Concept Art

In order to begin discussing the game, it seemed more appropriate to show some concept art, because the game is very visual.

Click for full-sized versions.  The gallery seems to hang some versions of Google Chrome.  Sorry about that.  It works fine in Firefox and Internet Explorer.

These concepts (and many more) were all done by Eric Urquhart, who has been working on the game for some months now.


  1. Looks beautiful! I look forward to getting more information on it. Seeing the name of one of them as spawnpoint makes me think multiplayer :P

  2. “An exploration-puzzle game on an uninhabited island.”

    well, I do like the Myst games, and the concepts are definitely pretty.

    I feel like I can read more into the text on the front page of this site, dying and being reborn again and again, looking for a creator is how I feel playing alot of games, might *you* be in this game? as the builder of the house Mr. Blow?

    I don’t know, I think I’m just looking for ways to get excited about something I know very little about ^__^

  3. I thought it was a “room escape” game at first!

  4. ” It works fine in Firefox and Internet Explorer.”

    …and Opera :)

    Concepts looks great!

  5. I’d like to notice that the gallery works fine with the latest stable Chrome release.

  6. The gallery works fine with Chrome 5.0.307.11 beta (Linux).

  7. I look forward to this game. I’ve been replaying Braid lately, getting more and more conviced it’s a work of art. I expect nothing less from this. Blow my mind, Blow!

  8. Looks lovely and atmospheric. Eager for more games that demonstrate you don’t need to put Uncanny Valley 3D people in a game to make it affecting.

  9. I am excited. This is looking gorgeous.

  10. Very reminiscent of Myst – no bad thing.

    Looking forward to it.

  11. I think the game will focus on telling a story and the puzzles will unlock clues to continue the story and take it to other areas.

  12. can you confirm platforms?
    there will be a PC version as well?

  13. There are no platforms to confirm, simply because I have no idea at this time.

    The game won’t be done til next year; a lot can change in that time.

    A PC version is likely, though.

  14. What tool was used to render these images?

  15. I really like the tower concept scene. Strong perspective and colors.

    Looking forward to learn more about the game. I’m quite curious what kind of storytelling you will use.

  16. Pedro Ian Brambilla

    I loved Braid.. for me its a perfect game.. i will sound exagerated but the game changed my life.. the script was very short, but the quality is unmatched till today..
    I was giving up of my life as a gamer cause i’m very tired of FPS, action, hack and slash and block buster games.. then one day i play Braid, and the Flame was stronger again..

    I’m verry grateful for you, my love for Braid has matched my love for classics like Mario, Sonic, Metal gear solid, final fantasy, full throthle and other classics..

    I’m looking foward to play The Witness because i know that will be a very good and spirited game… i am a admirer of the Tao Te Ching, and when i’ve read that the game was linked to the book i couldnt believe myself!

    My best regards from Brazil to you Jonatham Blow!! Keep the good work!

  17. Really hope this comes to PSN, Mr. Blow. I know for sure Sony would greenlight it for the service since Braid is already on it. Also, Please don’t have it released on XBLA first either and then later on PSN, PS3 has a more mature audience as a whole and therefore much more appreciative of the games you inspire. Thanks again, Mr. Blow,this will be another masterpiece, I’m sure :^)

    • Seuss: Really hope this comes to PSN, Mr. Blow. I know for sure Sony would greenlight it for the service since Braid is already on it. Also, Please don’t have it released on XBLA first either and then later on PSN, PS3 has a more mature audience as a whole and therefore much more appreciative of the games you inspire. Thanks again, Mr. Blow,this will be another masterpiece, I’m sure :^)

      If the Xbox 360 didn’t have a mature audience, Braid wouldn’t have sold as well as it did so please don’t come up with such illusions. ;) Both platforms seem to have a lot of immature fanboys, but at the same time there are gamers on both platforms that appreciate more profound and complex gaming experiences than “generic shooter X”.

      I, for one, would love to see The Witness on the Xbox 360 since I own one, but I wouldn’t mind if it was also released on the PC and the PS3. In fact, I would like that because thus more people would be able to enjoy it.

  18. Please let it go to PSN.Preferably at the same time that other platforms.

  19. I just *love* the staircase picture! Reminds me of Schuiten & Peeters comics, or the library in Capricorn… mysterious!

  20. There is the word “turret” in the picture of the tower, so that made me think of a Tower Defense game… :)

    Can’t wait to see more of this project!

