"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...
Dear Esther was launched in June 2008 and has been downloaded over 25,000 times. It has been selected for exhibition at E3 (Los Angeles), GameCity (Nottingham, UK) and the presitgious Ars Electronica exhibition 2008 (Linz, Austria). The music was selected for an honary mention at the 2008 international Machinima awards, and the mod made ModDB's 2008 Mod of the Year Top 100.
Dear Esther was created as part of thechineseroom's ongoing development-led research into first-person gaming, originally funded through the Arts & Humanities Research Council's speculative research grant programme." (Dan Pinchbeck)
Dan Pinchbeck'mod for Half-Life 2 is currently being updated by Robert Briscoe, a game artist who also worked on Mirror's Edge for the PS3.