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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.

Introducing Pathologic 2, with live gameplay

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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.  

Alex Nichiporchik  

CEO @tinyBuild

Comments

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    1. Jani Jereb on

      Well, if you really want to distinguish it from the other games, I say go for broke:
      "Path-o-Logic: The plague and death simulator - Enhanced flamethrower edition"

    2. Missing avatar

      Gabriel Morin on

      Opening up development to the mob... err gaming community is fraught with peril:
      - You easily get an echo chamber effect where a bunch of fanboys validate everything you do, until the illusion dissipates on release day.
      - A few tyrannical "fans" try to drag the game in a different direction than what you're shooting for (say, they want hardcore difficulty and you don't, or vice-versa), and when you don't listen to their ramblings and eventually ban them from your forum, they go on to generate massive bad press everywhere they can. I saw one of those madmen at work in the Darkest Dungeon community.

      Personally I really want the game to succeed but I'll be staying far, far away from any early build since I'm allergic to spoilers. With a story-light, systems-heavy game like Party Hard or Punch Club, or a multiplayer-focused game like Speedrunners it's easy to see why exposing the systems early would lead to improvements, but it's gonna be difficult to get quality feedback for Pathologic which relies so much on athmosphere, mystery and storytelling.

    3. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      @Laputan Machine, that was one tempting naming idea.

    4. Laputan Machine on

      @Neo: But this isn't actually a remaster - that would be Classic HD. So your option wouldn't make things less confusing. I'm guessing the (admittedly strange) decision to put a "2" in there is due to this being more of a reimagining than a straight-up remake. Still, they could name it "Uncle Jim's Bubonic Plague Simulator 2018" for all I care and I would still buy it.

      Anyway, I think publishers get a bad rap sometimes due to the prevailing notion that they'll inevitably neuter artistic expression, but it's easy to forget the benefits they bring to the table. Hell, the original Pathologic and the Void both had publishers and are among my favourite games of all-time. I trust IPL (who are dedicating themselves to this project) to ultimately decide what's best for the game, and according to them, they're maintaining creative control. It's going to be interesting to see where it all ends up.

    5. Missing avatar

      Neo on

      I think this is a bad move. If the world and story is same, but only new engine, graphics and animations - it's a remastered version of the same game, but not a sequel. This is confusing.

      Please rename the game to "Pathologic: Remastered Edition"!

    6. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      Re: tinyBuild.

      There is a prevailing image among indie makers and lovers—that of an evil publisher who bends creative free-thinkers to their will, forcing them to go against their vision, while mercilessly whipping people in the process. While we find the idea moderately intriguing, our own relationships with publishers have always been very much beneficial for us. The original Pathologic would never have been possible without Buka Entertainment, who supervised the development. So we are more than happy to have acquired a partner to do the stuff that we’re not that good at, like marketing, and help us with management and production a bit.

      In terms of creative choices, we’ve seen nothing but respect from tinyBuild, so there’s no executive meddling at all. We’re genuinely happy to have this chance to focus on the truly exciting stuff—i.e. actually making the game.

      Indeed, tinyBuild's line-up hadn't had a game like Pathologic before. Ours is a relatively unusual project anyway. However, we've been following their endeavours for a couple of years, and we've seen that their approach to each title they release is unique, attentive, and personal—a feat that not every publisher can boast. They don't like copy-pasted marketing solutions, they choose to try new things and adapt, which is exactly what Pathologic needs.

    7. Glenn on

      To give a more sunny perspective, I noticed the news got attention in pretty mainstream media outlets like The Verge. Since I trust that Nikolai et al. will be as uncompromising as usual regardless of a new audience, this can only be good. I'm hoping the game sells decently so the studio gets the revenue and attention it needs to create at a bigger scale.

    8. Missing avatar

      Jay on

      Alex Nichiporchik as in the guy who had a meltdown on Twitter when his innovative marketing tactics for Punch Club caused half the people who had pre-ordered it to cancel their pre-orders, right?

    9. Will O'Neill
      Superbacker
      on

      I do not associate Tiny Build with high quality in narrative. I appreciate that IPL is still in control of the project creatively, but I hope that 'business and marketing reasons' will not begin to bleed into the creative regardless.

