that didn’t quite make it into the game.
References, Bugs, and Inspirations
Fans of The Witcher 3 could probably cite at least a dozen Easter eggs or references in the game. There are probably hundreds of them. It turns out that Jakub has a background in classical studies, and there are a few references to some interesting ancient Roman poetry. Some of the challenges in the game revolved around bugs with the wildlife taking on human abilities. No, the Mahakam Mead wasn’t dosed with something. You may have actually witnessed a goose enter an inn closing the door behind them. He also goes on to confirm the many, many movie or other literary inspirations for missions throughout the game. Toward the end comes the inevitable question regarding the future of the franchise. His answer is, “Would you like to play a game with Ciri as a lead character?” Fans should check out the interview, as there are many more little tidbits in it about the game’s development.