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Author: jens

Three years of Adventure Jam. Part one: Awake (2016)

Game jams are a magical thing. You get together with friends both old and new and create a video game in a very short timespan. In a way, jams are microcosms. While the jam is going your priorities are shifted, your whole life seems to circle around this tiny little game you are creating – and when the jam is over, what remains is usually a barely playable prototype, deep rings under your eyes and a huge pile of new experiences, lessons learned and treasured moments.

Ambiguity in Game Design: What developers can learn from Dear Esther

I decided to start this blog with a post about Dear Esther because it was the first game in the relatively new genre of ‘Walking Simulators’. It is revolutionary in many ways, most notably for getting rid of video game conventions and exploring what lies at the core of interactive experiences. What do we really need to present to the player to create a ‘meaningful’ experience?

This post will dive deep into Dear Esther’s creation, intention, and reception and try to draw conclusions from this unique video game experience. Note that this post does contain spoilers and a brief description of the ending, so if you have not yet played Dear Esther you should experience it yourself before reading this post.