The Witness (no spoilers)

edited February 2016 in Gaming
Anyone playing this? I'm not much of a gamer at all, but it was recommended to me because I like puzzles.  I am hooked! I keep thinking I would love to hear Jim and A.Ron do a podcast on this. There is so much to analyze and interpret, despite the fact that it's basically a humongous logic puzzle. But a gorgeous one.....I have 14 hours playtime logged and still feeling like I've only scratched the surface...

ETA: Can we keep this a spoiler-free thread, please? :)
DaveyMac
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Comments

  • DaveyMacDaveyMac Tokyo
    edited February 2016
    I've got it on my wishlist, and am looking forward to it after I catch up on a couple of other games. I really enjoyed Braid, which was the game that Jonathan Blow made before this one back in 2008. 
  • Yes! I've done all the main puzzles, and I'll work on the other extra ones slowly over time. Though with the internet it's tempting to give in and cheat. 

    Fantastic game.
    DaveyMac
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    We just started playing it! Very impressed.
  • I will not pay $40 for this game. That is insane. 

  • JaimieT said:

    Yes! I've done all the main puzzles, and I'll work on the other extra ones slowly over time. Though with the internet it's tempting to give in and cheat. 


    Fantastic game.
    Yes! I have to will myself to stay out of the subreddit for the game. I've gotten a few hints for a tough puzzle or two, which I don't mind, but just reading through to find them ended up getting a few things spoiled. Most of my enjoyment in the game is the "aha" factor when you solve a problem and then something really cool happens. Knowing that the cool thing is going to happen ahead of time takes the fun out of it.
  • I've put about 20 hours into it and I'm almost at the end.  It's a really well-designed puzzle game.  It never feels like you're completely stuck on something because there's so much to do and the way it teaches you its rules without any kind of tutorial is really slick.
  • LukeLuke Central Illinois
    On my wishlist but 40 bucks is more than I would probably spend on it. I have too big of a backlog to impulse buy stuff at this point.
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    Jim said:

    I've put about 20 hours into it and I'm almost at the end.  It's a really well-designed puzzle game.  It never feels like you're completely stuck on something because there's so much to do and the way it teaches you its rules without any kind of tutorial is really slick.

    I listened to a couple scathing reviews on the Games with Jobs podcast. Many of them actually got their game refunded...which I was disappointed to hear because I already plunked down the cash for this game. But, I've heard otherwise pretty glowing reviews.

    I just finished Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, so I will hop into The Witness in a bit, but I need a break from a first-person walking simulator.
  • DrewDrew indianapolis
    The Witness is a beautiful game. I'm not very far I just got my first laser and have been stumped on the puzzles I've come by since so I'm still trying to explore different areas until something clicks with me. People complaining about the price have to get over this preconceived notion of what indie games cost.
    JaimieTMurderbear
  • I don't get the complaints about the price either. To me $40 for 20+ hours of entertainment is cheap.

    I've also seen complaints about the lack of a definitive storyline. I wonder if that plays a part too? I personally enjoy that aspect but I can see where that would irk a lot of people.
    Drew
  • I rarely ever play video games, but even I love this one! Figuring out how the puzzles work is so much fun, and if you can't, you can simply move on. The fact that there is no tutorial or instructions of any kind and I still make progress, makes me feel smarter than I probably am, lol. The island is beautiful, but frankly the stone people are creeping me out a little bit.
  • Reni said:

    I rarely ever play video games, but even I love this one! Figuring out how the puzzles work is so much fun, and if you can't, you can simply move on. The fact that there is no tutorial or instructions of any kind and I still make progress, makes me feel smarter than I probably am, lol. The island is beautiful, but frankly the stone people are creeping me out a little bit.

    I don't know what I'm going to do with myself when I'm finished with it. Does anyone have any suggestions for games that are similar? 
  • I've heard that it was inspired by "Myst", so you might want to check out that series, though I don't know how it's aged. Again, I haven't played "The Witness" yet, so I don't have a good feel for what kind puzzler it is other than that it's first-person. 

    Also, I'd keep an eye out for "Obduction", which is by the same people who made the "Myst" series. It's currently in development and should be out some time this year. 

    The first-person puzzler that I'm playing at the moment is "The Talos Principle". I'm still early in the game, and the puzzles aren't all that interesting, yet, but the world is cool. The game has a great reputation, though, so I'm expecting it to get more challenging and interesting on the puzzling front. I suspect the style of puzzles are quite different, though, than "The Witness", at least based on what I've read.
  • LukeLuke Central Illinois
    Yeah for sure check out the Myst series if you like the puzzle aspect and just being dropped into the world.

