Despite being intimately familiar with each and everyone one of the bewildering 677 puzzles in The Witness, Jonathan Blow reckons it still took him over 6 hours to complete a speedrun playthrough. Just over 6 hours and 20 minutes, to be precise. But that wasn’t a full playthrough. Blow later admitted over twitter that he missed a whole section of the game during his playthrough:
I just realized that last night I missed part of the game in my speed run. Oops. Going to build something in to verify I get everything…
— Jonathan Blow (@Jonathan_Blow) February 8, 2015
By contrast, the developer’s previous game, Braid, takes just a fraction of that time if you know what you’re doing. Blow says that The Witness is currently around 10x the size of Braid, though clarified that is still subject to change as he continues to put the finishing touches to his latest title. What won’t change, however, is the number of puzzles. In a developer diary entry published on the game’s official website towards the end of last month, he revealed that each of those puzzles were now “locked in”, and represents “all puzzles that will be in the game when it ships”. Note the “when it ships” bit – this doesn’t necessarily mean that more won’t be added as some sort of DLC (though in fairness, neither does it mean that they will).
The Witness has been in development for quite a while now. First announced way back in 2009, a series of delays has led to the planned PC, PS4 and iOS versions of the game having its release date repeatedly pushed back. In 2013, it was set to be a launch title for Sony’s latest console. It’s still uncertain whether it will enjoy a simultaneous release on all 3 platforms, or whether one or more versions will be released later than another. Blow has also previously teased that support for Oculus VR’s Rift headset may be added to the PC version at some point, which could also mean that the PS4 version could see a patch to support Sony’s upcoming Morpheus headset.
The Witness is a first-person puzzle game set on a deserted island, filled to the brim with all manner of puzzles and riddles to be solved. Despite taking place in a relatively compact geographical area, there’s plenty of variety to ensure that that each part of the game has its own unique visual identity – something which will also no doubt aid navigation. There’s a lush forest area, a more autumnal woodland area, as well a large castle built into one corner of the island’s map – which will no doubt serve as a handy landmark to help you get your bearings.
The Witness is due to be released on PC, PlayStation 4 and iOS tablets “some time” in 2015. For more of an idea of what to expect, check out the video below, first shown off back in 2013.