In Witcher 3, Size Matters

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In Witcher 3, Size Matters

How much unique, interesting, varied, entertaining content does Witcher 3 really have?

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Yet, it doesn't seem to have any black people.

Something that should be noted in regards to the question of how CD Projekt RED didn't go broke making this, is that they're still the guys operating GOG. They've publicly stated that most of the proceeds of that and of their past games are continuously reinvested in the development of newer games.

Which still probably leaves them with a considerably smaller budget than, say, Skyrim or Fallout due to a possible lack of other investors in Poland, so I'm still sharing the disbelief to a certain degree.

Objectable:
Yet, it doesn't seem to have any black people.

Could... could we not do this? For once? Please?

I have no idea how this thing got made, or how the developer didn't go broke in the process.

My exact thoughts after playing this game. Mind you I'm still just 30 hours in.

If forthcoming titles follow this route, then we might have a new golden age of CRPGs.

jurnag12:

Could... could we not do this? For once? Please?

When actual racists call the lack of black people a victory, that's a problem
image

voleary:

I have no idea how this thing got made, or how the developer didn't go broke in the process.

My exact thoughts after playing this game. Mind you I'm still just 30 hours in.

And the same thought will keep popping in your head 40, 50, 100+ hours in.

Objectable:

jurnag12:

Could... could we not do this? For once? Please?

When actual racists call the lack of black people a victory, that's a problem
image

I think we have bigger fish to fry with actual racist than their cheering over a videogame.

you're right about everything EXCEPT that "every peasant having a unique voice performer" bit -- I've heard Blackwall's VA out of at least 4 different NPCs

It was made with magic, virgin hearts and gipsy tears. No mere mortal is capable of this. All that varied landscape? Not a hint of copy/paste? (Apart from the alarmingly creepy child clones.) This is nought but the work of the gods! Or mortals meddling with powers they need not be...or need be not...

Objectable:

jurnag12:

Could... could we not do this? For once? Please?

When actual racists call the lack of black people a victory, that's a problem
image

Yes, the Witcher 3 is really a epitome of racism in videogames.
Most racist piece of media since "Mein Kampf", it's despicable.

Objectable:

jurnag12:

Could... could we not do this? For once? Please?

When actual racists call the lack of black people a victory, that's a problem
image

I expected an Arthur Gies screen. Or Something from Polygon.
Instead you target low level racists... shame

The entire Witcher universe is one of the most "progressive" games universes out there mate. And it was made for people in a homogeneous land.

jurnag12:
Something that should be noted in regards to the question of how CD Projekt RED didn't go broke making this, is that they're still the guys operating GOG. They've publicly stated that most of the proceeds of that and of their past games are continuously reinvested in the development of newer games.

Which still probably leaves them with a considerably smaller budget than, say, Skyrim or Fallout due to a possible lack of other investors in Poland, so I'm still sharing the disbelief to a certain degree.

Could... could we not do this? For once? Please?

They may have an advantage by being in Poland, due to the fact that I'm sure the price level is lower than other areas with lots of videogame developers, like large American cities, say San Francisco. And yet they can sell the game for the regular price of a videogame to western audiences.

Not trying to belittle their achievement, it's incredible what they've done, but it surely helps with personnel costs.

jurnag12:
Something that should be noted in regards to the question of how CD Projekt RED didn't go broke making this, is that they're still the guys operating GOG. They've publicly stated that most of the proceeds of that and of their past games are continuously reinvested in the development of newer games.

Which still probably leaves them with a considerably smaller budget than, say, Skyrim or Fallout due to a possible lack of other investors in Poland, so I'm still sharing the disbelief to a certain degree.

Well, even then, it apparently only had a 10.5 million dollar budget. Which is very small by AAA standards. So even if they were secured in their budget from GoG and the like, it's still very apparent they spent their money and time much more wisely than the norm.

Objectable:

jurnag12:

Could... could we not do this? For once? Please?

When actual racists call the lack of black people a victory, that's a problem
image

Firstly, racists like it. Good for them?

Secondly, given that this was made by Polish people, and Poland is very, VERY, white it's hardly surprising that a group basing their works off an existing IP AND their cultural influences has that bleed through.

