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A story-driven CRPG set in the world of Monte Cook's Numenera.  We are deeply appreciative to all of you who made this possible.
A story-driven CRPG set in the world of Monte Cook's Numenera.  We are deeply appreciative to all of you who made this possible.
You can continue to support Torment by visiting tormentrpg.com.
A story-driven CRPG set in the world of Monte Cook's Numenera. We are deeply appreciative to all of you who made this possible. You can continue to support Torment by visiting tormentrpg.com.
74,405 backers pledged $4,188,927 to help bring this project to life.

Updated Our Journal (58): Gamescom 2016, Building the Necropolis

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tl;dr: Torment comes to Germany, Adam and Joby talk design

Hello Exiles,

Chris checking in. In our last update, we mentioned that we had partnered with Techland Publishing for Torment, and that our first major event would be showing the game at Gamescom 2016. After quite a few weeks of prep, it was go time. Brian, Colin, George, Thomas and myself all packed our bags up to visit Germany, and it was an incredible experience.

Techland did a fantastic job in setting up not one but two booths for us, and worked around the clock to provide support and assistance demoing the game. We even had professional cosplayers on hand! They are treating Torment like one of their own titles and know how important it is to get things right. We would not have been able to pull it off so successfully without them.

That was reflected in the reception for the game - from press and fans alike, the response was absolutely incredible and universally positive. We even got a few nominations and awards for best RPG and best of show! Here is a glimpse of some of our memories:

We'd like to thank everyone who came by to visit, whether that was stopping by the booth, covering the game as press, or showing up for an autograph with Brian. We could not make this game without the support of all of you and it is deeply gratifying and humbling to see people so passionate for Torment. It's been a long road but we are finally nearing the end.

Of course, for those who didn't get to attend Gamescom directly, there is still plenty of cool new footage and materials to check out. We sat down for multiple video interviews with Brian and Colin, and several articles have also appeared.

We'd also be remiss if we didn't mention PAX West. While it was a little more low-key, George Ziets and Colin McComb both attended over this last weekend. There were yet more interviews and demos during that time – including one with Alienware you may be interested in, as it features some excellent narration from Colin.

And there'll be more to come! For example, Colin will be at EGX in Birmingham to present a Developer Session on Torment.

Both Gamescom and PAX have been inspiring experiences, and we are energized and even more motivated to get the game polished up and ready for you early next year!

With the game content complete, getting more polished every day, and well on its way to completion, we also thought it was a great time to start talking about some of our content that comes just after the beta portion of the game that many of you have been enjoying. And, with release not too far away, it also seemed like a good moment to commemorate those backers who helped make the game possible. So without further ado, here's Adam to talk about the Valley of Dead Heroes, and more specifically, the Necropolis.

Designing the Necropolis

Adam here. A little while ago, George told you how we are incorporating backer NPCs into our game. I want to tell you how we're including the largest quantity of backer content: tombs and epitaphs.

First, let me take you back to our Kickstarter planning sessions. We knew from the start we wanted a reward where higher-tier backers could include their name in the game somewhere. In a game about legacy, set in a world built on the bones of forgotten civilizations, it made perfect sense for that reward to be a tomb. We designed a massive gravesite for these tombs, called the Valley of Dead Heroes. In this place would be hundreds of tombs, memorializing heroes of the past and naturally raising the question: "What does one life matter?"

Like our backer NPCs, we wanted the tomb content to feel like a natural part of the world. We also wanted to encourage players to actually read the tombs – not all of them, but some of them at least. And ideally different players would search through different ones. It was a challenge, but one we were confident we could make great... until the Kickstarter broke records, and we found ourselves with nearly four thousand tombs and epitaphs that needed to be in our game somewhere.

As we began designing areas, we did the math. We originally planned for two scenes that would contain most of the tombs: the Valley of Dead Heroes and "Valley Part Two" which would be placed in another zone of the game. But even if we made those scenes enormous, cramming in as many tombs as we could fit on-screen while still giving the player space to walk, it would only take care of half of the required number. We also considered sprinkling the other tombstones throughout the game, but that would still require far too many tombstones to be placed in every single scene in the game. So our algorithm master and all-around guru Joby Bednar had the very Numenera idea of a massive underground storage space, now used in the Ninth World as a burial ground.

