Designing the Quests of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Designing the Quests of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


(dramatic orchestral music) – A living, breathing
world is all well and good but it’s not really worth much unless the time you spend there is fun. So for a fantasy role playing
game like The Witcher, that means quests, main
quests, side quests, interesting quests, stories quests with unique things going on in them. And above all of those, quest variety. Today, we’re gonna take a look at quests from a number of different angles, and dive into the design
of some of The Witcher 3’s most memorable ones. But this story starts with the first quest the team ever made for
the initial release demo, built on the first piece of land designed by the level design team. A quest entitled, The Lord of Undvik, where Hjalmar went to slay an ice giant. (dramatic orchestral music) – To be honest, in general,
our approach to the open world changed throughout the production so at the start, we still had
the habits from Witcher 2. For example there was this
quest with the ice giant. That’s basically Hjalmar went to this island and he wanted to kill the giant. So at first, when we were thinking with categories of Witcher 2, we would say, yes, so we need this path, this has to be closed
before you kill the giant, this has to be closed, you know? Then you have these two paths
so we have triggers there, so it’s all scripted and so on. But then we felt, it
doesn’t feel open world. It feels like this island is
closed up series of tunnels which basically is not open world, it’s more like multiple
paths, island, basically. So we changed that but then obviously some issues started arising,
so what happens if you go through the lake that you
were not supposed to go. At first we like, “Yeah, you’ll drown “because the water is super cold.” But it’s like some new
system that we didn’t have. (laughter)
You know, things like these. Later on, you would say
well, what if he goes through the lake, whatever? Like we just covered the option
and something else happens. Like this quest, especially, because it has so many
side things you could do. For example, you could
have helped this guy that the trolls wanted to eat. And then basically, after you helped him, he would join you and he would
follow you around the island. It was the issue of the lake again because the NPCs cannot swim in our game. Only some exceptions like Siren can. So there was an issue
like he’s staying there and what happens to him? And we thought well, maybe
he should just die there because he left him, you know? Stuff like that. So we basically decided
to cover the options and in this case also,
basically this quest is open to you from the start of Skellige. But the quest giver is
actually Crach an Craite, who tells you that in the main story line. But you can go to the island
before you talk to him, before he talks about his son going there. He says that basically, Hjalmar
disappeared a few days ago, and it’ll be weird if
Hjalmar wasn’t on the island at the time, right?
– (laughs) Right! – So you basically, to
have to cover the option that you found Hjalmar–
– He just went to that island! – Yeah! You found him but you
didn’t talk to his father and he’s like, “What are you doing here?” and Geralt is like, “Well, I’m
just exploring or something!” (laughter) – [Danny] I’m just out on my boat! – Yeah. So, I mean, the quest would still progress and everything would work but the dialogue was changed, basically. – [Danny] And then when
you eventually meet up with Crach an Craite– – Yeah, he mentions it. – [Danny] He’s like, “Oh,
gee, you got my son!” – I already done that, yeah. (laughter) So it made the game much more complicated but in the end I think it’s
impacted the quality very well. I think it’s much better a thing to do rather than just wall something off or de-spawn the NPCs. In most cases, players
probably will play it as you intended, but
when the players won’t, and they will see these weird quest places that something obviously is happening here but not yet, because he didn’t talk to the quest giver, right? You can feel that something is wrong and the immersion is breaking suddenly. You can see it’s Hollywood,
you can see that basically, the back stage, you know.
– How difficult was it to anticipate all of those permutations? – It was crazy. I won’t give you an
exact number, obviously, but it was a huge amount
of different combinations, and different things that we had to cover and some of them we
didn’t even think about until QA pointed it out
that, “Yeah, we played it “in this order,” and we’re
like, “Oh, fuck yeah, “you can do that.”
(laughter) – [Danny] While The Lord
of Undvik may have been the first quest the team tackled, they had a very different
series of initial quests in mind for the player. On-boarding players
into an open world game is always a difficult challenge. But this is especially true of a series that never had a true open world before. The opening level in Kaer Morhen
worked as a tutorial for the game’s basic mechanisms but to teach the players how to interact with this new open world,
they’d have to create a very special place. They called it White Orchard. – First was a basic tutorial of the game. And this we covered with
