Witcher 3 Developer Calls Skyrim "Casual"

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

Witcher 3 Developer Calls Skyrim "Casual"

Witcher 3 screen news edit

CD Projekt Red Environmental Designer Jonas Mattson thinks Bethesda's Skyrim is a great game, especially for people who like "playing around quite casually."

When you think about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you probably don't think "casual." With its massive open world, competing factions, huge array of NPCs, widely varied environments, hundreds of dungeons and deep, flexible character creation options, Skyrim is by most measures a full-on, heavyweight RPG. Unless you work at CD Projekt Red, that is, where they apparently think that it's a fun way to pass some time in between rounds of Bejeweled.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be set in a huge open world, much like Bethesda's famed Elder Scrolls series, but CDPR is taking a different approach to the concept. "I am a fan of Skyim, a lot of us love Skyim. But while they are doing their thing, like open world, jumping and playing around quite casually, we are doing it a little bit differently," Mattson told Gameranx. "We are heavily story driven and open world. This hasn't really been done before and we want to prove that it can be done."

Rather than other games, Mattson said The Witcher 3 takes inspiration from real-life cities like Amsterdam as well as films like Robin Hood (the one with Russell Crowe), Braveheart and even Snow White. "In our office we made a huge poster with tones of color and screen shots of different films like Game of Thrones," he said. "We know what kind of tones we want. Composition and color is very important for us, to get the tone right. It adds to the cinematic experience."

In all fairness, I don't think Mattson is actually suggesting that Skyrim is a "casual game" in the usual sense (although it's a funny thought), but rather that Bethesda's approach to storytelling is less focused than CDPR's. The Elder Scrolls games are basically settings in which you can do whatever you want, while The Witcher has been a much more directed experience; trying to bring the two together is a risky move, especially for a studio taking its first run at an open-world game, but if it works it could be flat-out amazing.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is being developed for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, and is expected out sometime in 2014.

Source: Gameranx

Permalink

While it's a stretch to call Skyrim casual and I like the game quite a bit (140 hours before I got bored) the game is very light on actual systems and reactivity. It's ultimately a hollow game where you may be the guy who is the leased of every guild and saved the world but nobody in said world will note that.

The new skill system is also considerably more pointless than the earlier games and the game can't be lost and it never pushes back towards the player. Nothing has consequences and nothing ultimately matters. You may be able to sneak stab a dragon in the tail and kill it with that one stab but some dude will still call you milk drinker.

Casual game it may not be, but a game that doesn't demand anything or indeed give anything, that it is.

I didn't know Bro Team was Polish :P

Considering the actual quote from CDPR, that's kinda been twisted into an inflammatory title...

getting a little big headed now arnt we?

i wouldnt say Skyrim is casual, its very accessible which is a good thing and is maybe going a bit far in the that direction but its not casual. and while The Witcher 2 is my favourate game of all time i would'nt call it a complex game.

PS Morrowind did a great job at a rather story driven open world game

Christ the term casual really is being thrown about alot these days isn't it. Lets put it this way my mum can work around Bejeweled and even a few Zelda titles. When it came to Skyrim she was decidedly stumped.

That's my measurement stick and I'm staying by it.

Yeah, this article title is pure flame-baiting. What's next, Andy? Calling up David Gaider and telling him that CDPR didn't like his gay romances? Forging their signatures on a note to Chris Avellone saying that Planescape Torment sucked?

Casual isn't a curse word, it just means the game has been watered down to appeal to a broader audience, which was what happened to Skyrim.

Skyrim is definitely more casual than a lot of games, at least in the sense that you get to choose your own goals, and basically do whatever the hell you want. That's kind of the nature of open world games. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I'm not really sure why "casual" has such a stigma to it. Most games are casual in some way or another. Tomb Raider is casual in that it's really easy, and if you mess up you literally start where you left off; it takes little effort or determination to succeed. Call of Duty is casual in that the skill curve in multiplayer is so compressed that great and awful players are on near-equal footing. Neither is what someone thinks of when they think "casual gaming", a term typically reserved for the likes of Angry Birds and Draw Something, but the fact of the mater is, if you're playing for pretty much any reason other than competition for its own sake, you're playing casually.

P.S. Thanks

I don't know, I kind of agree. Skyrim is a wonderful game, but you can pick it up and play for 5 minutes and then stop for weeks (or months, as I do) on end and when you pick it up again you get straight back into it. That's kind a casual to me.

Skyrim with a deep, compelling story would be what I want the most. I haven't played the other Witcher games, but if this one turns out to be what they're aiming for, I may have to give it all a try.

teh_gunslinger:
While it's a stretch to call Skyrim casual and I like the game quite a bit (140 hours before I got bored) the game is very light on actual systems and reactivity. It's ultimately a hollow game where you may be the guy who is the leased of every guild and saved the world but nobody in said world will note that.

