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Thread: The Witness

  1. #51
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by zajazd View Post
    You watch Stalker and don't fall asleep?
    Do you not at least get mad that the danger is never revealed at the end?
    No.
    No.

    I read that some of Stalker crew died of radiation during of after making the movie, if that is true it's such a shame they died for nothing. But I have to admit that I have seen one even more boring movie - Rise of Valhalla or something - but at least that movie was eyecandy.
    You're nuts. Tarkovsky was famous for the beautiful shots he made. I had never heard of Valhalla Rising. And looking at Google images, I see nothing that is even slightly remarkable. Maybe you should watch Stalker again some day. On a day where you have nothing to do, all the time in the world, and just sit and watch and enjoy without expectations.

    Or maybe the movie is just not for you. Some people prefer pizza over any other food. I guess that's fine.

  2. #52
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryzemuis View Post
    You're nuts. Tarkovsky was famous for the beautiful shots he made. I had never heard of Valhalla Rising. And looking at Google images, I see nothing that is even slightly remarkable. Maybe you should watch Stalker again some day. On a day where you have nothing to do, all the time in the world, and just sit and watch and enjoy without expectations.
    The fact that you judge movies by their google images speaks for itself. Stalker is pretentious humanist jibberish with no substance and at snail speed. I grew up in soviet union so I get zero impressions of the settings and character mentality. The director had no idea where he was going with this movie and chose the pathetic easy way out at the end by involving god. The last bit of the movie where the female character emotionally says in camera that 'this is how we live' is a clear indication that this movie was meant for the western world audience who found everything about soviets exotic.

  3. #53
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by zajazd View Post
    The fact that you judge movies by their google images speaks for itself.
    Yep. It's one of the (many) ways to look at movies. What do you see on the screen ? That does not need to have anything to do with a story. Nor with acting. Or even special effects. And Tarkovsky is very good at that. The pictures he sometimes shows are exceptional. E.g. early in Stalker, there is a shot of a room filled with water. That shot moves slowly around the room. Only showing the room, the water, and what is lying on the bottom of the water, 20-30 centimeters under the surface. That shot takes 5 minutes. Maybe even more, I can't remember. I am sure 95% of audiences will find that very boring. But I loved it. Even when I was just 19 years old.

    Film is a medium about pictures. I rather watch a movie without story but beautiful pictures, than watch a movie with a good story, but you can't see anything worthwile. (That's called soap-opera. You see them on TV every day).

    Even though I have this opinion, I do understand where you are coming from. I loved Stalker. But Nostalghia was too much for me at the time. Maybe I watched it at a wrong time. When I was impatience, or tired, or had something else on my mind. I can't remember anything from Nostalghia. Just an overall memory. (Slow, incomprihensible, too much symbolism, too much religion or spirituality). But I'm gonna watch it again. I loved the clip that I saw in The Witness.

    Stalker is pretentious humanist jibberish with no substance and at snail speed. I grew up in soviet union so I get zero impressions of the settings and character mentality. The director had no idea where he was going with this movie and chose the pathetic easy way out at the end by involving god. The last bit of the movie where the female character emotionally says in camera that 'this is how we live' is a clear indication that this movie was meant for the western world audience who found everything about soviets exotic.
    I am sure that the fact that you grew up in the USSR gives you a different perspective. I am aware, and even was at the time, that the movie does not reflect life in Russia. It was just a nice movie to watch. I loved the colors. (Even the lack of colors at the beginning). I loved the slow shots. I loved the fact that the movie did not try to impress a story or an opinion on you. And there was some mystery. The fact that the mystery wasn't solved in the end doesn't mean it was a bad movie.

    Anyway, my point about Nostalghia and The Witness was exactly what we are talking about now. The majority of people consider Tarkovsky movies slow, boring, uninteresting, no story, no suspense, no nothing. You will not make yourself popular at parties when you start to talk about Tarkovsky. You will make enemies when you convince your friend to come watch a Tarkovsky-movie in the cinema ("You wasted 3 hours of my life, you cunt. I want them back !").

    And then Jonathan Blow puts 15 minutes of the most boring, slowest, most pretentious Tarkovsky-movie in his game ! I can appreciate that.

  4. #54
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Tarkovsky's movies are certainly not for everyone, especially with the long takes, the symbolism and whatnot, but just because they are not (easily) accessible to everyone doesn't make them pretentious or lacking in substance. Saying that something is pretentious is just a lazy way for people to dismiss something that they don't like.
    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

  5. #55
    Aah, mmm, yeah, Tarkovsky, I feel like I should give him a second chance now that I'm at least a decade older and maybe more mature in my tastes (maybe) (it's on my to do list).

