The title pretty much sums it up. We're a Moscow-based game development studio that's been making games for more than ten years. There are nine people on our team now.

Our first game, Pathologic—a depressing story of three healers trying to save a plague-ridden town—has become somewhat of a cult classic (whatever that means), but its Western release was spoiled by a botched translation and a lack of marketing. You have a better chance of having heard of our second game, The Void—a surreal story of a translucent character getting to know the colourless and empty Void and its inhabitants (it was even featured in a Tom Tykwer movie). Our latest game, Knock-Knock, is a 2D horror where you're trying to guess what the rules of the game that the creepy Guests are playing with you are. It's also the first Russian game to have successfully been crowdfunded via Kickstarter.

We wouldn’t go as far as call ourselves artists, but our general philosophy is that games should give players food for thought, not just fun. We also seem to be the most well-known game development studio with a distinctly Russian identity.

Our current project is remaking Pathologic—a game that's sometimes described as a "flawed gem" with a heavy emphasis on "flawed". We do honestly believe it had some intriguing ideas, but the execution was deeply imperfect due to our inexperience. Well, we have the experience now.

Ask us anything.

(Proof that it's really us doing the answering:

UPD: Thank you all for your questions! It was a fascinating talk. We're going back to The Town for now—follow our Kickstarter campaign or our Twitter for news.

Comments: 238 • Responses: 79  • Date: 

twinchenzo27 karma

I love the idea of in-game economy rapidly degrading from monetary to barter as the plague rages on in Pathologic. How did you design what changes will the prices on the goods undergo in this extreme situation, where did you draw your inspiration/reference on the topic, and how will this system change in the remake?

As an economist by trade, I always ask this kind of questions to gamedevs, so sorry, if it's boring.

IcePickLodge28 karma

No, it's opposite from boring! We are planning to make an actual monetary and resource "ecosystem" in the remake. So there will be a limited amount of food, medicine and other resources and you are going to be not the only one hunting for them this time. We want to try emulating real famine with long lines in front of stores, desperate fights for last scraps of food and inflation that represents this situation.
I think this is going to be one of the many aspects we are going to tweak during alpha testing a lot.

migelpig20 karma

Will it be possible to have Russian audio but English subtitles, descriptions, menu and dialog options?

IcePickLodge14 karma


riomhaire17 karma

The English translation of Pathologic is pretty notorious. I've heard the studio was particularly upset with the name "Devotress". Are there any other terms used in the original translation that were particularly egregious? And for anything that was particularly bad, how did the names misinform the English-speaking audience?

IcePickLodge30 karma

Alexandra the translator here. I'll give you a couple examples, sure!

«Горны» (the Kains' mansion) were translated as "The Horns". Why? I honestly have no idea. «Горн» does indeed mean "a horn" in Russian (as in a musical instrument), but its most common meaning is "a forge". I'm not even delving into indirect associations («Горны» also reminds you of an expression «мир горний» that basically means "heavens"), it's understandable that a commissioned translator can miss a subtler shade of meaning. But, like, why "The Horns"? Just because the Russian word looks like an English one? I've no idea.

Another thing I've seen is "The Verbae" instead of "The Willows" (because «верба» is a type of willow in Russian). Once again, lolwut? Are we using transliterations now? They make no sense.

An example that I didn't use in my update on translation. "Gryph" is an alias; this character's real name is Grigory Filin, and «филин» is a nightowl. That's all sweet and fun, but the translator simply forgot the pun, so it turned out like "Gryph?.. Oh yeah, it's a nickname. He took half his name, Grigory, and half his last name, Nightowl, and became Gryph."

Yeah, doesn't make sense. Also «гриф» means "a vulture" in Russian, so even the basic meaning isn't preserved.

But the greatest sin of the old translation isn't making mistakes—a single mistake won't botch the whole thing. Its greatest sin is its half-heartedness and the amount of near-misses and imperfect word choices. Most of them, apart from the most straightforward ones, are questionable at least.

(And my job is asking these questions. Isn't it cool? I think it is.)

King_Mantra11 karma

Gryph always seemed bird-like to me because it sounds like the french "griffe", meaning claw or talon. Maybe that was the original idea.

