After many hardships, the Projekt CD team “worked hard” to complete The Witcher, released the game, and achieved the first success.
Complete the game
After the problems caused by the game’s storyline being changed, the development team decided to pull back the game timeline. Initially, they planned to include The Killer and all the lands around Kaer Morhen fortress in the game’s early stages, but all were cut off. So, now Geralt will start the game on the outskirts of Vizima in a state of not knowing who he is, and he will be instructed like “he is the witcher. Witcher is based in Kaer Morhen. Maybe someone knows who you are there. ”
So the game team members thought about moving the game’s starting point from Kaer Morhen to the outskirts of Vizima and the exchange point from the Order of the Flaming Rose fortress to the Kaer Morhen fort. Geralt will arrive in Kaer Morhen just in time for the Order’s Grand Master’s minions to attack the defense to steal the secret of creating witchers – the formula that makes the potion for the Trial of Grasses. Geralt will destroy them, know who he is, and meet other Witchers, a story that sounds quite logical. There was only one small problem: CD Projekt revealed that the story they told in The Witcher 1 would start with the Order’s robbery battle at Kaer Morhen fortress, so Michal Kicinski – one of the two-CD Projekt founders – rejects this plot.
So CD Projekt had to find a way to keep the old storyline when Geralt met the “last boss” at the Order’s fort while there was no time to build it. Their secret is to turn King Foltest’s defense into the Order’s fortress at Vizima. Artur recounts that in The Witcher 1, there is an area where one side is the fortress of King Foltest, and the other is the monastery of the Order. They fool the gamer that it is two different areas by using camera rotation to hide. “We have no other way,” Artur laughed.
Having to “recycle” game content also brings an unexpected benefit to CD Projekt. Initially, the development team planned to create three Elf commanders in the Ice Plains area. Eventually, they combined into one and began Yaevinn because there was only time to make a single model. As a result, Yaevinn became a compelling character, appearing in many places and having his purpose. This taught CD Projekt that it is good to have names appear multiple times and developed according to Artur’s story. However, achieving that result is not easy, because as you know, the CD Projekt team is very young, and the vast majority have no experience making games.
Marcin Kosman, a Polish game journalist, said that The Witcher surprised everyone. Although the demos and trailers that CD Projekt has launched at the exhibition or sent to the press are all appreciated, people are still shocked when the complete version of the game is attractive. According to him, the Polish gaming industry was very lacking and weak; attractive games could only be counted on the fingers. Not to mention the weakness in issuing capacity, when Polish companies can hardly ask foreign publishers to pay on time – sometimes they are delayed for several years, and the parties have to drag each other out of court.
“But then The Witcher appeared, received a high score, a lot of praise, and a lot of people bought it,” Mr. Marcin said. “It is an unbelievable thing that can happen.”
The Witcher is one of the first major Polish titles to target the world market. CD Projekt claims the game is aimed at gamers who love the AAA blockbuster game, but they know The Witcher is not AAA enough, even though it is a big game. CD Projekt poured money into Poland’s promotional activities because they knew that The Witcher was a big brand in their country, while Geralt was also very popular. As a result, the game has achieved significant success in the Polish market.
Meanwhile, on the global scale, The Witcher also achieved individual victories though not comparable with the home country. The strange Slavic scene is different from the Western RPG titles, and the other gameplay where gamers can “swing” between good and evil are the things that make The Witcher stand out and attract the attention of gamers. The world that Andrzej Sapkowski built does not have a clear distinction between good and evil, which is manifested in many different missions in the game. The game is not big enough to win Game of the Year awards, but it is successful enough to lay the foundation for The Witcher 3 and an impressive 250 Game of the Year awards later. By 2010, the game was included in the book “1001 games you must play before you die.”
“It was our first PC game, so it wasn’t trendy in the US, but I still have a winning feeling up till now,” said Adam Badowski, currently Managing Director of CD Projekt. an interview in 2017. “It is a privilege to work with creative people to build new worlds. I hope that most of my colleagues will agree with me on this emotion. ”