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.
Q. Why do you need a publisher?
If you take a closer look at the modern game industry, you’ll notice that only 2-3 unusual projects a year enjoy significant success, be it The Stanley Parable or the recent Hellblade. Apart from its quality, there are other factors that determine if an indie project becomes a hit. And marketing is key here: finding a way to convince the audience to try something new and unexpected can go a long way. This is why we partnered up with tinyBuild—the people who both know how to market games and love Pathologic 2.
Q. But you’ve got a ton of money from Kickstarter. And now you run to an investor?
We would very much liked to live in the world where truly crowdfunding medium-sized projects is possible. But we’re not. Torment: Tides of Numenera got way more money than us and was made by a much more notorious team, yes Brian Fargo still invested personal money into it.
Unfortunately, gamemaking is more expensive than you might think. Especially if we’re talking about a 3D game that requires many assets and animations.
We knew from the start that we would never collect enough money for the whole development and have already invested much more personal savings into it than we got from Kickstarter. So you and us are in the same boat.
On the Two
Q. Why “Pathologic 2”? Are you making a sequel after all, not a remake?
Pathologic 2 is neither a sequel nor a remake. Remember what we told you back in 2014? “We want to show what really happened.”
What do Lara Ravel and the Haruspex discuss in the evening of Day 1? In the original game they didn’t even acknowledge each other’s existence. Maria doesn’t give the list of the Bound to the Bachelor anymore, but there is something else. Who saves the Changeling from the train tracks when the Inquisitor arrives? Are you sure that Inquisitor is Aglaya Lilich? You don’t even know what’s going on inside the Polyhedron.
The characters are still pondering the same questions, sure, but they act differently and say different words.
Q. Well, you should have called it Pathologic Recuperatio or something then. You would at least get the cool points for Latin.
Pathologic 2 explores the ideas of Pathologic much in the same way like Silent Hill 2 does with Silent Hill or Dark Souls 2, with Dark Souls. Neither of them is a sequel. Pathologic 2 is a second attempt to save the town, if you will.
This game is, indeed, different from the original. Like a counterpoint. Monologues are boring, dialogues are engaging, because any dialogue is a conflict. But it takes two to have a dialogue. The “2” in Pathologic 2 is honest. (And Latin is for show-offs.)
On Early Access
Q. Early Access works well for story-light, systems-heavy games, but Pathologic 2 is the opposite. Do you think Early Access will be effective for Pathologic 2?
The Marble Nest worked, didn’t it?
Early access exists to polish gameplay, that benefits greatly from numerous testers, since its purpose is to be handy. Note that ‘handy’ does not necessarily mean ‘easy’; the game itself can be very hardcore. But struggling with barter UI should never become a challenge.
Obviously, this approach is barely applicable to the story, since its goal is not to be handy.
This means that early builds will most likely be gameplay-oriented and very light on story. That’s what the PaxWEST demo is like, for example.
Perhaps we will have to change our approach at some point—and then, unfortunately, you will have to endure the Trial By Spoilers. But please keep in mind that we love mysteries just as much as you do, so we’ll try not to unveil too much too early.
On the Marble Nest
Q. Funny you should mention The Marble Nest, ‘cause I can no longer find the “Download Demo” button on Steam.
We had to remove it. You have all been warned that The Marble Nest is poorly optimized and does not represent the final quality. New people who come to our page through tinyBuild might miss that memo. Giving a pre-alpha to a less-informed audience may hurt their impression of the game. Bad performance is a deal-breaker to some people.
Q. So what, is my access to The Marble Nest revoked?
Not at all!
Firstly, everyone who’s got it on Steam via a code (i.e. the alpha and beta backers), still have the game/demo in their library.
Secondly, you can now download the standalone version of the demo here. Just download, unpack, and play. Also useful for those of you who do not like Steam.
We trust that if you’ve made it this far through this FAQ, you definitely belong to the “better-informed” category.