Dear Esther Artist Mulls "S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Without Weapons"

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Dear Esther Artist Mulls "S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Without Weapons"

image

Robert Briscoe of Dear Esther fame has a pretty cool idea for an open-world exploration game.

Dear Esther is a game of remarkable beauty. Much of the credit for that must go to artist and environment designer Robert Briscoe, who came to the project following a stint as a level artist on Mirror's Edge. He described the attraction of Dear Esther as "being able to strip away this other gameplay, this traditional gameplay, and just have environment exploration being the main gameplay mechanic," but even so, it was still a very linear experience, essentially a walk along a path. But the idea he's kicking around right now sounds a little broader in scope.

"I kind of quite fancied the idea of doing something on my own, something that's just completely of my own creation... I've always had this idea in my head, it's kind of like an open world, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-ish type game, but without weapons, and this horror aspect to it. I've obviously never had the opportunity to do it, the scope of it is huge compared to something like Dear Esther, even though Dear Esther ended up being much larger than I thought originally," he said in an interview with Joe Martin's Unlimited Hyperbole podcast. "Can't even believe I'm contemplating doing this kind of open world type of thing, I mean, it's just so unreal for one person to do. And this is the whole thing, I want to see if just one person could create a game on their own, to a degree that's probably not been done before."

Briscoe is just kicking around ideas and looking at engines at this point, but said that Dear Esther has left him with the means to support himself while he works on the project "for the next four years" if he wants to. As someone who would go absolutely nuts for an open-world S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-style exploration-horror game tinged with Briscoe's artistic sense, I think that's very good news indeed.

Source: Unlimited Hyperbole

Permalink

Or you could keep guns in the game, but make the ammo so scarce that it acts more like a security blanket.

Well, you could still bash enemies over the head with artifacts then right?

Robert Briscoe is now my favourite person. I love the way he's thinking.

Yeah, Dear Esther is a Stalker without guns. Or enemies. Or obstacles. Or open world. Or actual gameplay...

Instead of guns you have artifacts and lots of them. You throw them like grenades and where they land they create a random anomaly.

ALL OF THE MEAT GRINDER ANOMALY GRENADES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bindal:
Yeah, Dear Esther is a Stalker without guns. Or enemies. Or obstacles. Or open world. Or actual gameplay...

The article didn't say that Dear Esther is S.T.A.L.K.E.R without guns, it said that one of the creators of Dear Esther is now considering making a game that's like S.T.A.L.K.E.R without guns.

Reading more than just the title is a good idea.

I'm absolutely in love with this idea. Since I highly enjoyed Dear Esther for its narrative, love exploring and am big fan of post-apocalyptic settings - that game would be pretty much perfect for me.

I#m wishin

I'll be all over this if he ends up going through with this, but I still want someone to do for Korsakovia (thechineseroom's second project) what he did for Dear Esther. If they could get rid of the godawful jumping puzzles while making it look as awesome as that, I'd be pretty excited, because that had some pretty excellently weird/unsettling settings, but it's a bit wonky in the newer Source Engine builds.

Sounds interesting, but he should find a team I think. Also, Kickstarter.

Nenad:
Sounds interesting, but he should find a team I think. Also, Kickstarter.

What he said. Excellent idea, but it's unrealistic to think one man can tackle that kind of a project completely on his own. Well, I mean, you probably could, but you'd be looking at a development time of around fifteen years. Unless you took lots of shortcuts and those tend to lower the quality of the finished product.

How are people finding this interesting? I'm not saying that non-combat games are bad (The Stanley Parable is one of my favorite games of all time), but what made Stalker good was a) The phenomenally good gunplay, and b) The atmosphere and the struggle to survive. Stalker was a unique experience because (at least in the beginning), life in the Zone was an unending, brutal battle. Removing weapons, and therefore being unable to conquer and defeat what the Zone threw at you, would kill pretty much all of the satisfaction brought to the table by the game. If the guy wants an open-world exploration game with horror elements and no combat, he should've just said so, because removing combat from Stalker is one of the dumbest things I've heard.

Never played Dear Esther but I always thought one of the best ways to do a true 'Survival Horror' experience would be to take weapons out. Just think about it, in almost every survival horror game there comes a point where you are so overloaded with weapons and health that it stops being scary. Yes, even S.T.A.L.K.E.R, but a game where you have nothing in the way of defense besides running and hiding would be a thrill especially in a sandbox game, it would make exploration really tense.

Mh, it kind of seems like some people have not read the book, from where the original idea came of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and more importantly the ZONE came from, Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. It would not hurt to look up the movie STALKER by Tarkovsky.
If this is done well, I would definitely have a go but then again I have been a 'S.T.A.L.K.E.R.' ever since I read the book.

but will it be FUN. Dear Esther was an interesting experience that I'm glad I played, but it was not what I'd call fun.

