The Witcher 2002 Demo Footage Unearthed

I remember reading about CD Projekt RED's first iteration of The Witcher in the past: it was supposed to be an RPG, just like the actual released game, but with a player-made blank slate protagonist rather than Geralt. I never knew anything about the original incarnation project beyond that, and I'd probably have forgotten about it eventually, if not for a video recently published by former project lead Ryszard Chojnowski, who showcased some gameplay from a demo meant to pitch the project to publishers from 2002.

At the time, the game was based on the engine of the first-person shooter Mortyr and inspired by Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. The game as showcased in the video featured no character progression, simplistic Diablo-like combat, no quest system, and very simplistic conversations. Apparently, Geralt was planned to be featured in the game but only as an NPC, a decision dictated by the developers' need to respect the ending of the novels. This iteration of the game was ultimately scrapped due to the cumbersome engine and the conflicting visions for the game between CD Projekt RED's different departments.

You can watch the full video embedded below:

It looks like Chojnowski is already preparing more videos on the history of the title, with the next poised to cover the search for a suitable engine, the way Aurora was adapted to CD Projekt's need, and the E3 2004 demo of the game. Those of you who are lucky enough to speak Polish can already watch a Polish version of the video at this link.

Thanks, Kotaku.