Skyrim is a very casual game, because it's one of the ultimate "dick around" titles. Even the article here assumes he's not talking in the usual "casual v hardcore" slapfight people have.

Charli:
Christ the term casual really is being thrown about alot these days isn't it. Lets put it this way my mum can work around Bejeweled and even a few Zelda titles. When it came to Skyrim she was decidedly stumped.

That's my measurement stick and I'm staying by it.

That's fine, but understand that casual is a real word with real-world uses and this use is completely accurate to Skyrim.

If you want "casual" to mean "games for moms," that's fine. Just don't pretend that's what other people mean, especially people from a different culture with a different native tongue.

I wouldn't call Skyrim "casual," but it is extremely watered-down and streamlined compared to the others.

Probably to make the gameplay easier and more accessible so that it would appeal to the broader audience. :/ It certainly worked.

I really hope they don't do the same thing to Fallout 4. That would really push my buttons.

I hope this means that you can kill NPCs who are needed to complete the storyline in Witcher 3.

Miyenne:
I don't know, I kind of agree. Skyrim is a wonderful game, but you can pick it up and play for 5 minutes and then stop for weeks (or months, as I do) on end and when you pick it up again you get straight back into it. That's kind a casual to me.

Skyrim with a deep, compelling story would be what I want the most. I haven't played the other Witcher games, but if this one turns out to be what they're aiming for, I may have to give it all a try.

I kinda agree that skyrim is a bit casual. That is no way is a negative use of the word casual though. What I mean by Skyrim is casual is that it is the type of game nearly anyone can pick up and get sucked into the game. It is the type of game you can pick up and play anytime you feel like.

And that is a good type of casual. I LOVE Morrowind with a passion but its gameplay mechanics are a bit too hardcore and not streamlined that any random person can pick up the game and not get bogged down by the interface alone. I have failed many times trying to get my friends to give it a try.

I think my point is getting lost in rambling.

TLDR: Skyrim is a more casual game but in a good way. The kind of casual or streamlined gameplay that makes a game a big hit.

Except he wasn't calling the game casual in the sense that it's a casual game like Bejewled. I play Skyrim casually in the sense that I generally just faff about and explore not really being focused on one particular task. I absolutely love the openness of Skyrim but because I enjoyed exploring on my own more, I pretty much ignored the main quest for quite some time.

The word casual seems to have a singular purpose in gaming culture these days (and for some reason has a negative connotation), but Mattson was just explaining that they are going for a different experience from Skyrim. Not every quote needs to be taken this extremely.

P.S. Both Bejewled and Skyrim are awesome.

Finally somebody said, what I always tried to get into peoples heads. Of course it's casual! No game-mechanic is what you can call "fleshed out", there are pretty much no consequences to your actions whatsoever (don't wanna be a werewolf anymore, well here ya go, etc), the gameworld reacts pretty much not at all to your actions (what? The emperor's dead? Well, bummer. Better rant a bit more about how I get guard duty!).
Skyrim is an extremely casual game, but still fun as hell! I Played it for about 350 hours, and more are to come thanks to the amazing mod-support, which makes the game at least slightly less casual.

I dislike the terms casual and hardcore. There's a lot of stigma attached to them that makes people on both sides look like idiots.

However, there seems to be a gradual change in meaning that we need to try and bring forward a lot more! With the advent of more game playing individuals joining the fold, casual now has less to do with things like bejeweled. 'Hardcore vs. Casual' is now more akin to 'Excessively difficult vs. Engaging experience.' They are by no means mutually exclusive (which is why I don't like the terminology) but there is a different focus.

This new meaning seems to be more of what he's referring to. He isn't saying Skyrim is a 'play for 15 minutes' type of game. Its focus is on the open world, whereas previous Witcher projects are definitely known for being hard. Witcher 3 is going to try and bridge the gap.

Captcha: too bad
It seems captcha wants to keep spreading the hate :\

Yep Skyrim is casual.

Doesn't mean it's a bad game, but the story and gameplay are really separated from each other.

Flame-bait aside, Skyrim was indeed pretty darn casual.

I mean, aside from the broken leveling system that had all enemies pump iron while you're mixing potions and chatting up the locals(too lazy to link the relevant Critical Miss), the only thing Skyrim didn't have was the ability to play it on your smartphone.

Seriously, every dungeon was a 20 minute separate adventure, with the only impact being that you sometimes unlock another adventure. That's mobile/casual gaming 101.

Andy Chalk:
When you think about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you probably don't think "casual."

I do though.