IcePickLodge4 karma

Vultures are birds, so you're absolutely right.

riomhaire4 karma

Thank you for the response! The Horns never struck me as particularly odd because a lot of the town location names are named after anatomy parts and the town-as-a-bull imagery is thrown at you pretty blatantly when you scroll all the way out on the map screen. You have the Kidney, the Womb, the Rib and the Spine, so why not the Horns as well?

IcePickLodge5 karma

Because those are the names of streets and districts, not mansions. And it's an important distinction! While there are some people who view The Town as a body, no one claims your Adherents are mere body parts as well—each of them is too important a figure to be reduced to a function. The same goes for the Kains tenfold. Need I explain why? :)

The7thNomad3 karma

An example that I didn't use in my update on translation. "Gryph" is an alias; this character's real name is Grigory Filin, and «филин» is a nightowl. That's all sweet and fun, but the translator simply forgot the pun, so it turned out like "Gryph?.. Oh yeah, it's a nickname. He took half his name, Grigory, and half his last name, Nightowl, and became Gryph."

Yeah, doesn't make sense. Also «гриф» means "a vulture" in Russian, so even the basic meaning isn't preserved.

Interesting, I always took Gryph as a "Grifter", the wheeling and dealing swindler who is only on my side if it's convenient for him. Maybe I'm making connections where they're not there >.<

IcePickLodge3 karma

I've been thinking about calling him Grifter, actually. It would be a decent translation, if a bit too straightforward (I'm not sure you'd nickname a thief Thief). The last name will still have to change though so that the pun works.

stille6 karma

Speaking of the Devotress, will she be "Klara" or "Clara" in the English translation?

IcePickLodge8 karma

That's something to think about, but I believe she should be "Clara". She has a rather straightforward Latin name, and it's not very popular in Russia, so there's no reason to "Russianize" it.

IcePickLodge2 karma

Her name is a tribute to saint Clare of Assisi.

twinchenzo12 karma

Will Voronika's story have any further progress? If yes, in what form?

We who participated in the ARG grew on her pretty strong.

IcePickLodge10 karma

We don't know who you're talking about, but we've heard there may be a Voronika in The Town.

niwm11 karma

Hi, IPL! Ever since playing Pathologic and The Void, I've maintained my opinion that the games you create are truly art. Especially The Void left a lasting impression on me, and helped me get through a depression a couple of years ago (okay, I'm starting to sound corny here :P), so thanks for that.

Anyway, here's my question! : Which one of your previous games was the hardest to create, and what decision/sacrifice/compromise was the toughest to make? (Since sometimes you have to abandon ideas that are too difficult to implement).

Keep up the amazing work! I can't wait for the remake.

IcePickLodge7 karma

It's "Cargo! A Quest for Gravity". The first game we had to develop on our own, without any divine support. (Too much theomachy in that setting affected adversely, I guess)

IcePickLodge7 karma

Thank you for your kind words!

The hardest game to make was definitely Pathologic. We had little to no experience and were moving blindly sometimes, but it's also exactly what granted us a sense of real wonder.

We had to compromise a lot. A lot. One of the curious compromises were dirt stains on the walls in Pathologic: Nikolay insisted they had to be there while Ayrat and Peter tried to talk some sense into him explaining they would be too resource-heave. We've nearly killed each other back then.

TheIronSky9 karma

Hey Ice Pick! I love your games, and Pathologic is probably one of my all-time favorites. I've always admired the original because decisions in gameplay had immediate (and often drastic) ramifications for players, and it was one of the first games for me where I decided that brute force was not going to be the most appropriate solution.

But beyond the instantaneous differences in survival rate, what level of mechanical interaction do you intend to bring to this new version? The one thing I've always craved from a game is a set of systems that function independently from the player -- something that the original has -- that can be manipulated by the player to affect the outcome of the story. Do you intend to broaden the possible story paths by making more elements dynamic or randomized, or will the majority of the story remain the same, with most of the decisions being made on one grand logic tree?

IcePickLodge7 karma

We really want to pull off the trick of "emergent narrative" in the remake of Pathologic. We want to make unscripted events that happen to you on the streets of the Town (or in the steppe) to be your story and it to be different every walkthrough. Look at games like Forest for example - there is no "story" there per-se besides the setup, but it still have potential to create great stories of struggle and survival.

taliriktug3 karma

Which Forest are you talking about? I found a few in the Internet, but they have nothing about creating stories.

niwm6 karma

I believe they're talking about The Forest , and the point they were making is that the game has little to no in-game "story", as far as the developers giving you scripted events and cutscenes.

