The Witness is an exploration-puzzle game, to be released on multiple platforms — whatever makes sense when the release date rolls around, sometime in 2013.
The game is being developed by a small, independent team, a mix of full-timers and contractors:
Eric A. Anderson
Eric spent the last decade designing and building fantastical places as a veteran of Cyan Worlds and the Myst franchise. After experiencing firsthand the mainstream decline of “adventure games”, he is proud to be part of The Witness – a project that aims to bring smart, subtle, discovery-driven gaming back to the table. Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Eric lives in the pacific northwest with his wife and 1-year old son.
Luis, born in Portugal, left to London right after University to work at Rockstar Games as an Environment and Character artist. Later he moved to Canada to work at Ubisoft as Lead and eventually Art Director. Unfulfilled by the current state of the mainstream video games industry, he is hoping that this new endeavor will provide him with some answers. You can see his work at artofluis.com
Jonathan is a designer-programmer whose goal is to make games that are mind-expanding in ways special to this medium. He is best known for the well-received game Braid. He is also a partner in the Indie Fund, an initiative to help creative new developers grow stronger while remaining independent. He speaks frequently at conferences and universities on the advancement of game design as an art form.
Ignacio started programming at an early age and became obsessed with graphics. That led him to work at several game companies including Crytek, Relic and Oddworld. More recently he worked at NVIDIA, where he contributed to the design of modern graphics hardware, APIs, and programming models. Today he’s the father of a 3 year old boy and embraces all aspects of human experience.
Shannon Galvin has worked on games for over 16 years, having started on a game called ‘SimTown’ and then adding pretty pictures to many others…including SimCity 2000, Sims 2 and Spore. When not doing art, he often wanders around games looking at environments and using cheat codes when monsters try to interrupt his art appreciation. Oh, and he’s got a ceramic kiln in his living room. Those things can vaporize metal! (Caution: Kilns should not be used to vaporize metal).
Digo is a recent graduate of the Masters of Architecture Program at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where he is co-founding editor of the Architecture Department’s first student publication, and completed his thesis on the implementation of game systems and mechanics as a method of rethinking the architectural design process in the digital age. He received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology and has lived in multiple cities throughout the US in addition to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Paris, France; and Barcelona, Spain. Though his work was once more interested in the social and political power struggles surrounding the built environment, he finds himself today operating in the tenuous space between digital processes and physical tectonics. You can see more of Digo’s work here.
Andy has been programming games since he got his first computer, a Sinclair Spectrum ZX+, but can’t remember any of them because that was in 1985. He got his industry start in the days of the original Playstation, and has been mostly successful at avoiding x86 until now. He comes to Thekla to refocus on the reason he applied for that first job – to make great games for and with people who appreciate them. Oh, and to continue indulging his weird penchant for code optimization.
Orsi was lucky enough to get her first game industry job as a contract artist for Thekla. Her dream was to help create meaningful and unique game worlds and, working on The Witness, she got the chance to do exactly that. Since July 2011, she has been contributing many ideas to help make the island a more magical place. Aside from games, she also enjoys experiencing and creating many other forms of art, and tries to travel to new places as much as possible.
Deanna has been an architectural designer of “real world” buildings for the past 13 years in Europe, the Middle East, Australasia and Bay Area. She has been bringing her experience in conceptual design and construction to the “The Witness” since 2010 and is the founder of FOURM design studio in Oakland. Given the increasing number of people who “see” the built environment digitally, she believes that designing environments for the electronic gaming industry can have an impact on the public’s appreciation of good design and on their demand for better quality in their physical world.
Nico is an designer of environments for Fletcher Studio Landscape Architecture, both virtual and material. At essence he considers himself a producer of images, objects, and processes. With a background in near eastern archaeology, phenomenological continental philosophy, and public sculpture he brings a depth of perspectives to the design of environments of all types. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon’s Masters of Architecture program and holds a BA in Studio Art from Reed College. At UofO he was editor-in-chief and co-founder of the student published journal KTISMA and coordinator of the Urban Design Concentration program. He is really grateful to be able to work across disciplines on a project such as The Witness.
Here’s a list of people who have made contributions to the game in the past or are working on the game in an intermittent way:
Jonathan Beilin: iOS porting, tools, system administration
Eric Urquhart: concept art
Andrew Hynek: programming
Nicholas “Indy” Ray: programming
David Hellman: concept art
Andrew Burlinson: voice acting