Video: Concocting The Witcher 3's dynamic crafting-based economy

CDPR's Matthew Steinke speaks at GDC Europe 2015 about how he led design of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's crafting system and how he made it play nice with the game's dynamic economy.

CD Projekt Red's recently-released open-world game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been praised for its complex in-game crafting system and its dynamic economy, and many developers can learn much from studying how the Polish studio made the two systems work together without breaking the game.

At GDC Europe 2015, CD Projekt Red senior gameplay designer Matthew Steinke said his dream in designing the economy of Wild Hunt was to create “a gameplay mechanism to bind the world together,” but the reality of doing so proved difficult.

During his hour-long talk he outlined some of the challenges he faced, and explained how they were surmounted through canny use of (among other things) economic theory, durability mechanics, and spreadsheets. Lots and lots of spreadsheets.

Steinke's presentation was highly informative, and you can now watch the whole thing for free over on the GDC Vault. It's well worth your time, especially if you love designing economic and crafting systems in games.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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