The Witcher: EE Diary, Blog, Q&As, and Reviews

CD Projekt’s official The Witcher website is pointing to a variety of news and other content in preparation for next week’s release of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition. First on the list is a new text-only developer diary penned by Daniel Sadowski and Karol Zajaczkowski:

One of the most noticeable changes is undoubtedly the character differentiation system. Let’s imagine the following situation: we’re walking through the Merchants’ Quarter and we pass past five elegant gentlemen with pencil moustaches. The problem? These gentlemen look a bit like Agent Smith from the Matrix trilogy as they are literally identical. Well, maybe not in every single aspect, as one of them is clapping his hands, the second is joyfully making his way towards Old Narakort, while the others are doing something equally interesting. Anyway, they look like quintuplets with cruel parents who dress them the same everywhere they go. It would be ok if it didn’t stick out so much.

First, we had to come up with a good idea for fixing the problem. The most obvious, i.e. creating tons of new character models, was not an option as the whole art department probably would have jumped off a bridge. Our only way out was to shanghai someone from the programming department to create a magical method of diversifying the gentlemen with pencil moustaches. The thing about the human eye and brain is that it takes rather small differences to determine that one element is different from another. It’s enough, for example, to change the colours of characters’ clothes (which, by the way, was proven by some wise gentlemen by carrying out a series of experiments on a group of volunteers). Based on this fact, we managed to create a system that diversified the characters, which, by modifying only the colour of the texture, makes the cloned moustache men stick out to a much lesser degree.

Next, we have another update to PanKarol’s blog on IGN:

There are a lot of important elements of a game that come together to make it great. Graphics that make your eyes glaze over in awe, music that is like honey in your ears, a great story and unbelievable fights like you’d see in a Bruce Lee movie. Although, there is still one more important thing that is not mentioned so often – namely sleeping or rather lack of sleep. It’s amazing how a lack of sleep for our developers translates into a good game for you.

I remember that I used to sleep for 6 or 7 hours. Sometimes even 14 if the night before was ‘˜hard’ 😛 Unfortunately, when you are working on such a big project as The Witcher, you can forget about sleeping all day. The day only lasts 24 hours and unfortunately that’s far from enough if you want to finish a game on time. so sleep becomes a luxury. That’s the moment when you turn into a human-lookalike machine that uses coffee and energy drinks as fuel, and you live that way right up to launch (I don’t even want to think about what would happen if we had run out of Red Bull).

Followed by Q&As with three of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition developers:

Which changes in The Witcher: Enhanced Edition will be the most and least visible for players?

It’s hard for me to speak for all the players, so I will tell you which changes are most noticeable for me. First of all, the new inventory is far clearer than the original. It’s more pleasant to use and it’s easier to find items you need, thanks to the sorting buttons and a separate space for alchemy components. Similarly, I like the diversification of monsters and NPCs, which makes the world around Geralt more real and definitely less repetitive. Personally, I like to play in Russian with Polish subtitles, so I enjoyed the mechanism of free choice of text and voice-overs. German and English players will surely notice the difference in the quality of dubbings, as we re-recorded the whole German version and over 5000 English dialogue lines. As for more subtle improvements, I would point to the possibility of switching off the automatic game saving, as well as the more natural dialogues found in the game, as we recorded over 250 new gesture animations. There are loads of improvements, and I believe that every player will have to answer for himself which changes he notices or likes the most. It’s impossible to list everything we corrected; I will only add that apart from the completely new mechanisms, we were able to fix over 1000 smaller and bigger problems, the most significant of which were stability and level-load times.

And, finally, we have the first review scores for the enhanced version:

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition has already drawn praise in the games media, assuring us that the time and effort spent on this project have been worth it. It’s not just mild appreciation: the, first reviews are not far from euphoric! One of the first reviews was written by one of Australia’s biggest games magazines, PC Powerplay, giving the game a maximum score of 10/10!. What is more, German magazine PC Games was equally impressed with the Enhanced Edition. The premiere version of the game garnered high acclaim and received their Editors’ Choice silver award, and this time the score was even higher! The game was given a score of 87%, while picking up another award of excellence along the way!

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