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Absolutely loving this! The game design is so well crafted, genuinely clever and full of "ohhhhh!" moments that really give a feeling of empowerment to the player. Brilliant game.

 

Current status...

Spoiler

I have got all 11 lasers up and running and cracked the mountain vault open late last night, will attempt to tackle the inside of that this evening.

 

The whole game is brilliantly done, but some of the moments where things switch up are so well considered, the audio puzzles in the Jungle, the colour puzzles in the Bunker are just a few examples where it changes the game perspective and keeps it fresh. I couldn't say I have a "favourite" area really as the process of learning the rules for each type as you go keeps rewarding all the way through so each feels great when you crack it.

 

Full disclosure, I've had Google help on 3 puzzles... one tip on how the 'stars' work (because I'd taken a week break and forgotten the rules), one hedge maze in the Keep (it turned out to be an audio based puzzle and I didn't have my headphones on :huh: ), and a relatively simple Tetris puzzle that I just couldn't visualise because it was late and I was tired (I should have just turned it off and come back really as it was easy). Other than that I'm really pleased that my own grey matter has managed to flex around Mr Blow's cryptic world.

 

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On 30/11/2017 at 19:53, Benny said:

I really loved this right up until near the end, then ran out of patience. End of game spoiler:

 

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I got incredibly frustrated with the puzzles that I knew how to solve as I understood the rules, but it just made them a pain to complete or see the elements by having the puzzle move all around the screen or obscure it from you just to make it arbitrarily harder. That's not a harder puzzle, it's just like having someone repeatedly hit you in the face while you are trying to concentrate.

 

Yeah, that bit is really cheap, and a let down compared to the cleverness of earlier sections.

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10 minutes ago, Mr Cochese said:

Yeah, that bit is really cheap, and a let down compared to the cleverness of earlier sections.

 

In isolation perhaps, but it provides another fresh perspective come a second playthrough, where more of that emerges. I missed it first time around at any rate.

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More of that on a second playthrough? Fuck that.

 

Spoiler

For most of the game it's all about the joy of discovery, and occasionally going, "oh that's really clever!" There is reward through learning the game's "language" and being able to take things at your own pace really complements this process of discovery.

 

The problem with the end section is most of it is not teaching you anything new or giving you more clever things to decipher, and doesn't have puzzles that expertly connect together all that you have learned like earlier in the game. It's just the same puzzles again but hard to see them because they are covered in a grill, or deliberately given reverse controls to just make it mechanically harder to complete. That goes against everything about the rest of the game that provides so much joy.

 

I still think it's an amazing game though, just that end section can get ta feck.

 

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On that near endgame spoiler

Spoiler

Is the point perhaps that some puzzles are challenging for people because of their limitations (eg. being colorblind, having poor eyesight, etc).  I didn't enjoy them at all but at the same time I wonder if that was the message he was trying to go for...  Just a thought.

 

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Maybe playthrough is the wrong word. More wander. I know my favourite parts of the whole thing were the bits I had to recontextualise after the fact.

 

Having said that I'm also a deviant who enjoyed the puzzles on the pillars - they added a little to the cognitive load at a point where it was becoming a bit comfy.

 

The only thing I didn't enjoy was the time-sensitive bits, because I'm cack-handed as they come. Thankfully few and far between though and didn't interfere with the game much.

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13 minutes ago, themanyhs said:

On that near endgame spoiler

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Is the point perhaps that some puzzles are challenging for people because of their limitations (eg. being colorblind, having poor eyesight, etc).  I didn't enjoy them at all but at the same time I wonder if that was the message he was trying to go for...  Just a thought.

 

 

Spoiler

I can see how that may have been the intention if it was to make a statement like that, but if you're going to try and be profound it still opens you up to valid criticism of making the gaming experience itself arbitrarily frustrating. Besides, I think if he was trying to make a statement it falls down as it would be a nightmare to play the entire game if you were colourblind anyway, so it would be a bit rich to try and suggest, oh this is what it's like to be colourblind look how frustrating it is, when nearly your entire game could be off limits to people for that exact reason anyway.

 

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Please redact my previous love for this game, Jonathan Blow is being a total smartass libertarian enema-bag and Google Memo Guy acolyte on Twitter and I am 100% over this clown. On his way to being the next Notch, tweeting "but what about white people" from a million pound house haunted by hubristic sweets.

 

Right now I'm not really about separating the art from the artist. Sometimes artists are real prize wankers. Let's find better artists.

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Nothing in those tweets is quite at that level, I'm not convinced that Blow is some right wing nut just yet. Although I will say that I was a little uneasy about at least two of the videos you find in The Witness. They seemed to be concerned with a kind of individual actualisation you might associate with Nietzsche, Reaganomics, or some forms of Libertarianism. It gave me the sense that the philosophical meaning of the game wasn't perhaps something I would align myself with, even though I enjoyed the game itself very much, in that it was perhaps about the primacy of individual freedoms over the collective. In particular the excruciating video of some self help guru waffling on made me wonder if I'd totally misread the whole game.

