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12 days in a town devoured by plague. It's an enemy you can't kill. It's a game where you can’t save everyone
12 days in a town devoured by plague. It's an enemy you can't kill. It's a game where you can’t save everyone
12 days in a town devoured by plague. It's an enemy you can't kill. It's a game where you can’t save everyone
7,139 backers pledged $333,127 to help bring this project to life.

Moving Forward

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We have some good news and some news that are less exciting. Would you like to sit down and grab a cup of coffee first?

(This is what PR people tell to the attendees if they can’t show them the game straight away, e.g. if the rig is already occupied. We’ve been told that coffee works wonders.)

The release of Pathologic will be postponed until Autumn, 2017.

What? How?

Is this a fake FAQ now? Okay.

The original plans for the release date were set with the basic scope of the game in mind. It seems a bit immodest to admit, but we did include our first stretch goal, the Town Expanded, into that; but not the rest of them. The game has grown in scope now, so developing it properly requires additional time.

Also, the vision for this version of Pathologic has shifted during the development. What started as a humble rejuvenation of a classic beloved by the studio turned into a full-fledged reimagining rather quickly, but it took us time to realize what that truly entails. The corners that we were planning to cut turned into diamond quickly. However faithful to the original vision, this Pathologic is a new game in many aspects, from the engine to the concept art.

Oh come on. You just bit more than you can chew. Admit it. 

While we are—and always will be—vehemently defending our chewing abilities, there’s no denying the fact that we are facing technical challenges. Creating an open-world game in Unity is trying. We are solving the riddles the game’s code throws at us valiantly, but then again, there’s no point in releasing a pretty, but stuttering thing, right? And teaching it proper enunciation turned to require a bit more man-hours than we were hoping.

I dunno. It all sounds kind of fishy.  

Look. Pathologic is the thing for most people in the studio. It is the game that gave Ice-Pick Lodge its identity; it’s like both a beloved parent and a firstborn to us.

Our miscalculation was embarrassing, and we are fully prepared to accept the thoroughly-deserved stones you may be willing to throw in our general direction, but we want to do it right. If nothing else, the game itself deserves it.

It’s not your intentions that I doubt, it’s your abilities.  

In all this time, there wasn’t a single issue we weren’t able to overcome (or work around). In a painfully postmodern turn of events, he only thing that failed to bend to our almighty collective will is time itself. 

Look at it this way: we can either mar our conscience by missing the deadline in a rather spectacular fashion, or by releasing a game that falls short on its promises. But only one of these outcomes leaves everybody with a good game in their library in the end.

And now it’s time for us to bathe you in trinkets and goodies that are supposed to distract you and calm your understandable outrage.

First of all, we have a first playable… thing that will in a couple of months go to the backers of the QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS tier and higher (basically, the alpha backers). This is not an alpha though, but rather a short spin-off story that we used to showcase the mood and setting of Pathologic at Gamescom. It doesn’t feature every in-game mechanic and offers the content that won’t be present in the final game. But first we’ll need this couple of months to polish it so that it would run better and wouldn’t require developers’ hints to play properly.

We actually made this small thing for the purposes of Gamescom, but it’s so self-sufficient that it can work as a separate small game. If the feedback from the alpha backers is good, we may release is a a free Pathologic demo at some point down the line.

Secondly, the new Pathologic has a Steam page now, that you can subscribe to.

Thirdly, on said page you are welcome to behold the splendor of our semi-new screenshots. Including the current dialogue UI

It’s almost like the game is tangible now. And it will be. Later rather than sooner, sadly. 

On the bright side, now you can probably tell why we made a game that features time as one of the main foes of the protagonist.

There has to be a bright side, right…?

The Russian version of the update is here. Русская версия апдейта — здесь.

Comments

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    1. Lebster on August 25, 2016

      As much as I want the game right now, I'd rather wait another year and get a finished product than get a rushed mess of a game now.

    2. Missing avatar

      Cruxis on August 24, 2016

      At least you have a release date and expectations now, that's something. Now we even have a Alpha release date, so I'm content for now. Please keep to that Autumn 2017 date as much as possible, I would very much like this to come out soon.

    3. Demonkid on August 24, 2016

      used to kickstarter delays, i already assumed this was delayed :-p

    4. David De Ost on August 24, 2016

      Don't worry, Ice Pick Lodge, we're still here waiting for you guys to make the game as good as it can be. All we're hoping for is that the updates will come a bit more quickly, to alleviate the doubts that the project is (being) abandoned. As long as we see progress, you can take whatever time you need!

    5. Kabraxis on August 24, 2016

      Oooh, nice. I really dig thew dialog interface. Good work!

