Island Snapshot

Once again, we have been mostly working on things you can't see from this angle. The most-visible changes are probably the peninsula on the left in the foreground, which has undergone extensive work lately:


It's been revamped by Alex, who is new on the team, helping us with the huge amount of modeling we still need to do to finish the game. Hopefully we'll get a bio paragraph for him soon on the About page.

The current puzzle count is 590.

The current footstep count is 1756.


P.S.: Last week we showed The Witness at E3. This was the first time we have ever shown the game running on the PlayStation 4. We got some nice write-ups about the game; here are just a few:

Steven Hansen from Destructoid really enjoyed the game!

Tara Long from Revision 3 really enjoyed the game! (She also gave us an award at the show!)

Darren Franich from Entertainment Weekly put us at #1 on the list of most exciting games of E3.

Matt Miller of Game Informer seemed to really like the game, and put together a list of defining features.

Chris Leggett of Gameplanet says The Witness was his personal favorite game of E3. (The folks at Gameplanet who chose the photos to go on the article used some unfortuante, super-old development photos though!)

Tom McShea and Shaun McInnis of Gamespot gave a video summary from the show, seeming to like the game a lot as well!



  1. I’m curious to know, how many of the team are programmers and how many artists?

    • 3-point-something programmers (I kind of count as a programmer, kind of don’t, since I spend a lot of time doing design / company running stuff / etc).
      5 people doing modeling/texturing now (with occasional design tasks sometimes).

      • Ok. I heard the current team was around a dozen, so I’m assuming the rest of those people are contractors? The scale of the island is surprising for that small of a team.

  2. The guys at Gamespot said that you’re aiming for march/april of 2014. Is that true?
    Can’t wait to play the game :)

  3. I used to get giddy as a child when I would hear about Riven and then Exile coming out. The Witness is the first game since then that has me feeling young like that. I am so excited for this game, but I’m also so worried that when I finally play this game, I’ll ruin what could be a prolonged experience by blasting through it. I want to get it and then just play it forever, but I doubt that’s the best way to play it…

    Does anyone have any techniques for making a good thing last? Else, I demand Mr. Blow be tied down and forced churn out games and ideas for games forever. Creative process be damned.

    • If you approach anything that way, it’s just bound to be ruined. Just enjoy it, if you wanna take your time or take breaks in between or just rushed trough it. Just do whatever feels best for you. I play my games all the same, I don’t even thing about that. I hadn’t even thought about that until you said it.

      Don’t think about that and try to explore and enjoy the game. I would never suggest approaching anything in life like that, it’s just ill.

    • I don’t think that You have to worry about the game not lasting long enough. Although Jonathan said (as far as I remember) something about 20 hours of gameplay, that probably does not include fully understanding the story of the game. I can even imagine that the game could played multiple times, not for the puzzles, but for discovering some other aspects of the story and the island.

  4. The Oculus question hasn’t been in the comments for some time, so…

    This is still the most perfect game for it.

    But then again it might even be SO perfect for it, that the only thing it needs is the right vorpX profile, and not even official support.

  5. So what’s the latest estimate on the release date?

  6. When you say the current footstep count is 1756, you must be referring to the amount of different audio noises? I’ve just realized why that’s so important to you. Seeing how there’s going to be almost no music, it’ll be the primary thing we hear when we aren’t solving puzzles.

    Thanks for all the interview links. It’s exciting to see all this hype generating!

  7. What do you mean by footstep count? The number of different footfall sounds there are?

  8. I actually find Colin Moriarty’s write-up of his experience very interesting, and though he sounds a little ‘down’ on his experience, I find the points he brings up intriguing; not negative:

    • “After seeing famed indie developer Jonathan Blow play his new game The Witness for well over a half an hour, it’s hard to know exactly what to make of it.”

      30.992 minutes, to be exact.

  9. I would love a high-rez (1920 x 1080) version to use as a wallpaper :)

  10. I check back to this site every single day, and I have been since I first heard about this game over a year ago. Never enough updates.

  11. I was just curious if you guys were using any sort of virtual texturing or MegaTextures. I know you have referred to having to stream textures and memory being an issue so I was wondering if this was ever considered as a technique. I am just learning about it so I would be curious to hear from someone more experienced why that technique would be used or not. I know yo have a lot of texture memory being used with lightmaps and such.

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