    Anyway, I really enjoyed The Witness. Yes, I was frustrated at times, but that just made the reward so much greater whenever I cracked a new rule. I've only gotten the standard ending yet, though; I got stumped on the timed sequence of puzzles, and then I got busy with other stuff for a couple of months, so I'm not sure if I care to relearn the rules just to get the bonus ending (I never wrote them down, so I'm not sure if I remember them any more).

    The puzzles were challenging and varied enough to keep my interest, and the environments were beautiful and thought-provoking, but I do think there could have been more focus on an actual story; as of now things felt kind of wasted and life-less (which was probably intended, but not entirely to my preference).

    Discovering the rules is much like how scentific discovery is done: You observe a new, previously undefined, phenomenon and try to formulate a theory explaining it, then you test that theory and revise it if need be -- except that in The Witness we can take more of an engineer's approach ("if it works, then it's correct").
    Last edited by qolelis; 12th Jul 2016 at 05:06.

  6. #56
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I've been playing it on and off in short bursts. I'm pretty sure I have found most of what there is to find in the game, but I still keep finding something new each time I return. Puzzle-wise, I'm at 522 +135 +6 and I've found all the audio logs, so the lake looks pretty busy right about now. Also, I've found a lot of "pareidolia" all around the island where if you line up stuff just right, they form some sort of a scene or image.

    It's a game with lots of layers to it and there are lots of rewards for the observant and inquisitive mind. And it's done with a degree of subtlety. There are two moments in the game that I call Matrix moments that completely change your perception of the game world in the sense that once you've seen it, you can't unsee it. One is that there are line puzzles in the environment and the other is that the world is fake. And it's possible to complete the game without ever becoming aware of either of them.

  7. #57
    I just went back inside and more or less happened upon two more of those nature patterns. After having run around a while without finding anything new, I felt like I had reached my limit there, so it was extra satisfying when I did find more.

    I also briefly checked out the main puzzles and, although I didn't think I would, I actually seem to remember the rules, so I might give the timed puzzle sequence a new go. Other than that, after enjoying around 70 hours (and 507 +104 +2) of this I feel like I won't find what's left no matter how much I try, so I think I might be done with this, but I'll probably return to it occasionally in case I run into something.

    Also, I've found a lot of "pareidolia"
    I've found a few of those too; always nice.

  8. #58
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Actually, there's a trick to finding a lot of the puzzles. The lake is actually a map of the island and the items in it correspond to various things.

    The lanterns point to the lasers. Lit ones have been activated.
    The waterlilies point to the audio logs. Open ones have been activated.
    The triangular leaves point to the triangle puzzle panels. Submerged colourless ones have been solved.
    The clams point to the movie activation keys. Open ones have been found.
    The fountains point to the obelisks. Active ones have been completed.
    And the obelisks themselves show the number and the direction of each environmental puzzle.

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Actually, there's a trick to finding a lot of the puzzles. The lake is actually a map of the island and the items in it correspond to various things.
    Aha, while I have actually noticed the second part, I never thought of the first, so thanks for pointing that out; I'll check it out and see what I can make of it. I also noticed that each side of the black pillars point in the general direction of the depicted puzzles, so I've been trying to use that when finding them. I'll save your other hints for later.

  10. #60
    I tried the timed sequence again today for an hour, and I am getting closer, but I'm still not there; the best I got was two puzzles left, and after that I quit, because I had to leave. I got lost in the labyrinth and had to run back and check the map (which I also realized what it was about). Then I got through, but had only seconds left to solve the last two(?) puzzles. I'm not sure if I'm getting better at it or if I'm just getting lucky with the puzzles, and get the ones where I can see the pattern almost immediately, just by repeating it over and over again, but eventually I should be able to get through.

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, the two last puzzles are the killer. I ran out of time on the last one so many times. After a while I could just breeze through the early parts, so there's definitely a sort of a learning curve, although some of the puzzles it throws at you can be much easier than others.

    It's kind of an odd curveball in a game that's otherwise a lot more accessible and encouraging, so I'm feeling a bit ambivalent about it. You mostly move at your own pace in the game, but this section has to be one of the most frustrating nerve-wracking adrenaline-inducing parts of the game.

  12. #62
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Oh, geez, The Talos Principle did that, too - last section timed.

