GWENT: The Witcher Card Game | Studio Tour ft. Pavko Gale
Hello guys, and welcome to the CD PROJEKT RED headquarters here in Warsaw, Poland. Let’s go check out the GWENT team! So guys, this is where the GWENT development team is located – let’s go bother them with some questions! Come on, come on! Alright guys, I’m here with Kasia Redesiuk, who… Too fast for you, dh’oine. Alright guys, I’m here with Kasia Redesiuk, the Project Director for GWENT. How does it feel to work on GWENT? It’s exciting. It’s scary, but really really exciting. Everyday there are new challenges, new stuff to do, so I’m hyped, I’m really hyped. Previously you were an Art Director for GWENT, and now you are the Project Director. How different, outside from the big scope that you have right now, is the job, your day-to-day? I used to complain about art, and now I complain about more stuff. So when it comes to this – not much change, but as you mentioned the scope is just much bigger. When it comes to leaks, because that’s why we’re here for – do you have any leaks for us? Absolutely no leaks. Today no leaks and you should be very careful when recording around the studio because there is nothing I can officially allow you to record. Okay, seems fair. Moving back to GWENT – what’s your favourite faction? Skellige! Why not Scoia’tael? I’ve always been a fan of Skellige, and always will be. Okay, okay. I guess that answers our question, let’s move on to the next person. Alright guys, Pavko Gale reporting live from the CD PROJEKT RED studio! I’m with Jason Slama, Jason – how are you? Hey guys! I’m pretty good, what are you doing outside the card art? Uhm, eh… Are the artists that good at drawing?! I just decided to leave the woods and I came here and I saw these electronics, and all these computers, and I don’t know what’s up. That’s pretty awesome. Did you already see all the squirrels already? What squirrels? Exactly. What happened to them? Delicious… Oh god… alright, you work on something called Live Ops – what does Live Ops do? Live Ops is a new initiative we’re doing, where we are trying to gain some expertise and really focus on the online experience of players, so the meta game, events… Trying to give you guys something to do between those big meaty content drops, so like an example of what we’ve managed to do so far are Faction Challenges. You know, we’re new and we have limited resources to do this, so you will see a bit unpolished at first because we really want to be able for you guys to react to them, get your feedback, iterate on them before we spend too much time doing something that we might not like, that you might not like. Hopefully you guys have seen us working on them, trying to get it better, and as we get more comfortable you will start seeing polish going up on those kinds of features. Nice! What’s your favourite faction and why is it Scoia’tael? It’s definitely not Scoia’tael. It’s Monsters actually, I like playing the horse, the… Whispering Hillock! Yeah, I like it from the actual The Witcher 3 game, it’s very interesting, I like that he’s drinking the blood.. And playing with Moonlight, because I think it’s just a super fun mechanic, even if it’s not the most OP in the game. It’s not OP but it’s still fun to play. Yeah, it’s a challenge. Alright, cool, thank you! Let’s move on to the next person. Guys, I’m here with Brad Auty. Brad, you’re a Lead Animator – what does a Lead Animator do? I basically give feedback and direction to the animation team and kind of work with other teams and departments as well. So that’s VFX, modelling, designers sometimes. I’m a big part of the Premium Cards, our NPCs on the map in Thronebreaker, which maybe you’ve seen some of those, and the UI animation, that’s what I’m doing at the moment actually. Oh, UI animations? That’s a small leak right there. Tell me, how long does it take to animate an illustration, so bring it to life as you guys do. It’s about a week for just the animation, up to a week – depends on the card. And from there we need to go to the VFX, we need to go to Audio, and there is a whole bunch of people who work on the cards before then, so it’s a long process, it can be about 3 weeks. Why is Scoia’tael the best faction? Why is Scoia’tael the best faction? We already talked about this, I played Scoia’tael since Closed Beta and I’ve just always loved them. I love dwarves, maybe I have some kinship with the dwarves, exactly. Awesome. Alright, thank you for the interview! Alright, I’m here with Krzysiek Neszper who is a QA Coordinator. Hello man, how are you? Hey, I’m fine! What does a QA Coordinator do and why do you always stay here so late at night? Well, that’s a very tricky question. What I do basically is I make sure that all required tests are run and completed and that our game is shipped in a polished version. Why do I stay here so late everyday? Well, business never sleeps for QA, so there are always more checks you can do, there is always documentations to be updated, or simply if you want to put yourself in the player’s perspective and play some rounds of GWENT to see how the game operates, how it all works out. Okay. How many builds do you go through daily, if you could look at the whole team, you guys test builds and ship different builds, they go back and forth – how many builds do you think, overall? It depends, I don’t need to think too much about it, we’re consuming different build versions – builds for internal reviews, for different departments, oh and the most common purpose – builds made with specific changes and we need to verify that change. I’d say about 50 in the most heated parts of development. Of course, during the early stages of development we test on the game’s editor and proceed to more cooked versions of the game as the development progresses. Interesting. What’s your favourite faction coming back to GWENT, overall? Scoia’tael obviously! I really