PAX West 2017 panel – 10th Anniversary of The Witcher


(Applause) Oh my God! Hello, PAX! (Cheers) Incredible. Thank you all so much
for taking the time to be here. Y’all enjoying PAX so far? Yeah! Awesome! It’s incredible. This is the biggest audience that has been at PAX West
so far this year. So give yourselves
a massive round of applause. Thank you so much. (Applause) There is a lot of people
watching on Twitch right now. I want them to know
how many people are here. So, let’s do a roll call. How manyWitcher 3fans
are in the house? (Applause) Nice. Now, it’s going
to show your age a little bit, so apologies in advance.Witcher 2fans in the house? (Applause) That was louder. I think you are not doing this right,
but I appreciate it. And then for the golden oldies, those who suffered through the bugs
to enjoy that rich Slavic lore —Witcher 1fans! (Applause) Awesome. AnyGwentfans in the house? (Applause) How aboutCyberpunk? (Applause) That will probably be the last time
that word is said on this panel. Let me just get that
out of the way already. For those of you who don’t know,
my name is Danny O’Dwyer. I run a crowdfunded video game
documentary channel called Noclip. Thank you so much. Thank you very much. We go around the world
telling stories about video games. We recently came back
from a week and a half in Warsaw with the folks at CD Projekt. Talking aboutWitcher 1,2and3because in just a few weeks’ time
the first game will be 10 years old. And that’s why you’re all here today. Because that game lit the fire
under a bunch of people, then they made a second, and then they were able
to makeWitcher 3, which swept a lot
of Game of the Year awards, and is one of the best fantasy
role-playing games in recent memory. So we are here
to talk about these games. We have a bunch of people
who’ve come all the way from Warsaw. They’re working on their next game. But they’ve taken
the time off to be here, they appreciate you being here, and I am going to get them
in just a hot second. So the Irish guy will stop rambling. Here’s how the panel’s going to work. We’re going to talk
aboutWitcher 1,2and3in 20-minute chunks, we also have video packages of a bunch of ridiculous
behind-the-scenes stuff, which they’re not sure
they should show, but they’re going to show anyway. (Applause) And then we’re going
to open it up for Q&A. We have microphones,
but stay seated, enjoy the panel. Geralt and Yen
are going to be out picking people for the last 30 minutes, so we’ll do
the put-your-hand-up thing. So don’t worry about lining up,
just enjoy the show, and we’ll get round
to Q&A’s at the end. Let’s get this thing started. Before we do, though, I’ve got a very special person
to introduce before I get round to the rest
of our murderer’s row here. You may recognize him from a decade
ofWitchervideos at this stage. He flew in yesterday to be here today and is flying out
directly after the panel. He is very emotional and happy
to be here. He is the founder
and joint CEO of CD Projekt. I’d like to introduce, please,
Mr. Marcin Iwiński. (Applause) Thank you very much, Yen. (Applause) Wow! Guys, thank you so much. But I am just a cofounder
and joint CEO. I am not making
these great games, you know. Take it easy. Thank you very, very much
for coming here. You really do not imagine
what it means for us. We were discussing in the backstage: is there going to be half of the room,
maybe 60%, maybe less. And then, here we go, and it’s full, so really appreciate you taking
the time to queue in to come here. We’ve prepared and Daniel
actually talked about it a little bit. We prepared a lot of special stuff,
behind-the-scenes stuff, which we really should not be showing, but we will show it to you because we go
the full Monty today, really. (Applause) It’s a very important moment for us,
10th anniversary, time flies, so we might
all get a bit emotional. There’ll be a Q&A at the end
so you may prepare some questions. I’m sure you have a lot of them. But without further ado … There wouldn’t be an anniversary
without a gift. So for this very moment,
we’ve prepared a video for you. Enjoy! Hey, I was just reminiscing
and realized … Damn, it’s been ages
since we last saw each other. You know me. Got a hard time staying put. Though … Regis says I’m getting old. Drops in with herbs
for Triss sometimes. Strange species I’ve never seen. They grab Yennefer,
lock themselves in her lab, spend all day brewing, wouldn’t dare interrupt them. Not that I’m complaining. Gives me time to help the guys
with their contracts. Although … Can’t shake the feeling
they mainly take jobs nearby. Lambert practically lives here. As I said, find it hard to sit still. Except … Things are good here, you know. I’m good. We play Gwent, drink wine, swipe grapes
in Anna Henrietta’s vineyards the odd moonlit night. Vesemir’d enjoy that especially. Been through hell and high water,
you and me. The fact is, you know me better
than anyone else does. Actually, I wouldn’t be here
if it wasn’t for you. Thanks for everything,
and know we all miss you, old friend. So, it might be my birthday,
but I say: here is to you! Now, tell us how you’re doing. (Applause) All right.
Let’s get these folks out here. My favorite part
about interviewing Polish people is having to pronounce their names. I swear to God, I spent more time practicing
the next 30 seconds than the rest of the panel. (Laughter) Did Jesse Cox put
like a fart thing on my seat? Is that what happened there? I know he’s here somewhere. First of all, he was just out here, let’s get another warm round
of applause for Mr. Marcin Iwiński. (Applause) Thanks, Geralt. Next up, from the living world team Mr.
Bartek Ochman. (Applause) That was another easy one. Let’s go through the top ones. Nice to see you. Hi, everyone. From the adaptation team — this is the team responsible
for taking Sapkowski’s book, and turning it
into the video game lore — Mr. Borys Pugacz-Muraszkiewicz. (Applause) Next up, a gentleman responsible
for most of the music inWitcher 3: Wild Hunt,and also a lot of
the sound design inWitcher 2, Mr. Marcin Przybyłowicz. (Applause) OK? No? I don’t even need the book
for this one. Next up from the quest team,
Paweł Sasko. (Applause) Geralt’s not happy
about the quest you put him on. All right. Thank you all so much
for being here today. Before we get into the weeds
on game design, business, and all that good stuff … What does it mean to be here? Who will start? I am happy to take that up. 10 years for the franchise, 11 for me personally, and for me, it’s really a blend of pride, indubitably, tempered by gratitude. Pride. We started out, in some respects, just barely getting
that first title out. Improving on it a year later. Taking a different tack
with the second title. Moving on to a new platform. Arguably, with the third title,
ascending to the top of RPG gaming. Staying there for a while,
with the expansions as well. We’re still
in the franchise withGwent. And to compare us now
versus 11 years ago, in organizational terms, in terms of personal skills, it’s just a huge, huge improvement. By leaps and bounds. Borys is saying he learned a lot. And gratitude. Because gratitude towards fans
for sticking with us, through thick and thin. Weathering all the storms. Being supportive, providing feedback. Gratitude to all the business partners,
all the wonderful performers, to the VO directors,
the actors in all the languages. Gratitude to all the other
business partners, and gratitude, I think, last but not least, to our families, loved ones, who endured a lot, who were supportive throughout. For me, gratitude
is also the strongest thing I feel. Because it’s four years as a fan,
and six years as a developer. Right. WhenWitcher 1was being made, I knew about this weird,
and amazing company being based somewhere in Warsaw. And I really wanted to be a part of it. I was rejected actually multiple times, but that didn’t stop me. And I joined six years ago,
duringWitcher 2, and that was an amazing ride,
to build this thing, you know, to be a part ofWitcher 2,
Witcher 3, expansions. It’s just a great feeling, guys. That’s a unique thing
to your company story. That theWitcherbook series had already had a loyal and dedicated
fan base before the games came out. So in a way the journey
has been longer than a decade. It’s been part of much of your lives. Some of us were first fans of the books, then we joined the company. I have my motivation letter that I sent to the company. Can I …? This is the letter
you sent to the company? – Exactly.
– On a tiny piece of paper? No, no. It’s my notes. You guys must’ve been struggling. I kept it. “It’s hard to describe
my admiration for theWitcherworld created by Master Sapkowski. I read all hisWitcherbooks
dozens of times, I know fragments by heart. Half of my friends
I have linked in my mind to characters
created by Master Sapkowski. Basically, I’ve got theWitcherdisease.” Awesome. We’re all infected here. Shall we crack on? Maybe just a word from me. The company is my first kid
and then I had three more. Hello, honey, and kids watching me. CD Projekt was the first, sorry. Do you see how your dad
celebrates the first kid’s birthday? Thank you, Daniel, that was great! You know now
what I’ll have back at home? Seriously, it all started with a dream. We started as a distribution company, so we were going to all those
trade shows, and looking at games. We always wanted to have our own baby, we were especially
fascinated with RPGs. So, seeing this today
is for me unbelievable. Making the first game had taken us
five years of blood, sweat, and tears. We started very differently
to most of game developers. We were actually gamers
running a distribution business. So passion, and gaming, but we had no clue whatsoever
on how to write and develop games. Five years of blood, sweat, and tears, and there wasWitcher 1,
and that was incredible because we saw there was already
a huge following, a huge fan base. Actually, the most important part,
I wanted to say … Borys went a little bit deeper
into the gratitude thing, and it really means a lot to us,
and it’s not just us talking. Because withWitcher 1, especially, when we were looking for a partner
to help us get the game started — and back then
there was no digital distribution, so publishers were the gods,
the ultimate gatekeepers. We were rejected so many times, it was an extremely stressful time. We were showing,
people were coming to our offices, we were presenting,
there was due diligence, we were talking about the lore,
passionate about books, and two months down the line
I was getting a call, “Yeah, great, blah blah blah,
sorry, no,” and that was it. And you guys were showing us
that we are walking the right path and you were always there to support us. So thank you very much for that. Awesome. It’s for you. (Applause) OK. We’ve got a lot of video games
to discuss the design of. So let’s get the ball rolling. First of all, we’ve got
a nice video package forWitcher 1. The story begins withWitcher 1. I was reading the books
and I’m a huge Sapkowski fan, but then the game
appeared on the market, and I was really waiting for it. And I started playing with the hope that finally, it will be
a really good Polish game, and that I will feel
the same atmosphere as in the books. And it was like that. Our hero, Geralt of Rivia, known in some parts
simply as the White Wolf, or even simpler, the Witcher, is a mercenary monster slayer whose heightened senses,
lightning-quick reflexes, and superhuman strength are the result
of the torturous magical experiments he was subjected to in his youth, and have made him an outcast to some,
a necessary tool to others. Generally, the vibe of the place, so dreary in some parts, but the nice kind. It feels very authentic. And … For whatever weird reason, one of the bigger moments
that have stuck with me, other than the story, is one quest where the woman
had a monster in her basement, the old lady, and the drunken section where he was trying to steal
the pickles and the lard. That was really cool. What was that you liked? Was it the same rich Slavic lore
that was in the books or was it the questing? Everyone says atmosphere. Atmosphere, exactly. I don’t know how to explain that
because what is atmosphere? The music? Colors of the game? Maybe … Maybe plot? To be honest,
if you want to point it out, you don’t know exactly what it is.Witcher 1was, in my opinion, the most Sapkowski game we did in CDP. The game is based
on the series of best-selling novels by Polish fantasy writer
Andrzej Sapkowski, and unlike any other fantasy setting
you have witnessed so far, there is no good and evil, no fine line, especially for our main hero, Geralt, who was brought up
and trained to be a witcher, professional monster slayer
without any human emotions. – Ready?
