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).
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.
A lot of people say that 2016 was a terrible year. Some do so with irony. Some mean it.
Others argue that it was rather unexceptional, offering statistics that suggest as much. Others still are always eager to remind anyone who would listen that life generally sucks. (Or that it’s generally lovely, although this idea is for some reason less popular.)
To us, this conundrum is very simple. Everyone is different—and so was everyone’s 2016. What’s tragic for one person is merely a shrug of the shoulders for another; the events in the world surrounding us are the same, yet we all have different takes on them.
This will not change in 2017.
And yet, however different, we still manage to find common ground, understand each other, and share interests. It was very apparent to us when we were reading your feedback on The Marble Nest: sometimes your critique was unexpected, while at other times you pointed out undeniable drawbacks. Sometimes your compliments were surprising, while at other times you justified our hopes.
Sometimes your tastes seemed a bit eccentric (especially the tastes of that guy who asked us to make the movement in Pathologic even slower), while sometimes you remained surprisingly unanimous.
There’s only one thing we know for certain: 2016 was the year when we constructed The Marble Nest. The new Pathologic appeared in the real playable flesh for the first time ever. We checked many a hypothesis; detected a number of less-than-impressive bits, too. But most importantly, we refined the course that had been charted previously. Now we’re sure which way to go.
And this is what we wish to all of you in the new year. 2017 will be different for everyone, but we sincerely hope that each of you will muster up enough wisdom and strength to shape it your own way, turning it into exactly the thing you need.
Even if what you need is to drag a huge bull into a small room.