 

I wasn't totally sure that that reading was correct though, because I think you could also argue that those videos and the game itself were about the exceptional nature of every individual, of man's ability to learn and improve, and strive, and achieve (where "man" is a synecdoche for all humanity). Also at least two of the videos were clearly about the limits of knowledge which ties in more neatly with the general theme of the game.

 

Anyway, even if he is a right-wing douche-bag think it's perfectly acceptable to appreciate art even if it's author holds unpleasant views, and even if the art itself expresses those views. History is littered with examples of great art produced by total arseholes. 

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21 hours ago, themanyhs said:

On that near endgame spoiler

  Hide contents

Is the point perhaps that some puzzles are challenging for people because of their limitations (eg. being colorblind, having poor eyesight, etc).  I didn't enjoy them at all but at the same time I wonder if that was the message he was trying to go for...  Just a thought.

 

Spoiler

If that section is a recognition that some people would be playing with disabilities, imagine how fucking impossible it would be for them when everything is flickering and moving around like crazy on top of that.

 

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If you're ever bothered by the politics of a creator, make that the line where you quit giving them money or talking up the work. Just enjoy it by other means in a bubble. I'd provide examples here, only that would be talking them up. They exist though.

 

Life's too short to enable arseholes, and too short to deny great work its moments with you.

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1 hour ago, David Kenny said:

Nothing in those tweets is quite at that level, I'm not convinced that Blow is some right wing nut just yet. Although I will say that I was a little uneasy about at least two of the videos you find in The Witness. They seemed to be concerned with a kind of individual actualisation you might associate with Nietzsche, Reaganomics, or some forms of Libertarianism. It gave me the sense that the philosophical meaning of the game wasn't perhaps something I would align myself with, even though I enjoyed the game itself very much, in that it was perhaps about the primacy of individual freedoms over the collective. In particular the excruciating video of some self help guru waffling on made me wonder if I'd totally misread the whole game.

 

I wasn't totally sure that that reading was correct though, because I think you could also argue that those videos and the game itself were about the exceptional nature of every individual, of man's ability to learn and improve, and strive, and achieve (where "man" is a synecdoche for all humanity). Also at least two of the videos were clearly about the limits of knowledge which ties in more neatly with the general theme of the game.

 

Anyway, even if he is a right-wing douche-bag think it's perfectly acceptable to appreciate art even if it's author holds unpleasant views, and even if the art itself expresses those views. History is littered with examples of great art produced by total arseholes. 

 

The game and the unlockable videos is all about showing different beliefs throughout the game, is how I saw it anyway. I very much doubt it was just Blows views at all due to the sheer number of views (on life, God, and everything else in between) shared.

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I've finished it! (sort of)...

 

Spoiler

Got through the mountain over a couple of hour sessions (it was harder than I expected). I thought the final tests were a mixed bag. I really like how some of them linked together (e.g. the two line puzzle where you have to move between the terminals and move the lines a couple of times to get to the solution, and the floor puzzle where the tetris puzzle solutions make the tarts blocks for the bigger puzzle). However I can see why some people lost their patience with a few of the 'cheaper' ones that reverted to visual/control impairment to increase difficulty rather than mental challenge. That said all in all it didn't stop my own enjoyment at all. I thought the pillar puzzles at the end were a nice way to finally mix it up before the trip in the Great Glass Elevator. Really enjoyed this game! :)

 

Afterwards I ended up Googling what the missing trophy was (as I really don't fancy tracking all the environment shapes down and wanted to check if that was it). After reading about the 'challenge' I kicked myself that I hadn't found the hidden box line (I'd spent about 5 minutes walking around trying to trace that dormant wire BEFORE opening the lock and never thought about checking back again after finding the blank screen on the statue :huh: 

 

Anyway, I'm now in the caves and have attempted the timed challenge a couple of times. It seems hard but doable, and I'm actually really liking the pressure of the countdown. I work in a deadline based industry and quite enjoy the way it can focus the mind. On my best run so far I've got as far as the triangle puzzles in the maze. 

 

Have many of you guys done it?

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I tried for hours and hours, and it basically ruined my memory of the game. I'd loved everything up to that point but it made me want Jonathan Blow to go even balder than he already is, the bald cunt. I always feel like I should go back to finish it but I'm so out of practice with the puzzles. 

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On ‎20‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 10:24, Mr Cochese said:
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If that section is a recognition that some people would be playing with disabilities, imagine how fucking impossible it would be for them when everything is flickering and moving around like crazy on top of that.

 

Near end game stuff again:

Spoiler

True, but then maybe he had a blind spot to actually thinking along those lines?  I dunno, without him telling the truth about it, it's all seems subjective analysis and opinion I think?  Should people own up if they do make a mistake on making a section of videogame that offends, perhaps is the thing that is needed?

 

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4 hours ago, Stanshall said:

I tried for hours and hours, and it basically ruined my memory of the game. I'd loved everything up to that point but it made me want Jonathan Blow to go even balder than he already is, the bald cunt.

