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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. Torment: Tides of Numenera is available now for PC on Steam or GOG, as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
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. Torment: Tides of Numenera is available now for PC on Steam or GOG, as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
74,405 backers pledged $4,188,927 to help bring this project to life.

Updated Our Journal (59): Polish & Interface Improvements, Looking Forward

Posted by inXile entertainment (Creator)

Hello Exiles,

Eric here. We're in the home stretch on Torment, and in the last few months we've been working hard to refine and improve the game. My main role has been to work with our artists and engineers to make our user experience as good as it can be. We are in that magical time when a game goes from being something simply playable but rough, to being truly enjoyable, and that's a wonderfully creative period where iteration abounds and we have the time and energy to really identify all those little things that add up to make a great game.

In addition to all the requisite bug fixes and art updates, our efforts have largely centered around putting in additional layers of polish to make the game look and play better. Many of these features are requests directly from our community, so I'd like to thank you all for writing in and giving us feedback on the improvements you wanted to see.

Conversation Updates

The conversation screen in Torment is one of the most important parts of the game, because you will be spending so much time using it. As a result, it was critical to make it as polished and enjoyable to use as possible – a goal we have had throughout development. Without a doubt, our conversation UI has gone through more versions than any other interface element for that same reason.

First up, one of the biggest concerns we saw in the beta was that the text scrolling needed to be improved. In earlier versions, text would always appear at the bottom of the interface, which could lead to a lot of extra scrolling or manually expanding the whole conversation screen to read it. As a result, we re-designed this text behavior and engineer Matthew Davey spent many hours re-writing it.

Our revamp for conversation text scrolling now has text appear at the top of the interface rather than appearing near the bottom, so you don't find yourself scrolling nearly as much. When we need to show lots of text all at once, we also added a "Show More" button and a little down arrow indicating that there is more below. Instead of manually scrolling when there's lots of words on screen, now you can just keep hitting the Enter key, Spacebar, or clicking the button, which means that you can focus more on the contents of the conversation rather than getting pulled out of the narrative.

That said, a text box isn't in and of itself the most interesting thing, and for Torment we wanted to do something a bit more special. So, we decided to include additional notifications, audio cues and special effects while you're in conversations in order to highlight key moments.

A great example of this is the new "Item Gained" prompt. All of our items in the game are hand-designed and often written with lots of detailed lore and story elements, and so we wanted it to make it feel like a great moment when you found something interesting. Since so many of these items are given out during conversations or scripted interactions, it made sense to devote a portion of the conversation interface to them.

Whenever you find or receive an item while the conversation screen is open, the game will now highlight the occasion by showing you a special panel on the right side of the window. This has a purpose, too – you can also mouse over the item to view its info in a tooltip, and right-click to bring up its full detailed description just like you would see in the inventory screen. This means when an NPC gives you a cool new piece of numenera, you don't have to wait another five minutes to look at it. It was one of those little things we never realized we wanted in an RPG until we went to implement it.

We've also made improvements to the fanfare when you get other rewards or status changes. Now, we have animated visual effects that play in key instances – most notably, when your Tidal Affinity changes (it is Tides of Numenera after all), but also for other things like XP gains.

Crisis and Combat Updates

But conversation isn't everything. We've also been taking strides in making combat easier to understand and displaying more information about your characters, abilities, and the battlefield's overall state. This was one of the things that wasn't quite at the level we wanted it, and many of our backers agreed judging by some of the comments we received! As a result, we've added far more information to the Crisis HUD.

To start, you might recall we previously talked about anoetic and occultic actions in earlier updates. Now, we've renamed them to your "move" action and "attack" action to make their uses clearer, and given them appropriate icons that display under your current party member (and turn grey when they've been used up each turn). This hasn't altered or simplified any of the previous gameplay or mechanics at all - for instance, abilities can still consume movement in some cases, or no movement in others - but it's much easier to keep track of which actions are which now.

Additionally, our engineers have rebuilt our tooltips when you mouse over an ability. The system we have now is incredibly robust, showing detailed information which also automatically populates and formats itself based on some simple tags the designers can write. Even special statuses and fettles will auto-fill their effects, so that when designers start doing balance changes, they don't have to manually go in and change the text for everything affected. You'll also see how the action cost is also more clearly indicated, tying in with the changes I mentioned above. On the whole, these tooltips are just more readable, more accurate, and a bit prettier looking than what we previously had.