– C’mon! – Hit me!
– With pleasure. I’ll show you a real man’s balls. You talk too much. Scared? That’s more like it. C’mon! Three … none. (Applause) So it took five years to make the game. Maybe if the 3D artists
weren’t doing fuzzball animations, it would’ve taken a bit less, perhaps? I want to talk about what
was already referenced, atmosphere. When you go back and people
talk about the firstWitchergame, there was something about it … People refer to … Technically, it’s quite a world away
from what happened with2and3. But there was something there. It was an incredibly unique game. Even in the RPG space,
which can be quite tried. I don’t know how to point it out. I remember the whole chapter
of Vizima Outskirts and Temple Quarter, and I was playing it,
and I was feeling that this is it. Like — I don’t know, colors?
Guys, maybe you will help me. There is this amazing story arc
that is built intoWitcher 1. And I remember
when I was playing this bit when Shani is checking the guy’s head
and they find eggs in his brain. And I literally peed myself. This dialogue was so incredibly long. I think Borys is in part to blame. The dialogue was incredibly long, but God damn it,
I clicked every single option. And I was like, “Wow, that’s
an amazing 30 minutes of dialogue.” But the story — it all made sense. It was put together
with such care and such love, that I just understood
there is something there, and we can actually make it like this. You talked about the quest. It was a really sophisticated quest, but we also has a quest like find and kill
all dogs in Vizima Outskirts. Different level, but it fits the story.The Dogcatcher of Vizima. Do you guys remember it? The gravedigger was paying you
to bring six pots of dead dog tallow. Actually — And I remember a thread
on Steam forums, where people were writing
that they drank all their dog tallow. I was like … OK. And then I was checking, oh, of course, because it was a good base
for elixirs and for the swords, so of course they drank
all the dog tallow. It’s disgusting. (Laughter) What was that like — the whole
process of adapting a universe that exists over six books. That must’ve been very complex. I was going to interject, because these guys
are starting to talk about details, but honestly,
we’ve got to go back to the fact that we had a body of work to draw on. And that was a five-novel saga, two collections of short stories, and it’s there where you first
encounter the atmosphere that you then refound inWitcher 1,and that’s the challenge of adaptation: you’ve got a book that has a fan base, andThe Witcher
online community, in general, I think, is a lot older than 10 years. It probably started
somewhere in the mid-1990’s with the publication of the books. So the novels had developed, and the world
had developed a fan base. And that’s a challenge
when you take a series of books, and turn it into a game. You have a fan base
that on the one hand is really excited to see a product or an IP
that it loves in one form arrive in another format,
another medium. On the other hand, they’re attached to the lore,
to the characters. They’re going
to hang you by the balls if you get the lore wrong. If you don’t have
their favorite character, for instance. There were early attempts
at creating aWitchergame where you could create
your own witcher. You could name him,
you could have whatever characteristics. That was the first version. Exactly, but it didn’t take, it didn’t plant roots for the simple reason that that fan base
wanted to play not asawitcher, but astheWitcher, as Geralt of Rivia. So on the one hand,
you’ve got to serve the fans, on the other hand, you have to
make the game IP your own. WithThe Witcher 1,
I think we were serving fans, we were trying to remain
as faithful as we possibly could. Taking small liberties here and there. These guys mentioned specific quests. I’ll cite characters like Captain Vincent, the captain
of the Town Watch in Vizima. A combination of Andy Sipowicz
fromNYPD Blueand Bigby Wolf
from theFablescomic books. Who were the other big ones? And he was a cop
with a Brooklyn accent in the middle
of medievalesque Vizima. Sapkowski’s novels
were full of references like that. Not nearly as contemporary,
but nevertheless. And I think that’s
what you’re talking about when you say you found
what you saw inWitcher 1was a similar atmosphere. When I go back and look at it,
there is such a depth to it. There’s things happening
and interesting characters that you almost
don’t have time to spend enjoying it because you’re getting on
to the next thing. What I am also interested in — That earlier version ofThe Witcher,
how did it differentiate? Was it character stuff, was it gameplay? The first one was more of a tech demo four people in Łódź working on a local tech. We had a tech demo, a few locations. I still remember one
where there was a tree, and there were crows all around it, and although we had
the most powerful PC back then, whenever there was a move,
the birds started flying around, it was slowing down. Anyway, we went on the tour to meet our hopefully-soon-to-be
publishing partner in Europe — two weeks — and had the contacts
from the distribution. So we were meeting the right people,
it wasn’t random meetings, all the key publishers back then, and after these two weeks
we were super proud, we had a huge, beautiful design doc,
I still have one copy. We got two emails back. Two, yeah. 10 or 12 meetings,
two emails from best friends, they were kind enough to respond
in a very polite business way that we should still work
a little bit more on in. – Right.
– Pretty much, it sucked. After that we relocated
three out of four people. We couldn’t find an agreement with the gentlemen
owning the technology, so relocated them from Łódź to Warsaw. We put more people on it,
and there was only one problem, we didn’t have the tech. So as we were distributing interplay, and one of the biggest games
for us back then wasBaldur’s Gate, which we fully localized to Polish. In all honesty, when we were going
to all these trade shows, we were envious, we really wanted
to have our own game. We were dealing
with other people’s games. We were looking atBaldur’s Gate,
and we were like, “It would be great
to have something like that!” You were distributing games
for a decade at this stage. And being at E3,
we checked all the engines around, there was nothing for RPG, there was Unreal,
there was something else. We looked at a couple.Witcherwould have been
very different on an Unreal engine. First of all,
it would’ve looked very different. We really wanted
to remove as many obstacles to making the game as possible. So we had the books, the lore. We didn’t want to build the lore, because it’s really hard,
and adds a lot of risk. For us it was like
working on Tolkien’s works, for Polish people. So that’s why we are
so passionate aboutThe Witcher. We were super lucky. Then we wanted to use
an external tech to limit the risk. We knew BioWare, so we were at E3,
we went to the West Hall, went to their booth, and said, “Hey guys, what do you think
about licensing your tech?” And Ray and Greg scratched their heads, “Yeah, we were thinking about that.
Let’s do this!” And after two or three months
we were already working on Aurora. So you walked up to the doctors … Yeah, the doctors helped us a lot. So within nine months from then, we had a prototype,
and that was superfast. That was still the more
generic witcher, that wasn’t Geralt. And the doctors helped us out a lot. I am really grateful
to Ray and Greg to this very day. They gave you your first E3 space. Yeah, they gave us a call. We were totally shocked. Come on, oh, no, no, no. You are laughing. That’s not fair. That’s a very prominent space. It’s a very nice chair. What is important about this one here is that we were
a distributor of games in Poland, so pedigree
in the games development world minus 25 or 100, like zero,
nonexistent-who-are-these-guys. Suddenly BioWare, the gods of RPGs
showcase us at their booth. OK, in a corner, but they had
all the big press, all the IGNs, coming to their booth to see
Jade Empireat that time on Xbox. And there was, like,
“By the way, here in the corner we have a really cool game
from Poland calledThe Witcher —and we were covered everywhere.
It was an amazing thing for us. At that stage,
for you guys being in Poland, did you know
about this game beforehand? Or when it started
getting pulled into bigger games media when you started to see it
for the first time? That was one of the things
that actually inspired me to join CD Projekt,
and start in the gaming industry. Because I heard about that. And like Bartek,
I actually loved the books before, so for me as a Polish person,
I was like: Wow. I really want to make this thing.
