Last Minute Area




Around Christmas time, Jon surprised us with a bunch of new slab buildings full of puzzles in the center of the island.

Previously, there were only some empty ruins here, so the whole area was redesigned by the architects to accommodate the new puzzles. I attacked it first, about 3 weeks ago, adding a couple of puzzles myself and starting to model the three buildings on the right. Now, the entire art team is working on it. Luis is taking care of the entire left portion, which is still mostly low ruins, Eric is tackling the tower in the middle, and Alex is working on the building behind the tower, with the orange box sticking out of it. There is still one slab building up for grabs, but it’s coming together very quickly for such a huge area!

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  1. aaa
    Posted January 30, 2014 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    So by “last minute area”, that means that the game’s almost good to go, right after this area, right?



    ……………………I NEED THIS

    • Posted January 31, 2014 at 3:21 am | Permalink

      Well, in previous post John wrote that they have all puzzles done… but that does not mean that they are done ;) They may have still play with engine, tweak stuff… from my experience, the closer you are to finish the more stuff you find you forgot or like to tweak… its up to their milestones…

      Anyway I am also super excited about release date announcement :) checking the blog every day..

      Personally I think that we dont get any ETA, like Jon says everywhere when he is asked about release date “it will be released when it is done” :)

      • Posted January 31, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Ditto! I check this every day and am so excited.

        In a weird way though, I’m really savoring this time in my life, because there will be a day where I’ve played through this game and solved all the puzzles. Considering the fact that this game is about the essence of discovery, I’m embracing this time where I don’t know what is going to happen in the game. Very happy and grateful to everyone who is a part of The Witness Team and all the fans who post here (and have been for the past few years) on a regular basis! Wish we could have some celebratory meetup one day! (I’ll make t-shirts!)

        • Alex C
          Posted February 2, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

          People say I play discovery games strangely: I try not to progress in order to forestall the time when I’ve discovered everything.
          I always considered the sense of discovery as synonymous with that of mystery. Both are very important to those who play these games, but it is interesting to realize that one is detrimental to the other. You have to be curious in order to be enthralled in the face of mystery, but it is that curiosity that drives discovery, and it is discovery that puts and end to a sense of wonder.

          So, like you, I relish the time that I don’t understand the rules of the game, and I haven’t explored its corners. At the same time, I long for catharsis.

    • Jonah
      Posted February 4, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      *Flicks at his arm*

      Give it to me right here, right in the big vein.

  2. Matthias Calis
    Posted January 30, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Amazing work. I love how much time and dedication the team is putting into crafting every inch with such love for detail. As someone who has done a bit of modelling as a hobby, I know how much effort goes into every piece, so when I applaud you for your hard work, I am being completely sincere. Keep at it!

    I intend to show this to my 65 year old father who isn’t a gamer at all, but has a liking for puzzle games. Particularly some of the old-school ones. I am very confident he will love this piece of art, but there’s only one way to find out!

    Good luck, and I am looking forward to uncovering all the secrets you are no doubt putting into this :)

  3. Stuart
    Posted January 30, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    There’s something kind of magical about seeing this sort of freedom to design in the face of construction deadlines and ‘locked in place content.’ We often perceive video games with simpler graphics as being somehow ‘inferior’ to hyper detailed realistic games, but really, it seems to me that this sort of restraint allows freedom to play with design in the late stage of a project. That’s something we seem to have lost as games have had more and more art assets in them.

  4. chegr
    Posted January 30, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Who is that guy over there, right in the middle of screenshot?

    • justin
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      That’s a statue. There a many in the island. but the only real person is you.

      • Alex C
        Posted February 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        House builder, you are seen! (?)

    • Posted January 31, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Eagle eye! Took me a minute to spot him! :-)

  5. DAS k1ishEĆ©
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    And this when you realize, that the witness will be realeased once the puzzle count is over 9000

  6. Owen
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    At least they’re not doing us like Id did and keep repeating “in two weeks”. I’m sure they’re motivated and able to ship (*cough* Duck Nukem Forever *cough*) and they’ll ship when they’re ready.

