Updated our Journal (6): Inhabiting the Bodies of Others, +1 Ziets, Life After Death
Hi Forgotten Ones,
We’re generally planning for 2-3 updates per week. If you're interested in more frequent Torment news, follow us on our Facebook and tumblr pages (and @BrianFargo), which we'll update more frequently.
TL;DR: Colin talks about the Meres (video). George Ziets is on board. Some glimpses into post-death gameplay. New $2.75m Stretch Goal. New Stretch Goal idea forum.
Colin describes the Meres, which are the devices by which you’ll inhabit the bodies of other castoffs. You’ll learn about these early in Torment and they will be one of the tools at your disposal to solve various situations – or simply to explore more of the world, your heritage, and the nature of the Tides. Many of the Meres will be optional (or even hidden), and they are one of several ways in which the story is modular and reactive – which Meres are available to you at different points in the game will depend in part upon your choices.
Thanks to you continuing to spread the word and add to your pledges, we’ve reached the next stretch goal, meaning that George Ziets will be joining the writing team! Welcome, George - Torment awaits! We are also adding a sixth companion.
Additionally, Monte will write a novella that will be added to the digital and printed novella compilations. (We’ll talk more about the nature of the novellas soon. You may think seven is too many... not so! We have many stories to tell...)
We will also implement the Castoff’s Labyrinth. Death in Torment will not be the same as “game over,” and there’s more to it this time than waking up in a mortuary. Your body is mostly immortal. Your consciousness, on the other hand, is a twisted place. When you die, your consciousness travels somewhere else, to a labyrinth of the mind.
The Castoff’s Labyrinth is a strange realm, a dreamlike maze of jungles, stairways, tunnels, and ruined cities. It’s your mind, but you wouldn’t know it from all that’s in here (I mean, what the hell is that dead, tentacled thing the size of a mountain range?). When you die in the game, you could always just reload, or maybe find the easy way out of the maze and back to your body. But you’d be missing out – it’s our goal to make gameplay after death compelling enough that you won’t even think about reloading.
The Castoff’s Labyrinth is a bizarre and interesting gameplay area, one of haunting exploration and discovery. As it grows, its secrets become deeper and more complex. Its depths are called Fathoms, and each brings new secrets and -- for the determined -- new rewards. What types of secrets and rewards? One will be lost cyphers: Each time you die, a new cypher (a single-use numenera) appears in the Labyrinth that you can take back with you. As the Labyrinth gets bigger, more of these random cyphers will become available the deeper you go. More types of secrets are attached to upcoming Stretch Goals, some of which are described below.
For every 3000 Backers beyond 45,000 (roughly when the $2.5m Stretch Goal was reached), we will extend the Castoff’s Labyrinth by one Fathom. So at 48,000 Backers, we’ll be at Fathom 2, at 51,000 Fathom 3, etc. (As of this writing, we are well on the way to Fathom 2!) Each Fathom adds deeper playable content and reactivity, and more of the features reached through the Stretch Goals (e.g., like increased quantity and complexity of the Reflections discussed below).
We’ll soon have a graphical representation up to better show the Castoff's Labyrinth's twisted progression to deeper Fathoms. (Backers through both Kickstarter and PayPal will count toward determining the labyrinth's Fathoms.)
New $2.75M Stretch Goal (and an addition at $3M)
Many have requested more frequent Stretch Goals now that we’re in the slower period of the Kickstarter campaign. In addition to the Castoff’s Labyrinth gaining Fathoms, we are excited to announce the following at $2.75m (as suggested by manaf82):
Over a decade ago, an enthusiastic writer and designer broke into the games industry through a job in QA at Interplay. One of the games he worked on as QA was Planescape: Torment. It didn’t take long for Brian Mitsoda to prove his creative capabilities and move into design, eventually leaving Interplay and Black Isle Studios and becoming a key writer for the acclaimed Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. I met Brian in 2005, when he joined me as the creative lead for Dwarfs, a grim prequel to Snow White that I was the lead designer on at Obsidian. Brian has since founded his own company, DoubleBear Productions, whose game Dead State, met with great success on Kickstarter last year. Brian will contribute his creative talent to Torment, bringing him back full circle in terms of his career. And what could be more fitting for a game that explores one’s legacy? (Fortunately, the schedules for Torment and Dead State make this possible.)
At this Stretch Goal we will also add Reflections of Companions and NPCs to the Castoff’s Labyrinth. These Reflections have different dialog and information than their living counterparts, and you will learn secrets about them that would otherwise remain hidden. (But are these secrets really about them? Or are they about you?) The more Fathoms within the Labyrinth, the more Reflections there will be, and the deeper their dialogues become.
Finally, we are adding another Castoff's Labyrinth feature to the $3m Stretch Goal: Secret Meres. These Meres (dependent upon the Fathoms) are hidden within the Labyrinth and are accessible only from your own mind.
New Stretch Goal Idea Forum
We have opened a new idea forum on our Torment Community specifically to get your input on what you’d like us to focus on for Stretch Goals. Already your ideas on our general Torment Kickstarter forum have helped lead us to the Castoff’s Labyrinth, George Ziets, and Brian Mitsoda as Stretch Goals. This new forum is specifically for Stretch Goal ideas and voting and will help us plan the path ahead – we have our own ideas, but we want to hear more of yours. We’re starting by limiting the number of votes to just 6 so that everyone has to choose carefully what is most important to them (but of course you can post comments anywhere). We’ve prepopulated this forum with some of our thoughts, as well as several others you’ve mentioned in the forums or comments already. Please share more.
Over 3500 of you have already joined our User Voice forums – but if you haven’t yet, please register at our website and add your voice!
Colin’s Apology (Part 1)
In case you missed it, here is Colin’s best attempt at being apologetic for the imbalanced Complete Book of Elves. (Are you convinced he’s really sorry?)
Have a great Wednesday!