I want to see it done well. And if I can,
maybe I can be a part of it, be a cleaning person,
or deliver coffee in the office. Just keep on applying and — you know. Exactly, and that was a long time ago, but I was born in a Polish village
in the south of Poland, close to Ukraine. I was taking cows
to the fields for pasturing, and I had in my bag
books of Sapkowski I was reading, I knew them very well. And that was the thing. When I saw this thing being made, I felt, “Wow, I really want
to be a part of it.” I knew I had zero chance, but … Did you put this particular
experience in your CV? I omitted that part, but maybe that
would’ve helped me to get in earlier. That’s important reference. I didn’t think about it. I actually had a very similar experience. I still remember, like it was yesterday, seeing the Polish national evening news, and the second report on the block, so it was quite important, was that Polish market emerges, and we’re going to
have our first full-blown video game, and it’s calledWiedźmin,The Witcher. And it already rang a bell, because I readWitcherbooks
from elementary school. And I still remember seeing snippets
of the cinematic Platige Image did, and my jaw just dropped
a few stories below. I was 20 or something at that point. I was studying at Musical Academy, so I was tackling with music, but I still didn’t have any idea what I should do
when I grow up, graduate, and how I’m going to earn money,
and build my career. And after that broadcast
I knew this is the place I want to be, this is the shit I want to do, and from that time
it took me four or five years to actually break into CD Projekt. I was sending you my CVs
for like four years straight. My goodness. Thank you. Thank you for being persistent. I think, the West, people outside Poland, realized how much it meant to Poland. I remember reading the news articles about the fact that Barack Obama
was getting a copy of the second game. Yeah, that was the second game. And we go to Warsaw now, and there is so many
games development studios, and there is also a lot of crossover. I know people who have worked at Techland who now work at CD Projekt,
and vice versa. There is actually a pretty good
video game infrastructure. The environment is very strong. Back in the day,Witcher 1and the early beginnings
ofWitcher 2gaming industry in Poland
was a funny thing. A nerdy, funny thing. I still remember
when with Michał, the cofounder — it was beforeWitcher 1 —we had a very healthy
distribution business, profitable, and nice revenues — and we went to the bank, and we filed the application
for our first credit. We prepared all the papers, we were not very good with finances,
and I was preparing them, this was taking me a lot of time
and energy, and I was super stressed. Then at the end the lady asked,
“Computer games?” “Yeah.” “So what do your parents own?
Flats? Cars? We need some serious collateral.” We were like, “Um, OK, thank you.” That was the thought
about computer games, a funny strange business for nerds. And then the Barack Obama thing, which really sort of happened. We were asked many times
how it happened and how we arranged it. We did not. Before Barack Obama’s visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
was calling us, but nobody was really
picking up at our reception. So the story could have
just ended right there, but they called
another company in Poland, and they reached to us and said, “Hey! The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
wants to get in touch with you.” They reached us and said, “Hey, we want a gift,
and would like the collector’s edition.” And we were like, “Yeah! Blah blah blah.” So we were signing it at the studio,
and going around. “Hey, it will be a gift for Barack Obama.” “Yeah. Blah blah blah.
Joking as usual. Fun!” “Guys, just watch the news.” And in the evening news — and the prime minister handing it over. It was a huge thing, it was a signal
that this is serious stuff. I always remember
when I was travelling around, people were asking me, “So what is the Polish economy like?
What is it based on?” And honestly, there were two things
coming to my mind immediately: sausage and vodka. That’s pretty good! A shout out for sausage and vodka! (Cheers) Sausage, vodka, andThe Witcher
is a pretty solid Saturday night. And right now it’sThe
Witcher,sausage and vodka. So yeah, that’s a big change. Yeah. A lot can happen in 10 years. From sausage toWitcher:
10th-year anniversary. That was the original title for this. But they made us change it. Before we move on to the second game, we talked a bit
about the specifics of the start. I want to throw it out there again.
What are your favorite quests that pop into your mind
when you think about that first game? I don’t have one. I could say the whole chapter
in Temple Quarter was the best from the game. One quest after another, it was perfect. I just can’t pick one. Borys? It’s very difficult to say. Specific quest … I’m really attached
to characters, and characterizations. I cited Captain Vincent
of the Vizima Town Watch, Raymond Maarloeve, the detective, a pretty good impression
of Humphrey Bogart in the world ofThe Witcher.That’s where my affinities lie. Awesome. Marcin? And yourself? I don’t think that’s the best moment
to come out of the closet, but here I am. I actually haven’t played
Witcher 1at all. Oh my God! We are leaving! Sorry! (Laughter) Shame on you! Shame! All right, moving along. I was going to! – You should have told me before.
– I was going to! But at that time
my machine wasn’t strong enough. And then kinda, I don’t know,
Witcher 2happened. I’ve got an excuse, right? But I watched part of it
on YouTube at least. That’ll do. Paweł? I personally love all those
ridiculous ideas in the quest design. We did lots of this inWitcher 3,
and we’ll maybe get to this later. But the quests
about gathering the dog tallow, or the one where you’re supposed
to get the leash for the cat, or rather the belts for the cat, so that the griggs could ride on it. I think that shows the level, at that point, of understanding the lore, and building it all together, where we were actually at that point. Awesome. All right, we got a bunch more games
to talk about, so let’s keep on moving. Let’s check out a video
forThe Witcher 2. (Music) The firstWitcher
was powered by Aurora Engine. And it was really cool that BioWare
helped us with the first game. But we modified
the Aurora Engine significantly. Sometimes we say that 80%
of the code was completely rewritten. Eventually, we decided
to develop our own engine with a clear goal that
after the release of the PC version, we’re going to have a console game. And it was because
ofThe Rise of the White Wolf. We failed
withThe Rise of the White Wolf,but we won withWitcher 2. You’ve broken my arm! (Screaming) (Music) (Applause) A lot of memories there. Hits you right in the feels. We’ve got a lot to talk about
in terms of this. I feel as gamers,
when we think about these games, we think about the end experience, how differently it compares
to our expectations, the games previously, and there’s lots to unpack
withThe Witcher 2. With this one, there’s a lot
that went on behind the scenes, that got you toWitcher 2. Business stuff that set you up to be able to make the games you wanted, and to make
Witcher 3: Wild Huntas well. Marcin, could you tell us
about what it was like doing your own engine
and having control over your own IP, and how much that factored
into making the second game. That was super important
for us from the beginning, and we are lucky enough
that we are self-funded, so all the proceeds
from our distribution business were invested directly intoWitcher 1. However, after three years
of development, we had already 50 or 60 people onboard, and it was really too heavy to carry. So we needed to find someone
who would help us financially, at least cofund the last year. Plus, what was even more important, we could probably
even arrange the funds, but getting the game to the market,
so going through a gatekeeper, as I mentioned at the very beginning,
it was really tough because we were being rejected. And I still remember these publishers —
quite a lot of them are still out there. So we were talking to all the big guys. And they were coming to our studios, and even without
any contractual discussions, we were pitching them,
telling them about lore, describing why this is
a pretty fine key role, why it’s driving the story. We had some of the stories
translated for them to read. We were sending them presentations, and then we had a question like,
“Why there is no multiplayer?” Like — what? “Our focus test are showing
that there should be a multiclass.” “Can the main hero be an elven female?” And we were like, “Yeah, of course, guys, we would love to do it.
But sorry, no.” So we were rejected on these grounds. Finally, we found a partner
willing to go ahead with the project. Honestly speaking, nobody believed
we would deliver the game. That we’d make it happen. No experience,
unknown guys from Poland, and they are saying
that they will make 100 hours RPG. That’s a no go. That’s impossible. You were pitching this
also as a console game? No, we were pitching it
solely as a PC game, we knew we can’t do any other platforms. Aurora was not suitable for that,
hence the change to the next engine. What is important was we already
were quite experienced in business, and we had very key assumptions: we wanted to remain in full control
of the intellectual property, so own everything related toThe Witcher,and we wanted to have creative control. We knew we’ll have to give away
big parts of the proceeds to the publishers,
the usual 70%, 30% royalty for us, but we did not want
to get rid of the control. We agreed this with Atari. We signed after a month of discussion, heads of the agreement
were like a four-pager, took us a month, and we said, “OK, now we’ll get the agreement. It will be peachy, rosy,
we’ll live happily ever after.” And then we get the agreement,
and it pretty much says that we don’t own anything,
they own everything. And we were really tight on cash,
it took me six months, two-three calls a week
with our lawyers, to make this agreement happen. But that was the foundation
which then allowed us to do copublishing onWitcher 2,and pretty much
self-publishingWitcher 3. What it means for you guys? It means that we can deliver
exactly what we want to deliver, and nobody’s telling us
what we should and shouldn’t do, what should be in the packaging, or why they don’t like
what we’re proposing. If we want to do a free DLC,
we do a free DLC, if we want to do huge expansions,
we do huge expansions. So that’s pretty much
the foundation to our freedom, and to our values, and that’s super important for us. So, you went through all that work
to give yourself that breathing space. To be able to create a game
you wanted to make. And then you made a game
that is quite different to the first game. It’s almost like the first game
is based more on the short stories, and thenWitcher 2is on the saga aspect. Is that fair to say, Bart? Yes, the second installment
was slightly different because it touched a different main topic. Geralt is — gets stuck in some political intrigues, or something like that. It’s much more about huge subjects than more intimate and small stories
about Geralt the Witcher. Well, what more can I say? Guys?Witcher 2had
an amazing focus on cinematics, and we wanted to tell the story,
and show the characters more. A lot of screen writers will tell you that good stories
are told through good characters. And you can even have a shit story, but if you have
good characters and show them well, and you give them space, they will actually carry your story. You can see it right now
in a lot of series, in the Netflix series,
that it’s actually happening. So what happened inWitcher 2
was that a lot of dialogues were pulled off in a more
cinematic way than in theWitcher 1. You could see the characters. They had pretty decent
facial expressions, the voice over was better. Borys put way more work
into the accents, which maybe he would like
to share some more information about. OK, for meThe Witcher 1,
we started in Kaer Morhen, we wound up in Vizima. First its outskirts,
then in the various quarters across the lake. We were going around in circles. WithWitcher 2 —new tech,
new focus on cinematics, we went out on an adventure. We got Geralt embroiled, as Paweł said, in a serious political plot, and we set out into the world. And in terms of what that entailed for me, was actually designing a world
where you do have different dialects, and you do have different nations, and you do have
different small populaces, so the Aedirnians, we inherited the haughty RP elves, Queen’s English elves,
and the Scottish dwarves. Just standard fantasy tropes
fromWitcher 1,but to that we added the Aedirnians,
who were Welsh, Temerians, who we defined
as roughly the Midlands, Kaedwenis, who were Irishmen. And we had our concerns, because the only thing
that I associated with an Irish accent was leprechauns, and very cheery people. Yeah. Geralt hunts for Lucky Charms. Yes, exactly. The mascot for breakfast cereal. But I think we succeeded in making Henselt just a ruddy, brash,
full-blooded Irishman, so to speak, and all his army similarly. And that’s something we designed,
and it carried over toWitcher 3.Witcher 2is building on our experience