Expanding on our improved tooltips, we have also added a right-click popup window to every ability in the game which allows you to inspect their full details just like in the Infinity Engine RPGs, and each has more flavorful long-form descriptions we've penned for them for you to read:

One more thing we weren't indicating properly in earlier builds of the game was the maximum range of attacks, as well as the radius of any area-of-effect type abilities. Now, we've added visuals for those so you can clearly see exactly where your abilities will land, letting you line them up just right. Below you can see an example – the thin, orange outer ring shows the maximum range, and the smaller orange circle is the area the ability will affect:

Help & Tutorials

We have also been working on some less exciting but no less important elements to give players a helping hand, if they want it.

When a Crisis encounter starts, we now display a small panel on the side of the screen to signal your main objective and some optional possibilities. We won't tell you every route available to resolve an encounter, so there will still be things to discover and experiment with, but this will serve as a reminder in case you aren't sure what your goal is. If you're the type that doesn't want any assistance at all, you can simply hide this popup at any time by clicking the arrow button on it.

On a similar note, we've added tutorials to the early game that will help explain some of the finer points of the Numenera game mechanics, as well as basic control and interface details. These will also show when you encounter something new in the game, such as when you pick up a cypher for the first time. But, we also know that there are those of you who want to figure out the mechanics on your own, so these tutorials can similarly be disabled with a single button press.

Art! Art Everywhere!

It wouldn't be a complete update about the user interface without mentioning that we've gone in and done a huge art pass. We let Charlie, Alisha, Daniel, William, and others run wild adding layers upon layers of extra detail. Every individual element and screen is hand-drawn, and it has been a huge amount of work, but this sort of physical-feeling, ornate and detailed interface is something we expect from a classic-style RPG and we hope you appreciate the extra attention we've given it.

The screens for Character Creation, the Character Sheet, Merchants, and many more have all been polished up with plenty of extra details and visual effects. You can see a few of them below, although keep in mind that the screens are not necessarily final and might still get a few more updates by the time the game ships.



And of course, there's dozens of other little details all over the place. For example, it wouldn't be an RPG without a cool level-up effect:

Pay no mind to the huge amount of XP I gained out of thin air and definitely didn't use cheats to add. Nope.
Pay no mind to the huge amount of XP I gained out of thin air and definitely didn't use cheats to add. Nope.

All of these types of little tweaks and additions add up to making the game go from good to great, and this is exactly the kind of polish and iteration that your feedback has helped enable. We always know we can make things a little better and more fun to play, and we'll continue adding touches like this up until release.

Of course, that begs the question – when will you be able to get your hands on it? We hope to have a new beta update prior to release that will debut all of these improvements and give you a close-to-final look at Torment. Keep an eye out, as we'll have more news about this coming.

News & Updates

Things have been busy with Torment beyond just development as well. First, we've got a brand new trailer for the game introducing the Ninth World, you can see that below.

Next, Colin McComb and Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie were in town recently and decided to answer some fan questions from social media. Both videos are now available for your enjoyment!

Additionally, Colin flew off to merry England recently to visit EGX 2016, where he gave a talk about Torment's narrative design. If you would like to see him go into a huge amount of depth about building the world of Torment and its characters, including walkthroughs of the creation of certain in-game quests and content, you can see it all here.

Next, we recently ran a fan art contest! We had many amazing entries, but one in particular caught our eye, and that was this excellent drawing of a nano by Anastasia Prokofeva (Sigurn), which we felt fit right in with Torment and Numenera. You can see her art above (and the rest of the contest entries here).

We also wanted to highlight an ongoing crowdfunded sci-fi RPG that's finishing up its campaign this Tuesday October 11th: Dual Universe.


Dual Universe is a sandbox first-person MMORPG in a sci-fi universe, developed by the studio Novaquark. Planets are entirely editable, and the game focuses on massively multiplayer interactions as well as emergent gameplay including politics, economics, exploration, voxel building, trade, territory control and warfare. We felt many of its aspects, namely the sci-fi setting and editable planets, would resonate with you guys. Their Kickstarter is nearing its end and has almost funded, so this is your last chance to support it!

Our Next Game – Wasteland 3

As Torment heads towards release early next year, and the New Orleans studio continues to work on Bard's Tale IV, many of you might be wondering, what will happen when the Torment team finishes up and it comes time to move on? Today, we can answer: the next game in the Wasteland series!


Wasteland 3 will feature a brand-new snowy post-apocalyptic setting, a more central Ranger Base to build up, revamped combat, vehicles, and for the first time, both a solo and multiplayer story-driven campaign. If that sounds good to you, we hope you'll check out the ongoing campaign and consider backing the game.