This is as valid an argument as complaining about not seeing black people in a Japanese-made period samurai piece.

Objectable:
Yet, it doesn't seem to have any black people.

Thus showing that merely looking for a brown quota is not the same as having real diversity.

Objectable:
Yet, it doesn't seem to have any black people.

No black people in a fantasy game modeled after medieval Europe?! I'm shocked, simply shocked. I'm sure the real medieval Europe had LOADS of black people in it, right?

How about Poland, the country where this game was developed? Surely Poland has a racially diverse culture that wasn't in any way nearly entirely homogenized by the Holocaust in a way still impacting diversity today. Surely Poland isn't mostly entirely one big marshmellow country.[/sarcasm]

Look, it's game centered around a time and area (albeit with fantasy elements) that were vastly white made by developers in a culture that is almost entirely white.

Poland is comprised of 96.7% Ethnic Poles, .4% Germans, and .1% Belarusians and .1% Ukrainians. That's in order of magnitude. 97.3% of the population being white, that leaves only 3.7% of the entire population for which ALL other ethnicities to fall under and no other single group would be as much as .1%

Getting mad at them for this would literally be like getting mad at North Koreans for making a game set in ancient North Korea in which all characters are Asian.

Yeah, that's the culture they're from. It's cute to try and impose our own distribution of demographics on other nations but it's just ignorant of other cultures.

Lightknight:

Objectable:
Yet, it doesn't seem to have any black people.

No black people in a fantasy game modeled after medieval Europe?! I'm shocked, simply shocked. I'm sure the real medieval Europe had LOADS of black people in it, right?
.

And there is the cusp of my argument.
It is a fantasy game.
Fantasy, by its nature, is not reality.
So why are you talking about realism IN A GAME WITH MAGIC AND FUCKING ELVES.

Objectable:
Yet, it doesn't seem to have any black people.

Poland man... What can ya do?

Not to say Poland is racist, but Slavic countries generally lack racial diversity. And as an artist you tend to base your work on what you see around you, and if all you see around you are white people...

It's similar to Japan. I mean, how many black people have you ever seen in a Ghibli movie that takes place in a non-Asian setting?

I seriously doubt CDPR was throwing white supremacists a bone by its exclusion of black people.

Casual Shinji:

Objectable:
Yet, it doesn't seem to have any black people.

Poland man... What can ya do?

Not to say Poland is racist, but Slavic countries generally lack racial diversity. And as an artist you tend to base your work on what you see around you, and if all you see around you are white people...

It's similar to Japan. I mean, how many black people have you ever seen in a Ghibli movie that takes place in a non-Asian setting?

I seriously doubt CDPR was throwing white supremacists a bone by its exclusion of black people.

I don't think they were doing that either. Heck, I love this game. It's one of the best games I've played this year, almost as good as Love Is Strange.
But it still annoys me that they couldn't bother to include one black person.

Objectable:
But it still annoys me that they couldn't bother to include one black person.

Why would there be black people there at all? The game is based on a mixture of folk tales and a real historical period, neither of which involved black people. Why should the developer include people that don't fit the setting to pander to the guilt of societies they're not members of?

I have to agree. It may not be the biggest game ever, but it surely is loaded with lots and lots of varying content, more-so that just about any game I have played in memory. And some of those quest lines are so long and feel good to progress through.

As for the issue with the lack of ethnic diversity: I don't really care. This is not a metric of how good or bad a game is. I don't care what a bunch of racists think about it.

Objectable:
I don't think they were doing that either. Heck, I love this game. It's one of the best games I've played this year, almost as good as Love Is Strange.
But it still annoys me that they couldn't bother to include one black person.

Well, I read up a bit on the lore from the little booklet that came with the game, and apparently it's the humans that came from another world into this one. Which honestly sounds a bit wonky to me, but I guess in that case it kind of makes sense that they're all the same colour, if you take into account the 'alien race is always one colour' trope. But then it doesn't make much sense that there's no colour variety to any of the elves or dwarves, which honestly would've been a neat twist.

