Thekla!

Last Sunday morning was exceptionally beautiful and sunny, and so I decided to spend the day reorganizing the office.

When we moved in two years ago, we just pulled things out of the moving boxes and shoved them here and there so we could get to work as quickly as possible, so the mess was only getting worse. We spend most of our waking lives here, so I thought it was worth a few hours to make it a more pleasant space. I moved some furniture around to create a more convenient place to test the ps4 build, threw out a giant pile of old things, put up some of the decorations we made for the Play Station Experience booth, etc.

I figured I'd put up some pictures, so you guys can see where The Witness is getting finished (because it's getting finished, yo!):

IMG_1811IMG_1808IMG_1809

You can use Oswin, a.k.a. The Witness Dog, for spatial reference.

66 Comments:

  1. I love the witness themed art you have hung up. The little Witness puzzles behind the PS3 are pretty cute.

  2. Can’t wait!!
    BTW: Rolling chairs on a hardwood floor??

  3. Wow! It’s beautiful! It looks like a place I would want to work in.

  4. Looks great, and any office with dedicated DogOps is a good thing! (And yes, the hung puzzles on the wall are groovy, great art… hopefully part of a gallery or museum show to come?)

  5. Nice, is there an Oswin statue on the island??

  6. Very elegant! I think I love white walls and wood floors more every time I see them together.

    This reminds me of days in architecture studio. – Cleaning and reorganizing feels so liberating after a sustained period of focus. Old ideas can get brushed aside with the clutter, leaving behind a renewed sense of clarity and drive.

    Good luck with the final stretch. The Witness is my most anticipated experience this year!

  7. If you look in the first pic theres a map of the island on the wall :)

  8. Is this still coming to iOS? If so will it be released at the same time as ps4? I don’t have a ps4 so I won’t be able to get it if it isn’t :(

  9. Will Oswin be a playable character? The bonus of using oswin is that he’s much faster. However, he has to constantly jump in order to reach the puzzles. Actually, I’m guessing that the secret ending of the witness is that you find out that you’ve been playing as oswin the whole time. The island is just a dog-sized island, and while your shadow looks like a human shadow, it’s actually just a trick of the light.

  10. Being into the final months of a game’s development is kinda notorious as the time when intense crunch happens. How’ve you all been as far as maintaining your health/sanity in this stage of development?

  11. Those are really nice pictures and a really nice place!
    I liked those “ladder-step-shelves” laid on the wall! Really clean looking, neat and useful! Cheers!

  12. Wonderful studio space.

    Release date predictions?

  13. Thekla’s motto: GAME FIRST. LIVING SPACE CLEANING AFTER 5 YEARS!

    :)

  14. Cool workspace, game’s looking great. Can’t wait to be the first to buy it and complain about the lack of multiplayer and guns!!!

  15. Sorry to be too curious but… as a game programmer I’d like to know what are the books on the shelf :0)

  16. Is Oswin a Spaniel? :))))

  17. Very nice space! Do you have to complete a challenging puzzle panel to enter the studio? (if so you could claim this has led to some of the development delays ;-)

  18. Nagyon jól néz ki! Már nagyon várom a játékot!
    (Remélem jól tippeltem a neved alapján, hogy tudsz magyarul :) )

  19. What a gorgeous work space. Seems like a delightful place to finish up a game. :)

  20. 开发个游戏花那么长时间,该花多少成本?觉得值得吗??而且又不懂的宣传,我看是废了。

    • For anyone curious, this is what I got from Google Translate:

      “Develop a game to spend so long, how much the cost of the flowers? Think it is worth it? ? And they do not know of publicity, I see waste.”

      • I’ve read this five or so times. It gets more mature each time. It’s almost like poetry really. Google translate has some talent.

  21. you have some free time for cleaning and organizing -that’s good for you guys and good news for us – work on the game must be humming along smoothly or I doubt you’d be worrying about the look of the digs.

  22. Jon,

    As and if you try to write a narrative that shifts as an allegory of the order the player solved the puzzles, and which he left unsolved, I submit the two following works for the purposes of idea-sparking:

    Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Not Visited and Never Will, by Judith Schalansky
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Atlas-Remote-Islands-Fifty-Visited/dp/1846143489/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369670637&sr=1-1&keywords=schalansky+atlas

    The Islanders, by Christopher Priest
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Islanders-Christopher-Priest/dp/1781169462

  23. Beautiful. Does the vibrant architecture of your workspace mimic the art design of The Witness? Is this some kind of subtle hint? Am I insane?

    On a side note, where can I find that wonderful puzzle art?

  24. So excited for this to be released!

  25. Man, would have been exciting to see The Witness as one of PS4’s Spring Fever upcoming games…but I’ll be content for now that Titan Souls was included and is getting released early April :D

    I’m still super hyped about this game too though!!

  26. Is that dog alive? He doesn’t move in the photos. I didn’t expect you guys to be into taxidermy.

    • Actually Trevor, in the third photo you can see the dog is turned around with his head peaking out from behind the pillar. Although, I myself didn’t notice that he looks the same in the first two, so props for that.

  27. I think its about time to commit to a release date don’t you?

    • I’m pretty sure they’re more worried about having enough money to finish the game, in which case they don’t even know themselves.

    • If you think of it from the perspective of TIME itself, we’ve already all played The Witness. Are playing it right now in fact. Also, not… playing it, never having EVER played it. Not really.

      All comforting and equally terrifying concepts to consider whilst waiting for the game in this: (THAT WAY —–>) direction of time.

      Furthermore, what if game development ran in reverse? Where the sooner you discover a project the more complete it is and the more time you have to get through it before it shrinks into non-existence?