Andy Chalk:
Skyrim is by most measures a full-on, heavyweight RPG

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Oh god my sides!

Nearly all actual RPG aspects of the Elder Scrolls series were removed from Skyrim, and that's saying a lot considering how much Oblivion had already removed.

Skyrim's mechanics are tea-spoon shallow, and the world is cold, dead and nonreactive.

It isn't to say that Skyrim is a bad game, it's pretty fun just fucking around, but, like most casual games, it's the kind of game that you can pick up for 5 minutes and then set it down again for weeks, and nothing will really be lost from the experience.

It's a decent game, but it is most definitely casual, I still despise it though, but not simply for being a casual game. I would have had no issue if it could simply have been it's own IP, instead of taking a series I love and watering it down to unrecognizability.

The Witcher devs comments are completely spot on, Skyrim is EXACTLY a game for people who like playing around casually, that's literally all the game is good for.

If you want a good, deep RPG experience, Skyrim is not the place to look.

Zachary Amaranth:

teh_gunslinger:
While it's a stretch to call Skyrim casual and I like the game quite a bit (140 hours before I got bored) the game is very light on actual systems and reactivity. It's ultimately a hollow game where you may be the guy who is the leased of every guild and saved the world but nobody in said world will note that.

Skyrim is a very casual game, because it's one of the ultimate "dick around" titles. Even the article here assumes he's not talking in the usual "casual v hardcore" slapfight people have.

Charli:
Christ the term casual really is being thrown about alot these days isn't it. Lets put it this way my mum can work around Bejeweled and even a few Zelda titles. When it came to Skyrim she was decidedly stumped.

That's my measurement stick and I'm staying by it.

That's fine, but understand that casual is a real word with real-world uses and this use is completely accurate to Skyrim.

If you want "casual" to mean "games for moms," that's fine. Just don't pretend that's what other people mean, especially people from a different culture with a different native tongue.

Er? Pardon? Casual does not have a definitive checklist of definition in the English language when pertaining to games or ...well much at all. It is at best a descriptive term, individual to the user that utilizes it.
What other people mean is not necessarily what you mean, you may reach a level of understanding but there are still many factors that you may have not discussed in which you differ.
It may be a genre, but that too is decided by a panel of people. Adventure, action, etc these too are all completely subjective to the people judging it. Some may see an RPG where others see an Adventure with RPG elements.

'Casual' has not got a defined rule to it.

So I'm sorry but 'what other people mean' is completely different to each individual and coming at me going 'oh that's fine if you want to live in la-la land but the rest of us know better' is kind of childish.

And no I still do not believe that Skyrim is a game that anyone can pick up and make their way through it okay. To me, that is a element I see present in what casual games I define. To you, it may not be.

Charli:

What other people mean is not necessarily what you mean

Yes, exactly my point. Thank you for dedicating several paragraphs to proving me right.

Pink Gregory:
Considering the actual quote from CDPR, that's kinda been twisted into an inflammatory title...

I completely agree.

CDPR's quoted text states that they see Skyrim as a casual romp through a world due to the lack of restrictions and strict objectives. This contrasts with games like The Witcher which are story-driven and noticeably more linear than the "what was my quest again?" games like Skyrim.

The article title is absurdly inflammatory.

I'm not seeing the problem here.

I think the gaming community tends to define "casual games" as "games for little kids and old folks," but that isn't really what it means. It's all about how the game encourages you to play it.

For example, Animal Crossing is a game some might call casual. Yet it's a game that you pretty much have to play every day in order to do decently at it, and if you screw up your town, you will legitimately have to put in some effort to fix things up. Very much not a casual game.

Skyrim, meanwhile, is a game that very much encourages screwing around with minimal consequences. Wanna get married? It'll take all of two minutes. Run out of lockpicks? Quickload! You'll lose thirty seconds. The world's about to be destroyed, but you'd rather run around punching rabbits for a week? No worries, the world will still be JUST ABOUT to be destroyed if you ever get back to it.

People tend to apply a stigma to the term "casual," which makes it hard for them to admit it when something they like falls into that category, but yeah, Skyrim is definitely a casual game.

And yeah, title is blatant pageview-bait.

Charli:

So I'm sorry but 'what other people mean' is completely different to each individual and coming at me going 'oh that's fine if you want to live in la-la land but the rest of us know better' is kind of childish.

So is making a strawman argument and then calling someone childish for it. Please, don't cast stones from glass houses. Don't misrepresent me, and most of all, don't post criticism if you haven't taken the time to understand the post you're criticising.

Well he didn't actually say it's casual, but I very much would, compared to their older counter parts and actual "heavyweights" in the genre Skyrim is a walk in the park.

Well Skyrim is a Casual when compared to Morrowwind though.

