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Dear Esther

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Curve Digital
Developer: The Chinese Room
Release Date: Feb. 14, 2012

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'Dear Esther' Source Engine Mod Turning Into Commercial Game

by Rainier on Dec. 8, 2011 @ 1:27 p.m. PST

Dear Esther fuses its beautiful landscapes, spanning a remote and desolate island somewhere in the outer Hebrides, with a breathtaking soundtrack to tell a powerful story of love, loss, guilt and redemption.

As you take your first steps into this remarkable world, a voice begins to read fragments of a letter: "Dear Esther..." - and so begins a journey through one of the most original first-person games in recent years.

Originally launched as a Source mod in 2007, Dear Esther has gained a cult following, critical acclaim and a number of international awards, including Best World/Story at Indiecade 2009. The extraordinary success of the mod, with over 100,000 downloads, prompted thechineseroom to begin a collaboration with Mirror’s Edge artist Rob Briscoe on a commercial rebuild powered by Valve’s Source Engine technology.

The project is being backed by Indie Fund, the independent game investment group that includes Braid’s Jonathan Blow, World of Goo creator Ron Carmel, and Kellee Santiago of thatgamecompany.

The game has already garnered attention for its exceptional standard of art and audio, which delivers an experience of AAA-quality gaming wrapped around an innovative core of storytelling. The narrative is semi-randomised and abstract; poetic, deep and emotionally resonant. This, combined with a quality of presentation that rivals the highest-budget commercial titles, makes Dear Esther truly unique as an independent production.

It will be the first time a game that started life as an academic research project to explore new opportunities for design and storytelling in first-person gaming will be realised as a full commercial product, and a milestone for the indie sector’s ability to once again deliver game experiences that are as innovative as they are engaging.

Dear Esther will be released on Steam at $9.99.

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