And Love is Strange? They made a game based on a Buddy Holly song?! Fuck yeah! :p

Casual Shinji:

And Love is Strange? They made a game based on a Buddy Holly song?! Fuck yeah! :p

Shit, it's Life Is Strange, not Love. Really good game otherwise.

And to think, we are still early in this generation. There's still a lot more to come.

Previously devs were focussing on making things bigger and bigger, aiming for that awe factor, maybe because they finally had the power to realise the idea? I'm hoping that whilst they can still aim for big they don't keep getting bigger but instead direct the increased power into content and detail.

Objectable:

But it still annoys me that they couldn't bother to include one black person.

Not to derail this thread when there's probably a perfectly good other place to have this discussion, but forcing the inclusion of a black character when the area of the world this takes place in (and most of the books as well if I remember correctly) doesn't have any, is both patronizing and kinda racist in itself. It would be like demanding a white person in something like Arabian Nights just because it's full of brown people. The culture of the people who made it is getting ignored and all you're paying attention to is skin color. Please stop. This topic has been done to death and the only people who are making a big deal out of this are the usual moral outrage brigade.

Why can't we just focus on how much effort and work they put into bringing this world onto our screens? Like Shamus said, I also have no idea how they managed this. The amount of voice work alone boggles the mind. CDPR did good.

Oh for the love of..

I'll speak here as a Pole AND a former employee of CD Projekt (disclaimer - I was the logistics guy in Polish distribution branch of the company, not part of the creative team behind The Witcher 3) - I'm sick and tired of all those ethnic debacles about this game.

CDPR is a Polish company, yes, but right now it's pretty much a multi-culture team. The Executive producer for this game is an American from Georgia state. They have a team of people from all around the world, including black people (from France) and Asian (Filipino). And those are just people I personally met there, there's probably more, if you'll dig into the subject. Heck, their next big project, Cyberpunk 2077, is created in close association with the original Cyberpunk RPG creator - Mike Pondsmith, who is black. The team is pretty much aware of different ethnic backgrounds, thank you were much. As for us, Poles ourselves - yes, our country is like 99% white people. No, that does not mean, we are not aware of other cultures existing.

So... Why there was no black people in Witcher 3? Because it does not fit the lore, God damn it. If someone would actually bother to read the books (although I heard that the English translation is terrible, so that may be at fault here, I don't know), would have caught it immediately. The world of The Witcher series is basically Northern Kingdoms, Skellige Isles, Nilgaard Empire, and Zerrikania. From the west, there is a vast ocean that no one traversed, and no one knows what's there. To the East, there are huge mountain ranges, that people did not traverse to find out what's there. Zerrikania is a desert land, and as far south/east as people ever went. This is this universe land of black people who are living there peacefully and minding their own business. In fact, they are deliberately staying away from from Northeners (ie. white people), because they want to take no part in their crazy power struggles. The only exceptions are pretty much mercenaries, like Tea and Vea - the duo of female Zerrikan bodyguards in the books, or indeed Azar Javed, a Zerrikan sorcerer, one of the main antagonists in The Witcher 1. Even the mercenaries prefer to stay away from the North though during the time of war. The war that we see in The Witcher 3 is actually the 3rd war with Nilfgaard, and during the 2nd one in the books it is stated, that Zerrikans want to have no part in any of the Northener's bloodshed. Also, they would have to either sail through ENTIRE continent west coast to get there (kindly reminder: Skellige pirates does not fuck around), or travel by foot/cart through Nilfgaard, and their borders.

Do you see where I'm getting at? Putting a black person in this particular region of the world, during this time would mean explaining, why the fuck would he/she travel so far north during such dangerous times (Velen/Novigrad is basically THE FRONTLINE of this war), when risk/reward ratio is really bad, while he/she could stay safe in their homeland south. It would be getting out of the way of the lore and common sense of people living in that universe. It could be done, yes. It would be also an unnecessary stretch to fit in there, that would be instantly accused of tokenism, I guarantee it. And no, expectations of some people from USA are not enough to compromise perfectly fine geographical lore of the universe. You don't like it - fine, no one forces you to agree with it. It's a product you can willingly accept to consume or not based on your preferences. THEREFORE please do not force your expectations of racial quotas on other people's products, because not all products are made with you in mind. That's their idea of the game, where black people simply do not fit, due to LOGICAL, GEOGRAPHICAL, LORE reasons, not "Lol, racism, we don't know that black people exist". You are basically expecting Zulu people to travel north and fight in Germany vs Poland war. Please stop that, it's insulting.

