The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Interview

There's a new The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt interview with writer Jakub Szamalek over at GamesTM, which deals with the game's narrative and open-world gameplay. Here's a snip:
The Witcher 3 is being more broadly recognised than its predecessor. Are you making concessions for newcomers?

What we're trying to achieve is trying to have both groups of people being pleased with the game. On the one hand it's the continuation of the story even the continuation of the books, so if someone has read the books will know more about the story so we basically want to close the story, answer some questions that weren't answered in the first two parts. On the other hand this whole thing of the Nilfgaard attack in the Northern Kingdom at the end of The Witcher 2 resulted in the powers of the world shifting. We essentially restructured the world. Everything is still there but for people who didn't play the old games they'll feel it's a separate adventure from beginning to end. They don't need to play the previous game but if they do they'll get some extra experience from it.

It also appears a much more mechanically refined game?

It wouldn't make sense to have a horse in The Witcher 2 because the world was too small. In Witcher 3 it's a natural thing to do because the world is over 35 times bigger and the new means of transport the boat and the horse are a result of it. We try to avoid having invisible barriers, so we have some jumping not parkour but Geralt can jump a little bit and swim. You can't swim from one island to another because it's the sea and he'll drown, but he can in some smaller lakes. It's not like you'll go into the water and discover an invisible wall, it will be limited by the stamina and so on but you feel like you could go further.or drown.