Witcher 3 Dev: Storytelling Not About "Number of Outcomes"

Witcher 3 Dev: Storytelling Not About "Number of Outcomes"

the witcher 3 screenshot 1

Executive producer John Mamais says The Witcher 3 will deliver a combination of choice and "gripping" storytelling.

If you were to try and an encapsulate The Witcher experience in a single word, "choice" wouldn't be a bad one. While other games play at giving players personal agency over the progression of the story, CD Projekt RED's The Witcher series is an arguable champion of the mechanic. For instance, where other choice-centric titles have struggled just with giving truly alternative endings, The Witcher 2 could be completely different based on what you did in the game.

That being the case, there are limits to the mechanic of choice and according to John Mamais, executive producer for The Witcher 3, the effectiveness of its use boils down to the quality of a story. "A good plot should not mimic reality in the sense that you can finish each quest in a million different ways-it's about unexpected twists or the feelings it evokes and not the sheer number of 'outcomes,'" he said in a discussion about the game. "We're focusing on bringing you really gripping stuff-each subquest in the game feels deep, each choice and its consequences credible and real-that's the main idea we want to convey with The Witcher 3 and we always want to emphasize that." None of this is to suggest that The Witcher 3 will be any shorter of options that its predecessors. "We also care about nonlinearity and providing a variety of paths," said Mamai. "The previous Witcher games provide ample evidence of that and The Witcher 3 will be no exception."

Considering that The Witcher 3 will be including open world aspects in addition to its choice mechanics and tightly crafted storyline, it looks to be shaping up into a project that will require some serious balancing of arguably disparate devotions. While CD Projekt RED's previous work would arguably suggest that it's up to it, it should nonetheless be a challenge for the developer. That said, we'll be waiting with baited breath to see the end results.

Source: PC Gamer

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Isn't this the game that's promising like 50,000 different endings?

Zachary Amaranth:
Isn't this the game that's promising like 50,000 different endings?

Thought the same thing. Maybe they are losing confidence in it already :/

Hopefully they are just parting words of wisdom but we haven't had a good ending debacle in about a year so who knows.

Should go without saying really, but what he described is exactly why I liked Spec Ops: The Line so much. The choices need to feel like they belong there, not just be there for the sake of it. And they need to stop you and make you think about it, not just give you choices that you skip through as fast as possible.

Dark Knifer:

Zachary Amaranth:
Isn't this the game that's promising like 50,000 different endings?

Thought the same thing. Maybe they are losing confidence in it already :/

Hopefully they are just parting words of wisdom but we haven't had a good ending debacle in about a year so who knows.

I see where you guys are coming from, but what I gather from what the dev said is somewhat "a trillion different endings doesn't matter if you don't have the right story to back them up". I think he's actually saying, the ending cannot depend of one single and dumb question, like, sorry to bring it up, ME 3 (and I actually enjoyed the ending, but it was a poorly executed choice wise)> in ME 3 the ending depended solely on what beam you walked towards, NOTHING you did anywhere in the game mattered after all, they totally chopped the beginning and middle of the story (ME 1, 2 and part of 3) from the ending. You get a game like Heavy Rain, on the other hand, (I know, absolutely a different genre) and it's the actions you take during gameplay as whole that makes up the story and ultimately impacts on the ending. I think the devs wanted to reassure us that the amount of endings The Witcher 3 might have will not impact on the quality of such endings and on "how they'll come to be".

OT: those developers just know exactly what we wanna hear... Good thing is, usually, the guys from CD Projekt deliver their promises :D

Milanezi:
snip

Yeah that makes sense. I've never played witcher but I think CD projekt is one of the better companies around right now. We'll have to wait and see, but if it does turn out bad I would actually be pretty surprised.

Dark Knifer:

Milanezi:
snip

Yeah that makes sense. I've never played witcher but I think CD projekt is one of the better companies around right now. We'll have to wait and see, but if it does turn out bad I would actually be pretty surprised.

Well if they can figure out how to evoke and emotion other then "Where the fuck did THAT come from?" then I think we're safe.

I think another good word for The Witcher games is difficulty. The choices made are often pretty hard, usually with some terrible consequence you'll have to live with for doing it. This goes with the game play as well, if my replay of The Witcher 2 and the state of my quickload key is anything to go by. >.<
"Ooh! That skill looks way more useful than this one!" Then I get into combat "Gah! Why didn't I pick the other skill! It's exactly what I need!"

Another difficulty! Should I break the bank trying to get a card to run this on it's highest settings or should I settle, knowing it could be so much more? First world gamer problems.

And I just bought a new graphics card too...

Seems like an interesting post....

Mcoffey:
I think another good word for The Witcher games is difficulty. The choices made are often pretty hard, usually with some terrible consequence you'll have to live with for doing it.

Which all choices in TW1 were all subsequently devolved into Emails from ME2...Also, choices outcome made in-game were practically the same. I believe CD made a very bad move dividing the story into 2 after ACT 1.

This goes with the game play as well, if my replay of The Witcher 2 and the state of my quickload key is anything to go
by. >.<
"Ooh! That skill looks way more useful than this one!" Then I get into combat "Gah! Why didn't I pick the other skill! It's exactly what I need!"

