Dear Esther

Posted by: Mary

Dear Esther - 01/07/13 09:19 PM

Is Steam the only place to get Dear Esther? It's my kind of first person, beautiful, look all over kind of "game", but with nothing else to do but look around, I'm a bit hesitant at getting it.
Posted by: MaG

Re: Dear Esther - 01/07/13 09:27 PM

Check HERE for a Steam free version download. luck
Posted by: LeBelleRachael

Re: Dear Esther - 01/07/13 09:29 PM

You can also get it on greenman gaming,

6 bucks and change!! luck
Posted by: Uncle Reg

Re: Dear Esther - 01/08/13 01:07 AM

Is this a keyboard controlled game?
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Dear Esther - 01/08/13 08:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Uncle Reg
Is this a keyboard controlled game?

Here's a description of the controls from ***the Steampowered forum***
1. you have the standard, W,S,A,D for forward backward, left right movements.

2. you have Q which is for swimming. You can enter the ocean, almost anywhere along the Island shoreline. The water can be shallow, or deep and dangerous, with many unknowns.

Q is there to save your life.

Used along with W, Q gets you out of danger, drowning or worse.

3. you have Zoom control, which helps a lot, its like using binoculars. The Zoom control really aids you while searching around the Island; while inside buildings to see objects up close, to inspect clues drawn on walls etc.
Posted by: Rushes

Re: Dear Esther - 01/08/13 09:34 AM

I found Dear Esther to be a gorgeous experience. The gameplay is from walking around the island and down inside the stunning caves, listening to the random narration and working out and piecing together Esther's (and the narrator's) story. If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, best avoid. But I loved it!
Posted by: Mary

Re: Dear Esther - 01/08/13 10:13 AM

After your post I'm not sure I want to get this game after all: I have to get out of danger, keep myself from drowning, or WORSE? This is NOT the quiet, calm, enjoying the landscape "game" that I thought it was!
Posted by: Rushes

Re: Dear Esther - 01/08/13 10:45 AM

Mary, don't worry, there's no worse! There's the possibility of drowning only if you wade too far out into the water, and even then you're placed straight back on land after the blackscreen. Nothing else bad can happen, unless you deliberately jump off a cliff or into a chasm! The original poster at the Steam forum was exaggerating madly there.
Posted by: Mary

Re: Dear Esther - 01/08/13 10:49 AM

PHEW! Thanks for the info, Rushes; I may still get the game.

I've never had any experience with Green Man Gaming. Their price is better than Steam, though.
Posted by: Uncle Reg

Re: Dear Esther - 01/09/13 07:43 AM

Jenny, thanks for finding that info.

Rushes, the gameplay that you describe does sound inviting, but I asked about keyboard control because the ring finger of my left hand has very limited mobility, which makes using keyboard control difficult. I try to stay away from games that require constant use of the keyboard for player movement.
Posted by: Rushes

Re: Dear Esther - 01/09/13 07:47 AM

It's also possible to play with the mouse for panning left and right, Uncle Reg. My preferred method was to use the mouse to pan, and the W key for forward movement. The controls are also programmable from Options to suit the individual. smile
Posted by: oldbroad

Re: Dear Esther - 01/09/13 08:44 PM

Mary - I believe Just Adventure also has it for $9.99.
Posted by: Mary

Re: Dear Esther - 01/09/13 08:57 PM

Thanks, oldbroad. I'm still trying to decide if the keyboard controls will work for me: I ran poor Grim Fandango into so many walls with my keyboard control of him, that I was feeling sorry for him!
Posted by: Chief

Re: Dear Esther - 01/09/13 10:07 PM

Mary, go for it.

It's a very large outdoor (and caves) place to visit.

As Rushes said, the W key for forward movement and the mouse to pan right and left.
I don't even remember using the A S D keys.

Have fun.