  21. The windmill’s one is my new wallpaper

  22. Ominous. Now where are the lunar elves and space marines you promised us?

  23. Braid was unearthly. This isn’t going to be anything less than fantastic.
    Good Work! Keep it up… (Y)

  24. Bring some good soundtrack again this time…………….

  25. It’s great to see some information about The Witness starting to filter out. I got very very excited after listening to your talk that you posted up and had given at Champlain College – parts of it it mirrored some thoughts I’d been having myself as well. I’m excited about what concepts the game is going to be dealing with and I have my suspicion’s already.

    Can’t wait to finally play it and I’ll follow the progress of The Witness till then with interest.

  26. The staircase is beautiful. Especially in the lighting, subtle but detailed was definitely the way to go. I sense the game going for a realistic style containing metaphorical objects in the scene. The house looks like a big metaphor for something i don’t know yet…

    I wonder, will this game incorperate “dynamic meaning” as Braid did? (I was there when you gave a lecture at Brighton, uk; some time ago now. Very nice stuff!). your design work is very inspirational to me and the entire indie community. Thank you for that…

    looking forward to the release! How long has it been since you started the project?

  27. oh and I almost forgot, as a fan of David Hellman’s artsy comic works and Braid art, is there the possibility that he’ll be contributing to this project?

    (it doesn’t look like it at the moment to me… this isn’t his usual art style even though this is programmer’s art…)

  28. Jonathan Blow is going to reinvent Myst!!!! :D -> XD

  29. Jonathan,

    I’m really excited about The Witness. In an earlier post, you mentioned that the game would have “a heavy emphasis on the way things look.” Knowing the way that you like to use game design metaphorically, I am eager to see where this concept art will take things.

    Have you thought much about the music in the game yet? I know you have experimented in the past with the ways that musical devices can evoke emotion. Such was the case with your game Raspberry, in which you attempted to mimic the time-based composition elements of music in the gameplay itself.

    It would be interesting to see you turn that idea on it’s head: to use audio in such a way that it becomes a metaphor for the gameplay and it’s underlying concepts. If you were interested in pursuing something in that direction, I would love to collaborate with you on this project. Your work is a huge inspiration to me, and I think we could really create something very unique together.

    – Andy

  30. Love the art style!

  31. I really like the atmospheric lighting. Not so big on the outdoor bright blue/yellow pallette –
    uninhabitted island – will it be more Myst or Dear Esther or will it have an entirely different feel?
    Briscoe’s remake of Dear Esther:

    I like the indoor pictures best so far particularly the top one.

  32. Like many Braid fans, I have been waiting for more details on “The Witness” since having first heard about it. It is very refreshing indeed to see a developer that allows it’s fans to see initial builds and artwork of a future work not just a month before release for publicity purposes, but yet at such an early stage. This not only gives us fans a much appreciated insight into the development process (art and tech, etc), but it also seems to demonstrate the fearlessness of belief in the project itself on part of the team, to let it be scrutinized in this way and at this phase of development. In true independent fashion.

    For those that are interested I would like to remark on several of the concept art pieces:

    A lot of these look like they could be 3D in engine renders. The lighting in particular and the starkness of the doorway and the living room contrast brilliantly with what would appear to be the outside world environments.

    The first picture has me the most excited for the project as it instantly takes me back to the first time I fired up Braid. Standing in darkness on the street, the sky on fire, an immense sense of foreboding and yet the immediacy of an unknown need to push forward and solve the mystery. The caption underneath of this picture, “One of the first things you see in the game…”, confirms my suspicion that this may be the starting screen. If it is or is close to it, it succeeds in being the most foreboding door that I cannot wait to open as a prospective player. As an understatement it will be intriguing to break it open and see what lies beyond.

    Does the caption underneath of the tower picture, “The bottom of a tower. Lots of steps to the top…” indicate that it will bar your progression until you have completed several tasks in the way that the Ladder had to first be built in Braid in order to reach the final (first) level ?

    Also the giant power cord running throughout the compound, and in several of the early renders is a very nice piece of art direction that really drives home the fact that this place is anything but normal or perhaps even safe?

    I’ll stop my ball of speculation from rolling any further.

    I have played many games for a lot of years and try to play them all, and am interested in gaming as a whole. So I do not say it gently when I note that this is the game I am anticipating the most as a gamer of games for the foreseeable future, next only to Diablo III.

    Good luck Number None. You have a great many people in your corner.


  33. This looks very intriguing! It seems remniscent of Myst, and, thematically, Out of This World. I’m also thrilled to get such insight this early in the development cycle. I’ll be looking forward to future updates!

  34. Wow! These pieces look incredible! Can’t wait to see the finished product :)

  35. something funny to look at… go to:

    then wait until: 1:27 minutes…

    is this game an inspiration for TW or was this scene inspired by something else? hmm…

  36. still my favorite post this eric guy is awesome

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