How many puzzles are in The Witness?

Today I was deleting an old area of the island, which had about 25 puzzles in it that I wasn't happy with. I took to wondering how many puzzles would be left on the island after I deleted those, so I added a console command to count puzzles:

So, there are 222 puzzles left in the game (I just deleted about 10% of them).

Many more puzzles are going to be added; I would guess that by the time the game is done, there will be over 400. We'll see; I think this will be a fun statistic to watch, along with those screenshots of the island.

In comparison, Braid has about 76 puzzles in it. So that tells you something about the relative sizes of the games. That said, the puzzles in The Witness are often intended to be bite-sized and quick, so it's not really a direct comparison. (On the other hand, some of the puzzles are most definitely not bite-sized and quick!)


  1. most definitely NOT bite-sized and quick!?!?!?!?!

  2. I think that really speaks volumes about the size of your guys’ studio and efficiency you guys have in designing and making this game.

  3. So what you’re saying is there will be DLC…

  4. I’m just wondering how you can be counting All the puzzles. Hopefully they are quite varied and then I’d think that it would be pretty hard to count all of them at once with the same statistic. Or are they all blue mazes? :)

  5. I’m a huge follower of this game, I can’t wait :)

    I was wondering if you’d had a chance to check out the small game FRACT by Richard Flanagan. It’s a very stunning and intriguing first person puzzling adventure game. I would decribe it as Myst meets Tron. It does, in my opinion, a fantastic job at presenting the player with absolutely no instruction, and letting them discover the mechanics of this alien world on their own. It’s worth a look, if not for just a little inspiration. Also, the audio is fantastic.

  6. Sweet! It’s nice to know you aren’t just banging it out :D

  7. Yeah, I’ve played FRACT, and I think it’s cool. I hope he builds it out into a full game, because by the time you get to the end of that beta, you just have a glimpse of what the full game could really be.

    Rick: I don’t think the DLC model works very well for a game like this. If anything there would be another full game in a series… (though at this time I have no idea what that game would be).

    Niche93: The game has to know when you’ve solved a puzzle, right? There’s a means by which it knows that, and the console command is just looking for all instances of those triggers in the world.

  8. Sounds good!

    That’s a lot of puzzles… I would be interested to hear you describe how you come up with and design those puzzles. Both for a totally new game as well as adding puzzle number 223 without just re-using an old one. Perhaps material for an article?

  9. What’s up with the screenshot? The trees on the left look somehow messy. :-/

  10. @Larry_Croft

    That’s an artifact from a common method of transparency anti-aliasing, I’ve seen it in many games.

  11. Are you planning to release The Witness on Linux ?

  12. What is a p puzzle vs an r puzzle (noted from the picture caption)?

  13. p vs r puzzles is about an implementation detail that I wanted to report in the console. It’s not really relevant to counting the total number of puzzles in the game.

    As for a Linux release, who knows? Maybe!

    A puzzle-design posting would be an interesting idea but I am not sure how to do that prior to release without spoiling the game. I’ll think about how to do it…

    • Jonathan Blow

      A puzzle-design posting would be an interesting idea but I am not sure how to do that prior to release without spoiling the game.I’ll think about how to do it…

      Sounds good! Just designing puzzels in general would be fine, but it sure would be cool if you wrote about specific stuff in the game. Love that “behind the scenes” stuff!

    • Jonathan Blow: A puzzle-design posting would be an interesting idea but I am not sure how to do that prior to release without spoiling the game.I’ll think about how to do it…

      What about the 25 puzzles you’ve deleted? :-)

    • Please release this awesome game also for Linux users ;)

  14. p = puzzle
    r = riddle


    Can’t wait for the release of this game.

  15. I grow more and more eager as the days count down to “late 2011” :D. Will this game have a soundtrack similar to Braid or will you be experimenting with ambient sounds?



  16. I never thought I’d say this, but I’d vote “no” on giving away the puzzles. Your promise of “epiphany” is stunning in itself, and that requires acquiring knowledge over time. I’m not joking when I say that The Witness is my most anticipated title until it lands, in part due to an incredibly bold goal. Even if such goal was to fail miserably, I’d walk away learning something from the designed experience. That said, perhaps I’m not the target market for this blog, and maybe I should simply ignore such disclosures with patience.

  17. Wow, that’s a lot more than I had imagined. I can’t remember how long it took me to ‘finish’ Braid my first time through, but it was at least 4 hours. 76 versus around 400 puzzles. This game should be much more of a time sink then, even with bite sized puzzles. Less things for reviewers to pick apart, good.

  18. One of my favorite puzzles from Braid was “Fragile Companion”. It could certainly be described as bite-sized and quick, and as requiring an epiphany. I think what separated it from many of the other puzzles in the game was that the entirety of it was immediately apparent, and yet it still seemed impossible until you understood the solution, at which point it became trivial. Is that general style of puzzle something that will be more common in The Witness?

  19. my favorite was the “Lair” in “Time and Mystery” as son as you enter you know you have to kill yourself to keep going, but no wait… you know you can’t die so you just take advantage of tim’s time and kill yourself in the past so that in the future you can receive the key. it’s just so clever, like an art house movie! not all the puzzles in Braid are as invested as these but hopefully you know that quality is more important than quantity. i wish all of braid’s puzzles were as thought provoking as those but hopefully in the witness every single maze is very communicative or maybe a homage to older games like “Jumpman” puzzle… i’m doing some research into myst, maze building, taoism and the russian space program for this game. very interesting stuff

  20. Hello Jonathan, Jeremy et al,

    I’ve been following the witness for a while, and am really excited to explore the world you’re building. I’m a mad fan of Braid ( and can’t wait to see what you come up with.

    Thanks for the kind words regarding FRACT, it was a very personal project and I’m still in shock over the responses I’ve been getting. Jonathan, it is, as you suggest, a sliver of a bigger idea. Calling it a beta was probably a bit generous, as it really is more of a proof of concept. I do plan on finishing it, but I’m in the process of evaluating exactly what that implies. With any luck I’ll be able to get a bit more perspective at the GDC this year. Is The Witness going to be there?

    Thanks again,


  21. Would love to see a Linux version, thank you so much for porting Braid to Linux. I thoroughly enjoyed it, I like the way you think Mr.Blow.

  22. A Linux version would be awesome!

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