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Game World of Dear Esther

Category: Game Worlds
March 31, 2012

Game Worlds series is focused on providing you with ideas, inspiration and game screenshot references.

Over a weekend I wanted to play something. I wanted to have an experience, to explore and admire the world without having to worry about enemies, long playing times or leveling up.

I chose Dear Esther to provide that for me.

Dear Esther started off as a mod for Half-Life 2. Then it became a stand-alone downloadable game on Steam. I remember seeing the screenshots of caves chapter and was in awe what Source Engine could pull off.

Dear Esther isn't so much of a game. There are no enemies, no way to die and no objectives. Your character can't even jump. There is only one button mouse to be used, and it zooms in.

Below are screenshots that were taken along my journey in the game. If you have played the game, let me know what you thought of the worlds and locations within it, here at the following forum thread.

If you prefer to have high res screenshots in jpg format download below.

Dear Esther High Res Screenshot Download Zip 35 Megs.


Starting point of the game.

The environment is gorgeous. It is amazing what was done with Source Engine.

Some interiors. The flashlight comes on automatically when you enter dark interior space.

Foliage looks impressive. You are able to spot some billboards but they are hard to notice. Terrain blends nicely.

Throughout the game you will be guided by man made elements to your final destination. Here you are guided by the road posts along the way.

One of the landmarks in the game.

Props placed on the ground to tell the story within the environment.


More man made elements guiding the player to their next location.

Another interior tells a story of what may have happened there. You end up piecing the story together through various props in the scene.

Gravestone along the way.


The caves are stunning. Use of the color palette helps to guide you through the caves.

Part in the game that shows off an underwater environment through a brief flashback.


Last chapter of the game. There are more elements within the scene that help to communicate the story.

Updated & Revised - Preproduction Blueprint: How to Plan Your Game Environments and Level Designs

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