The rooms in this space would be accessed by a control panel: the user enters a code and is taken to a room in which lie a subset of our tomb/epitaph markers. Mechanically, the room would be a single Unity scene, but with the props, lighting, effects, etc. swapped out based on the code the player enters. It would take a lot of custom scripting, but it gave us the flexibility to handle all the backers we needed to feature. It was the perfect solution, and with some design constraints outlined, thus was born the Necropolis…

Building the Necropolis

Joby here. My role on Torment has been varied. I’m part of the scripting team, implementing the designed scenes. I’ve also had my hand in designing a couple of the scenes themselves, as well as developed solutions for those designs… most notably the dynamic pylons in the Fathom 13 introductory scene. When word came to me to start thinking about the tombs, I was excited. Then Adam outlined the design needs. Um… yeah. I believe my reaction was somewhere between laughing out loud and crying gently in the corner of the office.

As a backer of many Kickstarter projects myself, I knew we needed to prioritize the backer’s experience. It was vital for backers to be able to find their tombstones and epitaphs in a reasonable manner, and it needs to support the narrative. One of the things I truly love about designing games is creating the world, imbuing it with all the life of an alternate reality and building your solutions within that paradigm. This scene might have been my favorite part of working on Torment… impossibly complicated needs, limited resources to implement the sheer amount of backer content on hand, and above all else, making it fit into Numenera.

First up, how are the tombs arranged and how does one navigate them? We went through a number of designs to try to make things work, each of which ended up being their own stories to tell – suffice it to say though, they didn't fully meet the needs set by Adam or had weaknesses that made them hard to implement or difficult for the player to navigate through.

Eventually, after many discussions, what we decided on was a massive honeycomb of hexagonal tombs. Within each tomb, you can see the neighboring tombs. There is a central control room overlooking them all, where you are able to punch in an address on a hexagonal keypad where the player could enter a specific code. Within each tomb, there is a duplicate control panel that allows you the additional option to press one of the six outer hexagonal segments to teleport to one of the six neighboring tombs. Below you can see roughly what this would look like when represented visually.

Now to get a bit technical. This tomb structure can be aligned to a 2-dimensional grid, allowing for a simple X and Y position that lends itself to both having an absolute address as well as traversing it in a relative motion. Using a numerical address system of 4 digits in base-5 (0000-4444, or actually 1111-5555 to be more user friendly), gave us a 25 by 25 grid of 625 tombs. This was nicely within the volume of tombstones we needed to support based on our estimated backers. I desperately tried to devise a method of a fractal layout, or a hexagonal space-filling curve like a Gosper curve, but I just couldn’t beat the simplicity of the solution of a simple grid.

*ah hem* As I was saying, now that the design was set, we needed a way to represent this in the game engine. At that point, we turned things over to our artists to come up with a tomb design that fit into this layout. We wanted to give it a structured, mazelike theme that was representative of the "endless" feel we wanted to have. Mazes also fit nicely into Torment for other reasons, of course.

But those are just empty rooms. It became clear that while we wanted each tomb to look similar, we also wanted them to appear slightly different from each other so that players would know something changed when they went to a new tomb. This meant creating quite a few art assets that we could populate each tomb with for each individual backer tombstone and monument. Our artist Daniel Kim created a lot of these designs which we were able to assign to each individual tombstone and monument.

To create the hundreds of combinations of these assets and make each tomb look random, but not actually be random, I leveraged Unity’s built-in functionality for Perlin Noise. If you’ve played or seen Minecraft, then you are familiar with Perlin Noise and procedurally generated content. Two-dimensional Perlin Noise is effectively a grid of random-ish values, and by using a set algorithm we were able to generate the massive amounts of content, but have it be the same for every player rather than changing every time you play the game.

Furthermore, by leveraging an algorithm instead of needing to predefine everything, we could protect ourselves from memory bloat and the true beast of game development: iteration. I’ve never worked on a game where the initial design was implemented exactly as initially designed. Iteration on your design is always going to happen, and you need to expect it when developing system architectures. If I had developed a system where all this was pre-generated and stored in data files, my job would have been much harder if anyone was inspired and had a "great idea." Any changes would have required a lot of work to modify, show, refine and iterate upon again, so the algorithmic approach saved time in the long run.

