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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
7,139 backers pledged $333,127 to help bring this project to life.

Progress Report: April

Posted by Ice-Pick Lodge (Creator)
46 likes

Hello and welcome to another issue of Pathologic 2 Report—a post where we showcase our current progress in cool gifs!  

Make yourself comfortable, ‘cause the post will be long and we’ll be happy to—

...make a nice, welcoming game
...make a nice, welcoming game

Um.  

That was the new district-by-district system of dynamic reputation, by the way, that ensures that if you choose to go on a murderous rampage, people will remember… but not in a magic ‘stop right there, criminal scum’ sort of way. Only the local community cares, so if your reputation in a district drops, you try to avoid the place… unless you need something or someone there.  

To be done: The system works as intended, but we need to balance what raises and lowers your reputation, because the townsfolk seem reeeeally unforgiving of petty theft now.  

Picking Herbs  

It’s like Skyrim, only everyone around is screaming in horror and pain
It’s like Skyrim, only everyone around is screaming in horror and pain

Picking herbs, that the Haruspex needs for his concoctions, is a process that needs to be both streamlined (i.e. the player should be able to find them with reasonable ease, not waste half an hour on a single blade of swevery) and non-intrusive visually. The system we’ve implemented works as intended, throwing something more on top of visual alerts.  

To be done: The system works as intended and is finished. 

Craft 

Hand-made immune boosters are better than the ones you buy in shops
Hand-made immune boosters are better than the ones you buy in shops
But brewing more efficient, valuable remedies also takes time. Happy Farm has never been so grisly!
But brewing more efficient, valuable remedies also takes time. Happy Farm has never been so grisly!

Pathologic 2 is a game about planning and resource management, where crucial items often have several uses. Do you drink water or use it to make a tincture? Do you drink that tincture or use it on someone else to detect early plague symptoms in them? If making a remedy takes time, how do you plan your movement around the town? What do you use and what do you sell? 

The choice is yours. 

To be done: The system is in place and works, it’s all about balancing now. 

Fights 

K.O.!
K.O.!

Melee fights have gone through several iterations since January, with us improving the stamina management aspect, adding new hits (pictured above), and ensuring the actions of your opponent are telegraphed well enough for you to be able to react in a smart way. The fights are now working properly in the actual game environment. 

To be done: One-on-one fights are fun now, but the actual action in the streets gets too chaotic in a bad way sometimes. We also feel that the player isn’t properly encouraged to utilize all options available to them, making hit-and-run tactics too beneficial to try anything else. More tuning required. 

Odongh Fights! 

‘Aww, but he’s so cute!’ (Famous last words.)
‘Aww, but he’s so cute!’ (Famous last words.)

Just like in the original Pathologic, odonghs have unique animations and hit like a truck. They can also jump at you with a bestial roar. All in all, you don’t want to mess with them (but we all know that at some point you will). 

To be done: Same as above, only with a bestial roar. 

Cool AI Shticks: Conceding 

Well played
Well played

One way to ensure the player doesn’t feel pressured to murder everyone who rubs them the wrong way is introducing the long-promised non-lethal fights. 

Let’s face it: while the mood and the role-playing of Pathologic 2 may not be about fighting, sometimes mugging people makes fiscal sense. There are several systems in the game precluding you from abusing this, like the aforementioned reputation and armed NPCs reacting to your violent actions… but some players will still be tempted to resort to violence, especially in self-defence, and we want to provide a middle ground for them. If an NPCs feels threatened enough, they will stop fighting and let you mug them. No blood will be shed. 

(Unless you reeeeally want that sweet, sweet kidney of theirs.) 

To be done: Tuning the AI. While conceding works as intended now, the whole complexity of NPCs’ behavior is not complete yet, so we may need to change things.

Cool AI Shticks: Points of Interest 

Oooh, a crate! Gotta investigate that!
Oooh, a crate! Gotta investigate that!

While we don’t want the NPCs to be overly active, they keep learning things. For example, now they feel an occasional tingle of curiosity and inspect points of interest, like crates, walls (to lean against), windows (to look out of), and, of course, the most engaging of them all: dead bodies. 

As a bonus, most of our NPCs can look like they’re going through a really painful break-up at will
As a bonus, most of our NPCs can look like they’re going through a really painful break-up at will

To be done: More points of interest… but also less chaos and unnecessary activity. We’re in that phase now when our NPCs have learned to do cool things, but tend to do them in ridiculous ways. That needs to be fixed. 

