Hi, everyone! Justin at PlayStation.Blog invited me to help celebrate the upcoming PS4 release of Cyan’s game Obduction by doing a question-and-answer session with Rand Miller, CEO and lead designer of the game. I have been playing Rand’s games since the 1990s, and Myst and Riven were both huge influences on The Witness. I felt like this was a good opportunity to ask some serious design questions, so here goes!
The Witness is out now. I’ve played and finished Jonathan Blow’s eight-year opus (twice!), but I still haven’t discovered all of its deepest secrets. I’d advise anyone playing The Witness to go in as blind as possible, but having become relatively knowledgeable about the game I’ve come up with six pieces of advice I’d like to share with you.
You can download The Witness on PlayStation Store right now. It’s been a long road to get here and we have worked very hard to make the best game we can. It is the best thing I have ever worked on, and being able to put it out in the world, it’s a good feeling.
I met with Jonathan Blow on a misty Monday evening in an unassuming San Francisco cafe. He was in exceptionally high spirits, but why wouldn’t he be? The rest of the world didn’t know it yet, but he was about to reveal a new trailer and a release date for The Witness: a passion project in which he has invested not only the last five years, but the entirety of the small fortune he earned via the success of his 2010 breakthrough Braid.
My excitement for The Witness may, admittedly, be amplified by my sentimental nature (it is the first PS4 game I ever laid eyes on, after all). After getting a chance to play it at an event last week, however, I’m relieved to know that my excitement is justified.
The Witness takes place on an island full of puzzles. The island is an open world; you can go anywhere you want, and the game does not try to force you into a linear path. For the past couple of years, we have had the island mostly built in a gameplay sense, and we were trying it out, moving things around, developing location concepts, tweaking puzzles. At this point, most of that stuff is figured out, so we are now going through all the areas of the island and detailing them.
Would you be willing to answer a few brief questions about PlayStation.Blog?