Posted 5:00pm

The Witness on PS4 – exclusive video

It’s been a few months since our last post on PlayStation.Blog, so I think it’s a nice time to let people know how the game is coming along.

If you haven’t heard about The Witness, it is a game about exploration and puzzle-solving in an open world. Here’s our trailer:

The open-world aspect of the design is important. It means you have freedom in terms of where you go and what puzzles you choose to approach right now. At any time you can just stop what you’re doing, turn around and go somewhere else, and the game world has plenty of new things to show you.

The Witness

It’s interesting to try and design a puzzle game this way. Puzzle games are usually linear, because the designers want to make sure you have solved a puzzle before going on to a more difficult one. But in The Witness we have a broader idea about what makes puzzles interesting, and this lets us be versatile in designing the flow of gameplay. We build systems of puzzles with flexibility to allow for player freedom, so you can follow the natural flow of your own curiosity.

More flippantly, we are trying to reverse the trend illustrated by this old chestnut:

The Witness 1

Building an open world is a challenge for a small team like ours, though, especially in a game that is as detail-oriented as this. We care about the placement of every object, the way every location looks from every other location, and how a location frames the puzzles that live inside. We’re very busy refining these details for the game’s release.

The Witness

If you want to follow general development progress, check out our blog for The Witness. It’s more than just news and updates – we often get into deep discussions of artistic decisions and technical work. And you can also follow @witnessgame on Twitter.

We are looking forward to delivering you the best game we can make, and we are working hard at this every day.

The Witness 3

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Comments

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I can’t wait for this! Most interesting game shown at the reveal.

 
adge_uk 23 May, 2013 @ 5:11 pm   2

Looks incredible, I’m really looking forward to this. Thanks for the update.

 
Wraxend 23 May, 2013 @ 5:12 pm   3

Is it weird if this is my most anticipated game on the PS4 at the moment? It is looking amazing however and it seems to have come along way from when I was reading about it on GiantBomb a few years ago. Also I hope you make a huge profit on this as I would love to see what else you guys could do.

 
GalapagosaraY 23 May, 2013 @ 5:14 pm   4

i love puzzle games and i really hope this will be a good one at that. Hopefully the visuals of ps4 and the island is able to heighten the immersion of this game and not just merely act as a bare backdrop to the next puzzles to solve. Hopefully the transition between puzzles and exploring the island(s) is nicely crafted so they feel like theyre a unity of some sort. Also this game would be a ncie game to return back to as with most puzzle games once you forget the puzzles, thanks to adding new DLC with puzzles

 
JoshHood 23 May, 2013 @ 5:32 pm   5

Really excited for this – are you planning on releasing on launch day?

 
CERBERE77 23 May, 2013 @ 5:58 pm   6

Deep. That’s the word that best describes the game you showed us.

toxic-inferno 23 May, 2013 @ 6:05 pm   7

Really looking forward to this. I have a concern though:

The thing that made Braid stand out (and still makes it stand out compared to a lot of new releases) is that it mixes something with which a lot of gamers are familiar (2D-platforming), with an element of puzzling that is tightly and intricately connected to the way the game plays and the story it is telling. Braid cannot be described as either a pure puzzle game, or a pure platformer, due to its unique blend of these two genres. (As you can tell, I’m a big fan of the game!)

But to what extent is the Witness different from other puzzle games that are out there, apart from the open world aspect?

toxic-inferno 23 May, 2013 @ 6:08 pm   8

I guess another aspect of what I’m trying to ask is how well focused the game will be. Braid had a clear ending, and one that effected the way you replayed the game massively. But Braid was fairly linear, allowing an actual “ending” to exist, and causes the game to progress. Open-world games don’t often have this sense of progression.

vashrahan 23 May, 2013 @ 6:47 pm   9

I think this game is open world in a sense that u can roam around finish the puzzles/missions in any order but eventually will lead you to the end after solving all of the puzzles.

————–
I wonder how many types of puzzles there are. In the video, we’ve only been shown the laser pointing/mirroring puzzles which aren’t new to me.

