With CD Projekt RED (abbreviated to CDPR onwards) leaving behind its proprietary technology (REDengine), they will be able to test Cyberpunk and The Witcher projects on all target platforms from day one, as well as their new IP, Hadar.
It is now official that a new The Witcher trilogy, two more spinoffs from other studios, a Cyberpunk 2077 sequel and a new IP are in the pipeline from the Polish team (with so many announcements: how will they keep their promise of no more crunches?). They’ve also released a new video promising they’ll use new engineering practices to develop new games. All future CDPR games should have basic systems in place from the beginning to experiment with and improve them. With the switch to Unreal Engine 5, performance will also be tested on PC and consoles (or all target platforms) from the start because it became clear when Cyberpunk 2077 was released that it had not been done before…
” One example of [good engineering practices] is the “always working game rule,” which we follow. It enables us to iterate and address various project risks at an early stage of development. […] Building complete gameplay features from the ground up by composing aspects such as control, animation, or UI, enables us to test them thoroughly and iterate upon them many times over. A major risk encountered in the development process relates to stability and performance on all target platforms. The “always working game rule” also applies in this context. We test gameplay quality on every platform from the get-go and do not focus only on the developers’ PC build,” they say in the video.
CDPR plans to launch a “usability lab”. Real gamers would continuously test new games to ensure everything runs smoothly. The switch to Unreal Engine 5 has also played an essential role. However, they will fine-tune it with their new tools to give them a leg up on other games using Epic Games’ technology: “Just because we’re using Unreal Engine doesn’t mean we no longer invest in technologies. We need to create systems to power our games, which involves adapting the engine’s components to suit our creative [ambitions] better. Based on our experience with large-scale, story-driven open-world RPGs […], we are enriching UE5 with tools enabling high-quality content creation. The goal is to ensure that such tools fit in with the specific nature of our studio and the games we intend to develop. A good example is […] systems that enable the development of narrative aspects, including quests. We have some great new ideas on how to improve [our tools] even further and then leverage them as our competitive advantage,” they added.
These ideas sound good… but we don’t yet know what the exercise will ultimately deliver.