Updated our Journal (13): Just 3 Days Left! See the Bloom in Action
Hello Forgotten Ones,
You may be curious about what will happen this last week. From us, you can expect another video or two, a Vision document, and a couple more treats.
In terms of funding, it is typical for a large-ish video game Kickstarter to gain around 20% of its total backers within the last few days – even those that end more slowly have about 15% during this time. In extreme cases, one-third or more of the total funding can arrive during the final days. And most of this is in the last day. Each Kickstarter is unique, and Torment gained a lot of attention early, but $4M or more is very attainable.
Only 3 days remain, but much is still possible. We pledge to use every dollar to make Torment better and we thank you for your continued support and for spreading the word!
We have some new add-ons for you to consider, courtesy of Monte Cook and Pat Rothfuss! To learn how add-ons work, check out our tumblr site.
Digital Numenera Torment Sourcebook – $12 (Add-on EXCLUSIVE)
In part because of the success of the Kickstarter, and the clear appeal of Torment, Monte Cook will be adding a tabletop supplement to Torment to the Numenera product line. This will be a roughly 160-page sourcebook that details the major areas of the game, along with optional rules (like the Tides), creatures and items of Torment, and the major characters. Digital copies of this sourcebook are available only as an add-on -- and won't be available at this price outside of this Kickstarter.
Digital Comic by Pat Rothfuss – $8 (Add-on EXCLUSIVE)
Pat Rothfuss will write a digital comic (at least 12 pages) related to the Torment characters and story. It may even be about the companion he will be designing and writing (see below! =) ). It will be released before the game ships. This digital comic is available only as an add-on.
Hi-res Digital Concept Art + Digital Map – $4
The high resolution digital map is now included in the Hi-res Digital Concept Art, so it is now available in the $50 Tier. The hi-res digital concept art collection (including the map) is now also available as an add-on for any Tier.
Torment Will Take a Little More Time
We purposely designed Torment to be modular so that, if we had additional funding, we could easily expand upon the game in ways that would make sense. Your support has exceeded our expectations. It is clear to us that to create as high quality a final product as we desire, and as you deserve, we’re going to want more time than we had in our original schedule.
Many of you have asked if the unexpected support we have received will require us to push back the release date. While we do not yet know what our final development budget will be, we do know that we’ll need a few months past the December 2014 launch date we first proposed at $900,000. (We’ll provide more details about our schedule after we have time to complete our planning following the Kickstarter.) We thank you greatly for providing us enough resources to increase Torment’s scope and quality bar. It’s our plan to use funds to keep the team on the project longer, allowing us to design, iterate, and polish more, to make a game that truly lives up to the Torment name.
Goals Achieved: Pat Rothfuss Joins the Team (and also writes a companion and comic)
We reached our $3.25M Stretch Goal this past weekend, and Pat Rothfuss now joins our ranks. And further, he’s willing to not just write for an area, but to also write one of the companions. I had the pleasure of meeting Pat for the first time this past Sunday night, as he was in the area for Wondercon. He had been reading about Torment’s story and characters and was inspired by an idea he had for a possible companion. I think it sounds very cool, though I told him he’ll have to persuade Colin. =) Pat will write a companion (either this idea or some other – he’s agreeable to whatever Colin deems best) at a new $3.4M Stretch Goal (by the time you read this we’re already almost there!).
We also reached the 6th Fathom as we crossed 60,000 backers. We’re within 1,000 Likes on Facebook to add a 7th.
And yesterday we passed by the $3.35M Stretch Goal as well, and will be adding Lacunae to the Castoff’s Labyrinth. 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.
New Stretch Goals
As we charge through our last few days, we want to outline more of our plans of further improving Torment with additional funds. As before, these Stretch Goals call out specific things we’ll do, but we’ll be improving the game in more ways than just these. While maintaining Torment’s four pillars we’ll be enhancing the game on all fronts –reactivity, features, art, audio, breadth, depth, and polish.
Hall of Lingering Reflections
This gathering place will offer unique opportunities and tools to help you defeat your foes. It is a living museum, a history, a prison. This subterranean vault is a place of memories, a vault of pain and laughter, built by a forgotten power for forgotten reasons. The memories of its denizens are frozen in time, and so they have no knowledge of the passage of the centuries beyond these walls. Its doors open into smaller worlds, pocket dimensions that house these shells in a simulation of their memories. But who lies hidden here? What secrets might you unlock? And is it possible to spirit one of this company away as you seek your creator?
