We have received a bunch of questions after the recent announcement. A perfect opportunity to make a real FAQ instead of inventing questions, like we do sometimes! Without further ado, here we go.
On the Publisher
Q. Tell us more. Who is in control now? Who makes creative decisions?
We kept our independence, IP, and creative control. tinyBuild is an indie publisher. They work with small teams and have no reason to change our style. They merely want to make the game known to broader audiences—a desire that we share.
No one says stuff like, “Let’s recolor the Changeling—blonds are all the rage now”, or “Twelve days are too much, how about five?” We always have the final say in all things creative.
That said, tinyBuild are not silent, of course. They do provide feedback. “Adding a lamp made looting much more engaging.” “Currently, recoil doesn’t make it clear if you have more ammo or not.” “The street ambience works really well, adding to the atmosphere; can we have more of that?” An outsider’s look is useful—especially late in the development, when you tend to get tunnel vision.
Most importantly though, they do truly like Pathologic 2. So we have a common goal.
Hey everyone! My name is Alex Nichiporchik, I’m the producer of games like SpeedRunners, Party Hard, Punch Club, and Hello Neighbor. Today I bring some good news to the backers of Pathologic. I’ll be producing the game from tinyBuild’s side, as we’ve partnered up with Ice-Pick Lodge to help finish this gem.
This has been a while in the making, and we’re finally ready to take the curtain off from where Pathologic is heading as a franchise, and what this means for the game you’ve Kickstarted.
First, the drill-down:
What we referred to as Pathologic is now Pathologic 2 to avoid confusion between the original game, Pathologic Classic HD, The Marble Nest, Mor. Utopia, and so on
tinyBuild partnered up with Ice-Pick Lodge to bring Pathologic 2 to market in 2018
All original pledges are still in effect
We’re changing the development methodology to become more open, similar to what tinyBuild did with Hello Neighbor — allowing in-development access to game builds to fans who support the development
Full game is coming in 2018, alphas are coming sooner
In the good old days of game development, typically you’d get a publishing deal in place — receive funding from a publisher, and lock yourselves in for a couple of years until you ship something. Repeat every few years. It’s clear this work method no longer works, not for us or for the industry as a whole. Releasing The Marble Nest gave Ice-Pick Lodge an insane amount of feedback, and after seeing what tinyBuild was able to achieve while being completely open with their fans about games like Party Hard, SpeedRunners, and Hello Neighbor, it was clear the dev process needed a change.
To be clear: tinyBuild is coming on board to help produce Pathologic 2, acting as a publishing partner.
Being Kickstarter backers, soon you will receive the first Alpha build of Pathologic 2. The build will have a slightly smaller town and a few systems in place to demonstrate the atmosphere and some of the upcoming gameplay mechanics. We will gather feedback from fans, and adjust the direction of development based on this feedback.
In the old structure, we would spend months on getting complicated systems in place, and hope everything comes together in the end.
Today we spend shorter sprints on accomplishing smaller tasks, and playtest what we’ve accomplished — figuring out if the direction is still the right one. This empowered us to come up with a few fun mechanics that’ll be playable this weekend at PAXWest in Seattle.
If the reception of the PAXWest demo is positive, that’ll be the first alpha we release to you guys. Stay tuned.
Take a look at the PAXWest demo in action. This is all live gameplay.
Thank you for following the development of Pathologic 2.
Pathologic 2 is an open world survival thriller set in a town that’s being consumed by a deadly plague. Face the realities of a collapsing society as you make difficult choices in seemingly lose-lose situations. The plague isn’t just a disease. You can’t save everyone.
Get to know it, winning the affection of the locals and gaining allies, or try to carve your own path alone. Explore the Town, its inhabitants, and their traditions; fight both the plague itself and its victims; try to make a difference before the time runs out.
Figure out who killed your father while fighting a deadly plague. It’s up to you to assume his mantle of the town’s Chief Medic.
Find your alleged twin sister. Was she the one who had brought the plague to this town?
The local kids are hiding something. Try playing by their rules.
You only have 12 days.
12 days in an odd town ravaged by a deadly disease.
Time is of the essence: if you don’t manage it carefully, it’ll simply run out. You’ll have to choose how to spend the priceless minutes you have.
