WitcherCon 2021: The Future of The Witcher Franchise

Source: WitcherCon

Event overview:

Toss a coin to your Witcher, O’ Valley of Plenty… The popular Witcher franchise had their first-ever virtual convention on the 10th of July, which aired 2 times on Youtube and Twitch. This would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the remarkable teams from Netflix and CD Projekt Red. Their collaborative effort has thrilled fans worldwide to witness a convention dedicated to their passion — The Witcher. This event showcased details about the world within The Witcher, the games and the upcoming TV series. 

How It All Started?

In 1985, before the show even existed, The first-ever Witcher was a short story written by Polish author Andrezj Sapkowski to join a competition. Despite getting 3rd place which brought Sapkowksi disappointment, he received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the readers that inspired him to continue writing more stories. Eventually, this blossomed into a series of 15 short stories and 6 fantasy novels and adaptations, such as a series of comic books, which has its own fan base worldwide. 

Panel 1: The Witcher Season 2: Deck of Destiny

Destinies collide when the cast and showrunner of Netflix’s The Witcher draw cards from an enigmatic deck of fan questions that will determine the path of the panel and the immediate fate of the guests. But these are no ordinary cards – prepare for surprise reveals, backstage insights, and a dash of chaos as our panellists take us through their journey of filming Season 2. The group of panellists consists of the old and new cast that will appear in the 2-minute teaser trailer for season 2, which will be aired on the 17th of December. 

All kinds of fan questions and fan-arts were displayed from the Deck of Destiny. By answering the questions, the panellists shared their experience throughout the production, how they develop their characters, and how their real-life personalities resembled their characters. They even shared how they bonded with each other, which strengthened as the series went on. Lauren (showrunner) was amazed by how the characters in The Witcher inspired their audiences and related to them on a personal level. 

Besides, Season 2 will primarily be showcasing the home of every Witcher, Kaer Mohen [inside Kaer mohen]. The appearance of Vesemir is one of the most exciting aspects that she’s looking forward to, and the interaction between Ciri and Vesemir being her favourite scene. 

Lauren also mentioned that the beginning of Season 2 reveals how Geralt interacts with Ciri after meeting at the ending of S1. The journey of someone who has no feelings for others forges a relationship with someone with substantial trust issues will be one of the highlights of the series. 

The producers were strict in terms of sharing the sneak peek. Here, Lauren (showrunner) was trying her best to stop Freya (Ciri) from spoiling anything (12:40). Nevertheless, here are a few sneak peeks that were showcased during the stream, 

  1. Leshen/ Leshy, an ancient wood spirit
Source: IGN
  1. Training development between Lambert and Ciri
Source: WitcherCon
  1. Jaskier’s new look in season 2
Source: WitcherCon
  1. Dark house figures of Geralt on sale on 23/7 
  1. The Witcher S2 released date
Source: Techradar
  1. The Witcher: Monster Slayer, an AR mobile app developed by Spokko
source: Playstore
  1. The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, a 2D animated dark fantasy film for Netflix that will be released on August 23rd
source: Netflix

Behind The Scenes of the Witcher Netflix Season 2:

Humans of the Continent: Armourer Nick Jeffries

Humans of the Continent: Puppeteers Matt Fraser and Dan Gregory

Humans of the Continent: Lens Technician Ashruti Patel

Humans of the Continent: Assistant Director Jordan McInnis

Humans of the Continent: Base PA Georgia Rolfe 

CD Projekt Red’s Memories from the Path: Stories Behind The Witcher Games

For over 13 years, the Witcher series of games has captured the imagination of gamers worldwide. Now, the developers behind the games discussed how they brought their immersive stories to life — before revisiting old memories, uncovering forgotten artefacts, and reminiscing about their favourite moments from the franchise. Philipp Weber and Blazej Augustynek, both acting lead quest designers from CDPR Warsaw and Krakow, respectively, talked about the development of The Witcher games. 

