Dear Esther Devs Making Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs

This little piggy had none

As it was rumoured, so it shall be. Dear Esther’s lead writer, Dan Pinchbeck, has revealed to Joystiq that thechineseroom are working on A Machine For Pigs, set in Amnesia’s world, although it won’t be a direct sequel to the dimly lit descent. It will, however, star a wealthy industrialist called Daniel Plainview Oswald Mandus, who returns from an ill-fated trip to Mexico in 1899 and finds that his body is plagued with fever and his mind is plagued with nightmares that revolve around an ominous machine. Possibly for pigs. Probably not some sort of mechanical pig disco and daycare centre.

Frictional will be producing the game, with thechineseroom seemingly taking on full development duties, which means their other unannounced project may involve a less horrific adventure, as had previously been hinted.

The first part of the title isn’t just a reminder of unremembrances past either; Oswald’s illness sends him into a month long slumber, from which he awakes to hear the engine of the machine grumbling into action. Oh dear. We’ve only seen three pieces of concept art and I’m already of the opinion that Oswald has a supernatural meat processing plant in his basement, churning everyone he knows and loves into piles of spam.

Frictional are hoping to release the game before Halloween and I’m hoping that it has the elegance of Amnesia’s interactions (the elegance of repeatedly slamming a door into my own face while screaming in the dark) combined with Pinchbeck’s more gentle coaxing of narrative. It could be a great meating of minds.


  1. Jams O'Donnell says:

    This is super exciting. I really really need to get round to giving Amnesia a proper go, though.

    • Meat Circus says:

      One does not simply “give Amnesia a go”. One starts it up and then whimpers pathetically, hyperventilating and then refuses to touch it for six months because one is WEAK and PATHETIC.

    • Prime says:

      Pffft. Amnesia sorts the Men from the Man-children. If you can’t play it alone, in the dark, with the volume up high, then you really need to think about handing back your Man-card and maybe becoming a Brony instead.

    • Quasar says:

      I’ve been standing in a prison cell in Amnesia for about six months now. Every so often I’ll load it up, try to open the door, hear something outside, and quit the game in panic.

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      Adam Smith says:

      I believe I was the previous tenant of that cell – lived there for three months!

    • jrodman says:


    • Quizboy says:

      Pfffff. I went into Amnesia without a clue what to expect and found it enjoyably tense and atmospheric (for the first two thirds, and a letdown in the last one) but nothing like all this pant-shittery, and I’m the girliest male in the world. Most of the really squealy freaked-out reactions seem to be from mandudes. Maybe it’s time to revise the stuff associated with masculinity, based on the evidence: we can start saying ‘man up’ to mean ‘curl up in a ball and have a little cry’. It’ll be great.

    • ThatGuy says:

      Jail Cell? At least you have a dry place to sit, I’m currently perched on a box in a waterlogged room refusing to move. 5 hours in and it’s all been spent trying to reason with the Kaernk.

    • Meat Circus says:

      What if we could talk to the kaernk? Wouldn’t that be something?

    • CilindroX says:

      Yup, seven months in the Cistern. I figured “THERE’S NO FUCKING WAY I’M GOING INTO THE MORGUE WITHOUT A SHOTGUN” and then realized there’s lots of water on the Cistern’s floor… CRYING HAPPY TIMES

    • Meat Circus says:

      FWIW, the water in the Cistern is completely harmless. Until the point at which it’s not.

    • CilindroX says:

      @Meat Circus: Well, that’s exactly why I’ve built this fort with rocks and wood, and I’m not planing on going anywhere until my 12 gauge arrives

    • Synesthesia says:

      HA you are all pathetic you just need to stay awake and away from the water once you learn to never sleep its all ok its all ok its all ok

    • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

      Amnesia was ruined for me by ubiquitous unanimous praise from every corner of the Internet. It was a well-made, reasonably spooky game, but there was no way it could have lived up to what all the “pantsshitting” people made it out to be.

