About this project
Thank you to all of our backers for making the Torment: Tides of Numenera Kickstarter the success that it was. We are deeply appreciative of your faith, trust, and support. Now it’s up to us to create and deliver the RPG experience we have described, the game you have asked for.
Late to the Party? You will still be able to preorder the game via our PayPal store. You can also register an account there which can be used to manage your Kickstarter pledge (once all donations are registered).
And here are brief technology and lighting tests showing a 3D character in the 2D pre-rendered environment. These scenes were put together in just a couple days, so please use your imagination to envision what will be possible after we really delve into the project and polish final areas over the course of months. These scenes are 100% in Unity except for the audio. (Music by Mark Morgan.)
We're putting every dollar raised into Torment's development (and reward fulfillment), while holding true to the pillars we've described. Improvements go beyond what is easily explained in Stretch Goals, but here are some specific ways we'll enhance the game.
In addition to the Stretch Goals, the Castoff's Labyrinth - a unique location offering gameplay after death - expanded as our fundraiser progressed. By the end, we reached the Twelfth Fathom. Read more about the Labyrinth and see its progress here.
The Music of Torment
These three tracks by Mark Morgan provide a taste of Torment's music. Some of the music within the game will include a live orchestra. (Click on the leftmost edge of the bar to play that track.)
Into the Labyrinth
Mysteries of the Bloom
Torment: Tides of Numenera is a game set in the world of Monte Cook’s new tabletop RPG setting, Numenera. With Torment, we're striving to create a rich role-playing experience that explores similar deep, personal themes. Here's the scoop:
- Torment is a single-player, isometric role-playing game.
- You will play a single, specific character, though you will encounter optional NPC companions you may choose to include in your party.
- The story-driven game will have a rich dialogue system.
- The game will be developed in the Unity engine for PC (Windows), Mac, and Linux platforms.
- The game will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish.
- The game will be distributed DRM-free. (You’ll be able to get it from Steam, and other DRM-free download options will be made available.)
"Planescape: Torment is one of the games that I am the most proud to have worked on, and it is great to see the talented team at inXile going back and re-creating a great new game that tips its hat to the original Torment. Having it based on Monte Cook's Numenera makes me want to play it even sooner – so make it now, guys!"
- Feargus Urquhart, CEO, Obsidian Entertainment; formerly president of Black Isle Studios
"I have a lot of respect for the folks [on the Torment team] and I've worked with many of them, including Kevin, Brian, Colin, Adam, and more, across several projects and across several companies, including Interplay, Obsidian, and more recently inXile on Wasteland 2. I believe they'll do Torment with the right aesthetic and justice it deserves."
- Chris Avellone, Creative Director, Obsidian Entertainment; lead designer of Planescape: Torment
"10K. Mostly because awesome."
- Markus "Notch" Persson, creator of Minecraft and owner of Mojang, on his pledge to Torment: Tides of Numenera
Torment's Four Pillars
Four pillars undergird the Torment name and, despite all the shake we'll do of RPG conventions, we'll stay true to these throughout the development of Torment: Tides of Numenera.
- A Deep, Thematically Satisfying Story. The philosophical underpinnings of Torment drive the game, both mechanically and narratively. Your words, choices, and actions will be your primary weapons.
- A World Unlike Any Other. The game has a fantastic, original setting, with awe-inspiring painterly visuals, imaginative locations, truly offbeat items, and massive feats of magic. In Numenera, however, “magic” is actually something surprisingly different.
- A Rich, Personal Narrative. The story is thoughtful and character-driven—epic in feel but a deeply personal narrative, with nontraditional characters and companions who have their own motivations and desires that drive them throughout the game.
- Reactivity, Choice, and Real Consequences. The game emphasizes replayability and reactivity, and your choices will make a real difference. You can play the game with a different approach and discover entirely new pathways. Most important, we won’t tell you how to play. The best ending is the one you choose, flowing naturally from your actions throughout the game.
The original Torment was a novel experience, a genre-defying game that helped redefine what was possible in RPG storytelling. We mentioned our Four Pillars above, and describe them in greater detail at our tumblr site.
Here’s a brief summary of our story:
You are the Last Castoff, the final link in the chain of the lives of the being they call the Changing God. He once was a man who discovered a way to use the relics of the ancients to cheat death and skip across the face of centuries in a succession of bodies. But he never knew that his bodies lived on as his consciousness fled, a new consciousness arising in each. Now he has awakened an age-old enemy, the Angel of Entropy, and his days of change are gone as the Angel hunts him and all his works. That includes... you.
With the ever-present threat of oblivion looming over you, you must find your sire before he—and you—are eradicated by the avenging Angel. You will find allies and enemies among the other castoffs. You might inhabit their minds for a time through the devices called “the Meres,” turning their lives to your advantage. You will travel across the face of the Ninth World, and above and below it, with your companions at your side—or alone, if you wish. Your quest will take you to alternate dimensions and distant worlds under strange suns; particular Meres might afford you even more bizarre experiences, such as folding time itself. And you will build your legacy as you find your answer to the question:
What does one life matter?
