Q. What is the release date for Dear Esther?

A. Dear Esther is out now!

Q. Will Dear Esther be available for the Mac OS or other platforms?

A. Dear Esther is now available for both Mac and PC, and we’re working hard to bring the game to more platforms in the future!

Q. What system requirements are needed to play Dear Esther smoothly?

A. Check out the system specs on our downloads page for more info.

Q. Which languages will be available for the subtitles?

A. We now have translations available for 13 different languages, to check and see which ones are available, head on over here!

Q. Dear Esther is known for diversity in writing, richness in language, how will you assure the translations will have the same quality and richness?

A. Localisation will be done by the community for various complicated legal reasons – so we won’t be able to vouch directly for the quality of the translations in many cases. However, we do hope that this will be something the community will work through, and it will be an active, collaborative thing. The current plan is to have a ‘Translation Pack’ and ‘Community Language Pack’ ready a week or two after launch- The ‘Translation pack’ will have everything needed for the community to start doing more translations and the ‘Community Language Pack’ will contain all of the community translations we have received so far. It will basically be a crowd-sourced ongoing thing, driven by the community and hosted here on the website. Right now we’re good for translators, but keep you’re eye out post-release to find out how you can contribute to the translation effort!

Q. How much will Dear Esther Cost when it is released?

A. Lots of you have been asking about pricing, and we can confirm that Dear Esther will be available on Steam for the following prices: US – $9.99 UK – £6.99, Europe €7.99, Russia – 249RU, CIS – $7.99, EU Zone 2 – €6.99. (May be subject to change depending on Steam Sales etc)

Q. Will there be a physical (DVD/Store) retail release ?

A. At the moment we don’t have any plans for this, although we have been toying with the idea of doing a limited, collectors edition. For now though, that all depends on how well DE does with digital sales.

Q. Which authors (novels, movies) inspired the script of Dear Esther?

A. Dan (DE’s writer): “To be honest, most of my inspiration came from games. I did a doctorate in FPS games and this led to the questions that inspired Esther. But I guess in terms of authors I most identify with: Boris & Arkady Strugatsky, William Burroughs, Philip K. Dick, Margaret Atwood, Andrew Greig (if you haven’t read “That Summer” you haven’t lived), J.G. Ballard, Angela Carter, Sebastian Faulks (particularly Human Traces)… I love Soviet-era Russian sci-fi too: Kiri Bulychev and Dmitri Bilenkin are fantastic. Although they haven’t made it into our games yet, I’m a massive fan of good steampunkers too: G. W. Dahlquist and Stephen Hunt are superstars and I want to make a full-on Victoriana steampunk shooter before I die.”

Q. I want to convince friends to try Dear Esther in a few words, how can I describe it at best?

A. Dear Esther is a poetic ghost story told using game technologies. You explore a deserted island, uncovering a tale of love, loss, grief and redemption, delivered through stunning voice-over and soundtrack and set against one of the most beautiful environments yet created in a game. -How’s that sound?

Q. Will there be an official trailer to present the game to those who know nothing about Dear Esther?

A. The Trailer is out now, check it out!

Q. Will there be an official Soundtrack released at some point?

A. Yes, we’re really happy to announce that the official game soundtrack by Jessica Curry will be available from all the usual places (iTunes, 7Digital, etc) shortly after the game launches. We’ll update as soon as it’s officially out – in the meantime, you can listen to excerpts here.

Q. I haven’t played the original, should I wait for the commercial release? Will playing the original mod completely spoil it for me?

A. I think this is something you must decide for yourself. It’s a remake after all, but with a ton of additional visuals, details and depth of story added in. (Personally I think it will be worth it will be worth the wait! -Rob)

Q. Should Dear Esther be successful at retail, would you collaborate with thechineseroom again? Are future projects in the ‘exploration/interactive storytelling’ style of Dear Esther something you’ve discussed?

A. Rob: I’m guessing that’s aimed at me? I’m not sure what’s next for me after Esther, I really enjoy working with Dan and thechineseroom, but to be honest I haven’t really had time to think about it. I would certainly like to continue working on original projects like Esther and also maintain the creative freedom I’ve enjoyed having these past two years. I think it all depends on how well Dear Esther does and what options are available to me once it’s completed.

Q. Will Dear Esther have controller support?

A. *UPDATED* As of this time only Xbox360 controllers are supported. We’re trying to expand this so that other controllers work also but it may take some time.

Q. How do I load and save games in Dear Esther?

A. By default, quick load is bound to F7 and quick save is bound to F6. You can quick save at any time during your game, but in order to use quick load after quitting or restarting the game, you must first start a new game and then quick load. It’s a little fiddly I know, we overlooked this before release and subsequently didn’t have time to improve it before release.

Q. For some reason all of the chapters became locked, even though they were unlocked last time I played through the game, how can I fix this?

A. This sometimes happens when there is an update or when the game is uninstalled and reinstalled. To fix this just enable the developer console by going into Options>Keyboard/Mouse and set ‘Allow Developer Console’ to ‘Enabled’. Next, Open the developer console by pressing the tilde key (usually above tab and to the left of the number 1) and type in: ui_lastmap_played 4
This will unlock all chapters for you!

