Exploring Open Worlds
The video above shows an extensive presentation from CD Projekt on The Witcher 3, and though there isn't much gameplay to speak of, (apart from the fancy trailer you can see at the 9-minute mark) you still get to hear enough information to start salivating and wishing you had a time machine. The franchise is already known for delivering beautiful visuals, deep and complex stories, and combat that is as challenging as it is satisfying. But what should the next step be? Okay, dumb question. We already know that CD Projekt want to make the world much larger and more open than before. This video goes a bit in-depth on that.
It seems CD Projekt have had to work with some major issues concerning the open-endedness of the series' third iteration. Pacing was apparently a challenge, as it can easily become boring for players to trek through huge open areas between important events. Also, the Witcher games are known for having complex characters, events and storylines. With such a large world with so many distractions, players can easily get confused and if the game is played in multiple sittings over a longer period of time. In the worst case, certain events and characters may be lost on players completely. The third main design problem was that of repetition. How can you have such a big open world and avoid filling it with pointless fetch quests, without it taking forever for the developer to make these quests?
Explaining these three issues and their solutions to them is what takes up the bulk of CD Projekt's presentation. They give a lot of good answers, further proving that, well, they know what they're doing. As stated before, you shouldn't expect any gameplay out of the 37-minute watch, but that doesn't really matter if you're a long-time fan of the series.