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Why are CD Projekt’s side quests so good? Cyberpunk quest designer says they rejected “more than 90%” of their ideas

CD Projekt RED’s two biggest RPG hits, The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, are known for their big storylines and compelling characters, but it’s more common to hear gamers constantly mention the little adventures they have between the main stories. In an interview with PC Gamer at GDC 2024, Cyberpunk 2077 lead quest designer Pavel Sasko said that this is mainly due to the fact that they come up with a lot of ideas and only use the best ones.

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A good designer has a rate of acceptance of his ideas between five and 10%. If someone has 10%, then they are probably one of the best people on our team.

Sasko emphasized that for CD Projekt, the key to weeding out bad ideas was a process where quest designers present all their ideas to the team so that the best ones stand out.

That’s what I do with our designers is I say, okay, here’s a list of genres. Here is a list of topics I want you to work with. Write me pitches. And then they write, yes, five, 10, 20 a day. Essentially, a great pitch is just four sentences.

Sasko made it clear that in his opinion, even the best people have a lot of bad ideas, and they should choose only the best ones to implement them.

No creator can have only great ideas. We all have shitty ideas, tons of them, we only pick the top 5%.

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Sasko also wanted to make it clear that most side quest ideas can be implemented within budget.

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