Posts Tagged ‘Dear Esther’

A People’s History Of The FPS, Part 1: The WAD

By Robert Yang on September 19th, 2012.


“A People’s History” is a three part essay series by Robert Yang. He told us that he wanted to write an alternate view of the traditionally accepted history of the FPS genre as entirely dominated and driven by the mainstream, commercial industry, and to “argue for a long-standing but suppressed tradition of non-industry involvement in the first-person genre”. This is part one.

In 1994, the New York Times filed a review of a first-person game under its “Arts” section, proclaiming it to be “a game that weaves together image, sound and narrative into a new form of experience.” It sold millions of copies and inspired dozens of imitators. It seemed poised to define an era.

That game was Myst and it failed to define an era. Instead, a game called Doom came out three months after Myst — and then it shot Myst in the face.
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Dear Videogames, Stop Telling Me Everything

By Nathan Grayson on August 29th, 2012.

When I beat the absolutely wonderful Thirty Flights Of Loving over the weekend, I had precisely one immediate reaction: “Wait, what just happened?” I cannot even begin to tell you how much that excites me. But then I decided to write an article about it, largely because one of my greatest passions in life is defying nonsencial figures of speech. At any rate, Thirty Flights Of Loving packs loads of information into not-even-30-minutes with hardly any dialog or exposition. But, in some ways, it’s even more of a supposed “un-game” than, say, Modern Warfare 3. I mean, all agency is illusory. Without spoiling anything (note: that’ll happen a little bit after the break), you’re along for the ride – and that’s it. In a couple bits, it doesn’t even matter where you walk. The game will just jump-cut you to your intended location.

So why is it one of my absolute favorite games – and yes, I one hundred percent believe it’s a game – of the year? Because it made me think about what happened. No, scratch that. It required me to think.

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Dear Succesther: Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture

By Nathan Grayson on July 31st, 2012.

I'm hoping the world ends with that sunrise being obliterated by the moon from Zelda: Majora's Mask.

Dear Esther‘s brilliantly amorphous plot made me feel like I’d hit my head and – for the same reason that television’s left me deathly afraid of light flicks on the forehead or especially hard rainfall – acquired horribly debilitating amnesia. That, however, is probably where the similarities between Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs and Dear Esther end, so thechineseroom’s also giving its more experimental spirit room to breathe with Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture. It is, of course, about the end of the world – as these things so often are. But this is far from typical videogame pre/post/postmodern apocalypse fare.

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Fullbright On The Games Gone Home Is And Isn’t Like

By Alec Meer on July 9th, 2012.

Last week, I ran the first half of my recent chat with Steve Gaynor, formerly of Irrational and 2K Marin, and now of indie studio The Fullbright Company – who are working on mysterious, ambitious, suburban-set non-combat first-person game Gone Home. Being as I am an investigative journalist par excellence, I decided that it would be appropriate to spend the second half of the interview forgoing questioning entirely in favour of simply shouting the names of other games at him. Games like Myst, Amnesia, Jurassic Park: Trespasser, Journey and Dear Esther. Rather than hanging up in disgust, he offered fascinating, thoughtful replies on the limits of interactivity in games and the sort of scale Gone Home is intended to operate on.
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To The Moneymobile! Antichamber Joins The IndieFund

By Alec Meer on April 3rd, 2012.

Hip to be square-with-bits-on

Bundles, crowdsourcing – these are not the only ways to bring in suitable monies for an independently-developed videogame. Fascinatingly strange IGF Technical Excellence award-snatcher Antichamber – as experienced by one John Walker here - has been signed up as the seventh beneficiary of the Indie Fund. That’s the investment initiative arranged by the likes of 2D Boy, Jon Blow, Capy and thatgamecompany. It follows in the proud footsteps of Dear Esther, Qube, and Monaco, and is to receive the funding necessary to push it over the finish line for a PC and Mac release later in this year of our endless, ursine lord, 2012. If it works out as well as it did for Dear Esther, both developer Alexander Bruce and the Indie Fund team will be terribly happy.
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A Fortnight Of IGF Demos Starts On Onlive Today

By Craig Pearson on February 28th, 2012.

