If you have played The Witcher or The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, you’re familiar with Dice Poker, the addictive little minigame that came with the first two games, and that has been replaced by the card game Gwent in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Lead Quest Designer Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz explained on the official forums that at one point in time the team wanted to have both minigames in their latest title, but the idea was discarded for production reasons.
Dice Poker simply could not be translated to the new game without recreating it from scratch for technical reasons, and this would have required programmers, designers and artists to work on it for a long time. Due to time constraints and the large number of new features that have been implemented, this was not considered possible. There simply weren’t enough people to work on both minigames and the rest of the game, so after long discussions the team had to choose.
The folks at CD Projekt are aware that not everyone may be happy with the decision, but they wanted a chance to create a new minigame instead of just making the same for the first time. Tomaszkiewicz understands that some will be dissatisfied, but hopes that they’ll give Gwent a chance when the game will be released.
Asked whether it’d be possible for Dice Poker to return as DLC, Tomaszkiewicz mentioned that he’d throw the proposal at the team, but knowing the production plans, it’s very unlikely, and he doesn’t want to create false hopes or make empty promises.
There has also been some discussion among the community about the fact that Gwent is not exactly fitting with the lore, as it really doesn’t fit as a game that would be played in the world of The Witcher by its inhabitants.
Tomaszkiewicz explained that there has been fierce discussion on this among the team as well. It has been a long process with different versions of the board and the decks experimented on, but in the end they went with suspension of disbelief because the minigame is supposed to be a light-hearted break from the seriousness of the story. They focused fully on the fun of the game, even at the cost of breaking immersion and lore a bit.
The cards include several winks for the fans of the previous games and the books, and Tomaszkiewicz feels that its pure “fun factor” compensates for breaking the fourth wall.
In addition to this, we get more information from Level Designer Miles Tost, who mentioned that the effect following sword swings cannot be deactivated, because it serves as visual feedback between weak and strong attacks.
@ACFan101 I don’t think you can. Serves as visual feedback for whether you used a fast or strong attack.
— Miles Tost (@MilezZx) May 3, 2015
He also mentioned that he’s “superproud” of what the team has achieved:
@Flare_TM Aww, I don’t know about GOTY but I’m superproud of what we achieved and I love the game to bits. Wait till release is killing me.
— Miles Tost (@MilezZx) May 2, 2015
Finally, a lone new screenshot has been released on Facebook today. Looks like on Sunday we get a limited version of the daily dose. You can check it out at the top of the post.