Posts Tagged ‘jonathan-blow’

Six Years Later, The Witness Gets A Release Date

The Witness [official site] always sounds to me like a Lynda La Plante two-part drama which would air on ITV and feature foreboding music and chilling crime. Braid creator J.Blo thinks differently and has now presented a taster of his brightly-coloured, six years in the making puzzle island in the form of a launch date trailer.

Video and thoughts below:

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A Good Puzzle Game Is Hard To Build

Making a puzzle game is certainly no piece of cake! Ha! Ha! Ha! *cuts wrists*

I love puzzle games. But it’s not beating them that’s the exciting part: it’s understanding them.

Whether mulling over a cryptic crossword or somersaulting through Portal’s portals, there’s a moment of epiphany which, for me, pretty much transcends all other moments in gaming. But how do you design a puzzle to best provoke that eureka moment? What gives a puzzle its aesthetic, its pace and texture? Why does one puzzle feel thrilling while another feels like a flat mental grind?

I’ve asked three of my favourite puzzle game designers to demystify their dark magicks: Jonathan Blow, best known for the puzzle-platformer Braid and currently hard at work on firstperson perplexathon, The Witness; Alan “Draknek” Hazelden, creator of Sokoban-inspired sequential-logic games, including Sokobond, Mirror Isles and the forthcoming A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build; and Jonathan Whiting, a programmer on Sportsfriends and collaborator with Hazelden on Traal, whose own games are a regular Ludum Dare highlight.

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No Longer Silent: Ten Minutes Of The Witness

Witness this.

The Witness is Jonathan Blow’s next game, so it makes sense that it be filled with brain-teasing puzzles. It makes a little less sense to me that those puzzles be mazes, which appear on screens littered around its colourful island environment. How do the screens and the world interact?

There’s ten minutes of new footage below, as recorded by YouTube user NukemDukem at a preview event last November. It shows the game’s opening and introductory puzzles, and it certainly looks interesting.

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Witness Jon Blow’s The Witness In Motion

Apparently “PlayStation 4 will be the only console that The Witness is on” when it first launches. Which is a very un-clever way of saying, “and also, it’ll be on PC,” but whatever. We get an actual, factual trailer of Braid creator Jonathan Blow’s latest out of the deal, so Sony’s inhumanly lengthy, droning “pppfffthrp” of a commercial‘s no skin off my nose. But I digress. The Witness, if you’ll remember, is set on an open-world island full of laser puzzles. It also looks exceedingly attractive. I’m not sure what to think about the puzzles themselves, but it’s tough to get a bead on these things when you’re not, you know, solving them. Anyway, trailer ahoy!

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Indie Game: The Movie Coming To Steam

I’ve got a mighty fine idea. Why not point a camera at a bunch of creative sorts and let them speak their minds? That’s how Indie Game: The Movie was made, although I suspect editing the hundreds of hours of footage into something watchable, fascinating and entertaining was the hard part. Perhaps that’s why Swirsky and Pajot’s film won World Cinema Documentary Editing Award at Sundance 2012. Everyone will be able to watch it soon, or at least anyone near an internet connection, as it will be available as a downloadable purchase on June 12th. What’s most intriguing about this is that one of the download services carrying the film will be Steam. This leads to the obvious questions: will every film in the world soon be available on Steam and will Episode Three be a cinemovie?

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Putting The Fun In Funding: Jon Blow On Indie Fund

Else what?
Games backed by the collective of successful, experienced, indie developers funding game projects that they believe in, Indie Fund, have started to release to great success. What better time to catch up with one of the fund’s partners, Braid designer Jonathan Blow, to find out more about where they’re at, and get an insight into their process for funding games. Here he is sharing about some of what goes on behind the scenes, what it takes to get their money, and what direction the fund might be heading in the future. Read the rest of this entry »

Coming to Blow’s: The Witness Interview

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Master Jonathan Blow has achieved unexpected fame and fortune through the creation of a logistical contrivance called Braid. Glad of this success, he has travelled far from his native San Francisco to take lodgings in riotous London’s Clerkenwell district, so that he might demonstrate his his newest invention – rudely entitled “The Witness” – to the skeptical souls of the old world, including Mister Griliopoulos, unexpectedly standing in for Professor Rossignol. We join the interview at the point where the auteur is struggling with the thinking device hosting his daemonic design.

Now do read on…

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The Witness: Hands On

In an antiquarian hotel room in London’s historic Clerkenwell, Braid creator Jonathan Blow is shaking his shaven head. His laptop has decided it doesn’t want to run The Witness, his new game and he’s copying all the files over to his spare laptop. (If you want to know what it says about Blow that he’s the sort of man who carries a spare laptop… go hire a haruspex.) The game, he tells me, has just over a year to go now, with the appearance and sound likely to change; the 300 puzzles, though, they’ll stay the same. As he copies, I watch the file-names flick by: …theater… trees… rocket launcher… caves… wait, rocket launcher? It turns out Blow was making a very different game after Braid, before the Witness and some of the files are still hanging around in The Witness.
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Indie Game: The Movie: The Trailer

Levinim Font: The Movie

Indie Game: The Movie has been in the making for a good while now and all the bits we’ve seen so far have been fairly interesting. The filmmakers are into the final stretch of post-production now and to rally the hounds of publicity they’ve released an official trailer, which I should warn you contains footage of some intense-looking young men in thick-rimmed glasses.

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The Witness Debuts To Few Witnesses

I'm hoping The Island is some kind of Prisoner riff.

While Spyparty and Monaco were rocking PAX as hard as their mighty indie thews could manage, Jonathan Blow wanted to do something a little subtler. In a corner of the Spyparty/Monaco booth, with no fanfare or sign-age whatsoever, the Braid-creator set up the Witness and let people come and play. Why unveil his work in such a way? As opposed to the general melee of a show, he “wanted to do something that is subtle, and a surprise — if you notice it, and decide to investigate, you find something unexpected”. Also, let people play as long as they want. Among them was Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo who wrote up some impressions and took some cam-footage…
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