      … I think it may be time to commit to a release date yes. This game is making me unstable. I think I shall have to commit myself to a reverse-release-date at a psychiatric institution if the game takes much longer.

      In all sincerity though, there is and only ever will be one – true – release date and I’ve a feeling it’ll be revealed here shortly.

      In the words of Tank from The Matrix: “IT’S A VERY EXCITING TIME!”

  28. Is there a beta of the game out or some way I can play it?! Braid is easily my #1 favorite game of all time so waiting for this next creation is seriously upping my blood pressure!

  29. After reading some rants I have decided to suggest that you read some books by Neil Postman. He is very clear and would have probably been against games as art. If you have read Technopoly or Amusing Ourselves to Death neither of which directly address video games but whose implications are clear would you respond to the arguments made in them? Braid was one of the best games I have ever played but I still don’t see it as a work of art and hope that video games can develop beyond Braid into an accepted art form.

    • Video games emotionally move me and change my life. Calling them art or not does what exactly? Have fun with your semantic quandary.

    • If you define art as “something beautiful, skilfully created” then Braid absolutely qualifies.

      If you think Braid isn’t art, I love to hear what is.

      You can use games or non-games as examples.

      • This: ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

        Life is art. Existence is art. Art is infinite.

        Anyone who would argue that videogames don’t qualify I will always fail to understand

      • I think every artist and scholar has a different definition of art. I’ve been working on my own.
        Art: Any creation made with intention.
        I don’t think this is what OP is talking about. Intention could be “I want this piece to make people cry,” or “I want this piece to make a statement on art,” etc.

        Quality: The measure of an artist’s fulfillment of their intention.
        Bad acting in a movie can distract a person from the greater intention of the piece, therefor the artist’s intention isn’t fulfilled. Not to say that an artist can’t make decisions defying things that are “good.” Picasso is a perfect example of this; his later art isn’t pleasing to the eye, but this is explicit and it fulfills his intention. Shadow of the Colossus’ camera isn’t “good,” but it creates a feeling of helplessness, arguably fulfilling intention. This brings me to my next topic.

        Interpretative Material: Any material in a piece with artist-intended meaning.
        Aka: symbolism, metaphor, allegory. The “bad camera” in Shadow of the Colossus falls in this category (arguably). If a movie uses ideal camera angles just because it’s expected, the camera angles aren’t interpretative. While they may support interpretative material, there is no greater meaning (metaphor) to the cinematography. Jonathan Blow talked about interpretation in a talk a while back (2008, I think), and how non-interpretative materials may distract the player from the artist’s intended interpretation.

        Artistic Merit: The measure of Interpretative Material in a piece.
        This is closer to what OP defines as art, I believe. This is the density, or concentration, of interpretative material in a piece. Great poetry tends to have high artistic merit. Often the rhythm, rhyme scheme, dictation and even syntax are choices not made lightly and are interpretative.

        So, by my definition, Braid is not only art but has plenty of artistic merit. In fact, I would say it has the most artistic merit of any game I’ve ever played.
        Allow me to introduce myself. I’m currently studying music and computer science at university, and studying/practicing game design independently. This is the subject of an essay I will be writing, and the definitions are sure to be reworked by the time of publication.

        • Awesome stuff. Sounds like you’re on the right track! I love thinking about things in a deeply critical way like that. Like does the camera intentionally create desperation in Shadow of the Colossus!

  30. In the home stretch of your development, I thought I’d share a bit of profoundness about how Braid improved someone’s life:
    http://braid-game.com/news/2011/04/braid-playthrough-with-directors-commentary/#comments
    It’s the March 7, 2013 comment. (Funny, that’s 2 years ago today.) I hope it helps re-calibrate your (undoubted) fatigue: this comment is why we are all rooting for you. You, Jonathan Blow and Co., give a damn about everything you put into your work. And it is noticed, appreciated, and transformative.

  31. …What… the hell is this?! It seems someone invented a different version of Braid, and it surprisingly is doing very different puzzles, and even new mechanics with the game engine. Here’s some dude speed running it. He also has an amazing record on the first Braid:
    http://www.twitch.tv/p_why/c/2714382

  32. Will The Witness be a download only game or have a retail release?

    • If I remember correctly it will be purely download only at first. Although I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of it appearing in a physical-disc collection down the road after perhaps a year or so, depending on the (basically guaranteed success) – sort of like what they did with JOURNEY for the Playstation Network.

      But all current knowledge points to digital only and I would bet that this is the way it will stay at first, likely even indefinitely.

  33. Could the stones look any ‘sexier’ in this game? Seriously, this entire game and the ‘stones’ are what’s doing it for me specifically.

    Either that or I have been posting here for 5 years and have run out of things to talk about!

    GO THEKLA! GO THEKLA!

  34. GO THEKLA!

    GO THEKLA!

    G
    O

    T
    H
    E
    K
    L
    A
    !

    :)

  35. Must be just about time for another update. They haven’t missed a month since October :-D

    • Haha. I also looked back at the posting dates from previous updates. It seems that most of them occurred late in the week (Wed-Fri), so I’ll be sure to check back then.

      The fact that I look here for updates so often is weird; this is a game that I do not want to know anything more about…. except mentions of it being “finished.” :)

  36. Planning Project Morpheus support on PS4? I’ll buy an additional PC and iOS version if that happens! I know yall were working on VR support for PC, I just hope it’s easy to port that work over to Morpheus.

  37. Any chance of an update, however small it may be?

    *uses puss in boots eyes*
    *uses puppy dog eyes*
    *uses Betty Davis eyes*

  38. When will Senpai notice us?

    +_____×

  39. whew those tall Witness posters are lovely

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