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A good idea

Hm. So. I bought Dear Esther last night, which is an Indie game.

Actually, I would dispute calling it a game. You don’t really interact with stuff. You wander around a surreal landscape at will while a narrator (who is presumably you) randomly declaims fragments of a story. That’s potentially a cool ride, but it’s not a game.

I “finished” it tonight — that is, I reached the end scenario, though I haven’t seen all the content. If you watch the trailer at the link, you’ll pretty much have the whole experience, right there.

Dear Esther started life in 2007 at the University of Portsmouth as a free mod, using the Source game engine (Half Life 2). They decided to develop a commercial version, which was released on February 14 of this year. They cleverly charged a pittance (well, £7), and — much to their surprise — made their investment back in six hours.

So. Well. It was kind of like watching many indie films (something I did a lot of in my yoot). It was pretty to look at. Evocative. But after a while, you figured out that nothing was going to happen, nothing was going to be resolved, and they weren’t really ever going to tell you anything. If you like that kind of movie, you’ll love this.

Anyhow, I do hope they keep developing off-beat stuff like this. I think it could be a spectacular experience, with a bit less hippie and a bit more…meat.

February 22, 2012 — 10:57 pm
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