The game is about survival in a forest, and as the game plays out differently from player in how you tackle the challenge (building up camps, searching for food, etc), the game just naturally turns into a custom-made story, of sorts. Not sure if my explanation made much sense.

IcePickLodge3 karma

Yap. "The Forest"

TheIronSky3 karma

That's an incredibly admirable goal. I wish more games did that! Do you plan on expanding any of the gameplay elements to add another layer of depth to the already fantastic emergent gameplay-supporting design you have?

IcePickLodge4 karma

We are planing to at least improve existing ones... And yes, maybe add new ones if necessary.

von_Crack_Sparrow9 karma

Why does the passage of time in cycles feature so heavily in all four of your games? Is this one of the reasons you talked enthusiastically about making a game (Frost) taking place over several generations?

IcePickLodge17 karma

Time is one of the most important aspects to apply for perspective of the story. "And they lived happily ever after" - but for how long?!

leagor8 karma

Is Pathologic's design in any way inspired by the way Plague Fort near Kronstadt looks? And by its history of course. If no, has someone from the studio been there? It looks just like the Town on Gorgkhon.

IcePickLodge5 karma

No, we have known about it too late. That's a creepy place really... If we had heard about it in 2002, we'd probably settle our studio there instead of that damn cold mortuary in the outskirts of Moscow city. -_-

Cartahena8 karma

Can you cite as an example some really nice literature that inspired you on developming Pathologic game? If possible, name the ones that have been translated into Russian. Thank you.

IcePickLodge3 karma

Stephen King "The Stand"

IcePickLodge7 karma

Hey, this is not true! We have read "The Stand" during the development among other books about outbreaks.

Aristosseur7 karma

Are you considering a setting that is not plagued, grim and deadly? I'd love to experience something cheerful from you.

Kinrany3 karma


Razorflip6 karma

Уважаемые Ice-Pick-Lodge! Я и мои ребята крайне рады возможности написать вам, а уж тем паче задать созревшие вопросы. Мы давно следим за вашим творчеством, вдохновляемся и пытаемся "подражать великим". Наверняка мы не первые, кто станут донимать вас этими вопросами, но мы очень надеемся на вашу снисходительность: 1) Как раскрутиться, то бишь как разрекламировать себя, допустим, свежеиспеченную команду игроделов? 2)Нужно ли связываться с уже известными игроделами или просто людьми, дабы использовать их творчество в собственной игре в качестве забавной, юморной отсылки? 3) Можно ли с вами встретиться? То есть будут ли сходки, мероприятия? Ибо безумно хочется встретиться если не со всей вашей братией, то хотя бы лицезреть гений руководителя проекта, Николая? Исполинское спасибо за обращенный взор!)

IcePickLodge12 karma

Hey! Please, write English here. This is an international forum.

Razorflip6 karma

Okay, we are sorry! It is a great honour to contact with you for us! There are three questions we would like you to answer if you please: 1)How to show yourself? I mean, how to become popular, how to start selling your games and so on? 2)Do we have to ask for a permission if me and my "company" wish to make a game with lots of nice and humorous links form other popular games? 3) Is it possible to talk to you literally? Are there any meetings we can visit? It is all because we are greatly interested to see at least the "emperor of art-chaos and Ice-Pick-Lodge studio" - Nikolay Dibovskyi? Thank you so much for answering!

IcePickLodge6 karma

  1. Are you sure we're the best company to ask? We're notoriuosly bad at marketing. Hiring someone who isn't is a great first step.

  2. We don't believe you have to—otherwise George Lucas would be a deaf person by now. And there is such a thing as "parody license"—you're allowed to use others' assets for comedic purposes (in limited amounts, of course). Best to consult a lawyer though.

  3. There are meetups from time to time. There'll be one in St. Petersburg on October, 11th (but you'll only find Alexandra there). Just keep an eye on the Pathologic vkontakte community.

  4. "Art-chaos" is a cool term!

McdoubleExpress6 karma

Do you have an ETA on the final release?

IcePickLodge10 karma

Q4 2016. Not an ETA we deserve, but the one we need.

