The State of Pathologic 2

Hey, so, let’s talk about the current state and future release of Pathologic 2.

To make sure we’re all on the same page, let’s start with bullet points:

  • We’ve made the tough decision to release the game in parts
  • The first part—the Haruspex’s storyline—will be available in Q2 2019
  • The Bachelor’s and the Changeling’s stories will be released later
  • After it’s released on PC, the Haruspex’s story will also become available on XBox Game Pass
  • All eligible backers will (obviously) receive all three stories as they get released, no additional payment or fuss
  • For now, we’re unsure how exactly we’ll release the other two stories technically—whether as DLCs or something else. What matters is, they remain as crucial to the overall concept and as content-complete as before, no matter how delivered to you
  • Polishing changes a game a lot
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Now, to those of you who have been following our progress, the delay probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. You’ve seen the alpha; your feedback was very kind to us regarding the mood, story, visuals, and overall concept of the game, but it also made it abundantly clear that the game’s level of polish was still quite far from the goal we’re aiming at. Thus, the delay.

Now, let’s talk about the “only Haruspex first” a bit.

Like, talk talk. Please watch this subtitled video from Nikolay, the head of our studio.

To sum it up, this decision did not come easy to us, but it had to be made for the following reasons:

  1. We want to watch you play the Haruspex’s story just as much as you want to play it—and it will also help us fine-tune the other two.
  2. It would just be wrong to prolong the wait even further.
  3. Your feedback to the Marble Nest and the alpha confirmed some of our suspicions, but also gave us new food for thought. We realized that we need to tweak the game—not its core ideas, but the presentation—some more. Some of our ideas are not what you would call extremely accessible; but that only means that we need to put extra work into making sure only those parts of the game that we want to be confusing, are.
  4. The economic crisis in Russia, that happened just around our KS campaign, seriously hindered the early development. It came out of the blue for many people, and, looking back, we still can’t see how we could have avoided it. We invested our personal savings into the game, worked for free sometimes, and in the end, overcame the issues. But it came at a cost—namely, of development speed.
  5. In this era of soft launches and Early Accesses releasing a game in parts does not have to come as a shock. Some projects choose it do this deliberately. It was not our original intent, but we do think it works fine with the game’s concept.
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By the way, we suspect that some of you were planning to play the Bachelor first or were most interested in the renewed Changeling and thus might be frustrated with our choice for the first story. We can only hope that you’ll give the Haruspex a chance and will like him no less than our beloved snakeskin-wearing fop or cryptic thief girl by the end of the game.

Thank you very much for the kindness, understanding and patience.

Upon release, Pathologic 2 will be available on Xbox Game Pass

Upon release, Pathologic 2 will be available on Xbox Game Pass.

If you follow Xbox news closely, you probably know what it is already: a service that provides the subscriber a number of games for a single subscription fee.

But what if you already have Xbox Game Pass and were a Pathologic 2 Kickstarter backer who chose an Xbox copy of the game as their reward? Well, you can still change that choice on the Backer Portal (to receive a different version of the game, like the PC version, as a backer reward). Or maybe gift the extra copy to a friend.

Public Alpha Goes Live

Today, Pathologic 2 Public Alpha goes live. It means that the Alpha Build is now available to everyone.

If you’ve signed up for the Alpha already, the link has been sent to you. If you haven’t, just go ahead and do it here. The e-mail will be sent to you immediately. (Note that if you’re not an alpha or beta backer, you weren’t signed up automatically; please follow the link and do it manually!)

Just to reiterate, everyone can play the Pathologic 2 Alpha now. Prepare to suffer bugs and glitches, as befits an alpha, and then suffer without them, since such is the world of Pathologic.