This became relevant when it came time to start playing with the Necropolis in the game engine and design feedback began to come in from Adam, George and others. For example, to help ensure that each tomb felt interesting to visit and somewhat distinct from the last, I set up different configurations so even if multiple tombs had just four tombstones, those tombstones would be arranged differently. For the tombs that had a single epitaph, the epitaph might be in the center of the room or against the back wall so that it would stand out better and look like it was placed naturally.

So, what does this end up looking like in the game? When the player reaches the Necropolis, what they'll see is a massive expanse of tomb chambers before them, a control panel at the center, and the option to enter a 4-digit numeric code to navigate from tomb to tomb. And of course, each backer who has a tomb will be given the code to theirs so that they can go and find it in the game – but you'll also be able to visit the tomb of anyone else, either by exploring manually or entering their specific address.

 

All said and done, this ended up being a really entertaining piece of side content to work on. The idea of putting thousands of backer tombs into the game is a challenging prospect, but with all of our backer content we think the way we did it still managed to fit into the Numenera world. We hope that when the final game releases you'll be able to enjoy exploring the tombs, and that you'll sleep a little better knowing that many of the thousands of backers who supported Torment are immortalized for a billion years within the depths of the Necropolis.

News Bits

Eric here to round things out with just a couple of additional news bits for you before we sign off! First, an important word for our backers: the end of September will be your last chance to pledge for or upgrade to physical Torment rewards. This includes boxed copies, add-ons and anything requiring shipping. With release not too far off we need to start locking down our final reward counts, so if you had been waiting to pledge, now is your last shot to get backer physical goodies. And on a similar note - if you haven't yet claimed your rewards or updated your shipping address, now is definitely the time!

Next, we just kicked off a fan art contest! Send us your fan art for a chance to win a copy of the game and a goodie bag. You can read more on our Facebook or Twitter.

 

And last, Techland has produced a fantastic trailer for the game introducing the world of Numenera to players. While we suspect most of our backers are up to speed, if you haven't been following the campaign, now's certainly not too late to catch up on the world of Torment and Numenera. Check it out above! 

Follow us:
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Inxile_Ent
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Torment.inXile/

Updated Our Journal (57): Techland Partnership

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tl;dr: The mystery publishing partner is Techland!

Chris here for some important and exciting news. Last update we teased that we’re working with a new publisher on Torment. For those who have not yet seen the news that broke shortly after, we are pleased to inform you that we have partnered with Techland Publishing. You might know Techland as having developed some excellent games including Dying Light and Call of Juarez, but they have also done regional publishing and distribution on titles for many years now. With Torment, they are making the move to global publishing.

The partnership is something we are very excited about. Techland will be handling retail distribution, marketing the game, and physical backer rewards come release. This allows us to focus the vast majority of our resources on development of the game itself. They are an experienced team and are able to lend their expertise on a number of fronts, while we can spend more time working directly in the world of Torment.

Techland is offering a partnership with a full understanding of Torment's legacy and goals as a narrative-driven RPG, and they want it to succeed as much as we do. As developers themselves, Techland has a great understanding of how important it is to stick to your vision, so we will be keeping full creative control over the game. We look forward to working with them to deliver a quality release we can all be proud of.

This isn't the only component to our partnership, however. In addition to helping with the PC version of the game, we are pleased to announce that Techland is also lending its backing to bring Torment: Tides of Numenera to Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

For those of you who backed Torment and are wondering, "how does this affect the game?" the answer is rather simple, it doesn't. Torment was developed from the ground up as a successor to the legacy of the original Planescape: Torment. Those of you who have played the beta will see that it is a rich, deep RPG full of involving quests, characters and a world full of detail.

You'll also likely know that this isn't our first rodeo when it comes to consoles. With Wasteland 2: Director's Cut on Xbox and PS4, we proved that it was possible to bring all the depth of a PC style RPG to new audiences without sacrificing the tactical complexity and scope, and with Torment our approach is not changing. As developers, we're pleased to bring the game to even more players, and with the success of WL2:DC critically, commercially and among our fans, it had long since been in our plans to do a console version of Torment.

