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In the months following its release, PlayStation 4 will get blockbusters like Watch Dogs and Destiny, but Braid developer Jonathan Blow’s The Witness is potentially the most interesting new game for the system.
The Witness, an exploration puzzler, is due out in early 2014 for PlayStation 4. Blow’s studio, Thekla, will also release the game on iOS and PC. As the release date nears, Blow has taken to Sony’s PlayStation blog to write that he and his team are mostly finished designing the world. He also wrote that he’s realizing just how big of a game they made.
“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,” Blow wrote. “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.”
In creating those details, Blow said that they discovered that the game is probably up to 40 hours long. He originally intended to make an eight-hour experience.
“Correspondingly, for a small independent team like ours, detailing this huge space is a lot of work,” he wrote. “I suspect this is the biggest and most-intricate world ever built for a puzzle game.”
This is Blow’s first game since 2008 time-manipulation platformer Braid. That game first debuted for Xbox 360 on its Xbox Live Arcade platform. It earned a number of awards and critical accolades. Braid also generated a small fortune for Blow. The designer eventually released the title on PC, Mac, Linux, and PlayStation 3.
Following Braid’s release, Blow took some time to prototype different ideas. The Witness came out of those experiments, and the developer has worked on the game ever since.