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Please kindly follow the link above

Feedback

Your feedback is invaluable for the quality of the final game. If you encounter a bug, glitch, something unclear, or just generally want to let us know that you completely disagree with our decisions, please remember that:

  1. We’ve made this survey for you to take part in. Please don’t peek before you try the alpha! It has spoilers. It’s mostly in quiz form and will probably take you 5-10 minutes to fill.
  1. You can provide full-fledged bug reports via this page. Shower us with silly screenshots! Describe ridiculous situations in full detail! The more precise you are, the easier we can fix the issue.
  1. We’re now launching Backer Steam Forums and a Discord server if you’d rather provide general feedback.
  1. And, as always, we’re carefully reading every e-mail you send to support@ice-pick.com.

The alpha features Days 1-3 of the Haruspex’s story, in case you’re worried about spoilers

Changelog

Thanks to the help of our extremely kind, patient, and attentive alpha and beta backers, we’ve managed to fix a new bunch of bugs and errors.

Fights:

  • Rebalanced damage
  • Tweaked character AI
  • Improved some weapon sounds
  • Improved animations and effects upon receiving damage
  • Made melee fights generally faster and more dynamic
  • Improved visual effects
  • Made controls smoother and options, better telegraphed
  • Tweaked opponents’ animations

Save/Load:

  • Improved loading speed
  • Fixed in-game time desynchronizing after loading

Performance:

  • Fixed the bug that froze the game
  • Improved the loading of physics
  • A number of major bugs fixed

Visuals:

  • Fixed some female characters’ animations
  • Improved some character models

Misc:

  • Fixed some quest logic errors
  • Fixed some localization errors
  • Fixed a number of holes that the player could get stuck in
  • Fixed inventory bugs.

 

As a sign of gratitude, please have a sneak peek of a certain element of the game that’s not yet included in the alpha, but is already well in production

Thank you for being with us. Have fun suffering.

 

Knock-knock on iOS11!

Remember that small creepy game, Knock-Knock was the name? Playable on mobile devices? …And then unplayable due to compatibility issues with newer systems?

Well, now that’s fixed! Along with a couple of bugs. Now:

– Knock-Knock is compatible with iOS 11
– The Lodger casts cool shadows on newer devices
– Fixed an issue with finishing games started on version 1.34
– Fixed walking on the Credits screen
– More minor fixes

Available in approx. 24 hours

Art by Meethos

Alpha goes to the Beta Backers

Today the alpha goes to backers who have beta-test access. You don’t have to do anything special to obtain it — just open Steam and launch the game.

You already have the key — since The Marble Nest, in fact. If you’ve already activated it, Steam will update the game automatically, and our alpha will replace The Marble Nest. Otherwise, it’s time to visit your personal page at the backer portal and grab that key.

You’re a Beta Backer

Art by Meethos

If you’ve missed our previous update and haven’t played the alpha yet, you don’t have to do anything — it’s going to replace The Marble Nest in your game library automatically.

If you’ve already downloaded the alpha, you’ll have to switch to another branch of the game:

  1. Right-click the name of the game in your Steam Library, and select “Properties”.
    In the Properties window open the “Betas” tab.
  2. Select “NONE – Opt out of all beta programs” in the drop down list.
  3. You’re now in possession of a new and improved version of the alpha, with some of the bugs you’ve found earlier already fixed.

Continue reading Alpha goes to the Beta Backers

The Moment of Truth

The moment of truth has come. Today, we invite all eligible backers to play the alpha version of Pathologic 2.

E-mails containing all necessary instructions should already be in your inboxes. If you haven’t received yours, please let us know through any channel of communication, and we’ll fix it.

The Haruspex needs you

What is an Alpha

Art  by Meethos

Playing game alphas sometimes feels more like work than fun. We’ve no doubt you’re all prepared to encounter all kinds of bugs, crashes, hilarious AI glitches and balancing errors. We have, after all, tried to set your expectations by showing our grand collection of ridiculous gifs!

But now you can also help is fix all that. We realize that not everyone has the time to provide extended bug reports, so we did our best to streamline the process for you. You’ll have our eternal gratitude if you find a moment or two to let us know what you think.

Reporting Bugs

Art  by SpaceLaika

If you find a bug, please report it here.