and strengths fromWitcher 1. SoWitcher 1,
if you put it into perspective, we spent just a lot of time
just fighting with the reality, making it work, getting a build done, cooking a build that was crashing. We wrote pretty much 80% of the code. So the environment we were working in
wasn’t very stable, and we learned on that, and alreadyWitcher 2
was our own technology, so we were way more in control, and of course
with the development of the hardware we were able to get the bar up, and use more cinematic means
to tell the stories. It wouldn’t be possible withoutWitcher 1. It looks beautiful, that’s why
you had to go and buy a new PC. That’s guaranteed
when there is a new game from us. Also because of the new tech we were able to introduce
some open-world elements because the first installment,
Witcher 1, was quite simple, the space was limited, and inWitcher 2we had bigger locations, and it allowed us to have
some experiments beforeWitcher 3. I wanted to mention one thing
regardingWitcher 2. So the one thing we did,
which was amazing, was building our own technology, and there was a lot of new things, out quest editor and scene editor
that were something remarkable. But then we didn’t really know
where we were going, when it was being built. So then, whenWitcher 2
enhanced edition was on the horizon, we wanted to release
the REDkit along with it. And then it turned out that there is just a shit ton
of stuff that we need to rewrite to just make sure
that a mortal person is able to operate it because it was just so complex
and just illogical. Basically, the way it was built in, it just took us a year
to make it nicer and better, but then, we carried over
this whole experience toWitcher 3because we knew what we can’t really do. We talked previously
about how you put that out for the modding community, for people to play with the game,
and make their own mods, but it bizarrely became
the sort of de facto recruitment tool. Yeah, that’s an interesting story because for the quest team,
when we recruit people to the team, we just ask them
to prepare a quest, basically, and we ask them
to prepare the quest in REDkit, so we can see their skills right away, so they use this REDkit that we released to show what they can do. So that became
a recruitment tool for us. There was one person I met,
when I was over in Warsaw, who made, like, an entire quest. You asked him to make a quest, and then they ended up doing
everything but the voice over, essentially, in REDkit. Yeah, that one is Filip,
he’s still part of our team, and actually we have a few quest designers who were modders before, and they are doing amazing,
they had good school. Want to work in Poland,
start moddingThe Witcher 3right now. What he didn’t say
is that the quest was six hours long. Oh my God. Anything under six, just don’t send it. (Laughter) Six plus. WasBlood and Winejust
somebody’s CV they put in, a résumé? (Laughter) Actually, let’s talk about scale. Because that’s where
the scale issue seems to come in. We will get into the weeds of it
inThe Witcher 3. ButThe Witcher 1was the game,
you tried to pare it down a little maybe. The other thing withWitcher 1,we had externally imposed
word count limits from the publisher. Oh, really? That we could not exceed. Global word count? Global word count
could not exceed x, y, z because the localization
and the VO recording costs would be through the roof. It wasn’t in the budget. WithWitcher 2we no longer had those. But we had self-imposed limits. How had those worked out? Very well. (Laughter) It’s essentially a game
that splits into two different games at a certain point. Yes, but if you look atWitcher 1, because what Borys didn’t mention, we got the publishing part
involved fairly late, so already by that time we’ve cut
the game two or three times, and every single time — and I remember,
because the development team was initially
sitting in our warehouse, and next to the window
were folders with locations, a whole line of folders, and cutting the scope was like
removing a part of these folders, and putting them away, and then we had less and less folders,
and people started getting very nervous: “This game will be so small,
oh my God.” We probably removed
50% of the content scale-wise. – For One or Two?
– For One. For the first one. The thing is, when we started,
we had no clue what it will mean, how it will translate
to the actual gameplay, and when we put the locations,
we populated them, we said, “Wow. It’s huge.” It’s a gigantic thing, and making the first game,
I think, if we hadn’t cut it, we wouldn’t have been able to ship it. We wouldn’t be able to test it,
we wouldn’t be able to afford all that. So I think it’s good. But we were never
good at managing scope. Another thing you guys
are quite happy with, I hope. And then inWitcher 2,
we did these two chapters. Completely justified, I think. Because Vernon Roch and Iorveth are NPCs that deserve
separate and distinct paths like no other NPCs I know. Let’s talk about
some of the specifics then. I asked for favorite quests because some of you
weren’t working on the team yet. Basically everyone sitting down here worked on some aspect
of theWitcher 2. Can you give us a little bit
of insight into how quests are made? How ideas come about,
stuff that was cut, stuff that you didn’t think
was going to make it in. That type of thing.
What are your favorite ones? There is lots of stuff
I really liked inThe Witcher 2,but there is one story
that I wanted to tell you guys. For good six weeks we had
a 100% crash in the game happening if you decided to pick
an option with Triss in the dialogue, not to have sex with her. Wait, six weeks? Basically, we started
doing regression test, and we figured out that the bug
was introduced six weeks back, and pretty much nobody really caught it. Aren’t there people on the team, whose specific job it is
to choose every possible option? There are. Our QA is extremely dedicated. Now we have, right? Currently it works like that, that we have this road map that shows you
all the possible choices, and basically the person is playing,
picking the exact things, and of course there are
other testers who just play, they do whatever they want because they also uncover issues
playing like this. So that is covered. But you know, during that time — that was a lot of work, and somehow everybody was
just, you know — It was really well animated,
I am sure. This cutscene was a lot of work,
a lot of affixes, so I am pretty sure they wanted
to test out if the shaders are active. If it plays out well, yeah. Jesus. Any other stuff that comes into mind, interesting quests? There is this moment
when Geralt takes Visionary’s potion. And he starts seeing things
duringWitcher 2. I remember there was this moment,
it was late at night, we were sitting in the office
finishing stuff, and one of the designers,
he was a bit tired, and he picked a really big chicken, and put it into the forest,
and scaled it up. And there were these wooden dildos. The wooden dildos were lying around
the brothel in the tent, and he just picked them up
and was like, “Hmm, I’ll just scale them around.” So he scaled those dildos
around the chicken, and he started the game, and with Geralt
he approached this chicken, looked up and in the shot
he had this chicken with the dildos around. And then our director walked in,
he looked at it and said, “That’s fucking amazing.” (Laughter) Oh and… Yes! (Cheers and laughter) So I’m guessing if Atari
was publishing the game, this probably wouldn’t have been cool. We’ll never know. Maybe they have metrics saying that dildos in games
are actually really hot right now. Scale that up. For the rest of you folks
playing the game, working on the game, any other quests? Bartek? I remember one, it was called
In the Claws of Madness. It was about some burnt hospital
in the middle of the forest, and it was really nice, really spooky. The wholeWitcher 2
touches a different mood. And that one
was straight fromWitcher 1. Copy and paste
from the first installment. It was really great
because it was in a different mood. You had some plot about treason and ghosts. It was really nice. You have an affinity in the team
for that kind of style of Sapkowski. LikeWitcher 1. – Exactly.
– I think we all do. I totally bought into
the political intrigue ofWitcher 2. I was with it, and to me the prologue quest, where you’re interrogated
by Vernon Roch, and you look back at what you did
in a series of nonlinear flashbacks, where you made nonlinear choices
that play out later in the game. That was something new
and something really meaty. I guess you had your cake
and ate it then withWitcher 3, basically a game
that had both of them in it? We’ve got a lot stuff to talk about
with relation toWitcher 3. So we are going to show a video
in just a second, but before we do …
this is a pretty good video, Marcin. Yeah, it’s a pretty good video. We had some resistance
internally to show it, so a message for the head
of the studio, Adam Badowski. Adam, we have so many fans here, we just couldn’t not show it,
so I am really sorry for that. (Laughter) That’s a real
behind-the-scenes exclusive. There is a lot of reveals out there of how things happen
before they are ready. So be ready for something special. All right, everyone, enjoy. (Music) Once we were many. Now we are few. Hunters, killers of the world’s filth, witchers, the ultimate killing machines. Among us, a legend, the one they call Geralt of Rivia, the White Wolf. Will you help me
if I bring the goat back? Come on,
take you back to the Pellar. Misses you something awful. Where the hell did you go? Bear, bear! Run, you stupid piece of shit! (Moaning) OK. Do a couple more,
and we’ll be good. (A moan) (Different moaning) RatedMfor “mature”. At CD Projekt Red
it has always been our goal to take you on adventures, both legendary, and grounded in reality. You all right? Never go in a sauna again,
long as I live. Other than that, I think I’m fine. You saved my life. How can I thank you? (Moaning) One more and we’re good. (Applause) Round of applause for Paweł,
he was amazing voice work. My God. We’re editing this seven-part
documentary series for next month, I have so much B-roll
of people pretending to have sex on my hard drive right now. (Laughter) My wife is going to open up a folder, and there’s going to be
an awkward conversation about it. OK. There is so much to talk about
withWild Huntand the expansions. First of all, it’s an open-world game, you never made
an open-world game before. You’d made really big games,
but making an open world is a whole different kettle of ballparks. Bartek, what was that like? What was the process, just straight from the start,
open world, how do we do this? I remember my first impression. It was something like:
“The world is so huge. We won’t leave the company
for the next five years to fill it up with stuff.” The world map had been made, and you were responsible
for how do we put stuff in. Right? Exactly. First of all, we decided to prepare
something like a major test. So we took one
of the Skellige Islands, Ard Skellig, created a map and put
horizontal and vertical lines on it, and then we created a special QA unit
to test the game, and they would keep playing, and checking for what period of time we can catch focus for the player
who is riding from point A to point B, and it appeared that it’s 27 seconds. So we have
our internal 27-second rule, and we decided
to put something every 27 seconds, like a wandering merchant,
or some kind of question mark to lure the player to do
different stuff than amazing quests, because this is an open-world game,
so you can have different activities. And yes, it was pretty intense. We had some problems because creating
such a huge open world requires a lot of work
between different departments, like open-world team,
quest team and environmental team. Do you remember, Paweł,
the situation with starvation in Velen? Oh, yeah, of course,
because normally it works like that: there is lots of people involved, right? Some people build art,
some do the concept art, some do the quests,
and others populate the world. The whole concept of Velen
was that people are — There is starvation in the whole area. So the quests support the story, and our chats in the community
support the story, but environmental guys
created wonderful villages with wonderful houses
full of sausages hanging around. Right. So you had chats or dialogues like:
“I am so fucking hungry,” and then in the back you see sausages
hanging around, and black pudding also. And as he is taking a clear cut of meat — The other thing,
you had a dialogue in the village, and then somebody
is whining about the hunger, then in the background
you see a pack of deer running around. I also read — Jason Schreier has a book coming out,
and there is a chapter onThe Witcher,and he said that even in the closets,
in the inventory, there was like cheese wheels, and all these delicious things,
beautiful apples, that sort of stuff. It was the fault of our loot system
that was sometimes doing this, so we had to cover that because basically
you were entering the village outside those sausages and physics, because we wanted to showcase that, outside of that
there were ham sandwiches, all the villages, they always had it. Ham sandwiches? – Ham sandwiches with the ham.
