In an interview with DSOGaming, CD Projekt RED’s Senior Technical Producer, Greg Rdzany, and Lead Engine Programmer, Balazs Torok, discussed why the Polish developer and producer opted to create their own engine rather than use commercial engines like Frostbite 3, CryENGINE and Unreal Engine 4.
Greg Rdzany had this to say about the company’s decision to build in-house:
The short version: after our work on W1, which gave us a lot of experience with the Aurora engine, we concluded that ready-made solutions were not fully capable of giving us the creative freedom we were looking for. After evaluating different possibilities and exhaustive discussions we decided to start developing our own technology – technology that would fit our needs perfectly, not only in terms of rendering but also when it comes to tools. RPG games are very complex, so designers and artists require a lot of specialized solutions allowing them to create vast, believable worlds and compelling stories. We believe REDengine provides such support.
Balazs Torok continued:
The big licensable engines are really great – there’s a team of experts behind them developing every little piece and this creates something that sets the bar really high for us – but we believe that these engines are also very general in their nature. We try to concentrate on all the features that make our engine and toolset especially good for making RPG games, and this specialization allows us to have a smaller team providing high quality solutions on par with the engines mentioned above. With that said, our engine is modular enough that it could be used to make different kinds of games if such a decision was made.
Frostbite 3, CryENGINE and Unreal Engine 4 are extremely powerful and capable engines, but The Witcher 3 is using some very unique technology – most notably “fur tech” – that, when running at full capacity, brings even the most powerful PC’s to their knees.
At PAX West last month, Nvidia showed off this “fur tech” running on a Titan at only 1024×768 with two wolves on screen, and could only hit 65fps. You can imagine how taxing the game will be be on your system when its running fully and with more than two wolves on screen. It’s no wonder CD Projekt RED made the decision to develop internally for their specific needs.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is scheduled to be released in 2014 on the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.