Torment will have a strong emphasis on story and character development, which will permeate other facets of gameplay, such as combat and exploration. The Ninth World is a place of great mystery and wonder, all waiting to be discovered. To read more details of our gameplay plans, including information on Combat, Dialogue, and Companions, please visit our tumblr site.
You'll play the role of a specific individual. At the game’s start, however, you are a blank slate and have control over the path you take through the story, and you will also make choices to customize your abilities and skills. We’re taking the approach of having you role-play a specific individual so that we can focus on telling a very personal tale – yours.
What Are the Tides?
There are unseen forces in the Ninth World, forces that have profound and lasting effects for those attuned to their motions. Like gravity or magnetism, the Tides are invisible, powerful, and with the right tools, perhaps controllable.
The Tides represent complicated concepts that aren't entirely definable by language. Those who acknowledge the Tides have given them symbolic colors based on how they appear to correspond with emotional and psychological reactions. For example:
The colors are important, because a word like "justice" (for example) is too simplistic. The Indigo Tide represents not only justice and fairness; it might also mean a desire for the greater good or an "end justifies the means" mentality. The Gold Tide can represent false philanthropy as well as martyrdom—it's the actions that matter, not the motivations. In the game, the Tides serve as a kind of alignment system—but a more nuanced one, and one that does not judge actions based on whether they are good or evil. You'll learn more about the Tides as you explore Torment. And the Tides will gradually change based on your actions and decisions, ultimately determining your Legacy.
What Do You Mean by My Legacy?
There's your legacy, the stories others tell about you and the inspirations they find in your life, and your Legacy, which we're systematizing here. Your Legacy is determined by which Tides you manipulate the most. Do you use your wisdom to help others? Do you seek power for the greater good? Maybe you're an avenger, taking whatever action is necessary to aid those around you. Perhaps you're just in it for the prestige. (Or money. People are always in it for the money.) As your choices move the Tides, your Legacy will be revealed.
Your Legacy also influences the world around you. Weapons and relics may have different bonuses for characters with certain Legacies. Some of them might respond positively if you've revealed yourself to be a thinker or an artist, while others might help you only if you're moved by passion and power.
Your Legacy opens new potential abilities. Some Legacies can change the very structure of your body, giving you superhuman powers: the ability to read the past in the minds of the dead, for instance, or a nearly supernatural affinity with weapons.
Torment is being developed by inXile entertainment, a mid-sized independent game developer located in Newport Beach, CA. inXile was founded by Brian Fargo in 2002 and is best known for its action-RPG The Bard’s Tale. The Android version of that game was released in fall 2012, topping the charts and winning several awards.
With inXile, Brian has embraced the crowdfunding approach. He is a vocal advocate of circumventing the traditional publisher-developer business model, with developers instead communicating and working directly with the players.
Our experience with crowd funding has been wonderfully positive for us at inXile and has opened our eyes to the power of a direct relationship with the gamers. We want to create RPGs in a fashion and style that helped to make the true classics. And along these lines we've abandoned the typical developer/publisher model and placed our future in the hands of RPG gamers. We've embraced the crowd in every aspect. YOU are our publisher...and you are the best publisher we've ever worked with!
This process allows us to create the games exactly the way you want to see them. There is a purity of development when we can spend 100% of our efforts making the game with an open dialogue throughout the process. We'll start with a strong vision document that details our sensibilities, and from there we'll stay in sync with you, from concept through the execution of the ideas.
We've discovered that the best way to create a deep and rich RPG is to begin the pre-production process long before the production team have finished their current project. If we waited to begin the design work for a large scale RPG until after the programming team has completed their work, our budget would increase by 50% or more. This would result in the hiring and firing process that happens all too often in our industry. We want to break that model and keep our great team together. This is why it makes sense for us to begin work on Torment now rather than later. The process has served us well in the past and allows us to bring you the best RPGs. If you have any concerns about our ability to deliver a great one, we encourage you to review our first look video of Wasteland 2 that was released just a few weeks ago.
We're grateful for all the support and look forward to bringing you the kind of role-playing games that we all love to play.
With Torment, Brian pledged to personally add $100k to the project if we reached the $900,000 goal but fell short of a million. And if funding beat $1 million, he pledged to instead contribute 10 cents from every $1 pledged from the $1 million to $2 million mark. Brian is thus kicking in $100K of his own (this is not reflected in the Kickstarter total and all will be applied directly to the development budget). Torment superfan Steve Dengler (@Dracogen) picked up the torch when we reached $2M, matching 10% of every donation from $2 to $3 million, and thus also putting in $100K of his own. These matches will be added post-Kickstarter to help offset failed pledges, and do not count towards stretch goals.
This product is participating in Brian Fargo’s Kicking It Forward initiative, promising to pledge 5% of its post-release profit to other Kickstarter projects. We are proud to join the over 200 successfully funded Kickstarter projects whose founders share Brian’s vision of supporting the independent efforts of others.
By pledging at an amount above the Tier you have selected, you can include Add-Ons. At the end of the Kickstarter campaign, you will receive a survey that will let you specify which Add-Ons your additional pledge amount is for.