YNA_p4u7 23 May, 2013 @ 7:12 pm   10

I love puzzle games, I’m really looking forward to The Witness (specially the open world aspect of the game)

 
SwiftRyu 23 May, 2013 @ 7:39 pm   11

I have to say, the Indie dev scene over the past couple of years has been winning my heart and gaming time over the bigger publishers. The creativity reminds me of the heyday of the 90′s where a substantial chunk of games released had an abundance of innovation and new ideas. Lately my favourite games haven’t been the Uncharted’s, Gran Turismo’s and other big hitters (Though I enjoy them all the same), but rather the likes of Braid, Binding of Isaac, Lone Survivor, Journey and Thomas Was Alone. Credit to developers such as yourself for pioneering thoughtful and entertaining experiences and credit also to Sony for nurturing the talent and paying heed to what Indie devs can do for gaming.

 
THE_FORCE 23 May, 2013 @ 8:21 pm   12

This, and ‘Deep Down’ are my two most anticipated PS4 titles.

I reckon The Witness will be up there with ‘Flower’ for beauty, surrealism and captivation.

 
Lunastra78 23 May, 2013 @ 8:24 pm   13

Looks like a modern day Myst. Can’t wait to play it!

 
Stonesthrow 23 May, 2013 @ 8:41 pm   14

Well, you got my money for sure. Love the artstyle. Sort of reminds me of Unfinished swan and Datura which I absolutely adored as well. More of an abstract experience than the same old.. We need more devs like this that don’t necessarily do it for the money but just for the love of it, something which usually reflects in the game as well.

toxic-inferno 23 May, 2013 @ 8:50 pm   15

@ Post 13 – Lunastra78

That’s just what I was thinking! I really have high hopes for this game. Some of my favourite games from the last 18 months have been indie games (Journey, Thomas Was Alone, and probably my game of the year from last year – The Unfinished Swan).

 
DoYouLikeMyID 23 May, 2013 @ 9:15 pm   16

The game looks absolutely beautiful. I can’t wait to see some extended gameplay, where you can see how the open-world transitions into the puzzles. Hopefully it will feel natural, it sure looks like it will.

 
Witcher70 23 May, 2013 @ 10:13 pm   17

Wow this looks incredible….. Got a datura vibe to it. I hope this is a launch day game and hope to hear more about it at E3.

 
trffinal 23 May, 2013 @ 10:14 pm   18

this game is good nice to see some old game coms in the year of 2013 this game is all most the same as the old game serie name myst this game look like myst 1 just Google an see nothing new in this but i like this game

@Wraxend: You’re not alone, currently this is the only title announced for PS4 that I’m really excited about. Also, while I know it’s only human to draw comparisons, my prediction is that the developers will surprise those of us who expect this to be a Myst clone. It will be interesting to see how they’ll achieve that, but as long as the puzzles have meaning or relevance in the world and their solution is deducible using logic or our senses, I’m happy.

And if the multiple layers mentioned by Jonathan in the video turn out to be anything like those in the world of Fez, I can see myself exploring the island long after having solved every puzzle (which is another way of saying it would be awesome).

 
Syph33r 24 May, 2013 @ 3:22 am   20

Looking beautiful. And yeh i always loved the big complex map layouts back in gaming mags in the 80′s/90′s. Now there is no need for a map, you cant exactly get lost.

 
Viper7 24 May, 2013 @ 7:56 am   21

Don’t know about the puzzles as those are something you have to experience by playing, not trough trailers.

But I really dig the visuals of this game, the bright colors and simplistic and smooth models look amazing. The visual design for this game feels really fresh and the way it’s more focused on what matters instead of details or realism like in many modern games.

 
cowbanana 24 May, 2013 @ 10:47 am   22

Beautiful game. Looks very interesting.

 

Wow, so beautiful. Really looking forward for this game.

megagameshub-com 24 May, 2013 @ 11:30 am   24

The game look fantastic, we enjoy playing Braid and look forward to The Witness.
Would you be releasing either Braid or The witness on the PS Vita? As you said in the video it is all about the user experience and with the Vita the interface will be perfect for either game…

 
AlexAtkinUK 24 May, 2013 @ 7:53 pm   25

I wasn’t sold on this game when I saw it at the PS4 reveal but I have to admit its peaking my interest now.

It will be particularly nice if it works via PS Vita remote play as I can imagine playing this casually when I don’t feel like big screen gaming. I never seem to get round to playing casual games on the TV these days even though I have plenty on PS3 and even more on Xbox 360.