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The Witcher 3 from above

Feb 24, 2011
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Still really bothers me that pretty much every open world map is just surrounded by water world. Its less egregious if its implicitly stated that you are on an island or a series of small archipelagos or something but there has to be a better way to rope the player in than just WATER!!

Velen/Novigrad is not completely surrounded by water, there are plenty of land borders?
 

woen

Member
Jun 8, 2013
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I would love to have that kind of map look in-game (mod?).

I was just writing the the Watch Dogs 2 thread that The Witcher 3 was one of these open-world that had a strong identity in their very structure. Well, just look at one of these images. If you played the game, you know what I'm talking about : you just want to drop in it one more time.

You have that kind of feel in GTA V when you drop with your parachute from the cloud (with the shaking camera — especially in first person view — and the rumble of the gamepad). Brrrr.
 

Lonewulfeus

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Jun 24, 2013
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Still really bothers me that pretty much every open world map is just surrounded by water world. Its less egregious if its implicitly stated that you are on an island or a series of small archipelagos or something but there has to be a better way to rope the player in than just WATER!!

I don't know how to break this to you so you may want to sit down...

The world you live in right now is pretty much surrounded by water!
 

billyxci

13 year old console warrior. Put me on ignore.
Aug 3, 2014
13,814
8,718
970
How big is the area added in Heart of Stone? Stunning pictures btw:eek:

Here is a comparison image of the new/old area in HoS:



In the images from this post, I've circled roughly what you see in the above image:

 

Nif

Member
Jan 7, 2007
2,223
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0
Would probably buy a high resolution print of Witcher 3 maps like that. Nice job.
 

Chase17

Member
Jun 4, 2014
11,419
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Ahahah oh man you finally get White Orchid do all the quests and points of interest then you step into Velen and have your mind blown...

Yeah, I was thinking going to all the points of interest was doable in a timely manner. Shortly after going to Velen I realized I better just stick to quests.
 

Skellig Gra

Member
Aug 24, 2007
20,771
2
1,195
Great work man, I've only gotten to about 1/3 of this so far but have loved every minute I get with it.
 

DadEggs

Member
May 26, 2011
15,270
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looks really neat - thanks for sharing the pics...

any way we can get a key for scale?

the first two images look way further back than the last two.

how long would it take to traverse these screens? - i havent played witcher
 

SomTervo

Member
Jan 19, 2015
15,311
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I'm jealous of anyone just starting this game.... be prepared for insane length.

I didn't play 1 or 2 but I did read the entire series of books that were written in the 90s before playing this. Really good. It helped me appreciate the game more in some ways, in other ways it irritated and disappointed me as I had now become a fan and therefore wasn't keen on every aspect of their adaptation. The games are literally fanfiction, they are continuations of the plot in the novels but without author involvement. The stories and writing, while great for a game, just aren't very good compared to the books. I think they got some of the characters wrong, but none more than Geralt. He's much cooler and more interesting in the books. In TW3 he's a real wet rag, I hate how flat the actor's delivery is.

Still, amazing game and really raises the bar for RPGs IMO. I played Dragon Age Inquisition righ before this and Fallout 4 right after. DA:I was an embarrassment and FO4 was a bit of a let down. Both failed badly at what TW3 does so well.

Funny you say the bolded. All I've heard from fans of the books is that Geralt is one of the only adaptation characters in gaming/adaptation history to be done "perfectly".

For the record, I think Geralt's voice actor is rubbish. He sounds the same in almost every game he's in and delivery is always flat like that. There are moments when Geralt is great, but they are rare.

looks really neat - thanks for sharing the pics...

any way we can get a key for scale?

the first two images look way further back than the last two.

how long would it take to traverse these screens? - i havent played witcher

The first image is an area about 4-5 times the size of the last two. That's why it's further away. To fit it all on one screen.

We are also missing two other areas in the game, which are both large (one very large).

And the second image (of the island) is only about 2/3 of that area. 1/3 is off screen. There are four large islands around that island plus lots of smaller ones. None of those are here.

... It takes a long time to traverse the gameworld. Probably over 15 minutes on foot (doesn't sound like much but it is). And every inch of it is phenomenally well designed and believable.
 

