Posts Tagged ‘Dear Esther’

Mario And Dear Esther Walk Into An Absinthe Bar: Spate

A prime vacation destination if I've ever seen one.

Spate looks positively bonkers. I mean that both in terms of the gloriously bizarre sensibilities that peer – with one lidless, unblinking eye – from the depths of its island’s mysterious nethers and the relative sanity of its grief-stricken main character. He’s a noir detective who’s dealing with the death of his daughter, so he’s taken up a powerful absinthe habit to numb the pain. Naturally, it manifests as a gameplay mechanic. “At the click of a button the character can take a swig of absinthe. This temporarily gives the player higher jumping and faster running abilities. But, it also makes him hallucinate, which changes the world both visually and physically. The mechanic is meant to mirror the emotional seesaw battle of drinking.” Heavy stuff. Perhaps too heavy? I suppose we’ll see. For now, though, peep a couple of incredibly impressive-looking trailers after the break.

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Mirror’s Edge, Skyrim, More To Get Oculus Rift Support

Don't look down don't look down don't look down.

I preemptively think I’m gonna be sick. Don’t get me wrong: there are few things in this world I want more than Oculus Rift virtual reality for my mad dash through Mirror’s Edge‘s theme park of parkour, but now that it’s probably going to happen, I realize that I should probably bid farewell to any lunches I’ve had in the past couple months. And who will I have to thank for my sudden bouts of violent nausea? Interestingly, it won’t be EA. Instead, a third-party toolset called Vireio Perception is primed to add Rift support to Mirror’s Edge and other older titles.

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Esther In The Headlights: Dear Esteban

A windmill. But what is wind? And what does utilitarianism have to do with the price of oatcakes?

This is the very first time that you have been here before. The whales are watching you. They know what you did. What did you do? Ask the whales but they won’t tell you because they are silent. Mysteriously silent. You probably killed someone and it might have been an accident but there’s almost definitely blood on your hands or lipstick on your collar, or a ghost in your shoe. The hills have the answers but they’re as quiet as the whales. Only the wind has a voice and it whispers so quietly that all you can make out is a name. Esteban. Download Dear Esteban to learn the truth about your past and that girl with the eighties hair. It’s free.

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Dear Esther’s Briscoe Teases “STALKER-like” Project


Speaking to Joe Martin, the artist behind the fabulously-pretty island of Dear Esther, Robert Briscoe, has announced he’s embarking on a one-man project of formidable ambition. Here’s the quote: “I fancy doing something on my own, something entirely of my own creation. Dear Esther was a great project…[but] this time around? I’ve always had this idea in my head of this sort of open-world, STALKER-like game without weapons. With a horror aspect to it. I’ve never had the opportunity to it because the scope of it is so huge…I can’t even believe I’m contemplating doing it! It’s so unreal…but this is the whole thing with me: I want to see if it’s possible for just one person to make a game on a scale that’s probably never been done before…”

Frankly I want to see if that’s possible, too.

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


“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

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

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

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

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

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

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’

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

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

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.

What I Alternatively Think: Dear Esther

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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Wot I Think: Dear Esther

You can't climb the lighthouse : (

I come to Dear Esther completely blind. For some reason I’ve chosen to read nothing about it at any point, perhaps instinctively opting to preserve myself against knowing everything about at least one game before I get to play it. I’ve heard the overwhelmingly positive, and grumbles of hype and overrated content, and I have an idea that it’s a game about exploring over anything else. But that’s all I know. So from this position, having never played the 2008 mod, here’s Wot I Think.

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IGF Factor 2012: Dear Esther

Hauntingly beautiful, exploration-based first-person ghost story Dear Esther (a lavish remake of the mod of the same name) is up for the Excellence In Visual Art, Excellence In Audio, Nuovo Award and Seamus McNally Grand Prize at this year’s Independent Games Festival. As part of our series chatting to the creators of (almost) all the PC and Mac-based finalists, today we talk to Robert Briscoe, lead artist on Dear Esther, about Stalker, Mirror’s Edge, making in-game exploration satisfying, why indie development should be taught in universities and his answer to the most important question of all.
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The Beauty Of The Barren: Dear Esther

If this screengrab were taken a second later it would have a quote from 'Rock Paper Shotgun' emblazoned across it. Just think!

The fancy-dan version of Source-based island adventure Dear Esther causes ripples of excitement whenever it raises its haunted head, nowhere more so in recent times than at the IGF where it has received four nominations. However, there are important matters to take care of before its Valentine’s Day release. To that end, I have prepared several boxes so that we can put our heads together and decide which one Dear Esther belongs in. Perhaps a trailer will help us to choose?

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Indie Fund Talk Q.U.B.E. And Dear Esther


With Q.U.B.E. coming out on Friday and Dear Esther coming out in February, we thought it might be timely to talk to the sinister cabal of successful indies behind the Indie Fund. That’s the name of the non-publisher group that are financing these games, as well as the exciting heist game, Monaco. What are they up to? And what is so special about the indie games they are financing? We found out, below.

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Dear Esther Arrives February 14th, At $10


I’ve been reading some interesting discussions about Dear Esther of late, with some folks maintaining that it’s “not even a game”. With just wandering about and some artful narration going for it, you can see why some people are sceptical about it being in the same category as all those other things, with their hi-score tables and their comprehensible rule sets, that currently sit in the big box of games. Whether or not it’s a game, you’re going to be able to pay $10 on Valentine’s Day next year, and wander lonesomely through its breath-takingly remade landscape. It really is quite an extraordinary thing to see, outdoing most mainstream games’ environment work with its lavish Source-powered rocks and weeds. The Chinese Room also announce that: “In other news, we can also confirm we will be speaking at GDC2012′s Game Design track about Dear Esther, the approach to environmental build, audio, voice-overs and storytelling.”