Phew... Rant's over. Now go play the game. It really is damn awesome.

Lightknight:

Objectable:
Yet, it doesn't seem to have any black people.

No black people in a fantasy game modeled after medieval Europe?! I'm shocked, simply shocked. I'm sure the real medieval Europe had LOADS of black people in it, right?

How about Poland, the country where this game was developed? Surely Poland has a racially diverse culture that wasn't in any way nearly entirely homogenized by the Holocaust in a way still impacting diversity today. Surely Poland isn't mostly entirely one big marshmellow country.[/sarcasm]

You see, I just don't buy this. There were black people in medieval Europe, you know that right? Not all that many, but they were there. I don't see it as being an especially big deal but it did strike me some ways in that I hadn't encountered a single non-white character save for one succubus in a game that has so many NPCs. It's just kinda weird.

Yossarian1507:
Oh for the love of..

I'll speak here as a Pole AND a former employee of CD Projekt (disclaimer - I was the logistics guy in Polish distribution branch of the company, not part of the creative team behind The Witcher 3) - I'm sick and tired of all those ethnic debacles about this game.

CDPR is a Polish company, yes, but right now it's pretty much a multi-culture team. The Executive producer for this game is an American from Georgia state. They have a team of people from all around the world, including black people (from France) and Asian (Filipino). And those are just people I personally met there, there's probably more, if you'll dig into the subject. Heck, their next big project, Cyberpunk 2077, is created in close association with the original Cyberpunk RPG creator - Mike Pondsmith, who is black. The team is pretty much aware of different ethnic backgrounds, thank you were much. As for us, Poles ourselves - yes, our country is like 99% white people. No, that does not mean, we are not aware of other cultures existing.

So... Why there was no black people in Witcher 3? Because it does not fit the lore, God damn it. If someone would actually bother to read the books (although I heard that the English translation is terrible, so that may be at fault here, I don't know), would have caught it immediately. The world of The Witcher series is basically Northern Kingdoms, Skellige Isles, Nilgaard Empire, and Zerrikania. From the west, there is a vast ocean that no one traversed, and no one knows what's there. To the East, there are huge mountain ranges, that people did not traverse to find out what's there. Zerrikania is a desert land, and as far south/east as people ever went. This is this universe land of black people who are living there peacefully and minding their own business. In fact, they are deliberately staying away from from Northeners (ie. white people), because they want to take no part in their crazy power struggles. The only exceptions are pretty much mercenaries, like Tea and Vea - the duo of female Zerrikan bodyguards in the books, or indeed Azar Javed, a Zerrikan sorcerer, one of the main antagonists in The Witcher 1. Even the mercenaries prefer to stay away from the North though during the time of war. The war that we see in The Witcher 3 is actually the 3rd war with Nilfgaard, and during the 2nd one in the books it is stated, that Zerrikans want to have no part in any of the Northener's bloodshed. Also, they would have to either sail through ENTIRE continent west coast to get there (kindly reminder: Skellige pirates does not fuck around), or travel by foot/cart through Nilfgaard, and their borders.

Do you see where I'm getting at? Putting a black person in this particular region of the world, during this time would mean explaining, why the fuck would he/she travel so far north during such dangerous times (Velen/Novigrad is basically THE FRONTLINE of this war), when risk/reward ratio is really bad, while he/she could stay safe in their homeland south. It would be getting out of the way of the lore and common sense of people living in that universe. It could be done, yes. It would be also an unnecessary stretch to fit in there, that would be instantly accused of tokenism, I guarantee it. And no, expectations of some people from USA are not enough to compromise perfectly fine geographical lore of the universe. You don't like it - fine, no one forces you to agree with it. It's a product you can willingly accept to consume or not based on your preferences. THEREFORE please do not force your expectations of racial quotas on other people's products, because not all products are made with you in mind. That's their idea of the game, where black people simply do not fit, due to LOGICAL, GEOGRAPHICAL, LORE reasons, not "Lol, racism, we don't know that black people exist". You are basically expecting Zulu people to travel north and fight in Germany vs Poland war. Please stop that, it's insulting.

