Updated our Journal: A Gift, Stretch Goals Past & Present, Pay Pal
Hello! I hope you all have had/are having a great day.
TL;DR: A gift for everyone; Stretch Goals, including some new talent joining the team and bonus rewards; Pay Pal coming tomorrow.
Our Sincerest Appreciation
We are deeply appreciative of your support of both Torment and role-playing games in general. Some of you are here, and supporting us, because of your love for Planescape: Torment, a game that inspired us as well. With this common interest in mind, we want to acknowledge your faith in us with a small token of our appreciation.
The friendly relationship between inXile and Obsidian Entertainment is no secret. In collaboration with our colleagues at Obsidian, we are going to create a special pledge reward that will be given to all backers of both Torment and Obsidian’s Project Eternity – a Planescape: Torment Developer Retrospective (digitally distributed). This idea was suggested by community member Dema on our UserVoice forums and has been one of the most highly favored suggestions.
We’ve talked with many of the original developers of Planescape: Torment and they will generously contribute developer diaries/blogs in a compilation of their thoughts about the project. Learn about their experiences working on the game, behind-the-scenes stories, and how the game influenced their later work. This Retrospective will be made available before Torment launches next December.
Our requests to Planescape: Torment team members have been met with great enthusiasm and we’re thrilled to announce that contributors to this Retrospective will include:
- Chris Avellone, Lead Designer
- Eric Campanella, Artist
- Tim Donley, Lead Artist
- Scott Everts, Technical Designer
- Brian Fargo, Leader in Exile
- Adam Heine, Scripter
- Dave Maldonado, Designer
- Colin McComb, Designer
- Brian Menze, Artist
- Aaron Meyers, Artist
- Mark Morgan, Composer
- Dennis Presnell, Artist
- Dan Spitzley, Lead Programmer
- Feargus Urquhart, President, Black Isle Studios
- Scott Warner, Scripter
We at inXile would like to also thank the PS:T team members who will be contributing as well as to Dema for making this suggestion!
Every dollar we receive from the Kickstarter (outside of expenses for reward fulfillment) will be invested in making Torment a better game, while retaining the focus on the pillars we’ve described. That is, the game will be improving in various ways all along the way. That said, we will also be describing explicit Stretch Goals so that you can see how we plan to enhance the game and also what we’re hoping to achieve. Thanks to your enthusiasm and support, we have already passed what would have been our first Stretch Goal and are excited to announce that, though you will play Torment as a specific character, we will provide you with the choice to choose your character’s gender when you begin a playthrough.
Besides the obvious impacts of PC gender (e.g., character model, animations, increased localization work for languages for which gender matters, etc.), there will be appropriate reactivity from NPCs in the game world. This doesn’t mean that the overarching story will depend on your gender, but the level of reactivity will be significant and noticeable. Shown below is a concept piece for the female PC, drawn by Nils Hamm. Nils is still working on the male PC and we’ll show you him in a later update. (Again, this isn't all that occurs by going from $0.9m through $1.2m, just a major element we want to call out.)
$1.5 Million: Richer Story – Writer Mur Lafferty and Designer Tony Evans join the Writing Team, plus a Bonus Novella)
Upon reaching $1.5M, we will expand the richness and reactivity of the story through adding two new writers to our team. We have designed the game’s storyline to be highly scalable and modular, and this allows us to bring in additional writing talent to enhance Torment’s story through deeper content and new areas and characters – both optional ones and on the critical path.
At $1.5 Million, two excellent writers, Tony Evans and Mur Lafferty will be contributing to the game. In case you aren’t yet familiar with their past work, here’s a little information on each:
Tony has been a game writer and designer since the late 1990s and has worked on more role-playing games than any sane designer should, with time served at both Obsidian and Bioware. Tony worked on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2, Dragon Age 2, Neverwinter Nights 2, and Mask of the Betrayer (he designed the Skein and wrote One of Many, among other things). Tony was also the lead designer on Storm of Zehir.