Most importantly, you might be wondering if this affects our timeline for the game beyond what we've previously said. We have great news for you there: it will not! We talked about our production timeline in the last update, and how our plans to localize and polish the game meant we are looking at an early Q1 2017 release. When looking at our production timeline, it became clear that our art, design, and engineering resources were becoming available, giving us the opportunity to bring the game to consoles without affecting the PC version and overall timeline.

Torment at Gamescom

On a related note: next month at Gamescom, we will be presenting Torment on consoles with Techland from August 18th to the 21st. If you are able to visit the convention in Cologne Germany, you can find us in the entertainment area in Hall 10.1. We're always happy to chat with fans and talk shop. Additionally, Brian will be holding a signing on August 19th, at 3 PM local time in Hall 10.1, booth B-073, so swing by if you can.

For those of you not attending, there will be many more Gamescom goodies to come, including interviews, screenshots and videos. We will be sure to showcase them in future updates and on our social media and news pages.

Torment: The Explorer's Guide

We also have some news for fans of pen and paper gaming. When the Kickstarter began, we said we'd partner with Monte Cook Games to offer a Torment Sourcebook for the Numenera tabletop game. That has now come to fruition in the form of Torment: Tides of Numenera – The Explorer's Guide by Shanna Germain.

The Torment Explorer's Guide (for short) is a deluxe sourcebook containing background in Torment's section of the Ninth World, including locations, items, characters and events from the game itself, as well as some that do not feature directly in the game but are part of the wider fiction and lore. Many of these were contributed to by our own designers and writers, and Monte Cook Games also expanded and fleshed them out for the tabletop.

 

The Torment Explorer's Guide comes illustrated with artwork from the game and Monte Cook Games' own artists. If you preorder the hardcover version for $40 USD and use your preorder code on the Monte Cook Games store before midnight on August 10, you will gain access to a free digital copy of the PDF, as well as several special extras.

Meanwhile, if you prefer the digital PDF version, it is available to new backers for $15 USD. (Those backers who pledged for the digital version at $12 previously during the campaign will still keep their early discounted price.)

To get your copy, just visit the Rewards -> Shop page on the Torment site and filter by "Monte Cook PnP". You'll see options for both the digital and hardcover Explorer's Guide available. Once again, the preorder for the hardcover bonus is only available until midnight August 10, so get in now if you want to get the extras with it. Both versions will be available mid-August.

Brian Talks Development, Adam's New Novella

If you follow our social media channels, you may have noticed we mentioned Brian Fargo was attending Reboot Develop in Croatia earlier this year. Reboot has now posted the full talk he gave on their YouTube channel for everyone to enjoy.

The audio quality is a little choppy in spots, but if you'd like to hear some of Brian's insight about managing and embracing the chaos of game development and his role in "parenting" games, it's definitely worth a watch.

Next, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Adam Heine's new novella, Izanami's Choice, which is published by Broken Eye Books. It's a sci-fi story about a ronin who lives in Meiji Era Japan... and fights androids. The book will be released on September 1st, but you can pre-order it right now. More information on Izanami's Choice and other stuff can also be found on Adam's web site.

That's all for this update. Thanks for checking in with us, and we'll have more to share on how we've been polishing and iterating on Torment as we steadily get closer to release early next year!

Signing off,
Chris Keenan

Follow us: Twitter | Facebook

Updated Our Journal (56): Beta Access for All Backers, About the Release Date

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Hello Exiles,

Brian here!

When we last checked in, we were heading towards a content complete milestone, and we are pleased to say we have hit that mark. The game is playable from beginning to end, which marks a major step forward. This is one of the most content rich role playing games I have ever worked on. Here is just a peek at what we have been working on in the last months:

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

 

Of course there is still plenty of work ahead and we won't be cooling our heels yet. Our artists, writers and designers are continuing work to bring the game towards a finished state by polishing systems, artwork, quests and more, and QA is an ongoing process. In the videogames business and especially with RPGs, time to iterate is the biggest luxury you can have.

