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In 2008, Jonathan Blow threw the industry a lifeline. His game Braid became lighted beacon, which headed the other indie developers. After years of stagnation in the partisan and leprosarium “flash drives” beggars enthusiasts from basements and garages have received an example of a person, who made millions on the game, sell for 15 bucks. Blow ahead of his Persson Minecraft, set the vector Makmillenu and Super Meat Boy. He became a pioneer of the nascent revolution, which led to announcements of indie on Sony and Microsoft conferences and appearance Steam Greenlight.
Undoubtedly, the success of Braid key role played by the personality of Jonathan, a man of inflexible inner core, idealistic, willing to spend on a risky venture 3 years of his life. Braid was reflected Blow perfectionism, his boundless faith in the game as the media and the desire to realize the untapped potential of the format.
And none of the millions is not knocked out of him starving artist – to create The Witness he spent all the money earned with Braid (about $ 6 million) and 8 years of life, during which bring the concept of the game to perfection. And he did it because he can. Because he has such a philosophy and such a categorical imperative.
The Witness – Blow development of views on video games and their place in the modern world, an experiment that dance around a bold, brazen idea (who can even afford to let such things in the era of Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty?).
The Witness, if simplified, – a puzzle with a first-person. You are free to roam around the island, divided by areas (deserts, swamps, mountains and so on) and in any order to solve puzzles, which can not be so if not ashamed to leave until better times.
A release trailer for the game.
Mechanics puzzles extremely minimalist, you just connect the different distance terms, spending “snake” through the proposed cursor maze. This Blow constantly introduces conditions which once again challenge your brains creak. Here we must now handle two otzerkalennymi “snakes” and here you need to cover all the points located on the screen, which later will vary in color (each “snake” must close the point of a particular color). And in this task you will prevent distorted screen. All this is silly, strange and harmful to describe, when you consider that in the context of The Witness puzzle-solving becomes a real spoiler. You are challenged, and guides and tips deprive intelligent “awards”, which is built around the game design.
Therefore, The Witness interaction with the player turns completely special. You work hard head, sketched intractable problems on paper and “digest” them for some time. Optionally even stuck at the screen, I have to carry a metered shreds and burn their eyes on the subway on the way to work. I returned home happy, with a ready solution, here is a kind of cover app. Moreover, attempts to stir up the head with something tangible and visible sooner or later come to a lot of players – some even use laser cutting to recreate the puzzle in the real tree.
Interestingly, in a certain sense, this equates materialism player and developer. Blow your puzzle invented by drawing on graph paper – pencil in hand. So everything is fair. But be aware of the scope of the creative madness Jonathan: The Witness offers 650 puzzles, the passage of which will need approximately 80 hours (to complete the game you need to solve not all, exhale). It is hard to imagine how many man-hours to create them has been spent. If people have a soul, Jonathan divided it in digital form.
But 80 hours – this is a very optimistic figure. According to Blow, the game has puzzles that decides on the strength of 1% had launched The Witness.
I’m scared to imagine that in his travels around the island I met one of these puzzles, because at times The Witness causes incredible pain, reminding, what I’m stupid and lame. In the moments when the brain is completely go crazy, the game becomes intellectual Dark Souls, from which also affects the nerves and self-esteem.
Here you go around the house, smiling, someone something nod and twist Wert another puzzle in my mind. As if a retired detective, who does not let a series of mysterious, unsolved murders but – in my thoughts you return again and again to his main business, looking for clues, puzzles rekonstruiruesh in the halls of reason. Inevitably going crazy, buying a board and threads of everything-everything connects. Oboruduesh separate table and vystrugivaesh plate with a proud “Pinkerton” drinking bourbon, knock glass and smoke a cigarette, “Peter” for a total tragedy. But it is not helping. Mental plugging. On the wall I want to climb. Or forget.
And when the decision finally comes, internally immediately let go, the tension disappears, and you feel the love of Buddhism. And the feeling that you are here this all he has achieved, and here it is, this feeling any more achivki. Because at the heart of completeness comes, if finished writing a novel, and leaned back in his chair, knowing the distance traveled.
Look, many immediately go to the forums, if they have something does not work. Do not do this! You spoil your experience of the game. You’re smart, you’ll get! If not now, get some sleep. Look good movie or switch to another puzzle!
In The Witness, of course, you need to play – everyone. Not everyone will like it (especially if you do not like puzzles), but miss such a powerful cultural event means to deprive industry of bright copyright products whose makers seem ready for the sake of your favorite things to urinate in a jar through a catheter.
Such support should be mad, because without them the industry will be gray and producer, there will be less people and a sincere, living thoughts behind video games that let these people (even if it’s a game-self-reflection as That Dragon, Cancer).
It is important that enthusiasts like Blow had the opportunity to spend 8 years in the next Braid or Papers, Please. Then he walked to a brighter future a little faster.