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Old 01-21-2012, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default Dear Esther

Hard to classify this really, but I guess it's more of an adventure game than anything (from what I've read about it).

Whatever, it looks and sounds wonderful:

http://dear-esther.com/

Released on 14th Feb.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:21 PM   #2
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Looks intriguing. I can't wait to give it a go.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:51 PM   #3
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Yeah I definitely have my eyes on this and knowing it will be on Steam it's a definite purchase for me at some point.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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I played the original Half-Life 2 mod which this is (as I understand) a direct recreation with better visuals and audio.

Judging by the mod it's nothing like an adventure game and hardly a game at all. Instead think of The Path, but with a lesser amount of meaningful interaction possibilities (in fact nothing that isn't provided by the Source engine by default).

You could describe Dear Esther as the hearing of an eerie poem within a beautiful 3D location (a misty, rocky island full of caves).
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:55 PM   #5
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Disappointing if that's the case. I suppose it's possible that they have evolved from the original into some expanded version of the game with a more interactive roll for the player..?
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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Disappointing if that's the case. I suppose it's possible that they have evolved from the original into some expanded version of the game with a more interactive roll for the player..?
Good job insulting the brilliance of the original mod.

"For everyone who played the original mod, we can promise a totally new experience that will keep the soul of the original whilst pushing the game to a completely different level. For people who have never experienced Dear Esther, get ready for a game unlike anything you've ever played. In 2011, we're going to answer once and for all the question of whether games can be art."

And people on kotaku said the graphics of the game looked nothing special. I guess not enough bump map or blooms.

Though I have to say this game can be considered an adventure. Its no interactive movie. You can freely explore the area, triggering narrative dialogue and so on. Its an amazing experience.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:23 PM   #7
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Good to hear that it's expanded then. Originally it was supposed to be a direct remake.

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Though I have to say this game can be considered an adventure. Its no interactive movie. You can freely explore the area, triggering narrative dialogue and so on. Its an amazing experience.
In the mod the "dialogue/monologue" didn't establish much of a narrative or even correlate with the exploration - in fact on each playing session the readings were delivered in random order except for the opening and ending ones (or perhaps even only the opening one).

I will say the mod didn't do much for me personally, but I understand lots of people loved it and thought the atmosphere is special. I'm really curious how the expanded version will fare against an even larger audience.
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:14 PM   #8
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Good to hear that it's expanded then. Originally it was supposed to be a direct remake.
Originally it was just going to be a free remake, then its production values were more than most mods and commercial products, valve thought it'd be a great idea to pick it up.
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:41 AM   #9
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No doubt a few people are familiar with Spielberg's "Artificial Intelligence". Actor Ben Kingsley provides the voice of the "Specialist" mecha, a very soothing and gentle voice.

I mention this as the narrator on the trailer for Dear Esther sounds remarkably similar - according to the game's Info page, the actor is one Nigel Carrington (which surprised me as I was convinced it was Ben Kingsley).

Very much looking forward to this - I'm assuming that movement will be via a keyboard or joystick?
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:24 AM   #10
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This looks pretty interesting, I'm going to check it out when it's released.
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:30 AM   #11
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yeah, doesn't look like much of a game, but more of an experience. which im very open to.

although am i the only one who found the narration in the trailer to be totally pretentious, overwrought, and nonsensical to the point of trying to be mysterious?

i love these types of games that try to go out there and be original, i really do, but there's usually a fine line between artistic and pretentious. just hoping the full release of this hits the right mark.
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:42 AM   #12
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Never played the mod, only read about it, but I will definitely keep an eye out for this one.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Monolith View Post
Good job insulting the brilliance of the original mod.
What exactly is so brilliant about a non-interactive 'game'?
A poem recited while you walk through a landscape is more an experience but less a game. You do know that the medium's main trait (and what separates it from cinema, literature etc) is interactivity?

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And people on kotaku said the graphics of the game looked nothing special. I guess not enough bump map or blooms.
The graphics actually look very nice, especially the artstyle. From a technical pov however, i would tend to agree to Kotaku...low-poly, kind of low-res textures. Where i disagree with Kotaku is that not all games need to look like Battlefield 3 or Crysis. As long as the graphics fit the game (from an artistic pov) all is well.


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Though I have to say this game can be considered an adventure. Its no interactive movie. You can freely explore the area, triggering narrative dialogue and so on. Its an amazing experience.
You seem confused. It's not an interactive movie but an adventure game because you can explore the area? Really, now... We must have very different views over interactivity and what adventure games are then, because i comepletely disagree with you. Dear Esther is definitely not a game. Just because it is sold to you as a game, doesn't mean it is one.
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuyin View Post
The graphics actually look very nice, especially the artstyle. From a technical pov however, i would tend to agree to Kotaku...low-poly, kind of low-res textures. Where i disagree with Kotaku is that not all games need to look like Battlefield 3 or Crysis. As long as the graphics fit the game (from an artistic pov) all is well.

You seem confused. It's not an interactive movie but an adventure game because you can explore the area? Really, now... We must have very different views over interactivity and what adventure games are then, because i comepletely disagree with you. Dear Esther is definitely not a game. Just because it is sold to you as a game, doesn't mean it is one.
So its all technical? Last time I checked, its all about making everything look natural and Dear Esther does that better than even Battlefield 3. Its the best looking environment ever.

