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Old 02-22-2012, 08:17 PM   #1
Drunken Savior
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Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

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Originally Posted by http://www.joystiq.com/2012/02/22/amnesia-a-machine-for-pigs/

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is the next title from Frictional Games and Dear Esther dev
by Xav de Matos on Feb 22nd 2012 12:15PM


The power of two crowned indie developer darlings have joined together to form one team, set to bring the Amnesia franchise into a new era.

Speaking exclusively with Joystiq, Frictional Games and Dear Esther's thechineseroom have revealed their latest project, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.

Developed by thechineseroom and produced by Frictional Games, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is planned for a debut on PC later this year. No firm date has been set, but internally the two studios hope to launch before Halloween. A recent alternate reality game has been teasing the the next Amnesia's reveal, sending fans into a frenzy.

"It's not a direct sequel, in terms of it doesn't follow on from the story of Amnesia. It doesn't involve the same characters," Dear Esther writer Dan Pinchbeck told me. Instead, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs will be set in the same "alternate history and set in the same universe." In short, the game will look to scare your pants off.

Set in 1899, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs follows the "wealthy industrialist" Oswald Mandus, who has returned home from "a disastrous expedition to Mexico, which has ended in tragedy." Struck by a destructive fever, Mandus is haunted by dreams of a dark machine until he mysteriously regains consciousness. Months have passed, unbeknownst to the industry tycoon, and as he emerges from his slumber the roaring engine of a mysterious machine sputters to life.

A detailed interview with Frictional Games designer Thomas Grip and thechineseroom's Dan Pinchbeck is coming later today, delving deeper into the darkness with Amnesia's next chapter. And yes, the two discuss what A Machine for Pigs means.
Some conceptional art on the source. Can't wait for this game.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:49 AM   #2
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hells yeah
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:52 AM   #3
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Super cool. 2 awesome games.
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:59 AM   #4
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hells yeah
Protip: Jumping makes you run faster in water.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:55 PM   #5
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MOAR NEWS! Images in source:

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Originally Posted by http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/167251/Amnesia_A_Machine_For_Pigs_A_collaboration_of_indi e_horror.php

Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs: A collaboration of indie horror

March 27, 2012

While Frictional Games has built numerous horror games over the last several years, it was the 2010 release Amnesia: The Dark Descent that put the developer on the map. The game saw impressive sales, with many calling it the scariest game ever made.

It may come as a surprise, then, that Frictional isn't developing the game's sequel -- Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. Instead, the team has handed over the project to thechineseroom, the indie studio behind the recently released IGF finalist Dear Esther.

Speaking to Gamasutra, Frictional's Thomas Grip said that while the team initially wanted to create their own Amnesia follow-up, the studio simply didn't have the resources to make a sequel on its own.

"We had the money to do so, but not enough man-power," Grip said. "Expanding the company with that much personnel didn't feel comfortable for us though and thus the idea of collaborating with somebody was born."

In Frictional's eyes, thechineseroom had already proven its knack for horror with atmospheric Source mods like Korsakovia and Dear Esther. Frictional thought the studio seemed a perfect fit for the Amnesia franchise, and soon the studio gave thechineseroom the funding, publishing support, and creative control to make an Amnesia sequel of its own.

Thechineseroom creative director Dan Pinchbeck -- a huge Amnesia fan himself -- recently sat down with Gamasutra to discuss his plans for the upcoming game. Despite his palpable enthusiasm, Pinchbeck made sure to note that he takes working with Frictional's series very, very seriously.

"There are some really big shoes to fill, so we really have to do a good job with this," he said.



Subverting expectations

The biggest challenge, he believes, will be to make a game that both retains the essence of the original Amnesia, and branches off in some entirely new directions. After all, if players already know what to expect, they won't find the game very scary.

"The thing is, if we don't frighten people as much as the original, then we've failed. But now we have to frighten people that know what to expect," Pinchbeck said. "The big design challenge is: How do we protect the things that make Amnesia great, and how do we evolve everything else to make a really fresh experience?"



The trick, he believes, is to identify what players associate with the original Amnesia, and to find ways to subvert those expectations and deliver a different -- but just as chilling -- experience.



An aesthetic of fear

In order to make A Machine for Pigs even scarier than its predecessor, Pinchbeck said one of his first goals was to invest heavily in the game' visuals. Improved visuals will not only help the game become more aesthetically interesting, it will also make its horrific content all the more unsettling.

"With this new game, we want to create a world that is so rich and dramatic and beautiful that the player is constantly torn between wanting to go around the corner to see what's there and not wanting to go around the corner because they're frightened of what's there," said Pinchbeck.

