Like snuggling up with a good book, The games offer the chance to get lost in a fascinating story, explore a new world, or simply build your dream turnip farm down to the smallest detail. For fans of role-playing games and simulations, this is usually a lonely affair. But that is about to change.
palia is a new online community simulation from Singularity 6, the first game from the Los Angeles-based developer comprised of industry veterans from Blizzard, Epic, Riot, Zynga, and Sony. It brings together elements of indie darling Stardew Valley and Nintendo’s hit Animal Crossing series to create a comfortable, inviting world with a plethora of options to customize your home, neighborhood, and even your relationships. Of course, MMORPGs like Final Fantasy XIV— and more recently Genshin Impact— allow you to get crafty by building your own house in the game. But unlike those titles, the main focus of palia don’t cut monsters into pieces. It’s much cooler than that.
What are your favorite games and platforms in 2021, and which upcoming releases are you most excited about? Participate in our survey !
In a media preview before the launch of paliaIn the first trailer, there were no infamous villains to kill. (The developers briefly mentioned an upgrade system, but didn’t elaborate.) Instead, the focus is on village life, with woodland creatures, a hulking purple bartender, and even a robot wearing a dapper straw hat. Instead of being a swordsman or a mage, you can be an accomplished cook, an enviable gardener, a renowned fisherman, or simply the proud owner of the prettiest house in town. There are also plenty of opportunities to get creative with your character’s look – paliaThe character creation system includes a wide variety of face and skin tone options, hairstyles that can go on any character, and a flexible fashion system.
While there are plenty of ways to keep you busy, the developers point out that palia best eaten with friends. While it’s still not entirely clear how progression works in the game – or how it’s monetized – it’s likely that you’ll be able to gather more and better resources to build your home and your neighborhood by working with others. You can also build relationships with NPCs and other players – there’s a romance mechanic in place that reminds you Stardew Valleydonation system.
The Singularity 6 team explained that keeping the community inclusive and inviting is at the forefront of their design decisions. For example, when you invite a friend into your virtual home, you’ll be able to customize the degree of access they’ll have – you can give your best friend a bit more freedom to roam (and maybe borrow some trinkets) than an online acquaintance. It’s a good approach to deter toxic gamers and trolls on paper, but it’s unclear at this early stage how it will pan out in practice.
“We launched Singularity 6 to create games that bring people together,” said Aidan Karabaich, game director and co-founder of the studio. “We are delighted to invite players to palia for the first time. Inspired by some of our favorite titles, our game lets you forge your own destiny, exist in beautiful surroundings, and feel like home. We expect players to play an important role in shaping the game, and we can’t wait to see what they do in palia.”
Corn palia isn’t just about the stories you make with friends in-game – there’s a broad overarching narrative in store, too. Your character wakes up near a bucolic coastal village, in a world where humanity disappeared centuries ago. You’ll need to work with your fellow players to uncover what happened, “through an evolving narrative that will take years to fully unfold,” according to the Singularity 6 team.
It’s easy to imagine spending the hours in palia – create your character, tweak recipes and meticulously lay out your farm and gardens, or romance sleek robots. The game’s visuals are an attractive mix of fortnite and Genshin Impact — cheerful, sunny and bright. It’s an endearing premise and a bold promise to keep, all at once. But we’re excited to see more in the months to come.
palia will host a pre-alpha event later this summer. You can also take a look at the budding palia community via the game’s official Discord, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.