      The original Pathologic was brilliant because it was the product of a bold and very specific vision from people who knew what they were doing - I'm not sure that democratizing it to the player community in any form is wise.

      In either case: Please let the artists do their work.

    10. Glenn on

      Mirroring other comments, the "2" implying sequel/franchise was a bad move. Also, I think some of the uneasiness in regards to the update's entrepreneurial tone could have been avoided if we had our dear Alphyna co-author it, perhaps writing the first half of it to gently introduce us to Alex, rather than the bodysnatch experience we got. And, finally, I agree that the proposed alpha system may not be so good in practice with a story game like Pathologic. How far off into 2018 are we looking at for a final release?

      Minor notes re: trailer are that I love the animations, the autopsy system and NPC behaviors; dislike the sound design (that falling sound after infection...) and the strong Bioshock and Amnesia vibes (I found it distracting and less eery than the original Pathologic).

    11. Hypnotic Geese on

      In regard to gloominess and marketing: The original Pathologic got a boost by being called "Oblivion with cancer". Perhaps Pathologic 2 could be Skyrim with ebola.

    12. Jani Jereb on

      Thank you for clearing up any confusions. If only you also had the chance to help the people who worked on Thief, Doom, Prey, Tomb Raider, Prince of Persia and so on.

    13. Nickolai Leschov on

      And why does Ice-Pick Lodge need help producing after all those years of development?

    14. Nickolai Leschov on

      I'm not concerned with delays. They were to be expected even, if you ask me. But name change is unfair and wrong, sending the message that this is not the reimagining of the same game we all liked, but your run-of the-mill sequel.

      We did not give our money to have "Pathlogic 2".

    15. Missing avatar

      calcifer on

      This is deeply concerning news to me, especially since it's written in marketing speak by someone who is likely a bean counter. Looking at Tiny Build's past games, they don't have anything remotely like Pathologic, which doesn't inspire confidence.

      Jesus... on their blog they've already started calling it an "open world survival horror" where it's "your job to save everyone", like it's your run-of-the-mill hero's journey.

      This is really disappointing Ice-Pick Lodge...

    16. digital wisp on

      Yeah, "Pathologic: a new strain" or whatever you come up with would be a lot better (and make so much more sense).

    17. Sabathius on

      Have to agree with Michael here. "Pathologic 2" is...likely to cause some problems. If simply "Pathologic" wasn't going to work, wouldn't tacking on a subtitle do the job without confusing people that it's a sequel when it isn't?

    18. Michael on

      I'm not worried too much about the actual game, though the way tinyBuild talks about the game kind of makes my skin crawl...
      Maybe I'm being pedantic, but I feel that the "2" cheapens things by naming this game, which is the primary and definitive version of Pathologic, as the secondary one, and actually will cause more confusion, considering it's not a sequel.

    19. digital wisp on

      Almost didn't play the original and have to say this remake looks gorgeous and stylish. Only the riflemen in line probably won't fire at the exact same millisecond, though.

    20. Yusuf Can Sezgenç on

      @IPL

      Thoughtful and reassuring as always, hopefully this relationship will turn out well.

    21. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      @All,

      This is still the same game—a reimagining. Same town, same characters, same project we Kickstarted. The name change is purely cosmetic. (Well, it will probably concern the game's marketing somewhat, but it's not like any of you need to have it pitched to you, right?)

      And yes, this is a business update penned by a business person—which is precisely the reason for this partnership. We're not sure partnering up with someone equally gloomy and prone to lame puns as us would lead to fruitful results. Gloominess is our area of expertise. We're not ready to share.

      So please do not worry. Yes, it's true that projects that are delayed sometimes suffer from developers' passion dying out (which is not necessarily their fault, stress does bad things to people). But this is not our case at all. We'd sell kidneys to deliver the Pathologic we promised to you, if need be.

      (Which probably wouldn't do much because it turns out that organs are dirt cheap or something. We only checked for storytelling purposes. Nothing shady going on here.)

