Island Shrinkage

In the previous update I talked about how, despite the fact that The Witness is an "open-world" game, we are trying to make the environment as compact as possible.

Today I took a step in that direction by moving some areas around and compacting the island, changing its shape a bit:

Here's a shot from the other side of the island, where you can see that there is plenty of empty space left:

So-me of this will be filled with new gameplay, some will be removed or reshaped, etc, depending on how things evolve.

Here's a close-up of a new area; there's something going on there with a lot of wires, and stuff:


  1. Is The Witness using any pre-existing game engine or is it all built for the game?

  2. It started with the same source code that Braid was built from (which was written by me), with a bunch of the Braid code then merged back in.

    But as you can imagine, we are writing a whole bunch of new stuff for this game.

  3. It’s amazing the tone I am getting from these screenshots you’ve been posting. To an outsider of the project, there isn’t much to go on when looking at them. But… probably from the feeling you created with Braid and how this reminds me of Myst… It feels very lonely. A sense of dread too? I’m not even sure why.

    Are you going to populate it with critters? Or is going to be completely devoid of animal life?

  4. I really enjoy the way that the empty area looks vacant and depressing but at the same time bright and exuberant, this is very possibly due simply to the fact that you are still developing the game but I feel like it really conveys the feeling of a deserted island by being bright and beautiful but at the same time empty and dismal in that it is almost a symbol for hopelessness and being alone.

    Also in you comment above you mentioned that “The Witness” uses code from Braid, that was quite surprising as I realize that a lot of the base code may be the same between 2D and 3D games i find it odd that a 3D adventure game set on an abandoned island and a 2D time traveling sidescroller share any substantive amount of code, could you elaborate slightly? Also is there any blog post of interview in which you mention the basis of the method behind time traveling in Braid? Or is that something you would like to keep under-wraps as I’ve been looking allover the internet and so far Im still coming up short…

  5. @Todd:
    From the front page: “An exploration-puzzle game on an uninhabited island.”

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