Phew... Rant's over. Now go play the game. It really is damn awesome.

Can we just copypaste this anywhere we see some dumb fuck going on about this crap?

OT: I completed my first playthrough at just under 70 hours doing ALMOST NOTHING BUT MAIN STORY. (On Death March, btw) The sheer amount of content in this game defies reason.

Objectable:
Yet, it doesn't seem to have any black people.

How do you expect to me feel about that? This is a Polish game representing Polish culture based on very Polish books. I do not mind there are no black faces. I won't condemn them or try and insinuate bad motives to the developers. If you want to take the game to task for something it did, fine. Did the game glorify racism or sexism? Did it espouse hatred clearly and unequivocally against trans people? No. But if it had at least you would have something to complain about.

Complaining that a game from a non-American culture doesn't represent American culture seems way out of line to me.

SnakeTrousers:

Lightknight:

Objectable:
Yet, it doesn't seem to have any black people.

No black people in a fantasy game modeled after medieval Europe?! I'm shocked, simply shocked. I'm sure the real medieval Europe had LOADS of black people in it, right?

How about Poland, the country where this game was developed? Surely Poland has a racially diverse culture that wasn't in any way nearly entirely homogenized by the Holocaust in a way still impacting diversity today. Surely Poland isn't mostly entirely one big marshmellow country.[/sarcasm]

You see, I just don't buy this. There were black people in medieval Europe, you know that right? Not all that many, but they were there. I don't see it as being an especially big deal but it did strike me some ways in that I hadn't encountered a single non-white character save for one succubus in a game that has so many NPCs. It's just kinda weird.

I know right? I played Yakuza 4 the other day, and there was like nothing but Asians in it. And I know there's white people living there, as I know one of them. It's fucking racist, man.

Objectable:

jurnag12:

Could... could we not do this? For once? Please?

When actual racists call the lack of black people a victory, that's a problem
image

No. Its a low fantasy setting, in a handful of lands based loosely on the slavic places of europe. Witchers job is NOT to satisfy your idiotic need for diversity, it is to represent the setting its based upon. At which it succeeds greatly. And thats the only thing I have to say about that.

OT: I absolutely agree with you Shamus, it is a MASSIVE game...but I dont mind having to play if for months before finishing it...the game is just that great.

10/10. Anyone not playing it is missing out on some seriously good game.

Denamic:

SnakeTrousers:

Lightknight:
No black people in a fantasy game modeled after medieval Europe?! I'm shocked, simply shocked. I'm sure the real medieval Europe had LOADS of black people in it, right?

How about Poland, the country where this game was developed? Surely Poland has a racially diverse culture that wasn't in any way nearly entirely homogenized by the Holocaust in a way still impacting diversity today. Surely Poland isn't mostly entirely one big marshmellow country.[/sarcasm]

You see, I just don't buy this. There were black people in medieval Europe, you know that right? Not all that many, but they were there. I don't see it as being an especially big deal but it did strike me some ways in that I hadn't encountered a single non-white character save for one succubus in a game that has so many NPCs. It's just kinda weird.

I know right? I played Yakuza 4 the other day, and there was like nothing but Asians in it. And I know there's white people living there, as I know one of them. It's fucking racist, man.

I think I love you a bit.

Since I'm not interested in rehashing this same argument for the 9 millionth time, maybe someone more familiar with the books can answer my question here, it is at least tangentially related to race in the Witcher.

What race are the Zerrikanians exactly? I just read that post up above saying that they were Black, but all their in-game descriptions come off as really Middle-Eastern: deserts, Genies, and all that other stuff. Do they have a defined race or cultural influence or are they just a hodge-podge of "mysterious" middle-eastern/north African traits mashed together.

Also, why are all the best horse accessories in the game the Zerrikanian stuff? Is there a lore reason for that, do they have awesome horse riders in the books? or is it just kind of random selection when the items were created? Is all their stuff super awesome, or is it just the horse accessories?

