Multiplayer gameplay and procedurally generated environments will feature in the next Witcher game, currently codenamed Project Sirius.
Although not The Witcher 4, Sirius is a spin-off entry in the Witcher series currently under development at CD Projekt Red subsidiary The Molasses Flood. Revealed in an investors’ presentation (opens in new tab) yesterday, the game is currently in pre-production and pitched as “an innovative take on The Witcher Universe”.
On Twitter (opens in new tab), CD Projekt Red confirmed Sirius will include multiplayer elements on top of a single-player campaign spanning “quests and a story”. There’s no hint yet as to whether that will take the form of competitive multiplayer or online co-op.
The Continent like you’ve never seen it before
A couple of new job listings have given us more of an inkling into what witchering sorcery The Molasses Flood is cooking up. As spotted by GamesRadar (opens in new tab), they suggest the upcoming Witcher game will include procedurally generated levels – that is, environments that are created algorithmically rather than manually crafted.
The lead level designer (opens in new tab) listing describes Sirius as a game in which “many environments will be procedurally generated”. The senior level designer post (opens in new tab), meanwhile, calls for someone who can create levels that involve both hand-crafted and procedural elements, as well as level chunks that can be “recombined and arranged by a procedural system”.
The Molasses Flood is no stranger to procedural generation. It’s best known for creating 2016 roguelike survival game The Flame in the Flood, in which you forage for resources and craft tools in a post-apocalyptic version of the US, while making your way down a procedurally generated river. Its 2020 co-op survival game Drake Hollow also featured a procedurally generated map, on which you’d build a settlement and rescue creatures.
The studio was founded in 2014 by a group of developers who’d previously worked across the Bioshock, Halo, and Guitar Hero series. During Molasses Flood’s acquisition last year, CD Projekt Red said it would work in close cooperation with the studio but the team would “keep their current identity and will not be merged with existing teams”. Part of that identity appears to be a proficiency with procedural generation.