As games mature as an artistic medium, I don't think all of them have to be "fun" (like Dear Esther, or Dinner Date), but if you're making a survival horror game, I think it needs "funness".

This man he must make this!

As I understand, he basically wants to take out the guns and therefore human enemies, though border patrols would be allowed in my opinion, as long as the only thing you can do about it is to try and not get shot. If he is to go by the original concept of the ZONE, that is ok as there are still anomalies, feeling of loneliness, quite often helplessness and an uncertainty whether your next step will be your last or not.

This is the way it is with the Zone: if you come
back with swag -- it's a miracle; if you come back alive -- it's a success; if the
patrol bullets miss you -- it's a stroke of luck. And as for anything else -- that's
fate

pdf of the translated version of the book
http://thomas-hersey.wiki.uml.edu/file/view/Roadside%2BPicnic.pdf
the movie with English subtitles ... if subs do not show, turn on captions
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYEfJhkPK7o&feature=watch-now-button&wide=1

deathbydeath:
How are people finding this interesting? I'm not saying that non-combat games are bad (The Stanley Parable is one of my favorite games of all time), but what made Stalker good was a) The phenomenally good gunplay, and b) The atmosphere and the struggle to survive. Stalker was a unique experience because (at least in the beginning), life in the Zone was an unending, brutal battle. Removing weapons, and therefore being unable to conquer and defeat what the Zone threw at you, would kill pretty much all of the satisfaction brought to the table by the game. If the guy wants an open-world exploration game with horror elements and no combat, he should've just said so, because removing combat from Stalker is one of the dumbest things I've heard.

I loved exploration in Stalker, but was not too thrilled about the shooting part. Never saw that gameplay as "conquering and defeating" the Zone.

Another day, another developer inspired by S.T.A.L.K.E.R. This can only be a good thing.

Don Reba:

deathbydeath:
How are people finding this interesting? I'm not saying that non-combat games are bad (The Stanley Parable is one of my favorite games of all time), but what made Stalker good was a) The phenomenally good gunplay, and b) The atmosphere and the struggle to survive. Stalker was a unique experience because (at least in the beginning), life in the Zone was an unending, brutal battle. Removing weapons, and therefore being unable to conquer and defeat what the Zone threw at you, would kill pretty much all of the satisfaction brought to the table by the game. If the guy wants an open-world exploration game with horror elements and no combat, he should've just said so, because removing combat from Stalker is one of the dumbest things I've heard.

I loved exploration in Stalker, but was not too thrilled about the shooting part. Never saw that gameplay as "conquering and defeating" the Zone.

Ah, relativity. The bane of every argument. Anyway, the exploration (which I loved too) wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable without combat, with both lending hands to the pacing of the game. You'd have to be really, really, really talented to pull off a game with no conflict well.

Mimsofthedawg:
but will it be FUN. Dear Esther was an interesting experience that I'm glad I played, but it was not what I'd call fun.

As games mature as an artistic medium, I don't think all of them have to be "fun" (like Dear Esther, or Dinner Date), but if you're making a survival horror game, I think it needs "funness".

*sigh* See here, please:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lit0xPh_v5c

I always hated games that don't let you have weapons. I don't mean guns and what not, but even the most basic sense of self defense would make you pick up a stick or a rock or something to defend yourself with. Don't get me wrong, I love the shit out of some good survival horror, and the less like an action title it is, the better. But it's just a limitation that takes me right out of the game.

STALKER with the MISERY mod is just fine, thanks much. It gives you weapons, but you still feel completely inadequately armed against the many horrors of the Zone.

Baresark:
I always hated games that don't let you have weapons. I don't mean guns and what not, but even the most basic sense of self defense would make you pick up a stick or a rock or something to defend yourself with. Don't get me wrong, I love the shit out of some good survival horror, and the less like an action title it is, the better. But it's just a limitation that takes me right out of the game.

Yeah, imo good survival horror should make you feel scared because of the danger around you, not scared because the developers programmed you into becoming completely useless. Heck, even irl I'd do a lot better with a sharpened stick or even my fists than with my hands apparently tied behind my back.

Old Father Eternity:
It would not hurt to look up the movie STALKER by Tarkovsky.

Here you go.


Free of charge and legally uploaded for all to see. Actually despite playing two of the STALKER games vehemently I have yet to actually watch the movie based on "A Roadside Picnic".

deathbydeath:

Mimsofthedawg:
but will it be FUN. Dear Esther was an interesting experience that I'm glad I played, but it was not what I'd call fun.

As games mature as an artistic medium, I don't think all of them have to be "fun" (like Dear Esther, or Dinner Date), but if you're making a survival horror game, I think it needs "funness".

*sigh* See here, please:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lit0xPh_v5c

That was an entirely useless diatribe on fun that has no bearing on this conversation.

