Road to E3 – Day 1

Since we have only one week to get the entry area ready before E3 I was thinking it could be interesting to have a post at the end of each day to show how we are progressing.
It will balance out the high programming post count we’ve had the past few days and hopefully show a bit of how the art team works!

Last week, as you could see from previous screenshot, we got  a rough layout of the area in the engine and tried to find answers to any remaining issues.

Today the goal was to sort out the design  and navigation of the main entrance and the small towers.
This is one of my first mockups that didn’t look quite right.



The architects took a look at it and provided some 3d models of how castle stairs are usually assembled as well as sketches of how it should look:




After, I tried to figure out the details from references and what “pieces” I would need to build the structure.
Two years ago I went for vacations in Portugal and tried to see some castles. One of them in Guimaraes struck me as very similar to the entry yard. I made sure I got some pictures and now they are proving to be useful with angles that would be hard to get from online research.


Here is the current result using different modular stairs/floor/battlement pieces:


And the current overall look by the end of today:


Tomorrow I’ll be tackling  the rest of the exterior walls and the 3 other towers.


Posted in Development, Progress Shots | Tagged | 4 Responses

Island Snapshot: What-year-is-this Edition

E3 is happening in under two weeks, so what better thing to do than to completely destroy the part of the game everyone at E3 will play, and rebuild it from scratch in very limited time?


This is of course a very crude mockup of what the new starting area will be. It’s smaller than the old one and should work a little better play-wise. We have yet to reshape the terrain around it, so there are huge holes. Our deadline to have this area fully rebuilt is the 6th of June!

Current puzzle count is 627.

Posted in Progress Shots | 18 Responses

Witness Wednesday on How to Program

Sometimes people ask me for advice on how to program, and I have to say that Casey’s advice here is right on:

Meanwhile, we’ve had a lot of Witness Wednesday posts in a row on this blog. I’ll have to stop slacking and write something about the game.

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Responses

Casey’s Witness Wednesday on Interpolation

He’s put up another very informative blog post, leaving the specific topic of grass planting, venturing into more general territory regarding interpolation. And there’s a video, from which it is possible to learn a lot of this is a new subject.

Here’s the blog post.

Here’s the video:


Posted in Development, Engine Tech | 7 Responses

Witness Friday post on Casey’s blog

Casey Muratori is back, with more details about planting grass when you really care about how good the results are.





Update: And here’s another post, complete with a video showing in detail how the grass planting works in the actual game.

Posted in Development, Engine Tech | 18 Responses

What’s this??

1 2 3

…can’t say, but it sure was fun to build!

Posted in Uncategorized | 27 Responses

Working on The Witness, Parts 5 and 6.

Casey Muratori has made new postings about the work he has done on The Witness:

Working on The Witness, Part 5

Working on The Witness, Part 6

In this one he talks about how to distribute grass. Legally. As well as the different colors of noise one might want to be familiar with in order to do this well.

Posted in Development, Engine Tech | 11 Responses

The Art of “The Witness” – GDC 2014

Last week was the Game Developers Conference (GDC) here in San Francisco and we were invited to talk about the art  of “The Witness”.
I decided to shift the talk from any technical aspect, since there are already plenty of those, and tried to focus instead on our thought process, what were the decisions we took that led us to the current art style.

If you are interested you can take a look at the slides PDF here:

Unfortunately the PDF merges animated slides so there is some content that you won’t be able to see and you are missing the actual talk but it should be available in a few weeks at the GDC Vault!


*UPDATE – The talk is now available at the GDC Vault, you can  check it here:


Posted in Development | Tagged , , , | 20 Responses

Marsh Update

The marsh had been left unresolved for a long time, so we decided to tear it apart and finish it as a team. Eric updated the main structures, Alex adjusted the catwalks, Luis took care of all the lowest structures, and I handled the vegetation and general colors. Color was a big challenge in getting the area to look nice, since it is a marsh research facility with lots of crazy colored algae pools…there was a high risk of making it look like a clown exploded on it. With some careful color choices, attention to every detail and blocking in the views on a step by step basis, however, I think we managed to avoid that risk and succeeded in creating a pleasant, colorful area:








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Hey look, Oculus support *plus* Steam Controller support.

IMG_20140204_181225[1] IMG_20140204_181352[1]

Posted in Uncategorized | 51 Responses