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So it’s been a while, in fact it’s been almost 4 months since my last update, however, during this time I have been tirelessly working on the third level of Dear Esther and have finally reached the point where I think it is good enough to show some of what I have been up to during my absence.

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The third level of Dear Esther takes place at the heart of the island, through its many sprawling caves and tunnels. I have to admit, this was one of the levels I was most excited about working on as I'd never attempted this kind of environment before, and it allowed me a much greater freedom and creativity that is sometimes restricted when creating large outdoor environments and so I was able to add in much more detail and complex shaders to really help bring the caves to life without sacrificing performance.I think the caves in the original were the one area that was most lacking and so I made a real effort to make sure they raise the bar both visually and atmospherically. (Note: As always these shots are pre-alpha and lack proper polish)


Dear Esther - Caves
Dear Esther - Caves
Dear Esther - Caves


Dear Esther - Caves
Dear Esther - Caves
Dear Esther - Caves
Dear Esther - Caves
Dear Esther - Caves

Dear Esther - Caves
Dear Esther - Caves

Dear Esther - CavesDear Esther - CavesDear Esther - Caves

Dear Esther - CavesDear Esther - CavesDear Esther - CavesDear Esther - Caves

Dear Esther - Caves

Dear Esther - CavesDear Esther - CavesDear Esther - Caves


It's been a tough journey on this one, both technically and creatively, with so many unique assets being made and pushing the 2007 Source Engine to its limits to meet my high standards, it took me a lot longer than I predicted to finish the level (hence the abnormally long absence), however I'm so close to finishing now I can almost taste it and I can't wait to get started on the next (and FINAL) level!

Anyway as an added bonus for waiting so long, I've compiled a quick montage of the third level, and also showcasing some of the many effects that has been added/hacked in such as realistic flowing water and caustic effects.


For more media, including high res wallpapers and a HD Youtube video head on over to my devblog!

Comments  (0 - 50 of 106)
Henley Staff
Henley

Awesome as always!

Reply Good karma+4 votes
MrMattWebb
MrMattWebb

I cant believe its Source! Its all in the artist, dont blame the tools!

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FishMan:E
FishMan:E

Tools have metter too (in the question of time), but I agree all stuff is in the artist hands... +1

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TingPing
TingPing

shift better look like this :P

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MagnumPI
MagnumPI

Cave driving?

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KEEP_IT_UP!
KEEP_IT_UP!

@korge word +1

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jjawinte
jjawinte

Amen and well said Korge ! A wonderfully cinematic piece !

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MagnumPI
MagnumPI

People say this a lot, but this literally redefines the boundaries of the Source Engine. Next time someone complains about how the engine is outdated and useless, I'm going to link them to this.

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RogerRamjet
RogerRamjet

I am amazed that is source. The mappers and texture artists should win an award. In fact, I will present one. For the best mapping ever seen in source, the award goes to the mappers and texture artists of Dear Easter. Congratulations.

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DaveW
DaveW

Mapper and texture artist. Not plural. It's one guy doing this.

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chineseroom Author
chineseroom

Yeah. It's just Rob - all credit goes to him. I'm still scraping my jaw off the floor as we speak... (dan)

Reply Good karma+5 votes
johnnyB96000
johnnyB96000

lmao dear esther not dear easter Roger Ramjet

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Xylemon
Xylemon

Holy ****! This is the work of a god!

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Keotalf
Keotalf

I am completely and utterly awestruck. It is not an understatement at all to say that it is phenomenally beautiful.

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eXeC64
eXeC64

Where's the source engine I know and what have you done with it? This is not my lil' source engine :<

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ptc5010
ptc5010

"Lacks proper polish?" Whatever you say, man. If you can make what you've already done in these pictures look any better, my eyes are going to explode. I feel compelled to donate money to you. Seriously, I'm starting to feel like I won't be able to play this with a clear conscience without giving you like 10 dollars. It's obvious a lot of work is going into this.

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Aguila.
Aguila.

Go work for Valve. Or atleast give them your Source source code, goddamn best graphics I've ever seen on Source.

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Medevila
Medevila

The funny thing is- he isn't modifying the Source engine. He's an artist, I tell you. AN ARTIST.

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Metalancer
Metalancer

Um...This is by far the most amazing environment I've ever seen on the source engine. Valve could even learn a thing or two from you guys =D

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Gulp343
Gulp343

no words..just beautiful!

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TheDualWorks
TheDualWorks

wow best work in environment in source. just by showing this to a game company you'll be able to work at em.

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Argoon
Argoon

I think he already does work for a game company.

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Kiory
Kiory

He worked with dice on mirrors edge.

He also did various other professional maps, can't remember where from.

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Crazyspawn
Crazyspawn

This is amazing!

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Paxton
Paxton

I thought you'd moved to UDK! O:

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meazum
meazum

Oh what a beautiful surprise on my birthday!

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HounderKnight
HounderKnight

The amount of quality and detail Robert has put into remaking Dear Esther is astounding. Bravo as always. :)

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Radu_IceMan
Radu_IceMan

I have never seen anything so amazing, done on Source! FANTASTIC JOB!

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Cameron:D
Cameron:D

If this is not epic, what is?

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Fox_Commando
Fox_Commando

I seriously need a new PC to run this mod!!! awesome work!!!

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alphaflight83
alphaflight83

Holy salt and pepper, batman ... This is awesome stuff!

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Croco15
Croco15

This mapping is 10 times better than Valve. Holy ****! Good job!

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Piuneer
Piuneer

Add a couple of zeros to that, and you've got a more accurate number.

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cjone2
cjone2

beyond stunning best source work I have seen

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Held
Held

oh man that's so much nicer than a stupid cinamatic mod

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LPFreak
LPFreak

that is so incredible! You guys are modgods!

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Robok
Robok

Simply amazing, I didn't think this was even possible with Source :O

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WNxKraid
WNxKraid

beautifull, simply beautifull.

are you planning to do some kind of "making of dear ester" once you're done with the mod?
just to give the rest of us the chance to improve and learn from a true Master.

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JohnnyJustice
JohnnyJustice

Truly remarkable. I'm in love with it.

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Icedecknight
Icedecknight

GUYS I JUST GAGGED!....

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Pliqu3011
Pliqu3011

*searching his jaw...*

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AngryNerd
AngryNerd

****-in-my-pants amazing! Congratulations!

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PytoX
PytoX

Wow this is just pure awesomeness, are all the spikes low poly models or so?

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altercuca
altercuca

this is hard to believe its Source Engined!!! seriously well done m8. IMO Valve should use this as a Tech Demo :D, showing the true potential of source in the right hands!!!

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SolidFake
SolidFake

You should stop that project, it isn't good for your health.
No, really, if you don't stop, you can expect god himself to come down to the earth just to stomp you under his giant fist due to such amazing works, which are questioning the existence of god.

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projektariel
projektariel

Stunning, absolutely stunning! As the mapping and as a result the game play were the only areas not on par with the high level of quality of writing and sound in the original, I`m looking forward to play Dear Esther again in its new perfection! :)

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Kamikazi[Uk]
Kamikazi[Uk]

Wow very impressive level design.

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VirusxXx
VirusxXx

HOLY SHIZZLES!!!! It doesn't look like the source engine at all! I bet even Valve didn't know it could look that good!

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popsUlfr
popsUlfr

There are absolutely no words to describe the beauty gracing my eyes here.
If the sounddesign is on par with the graphics, I might die from awesome overdose.

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PhyOS
PhyOS

Wow. Really impressive.

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