While the game’s release date still hasn’t been set, outside of “when it’s done,” Blow says “when it’s done” is getting “closer and closer” these days.
Here is what the team has been up to lately:
Design. All the gameplay along the “main line” of the game — the stuff you would expect to do from the beginning to the end of a standard playthrough — is done. But, this is a game that has a lot of extra things for players who are really into the game and want more; we’re still designing some of those extras.
Modeling and texturing. The Witness has a lot of different locations, and it’s very important that they all receive the same degree of care. Most of the island where The Witness takes place is fully modeled at this point, but there are a few important locations that are still in a draft stage, and several others that could use another pass of detail.
Frame rate optimizations. At launch on PS4, we’re planning to render at 1080p and 60 frames per second. Right now we meet this target in many areas of the game, but not everywhere. But with more old-fashioned hard work, we should be.
Level-of-detail management and streaming. For example, making sure that it doesn’t take too long to stream in new parts of the world as you move. When we do stream in higher-detail versions of far-away geometry, we don’t want the graphics to pop, so we’ve recently implemented a smooth blend between LOD levels. The Witness is an open-world game with no loading screens; the feeling of just walking around and looking at things is very important. We work hard to make this happen as smoothly as possible.
Audio. Since The Witness is so much about a sense of place, the audio design is crucial. Right now there are 1.2 gigabytes of sound (Much of it compressed!) in the game, which represents over 40% the game’s data.
Blow also provided some data on the game’s size. Here’s the total so far:
- Texture Maps: 1,196 files, 446MB
- Meshes: 4,588 files, 507MB
- Sounds: 2,435 files, 1.2GB
- Animations: 197 files, 0.6MB
- Entities: 1 file, 4.3MB
- Lightmaps (these are auto-generated): 17,916 files, 453MB
- Total (including other files not listed here): 39,387 files, 2.7GB
View a new set of screenshots at the gallery.