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Q&A + MODTY and new media!

So in my last update I asked for your questions regarding the Dear Esther Remake, and today I have been sifting through them and have answered some of the most common questions asked below:

Q: Can you make some tutorials to give us some insight into how you built your levels ?
Yes most certainly, just as soon as development on DE starts winding down, and I have a bit more free time, I plan on doing a number of tutorials detailing the various steps and techniques I followed to create the visuals for Dear Esther. Keep your eyes peeled for those in the coming months! In the meantime, I have a couple of posts on my blog which should give you an initial idea of how I have approached displacements in Source here and here

Q: Are you going to use the same narration/soundtrack as the original Dear Esther, or is it all going to be redone?
We’re working on a complete overhaul of Dear Esther’s soundtrack for the remake. Fans of the soundtrack will get treated to new versions of all the music (re-recorded with real instruments/orchestra) which we’ll also look at packaging up in high quality versions for iTunes download. In addition to this, we’re looking at breaking some of themes up into different variations to drop into the environment at different places and maybe even adding in some randomization here as well, so like the voice-overs, you get a slightly different take on events depending on your run-through. We’ll also be looking at enhancing the environment audio and SFX to compliment the new build.

Q: Where can I find the soundtrack playing in the trailers?
You can find the original soundtrack over here on ModDB!

Q: Will you be supporting different languages with this release?
Yes that is certainly the plan, I have already implemented subtitles into the game, and now it’s just a case of translating the text. Right now we have French, Italian and Spanish covered, but are still looking for volunteers to help us with other translations, if you wish to see DE subtitled into your language and think you can help, please let me know!

Q: Are you doing anything new in terms of the story, such as extending the story from the original or adding new voice work?
We’re hoping to get Nigel, our original voice actor, back in to supplement the existing voice-overs with some new audio cues (which means Dan is working on new bits of script), and also re-master the existing voice-overs. The plan is to reward more exploration of the island and offer some real incentives for wandering off the linear path. There are a couple of voice-overs which didn’t make it into the original that will hopefully be going back in which throw a different light on some of the events of the story (so think of it like a Director’s Cut!) On top of that there will be an extra visual layer of detail added, with each play through revealing unique details in the environment which expand upon the storyline.

Q: What kind of system do I need to run it?
A very modest one! My aim is to allow everyone to have to same experience on as broad a range of hardware as possible. Right now my benchmark is to run it at 30fps on my aging Dual core laptop with a Nvidia 9600M GPU at 1900×1080 at maximum settings. Right now it’s actually running at more like 40fps which is good, and on my Radeon 4800 I’m aiming to keep the fps above 100! Basically if you can run TF2 or Episode 2 you will have no problems running this!

Q: Release dates?!
difficult to put at date on it at the moment, but by the way things are going I’m estimating sometime early in 2011.

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who’s been voting for Dear Esther in Moddb’s Mod of The Year Awards, it’s now in the top 100! Phase 2 is still ongoing so if you haven’t voted yet, and think it’s worthy…

Click here to vote for us for best upcoming MOTY!

Oh and as a thank you for your support, here are a few more early screenshots from the final level: