Train2Game news: Half-Life mod Dear Esther gets trailer ahead of full release

Train2Game students should be interested in upcoming indie title Dear Esther for two reasons. First of all, it throws the rulebook for traditional game design out the window, and secondly it started life as a mod.

In terms of game design, Dear Esther is a first person ghost story in which you wander an island uncovering the reasons why you’re there and what’s going on as you explore the environment.  There are no guns, no weapons; Dear Esther is all about discovering the narrative, so it might prove to be an interesting experience for Train2Game students who  play it.

While Dear Esther is getting a full release, as mentioned above it started life as a mod built using Half Life-2’s Source engine and originally released in 2008 by Dan Pinchbeck, a researcher based at the University of Portsmouth. However, by 2010 the mod had been given support by Valve for a full, independent release, with a team of six people behind it.

Dear Esther is set for release on 14th February and Train2Game students can watch the trailer below.

You can find out more about Dear Esther on the game’s official website.

Dear Esther isn’t the first mod to get an official release. Heck, it isn’t even the first Valve mod to be officially released with huge titles such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress starting life as mods.

And in an interview with The Train2Game Blog, Valve’s Chet Faliszek said modding is a great way to break into the games industry.

“It’s a really good way for someone to get noticed because it shows that you’re able” he said.

“Normally modders have to work as a team and that’s important, and they also have to be able to finish something and that’s really important. So those two things together are a really good way to demonstrate that you’re ready to work in the industry.” Faliszek added.

For all the latest news about modding, and how it can be a great benefit to you, keep reading The Train2Game Blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Dear Esther? What does it say about the potential of modding?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

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