Q. How do I open the developer console in Dear Esther?

A. You can enable the developer console by going into Options>Keyboard/Mouse and set ‘Allow Developer Console’ to ‘Enabled’. Next, Open the developer console by pressing the tilde key (usually above tab and to the left of the number 1)

167 comments to FAQ

  • If you have any questions about us or Dear Esther, please post them here and I will add them to the FAQ :)

  • Jardoss

    Will Dear Esther be availble for the Mac OS ? Would love to try it!

  • admin

    Not initially. The license does cover ports, but at this point we don’t have the money to do that. If it goes really well, and we generate enough income to be able to port to other platforms, it’s certainly something we’d consider. Initially, you’d have to use Bootcamp – it runs fine under Bootcamp for my powerbook. Dan

  • Slade

    What system requirements does Dear Esther need to play it well ?
    Which languages will be available for the subtitles ?
    Which authors (novels, movies) inspired Dan Pinchbeck to write the script of Dear Esther ?
    I want to convince friends to try Dear Esther in a few words, how can I describe it at best ?

    Thanks in advance for reading and answering my questions, I have been following the project since a long time and I hope this would help thechineseroom to develop further games !

  • admin


    I’ll let Rob answer the technical question – put it this way, I’ve got a version running in Bootcamp on a Mac powerbook as well as an older PC, so it’s not going to be a Crysis.

    Languages – will announce formally in March. We had lots of offers as a mod (about 12 languages) but it’s only fair to let those people decide whether or not they still want to contribute to an indie. I have confirmations on French, German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Russian and Ukranian so far.

    Authors – to be honest, most of my inspiration came from games. I did a doctorate in FPS games and this led to the questions that inspired Esther. But I guess in terms of authors I most identify with: Boris & Arkady Strugatsky, William Burroughs, Philip K. Dick, Margaret Atwood, Andrew Greig (if you haven’t read “That Summer” you haven’t lived), J.G. Ballard, Angela Carter, Sebastian Faulks (particularly Human Traces)… I love Soviet-era Russian sci-fi too: Kirill Bulychev and Dmitri Bilenkin are fantastic. Although they haven’t made it into our games yet, I’m a massive fan of good steampunkers too: G. W. Dahlquist and Stephen Hunt are superstars and I want to make a full-on Victoriana steampunk shooter before I die.

    Dear Esther is a poetic ghost story told using game technologies. You explore a deserted island, uncovering a tale of love, loss, grief and redemption, delivered through stunning voice-over and soundtrack and set against one of the most beautiful environments yet created in a game.

    Any good? Dan

  • edelnar

    What price do you intend to ask for it?

  • admin

    That’s hard to answer at this early stage – put it this way, it’ll be as cheap as we can viably make it. We’re certainly not talking about a full-price $50 game.

  • Slade

    Will the new soundtrack be available for download as the original one ? For free or for a fixed price ?
    Will there be an official trailer to present the game for those who know nothing about Dear Esther ?

    Thanks again for answering our questions !

  • admin

    Yes, there will be an official trailer nearer the release date. The soundtrack will probably go on sale via iTunes or similar, but the agreement with Jessica is that she’ll keep the proceeds of it. As we’re kind of on a shoestring budget, she’s taking a little less than a composer normally would, so she gets to keep music sales outside of the game. – dan

  • Paul

    Should Dear Esther be successful at retail, would you consider collaborating with thechineseroom on a new project in the same vein? Are future projects in the ‘exploration/interactive storytelling’ style of Dear Esther something you’ve discussed?

    It’s probably too early to answer questions like these, but I’d love to know whether there might be more to explore in the future :)

  • edelnar

    A question probably not for the FAQ.
    Dear Esther is known for diversity in writing, richness in language, with lots of allusions and references in its texts. How will you assure that translations will have the same quality and richness, and translators will fully understand what author is saying and capable to express the same on their language?
    For ukrainian, for example, how many transtors are going to help you? Will they check each other’s work, or they just going to translate their own part?
    I’m certain, that adequacy or negligence in translation will seriously affect on game’s reception and apprehension.

  • chwynn

    I have been left a little confused by the media surrounding this game, Will the indie release be a remake of the first, a sequel (either direct or just set in the same world), or will it be an entirely separate story?

    Could I also ask – will this be released on Steam?

    Thanks for your time,


  • aaron

    For some reason this game seems extremely appealing, saw some brief footages on youtube of the original mod and then the latest teaser with the amazing soundtrack, my question is, for those who haven’t played the original and are interested, should we wait for the commercial release? Will playing the original mod completely spoil it for us?

  • admin

    chwynn: It’s a remake, but with a fair amount of additional details and information added in. Think of it as a Director’s Cut. It will be released on Steam.

    edelnar: Localisation will be done by the community for various complicated legal reasons – so we won’t be able to vouch directly for the quality of the translations in many cases. However, we do hope that this will be something the community will work through, and it will be an active, collaborative thing. Sorry I can’t be more exact that that, still early days…

    Paul: there will be another chineseroom project starting development later this year, but we can’t say anything about Rob’s future relationship with the team. He’s not likely to be short of job offers following Esther’s release, so I don’t want to speculate on his behalf! Let’s get this one out first…


  • admin

    Aaron – I’d wait and play the commercial version, to be honest. But it won’t hurt to play the mod if you really want to :)

  • GMOSinc


    I’ve got a tiny question; if the re-make is a succes and you do get around to porting it to the Mac; will it be a SteamPlay title? (Then I wouldn’t mind buying it for the PC initially, even though I never really game on my PC.)