Torment has also grown to around 1 million words – bigger than the Bible – and we feel that getting a good quality translation of such a deep narrative experience is very important for a large percentage of our players. Therefore, we will be turning to professional localization services to achieve the best experience possible. With the game content complete, we have already begun locking down our text and breaking it into batches for localization, so progress is already being made.

This localization is no small feat (not to mention costly!), but we have a secret weapon… we're partnering with a certain publisher to help out on this front. But who is this partner? We can't comment on that just yet… but you will learn more very soon.

All said and done, our combined iteration and localization efforts are looking to be a 6-month process. So, we have two paths open to us, a bit of choice and consequence, if you will. Those of you who have been following our updates know we have been hinting towards a late 2016 release, and we could crunch and rush to get the game out around November. But doing so would mean both sacrificing the quality of our localization and would lead to a less polished game for the nearly 100,000 people total who have backed the game. Therefore, in the interests of giving everyone the best experience, we will be releasing Torment in early Q1 2017.

We know it's frustrating to wait a little longer, but we've come this far. I remember the pain of moving the release of Baldur's Gate 1 effectively into January in much the same way, but that ended up being the right move and we all know how fondly it is remembered today. These types of trade-offs are never easy, but from day one it's been our goal to make Torment the masterpiece you deserve.

Beta Access for All Backers

We always say it, but we couldn't have got the game this far without all of you. We also know there are many of you who have been waiting to play Torment, and we know from previous experience on Wasteland 2 there's a huge benefit to getting more feedback on the game.

To thank you for sticking with us, we are making Torment's beta version available to everyone who's getting the game with their rewards, right now.

We have had the beta available to backers at certain pledge levels since January, and now we think the time is right to open it up to everyone else who backed us during the Kickstarter. I know some of you would prefer to wait for the final game, but if you want to have a taste and help us make the game better, you will be able to play the game's first act in Sagus Cliffs right away.

To get your Steam beta key, please login to the Torment web site with your backer account and visit the Rewards page. Look for the "Manage Keys" button on your reward package and follow the steps there, then redeem the key on Steam as usual.

 

Since we know you'll ask these questions: your Steam key for the beta counts as your final game key and we intend for it to carry over to final release later on. That said, we still plan to release the game DRM-free through GOG. If you want to join the beta on Steam, don't worry, as we will have an option to exchange your Steam copy for the GOG later on.

Major Beta Update

In line with the previous months of work and our intent to give you the best Torment experience possible, we felt it was also high time to take the lid off of our next major beta update to the game.

This update represents months of work and tens of thousands of changes (some of which are in the screenshots and video at the start of this update). There are simply too many for us to list each and every one, but here is a list of the most important changes:

  • Totally redone user interface art
  • Design improvements and changes to many UIs, including Inventory, Character Sheet, Journal, Effort and Conversation
  • Added Merchants to buy/sell items
  • Reworked early game introduction (updated dialog and new Crisis)
  • Added new companions and characters
  • Added new areas
  • New character portraits (more to come)
  • Reworked character creation and progression
  • Improved environment art, visual effects and sound effects
  • New items and equipment, and tweaks and updates to existing ones
  • Updated placement of items, containers and loot drops
  • Performance and optimization improvements
  • Incalculable number of quest tweaks, conversation updates, typo corrections, bug fixes and more

While this brings us closer towards a final release build, I should reiterate that the game is still in development. You will still notice bugs and rough edges from time to time, and for final release you can expect UI artwork and design, visual and sound effects, and game balance to further improve. We look forward to hearing your feedback, either using our in-game Feedback button or on our forums.

While you update, here's a sample of some new areas and UI...

 

 

 

We're Back on Twitter!

As a quick note, those of you who follow social media might be interested to know that after a period of absence, our inXile Twitter account is now active again! Follow us on Twitter for news, announcements, and the occasional shenanigans.

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Thank you for bearing with us through this update. Big news like this is always exciting, and we hope we've been able to communicate our enthusiasm while also answering your most pertinent questions. We hope everyone enjoys the latest Torment beta version, and of course, we will have plenty more news and Kickstarter updates to come.