Andy Chalk:
When you think about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you probably don't think "casual." With its massive open world, competing factions, huge array of NPCs, widely varied environments, hundreds of dungeons and deep, flexible character creation options, Skyrim is by most measures a full-on, heavyweight RPG.

image

An RPG that non-reactive to the players actions cannot be considered a 'full-on, heavyweight RPG'. The mechanics are shallow, the world lifeless and cold. Nothing you do is of any consequence in the game world.

Now it's certainly a fun game, and I've put a lot of hours into it, but calling it a heavyweight RPG is just silly. Jonas Mattson is entirely correct in his assessment.

Zachary Amaranth:

Charli:

What other people mean is not necessarily what you mean

Yes, exactly my point. Thank you for dedicating several paragraphs to proving me right.

I never said what I mean is what other people should mean, so why on earth did you feel to the need to enter into a discussion with me?

Zachary Amaranth:

Charli:

So I'm sorry but 'what other people mean' is completely different to each individual and coming at me going 'oh that's fine if you want to live in la-la land but the rest of us know better' is kind of childish.

So is making a strawman argument and then calling someone childish for it. Please, don't cast stones from glass houses. Don't misrepresent me, and most of all, don't post criticism if you haven't taken the time to understand the post you're criticising.

I understood you fine, it wasn't at all necessary and it was condescending. And that 'stawman' that people love bandying about like the vogue phrase of the internet right now, was perfectly well constructed. You implied that my meaning was misleading others. When I even went out of my way to say 'this is how I gauge a casual game'.

I ask again, what was your point here?

Skyrim is casual when compared to other rpgs. But in that respect so was Witcher 2 when i played it.

If a game developer say it's casual, it's casual. We already experience the whole game and we know what it tends to achieve, the exploration and the sense of place. But it lacks the sense of focusing the game for story development and better combat integration. It had it's moment in the early stage but later, it's just giving you a linear pathway in some smart representation. I don't know if I can enjoy Skyrim if it wasn't for mods.

I'm pretty certain from the context that he doesn't mean "casual" as in -for casual gamers who play Bejeweled-, but rather "casual" as in, -you can run around in Skyrim doing whatever you want, completely ignoring plot, quests and storyline-.

In that context, he is correct. You can play Skyrim a lot more casually than the Witcher, where the plot pokes at you at every turn.

While I must say that I enjoy both types of games a lot, I have a soft spot for the open world type of "casual" RPG's, because these are the -real- Role Playing Games in which you can ROLEPLAY many different roles -not just the one forced upon you by the plot- which I thought was the whole point of ROLE PLAYING games in the first place.

Contrary to popular belief, a role-playing-game is not a game in which you play a certain role. By that definition practically every game is an RPG. It's also not about the stats and leveling up. A real role playing game is a game that empowers you to use the game mechanics and your imagination to roleplay different roles. The Witcher is not an RPG. It's a 3D adventure game. Skyrim is a real RPG.

Thanks. Just had to get that out of my system.

I think they are right to be honest. Elder Scrolls has been becoming increasingly dumbed down and simpler even as the technology behind it has increased. It has a huge, explorable, world, but it has little depth, and requires very little from the player to be good at, pretty much anyone who sticks with it for a while is going to become an invincible godling with 90% of the world's wealth stuffed into the cupboards of their collection of huts.

Skyrim LOOKS like a hardcore RPG, but it's really not. It, and Elder Scrolls as a series, are among the "go to" examples for "serious" gamers talking about what casuals and companies catering to them have done to gaming. Elder Scrolls becoming prettier, but having less control and options, with every chapter. Ever since "Daggerfall" people have been complaining as more and more has been stripped away over time.

This is not to say it's a bad game, and yes serious gamers can (and do) appreciate it, including me, but when asked about "Deep RPGs for the computer" this one doesn't usually make my list.

As far as "The Witcher" goes though, I can't really say that's the series I'd use to champion serious hardcore RPGs. This is a series where your combat has been literally dictated by simply clicking your mouse when the pointer changes. "The Witcher 2" (which I never got to run perfectly) made things a little more arbitrary at the beginning and pretty much got it's initial difficulty by throwing you to the wolves without explaining how to use half of what you had (though to be fair if you played the first one this isn't as big a deal). An open world "Witcher" sounds like a lot of fun, but seeing as your unlikely to be able to create your own character and instead be handed "Geralt The Polymath" who will rapidly become as invincible as your typical Skyrim character, and whose advancement will probably continue to be gated (it seems like you have a lot of options, but everything is carefully controlled in terms of what you can take and when).

In short I agree with these guys about Skyrim, but it's like the pot calling the kettle black. It's like the guys who did Nethack dissing ADOM for being a roguelike. :)

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here