Posts Tagged ‘Frictional Games’

So Much Clanky, Creepy Foreboding In This SOMA Trailer

SOMA-uch? No, that doesn't work at all

Everyone knows that the scariest things aren’t actually monsters themselves. It’s the horrors lurking in our own runaway imaginations, creatures of such impossible (and impossibly specific) phobia that our only recourse is to head for the hills long before we ever see them. That’s the power of a great horror environment. SOMA‘s Upsilon research facility, for instance, creaks, groans, and whines quietly to itself like a child who’s afraid of the dark. From there, your mind does the heavy lifting. Watch below, and then read about Amnesia: The Dark Descent developer Frictional’s core design pillars for its sci-fi madhouse.

Read the rest of this entry »

Level With Me, Thomas Grip

Level With Me is a series of interviews with game developers about their games, work process, and design philosophy. At the end of each interview, they design part of a small first person game. You can play this game at the very end of the series.

Thomas Grip is creative director of Frictional Games, based in Helsingborg, Sweden. They’re known mostly for the Penumbra (a first person horror game series) and Amnesia (another first person horror game series), and they’re currently working on another first person horror game called SOMA (a first person horror game). Astute readers may sense a pattern.
Read the rest of this entry »

Play Gone Home’s Original Prototype… In Amnesia

On the left: 'Ahhhhhhh, finally home!' On the right: 'DON'T GO IN THERE DON'T GO IN THERE DON'T GO'

Everything starts somewhere. Even the greatest of successes have humble beginnings, and Gone Home’s previously known origins were already pretty darn grassroots. That makes this revelation about its start as an Amnesia: The Dark Descent mod double-humble, as far as I’m concerned. What I’m saying is, Gone Home could be in a Humble Bundle all by itself. It is that humble. But anyway. Frictional and Fullbright have unearthed the very, very early Gone Home Amnesia prototype, and you can play it right now. Details after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Drain: First SOMA Footage

After two live action teasers, Frictional have released the first in-engine footage of SOMA. It’s first-person sci-fi horror, as expected, although there’s a Giger-esque quality to the dripping carapace walls and biomechanical brain-teasing tentacles that the previous media hadn’t hinted at. Story-wise, there’s something unpleasant and experimental happening and it seems to involve some manner of personality transference or sharing. Gray matter has been teased from skulls and yet thinks on. I could do without the main character’s exclamations of the obvious but otherwise, it all looks jolly good. The greatest fear of all is pushed to one side at the end of the trailer, when a logo dismisses the mooted PS4 exclusivity.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Second Look At SOMA


We still don’t know much about SOMA, Amnesia developers Frictional’s next game. But there is a general theme emerging from the teaser videos: the first video showed an engineer attempting to communicate with what appeared to be a H.R. Giger’s CRT monitor. This new video shows the same engineer talking to a disassembled robot. In the game’s fiction, it’s a “standard UH3 articulated robot,” and it “spontaneously developed a desire to socialize from observing human interaction.” It gets creepier. Way creepier.
Read the rest of this entry »

CRT Of Evil: Frictional’s Next Game Is SOMA


I’ve spent the past few days F5ing Frictional’s teaser site for their next game, which has been promising a new sci-fi game from Amnesia chaps. Well, my patience has finally been rewarded. The site is live with a scant amount of data about a thing called SOMA. All the information is based on the game’s fiction, so there’s no context to what we’re seeing. All I know is it’s sci-fi, and the machine at the heart of all this looks like a kid’s TV bad guy: it is an evil monitor. Live action trailer entitled “Vivarium” is below.
Read the rest of this entry »

Fin De Siècle: Amnesia – A Machine For Pigs

I’ve spent most of the week thinking about Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs. I finished the story at the weekend and spent the last five minutes of the game with a huge grin plastered across my face. Not the reaction that a horror game might hope to elicit but thechineseroom’s cleverly concealed secret, hidden behind the dark curtain of that title, is that in some ways they haven’t really constructed a horror game at all. Thankfully, they’ve made something far more interesting instead.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Amnesia – A Machine For Pigs


Fear is the event of the season. We shouldn’t be surprised. As Ol’ Grandfather Gillen pointed out so long ago, it’s something that games are good at. It might be the thing that they are best at. Amnesia: The Dark Descent was one of the highlights in that regard: a world where vulnerability and atmospherics smothered you like the pillow in the hands of a maniac. Its sequel, A Machine For Pigs, wants to pull off the same tricks. Only more. Only worse.

The horror? The horror? Here’s wot I feel.

Read the rest of this entry »

Squeal – Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs Out Next Month

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Amnesia: Another Delay For Pigs

I am the jolly laughing hippo of your fears.

I do not have amnesia, but I just nearly rewrote the intro from my last post about an Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs delay, so that’s kind of eerie. Also, indicative! Thechineseroom’s slow-roasting, pork-flavored reinvention of Frictional’s modern classic has missed the mark a few times now, and it’s all starting to kind of run together. Granted, the last slippage yielded a larger, much more Amnesia-esque experience, so delays definitely aren’t silently slurping this one’s bones in the dark. At this point, it’s all about polish, and the dynamic developer duo would much rather be great than fast.