  • Jacob

    Is there any possibility of convincing Jessica Curry to sell the soundtrack through outlets other than iTunes? I know hoping for an actual CD is excessive and unnecessary but I and more likely many others are not iTunes users and if it’s possible (we) would like an alternative route to acquire it (Bandcamp or CDBaby perhaps).

  • Simplex

    Will there be English subtitles?

    What is the volume of the script (in words)? Are you looking for a Polish translator?

  • admin

    Hi there all,

    1. Ports all depend on money – we’ll have to see how it goes.
    2. I think Jess will probably explore all the options, so hope so!
    3. There will be english subtitles and other languages too we hope. Things are quite complicated at the moment as we wrap up all the legal and admin stuff, so it’s hard to say exactly how localisation will play out.

    Hopefully we’ll have a much fuller update in a couple of weeks

    cheers, dan

  • BloodyEyes

    Can you give a better estimate on the release date at this time?
    I’ve been watching Dear Esther closely for months now, very eager for its release.

  • Delacroix

    I’m volunteering to fully translate the game into Polish. If you’d like for the translation to be available on day one, I’d have to be supplied the necessary files earlier. I can sign an NDA if required. I will not charge for the translation, but make it available to you freely. :) A great game you have here, would love to support it.

  • kickme22

    Will there be a beta? If so, is there a release date and how to sign up for it?

  • August9091

    How can I donate?

  • Helvio Mota

    What about consoles (PS3, XBOX)?

  • philphan25

    Will the soundtrack be available for purchase?

  • Ralph99

    Will there be a retail edition on DVD? (Sorry, I know, I’m a bit old-fashioned…)

  • leotemp

    I recently watched the official trailer and was very impressed. The trailer’s narration is an amazing poem and I would really like some additional information on it or the name of the poet. Thanks!

  • h2

    Please tell me there will be Linux-Version! I will gladly buy it, but it only if it is supported on my OS!

    Thanks a lot for this very interesting looking project.

    P.S: As you may have heard with the Indie Bundles, there is a lot of interest in non-mainstream games within in the linux community, so it would really be worth porting.

    • clemlovesjesus

      I would also like to request a native Linux version. Not a Wine combo. I know there is a article on OMG! Ubuntu saying that there is one available with the humble bundle. But I don’t know if I want the whole bundle as I don’t think all are Linux games, as well as some seem like they would have gameplay elements that would be against my Christian values (i.e. Magic or extreme violence).

      So I would personally prefer to purchase the game Dear Esther direct from the devs. More direct support and not gettting games I don’t want.

      Thank you for any info you can give, and God Bless you and your work.

  • Picca

    Are You looking for an italian translater or You already have it one?:D

  • Carlos Santos

    Dear “Dear Esther” staff,
    I would like to apply to translate the game’s subtitle into Portuguese(Portugal). I will do all of the work free of charge and I have no problem filling any kind of legal papers for this to work.
    I have some experience, but nothing that has been made public.
    Thank you very much, and please inform me of any way I can support the game.
    Best regards,
    Carlos João Santos

  • Eatpi

    First of all, I love everything about this project. I really wish I knew about this sooner, my fault really. I do plan to get the game but I was wondering if I could donate in any other way.


  • imagine

    Do you plan to use only Steam as digital distribution platform or will Dear Esther be available also on other channels?

  • 28

    Hi! I still can’t believe you used the Source Engine :D
    Could you tell me the time of the release?

  • willowspy1967

    Approx game time anyone? I’ve read a review of Dear Esther and it says it’s only an hour long. Please tell me this is a mistake. The reviewer did mention it twice though so I’m slightly worried now. Please tell me it’s longer than one hour.

  • THIS_IS____me

    can the game be played on Windows 7

  • InSilence

    Dear Esther won’t work on my computer, I am using windows 7. Is windows 7 not supported?

  • Mouser

    Does not start on mine either, Windows 7 X64, 2 x Nvidia GTX 470 SLI, Intel E8500, 8 Gigs RAM.

    Very disappointed this game was not tested probably to ensure compatibility, was REALLY looking forward to playing it now.


  • Styvesant

    I am using Windows 7 x64 with 560Ti and no problems here.

    Very well done with the game, I really hope to see more of ‘em.

  • creppers

    there are plans to use the achievements?

  • Jono4468

    Look Great, But wish i could play it. I have brought the game last night, and for some odd reason the game will not load (play). I have redownlaod it and everything i can think of doing.please help

  • InSilence

    I restarted steam and Dear Esther still is not working. (Quad core Acer / Windows 7 x64/ 4GB Ram / Ati Radeon 1gb card)).

    • do you have the latest drivers installed? Also check that your firewall isnt blocking it – we’ve been hearing of some anti-virus apps giving false positives on the game also so if all esle fails, try running it with antivirus turned off

  • LeNomade

    Hello there.

    I bought the long awaited Dear Esther yesterday, and it’s as beautiful as expected. However I have noticed that there are no french or any other language subtitles yet, so it may be difficult to understand for people who don’t have a correct level of understanding of english.

    Well, I’m not here to criticize. I would just like to know if there would be a way for me to contribute to the translation effort along with other french translators ? That would really be an interesting experience to me.

    Thanks in advance :)

  • MichaelPalin

    Hi there.

    I would like to know if I can back up the installation folder once installed and then copy and play the game without any authentication with Steam. Bascially I’m asking if I can make a DRM-free back up of this game. Also, this.

