Dear Esther: an interactive ghost story built using the Source engine

Dan Pinchbeck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This paper reflects on the design and production of a multimodal, environmental storytelling experiment constructed in the first-person game engine Source. Rather than being based around the resolution of conflicts and achieving goals, Dear Esther presents a sparse environment with no embedded agents, relying purely on the player's engagement with and interpretation of a narrative delivered through semi-randomised audio fragments. Dear Esther was released for free download via a number of modding sites in June and this paper reflects on the experience of building and the response by gamers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInteractive storytelling : first joint international conference on interactive digital storytelling, ICIDS 2008, Erfurt, Germany, November 26-29, 2008 : proceedings
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9783540894247
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameLecture notes in computer science


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