Survival thriller. You’ll have to manage your bodily functions, offsetting hunger, thirst, exhaustion, and so on. But it doesn’t boil down to scavenging resources. Surviving on your own is hard; you’ll have to win over allies.
An uphill battle. Managing your bodily parameters may seem bearable at first, but as time goes by, it becomes harder and harder. Your own body is only waiting for an opportunity to give up and betray you. Things are changing from bad to worse and the odds are stacked against you.
A duel with an enemy you can’t kill. Your main foe is the plague itself, an incorporeal and malevolent entity that you have to defeat… without having the means to. It’s more powerful and more treacherous than you can imagine.
Loot, murder, mug, steal, barter, beg… or don’t. You need resources to survive, but it’s up to you how to obtain them.
The fights are short, ungraceful, and vicious. They don’t have to be lethal though. Many people—yourself included—would prefer to exchange their wallet for their life.
The new Pathologic will become unavailable for pledging this Thursday. This means you will no longer be able to support the development of the game by preordering it; it also means you will no longer be able to purchase add-ons such as posters, pendants, and other thingamajigs.
At some point in the future, we’re planning to launch a shop that will sell some of these items—not as rewards, but simply as merchendise. But the plans are not set, so we’re can’t tell you when it happens and which particular items will be available, so if something on the Backer Portal has caught your eye already, do consider ordering it right now while the option is still there.
If you’ve already ordered something and your backer portal account is not empty, you will still be able to manage the funds as you please (e.g. choose a different reward with the same cost). You just won’t be able to refill the balance.
Pathologic Tabletop will remain available through its own site.
A great many things comprise the atmosphere players enjoyed in Pathologic of 2005. The sick, foggy town. The dilapidated structures sprayed here and there. The odonghe and herb brides and kids, these little stray dogs roaming the streets. The languid townsfolk, suspicious of a stranger yet seemingly nonchalant about the odonghe and feral kids.
Of many things Pathologic was, it was never a beautifully animated game.
Don’t get us wrong, there were interesting choices in how some of the townspeople moved. Drunks, determined to move in their swaying plod to their last day are just one example. Kids also had a few lovely, albeit unpolished motions. Moreover, there was a lot of it.
We shall remind you in case you have forgotten
Since there was little hope the amount of animation was going to get smaller, it was natural for us to turn to motion capture—a technology that had long earned it place in the game development industry.
A dead doll on a stage. The machinery of a diseased town. A bizarre and unnerving beaked silhouette that follows the hero.
What we’re describing isn’t Pathologic, but rather the imagery from an animated movie Pustota (Emptiness) made by Kol Belov in 2003 and based on a song of a band called Theodor Bastard. We first saw it when the original Pathologic was still a work in progress—and immediately felt certain kinship. “We were making the game in the comfort of knowing that next to us, other people were creating these wonderful, bizarre things,” says Nikolay Dybowski. “Depressing but magical things; creepy things that are somehow oddly reassuring!”
Over the years he returned to the animated short many times, drawing inspiration from it. However, at the time we never got past watching this one movie. Thankfully, when in 2016 an opportunity to team up with Theodor Bastard to make something together occurred to us, we were ready to jump at it.
The Marble Nest, a short teaser game for Pathologic, is now available to everyone for free.
Yep, you heard it right.
Just go to Pathologic’s Steam page (for free), click the “Download Demo” button (to the right, above the list of your friends who want the game, and free), and then send the link to the website to everyone you would like to share the new Pathologic experience with (for free).
If you already have a copy of Pathologic Tabletop, you’ll find the soundtrack and an additional page for The Plague’s Notebook there; an extensive FAQ may help you resolve questions regarding the game if you have any.
If you don’t have the game, you can now download its rulebook, see if it appeals to you and (if it does) buy the game directly from the site. No more jumping through the perilous hoops of the Backer Portal!
By the way, if you’re planning to acquire a copy of Pathologic Tabletop at all, not may be a good moment to do so since we only have a hundred of English copies left—and we don’t know yet when the second edition will be printed.
What will you not hear in Pathologic? There definitely won’t be any pop hits. No signals of planes, ships, or trams. No highway roars planned for it either. A merry carnival is unlikely to add its noises to the game, and so are ambulance or emergency buzzers. Do not expect to hear the sound of jumping either.