THE WITCHER Exclusive: Anne Toole Discusses Writing The Video Games And The Comic Books

We spoke with writer Anne Toole about her work on The Witcher video games and comic books, and she mentioned how they reference one another as well as the novels. Check out what she has to say below!

Interviews Opinion

Nowadays, everyone knows about The Witcher franchise thanks to the highly successful game, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, and the live-action series on Netflix. However, when the original game adaptation of the novels released on the PC in 2007, the franchise was still in its infancy and had a lot of room to grow. The success of that first installment is due, in large part, to the expert work of writer Anne Toole.

Toole is a writer who has worked on games such as Days Gone and Horizon Zero Dawn, and the latter has now received a comic book spimoff that Toole is currently writing. Typically, professional journeys like these can take a creator to the wildest of places, and in the grand scheme, the fantasy world of The Witcher is a far cry from, for example, the world of Days Gone

We spoke with Toole recently about her new Horizon Zero Dawn series and asked about her time on The Witcher as well.

There is a full audio interview where we read her responses, along with another interview with Assassin's Creed Origins writer Anthony Del Col! Make sure to check those out, and don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Comic Brooks: Is there a large difference between writing for comics and video games?

Anne Toole: Each medium presents its own perks and challenges. Games obviously provide the feeling of choice to the player and allow them to feel immersed in the world and the story. Simultaneously, some game’s budgets can restrict the number and way the scenes are produced. Limited animation tools can also make it harder for the player to see the emotion in a scene. 

Comics can really communicate the emotion of a scene visually. Because they hold a snapshot in time, they can emphasize important character emotion, or plot points that might be glossed over in games or other motion media (if that's a term!)

Anne Toole: Comics have all the strengths of fiction because they can include internal monologue or text description, as well as the strengths of visual media to communicate mood, emotion, and more. Unfortunately, print comics don't have a flexible page count. If you want one more page or one less, you're a bit stuck. In that way, games have a lot more flexibility.

I appreciate how the series honors both the books and the game. The games are intended to be a sequel, while the series more closely references the books themselves. However, the action scenes still evoke the games, which I think is pretty cool. As far as I know, the series didn't have to reference the games at all, so that little nod to them is nice.

*This article has been edited for clarity.*

The game takes place in a land know simply as the continent and tells the story of Geralt of Rivia, a witcher – a genetically enhanced human with special powers trained to slay monsters.

Horizon Zero Dawn is out now from Titan Comics!

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