Voyevoda

Member
Apr 15, 2014
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405
Paris, France
For me, one the most impressive features of the world was how they gave distinctive cultures and trends to the different regions.

People from Skellige are so different from the ones on Novigrad and Oxenfurt, and these are very different from Velen

How they speak, what they speak about, how they dress... etc

Dem Skelliger Irish-ish accents tho.
 

Robiin

Member
Jan 20, 2015
1,606
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0
Man, I wish my save didn't fuck up. I can't be bothered to replay like 40 hours, but I really want to see what more this game has to offer...
 

ScepticMatt

Member
May 14, 2011
4,094
2
845
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The reason that top-down pictures look like satellite photos is because CDProjekt RED used World Machine to procedurally generate the landscape.
Not that this is a bad thing. Witcher 3 comes to life because they placed flora, fauna and cities to fit within their environment.
 

Darkstorne

Member
May 26, 2014
2,886
0
0
The reason that top-down pictures look like satellite photos is because CDProjekt RED used World Machine to procedurally generate the landscape.
Not that this is a bad thing. Witcher 3 comes to life because they placed flora, fauna and cities to fit within their environment.

It even goes beyond that. I'm an ecologist (survey for protected wildife/environments) and I'm amazed at how much research they've put into understanding flora. Their woodlands and forests have it all - edge effect, canopy, understorey, field layer, the kind of attention to detail I WISH other open world developers would use (The Elder Scrolls in particular has always had awful forest/woodland design). Heck, they even have pollarded trees around settlements when I'll bet less than 0.1% of the players will really notice or understand them.

They've set such a high bar for environment design it's going to take a lot to be beaten.
 

tuxfool

Banned
Oct 21, 2014
16,148
1
0
The reason that top-down pictures look like satellite photos is because CDProjekt RED used World Machine to procedurally generate the landscape.
Not that this is a bad thing. Witcher 3 comes to life because they placed flora, fauna and cities to fit within their environment.

I didn't know about this. It certainly makes sense that they would have some world building tool.
 
Jun 1, 2011
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It even goes beyond that. I'm an ecologist (survey for protected wildife/environments) and I'm amazed at how much research they've put into understanding flora. Their woodlands and forests have it all - edge effect, canopy, understorey, field layer, the kind of attention to detail I WISH other open world developers would use (The Elder Scrolls in particular has always had awful forest/woodland design). Heck, they even have pollarded trees around settlements when I'll bet less than 0.1% of the players will really notice or understand them.

They've set such a high bar for environment design it's going to take a lot to be beaten.

Nice to see an expert corroborate what I've been thinking while playing it.
 

jogu

Member
Oct 10, 2014
304
0
0
That's it, i'm buying this.

Just wondering will i like it? First one was ok'ish. Second one i didnt like, too complex story.
 

Darkstorne

Member
May 26, 2014
2,886
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0
Doesn the 3rd map fits somewhere in the 1st?

Nope, the third map is the starting area, White Orchard - a mini introduction zone.

I'd love to see agricultural areas from Velen / around Novigrad at that zoom level though, to eliminate the fog.

That's it, i'm buying this.

Just wondering will i like it? First one was ok'ish. Second one i didnt like, too complex story.

This game has an amazing story, less complex than 2's, but still deeper than most games. The gameplay still leaves a little to be desired but is the best of the trilogy imo, and the open world design is industry-leading. Up to you if you think that will appeal to your tastes.
 

Krappadizzle

Member
Oct 4, 2011
16,087
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You should make a 5/10x flyover video. Awesome shots. I didn't know free cam could go up that high.
 

tuxfool

Banned
Oct 21, 2014
16,148
1
0
It is interesting to see how well umbra copes with culling and LODing. It is no surprise that on the highest level the buildings all get culled to show the terrain underneath. Probably because they didn't expect to need building models for this distance.

It goes to show that they weren't lying when they said that they built the settlements based on the terrain.
 