I do find it funny that all this Zerrikanian stuff is apparently in the North, including mentions of Skellige raiding Zerrikanian merchants, apparently being isolationist doesn't stop me from finding random hobo merchants in Novigrad selling Zerrikanian saddlebags, or Skellige giving me a Zerrikanian saddle for winning their horse races.

Areloch:

Well, even then, it apparently only had a 10.5 million dollar budget. Which is very small by AAA standards. So even if they were secured in their budget from GoG and the like, it's still very apparent they spent their money and time much more wisely than the norm.

I doubt CDPR had to spend 90% of their budget on hookers and blow for the marketing team, like most AAA studios.

Wow, I am so looking forward to this game. When I can, one day, afford to buy a full price game again, or find it on a Steam sale. I was impressed at TW1, I was amazed at TW2, and when I finally play TW3 it may very well kill me.

infohippie:

Areloch:

Well, even then, it apparently only had a 10.5 million dollar budget. Which is very small by AAA standards. So even if they were secured in their budget from GoG and the like, it's still very apparent they spent their money and time much more wisely than the norm.

I doubt CDPR had to spend 90% of their budget on hookers and blow for the marketing team, like most AAA studios.

Wow, I am so looking forward to this game. When I can, one day, afford to buy a full price game again, or find it on a Steam sale. I was impressed at TW1, I was amazed at TW2, and when I finally play TW3 it may very well kill me.

I don't know where Areloch got the 10.5 figure from, every source I've seen says 15 million, and that's before marketing budgets are calculated. The marketing budget for the game was supposedly 25 million, putting the total cost somewhere in the realm of 40 million, which isn't exactly that much higher than a lot of other games commonly lumped into the AAA category. The extraordinary part is that they didn't blow triple the games development cost in marketing.

Really the development costs are only really really low if you compare it to the budgetary behemoths like those Ubisoft and Rockstar make. Games like God of War III cost a fairly similar amount in just development costs, things like GTAV's 200 million budget, or Ubisoft's bloated budgets aren't actually the norm, from what I can find, most AAA games seem to be developed for around 10-30 million, only really going over for the big name stuff, or for licensed games where you can spend 10's of millions just to secure the licensing rights to produce the game.

Objectable:
Yet, it doesn't seem to have any black people.

Well, it might surprise you to learn this, but, save for the past few decades, there really were no black people in eastern Europe. Crazy.

Back on topic, I didn't think I could like CDPR more, but I do. Witcher 3 is an outstanding game (and I didn't much like the first 2). The only game that managed to make such a rich, believable and living open world has so far been GTA V, and they basically just threw money at it 'till it got there (most expensive piece of media ever produced and so on). In an industry where overblown budgets are a huge issue, it's all the more impressive what CDPR managed to achieve on what I expect is a fraction of GTA V's budget.

Talented developers aren't enough if they can't manage their budget, as DoubleFine keeps demonstrating.

EternallyBored:
What race are the Zerrikanians exactly? I just read that post up above saying that they were Black, but all their in-game descriptions come off as really Middle-Eastern: deserts, Genies, and all that other stuff. Do they have a defined race or cultural influence or are they just a hodge-podge of "mysterious" middle-eastern/north African traits mashed together.

They are of the human race. Humans came to this continent only 500 years ago(elves around 1000 years before that).

They aren't all that well covered in the books. They worship dragons. They have a different skin tone, not necessarily hereditary from before the First Landing.

SnakeTrousers:
You see, I just don't buy this. There were black people in medieval Europe, you know that right? Not all that many, but they were there. I don't see it as being an especially big deal but it did strike me some ways in that I hadn't encountered a single non-white character save for one succubus in a game that has so many NPCs. It's just kinda weird.

Not so much in Poland. It's far enough to the east from Atlantic Ocean, far enough west from Middle Asia and far enough north from even Black Sea to have major POC traffic.

Oh the silly skin deep American view on racism and diversity. Racism is a huge point across the Witcher games. MUCH bigger compared to the books and much more straightforward. This whole "white privilege" thing went too loud drowning out nuances, context and history. Having same skin color never really stopped anyone from discriminating based on ethnicity, language or any other kind of unpopular trait.

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