Island Snapshot

It's been a while since the previous post, so here's a new island snapshot.


Most of what we've been working on lately is not visible in this shot, though! The biggest obvious changes are probably in the forest and beach on the left-hand side.


  1. Indeed it has been awhile! I am hoping this long period of silence is a good sign.

    At this point do you feel you are at a “polishing” phase, or are there still a number of major things to be worked out?

  2. Thanks for posting another shot. How the eyes do grow envious! I can’t see much too much that’s different but I noticed that on the right there, that brown line (potentially a bridge or ladder) is actually connected to the cloud now whereas in the last shot it wasn’t. That does make one curious! I have no idea if you can actually get up in that cloud or there’s just something simply behind it. Of course it could just be something that can’t be navigated at all. Well, it’s all looking purty as usual! Well done!

    • Oh… I just remembered that might be a ship according to the sections you posted way back.

    • Man, getting up on the cloud would be a cool end-game Braid ref.

      • I wouldn’t put it past Jonathan (though I doubt he’d do it as a reference unless it served a purpose). There’s no way I’m the only one suspicious of that cloud right next to the mountain.

  3. Can’t believe I never noticed that water-level portal on the bottom right. Shades of Sagrada Família’s Passion Façade? It was always a favorite of mine.

  4. Has the absence of the windmill ever been discussed by anyone on the team here? I noticed that it was missing a few ‘progress shots’ ago, and didn’t see it in the trailer, either…

  5. Just excited to see a new post! Checking daily pays off!

  6. Since this has a much larger development cost than Braid, what price point were you thinking of Jonathan? Is it going to be a full fledged $60 game?

  7. Beautiful shot!
    As a cloud afficionado, I can’t help but comment that such cumuliform (cumulus humilis or cumulus mediocris) clouds on a sunny day usually have flat bottoms.

    As a programmer, I would love post about how these are rendered ;-)

  8. I love all the basalt-y geometric rock formations on the cliffs at the center of the island. Reminds me of The Giant’s Causeway.

  9. These progress shots are really cool, not much has changed here but it’s just nice to see all the little bits of progress every now and again. It would be cool to make a GIF or video of all the snapshots in order when the game is done to see the “evolution” of the island.

  10. Can the player swim or not at all? Do they get tired? Can you swim far away enough so that the island becomes a dot or do you just wash up back upshore after becoming unconscious? I’m kind of curious about the “borders” of the vast ocean or sea. Is it’s possible to come up with a more elegant solution to the random halt of a player touching the edge of the box world? Of course there’s nothing wrong with that if you’re concerned with the more important core dynamics of the game. I’m just curious.

  11. what is the puzzle count? last time you said it it was at 499.

  12. The top building looks like it’s on fire :3

  13. I just finished Bioshock Infinite and was surprised how tepid my own response was to both the game as a whole and the ending. I’ve realized how much what I want from a game has changed in the last few years. Infinite is very well made in most regards, but it did almost nothing for me. As crazy as it sounds I have gotten more enjoyment out of reading this blog, and trying to piece together how the puzzles work based upon screenshots. Witness looks like it has a world that I actually want to be in. Thank you for all the work you guys and girls are doing on the game.

    • You took the words outta my mouth.

      • I watched the whole review. Good stuff. Ever since Portal and Braid I’ve almost lost my interest in gaming entirely. I’d rather look for a really meaningful movie instead.

        • Just watched the whole review, too, and I agree with absolutely everything – it sums up all the feelings I’ve been having regarding the game (without even touching on the ending that manages to destroy all remaining scraps of social criticism in one easy, breezy, 10-minute walk).

          … But enough about Bioshock Infinite. And for the lack of a better place (and since I’m already commenting on a post)…

          I am a great fan of Braid. In fact, it’s safe to say that I love Braid as much as Tim loves the Princess – I could talk for hours about the meta-theme of obsession and how this… Work of art, dare I say it, was the only one that managed to TURN ME INTO a character, instead of just (and this is still quite something!) making me empathize with him/her/it. Last year, I wrote a 20-page paper on how Braid retells the myth of Prometheus for one of my college courses, and this year, I am working with a teaching assistant on writing an analysis of the game from the perspective of cognitive semantics (namely, conceptual and multimodal metaphors). I’m not trying to sound pretentious or anything – I’m just stating this as a testament of my love for the game. Having said that – if the things Jonathan has said and shown so far are any indication, I’ll soon be writing papers and losing sleep on The Witness, as well. Thank you for having the courage (and I believe this is the right adjective) to show the world that video games need not emulate other media in order to be meaningful and emotional, and that what is intrinsically their greatest strength – their interactivity – is all they really need to rely on in order to tell a story, provide an experience – in short, to communicate.

          Looking forward to this one. Godspeed to the whole team.

          • Are you able to link to the paper in question? I would love to read it, as I’m sure many others here would too.

          • ditto – would love to read it!

          • This is what it’s all about Milan regardless of the medium. I love running into your people who love something so much that they became almost obsessed with it. That kind of passion is infectious. I’m interested in reading your paper as well. I’m the same way as you about my favorite films Leon the Professional, Memento Mori, Donnie Darko, Mulholland Drive, and Audition. I wrote an essay, among others, about Mulholland Drive and how it makes complete sense (because I saw so many crazy inaccurate interpretations out there that didn’t use the film to prove itself). I also wrote an essay about how terrible a movie Inception really is.

            In other words, seeing you get excited about Braid is what makes game developers in the first place. Are you interested in making a game yourself by any chance?

  14. Agreed. The cloud placement is just too coincidental. Also, I think I remember Jon discussing the ways in which clouds were implemented in the game a while back. If I remember correctly, I thought there was something strange about them then too.

  15. Do you use a color coding system for the primitive objects that I’m guessing will eventually be replaced with the actual models? I noticed the primitive or nontextured objects use a range of bright blue, orange and green. Is there system to this?

  16. Jon has been too busy actually making the game to talk to us. That is awesome :)

    That being said, more frequent updates (not now, but when the game is 1 – 3 months to release) would really help bring up the hype!

  17. Sorry if this has been asked before,
    have you guys been looking into the Oculus Rift for the Witness?

  18. I love what you folks are doing! Do you have need for a concept artist ? :)

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