Merit Award

The Witness Island

Fletcher Studio

Lead Landscape Architect: David Fletcher

Client: Thekla

The Witness is a critically acclaimed video game. It is also an intellectually challenging work of art. It is an adventure puzzle, set on a complex and mysterious abandoned island. The island expresses the overlaid palimpsests of fictional civilizations that have been planned and designed using the media of time and entropy. A Landscape Architecture Studio worked full-time for three years, designing and modeling spaces, structures, geography, geology, environmental puzzles, and biomes. The planning design of the Island required thinking across scales, both spatial and temporal. The design team sought to create an engaging, beautiful, strange, and memorable experience for the player, independent of the gameplay experience. A place of "wonder" . The experience of the island should be one of wonder, even if they never solve a single puzzle. During that first week after the game was released, more individuals and groups explored these virtual landscapes and spaces, than will ever explore our built landscapes in our lifetime.