Close-up

Some spoiler free architectural detail shots of a place I've been working on:

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shot_2014.09.24__time_17_35_n04

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63 Comments:

  1. Incredible! New desktop wallpapers!

  2. That triangle thing in the top left of the third image is definitely a spoiler.

  3. Love it! The Witness is the only game I’m really looking forward to (along with Cyan Obduction) and it looks like it’s coming along great!

  4. I’m not only saying this as a fanboy (as a fanboy, I say “OMGOMGOMG BEST GAME EVAARR”): This is hands down the most beautiful game I have ever seen. Like Love but playable. Like a Team Ico game but on PC. Amazing!

    Little nit-pick: Here on the comment section, the alternating black/white background color for comments makes the ones with a white background almost unreadable for me. Small thing but probably just as easy to fix?

  5. Would be very interesting to hear about anti aliasing used in these shots.

  6. I love the grain in the material in the first shot. Very nice!

  7. Don’t look now, but Fire Watch ripped off your look …

    http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/12/125688/2677241-6147976007-firew.jpg

    What is in the San Francisco water?

    Both look beautiful by the way.

    Go team!
    –Phil

  8. at least they didn’t call it “Fire Witness” :)

    Seriously though, I think we will start to see a stream of games in the near future that have been ‘inspired’ by the Witness. Firewatch is being developed using the Unity engine with help from the SECTR modules. If you go to the SECTR website, the interactive demo has the same look and feel – 1st person, mystery, impressionist/minimalist environments, exploring different areas, no weapons, etc.

    Firewatch is slated for 2015 – let’s hope the Witness comes out sooner and the team ‘plants their flag’ first for this artistic/impressionist/minimalist look and feel in game design!

  9. I like the use of evenly spaced out structures in the 2nd and 3rd pictures, as I imagine the moire pattern created by them in game would look pretty nice. This has me interested to see where else this repetitive, evenly spaced structure technique is used in game, and if you guys ever used the resulting moire effect/patterns intentionally or if they’re just a coincidence of the architectural style being used.

    Anyways, keep up the great work guys!

    On a side note, I’m sure a lot of people will be inspired by The Witness’ look, but I don’t think anybody is going to be able to do more than “imitate” it, as it seems to have taken a lot of hard work and time from the team to keep such a cohesive style/theme.

  10. I’m fairly certain fire watch will release before the witness – in which case the witness will have been inspired by the artistic style of fire watch.

  11. I don’t think it really matters which of the games inspired each other; I have no doubt that both will offer unique experiences in terms of game play and artistic direction. The cell shaded/minimalisitc artistic style has been experiencing a renaissance lately (I like to believe it was inspired by LoZ: Windwaker myself) but each iteration of it has tried to use it to inspire a new feeling or artistic intent.

    What I’m getting at (tl;dr…) is that making a chicken or the egg scenario out of this runs the risk of cheapening the experience and integrity of both games. Development takes a long time I find it unrealistic that developers on either side sat down and said “let’s do a game with the art style of this other game…”

    Aside from this, it’s been a while since a dev post – how’s the community here been? I know reading the comments makes a good pass time between updates. What have these posts made everyone excited about the most? What has been your favorite reveal/revelation during the dev process of The Witness?

    • It’s literally impossible to make a ‘chicken or egg’ scenario about this because the Witness has had it’s art style on display for ~3 years now. This blog is a testament to that.

      I am excited for this game because I think the team is highly capable, serious, passionate, and in control of the thing they are creating. These posts make me feel like I’m witnessing (hee) the growth of this game. Not to mention I’m 3 years older than when I first got excited for The Witness, which makes the Witness a part of the growth of me. The updates come ‘slowly’, because this game is being made ‘slowly’. Which is not a bad thing.

      • I agree, there’s something intoxicating about following a small indie game for it’s entire development life cycle. I especially respect Jonathanand the gang for not feeling they have to answer to anyone and pursue their vision. (Looking at you Oculous post from almost a year ago…has it been that long?)

        One of the most rewarding feelings of watching the dev cycle was the feelings of nostalgia for games like Myst I had starting out. Now I’m nostalgic for The Witness itself – watching it grow and evolve into another career defining and industry defining game (for better or worse, though my money is on the former).

        Keep up the good work y’all, we are just as excited as you are.

  12. Is the game still coming out this year? Really want this.

  13. This game is still coming out in 2014, right? I have a bad feeling about this. I know you guys are perfectionists, but you gotta draw the line somewhere. ;)

    The Witness is the biggest reason I bought my PS4!

