The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt environment artist talks lore, PC performance, and answers Chatty questions

During last week's hands-on with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, both Greg Burke and myself had the opportunity to talk to CD Projekt RED senior environment artist Jonas Mattsson about the game's lore, PC performance, and whether there's been any consideration given to remastering the first two Witcher games.


Last week, Shacknews had the opportunity to go hands-on with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for the first time. Along with that opportunity came a chance to speak to CD Projekt RED senior environment artist, Jonas Mattsson, who was happy to answer some questions from myself and from some of our Chatty posters. Mattsson started off by discussing the loading times when venturing across the map, as asked by Chatty's pyide.

"There's only loading time if you Fast Travel and that depends on how far you Fast Travel," he answered. "If you Fast Travel across the world, there will be a slight loading time, maybe seconds. Programmers have done a fantastic job. So when you go into a house, run out, jump on a horse, and ride halfway across the world, it's seamless. There are no loading times at all. We have greater freedom to ensure that the experience is as seamless as possible and very fluid. When there are a lot of loading times, it breaks the immersion of the game."

As one might imagine, such a large world will be incredibly demanding for PC users. In fact, The Witcher series has been one of the standard showcases for expensive PC setups. Chatty's EvilDolemite wondered whether it would be possible to get the most out of The Witcher 3 with a midrange setup.

"We released the specs a couple of weeks ago," Mattsson replied. "That's kind of what's needed to have a good Witcher experience. And of course, with PCs, you have to craft your own PC to make something like this work. Minimum specs would be good to have, especially the RAM, which is very important. Follow those guidelines and maybe upgrade your PC."

Given that The Witcher 3 is such a graphics and performance-heavy game, I then asked how the console versions would compare with their PC powerhouse brethren.

"When we worked on the game, we only had one version," Mattsson explained. "When we built it and cooked the game, it automatically cooked three versions, basically making sure that what you see is almost identical on every platform. Of course, the PC version will offer different resolutions and so on, but the experience is very much the same."

Given the additional power of the new consoles and the ongoing trend of remakes, it was safe for Chatty's abrasion to wonder whether the original two Witcher games would see remastered versions. However, Mattsson safely ruled this idea out.

"I can't answer for what the top bosses are thinking, but I believe the answer is no," Mattsson said. "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a standalone game. There's no need to play the previous titles. So a new fanbase would not miss out much. Of course, it would be great if they played Wild Hunt and went back and played the previous two games."

Our own Greg Burke also spoke to Mattsson with some questions of his own. For more, check out the video below. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is set to release on May 19.

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Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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