    • Geen says:

      Yeah, it’s all about learning to not sleep and to make bad things go away with your mind. I’ve spent at least a month hiding somewhere in a closet in the morgue. Oh god, it’s coming…

  2. bear912 says:

    I am pleased. Very pleased.

    I do believe I shall be preordering this beast when the time comes, just as I did for Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

    Edit: Oh my goodness! I just realized that this means Jessica Curry will, presumably, be involved with the sound and music. This is also pleasing!

    • G-Lord says:

      Same here. Preordered every Frictional game so far. I’m glad that it sounds like they are still heavily involved in this title.

    • jamesom says:

      That she is. If I recall she is doing the one for Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.

  3. JackDandy says:

    So, production wise, I’m guessing this is kinda like the same deal Fallout: New Vegas had, with Bethesda producing/publishing it, and Obsidian doing the actual writing and game design and using Bethesda’s engine?

    This sounds pretty sweet. I haven’t played Dear Esther, but I hope those dudes can create a nice terrifying story just as well as Frictional.

  4. Meat Circus says:

    I wonder if it will take me a year to play this one because I’m to shit-scared to even run it?

    • caddyB says:

      I still haven’t played Amnesia for this reason.

    • McCool says:

      I’m actually too scared to even read about this game. No joke. The concept just sounds like all of my deepest fears rolled into one. AAAAAAAAAAAAH.

  5. LennyLeonardo says:

    Yay! Boo! I’m so conflicted. I love Amnesia so much, but still haven’t been able to finish it due to cowardice. Maybe this will be the kick in the arse I need.

    All the way through Dear Esther I kept thinking if a monster pops out now I’ll literally shit myself even though I knew there were no monsters in it. It had a similar kind of tension to Amnesia that way. So this could be fantastic/horrifying.

    • Meat Circus says:

      No monsters in Dear Esther? Well…

      Start a new game, walk into the lighthouse, and look upwards. Notice anything?

    • Lev Astov says:

      There was something in the lighthouse? I just played Dear Esther last night and could have swore something flitted by the edge of vision when I was in there, but I didn’t really see anything. I also definitely heard a single ‘THUNK’ when I was in there.

      Very nice game, btw.

    • Meat Circus says:

      There is. There’s a… shadow watching you from the top. And it darts out of view as soon as it realises you’re looking at it.

      They appear in a couple of other places too. Just watching you from afar, right on the edge of vision, and then vanishing before you have a chance to be sure you saw them:


  6. Inigo says:

    The Amnesia engine would be good for a Zork game.

    • Prime says:

      It so would! Quick-someone pass this along to Obsidian and tell them this should be their next game!

    • DrScuttles says:

      I was going to pass that along to Obsidian, but it’s dark here. I am likely to be eaten by a grue.

  7. DickSocrates says:

    I was so scared I didn’t even buy it. No, wait. I was sooo scared when I first heard of its existence I turned my PC off and buried it. No, no, ACTUALLY, when I first heard the word ‘amnesia’ I shot myself to be safe.

  8. MuscleHorse says:

    I played Amnesia and found it to be forgettable.

  9. Hoaxfish says:

    I shall imagine some sort of pig-combing device. All my porcine shall be finely coiffured.

  10. Raziel_Alex says:

    So many people saying they can not or did not finish Amnesia…
    Just jump into it, people, like you would jump in that fire to save your loved ones. I didn’t consider myself able to resist horrible terrors and yet finishing Amnesia 2-3 times and playing it at night has been incredible. I could call it a “horror endorphin”… I am unable to resist it.

  11. Quizboy says:

    Plus it stops being at all scary and starts resembling someone’s out-of-scale first Quake level about two thirds of the way through. So you (cowards!) just need to get over the hump.

    That said I am really looking forward to Pass the Pigs. Amnesia’s high points were very, very high; it’s just that the lows were all the more disappointing in contrast.

    • Meat Circus says:

      That’s balls. The rooms off transcept are right at the end of the game, and are icky beyond belief. I felt dirty playing them.

  12. bitbot says:

    It’s worth noting that they will be using Amnesia’s game engine (HPL) so expect it to work exactly like that, with the nice physics and all.