Mur is an author from Durham, NC. She’s written for several role-playing games including Vampire, Mage, Exalted, and World of Warcraft the RPG. She started podcasting in 2004 with her show Geek Fu Action Grip, and in 2005 began producing the award-winning podcast I Should Be Writing. She's published several audiobooks via podcast, and her debut novel, The Shambling Guide to New York City, is coming out in May. She was a 2012 nominee for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction or Fantasy.
Additionally, Torment (and Wasteland 2) writer Nathan Long will be writing a novella for Torment. Nathan’s novella will be included in the Novella Compilation, and all backers receiving that reward will automatically receive this fourth novella, too.
We haven’t talked much about Nathan in the past and it’s high time to correct that. Nathan has been a superstar on the Wasteland 2 team and we are honored to have him as part of our team. Nathan is a screen and prose writer, with two movies, one Saturday-morning adventure series, and a handful of live-action and animated TV episodes to his name, as well as eleven fantasy novels and several award-winning short stories. He hails from Pennsylvania, where he grew up, went to school, and played in various punk and rock-a-billy bands, before following his dreams to Hollywood - where he now writes full time - and still occasionally plays in bands. His latest novel is Swords of Waar, the sequel to 2012's Jane Carver of Waar, and he realized his life-long dream when he began working as a game writer for inXile Entertainment.
$2.0 Million: Monte Writes, Mark Composes, and Goo Oozes
We will continue to increase Torment’s story depth and reactivity as Monte Cook also joins our writing team, contributing directly to in-game content. Monte is focused on Numenera, but we’ve been working directly with him already, seeking his guidance on how to best explore Numenera’s Ninth World. Later in the project, we will also be collaborating with Monte on the adaptation of Numenera’s tabletop rules to best suit a computer role-playing game. But at this Stretch Goal, Monte will become even more involved in Torment team and will add his writing talents as well. (Fortunately, Torment’s schedule allows for his creative work to begin later so that it won’t interfere with Numenera.)
At this Stretch Goal, Mark Morgan will write more music for Torment to complement the additional game areas and content we will be adding. Furthermore, he will incorporate a live orchestra into his work. Of course, all of this new music will be automatically including in the soundtrack (digital or CD) for backers who are receiving that reward. We will also provide the soundtrack reward in the lossless FLAC format for those who desire it.
Our initial plans for Torment included four possible companions for the player and at this Stretch Goal, we will be adding a fifth, which we’ve nicknamed “The Toy.” (That’s not its in-game name. ;) ) The Toy is a changing ball of goo: Is it a pet, an abandoned toy, a dangerous weapon? Whatever it is, it responds to the way you treat it by changing its appearance and abilities to reflect what it perceives as your desires. Its ultimate secrets are... well, you'll have to find out.
Housekeeping (including Pay Pal)
A couple other notes: First, it may be a while before we update the main Kickstarter page to reflect the content of this (and upcoming updates). You see, while finalizing our Kickstarter page, we reached the character limit allowed for a Kickstarter page (see below). So we are going to have to reorganize some of the content on our page to allow us to add new information. It might be a bit before we get to that, so please excuse any outdated content.
Second, we know that some would like to pledge through Pay Pal. Fortunately, our masterful developer Joby Bednar had already constructed the foundation necessary through our Wasteland 2 campaign. Unfortunately, we had some additional work to do for it and weren't expecting it to be necessary quite so soon. Joby, who also came in during the wee hours this morning to update our Torment website expects to have our Pay Pal store up tomorrow – we’re sorry for the delay.
When the Pay Pal store is available, any Tier that has not sold out on Kickstarter will be available through Pay Pal for those who choose. Any Tier that sells out will then also be closed on Pay Pal. This isn’t an automated process, so the Pay Pal option may be available for a short time after the Kickstarter one closes.
Over the next days, we have more updates planned in which, besides any news related to the Kickstarter, will be providing some more details about our plans for Torment, building upon the information from our initial Kickstarter page. Some of these details will be explained through video updates from members of the Torment team, so you’ll get to learn both about the game and about the people who are (or will be) working on it.
Thank you all so much for an exciting first day. Words cannot expr