Gameplay

 

What type of game is Palia?

Palia is a massively-multiplayer community simulation game set in a brand new high fantasy world with elements of open world adventure games. It’s a cozy and welcoming world that we hope fans of the community sim genre will love for years to come.

Can you share some gameplay please? 

While we can’t show you the whole enchilada right now, we’d be happy to give you a little peek into what Palia feels like at a glance! Below is a few seconds of in-game capture from one of our playtest builds. A couple things to keep in mind:

- This is all work-in-progress, and not representative of the final game at release. Some elements you see here may change.
- The facial animations have not yet been implemented in our designs, but look forward to a peek at those in the near future!
- The HUD display (controls, map, quest info) has been removed, as that is definitely still not final! But we think you’ll enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

📽 Check out the video here!

Are there certain non-traditional MMO UI or mechanic choices you’d like to share?

Aidan: Hi Vexy,

Right away, I’d like to say that Palia is not a traditional MMO. One example of this is how fleshed out all our NPCs will be. When you meet Ashura, he’s not just another “tutorial NPC.” He’s the owner of the Ormuu’s Horn Inn, has a full background, and has things he likes and dislikes. This extends to many of the characters you’ll meet in the world of Palia. And since we’re also a blend of the community sim genre, some of those villagers will also be romanceable. They also have schedules, meaning they have places to be and will move between destinations.

Another distinction Palia has is that our world is designed to be an adventurous experience. You can look around with a rotating camera, climb up hills, and jump off cliffs to glide off into the distance. We’re putting a lot of effort into crafting a handful, yet highly detailed maps that feel good to explore around in.

Finally, the subject of skills has been mentioned before, but I’d like to think that Palia’s skills are different from what people expect coming from MMOs. In Palia, our skills are “mining” and “cooking” instead of “firebolt” or “critical shot.” They are also all unlocked from the start of the game. Each skill has its own experience level and there are rewards and milestones associated with each one as you progress.

While there are many more cases, I think I’ll stop myself from getting too far ahead. Hope that answers your question!

What's the expected player activity / How often should player login?

We’ve tried to do a lot in the design of Palia to undermine the sense of ‘falling behind’ when you don’t play consistently. If we’re successful, Palia should feel like a game that’s always there for you when you need it, but doesn’t require radical or regimented devotion to enjoy or ‘play correctly.’ We want Palia to be a game that lets you play the way you want to play, when you want to play.

Will we need to eat/drink or sleep?

These activities are not strictly required, but they will all have a variety of benefits in the game that make engaging in professions like cooking have real worth. From an incentives perspective, these systems are oriented around having strong benefits for engaging with them over strong penalties for not.

Will the camera be isometric or third-person?

Palia uses a third-person camera perspective similar to traditional MMORPG’s or Action Adventure titles. We felt this helped really immerse the player in the world and gave a new perspective on genre hallmarks like gardening and fishing.

Do you have an in-game mailbox? Can you send other players mail/items?

Right now we have an adorable in-game mailbox (see concept pic) where you get mail from the Villagers. In the future we plan to leverage the mail system to allow players to send each other letters and gifts, but we are taking our time to make sure that those interactions feel meaningful. The mailbox will still be adorable then. 🙂

Are there plans to add some character poses, attitudes, facial expressions, etc., to enhance the social experience for players?

Yes! We’ve got an Emote Wheel in the works. The intention is to give players the ability to use another means of communication aside from needing to pull up the chat window. Right now, there’s a fixed set of emotes you can use, but we plan on expanding this so you can customize the wheel in the future. And even with the wheel, the center option can be immediately used when bound to a hotkey for fast access. Facial expressions are currently tied to these emotes, but there’s lots of room for us to explore moving forward.

Are there any plans for supporting a 'collect-athon' style of play?

To start with you will have the ability to see what kind of resources you’ve personally seen and collected (fish, crops, etc.), we definitely expect it will be a challenge to collect them all! In the future we’ll be exploring a variety of collection activities you can pursue as a group with your Community. We absolutely want players to have the ability to appreciate your hard earned collections and accomplishments, so expect a variety of ways to share if you’re interested in doing so.

Will There Be A Stat Tracker, Like "Furthest Shot Arrow" To Hit Prey?

Aidan, Game Director: This is a fun idea, and there are some stats we’ll be tracking in order to unlock a wide variety of accomplishments in the game. In general, they won’t get as detailed as your example stat suggests at launch. You can also expect us to periodically publish infographics that showcase fun stats for the community overall, like this infographic we shared from Alpha 2!

(You can right click > View Image... to see the full version!)

Alpha2Infographic_ATT-3E4A0.jpg

How will friends be able to play together when we first log in? Will there be a way for us to set up a friend network before entering the game to help it get started?

We are still exploring ways of networking before entering the game with your character - at the moment the easiest way is to either become friends (you can search for them even if you’re not in the same area), or join a party together, after which you will have manual controls to ensure playing together.

