CD Projekt Red announced today that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will in fact have simulated world states for the third entry of the series.
Level Designer Miles Tost spoke with Joystiq regarding the news. According to Tost, The Witcher 3 will look to simulate world states based on actual conversations in-game. "If you choose 'yes,' then you will get a special conversation at one part of the game," said Tost. "I don't want to spoil where it happens. It's basically a conversation with a character and the conversation is about the adventures of Geralt of Rivia. And you can basically deny or confirm whatever [the character] has heard of whatever tales of [Geralt.] It's actually kind of a cute mechanic."
PC users will have the option to import a save file from The Witcher 2 to directly impact The Witcher 3. For the console versions, the method discussed by Tost will be the only way to impact the world state with previous decisions. It is also implied that the simulated world state is an option for the PC version as well.
Importing saved world states is not something new. Franchises such as Suikoden, The Ultima Series, and Might and Magic have used saved data to import bonuses, rewards, even minor story elements from game to game.
Today, companies such as BioWare and Telltale Games have refined the practice of save state importing. Most recently was Dragon Age: Inquisition, where BioWare developed an online application, the Dragon Age Keep, to hold onto world states that can cross console generations and what will likely be multiple entries into the series. CD Projekt Red has also used save imports for the previous entries of the Witcher series, on PC only.
The Witcher 3 is going for a more practical approach, confining the world state into the game itself through simulation, rather than a direct import. According to Tost, the studio prefers the world state be decided in game, rather than being confined into a menu or checklist. Tost also jokingly stated that it would be a good test of memory for the players, since it has been seven years since the first Witcher title.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be released on May 19th for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
So is this a good method for crafting the perfect world state? What do you think?