My Screenshots folder

From time to time I take screenshots, to send in email to other team members, or for the architects' reference, etc.  Today I glanced at my desktop and noticed it looked pretty cool.  So here it is (with some shots, that seemed a bit too spoilery, redacted):



  1. This seems really random, but it is nice to see some hints of more interesting/thought-provoking architecture in there. Can’t wait to see some up close and personal shots.

  2. You could also use this to calculate a low-res global illumination map.

  3. The best part is the begging and ending. That hallway looks awesome! I hope is really really long until I get to the door from underground.

    IDK how you got the idea of begging in a hallway with all black except for the panel. Its amazing and oddly familiar, as if there were many things that end with you in a hallway going to open a door but at the end you don’t open the door. But in the Witness you know how it ends because the door is opened!

    genius, just genius!

  4. Very nice, I wonder why more games don’t use this caliber of light mapping, is it because they are using a lot of dynamic objects? I’m really amazed how many different types of areas are squeezed onto this island. I really like the designs of the buildings, they seem consistent but diverse. Can’t wait to see more images.

    • This lightmapping does use a bunch of texture memory. We decided early on that it made sense, for this game, to devote these resources to lightmapping rather than something else.

      • It seems like you mentioned that direct light is not part of the light map. I’m curious why that’s decoupled and if it is, are you using a dynamic directional light or just another light map that can be animated or something? It seems like the advantage of dynamic sun light would be moving shadows or helping with specularity but baking direct sunlight into your maps wouldn’t increase map size.

  5. Jonathan, I have a question…

    • The question was: Do programmers have cute girlfriends? Do you think programming will attract “cute girls?”

      And also, Is it possible to have a mirror somewhere in the island? Anywhere? If so will you put it? And if not why not, What kind of technical difficulties? Could you use mirrors for a puzzle?

      Aswell: Are you looking at famous mazes to put in the game or mazes are not supposed to be attractive just utilitarian to “speak” to the player. So lines will make shapes?
      Finally, You said that the Witness has 2 parts and that 1 part (the mazes/panels) was now flooding with ideas but that the other part (I assume hiding things in the environment at plain sight) was not doing along so well. Well I was wandering if that part buffed up, because Is the part that I must like in the game. Like looking at random lines in a hallway but when you look at it at an angle it makes a cube shape or something out of the lines or the shore of the island together with its reflection makes the shape of buddah or a cliff has the face of a man that can only be seen with a fish eye lens.

  6. Even THIS is exciting to me. Keep up the great work guys!

  7. Even as I start to ask this I’m not sure I want to be told the answer:
    Will The Witness have day and night cycles? Or anything denoting passage of time, for that matter?

    I suppose an acceptable response would be “you will have to wait and see”.

    • I would guess no to a day to night cycle, mostly due to the lightmap system that makes lighting static. Not to mention I seem to recall an article mentioning that shadow placement was crucial to one puzzle, which would obviously be ruined if the shadows were moving all the time.

  8. Hey jonathan1 you like Invincible Cties, right? check out this demo!


    I wanted to buy QUBE, but its not in Steam…
    Do you know what’s up with that Jonathan?
    Do you know why indies are becoming more uptight, retarded and choosing sides now?

    You would think indies would like their games to be everywhere and if not enough coders to put them in channels then in the most popular one, right? Indies don’t choose sides or companies for exclusivity, right? Because if they do then their reason for being indie is lost now.

    And lets not throw that “Is a small team, can only do one at once” shit. Why not Steam , then? Is the most popular, right…

    Just as much shit comes from indies, same as Triple A studios. I thought they would be a change for the industry but it won’t be long before they start charging per month, using online passes, milking DLC and having a game made a franchise with a sequel coming out every 12 months.

    Fucking hell, Jonathan! You have to save us. You have to save the whole industry! If you don’t, nobody will. Please Jonathan, save us. I want things to be good for when I grow up and make my own games. Indies will just follow and try to be big they don’t care about games they just want to do what we want not what we need. The Witness is what we need.

    • The blog post you linked to says that they are going to release it on Steam shortly.

      • They updated… Hopefully. Its a pain having games everywhere. I have on Steam, GOG and a Japanese site, but I don’t want so many clients on my computer to play different games…

        But what really bothers me is that they wouldn’t do the obvious thing if they want alot of people playing their games, because their game is important, right? to them?!

        But maybe I just need to get used to shitty stuff that everyone has to go through just to play a video game. Its kind of a pain to play video games nowadays. Ironically much more so if you buy them. It is much easier to pirate! But I want to support indies and IndieCade because they are doing a good thing.

        Since I posted that comment I made a Gamer’s Gate account and bought the game… I will buy it again for Steam later. Yes, I am the cancer that is killing the industry. Also game is… never mind, just play it by yourself.

        Capcha: Same GEDBER; same gedber indeed with all this shit.

    • “Do you know why indies are becoming more uptight, retarded and choosing sides now?”
      “Why not Steam , then?”

      I don’t know about Qube (probably just a small tech-related delay in that case) but for most indies on PC, it’s because Valve hasn’t let them on Steam. The other platforms are more open; Steam only accepts a small percent of the indie games submitted to them. Nothing to do with being uptight or choosing sides.

      (exclusivity deals are generally for consoles, not PC digital stores.)

      • I’am just so scared, you know? That the whole industry including indies will go to hell. Is a small team with no programmer but they are being backed by IndieCade (Jonathan, Santiago and company) Why wouldn’t Gaben let their game in? Makes no sense… Steam is not normaly like that.

        And to answer Minu Nimi: He uses his own code, no program. His program (game developing engine) made in C++ from scratch. Have fun making your game dude!

        • Maybe it makes no sense because that is not what happened.

          I think given a little patience you will eventually become happier with the situation!

  10. Hey Jonathan,

    I’d like to say that I really enjoyed Braid and I’m glad that it succeeded. I’d also like to make a game, but I’m new to game development. Can you recommend me a game development program for 2D , preferably with VB or C++ support. What programs did you use to make Braid?

    I know You are probably very busy with The Witness, so I totally understand if You don’t bother to write a long letter ;)

    Best regards,
    Minu Nimi

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