    6. bonuswavepilot
      Superbacker
      on August 23, 2016

      I don't think I've ever backed a software project on Kickstarter that wasn't delayed. Don't worry about the roar of the KS crowd folks; you're in the ring - focus on the bout!

    7. mako on August 23, 2016

      Nowadays when a game releases on time- especially an indie game- I will experience a sinking feeling, because I will know that the only way this could have happened is through blood sacrifices and unacceptable artistic compromises, and I know that we wont get the game we were hoping for, nor the game the devs wanted to make.

      When I hear there's a delay, I rejoice, because it means you all still care.

    8. Missing avatar

      Gabriel Morin on August 23, 2016

      I'd love if you guys could go in-depth about your Unity3d experience. My impression is that it makes getting started real easy, but any reasonable -sized project becomes a pain.

    9. Missing avatar

      TalecArashi on August 23, 2016

      I can wait however long it takes :D

    10. Edward T. on August 23, 2016

      A new trailer would be nice, it's been almost two years since you last released a trailer for this game.

      Also, if Unity isn't a good fit for open-world settings than why not switch to Unreal Engine 4 or something? I'd rather you take more time porting the project to Unreal Engine 4 rather battling with the shortcomings of the Unity engine. As someone who primarily plays games on the PS4, I'm already pretty familiar with the unsatisfying performance of Unity-powered games with complex design... so this update doesn't bode well for the PS4 version of the game that I backed...

    11. Danko on August 23, 2016

      I would also appreciate some news on when the tabletop will be released. It will certainly make the wait much easier!

    12. Teugen on August 23, 2016

      That was predictable so I don't get upset but... what about tabletop?

    13. Missing avatar

      Luke Ridley on August 23, 2016

      Something else that comes to mind.

      For those that have pledged at a level to receive alpha access, how would it be delivered?

      Would we need to have our version of the game tied to a particular store and forego a drm free version of the game or would it be standalone installers? Or is it much to early to think about?

      Utterly unrelated but is the rare dog running round the town going to return? I remember the surprise when I saw the dog for the first time.

    14. Danny Nissenfeld on August 23, 2016

      I'll almost always say take the time you need. I'm not sure anyone with serious investment in seeing Pathologic succeed is going to say otherwise.

    15. Missing avatar

      Chris Benedict on August 23, 2016

      By all means, take your time. I'd rather have a completed game that works and is fully realized than a buggy, half-finished rush job. Honestly, if a studio delays a game's release it's usually more of a good sign to me than bad. Just so long as the game isn't delayed by a decade (Duke Nukem) or indefinitely (*cough*HL3*cough*).

    16. Laputan Machine on August 23, 2016

      @Judicator: "...the attitude IPL had during the KS campaign towards people who tried to give them little hints and suggestions has done them no good."

      Care to elaborate? I don't mean to sound snarky, I just genuinely don't know what you mean.

    17. Judicator on August 23, 2016

      Honestly I saw that coming and the attitude IPL had during the KS campaign towards people who tried to give them little hints and suggestions has done them no good.
      However as an indepent, small indie developer myself I completely understand the situation and I wish IPL the best of luck for the development.

    18. Glenn on August 23, 2016

      @Luke I stand corrected. :)

      As a recent skeptic-turned-believer in MBTI, I agree. To some extent it's a bit of hogwash, but it does say *something* about a person. At the very least, it's fun to think about.

    19. Missing avatar

      Luke Ridley on August 23, 2016

      @Glenn ENTP/ENTJ (depending on day) :P

      Come to think of it... it would be interesting to know the kind of decisions people made in the original Pathologic and their personality type.

    20. Missing avatar

      Niko Owl on August 23, 2016

      As the others said. Take your time. It was kind of obvious from the start, especially when you've seen how creative projects go. Or by the lack of alphas and betas months before release.
      That's the beauty of crowdfunding. There's no publisher in your neck, who doesn't care how special the game is to you or for the fans, who doesn't care if the game will be nigh unplayable at release, and also doesn't care if a fantastic franchise will be ruined if you release it anyway. Even if that means the game won't make its investment back.

      The difference is, we care.

      JK, the difference is, a publisher knows where your families live and we don't.

    21. Laputan Machine on August 23, 2016

      I always thought 2 years sounded like a fairly short development time, so I'm all in favour of a delay if that's what you guys need. This game is just too special for me to be done half-assed and get rushed out the door.

      That being said, it's going to be agonizing waiting for more gameplay details to emerge. I don't suppose we can expect any trailers (or even just a super-short gameplay clip) in the near future? *Activates puppy dog eyes*

    22. Missing avatar

      montgomery lolen on August 23, 2016

      I am patient, and doubly so for this.