(What we're saying is yes, it's a long wait. But Pathologic is a huge game, and we've tried to be honest with schedules.)

migelpig6 karma

I'm not a kickstarter yet but your trailer looked quite promising (and quite creepy). What were your inspirations for this game/setting?

stille2 karma

Quite curious about this, as well. I remember you mentioning Ray Bradbury as a strong influence in what Pathologic's children turned out to be

IcePickLodge13 karma

Not strong, actually. :)

The main source of inspiration was the history of our long-suffering motherland, Russia. This is a game about an attempt to build an utopia in an isolated location, you know. -_-

Kastuk6 karma

What about way of non-lethal self-defence in Pathologic? Will I be able to knock down aggressors? Traumatize them? Scare them?

IcePickLodge6 karma

... Or talk them to death!

To be serious, we'll do our best to let a player to avoid killing in all possible ways. We hate violence. -_-

Dedalus-6 karma

In the promotions for the Pathologic remake, you describe the game as a "stress simulator". I thought that was interesting, because it doesn't sound fun at all, but it still makes me interested in playing it. Do you think more games should try to do things that might not be fun?

IcePickLodge5 karma

Don't get me started on "no fun".... =) Yes we (well, at least I) do believe that "fun" is not always the best thing to apply everywhere. You can check out some thoughts on this topic here

3155 karma

Does you initial goal at kickstarter, 250 000 $, will cover all the expenses or it is just a part of your budget?

IcePickLodge9 karma

We already have investments to cover the basic development costs. Extra funds from Kickstarter will help us make the game better (and bigger if we reach stretch goals).

YesIownGuns5 karma

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

IcePickLodge10 karma

Mustard. It's rather rare, but it's a great source of inspiration!

IcePickLodge6 karma

Vanilla all the way

IcePickLodge5 karma

Alexandra here. I hate ice cream, sorry. I mean, you pay your money to eat snow. My mother used to tell me good girls don't eat snow. Also it's cold.

YesIownGuns3 karma

Fine, what's your favorite dessert?

IcePickLodge4 karma

My boyfriend bakes wonderful croissants, and I can probably sell my soul for Rafaello.

HurtMeBadly5 karma

I play Pathologic every autumn. The City is the only city in the world where I find myself nearly at home. And I have this remarkable feeling of coming back to my homeplace when I'm launching the game. Aren't you afraid of creating something totally different? With the other City, the other heroes... The same, but with other souls?

IcePickLodge3 karma

We are, but we have to be brave.

stille5 karma

I've noticed your FAQ no longer mentions the possibility to order specific stuff (such as posters, the tabletop game etc) as an add-on. Is that possibility gone?

Also, congratulations for making Knock-Knock, the first game I've ever seen that was too scary for me to finish. Apparently the key to freaking me out is scare me and make me think at the same time.

IcePickLodge3 karma

You can still do that! And thanks for being scared by Knock-Knock =)

ShatteredSanity4 karma

I only found out about Pathologic yesterday, but have become really excited about the game, and it's promise of an almost living environment filled with stories and lore. If there's one thing that I can't get enough of, it's stories and lore. I LOVE me some good stories. I freaking CONSUME lore. Judging by what I've read about the game, those stories and lores are going to be a bit more difficult to discover than just going to an in-game library. I'm going to have to talk to NPCs, ask lots of questions, and be perceptive the everyday lives of the town. (Heck, I may even end up getting my player character killed once or twice because I want to know stuff so bad). I'm going to guess that it wouldn't fit that theme to have a codex ala Dragon Age where I can look stuff up, so my question is this: Will there be an in-game note taking system or should I just play with a pen and paper next to me?

IcePickLodge3 karma

We're not sure, honestly, but you may be interested that we really want to make extended character diaries that would descrive more than just their major quests. So there's that.

StoicRomance4 karma

Have you read this incredible Rock Paper Shotgun series on Pathologic? Have you reached out to Quintin Smith who, if anyone is like me, got interested in Pathologic and Kicked the hell out of it based on those articles?

IcePickLodge8 karma

Oh yes, we have. Moreover, these texts convinced us in the necessity of making this game once again. -_-

IcePickLodge7 karma

You bet we did! Quintin is awesome! =)

Vindler4 karma

Is there any chance of you releasing some dev diaries - about game design, level design, storytelling and so on - during Pathologic's development, at least to backers? I've been enjoying your KS updates so far, but would like to see more in-depth material if possible!