Read the rest of this entry »

TCR: Machine For Pigs Now ‘Much More’ Like Amnesia

After spending many eerily silent ages in the dark, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs is finally just about ready to see the light of day. Games, however, don’t usually stew in the boiling juices of development because it feels nice. (That’s why I do it, but shush, don’t tell anyone.) Thechineseroom’s take on Frictional tour de force of terror, then, has fleshvomited all manner of new appendages, morphing itself into an entirely different beast than originally conceived. But what, exactly, does that entail? During a recent interview with RPS, thechineseroom creative director Dan Pinchbeck outlined what’s happened and explained why A Machine For Pigs ultimately ended up a far more natural successor to Amnesia: The Dark Descent than anyone – himself included – expected.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pig(s) Out – Amnesia: Machine For Pigs’ Release In Sight

This is actually an entirely accurate depiction of how I will play this game. I plan to stand in one spot with a light and never move.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Afraid Of The Light? Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs Trailer

Squint. No, SQUINT. There - you can see something!

It’s been too long since we saw some moving pictures of the Amnesia sequel, A Machine For Pigs, this time developed by the Dear Esther team, thechineseroom. But we need wait no longer, as the fast approach of All Saints Day means spooky footage is of the highest order, and you can see the new trailer below. It’s a bit scary.

Read the rest of this entry »

Amnesia Devs Hint At Next Project, Dismiss Piracy

ok right then i am going to shine this lamp behind me now and hope the next pile i come across is kittens - LIVING kittens.

It’s easy to forget Amnesia. And I don’t mean that in the sense that it’s a forgettable experience (it’s most certainly not) or that amnesia, the unfortunate mental condition, might lead to forgetfulness (duh). Rather, Dark Descent’s been out for two years, and it’s become pretty far removed from the public eye. Sure, it’ll occasionally pop up on the cover of some trashy tabloid rag (Did you know that it’s become both fat and Bigfoot?), but thechineseroom-developed A Machine For Pigs is now the series’ main attention hog. Over on Frictional’s blog, though, there’s an “Amnesia – Two Years Later” post that provides some super interesting info about the oppressively scary hit’s present and a brief taste of what Frictional’s up to now.

Read the rest of this entry »

Amnesia: AMFP Forgets Release Date, Slips Into 2013

That pig's only crime was loving too much. And also cannibalism.

It’s Halloween night, and you’re safe and sound in your own home. Even so, you feel a creeping sense of dread slowly start to take hold, but you can’t put your finger on what exactly is causing it. You glance over your shoulder. A werewolf. You glance over your other shoulder. A giant spider with masses of smaller spiders for eyes. You look in a mirror. Turns out, you’re dissolving into a writhing pile of centipedes. Then, the horror begins: “Sorry, guys,” you say. “Amnesia got delayed into 2013. We can’t play it tonight like we’d planned.” So your party’s really boring and anticlimactic – just like the end of this little story.

Read the rest of this entry »

Squeal: Amnesia – A Machine For Pigs Trailer

The first footage for Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs all but confirms that the machine in question is not a belly-tickling porcine laughter factory, so there’s my hopes of a My Little Piglet friendship simulator dashed to bits against a dank wall. From Dear Esther developers The Chinese Room and Frictional, the game looks much more like The Dark Descent than I’d expected, wavering vision, cowering and hideous unseen hunters all being present and horribly incorrect. There are also outdoor areas though, which immediately gives me hope for greater variety in locations and maybe even a stronger adventure element. Could be very special.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Decrypting & Dehairing Frictional’s ‘A Machine For Pigs’

It's only sleeping

Breaking news, if you were reading the internet a couple of days ago. Following a brief ARG, a tiny, hopeful squeak of detail has emerged for the next game from Amnesia devs Frictional. Frankly anything is more useful than ‘it might be set in China, possibly‘, but in this case we have a couple of pieces of creepy, bloody concept art and a possible title.

That title? ‘A Machine For Pigs.’ Which sounds ever so slightly like a change of direction for George R.R. Martin’s reader-mocking novels, but also appears to refer directly to the abbatoir-esque scenes in the concept art. But is that the real name, or just a codename? I’ve done some research into animal-slaughtering equipment and come up with some EXCITING ALTERNATIVES.
Read the rest of this entry »

Frictional Teases Next Amnesia

Boo! No, nothing? Y U NO SCARED?
Trouser-colour troublers Frictional Games, makers of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, have dramatically unveiled a website for their next game, pulling aside a metaphorical curtain, making thunder noises with their mouths and flicking the lights on and off. Scared? Nope? You’re just made of steel, aren’t you? I’d have thought a website with a blurry image with the word “Amnesia” on it in scary script and a link to a Google Map of China (click the image, if you dare) would have made you curl up into a ball. So what is going on? Well, I’m afraid I know as much as you do, apart from the two little more bits of information contained below this terrifying jump. Dare you? Mwahahaha…
Read the rest of this entry »

Frictional: The Horror, Then More Horror


I remember when Frictional released Amnesia, there appeared to be a lot of talk about whether a game so relentlessly horrible would have a broad appeal. Refreshingly frank about both potential and actual sales figures, the team said 100,000 copies would be a dream figure. What, then, would they make of four times that number? It can only be assumed that dreams have piled upon other dreams, Inception-style, for 400,000 units have been shifted. So, yes, they have their dreams and almost half a million people now have fresh nightmares. I, for one, am now so afraid that doors will not open in the correct direction for a hasty retreat that I must check every single one when entering a new building. Just in case.

Read the rest of this entry »