CD Projekt 2011 Spring Conference notes

CDP put on a two hour conference talking about Witcher 2 and Good old Games. I took some notes and screen captures from the stream. I have seperated the notes into Witcher 2 and GoG sections. If you only care about one of them then it’ll be easy to see where you can start or stop reading. This isn’t every word said at the conference, but they are what I think were the important notes.

Witcher 2 Hour

-The first presenter is from RED Studio.

-He said that RED is a PC exclusive developer because they believe in the PC and want to take advantage of the latest technology.

-They dropped Bioware’s Aurora Engine and developed their own called the RED Engine

-The RED Engine is scalable both to technology a few years old and to the latest hardware

-They showed off the RED Engine taking advantage of quad-core processors

-The RED Engine was tailor made to be used with RPGs

-Next they talked about playing and installing the Witcher 2

-Playing the game is simple- You buy the game, install it, register (optional), launch, and finally enjoy! (their exclamation point, not mine)

-Retail installation is as follows- Game DVD, serial code, one time internet connection (will get to in a couple seconds), up to a 50MB unlock download, instillation complete! (again, their exclamation point)

-Retail DRM is SecuROM (don’t run away just yet) and they picked it because they thought it had the best chance at slowing down zero day piracy (at no time do they even make the assumption that it will stop piracy) *Note: They did not mention if D2D, Steam, or other 3rd party digital services would use SecuROM or not*

-SecuROM limits are as follows- Unlimited installs on an unlimited number of machines. You can play on 5 PCs at once

-Registering your game will offer you the following benefits- Automatic update notifications (updates are not mandatory so they will not automatically install), access to any free downloadable content they release, free language packs, and more. “…we didn’t enable automatic updates for pirates. Sorry.”

-You can take your completed (from the last auto-save) saves from Witcher 1 into Witcher 2. He stressed that this was optional and you can play Witcher 2 without ever playing the first. However, choices you made in the first game will be reflected in the second.

-If you have both games installed at once the Witcher 2 will automatically find your saves. If you have more than one complete save Witcher 2 will ask which one you want to use.

-The Witcher 2 will have 16 different endings. The first person to prove that they have seen all 16 of them (“After May 17th please”) will receive a free t-shirt from CD Projekt.

-There will be one version of the Witcher 2 worldwide. This means that every version will have the same content, there will be no censorship, and every version will have access to every language.

-CDP did a number of full language localization in-house. Any languages not done in-house they worked with extensively to make sure they were good.

-In North America the Witcher 2 will be rated M.

-Next they showed about a 20 minute gameplay demonstration focusing on combat.

-The demo starts up roughly in the middle of them game with the player at level 28.

-The stream was fairly low quality (as you will see in the screen caps at the end), but the game still looked good. Textures did not look low res. The presenter did not mention what settings they were playing on.

-I have screen caps of the inventory, skill, meditation, combat wheel, and potion screens below. They all look pretty cool.

-Combat looks more action oriented than Witcher 1, but they kept some element of the “watch the targeting icon for when it changes” gameplay for specific moves. Combat does look good and fun with the player using his sword and magic a lot.

-You can use the shape of the terrain to lay down traps or to just turn a battle to your advantage.

-Some potions have side effects.

-The magic effects have a little flare to them, but they are not over the top flashy.

-If you are just trying to breeze through the Witcher 2 you will not be required to use advanced tactics. Hardcore players (their term) will be using them extensively.

-The game has finishes and group finishers, they are short and sweet.

-The animation quality looks better than Witcher 1, in fact it looks a lot better.

-Enemies do not scale to your level as the presenter mentioned going off to level up in order to fight a strong monster that you can’t beat.

-The English voice acting doesn’t sound bad, but they only showed a few second of it with Gerald and some NPCs (at least they died like random NPCs). Gerald sounds pretty good.

-At the end of the demo the player dies.

That is the end of the Witcher 2 presentation.

Good old Games presentation

-GoG.com presenter takes the stage (I think they said he is the head of marketing)

-It starts off with a few statistics with how GoG.com is doing. Over 300 DRM free classics, 40 different partners, 163% sales growth between 2009 and 2010.

-After that he gets right into their next big game announcement. The lights go out and monster sounds start getting louder and louder. The presenter mentions zombies.

-Turns out it is the Alone in the Dark trilogy (first three games) and they are on GoG.com right now. If you buy the first game you will get the other two for free. The price is $5.99

-There are more Atari games coming to GoG over time and the last one on May 10th is the Witcher 1 Enhanced Director’s Cut.

-As with other GoG releases Witcher 1 will be 100% DRM free. Extras include: a soundtrack, game map, short story by the author of the novels, a game guide, a 12 month calendar with the ladies of the Witcher 1 (they all seem to be lacking some crucial forms of environmental protection), 30 high quality wallpapers, a bunch of avatars, an an art book. The game will normally cost $9.99, but if you buy it between May 10th and May 24th it will $4.99

-Next they talk about the GoG.com version of Witcher 2.

-Witcher 2 on GoG.com will be 100% DRM free and you won’t even have to type in a serial key for it. The serial key will be included with purchase so you can register the game and get all the free stuff and automatic updates. Extras include: soundtrack, a manual, game guide, map, downloadable art book, wallpapers, avatars, some bonus videos, papercraft instructions, some photos, and anyone who pre-orders will get a free game.

-The free game is one of these (by purchaser’s choice) Beyond Divinity, Divine Divinity, Gothic 2: Gold, Realms of Arkania 1+2, Realms of Arkania 3

-The price will be the same around the world and to make up for that people who purchase in countries that use Euros will get a $15 GoG.com credit for the price difference.

-Pre-purchasing begins on May 10th. You will also be able to pre-load 90% of the game at that time.

-Pre-ordering bonuses end on May 16th

-Go to gog.com/tw2 to pre-order

-Next they talk about their twice yearly site updates, focusing on things coming this Spring.

-They will be introducing a new downloader (they need it) that will have some really great features. The downloader will be multithreaded allowing it to get the most out of your download speed. The downloader will also automatically error check the download every 10MB (why doesn’t everybody do this!?). Despite this the downloader is resource light, with the presenter stressing that they “are not Steam or Impulse”.

-They will also be introducing a private messaging system that will use both PMs and IMs. There will be some sort of block/ignore feature as well.

-Notifications will be down at the bottom of the screen so it does not interrupt your browsing.

-With one simple setting in your profile the entire PM system can be disabled.

-They will also be introducing various site improvements.

-When you go to check out the site will recommend other games like those you are purchasing.

-The site will be updated to work on the latest browsers

-They also mentioned that there will be an improved coupon system. When you get sent a coupon or gifted a game you can just click a link in the email instead of typing the code in.

-As the presenter starts to wrap up and say good bye they do an Apple style “One More Thing” and the head of Good Old Games comes out to speak.

-His presentation is short and he talks briefly about future publishers.

-Five of the most requested publishers on GoG.com are EA, LucasArts, Take-Two, Microsoft Game Studios, and Square Enix. They are working on getting all of them.

-They have already signed one of those five publishers and are working on updating over 25 of their games that will start launching in early Summer.

-They are also working on signing two more of the publishers and hope to have them signed by the end of Summer with their games launching by Fall.

-As he closed the conference out he told publishers that PC gamers want quality games cheap and something else. I missed the last part, but I’m guessing it was either something about DRM free.

That’s the end of the conference. We hope you enjoyed our notes on the CD Projekt 2011 Spring Conference. You can check out some screens below.