Updated our Journal (9): Chris Avellone
TL;DR: Chris Avellone @ $3.5M.
Welcome, newcomers, to the land of the Forgotten Ones. We are thrilled that Pat Rothfuss may join our writing team. We have yet more good news for you all today.
$3.5M Stretch Goal – Chris Avellone
Our $3.5M Stretch Goal will add Chris Avellone to our team. You’ve probably heard of him, as he was the lead designer for Planescape™: Torment, the game that inspired us to create this project. Chris will be the first to say PS:T was a team effort, but he was its creative visionary and wrote the lion’s share of the game. He later cofounded Obsidian Entertainment, where he is the Creative Director. Chris was the lead designer for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2, and has contributed his design expertise to every project Obsidian has developed. He also worked with inXile on Wasteland 2 last year, including designing the area showcased in our gameplay first look video.
Of course, from the start, we hoped Chris could contribute to Torment as well. But as recently as a couple weeks ago (16 days to be precise), we didn’t know whether Torment would even fund. And besides, Chris’s commitment to Project Eternity made it unclear whether he’d have the time. Given his key role in Planescape™: Torment, and the respect he has earned from the game’s fans, we didn’t want to even hint that Chris might be involved unless we were certain it would be possible. Our unexpectedly strong start – because of you – made it an option we could explore. So explore we did. We’ve been able to work out the scheduling matters so that Chris can contribute to Torment without impacting Project Eternity.
At $3.5M, Chris will be joining our design team. He’ll have two primary roles. First, he will be reviewing and providing feedback on all creative elements of the game, including the story, characters, and areas. His input will be invaluable as a resource to Colin in further detailing the creative vision for the game. Second, he’ll be designing and writing an eighth companion for the game, working with Colin and Monte to craft a companion ideal for both Torment and the Ninth World of Numenera.
We are truly excited at the possibility that Chris could collaborate with us on Torment.
We have a few other things to mention.
$2.85M Stretch Goal – Achieved!
Thanks to you, we’ll be implementing the Extensive Epilogue to give each playthrough a more thorough conclusion. (See our Stretch Goal information on tumblr for more information.) You surged us past this Stretch Goal less than a day after we announced it!
$3.35M Stretch Goal – Castoff’s Labyrinth gains new feature: Lacunae
Not everyone in the Labyrinth has a living counterpart. Lacunae are figments of your mind that represent parts of yourself (or do they?). Through conversing with a Lacuna, you'll discover puzzles and quests, and might even enhance your own abilities. As we delve to deeper fathoms, you’ll be able to find more Lacunae with whom to interact. (The Fourth Fathom is less than 2000 backers away!)
In case you were curious, both Chris and Pat will be signing the Collector’s Edition game boxes in the Artifact Collector and higher Tiers.
We'll be speaking to the topic of graphics next week.
Too Many Writers?
A few of you have asked whether we're bringing too many writers on the project. Will it be difficult to manage? How will they all agree? Rest assured that more writers only helps us. Colin is in charge of the overall story, and will define the constraints required for each area to connect with the larger story. Each writer will then have one or more specific areas (and/or companions in some cases) to flesh out. There will be considerable creative freedom, especially for areas that are less central to the core storyline, but the result will be a cohesive whole.
We’re also developing conventions that all writers will follow, ensuring consistency in design and also how the Ninth World setting is conveyed. These will include writing style conventions, though not any so rigid as to constrain each writer’s talents.
The result is a very modular design, with a single creative lead to make sure everything ties together (and having Chris Avellone review the creative elements will only strengthen the vision). Managing a team of writers is how many story-driven RPGs are made, including Planescape™: Torment. Chris Avellone was the lead on PS:T, but there were seven designers working with him to make the game as deep and rich as it was. We’ll be following the same approach on Torment, as well as having Ray Vallese as a dedicated editor to further bolster consistency.
Have a great weekend!