Yes, the QTEs were difficult...You weren't talking about the QTEs?...Yeah the QTEs were cheap. That said, I enjoy a game that's balanced.

Another difficulty! Should I break the bank trying to get a card to run this on it's highest settings or should I settle, knowing it could be so much more? First world gamer problems.

And I just bought a new graphics card too...

...More power to you mate.

mad825:

I believe CD made a very bad move dividing the story into 2 after ACT 1.

There are 3 actual chapters. The first one is the intro, the second one is the middle and the third one is the very end, the climax. When else would they divide the story?

A Weakgeek:

mad825:

I believe CD made a very bad move dividing the story into 2 after ACT 1.

There are 3 actual chapters. The first one is the intro, the second one is the middle and the third one is the very end, the climax. When else would they divide the story?

My point is it was a bad move overall. The very end of ACT3 or prologue would make a nifty twist and would not force them to cut corners in TW3.

The main idea behind the division is to make the story more complex, deep if you will but at the very end it will be costing them resources game development wise and thus devolving into this ME3 fiasco again because the story branches are far too expensive for them to develop .

mad825:

A Weakgeek:

mad825:

I believe CD made a very bad move dividing the story into 2 after ACT 1.

There are 3 actual chapters. The first one is the intro, the second one is the middle and the third one is the very end, the climax. When else would they divide the story?

My point is it was a bad move overall. The very end of ACT3 or prologue would make a nifty twist and would not force them to cut corners in TW3.

The main idea behind the division is to make the story more complex, deep if you will but at the very end it will be costing them resources game development wise and thus devolving into this ME3 fiasco again because the story branches are far too expensive for them to develop .

I'd argue its for replayablility, not for the sake of being "deep".

As for cutting corners in W3, I wouldn't say so. Really the biggest changes to the settings come other things than who you decide to go with in ACT 1. On both paths you have the choice to let Henselt or Stennis die, which both affect the political situation alot. There is also the sitation with Saskia. All of these choices werent necessary because of the divide, but they put them in anyway. But seeing as the third game will be mostly about nilfgaard, those probably wont matter as much. The biggest choice I imagine will be about Triss and Yennefer.

Dark Knifer:

Thought the same thing. Maybe they are losing confidence in it already :/

Hopefully they are just parting words of wisdom but we haven't had a good ending debacle in about a year so who knows.

Maybe they noticed how badly they were getting mocked and decided tocover their bases. With the number of endings they were promising, I'm betting they were veering into Mass Effect "choose the colour of your explosion" territory, but I don't know.

I agree whole heartedly with the title of the thread (I didn't read the body of the OP because YOLO right?!?!?!?!?!)
It's about the quality of the outcomes, or outcome. Some (All?) of the best stories told only have one outcome.

Whether the emotional climax of the story is satisfying and makes sense then you've succeed at story telling.

Trying to tell a story with multiple different satisfying outcomes is a tall order and nearly impossible to pull off.

But it would be awesome if they could pull it off.

mad825:
Seems like an interesting post....

Mcoffey:
I think another good word for The Witcher games is difficulty. The choices made are often pretty hard, usually with some terrible consequence you'll have to live with for doing it.

Which all choices in TW1 were all subsequently devolved into Emails from ME2...Also, choices outcome made in-game were practically the same. I believe CD made a very bad move dividing the story into 2 after ACT 1.

This goes with the game play as well, if my replay of The Witcher 2 and the state of my quickload key is anything to go
by. >.<
"Ooh! That skill looks way more useful than this one!" Then I get into combat "Gah! Why didn't I pick the other skill! It's exactly what I need!"

Yes, the QTEs were difficult...You weren't talking about the QTEs?...Yeah the QTEs were cheap. That said, I enjoy a game that's balanced.

Another difficulty! Should I break the bank trying to get a card to run this on it's highest settings or should I settle, knowing it could be so much more? First world gamer problems.

And I just bought a new graphics card too...

...More power to you mate.

I'm trying to figure out the point to your post, maybe you can help me out. First you were dismissive, which is fine. You felt differently than I did about the choices, totally fine. Then you were kind of condescending, in that (I guess?) you didn't think the game was as difficult as I did? And then you were dismissive again, but in a more rude way.

So... yeah I still got nothing. You said nothing about the news and really nothing about what I said either. What exactly are you contributing here by just being kind of a dick to me?

Mcoffey:
...blub...

Another difficulty! Should I break the bank trying to get a card to run this on it's highest settings or should I settle, knowing it could be so much more? First world gamer problems.

And I just bought a new graphics card too...

I would say wait till the game is out. I had a hell alot of fun with witcher 2 on a radeon 4890. So I think whatever (hopefully more than low end graka) should be okay.

Zachary Amaranth:

Maybe they noticed how badly they were getting mocked and decided tocover their bases. With the number of endings they were promising, I'm betting they were veering into Mass Effect "choose the colour of your explosion" territory, but I don't know.

About the endings, aren't they still at ~36 (4xMajor*8xMinor or sth like that) I really hope that they don't screw this one up. Open world + Complex storys + deep quests... hopefully they still manage to make the world interesting and not Skyrim-esque where you can find random mobs around the map but the world doesn't feel real/believable/interesting at all(warning criticism on a higher level).

Shit I am to hyped...

 

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