Brian Fargo
Your Leader in Exile

Updated Our Journal (55): Red Novella Now Available, Posters Back in Stock

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tl;dr: Production update, Red Novella released, backer posters available

Hello Exiles,

Eric checking in. In our previous update, we told you about how we were targeting an April milestone for getting the game content complete. We're happy to say that we've hit that milestone – this means Torment is now playable start to finish, albeit in a somewhat rough state.

The feedback we've gained from the backer beta has been invaluable in allowing us to improve upon the game in a number of ways. In particular, we've been in the thick of a massive user interface overhaul on both the art and design fronts, cleaning up a lot of the temporary and placeholder stuff that was in when the beta launched. It is shaping up extremely well.

Furthermore, we've been reworking the game's introduction. This is one of the things we got the most comments about during the beta's early stages - how while the strangeness of the world, the visuals and the writing were all engrossing, the pacing and the way information was communicated about the game systems and story felt like they could use a bit of work. The changes we've made should address these points while also moving things along a bit more quickly.

A lot of these polish points are still in the works, and we're also chipping away at our bug lists, balance and systems tweaks both in and out of combat, and adding additional layers of improvements on for animation, visual effects and scene artwork. We're still working towards a more stable and complete build for you to enjoy, but when the next beta update comes, it will be one of the most extensive we've done.

From the Depths: Red

We have some good news on the rewards front today. Those of you who backed Torment at levels that included novellas will be happy to hear we are releasing a new installment in our "From the Depths" series - The Red Hand.

This novella comes courtesy of writer Nathan Long, who crafted several characters and quests for Torment: Tides of Numenera. You will also likely recognize Nathan as the lead writer behind Wasteland 2, not to mention that he has well over a dozen fantasy novels and several TV episodes and films to his name.

The Red Hand is a Ninth World story set in the subterranean city of Haref, which shows how art and passion can inspire great acts of heroism, but can also be twisted into tools of oppression. It follows an artist in love with a revolutionary leader as his art turns her outrage into a powerful symbol of revolt, and then escapes his control.

Applicable Torment backers who got the Red Novella with their rewards can download it right now from their Torment backer account. Just login to your Torment account, check the Rewards page and look for the "Downloads" button on your reward package that contains the novella. And remember that our novellas are still available in digital form as add-ons if you don't already have them.

What happens to a symbol when the revolution has been won? And what does an artist do when his art is used in ways he never wanted?
What happens to a symbol when the revolution has been won? And what does an artist do when his art is used in ways he never wanted?

For those of you who would like a preview, here is a sampling from the early pages:

A splintering crash from the front of the bar stopped Parna and brought everyone's head around. A pair of massive purplegray Bayan watchmen—twice the height and five times the weight of the slight, blue-skinned Nil—were ducking through the door, truncheons in hand. Another crack, much closer, and the back door caved in too. A third Bayan squeezed in, her muscles bulging under her leather uniform and slurge-shell pauldrons—a sergeant of the watch. Her short-haired, heavy-boned head brushed the ceiling.

"No one move," she rumbled. Her voice sounded like boulders rolling down a tailings scree. "By order of the Sona Assembly, you are all under arrest for fomenting unrest and plotting rebellion. Kneel and put your hands on your—"

The patrons of the Black Pit didn't wait for her to finish. They bolted in every direction. Some dodged around her and her men and out the doors behind them. Some squirmed through the transoms on the street side of the bar. More ran for the secret doors that were the elementary precautions of any meeting place for rabble-rousers.

"Stop." The massive sergeant strode forward, trying to grab a mob of Nil who were all fighting to dive down a hatch in the floor. Sahi saw his chance. He caught Avza's arm and called for Parna.

"Parna! Come on! Out the back!"

Sahi laughed as they ran through the broken door into the alley and the sergeant called after them. How did that lumbering cow expect to catch a pack of running Nil? She was far too big and slow.

Two more hulking watchmen loomed out from the shadows of the alley. Parna tripped over the body of a bruised and battered Nil lying on the stones. Sahi and Avza hauled Parna up and ducked under the Bayans' swinging truncheons. The Bayan turned and pounded after them, heavy feet shaking the ground.

"Stop."

"Why do they bother saying that?" panted Parna. "Has anyone ever obeyed?"