  13. #63
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Oh, it's not a part of the critical path, it's an optional challenge that's really difficult -- partly because it's algorithmically generated and different every time. Apparently, only 4% of PC players have completed it and even less on PS4. It just sticks out to me thematically because the rest of the game is mostly challenging but fair, giving you all the tools and all the time you need to figure things out. And it's definitely a deliberate design choice:

    http://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/02/wre...visive-puzzle/

    "I didn't want to tune this such that players are just expected to be able to beat it if they get here — that is how AAA games are generally tuned, and I don't like that. Just like a legitimate puzzle is only a puzzle if you might never figure it out, a legitimate challenge is only a challenge if you might never beat it. So yeah, it's hard."
    Obviously this is very subjective, but like the Manus fight in Dark Souls it felt kind of obtuse to me -- a bit like difficulty for the sake of difficulty.
    Last edited by Starker; 13th Aug 2016 at 22:18.

  14. #64
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Heh. He's basically stating straight up that it's difficulty for the sake of difficulty.

  15. #65
    “Why do we have this expectation that everybody is supposed to do 100% of the things in a game? That seems like ‘fan service’ of a certain dimension or whatever. And if you design a game with that as a requirement, then you force yourself to hold back on a lot of the things the game actually could do.”
    I like the way he's thinking and very much agree with it, but, in this case, I seem to like the concept more than I like the execution (which is of course perfectly in line with what Mister Blow said :/ ). The main gripe I'm having with it is not that it's hard, but that there's also luck playing into it: I can lose time because I'm not skilled enough -- and I have no problem with that -- but I can also lose time because I'm not lucky enough, which is something I don't agree with. Sure, if I were smarter, I would have more room for being unlucky, but, personally, if I were to have designed this challenge, I would have skipped all the elements of luck.

    It's also a test of one's perseverance; I can be pretty stubborn, but this is starting to be a bit much for me. I usually don't like doing the same thing over and again, and lose interest pretty fast if that's a thing, which is one reason I don't like boss fights and usually skip them -- or don't even start the game if it promises boss fights (most games I play, of the few I do play, aren't even close to having them) -- but this challenge was varied enough to keep my interest longer than usual. It's also a bit of a case of completionism and wanting to be one of the few who solved it. Right now I feel like there must be one hell of a reward for this to be worth it. So, part of me really likes this challenge, and part of me really dislikes it.

    For the last three runs today I started cheating by taking a photo of the map -- because I just don't seem to have the capacity for remembering it while at the same doing everything else -- which helped, but I still couldn't get farther than the last two puzzles. Mazes in games is one of my major pet peeves. Am I giving up? Yes, I very possibly am.
    Last edited by qolelis; 14th Aug 2016 at 12:54.

  16. #66
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Oh, it took me a while just to start reliably getting to the last puzzles and it didn't really happen until I started sketching the maze down on a grid paper and learned to eliminate the unsolvable boards with a glance.

  17. #67
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    THREAD REZ FOR PRETTY GAME









    12 hours played, 332 puzzles solved, though I confess I looked up solutions online for a handful of them.

    Getting close to the end, I think. Got the lasers going, and heading down into the mountain. Just finished the puzzle where the colors kept changing, where it felt like the challenge was not to get an epileptic attack while solving it.

    Gotta say I wasn't hyped about this game at all, but after picking it up in the recent Humble Bundle I've been pleasantly surprised. I don't care about the story, if there is one. I just listen to music and podcasts while ambling around doing puzzles. I love how much mileage Blow's managed to get out of these line puzzles. Only thing I really don't like is how slow all the elevators and platforms move.


    edit: aaaaand it's over! That sure was something.
    Last edited by henke; 22nd Feb 2017 at 13:01.

  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    ...PRETTY GAME
    Lighting > textures

  19. #69
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    It is pretty, although I had the impression early on it was like a glorified version of those puzzle/sudoku books they sell at the checkout counters of shopping centers. They could have made the same game with just the puzzles in 1986, they just added a prettier version of pulling up the next puzzle. Granted I didn't get too far, maybe 30-40 puzzles. I'll come back to it. I liked just walking around and taking in the views.

  20. #70
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.
    I've seen three Tarkovsky films so far (Ivan's Childhood, Solaris and The Mirror) and I've loved them to bits.

    Can't wait to see Andrei Rublev, Stalker, The Sacrifice and Nostalghia. <3

    That's all I have to say here.

  21. #71
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Either you posted to the wrong thread, Duckeh, or I'm very confused!

  22. #72
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Earlier in the thread, dema.

  23. #73
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Danny O'Dwyer's latest documentary is about The Witness (spoilers!):


  24. #74
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: cesspool
    I'm soooo glad I decided to buy it on the summer ps store sale.

    Three days of playing, 215 puzzles done, 4 lasers enabled. I'm very amazed how a simple "snake puzzle" concept can develop into such an abundance of very varied puzzles. Very challending and rewarding game full of exploration, and with beautiful graphics too. it's also exceptionally long for a puzzle game, which I like very much. Can't wait to continue.

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