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—
…make a nice, welcoming game.
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.
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.
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.
So how about we end it with a bang and freeze your browser with a huge gif-laden post highlighting the coolest aspects of Pathologic 2 that you haven’t seen before?
It’s not a full report, mind you. But we haven’t been sitting on our hands, and there is progress to share.
So now we come bearing gifs.
Don’t worry, those weird blue thingies are placeholder
Pathologic 2 is a very sensory game. It’s depicts a disease that, among other things, is spread through bodily contact, so we want the player to always be conscious of what their avatar is touching. At the same time, showing a clunky animation each time you eat a slice of bread would be annoying.
The compromise was to make the inventory UI slick and minimalistic, while highlighting the high-resolution image of everything you’re looking at. It doesn’t emulate the feeling of touching objects with your hands perfectly, but it does make the process of using items less mindless. Previously the hi-res image was only available on the item inspection screen.
To be done: More QoL improvements, like tooltips better explaining the ways you can interact with items. And an improved item inspection screen.
Christmas comes early this year! And it’s shrouded in darkness.
If you’re a backer eligible to receive the soundtrack of Pathologic 2 as a reward (which is to say, a backer, since even the lowest tier is), expect an e-mail from us today!
And don’t let it get lost on its way, since it contains a link to Theodor Bastard’s Utopia—a bonus album, the tracks from which you’ll hear in the game. This beautiful, shamanistic, and at times downright scary music will either put you in a meditative trance or the state of utter dread. A perfect addition to any Pathologic lover Christmas party.
You will receive a direct link to the losеless files, DRM-free.
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.
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).