    The story is also fantastic imo. Very very original.
  • Thanks! I got the "masterpiece" Myst edition in the current Steam sale. I played it way back in the day but don't remember finishing it. I also got Portal and Portal2, and The Room. The Talos Principle was also recommended, and Obduction looks really cool! I guess I have enough to keep me busy for a while, lol.
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    Oh yeah! The Room is a great one if you are into puzzle games. There are two sequels as well if you dig the first one.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Man, what they can do with the rather limited nature of the puzzles is crazy.  I just cleared a section of the island where you had to see what a previous puzzler did with the puzzles (I'm guessing, I don't really get the lore quite yet), by reflecting sunlight off the puzzles, and god, the shit you get up to by the end of that sequence is bonkers.  Raising and lowering water levels so you can get just the right light reflection off to solve one, extrapolating a non visible half of a puzzle based on the logic of the first half.  It's wild how creative they get with the concept.
  • Man, what they can do with the rather limited nature of the puzzles is crazy.  I just cleared a section of the island where you had to see what a previous puzzler did with the puzzles (I'm guessing, I don't really get the lore quite yet), by reflecting sunlight off the puzzles, and god, the shit you get up to by the end of that sequence is bonkers.  Raising and lowering water levels so you can get just the right light reflection off to solve one, extrapolating a non visible half of a puzzle based on the logic of the first half.  It's wild how creative they get with the concept.

    Ah....yes. That section is one of the few where I cheated by getting a hint on reddit. :) That last underwater one, the only rectangular one, was a pain!  

    but yes, the solutions are so simple once you realize them, but so elegant. My favorite ones are the one with environmental clues.  The monastery and autumn leaves areas both blew my mind.

    The section kicking my butt right now is the swamp area. I've solved everything that I can get to and I know there is some simple thing I'm missing that will fill in the missing grated sections, and it's driving me crazy.


  • JaimieTJaimieT Houston
    edited February 2016
    aligal said:


    I don't get the complaints about the price either. To me $40 for 20+ hours of entertainment is cheap.

    I've also seen complaints about the lack of a definitive storyline. I wonder if that plays a part too? I personally enjoy that aspect but I can see where that would irk a lot of people.

    I've spent 25 hours so far and that's good for me. Plus I know I'm going to play this at least twice more in my life. It's just that good. So, whatever. $40 was worth it.


    Man, what they can do with the rather limited nature of the puzzles is crazy.  I just cleared a section of the island where you had to see what a previous puzzler did with the puzzles (I'm guessing, I don't really get the lore quite yet), by reflecting sunlight off the puzzles, and god, the shit you get up to by the end of that sequence is bonkers.  Raising and lowering water levels so you can get just the right light reflection off to solve one, extrapolating a non visible half of a puzzle based on the logic of the first half.  It's wild how creative they get with the concept.

    This was my least favorite section easily. This seems rather divisive though, going off of reddit. Hate/love. 

    My favorite part was the red forest which ended with the small gated area (avoiding spoilers). 

    I pride myself that I was ridiculously good at the bamboo forest though. ... though I did have to look up how the hell to start that part. The funny thing is I noticed the main clue (avoiding spoilers again) in a really obvious way then moved on and could not put two and two together. 

    People said inside the mountain was hard, but I thought that was easy compared to, say, the greenhouse. 
    aligal said:


    The section kicking my butt right now is the swamp area. I've solved everything that I can get to and I know there is some simple thing I'm missing that will fill in the missing grated sections, and it's driving me crazy.


    I do think this is the one area that has a design flaw. I want to try it from the start again, but there was a key rule that I never could deduce from the tutorial puzzles. The last part of that area is really fun though.
  • One area that doesn't get a lot of love... I think because there are less surprises there... is the castle. The two puzzles up top were SO rewarding to solve, especially the 2nd one. 
  • Has anyone run across any of the video clips? I found one last night and it really had me scratching my head. Especially because it seemed like a lot of work to get it to play, and when it finally did it seemed really pointless. In fact, it almost made me feel like the game was making fun of me! lol It's the one under the windmill....I won't say any more in case it's a spoiler (although at this point I've given up for the most part on avoiding spoilers except for the obvious end game ones....there is enough to discover in the game that I don't feel cheated when I know something ahead of time.)
  • JaimieT said:

    One area that doesn't get a lot of love... I think because there are less surprises there... is the castle. The two puzzles up top were SO rewarding to solve, especially the 2nd one. 

    I don't think I've been up there yet.....do you have to get through all the pressure mazes to reach it? I got stuck there and moved on, but it's been a while and I'm probably ready to tackle them again.
    JaimieT said:

    People said inside the mountain was hard, but I thought that was easy compared to, say, the greenhouse. 
    I have solved all the tutorial puzzles in the greenhouse except the last one, which has me so stumped I question how I solved the others if it wasn't luck. :/
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    I just did the castle last night.  What I love about the game is JUST when we're about to give up and look up hints, we seem to have a break through and solve it.

    Jamie, I guess I liked the reflection puzzles because they really required you to think spatially to solve them, and they were solvable in "head space", because there were a lot more quantity wise, but individually less difficult, but the feeling of achievment was pretty immense..  Where as the castle stuff I had to take multiple shots with my camera, rotate images, etc.  Whenever I can't work something out purely in "head space" it doesn't feel as much as an accomplishment.  
  • I just jumped into this one myself and have been very impressed with the way it guides you through with very little handholding, though it would be nice if there was a little more sign posting as to where you should go next.  I've found myself wandering around into puzzles far beyond my knowledge level and had to back track to locate the right ones so I can learn the ropes in order.  The audio clips are interesting, though I'm not sure what to make of them.  All in all it's an interesting experience and it was the change of pace I was looking for after finishing Bloodborne and Until Dawn.
  • LukeLuke Central Illinois
    @JaimieT I'm sure it is worth $40 in a vacuum like if I was looking for a game to play I would probably drop the $40 to buy it.

