Posts Tagged ‘The Witness’

The Witness And The Joy Of Note-Taking

Inspired by recent experiences with The Witness’ [official site] puzzles, Robert Zak has been reminiscing about the art of note-taking while playing games. From graph paper for dungeon crawlers to suspicions and clues for Her Story [official site], many genres are represented, with only the noble pen and paper to hold them together.

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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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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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A People’s History Of The FPS, Part 1: The WAD


“A People’s History” is a three part essay series by Robert Yang. He told us that he wanted to write an alternate view of the traditionally accepted history of the FPS genre as entirely dominated and driven by the mainstream, commercial industry, and to “argue for a long-standing but suppressed tradition of non-industry involvement in the first-person genre”. This is part one.

In 1994, the New York Times filed a review of a first-person game under its “Arts” section, proclaiming it to be “a game that weaves together image, sound and narrative into a new form of experience.” It sold millions of copies and inspired dozens of imitators. It seemed poised to define an era.

That game was Myst and it failed to define an era. Instead, a game called Doom came out three months after Myst — and then it shot Myst in the face.
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