Dear Esther > General Discussions > Topic Details
yoshi_1981 May 5, 2013 @ 11:27am
Black screen after finishing game and game not saving
Hi guys, I've just played through the game yesterday and today and sadly had to find some issues with it:

Number one is that the game doesn't seem to want to save. I have enabled the console to check for any possible error messages but according to the event log Dear Esther saves fine every couple of minutes. However, every time I boot the game up I have only the option to play from the very beginning. Does anyone have any thoughts/insight on that?

The other (and more annoying) thing is that the game seems to "die" after the end sequence. All I just get is a black screen and the sound of waves in the background but the game doesn't react to anything at this point. All that I can do is hit Esc and quit to the main menu.
I read that there was a patch released late last year that was supposed to fix something with the end credits. Is that related?

Hope anyone here can help shed some light on this. :)
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ttpowell May 6, 2013 @ 5:40pm 
I have the same problem Black screen, ocean and nothing else. Is it suppose to do this?
Kosmozuikis May 8, 2013 @ 5:38am 
I finished the game couple of minutes ago.
You can save and load. In the main menu press quick load button wich is F7 and you will resume the game where you saved it.
I saved on that black screen, exited to main menu and loaded the game. And there's a sky. Waited for 5mins but nothing happen, think this is the end.
yoshi_1981 May 8, 2013 @ 10:34am 
Hm, that would be a weird ending though. I would have expected there to be credits and such, not a simple black screen for as long as you can be bothered to leave it.

I guess from a philosophical point of view that's quite an interesting idea, but as a game/interactive experience in terms of UI and QA I'd call that a pretty poor choice. :/
Bilstar May 9, 2013 @ 8:38pm 
That is indeed how it ends. Just black and the sound of the sea.
snugglor May 10, 2013 @ 2:41am 
Yep, that's the end alright. I sat for ages the first time too, waiting for something to happen. But I like it, it's very "final", if you know what I mean.
1-800-GET-REKT May 21, 2013 @ 2:48am 
That IS the ending. A pretentious "artistic" ending to this snorefest.
Hato "Fluttershy" May 28, 2013 @ 2:40pm 
Thats the ending, you are dead..Hence why its complete black with nothing..
gordonfreeman01 Aug 10, 2013 @ 1:59pm 
Originally posted by Marceline "Fluttershy":
Thats the ending, you are dead..Hence why its complete black with nothing..

Not necessarily dead, there are a number of possible interpretations to the game and the ending after all. But yeah, black screen, no credits is a real bummer.
InkyNyan Oct 28, 2013 @ 8:02pm 
I was hoping for credits too, but I did like the black screen ending for a variety of reasons. If you tried anything during the game such as walking off a precipice or stepping into the water, you saw a mess of dark, drowning images like the underside of a pier, and the narrator says "come back". Then you are restored to wherever you were. This keeps you from getting a "game over", which fits very nicely with the purpose of the game, to be a ghost story.
At the end of the game itself you can hear very faintly, the narrator says again, "come back". But you do not return to consciousness. You just hear the sea forever. He said near the end that he will sit at the beach waiting for his letters to Esther to sink into the sea. The sea has always represented unconsciousness and eternity, in this game and in human consciousness.

Why does the narrator say "come back" at the end? You could take a few interpretations from this as well. It could simply be a signal that at last, you have died, taken a step that is irrefutable and irreparable. It could be implying rebirth, as his transformation into a seagull also implies, and as some of his final words imply ("the seagulls will return to the island" etc.), after talking about how the entire island is so devoid of life that even the birds have forsaken it. It could also be implying that he will literally be reincarnated, or wishes to be, but the endless blackness is the blackness of death. He is not reunited with Esther in heaven, as death is only black nothingness and unconsciousness.

As a game mechanic, it also gives you (the player) a chance to decompress, think about what you just saw, and wait for something to happen. You believe your character just died, but what now? What is after death? Is there an afterlife? As you sit and wait you realize ...no, there's nothing. Just as you were waiting for the game to get back to "being a game", they throw you another existential curveball by asking you to wait and think about "the end" being an eternal end, with the sound of the sea.

People complaining about this game being "boring" are probably overstimulated and young, slow down and take a little time to consider the birth and death of all things. It will do you some good.
OvenBaked Nov 3, 2013 @ 10:42pm 
Originally posted by InkyNyan:
People complaining about this game being "boring" are probably overstimulated and young, slow down and take a little time to consider the birth and death of all things. It will do you some good.

That might be a touch patronising.

It's possible this game *understimulates* and relies too much on foggy symbolism and vague philosophical undertones, open to whatever interpretation you care to bring.

I'm all for artistic games, but as I walked through the environment, the thrill at experiencing a different, relaxed style of game soon turned to disappointment as it became apparent that nothing in this world could be influenced by my interactions. There was no interaction... it was therefore a glorified graphics demo of the source engine.

That's ok, I like game engine demos. But it was too short, and it was too minimal. The narration tries to make you care about a story about "Paul" and a car accident and so on.. but I just never cared about that. The story was too far removed from the experience of wandering around the island.

Interesting stuff... I'm keen for more of this sort of style of game. But I think it needs more. I don't mean guns and explosions and cheesy dialog, but even just the ability to open a door, or pick up a book and look inside, or... if I'm a ghost, the ability to push doors open with my ghost energy, or do other ghosty stuff.
illgib Nov 5, 2013 @ 1:28am 
Originally posted by spraycan:
Originally posted by InkyNyan:
People complaining about this game being "boring" are probably overstimulated and young, slow down and take a little time to consider the birth and death of all things. It will do you some good.

That might be a touch patronising.

It's possible this game *understimulates* and relies too much on foggy symbolism and vague philosophical undertones, open to whatever interpretation you care to bring.

I'm all for artistic games, but as I walked through the environment, the thrill at experiencing a different, relaxed style of game soon turned to disappointment as it became apparent that nothing in this world could be influenced by my interactions. There was no interaction... it was therefore a glorified graphics demo of the source engine.

That's ok, I like game engine demos. But it was too short, and it was too minimal. The narration tries to make you care about a story about "Paul" and a car accident and so on.. but I just never cared about that. The story was too far removed from the experience of wandering around the island.

Interesting stuff... I'm keen for more of this sort of style of game. But I think it needs more. I don't mean guns and explosions and cheesy dialog, but even just the ability to open a door, or pick up a book and look inside, or... if I'm a ghost, the ability to push doors open with my ghost energy, or do other ghosty stuff.
Well , by the way you didn't phisically exist here, and the island too is a representation of Paul's/Jackobson body and mind, there's no really need of world interaction. Nope?
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