On top of the rich visuals, Pinchbeck wants A Machine for Pigs to offer a world that players can believe in. Everything in the game's environment exists for a reason, and Pinchbeck said that he wants players to explore the world, pick apart its internal logic, and "become more horrified as they think about the world more and more."



If everything comes together as planned, Pinchbeck says A Machine For Pigs -- just like its predecessor -- won't just alarm or startle players; it will disturb them at a subconscious, almost primal level.

"With Amnesia, it's not just about a superficial level of fear, it's about feeling that something has burrowed into your head and is just scratching its nails at you. But you're so hooked. Inside, you're peeling away like bodies from a pile and you just can't stop yourself," said Pinchbeck.

"We want this game to be absolutely skin-crawlingly, heart-shatteringly, and nerve-jarringly terrifying -- that's the target. Everything is geared around that. Just turning people to complete ice and making them have complete meltdowns," he added.

Pinchbeck says the game is due to launch later this year, and is shooting for an appropriately spooky Halloween release.
Survival horror is one genre that actually doesn't need cutting edge graphics to be successful. The monster from Amnesia looks downright silly if you stare at him, but the game influences you to NOT look at him much. So your imagination kind of fills in the details of what you thought the monster looked like. What a good survival horror game relies on is great sound, both sound effects and atmospheric effects. Much like slight glimpses, a sound effect will get your imagination really running. Survival horror is all about scaring people by getting their imaginations really moving.

Those are my opinions on the genre, anyways...
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:27 AM   #6
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More of this is needed.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:42 AM   #7
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Yeah, sound and atmosphere is the best thing a horror game can use. Walking down a corridor in Amnesia with just footsteps, and then a little knock as something falls over, and then you hear the monster breathing... god damn I hated that game.

I look forward to playing through this Amnesia over the course of about 2 months, lasting about 10 minutes per sitting.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:05 AM   #8
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It's coming (that's what she said!), cover your chair in plastic wrap for easy clean up...

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Old 06-15-2012, 11:15 AM   #9
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I didn't cover my chair fast enough, god damnit. I want this game. Frictional are the masters of horror games, can't wait to take 2 months to finish this game just like the first Amnesia!
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:11 PM   #10
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Amnesia - Two Years Later

Introduction
It has now passed a little more than two years since we launched Amnesia and one year since the last report, so time for another! One would think that there is perhaps not much to be said this long after release, especially for a single player game with no built-in social features. But the fact is that Amnesia is still going very strong and 2012 will probably be the best financial year here at Frictional Games, which we would never had expected two years ago.

Sales
As always, let's start with the sales and some numbers. The first thing will be to figure out how many units we have sold in total, which is actually really hard to pin down. The biggest reasons for the uncertainty is that Amnesia was part of the Humble Indie Bundle (HIB) earlier this year and Potato Bundle last year. Both of these account for quite a lot of sales. Without counting the units bought there our total lands at 710 000 units. Adding all HIB and Potato Sack sales gets us to 1 360 00 units in total, which can be called the optimistic figure. This means that, optimistically speaking, Amnesia has sold almost 1.4 million units! This reasoning is not strictly speaking invalid, but I think that one should not really count anyone that bought the bundle and already owned Amnesia as a proper unit. A slightly pessimistic guess (not far from reality I think) is that 2/3 of every bundle and pack buyer already owned Amnesia. This gives us about 920 000 units in total, pessimistically speaking. So saying that we have sold a million units seems fair. Wait... a million units! Oh shit!!

Despite that huge number of sales, what I think is more interesting is how good the monthly sales still are. Not counting any discounts, the monthly full price sales lie at over 10 000 units. This means that less then every 5th minute someone in the world is buying a copy of Amnesia. This is totally insane to me. The figures themselves are far beyond any guesses we would have made two years ago. It is also insane, because this number is actually higher than it was around three months after initial launch. That a game can still be going this good two years after is truly remarkable. This success is due to many factors, some of which are the uniqueness of the game (horror games without combat do not really exist on PC), the large modding community (more on this later) and the steady flood of YouTube clips (which is in turn is fueled by the modding community output).

Also worth noting that our Penumbra games are still going on at the same rate that they always have. They are still selling about the same numbers (a little more actually) as they did three years ago. This totals to about 900 units per month. Taking all sales together is more than enough to support the company, financing A Machine For Pigs (more on that later) and having some left over. This means that we are in a very good position and aim to use it to take more risk and try out new things (more on this later).

I think we have never disclosed how much we Amnesia cost to make, so might as well do that here. The (exactly) three years of development cost a total of 360 000 US Dollars. It has since earned more than ten times that. Take that investors we talked to in 2009!

