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It Looks Like Jonathan Blow’s ‘The Witness’ Really is Coming to iOS

Back in August, news first hit that Braid developer Jonathan Blow’s upcoming exploration-based puzzle game The Witness might be hitting iOS. At the time, we didn’t think the chances were that great, but we’re more than happy to be proven wrong via a recent blog post on The Witness’s web site. They’ve even got an image of the game running on the iPad, although there’s still lots of work to be done.

If you’re wondering what the crazy colors are all about, it turns out it all has to do with the game’s shaders:

The colors are all funny because we haven’t written the shaders for the iPad yet, so what you are seeing is the surface normals of the objects in the scene.

We haven’t written the shaders yet because they need to be OpenGL ES shaders, and the shaders we have right now are HLSL shaders all written for medium-to-high-end PCs. As the first part of the porting work, Andy made the engine work on OpenGL on the PC, and for that we converted our HLSL shaders to GLSL automatically. But the jump to ES on an embedded device is big enough that it doesn’t make sense to try and use the same shaders. Instead we’ll have to have some simpler shaders that we substitute.

Touch controls have also been implemented, and according to Blow, " It’s nice to play the game with touch controls, as it feels more immediate than mouse and keyboard." So, what we’re looking at here is a complete work in progress, but the fact that it even exists seems incredibly promising when it comes to The Witness coming to the iPad.