IcePickLodge3 karma

Yeah, we are planning to stay with you guys till the release of the game and after. We are not going to disappear until release this time. =)

tf2guy3 karma

Any plans on including a FOV slider and allowing an option to disable headbob? For some reason, Pathologic was one of the handful of games that made me ridiculously motion sick within half an hour of playing. Every other shooter from Borderlands to Payday to Skyrim is just fine, but Pathologic made me nauseous as hell, which is a shame, because I really wanted to give it a try.

IcePickLodge1 karma

We will most likely include them, yes.

BeelDR3 karma

Ice-Pick Lodge is without question my favorite game developer. I have loved everything you guys have made and Pathologic is my all-time favorite adventure game. I simply cannot wait for this redux to come out. May I ask, have you thought about what you might work on after this is complete, and did you really lock yourselves into an abandoned mental hospital when you made The Void? Please say yes.

IcePickLodge10 karma

Yes, of course. ... And the original Pathologic was developed in an abandoned mortuary. The journalists repeat it so often that they made us to believe this story ourselves.

IcePickLodge8 karma

What is the plot and setting of the next game? We never know. We don't invent these games. They are not figments of our imagination.

We're ice-pickers, so we're just grubbing up the reality covered with a thick layer of ice. What lies beneath - nobody knows yet. We'll find it out in a year or two.

badpersonlivingbadly3 karma

What made you decide to go back and revisit Pathologic, rather than work on something new?

The game looks like it's going to be awesome, keep up the good work!

IcePickLodge9 karma

Because Pathologic deserves second chance.

IcePickLodge4 karma

Because we haven't finished this quest yet. Too many problems. Too many questions. Too few answers and ways out of it.

default_name3 karma

What inspired the city in Pathologic the most? Was it something particular like a book/film/painting, maybe some remote town in Russia?

IcePickLodge2 karma

It's quite particular. This is a real town. Why do you think we didn't name it?..

Hypercrite1 karma

How much would a plane ticket cost and what's the real estate like?

IcePickLodge4 karma

There's no airport, you know. And no trains allowed now because of the quarantine. -_-

Sagrim-Ur3 karma

Hi! You revealed the Brand in one of your updates on KS. When do we get (if we get, that is) to see an Iron Heart? Also, tell us a bit (or, if possible, a lot) more about the Inquisition.

IcePickLodge1 karma

More details on Iron Heart and Inquisition both will be available only after Kickstarter I'm afraid =( This things take time to make!

connichulin3 karma

Are you concerned at all about the US and EU economic sanctions with Russia affecting your ability to collect money from Kickstarter or final delivery?

IcePickLodge4 karma

We are dedicated to deliver both the game and Kickstarter rewards no matter what.

dermballs3 karma

Pathalogic is notriously difficult and ball busting. Will you have a cowards difficulty setting in the rerelease?

I backed the project because I love the creative vision behind the game and the team but I know deep down I won't ever give it more that 5 hours because I am just not that good games. Same thing happened with The Void I really enjoyed it until I found out that I couldn't go further and frustration got the better of me.

IcePickLodge6 karma

We are considering ways to avoid "pushing player away" from the game. But you have to understand that without difficulty, without real effort from your part as a player - Magic might be gone. Trivial victories cost next to nothing these days. Hard earned triumphs though...

NilsLandt3 karma

Are there any plans to make the new Pathologic easier than the old one? I remember you created a patch for The Void to make it easier (simply by increasing the starting lympha iirc).
I played through Pathologic once, and could not bring myself to do it again, because the game was a bit too hard.

IcePickLodge2 karma

We plan to transform artificial challenges into real ones and balance Pathologic with a good team of testers and a good idea of what we want. But it's supposed to be a hard game.

OzzyJ883 karma

Hi guys, backer here who is very excited about the project!

Which engine are you developing in and what informed that choice? Was developing for alternative platforms (PS4) a decision you had to think long and hard over - how much does it add to your workflow?

IcePickLodge4 karma

We're using Unity. Our CTO, Ayrat, has written an update that can probably answer your question:

Here's a snippet on the reasoning behind choosing Unity:

"t has multiple benefits: there is a great community supporting it (that’s an important factor that’s sometimes overlooked), it’s cross-platform, it has a simple and easily modified editor (resembling our own), it supports C# as a script language and has a huge asset store (you can discover, buy, analyze, and then use multiple utilities, shaders, and effects there). There are also many other professionals that know this engine."

