Machines are hard to build. So many nuts and bolts and gears and rubber bands and ceaseless triathlete hamsters to arrange. But machines for pigs? They make regular ol' mazes of mechanical madness look easy. I say this, of course, not from a place of personal experience, but from watching Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs slip 'n' slide from Halloween last year all the way into the indiscriminate reaches of 2013. But now, finally, it's gracefully pirouetting into place, and Frictional's seen fit to both paint a target and explain exactly what took so long in the first place.
First, the good news: thechineseroom has finished its work on the first-person be-constantly-on-the-verge-of-a-heart-attack-er, and a "final version" is now in Frictional's hands. But these days, "final" and "done" apparently mean different things, so Amnesia's not out of the woods just yet. The plan is to release in Q2 of 2013 after a round of "testing, tweaking, optimizing, porting, translating and all those things that are part of the process of creating and releasing a game." I'm pretty sure they're also all part of a Daft Punk song.
But really, why have we been forced to endure so many long, restful nights of not constantly looking over our shoulders in the first place? Well, according to Frictional, A Machine For Pigs is no longer just Dark Descent's adorably porcine younger sibling.
"How come a game meant for Halloween 2012 has been delayed for so long? Originally we thought it would be a short, experimental game set in the universe of Amnesia, but thechineseroom had a vision that was bigger than that. As their work progressed, the potential for a much greater project emerged. What we ended up with is no longer what we had first imagined, but a fully fledged Amnesia game. A different kind of Amnesia, but definitely not a short experiment."
So that's probably worth getting excited about. In case you need a reminder, Dear Esther was a magical thing - highly experimental, yet largely successful in realizing its winding, vaguely haunting vision - so a take on Amnesia from its collective brainswarm is an enticing prospect indeed.
More soon? It sure seems likely. And I am working on Something maybe related to that. We'll see what happens.