Category Archives: Development

Island Snapshot

Current puzzle count: 505.

Also posted in Progress Shots | 27 Comments

What I Did on My Christmas Vacation

I apologize in advance that this posting is a rambling mess. The Background Way back in 2008 when I came upon the core idea of this game, the design was the exciting part. Though I started in games mainly as a technical person who was excited about technical challenges, I have shifted into a mode […]

Posted in Development | 56 Comments

A Cliffside Cliffhanger


This is a little mystery about a rock that refused to move. The rock lives off the coast of The Witness, just beyond the desert cliffs: I do not know who made this rock or how long it has been there, but when I first happened upon it, I found that it resides in a […]

Posted in Development | 83 Comments

Finding and Fixing a Five Second Stall


The great thing about programming on Windows is that it is the only commercially viable platform where you can ship software to users without getting approval from a giant bureaucracy (well, perhaps I should say it used to be). The not-so-great thing about programming on Windows is that, well, the Windows API is a horrific […]

Posted in Development | 45 Comments

Collecting Playtest Data

In The Witness, when progress in your game is saved, we also save a thumbnail that shows you where you were. This makes it easier to load a particular game later if you had multiple saves. Here is our current, very unpolished load screen: Right now, we save the thumbnail and the game data as […]

Also posted in Engine Tech | 25 Comments

Very Limited, Very Closed Beta

Last Wednesday night, just before Thanksgiving, we shipped our first extremely closed beta over Steam to a few limited testers. Today we shipped an update, still to the same limited group. We have some initial tech issues to work out before we go wider (game packaging issues, graphics card incompatibilities, and the like). Here’s a […]

Also posted in Progress Shots | 47 Comments

You know the game is coming along…

… when even your barest rough drafts seem like they’d be interesting to explore. Current puzzle count: 528.

Also posted in Progress Shots | 23 Comments

We are going Map Crazy.

One of my primary design goals, all through development, has been to keep the island spatially small, so that there isn’t a lot of wandering through empty or pointless spaces. The idea is to take the best parts of an open-world game, involving choice, exploration and discovery, but compressing these into a maximally dense experience. […]

Also posted in Progress Shots | 47 Comments

iPad Victory Shot

For the past few weeks Andy has been working on the iPad port of the game, and we now have the engine running on that device: The colors are all funny because we haven’t written the shaders for the iPad yet, so what you are seeing is the surface normals of the objects in the […]

Posted in Development | 34 Comments

WM_TOUCH is totally bananas.

The iPad is one of the major platforms The Witness will appear on. Andy has been working on the iPad port and it is coming along. You can’t actually play the game yet, but we probably are close to that. The gameplay doesn’t know how to respond to a touch interface yet, though. It is […]

Posted in Development | 31 Comments
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