    • Same for me.
      J.Blow said: The game will release when its ready.
      Well if i see those pictures/screens, it is already above my expectations.
      I think we got to give them the time they need, and they don’t need to hurry. When they release the game with a huge amount of bugg’s and all the others possible problems, everyone will start to argue about those. And i think that is what is taking all those years.
      If nobody had heard of the witness in the past 4 years, no one would have been waiting for it so badly.

      once again, hope to see it being released soon, but after those 5 years of seeing it step by step grow, i can wait a little longer.

      Good luck J.B and team.

      Mark

    • As of the most recent round of interviews (I believe they were around E3 time) there was a distinct possibility of The Witness coming out in 2015. I would not count on it to come out in 2014, but instead be pleasantly surprised if it does.

    • I wouldn’t get a ps4 for the Witness, but I would maybe get a Wii U to play affordable space adventures, a really cool Wii U exclusive by one of my favorite game creators

      • I’ve never heard of Affordable Space Adventures, and I already own a Wii U, so I’ll definitely check it out and keep an eye on it. :)

        Anyway, I would have liked to have The Witness to play over the Christmas holidays, but I guess I’ve got plenty of backlog to be working on if it doesn’t happen.

    • Hey Martin – I am in the same boat. I purchased my PS4 EXCLUSIVELY for The Witness the day it came out (the PS4, that is). Of course, I love the pursuit of getting the next piece of tech so I was partly motivated just to have it. In any case, the PS4 continues to sit in its box, unplayed, waiting for the witness to be released.

  14. HAs anyone who frequents this board played Toki Tori 2? If not, I highly, highly recommend it. It reminds me strongly of Jon’s descriptions of how the puzzles in The Witness will work: the puzzles start out simple to teach you some mechanics, and then they blow up into these awesome puzzles that explore parts of the mechanics-space you couldn’t have even imagined existed before you attempted the puzzle. It is a must-play for any fan of puzzle games, and really just a great game in general.

    If you played the original Toki Tori, Toki Tori 2 is very different, both in the way the puzzles are solved and the maturity and depth of the gameplay experience, so don’t base your expectations on the first game (which was not a bad game, just not nearly this good).

  15. Hello
    I am very excited for when the witness comes out.
    I believe that you have put lots of effort into The Witness and might I say the outcome is really spectacular and the puzzles look very fun.

    I would like to know what price you are thinking to have it at for release date?

    Also jonathan blow,
    I believe with all the interviews ive seen of yours, I believe your games are fantastic everysingle one of them, your my favourite game developer due to how much knowledge you have and how you have a different perspective to tackling making a game. Ill aleays support everygame you make and hope you stick to making fantastic games.

    Thank you Jonathan and the Team

    • Tobias,

      He has only released one game that I’m aware of. So saying “every single one of them” is just that. Just a single one game.

      • Well, he’s MADE other games and has some of them free to download on his website, but no other commercial releases.

      • As David said, the free ones are great and all but I’m mostly mentioning the fantastic game that Jonathan Braid made know as ‘Braid’ which I highly recommend everyone plays due to its greatness. And to everyone complaining about the time the game is taking, It’s not a easy thing to make a game ESPECIALLY if the game is made by a INDIE DEVELOPER, you would know that if you watched the movie ‘Indie Game the Movie’ which I highly recommend everyone watches. In that movie, you see Jon has a lot of trouble and I think (or is definitely) a big part of a game taking that long is because of the mental well being of him, you can tell with Jon (and the others in the movie) are stressed and anxious.

        Thank You David and the other guy who commented on my post.

        P.s. Jon, keep up the good work!

  16. Is this game EVEERRR gonna get released?

    *sigh*

  17. I understand that you don’t want two justify yourselves to people, that you guys want to stay wrapped up in your game so that it feels like your own experience, rather than someone else’s, so I respect that you don’t update often. All the same, I’d love a update :P

  18. Well, the good news is that the media page says it’s due out in mid-2014… Wait, what?

  19. sooooo… how’s the game going?

    anxiously waiting

  20. Methinks there’s something wrong here….any game with a developement timeline similar to ‘Duke Nukem Forever’ can’t be all smooth sailing.

  21. The Witness will be payable by the public in early December at the PlayStation Experience show. So at the very least we will get lots of impressions and information then.

  22. …So the game wont be ready for mid 2014 then?

    If you’re going to estimate a release it’s better to keep quiet early than disappoint later.

    • I dunno, I feel like the fact that it’s not out yet is the source of the disappointment. If they were radio silent about their progress I think everyone would be just as disappointed as they are now.

      Although, calling “everyone” disappointed is poor word choice. I’d call what I’m feeling right now “anxious for release”. Really excited, but not sure when my excitement will pay off.