You should also keep in mind that we've worked with Unity already when we made Knock-Knock, and it seemed to suit our demands well.

The decision to work with consoles wasn't something we came up with overnight, but it wasn't the toughest choice we had to make ever either. Unity makes it way easier than it was before. Porting would require additional resources, of course, but we believe that the benefits of this decision would outweigh them.

Skirlin3 karma

When you first began developing Pathologic, were there any particular videogames, which inspired you? I'm especially interested what was the process of thinking behind choosing what exact mechanics(like first person perspective or reputation meter for example) you wanted in your game.

Thank you for your awesome and unique games! Желаю успеха!

IcePickLodge6 karma

Nikolay here: Thief. The Dark Project, Metal Gear Solid, Fallout 1 and 2, Max Payne, The Last Express

slashyou3 karma

There was a razer support program for successful kickstarters over 50k. Have you considered contacting razer as Brian Fargo did? Sure, the razer promo with their fan base spread all over the world will benefit Pathologic.

IcePickLodge3 karma

Never heard of it. Thanks for the tip!

hama0n3 karma

Despite the many flaws of the town [the corrupted powers, the dangerous streets, the sand plague] whenever I turn on Pathologic it feels somehow like returning home -- I think this is due to the eccentric behaviour of the entire town.

I assume the town's strangeness was not merely due to translation, that you had the intent to create an strange town to be a proper stage for your story.

It's a question I think everyone wants to ask but can't find the right words to phrase: Will the remake maintain the weirdness of the town, under the assumption that such weirdness is responsible for the town being a Sanctuary for many players?

And to rephrase the question in a way you can actually reply to: do you plan on further embellishing the unique culture of the townsfolk through methods other than just dialogue, now that you have the technology to?

IcePickLodge2 karma

Absolutely. That is what Pathologic is about.

Sxi1393 karma

I must say i like you guys are from russia, haven't heard of any game studios from there. Also like how you did your kickstarter pitch for Knock Knock, very creative

why do all your games look really dark/ grim ?

Another question when you release the games would you ever add in the stretch goals at a later date? e.g. putting it on more operating systems / devices.

IcePickLodge3 karma

Thank you. Are our games dark? They seem pretty realistic to us.

As for adding new stretch goals, we'll have to pass—it doesn't seem realistic. It doesn't mean we won't consider porting Pathologic to even more devices later.

taliriktug3 karma

What are your favorite authors? In horror (let me guess: Stephen King, Nikolai Gogol', Clive Barker), science fiction, classical literature?

IcePickLodge8 karma

Ivan: Douglas Adams all the way.

Ayrat: Lev Tolstoy and Mikhail Sholokhov ("And Quiet Flows the Don", to be precise).

Nikolay: Thornton Wilder, Ides of March and The Eighth Day.

Alexandra: Fedor Dostoyevsky and Vladimir Nabokov. I don't read sci-fi and horror, the idea of "genre literature" makes me feel immediately bored (I know there are many extremely talented sci-fi and horror authors and I appreciate them, I'm just not interested).

Peter: Lev Tolstoy, Isaak Asimov, Stephen King.

AhmadKhan13 karma

Whats your opinion about pants? a practical convenience or a societal necessity? Yes that is a serious questions _0

IcePickLodge5 karma

Down with the pants! The tyranny gone on too long!

Sassyee2 karma

Pathologic blew my mind with its atmosphere. It was not fun at all but I treasured it even more and I'm really excited for the remake. Have you thought about Thunderclap?

IcePickLodge2 karma

No, we haven't. Thanks to you, now we know about such service - so we'll investigate!

grossvogel2 karma

I was super excited to see Abattoir and Termitary included on the list of stretch goal locations, but by now it's obvious that you won't be able to hit the $450,000 mark. Are you considering the possibility of releasing --gasp-- DLCs if the remake proves to be commercially successful?

IcePickLodge2 karma

Well... We are still going to be stretching for stretch goals some time after Kickstarter via PayPal so there is still hope! And regarding DLC's we will release them only if there will be anything left to say.

ghime2 karma

Ten years is a long time. How many of you nine were there at the first attempt? Those who were: if you could give your younger self ONE hint about that development process, what would you have told him/her? To those who were not: if you had been to a job interview 10 years ago, and the interviewer asked you that annoying "where do you see yourself in ten years", and THEN a voice from the future tells you "Thou shalt breach the Ice for Misery and Beauty", what would you have thought?

