The New Witcher Game’s Director Refuses To Use Crunch!

We also found out why CD Projekt RED (CDPR onwards) has switched engines.


We’ve already discussed that the Polish team is making a new The Witcher game (whether they’ll make it number four is still in question), but the reasoning may be news. So why exactly is CDPR switching from REDEngine to Unreal Engine 5? Bart Wronski, who used to work there, described on Twitter that they essentially rewrote their engine during every game they made, hoping it would work better, but then had to resort to crunch (working overtime) to get it to function correctly somehow.

It could have been the scenario for the new The Witcher, as Cyberpunk 2077 did NOT have the systems of The Witcher 3, so they gave up on forcing their technology to start from a solid base rather than chasing REDEngine tools and features. Wronski pointed out that they would have had to rewrite everything for gameplay and the open world anyway. Between The Witcher 2 and 3, they had to rewrite a lot of the core systems in REDEngine, and between TW3 and Cyberpunk 2077, they did the same. The streaming of textures in hardware, the scripting system, almost everything was recreated from scratch, except for a few renderer elements, often one by one. But the art was carried over from the base game of The Witcher 3 to the DLCs, so there wasn’t much work with those either.

The new The Witcher project director will be Jason Slama, and he announced it on Twitter. One respondent pointed out that he forgot to mention the terrible signing bonus along with the crunch, to which Slama wrote that as long as he’s in charge, crunch is out of the question. And that’s a significant change from the trouble with overtime within the CDPR ranks.

In 2017, on Glassdoor, a job posting/review platform, many complained about the issue alongside low pay and a poor management mentality. The Polish company said that their game development approach was not for everyone. And in May 2019, the non-mandatory overtime policy came along. Then, CDPR co-founder Marcin Iwiński explained that he wanted CDPR to be known as a place where developers are treated with respect. Later, Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz, the director responsible for Cyberpunk 2077’s quests, said that the studio’s overtime mentality was positive, and some people volunteered to work overtime. In January 2020, Adam Kiciński, CDP co-CEO, said that some people were forced to do so, and he emphasized this in September. And in October, he defended himself by saying that the overtime situation had never been that bad and apologized for his scathing and harmful comment…

Robert Malinowski, CDPR’s international communications director, confirmed to Eurogamer that the medallion seen in the teaser video for the new game is from the School of the Lynx. So this will be a new school from CDPR, as in Andrzej Sapkowski’s books, only the School of the Wolf, the Cat and the Griffin appeared. In addition to these, the Bear, the Viper, the Manticore and the Crane schools also appear in the games. So this is sure to be a significant innovation in a game with no name yet.

We’ll see if The Witcher 4 (if that’s what it’s going to be called) will be able to hit the shops in better shape than Cyberpunk 2077 did in December 2020…

Source: WCCFTech, Gamesindustry, IGN

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