Kaer Morhen sequence with the dream and then
we basically thought, “Okay, we need to
introduce the open world,” This is a new feature
in The Witcher games, and people should feel basically, how do we approach the
open world in general. But we don’t want to open
up the whole map to them from the start because
they will be overwhelmed with all of it, you know? And they didn’t learn all the basics yet. So we thought, yeah we
need, like you said, we need a smaller version
of what we have in general, so a small region that will
be open for the open world, but smaller in scale in which
you can basically explore, learn the ropes of every system, learn more about characters. We had to take into consideration
that it might have been the first time you
played the Witcher games, so you might not know who Geralt is and there are also all these new subjects that we had to introduce
like Ciri, Yennefer. Nilfgaard invaded, who’s Nilfgaard? Who’s Temeria? There were a bunch of things like these. – [Danny] Introducing the
player to the main quest was critically important but so, too, is showing them how to
take on and complete the game’s broad range of side quests. One of the most memorable
of these from White Orchard was the Witcher contract
Devil by the Well. – It’s interesting because basically, at the point we were doing this, we didn’t have a ready formula about how we
want to approach monster hunts. This was like one of the first ones. Our designer basically had to sit down and he had to think how to
include all these elements of investigation in there to make it work but also how
to set them up in a way that it won’t be too hard
because at the beginning of the game, you might not be
familiar with the systems yet. Initially, the place where
you were supposed to learn about these systems was the griffin hunt and they’re all laid out in there. But we thought basically, yeah why not? You should be able to do
all these side quests and open White Orchard as well. And yeah, you can go there first. You don’t have to hunt the griffin first, right?
– Right. – So in every one of these places, you would have to learn about the witcher senses for example. How do they work, how do they tie in with the quest system and so on. So it was a difficult task and I remember this specific quest, it was very cool but it had
a lot of possible solutions because we didn’t want to block the player from entering the well, for example. So if you wanted to rush through it, you could just jump right in
without inspecting anything, and take the ring. So we opted for basically taking your actions into
considerations instead of blocking you. I know in some games you
would get, for example, the well would be closed
until you do something, right? But in here, it didn’t make sense so we decided not to close it
and we decided to keep it open and if you decide to do
it in different order, fine, you will just get
to a different outcome. – [Danny] If White Orchard was the Witcher with training wheels still attached and Velen was when the player
was fully free to get lost, the team at CDP meticulously
designed the opening area of Velen to ensure that
players hit certain points while still feeling free and
in control of their destiny. They used heat maps to track where most testers went and what they did. And dotted side quests
and activities on the way. For instance, the vast
majority of players bump into the monster nest
side quest very early on which was perfect as
this was also designed as the monster nest tutorial. Throughout the development process, Velen was heavily tweaked. In fact the focus of
the quests in this area and even the baron himself
changed quite a lot over the course of development. – The northernmost area of No Man’s Land, probably one of the areas
most ravaged by the war. This is where both fronts clashed. We had the idea of showing how the plague, which played a (chuckles) much bigger role during our development back
then, had affected the area. We came up with the Devil’s Pit, which people liked to have
all sorts of conspiracies about that. At some point for us in development, it used to be this quarantine
zone of pestic people. – Well, the initial
idea for a bloody baron was there from the beginning of the story. Although in the first versions, it was not as deep thematically. So we weren’t planning to touch so much on the alcoholism problem on
his family issues and so on. – It was much more about problems
with the baron’s soldiers, must more about being him as a warlord of that space. And it was changed but to be honest I was thinking that the
first draft used to be nice and fits to the atmosphere of the Velen but I was wrong and they did
a good job of that quest. – The general idea in the beginning was that he was this warlord that was, he took these lands for his own because it’s not strategically important and no army is actually claiming them so he’s gonna claim them. And the idea was that you as a player will meet another father
that lost his daughter. So you have similar goal, kind of. Obviously there are differences
like his daughter left on purpose and yours is gone for other reasons. We decided at some point
