Jonathan Blow became a household name in the gaming world after the success of his indie-hit Braid back in 2008. Finally, the developer is back with a new project titled The Witness, a first-person puzzle game that has players exploring a mysterious open-world in an attempt to uncover its secrets.
Where most developers try to create huge open-world spaces for players to get lost in, Blow has a different idea in mind. The world of The Witness is actually quite small, though very densely populated by various structures and interactive elements. The goal is to keep the player from ever getting bored or frustrated with a particular puzzle. Blow commented on this design set-up, saying:
When we were designing it, what we wanted to do was trade off two interesting constraints. One of them is that your trying to solve puzzle, right? And when you don’t know how to do something, you want it to be clear what’s relevant to that and what’s not. We have this island with all of these areas, and the areas are kind of self-contained… You’re in this walled-keep, so only things inside the keep are relevant to other things in the keep. But then if you walk outside the keep, because you’re done with it or you get stuck, you can turn left and walk for ten seconds and be in a different area, or turn right and walk for ten seconds. So it’s been a balance between cramming everything as close together as possible, but not too close, because if it’s too close it jumbles together and becomes confusing.
Check out the developer interview from PlayStation below:
Over the past few years, indie gaming has become bigger than ever, and it’s clear that Sony is trying to embrace the rise of independent developers. The company not only has Jonathan Blow excited about their upcoming console, but announced that they were working with several other indie devs to bring a large selection of games to the PlayStation 4.
The Witness is scheduled to be released sometime in 2013.