Island Snapshot


Current puzzle count: 505.


  1. Good lord, that is beautiful.

  2. Those clouds(?) are looking a bit close to the ground!

    • Heh… Pretty sure that’s intentional. The only time I remember clouds in a video game is Braid. And I walked on those clouds to go back and forth in time… so… We’ve already walked on clouds. Whats next for this game?

  3. Not sure if this is a dumb question or not, but what’s the scale of the player to that mountain? Could we get a shot looking up?

  4. Given the ability to move around freely, and at the exact speed prospective players will be able to move around, how long do you think it might take to fully explore the island?

    When I say fully explore, I mean how long would it take to simply see each individual reachable area without actually having to set foot there.

  5. Jonathan, please fix those visual artifacts in the screenshot.

  6. Looking awesome! I’m also wondering about the clouds though, if they are clouds at all.

  7. Amazing pic, Jonathan. I can’t wait until I get to play The Witness. It will be out next week right? :D

  8. Not unusual to have low clouds like that, looks fine to be. Plus the vertical scale probably isn’t physically accurate anyway – looks like snow on the mountain top, but lush green summer vegetation at sea level.

  9. I really enjoy these periodic island snapshots. The progression from toy space to a crisp, polished environment is fascinating. I like the air-brushed look of the clouds. It gives the mountain a nice mysterious feel, hiding details barely visible around the edges. The new tree on the upper slope is interesting as well, as it’s right below the snow layer. I would have thought you would go with more stunted growth the higher you climb.

  10. The game is starting to look really nice! I’m curious about the clouds, though. They look good and I’m wondering how exactly you guys made them, because it doesn’t seem extremely obvious just looking at a screenshot. Did you guys model the clouds and have a transparent texture and shader to hide the edges, or are the pieces of the clouds billboarded particle effects? Or is there some other type of magic going on? I imagine if it was the first option then they would look a lot worse from above, although maybe there is a gameplay reason for them to look good from above. Either way, I’m curious!

  11. I hope those white buildings on the cliffside are just using placeholder graphics, since they look very out-of-place to me.

  12. I’m sure you probably answered this somewhere, but are you going to be able to swim in the game?

  13. I cannot wait to explore every inch of this island. Unraveling its secrets and mysteries is something I’ve been looking forward to since I first read about the game.

    I teach algebra, and it’s been reading through some of the more technical posts with my students to illustrate the importance of algebra, geometry, trig, etc for projects like this (not that we understand the actual programming language).

    I apologize if this has been answered elsewhere, but are there other puzzles besides the monitor-based ones? If so, does the puzzle-count include non-monitor based puzzles?

  14. Can You please elaborate on the clauds and the sky, perhaps in some future blog entry?
    In one of the prevoius spots ( one about the “interesting to explore” valley) You said the sky in the screenshots is just placeholder. It looked really amazing, and it was hard to belive it really is a placeholder.

    I understand that you got round to making the final clouds. They clearly look like placeholders. Escpecially ones in the back. The one to the right looks as if it was build from a number of cilinders. The one to the left too, though the cylinders look more like a spheres ( from the distance the exact shape can’t be seen).

    Also, if i remember correctly, in in one of the old entries You’ve said that You had a too good sky, and you intend, to exchange it to some simpler and less resource demending, for a sky so good is not needed for this game.

  15. Sorry if this’s come up before, I couldn’t find a search field on this blog (google didn’t return anything either). I just did the loop around Angel Island on a bicycle, and on the way to and from the island you get a good all-encompassing view of Alcatraz. I was betting you were mostly inspired by Alcatraz for this game because of its baffling mishmash of retired architecture. But the person I was with on this bicycle ride was thinking your island looks more like Angel Island in that there’s a little more wilderness, and even though the architecture is not quite so eclectic there’s still plenty to be intrigued by. I have to admit, when I rolled up to a chain-link gate half-heartedly blocking access to the historic “Nike Missile Site” I thought to myself: How much better would this experience have been had one of those blue puzzle panels been installed on this gate instead of that uninspired chain and padlock?

    Well even if Angel Island was never a part of your initial inspiration, maybe after you finish the game you could go on that bicycle loop. If you pick a clear day off-season it’ll give you some pretty incredible views. There’s even an apparently dysfunctional wind turbine that’s very similar to the one I’ve seen in the The Witness screenshots. I would hurry before the California Parks & Rec Dept decides to gussy up any of the rest of what’s left.

  16. OMG
    when we can use it???????

  17. Boy’ I followed this blog since it basically started but for the last months I’ve kinda forgot about it… wow I’m amazed at the progress. Can’t wait to see the final game!!

  18. It is the really scene I DREAMED

  19. This image makes me long for a sample of the score. When will we get our first taste of that? Or will we have to wait for the game to release first?

  20. Hmm… Is the pattern of the position of the clouds relevant to gameplay as well? They look arranged in a very specific way.

  21. The wait is killing me. I wish I didn’t take interest in this game.
    Just do me a favor, when you announce the release date, only do it when it’s imminent. Like, a month or to away. Reading something faraway and generic like “next year” would positively drive me insane.

    Great job, by the way.

  22. Good day … was reading about this game that are developing and I was very curious. “Witness” already has a release date?

    Thank you, a hug.

    Alex Pedruzzi – Brazil
    (Translation: Google Translate)

  23. So excited to play this game! It’s looking gorgeous.

  24. Great progress screenshots. I hope it will be available on Steam upon release.

    Ps. Going for the Greenlight method of releasing isn’t a great idea.

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