“No pun intended. Well, maybe a bit.”
Whether you’re looking for a passionate night with a sorceress or a quick visit to the local brothel, you won’t have a hard time finding sex in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Just as any quest or cutscene, these moments of lust are created by the CD Projekt Red team, including Senior Writer Karoline Stachyra, who recently spoke to Vice about what goes into making sex within a complex game world.
“Characters come first, no pun intended,” Stachyra says. “Well, maybe a bit. But really, characters are what drive Wild Hunt.” It’s the authenticity of these characters and the moments between them that create something of interest between the sheets, even if that means incorporating a stuffed unicorn.
“They did it on the unicorn because there’s this particular chemistry between them,” Stachyra says of the famed scene, which is inspired directly from the books. “It’s just a thing they’d do. You don’t need to explain it, for them, and it’s like an inside joke that you as the gamer are privy to. It’s just natural for these characters.”
One main concern for the team was Geralt and keeping any of his love-interest interactions from feeling like a “conquest.”
“I often get asked things like, ‘What’s the key to creating a good strong female character’,” she continues, “as we have our share – think of Cerys, Ciri, Triss, Yen, Keira Metz and many more. And my answer is always: I don’t know, because I don’t think that way. When I write, I create a character. A flawed character, a magnificent character, a genuine character, you name it. But it’s never a male or female character. And this applies to sex scenes in Wild Hunt as well.”
Towards the end, Stachyra also notes that you don’t have to feel too bad if you settled in with Shani during the Witcher 3 Hearts of Stone expansion (like I did):
“Hearts of Stone is detached from the main storyline, so, technically, you had sex ‘in parallel’ to what you experienced in Wild Hunt, so you need not feel guilty. But if you still do, it means that we’ve succeeded in creating a character that you actually can identify with. Really identify with.”