Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Blow’

How Does The Witness Teach Without Words?

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites a developer to help him put their game up on blocks and take a wrench to hack out its best feature, just to see how it works.

The Witness [official site] is generally considered to be very hard. It is frequently very hard! I’m feeling a little brutalised by a succession of puzzles that I encountered last night. But I’m not sure it’s particularly hard compared to all puzzle games. Sokobond, Pullblox and Box Boy on Nintendo 3DS, Spacechem, The Talos Principle: I find all good puzzle games hard.

But in The Witness you feel peculiarly alone. Everything you know about the game you’ve learned yourself from observation and experimentation, a feature that doesn’t make The Witness unique, but combined with its sheer wordlessness, it makes its puzzles feel awfully cold when you’re stumped. And yet answers do come, because the game is always subtly teaching you, a lesson that starts right at the game’s beginning, in the Entry Yard, where you experience its:

THE MECHANIC: Non-verbal tutorial

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The Witness And Its Colour Palettes

So this is the irritating situation I find myself in. I want to talk about the things I’ve found and seen and taken pictures of in The Witness [official site]. Except because of the infernal “environmental clue-giving” aspect I can’t do that without running the risk of giving spoilers or whatnot by accident – spoilers I might not even know exist.

But! I have uploaded the images from different areas to Colourstory which is an app I use to get an idea for the relative proportions of colours in a picture/set of pictures. Here I was using it because I wanted to see whether the differences between each area were as striking as I thought they were when I was wandering between puzzles. The results were pretty in and of themselves AND, unless J. Blo was using relative proportions of colour to impart valuable game information (OH NO, WHAT IF HE WAS DOING THAT?) I think these would be classed as spoiler-free!

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Wot I Think: The Witness

After a whopping seven years in development, Jonathan Blow’s follow-up to Braid is finally here. The Witness [official site] throws out much — though not all — of the pompousness of its predecessor to deliver a less obtuse, modernised riff on Myst. And it’s actually quite brilliant, if you can ignore its layer of self-satisfied philosophical grandiosity. Here’s wot I think.

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The Witness Sells Well, Next Game “Maybe Bigger”

I’d normally not care one jot about how many copies a game has sold, but there has been enough reportage of The Witness‘s budget that I can’t deny I’m interested in how it fared. So maybe you’d also like to know that Jonathan Blow has said on Twitter that the game “is on track to sell more in a week than Braid sold in its first year.”

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Get Up, Come On, Get Down With The Witness

As you might have guessed from all the riotous jokes on Twitter about finding the laser gun in The Witness [official site], about losing the boss battle with the ice wizard on level three, asking how to craft a diamond pickaxe, about unlocking the warp drive, and about the ghost, J. Blo & co’s puzzler came out last night. We’ll be telling you Wot We Think in a bit, but for now here’s a reminder that hey, it is out!

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The Witness’s Famous Voices And Regular Prices

Jonathan Blow’s time-twisting platformer Braid was a powerful force in the latest resurgence of indie games, helping propel them into the relative mainstream. Since 2008, J. Blo and his studio have been working on The Witness [official site], and the colourful puzzler will finally arrive on January 26th. Consider this me reminding you of that, while also relaying word that it’ll cost £30 and its voice cast includes some folks that might make you say “Hey! I liked that voice they did! e.g. Ellie from The Last of Us off that there PlayStation, and Hermes out Futurama.” You talk funny.

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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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