enjoyed Iorveth’s story from The Witcher 2 and the overall theme of this bloody rebellion, it just fits well with me, I really like this faction and when I started playing GWENT I just kinda stuck with it. Awesome, thank you for the interview and we’ll be moving on. Tell us your name and what you do! Hey, I’m Mateusz Szymański and I’m a Junior Sound Designer. What does a Sound Designer do in GWENT? Various kinds of activities, my main role is to do the sound effects for cards, so whenever the card lands on the board, and whenever it is played, and the Premium sounds. Recently you’ve asked me to come over to grunt to your microphone which was very weird but is this something that you do on a day-to-day basis? Not on daily basis, but sometimes we run out of samples that we want to use and we don’t want to reuse them, as much as we could. We want to make something more distniguished, like in your case and case of your card, Pavko, we wanted to have your voice there because you are more known to the people that play GWENT. Okay, speaking of Pavko. Do you have a leak for us or maybe you can show us something? Yes, of course! Let’s see it. Looks totally like me. Yeah, definitely. And acts like you. Even the voice acting is on point! Why is he afraid of thunder though? I’m not sure, ask the animation guys! Will do for sure. Guys, I’m here with Seb AKA MoonlightCDPR if you know him on the interwebs. How are you man? I’m okay man. Tell me, what do you do as a Level Designer, especially currently, what are you working on? Currently I’m working on Thronebreaker. Basically I help creating levels, place assets, the layout of the environments, triggers, quests, kinda tying them in so they are actually functional, camera work, working with VFX artists. There is kinda a lot of back and forward between all the different disciplines to help shape the game and the progress that player makes throughout the game. So you are under a Giant Boar card, how did that come about? So, I wanted to be on a card for a while, and Kasia, our creative director, basically came up to me once and asked hey, do you wanna be on a card? And I was like hey, as long as it’s Skellige then yeah, sure! So yeah, I got a bunch of piglets and a boar, which is pretty cool. So we can tell that Skellige is your favourite faction? Yeah, Skellige is my favourite faction lore-wise, NR is in game. I like Northern Realms. What archetypes do you play? Machines are pretty fun, Swarm NR is pretty fun, Cursed NR as well. Nice! Alright. Lorenzo, first question for you – you ilustrated some of the most epic cards in GWENT, including me. Well, that was the only real epic card I did, right? You heard it here first. How does it work for an illustrator, you get an idea from someone, and then you start sketching some things and then propose your idea – what’s the process behind it? Basically, it always works the same way – we start with the brief that is provided by Mateusz, our writer, and basically it’s just a small text that describes what is the character, what does he do in the game. Usually it’s just characters we already know from the game, but sometimes he comes up with new characters, and pretty much we just start by sketching. Once we’re done with a sketch, we just work on it like few days and we’re done. Usually it lasts for like 4 days I would say. So 4 days to complete an illustration overall, or more? More sometimes. Like Pavko for example? Oh, Pavko took me like 3 months I think. Yeah, I remember we had to take photos and stuff. The thing is, for the Premium they are going to take I think 1 or 2 months. That’s why it’s not in the game yet, because it’s a lot of work. It’s a challenging job. We had to capture the essence of what is Pavko, and it’s very tough. Do you have any leaks for us, that’s the number 1 question I ask everyone. Well, yeah! I have one leak here, so maybe we can zoom on this pretty face. What’s this guy’s name? This guy is from Skellige, his name is Sigvald, and I think he looks pretty much like our workspace when someone turns on the light. He doesn’t seem to happy though. He looks tired. Awesome stuff! Let’s find Luigi now! Luigi, what are you doing? I’m working on Thronebreaker right now, as you can see. What do you do on Thronebreaker specifically? Basically I’m finalizing most of the systems so the programmers can start working on developing them, and the artists can start putting some assets. That’s what I’m doing now, I think I will be done with locking all of the systems today. And after that I just need to review most of the stuff that guys are doing. So basically review the pacing of the map, all of the combat encounters, all of the quests, the story and stuff like that. So, recently you were promoted to Lead Designer, how does it feel? I mean, you’ve always worked with the guys, but how does it work to be their boss in some way? It’s a bit of a weird change because my responsibilities didn’t change, the only thing that changed is my time. Like, I still need to do the same job but I have much less time to do so because I have much more meetings and stuff like that, therefore it’s hard to actually make up for that time but we’re managing and they are really capable so it’s not like I have anything to worry about. Has your favourite faction ever changed? Because you always say you’re Skellige… maybe Scoia’tael now? Ehh, no, I would still proably lean towards Skellige. I mean, since the edition of Pavko Gale the faction got a lot better… Yeah, I know, I know. Probably if Scoia would have more dwarves, then I would be more into Scoia, or if they would have already Gabor in, then I would lean more towards Scoia, but for now it’s still Skellige. When will we see Gabor come back? Probably soon… Okay! I like that answer! Alright, heard it here first – Gabor is coming soon! Now that was a good day. We also have another song for you, so enjoy!