Blackthorn

"hello?" "this is vagina"
Sep 24, 2012
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It even goes beyond that. I'm an ecologist (survey for protected wildife/environments) and I'm amazed at how much research they've put into understanding flora. Their woodlands and forests have it all - edge effect, canopy, understorey, field layer, the kind of attention to detail I WISH other open world developers would use (The Elder Scrolls in particular has always had awful forest/woodland design). Heck, they even have pollarded trees around settlements when I'll bet less than 0.1% of the players will really notice or understand them.

They've set such a high bar for environment design it's going to take a lot to be beaten.
That's fascinating, I would love you to write in detail on it if you have the time.
 

Lunar15

Member
Jun 15, 2011
18,567
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0
The edge effect on forests had the biggest environmental impact for me. If you've ever lived in or been to a rural area, you'll know that the edge of this forest (which you can go entirely through, btw) looks incredibly realistic in terms of how a forest cleared out for farmland would look:

 

Darkstorne

Member
May 26, 2014
2,886
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0
That's fascinating, I would love you to write in detail on it if you have the time.

I'm hoping to write an article about it soon. It's always been a key aspect of the series though, from the books. The author clearly adores nature, and hates the impact humans have on it:

Conjunction of the Spheres - an event in the world of the Witcher thousands of years ago where monsters entered the world through portals from other realms. It's why monsters don't fit into the environment, or compliment the ecosystems. Wolves, bears, deer, etc, all have their place having evolved over time to fit into a complex and balanced system. Monsters disrupt these systems. Something you soon learn is that humans also entered this world through portals along with all the other monsters. Hence the rapid expansion, destruction of the environment and wildlife to suit their needs, and general portrayal of most humans in the game as utter ****s.

There's a fascinating short story in one of the books where Geralt is asked by a king to act as an ambassador to the ancient forest kingdom of Brokilon. He spends days venturing to the ancient and peaceful Dryads in the heart of the woods, and passes on his message: "Allow humans to expand into the forest, and the king promises a small section of the forest will be left completely untouched, for Dryads to remain unharmed and unhindered by humans." Naturally the Dryads refuse, but this is such a common example of how we act in the real world. It's practically my job in a nutshell. I survey a large area of countryside/woodland proposed for housing development, find protected species like great crested newts, badgers, bats, barn owls, dormice, what have you, and the developers have to "mitigate" by leaving a pathetically small patch of that environment intact and protected from that day onwards for the wildlife to enjoy. Not even remotely a good deal for them, but they can't exactly complain about it in a court.

It was essential that these games focus so much on environmental design. The books are love letters to nature, and hate mail to humanity.
 

ocean

Banned
Nov 14, 2013
9,166
0
0
Still really bothers me that pretty much every open world map is just surrounded by water world. Its less egregious if its implicitly stated that you are on an island or a series of small archipelagos or something but there has to be a better way to rope the player in than just WATER!!

Absent political boundaries, all land masses are eventually "surrounded by water world". If your complaint is that these open world games don't actually scale to the size of a continent.... yeah that won't change for a while.
 

matmanx1

Member
Apr 30, 2008
7,133
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0
Ga
I'm jealous of anyone just starting this game.... be prepared for insane length.

I didn't play 1 or 2 but I did read the entire series of books that were written in the 90s before playing this. Really good. It helped me appreciate the game more in some ways, in other ways it irritated and disappointed me as I had now become a fan and therefore wasn't keen on every aspect of their adaptation. The games are literally fanfiction, they are continuations of the plot in the novels but without author involvement. The stories and writing, while great for a game, just aren't very good compared to the books. I think they got some of the characters wrong, but none more than Geralt. He's much cooler and more interesting in the books. In TW3 he's a real wet rag, I hate how flat the actor's delivery is.

Still, amazing game and really raises the bar for RPGs IMO. I played Dragon Age Inquisition righ before this and Fallout 4 right after. DA:I was an embarrassment and FO4 was a bit of a let down. Both failed badly at what TW3 does so well.

Funny you say the bolded. All I've heard from fans of the books is that Geralt is one of the only adaptation characters in gaming/adaptation history to be done "perfectly".

For the record, I think Geralt's voice actor is rubbish. He sounds the same in almost every game he's in and delivery is always flat like that. There are moments when Geralt is great, but they are rare.