Chief wave
Posted by: gamenut

Re: Dear Esther - 01/10/13 01:39 PM

Has anyone used the service OnLive ? Is it trustworthy? Dear Esther is on it. I am interested because my laptop is several years old, from what I understand you can play games with an older computer that you might not be able to play otherwise.
Posted by: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Dear Esther - 01/10/13 01:51 PM

Never heard of it. Hopefully a member will know more.
Posted by: gamenut

Re: Dear Esther - 01/10/13 02:10 PM

It was the bottom site listed on the link MaG provided for 'steam free'. apparently you can pay for 'days' of play or Playpack subscription for unlimited play @ $9.99 mo. My concern is always about security about my private info and for my pc! Just had not heard of the service (but then I tend to be the last to know anything)and didn't know anyone else who used it. there's a UK site for it and the US one(the one i went to). There were a couple of Adventure games shown besides 'shooters' or RPG.
Posted by: Rushes

Re: Dear Esther - 01/10/13 02:51 PM

I haven't used OnLive, but unless you're planning on playing a lot of games with them then the membership subscription charge sounds a bit of a rip-off. If Dear Esther is the only game that interests you, best to snap it up cheap from Steam, I'd say. smile
Posted by: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Dear Esther - 01/10/13 03:35 PM

MaG referred to the page to get the very first DRM free Dear Esther that says Steam Free version. I do not believe she was endorsing the other links on the page.

Ana wave

Posted by: gamenut

Re: Dear Esther - 01/10/13 05:18 PM

Thanks fellow 'boomers! There were a couple of other adventure games I saw that was also interested in...have not gone through the whole listings yet.
Ok--understand about link for Steam Free version.
Thanks for any info.
Posted by: Uncle Reg

Re: Dear Esther - 01/11/13 09:08 AM

Well, I decided to take a chance based on Chief's and Rushes' comments on using the W key and pan with mouse movement; as well as the Steam-free version pointed out by MaG. I'm glad I took the plunge, I'm enjoying this.

Are there any player interactions with the environment that require using the mouse button? If not, I have found that, in addition to being able to program the movement keys to use different keys, you can also program the left mouse button to replace the W key for forward novement. This provides movement that is exactly like the original 1st person view in the Sherlock Holmes games (Arsene Lupin, The Awakening, etc.), where you held down the left mouse button to move, and steered by moving the mouse from side to side.

During the course of my exploring, I was following a narrow path between two high rock walls, when all of a sudden, a loading screen appeared. It looked almost like I had fallen, this narrow path being covered with plants, and no actual visibility with the ground. Continuing on from this point I came upon a big wrecked ship, and later on moving up the hill I discovered a house with a smaller building adjacent to it. If I remember correctly, this place where I fell(?) occurred shortly after I had passed a group of large standing stones arranged almost in a circular pattern, and there was a book lying on the ground among the stones. After passing the wrecked ship, I tried to retrace my steps to see if I could find this area again, but I was unsuccessful. Does any of this sound familiar to those that have played the game? Was that loading screen supposed to indicate something like a fall?
Posted by: Rushes

Re: Dear Esther - 01/11/13 10:28 AM

By holding down the left mouse button you can achieve a short zoom-view of what's ahead of you. I guess that could be reprogrammed to a different key if you want that feature.

The loading screen that you saw was the transition from one chapter to the next (there are four chapters in the game). Once you move into a new chapter then it isn't possible to return to a previous area -- unless you go back to main menu and reload the last chapter to play from the start of it.

Glad you're enjoying it so far, Uncle Reg! thumbsup
Posted by: Uncle Reg

Re: Dear Esther - 01/11/13 01:28 PM


Mine came with the right mouse button programmed for the Zoom mode. That's what caused me think that I might be able to program the left mouse button also. I tried it, and it worked. Left mouse button moves forward, and right mouse button zooms the view.