– Or chicken. Exactly. And the other thing is,
usually our villages, when I was running around,
and playtesting stuff — we were reporting it
to the gameplay guys, so at the end
it didn’t stay like that — but throughout
the production ofWitcher 3every villager
in their sack in their house, they had an onion and a piece of wire. What? Yeah. OK. Somehow our loot system
thought it’s proper. – An onion and a piece of wire.
– Yeah. Were they playing
like kickball or something. – To cut the onion.
– Oh. To cut he onion. Genius. Adventure games … (Laughter) You can see the experience. So this 27-second rule, what needed to be there
every 27 seconds? Not just like a full quest. Like anything. No. It should be something
connected to the open-world content. – It could be a bunny rabbit.
– No, no, no. It shouldn’t be like that.
Monster – yes. A monster? A monster, or a traveling merchant, or some question mark on the map,
or stuff like that. So let’s talk about populating
that word then, right? So you have your quest team, they’re going to be making quests,
and what not, but let’s talk about stuff
that is not core quests. You mentioned the word “communities.” It’s basically the people in the images. It’s crowds in settlements. Yes. We’re trying to achieve
different atmosphere in different regions, so we have different type of dialogues, and different types
of characters in Velen, which is quite a rustic
part of the world, and different types of NPCs, and different types
of dialogues in Novigrad, and the same with Skellige. And we’re trying
to achieve different atmosphere with dialogues, with that small content. So, treasure hunts
touch different subjects in Velen than in Novigrad and on Skellige. Presumably, that’s a lot
of dialogue to write then, Borys? New accents as well. Also. Honestly, if I could have my way, everybody in Skellige
would’ve spoken Norwegian, and we would have English subtitles, but we opted for Northern Irish
for the Skelligers. The Velenese were primarily West Country. Vizima was theoretically
the North’s largest metropolis. We went for a mix of London accents. Yeah. We’ll get intoBlood and Wine
in a little bit, but in terms of the accents … That was a very interesting decision. It’s the Mediterranean, but it’s not
really a Mediterranean accent. Toussaint, in general,
is sort of painted in the novels as a place where Romance language names reign. We were very reticent about using
German accents or French accents, because they’ve been done
in parody to a ridiculous degree, so we had to come up
with an accents of our own, which was like Danish, actually, because it was just
about unvoicing terminal consonants, and changing a few vowels. The reviewers thought
they were wonky French accents. But they weren’t. Let’s talk
about the business side as well, scaling up the business, because you started
Witcher 1with a very small team, you started the original version
with only four people, and you expanded,
and2expanded as well. Let’s talk aboutWitcher 3
in terms of getting that big. The cautionary tale is always,
the minute a studio gets big, it becomes too top-heavy,
and things start to go bad. Obviously, it didn’t withWild Hunt. So what was that process like, Marcin. The biggest change was obviously
fromWitcher 2toWitcher 3. But it’s important
that we’re doing one thing at a time. So withWitcher 1Atari was publishing, we were self-publishing
in Eastern Europe: Poland, Russia,
and the small countries around. And funnily enough, we were not able, as they were controlling the West — they were deciding on the box, what comes in the box and everything — we were not able
to convince them to add more stuff. So the Polish edition
of the firstWitcherwas a huge three-or-four-DVD box. There was making-of video, there was a game guide, a soundtrack, there was lots of stuff,
so exactly as we wanted to make it. But Atari said: “Sorry,
the costs of goods are too high.” So it was just one DVD box, and only after,
with the enhanced edition, we were able to convince them. It was a lot of frustration, because we were doing this distribution-publishing business
ourselves in our country, and the neighboring countries
for many years, so we knew what gamers like, we wanted to deliver
something from our hearts, and there we had
a partner over there who said, “It’s too expensive.” So already forWitcher 2
we were deciding on that, and then we didn’t have a problem
to put outWitcher 2Enhanced Edition. And then withWitcher 3we decided
to run just totally wild with it. Of course it was never like we
planned it from the very beginning, that it will be so huge, and it never happens like this, at least in our case. It was step by step, so the first E3 we showed it, the response was just phenomenal, and it was making us
more and more courageous. Right. We were adding more resources,
we were investing more, but we were scaling the team. And step by step we made it. And then we went to the market, we already knew
that the game will be big, but all the sales,
and all the fans responses … Thanks to you guys
it has exceeded the wildest dreams. And presumably then is that team working on the next project, onCyberpunk? Which project?Cyberpunk. We’re not supposed to discuss that. (Laughter) What? I tried. We’ll catch you in a few years maybe,
and talk about it. But yes, yes. It’s way more an evolution
than a revolution. As you see, we all gain
more and more experience. On my side, more business publishing, guys on development side in each of their
professional categories. But it’s all built
on experience and knowledge we gained
on what we have delivered so far, and the response from you guys. It’s one of the incredible things
about going out. At the end of last month
I was talking to so many people who had been there for so long, because it’s quite unique
within video games, especially the scale
of the game you are creating. – For the third game —
– That’s one more thing. Let me wrap it up. I think that’s why we value
our independence so much, because we are
the masters of our destiny. So the moment we release a bad game, this will probably start falling apart. But we’ll of course do everything
for it not to happen. But there is nobody telling us, “Hey guys, I think right now
you have to this game or that game, scale it up or scale it down.” These are our choices. In our internal meetings we talk about what we want
to deliver to gamers, and what we want to deliver as a game, and not the business aspects of things, and I think that’s
the core strength of our company. And we’ve been fighting
for that sinceWitcher 1. (Applause) Paweł, big fan of the first game, got to work on the second game after applying to CD Projekt
for like 25 times. Third game, you’ve got
a pretty important role on the team. Yeah. In the third game
I was one of the seniors. I was taking care of a lot
of main quests in the game. And I became the lead
on both of the expansions. So what was that experience like? What was it like getting, like — The second game is pretty big, it basically has
two stories happening in it, but now we’re going
to create that massive world, go fill it with stories and quests. First thing
that we always came up with is we work with our story team, when they provide an outline of a story, and this outline basically shows you
what the game’s going to be about in the grand scheme of things: what are the biggest story arcs, what are the biggest decisions, and the most important things
we want to talk about. And then the quest team gets this story, and then we separate it,
we cut it into quests, we give it a technical number, basically a number
we’ll be referring this quest by for the next few years, and a lot of people
know these numbers in the company, it’s pretty funny sometimes. And then, we basically develop full, long, really long scenarios
for those games. Like let’s say the Baron story. The scenario they wrote for it
was like 60 pages long of the document just describing
what happens in what order and why. The quest team works in it, then sends it out to the story team, and they put their own input, and there’s also cinematics team
that adds their part, so we make sure that everything
looks good on the screen as well. And then on top of that
we have the open-world team, so that we make sure that everything
is connected to the world. So all the characters, they have lives. If you leave the character,
and you come back to him or her, they are doing something meaningful,
something that is connected to their being, or to their personality, and the role in the story. So how do you go about the process
of actually scheduling all that? Are you like,
“We’re going to work on Skellige now, we’re going to work on Velen now,” or is it just this process
of everyone fixing parts, and collaborating, and filling in
the gaps like a coloring book. That’s the part where
we always ship games on time, yes? – Oh, right.
