Updated Our Journal (56): Beta Access for All Backers, About the Release Date
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:
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.
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.
Your Leader in Exile