IcePickLodge2 karma

Four of us were there: Nikolay (the creative lead), Ayrat (the CTO/managing director), Peter (the 3D master) and Meethos (the lead artist/art director).

Nikolay says he'd advise himself to drink less.

Peter says he doesn't live in the land of ifs and wouldn't give any advice.

Ayrat says, "We've made a lot of mistakes, yes, but each of them has taught us something. Pathologic was our first experience making games, The Void was the first time we've met a Western publisher, Cargo! was the first time we've worked with an international publisher, and Knock-Knock was our first attempt to do everything ourselves. But that's off topic.

Just remember that Ice-Pick Lodge seems to posess quantum immortality. It doesn't matter how deep the hole we're in is, we're always somehow tunneled to a better place."

As for the new Ice-Picks, Alexandra says she'd have thought that she's pretty sure it's illegal to interview her for a job since she's only 14.

IcePickLodge1 karma

I would have thought "Just as planned!" and burst into diabolical laughter in front of a storage manager of a local grocery store.

armchair-traveller2 karma

What went wrong with Knock-Knock?

IcePickLodge2 karma

Everything. The situation itself was very wrong.


What's the best food to eat while playing one of your games?

Edit: Besides vodka.

IcePickLodge3 karma

No food at all! No sleeping. No rest. It's a survival game. -_-

IcePickLodge3 karma

Bread and milk

IcePickLodge3 karma

As you can see, there's a lot of Ice-Picks doing the answering.

Pickled mushrooms, says I, Alexandra. Simply because it's just the best food to eat, no matter what you're doing.

Kaiser_Funf2 karma

Kvass and borsch. And play the balalaika while eating.(*** stereotypes)

IcePickLodge5 karma

You're fogetting our bear babushkas.

Hypercrite2 karma

I just want to say that Pathologic, with its unforgiving weirdness and difficult translation, is one of my major motivations for becoming a novelist in the future. Thank you for this wonderful game, and thank you for returning to repair the translation. I have nothing but faith in you :D

As a Literature major, I've always found certain conversations in the original Pathologic to be really fascinating despite the translation issue. For example, The well-dressed man who wanders around the town who makes a bold political statement to which you can reply, "No, it is an utopia." I understand that this sort of thing may require research or a somewhat high level of literacy with More's philosophy in order to capture all of the meanings of this reply, but this strangeness and challenge is one of the reasons I keep returning to the game.

So, Ms. Alexandra the Translator, will your new translation maintain this type of intellectual challenge? Will Saburov or other opinionated citizens try to debate with the Bachelor or the other protagonists?

IcePickLodge3 karma

Thank you for the kind words!

Alexandra the Translator here: I sure as hell hope so. The amount of debate present depends on the decisions Nikolay makes conserning the script, obvoiusly, but I'm here to nag and pester him. I love it when a single word becomes a portal to a huge intellectual world, and learning its wider context (i. e. how it's used outside of Pathologic) adds more layers of meaning. I also know Nikolay loves it too. That's a yes in my book.

xdegtyarev2 karma

What would you suggest for an indie-developer coming right now to Kickstarter?

IcePickLodge1 karma

Show. The. Game. Spread. The. Word. (and spread the word like in a month or two before Kickstarter, gathering initial backers)

xdegtyarev2 karma

It's obvious, that in your situation, remake of very famous project gets lots of attention initially, but what concerns your previous project Knock-Knock, what made the most attention, press, images, reddit, kickstarter organic and so on. Do you have any numbers to share?

IcePickLodge2 karma

Sure! our Knock-Knock Kickstarter stats.

3152 karma

There are two versions of your previous game The Void. Why is that? What is the difference and which version would you recommend to play as a developer?

IcePickLodge2 karma

There is going to be Kickstarter update on this topic today!

Trimirlan2 karma

How different will the new version be, you said that the general storyline will be the same, but maybe completelly new ideas will be explored, or in a different light? Will finishing the original (I thus far only finished the Bachelor compaing, and loved it) take out of the intrigue of the new version, or would it rather complement the experience by prociding a different point of view on the game's events?