to explore the theme of alcoholism more and the reason of why his daughter left him and
why his family’s like this and so on, and it was a very
difficult subject, obviously, because it’s a very
serious subject to everyone so we wanted to do it right. The baron was rewritten so many times, I couldn’t count it (chuckles) basically. Even after recordings we did rewrite them. – [Danny] How did you space out the quests throughout the world? I feel like when the Witcher 3 came out, it was around the time
where people were starting to get fed up with mini-maps
full of quest markers. – Well, there is no golden method for that, it’s trial and error. The general idea was to basically, aside from the main storyline, obviously, it will make these, every village has some contracts for you. And it’s like a small quest hub basically. And then when you’re
done, you’re moving on to the next notice board and, you know, this is the gameplay loop, basically. – Something that was a
bit of a running joke in our development as well because, if we didn’t know (chuckles) what it was, we can say, “Yeah, let’s
make it a bandit camp,” and we quickly realized that that’s very much the easy way out, so we tried to make it thematically
consistent with the area and still try to give it flavor. You’ll find a lot of notes, for example, that describe, “Man, this
bandit wasn’t actually “really a bandit, he was just in it “because he traveled with
these guys and he needed safe travel “and he needed to get to this place “and then his wife was waiting for him.” So we tried to give meaning
to these things, right, its context. One example again would
be the cannibal ones. This is technically a simple bandit camp but given the context that there’s a famine in
this part of the world, so this part is also a bit more remote, it’s further away from
most of civilization, we thought, alright, so how could these people have behaved in this scenario? There’s no food, it’s easy to come to the conclusion of cannibalism taking place there. So we came up with this one village which used to be much nicer,
more civilized, you could tell, and had been raided. Nearby you’d find this cannibal camp, and even further away, I
think there’s like some people worshiping this weird bird statue. We made this the crazy
part of No Man’s Tow– No Man’s Land, No Man’s Town. (laughs) No Man’s Town!
(laughter) Jesus! Yeah, let’s have fun in
No Man’s Town! (laughs) What happens in No Man’s
Town stays in No Man’s Town. (laughter) – [Danny] While the way in
which you found side activities and their variety was
critically important, a game like The Witcher 3
lives and dies on its quests, be it them part of the main quest line or stories off the beaten path. And The Witcher 3 is
full of these stories. Be it tower fulls of mice,
drunken witchers, or lost goats, these stories stick with the player long after they’ve walked
away from the game. So we asked the team to tell us about the design of some of
your absolute favorites and some of their favorites, too. – I remember that I saw the first draft of the Towerful of Mice, and I read it and it was like, “Wow!” And I remember that the
quest hasn’t changed like a bit. It was written by Joanna Radomska and then without any changes on the reviews, he was like in the final game. – [Danny] It’s one of
the quests in the game that feels the most like a Sapkowski– – Exactly, exactly.
– Short story. – Like from The Witcher
1, you feel the atmosphere of the horror and the
wicked romance story, and devotion and love
and it was real nice. And the whole story in
that quest was perfect, in my opinion. – [Danny] And the ending of it is– – Yeah, exactly.
– Haunting. No matter what happens,
it’s like an awful– – There’s no happy ending. It is happy ending but not for them. (laughter) – [Danny] Actually another
White Orchard classic, The Frying Pan– – Oh yes, this one. (chuckles) It’s funny, because I remember, our project lead was very
skeptical of this quest. – [Danny] (chuckles) No! – Why are you making me
look for a pan? (laughs) – [Geralt] And some old scars. The kind a soldier might have. – [Old Woman] What’s that, dearie? – [Geralt] Nothing. – We were very convinced
that it will be fun, little quest to have. Basically, we wanted to have this foreshadowing of one of the characters that appears later on in the
story, Thaler, basically. And we thought, yeah, it
was a cute little quest and why not make it and
exactly, because it’s different from the other quests and it stands out, it’s unexpected, right,
that you would get that. – [Old Man] Princess, my goat! She’s fled! – Those men must have scared her off. Can we get back to the auguring? – Princess quest, as far as I remember, was done by the same guy who also went into the baron quest
line, go figure. (laughs) – So it was a quest of
one of our designers, Pawel Sasko, and basically, we’re looking for inserting some more
gameplay in that quest. So he got the task to think
what you could do in that quest, make it actually have
more gameplay in it, because it was very dialogue heavy. So basically he thought,
“So yeah, there is this guy, “and he has a goat and
basically you already had “to go to him and what
if he lost that goat “and you have to go and find it?” You know, she’s his best friend. – [Danny] Let’s not get into that relationship! (laughs)
