A deserted island... a lost man... memories of a fatal crash... a book written by a dying explorer.
Dear Esther is a ghost story told using first-person gaming technologies. Rather than traditional gameplay, the focus here is on exploration, uncovering the mystery of the island, of who you are and why you are here. Fragments of story are randomly triggered by moving around the environments, making every telling unique. Features a stunning, specially commissioned soundtrack. Forget the normal rules of play; if nothing seems real here, it's because it may just be all a delusion.
What is the significance of the aerial - What happened on the motorway - is the island real or imagined - who is Esther and why has she chosen to summon you here?
The answers are out there, on the lost beach and the tunnels under the island. Or then again, they may just not be, after all...
Writer/producer Dan Pinchbeck and composer/audio designer Jessica Curry from the mod development team thechineseroom picked up the award for Best Story/World for the 2009 IndieCade awards at Sony Pictures in LA last night.
IndieCade, described by the LA Times as gaming's Sundance Festival, is one of the most prestigious independent gaming events in the world, and showcased some of the most innovative new games being made today. Pinchbeck said "The quality of the finalists was just amazing - there are some really fantastic games here and we can't believe Dear Esther was selected to win. The competition was really fierce, and so many other games could have walked away with the award and we'd have been happy for them to have taken it."
Dear Esther was the only mod selected as a finalist for the awards, which range from mixed-reality to iPhone apps. A full list of the finalists can be found at www.indiecade.com
Since 2002 we have explored, played and enjoyed mods of all shapes and sizes just like Dear Esther. We love games like Half-Life 2 that have opened themselves up to modding. Because of communities like Workshop, Nexus, Curse, RTSL, GameBanana and Mod DB, more games support modding today than ever before.
Let's celebrate modding
As mods play a bigger role in the future of gaming, we believe it is important to recognize the effort the teams behind the work put in, giving us countless hours of enjoyment while asking nothing in return. We have the power to change our games and that needs to be celebrated to ensure it remains a big part of PC gaming's future.
It all started
In 2015, when the paid modding dispute left many gamers and modders worried about the direction the industry is headed. Things have since settled down, but we believe it is important to continue this small tradition to show we are not alone in our love for mods, and the open platforms that embrace them.
Mod Appreciation Week
Nothing is more motivating than knowing something you've built is being enjoyed by others. So this week if there is a mod you love on Mod DB (or anywhere else), make the effort to shout out to them, mention and link their mod in a tweet, blog, forum or facebook post with the hashtag #modlove2016 (or click the icons above for a pre-built post).
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