Getting Things Done

Just wanted to do a quick post saying that we are all working hard on the game, figuring out some of the last unknowns and polishing things up. We are definitely in finish-the-game mode, that’s why the posts have gotten more rare. Here is a shot of the finalized hub area I first posted about in the beginning of the year, to tide you over:




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Irradiance Caching – Continued

Ignacio has posted the conclusion of his series on irradiance caching — at long last! — and released the source code.

This code is a significant chunk of what makes lighting in The Witness as nice as it is.


Posted in Development, Engine Tech | 8 Responses

Road to E3 – Day 5

Final day and a lot more little things to polish than I expected. Every time I got something fixed another problem would pop up.
We got everything in a good state for E3 but there are quite a few more ideas we want to try for the castle visuals,  probably 2 or 3 more days of work .

Here is a screenshot from another angle:


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Road to E3 – Day 4

Getting close to the end of the week.

Most of the key detail has been added to the walls and I feel, if we had to send this build to E3, it wouldn’t be terrible.
We managed to get in some really nice framing details that I won’t spoil here but I’m sure players will appreciate them!
Here is a shot showing the ruined walls work.

shot_2014.06.05__time_18_10_n01Tomorrow I’ll make sure I walk around a lot to hunt down any major issues, get the overall color vibe (mostly get more variation on the walls) and any extra details.


Orsi’s Vegetation Update:

To give a little variation to the post today, I thought I would include some things I have been working on as well. While Luis had been working on the structures around the entry yard, I have been placing the vegetation and cables, and re-working some puzzle related things. Laying out the vegetation early on was important to give the place a sense of scale and to get the overall vibe of the place. I am very happy we got an other chance to re-do all of it, because I think it turned out much more magical this time around:


Even though it’s a much smaller area than it used to be before, I used a different combination of plants in different areas, so people would be less likely to get lost:




I still have polish to do, to match everything to the walls Luis finalizes tomorrow, and then we should be ready for E3!



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Road to E3 – Day 3

This was a very productive day but visually less noticeable.
A lot of “invisible’ stuff got done like collision and occluders to make the area decently playable:

shot_2014.06.04__time_18_33_n03The center building is now complete and we got the layout for the ruined walls so the major task for tomorrow is to get them all detailed (very time consuming!)


And finally some new interior spaces that you can’t really see from the previous angles.



Orsi is in charge of the vegetation (she is amazing at it) so that is one big chunk of work I don’t have to worry about!
I’ll be aiming to have everything done by tomorrow so I can use Friday for polishing and any major issues that I might have missed.



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Road to E3 – Day 2

Here is the progress for today. Detail has been added to the rest of the walls and towers as well as windows and other smaller features.
We’ve had some discussions about the style of the battlements so those might change tomorrow or after.


Here are the new modular pieces that were done for detailing:



We just finished the day by meeting with the architects and discussing the interior layout of the space so tomorrow I’ll start on the interior building and ruin walls.
Here is how it currently looks:


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Road to E3 – Day 1

Since we have only one week to get the entry area ready before E3 I was thinking it could be interesting to have a post at the end of each day to show how we are progressing.
It will balance out the high programming post count we’ve had the past few days and hopefully show a bit of how the art team works!

Last week, as you could see from previous screenshot, we got  a rough layout of the area in the engine and tried to find answers to any remaining issues.

Today the goal was to sort out the design  and navigation of the main entrance and the small towers.
This is one of my first mockups that didn’t look quite right.



The architects took a look at it and provided some 3d models of how castle stairs are usually assembled as well as sketches of how it should look:




After, I tried to figure out the details from references and what “pieces” I would need to build the structure.
Two years ago I went for vacations in Portugal and tried to see some castles. One of them in Guimaraes struck me as very similar to the entry yard. I made sure I got some pictures and now they are proving to be useful with angles that would be hard to get from online research.


Here is the current result using different modular stairs/floor/battlement pieces:


And the current overall look by the end of today:


Tomorrow I’ll be tackling  the rest of the exterior walls and the 3 other towers.


Posted in Development, Progress Shots | Tagged | 4 Responses

Island Snapshot: What-year-is-this Edition

E3 is happening in under two weeks, so what better thing to do than to completely destroy the part of the game everyone at E3 will play, and rebuild it from scratch in very limited time?


This is of course a very crude mockup of what the new starting area will be. It’s smaller than the old one and should work a little better play-wise. We have yet to reshape the terrain around it, so there are huge holes. Our deadline to have this area fully rebuilt is the 6th of June!

Current puzzle count is 627.

Posted in Progress Shots | 18 Responses

Witness Wednesday on How to Program

Sometimes people ask me for advice on how to program, and I have to say that Casey’s advice here is right on:

Meanwhile, we’ve had a lot of Witness Wednesday posts in a row on this blog. I’ll have to stop slacking and write something about the game.

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Casey’s Witness Wednesday on Interpolation

He’s put up another very informative blog post, leaving the specific topic of grass planting, venturing into more general territory regarding interpolation. And there’s a video, from which it is possible to learn a lot of this is a new subject.

Here’s the blog post.

Here’s the video:


Posted in Development, Engine Tech | 7 Responses