  13. McCool says:

    Wonderful news. This could be the start of something special.

  14. jackass00 says:

    I can only play this game in the light of day, without sound, sitting on my mommas lap. And even then I’m scared shitless.

  15. Anthile says:

    This news made me squeal like a pig.

    • Raziel_Alex says:

      Great, now everyone will make ham-fisted remarks about the game.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      Of course. There are always someone hogging the thread with remarks like that.

      You really ought to stop before the whole thing sow-ers.

  16. Keirley says:

    ohmygodohmygodohmygod, dream come true.

  17. Anaphiel says:

    Ozzie Mandus?

  18. Nameless1 says:

    I just hope it will be more frightening than amnesia (I found penumbra far better on that side), that’s all I ask :)

  19. Muad'Dib says:

    Kudos for Daniel Plainview reference.

    • DuddBudda says:

      why? he’s a great character in a great book that was made into a great movie, but what does he have to do with Amnesia?

  20. Just Endless says:

    Can someone inform me if my dislike of Amnesia is valid?
    I bought it, certain I would enjoy it, and couldn’t. It’s the controls. I feel like it’s a brilliant idea, but when I’m panicking cause the water beneath my feet contains demon fish I cannot see, and the boxes I’m hopping across are sparse, what I’m actually panicking about is that the physics engine can’t properly handle the concept of jumping. I felt like most of my struggle to stay alive was not, WHAT TO DO! but HOW DO I GET THE GAME TO LET ME DO THIS?

    No, anyone?

    • Sinomatic says:

      Having never got further than the opening screen before chickening out, I can’t comment on the jumping, but am I the only person who thought the water monster was an upright, invisible evil making splashy footsteps, rather than some sub-merged demon fish?

  21. Sinomatic says:

    Another game I will never play, but will likely buy, and happily sit watching Let’s Plays of on youtube.

    Scream, youtuber, SCREAM.

  22. Ahnteis says:

    Every time I’ve read about this game, all I can think of is this:

    There was a little Dutch boy, his name was Johnny Verbeck
    He was a dealer in sausages and sauerkraut and spec
    He made the finest sausages you ever would have seen
    One day he invented the sausage-making machine

    Oh, Mr. Johnny Verbeck, how could you be so mean
    I told you you’d be sorry for inventing that machine
    Now all the neighbors’ cats and dogs will never more be seen
    They’ve all been ground to sausages in Johnny Verbeck’s machine

    One day a little fat boy came walking through the door
    He bought a pound of sausages and laid them on the floor
    The boy began to whistle, he whistled up a tune
    And all the little sausages were dancing ’round the room

    Oh, Mr. Johnny Verbeck, how could you be so mean
    I told you you’d be sorry for inventing that machine
    Now all the neighbors’ cats and dogs will never more be seen
    They’ve all been ground to sausages in Johnny Verbeck’s machine

    One day the thing was broken, the darn thing wouldn’t go
    So Johnny Verbeck, he climbed inside, to see what made it so
    Along came his wife, who was walking in her sleep
    She gave the crank an awful yank and Johnny Verbeck was meat

    Oh, Mr. Johnny Verbeck, how could you be so mean
    I told you you’d be sorry for inventing that machine
    Now all the neighbors’ cats and dogs will never more be seen
    They’ve all been ground to sausages in Johnny Verbeck’s machine

  23. monny1279 says:

    I am I the ONLY person who noticed that Oswald Mandus is suspiciously close to Ozzymandias?

    • Ruffian says:

      i would say there’s a good chance. makes me want to read this “pig”.

  24. Jerakal says:

    “Meating” Oh you!

  25. Ruffian says:

    sounds like the recipe for a great horror/adventure to me! can’t wait!

  26. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    There will be pigs?

  27. cokeysion says:

    I am a brony and I sat and played Amnesia all the way through. I also played Dear Esther which was an interesting game and did feel reminiscent of Amnesia. So I find it it fitting that some of the same people behind Dear Esther will make the next addition to the Amnesia series. And go bronies. :3