The Witness includes more than 1,100 footstep sound effects

Braid creator Jonathan Blow's next project, The Witness, will go to great lengths to ensure the sounds players make when they walk through the game's deserted, puzzle-filled island will sound natural and reflective of the game's setting. That's why the game — so far — includes 1,119 footstep sound effects, Blow says.

"You are the only active character in the game, so the sound of your own motion is hugely important for establishing setting and mood," Blow writes on The Witness' official blog.

"We have different sounds for left and right foot, always," Blow explains. "For any given material there are 5-6 variations for each foot, to avoid mechanical-sounding repeats; let's just say 5 is average."

"We will probably be in the Guinness Book of World Records as the game with the most footstep sounds..."

"We have reverb footsteps for specific locations, where we blend reverb in and out, or crossfade between two reverbs, depending on where you are in a room or hallway. We also have 'texture footsteps' that are meant to be layered onto a base sound... so if you are walking on grass, but a little bit of dirt is poking through the grass, the game will play the grass footstep, but with a little bit of dirt texture overlayed on top of it."

Blow says the game's sound effects get even more varied, with dirt texture sounds affected by "how much dirt is poking through the grass."

The Witness is currently in a "very limited, very closed" beta testing period, according to Blow. "We still have a gigantic amount of work to do and it'll be a while before the game is done," he says. The multi-platform exploration game is due in 2013.

More from Polygon

German and Russian armor clash in Combat Mission: Red Thunder

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

  • Enemy Starfighter: Homeworld from inside a fighter

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare gameplay trailer

  • Diablo 3 - Xbox One vs. PC comparison

Latest Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.