(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP009fvbt8c (/ embed)
In 2018, riot police developers Aidan Karabaich and Anthony Leung formed Singularity 6 with the intention of delivering "alternative worlds that would deepen players' lives." Three years later, the studio has announced its first game called Palia, a "sim community MMO" that looks a bit like Sims and a bit like Animal Crossing, with a bit of a Final Fantasy social look. 14.
Palia seems to take on the cozy, relaxing nature of a sim game and turn it into an MMO format, emphasizing collaboration and just hanging out with your friends. The game focuses on a world in which humans consider themselves a "legendary race" that disappeared thousands of years ago, until, of course, you and all your human friends magically appear out of nowhere.
Here are all the usual simulation things (fishing, gardening, bug catching) that can be done alone or with other players. Singularity 6 also promises a "robust set of character creation options" for skin tone, universal hairstyles and a "flexible fashion system". However, you can assume that you will not be able to play as a non-human, as this is the main point of the plot. The game also seeks to bring out some of the more traditional MMO mechanics with things like Neighborhoods, the Palia equivalent of guilds, with rewards for things like completing tasks together.
One of the great attractions is the ability to build and decorate your home, as everyone gets their own small plot of land to work on. Homes are set up so you won’t be able to build a bit of a cul-de-sac with your friends, but at least it denies housing crisis MMOs like Final Fantasy 14 for years. Singularity 6 says more than 1,000 decorating items will be available when the game launches, along with customization options.
Interestingly, Palia also allows you to romance with NPCs. I say this strangely, because I find it strange to think that you could be romantically involved with the same person as one of your friends, even though the game is based on a collaborative effort. I will humbly ask anyone I play with to leave my future NPC partner alone, especially if I can be romantic with the adorable robot fisherman seen in the trailer.
It seems like the game has a lot to offer and while it ticks many of my personal boxes, I can’t help but feel that it all sounds pretty ambitious. I worry about him falling into the same trap there were so many MMOs before they succumbed, but Singularity 6 seems confident in Palia’s potential. I will continue to watch and a game that I hope will not fall into its own greatness.
Palia will enter pre-alpha later this summer, and you can sign up to participate through the official website.