Now that I look closely at the small screenshots of the four chapters on the main menu, the one for the 2nd chapter does look like that wrecked ship that I described. Since my last post, I have explored further, and hit another loading screen. This one was definitely a fall into the underground cave, and it looks like the picture that's shown for the third chapter. However, when I restart the game, the only chapter that I can start is the first one. I can load the saved game and jump to where I saved, which is now at the start of the underground cave, but I am not able to select the second or the third chapter to start from the main menu, even though it appears that I have advanced that far in the game. Is this a bug? Is that the way it worked for you?
Posted by: Rushes

Re: Dear Esther - 01/11/13 04:44 PM

If you select New Game from main menu, that should take you into a screen with four screenshots, one for each chapter. Supposing that you've reached the third chapter, you should be able to load and play the first three from their starting point by clicking on the respective screenshot.

I've never used the mid-chapter save feature, simply because I tend to play the game straight through in one sitting rather than in chunks. grin
Posted by: Uncle Reg

Re: Dear Esther - 01/12/13 12:32 AM

Mine doesn't work like you describe. Mine doesn't say New Game on the main menu, it says Start. When I click on Start it takes me to the screen with the four screenshots, but the only one that works is Chapter One. It has a yellow border around it and the other three do not. When I click on Chapter Two or Three nothing happens. The only chapter I can load from this screen is Chapter One. The only way I can get to Chapter Two is to start Chapter One and play all the way through to Chapter Two. The only way I can get to Chapter Three is to either start Chapter One and play all the way through to Chapter Three or start Chapter One and press F7 to load Chapter Three at the point where I last saved.
Posted by: Rushes

Re: Dear Esther - 01/12/13 06:41 AM

Oh yes, that's right, Start. I couldn't recall exactly. smile Perhaps your version is slightly different in that you have to play the whole game through first before all four chapters unlock fully? think I have the original Steam version. Push forward and see what happens.

(There'll be a fade-out to black at the end of chapter four, and that isn't a glitch, it's how it's meant to be. You then have to exit out back to main menu and that's the finish. The ending has caused confusion for some folks where they think the game has crashed.)
Posted by: Uncle Reg

Re: Dear Esther - 01/12/13 02:55 PM

You may be right about having to play all the way through first before all chapters are unlocked. I did a lot of reading on the Steam Dear Esther forum last night, and found several references that hinted at that, but they were from players like us, not the developers, so they may be somewhat less than accurate. I did find a workaround where you can unlock all chapters manually. It involves enabling the developer console from the Options > Keyboard/Mouse section, activating the console with the tilde (~) key, and typing in "ui_lastmap_played 4" (without the quotes). I tried this and it worked. This did come from the developer, you can read about it by going to that link that MaG posted for the Steam-free version, selecting Info from the menu across the top, and going to the FAQ section from there. There's also a Forums link on that top menu that will take you to the Steam Dear Esther forum. There's lots of discussions on the game there.

Posted by: robedits

Re: Dear Esther - 01/12/13 04:50 PM

As short as it is, it's one of the most beautiful games I've ever played. Haunting and stunning.
Posted by: Uncle Reg

Re: Dear Esther - 01/13/13 10:04 AM

There were several things that I read about during my ramblings on the Dear Esther forum last night that I didn't mention in my previous post, and that I feel are worthy of mentioning.

1. There were numerous reports that there is some degree of randomness with which the narrations are played, both as to which ones are played, and possibly the location that triggers some of them. In other words, If you play through the game a second time, you are likely to hear some narrations that you didn't hear the first time.

2. In addition to the narrations, there are some visuals that may vary with different playings. One such scene is a dream-like sequence where you see two cars on the highway. Sometimes during this scene it was reported that you don't see the two cars, but you see a hospital bed instead.

3. There were numerous reports that during their exploring players had encountered sighting people or other creatures. Some were merely silhouettes far off on a distant horizon that disappeared if you tried to get closer, or even just turned in their direction, but some of them could be approached closely enough to make out some detail. Some of these showed some obvious other-worldly characteristics, such as hooded figures, some with glowing eyes. A lot of these reported sightings were documented with screenshots. There appears to be some degree of randomness in these sightings also.

All in all, these reports were part of a general consensus of a lot of players, that if you only play this game through one time, you're going to miss a bunch of stuff.
Posted by: Marian

Re: Dear Esther - 01/13/13 03:03 PM

Very interesting info, Uncle Reg. Thank you! wave