 

:lol:

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Blow said in an interview that he is fully aware that people who are colourblind, or deaf, or whatever would have trouble with the game, but he didn't want to compromise his ideas by adjusting or removing puzzles to fix that. He wanted to keep his vision pure and acknowledged it was a shame but that's just how it was. It's fair enough, after all, it is pretty crazy to redesign your game for such a small minority of players. It's a tricky subject for developers: it can be a lot of work to cater for players with those kind of disabilities for very little reward (financially). Blow is hardly alone in not providing alternatives for players. Problem is that some of the puzzles rely on sound or colour so much, imagine how hard it would be to rejig or re-interface them - a lot of them you would have to remove entirely, but in this game that would just have a knock-on effect.

 

With Blow I can understand why he took this approach, being an indie developer with only so much time and money on his hands. I would like to see bigger devs add more considerations for disabilities though. Fortunately, it is happening, slowly. There are more and more titles coming out with proper subtitles, colourblind options, controller customisation and so on.

 

Re: The Cave puzzle - yes I did it, but only after a number of play sessions. You do get better at the types of puzzles it throws at you the more you do it, and then it is a case of whittling the time down in the early stages to give you enough time for the really tricky ones at the end. It is a good idea to hunt down similar puzzles in the world and practice the most efficient way of solving them (especially the last puzzle in the set). Personally, I think it's fine to have this section in the game, as it is completely optional. Blow said it was really a proving ground for everything you had learnt, and a way to test how well you understood the puzzles to solve them randomly and fast. As such I think it does its job well, even though it can be quite frustrating. But like many seemingly unfair challenges, if you chip away at it and then eventually overcome it, you feel like a boss. It's the Dark Souls of the Witness.

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9 hours ago, FiveFootNinja said:

Well I think I'm going to give myself a deadline of Christmas Day. If it's not done by then I'll probably call it quits and move onto something else so I don't get jaded.

I posted a couple of non-spoiler tips a couple of pages back to help with that section.

 

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22 hours ago, FiveFootNinja said:

I've finished it! (sort of)...

 

  Hide contents

Got through the mountain over a couple of hour sessions (it was harder than I expected). I thought the final tests were a mixed bag. I really like how some of them linked together (e.g. the two line puzzle where you have to move between the terminals and move the lines a couple of times to get to the solution, and the floor puzzle where the tetris puzzle solutions make the tarts blocks for the bigger puzzle). However I can see why some people lost their patience with a few of the 'cheaper' ones that reverted to visual/control impairment to increase difficulty rather than mental challenge. That said all in all it didn't stop my own enjoyment at all. I thought the pillar puzzles at the end were a nice way to finally mix it up before the trip in the Great Glass Elevator. Really enjoyed this game! :)

 

Afterwards I ended up Googling what the missing trophy was (as I really don't fancy tracking all the environment shapes down and wanted to check if that was it). After reading about the 'challenge' I kicked myself that I hadn't found the hidden box line (I'd spent about 5 minutes walking around trying to trace that dormant wire BEFORE opening the lock and never thought about checking back again after finding the blank screen on the statue :huh: 

 

Anyway, I'm now in the caves and have attempted the timed challenge a couple of times. It seems hard but doable, and I'm actually really liking the pressure of the countdown. I work in a deadline based industry and quite enjoy the way it can focus the mind. On my best run so far I've got as far as the triangle puzzles in the maze. 

 

Have many of you guys done it?

 

I've done it :)

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Started this morning after finishing Zelda. I mustve blasted through 30-40 or so of the puzzles dotted about the place, did the castle, boat house, trees, and maze. I found some symbols I had no clue what they were or how to complete, and puzzles which stumped my progression (disappearing yellow line!) - and then I got motion sickness despite reducing the FOV. And after 2 hours, I didn't feel like I was being rewarded enough for completing chains of puzzles. I looked to see the average completion length and it's around 17 hours.

 

And I think that's me out. Beautiful looking game. Neat puzzles. A couple of moments were ingenious. But... I am not compelled to keep playing for another 15 hours of line puzzles, to understand Blow's musing on how they reflect life, nature or something. I don't think.

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47 minutes ago, Stanshall said:

Didn't you have 'the moment'? I'm thinking about the environment. 

 

I figured they’d be linked. I liked the tree branch one and the maze. Made me feel clever solving them, I’m sure there are even bigger moments than those - but no I’ve not had ‘the moment’ - how far in does that happen?

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Without being some Johnny Blow cryptic wank, you could have it almost as soon as you get out of the tunnel at the start but it completely depends on you. For me, that's what elevated the game from pretty maze puzzles to 'oh shit'. It's almost impossible to hint without spoiling anything for you but I think it's accurate and non-spoilery to say that there are puzzles beyond your current expectations. 

 

They're linked to those symbols you mentioned. 

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The Talos Principle is a cake walk compared to this game. :lol:

 

Just started this and am already stuck on one of the puzzles where you have to 'capture' (encapsulate) the rocks in the water. Wat. 

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