The Witness

Game Informer has posted some new screenshots of The Witness, an upcoming exploration/puzzle game for PC and iPad. … ience.aspx

I’ve been following this game’s progress for a while. For those who haven’t heard of it, it’s the next game from Jonathan Blow, the creator of Braid. I have the utmost respect for what he has to say about games in general. One of the things he argues is that many games manipulate the player into progressing, rather than respecting the player’s time and making the game rewarding in of itself. My understanding is that he tends to favour games which offer intrinsic rewards which come from the process of playing the game, such as the reward of the puzzle solving process occurring in players mind, rather than extrinsic rewards such as earning gold or points from defeating an enemy. I’m quite sympathetic towards this view of what games should strive to be.

There’s a trailer for this game now: … ely-on-ps4
It’s also coming out on PS4 first, presumably the other versions will be released after the exclusivity period.

So, he discovered Myst. Cool.

Myst was indeed the first thing that came to mind when I watched the video. Doesn’t have to be a bad thing I guess.

I don’t think the trailer is going to show what makes this game special. Blow has stated that there’s a “magic moment” in The Witness which is like a story spoiler, except that it relates to the mechanics of the game. Braid has a moment like this as well which could be considered a major spoiler.

It does remind me of Myst. Perhaps it will be a modern day reimagining of those old point and click adventure games.


Myst was indeed the first thing that came to mind when I watched the video. Doesn’t have to be a bad thing I guess.[/quote]

Myst is a classic. But it was born in a different era when there was a big market for that type of game. It makes me wonder what happened between now and then to change people so much.

If this game or type of game has low dev costs and gathers a small fanbase it could survive.

It’s like two guys making it so I assume it doesn’t need to sell much, much like Braid. Adventure games are of a classic genre that still survives reasonably however, they’re not completely lost. Between Wadjet Eye, Telltale Games, random Euro releases like Book of Unwritten Tales, new approaches to the fundamentals like Amnesia, and much more, there are plenty that seem to do well, enough for the genre to live on. I don’t think they need to worry about the genre as a factor that will stop it from succeeding.

Sony are probably paying them buckets of money for the PS4 exclusivity period too.

According to their site, The Witness has development team of nine, which seems like a good number. Big enough to allow the game to have some scope, while small enough to avoid feeling impersonal like many larger titles.

Hmm, okay it turns out being released on the PS4 had more to do with the system’s specs compared to the next Xbox’s specs. Curious. … main-happy

There’s a video here from the PS4 conference with Jonathan Blow talking about the game: … ystation-4

He claims that the world will be open but feel compact, without filler, with everything in the world being placed for a reason. Sounds similar to Braid, but on a larger scale.

He will be releasing it on iOS too so I seriously doubt it’s the Nextbox specs at fault.

I understood the choice to be out of the consoles, with the PS4’s specs being preferable out of the three. It might come to the next Xbox and Wii U later (and maybe Mac, Linux, and Android), but it sounds like they’re just focusing on one console to start with.

wtf!!! i been waiting for this game expecting it to be on PC now i get this sucker punch =(

You must have misread. It will release on PC and while he’s not confirmed that he’s said it’s also possible to release simultaneously with the PS4 as their deal with Sony is only in regards to competing console platforms, not other platforms like the PC.

He specifically said he doesn’t even know anything about the Microsoft console and put the decision down to prior contact with Sony and easily acquiring a PS4 dev kit.

The rest is rather vague and jumps the gun. Talking about how the PS4 is about the games while implying Microsoft will put the focus on other things, trusting rumours about the specifications, etc. I’m sure all consoles will have comparable non gaming functions. Social crap, media capabilities, they all are things they’ve been pushing already and will continue to do so as they strive to take control of the living room. If anything Sony popularized the idea that consoles could do more than play games when they made the PS2 a DVD player, and have stood by that direction all along. Basically his blurb sounds like Sony marketing but at least he admits that while they didn’t receive money for the exclusivity period they got other things like being on the PS4 launch show.

He also says in that post “all our technical people like the PS4 specs a lot more than the leaked Durango specs”. The Wii U’s specs are obviously lower than PS4’s specs too, so it sounds like they prefer PS4 technically out of the three.