Enter The Orca with Parody Game Dear Esteban

Enter The Orca with Parody Game Dear Esteban

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A new indie game will "blow an existential hole in the players perception of their own realities."

Finding yourself alone in a field isn't cause for alarm. That's how most of your Saturdays begin. However, this time is different. It's hard to place your finger on it. Perhaps it's the unfamiliar autumnal landscape that beckons you forth. More than likely, it's just the giant Orca which floats above your head, much in the way that Orcas don't. To find the answers, you'll have to walk the linear path and brave the expository dialog to reach the end. This is Dear Esteban, an art game made by people who don't like art games.

If the title doesn't tip you off, Dear Esteban is a parody/pastiche of the experimental Dear Esther. It's just one of many games to come out of Fuck This Jam, which asked game developers to make games in genres they hate. The idea behind the Jam is that when developers aren't held back by respect for genre conventions, they tend to make better games. Instead of writing a hate letter, the developers of Esteban claim that "it's more a love letter to Dear Esther from the weird kid who doesn't have a shot but you kind of feel bad for."

Dear Esther was a bold experiment to be sure, and we should encourage games like that. However, that doesn't mean we can't mock them, especially when the result is a James Joyce Nature Walk. As the "art game" genre comes more into its own, it's only right that someone should come alongside it and give it a good natured ribbing.

Dear Esteban is a free download and lasts around five minutes. As you explore its life-changing quandaries, take care; it appears to simply stop like an unfinished sentence towards the

Source: Dear Esteban, via Rock Paper Shotgun

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I played this today, and ended up feeling really, really confused. This is a very strange experience.

The commentary is quite amusing, but the game is pretty meh, definitely feels amateurish and imcompl

Humeroues, pointless and utter nonesensical, but at least it knows it and was designed as such.

- Game of the Year 10/10

I think I count at least two very subtle Douglas Adams references in this article. Am I wrong?

Painting moustache on the Mona Lisa doesn't mean you outdo Leonardo Da Vinci. :)

elilupe:
I think I count at least two very subtle Douglas Adams references in this article. Am I wrong?

That'll do pig, that'll do.

xdiesp:
Painting moustache on the Mona Lisa doesn't mean you outdo Leonardo Da Vinci. :)

But drawing a moustache on a shit at least makes it look cool.

Ugh, dear Esther. I hate the attitude of 'Something mundane told in as vague a way as possible = super artistic'. Modern art seems based off of it, and Dear Esther definitely was. It's about time someone mocked it, instead of leaving it to me to post annoyed comments on internet forums.

Sounds like the title of a saucy bodice ripper. Wouldn't expect much meaningful content :P

IanDavis:

elilupe:
I think I count at least two very subtle Douglas Adams references in this article. Am I wrong?

That'll do pig, that'll do.

We apologize for the inconven

Does this game invoke Candlejack or someth

I wonder if the whale is in fact, slowly falling whilst having an internal monologue about it's sudden existence accompanied by a pot of flowers whose only thought before hitting the ground was "Oh no, not again"?

None too subtle reference aside, I may have to give this a go. Assuming my laptop manages to run the damn thing.

This game has changed my life. As they say on their website, in 100 years time I'll look back on my life before this game and wonder how I survived, naive child that I was, before Dear Esteban pulled the wool from over my eyes.

That aside, I've never played any self-titled 'art games' so I have no idea what this is ripping off - I suspect some of (read: all of) the point was lost on me!

I love Dear Ester, and I did enjoy this.

It's nothing special, but if nothing else shows how easy it is to now create something that looks graphically good quickly.

Playing this game felt like playing someone's angry Youtube comment. Or maybe a less-than-angry 4chan post.

Listen, I readily claim to outright hate abstract art, but I can easily recognize good from bad. They might as well have just wrote "Dadaism is the epitome of Wednesday Purple Farts" on someone's chest... with they're own feces. It just felt crass and in poor taste. And to top it all off, the dislike was easy to glean from most of the dialogue, so I have to call this a failed experiment.

What, did you all forget what this experiment was?

The idea behind the Jam is that when developers aren't held back by respect for genre conventions, they tend to make better games.

They certainly had the technical know-how (even if the clipping was worse than any AAA game that was released in the late 90s), but everything else was missing. It was not a good game and the only people who will non-ironically praise it will be of the same like-mindedness of the hateful creators. Summation is as follows:

---

This game is less about reaffirming that there are people who dislike "artsy games" and more about insulting the people who do like artsy games.

Dear Esther was a bold experiment to be sure, and we should encourage games like that.

Okay, we've been over this, Dear Esther is NOT a game. Games require decision making. A more apt title would be "Semi-Interactive Story".

Bobic:
Ugh, dear Esther. I hate the attitude of 'Something mundane told in as vague a way as possible = super artistic'. Modern art seems based off of it, and Dear Esther definitely was. It's about time someone mocked it, instead of leaving it to me to post annoyed comments on internet forums.

Agreed. Parody or no parody, waking up in a game situation to find an Orca floating above my had will be sure to raise far more (as well as far more interesting) questions about the reality which I have found myself in than the entirety of Dear Esther did.

Ideal formula for modern art: (Relatable subjects + Unreal settings) x Audience interactivity = Engaging experience that challenges perceptions.

Modern art formula for hacks: (Bland subjects + Nonsensical settings - Purpose) x Pretentious ArtSpeak = Money.

How to create an artistic game:

1) throw some completely random nonsensical shit together

Voila! Instant art!

Dear Esteban sounds like a homoerotic Mass Effect 3 fanfic.

Really unlike anything else I've played before. Just ehm.... Undescribable, and not very fun.

 

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