Classic Ice-Picks! (Not Really)
At the end of October, we are planning to release the original Pathologic on Steam, GOG and Humble Store.
Not the Remake. The original game. It will, however, feature a number of enhancements, such as improved graphics and visual effects; cloud saves (and other modern-ish stuff it was deprived of previously); and a completely new translation produced by an in-house team from scratch.
Now may be a good moment to reiterate that this is not the remake, which is still in the works, but rather a thing that we heartily call “Pathologic Classic HD: Now Comprehensible”.
Now, we know it may be a bit confusing—
— WAIT WHAT
Look. There used to be only one Pathologic—the buggy 2005 game some of you fell in love with. It was a very important game for us, so now we’re making a new version—a reimagining that will, while remaining faithful to the core ideas of the original, explore them further and look for new methods of representation. New ways to convey our points. Yet the original game, however imperfect, is still very dear to us, so we’ve decided to preserve it in its best possible state—by fixing the major issues and re-releasing it.
Change is inevitable. During the Remake production we’ve found ourselves in quite a conundrum: ideally, we need to reevaluate the old means of expression, make sure that they work, and invent new ones when they don’t. And the “means of expression” aren’t just the graphics or soundtrack, but rather the whole bulk of expressive techniques, from non-core plotlines and character mannerisms to the puns they make; from survival mechanics to soundscape switching solutions.
Change is inevitable—and it is inevitably controversial. What may seem obsolete or redundant to us, can also be dear and important for someone else (and vice versa). Taking “the Pathologic you know and love” away from you with the Remake is the last thing we want to do, but we also need the freedom to make new creative choices without looking back at every step.
It was bugging us, of course. Everyone has their own idea of a perfect Pathologic game; its general plot came to Nikolay in a dream, so do we really have the right to alter it? On the other hand, it feels counter-productive to restrict ourselves to ye goode olde creative solutions simply because they’re there. To complicate the matters even further, it’s not like we don’t like them. We do honestly believe that the old Pathologic was a great game.
Thus a solution was conceived: to make the original game accessible by fixing the major issues that were disallowing that (compatibility bugs, visual glitches—and the translation, of course). This way, the original Pathologic will always be available to you even if you come to disagree with the changes made in the Remake. And if you haven’t played it at all, you’ll have a chance to get to know the game that has defined us as a studio. We believe this to be a fair compromise.
Conceived, arranged for, and executed: the story of some unfortunate revolutionary’s life—and also of Pathologic Classic HD.
Which now arrives on Steam—legible for the first time ever.
— So, a new translation, huh?
Yes; the new translation was actually another major reason for this re-release.
See, we’ve promised the old Pathologic as a reward for some of our Kickstarter backers, and it was bugging us, too. We are still not entirely sure as to how our English-speaking players have managed to enjoy the game at all; sometimes the dialogue of the original release made no sense. We hesitated to offer this mangled beast as a reward to anyone, but after we did, it quickly became apparent that we cannot in good conscience simply provide them with the game as it was.
So we’ve endeavoured to at least make it readable—with the kind assistance from General Arcade and Gambitious. The translation effort was in-house, but we’re positive it wouldn’t have become possible without their guidance. And it was actually General Arcade that did the heavy visuals-updating lifting (thus winning our eternal gratitude).
— Why should I buy it at all?
Actually, if you’re a backer of an OLD AND NEW or higher tier, you don’t have to; obviously it’s the new, Pathologic Classic HD version that you’ll be provided with as a reward as soon as it is released (i.e. at the end of October).
If you aren’t, here are some more incentives:
- the original Pathologic is on Steam for the first time ever;
- it’s the most polished version of the game in existence;
- while the models remain the same, it’s way more visually pleasing due to Cool Effects and Better Textures;
- it supports modern screen resolutions (up to 1920x1200);
- more quality-of-life improvements.
There are also some perks available to the non-Russian-speaking gamers:
- you can finally find out what the hell happened there;
- like seriously, Maria used to say that there “is a ‘bog’ in ‘Utopia’” completely disregarding the fact that no, there isn’t;
- we mean it, some plotlines are obscure enough even with proper translation;
- you’ll also get to see restored content.
— More content? Care to elaborate?
Sure. Certain sections of the original texts were cut from the game when it was first released in English to make the translation into other languages less cumbersome. Now they’re back in.
— This is all very sweet, but that’s not what I backed you for. It’s not what I wanted you to do. Where’s my Pathologic Remake, goddammit?
The Pathologic Classic HD release was made possible with the kind help of Gambitious and external investments. The visual upgrades were mostly done by General Arcade. As for the new translation, the localization team remains on standby for now, so it’s not like they were diverting their forces and attention from the main effort; the re-release also laid the groundwork for the future work process. All in all, we don’t feel that the Pathologic Classic HD release has impeded the development of the Remake in any significant way.
And it does feel nice to finally do the justice to our most ambitious game to date by helping it achieve its Final Form. You’ll have a chance to see it soon—and we do sincerely hope you like it.
P. S. It’s not the Remake though. Sorry for not clarifying earlier.