Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is an upcoming survival horror video game, currently under development by thechineseroom and to be published by Frictional Games. No exact release date has yet been scheduled, although shipping is speculated for early 2013 after being pushed to a later date due to both the "overwhelming response" and Frictional Games desire to meet the expectations of the public. It has been delayed further due to the increase in game size from 'experimental game' to 'a full fledged Amnesia game'. The game is now expected to released quarter 2.
The game is to be an "indirect sequel" to The Dark Descent set in the same universe, but featuring different characters at a later period in time.
Set in 1899 (60 years after The Dark Descent), the game will follow Oswald Mandus, a wealthy industrialist, who returns from a "disastrous" expedition to Mexico, where tragedy struck. Hit by fever, Mandus has frequent dreams about a dark machine until he regains consciousness. Little does he know that months have passed, and upon awakening, he hears the roar of an engine and a mysterious machine starts up. The game will feature several interlocking storylines. Some take place in the past, some in the present, and some are overtly real while some may be imagined.
Initially codenamed as "gameB", the announcement of A Machine for Pigs was preceded by a viral marketing and alternate reality game campaign that began when Frictional Games updated their website Next Frictional Game, which has prior been used to announce the first installment, in early 2012. The website featured a heavily blurred image, the Amnesia logo and a caption reading "Something is emerging...".
The blurred image was hyperlinked to "Google Maps" with the search field set as "China". The website was later updated with a slightly less blurred image, and hyperlinked to Google Maps with the search field set as "Boreray". It was updated for a second time, with a non-blurred image (a piece of concept art), redirecting to Google Maps with the search field set as "502 2nd Avenue in Seattle". The three hyperlinks were hints towards thechineseroom's involvement in the game (a previous game by thechineseroom, Dear Esther, was set on an Hebridean island like Boreray, and the address in Seattle pointed towards a restaurant named 'The Chinese Room').
Examination of the site's source code led fans to a webpage that resembled a computer console with usable commands and a countdown. After the expiration of the countdown, a message on the page read "A machine for pigs coming fall two thousand twelve." The game was formally announced via video game blog Joystiq.
On June 14, 2012, the first teaser trailer was released on the frictionalgames YouTube channel. It showed various scenes from the game, from industrial settings to more studious rooms. In the final shot, the character wakes up to the sound of an enemy breaking down a door making pig-like grunts and squeals. An unseen creature enters the room, its shadow is cast against the back wall as the player hides under a set of stairs.
Also unveiled was the website for the game.
On October 31st, 2012, to coincide with Halloween, a second trailer was posted to the frictionalgames YouTube channel. A lot of new features were shown such as the updated lantern, the new voice for the main character and the trailer also shows a lot more scenery, and creepily, the pig slaughterhouse, where the player is cornered by the new monster of the game. You can see the monster for a very short period of time and the groans of it sound like some pig human mutation.
On March 21st, 2013, a new clue was given about the storyline. Whenever the page was loaded, a letter popped up displaying a picture of a street from the industrial times. It told a message sent from Mrs Tabitha Stepwood to the main character, Oswald Mandus, thanking him for the creation of a programme which would most likely reform child labour. Nonetheless, the last line, which says "...They will, I assure you sir, make the most wonderful additions to your product line", could suggest that these children were being incorporated to The Machine in a way.
As of April 10th, 2013, the letter was replaced with a short poem accompanied by an image of a wealthy, yet foreboding house. What appears to be two faces can be seen peering out of the third story window. The poem reads:
'Thus ever when we stumble by
Wet grasses on the knee bent low
And place our flowers by thy grave
And weeping, grip the soil below
And lift our children to the skies
And love for them, and conquer death
With candleights and tables tipped
We call your spirit back to us
A footfall in the darkened halls
Our twins at play, a lover's laugh'
By May 6th, 2013, the previous poem (posted on April 10th, 2013) was replaced with yet another poem. The accompanied artwork appears to be the layout/anatomy of a basement level shaft within a factory's boiler room/area. A small silhouette of a person can be seen standing at the base of the staircase on the left side of the shaft. The poem follows as such:
'Thrupenny sixpence sparrows and doves
See all the angels a-weeping above
There's no more forgiving, there's no-one to save
For today darling Lily goes into her grave'