Source: WitcherCon

Philipp Weber, Acting Lead Quest Designer, CDPR Studio in Warsaw 

Source: WitcherCon

Blazej Augustynek, Acting Lead Quest Designer in CDPR Studio in Krakow

There are many options on how one can explore and experience the Witcher, be it from books, games and the recent Netflix series. Being game developers, their job is to allow the players to immerse themselves in the game, establishing a unique experience that other mediums cannot achieve. Additionally, the game’s timeline took place after the books, which allowed more room for creative expression, which was already challenging by itself. They continued recounting their journey of the initial development phase of the games, such as finding inspiration from Andrezj Sapkowski and what inspired him. Themes that represented certain areas of the map and what the locals were going through included Novigrad, one of the largest free cities within Redenia where criminals reigned supreme. 

CDPR also aimed to intrigue the players’ minds as the stories unfold. Many social issues within the Witcher games can be easily identified. One of them is racism. For instance, the relationship between humans and elves has always been tense, which caused a lot of world wars, civil wars, etc. Thus, as quest designers, they have to anticipate the players’ reactions when presenting choices to them. Through this recipe for success, the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt became one of the best-selling games of all time with tons of awards across the world, which includes The Game Awards, D.I.C.E. Awards, etc. Game critics agreed that the game’s attention to detail, in-depth storyline creates an immersive experience for players. 

A Trip Down Memory Lane With The Devs

A group of developers was invited to the studio to reminisce about the old times. CDPR has come a long way from a team of 2 people to what the company is today.

Source: WitcherCon

Adam Badowksi, Head of the studio & Lucjan Wiecek, Environment Art Director

Source: WitcherCon

Borys Pugacz-Muraszkiewicz, English Adaptation Director & Krzysztof Krzyscin, Technical Art Director

Source: WitcherCon

Marcin Blacha, Story Director & Michał Platkow-Gilewski, Director of PR and Communication

Panel 2: Geralt of T-Rivia

It is a meeting of the Witcher masterminds as key creators of the Witcher games and The Witcher Netflix series team up to test their knowledge of the wider Witcher universe. In this pub quiz-style game, behind-the-scenes tidbits and spoiler sneak peeks are prized just as much as the correct answers.

The 4 participants were teamed as follows: 

Blue Team: Lauren Schmidt Hissrich and Blazej Augustynek

Red Team: Declan De Barra, writer of The Witcher and showrunner of The Witcher: Blood Origin and Phillipp Webber

Source: WitcherCon
Source: WitcherCon

A total of 9 questions were asked, including a game of Pictionary, where Lauren and Declan were supposed to draw a ghoul. Declan’s unique artwork managed to win the intense matchup between all 4 loremasters. 

Source: WitcherCon

However, Declan appreciated Lauren’s assistance when answering one of the questions, and he gifted his point to Blue Team. He then proceeded to grab a prop skull of a griffin that he named ‘Sir Gwyneth of Gryffindor’ as a token of appreciation. He also got another prop, Halberd, a common weapon used by the soldiers in The Witcher 3 for his team. 

Tour of Kaer Morhen

The core of the Witcher universe, the home of every witcher and how they were created. The next video showcased its lore and visual style across 2D, 3D and live-action formats from the game, the series and the anime film.

Source: Witcher Wiki

Tales from the White Wolf: A Conversation With Henry Cavill 

The Witcher star Henry Cavill sat down with host Josh Horowitz for an in-depth conversation about what lies ahead for Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher Season 2, premiering December 17 2021, worldwide on Netflix.

Henry Cavill, cast as Geralt of Rivia. 

House band Performances by Marcin Przybyłowicz and Percival

House band performances of The Witcher game original soundtracks, composed by Marcin Przybyłowicz, was another highlight of WitcherCon. The time frame of each track is as follows:

  • 2:12 Silver for Monsters 
  • 1:17:10 Cloak and Dagger
  • 1:55:09 Ladies of the Woods
  • 2:03:33 Wolven Storm
  • 2:53:03 Jomsborg 

Here’s the whole tracklist for the Witcher 3

Let’s hope that Season 2 is as good as Season 1 or even better!

Check out their official websites and social media to find out more! 

Witcher Netflix: Facebook Instagram Twitter Youtube

The Witcher Game: Facebook Instagram Twitter Discord

3rd party: Netflix Central  IGN

Written by: Alex

Edited by: Maki

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