– Let’s stick with this version, yes! (laughs) It’s fun to put Geralt in situations in which he doesn’t naturally fit in. – (sighs) Will you help me
if I bring the goat back? – He sees the absurdity of the situation and he comments on it but he, you know, what can you do,
I have to go with bell, and bell on is goat so she will come after me. And then now, I don’t
know, she got distracted with strawberries or something. (chuckles) It was funny. It was funny and yeah, I mean, the base idea was to add more
gameplay in the quests but I think it was nice and cute idea so I’m glad it made it in. – [Geralt] Do I really
have to keep ringing this bell for you to follow? (bell rings)
Come on, dammit. Where’d the hell did you go? Bear, bear! Run, you stupid piece of shit! – [Danny] And I love the fact
that when the bear appears, I think Princess gets her own health like bar? – (laughs) I don’t think
she can die in that sequence but Pawel did it on purpose so you would stress out about her and to make it even funnier. (laughter) So it’s actually one of my
favorite quests in the game. I laughed every time I
played it on the reviews even though I’ve seen so many times. So this one was, our
designer, Dennis Zoetebier. He worked with a writer It started off pretty small, actually, and it grew as it went on. We talked with Dennis that
it would be cool to have, it would be cool to have a
small quest for every witcher. Because you could have
not played Witcher 1, so you might not know them.
– Right. – So it’s nice to learn more about them in some situations not just dialogue. And that was already pretty long, it was supposed to be just one quest and it grew up to be like three. And the culmination of this
as you met them already, and as you talked with them
about what you’re supposed to do with Uma was basically
this witcher reunion. So basically the witchers sitting together and drinking, talking about
you know, what happened to them in the meantime, after Witcher 1. And yeah, the guys
thought what would be cool to add in the sequence to make it funnier. I remember Dennis really
liked this quest in Witcher 1 with Shani and there was
a party at Shani’s place and there was this moment
that you were drunk and you had to go and get
the pickles, basically, from the storage downstairs. And you have to be careful so
her grandma wouldn’t hear you. (laughs) So he was aiming
for the similar mood here, basically. I think at some point,
yeah, at some point, there is this moment that Eskel gets lost and you have to find him and you find him with a goat and so on. And yeah, and then they have this idea to call the sorceresses. Yeah, it was so absurd, it was basically, yeah, one of the best moments for me. On the review, I remember people coming in because we were laughing so hard to see just what we were doing, why we were laughing so hard. – [Danny] Was there
ever a worry that like, “Oh, maybe we shouldn’t have them.” Like call the sorceress,
that’s like too much! (laughs) – Oh yeah, for sure. But then we said, well,
let’s just go with it. It’s so funny that I
think people will like it. – Given the amount of work I
put in on the enhanced edition of The Witcher 1, I missed the first year of the life of my elder daughter.
– Right. – My younger daughter was
born in December of 2008. The Witcher 2, work on The Witcher 2 occupied very, a lot of the first year of her life. So I think the quest (laughs)
that resonated with me for The Witcher 3 was Geralt looking for
his adoptive daughter. In general, a lot of the saga and a lot
of the three-game series is actually about Geralt, in spite of being an
itinerate monster slayer and dealing with a lot of
nastiness and sleeping around with sorceresses and making questionable moral decisions, is about Geralt trying to figure out how to re-establish himself
within a nuclear family. – [Danny] Geralt’s quest to find Ciri is the essential quest of the entire game. But even this was changed
radically during development. A quest where Geralt infiltrated
the Wild Hunt dressed as one of them in order to
assassinate one of the generals, was cut as they felt the
endgame was getting too long. So too was the far larger
version of the universe, jumping ‘Through Time and Space.’ Originally, it was planned
so that each world wasn’t just a single level but individual White
Orchard-style quest hubs. – I think in the final
version, we had the desert, we had this darkish valley with the green and red toxic grass, I think. Then we had this underwater bit and then the frozen wasteland, right. And of course the Elvin bit. I remember, we were going through
so many different versions of what this could have been. (chuckles) And it took us quite a while to actually settle on this final version. – [Danny] Yeah, people
told us that there were, at one stage there was
actually they were hub worlds. So they were like zones
with quests in them that you like to spend time in as well. – Yeah, but that (laughs)– We realized pretty quickly that’s a lot of extra work. (laughs) – Like, there would be the sequence that you would be in prison, and you would do different things. And this wild portal
throwing you into the prison and other dimension and