Pardon me for giving my two cents in two sentences rather than going on a 10 minute rant worth of pseudo-academic sounding details on "fun".

So, for you who likes to nit pick and sound smarter than everyone else, let me elaborate in another sentence or two:

For the game which this guy is talking about making, I believe he's going to have to take a slightly different approach to the design. Where Dear Esther and similar games like Dinner Date were interesting, a similar artistic style without other core game mechanics would probably cause a game like the one he's thinking of making to suffer. Simply put, there's a reason why games built purely on exploration, such as Dear Esther, aren't particularly popular. He'll probably have to elaborate on something somehow.

Now if you're done being a nit pickery of an troll (yes, whatever you're about to argue about what I just said, I already know. But again, I made a statement in a couple sentences, not a dissertation for your enjoyment) we can all move on and have a nice day with the quite easy and simple understanding of what both of us are trying to say.

No guns? Well there goes about 3/4 of the fun of STALKER.

Count me unimpressed.

I would love to see more exploration/survival games. I would love to see games with focus put towards art direction, graphics, and world building. Some of my favorite parts of skyrim are simply exploring different aspects of the world without once swinging my sword.

I am hope to see more games where most of the mechanics are simply survival but your are driven to explore because you want to learn more about the world you are playing in rather than out of the need to get better things to kill other things with.

He's not talking about making another STALKER, he's talking about creating a STALKER-like environment to explore. It's more about inspiration than a direct comparison.

Saulkar:
I have yet to actually watch the movie based on "A Roadside Picnic".

But you have read the book?

Old Father Eternity:

Saulkar:
I have yet to actually watch the movie based on "A Roadside Picnic".

But you have read the book?

I can safely say I tried to. I asked my library if they had it in circulation and they told me yes. One week later I come to pick it up then hand it right back thirty seconds later.

My total experience reading the book was twenty or so missing pages and the rest taped back in, in random order. Furthermore all of the text happen to look like this: Бьюсь об заклад, вы не говорить на русском тоже. - Ok it looks like the Escapist does not accept Russian text. Well you get the idea, the book was either in Ukranian, Russian, Georgian, or any similar to the uninitiated looking languages.

EDIT: I was told it was free online but have yet to get around to reading it. I found Antonina W. Bouis's translation here: http://lib.ru/STRUGACKIE/engl_picnic.txt

Saulkar:

Old Father Eternity:

Saulkar:
I have yet to actually watch the movie based on "A Roadside Picnic".

But you have read the book?

I can safely say I tried to. I asked my library if they had it in circulation and they told me yes. One week later I come to pick it up then hand it right back thirty seconds later.

My total experience reading the book was twenty or so missing pages and the rest taped back in, in random order. Furthermore all of the text happen to look like this: Бьюсь об заклад, вы не говорить на русском тоже. - Ok it looks like the Escapist does not accept Russian text. Well you get the idea, the book was either in Ukranian, Russian, Georgian, or any similar to the uninitiated looking languages.

Well that sucks.
But if you are still interested, in one of my posts above there is a link to a pdf of a translated version

FogHornG36:
Or you could keep guns in the game, but make the ammo so scarce that it acts more like a security blanket.

and then you can throw your gun and cry like a little girl

Old Father Eternity:

Saulkar:

Old Father Eternity:

But you have read the book?

I can safely say I tried to. I asked my library if they had it in circulation and they told me yes. One week later I come to pick it up then hand it right back thirty seconds later.

My total experience reading the book was twenty or so missing pages and the rest taped back in, in random order. Furthermore all of the text happen to look like this: Бьюсь об заклад, вы не говорить на русском тоже. - Ok it looks like the Escapist does not accept Russian text. Well you get the idea, the book was either in Ukranian, Russian, Georgian, or any similar to the uninitiated looking languages.

Well that sucks.
But if you are still interested, in one of my posts above there is a link to a pdf of a translated version

Actually I found it too: http://lib.ru/STRUGACKIE/engl_picnic.txt through the almighty wikipedia (*DERP*), I edited it into my previous quote and interestingly enough the preview was not able to generate Russian text but it appears just fine in the final post. Just in case you were confused by my side note.

Thanks anyway.

Don Reba:

I loved exploration in Stalker, but was not too thrilled about the shooting part. Never saw that gameplay as "conquering and defeating" the Zone.

The ZONE take me, the Bishop and Councilor of War is here in person.
Yeah, while the games are my favourite ones and in the context of its own it works just fine, they did not really portray the ZONE as it actually is ... well, the way I have come to perceive it based on the book and the movie

Bindal:
Yeah, Dear Esther is a Stalker without guns. Or enemies. Or obstacles. Or open world. Or actual gameplay...

*presents you with your Knee-Jerk-of-the-Month gold trophy* Well done. Now go back and read the article this time. ;)

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here