– Thank you, Dan. Honestly, we operate
in incredible chaos all the time. (Laughter) I wasn’t aware of that. Oh. Yeah. Well … The thing is you have
a lot of creative people on the tasks all the time, and they develop parts of the story
in the same time. So basically,
the character has some traits that he doesn’t have at the end, and it cannot be like this. It has to be cohesive, so then you develop something,
an amazing idea for a character. Bartek was giving once
this example of the Baron story, because we started
from something slightly different, but then we transformed it,
and made it mostly about him, because the idea
for the character stood out, and the way
how he was connected to Ciri. So we work on those parts, and make sure we make our best it fits, but, you know, it pretty much never fits. And my team is going after the quest team. We are trying to fit
our part of the game to emphasize the story
from the quest, so it’s like cooperation all the time. So that’s where you get
those inconsistencies, like the food. Everything is not planned. It’s just things that are wrong
end up standing out, while you start to fill it all in. Sometimes communication is broken. I also wanted to highlight the impact
that our testers in QA have. Because they play the stuff. They basically suggest a lot of things, and we always take it into consideration. And I remember
one story that I like a lot. At the very beginning
of theWitcher 3,the land that we start with
was Skellige, so we basically prepare male models, and guys on Skellige
are all bearded dudes, with helmets and so on. An then when I was implementing
part of the story in Novigrad, when Geralt meets Rosa var Attre, she was this
bearded dude in a helmet. And Geralt was talking to her
for most of the production, and I get a bug from a QA, it was a P5 priority, so very low, very unimportant priority. And the bug said, “Rosa var Attre
could be a bit more girlish.” (Laughter) How deep into development
was that one found? Our QA is pretty good at this thing,
so they spotted it right away, but they don’t want
to suggest things like that. I’ve heard that that model
is still being used as a template in other games as well, actually. So, there’s so much
happening in this game, there’s so many things
that stand out about it, but one of them is the soundtrack
is absolutely incredible. Yeah, round of applause. (Applause) Oh, you guys. So on theWitcher 2
you worked on the sound team, but in a more technical role, it seems. On theWitcher 3
you were given the responsibility of working on the soundtrack. Tell us a little bit about the types
of sounds you went for because it’s incredibly unique, I think. Perhaps more unique
to people outside of Poland. There is no game,
there is nothing that sounds like it. I think that you guys might consider
Witcher 3soundtrack sort of — I don’t know, how do you say that … Oriental, perhaps? Exotic. Because we indeed are
so grounded in our Slavic mythology regarding music as well, so what kind of scales could we use, what kind of instruments will we pick to try to recreate
that impression of the sound, because the bottom line, which I found the most amusing for me, is that no one knows what
Medieval Slavic music sounded like, because if you think about it,
the Gutenberg machine, the first printing presses, were in the 15th century, perhaps, and immediately
the Church put their hands on it, so it was restricted
for just mortal people, because you had to print
all that Church stuff, and all tradition of playing music, playing music just for fun, for amusement was passed down
from generation to generation orally. So what we did was to try to create
an impression of doing music in a way that our forefathers
would probably play, in a way that our audience, you guys, would actually think
this is believable enough, this is real enough for you guys, for the players to actually buy the stuff. – Right.
– Buy this conception … It doesn’t end here, because picking the instruments
kind of sounds easy, because you’ll just
be swiping through Wikipedia, or whatever source you might have, and see, “OK. What did I have
in the 14th c.? Hurdy-gurdy? OK, let’s take it.” A hurdy-gurdy? I think we have a picture
of the hurdy-gurdy, actually. Actually that is a custom one, so you won’t find
any other piece of that tool in any part of the world, because normally hurdy-gurdy
is like half size of it, but this one has been built
on a cello resonance box, so it’s much bigger, it has more strings, and it sounds like
the fucking devil screaming, so … (Laughter) So I’m very proud of having that particular instrument
in our soundtrack, because that’s what makes
our music sound different. You have tons of games
that use hurdy-gurdy, but none of them uses that one. Still you just pick the instruments,
and that’s it. Everyone can do this, right? What was important for me as well was
to work closely with those guys as well, and try to implement music in a way that it becomes a natural part, natural ingredient of the world. We had some ups and downs. I still remembered that you mentioned
that sausage problem, right? I had a similar problem
with Velen, actually, because it was the early alpha build, and we were doing first attempts
at implementing exploration music for free roaming, and we had some gaps,
we didn’t know what to do with them, so we figured out that we already
placed this bard group in Novigrad that are playing upbeat Gwent music, so we’re just going to do
the same thing in Velen. So the moment you have no idea
how to deal with a location — We just took those musicians,
put them, drew a trigger around them, placed sound emitters,
so they can play music, and that didn’t fit actually, because the whole Velen thing
was about the horrors of war, your family members slaughtered,
raped, taken away for army and every 100 meters
you have a bunch of people like … (Cheerful tune) So luckily we spotted
that it doesn’t make sense, basically, so we got rid
of the musicians from all of Velen, so Velen remains pure. But the other thing
which was very important for me was working with the quest guys
and creating some sort of — line of connection that our work
interacts with each other. I think our crown achievement
would be theBlood and Winething, but we did the same thing
with the Bloody Baron story arc, with Ladies of the Wood. WithBlood and Wine
we had this meeting with Orianna, Dettlaff,
Regis, and Geralt, right, at her place. And for me it always felt like
a Mexican standoff kind of thing, so you are at the table, talking with your vampire friends, and now that dude
is approaching the table, he just tried to kill you
two quests earlier. And that sequence lasts for 15 minutes, it’s 100% dialogues, so nothing happens. But it gave me this feeling of tension, like I was watching
a Quentin Tarantino movie. So the moment I saw that scene — and actually, I spotted it with Paweł — I told him, “OK, I will try
to prepare something to fit this scene.” Took me a couple of weeks,
and I got back with that music, and I remember one of the guys actually implementing that quest
from your team telling me, “OK, You know what,
I’ve listened to that. I need another few weeks,
so I can make some changes.” And my first reaction would be,
“OK, what did I do wrong? What’s not working, so how can I reiterate my stuff,
so it fits better?” They told me,
“No, no, no. Your stuff is fine. Just give me some time.” So what had happened,
he listened to the music, and he did feel the same thing I felt, so he rebuilt the whole dialogue
to make it longer, to make it more tense, so the music
can breathe into the scene, and actually take over
the whole atmosphere. It’s amazing, an incredible anecdote. From the week and a half
I spent in Warsaw taking to a lot of folks on the team
and the folks around here — that sort of creative freedom
and collaboration that you fostered on that team. We have loads more
that we could talk about. We’re going to open up to QAs. I’ve got a couple from the forums first. So think about what you would like to ask, and we will have Geralt and Yen
walking around picking you guys out. But before we do that,
we talked a bit about the DLC. I also want to talk
a little bit more aboutGwent. Obviously a standalone game, a lot of people
are playing it at the moment, the official release coming up as well. But theGwentquest inWitcher 3 —Was that always meant to be that long? How did that happen? With theGwentquest line
we tried to find something that would fit
in the scale of the budget, let’s say, work hours
we had basically to pull it off. So we tried to propose something that would be the best
to make the game feel nice and so on. And there were people who really found
theGwentminigame itself amazing, and they bought into this. And I know that there are
people who didn’t really. It was not something for them. So we tried to make it in a way
that you can but you don’t have to. So that was really our line of thought. And as always, we tried
to add a story to the whole thing, just to make it more interesting. And I think that actually ties up
nicely with ourThronebreaker, right? With theGwent: Thronebreaker,because this is our 15-hour campaign for the single player in ourGwentgame. You put a card game in your RPG, and now you are putting an RPG
in your card game. Exactly. That felt logical when we did it. (Laughter) But there is one neat detail about it. So currently the amount of dialogue
that we have in theThronebreakeris the same as we had
in theHearts of Stone, so it’s actually a lot of story there. There’s as much story
in theGwentsingle-player campaign as there was in the expansion pack. – Exactly.
– That’s ridiculous. I meanBlood and Wineas well. I know I keep bringing it up,
the C-word. I’ll try not to. But every game you’ve made
has been like bigger, and bigger. – And theWitcher 3 —
– Stop. Stop it here, Danny.Blood and Winethen,
that’s how long? 25 hours something? I think it’s more. It’s taken me 40,
but I was going really deep. Actually, it’s funny, because that’s the first time we really planned and delivered
a real expiation, and we really were adamant
about calling them expansions, like in the good old days
when we were playingBaldur’s Gate,andTales of the Sword Coast,
andDiabloexpansions and whatnot. We wanted to see
that this is not some small DLC, DLC was for free,
and we were talking about it a lot. I think we got great feedback on that. The way we planned the expansion was that the first one,
Hearts of Stone, it’s pretty much 10 hours. We had already
a solid concept of the story, and pretty much
that’s what we delivered. I think the story was great,
was new, it was fresh, again, very Polish in a way, very appealing to us as well. ButBlood and Wine
was the second expansion that will happen
after we deliver the first one. And the way we planned it was, the first one
was supposed to be 10 hours, and the second one,
Blood and Wine, maybe 15. The price of the expansion pass was $25, so roughly how we were counting, we thought it would be fair
to charge more or less $1 per hour, give or take. And then sort of
Blood and Winehappened, which was almost
like a standalone game. We’re not very good with planning. The scope. I keep talking toWitcherfans
who are saying, “I’ll eventually
completeBlood and Wine.” People have put 200 hours. Are there people here who are still
trying to completeBlood and Wine? Yeah. Are there people here
still trying to completeWitcher 3? All right. Marcin, Marcin also raised his hand. (Laughter) All right, I want
to get to some questions. There is two I want to pick here
from the forums that came through. ReptilePZ asking: “Over these 10 years what are our fondest memories
related to working on the franchise? Do you have any big regrets
or things you’re especially proud of? Is there anything that stands out
for each of individually, something you worked on, an aspect of the game
that you’re particularly proud of? For me, I am the most proud
of the main storyline of the wholeWitcher 3, some quest that I worked on, some of them
that my colleagues worked on. It was something we put
an incredible amount of time into. Just to make it right.
Just to make it feel good. Have a good story
and basically mean something. Because that was important for us
that this game is about something. And you can see, actually, that there are
thoughts of people behind it, and there is care and love behind this. So that’s something that
I really always try to put in there. And that was something that we tried
to do also inHearts of Stone,andBlood and Winea lot. Anything else stands out
for the rest of you? Regret. Geralt should have been able
to romance whomever he wanted to. – Oh, Borys.
