"a little long," and needing some cuts.
It took a game design friend of his "nine and a half hours" to complete the endgame and one other area. It's "much longer" than the 10-15 hour game the Braid creator bills it.
The original endgame for The Witness was complete last summer, says Jonathan Blow, but it "wasn't quite epic enough." The designer went into a "personal crunch mode" and overhauled it.
"Lately I had more ideas for the endgame, so I went into personal crunch mode and rebuilt into something more epic. This was one of the most productive periods of my working life (maybe the most productive) and I think this area, all taken together, may be the most interesting thing I have ever designed," Jonathan Blow.
"However, it may be a little too difficult for the player, at the moment! Today I playtested this endgame and one other area of the game, with a game designer friend of mine, and it took nine and a half hours to play through these two areas (6 hours for the endgame, 3.5 hours for the other area). I think this is a little long, so I am going to be tuning these areas and cleaning them up a little bit."
He may soon revise what he tells people in terms of the game's play length.
"It’s interesting; I haven’t done a playtest of The Witness for a while, but I was still thinking of it as a 10-15 hour game, and that’s what I tell people when they ask. But if these two areas by themselves, even after being cleaned up, are 6-7 hours of playtime, that means the whole game is … … much longer."
"Sometime in a month or two, I’ll do some playtests with people who have never seen the game before, and we’ll see how long it really is." The Witness is Jonathan Blow's project after the super successful Braid.