We first wrote about Jonathan Blow’s follow-up to Braid, The Witness, in mid-September. A new trailer was released alongside the announcement of the game’s early 2016 release date. We noted then how great the game looked. Yesterday, the team over at Thekla published a new blog post that highlighted how music and sound effects affect the story of The Witness, as well as new a “Long Screenshot” video that showcased a portion of the island’s scenery. For those wondering – it’s still gorgeous.
But when it comes to the soundtrack for The Witness, Blow reveals quite casually that “there isn’t one. There is (almost) no music in the game.” This is by design, of course, as Blow explains in the blog post:
“The Witness is a game about being perceptive: noticing subtleties in the puzzles you find, noticing details in the world around you. If we slather on a layer of music that is just arbitrarily playing, and not really coming from the world, then we’re adding a layer of stuff that works against the game. It’d be like a layer of insulation that you have to hear through in order to be more present in the world.
Instead, we put a great deal of care into the sounds of the world around you, in a way that maximizes immersion in the game.”
Blow then explains a bit of how the story works in The Witness. Since you are completely alone, the narrative is driven by recordings you’ll find strewn about the island:
“Lately I have been doing a lot of work on story and voice acting stuff. When wandering around the island, you may find voice recordings that were placed by … well, at the outset of the game, you don’t know who; and as the game goes along, there is an interesting mystery to unfold about who these people are or were.”
Finally, Blow dropped what he is calling “Long Screenshot #1” on us. It’s essentially just that. One long cut of the island from one end to the other. It doesn’t show us a whole lot, but it does confirm that there is plenty of scenery to be had on this island we’ll be visiting next year. Check it out below, and keep it here Victory Point for all the latest on The Witness, coming January 26th to PlayStation 4 and PC.