Social Features

Will we be able to do any meaningful progression by ourselves, or will quests/progression usually require us to team up with other players?

Our goal with Palia is for it to be fun solo and even better together. As such, we think it’s critically important to always have meaningful things you can do in the game when playing solo, whether it’s because you’re waiting for friends to come online or it’s your preferred way to enjoy the game. That being said, there will also be activities that either require or are significantly more manageable when done with others.

 

Do you have any plans to support role players or a roleplaying community as the game seems uniquely tailored towards it?

We absolutely believe Palia to be an immersive experience that fans of roleplaying would enjoy! We’re definitely looking to play a role in helping like-minded players find each other, and group up by joining the server or Community that speaks to their playstyle and interests. We also want to offer ways to find folks spur-of-the-moment, and party with a passerby even if you aren’t part of the same Community.

We want to be able to allow players to create or join themed Communities, as well as allow for group chats that are not tied to a static social structure. For example, a voice chat feature we’re developing will help people socialize in different ways, not just in your Community, but also in curated groups while you play more casually.

As for immersion, we’re excited about the different toys, emotes, character control, and the ability to freely choose your costume; because clothing items will not have gameplay benefits, you don’t have to worry about choosing your outfit around special abilities or bonuses. You can customize your look according to your specific tastes or the needs of the moment!

 

Will we be able to add friend accounts to a list and whisper with them in-game, and get login/logout notifications?

You will absolutely be able to add friends in our game and send them direct messages! Friendship is very special, and not only includes getting notifications about them coming into and leaving Palia, it will also include the ability to see where they are in the world and ask them to join you.

That being said, everyone needs a little bit of space some time. We are looking into how best to allow players their privacy in a world where you’re always surrounded by others.

As far as housing goes, what level of cooperation and teamwork will be possible between players? Can two people share a house and have full access to decoration? More than two people? Will there be communal housing for, say, guilds?

[Updated March 2nd, 2023]

Eris, Senior Producer: First off, thanks so much for the question! At the moment, you CAN be a good community member and help water your friends’ crops just in case they missed it, and you can cook together in an attempt to make that perfect, high quality dish (and hopefully not ruin it)! But for any additional cooperation, that’s something that we definitely want players to have a level of access to, this being a game about community and building a society together.

 

We've talked before about how we really enjoy features like shared housing as gamers ourselves, and how we currently support features like watering each other's gardens, and cooking together in each other's kitchens.

 

We have been working quite a bit on this area of the game, and though we've made some good progress that we're excited about internally, we unfortunately STILL aren't able to talk about it further YET, but plan to share more with you in much greater detail in the future!

 

With the concept of Communities being very similar to most MMOs version of Guilds, what can you tell us that makes your community special? Will we be working towards anything as a group? Will we be able to decorate together or will there be benefits to doing things in game together? What is the purpose of having one?

EinarHugBestHug, Lead Meta-Systems Designer: Communities are different from Guilds because they’re intended to have a wider variety of shared activities. They’re also expected to be generally smaller than what people expect from MMO Guilds so we can emulate the “cozy” feel of a tight-knit group.

So, before I proceed, let me explain the difference between synchronous and asynchronous activities. The former are actual events that you’re expected to be present and do together, such as chopping trees or mining ores. The latter are activities where the goal is still mutual, but anyone can contribute at their own convenience, such as a check-in event with completion milestones.

Communities will be where most asynchronous cooperative activities take place and in the future, and we have lots of ideas and plans of what direction we want to go in—though it might be a bit early to say in detail for now. Ultimately, the goal is to have Communities be a way to represent yourself, your group, and the progress you’ve made together in Palia.

 

What kind of chat will be supported? Will there be proximity chat? Text based and/or voice based proximity chat?

 

EinarHugsBestHugs, Lead Meta-Systems Designer: We are excited about all different kinds of voice chat features, but we are taking our time with adding them to Palia. When it comes to Voice Chat, there is a lot to think through around what is the right approach for player safety and comfort. For now, we are focusing on making our text-based chat experience as smooth and safe for players as possible.

 

With text-based chat, we are actively working towards a local chat feature, and as of right now, we do have chat available for Zones, Communities (FKA “Neighborhoods”), and Parties (smaller, temporary groups). One detail to note is that our zones are not intended for events like big raids, so chat will still have a cozy feel to it.

 

How is S6 approaching the design of Palia, in general, to promote kind communities?

WhoaNonstop (Machine Learning Lead):

First, we believe that Palia's focus on cooperative instead of competitive play will help mitigate many behavioral issues common across other popular games. Due to the zero-sum nature of most games, competition can bring out the worst in people. We are hopeful that our design for Palia will give us a slight advantage. However, we recognize that no matter how cozy we make Palia, we will eventually encounter players who make the game less enjoyable for others. There is a general asymmetry around player behavior. In most games, the main focus is on reprimanding inappropriate actions, but we want to place as much energy into uplifting players for treating others with kindness. We believe that providing a way for players to celebrate each other for their admirable acts is another tool for developing healthy communities in Palia.

EinarHugBestHug (Lead Meta-Systems Designer):

To speak more from the design side of the problem, WhoaNonstop is absolutely correct in some of the ways in which our genre choice feeds into the idea of “designing for coziness and kindness.” We will, over time, also be adding design mechanics to the game intended to give players agency over the quality of experience they would like to have, as we recognize the tension between safety and the ease of making real and meaningful connections, and there isn’t an easy answer to achieving both.

It is crucial that we recognize the positive and negative impact that each player can have on others, no matter the intentions. But there are so many types of people in the world that we cannot possibly think we will be able to cover all perspectives on our own brainpower and experiences alone, so it’s essential that we approach this space with an open mind and an open heart to listen to what our players tell us. Raising our own collective awareness does take time and energy, though, and so we’d like to invite all Palians to be a part of building Palia's cozy community!



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Screenshot by Tester Arco. Work in Progress image from Alpha test.

WhoaNonstop:

We need your help building up a corpus of kind sentences or phrases that you have heard people say, either to someone else or directly to you. Do not feel limited to interactions in video games - feel free to add examples from your own life; school, work, home - anything goes! Also, we will gladly accept sentences in any language.

Examples might include:

  • You’re doing a great job! (Encouragement)
  • You are more fun than anyone or anything I know, including bubble wrap. (Kindness)
  • I’m sorry you’re having a rough time. (Compassion)

Help one of our Palia bots learn by sharing kind sentences and phrases by clicking the link below to share a compliment, write a short, thoughtful note, or simply help us have a better day!


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➡️ https://bit.ly/3v0TP39 ⬅️
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Stay tuned, because we will be sharing a lot more on how Palia will be encouraging kind communities in the future.

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