  • XdyeXD

    Really you need to translate the game in more languajes, especially a game like this, u are losing lot of potentials customers like me for this reason.
    Imo spanish and chinese are a must, are more spoken than english.

  • InSilence

    Dear Robert,

    With Anti Virus switched off (Firewall as well) the game still refuses to start. I am clueless, tried everything. I really can’t wait to experience this new form of art. Looking forward to a solution. Tom.

  • InSilence

    Hi Robert, thanks for the suggestion. I tried that this morning, no luck though. Really clueless here.

  • Mouser

    There is a soundsystem file that does get marked as a false positive by NAV, but I have seen that before, and the other games still start no problem.

  • willowspy1967

    I don’t mean to sound pessemistic but is no-one else bothered with the fact the game is so short. Under an hour by all accounts. I appear to be the only person concerned with this having submitted a post above which wasn’t replied to. Can anyone tell me why I should part with £7 for under an hours entertainment? If it really is that good then I will happily purchase it. Thanks.

    • Styvesant

      Yeah I can understand that, willowspy.

      I paid $10 AUD and it was over in the blink of an eye. I’m really interested in what the devs have to say about this; if anything. Still a beautiful game though (if it can be called that), and for some reason I think that if the game went for a while longer, it maybe wouldn’t have the same effect. But on the other hand, it would’ve been nice.

      • willowspy1967

        Thanks for the reply Styvesant, I was beginning to think I was going to be completely ignored. I too, would very much like to hear the thoughts of the devs on this issue. I am very pleased the game has done so well and they’ve sold many 1000′s of units but I think I will wait on this one for a while, perhaps when they lower the price at some point. I appreciate that £7 is not a lot of money compared to some new games but it is when you realise it’s under an hour long. That makes it over £1 for every ten minutes play time. I can’t think of any other game that offers that much buck for game. Well done anyway guys.

        • Timobkg

          I don’t know where this hangup on video game length got started, but I think it’s a problem that harms video games and needs to stop.

          Do you check the run time of a movie before deciding if you will go see it or not? Do you count the pages in a book, or the minutes of a CD? Do you pick which museum to go to by the number of exhibits they have? Do you select a restaurant or meal based on the ounces of food they’ll give you? No? Then why worry about video game duration rather than the content, quality, and enjoyment of the experience?

          Dear Esther is a unique experience. I enjoyed the 90 minutes it took me to play through it, and I know I missed some things and thus will likely play through it a second time.

          Given the large quantity of free and free-to-play games available, you could conceivably fill every waking hour without spending a $. Thus, if you’re going to spend money on video game entertainment, wouldn’t you rather spend your money on a unique and enjoyable experience that you can’t find anywhere else? Wouldn’t you rather fill your valuable and limited time with quality instead of quantity?

  • Mouser

    Yeap, the game does not start at all for me, tried to run as admin, cmd prompt, restarted Steam, rebooted PC, newest drivers, but the game will not start no matter what.

    All my other games run awesome BTW, yours is the only one that does not.

  • InSilence


    Same here, tried it all.

    • Styvesant

      Have you tried:

      -Rolling back your drivers?
      -Uninstalling any ASUS software like: GamerOSD and Doctor (if you have an ASUS graphics card?)
      -Create a shortcut of Esther, and try running in compatibility mode.

      All I could think of atm.

      Best of luck.

  • unrated

    When will there be the first translation pack? [including german]


  • Vbot

    Hey Robert! I was wondering if the soundtrack could be aquired in lossless audio format such as flac or wav instead of mp3?

  • 1corn

    I love what I’ve seen so far. BUT: Unfortunately the game always crashes after about 5 min and my system reboots whatever I do. I’ve tried a lot of different settings but the result is always the same. My system: Windows 7 64 Bit, i5 @ 2.7 GHz, crappy GeForce 220 GT (but latest drivers installed), 6 GB Ram, 1920×1080 pixels (I tried a few other resolutions, too).

    • 1corn

      Ok, not sure if this helps, but it always seems to happen during the third time the narrator talks – regardless of whether I’m walking on the beach or climbing a path at that time.

  • LuisC

    Hello, Can I help with a translation to Spanish ? I would be glad to do that, I’ve worked before translating and I would love to contribute to this game. Sorry if I’m asking on the wrong place.

  • Music

    Q. Will Dear Esther have controller support?

    A. Yes, the game supports both the PC Xbox controller and most other third party controllers

    Hi. I’m using a modded original XBox controller on Windows 7 x64.
    All of the controls work except for the right analog stick that would allow me to look around. Can you give me any hints what file to modify or what bindings to change in the console to get the look function working?

  • InSilence

    Dear Styvesant

    Thanks for your support! Nothing works for me though, I gave up on the game now after hours and hours of working on it. All my other games (+- 40 games) work fine. Really hate missing out on this.

  • mrpump123

    This game reminds me much of JurassicPark – Trespasser (1998)

  • InSilence


    That was a classic!

  • Stat1c_V01D

    Hello Robert Briscoe,

    We are a group of people that translated Dear Esther into Russian over here: http://notabenoid.com/book/26354/ – how soon can you evaluate the translation and would you adopt it as an official one. There are a lot of people eager to play this really awesome game and get into the story. What do you say? Please, answer ASAP.

