Group 1:

  • Thesis: Both games are similar but different.

  • Narration
  • Dear Esther was a lot more cryptic and unknown characters.
  • Gone Home has fairly straight forward, little mystery.
  • Both used voice narration (Gone Home with more physical pieces of evidence)
  • Setting and Time
  • Dear Esther did not have a clear time of occurrence.
  • Gone Home was clearly set in the 1990s.
  • Symbolism
  • Lots of symbolism in Dear Esther.
  • Biblical verses on walls
  • Chemical formulas
  • Dopamine
  • Brain cells
  • Ethanol
  • Formula with atoms replaced with hebrew letters that added to 21
  • Gone Home did have that much symbolism.
  • Art
  • Extremely detailed with nature.
  • Not too detailed with no nature.
  • Both
  • You cannot kill yourself.
  • Both establish character through narration.
  • Both spooky(hear footsteps), although Gone Home was a bit spookier (music, darkness, eeriness, occasional thunder)
  • Conclusion: Both games are similar but different.

Group 2- Billie, Laura, Rohan, Daniel

General similarities

  • Both use letters to fed in information
  • Stories are mysterious, information comes to you in pieces

Criticism in comparison to Gone Home

  • Dear Esther you know less about who is giving you this information, no other characters
  • More understanding in Gone Home, more emotional involvement, you are apart of the family
  • Paul and Donnelly- don’t know who they are, no context
  • No ability to pick things up- less control over your experience
  • No initial directions on how to play
  • Couldn’t reach the radio tower (minus Rohan)
  • Game went too slow, Intentionally killed ourselves
  •  Information (story) was fed to you in random pieces- Rohan reached the end and still didn’t understand the narration
  • No introduction- It didn’t tell you the controls or what your objective was; left to your own devices
  • It sucks when you find out in the end that you’re a bird and all along you had the ability to fly

Praise in comparison to Gome Home

  • Graphics were much more impressive and realistic than in Gone Home
  • Setting was more intriguing (we got the sense that the island was possibly in the UK which added to the mystery and allure)
  • Caves were very exciting to explore- why the chemistry paintings?
  • Part of the journey through the island felt realistic because of the details in the caves, and on the shore.
  • There was more free will in the world of ‘Dear Esther’ because you could do more- Swim a little, attempt to climb rocks, attempt to drown,
  • The colors in the caves, with the glowing mushrooms and fungi just made it more of an abstract experience, implying that the game should not be played sober.

Group 3: Mady, Jordan, David, Zach

Gone Home:

-       Could do stuff but limited

-       Stuck inside house

-       Easy to understand story

-    Required no skill

-    Main character w/ side characters that you never meet


Dear Esther:

-       Graphics were detailed

-       Could move around whole island, less restrictions

-       Hard to understand story but could guess what was going on

-    Required no skill

-    Main character w/ side characters that you never meet






Group 4

  • Intro
  • Gone Home
  • Dear Esther
  • Visual
  • Skybox, soundbox, graphic
  • Storyline
  • Beginning
  • For Gone Home, we receive well-defined background knowledge
  • For Dear Esther, unaware of the setting and the time.
  • Ending
  • For Gone Home, concrete resolution
  • For Dear Esther, no concrete resolution
  • Setting
  • For Gone Home, the player has more freedom but in more restricted setting.
  • For Dear Esther, the player has less freedom but in more open-spaced setting.
  • Conclusion