This series sure has come a long way since this early prototype from 2002.

Remember, this is what The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which launched this week, looks like.

(I love the sunsets in this game!)

We’re only learning about the series’ origins because former project lead Ryszard Chojnowski has started publishing videos on YouTube about his time with the franchise in its early days.

The demo was a point-and-click action game directly inspired by Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, which itself was a riff on Diablo. CD Projekt RED was shopping this around to publishers, and hastily built their prototype using the engine for Mortyr, a World War II shooter from 1999.

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The original plan was to have players create their own characters, rather than play as Geralt. Instead, Geralt would show up as an NPC for players to talk to and interact with.

As one might expect, combat was pretty simple. Point, click, and hope for the best.

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In May 2003, this version was abandoned, and a small team was forged to reconsider what it would mean to bring The Witcher to life. It would take the studio another four years to produce what would become the first proper game in 2007.

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Chojnowski promised more videos are to come, chronicling the early milestones. Can’t wait!

You can reach the author of this post at patrick.klepek@kotaku.com or on Twitter at @patrickklepek.