This time with Wasteland 3, we're going to Fig. Fig is a relatively new crowdfunding platform, with Brian Fargo on its advisory board, along with others including Feargus Urquhart from Obsidian. It will offer the same kind of high-value and unique rewards you're used to seeing from us, but also allows for investment, helping us to make our games bigger and better than ever.

We know some might wonder about why we need crowdfunding after the success of Wasteland 2 and soon, Torment, and the simple answer is: it lets us keep our independence. Your support means that we are able to keep that all-too-critical control over our games, which means we can continue to stay true to our vision and keep making the games both we and you both love.

We also know some of you might be thinking, "how does this affect Torment's development?" Or perhaps, as we put it last time, "you greedy bastards, why would you launch a new campaign before Torment is even done?!" With Torment, you may recall we were content complete with the game around April of this year, which means that many of our artists and writers have started to have more time available, and for several, their work on Torment has now been completed. Those people are now moving on to begin early production on Wasteland 3, while the designers and engineers whose work on Torment isn't yet finished will continue on with it and see it through to completion.

Brian Fargo has long been a fan of this method of production, as it was practiced both with Interplay and now at inXile. Importantly, getting people working on the next project lets us avoid the layoff cycle you sometimes see at other studios and it means that those cohesive, experienced teams we have built up over the years can remain working together – which we believe leads to higher quality games all around. This is much the same approach we took with Wasteland 2 when Torment was first announced, so rest assured that Torment is still very much on track for its early Q1 2017 release.

All in all, things are coming to a close for Torment, but there's still plenty to do and see. We look forward to giving you another taste of the improvements we've been making soon, and we'll be keeping you in the loop as we continue towards release early next year!

Thank you,
Eric Schwarz

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    1. Earnest Williams on

      I just hope the team has played Tyranny, because that's a game the community is starting to turn on. Great concepts, great writing (mostly), and the execution is so flat it's painful.

    2. Missing avatar

      Chris Hom on

      yay a good progress update, can't wait!

    3. meganothing dread bard of torment BOSB on

      @Kaeroku: I don't see how Torment would be delayed by Torment programmers asking WL3 designers/writers about the Torment design? (And that is the only direction that makes sense, right?)

      I don't see WL3 designers/writers asking programmers of Torment busy with bug fixing anything about WL3. It is far more likely that they ask a programmer what to eat for lunch than a question about a new project that the programmer has never worked with.

    4. Missing avatar

      Kaeroku on

      The idea that assets are only being moved to Wasteland 3 after they're done with all the work they're needed for on Torment is a reassuring one. My concern is that due to the nature of team projects, the people who haven't been moved over are going to be getting hit up throughout the day with little questions which may not be *technically* what they're supposed to be working on, but they're present and their opinion or input is desired and thus... time is being spent away from Torment due to the new project.

      That concern is founded on my experience as a team leader in various corporate capacities throughout my working life. Now, it may not be a significant drain on them and hell, it may not happen at all. I certainly appreciate the new project from the point of view of the employees whose work is done: it keeps them employed, keeps food on the table. But we're two years behind schedule here, so anything which might cause delays at this point is... well, objectionable.

      Really love the art and really looking forward to playing this, still. I liked Wasteland 2 as well, and you could say that I've become a fan of the studio. Warning: This means I hold you to a higher standard than most. ;) I'm sure you'll live up to it.

    5. Lord Drakonor on

      Wow the games really come together. Too bad it went Yawn-based combat instead of Real Time! Would've been much more appealing! Ah well...

    6. Dave, Shadowrunner on

      Torment will also have a lot more dialogue than Pillars of Eternity and probably / hopefully a lot more choice & consequence and reactivity, which takes a lot of time to write... So it seems rather silly and pointless to compare the development cycles of two very different CRPGs from two different studios. If W2 hadn't been delayed Torment's original estimated release may have been realistic.

    7. PegasusOrgans-AGL 589 on

      God damn, every time I read comments sections for games these days, I FEEL for the developers. Seems like a large portion of the gaming public are self-entitled, snarky, braindead, know-it-all whiners with way too much time on their hands. I have thousands of things I'd rather do than tell PROFESSIONAL game developers how to do their job when NONE of you have ever created a game, or anything of value TBH. Your sole contribution to human-kind, upon your death upon a public toilet at a McDonald's, will be walls of whiny text about how EVERY else needs to stop being lazy and do their job right.

