Squeal – Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs Out Next Month

By Nathan Grayson on August 19th, 2013 at 8:00 am.

I bet there is candy down there. I'm nearly sure of it.

How long have we been waiting for Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs now? Has it been years? Decades? Centuries? Eons? I forget. Perhaps it’s because I HAVE AMNESIA. No, no, that’s not actually true. I just don’t feel like looking it up. But today is a good day, because there’s finally a dim, ominously flickering light at the end of the tunnel. Though the machine might be intended for pigs, we’ll be able to wrap our non-cloven hands around it early next month.

Thechineseroom screamed its happy message into the Internet’s favorite word-stuffed Thanksgiving bird: Twitter. “So, the secret is out- Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is set for release on 10th September! Can’t wait for all you little piggies to play it,” said the Dear Esther developer.

You can now preorder Machine For Pigs on Steam and GOG for a pithy $15.99. It’ll jump up to $19.99 sooner or later, but that sounds like a reasonable price either way.

That rings especially true in light of the fact that A Machine For Pigs has gone from side-story to full-on indirect sequel over the course of its development. I spoke with Dear Esther/Machine creative director Dan Pinchbeck earlier this year, and he explained the situation using some very exciting words:

“It was last summer when we realized we could make it into something much [bigger]. Not just small-scale. Maybe 13 or 14 levels and a really strong story arc. If we had that extra time, we could invest even more into things like the art and music and really push the production values hard as well.”

“I think this has ended up more of a natural successor to Dark Descent than we ever thought it’d be. 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.”

I like the sound of that. I like it very much. Also, it’s worth noting that creeptastic knee-knocker Outlast is coming out just a week before Amnesia. I’m barring my windows, bolting my doors, and buying 47 crisscrossing spotlights in excitement.

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49 Comments »

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  1. Syra says:

    Oink-an’t wait.

    • Crane says:

      I expect to hear a lot of swining about how scary this is.
      Frankly, I think people who do that are just hamming it up. They’re attention hogs, plain and simple.

    • tossrStu says:

      I wouldn’t get too excited; delays are usually a porcine of quality.

    • ZombieRiot says:

      I hope it’ll make me feel like my bacon’s on the line, or I’ll regret porking over 20 quid.

    • Doghaus says:

      I was worried the graphics would be a truffle underwhelming but actually they’re really sty-catching.

    • kilroyfx says:

      This game looks boring, but this other pig slaughter game looks amazing !!

      Funny, I have an indie game that actually has a bevy of guns and pickups, and hundreds of pig – boars- deadstock- zombie things attack you…and It has BOSS fights…and it is CO-OP. The game is only $3 and boasts 15 hours of gameplay with an ending !! I give you “Blood&Bacon” on xbox live !!

  2. ZombieRiot says:

    Reasonably excited for this, even though I haven’t finished the first one yet (never might, as me playing it is entirely dependent on a friend forcing me to for her amusement).
    Dark Descent set the bar for horror games for me, not with mechanics, or atmosphere, just with one scene, the first encounter with one of the uglies. It doesn’t jump in your face going OOGABOOGAYOUSCAREDYET, it just…strolls down the hall, like, “hey there! Later, I might eat your face, you up for that?”

    • realitysconcierge says:

      I finally settled on watching someone finish it on youtube so they could just be scared for me. No regrets!

      • Sir Buildbot Winslave says:

        Experiencing games like Amnesia vicariously does save a ton on medical costs.

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      DrScuttles says:

      Having recently got Dead Space from that EA bundle, it’s interesting to compare that game and Amnesia’s approaches to horror and scaring the player. A brief glance of Dead Space Steam discussions make the game out to be the scariest shit since giant sentient spiders annexed Loughborough.
      I’ve only played each game for a couple of hours, but Amnesia relies on a constant sense of dread, your own vulnerability in terms of health / sanity and how limited your lantern is. Dead Space has monster closets, jump scares and telegraphed setpiece fights.
      Both approaches have their place and can be entertaining, sure, but where Dead Space gave me a sense of having seen all its tricks within the first 2 hours, Amnesia gave me some serious willies. Hur hur.
      And yet I have only played it for a few hours. I should get back to it sometime.

