Prior to the Gwent standalone announcement at E3, Phil caught up with designer Damien Monnier—then of CD Projekt Red—about the origins of The Witcher 3's alluring card-based minigame. If you've got time to read that in its entirety you should, however one thing which struck me about Monnier was his enthusiasm and desire to create something original. Gwent is most likely proof of that—although a "massive team effort"—which may be why Dying Light developer Techland has employed Monnier as a lead designer on the studio's forthcoming, and as yet unnamed, open-world fantasy game with RPG elements.
As reported by Eurogamer earlier this year, Techland compared its new and elusive open-world game as similar to Dying Light—"maybe in a slightly bigger sense than Dying Light ... [but] it's RPG elements rather than RPG game"—with co-op multiplayer and single player features. Again in conversation with EG, Techland said this of its latest hire:
"As a whole, we're extremely excited to welcome all the recent additions to the Techland family. We've got really big ambitions for our next internally developed games so people with ingenious ideas as well as the skill and knowledge to bring them to life are absolutely essential."
Speaking to that last point, Monnier was a senior gameplay designer on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the lead designer on Gwent's currently in beta standalone, and was previously a level and game designer at Sony working on the likes of MotorStorm and DriveClub. Although Monnier's reasons for parting ways with CD Projekt Red are unknown, this tweet upon his departure would suggest it was on good terms:
Goodbye @CDPROJEKTRED - Thank you for all the great memories. Time for #NewAdventuresNovember 7, 2016