Piracy
It has been over a year since we even thought about piracy. With sales as good as above we cannot really see this as an issue worth more than two lines in this post, so screw it.


Modding
I mentioned it a bit in last years summary, but feel it was not given enough focus. When we created the possibility of custom stories, it was something we thought of very late and I think Luis implemented it in less than a day. We put a few days on adding documentation our wiki as well, but all in all, it was a tiny effort compared to the rest of the game. Despite that, this aspect as been immensely important for the game and while it is hard to give any exact features in terms of sales, the influence on our community is easily seen. Before modding started, we had one or two daily post on our message boards. But as the modding community has grown, it is now up in over 40! (Remember this on the boards of a 2 year old a single player game.) There is even a long meme thread regarding the custom story community. What is interesting is that there are even internal expressions used, like "poofer", that we at Frictional did not know about and that was specific to Amnesia modding.

The output of modding community has been quite big as well. Amnesia is as of writing the 2nd most popular game at ModDB and sports 176 finished mods. Not only do this amount of user content lengthen the life of the game, it has also increased the amount of YouTube movies made with an Amnesia theme. There are lots of popular Let's Play channels that have devoted quite a bit of time with just playing various user-made custom stories. As mentioned earlier this have probably played a large role in keeping our monthly sales up.

It is quite clear that allowing users to create content is a feature worth putting time into. I also think that we managed to have a pretty good balance between having simple tools and still allowing a lot of possibilities. It is far from perfect though and for our new engine (which AMFP is not using) will have lots of improvements. It will still be possible to use the simple scripting as before, but now you can pretty much remake whatever you like and do not have to use a complicated total conversion to do so.

Future
The next big thing for us will be the release of Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, which is a follow-up developed by thechineseroom and produced by us. This release will be very interesting in many ways. First of all it is a big experiment for us to do this sort of collaboration, so from the start we had no idea how it would turn out. Judging from the latest build we have nothing to worry about though, and so far it looks great. Another interesting aspect is how well it will sell compared to the initial Amnesia launch. Not only is the market a lot bigger now than two years ago, Amnesia is more more known. The result will be very important to how we plan our future. Release for AMFP is expected early 2013.

At Frictional Games our main concern is our new super secret project. We do not want to say much about this project yet,but we can disclose that it will be horror and that it will be first person. One of the things I was most disappointed with in Amnesia was that it never really managed to deliver any deeper themes, but was more like a shallow fright-fest. For the new project we want to change that and really try and bring a certain theme to the front. Our hope is that this will create a very special experience, creating horror in a much more disturbing way. For the curious, some information on the path we are taking can be found in this paper. The game's current status is that we have pretty much all tech working, and have started to playtest the first parts. Still, a lot is up in the air and the current design is bound to change. While we do not want the project to go on forever, we want to use our good financial situation the best we can and make sure we do not just rush something out (which we did with Amnesia actually). Release will probably be some time in 2014.

Frictional Games have also grown over the last year and we now employ 11 people, which feels very close to the maximum. At least the way we run the company right now. We also do not want to lose the small underdog spirit that has fueled us in the past. When you have such financially different situation compared to when you started I think it is easy to get caught up in expansion, wild ideas and basically do not get much done. So, we do our best to keep our feet firmly on the ground, to be strict on deadlines and to always remember our humble pasts. At the same time we will not take any easy solutions and play it safe. After the successes we have had, I think it is our responsibility to use our money and independence the best way possible.
http://frictionalgames.blogspot.se/2...ars-later.html
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:56 AM   #11
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I'm glad Amnesia did so well for Frictional, they really deserved it, they're a great developer. Can't wait for their next offering, I remember them saying if it isn't even scarier than Amnesia they'll have failed so... bricks shall be shat.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:05 AM   #12
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Amnesia is great but I don't get why everyone says it is so scary. Not that I think not being scared is a bad thing. At the most, my fear level reaches "Am I going to survive this? What do I have to do?" But that can be said about most games when you get to a new point. Still a great game, though. I like the FPS without the S.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
Amnesia is great but I don't get why everyone says it is so scary. Not that I think not being scared is a bad thing. At the most, my fear level reaches "Am I going to survive this? What do I have to do?" But that can be said about most games when you get to a new point. Still a great game, though. I like the FPS without the S.
How'd you end up playing Amnesia? This is the first time I can remember you playing a PC game.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:41 PM   #14
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LOL I know, right? They made a Mac version, I tried the demo, worked great on the maximum settings. I liked it. Bought it.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:12 PM   #15
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But you never get scared from games.
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