    Best regards,


  • BitBlocker

    I simply cannot beat this game. At some point in time the game will crash and I will be unable to select the nearest area that I was at, at the start screen. The last time I managed to get from the beginning to the caves, but as soon as the caves started loading it crashed. I’m getting kinda fed up chancing beating this game. It’s ridiculous because I could have beaten the game twice over by now if it weren’t for the bugs.

    I like the game, don’t get me wrong.. It’s just the bugs make it hard for me to recommend to anyone or to myself, even.

  • unknownwake

    Hi, I read through your FAQ and it mentioned that most 3rd party controllers would be supported in Dear Esther. I thought that the Logitech controller I use was pretty common and didn’t think I’d have an issue with it, but I was surprised to find that even though movement mapped perfectly fine to the D-pad, looking didn’t map so well to the right analog stick. I can look up, and i can look down, but if i tilt the stick to either the left or the right, the game is unresponsive regardless of how I set my sensitivity. The left analog stick does not appear do to anything.
    It also appears that I’m not the only one having this issue, as someone with a modded xbox360 controller already posted a comment here. I really hope this can be resolved soon, as I find playing with a conroller far more immersive for “games” of this nature (especially since my primary computer is a laptop with a touch pad.)

    Thanks for any help you can give me,

  • InSilence

    After days of tweaking I still can’t start the game, am I alone here or are there still some people with the same issues?

  • fabiogm

    I bought the game yesterday and hoped that there were at least subtitles in Portuguese Brazil. Please, there is no way to create subtitles for my country? The game is quite complicated without subtitles. Thank you in advance

  • DearAdmin

    @InSilence I have the same Problem. I bought Dear Esther on 17. February and still can´t play the game. I´m very sad about this…

    @Admin plz fix it! I want to play Dear Esther!

  • InSilence

    I decided to click on the Dear Esther shortcut this afternoon just for fun, to my surprise the game actually DID start lol.. Remember I clicked on the shortcut 99 times before and nothing happened, couldn’t start the game since I bought it. I didnt change anything on my computer, no windows/driver updates or anything so this is realy mysterious (Like the game).

  • JohannT

    I’ve seen quite a few Gameplays or Let’s Plays (however you might waht to call it) on YouTube of the game and bought it after watching a few parts. Is everyone allowed to make such videos (given they don’t say bad things about the game)? And what about the monetisation function of YouTube?

    • I don’t mind people doing Let’s Plays, and although i’m not overly keen on the idea of people monetising them, Im not going to go out of my way to stop them. (and as long as they’re playing a legit version of the game of course!)

  • Lyni

    Hey, first just wanted to say thanks so much for this game <3 The main reason I game is for story, and this was the pinnacle of any I played so far.
    Wanted to ask, do you plan to release the SDK content? I'm dying to use the assets used in this, and would be extremely grateful.

  • Hello! I would like to help translate the subtitles into Swedish, is this of any interest to you?

  • JackDawson

    I HATE STEAM and will never buy this if that’s all your platform is. If you EVER put it on DVD for sale, then i’m all for this kind of game. I loved MYST and even though there were puzzles in MYST, I just enjoyed walking around. And this game is perfect. BUT STEAM ?? Seriously ? They got hacked 4 weeks ago and several accounts were broken into. Forget it if you guys never get away from steam !

  • LongTran


    I bought Dear Esther on Steam awhile ago, and I just tried playing it again recently, but the game won’t start. I get a quick message that says “Preparing to launch Dear Esther,” and then nothing happens. I have messaged Steam about the problem, but if you guys know anything about how to fix this issue it would be much appreciated. I really want to finish the game.

    Also how do you save your progress in the game? I’ve started from the beginning every time I play. Do I have to play for a certain amount of time, or reach a certain place for the game to save?

    • This sometimes happens due to Antivirus software falsely detecting DE as a virus and deleting some game files. Try disabling your AV software, then go to the game’s properties in steam and Verify the integrity of the game cache, then relaunch DE. If that doesn’t work it could be a firewall problem, but that shouldn’t be the case tbh.


  • Rex_The_Argonian

    I’ve got a really annoying glitch/bug, and I don’t know what to do.
    I can start the game up and everything, but when I load up the first chapter, the screen is black. I can hear the sounds and speech, and see subtitles. I can hear myself walking etc, but I can’t see anything. It’s just a completely black screen. If you know how to fix this, that’d be great. :)
    All my graphic settings are on low.

    Cheers anyways.

    • hmm this is odd, can your try this:

      1. Go to options>keyboard/Mouse>and enable developer console
      2. start a game, see if it’s still black, if so open the console with the tilde key (the key below the esc button) and type in:


      3. let me know if it fixes it. Thanks.

  • Jan.dev

    How do you save your progress in the game? I’ve started from the beginning every time I play. Do I have to play for a certain amount of time, or reach a certain place for the game to save?

    Same question as LongTran
    April 7, 2012 at 8:07 pm

  • XtremeCore

    @Jan.dev:: u must be using windows 7,,its pretty simple to fix this up,,just start the game as administrator every time!!!!

  • badenwrens

    Purchased through Steam, running Windows 7. Cannot locate any save games. Can generate save in-game but have no option to reload. Quick load does not appear to do anything. Have tried running Steam as Administrator and same problem. Pretty disappointed as have now lost 80 minutes of play. Please advise.