      • ZombieRiot says:

        In the beginning, I felt Dead Space was making an effort to build an atmosphere of dread, like it was using familiar horror elements, but using them expertly (since it’s a bit older, it wasn’t all done to death yet).
        It felt like every monster I met was a threat to be overcome.
        Then it devolved and every enemy became an annoyance that lowered my ammo count while I was running around confused and something growled in the shadows somewhere.
        The fallacy of horror, in both games and movies, is to think that, the more horrific things you throw at us, the better it becomes.
        But the horror doesn’t lie in your monster design alone, it’s in the anticipation of every encounter and that’s what builds dread.
        Amnesia did that masterfully.

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          VelvetFistIronGlove says:

          Horror happens in the player’s imagination, not in the game.

          Stimulating players’ imaginations consistently to produce the desired emotions is hard. Dread is a hard thing to build up and hold there. Squick reactions are pretty easy, which is one reason why gore is so common in the horror genre. Jump scares can lead into dread, but if they become expected, they end up producing a momentary shock at best.

          Of course reactions vary from player to player—some find Dead Space and System Shock 2 to be very scary; I found neither to be scary at all. Gone Home was a much scarier game for me, because I hate being alone in an empty house.

          • ZombieRiot says:

            Well, there are several forms of horror, as an emotion, as a narrative device. Gore producing a different kind of emotion than whispers in a dark hallway might, for example.
            But yes, obviously it’s a very personal thing, anything involving insanity tends to scare me, for example, while guts’n’gore only make me overanalyze the SFX.

      • fitzroy_doll says:

        My take is the same, but with the words “Dead Space” and “Amnesia” reversed, and with “set piece” replaced with “puzzle”. I got into Dead Space – it worked for me. Amnesia felt like nothing more than a series of puzzles interrupted by some straightforward haunted house fare.

  3. Mr. Mister says:

    That’s not the secret… the real secret is what exactly is Frictional Games’ current top-secret project (referred to by them as such).

  4. drvoke says:

    I’m really looking forward to this. I almost bounced off of Amnesia until I just toughed it out and got out of the basement, whereupon it consumed several thoroughly enjoyable evenings of my life. That ending, though. Man… that was bad. Everything leading up to it was at least adequate, often superb. There’s really no excuse this time. Do not call up that which you cannot put down!

  5. LennyLeonardo says:

    Yay! Oh no!

  6. Meat Circus says:

    Nope. Nope nope nope. NOPE.

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      phuzz says:

      I have trouble even watching Amnesia. There is no way I can possibly play this game.
      Which is a shame, because I’m glad it exists, it’s just too damn scary for me.

      (I had to stop playing Gone Home because it was late at night and I found it too creepy.)

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    CelticPixel says:

    A:TDD is probably one of my top 3 games of all time although the story and voice acting was a bit lack-luster, but given the Chinese Room’s narrative chops I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve done in this department. My most anticipated game this year!

  8. GameCat says:

    I hope they don’t screw it up. Amnesia for me was everything but scary. It was boring as hell. In horror games where my character can die I must care for that character at least a little. No such thing exist in Amnesia. I was only scared because I knowed that after getting killed I will be forced to replay boring bits of this game. Meh.

    BTW, Dear Esther was much better at setting unpleasant atmosphere. It was so good that I was waiting to fucking Cthulhu emerging from water surrounding that island to devour whole mankind.
    Once I spotted some shady character in background, I was surprised, because I knowed that there’s no other people except me. It was only piece of wood, my imagination added that character.
    Few months after playing I was informed that you really can see some shadows in this game.
    I was like -> O_O

    BTW, after all I’m the person who thinks that the best horror movie ever is Picnic at Hanging Rock, so…

    TL;DR -> Amnesia is boring and shit and doesn’t scary at all, really subtle horror that you almost can’t notice > all other kind of horrors, I hope that squeal of Amnesia will be more like Dear Esther.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Ha ha. “Squeal”.

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      Aluschaaf says:

      Funny how fast you go from “didn’t work for me” to “Amnesia is boring and shit” :D.

      • GameCat says:

        It’s psychological move: “what, he thinks that Amnesia is shit? I’m gonna read whole post!”. :)

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      phuzz says:

      I’m not sure about the full release, but the original mod version of Dear Esther had at least one ‘shadow person’ (really just a standard NPC coloured black), that you’d spot in the distance, but never see up close.
      Unless you no-clipped your way up to it, which ruined the effect.

  9. flang says:

    So, how long till we see a somber editorial criticizing thechineseroom’s “little piggies” comment as hurtful and insensitive to fat people? I’m betting two days, at most.

