CD Projekt Addresses The Witcher 3 Downgrade; "We don't feel good about it."


Reddit Discussion:

There's been some controversy lately over the graphical downgrade of Witcher 3 that occured after they had already shown trailers of the game in it's prior state, effectively misleading the public much like Ubisoft did with Watch Dogs.

CD Projekt Red announced a big patch with around 600 changes that include improvements to graphics, improvements to graphical settings, and the ability to edit the game's ini.

You will be able to tweak grass and vegetation density, draw distance, and post-processing effects such as sharpening, bloom etc.

The .ini patch will arrive soon after the other patch.

Eurogamer interviewed the company's co-founder and here's what he had to say about the downgrade:

Did the console versions restrict the PC version?

If the consoles are not involved there is no Witcher 3 as it is, We can lay it out that simply. We just cannot afford it, because consoles allow us to go higher in terms of the possible or achievable sales, have a higher budget for the game, and invest it all into developing this huge, gigantic world.

Why did the graphics change?

"If you're looking at the development process, we do a certain build for a tradeshow and you pack it, it works, it looks amazing. And you are extremely far away from completing the game.

Then you put it in the open-world, regardless of the platform, and it's like 'oh shit, it doesn't really work'. We've already showed it, now we have to make it work.

And then we try to make it work on a huge scale. This is the nature of games development."

It was captured PC footage, not pre-rendered, Badowski confirms, but a lot had to change.

"I cannot argue - if people see changes, we cannot argue, but there are complex technical reasons behind it.

Maybe it was our bad decision to change the rendering system, because the rendering system after VGX was changed.

There were two possible rendering systems but one won out because it looked nicer across the whole world, in daytime and at night. The other would have required lots of dynamic lighting

and with such a huge world simply didn't work.

It's a similar story for environments, and their texture sizes and incidental objects. It was a trade-off between keeping that aspect of them or their unique, handmade design. And the team chose the latter. The data-streaming system couldn't handle everything while Geralt galloped around.

The billowing smoke and roaring fire from the trailer?

"It's a global system and it will kill PC because transparencies - without DirectX 12 it does't work good in every game."

The interviewer says:

People are saying that 2013 was better but actually there's plenty of things that improved since 2013," Michal Platkow-Gilewski points out. "Size of the world, frames-per-second...

Devs response:

Adam Badowski (Managing director):
"Yes! The game's performance: people say the game is well optimised. This is the first time for this company!"

Marcin Iwinski (Co-founder):
Maybe we shouldn't have shown that [trailer], I don't know, but we didn't know that it wasn't going to work, so it's not a lie or a bad will - that's why we didn't comment actively.

We don't agree there is a downgrade but it's our opinion, and gamers' feeling can be different. If they made their purchasing decision based on the 2013 materials, I'm deeply sorry for that, and we are discussing how we can make it up to them because that's not fair.

It's very important to stress: we are continuously working on the PC version, and we will be adding a lot of stuff, and there is more to come.

We've proven it in the past that we support our games and we will be looking at the feedback and trying to make it better."

Why didn't you say anything until now?

Frankly speaking because we didn't see it as a problem.

You're saying that we should have said 'hey we've changed stuff and now it looks like this'?

The interviewer tells him it looked like CD Projekt Red had something to hide.

Marcin Iwinski:
So actually here we strongly disagree, because we are not trying to hide anything.

Adam Badowski:
You can't hide what people can so easily compare and see

Marcin Iwinski:
We don't feel good about it, and I treat it very personally. Maybe it doesn't seem [like that] because we run around like crazy at the release but...

Michal Platkow-Gilewski (Head of Marketing):
The whole team was touched by this,

Adam Badowski:
They really care

Marcin Iwinski:
You play it and you are not fine: really, that's touching and we'll do our best to make it up. But if you didn't play it and you're trolling: think twice please.

In a way, because of us not seeing it as a problem, and working hard on the game until the very end, that's where we are today and that's why we have to explain. I hope it shows our intentions, because we are not hiding anything. Considering our values, hiding is the last thing we ever want to do.

And for those who are still not 100 per cent decided, I definitely encourage them to wait and see what we will be releasing in patches, updates and whatnot.

So anyway, it's nice seeing a game developer acknowledge their mistakes. I hope they deliver.

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