Palia is an upcoming free-to-play, community simulation MMO from developers Singularity 6. The game was officially revealed via an announcement trailer in June 2021, with the gameplay being described as “largely about building and fostering a community with robust character creation and customization”.
The game will be the studio’s first official project since its founding in 2018.
The game takes influence from other life simulation games such as Animal Crossing and Stardew Vallery. The developers themselves stated that The Legend Of Zelda; Breath of the Wild is one of Palia’s key influences.
The game will feature farming, fishing, cooking, and other activities that emphasize collaborative gameplay. as well as a robust home-building feature with extensive customization options for players.
Singularity 6 is a game development studio based in Los Angeles. The studio was co-founded in 2018 by Anthony Leung and Aidan Karabaich, both former executives at Riot Games, Inc. The studio features many employees from other established game development studios such as Epic Games and Blizzard.
As stated on their official website, “Singularity 6 is a game development team, dedicated to crafting deeper, more meaningful gaming experiences that enrich people’s lives”. The studio focuses on creating enriching online gaming experiences, a juxtaposition compared to their contemporaries in the video game industry.
CEO and co-founder Aidan Karabaich stated that the studio was created to “make games that bring people together”.
Palia will be the studio’s first official project and one that will hopefully embody the studio’s vision and outlook for meaningful online gaming experiences.
The Development of Palia
Though the official date of when Palia was greenlighted for development was never disclosed, it can be safely assumed that the game has been in development for some time before the release of Palia’s announcement trailer in June 2021.
In September 2021, the development team released an update on their official website titled ‘Pre-Alpha: What We’ve Learned, And What’s Next.’ In it, the developers summarised the highlights they had during a small pre-alpha test they had that month.
The studio also further emphasized that the game is still “very early in its development”, hence the pre-alpha testing.
Palia Release Date
As of 2022, Singularity 6 has not announced any official release date or release window. As stated earlier, the game is very early in its development. To put it in perspective, the game only had its second Alpha testing in July of 2022.
With the game still being tested in its alpha state, it is to be assumed that the full release of Palia is years away at least as of now in 2022.
Palia, the Cozy MMO
Palia is described as a ‘cozy community simulation MMO’, meaning players will be able to participate in a variety of life-simulated tasks such as fishing, gardening, and farming among others.
The game will have a heavy focus on building communities, with social interactivity at the very forefront of the game’s core.
The game will be set in a fantasy, magical world combined with a cartoonish, whimsical art style.
Players will have complete freedom in deciding their role in the game’s open world and can master skills such as cooking, farming, and gardening, giving players the freedom to choose how they fit in the game’s world.
The game’s creative director and studio co-founder, Aiden Karabaich stated in an interview, “Players can choose and customize the activities they want”.
The game will also feature ‘neighborhoods’, which is Palia’s version of archetypal MMO guilds. This feature will players to establish friendships with one another, whilst also engaging in team activities to earn specialized rewards.
Players will have the option to join a neighborhood of their choosing or create one entirely from scratch. This provides players with a great amount of freedom and choice.
Speaking of freedom and choice, Palia will also feature a staggering amount of customization for players, both in regards to their avatar as well as their homes.
The game’s character creation system will feature a variety of options for players, including hairstyles, skin tones, etc.
This variety extends to the game’s home-building mechanic. In fact, a good portion of the game’s marketing revolves around home building and town life.
Part of the announcement trailer focuses on the home-building aspect, stating that players will be able to build a home that is “uniquely yours”. The developers have stated that there are over 1000 decorative items for home-building alone, giving players limitless options in designing their homes.
Karabaich emphasized in an interview, “At the core is building up your home……….Your long-term goal as a player could be like creating the house of your dreams, with another player or on your own”.
While the game’s focus will be on multiplayer, Palia will also offer something for those who wish to play the game solo.
The game will feature several memorable characters, many of them offering quests, selling wares, or providing interesting exposition regarding the whimsical, eccentric world the game is based.
While the game’s focus will be on the social and holistic aspects of community building, the developers have mentioned implementing some sort of combat system in the near future.
As stated by Karabaich, “Over time, we’ll have combat and combat-lie experiences, but players would be able to opt-out of those experiences”, inferring that combat will not be the focus of the gameplay.
In early 2022, Singularity 6 announced that Palia would be free-to-play, with only cosmetic items being monetized.
This means that players would not need to worry about purchasing items that are needed to progress, nor the idea of purchasing any sort of loot box within the game.
Considering the plethora of modern MMOs that focus on frantic, multiplayer action, Palia offers a welcome breath of fresh air for the aging genre.
The game can be best described in the words of Singularity 6 co-founder Anthony Leung, “It’s like when you play, you’re just de-stressed and feel good about your play sessions, it feels really satisfying”.