you have to now flee and but they think you’re crazy because you’re talking
about other dimensions and how you got there and they were like, “Oh, right, okay.
(Danny laughs) “We should lock him up.” (laughs) But the problem was that basically, first of all, it was getting super long. I remember even on the reviews, without the assets and all that, it was taking us a lot of time. So the issue of quests
when you’re traveling between dimensions, if you
want to do interactions with people from another dimension, it would be nice if they
weren’t exactly like people from our dimension, right? And if you do that, it’s
starts becoming confusing and increasingly difficult. And if you don’t, it feels like, “Yeah, they tell me it’s
a different dimension, “but they behave like
us, they look like us.” So in the end we opted for the option with like these vastly
different landscapes, the unnatural landscapes you
couldn’t see in our world. At times we discussed cutting it even because it was so costly but in the end, I’m glad
we didn’t obviously, because it worked out to be pretty cool. – [Danny] Designing a variety of quests meant creating a lot of bespoke systems that would ensure these
quests worked properly. But of course that
doesn’t mean that the team didn’t sometimes take shortcuts resulting in unforeseen bugs. For instance, opening every
door in the game by accident. – So the issue was that basically, all the doors in the game, they had a tag, which is ‘door’, basically. And a designer, at one point, wanted to close all the
doors for his quests because basically, in this point of story, you weren’t supposed to go in and it was happening on
one street or something. And there were a lot of
doors in that street. So he thought instead
of tagging them uniquely and closing them separately, I’m gonna just lock all the doors. It works, obviously, and
then I’m gonna unlock them because the quest is over
so now they can be opened. So, fine, but all the
doors in the entire game will have the same tag so
basically he would open all the doors in the entire game, even the ones that were
closing the interiors that you were never supposed to see. Interiors that were empty, basically. A lot of fixes we did, after the game was released, we had to take into
consideration which point of the game you were in, right? But if there was a fix that was supposed to apply to everyone, it was difficult. Because we didn’t know where
the signal in the quests is. – Right.
– In our tool, basically. So we had this one quest
structure, basically, that would control all
the traveling merchants that would travel I think
somewhere in Novigrad, or something, or in
Velen, I don’t remember. It doesn’t matter, but the point was that this phase of the quest
would keep the signal always. It doesn’t matter, did you
finish the game or not, did you go to the baron yet or not, the traveling merchant was always active. It was one thing that was always active. So I remember we thought,
“Oh, that’s a good place “to put the fixes in.” And if you opened this phase in the quest–
– No! – Yeah, he contains all the
fixes for the different bugs we got (chuckles) from users. – [Danny] So the traveling merchant is like the god of the game.
– Yes, he is. We have his poster in
the quest room upstairs because we appreciate his help in the production process. (laughs) – [Danny] The length of a
game is always a talking point prior to release. And initial reports that the
game was over a 100 hours long, actually proved to be conservative. But despite that, in truth,
the designers at CD Projekt were terrified
that the game didn’t have enough content right up until its release. – One thing you need to
know about CD Projekt, we are really bad at
estimating play time. (laughs) And we always underestimate
the play time for our games. So the first objective
we got for Witcher 3, the estimation was we need
to get 100 plus hours. And when we implemented all that we have in the game right now, we actually had even more
because we cut some content. And we were worried
that it won’t be enough to fill it in to get have
100 plus hours of gameplay. And you know, it was our
first open world game so obviously we weren’t
sure how to pace it and how to make it dense enough. So, yeah, we thought, oh this
is like 60 hours at best. We have to add more stuff. Seriously, it was a big worry
late and alpha and even beta. And later on when the
actual dialogue started to get recorded and when you
would get actual gameplay in, it would change because
it looks much different when you’re playing in alpha with god mode or with opponents that are, you know, they die after one hit. And it gets much different
when you actually get these gameplay systems
in and when you play this as a game, not as separate parts. I remember designers coming up to me and they were like, “Are
you sure we should do this? “I mean, we were supposed to
have 100 hours of gameplay “and I don’t think
we’re gonna get it now.” And now we’re doing it again with (chuckles) Gwent campaigns. (laughter) – [Danny] Not to mention Hearts of Stone. – Yes, not to mention Hearts of Stone or Blood and Wine so, yeah yeah. We’re not very good at
estimating play time so please don’t ask me
about this ever. (laughs) (dramatic guitar music) (crow caws loudly)