  23. People always tend to forget that once the 99% first percent of the game are achieved, there are still the other 99% remaining…

    Jon always stated that the game would be released when it will be ready and that they almost never crunched except maybe for some rare occasions like the E3 trailer and other show-cases.

    To me it’s totally fine to wait a bit longer in order to get a top-notch-polished game, and I’m fairly confident that Jon’s team will deliver their masterpiece in the near future :)

  24. So a christmas release then?

    PUHLEEEASSEEEEEE!!!!!!

    This game is starting to feel like many I’ve anticipated….

    Get hyped > wait > more hyped > wait > deadlines passes > info coming out of studio dimishes or non-existant > wait / getting annoyed > wait > game comes out > game is utter balls

    Please break this cycle by following up a quiet period by releasing a game that’s any good.

  25. Take all the time you need. 8) Many of us are happy to wait!

  26. Hey! Will the game be available for mac?

    Keep up the great work!

  27. Could we please have another update? I’m fine with waiting, but I start to get twitchy when there haven’t been any updates for weeks on end. With that much inactivity, I start to worry and feel left out. It feels like waiting to borrow a game from someone, but they never say when I’ll be able to. I guess I should just find something else to do and hope I’m still excited when I get the chance to play it.

  28. If Mr. Blow dies before this game is released he will never be able to explore any other concepts. While quality is good I don’t want this much perfection to be the norm. Most people will hold sour thoughts if release dates pass and the game doesn’t come while those who hold on will inevitably be disappointed as after a certain point in development quality becomes almost impossible to increase while people’s expectations will just keep growing. Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft are fine as you can play them while they are being developed. On the other hand I will eventually tire of coming to this site to see no updates or updates saying that the game is almost done.

    • If you don’t want to check the web site, don’t check the web site.

      The game will be done when it is done.

      • That is not my personal opinion. I am just a little worried that he won’t have enough time to create more than a few games due to each game produced being perfect. Quality is good but some authors should write more books for their audience since every one is a pleasure to read.

        • Maybe every one is a pleasure to read because the author took so much time on it.

        • Anyone can pile up dirt and call it a mountain, but the wind comes and blows it down. A mountain is built with patience and persistence.

          • The amount of time I have will drop dramatically in about a year and I hope to be able to play even a less than perfect game rather than having to play a perfect game after twenty or more years. I want to play it so I attempt to urge them onward.

          • Diminishing returns from further dev at this point.

  29. “The game will be done when it’s done”

    “Your customers will get tired/bored when they get tired/bored”

    I guess we both have to deal with the situations at hand here…

  30. I don’t really understand so much impatience in some replies…
    And especially when you read gems quotes like the ones of Ramana Maharshi, Richard Feynman or Albert Einstein in The Witness homepage.
    Even if a cataclysm had happen, and the game had not been released, it had been worthy the visit to the quotes pages.

    • Fine point. I don’t know what somem of these impatient gamers expect either. It’s not like this small team of developers can wave their magic wand and a game that breaks new ground will just magically exist. It’s hilariously irrational to me when you get people who comment on this site and demand the game to come out immediately or that they will lose interest. They’re literally threatening the team when they possess no leverage… (and I don’t believe most of their claims. They’ll still play it). Either way if the team still has 18 steps to go, they still have to undergo all of them. Waiting for a game to come out (doing nothing) is much easier to do than to program an ambitious game shooting to reach players on a deeper level than it’s predecessors….. Sure I want to play the game now, but I’m not going to insult the team by telling them that they’re making grave errors by putting more care and effort into their work, especially when it does nothing to help anyone.

      • If they have 18 steps to go and they do them and release the game then I applaud them for their thoroughness.

        • Oh no worries. My comment wasn’t really implied toward you since you were just being honest. I come to this site a lot less often now too due to the lack of updates. I’ve seen about 5 or 6 comments on this site that were kind of rude and thoughtless. I didn’t see your comment as either.

  31. Oh my god…. So beautiful…..

  32. I suspect the things slowing the release is the re-writing of code from DX9 to DX11 and also the additional programming needed to support Oculus Rift. Both of these due to the requirements / needs relating to the PC version.

    Regardless though, I’m definitely looking forward to this game.

  33. Please just finish it! There are no good, original games on the new consoles. Everything is either a sequel or… Destiny, gross. I cant wait anymore. Also these captchas are too hard.

  34. I pre-ordered my PS4, waited in line for 3 hours to get it…..and the only reason I bought the PS4 at that time was because of the preview of your game…I would have saved my money and bought the system at a later date if I’d known it was going to be a few years out before you released your game….I’m not hating…..just really can’t wait until your game is done….really :)

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