  7. Jonathan Blow
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    This area is not really such a huge surprise, since it was always known that we needed to go back and finish it at some point. The surprise is mainly the actual content of the area, which was mostly designed in December. Prior to this I’d had some other ideas about what this area was for, but they did not appear to be panning out, and I didn’t want the game to have a weak spot in such a way.

    • Tad
      Posted February 1, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Am I reading into the title correctly when I think “Last Minute Area” means the game is nearing completion? I understand if you aren’t ready to give a release date or anything, but it’d be great if I knew whether or not I should board the hype train yet. This is probably my most anticipated game of the year.

      • Posted February 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Just get on the hype train! A lot of us here have been riding it for multiple years and we have yet to run out of drinks, snacks, and HYPE!

        • Tad
          Posted February 1, 2014 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Well, I’ve been hyped for Half Life 3 for a while, and it’s been pretty exhausting, so I’d like to stay off the hype train until it’s realistic to board it haha.

      • Jonathan Blow
        Posted February 2, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        We still have a lot of things to do before the game is done.

  8. Justin Dewoody
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Jonathan…can you please just tell us what quarter you will release this game? We are all dying here. We don’t want you to give us an exact date (we understand that you can’t say at this point), but please give us a ballpark timeframe. I have been holding my breath for this game. Please don’t let us get to the point where we get frustrated from the lack of info and then give up on this game. I think that would be a major mistake on your part. Come on bro!

  9. sh4dow
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    And suddenly, I’m reminded of:


    • Micah
      Posted February 2, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Nice. Synecdoche New York is a good movie. A lot of people didn’t like it. I say this without trying to sound like a disgruntled elitist, but it’s always pleasant to find more reasonably intelligent life out there. Cheers.

      • sh4dow
        Posted February 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        Yes, it’s not easy. And considering how most people treat me (and each other), I don’t even try to not be elitist any more. How could anyone with a heart not be? Seeing all those people treat one another so badly, even though it could easily not be like that (as evidenced by the few who do try to do good by others and the relationships they have).

        But I find the movie to actually not be such a good indicator because if you check out the imdb ratings – it actually seems to have done very well. Maybe you just came across a bunch of bad examples?
        (My experience is that usually nobody even knows what the hell I’m talking about when I mention the movie.)

    • justin
      Posted February 2, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Philip Seymour Hoffman just dies :c

      • sh4dow
        Posted February 13, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t even realize that I posted that not even a day before his death! That’s a bit creepy. Especially since I really admired him but still hadn’t thought about or mentioned him anywhere for quite a while before posting this link…

  10. Matt
    Posted February 5, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Is there going to be future DLC with added puzzles or with the game be complete when released?

    • Jonathan Blow
      Posted February 5, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      It is unlikely that we will do more puzzles any time soon.

      • Kavan Cleary
        Posted February 7, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Speaking as a fan, I would much rather you move on to the next project then spend time creating any DLC, unless you feel truly inspired. I am excited for your next project in 2020 :)

  11. Matt
    Posted March 5, 2014 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Just watched the 10 minute demo and can’t wait. I’m waiting for the PS4 version. You probably can’t say but… when can I preorder? Release? I’ve been itchin for this since last year.

    Also, did you figure out a way to avoid the trophy/achievement pop-ups?

    • justin
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      PS4 and PC version will released simultaneously. We don’t know the release date but we speculate: late 2014 or early 2015.
      iOS version release will soon follow.
      No, you can not pre-order the game. Yes, it will be digital released only.
      On PS3 and PS4. You can turn off Trophy notification/pop-ups, same with messages. But we are required to have achievements in Steam and Trophies on Playstation.
      No, there is no part 2 to that video.

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