100 thoughts on “Designing the Quests of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

  1. Here's a picture of our beloved travelling merchant Mateusz was talking about. 😉 https://i.imgur.com/ICPiK8U.jpg

  2. This is one of the things that surprised me the most and I loved about the witcher 3…that you can complete quest while exploring without speaking to the quest giver…then just talk to them later and tell them you already did that where's my reward….it encourages you to explore

  3. I would pay full price again for witcher 3 uncut. I want these extra dimensions. I am a little dissapointed that I only needed 150 hours for all the quests of the base game, heartofstone and bloodandwine and all the questionmarks on hte map 🙁

  4. Well I did complete playthrough with all sidequests included and the majority of poi's. It took me 122 hours. Including the add-on dlc's.

  5. So the frying pan quest foreshadows something later in the game? Can someone help me figure what it foreshadows, I must’ve missed something

  6. I love that the CDPR guys are actually in the comment section, something really strange needs to happen for them to stop being my favourite developers out there 🙂

  7. My first playthrough I stumbled upon the Island. I ran into Hjalmar and defeated the Ice Giant. I loved that battle. My second playthrough I spoke to Crach an Craite and he gave me the quest as I was going through the storyline more quickly. I love that about this game, just pure freedom.

  8. Please keep understimate the play time, I would like this game to go one forever, the main quest could last 200h, CD Projekt has a gift to keep this fascinating and enjoyable and push video game storytelling to another level.

  9. I don't know where people are getting 100 hours from. Me and everyone I know beat the game and every sidequest that we found in about 75 hours. Mind you that's still twice what other rpgs have, but its still far from 100.

  10. The dimension/world hopping sequence was probably my favorite part of the game! Separate hubs would have been AMAZING!!!

  11. This is my favorite game of 2017. I will always look back and say I want to go and play it again. And again. And again.

  12. dear mister spoiler warning ,

    I do not have the funds to buy a PC for witcher even thou i bought the whole witcher series on steam ( thanks for that massive sale steam )

    thank you
    regards
    Random INTERNET person who loves game design doc

  13. Danny, this is an excellent series. Thank you for showing us behind the curtain of one of the greatest games ever made.

  14. The Witcher 3 has, without a doubt, the greatest collection of side quests I have ever seen in a video game. And really it's not even close.

  15. MAN!!! I am currently playing a PIRATE version of Witcher 3… I know it sounds fucking STUPID!! but you do NOT realise how much work and effort and LOVE goes into these games!! I actually feel like im STEALING from these guys (which i am).. and they are DECENT!! very funny.. incredibly NICE people!!! This documentary has seriously made me think about the people BEHIND the game.. I'm going to BUY the Witcher 3 today.. I cant ask anyone else to do the same because I dont know other peoples circumstances.. but personally the more i watched this documentary the worse i felt.. I feel GOOD that im going to be contributing to these guys.. they most DEFINITELY deserve it.

  16. I personally tried to make the game as long as possible because i never wanted it to finish. three days ago i finished the main story and my playtime on Steam is of 165h. THey have been the best hours of my life

  17. 'The travelling merchant is like the god of the game.'
    Gaunter O'Dimm masquerades as a travelling merchant. Coincidence?

  18. Excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent excellent game unlimited star 4 the witcher 3

  19. I feel like Witcher 3 needed more quests with a happy ending. In most of the quests Geralt finds that the missing person is already dead.

  20. This is what the makes the game great. People might say TW3 is overrated, but they don't know that small things like multiple quest approach like this is what makes TW3 different and brilliant.

  21. it took me 221 to finish the game and I didn't find 1 of the gwent cards and didn't finish one quest called "free spirit"

  22. In 100 years you'll find this playlist in a kind of gaming museum to show all those people this great game. Very good Documentary keep it up. 😀

  23. This Hjalmar quest is extremely bugged. If you follow the tracks to the cave to find out what happened to the crew, and if you deviate from the track, skipping the cave and go directly to Hjalmar's place, talk to Hjalmar, and come back to the cave, the quest will tell you to 'find Hjalmar', but you already found him. And the indicator on the map will disappear, you won't know where you should go. There are other bugs, like if you save the guy called Frolan or something, take him to Hjalmar, he will follow Hjalmar, not you. But if you go into the cave which you skipped, he will still be talking to you even if he's not present. If you go to the deserted house where the giant stores his food, you'll trigger a cutscene, Frolan will magically reappear by your side, saying we should find Hjalmar or something, but we already did. Then if you save the game and load the game, Frolan will disappear again. The bugs just go on and on. The idea of open world quests is good, but don't force it if you cannot guarantee for it to work.