Cool AI Shticks: Burning People 

Job well done
Job well done

The flamethrower-wielding corpsmen can now detect infection and cleanse it with fire, both in infected NPCs and you. Unfortunately, the cleansing tends to have the minor side effect of the infected person dying. One more thing to keep an eye on. 

To be done: The AI works as intended, but the victim actually doesn’t burn and once, waiting half a second to catch fire instead. 

Voiceover 

The voices work in Pathologic 2 like they did in the original game, with characters uttering single phrases—not voicing their written dialogue, but expressing an additional level of character. Most Russian lines have already been recorded, but they’re not implemented yet. 

To be done: Actually introduce the voices to the game. Record the English version. Add subtitles. 

Characters and Plots 

A rather CHEEKY-BREEKY fellow
A rather CHEEKY-BREEKY fellow

Currently, most of our resources and energy goes into implementing actual content—that is, the storyline itself. While the majority of the assets are already complete, you never know when a particular event may demand a unique animation, item, or even subsystem. After a story is fully devised and all assets are available, it needs to be scripted and tested. 

And not spoiled to y’all, which is why this part of the Progress Report is brief. 

Just like your fleeting life
Just like your fleeting life

To be done: The task of adding more content is never done. 

More Locations 

Kind of hard imagining a young girl living here
Kind of hard imagining a young girl living here
You can almost smell it
You can almost smell it

The town is built completely now, except some unique indoors. Now it’s all about polishing the locations. 

To be done: Polishing. Polishing. Building more indoors. The ‘burnt-out’ (post-infection) districts are still to be added. Also, polishing. 

Less Stupidity 

How Can Stairs Be Real If Our Legs Aren’t Real
How Can Stairs Be Real If Our Legs Aren’t Real
Oh, it’s the dancing plague
Oh, it’s the dancing plague
Wheeeeeeeeeeeee
Wheeeeeeeeeeeee

Like we mentioned before, before they get smart, they have to pass their stupid phase. The really, really stupid phase.

They do perfectly represent our modus operandi sometimes though
They do perfectly represent our modus operandi sometimes though

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

Klarden, Maksim Kuroshev, and 44 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Alexander Galtsev on

      You've missed the great opportunity to call the dancing plague "Dancing Fever". Shame on you.

    2. Laputan Machine on

      Yay, a new update! I like how you're not afraid to show off some of the hilarious to-be-fixed glitches. =)

      Oh, quick, random question I've been curious about for a while: Will the camera feature any sort of head bobbing in the final game?

    3. Danko on

      The lack of updates and any communication for several months has been very concerning, up to a point I was worried the project was frozen, or worse.
      So thanks for writing this - although the update still doesn't give me a sense of your actual progress. Most stuff listed are tweaks - important and time-consuming, but still tweaks.
      I wonder how far away are you on the important stuff? Did you finish writing? How much of the actual 12 days have you implemented?
      And another important thing - please share what happened to your publisher? Do you even work with them anymore? Do they even do anything, or plan to?

    4. Alexis Maes
      Superbacker
      on

      Hey ! It's nice to see an update! Two things to note :

      1) I don't think that English voices are necessary, I'll hapilly play the game with subtitles to add to the immersion!

      2) Have you played Kingdom Come: Deliverance? They have a very hands-on Crafting system (for alchemy) that requires you to follow a precise procedure when making potions, grinding herbs, then adding water, heating, etc.
      That might be hard to implement but I think that something that required the player to "actively" create a decoction might be more interesting than a simple "slide X in box and click craft"

    5. Glenn on

      It looks like it's coming along nicely! The game is finding its voice. Fingers crossed the alpha backers may hear it speak its first words soon... ;)

    6. Jesper on

      A really good update that breaks down a good chunk of things! Thank you showing us your world of game dev'ing. I want this game to be a masterpiece, so please work on it till you feel it's perfection. ;P

    7. Missing avatar

      Daniel Maxson on

      Pretty sure the dancing plague is working as intended. ;)

      Everything looks awesome. Very much looking forward to it, whenever it's ready.

    8. Adam Bania on

      Nice to hear there will be some voiceover. Will it be possible to pick audio and subtitle languages independently (eg. Russian audio with English subs)?

    9. Missing avatar

      Danila M on

      Was just thinking yesterday that it's about time for the next update!

    10. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      dande48, no set date as of now. We were clumsy with dates before, changing schedules several times, so now we're only aiming to announce a date when we're 100% sure of it.

      But the game will be released this year. And we're doing everything we can to release at sooner rather than later.

    11. Missing avatar

      dande48 on

      I love the work you've done! And I hate to ask the dreaded question, but I must... is there yet at ETA?