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From Ruins to Birth
March 21, 2013 12:13 PM   Subscribe

A couple of years ago developers of Johnathan Blow's upcoming video game "The Witness" tapped landscape architect David Fletcher (Fletcher Studio) and architect Deanna VanBuren (FORUM Design Studio) "to help synthesize what was, at the time, a remote, anonymous island setting without much context . . . Witness required the landscape architects to reverse engineer a site from ruins to birth." (Previously)
posted by IvoShandor (15 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Looks like something that's not to be Myst.
posted by The Bellman at 12:32 PM on March 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


When Albert Speer was designing Myst, he created the environments with an eye to how they would look when run on machines 20 years later.
posted by R. Schlock at 12:38 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


This looks fantastic to me. I don't care if it winds up a Myst clone, it's not like we're exactly drowning in Myst clones.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:00 PM on March 21, 2013


Also I think a Myst clone on a touch device will be much more immersive and feel very different/cooler than Myst ever did.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:12 PM on March 21, 2013


I can't get enough of when video games environments give you hints and elaborations about the narrative and history that can be inferred from the state of the space. This is pushing all my buttons.
posted by figurant at 1:44 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is great, I've been following the Witness blog, but they haven't talked too much about what the architects were doing. I love environmental story telling too, and exploring well thought out places in games tickles some part of my brain like nothing else.

The light and colour in those screenshots looks great. "Make it look like the concept art!" is a possibly cliché goal, but they seem to be doing very well.
posted by lucidium at 4:17 PM on March 21, 2013


Wemayfreeze, how about Myst on a touch enabled device? They've had Myst for the iPhone for quite a while now, and apparently since I got that they've also ported Riven and the abomination that was "RealMyst".

It's pretty fantastic, for all the reasons you expect. Myst was literally the first computer game I ever got (the Incredible Machine was the second) and playing it again has unlocked all manner of feels scattered in book pages throughout my memory.
posted by daniel striped tiger at 4:18 PM on March 21, 2013


the abomination that was "RealMyst"

I can't imagine what problem a Myst fan would have with RealMyst. It's exactly the same game except it looks better, sounds better, and is much easier to move around and look at things.
posted by straight at 4:51 PM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are lots of interesting extra details on that FOURM link: "We started by mapping the island’s fictional geologies, game locations and created a narrative matrix for 3 generic European based civilizations that would have occupied the island over a span of 6 thousand years".
posted by lucidium at 5:28 PM on March 21, 2013


I just want to play this game right now! Not reading the articles too closely because I don't want to be spoiled. Can't wait to play the game and then read all about the backstory!
posted by rivenwanderer at 7:33 PM on March 21, 2013


If you want to try a current Myst-alike, give Miasmata a shot. It's island exploration with the same sense of mystery and loneliness. Don't read up on it too much... the less you know going in, the better. It does a bunch of really original things, and it's one of my favorite games.
posted by painquale at 7:34 PM on March 21, 2013


I just realized that googling Miasmata almost immediately brings up a bunch of semi-spoilers. Here's a spoiler-free link to the game on Steam.
posted by painquale at 7:47 PM on March 21, 2013


Yep, looking forward to this one. I'm trying not to expect too much of it, though. Braid was great but tried to do just a bit too much - the atom bomb stuff never quite fit in. Still one of my favorite games, though.

There was an interesting post on The Witness' blog about how write a program that would automatically figure out which parts of the map you can walk to. It's a cool peek inside a game engine, and it shows a level of quality control that a lot of games lately don't have at release.
posted by echo target at 7:51 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kinda bugs me how they keep calling the game "Witness" instead of "The Witness."

(I realize how much I sound like Mark Zuckerberg saying "Final Clubs, not Finalssssss Clubs")
posted by Peevish at 6:16 AM on March 22, 2013


Oh, this looks nice.
posted by homunculus at 4:41 PM on March 22, 2013


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