Bugs are, first and foremost, technical issues, e.g. visual glitches (a texture didn’t load), AI problems (a character runs in circles), the lack of an object or line of text, a dialogue not launching. If you have general feedback (which you hopefully do), please provide it via the channels described below.

Continue reading The Moment of Truth

Progress Report: June

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope—it’s another gif-laden update charting our progress with Pathologic 2!

Like we said before, many game systems have already been locked in place, and most of our resources go into content creation these days. Still, we keep fine-tuning interfaces and experimenting with sub-systems! So let’s dive right into them.

Trade and Barter

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If you can’t match the price, merchants will sometimes accept items too, but you’ll likely have to overpay

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People in the street won’t take money and are more selective, but you can get rare items from them

Trade and barter are the bread and butter of the game’s economy—and since it is, in many ways, a resource management game, you will likely spend a lot of time buying, selling, and trading for items. The screens for trade and especially barter took us a while to fine-tune: it’s oddly tough to visualize the idea of item value when it’s not monetary, and convey the understanding that different characters value different goods differently.

To be done: We’re happy with our current trade and barter screens and are now mostly concerned with balancing economy.

Autopsy

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If you take human arteries and veins and lay them all down in a straight line, said human has a decent chance to feel slightly unwell

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Remember the simpler time, when veins were straighter and organs, less numerous? And blood was drained from a knee? (This is an older version of the same screen.)

Trade, however, is a common mechanic in video games, so there’s a bunch of solutions that we can draw inspiration from. Things become more fun when we work on a unique, lore-heavy system, like autopsy. Even though the process is seemingly straightforward (you take a body, you cut an organ out, you take it), it’s not always trivial to communicate.

To be done: In this case, we want to make clearer still what “organ damage” is and how it works.

Continue reading Progress Report: June

Progress Report: April

Hello and welcome to another issue of Pathologic 2 Report—a post where we showcase our current progress in cool gifs!

Make yourself comfortable, ‘cause the post will be long and we’ll be happy to—

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…make a nice, welcoming game.

Um.

That was the new district-by-district system of dynamic reputation, by the way, that ensures that if you choose to go on a murderous rampage, people will remember… but not in a magic ‘stop right there, criminal scum’ sort of way. Only the local community cares, so if your reputation in a district drops, you try to avoid the place… unless you need something or someone there.

To be done: The system works as intended, but we need to balance what raises and lowers your reputation, because the townsfolk seem reeeeally unforgiving of petty theft now.

 

Picking Herbs

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It’s like Skyrim, only everyone around is screaming in horror and pain

Picking herbs, that the Haruspex needs for his concoctions, is a process that needs to be both streamlined (i.e. the player should be able to find them with reasonable ease, not waste half an hour on a single blade of swevery) and non-intrusive visually. The system we’ve implemented works as intended, throwing something more on top of visual alerts.

To be done: The system works as intended and is finished.

Continue reading Progress Report: April

Ice-Pick Shop

As you are hopefully aware, the most important IPL-related question is whether The Lodger’s scarf is soft and fleecy enough; and we are proud to announce that it has finally been answered.

Please welcome Ice-Pick Shop—an online shop with IPL-related merchandise.

Behold The Treasures

While video games are regrettably immaterial, the sensory aspect has always been important to us. So it is with great pleasure that we announce that you can now actually touch some things of our making. Running this little production also helps us create a pipeline to make sure the backer rewards are of great quality when we finally produce them (which is, by the way, soon now).

After backers receive their rewards, some of those goods will also become available in the shop.

For now, please enjoy the Knock-Knock, The Void, and Pathologic 2-themed postcards, posters, stickers; wax seals, that are incredibly satisfying to use (wax is just so squishy); a bunch of other goods; and, of course, the True Lodger’s Scarf!

(Which is, by the way, quite soft.)

More goods are to come, so if you’re into this sort of thing, please stay tuned. We ship anywhere in the world.

Quite. Soft