Train2Game news: “Presentational quality can be an integral part of gameplay” says Dear Esther creator

Train2Game Blog readers may recall the success of immersive indie title Dear Esther, and its creator Dan Pinchbeck has been discussing the importance of “presentational quality” in making a game a good experience.

He believes that’s just as important as other elements such as gameplay mechanics.

“Presentational quality really only came into play recently, not that presentational quality has been missing in games, but the discussion about how presentational quality can be an integral part of gameplay.” Pinchbeck told Gamasutra.

“Games like Assassin’s Creed or Skyrim or S.T.A.L.K.E.R., for example, they work not just for their mechanics, they work because they present these incredible worlds.” said Thechineseroom founder.

He added that if game developers put time and effort into making a game world believable, then players will become more engaged as they’re “more likely to buy into this world that’s being presented.”

Pinchbeck’s experimental; story driven indie title Dear Esther reached 50,000 sales in its first week on sale. As previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, it started life as a Half-Life 2 mod. Thechineseroom’s current project is a sequel to Frictional Games’ Amnesia: The Dark Descent, titled Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.

Train2Game students in the Nottingham area have the chance to see Pinchbeck give a talk about Amesia, storytelling, modding and more when he appears at GameCityNights on Wednesday. There’s more information about it right here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on Pinchbecks comments on “presentational quality.” How important is a game’s world in immersing you in that title?

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

Train2Game news: Dear Esther creator to speaking at GameCityNights this month

Train2Game students based near Nottingham can an insight into the development of Dear Esther, as creator Dan Pinchbeck is set to offer a behind the scenes look at his work at GameCityNights later this month.

As recently reported by The Train2Game Blog, experimental indie title Dear Esther sold 50,000 copies through Steam in its first week on sale. It started out life as a mod for Half-Life 2.

Thechineseroom founder will cover of areas, including storytelling in games and turning a mod into a full-release, which will surely be useful for Train2Game students who can get to the GameCityNights event.

“I’ll cover the studio’s humble beginnings as a mod team working as part of a research project based at the University of Portsmouth and the philosophy behind the studio’s work, and how this led to this year’s cult indie hit, Dear Esther.” said Pinchbeck.

“I’m also excited to introduce the studio’s two current projects: Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, an open-world purestory game that takes Dear Esther’s explorations of storytelling and gameplay to a new level; and the recently announced Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, a sequel to Frictional Games’ indie horror classic.”

“Along the way, I’ll take in the relationship between academia and the games industry; managing an indie start-up; how to turn an experimental mod into a successful commercial release; and the central design principles of thechineseroom.

“Expect fear, despair, guilt, loss, death, emptiness and some insight into how you can make games fun even without the gameplay.”  he concluded.

The GameCityNights event takes place in Nottingham at 18:00 on 29th March. For more information, and to buy a £4 ticket, visit GameCityNights website.

There’s more about Dear Esther here on The Train2Game Blog.

So Train2Game, will you be attending GameCityNights? And what are your thoughts on Dear Esther?

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

Train2Game news: Indie game Dear Esther reaches 50,000 sales in first week

Train2Game Blog readers will have seen that experimental indie title Dear Esther sold 16,000 copies in its first 24 hours on sale.

Of course, sales didn’t stop there as developers Thechineseroom have revealed 50,000 copies of Dear Esther were sold in the first seven days after release.

“You may have seen the news that we repaid Indie Fund within 6 hours of launch, as the game has been successful far beyond our expectations. This is great, as it shows that there’s a real audience for this type of work, and responses have been amazing.” wrote developer Dan Pinchbeck on the Dear Esther website.

“Not only have we received amazingly positive reviews, but the response from fans has been outstanding. Within one week of launch, we sold over 50,000 copies of the game, which is an extraordinary amount for an indie release.” he said, before adding that patches and updates for Dear Esther are on the way.

The news should encourage Train2Game students, as it shows that it’s still very possible for an indie game to be successful.  More information about the game that started life as a Half-Life 2 mod is here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on the success of Dear Esther? Have you played it? If so, what did you think?

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