The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Technical Interview

TheĀ editors atĀ RPG Site have wrangled up an interesting interview with CD Projekt RED's Jose Teixeria, quizzing the senior visual effects artist about the game's technical prowess and the areas that they've had to rework in order to push the envelope beyond The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. A few samples:

RPG Site: So, given that you work in the technical side of the team, it makes the most sense to start there - what do you feel that you've been able to do with this game that you couldn't have before with the new consoles & new technology available?

Jose Teixeria: Well, the funny thing is that... it's really the fact that we're doing an open world game. Usually, having an open world leads to a certain story, usually one with a more free-form structure. We wanted to do a scenario where the story benefits from the open world. We're trying to -- well, it's making the open world a consequence of the story, rather than just a conscious decision.

There's really a tremendous amount of information. The villages, the vegetation, the mountains, the terrain, the people... everything has a tremendous amount of detail. All the materials we use - we have our own propriety engine that we use, and we have all the fancy, physically-based shading. All of the metals, the woods, all that kind of stuff looks perfectly realistic.

So, that allows us to push a lot in terms of information. The number of people, the number of locations, the number of events - in general, the number of things to keep track of in the story, because the story branches out a lot... it definitely wouldn't have been possible before.

...

RPG Site: One of the things you've talked about is being a loadless world...

Teixeria: Yeah, that is true. At least during the normal game. The only time you will see a loading screen is when you fast travel, and that's because we obviously can't stream that in as you go.

RPG Site: With RAM constraints, how did that work out for you? Was it a difficult proposition?

Teixeria: It's funny you mention this - we just had to deal with this. It was just reworked very recently. We reworked the entire streaming technology to make sure that it worked very well across the entire game, as it was just so much information that in certain scenarios not everything was loading.

There were definitely some problems with it, but we've reworked it a little bit and now everything is working correctly. We have this very... very clever, I might add - system that loads the world around you, and then it loads the things that are distant in as well, but with less resolution, with less polygon count, all that sort of thing.

We try to give you a really long viewing distance, because that is kind of the point of the game. We need a long viewing distance and be able to goto those places, but of course keeping it running is always a balancing act.