A 2011 concept-art version of The Witness's island. Blow says he figured out its layout early on but worked until as late as this year on where certain kinds of puzzles may land on it.
Our feature-length conversation with Jonathan Blow, the developer best known for 2008's Xbox Live Arcade breakout game Braid, covers the history of his follow-up game The Witness—how it plays, how it has changed, and how its lengthy development process has fed into its final form. But the game's planned January release on Windows and PlayStation 4 may surprise people who first came to know Blow as an Xbox 360 developer years ago.
Why move to Sony's console for the follow-up? Speaking to Ars, Jonathan Blow said it wasn't about either platform being technically superior or any big money backroom deals. For Blow, the issue seemed to be as simple as access.
"For a while, I presumed we'd do a PS3 port [of The Witness]," Blow said during the interview. After Braid finally hit the PS3 in late 2009, Blow said he was more open to launching The Witness on every platform possible. "As we went on and the game's ambition became bigger, I realized it’d be harder to shoehorn onto PS3—it’d be a debilitated version of the game."