      -IPL

    22. C. on

      Ice-Pick Lodge on Twitter:
      "We are fully in charge of creative choices. tinyBuild help with management/production/marketing (i.e. being efficient in reaching goals)."
      So everything's grand! Ignore my original comment; I'm tired and easily confused. Bless you, TinyBuild, for giving them a leg-up.

    23. Missing avatar

      Matt Watkins on

      This update... I really wish someone from IPL had given warning that this was going to happen before letting what feels like a guest producer take over Kickstarter updates. The tone and style of this update is quite different than anything posted before about the game. I understand bringing in outside help if IPL feels it's necessary, but the "openness" touted here would have been explaining why, when and how this was going to happen before an update suddenly appears, penned by a non-developer. I'm not reassured.

    24. Laputan Machine on

      Holy gosh darn I don't even know where to begin. So am I understanding things correctly by saying that this is the same "reimagining" as before, just with a new name? Same town, same twelve days, same basic storyline? Are we still playing as the doctor trio in Pathologic 2?

      When it comes to the video itself, it looks like there's been a whole bunch of added stuff since the Marble Nest: knocking on doors (that actually swing open now!), autopsies, falling unconscious... The sounds of sirens and those haunting wails of women being incinerated give me shivers.

    25. C. on

      As far as I understood it, it's not a sequel, or a straight remake. Ice-Pick Lodge were pretty clear on that from the very start of this campaign, and throughout their development updates. Although it may seem minor, the title change is a little strange to me. There was no real inclination that Pathologic was part of a 'franchise' before.
      And I'm afraid that the tone of this post is very, um, businesslike? It just strikes an odd chord with me.
      I'm aware these might all seem like minor quibbles; I suppose my concern is that Ice-Pick Lodge's creative control isn't compromised. Not having them weigh in in this update at all is a little odd, but that may of course be just due to busyness.
      Anyway, I hope this partnership ensures the team security and support. TinyBuild have shown themselves to be a nice, supportive team for other people, and I hope it works out the same here!

    26. MichiGen - Weresheep of Original Sin on

      Perfect news Ice Pick! The game looks incredible! I am very happy about this update. Thanks and keep going with the creation of the amazing experience ;)

    27. Missing avatar

      Danila M on

      Hm, aside from the annoying CEO-speak a really feel uneasy with this direction. So, the release date is moved again (by another year), and all we'll get is an unfinished buggy game that will be in long state of early access... This might work good for system's based games, but I can't say I'm thrilled to see this in a narrative-based one. We Happy Few tried to do something like this, even though it was even less story-centric and it was a disgusting boring mess. I feel uneasy.

    28. Missing avatar

      Nate on

      So is this still effectively a remake of Pathologic, just with some new features and revamped mechanics and such? Or does this mean that it's going to be a totally new game with a new story, new characters, etc. and not a retelling of the story of the original game?

      I've been holding back on playing Pathologic HD with its new translation since I didn't want to spoil anything that might be reused in the remake, but I can't tell if that's the case anymore

    29. Missing avatar

      MichaelPalin on

      Please, don't call Pathologic a franchise, please. Call it a series, sounds much better.

    30. milky ghosts on

      will the alphas be available to people with mac, or just windows like how the marble nest was?

    31. Missing avatar

      dande48 on

      I'm super excited to finally see this game come to fruition. Thank you so much for making sure the game is the best it can be. A lot of developers rush through, keeping in poor/broken mechanics and release a half finished game to meet a production deadline. It requires a lot of sacrifice, especially when you have to go back, readjust, and fine tune the systems. But I'd rather have an exceptional game after four years, than a broken game after one.

      Thanks for being the amazing devs you are.

    32. Klarden on

      Well, Hello Neighbor Early Access turned into a crapshow, but I trust the Ice Pick Lodge to handle this approach right.
      Also, I'm glad this isn't Gearbox (topical) :p
      Good luck, fellas, you can do it :)

    33. basilisk on

      Can't say I'm thrilled about the name change. I can see why you feel you have to do it, but slapping a 2 at the end makes it sound so very… videogamey. Like it's losing some of its identity there.

      But, as always, do whatever you think you need to do.