Jonathan Blow’s The Witness ($9.99) is definitely a game that has engendered all kinds of discussions when it hit the PC last year, with many people really liking it and some people unsure of what the whole fuss was about. The game made its way to mobile recently, and we liked it in our review, even though the game’s hands-off approach didn’t work as well on the mobile platform. Still, it was great to see such an acclaimed game on mobile, and if you were wondering what it took to bring The Witness to what is a very different platform from that it was originally designed for, there’s an interview you can read to see Blow’s thought process and difficulties with bringing the game over to mobile.
In this interview, Blow talks about the three main issues they had when bringing the game over. The one was turning the graphics engine into one that would work well on mobile, the second was using Apple’s Metal—which allowed them to use the hardware more effectively but was also a lot of work and took away some control—and the third was content, turning almost everything from the game into lower-polygon versions. As Blow points out, given how much the gameplay depends on how things look in the game, he and his team wanted to ensure the game looks as it should.
He then goes on to talk about coming up with the tap-to-move control scheme, how mobile might interfere with the game’s attempts at immersion, and much more. He even goes into whether the Nintendo Switch would be a good fit for The Witness. A really interesting interview if you enjoy the game or just want to learn more about the challenges of porting PC games to mobile.