Sweep up a Dustforce demo
Onlive and the IGF are spooning for a fortnight. The sensual lovers are celebrating the Indie Gaming New Year by giving you access to 30 minute demos of 16 IGF finalists. The alphabetically sexy list of games is: Atom Zombie Smasher, Be Good, Botanicula, Dear Esther, Dustforce, English Country Tune, Frozen Synapse, FTL, Lume, Nitronic Rush, Once Upon a Spacetime, POP, SpaceChem, To the Moon, Toren, and WAY.
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Dear Esther Devs Making Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs

By Adam Smith on February 23rd, 2012.

This little piggy had none

As it was rumoured, so it shall be. Dear Esther’s lead writer, Dan Pinchbeck, has revealed to Joystiq that thechineseroom are working on A Machine For Pigs, set in Amnesia’s world, although it won’t be a direct sequel to the dimly lit descent. It will, however, star a wealthy industrialist called Daniel Plainview Oswald Mandus, who returns from an ill-fated trip to Mexico in 1899 and finds that his body is plagued with fever and his mind is plagued with nightmares that revolve around an ominous machine. Possibly for pigs. Probably not some sort of mechanical pig disco and daycare centre.

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Decrypting & Dehairing Frictional’s ‘A Machine For Pigs’

By Alec Meer on February 21st, 2012.

It's only sleeping

Breaking news, if you were reading the internet a couple of days ago. Following a brief ARG, a tiny, hopeful squeak of detail has emerged for the next game from Amnesia devs Frictional. Frankly anything is more useful than ‘it might be set in China, possibly‘, but in this case we have a couple of pieces of creepy, bloody concept art and a possible title.

That title? ‘A Machine For Pigs.’ Which sounds ever so slightly like a change of direction for George R.R. Martin’s reader-mocking novels, but also appears to refer directly to the abbatoir-esque scenes in the concept art. But is that the real name, or just a codename? I’ve done some research into animal-slaughtering equipment and come up with some EXCITING ALTERNATIVES.
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The More Or Less Complete IGF Factor 2012

By Alec Meer on February 20th, 2012.

Aren't you glad to see this picture again?

They said it would never end. And then, on Saturday, it did. We’ve been posting our series of chats with the many splendid finalists in this year’s Independent Games Festival over the last couple of months, and, with the exception of English Country Tune (dev was worried about sounding boring), Mirage (dev didn’t reply) and Fez (dev wouldn’t confirm the possibility of a PC version) we managed to get mini-interviews with all the PC/Mac indie developers in the running for a gong.

In case you missed a few, didn’t understand what the hell it was all about or just like looking at neatly-ordered lists, here’s the complete series for your relaxed perusal. It’s a fascinating and diverse bunch of games in the finals this year, and if nothing else, it’s a rare chance to see what 18 different developers would say to the monsters in Doom if only they could talk to them.

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Dear Esther, We Sold 16,000 Copies In A Day, Shepherds

By John Walker on February 15th, 2012.

They'll be making boats out of tenners now.

Dear Esther, the minimalist first-person explorer, made its costs back in the first five and a half hours on sale. A quite remarkable achievement for an indie game, and a rather impressive vindication of The Indie Fund, the gathering of successful indies who are funding new projects. It has sold 16,000 copies in its first 24 hours, and made back all $55k they’d invested in the game before it was even six hours old. And by the rules of The Indie Fund, that means the developers thechineseroom are now making profit. You can read all about how it went down here. Alec adored Dear Esther, as he writes about here. I didn’t think it was nearly so good, as I explain here.

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What I Alternatively Think: Dear Esther

By Alec Meer on February 15th, 2012.

Not pictured: John Walker's soul. BECAUSE IT DOESN'T EXIST.


John’s already presented his verdict on thechineseroom’s first-person ghost-esque story Dear Esther, but I’ve a thing or two I’d like to say about it myself. And not just because I like to oppress John at any opportunity I get. It’s because Dear Esther really did work its dark, metaphysical magic upon me.

This write-up will contain spoilers unbound; do not read on if you haven’t played (and intend to play) Dear Esther.
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