Advertisement
Games

The 'Witcher 3' Modder Who Gave Geralt a 'Shredded Steel Body'

And here's the kicker: it wasn't about making him sexier.

by Patrick Klepek
Feb 23 2017, 3:00pm

In a post-truth world, it can be hard to find facts we can agree on, but there's no arguing that Geralt of Rivia, the star of CD Projekt RED's Witcher series, is one handsome monster slayer. But his default look wasn't enough for modder oneofmanypeople, who's been slowly updating his Geralt on Steroids mod for the last few years, to give Geralt a more "shredded steel body."

Many things about oneofmanypeople's mod caught my attention. They thought Geralt's body was "too skinny," his legs too thin. His body is, apparently, out of proportion. A recent update added definition to Geralt's legs. The modding page uses the Comic Sans font—on purpose.

oneofmanypeople is not a prolific modder, but The Witcher 3 has been their focus. Besides dipping into the details of Geralt's abs, they've remodeled his nose to make it smoother ("because why not"), changed his eyes to the color silver ("as requested"), and swapped Wolfen armor from white to red. Everyone has their interest, and theirs is the cosmetic.

Building on last week's interview with a modder who added jerk off schedules to some male characters in Stardew Valley, I decided to poke around mods that changed men in games, largely because it's so uncommon. If you scroll through mods for The Witcher 3, you'll find hundreds of mods that modify the clothing (or, more often, the lack thereof) and bodies of the game's women, from the size of their breasts to giving every woman "visible vaginas and pubic hair." It's a smorgasbord. At least there's a mod that lets you choose the size of Geralt's dick.

Thankfully, oneofmanypeople was willing to chat about Geralt on Steroids. If you've missed my other modding interviews, I've linked them at the bottom.

Waypoint: Tell me a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living?

oneofmanypeople: I'm 25, living in Germany, and I'm just finishing my studies. It's a masters degree in mechanical engineering, and in the future, I'll develop and design technical products. My hobbies are sports activities, especially fitness, gymnastics, parkour, breakdance. But also electronic sports, as you can see—haha.

How many hours have you put into The Witcher 3? C'mon, be honest.

oneofmanypeople: About 300 hours. Along with Skyrim, [it's] definitely the game I played most in my life. It's a fantastic game in every aspect. Great gameplay, nice graphics, and a huge content, with fantastic DLCs.

Images courtesy of oneofmanypeople

What inspired you to make the mod in the first place? Was there a moment you said "Look, Geralt is hot as shit, but not has as shit enough."

oneofmanypeople: Well, when I first saw Geralt's body without any armor, he seemed way too skinny for my taste. I never read the books and also don't exactly know how the witchers mutation is intended to be. But I never heard that witchers can't build much muscle mass, so his look seemed way too weak. I mean, he is one great monster slayer, and my unpopular opinion is that he needs to have much more strength for this passion. It's not about a "hot" Geralt or something, for me it's just more appropriate to see Geralt with a shredded steel body.

What's your experience with modding? The ones you've published on Nexus Mods are specifically Witcher-related, but have you dabbled in the past?

oneofmanypeople: The Witcher 3 [was] indeed was my first experience with modding, and until now, I didn't mod any other game. I actually don't spend very much time with modding; playing the game is more fun for me. I also consider [myself] as a very small modder since I don't have big projects or plans, and also do not really cooperate with other modders, due to lack of time for that. When I have an idea of improving something, I give it a try. I do it primarily for own usage, but I share my work whenever I think others could also appreciate it.

Can you talk about your workflow? How do you even go about modifying the Geralt model in The Witcher 3?

oneofmanypeople: Entering the modding scene with The Witcher 3 was pretty hard for me. I always was interested in modding, especially remodeling, because of my general interests in designing. But, in fact, I had nearly no experience with programming, modding workflows and not even with the tools that I used for remodeling the meshes.

On top of that, the game is not very "modding friendly," the workflows are very complex in comparison to other games. But despite the high expenditure for me, I absolutely wanted to get a working mod. I'm an ambitious and determined person, so I had to get that working.

The actual work, like remodeling the meshes which I do with Blender, was the easiest part. It's more the extracting, reuniting, and repacking the modified files to the game that can be a little bit frustrating at the beginning. Unfortunately, by importing the meshes into Blender, some information get lost. So you need other programs to get the lost information and apply them back to the model in Blender.

This process takes much time, [and] is complicated and error-prone. The modding tools for The Witcher 3 are not comparable to those of Skyrim. Some things are not even moddable with the tools, and otherwise, the process is so complicated that most modders don't touch it. That also is the reason why The Witcher 3 has a far smaller modding community then Skyrim or Fallout.

"It's not about a 'hot' Geralt or something, for me it's just more appropriate to see Geralt with a shredded steel body."

Did you model your more muscular take on Geralt on someone in particular? Like a model?

oneofmanypeople: No. The look he got came straight from my imagination of what an impressive muscle body could look. The look also changed with the versions I created.

You've made different versions of the mod over time. What were the big changes over time, and how much was due to user feedback?

oneofmanypeople: In the first version, I only remodeled Geralt's upper body. First, I didn't really focus on the legs because in the game I actually never played in pants. In the comment section, I read about users missing muscular legs, so I decided to add this, as well. That was with some minor improvements [and] additional content in the second version.

In version three and four, I added new normal maps to the whole body because that's the only way to show details without increasing the polygons of the model, which would lead to a performance drop. That was the hardest part for me, but also the most effective to give Geralt not only a big [body] but also that wiry, shredded look.

To get the normal maps, I had to create a completely new high-polygon model and bake the detailed geometry as a shading image to the other model. For my part, it was definitely worth the effort. The changes I made mostly came from my own intentions. I notice all the user feedback but, as I said, I don't have time to fulfill most requests.

By calling the mod "Geralt on steroids," are you insinuating he takes drugs to make him look this good?

oneofmanypeople: No, that's just for fun, I don't take that all too serious. I know some users don't like the naming because in their opinion it kinda breaks the immersion having that naming in mind. I mean seriously? I surely won't change it just because of that. Also, the whole community knows my mod like that, and renaming it would possibly lead to irritation.

Most of the mods for The Witcher 3 deal with the women—taking off their clothes, enhancing their breasts, etc. Why'd you focus on modifying Geralt?

oneofmanypeople: I don't use or support nude mods. For my part, that really breaks the serious nature of the game. Also, huge breasts or half-naked girls for sure is lore-breaking for that kind of game, and is far from logic or realism. Furthermore, I don't want to repeat existing mods or make similar ones. Remodeling Geralt was and still is a unique mod and provides a new experience of the game. Geralt, of course, is the most focused character in the game, and therefore it is an all-time present feature.

OK, I know this is a weird question, but the font you used on the mod page is Comic Sans. On purpose? Accident?

oneofmanypeople: That has no special meaning. I just like to be a little bit different to others, so I didn't use the mainstream fonts like Arial or Times New Roman. I think that font somehow looks looser and makes reading the text more relaxing. Only my personal opinion.

Are you worried that you might have made Geralt too sexy? Is that possible?

oneofmanypeople: I'm not worried about anything. Everyone has his own taste and that should be respected. As I said, for me it's not about sexy, it's about having a manly and impressive Geralt. According to the reactions of many NPCs in The Witcher 3, Geralt has an imposing and frightening appearance and my mod is intended to heighten that.

Follow Patrick on Twitter. If you have a tip or a story idea, drop him an email here.