  • veedeeru

    Same problem as LongTran, Jan.dev and badenwrens – chapters don’t get unlocked automatically when reached, and no way to save progress manually, so have to restart from 1st chapter each time. Lost *hours* of gameplay :(
    Tried starting as admin as suggested by XtremeCore – same result.
    Same problems on 2 computers running Windows 7 and Vista (the latter with Steam apps in a separate unprotected directory – not Program Files)
    Dear Devs! Please help us all!
    The first impression from the game was that I’m finally in Heaven :) , but now it’s just like Hell.

    • veedeeru

      Please excuse my stupidity :-)
      Solution found: F6 quicksave / F7 quickload works between sessions, chapters are unlocked when game completed.
      Thanks again for terrific experience :)

      • Hi veedeeru, glad you got it in the end. Load and save are kind of obscure at the moment, to load a game from where you last quick-saved you first must start a new game and then you can press quick load. I have update the FAQ with more info on this, including how to unlock chapters manually from the console.


  • SwissTHX11384EB

    Problem : I cannot access the developer console, although I enabled it and tried all possible keys. Lots of people have been complaining about this and none of them seem to have any fix for it.

  • Foxtrot

    I’ve just paid for and downloaded Dear Esther through amazon and humble bundle and have received the unique download email. However, when I download the directlink even though it downloads fully once it has finished the download reads ‘Cannot save due to insufficient permissions. Please save to another location.’The only other option is a .torrent download which then fails to start. Could you help me please? I’m afraid I don’t know what this means or how to fix it. Or if it means that Dear Esther won’t run on my computer, I know I have the correct amount of memory but I’m not too sure of my computer’s graphics card and some other specs, but because I wanted to play Dear Esther so much I kind of just jumped. ^^; Thank you!

    • Hi Foxtrot, Which version did you download, Mac or PC? If it’s Mac then you have to make sure you are logged in as an admin and have admin permissions (This is standard for installing mac apps it seems). Also make sure you’re downloading it to a non system areas, like the desktop or your documents folder or something.


      • Foxtrot

        I’m downloading the PC version. I know this must sound really stupid, but I don’t suppose you could tell me how to save it to a specific place? ^^; Thanks for the help.

        • you can download and also install it to anywhere you want via the installer. The DRM free version is completely portable so you can copy the installation folder to anywhere you want and it will still work, even from your USB stick! :)

  • Kony

    Hey, I can’t wait to explore this game but I can’t get the camera to look around, I can walk sideways but I can’t turn the camera at all. Can someone tell me what to do? This game looks promising but I can’t play it if I can’t look around.

    • Hi Kony, are you using a gamepad/controller? If so Dear Esther is only compatible with the XBox 360 gamepad/controller at this point in time. If you’re not using a controller, try going into the options>controller and disabling the controller from there and see if that makes a difference.


  • Xeifab

    Hello, I was wondering if it is possible to activate a freecam order to explore this beautiful map. I tried to open the console but I can’t because when I activate the console in the settings and I press the tilde key its not working. Thank you in advance.

  • Xeifab

    OK it’s work now because I have a french keyboard. Thanks a lot for your help.

  • LostChocolate

    I am Korean who love dear esther. and I’m not good at Listening(and reading) English. So if i play this game, i have to capture the game screen, and i have to translate the script in the screenshot. i can’t be immersed in this game. moreover i can’t translate some sentences by myself. of course it is the matter of my English skill. but i’m exhasted.
    i’m wonder if you have a plan to make a Korean Language Pack.(because the language of main menu is in korean.)
    if you don’t have, please make a korean language pack for us who waiting for korean language.

    • Hi,

      Sorry to hear of your troubles, right now, all of our translations are created voluntarily by our community. The only reason we don’t yet have a Korean translation is because we haven’t had any volunteers to translate it into Korean for us. If you know of anyone who is both fluent in English and Korean and is willing to make us a translation we’d be more than happy to hear from them!


    • dagfari


      (난 한국말 잘못하고, 미안해요.)

      이포스트 1년에 이에요. 하지만, 너는 이거를 아직 보네요?


      이거는 한국어 번역 팩 이에요.

      I know this post is one year old. But did you see this already?

      It’s a Korean Translation pack for the subtitles.

      I think this game is worth playing more than once, if you haven’t understood the narrator. It’s really beautiful, right?


  • Nionb

    Hello i was looking and i decided to take some screenshots but after that i cant find them anywhere can you plaese tell me where they are saved?Thanks in advance :D

  • oliver1974

    I have problems with the developer console too… I enabled it in the options, but neither the key above TAB works nor the key combination which is usually bound to the “~” sign on my german keyboard here… Changing the keyboard layout to EN layout under windows doesn’t change anything for Dear Esther (.. it correctly changes the layout under windows). To all the german players/users/lovers of Dear Esther.. what key do you use for bringing up the dev console?

    • RookieOne

      If you have trouble opening the dev console (like me), you can put the commands you want to execute in a .cfg file:
      Go to your Steam directory and locate the \cfg\ sub-directory:

      C:\…\Steam\steamapps\common\dear esther\dearesther\cfg\

      Open (or create) the file autoexec.cfg with an (ASCII-) Editor (like Windows Notepad) and add the commands at the bottom. Adding:

      ui_lastmap_played 4

      will enable all 4 chapters, when you start a new game. Save file and start the game.