"Less talking," Avza gasped. "More running."

They dodged around Mother Beda, the old Nil woman who sold grilled mushroom skewers in the mouth of the alley behind the bar, and plunged into the shadows of the subterranean street.

"Damn kids!" Beda shouted. "Watch your shenanigans, you—"

The Bayan watchmen burst out of the alley, knocking Beda's cart and grill to the cobbles and spraying her with hot coals. Beda shrieked and stumbled away, clutching her bare, burned arms.

"Bayan pigs!" She shook her carving knife at them. "Look what you did! You ruin everything!"

Sahi looked back at Beda's shout and saw one of the Bayan club her with a casual backhand. His truncheon was as big around as Beda's leg. It smashed her to the ground.

Sahi skidded to a stop. "No!"

Avza tugged at his arm as the Bayan lumbered closer. "There's nothing we can do."

Sahi couldn't pull his eyes away from Beda as she clutched her bleeding head and tried to get back to her feet. She reached out to steady herself, then sank back down, unconscious or dead. Her hand left a bloody print on the back wall of the bar.

Torment Posters Are Back!

During the Kickstarter campaign, we had exclusive Torment backer posters available as add-ons, but they haven't been available for a while… until now.

Due to popular demand, Torment posters are now available once again! These feature a striking design to match the one we did for Wasteland 2, and includes a list of backer names integrated into the artwork.

As an added bonus, the Torment poster includes free shipping for anyone in the USA, and everyone worldwide with total pledge level of $70 or above. To add the poster to your rewards, login to your Torment backer account, check the Rewards page, and add it as an add-on (it will be either on your Shop or Unlockable tabs).

In the News

A few news items to round out the update. Last time we showed you an interview with Colin and George on Arvan Eleron's Twitch channel that many of you enjoyed. And shortly after that, we had some other friends of ours featured on another episode of the show.

Featuring Monte Cook, Shanna Germain, and Patrick Rothfuss, the hour-long discussion has them talking about their contributing roles to Torment: Tides of Numenera and the Numenera setting as a whole.

Next, more interview goodness! Colin and George were recently featured on Shane Plays, a gaming-focused radio show and podcast hosted by Shane Stacks. You can enjoy the nearly hour-long interview to hear them wax about such exciting topics as Torment's development, how to break into the games industry as a writer, and who would win in an arm wrestling contest between them and Brian Fargo.

Last, we'd like to draw your attention to Consortium: The Tower, a single-player, first-person sci-fi immersive sim set in one massive location. The project initially launched on Kickstarter a couple of months ago, but as a smaller project without a pre-existing fanbase it didn't quite get the attention it deserved. This is exactly the kind of undiscovered title that can do well on a more curated platform like Fig, so we recommend you take a look if you like the sound of the pitch but missed it the first time around.

Eric Schwarz
Line Producer

Updated Our Journal (54): Production Status, Beta Feedback

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tl;dr: Writing milestone achieved, beta feedback, shout-outs

Hello Exiles,

Eric here! We'd like to start today's update with an important announcement. As of February 29th, our writing team on Torment: Tides of Numenera has completed its first pass on all of the game's writing. Our latest estimates put this at around one million words. We will know the final count in the coming months, but this is a big milestone for a Torment game, as you can no doubt imagine.

Torment's story is a carefully crafted one, and "first pass" means we have a lot of revisions and edits still to do as we perfect the game's word-smithing. But it does mean our story and quests are more or less set, and our design, scripting and engineering teams can focus their efforts on tightly implementing our remaining game systems and environment/level scripting.

So what is next for Torment? We are hoping to have the game content complete by the beginning of April. At that point, we will be taking the game into iteration. We are dedicated to getting Torment right, so just like the writing needs to go through polish passes, we have allotted significant time for ourselves to improve upon the game's content. This includes things like additional passes on environment art and visual effects, quests and dialog, user interface art and functionality, and gameplay balance, not to mention fixing bugs and optimizing performance.

We know that this will make some of you wonder – when is the final game coming? As we've mentioned before, we are still targeting a 2016 release. The benefit of our continued funding and the success of our back catalog (such as Wasteland 2: Director's Cut) means that we can continue put resources into Torment to make it something special for everyone who backed the game. We'll be able to narrow in on a more specific date once we are a bit deeper into iteration and know how much work we have left.