    My point is that I make enough money to buy it, however time is my limiting factor. For a few years I would just buy games to support the developers I liked. Until I looked at what the games were selling for by the time I got around to playing them.

    Pretty much the only time I buy new now is if I 100% know I will play it right away or I am wasting my money. Sales happen so fast now that even after 6 months to a year you can usually get something for half, if not more off.

    Again like I said I can afford and and would pay it, but the accountant in me can't justify it.

    And yes while it is cool to be playing a game with the "community" I cant even handle that anymore. Even if I start a game like fallout 4 or bloodborne as soon as it comes out, the internet has long since moved on by the time I want to discuss it.
  • aligal said:

    Has anyone run across any of the video clips? I found one last night and it really had me scratching my head. Especially because it seemed like a lot of work to get it to play, and when it finally did it seemed really pointless. In fact, it almost made me feel like the game was making fun of me! lol It's the one under the windmill....I won't say any more in case it's a spoiler (although at this point I've given up for the most part on avoiding spoilers except for the obvious end game ones....there is enough to discover in the game that I don't feel cheated when I know something ahead of time.)

    Yes, a few. I think I have one left. No idea where to find it. (No one tell me!) There are 2 that are so long I haven't watched the whole thing.


    aligal said:

    JaimieT said:

    One area that doesn't get a lot of love... I think because there are less surprises there... is the castle. The two puzzles up top were SO rewarding to solve, especially the 2nd one. 

    I don't think I've been up there yet.....do you have to get through all the pressure mazes to reach it? I got stuck there and moved on, but it's been a while and I'm probably ready to tackle them again.
    JaimieT said:

    People said inside the mountain was hard, but I thought that was easy compared to, say, the greenhouse. 
    I have solved all the tutorial puzzles in the greenhouse except the last one, which has me so stumped I question how I solved the others if it wasn't luck. :/
    Re: the castle... I know you don't need to solve the 2nd half of the castle to get up there. You probably do have to solve the 1st half.

    The greenhouse... do you mean the elevator? I ended up brute-forcing that one after trying to solve it the "right" way by noting the next required step and extrapolating from there (vague for spoilers). It didn't work. So yeah, I wrote down where each solution took me and experimented with the unused solutions. I still have that sheet of paper somewhere... in case I need to get around on those floors.

    I just did the castle last night.  What I love about the game is JUST when we're about to give up and look up hints, we seem to have a break through and solve it.

    Jamie, I guess I liked the reflection puzzles because they really required you to think spatially to solve them, and they were solvable in "head space", because there were a lot more quantity wise, but individually less difficult, but the feeling of achievment was pretty immense..  Where as the castle stuff I had to take multiple shots with my camera, rotate images, etc.  Whenever I can't work something out purely in "head space" it doesn't feel as much as an accomplishment.  

    I think you hit on the key differential. (You're good at that. You should do that for a living.) I love having to write stuff down. Once I solved a puzzle while away from the game, just using paper. Logged back in, cha-ching. 

    Take shots with your camera?! Don't do that... use the paper. Use the pencil. 
    A_Ron_Hubbard
  • Luke said:

    @JaimieT I'm sure it is worth $40 in a vacuum like if I was looking for a game to play I would probably drop the $40 to buy it.

    My point is that I make enough money to buy it, however time is my limiting factor. For a few years I would just buy games to support the developers I liked. Until I looked at what the games were selling for by the time I got around to playing them.

    Pretty much the only time I buy new now is if I 100% know I will play it right away or I am wasting my money. Sales happen so fast now that even after 6 months to a year you can usually get something for half, if not more off.

    Again like I said I can afford and and would pay it, but the accountant in me can't justify it.

    And yes while it is cool to be playing a game with the "community" I cant even handle that anymore. Even if I start a game like fallout 4 or bloodborne as soon as it comes out, the internet has long since moved on by the time I want to discuss it.

    Oh that makes complete sense. I happened to have some free time that week. (Or rather, I needed to force myself to take a break from a sudden and intense influx of freelance work.) 
  • I've actually taken up @Luke's buying tactic over the last year or two when it comes to buying games. I just don't have the time that I used to have and I've already got a long backlog of games that I haven't gotten to yet. So that leaves me waiting until big Steam sales to purchase most games. It's crazy how low prices get a year after release. There are a very small handful of series that I will put everything else aside for and buy on Day 1, but for the most part, I'm in the same boat of wanting to discuss great games long after everyone else has moved on. 
  • Are the puzzle hard?
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Yeah, but the difficulty ramps up slowly enough that I rarely felt pull my hair out frustrated with any one.  But that is literally the entire game.  There is no other mechanic really than navigating the world to find the puzzle boxes and solve them.
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