IcePickLodge3 karma

One of our goals with the remake is to make a game that will be interesting and surprising even for the people who already played the original.

zealotarchaeologist2 karma

Firstly, thank you all for creating this game in the first place. It has done a lot for me, and the town has provided me with a home when I needed one. so, my question- I don't want to say much because I don't want to spoil it for people, but the events in the polyhedron and theater that can take place on the final day had a huge impact on me. Are you planning to keep that 'twist' and present it the same way, or do something different? Also, because she is my favorite character and I must indulge myself, will we find out more about the dear Inquisitor? I'm still curious about what happened to make her dislike Nina so much.

IcePickLodge1 karma

You will. Sisters Lilich are our favorite characters, too. And there are many twists behind their history.

Kashadoo2 karma

While staggering through original Pathologic for the first time in the guise of Haruspex, trying my best to endure and survive, I was discovering my true identity at the same time. Might I inquire if you deliberately put homosexual undertones in your game? Share a light on the question of my life: did you game turn me gay?

IcePickLodge5 karma

You can't "turn someone gay" as far as we know, people are born with their sexuality. So the answer seems to be no. Glad you've learned to understand yourself better while playing the game though!

VictoryGal1 karma

Will you post a picture of the iron heart before the kickstarter ends?

IcePickLodge1 karma

No. It's a fail, but you know, it's an emblem of the Inquisition. This top-secret organization didn't share the design of their logo with us - so we had some problems with getting the image.

The problem is resolved, but there's no time to make a model... Nevertheless, we'll keep you updated and you will be able to order it even after the Kickstarter campaign is finished. We'll place the link to the top of the Kickstarter page.

vicchopin1 karma

1 - Contributed on day one, but I'm afraid my credit card is kinda bugged, so can I contribute later with paypal or something?

2 - Is it too hard to port the original Pathologic, Cargo and The Void for Linux? And why isn't the latter available on

Thanks! :)

IcePickLodge1 karma

  1. Yap!
  2. Yes it's going to be quite a task... And we don't have rights for the Void to publish it on GOG.

0rowsreturned1 karma

Will there be a run button in the remake?

Even if it sped up the exhaustion meter to insane levels, it would be worth it for the times when shit goes down or when you have five minutes to get somewhere.

IcePickLodge2 karma

Yes, you will be able to run. Doesn't necessarily mean it'll be a classic stamina-based sprint, but you should be allowed to have this option.

ataturk19931 karma

How much of the game development process is influenced by customer feedback?

IcePickLodge1 karma

Certain technical aspects are, but major creative decisions always lie with us.

Kdoman1 karma

Hi, I'm watching soviet science fiction movie for teens called Moskva-Kassiopeia and Katya I think (the girl with two cornrows) looks sooo like Olgimskaya Jr Kapella! Did you notice that?

IcePickLodge1 karma

No, it was a surprise for us.

Un0va1 karma

I love your games! I'm going through Pathologic for the first in anticipation of your remake and it really is something special.

Are there any particular horror games you guys are fans of?

Also, what was the inspiration behind Knock-knock? It seems like just a simple game of hide and seek but it goes some pretty crazy directions.

IcePickLodge3 karma

Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, Silent Hill 2&3 for Nikolay. He also says the scariest game he's played was The Sims.

Skyzerton1 karma

Is «Strings» will be available after the end of the Kickstarter campaign? I really want that polyhedral room, but i don't have a spare 100$ right now =(

IcePickLodge2 karma

Our own small crowdfunding platform, Strings, will become available once again after the campaign ends, yes. We have to warn you though that it won't feature every reward that the KS campaign did (although the Ployhedral Room will most likely be available).

lamelemon1 karma

How are you planning to develop the way infection affects protagonist? Will it be the same as original with mostly cosmetic changes (like coughing and blurred vision) or something more radical (like losing control over character who stumbles or even falls on the ground etc)? Any chance of having actual dialogue changes, new routes and side quests available only to infected protagonists?

Also very important - will there be a possibility to break into houses through windows and leave the same way? This ability is in a high demand with maundering players. Desperate times demand desperate measures etc.

IcePickLodge4 karma

We plan to make a presence of plague in your body more noticeable in the remake! And we are thinking about ways of interacting with doors... and breaking them is one of the options we will consider =)