– Whoa, whoa, whoa. I mean Priscilla,
and Anna Henrietta included. Anna Henrietta
is your best pal’s girlfriend. You can’t do those things. You know, your friend. – You can’t.
– Geralt can’t. He has some … Dude, bros before hoes, remember? So this is the place where
we don’t agree with Borys really. He’s up to romancing everything. (Laughter) He just liked reading or writing
that dialogue, presumably. All right, I bet your private
fanfic blog is really good. Another question here from .canni: “Were there any last-minute changes
prior to release that changed
aspects of the plot in the series?” Any stuff that got changed?
I know quests did change, characters got cut as well,
right, in each game. Anything stands out? You managed to get your favorite
character intoHearts of Stone. The entire prolog toThe Witcher 2, the fact that it was changed
to a series of flashbacks intercut with the interrogation
of Geralt by Vernon Roch, that was a very, very late date change. Why did it come about? Oh, I don’t know, I think it was honestly
just about heightening interest. It was adding a lot of dynamics. I remember the discussion
with Adam Badowski, who came and said, “I had this crazy idea. We’ll just cut it in pieces,
and we’ll mix it up.” And it really made perfect sense. It was way more dynamic, and more intriguing,
and engaging for gamers. One additional story
that came to my mind. DuringWitcher 3production
I was always in the team Shani, actually fromWitcher 1,and I felt
that she is missing in the game, and we tried to find a place for her, but, you know,
some characters are so important, and they are so big, and the role
is like so tremendous in the story, that you can’t just
shove them in in some way. So you have to find
a proper space for them. And Shani didn’t fit
in theWitcher 3,actually. So then when we started
designingHearts of Stone,one of my things that I really
wanted to do was get Shani in. And I made her
one of the important characters in the wedding quest, when Vlodimir is taking control. It’s a very personal story. (Laughter) That’s one of the reasons why Shani
is in theHearts of Stoneso much. Because we wanted to bring the character who was important
for some of the players fromWitcher 1,and she was not inWitcher 2, so we wanted to pick up on that. Awesome. The scene on the lake. (Laughter) I remember our writers asking me, “So, Paweł, how do you imagine
this sex on the boat to happen?” I was trying to sell them some ideas,
but they were not buying into it. And Paweł was like,
“I have some sketches right here.” (Laughter) (Applause) Awesome. All right,
we’ve talked an awful lot, and let’s open up to some questions
to everyone else who’s out here. Geralt, I believe, is in the wings? And Yennefer is out as well. Put your hands up,
we’re not going to keep people up. Put your hands up. Geralt, first of all,
who would you like to pick? We got some people, good. Put your hands up if you want, he’s not going
to chop your head off, I swear. Not before the question for sure. He’s intimidating a lot of people.
He’s very intimidating. I saw a video of Geralt in China, when it was
like a 120 degrees or something, and you were wearing all that. And he is fluent in Chinese. Right, it’s amazing. I know. He’s been translated
into 15 languages or something. All right, first question. What’s your name,
and what is your question? My name is Brandon. So we talked a bit about Shani
being omitted from the first game, and then bringing her
into the third game, and I was wondering
if you could elaborate a little on the creative decision to not bring
Iorveth back in the third game. (Cheers) That’s an excellent question,
actually. Thank you, sir. Starting off with Iorveth. Actually, from the middle
of the production ofWitcher 3, we planned to have Iorveth
really there, right? And we found the spot for him, he was supposed to be
a bit of a different character, transformed man,
but then, he didn’t fit. He didn’t fit in any fucking way. And believe me, I am one of the guys,
who actually loves Iorveth. Right. (Applause) So, we really tried
to actually put him in the game, and we actually had a storyline for him. The thing is that when it doesn’t fit, you can really feel it. And we were like, “OK. So either we deliver
a lower-quality game with a worse character than we want, or we just cut him from the game, and just do the best
with other characters that we can do.” And that was really
the creative decision we took. That was really it. Can you elaborate a little bit
on what he would have done, had he made it in? No? You’re good. It’s good. Thank you very much. Geralt, look after him. Yennefer has picked
somebody out over here. Can you tell us your name,
and your question? Hi, I’m Stephanie. Hey, Stephanie. So my question is, inWitcher 3,
through a dialogue trace, we found out the nature
of Ciri’s previous relationships. Will there be more representation
of LGBTQ in the future games? Good question. (Applause) Yeah. Of course. (Laughter) Naturally. No question about it. – Yeah.
– Awesome. I mean — Are we getting
intoCyberpunkterritory? If we start asking more about this — – Just hold your horses.
– Come on, man. All right, thank you so much
for your question. Gentleman over here. My name is Filipe. Two questions, if I may. First was for the soundtrack.
It was fantastic, thank you for that. I was wondering if there
is going to be another chance to possibly get it on vinyl? Since I slept on that, and wasn’t actually able
to get on the first batch when it was released. Who did your fulfillment for vinyl? If there will be
one more batch of vinyl? – Will there? Do you know?
– We don’t. I don’t know if I can say it.
Can I say it? Yes? I think that was
someone on the PR team. I didn’t say it, but you guys,
you know, get the drift, right? Keep your eyes peeled. As well, since
we were talking about Geralt being able to romance everyone, and as well inclusion … (Laughter) Any possibility we could
get a Geralt dating sim? (Laughter) – What?
– Geralt dating sim. You know, just a fun idea. Wonderful question, sir. Let’s move on. That’s why you need
to get out the mod tools again. Let the community
make what they want. Question over here. Please tell us your name
and your question. Hi, my name is Abby. I wrote my question down,
so I wouldn’t screw it up. How do you approach adventure-game
tropes and stereotypes, like the Scottish dwarves
and item-fetch quests, and adapt or embrace those
from a writing perspective, in order to keep the games
from feeling like any other RPG? Wonderful question.
Who wants to take that one? I guess Borys should start,
and then I can pick it up. Somebody else start.
I need to think about it. First of all,
it’s a really good question, but the answer for it is like 100 hours, so I’ll try to put it shortly. First and foremost,
we try to put meaning into the game. In whatever we design, we just think, “OK. What is this thing
supposed to tell us, and what is the purpose of it, and how it serves the characters, and what is it there for,
what do we want to do?” And for us, the important thing is: the emotions and feelings
of our players, what they feel and what they think when those things happen on the screen. So this is the first and foremost thing that we consider
when we think about the story. And then, when you have
a fetch quest, let’s sayWitcher 2example, you had to undo the curse
that was there on the battlefield. When you look structurally
on those things, it is actually a fetch quest. You go for different things. You just bring it to one place,
and then you remove the curse. That’s pretty much it. This is what happens
on the structural level. However, when it comes to the story, all those things are actually
really well-grounded in all the lore, in all the dialogues,
in all the characters, and they mean something. And this is one of the reasons
why it actually doesn’t feel shallow. So that’s some answer to your question. The only thing I’d add is, you know, existing tropes
aren’t bad by definition. It’s what you do with them. It’s the emotional content
that you put into it. The richness of the language that absolves them of familiarity. One of the things I came across when I was talking
to the bunch of the quest team, and also environmental artists, was that there was this internal feeling, not of competition necessarily,
but everybody was trying to make sure that if they were working
on an area or a quest, that there was
something unique happening in it that justified it
being even in the game. Is that just part of the culture
of CD Projekt or …? I mean, it is, it is. I often get asked the question if we feel the pressure
of working on our next game. And like … We do not really. Because the thing is, if you come to work,
and every day you do 120%, you can’t do anything more. If nobody waited for this game, I would still go and do 120,
no matter what. So there is nothing that changes, and then, when you
put your stuff into the game, you want it to be good,
because that’s part of you. And this is the moment
when it just starts to have meaning. And you start feeling something.
And then the player feels it. Great question. Thank you so much. (Applause) Please, tell us your name,
and your question as well. Hi, I’m Linnea,
and I just wanted to ask … I’m a huge mythology geek,
and I wanted to know, what is your favorite piece of lore. Whether it be something like a plotline that you’ve incorporated from the books, or some kind of
creature-mythology-monster thing you’ve incorporated into the game? Let’s go around on that one. I can start from myself. So the one that I really loved
is the birthling. It shows up in the Baron storyline. There is the botchling,
and the birthling. Those are both really well-grounded
in the Polish Slavic mythology. I just gave it way more context
with the writer, Karolina Stachyra. She was writing the quest with me. That was the one that I really felt like it was this atrocious,
really weird, strange creature, it was partially coming from horror, and partially it was a bit funny, and that made me really feel
an amazing way, actually, to the Baron’s storyline. So that’s the answer from me. Gaunter O’Dimm for me, I think this is the ultimate villain
for video games in general, and the whole execution
of the character development those guys really did. My tiny addition
of the song of the Master of Mirrors, and this whole feeling of his presence, and knowing that he is
the ultimate force in this universe, and basically there is nothing
that can stop him, yet Geralt still manages to find a way to at least drive him away, makes the perfect combination for me. With Ladies of the Wood
being number two. Right. Borys. I guess it’s something
that you can romance. (Laughter) Borys, I can help you. It’s a succubus? (Laughter) Yeah, I’ll go with the succubus. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. – We can come back to it if you want.