We want friends to always have the opportunity to play together, and not make it a total headache to do so. This means from start to finish it should be easy for you to find and get together with your friends, whether they are friends you logged in with, or friends you decided to play with later.

Is there going to be some time gating on some of the crafting, whether it is limit per day or some recipes take several hours to complete?

We aren't committed to a single approach for crafting in Palia. For example, we’ve developed an involved mini-game with our Cooking skill where each of the steps involved can affect the outcome. We felt this approach most aligned with the fantasy and skill element of cooking in real life. Simultaneously, some other crafting options are as simple as putting resources into a crafter and letting them do their thing. In this case we do have an element of time gating, but it's important to note that we mostly time-gate crafting materials, and not final, usable products (such as décor and tools).This makes it important to think strategically about how you’re going to allocate those resources to meet your evolving needs.

Will there be collective goals for Communities to strive towards?

Yes, for launch we’re going to have a few goals for the Community to collaborate on, but expect the breadth and depth to really expand as we continue to develop the game over time. Post launch we have lots of ideas that we want to explore, but we’re going to have to choose one to be the first major effort to bring to players, so we want to make sure it’s an impactful one! 😄

What kind of common goals are in Palia that would bring people together? Will there also be some form of grouping like guilds or clans in other games?

We are definitely going to have social structures like guilds or clans! In tune with the rest of our game, we want to focus the atmosphere of our guild structures on being close knit and cozy; collaborative rather than competitive. The high level goal is still for players to be able to feel like they are contributing to something greater than themselves, but at their own pace and comfort to begin with.

What will be the limit of friends you can play with simultaneously?

There are multiple social grouping systems in Palia that are sized to suit their activities. For example, our party size is 4 because the activities we are planning for them have limited slots. However, your Community and each server can hold many more players simultaneously (we’re still trying to lock down the launch number and expect it to increase from early Alpha playtest numbers).

How much of an accomplishment will be owning a home? Is it a series of quests or just one? Is it at the very beginning, or later on? Also, are different home layouts a thing or are homes customizable?

We can answer all of that with:
We want your home to eventually be an extension of who you would like to be in Palia. Your first home should be an accomplishment for the work you’ve put in at that point in the game, but it shouldn’t be the last time you’re feeling fulfilled with your home choices. We also want you to be fulfilled with the chase, and the journey of pursuing homes you love. We’d like for you to obtain new house styles and furniture pieces that keep you creating and changing and evolving for 1000s of hours, as long as we keep making items and features that excite you!

How many professions (such as mining and manufacturing) will be available in the game?

Our current expectation is that there will be 8 skills available at launch. While that number will inevitably expand post launch, right now we’re mostly focused on making sure our initial skills are really hitting the mark. Our playtests thus far have been really helpful in validating and iterating on each of them.

The eight skills are as follows: Foraging, Bug Catching, Mining, Fishing, Cooking, Furniture Making, Gardening, and Hunting. You can check them out on our recently revamped website at https://palia.com/.

In what way will you acquire new furnishings? Will there be multiple ways to earn them, for example daily quests, story based rewards, in game shops?

There will be plenty of ways you can acquire furniture in Palia, and there will be lots of furniture, period. For launch, you’ll acquire many of them through the Furniture Making skill. The more you craft, the more experience you earn, which then unlocks more learnable recipes. As an alternative, these pieces can also be purchased as they appear in the furniture store (on a rotation).

Beyond that, we’re also making a number of pieces and sets available in unique ways apart from crafting. For example, unlocking an item when you complete a certain questline. This will unravel as you explore more of the world of Palia, and can be acquired as complete items, rather than from crafting off recipes.

Would it be possible to implement a photo mode?

We will have a photography mode! It’s pretty basic right now, but it definitely gets rid of all the pesky UI so you can take some beautiful landscape photos, or some cheeky selfies!

What is the mindset when it comes to bag space and inventory management?

When it comes to inventory and bag space, we knew there needed to be some limitations in place. We’ve seen cases where unlimited inventory can actually influence one’s playstyle in a direction we didn’t want to go, and made the decision to have it be a fixed amount. While you start off with a row available, you can unlock more bag space with expansions, and we believe that the final amount is at a good spot at the moment.

That being said, we also wanted to provide some conveniences. In Palia, your storage space is actually shared and accessible across all chests, and you’re able to craft directly from storage without needing to take items out into your bag space.

Will it be possible to sort items by type, search for specific ones in the chests (or player bags for that matter)? Will it be possible to manually sort items in chests using custom folders?

Searching and sorting through your inventory is a really important part of any gathering/crafting game. The experience for our next Alpha playtest will likely be unchanged, but we have made some exciting steps under the hood that will unlock the full potential of inventory very soon. When work on our inventory and storage system is complete, you will be able to sort by a ton of different gameplay tags, search for the exact item you need, and workstations will remember what you were working on, saving your filters how you want them.