  • Hive Tyrant

    I use system MAC OS X, and I’ve bought Dear Esther + Soundtrack on Steam, but I can’t find the location of Soundtrack

    • The Soundtrack should be in your ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/steamapps/common/dear esther/ folder. If you cant find this folder (It is hidden by default in 10.7.x upwards) the try this:
      From Finder, hold down the Option key and click on the “Go” menu, then select the (new visible) “Library” item. This is the system library, and not the user library. You should now be able to locate the “Steam” folder in “Application Support.”

  • oliver...


    brought the game on Steam. At start I only get a black screen, but I hear music and sound. After searching for solutions I’ve tried the “-windowed”-command in Steam and also edit the video.txt to my screen resolution, without any luck. Changed the driver for my graphic card too, still the same.

    Don’t know what to do.

  • greykarel

    Hi, I recently played Dear Esther and fell in love in your night sky. I make custom maps for Portal 2 and have made a test map in semi-open destroyed style using some of your models and textures. Not everything works fine for Portal 2 of course, but I have found some workaround and now it looks pretty good. So far it’s only a test map on my PC and I want to ask if I may use that models and textures in my map to release in web. Thank you.

  • Olwe.ch

    Bonjour !

    I enjoyed the “game”. This is why I buy the game on steam + the soundtrack. Except that once I was retrieve the soundtracks, I realize the soundtrack is encode in 160kbits/s !! I am very disappointed. I like good sound quality. 160kbs is not a good quality.

    sorry for my english !

  • kymber13

    Maybe I’m missing something here – the game loads fine, but all I can do is move the camera around. There is no cursor, and I don’t use a controller, only my mouse and keyboard….how do I play??

  • lartomar2002

    I am playing “Dear Esther” using the Vizio Co – Star media streamer that supports OnLive. I am using a OnLive universal controller to play the game. I am truly loving it, the graphics, storyline, and sound track are great. My problem like others have mentioned is that when leaving the game and coming back I have to start at the beginning after a couple of hours of play (of course I can catch up quicker each time). I can not load any chapters except the one at the beginning. And of course using a controller I do not have a F6 or F7 key. I hope you can help me with this. Thanks

  • janmelin

    I can save a game with F6 but not load with F7.
    Use a iMac OS X 10.6.8

  • Lisa

    I was wondering if there was somewhere you could get a hold of the audio for the narrator’s dialogue from the game? The script is amazing and I’d like to go back and listen to it without committing an hour to re-playing the game (although I’m definitely going to re-play it!! :D )

  • Lisa

    Also I was wondering what all of the stuff under C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\dear esther\platform\AddOns is for? There is stuff for checkers and chess and all sorts of things.

  • Dear Robert Briscoe,

    I was curious about the copyright on the content(models, maps, etc.) in the game. Is it a standard copyright, or would filming in it for profit be acceptable?

    In short, what are the details of the copyright law surrounding Dear Esther.

  • vectorthurm

    Will this work with Windows 8?

  • mcbpete

    Hi Robert, been a huge fan of the game since the old HL2 mod version. One thing that I’ve been meaning to point out is on the rare occasions that I slip off a cliff or go too deep into the water and it plays the ‘come back’ sequence, the screen will almost always refuse to fade back in again and will remain black (you can still hear yourself walking around) requiring you to restart the chapter again. It looks like someone else has the same issue and has managed to capture it (go to 5:30 here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jLyBGfa_KQ ). For reference I have an nVidia Geforce GT 540M

    • Hi Mcbpete,

      Unfortunately we’ve never been able to find the source of this issue, I think it’s got something to do with the way triggers are implemented in Source and is a deep problem that can’t be eliminated without completely reworking the trigger system, which we don’t have the resources for. My best advice at the moment would be, next time it happens, to open the console and type: Fadein

      it should fade the screen back in. It’s not very elegant, i know, and I will continue to try to find a better fix in the future!

      Thanks for being a fan!

      • mcbpete

        Ah thanks for the work-around (and thanks for such a speedy response)! As I mentioned it’s rare for me to ‘die’, so that console command should be just the trick for me :)


  • shiretoko

    Did you ever think about making dear esther free software (I don’t mean “free of cost”, see below)?
    Please keep in mind that this would only concern the code – not the art! The whole text, music etc. would stay under your control, but you would give the users of your game, who paid money for it, the control over their computing.
    If you release it under the GPL, it’s true that everyone can take the code and make a new game out of it, but the GPL ensures that this new game has to be free software as well, so the changes will benefit to you, too.
    Free software is NO matter of price. You still can charge money for your game. It’s true that free software gives the users the freedom to share the program with others, so, technically, no one has to pay; but now you’re participating in the humble bundle, which says “pay what you want”, so perhaps this idea doesn’t frighten you at all?

    If you’re interested in the idea of free software, you can check out

  • arturkot


    I’ve just downloaded the game from Humble Bundle and it’s turned out that I can’t open it. I’m on Mac which seem to meet all the requirments to run Dear Eshter. When I double click the icon literally nothing happens. There is no error, nothing. The game just doesn’t start at all. Has anyone encontered similar error? Is there a way to run Humble Bundle version of the game on Mac?



    • We’ve heard of this strange bug appearing a couple of times before and the only solution was to run it through Steam, did you get a steam key for the game?