    • neems says:

      You know what is even more boring than sombre editorials? Having to listen to people bitch about them in entirely unrelated threads.

      For what it’s worth, I don’t hear the phrase ‘little piggies’ and think it’s a reference to fat people, but you do. So maybe we’ll get a sombre editorial criticising your views.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Dear me. Someone needs to go and read one of the other PC games sites.

      • neems says:

        Apologies Mr Rossignol, I normally try to avoid getting embroiled in this sort of thing, it’s a waste of everybody’s time.

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      JamesTheNumberless says:

      Whoa, where the hell did he…

      How apt, this review must have had a monster cupboard.

  10. Talesdreamer says:

    The frist one didn’t scare me to much. The atmosphere completely vanishes once you realize there are no monsters roaming freely (except for a few levels), but only scripted scenes. Also, too many lights scattered fucking everywhere to be remotely worried about finishing your light sources.
    But I have hope for the sequel.

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      JamesTheNumberless says:

      To me it was mostly the intrigue and horror of uncovering the story – which years of reading horror stories had prepared me for… Sadly though, when you did uncover it, it wasn’t scary anymore. Amnesia could have done without the guy at the end as much as the original Alone in the Dark could have done without the underground bits. I thoroughly enjoyed the game until the prison level, where I felt they just spammed the zombies, doors & darkness mechanic. repairing the elevator and taking in the atmosphere in the earlier parts of the game were my gameplay hilights.

  11. Hauskamies says:

    Really looking forward to the new Amnesia. Outlast on the other hand looks terrifyingly dull.

  12. airtekh says:

    Preordered.

    I loved Amnesia to bits, and this looks like it will be just as atmospheric as its predecessor.

  13. Doghaus says:

    Can’t wait! The first one unleashed a brown hurricane in my pantaloons (argh prison level argh) I fully expect this one to be brilliant as well.

  14. MeestaNob says:

    This will be out and I still wont have grown the balls to play the first one.

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    El_MUERkO says:

    I look forward to watching videos of other people soiling themselves while playing this. I will not be as I have relatively few good pairs of underwear.

    • SD says:

      The pre-order should come with a coupon for a free packet of man-diapers. I’ll be having mine at the ready… it’s for a good cause. Indie support, y’know?

  16. Shadowcat says:

    I loved (most of) Amnesia, and I watched a trailer for AMFP the other day, whereupon I realised that the sound of screaming pigs being hacked into pieces was going to keep me from ever playing this game. Which makes part of me sad — if they’ve managed to build on what made Amnesia great then it should be an awesome game — but I’m just not going to put myself through that.

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    strangeloup says:

    Think I’m going to wait for reviews (or, more specifically, a Wot I Think) on this one. I love Dear Esther (which also reminds me that I’ve not seen anything about Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture in a while) and I’m confident that the devs can do very good work, but Amnesia: The Dark Descent did nothing for me. I know I’m very much in the minority here, but I’ve tried to get into it several times and found it unengaging.

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      Hodge says:

      I was wondering about Rapture a week or so ago, and when I went investigating I saw that they’ve removed all references to it from their website. Instead there’s a placeholder page about a ‘current game’ which the old Rapture page redirects to.

      I guess this means it’s either been cancelled or reworked/folded into a new project. I hope it does make it out in some form because it sounded like a brilliant idea.

  18. Jake says:

    Can’t wait. I didn’t like Amnesia as much as Penumbra (the setting wasn’t as interesting to me, and my play through had a game breaking bug that really put me off). But I think I would play this game based solely on the title, everything about it sounds horrific and intriguing.

  19. revan says:

    It’s also worth noting, for those who haven’t had the opportunity to be scared to death, that Amnesia: The Dark Descent can be had for paltry $2.74 on Humble Bundle weekly sale at this very moment.

    https://www.humblebundle.com/weekly

    Can’t wait for the sound of pigs next month.

  20. Jerakal says:

    Now that is an acceptable price-tag for a videogame. I cannot wait for the day when the majority of digital downloads follow this price model.

  21. kilroyfx says:

    This game looks boring, but this other pig slaughter game looks amazing !!

    Funny, I have an indie game that actually has a bevy of guns and pickups, and hundreds of pig – boars- deadstock- zombie things attack you…and It has BOSS fights…and it is CO-OP. The game is only $3 and boasts 15 hours of gameplay with an ending !! I give you “Blood&Bacon” on xbox live !!