    8. PegasusOrgans-AGL 589 on

      I've said it before, and I'll say it till people stop rushing developers to "FINISH TEH GAEM!!!!1111" Take all the time you guys need. I'm finally getting thru Wasteland 2, despite owning the game (being a backer) from the start. And have so many f'ing games left to play, that I just want every game to take as long as needed. I know it will be great, and I'll love it like I adore Planescape:Torment. If you keep making the games I love, I'll keep backing everything you do. Just don't be a Bioware ;)

    9. meganothing dread bard of torment BOSB on

      @vsampredo: Ok, Obsidian was fast and needed only 3 years, Torment seems to need 4 years, that doesn't seem to be frightfully out of bounds to me (Fallout 3: 4 years, Oblivion: 4 years. Sorry Bethesda, I take back the 5 years I was guessing first).

      The graphics is a matter of taste, I find them exactly in the right style for the setting and that is the most important thing about the graphics. If the graphics of "Pillars" are better, the difference isn't big IMHO. But again, a matter of taste.

      You really should ask yourself: Did you back Torment for a closely kept publishing date and the graphics? If yes, you used the wrong tool (kickstarter) and backed the wrong game (torment).

    10. Missing avatar

      Quantomas on

      Your new trailer for the Ninth World is genuinely great!

    11. Missing avatar

      Joshua Carmody on

      Awesome to see everything coming together. I'm looking forward to playing the game. Of course, I have the beta version already, but I'm avoiding playing it until it's done, because I tend to only play games through once and I want the full experience.

      I'm also super-stoked about Wasteland 3 and have backed it on Fig. Wasteland 2 was awesome, so I know you guys know what you're doing.

    12. Dave, Shadowrunner on

      If you're a fan of tactical turn-based RPGS please check out VIGILANTES on Kickstarter. It's a crime / gangster themed RPG, there's an alpha demo you can download, and the digitial copy tier is only about $9.

    13. Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on

      Man I love that clean, sleek user interface! Good job Art Team!!! I also backed Wasteland 3, I hope to see all you guys there!

    14. Missing avatar

      Tabacila on

      Looking good.
      Why the hell are you using Fig for Wasteland 3? Besides the fact that it's pretty fishy that Brian Fargo has a stake in that affair, I'm not going to give any money to anything that might benefit Schafer. That man is a huge joke lately and damaging to the whole indie scene.
      I guess I will be

    15. Levelling on

      Seems like someone hasn't been paying much attention, there is plenty of information around to debunk that kind of stuff. Then again, it's just as likely that you're trolling, but experience has taught me not to give people too much credit.

    16. Rabain on

      Nitpick: is it just me or does all the font text look slightly blurry in every one of these images? It just looks every so slightly...wrong.

    17. vsampedro on

      @meganothing We could ask Obsidian how they did it, couldn't we? The delivered with only six month delay, better graphics than this game. We still don't have a fixed release date and the graphics are amateurish

    18. Missing avatar

      Themis on

      I'm trying very hard but I cannot stop feeling that the game looks ugly. Is it only me that thinks character models don't mix well with background?

    19. ThomasN on

      OR, you could put the text in a small column to make it more readable, you know, short line length increase readability.... Ask people working in newspapers, they know how to do it.... For example one game which done it right: Shadowrun Returns. Maybe, *gasp* an option for this and for the text size and font type and *gasp* color of text and background because, you would not believe, some people like not strain their eyes by reading dark text on dark background, even though it's l33t.

    20. meganothing dread bard of torment BOSB on

      UI updates all look really great. The only effect that seems a bit over the top to me is the level-up halo, but naturally a single picture doesn't really show how the animation looks. Well, we probably will see in the next beta.

      @vsampredo and Torment: Ask Bethesda or EA how long one of their games is in development (if it is a new game and not just FIFA XXVI). The answer will probably be 5 years, half of which went on in secret. A complex game takes its time. I don't really understand why you want InXile to stop enhancing and polishing a game and instead release an unfinished game!??

    21. Torment- The Enduring Exile on

      Hahahaha. Omg. Is Bard's Tale on track? I guess the business model is sell promises!

    22. Dawn_

      The thing for me with W3 is that i was quite disappointed by the quality of WA2 Vanilla. The game was full of bugs and unpolished as hell. Fortunately it had been revamped. Atm i am quite wary with the quality Torment will have at release and also Bard's Tale. I'd rather have waited to see one of those two games released to see if the quality upgraded before having to decide either or not pledging on another yet crowdfunding platform..

      Because if it's for putting 50$ or more to get a game full of bugs..just to taste the savor of old school..i'd rather wait a bit and get it on a bundle.

      It can be read as i am bitching about quality but on WA2 (vanilla) i had encountered a game-breaking bug..and that's the kind of experience that stay on your throat. I had to give up playing and wait months for the upgraded version.