  24. The monster hunt side quests were surprisingly deep in witcher 3. I expected the main quest and major side quests to be high quality, but the quality of these ordinary witcher jobs really surprised me.

  25. 19:29 OMG I missed that part of the quest (and I'm certain I did it)!
    I didn't want to start the game again BUT…

    Excellent work, deep on information and very well told.
    This is too good. Congratulations.

  26. Quests/missions design is very important for enjoying a good story in a game, otherwise good story could be ruined by boring mission structure, like how rdr2 bad mission design made the very good story of rdr2 boring to experience

  27. man it would have been absolutely nutty if they had actually fleshed out the other dimensions you visited to the size of white orchard, fuck. that was one of the coolest and most unexpected parts of the game imo

  28. I was really blown a way by the size of the world, like I was thinking that the White Orchard was a really big map. And after that when the actual world opens for you, it was freaking huge! Even with the introduction period on White Orchard, I was still quite overwhelmed and didn't know where to start! But when you start, you don't wanna stop, and I ended up playing like 4-5 hours in a row 😀

  29. Arse Blathana has GOT to be the best Witcher line ever!!! Hey Princess, a bear is behind your arse blathana!!!

  30. Witcher 3 has amazing main quest and some great side quests, but there are still a lot of pretty standard drudge quests. I didn't mind those very much but they do stand out in my mind as an exception to an otherwise flawless game.

  31. Why none of them mentions that triss and specially yen had a completely different looks (faces) and then they changed it!
    If you knew why they did that please go ahead and explain it to me!

  32. wait the guy captured by the giant can follow u? jeez i have played this game over 7 times now and didn't know that… i always forgot about him or brought him back the nails after the quest was done and left him.

  33. I love the way they designed the world and the quests, especially the little notes in hidden caches that explain how this treasure got there – I can't think of another similar example in a modern RPG.

  34. Tbh , worst map of Witcher 3 is Skellige. Especially with ridicilous amount question marks and because mountains you can't just access to question marks. You have to go into some obscure path to see what is going on at question mark and then ride back to main road.

    For Hyjyallmar quest , that was also a pain. Narrowed down gameplay , you have to take the route CDPR give you there. There is no other option. That just felt like a DOOM game. Just a maze.

    Other than that , Witcher 3 is one of the best games i've played. 130 hours so far. ( Thanks SteamPlay! )

  35. Great video, and as an aspiring video game writer this is very helpful! Something that struck me about TW3 while I was playing, particularly during the first couple of acts, is how little I cared about the main story. Find Ciri? Sure, but I've not read the books or played the first couple of games, so I don't really know anything about her. I'm not invested in her and Geralt's relationship. The Wild Hunt? Meh. I know fantasy. Super-duper dark evil things spawn and rampage over the land – seen it a million times. What do they want? Don't know, doesn't matter. Don't care. It gets dangerously close to a chosen one cliché, which for me is off-putting. What I did care about was returning an old woman's frying pan, and I was engrossed in finding out about the Bloody Baron's twisted relationships. I started feeling sympathy for the man. Heck, I started to like him, and he's reprehensible – that's the power of good writing (and voice acting, art design and the rest of it). Every quest is a masterpiece of design in this game, and they mesh together beautifully, and naturally. It rarely feels forced.

    The absolute key thing is motive: what do characters want? Why? The Baron's a horrible wife beater who's horrible to more or less everyone (with notable exceptions). However, you soon learn that he's a deeply unhappy, troubled man, possibly even suffering from fantasy PTSD. He wants peace and stability, and he wants to be able to forget his traumas, and tries to do so by turning to alcohol (a sadly realistic story), which causes his temper to flare up. Everything about it is stark and real from all the characters involved. You the player care about the outcome. When I'd finished the main quest, the first thing I wanted to do was check on all the relevant characters and talk to them. I didn't want the quest to be over – I was invested. Good quest design. Something I am fascinated by with the Bloody Baron quest, and I have to wonder why this wasn't implemented in the game, is why you are chasing a hideous glowing baby through the fort and countryside and no one bats an eyelid. I mean, it's a weird sight, right? The Botcher/Lubberkin is one of the most horrid things I've ever seen in a game (or anywhere), yet don't NPCs comment. It was so weird it became distracting. Given the attention to detail on other things, this does feel like a slight shortcoming.