Will there be different tiers of housing? Say Large, Medium, and Small? And will there be any limitations on how much furniture you can add?

Housing is a massively important feature in Palia and we want to bring loads of customization options throughout development. You’ll be able to build small rooms to large rooms, if you have the right blueprints and materials, of course! With different housing styles, you can completely change the look and feel of your house as well. We do have a limit in place for furniture in your housing plot, but fear not - it’s a very high number!

Could there be something along the lines of an album/encyclopedia to record which bugs/fish we've caught?

While we do have a guidebook in the game right now that tracks collection progress, it’s in a pretty early stage. We’re hard at work in fleshing it out and making sure it’ll be a great resource for players to use.

What are the plans for bug catching? Will there be anything like collections or terrariums to display them in?

Broadly speaking, we want all of the gathering skills in Palia to be useful for more than just earning gold. For bug catching, we really like the expressive potential of displaying your bug collection in something like a terrarium, and are actively exploring ideas there alongside other possibilities.

I know that now you are focusing on English, but, in the future, will we have a localized version for other languages, like Portuguese?

Yes, our goal is to have the game available in many languages. We do want to point out that the localization is going to be a gradual process, as we continue to expand Palia to new territories.

The reason localization hasn’t started yet is that it’s actually one of the last steps in game development and we’re still some time away from reaching this stage.

We do appreciate the folks that have volunteered to translate the game, but it’s very likely we’ll be partnering with a vendor to translate it.

I saw that there are 8 professions/skills. Will we be able to learn each of these or will it be limited to 1 or 2?

Yes, you’ll be able to learn all of the eight skills from the get-go. There will be quests to introduce you to each one, but it'll be up to you to decide which skills to focus on. Whether it’s becoming a professional pie-baker, or discovering all the insects of Palia, we want to support a fun experience no matter which skill (or how many) you take on.

Can you go a little more in-depth on how the cooking system will work in-game?

Bourbon: In designing the Cooking skill, we wanted it to be very interactive. As a first step, you need to first unlock the recipe. Some are given from the start, and some are learned as you progress in the skill more or discover them out in the world. Then, whether it’s found through Foraging or grown with Gardening, you’ll need to gather all the ingredients needed. The actual cooking itself involves a variety of mini-games depending on what you’re cooking, and it can even be done with friends! The hectic-but-fun experience of trying to create an awesome meal (together) is something we wanted to capture.


Ashe: As a reward for your efforts, using high-quality ingredients and cooking the recipe perfectly will even allow you to place the dishes as decor in your home. Show off your mad chef skills to everyone who visits! 😎 (Thanks to Tester Shyloh for the screenshot!)

As far as hunting/fishing/bug catching goes, will we receive crafting ingredients or trophies that we can display in our houses? And are there going to be enough creatures/fish/bugs with varying levels of rarity to keep those activities interesting for a long time?

Bourbon: Yes, we want players to be rewarded and have a way to showcase their progression. This includes having unlockables such as decor pieces tied to skills.

In addition to the various creatures and critters we’ll have for launch, there are definitely plans to add more over time.

Any Hunting Skill Details to Share?

Bourbon, Sr. Designer: Hunting in Palia is collision-based and real time - arrows fly where you aim, are affected by gravity, and need to physically hit their target. It is skill based, but we keep it cozy by slowing the pace down a bit. You don't have to be both accurate AND fast like a shooter. You can also acquire special arrows that help, along with hunting as a group with your friends!

How Fully Fledged Will The Gardening System Be?

Bourbon, Sr. Designer: With gardening you can till the ground, plant seeds, water your crops every game day, pull weeds, use fertilizer, and harvest your crops when ready. You can improve your gardening tools to make this faster and easier, and the crops you grow can be used in a variety of cooking dishes. There's a couple more features to the system that we aren't quite ready to talk about yet, but are eager for players to experience themselves in game!

Will the game feature recreational games such as chess, billiards and other more widely known social games?

Aidan, Game Director: While there won’t be a ton of these at launch, features like this fit very well within the player experience of Palia, so expect these kinds of things to trickle in over time as we continue to patch and update the game. We’re particularly partial to putting power into the player's hands to be able to flex these experiences into games or versions of your own making!

How advanced will the technology in Palia be? For example, will we be able to use tractors and irrigation systems on our farms, or will it all be done by hand?

EmbrasAshes, Narrative Lead: Oooh, a technology question! This is a fun one.

So, Palia is set in a rough equivalent of the early industrial age, only they use clean energy sources over fossil fuels. In modern times this is primarily due to wanting to strike a balance with nature, but magic has also had a major impact on the history and technological evolution of Palia.

Bourboun, Senior Designer: To answer your more specific gardening question, this is currently done primarily by hand, but something like a steam powered tractor *could* exist in the world of Palia.

 

Back to top

Was this article helpful?
13 out of 19 found this helpful