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Rollercoaster

Hello again! Firstly allow me to apologise for the lack of updates here on my Devblog during recent events. As many of you probably already know by now, an announcement was made over the weekend that Dear Esther was going ‘commercial’(-I prefer the term ‘Independent’). Originally,  a press release was sent out last Thursday and was supposed to be embargoed until the 19th of Feb. Unfortunately one site decided to release last Friday, over a week early! Within hours the news was everywhere – cue panic!!

I was completely unprepared for it; I wanted that week to get the official website up and running and prepare some kind of teaser trailer/media to sweeten the deal. I’d also planned to write up a bit more of a personal and in depth post on the announcement here and ModDB for those of you who have been following my progress since the Project first formed. Needless to say it all went to hell last Friday, and have since been working like a mad man to get the official website and forums up (might be a bit rough, it was built in just over a day) our new IndieDB Page, and of course keeping track of the reaction to the news.

The positive reactions on Shacknews, RPS and other gaming sites initially left me ecstatic, however, visiting ModDB told quite a different story.

I’ve been quite taken aback by some of the reactions, and of all places, I was not expecting it there. The majority of negative comments focus around how people feel we have deceived the community and used the guise of being a mod as ‘marketing ploy’ to reel people in, etc, which was shocking to me considering that the motivation to go indie was born from the community.

7 months ago, at the end of June 2010, at the end of an update on the Caves level, I  linked to a blog post here, where I posed the question “What would you think of Dear Esther going Indie?”

It was something that had been floating around for some time, but aware of the consequences and complications of such a thing, plus the extra pressure it would put on me (I was supposed to be taking a year off!), I was just not sure it would be worth it. So I thought I’d throw it out there to the community and see how things lay. Despite one or two concerned comments, mostly regarding new content and cost – both valid points, but both of which I knew we could fix if the situation were to arise, the resounding reaction was “Go for it!!”  This was ultimately what gave me the courage to approach Valve along with Dan and see where we stood, at the time, I honestly didn’t think the quality of my work was worthy of a retail release.

Cue a long drawn out process of back an fourth, months passed, I continued working, and approaching xmas I’d all but practically given up on the idea, but behind the scenes the wheels were slowly starting to turn and in December we actually received some good news; With the help of Valve and the University of Portsmouth (UK) the prospect of going indie suddenly became a stark reality.

So that’s how we ended up here…

It wasn’t my intent to make people feel deceived nor dissapointed, especially angry! Our goal here isn’t to get super rich and buy jet skis, just a very simple one: to make a cool games which eveyone can play and have the benefit of being able to support ourselves so we can keep on making creative, fun and original stuff in the future.

Anyway, for those who may be confused, I hope this gives a bit more of an in-depth look the how’s and why’s of the whole Indie announcement.

Looking to the future there’s lots of exciting stuff to come, in the meantime, get over to our new IndieDB page, subscribe, and go check out our official site and forums and keep your eyes peeled for more soon!