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CDPR’s Visual Artist on “Downgrade-ation”: “Very unfair to compare trailers and gameplay demos”

YouTube’s member ‘docm77’ has just posted a new video in which CD Projekt RED’s visual effects artist talks and shares his opinion about the whole The Witcher 3’s “downgrade-ation”. As CDPR’s artist told docm77, CDPR did not downgrade the game’s visuals. Moreover, CDPR’s artist claimed that it is unfair to compare a trailer and a gameplay demo.

“No we didn’t downgrade, it’s… no we didn’t downgrade. Because it’s impossible to downgrade a game that didn’t exist before or wasn’t playable before.

Actually there was a guy that commented like that, you can’t downgrade something that… there was no grade to downgrade. He was comparing final product to something that wasn’t playable.

There’s two things that people have to separate. Downgrade is… Optimization is necessary to make the game run. Downgrade is if you deliberatery make the game worse, for whatever reason. That’s totally not what happened.

Also there’s another thing that people have to understand is that it’s very unfair to compare trailers and gameplay demos. Trailer is.. trailer is a beautiful shot. Trailer is prepared, you take one location, you put the perfect lights, and the perfect camera angle, and the perfect scene, and it looks absolutely beautiful. It’s captured in super high definition and then you postprocess it. It’s a trailer.

But a gameplay demo, that’s when you see the real game. That’s when you see what the real game looks like.”

But what about the infamous 2013 gameplay demo (and the one NVIDIA used to showcase some of its techniques used in it)? Well, CDPR’s claimed that the 2013 gameplay demo featured an old shader system and that the final version actually sports a better one.

“In 2013 we had a gameplay demo, shortly after that demo we completely… If you look graphics in that demo we used an old shader system, it wasn’t this physically based shader system. It was a little bit flatter. Some things were sharper, too sharp even. There was this sharpening filter that was too hard on the eyes. So we changed the whole shader system and put in this PBR system. And it just kept getting nicer and nicer.”

Normally, this should make the game look better than its 2013 gameplay demo and not the other way around. In fact – and from what we’ve seen so far – the game’s textures, terrain, particles and draw distance are not up to its 2013 standards. Moreover, the lighting feels flatter in the new lighting system (and not the other way around as CDPR’s artist claimed).

Furthermore, the claim that players should not compare trailers with gameplay demos is opposite to what CDPR was claiming a while back. In case you’ve forgotten, CDPR claimed that it was not afraid of comparisons between the final and the older builds, and that players would be able to match the visuals of the VGX trailer.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt releases on May 19th, and here is the full interview with CDPR’s artist comment about the game’s downgrade-ation.

WITCHER 3 : DOWNGRADING, SEX, SPEEDRUN and more! Developer Interview | Docm77

John Papadopoulos

John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities. Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved - and still does - the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the "The Evolution of PC graphics cards." Contact: Email