Machine For Pigs Developer Departs From Dear Esther Formula

Machine For Pigs Developer Departs From Dear Esther Formula

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The Amnesia sequel is a real change of pace for thechineseroom's Dan Pinchbeck.

"I think we started working on it sometime around November [2011]," says thechineseroom's creative director, Dan Pinchbeck, "and we thought it was going to be a couple hours long." That first impression didn't last, and Pinchbeck - the man behind Dear Esther - realized there was a lot of potential in an expanded story for its Amnesia follow-up, A Machine For Pigs.

"In Esther, the story doesn't really actually exist," says Pinchbeck, adding that "It's just a whole bunch of ideas about a story that the player then uses to create the story themselves." Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs is a much more traditional story format than Pinchbeck's Dear Esther, but that's a welcome relief, in some ways, as it allows Pinchbeck to play around with some different concepts. There isn't as much pressure to be experimental with A Machine For Pigs, and that means Pinchbeck can concentrate on story elements, and an expanded plot, which in turn means increased production values.

"I think this has ended up more of a natural successor to [Amnesia] Dark Descent than we ever thought it'd be," says Pinchbeck. "Originally, we thought it'd be this halfway point between Dark Descent and Esther, but in a lot of ways, it's much more like Dark Descent."

Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs hasn't got a confirmed release date yet, but that should change very soon; at the moment, Q2 2013 is as far as thechineseroom's prepared to go.

Source: Rock Paper Shotgun

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I'm still curious as too why Frictional handed of the development of the sequel to their best selling game to another studio. The only thing I can think of is that they have another larger project in development, which I really hope is the case. Honestly, while I didn't much care for Dear Esther, I can appreciate all the effort that went into the environments and atmosphere, which I hope translates well to AMfP.

What...?

Yeah, they fucking well better depart from the Dear Esther formula!

Don't get me wrong, I kind of liked Dear Esther. But if they follow up the best horror game I've ever played with a non-interactive stroll with cryptic voiceover commentary, I shall be most displeased.

Well, so long as it makes the urine flow I'll be happy.
Hope it releases soon because I've been jonesing for a good scare.

Good, Dear Esther was a bunch of nothing add a little bit of pretentiousness. I don't care how pretty your island is, if I have no reason to be there it's nothing more than a virtual art gallery.

I think a game like Amnesia can only be improved by a deeper story and lore. I thought Amnesia's story was quite interesting even if it was a bit shallow. I look forward to playing A Machine for Pigs.

Zhukov:
They fucking well better depart from the Dear Esther formula.

Don't get me wrong, I kind of liked Dear Esther. But if they follow up the best horror game I've ever played with a non-interactive stroll with cryptic voiceover commentary, I will not be happy.

This. Though I actually LOVED Dear Esther. It was something new and interesting for the genre. When I heard that thechineseroom was Doug the new Amnesia I was optimistic. I believe they set mood, tone, foreshadowing and foreboding very well. The whole time I was playing Dear Esther I had a feeling of unease. Amnesia relies on all that stuff.

Zhukov:
They fucking well better depart from the Dear Esther formula.

Don't get me wrong, I kind of liked Dear Esther. But if they follow up the best horror game I've ever played with a non-interactive stroll with cryptic voiceover commentary, I will not be happy.

Since the earliest trailers showed the player hiding from monsters, as per the Amnesia formula, I don't think there was ever much of a chance of that.

Though I am a bit surprised that they considered integrating the DE formula into the game that much so seriously. Now I liked DE myself, but...it's Amnesia we're talking about here.

Zhukov:
What...?

Yeah, they fucking well better depart from the Dear Esther formula!

Don't get me wrong, I kind of liked Dear Esther. But if they follow up the best horror game I've ever played with a non-interactive stroll with cryptic voiceover commentary, I shall be most displeased.

I dare say it would be a rather dark descent in quality eh?

Cannot freaking wait for this game!

I may not be able to buy this game as it will be too frightening. Amnesia was bad enough with the whole 'it's dark I can't quite make it out' theme, but this one seems like it could be far more visceral.

Would people have liked Dear Esther more if it didn't have any story elements at all? The most common complaint against it was that it was pretentious which deleting the voice-over would solve.

So.. What they're saying is that the game's going to be bloody short, isn't it?

Hammeroj:
So.. What they're saying is that the game's going to be bloody short, isn't it?

(...)"and we thought it was going to be a couple hours long." That first impression didn't last(...)

I didn't have the guts to finish Dark Descent, if anything, I might watch an LP of this one.

Zhukov:
What...?

Yeah, they fucking well better depart from the Dear Esther formula!

Don't get me wrong, I kind of liked Dear Esther. But if they follow up the best horror game I've ever played with a non-interactive stroll with cryptic voiceover commentary, I shall be most displeased.

I didn't even know that was their intended formula for this game! I think it would be an interesting game to try, where the scare is completely environment-driven. But it's not the kind of game I want A Machine For Pigs to be.

I didn't even know there was any connection to Dear Esther at all, but I'm glad that even though its the same devs the gameplay won't be the same I guess?

Machine for pigs is a really cool title, like a great title.

i havent played dear esther or amnesia, but the title has drawn me in.

Jesus Christ... IT SHOULD NEVER HAVE EVEN BEEN PERCEIVED AS BEING LIKE DEAR ESTHER AT ALL! There, I said it. Dear Esther was a novelty, but it wasn't a game, and most of all it wasn't anything like Dark Decent. Dark Decent was a fantastic game. Dear Esther was a stroll over an island with a narrator.

Well to me Dear Esther and Amnesia both had a lot in common, I liked Amnesia more, but was hardly a fan. Both struck me as being largely "tour" games the big differance being that Amnesia added in some puzzles.

That said the basic formula has some potential, but to be honest once you get past the initial creepyness, it tends to mostly be annoying (wandering around in the darkness) with forced stealth mechanics (how you deal with the monsters), a constant exercise in trying to figure out what the developers wanted you to do.

I'll check out "Machine For Pigs" eventually for the atmosphere, and in order to support the development of further horror titles. That said I think in the final equasion we have yet to see the development of the ultimate horror-entertainment title.

As odd as it sounds I think the guys doing some of the little SCP games have some neat ideas. If some of those ideas and mechanics could be implemented as encounters/gimmicks in a larger title it would be interesting.

I'm also probably one of the few people who will say that I think the closest to getting a good mix of elements were the now incredibly dated games "Legacy: Realm Of Terror" and "Realms Of The Haunting". I was also fairly fond of the Elvira RPG series, even if they were on the goofy side (obviously).

What if...

what if...

PETA is involved in making this game..

 

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