November 23rd, 2011

Dear Esther at beta, scheduled for early 2012 release

Screenshot from beta version of Dear Esther

It’s been a while without any updates as we’ve ported Dear Esther across to the Portal 2 engine, but we’re finally done, and work has now started on integrating Steamworks. So we’ve started discussions with Valve about a launch window, and this is looking very likely to be either the end of January or the beginning of February next year.
There’s still a bunch of stuff to be done – lots of testing on lots of machines, tweaking and fine-tuning the environment and audio, getting all the surrounding work done that goes along with launching a game but isn’t the actual build itself. But it’s very close – we’re pretty comfortably at beta (without Steamworks) so it’s a major milestone for us.
Right now, we’re being judged for IGF and fingers crossed we make the final there. We’re also going to be presenting at GDC in the main conference track, which is brilliant, so it’s all hopefully shaping up for a great 2012.
And just because you’ve all been really, really patient, here’s some new images and an excerpt of the new soundtrack: Dear Esther soundtrack excerpt by Jessica Curry

Dear Esther screenshot 1

Dear Esther screenshot 2

Dear Esther screenshot 3

Dear Esther screenshot 4

Oh and don’t forget to Vote for us in IndieDB’s IOTY! :)

19 comments to Dear Esther at beta, scheduled for early 2012 release

  • jack_wade

    Well, hello new wallpaper ^^

  • EhsanKia

    Is it a closed beta? I’ve followed this mod from the first version, which truly defined storytelling mods for me. I’ve been truly impressed with where you’ve taken the Source engine, and I’d love to contribute in any way possible to this wonderful project.

    I’ve helped in the testing of half a dozen mods on GoldSrc and Source engine before, and I’ve had over 10 years of experience with these engines. The blog post didn’t quite talk about the beta itself, so if you actually are looking for people to break things and go to unexpected places, I’d be more than happy to help.

    It’s great to finally see a release date for this. I was slowly starting to think that we were gonna get BMS’d again. Good luck!

  • ETD

    I was following this mod/game for a really long time now, and it’s shaping up to be awesome!

    I finally made an account so i could comment here.
    The screenshots are amazing, i know a bit about the source engine (i can make basic maps, nothing too great) and is seems impossible to me how the engine could look THAT amazing.
    I am especially looking forward to the outside scenes (3rd and 4th image), since they remind me a lot of the area south of San Francisco, along Highway 1. I was there this summer, it was amazing, everybody who loves awesome coastlines should go there some day.

    Anyway, just like EhssanKia i want to offer my help for beta testing, in case you want to include some “outsiders” in it. I don’t know too much about who the engine works, how you would improve something, but i know a bug when i see it and have already helped at a number of projects as tester. I always try to give the best feedback possible. Also, i can test on 3 different machines (2 Nvidia/Intel, one ATI/Intel). The ATI/Intel runs both Windows 7 and Mac OSX, so if you need a tester for that too I’m your man.

    Congrats to your awesome work!

  • Hey everyone,
    For the moment at least, the beta will be closed – really, really appreciate the offers, though. Cheers, dan

  • Jim

    Nice update, looks great and sounds fantastic. Wish it was coming sooner.

  • GaSHiSHiN

    Congratulate everyone in TheChineseRoom with this significant event. Hope that further situation with Dear Esther push you on development other projects with this concept.

    And few questions: what about mod Korsakovia? Can he repeat fate Dear Esther? I mean, can he become Indie as became Indie Dear Esther?
    And what about OST DE by Jessica Curry? Can he get separate release?

    Anyway, thank you TheChineseRoom for creating a unique vision of PC gaming.

    P.S.: Sorry for mistakes and misunderstandings, English not a native.

  • jaaamessunderland

    Are we still looking forward to a collectors limited edition release including bloopers, ost, making of and amazing box art ? because this looks good enough to shove vast quantities of cash at.
    Also, seconding GaSHiSHiN, a proper ost release will be necessary, i’m afraid, because the music is out there, all alone in a field of awesomeness of its own.
    finally, please do not remake korsakovia in the same fashion, because then we are going to have make babies for you to kiss.

  • kikito

    I just registered to say that this looks amazing, and I’m looking forward to it.

  • Corey_Faure

    I am so happy to see this edition of Dear Esther to finally move into beta stage. Thank you VERY much for the new OST clip sample as well, it really shows the brilliance of the upcoming release when paired with the screenshots (I set the full moon screenshot as my wallpaper).

  • GrAlex

    Finally made a wordpress account to comment here as well :P Your work looks amazing. Would also like to know if you plan on making a limited edition with goodies as well, or if it is only going to have a steam download release. I don’t want to miss the preorder on this one if there’s a limited edition hehe.

  • logokas

    Finally, some news!

    The screenshots do not dissapoint in the slightest. Robert has truly set a new level of graphic fidelity standards in mods, showing that even a small team can make environments as colorful and detailed as AAA-run of the mill-multimillion production-a la battlefield 3 and crysis- games.

    If only i could get into that Closed beta.

    My only concern arises when i hear the piece of music. Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely beautifully remastered from the original without obscuring the base material in the slightest, but i cannot help but feel that it’s too..lively. I loved the simple, but powerful piano renditions because they were simple in nature, and its’ erratic, almost chaotic form gave the whole environment that sense of abandonment and the subconsious hint that it was not truly real. Compare it to the rearrangements with the extra instruments, and i find it a bit vivid, as if too much colour has been poured into a sepia, dark, war story, if such an analogy makes sense.

    I don’t mean to discourage any of you, just providing some insight. As i said, it is still beautiful to listen to, just a little out of place when i place it into context.

  • oktoberstorm

    Will the highest settings have 4096x textures through and through?

  • FabioBento

    Jesus Christ! The music is freaking awesome O.O

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