Torment Beta - Processing Feedback

Our beta test for Torment, which released in mid-January, has given us a huge amount of feedback from our community, and it has been invaluable for allowing us to prioritize things we want to change and improve upon. Having people able to submit their thoughts on the game directly while playing it is no small benefit to us and has led to incredibly detailed and nuanced impressions.

Many of our backers might be wondering exactly what our iteration stage for Torment will entail and what ways we respond to feedback. The truth is that this is often as much art as it is science, but we have a number of ways that we try to collect and process opinion and work to respond to it effectively.

The first, and most direct way we grab user impressions is from our feedback tool, which is incorporated into the Torment beta client. We originally developed this for the Alpha Systems Test, but it was such a success that we expanded its use and functionality for the beta. At all times while Torment is open, there's a "Feedback" button tucked away in a corner of the screen. Click it, and up pops a special UI where you can submit both bug reports as well as impressions and thoughts on gameplay, including the category and priority level.

Just a tiny taste of backer feedback and bug reports. Currently we have well over 4,000 direct submissions from our players.
Just a tiny taste of backer feedback and bug reports. Currently we have well over 4,000 direct submissions from our players.

Once player feedback is beamed back, we are able to read over and massage that information and import it directly into our JIRA bug tracking system.

Not all feedback collection is quite this ordered. Our commitment to ensuring Torment's quality (and perhaps just a little vanity) means that our team members continually scour the Internet for impressions on the game. This can be anything from forum posts on our official forums and the Steam forums, to other RPG communities, to Facebook and Twitter comments, and of course, professional previews and articles from the press. Even the darkest reaches of reddit and Something Awful don't go unchecked.

Of course, there are larger points of feedback we receive which can't always be handled with a simple bug report or which require more significant design decisions, writing or engineering. For those points where we see significant amounts of feedback or critique, we often end up taking meetings dedicated to those topics, and the team will discuss how to act on it. One example might be specific combat or interface issues, and another might be a particular quest or story element we feel we want to change. From there, we work on a plan to address that in a way that fits into our development timeline, figure out exactly what needs doing, and then task that work out. A lot of this is often handled by my compatriot and name-brother Eric Daily, who is invaluable at keeping things on track behind the scenes.

Just one example of how we've acted on feedback can be found in our first beta patch for Torment. This was put out shortly after the initial release, and addressed many of the comments and issues that players ran into – everything from combat lock-ups, to save/load issues, to performance and optimization, to gameplay balance, and interface bugs. Getting these reports directly from our players allowed us to prioritize and address them much more effectively.

At the end of the day, we are making Torment primarily for our backers and our fans, so this kind of process is extremely helpful to us. In traditional development, we'd be making a game in a vacuum, guessing at what people might think of it or relying on limited playtests. With the beta, we have a pool of our most dedicated players to draw on, all of whom want Torment to be an awesome game as much as we do.

News Update

Torment's beta release has brought on a wave of new coverage from press. There is much too much to share here, but we've picked out some of our favorites from Eurogamer, PC Gamer, and GameReactor. Long-standing community site RPGWatch has also named Torment its most-anticipated game, which we are certainly honored by.

More recently, Colin and George hung out with Arvan Eleron's Twitch channel to play and talk about the game. You can find the archived stream here.

Our friends at Monte Cook Games have also launched a new Kickstarter. Worlds of the Cypher System includes three new campaign settings to play in, along with expanded rules, fiction and new tools to power your own games for years to come. If you are a fan of Numenera, The Strange or tabletop gaming in general, this is one to check out. 

We'd also like to take a moment to congratulate Obsidian Entertainment. Obsidian recently released The White March Part II, the second expansion pack to Pillars of Eternity. Obsidian had a part to play in Torment's development, with its technology helping to make Torment possible, so check out their latest release to support more classic-style RPGs.

That concludes today's check-in. In future updates, we'll be going into more detail about how we are polishing and refining the game further based on our backer feedback. We have exciting things ahead.

Eric Schwarz
Line Producer