Please note: Digital add-ons can be added to any tier. Physical add-ons can be added to all tiers above $45. The novella compilation requires additional shipping/handling for all non-US backers. Wasteland 2 Autographed Collector's Edition requires $20 shipping for non-US backers. The poster and T-shirt require no shipping/handling if you are pledging to a physical tier or if you are in the US.
For shipping/handling, add $5 per item for Canada, $10 per item for the rest of the world. Maximum of 5 total physical add-ons per person – if you would like more than that, please contact us via PM and we’ll can see what we can do.
Find more information about add-ons HERE.
$4 - Hi-Res Digital Concept Art + Digital Map
$7 - Digital Strategy Guide
$8 - DRM-free Digital Soundtrack
$8 - Digital Art Concept Book
$8 - Digital Comic Book by Colin McComb & Adam Heine
$8 - Digital Comic Book by Pat Rothfuss (Not in Any Pledge Tier)
$8 - Digital Comic Book by Chris Avellone (Not in Any Pledge Tier)
$10 - Alpha Systems Test Access (Requires Beta Access)
$12 - Digital Numenera Torment Sourcebook
$14 - Digital Comic Compilation
$15 - Digital Novella Compilation
$20 - Beta Test Access
$20 - Extra digital copy of Torment (PC, Mac, or Linux)
$8 - Wasteland 2 Digital Soundtrack
$8 -Wasteland 2 Digital Concept Art Book
$20 - Wasteland 2 Beta Test Access (Requires copy of Wasteland 2)
$25 - Digital copy of Wasteland 2
Physical Add-Ons (Require $45+ Tier)
$25 - Backer-exclusive Torment T-shirt (Not in Any Pledge Tier)
$25 - Backer-exclusive Torment Poster (Not in Any Pledge Tier)
$40 US/$45 Canada/$50 International - Printed Novella Compilation (additional shipping cost also applied to physical tiers)
$250 Wasteland 2 Autographed Collector's Edition
$750 Limited Edition Signed Print (limit 1 per backer)
$1200 First Castoff Statuette (Matte)
$1800 First Castoff Statuette (Painted)
Click HERE for detailed Reward descriptions at our tumblr site.
If you are new to our page, please be aware that the Tiers described on the sidebar are out of date as we have added many extra rewards.
The extra rewards (beyond what is listed in the sidebar) include:
- All Tiers (plus any Project Eternity backers): Planescape Torment: Developer Retrospective, with dev diaries/blogs by more than 10 PS:T team members
- All Tiers $28+: Digital version of Colin's novella
- All Tiers $28+: Digital Strategy Guide
- All Tiers that are receiving the Novella Compilation (whether digital or printed): additional novellas by Nathan Long, Monte Cook, Mur Lafferty, and Tony Evans (total of 7 novellas)
- $50 Tier and all Tiers $75+: Digital Comic Book
Items marked with a * are also available as add-ons. See the add-ons page for more information.
100% Digital Tiers
Physical Goods Tiers
Special Thanks to Mason Douglass as the CEO of Metric Driven Games, Alexander Brandon as the voice of the Narrator, director Rubidium Wu, and composer Mark Morgan.
Planescape is a registered trademark of Wizards of the Coast. Numenera is a trademark of Monte Cook Games. inXile entertainment, the inXile logo, Torment, Tides of Numenera, and the Torment Tides of Numenera logo are trademarks of inXile entertainment. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.
Risks and challenges
As you all know, we’re not making widgets—video games are complex projects (not that all widgets are simple). Fortunately, we collectively have more than 80 years of experience in managing them. Given our great progress in developing Wasteland 2, our experience with the technology, and our approach to Torment’s design and production, we are confident in our ability to provide our backers with a quality game deserving of the Torment name.
Torment’s schedule has been designed to maximize both planning (preproduction) and polishing. This extended preproduction period controls costs and increases quality because we’ll have a very well-defined product before production begins. Our target release date of December 2014 allows us 14 months for production and finalization. (In comparison, Wasteland 2 had 12 months, and Mask of the Betrayer had nine.) Furthermore, various systems and tools developed for Wasteland 2 will be used or adapted for Torment, saving development time and budget.
With a longer schedule, you might wonder how we’ll be able to create Torment if it receives less funding than Wasteland 2 did. First, Torment's story is being designed to be highly modular and scalable. This approach not only lets us increase game reactivity and replayability, but it also let us keep the game's scope flexible. At our target funding, we’ll be able to deliver a complete and satisfying game and as funding increases above the target, Torment will continue to grow in depth and size. But, as resources allow – if Wasteland 2 is a commercial success, for example – we are ready to expand the modular story.
Also, inXile has established secondary revenue streams that will bolster Torment’s development budget. For example, last September, The Bard’s Tale was released on Android, winning many awards and selling hundreds of thousands of copies in just a few months. While this doesn’t provide enough money to create a game like Torment, it lets us invest in Wasteland 2 and Torment to improve their quality. Although Torment would not be possible without your support, we are self-funding a portion of the game as well. Just like you, we want Torment to be the best it can be.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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