BTW, i'm talking about the game not the mod, and you are acting like the game's out. Its not. "Just because it is sold to you as a game, doesn't mean it is one." That does not even make sense since you obviously are talking about the mod not the game.
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:58 PM   #15
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So its all technical? Last time I checked, its all about making everything look natural and Dear Esther does that better than even Battlefield 3. Its the best looking environment ever.
Read again. I'm agreeing with you actually. Just read it again.

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Originally Posted by Monolith View Post
BTW, i'm talking about the game not the mod, and you are acting like the game's out. Its not. "Just because it is sold to you as a game, doesn't mean it is one." That does not even make sense since you obviously are talking about the mod not the game.
Are you serious? The game wil be exactly like the mod. Here's some developer quotes from the game's FAQ page:

"Q. I havenít played the original, should I wait for the commercial release? Will playing the original mod completely spoil it for me?
A. I think this is something you must decide for yourself. Itís a remake after all, but with a ton of additional visuals, details and information added in. Think of it as a Directorís Cut."
"Q. I want to convince friends to try Dear Esther in a few words, how can I describe it at best?
A. Dear Esther is a poetic ghost story told using game technologies. You explore a deserted island, uncovering a tale of love, loss, grief and redemption, delivered through stunning voice-over and soundtrack and set against one of the most beautiful environments yet created in a game. -Howís that sound?"

It'll still a non-game just like the mod, with a severe lack of interactivity: no puzzles, no interaction with the world...unless your definition of an adventure game is exploring/walking through a landscape while listening to poetry.

It'll be the same experience as the mod, but with updated visuals and maybe some tweaks regarding the script. But you can't really call it a game, by any standards...
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:22 PM   #16
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But interactive storytelling is exactly where adventure games came from. Interactive doesn't mean you have to have puzzles. It could generally mean experiencing the story through interaction (exploration or the like).

Yes, you did agree with me. You through me off with the 'low textures' thing, but Dear Ether has really high quality textures, especially how well they blend with the environment. Both technical and artistic which sadly kotaku commentors don't see.
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:59 PM   #17
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But interactive storytelling is exactly where adventure games came from. Interactive doesn't mean you have to have puzzles. It could generally mean experiencing the story through interaction (exploration or the like).
To me The Dark Eye (the one from 1996) is the best example of a great game/interactive experience with plenty of intense exploration interactions, but without any puzzles. Sometimes it could still use additional interactivity, but when it works (during the nights and in the dreams), it's truly incredibly immersive stuff.

However, continuously walking down the only possible path in Dear Esther (with the possibility of going back) is barely interactive anything. I do hope they at least make the exploration of the island less linear in the new release.
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:10 PM   #18
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To me The Dark Eye (the one from 1996) is the best example of a great game/interactive experience with plenty of intense exploration interactions, but without any puzzles. Sometimes it could still use additional interactivity, but when it works (during the nights and in the dreams), it's truly incredibly immersive stuff.

However, continuously walking down the only possible path in Dear Esther (with the possibility of going back) is barely interactive anything. I do hope they at least make the exploration of the island less linear in the new release.
I absolutely agree. the Dark Eye is a better example of doing it right, but you still can't say Dear Esther isn't an adventure. Just not the traditional way of making a game.

I want to see someone make a Dark Eye prototype in UDK. That would be fun. It may not be completely interactive besides movement and exploration, it still is interactive. The point is, its still and adventure. Just not the traditional method.

"It's a very simple game to play. You move around and look around freely, but everything is delivered automatically to you. So as you travel, you trigger voice-overs, music, sound effects, all of which work with this beautiful, desolate and massively atmospheric environment to create this immersive story. There's also a lot of details in the environment, all of which add new depth and meaning to the narrative. So depending on where you are, and what you do, you'll come away with a completely different take on what is going on. The ambiguity of the story is really about that as well, and the fact that the voice-overs and some of the environmental details are all randomised, so no two players are likely to get exactly the same version of events."

"makes Crysis look like Minecraft."

http://www.gameinformer.com/games/de...ostPageIndex=1

Great article on why your opinion is weak and really doesn't describe why Dear Esther is innovation...haha funny if you don't see innovation in something so simple, then we are heading in the wrong direction in terms of what this guy is trying to accomplish.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:06 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monolith View Post
But interactive storytelling is exactly where adventure games came from.
I agree. However, Dear Esther is not interactive storytelling. It is just storytelling.

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Interactive doesn't mean you have to have puzzles. It could generally mean experiencing the story through interaction (exploration or the like).
Interactive means you interact with the world in a way (solving puzzles in adventures games) or another (shooting things in most other games). In Dear Esther there is absolutely 0 interactivity with the world. None. Zilch. Nada. You seem to consider walking through the area (or exploring) as interactivity. I respectfully diasgree and i think you are confused about the term.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I agree. However, Dear Esther is not interactive storytelling. It is just storytelling.


Interactive means you interact with the world in a way (solving puzzles in adventures games) or another (shooting things in most other games). In Dear Esther there is absolutely 0 interactivity with the world. None. Zilch. Nada. You seem to consider walking through the area (or exploring) as interactivity. I respectfully diasgree and i think you are confused about the term.
Actually exploring an area that triggers a narrative is interactivity. Game design 101. Anything that triggers something else based on user control is 'interaction'.

Else, 0 percent interactivity means the gamer is just sitting back not doing anything.

You may respectfully disagree, but you are respectfully making yourself look like an idiot. Any respectful person understands that user control == interaction. Its like saying 'whats so special with giving the player control during a cutscene like half-life 2. Its stupid and pointless'.

The developer is not taking control away from you during the story. It is a personal experience, you living through the environment, noticing various things in the environment which add to the story.
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