The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Interview

PC Gamer has just published a short interview with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's executive producer John Mamais. Here's a snippet concerning quest design and monster hunting, following up on a preview in which the interviewer expressed some concerns:
In the leshen sidequest, are there more than two possible outcomes? Could we, for example, have warned the marked girl? [The leshen "marked" an innocent villager who had to be driven away or killed before the monster could be hurt.]

At this moment, the leshen quest has three possible endings, one of which entails the monster's death. but that's really beside the point. A good plot should not mimic reality in the sense that you can finish each quest in a million different ways it's about unexpected twists or the feelings it evokes and not the sheer number of (outcomes.) In general, you don't play games to experience a reality similar to your own, you do it because you want to be thrilled. We're focusing on bringing you really gripping stuff each subquest in the game feels deep, each choice and its consequences credible and real that's the main idea we want to convey with The Witcher 3 and we always want to emphasize that. Having said that, we also care about nonlinearity and providing a variety of paths the previous Witcher games provide ample evidence of that and The Witcher 3 will be no exception.

By the way, about Hilde [the "marked" girl] we don't want to spoil the fun!

Is that the player's only encounter with a leshen? If not, will later encounters require the player to remember what he or she learned about the marked one and totems [the leshen's defenses], or will encounters always be directed through cutscenes?

The leshen is a creature that inhabits the Witcher universe. It's not exclusive to that quest it's part of the environment. It's just not as common as your typical, say, nekker. It's similar to how some animals are more or less common, or more likely to be found in certain areas. Leshens are rare and deeply rooted in their terrain so every encounter with one will be different. Core traits stay the same, though, and everything you learn about leshens and other monsters is recorded for you in the Bestiary. As for other monster hunts, some encounters will be directed through cutscenes and some won't sometimes we want to ease gamers into a particular story and sometimes we want to surprise them.