    23. Missing avatar

      Klops on August 23, 2016

      Delays in a Kickstarter project are more a rule than exception in my mind, so I'm not surprised or sad. I do appreciate the update about this!

    24. Mark L
      Superbacker
      on August 23, 2016

      Thanks for the update. The news was not unexpected, especially by those of us that have backed multiple video game Kickstarters in the past. Take your time to produce a high-quality game - quality over speed, in my opinion.

    25. Glenn on August 23, 2016

      Besides, aren't we all INFPs here (seriously, I suspect that's partly what makes IPL so special)? There's no such thing as an INFP releasing something they don't believe in without some severed hands involved. Not like those developer-heavy ISTJ game studios. Keep it going, IPL; I have faith in you!

    26. Glenn on August 23, 2016

      I think we all kind of saw this coming a bit. I'll admit I was in denial earlier this year, but the new game mechanics described a few updates ago seemed a bit too revolutionary to be delivered so soon. Besides, don't you know 2016 is the year of delay in the gaming industry? ;)

      I look forward to the polished side-game. Just hoping you guys don't run out of money after at least another year of development.

    27. Klotsz on August 23, 2016

      Any update on the tabletop version?

    28. Missing avatar

      Pangur - White Cat of the Obsidian Order on August 23, 2016

      Take as much time as you need, guys. You have my faith. :)
      Wishing you success in overcoming all the challenges.

    29. Missing avatar

      Francisco Cabeleira on August 23, 2016

      The delay doesn't bother me one bit, in fact I thought the game would take another 2 years to finish. As a programmer I know how it feels to spend months to solve a problem. But like others mentioned before my concern is the funding. Will it be enough?

      Besides the problems with the game engine how is everything else going? Gameplay, world and character design, quests are going as planned? Does the game engine problems force you to keep everything else on hold?

    30. Radon on August 23, 2016

      Will the final games DRMFreeVersion be distributed over GOG and Humble? If so, it would be cool if you could put the StorePages as well...

    31. Vlad Lopatin on August 23, 2016

      Better wait, but deliver quality. We've been waiting for 11 years, make it 12 - no difference. My only concern is funding - running a team for another year costs money.

    32. Missing avatar

      Daniel Maxson on August 23, 2016

      I'll admit I'm a little concerned about the "technical struggles" and the Unity engine. In my experience, UE4 tends to be much more accommodating for making unusual sorts of games. Unity is easy to prototype and produce small projects in, but as they become more complex, Unity begins to feel increasingly restrictive (in my experience, anyway).

      All that said, if you're confident you can do your vision justice in Unity, then delays are just part of the process. Plenty of other things to do while waiting.

    33. Bryan Brown on August 23, 2016

      Take you time guys. Never rush the product until you feel it's ready. Like you said, it's better to push a deadline than put something that's pretty but unfinished out. Thanks for being so open, and keeping us backers informed!

    34. Danko on August 23, 2016

      Oh, and a small note on the current dialogue UI - could we actually have some backgrounds while speaking with characters? Right now it feels like we speak in some sort of black void - it might be cool thematically, but it feels like it could break the immersion.
      Also a close-up of Ospina looks like a zombie from Planescape Torment. Just my impression, haha.

    35. basilisk on August 23, 2016

      Take as much time as you need. You will see no outrage from me. Make the game that you want to make, no matter how long it takes.

    36. Danko on August 23, 2016

      It's okay. You shouldn't feel so apologetic about the delay. Frankly in my mind the release was always planned for fall of 2017 (or was it 2018?). Nevermind - just do your thing and take your time.

    37. Mithrandir on August 23, 2016

      Don't worry, guys. I think no one, or almost no one expected to see the game in 2016. As a programmer, I know how it happens ;)

    38. Missing avatar

      Luke Ridley on August 23, 2016

      Ohshitohshitohshit now I'm going to be itching to play this preview version!

      Really great to see some of the original paintings make a reappearance. Hopefully the painting from Eva's home is back again. That was always a favourite.

      With the dialogue window. I know it's at an early stage but will there be plans to have hair cast a shadow on the face? It just looks a bit strange on Ospina without the shadow from the hair.

    39. Jarle Nygård on August 23, 2016

      It's done when it's done. :)

    40. neko_cam on August 23, 2016

      Take your time, guys. Like you said, I'd much rather have a great game eventually than an average game sooner. We will be patient.

    41. Denis Davydov on August 23, 2016

      My faith is with you guys! Just make a great game. As for me - I'm ready to wait.