How The Witcher 3 team built the land of Toussaint for upcoming expansion Blood & Wine

Your first look at a spectacular new region to explore from 31st May

Hi, my name is Kacper Niepokólczycki and I am an Environment Artist at CD PROJEKT RED. More than a year has passed, and we have been working very hard to bring you Blood and Wine, the final expansion to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt which is coming soon. I’m really excited for this opportunity to talk more about creating it.

This expansion pack is an old school add-on, with 20 hours of new adventures, where players will travel to the land of Toussaint. Witcher fans that are familiar with the books written by Andrzej Sapkowski have probably heard of this region and have been waiting for a really long time to explore it.

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The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine

 
We started with prototyping the whole hub — this was a difficult task, as Toussaint is very different to anything we ever did in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Sunny and beautiful, it’s almost a fantasy land straight out of a fairytale. Building something completely new gave us a lot of room for creativity, but at the same time it was challenging. The Slavic mythos lands we were all so accustomed to had to make room for something completely new – -the mood and tone of southern Italy and France. We quickly fell in love with the architecture, colours, the warm sun, and beautiful vistas filled with vineyards and wineries.

The most important part of this new realm is the city of Beauclair, the capital of Toussaint, and the palace where the local duchess resides. We had several main focuses when creating these places, and one of the biggest ones was providing players with breathtaking sightseeing opportunities. At the same time, Beauclair had to be different than another epic place in the game: Novigrad.

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The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine

 
We made that happen, among other things, by adding a lot of verticality to exploration. Beauclair has many levels and really distinct districts. It has its own landmarks and much like a real-life city, its own unique feel that helps immerse players in the world of the game. The city itself is a landmark as well. Since it’s placed on an elevated patch of land, you can see it from afar and it can help you navigate the land of Toussaint without the use of any map.

When the concept of the city was done, we started to work on the terrain around it. We plotted routes leading in and out of the city, placed roads and connected these roads to the myriad of points of Interest the expansion offers. With every iteration, we ended up with more and more cool content.

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The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine

 
Concept artists were a huge part of the process providing us us with conceptual art of locations, both small and big, we later used to saturate the realm with really mysterious and dangerous spots Geralt can visit. Of course having concept art does not mean all of the design work is finished. On the contrary – in many cases concept art looks gorgeous on paper, but will not work gameplay-wise.

This is where 3D Environment Artists come in. Our job is making the location look great and, at the same time, make it play even better. After all, we are not making a nice movie, but crafting a great gameplay experience.

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The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine

 
Eventually, we started to create more locations outside the city. One of the key things here is always remembering to account for the distance between different locations. This is important to constantly keep players engaged. Just like in Wild Hunt, there are many points of interest to uncover when you explore Toussaint.

This is just a very short summary of how we approach the creation of the open world environment you’ll find in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Blood and Wine. It’s an extremely fun and satisfying process, but also very challenging. Personally, I’m sure you will like Blood and Wine for its new look. It was a super fun experience for us to create it, and I hope you will have even more fun to experiencing it as a gamer. See you soon in Toussaint!

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine Expansion Pack will be available on 31st May. Prepare to face Geralt’s final quest and pre-order it now on PlayStation Store.

Blood and Wine is also available in the Expansion Pass bundle in which you’ll also find the Hearts of Stone add-on.

11 Comments
0 Author replies

Can’t wait :)

31st of May! WOOHOO!! :) :)

spacedelete2 10 May, 2016 @ 17:07
3

i’m waiting for the goty edition so i get all the DLC and patches on the disc. if this game is as awful as Fallout 4 though i’m totally done with rpgs. you best hope i enjoy the game.

3.1

For me both games are nearly equal quality games who have earned their 90%+ rating very well! I am interested what was the last good rpg did u play?Cant see how someone dislikes FO4 so much…

Wow now that is a self esteem. (Y)

3.3

Something is seriously wrong with you !

JediKnight246 10 May, 2016 @ 17:47
4

Looking forward to it. There are very few expansion packs on console (usually it’s smaller story DLC) so it’s good to see something like Blood & Wine. I’m hoping the first two games in the Witcher series will make an appearance on PS4 at some point. The Witcher 3 was great so it would be nice to experience Geralt’s earlier adventures on PS4 as well, especially since some are mentioned frequently in The Witcher 3.

5

Great news! Thx to CDPROJEKT RED for the great work! Hope there will a new rpg in the future? Actual Geralt was a good Character(mostly for those who are reading the books) but i do like free character creation much more to get into a game (see Elderscrolls) Keep up the good work…

Will there be a Complete edition or Goty edition planned with both dlc’s included on disc?, would definitly add that to my gaming shelf

GOTY contenders
Uncharted 4 vs The Witcher 3: DLC II

I am very excited but it’s also a little bittersweet. I’m also sad this is finally the end of this game, this chapter in the witcher series. I really loved this game & will miss it when it’s over.
It was great fun.

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