    23. Robert Stewart on

      For tutorials, I'm a fan of a three-tier approach - never show tutorials; show once; show repeatedly - or at least having a reset option so the tutorials can all trigger again when you come back to the game after a hiatus.

      For any given tutorial, since players vary in how much time they can put into the game how often, if you have it coming up often enough to be useful for the forgetful/distracted players, then it'll be annoyingly frequent for the more focused players, but turning it off entirely leaves them having to resort to Google - hence having the minimal "show once" option as well as showing whenever it seems it might be useful (not necessarily every time, but maybe when it's something that only comes up rarely...)

    24. Bryy Miller on

      "should be off by default. why the hand-holding? DECLINE"
      Are you seriously going to write off the game because it has difficulty options?

    25. Cuddly Tiger

      Quick feature comment/request - please can (non-tooltip) text be resizable in the options (scaling with the HUD is OK, though being able to change the font size separately is even better)? I've had a few problems with games where the text can't scale, resulting in miniscule writing I have to practically stick my nose into the monitor to read!

    26. Dren Sokic on

      Great to hear the project is going well, definitely one of my most anticipated projects!
      I won't be joining you on Fig i'm afraid, basically because of two issues. Firstly, the only time I really felt disrespected by a kickstarter was with Schafer. And two, I feel uncomfortable putting money in a project when the process goes through a company your CEO has a stake in. I don't think it benefits transparency, which is one of the main reasons to crowdfund in the first place.

      I understand the reasoning for not wanting to use a third party, namely kickstarter taking a cut of the money. But there is a distinct lack of accountability when you own the platform that holds you accountable to your promises. Backers don't have a whole lot of rights to begin with, I feel that this is one step too far.

      I wish you all the best on Wasteland 3 though and, like Wasteland 2, will probably pick it up when it's done.

      Can't wait to get my hands on Torment, thanks for the ride so far:)

    27. Missing avatar

      Pimpollo on

      "When a Crisis encounter starts, we now display a small panel on the side of the screen to signal your main objective and some optional possibilities. We won't tell you every route available to resolve an encounter, so there will still be things to discover and experiment with, but this will serve as a reminder in case you aren't sure what your goal is. If you're the type that doesn't want any assistance at all, you can simply hide this popup at any time by clicking the arrow button on it."

      should be off by default. why the hand-holding? DECLINE

    28. Matt Munro on

      This is a super anal nitpick and I should probably be posting it on the forum or steam bug list or something but hopefully it will get passed along to the appropriate channel, on the screenshot of the "Opportunist" ability, the sentence ends with "the fool who tries to take advantage of it quickly discovers her mistake" and I'm just saying the "her" should probably be a "their", there's no guarantee the fool attacking your character will be a lady and it set off my inner grammar nazi.

    29. Missing avatar

      StrangeCat on

      I will go through your beta again when you are ready to release a new updated version.
      Ok people that have a problem with Fig are retards. Just use Credit Card and use Fig like kickstarter, you don't need to invest if you don't want to.
      There is nothing wrong with Fig there is nothing weird about it. Join it support a game.

    30. Jeff on

      Looks amazing, can't wait!

    31. Saodhar

      Great update! I'll definitely play the beta once more now. :)

    32. Nerdy Suit on

      @Ralph - What's the difference between "having my money tied up" in Fig vs. KS? Either way, it goes to the developer. It's not like KS gives refunds or something. It's the same kind of platform.

      FYI to anyone who doesn't know -- Back WL3 within 48 hours and you get either UnderRail or Stasis for free.

    33. Konstantin Iliev on

      Wow! It is so ridiculous using the words "on track" and "Torment" in the same sentence. With original estimated delivery date in Dec 2014 and the current potential delivery in Q1 2017, it is ONLY 2Y+1Q off track.

      This was such a scam on a grand scale. They took our money and invested them in Wasteland 2. And we had to wait for them to collect from WL2 so they can start develop the game we actually paid for and wait for a total of 4 year for what we paid.

    34. Asa on

      Thanks for the detailed update!

    35. Khalus on

      Very nice! Really liking the extra detail given to the dialog system, especially the item viewer during a conversation, that's brilliant!

    36. vsampedro on

      This game is still in development? After so many years I almost believed that it was cancelled,,,
      If Wasteland 3 development is managed in the same way, when will be launched, by 2021?

    37. Ralph Chilton

      Great update! I won't be supporting Fig projects as there's still too many questions for me to be comfortable in having my money tied up there. With that said I'm sure you'll crush your goals!