The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Interview

It's time to dig further into the tech that is powering CD Projekt RED's The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, as there's a new interview on DSOGaming featuring CDP senior technical producer Greg Rdzany and lead engine programmer Balazs Torok discussing REDengine 3, the recent fur tech demo that NVIDIA showcased, the advantages of moving to 64-bit, and more.
DSOGaming: Why did you create your own engine instead of licensing one, and what's your opinion about both CRYENGINE and Unreal Engine 4?

GR: The short version: after our work on W1, which gave us a lot of experience with the Aurora engine, we concluded that ready-made solutions were not fully capable of giving us the creative freedom we were looking for. After evaluating different possibilities and exhaustive discussions we decided to start developing our own technology technology that would fit our needs perfectly, not only in terms of rendering but also when it comes to tools. RPG games are very complex, so designers and artists require a lot of specialized solutions allowing them to create vast, believable worlds and compelling stories. We believe REDengine provides such support.

As for the available commercial engines, we are watching them closely. Companies like Crytek, Dice and Epic are pushing technological boundaries further and further every time they release new versions of their engines. We try not only to keep up the pace but we would also like to have our own impact on the technological development of solutions powering current AAA games.

BT: The big licensable engines are really great there's a team of experts behind them developing every little piece and this creates something that sets the bar really high for us but we believe that these engines are also very general in their nature. We try to concentrate on all the features that make our engine and toolset especially good for making RPG games, and this specialization allows us to have a smaller team providing high quality solutions on par with the engines mentioned above. With that said, our engine is modular enough that it could be used to make different kinds of games if such a decision was made.


DSOGaming Readers' Question How has native 64-bit affected the engine? How did you achieve a world 35 times larger than The Witcher 2 and what does it imply about the engine, performance, and requirements? Can you share any estimated minimum/recommended PC requirements?

GR: Well, 64-bit architecture gave us access to larger amounts of memory available for the game. I think that's the biggest benefit. In general the transition to 64-bit went quite smoothly and seamlessly for us.

I admit that the size of the world we have in TW3 provided us with a considerable number of technical challenges. It pushed us to rewrite our streaming system, memory management and resource handling mechanisms. It also required a lot of enhancements from us to the tools used by designers and artists. Many things that were done manually in TW2 had to be automated now to allow us to fill the vast areas Geralt will travel through faster.

It will obviously cause TW3 to have higher requirements than previous installments of the game. But at this stage, without final optimizations, it's hard to estimate what the minimum system requirements for comfortable playing will be. We will definitely work hard to make this game playable on most gaming PCs.