The Witcher Interview

The guys at GameDaily have dished up their own interview with The Witcher chief designer Michal Madej. Topics include the game's storyline, the possibility of a demo, what Halloween is like in Poland, and more.
Q: The book series is well known for being less about good and evil and more about a balance of gray. Given that most games rely on good vs. evil as a way to clarify roles, how difficult has it been to translate that "gray" to the gamer?

A: It was really hard -- first we had to change our own way of thinking, as "good vs. evil" is so typical and such an obvious choice for a fantasy role-playing game. Even if you design a story with shades of gray, morally ambiguous choices are hard to handle in an interactive medium -- people always try to avoid penalties and go for the biggest reward, which is easy because of the must-have save & load mechanism. We had to change the very moment of choice in the game so that instead of concentrating on rewards, players will think about actual choices. In The Witcher choices have same short-term results, which makes save & load pointless, instead they have different long-term results like "butterfly effect" -- small decisions might have big influence.