– No, no. I don’t know,
I need to think about it, so you first. You don’t have to choose
which of your children is going to live. (Laughter) It’s a difficult one,
because for example, when I’m playing our games, I am always there for the sheer scale
and the number of characters, so it’s very hard for me
to pick just one. I’m there for the story,
I want to be immersed. I want to be surprised,
so at a certain point, I don’t know, sometimes it’s Ciri,
sometimes it’s Triss, and sometimes
it’s a certain monster. It depends. Like the character which I really like — I really like Dandelion in the third, and I really like Priscilla, and her song. But this works for me
at this given moment. And then I move on,
and I’m somewhere else, and, I don’t know, I’m in Skellige, and I’m fascinated
with another character. All right. Good stuff. – It’s too big of a game to pick one.
– There is many different notes. In Warsaw, we talked about the elements
of the Irish language, Gaelic, which is nothing prominent
outside of Ireland, but there is loads of that in Skellige,
even the way people say “caed’mil,” which reminds me of “céad míle fáilte,”
which is “hello” in Irish. So there is so many
little notes in the game. That’s a cue, I think,
we took up from Sapkowski. Sapkowski in his books. I mean, we love him,
because he peppered them with Proto-Slavic, or general Slavic lore, but draws really broadly. He draws from Norse mythology,
he draws from Germanic mythology, he draws heavily from Arthurian legend, and we follow his example. Wonderful question, thank you so much. Thank you. (Applause) We’ve got time for one or two more, maybe three, depending on how these go. Sir, please.
Your name and your question. Hello, I’m Chris. One thing
that impressed me about the series is that it gets localized
into a lot of different languages: Russian and English,
and of course Polish, which means … And Arabic, Chinese,
Japanese, Brazilian-Portuguese. Turkish in the expansion pack as well? Korean. – Turkish?
– Yes. Anyway, I’m wondering
was that a business risk on your part, and how did you make it happen? Was that hard? I’ll maybe tell you,
first of all, why we are doing that. Because we come from Poland, and it took me personally many years
to convince foreign publishers, when we were distributing games,
to localize games into Polish. I was telling them,
“Hey, there is 38 million Polish people.” And at that time, not that many
of them spoke good English. “So we need to localize it.” “The market is too small,
it doesn’t make sense.” So, yes. I think we are quite adamant. We take a business risk because I believe
we should deliver the game in as many languages as possible. Because our fans need to — (Applause) Need to get fully immersed in the story, and as you see with the discussion
we’re having about the detail, about the feeling of little tiny elements, sometimes one adjective. I prefer to playWitcherin Polish,
because that’s my mother tongue. English, I have no problem, but sometimes I don’t get the exact sense of this given word, and then I see
that I’m missing something. So imagine, I don’t know,
a Japanese gamer, or a Chinese gamer playing the game in English, and they’re missing a huge part of it. So why wouldn’t we deliver it
to them in their mother tongue. And this actually surprises a great deal because we saw
that the game is very universal. We can talk about Europe,
or North America, or South America. Yeah, similar culture, similar roots. But then we go to China,
and I talk to Chinese games, or in Japan to Japanese gamers, and it’s like, “Wow, we love
this element, we love that element.” I think that the language
of games is universal as long as you take the time and effort to deliver a perfect game
in the local language. Only then you give
your game a real chance. It’s a whole fascinating aspect
of game design that I don’t think I fully appreciated until I went and interviewed a bunch
of folks at your localization team. In the seven-part series, one of them is literally
only about localization and adaptation. I was talking to you, Borys. And one of the things I didn’t realize was that when you talk about localization, you think like translating words, right? But your job as an adapter
is literally not just to do that, but take things and apply it,
so the culture understands it, not just changing the words. Absolutely. You know,
it’s never strictly a translation. It’s never strictly — just a fully idiomatic rendering of what was there in the source. It’s about enrichment. It’s about taking a core meaning,
and rendering it, rewriting it in the target language. And we do this for all the languages. So that it makes sense, and is rich, and has the best
possible entertainment value in that target language. It’s incredible. Thank you so much for the question.
Wonderful question. Yes, and thank you for the blooper reel. Yes, sir. Lovely shirt, by the way. Thank you. My name is Bryce. And I am one
of the older gamers here. I’ve seen a lot of changes
in the industry in the last 20 years, and not all of it good
in regards to microtransactions, the DLC cost, content. You say, you’re here for us,
but we’re here for you, because you came up
from very humble beginnings, a long time ago,
and you know, and thought, “How we could
deliver value to the gamers, how could we make this
worth paying for.” During the interview you said
after the fall of communism it was like, “How do we make people pay for this?” So you haven’t forgotten
about what it is to give us a game that we want to spend
our hard-earned money for, and the also at the time
giving us an experience that is very memorable to us, and for you not to forget
that means a great deal to a lot of us gamers, where a lot of developers
are just forgetting, it’s just a cash flow for them, and you remember that we’re doing this
because you’re doing it for us, you love doing it and you love us
to support you, but you support us. I think I speak for me,
and a lot of you here, and all of us watching. Thank you for not forgetting about us. (Applause) Thank you, thank you very much. We really appreciate
that you guys notice that, and actually you vote
with your wallets, and yeah. Thank you for that. That’s really important. I just want to say we have
one very simple rule at the company, and as long as I’m there, I’ll make sure that we check
all the key decisions abide this rule. Whenever we discuss something, and it can be like
the price of the expansion, or the release date,
or how we want to market something, you know, the business aspects of things, there is one simple rule: “Can we explain
why we have taken such a decision in front of a room full of gamers?” And it’s very simple. And then we sort of ask ourselves that, and if the answer is “no”,
we just don’t do it. Because if we can be straightforward: “The price is this and that,
because it’s that many hours, we think that’s worth it
and we stand by it,” that’s very simple. And it’s not like: “Hey, somebody paid us some money, we had to make it an exclusive
on this or that platform.” Then it gets all muddy,
and shady, and so … Yeah, we like to keep things simple. That’s who we are. Fair play. Thank you, great question. Last question for today. Thank you so much
to Geralt and Yennefer for getting our questions today. Sir, please,
your name and your question. Hi, my name is Gary. My question is actually for all of you. You guys make some
of the best characters out there in video game history. I was wondering how you guys
created Gaunter O’Dimm, and his influence, and where he just came from. Oh, wow. I’m not sure if I know the answer,
honestly, to this question. I mean, it came out
from our story team, and the wholeHearts of Stoneexpansion is really grounded up
in Polish literature a lot, and that’s a funny thing, but just afterHearts of Stonecame out, I saw Polish people
writing whole theses on Reddit, explaining to foreigners
what it’s based on and so on. And I felt like, “Wow, guys.
Why didn’t you do it in school?” It felt like they were
really trying to explain to everybody where this came from,
where it’s built from. And I think the reason is it’s just
really well-built into our culture, you know, like we looked into our roots, and just came up with this, and then it’s never a decision
of one person in the team to do something. So when a writer decides: “OK, we want to lead
the dialogue in that way,” then there is a quest designer
to question that, there is a cinematic artist
to question that, and there is also
people from QA to question that, and the thing is it’s very difficult
to push something through that is stupid, basically. You know, that won’t fit. We constantly check each other, right. Sorry. Just prepping. Just chatting. Sorry, go on. I see that. We just constantly
check each other if it’s good, and I guess the rest just comes down
to the talent of the team, honestly. Like I can’t give you a better answer. Very humble. There is actually much more than that. Because it’s not only about
taking the legend of Mr. Twardowski that Adam Mickiewicz wrote, work around
inPani Twardowskapoem … So basically the original story
was about a guy trying to outsmart the devil, right? And whole punch line was that we are going to meet in Rome, and once we meet in Rome,
I’m going to take your soul. So Mr. Twardowski never went to Rome, but by accident he met with the devil
in a tavern called Rome, so the contract was fulfilled anyway,
just like in theWitcher. We stand together on the Moon. But apart from that, there is also so much work
put into subcontext level, so I remember this, it was quite huge
in the media back in the day, once we showed that Gaunter O’Dimm is present as second, third-role character in every dialogue scene. That’s true. So he may be the wedding guest,
he may be a beggar on the street, he may be just some lonesome character, but he’s still there somewhere,
everywhere. We did work around
it with music as well, so we tried to incorporate
the Gaunter O’Dimm theme in every single tune
you can hear inHearts if Stone,and therefore create
this dense, devilish atmosphere that this guy knows and sees everything, and you’re not going
to walk away from him, or run away from him. I remember that you gave me
a song sang by children. Yeah, the song by children for example. In the fields you have
a pack of children singing the song, and you’re just riding the horse,
and you hear that, and it’s creepy. One singing right there,
actually, in the background. OK. We’re basically done. There is a couple of pieces
of housekeeping that you don’t want to miss out on. First of all, a round of applause
for our panel here. Thank you so much. (Applause) If you want to learn more about
theWitcher3: Wild Hunt,2and1, if you allow me to do a quick plug,
we flew out to Warsaw with our crowdfunded
video game documentary company: myself and Jeremy
is there with the camera. We shot a bunch of stuff. We did over 20 interviews with them
and the folks at GOG. We’re putting this all out. It’s all free at Youtube.com/noclipvideo. In a couple of weeks
you will be able to watch all of those. We’re doing a seven-part series. Basically, a lot of
what you heard today, and way more. There is a prize for you guys outside, some treats, but there is
a quid pro quo involved. First of all,
what’s outside waiting for people, when the go outside the door? An anniversary without gifts
wouldn’t be an anniversary. We have these lovely T-shirts
for each and every one of you. (Cheers) At a one-time promotional price of $10. Joking, joking. Aaa! Got you there. And lovely pins as well as posters, so make sure to grab one
on the way back. And once again,
thank you very much for coming. If that’s OK, we still would like
to grab a photo with all of you. Yes. Just to show it back home. We’re going to do the world’s
biggestWitcherselfie, apparently. So we’re all going to turn around, and we have a photographer here, and also you’ve got your own phone, because it’s 2017, and everyone
has a camera in their pocket. (Laughter) OK, so maybe first
the professional ones.

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