The first image is an area about 4-5 times the size of the last two. That's why it's further away. To fit it all on one screen.

We are also missing two other areas in the game, which are both large (one very large).

And the second image (of the island) is only about 2/3 of that area. 1/3 is off screen. There are four large islands around that island plus lots of smaller ones. None of those are here.

... It takes a long time to traverse the gameworld. Probably over 15 minutes on foot (doesn't sound like much but it is). And every inch of it is phenomenally well designed and believable.

I'll recommend this to both of you since you both pointed out the same thing but if you aren't playing The Witcher 3 in the original Polish then you are missing out. On the PC this is easily fixable with the Polish language pack. On the consoles, not so much.

With all due respect to the English voice actor (Doug Cockle), Jacek Rozenek IS Geralt for me and has been since the original game. Having played all three games now in Polish there's no way I could listen to someone else voice Geralt. Rozenek does a great job and his portrayal of Geralt is nuanced without being flat. You really should make the switch if it all possible.
 

Fancy Clown

Member
Dec 3, 2013
15,749
7
0
It even goes beyond that. I'm an ecologist (survey for protected wildife/environments) and I'm amazed at how much research they've put into understanding flora. Their woodlands and forests have it all - edge effect, canopy, understorey, field layer, the kind of attention to detail I WISH other open world developers would use (The Elder Scrolls in particular has always had awful forest/woodland design). Heck, they even have pollarded trees around settlements when I'll bet less than 0.1% of the players will really notice or understand them.

They've set such a high bar for environment design it's going to take a lot to be beaten.

Wow very cool. Yeah just traveling the world everything feels so naturally and logically placed, from town locations to topography. It goes a long way to making the world feel like believable, livable space.
 

iNvid02

Member
Aug 16, 2009
18,396
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1,200
they have proven they are masterful at world building with this game, its not just visible in the topography with these aerial views but at a granular level with the way the main cities are slowly built up to, regions in conflict look devastated, the way the clearer ground slowly turns into swamp and wetland, how snow emerges, right down to the grass placement around dirt roads.
 

HotHamBoy

Member
Jul 21, 2015
10,086
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0
I'll recommend this to both of you since you both pointed out the same thing but if you aren't playing The Witcher 3 in the original Polish then you are missing out. On the PC this is easily fixable with the Polish language pack. On the consoles, not so much.

With all due respect to the English voice actor (Doug Cockle), Jacek Rozenek IS Geralt for me and has been since the original game. Having played all three games now in Polish there's no way I could listen to someone else voice Geralt. Rozenek does a great job and his portrayal of Geralt is nuanced without being flat. You really should make the switch if it all possible.

Aggghh im so jealous!! I would have absolutely played in Polish with subs if I had the option on PS4. Not restarting now on my middleware laptop... Incidentally, I played Assassin's Creed II in Italian and I can't imagine any other way. I always choose the language of the characters when possible.

I will say that my idea of Geralt is probably influenced largely by the guy who reads the audiobooks. He does an excellent job of adding personality to each character, especially when reading Geralt's lines. I definitely never thought of him having an American accent...
 
Aug 29, 2015
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It even goes beyond that. I'm an ecologist (survey for protected wildife/environments) and I'm amazed at how much research they've put into understanding flora. Their woodlands and forests have it all - edge effect, canopy, understorey, field layer, the kind of attention to detail I WISH other open world developers would use (The Elder Scrolls in particular has always had awful forest/woodland design). Heck, they even have pollarded trees around settlements when I'll bet less than 0.1% of the players will really notice or understand them.

They've set such a high bar for environment design it's going to take a lot to be beaten.

Count me as one of the people who never noticed that, damn. Usually months after a game releases, people start noticing the inconsistencies with a games world. It's rare to see that the opposite is happening, that people are actually noticing more details that make the world more believable. The only other time i've seen that is GTA IV and V.
 

Alcander

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May 24, 2007
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Boston
www.guidebook.com
The edge effect on forests had the biggest environmental impact for me. If you've ever lived in or been to a rural area, you'll know that the edge of this forest (which you can go entirely through, btw) looks incredibly realistic in terms of how a forest cleared out for farmland would look:

Image is broken for me