      • arturkot

        Hello Robert,

        I don’t think I get any code. There is only a ZIP file “Dear-Esther-Non-Steam-Mac_1369715938″ and after unzipping it “Dear Esther” file shows up. I’m not sure of what do you mean by running it throught Steam? I tried to add the game file to Steam’s library section but it didn’t help. The only difference was that I couldn’t close Steam because, allegedly, “Dear Esther has been already opened”.

  • arturkot

    Thank you for your assistance Robert! I wasn’t even aware that steam keys comes with Humble Bundle. That’s just awesome. :) Can’t wait to play Dear Esther. :)

  • anandan

    Hi Got the game through Humble. but it will install the error is “The following packages have unmet dependencies: dearesther-meta: Depends: dearesther (= 1.6-0ubuntu1) but 1.6-0ubuntu1 is to be installed”
    Running Ubuntu 13.04

  • mcbpete

    Now the new Source SDK natively supports the Oculus Rift will there be a new build of Dear Esther to support it (presumably thus fixing the Pitch/Yaw reflection bug you see at 7:47 here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAfsejvCDrY ) ?

  • psaxtiri

    I’ve seen many players reporting the same error as the one I’m facing.
    Here goes then.
    I bought Dear Esther via Steam, downloaded it and verified the game files. I hit start/play, I get the “preparing to launch dear esther” screen and then nothing. No error messages/reboots/crashes/blackscreens. The game doesn’t start.
    I have read a lot online about how to solve this problem. I shut off both my antivirus programs, enabled the game and steam to run through firewall, updated my audio and graphics drivers. I made sure than Norton wouldn’t delete the soundemittersystem.dll file which is a false alert. I tried to launch it from different directories like the desktop shortcut, the start menu shortcut, the in-folder game file, the steam library…
    What I found out on the requirements page is that my OS is not included. I’m running windows 7 x64, and the page asks for XP or Vista. However I have a friend on windows 7 who can play it. The game is spectacular on her pc by the way :D
    I am desperate to play this wonderful game -and translate it in greek for free if you are interested-. I emailed steam support about my problem but have received no reply. Please help.

  • psaxtiri

    Operating System: Windows 7 Home premium 64 bit
    Model: Acer Aspire 5740
    Intel Core i3 CPU
    Memory: 4096 MB ram
    Paging File: 2240 mb used, 5670 mb available
    Direct X 11
    Graphics Card: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5400 series
    Realtek High Definition Audio

    First time posting specs, no idea if I posted the right stuff :D
    Thank you so much for taking some time to help!

    • This is very unusual, I’ve never heard of this bug occuring on a ssytem like your before and it seems to be an isolated case as far as i can tell. I’m going to send you an email with a copy of the non-steam version for you to test.

  • psaxtiri

    I am most grateful.

  • psaxtiri

    Ok. There are some good news and some bad news.
    The good news is I was actually able to play this way:
    Right after I installed the game:
    1. I opened task manager.
    2. I double-clicked the shortcut of dear esther on my desktop.
    3. On the 2nd tab of the task manager I saw the dearesther.exe * 32 application being added to the list, then disapearing after a few seconds. I noticed that another application named werfault.exe started almost right after dearesther.exe appeared on the list, and they disappeared together. I found out that werfault is what windows uses to let us know of errors. But I didn’t get an error window.
    4. I opened msconfig, checked diagnostic startup and restarted, with the thought that a program conflicts with the game.
    5. After restart, the game worked! Can’t describe the feelings… :)
    However, the bad news is diagnostic start-up doesn’t let you have sound! It’s simply a pity to play dear esther without listening to the beautiful music! What’s more, it’s big trouble having to do a diagnostic startup every time I want to play.
    So what I need your help with is tell me what applications and tasks I have to leave checked on the selective startup so that I can only have the necessary to play- power, graphics, sound. After all, I have heard that the game isn’t that long and I’ll be starting my pc normally after I complete it :D
    Thanks for all your help! Summing up the solution: do diagnostic startup!

    • It sounds like you have some software running which is conflicting with the game, or possibly outdated/incompatible drivers. Make sure all of your drivers are up to date, especially your sound card driver. Failing that, start msconfig, and go through the startup and services sections to look for anything unusual or non-essential and try disabling it.

      Unfortunately I cant be of much help other than that. It really sounds like a third party software problem rather than a game bug or hardware bug.

      Hope you get tothe bottom of it!


  • Sharpy

    I played the commercial version of the game. Is there a point to try the mod? Is there anything in the mod that is not present in the commercial version?

    • I think if you’ve already played the commercial version you won’t find much in the mod version (other basic visuals and level design bugs). But it could be an interesting insight into where Dear Esther began… :)

      • mcbpete

        There’s one thing I did really like in the HL2 mod version not present in the commercial release – and that is the fogging. Though obviously a result of a technical shortcoming (well I guess that was the reason anyway!), it added a claustrophobic melancholy to the atmosphere of the game. I grew up in the countryside in quite a high and hilly location and would frequently go on walks with the family in locations bathed in fog – the mod version brought back really nostalgic memories of that part in my life, and seemed to compliment the ‘fogginess’ of the narration.

  • GarryFre

    Such a wonderful game. I can’t wait to see a next installment. At last a game for those who play to relax not to burn adrenaline. Today I forgot how to load a game and could not find it. I thought it was f5 so I tried f6 and saved over my game. So painful! Ah the melancholy beautiful game – bit me hard! Please make the save options ask if I want to over write a saved game next time?

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