    The main story I never really involved myself in. It got increasingly interesting and I began to enjoy it more as it went on, but nowhere near to the same level. This happens to me in a lot of games (though not Fallout 4 – I'll defend the main story of FO4 until I die, though I do acknowledge it's myriad shortcomings – I was intrigued by the main story and keen to see it through to completion).

    Is there something about main stories that are just especially difficult in sci-fi/fantasy games? Designers and players want epic, and so often that means world-threatening existential crises. TW3 is no exception. The problem is we've seen evil forces bent on domination a million times, and it's a bit dull as a threat, and why do these malevolent powers that often appear out of nowhere have such ambitions? It's rarely explained. This is the problem with Game of Thrones Season 8 (fair warning: spoilers). The Night King is the big existential threat we've been building up to for eight seasons. We've had a few tantalising glimpses of the NK's backstory, but that's it. Nothing concrete or fleshed out, which is why it's really not that exciting when he dies. So what? It's poor design and writing when killing the Big Bad Evil that wants to kill everyone doesn't feel that exciting. Meh, don't now. Can't we have some scenes of Tyrion thinking about urban planning? That's much more interesting – I'm invested in that, and I've seen first hand (e.g. Battle of the Blackwater) why it's important to think about. I'm invested.

    Do video sf/f games need less lofty aims? It's hard to implement these sorts of massive threats without it feeling cliché and a little boring. Destroying the world? Meh. Stealing a woman's frying pan? Lemme at it. Stories about humans that we know and care about is what keeps us playing: this is why the entire visual novel genre exists. Life is Strange makes you care so much about its leads that the twists and turns on the way are sucker-punches that leave you in tears. In a completely different genre not usually known for narrative storytelling? Wolfenstein: The New Order delivers emotional weight despite being a fairly bonkers game that features Nazi magic, robot dogs and mechas on the moon. It's a crazy shooting game that doesn't even attempt to be remotely realistic or grounded, yet doesn't shy away from demonstrating the very real evils of the Nazi regime and the holocaust. It shouldn't work. If anything, it sounds insensitive and disingenuous, but it isn't. Call of Duty does try to be realistic, so why do we care infinitely more about characters in Wolfenstein over the CoD: Modern Warfare leads? There's no branching in Wolfenstein (well, one, but it makes little difference) and you don't get choices, yet you're completely invested in the leads.

    I'd like to see more sf/f games that doesn't just feature a generic evil hellbent on destruction, but instead delivers an epic storyline based on something else. I've 150 hours in Skyrim: still not completed the main story. Why? Just don't care about it.

  36. Ohhhhh, omg no, when you said they originally planned to have that entire quest of going through time and space to be separate accessible worlds like white orchard, my heart sank. That quest is honestly one of my favourite moments in the entire game and had me wishing I could stay in those worlds longer…….

  37. The game is so good because of these people, all my respect for you
    You made a piece of Art ❤️
    Thank you

  38. Cool, not really much into the magical theme (ok with spoilers)- I'm into tech 3D worlds & relaxing Shenmue:-)

  39. "We thought the game was empty"
    My sweet summer children, you did so very well. If only I could give you Dragon Age Inquisition to fix it.

  40. Having played most of the very best open/semi-open world games from the last several years now (Witcher 3, God of War, Red Dead 2, BOTW, Horizon Zero Dawn, Nier Automata, Divinity Original Sin, and many more)….Witcher 3 still stands alone, as making every quest feel important. I always WANTED to see it to conclusion. I cared about the characters and people.

    Horizon Zero Dawn came the closest for me. Still, a handful of quests felt like throw aways.

    I don’t have a gaming PC anymore, but I just might pick up Witcher 1&2 on my Mac. I would love a 1080p remaster for PS4, but I doubt it as they are so busy with CP2077.

  41. There are several youtubers who have many videos displaying secret dialogue experiences if you do quests out of order. This makes this game so cool.

  42. Haha this is exactly what happened in my game play. I ran across hjalmar before the ceremony.

  43. I'm still dissapointed that they wouldn't let us bang that herbalist from White Orchard. 😄

  44. I'm finishing up my first run thru including Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine and I am over 350 hours into the game (I take my time and don't sprint/job everywhere). I had to laugh when they thought they might not have 100 hours of gameplay.

  45. i bought it 3 times first from gamestop then the xbox store then on steam complete collection bought the witcher 1 on gog and i bought the witcher 2 twice once on steam and the other on the xbox store wen it became backwards complable

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