Posted 12:10am

Jonathan Blow’s The Witness coming to PlayStation 4

The Witness: Aereal View

Hello! We, Thekla, Inc., are a small independent development team located in San Francisco, California, USA. Our current project is a game called The Witness, where you explore a mysterious island and solve puzzles. Thematically, it’s a game about epiphany – that leap your mind makes when you instantly go from confusion to understanding.

The game takes place in an open world, so that you can go wherever you want.

For a puzzle game, this is nice, because it means we can include real puzzles that challenge and surprise you. In a linear game, if you get stuck on a puzzle, you are usually just stuck unless you look up the answer; this is why many linear games shy away from puzzles with non-obvious solutions. In The Witness, we can make puzzles as difficult or as subtle as we want, because if you are stuck in an area, you can simply go somewhere else.

The Witness: Places to Go

However, we are not just trying to make hard puzzles. Some puzzles in The Witness are hard, but some are easy. Even the easy puzzles are interesting, because every puzzle has a little bit of communication wrapped inside it. We work hard to make each communication as clear and interesting as we can. So when you work through a bunch of puzzles in the game, you have also experienced a flow of ideas, presented to you at a high density.

Unlike most open worlds, which try to be as big as possible, The Witness takes place on a compact island. You can run across the whole island in 1 minute 10 seconds, yet we have 25 hours of unique puzzle gameplay with no filler and no repetition. We have designed it so that wherever you are, if you want to change paths and go somewhere else, there are 3 or 4 different places to go, all within a 20 second walk.

The Witness: Aereal View

We have been working on this game for three and a half years and we are finally coming toward the end of development. It really is the best game that we know how to make, and we look forward to delivering these experiences to you on the PlayStation 4 console.

You can follow along with development of The Witness at the game’s site: http://the-witness.net.

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Comments

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Stonesthrow 21 February, 2013 @ 3:33 am   1

Very nice surprise, this one. Reminds me of Unfinished swan in the sense that it looks like being part of a fairytale. Also enjoyed your presentation and how you guys are actually trying to keep it compact and focussed, with something new and exciting to discover around every corner and getting rid of reduntant stuff. Can’t wait to live in this ^^

 

This looks excellent – deffo on my ‘to get list’ – thanks for bringing it to PS4 Jonathon/Thekia, as it’s not the kind of game I’d play on PC :).

 

Man i´m SO psyched for this… This is the game I wanna play the most of all the ones I saw during this press conference… I suspect E3 will shuffle my list…
Gotta save up for a PS4 N O W (as a newly unemployed dude in Sweden)

 

This sounds and looks really interesting.

 

I don’t suppose my Blog.Share idea http://goo.gl/rf2PC influenced this development?

Chaosprower 21 February, 2013 @ 2:16 pm   6

It looks fantastic, but I was disappointed with the PS Meeting trailer, it looked like you have to do the same puzzle over and over again for everything (the drawing lines in panels thingy).

 
residentSteve 21 February, 2013 @ 6:24 pm   7

Jonathan blow what a name.

another_gamer195 21 February, 2013 @ 7:03 pm   8

kinda looks good, i like a challange in a game, though i usually prefer some shooting/choping of heads off in the mix as well. but am going to keep eye out for this and if suitable (for me) i will give it a go. Can i ask a maybe silly question, as this may be a good genre games post for answer, ok. If odds of winning lottery are 14 million/1, being 49 numbers to draw your Six from.. In a game of chess what are odds, well calculations, needed to plan and win a match by, well planning seven moves ahead.. i really would love to get some idea of just how many hundreds, thousands ?, (millions ?) of possible scenarios one must consider to do such a thing.. just two ord/avrg guys playing a game, about 5 moves into it, (for what that may be worth !) Any idea anyone.

 

I saw the presentation and the trailer and I’m sure I will get this. I played Braid to exhaustion (well, almost, I didn’t complete the time trial) so I expect to be quite entertained with this.

 

@residentSteve
There’s also a british glamour model who goes by the name Vikki Blows (not made up either).