Increased Companion Depth (including Companion Quests)
We've always planned to make interactions with your companions deep and memorable. At $3.75M, we we’ll commit to this further by adding optional side quests unique to each companion that further bolster their character arcs. Learn who sent the jack to the Stichus tunnels in the first place, or maybe discover why the fallen priest is adept at unleashing horror on his foes. Whether you help them face their demons or use their pasts to your advantage is up to you.
Castoff’s Labyrinth: Alternative Exit to Another Part of the Ninth World
A secret portal within the Labyrinth that takes you back to your body but leaves you someplace different than where you left. Will you take it? At this Stretch Goal, the Labyrinth reveals secrets that will allow you to access a new area in the living world, one you wouldn't have been able to access otherwise. (At deeper Fathoms, more of these portals may exist in the crevasses of your mind.)
Enhanced Tide and Legacy System: Number of Legacies increased from 11 to 16
You may recall your Legacy is determined by which Tide or Tides you favor, and that Legacy affects NPC reactions, item bonuses, and your character's Focus. At the start, we had planned only six Legacies, determined solely by your dominant Tide (plus one for when no Tide is dominant). At $3M, we expanded that to 11 Legacies, so that your Legacy would be determined by your TWO strongest Tides (irrespective of which of the two is stronger).
While Adam, Colin, and I were developing the Tides concept over the past months, we envisioned the full system as including 16 Legacies (ten possible pairs, plus five for when one Tide dominates all others, plus one for when no Tides are dominant). We contemplated how we would handle and leverage this robust system to create an unprecedented degree of reactivity. Prior to the Kickstarter, we crushed our dreams as unrealistic and contented ourselves with 6, which we felt still left us with a more intricate system that most games have.
But at this Stretch Goal we can return to our original, ideal vision for what the Tides and Legacies can become. Torment's fourth pillar is Reactivity, Choice, and Real Consequences and while this pillar covers far more than just the Tides, the Tides and Legacy system are at the core of both Torment’s themes and its approach to gameplay. This means even more opportunities for reactivity based on your personal play style, and a deeper, richer experience for you.
Oasis of M'ra Jolios and More Mark Morgan Music
At this Stretch Goal, we’ll also be adding the major city location of the Oasis of M’ra Jolios (the underwater city in the desert whose concept we sent in Update 11 and whose wallpapers are available on our website). And we’ll be adding even more Mark Morgan music, which of course will be included in the game’s digital soundtrack and audio CD rewards. (We’ll want more music to properly convey the mood and atmosphere of the new areas and companions we’ll be adding – including the Oasis.)
More areas, more villains, more NPCs. We've sketched out some of these already—the First Castoff, the Angel of Entropy, the Ruins of Ossiphagan, the crystalline dimension, etc. But at this stretch goal we'll sketch out an even longer, more intricate story than we had planned. A few of the optional areas and ideas we had planned for the core story showed obvious potential for being extended into major subplots, or even adding to the core plot and storyline. We pared back these ideas to be realistic about the game scope - making a great game requires focus and you have to be willing to cull many of your ideas so that the game will be highly polished. At this Stretch Goal, we have a couple specific threads in mind we’ll resurrect and incorporate into the story Colin originally dreamed up, confident that we'll have the resources to really do them justice.
We always intended for Torment to have a journal that would log your discoveries within the Ninth World. Not the kind of Journal that tells you exactly where you need to go next and what you need to do – you are an RPG connoisseur after all, and don’t need us to hold your hand. But what you might like is a journal to catalog your travels and discoveries, one to which you might refer when some past details elude you. One of your suggestions that we really liked was to take the journal quite a bit further. At this Stretch Goal, we’ll do that – we’ll expand the journal, giving you more lore, more creature and character portraits, and more information on interesting/important events as you come across them. As with the rest of the game’s user interface, the journal will be highly customizable to suit your tastes.
The numenera may be beyond our understanding, but they aren't beyond our use. This Stretch Goal will allow you to learn the tricks to combining the numenera into your own custom cyphers and artifacts. This would not be a rote crafting system, but one that includes some puzzle-solving elements (though not what you'd call a mini-game) and that is tied into the world and narrative. This is yet another idea we started to explore early on for the game, but that felt out of scope for our original budget. But at this Stretch Goal, we can confidently commit to restoring this aspect of our design vision as well.
Expanded Reactivity, Length, and Depth
We asked on the forums whether you preferred a deeper, more reactive game, or a longer story. The votes are overwhelmingly for both. The other Stretch Goals outline many of the ways in which we will do this (such as the increase to 16 Legacies), but there are other ambitious options as well. We have many ideas in mind, but will have to examine carefully what will be best for the game and its narrative. At this Stretch Goal, we will pursue some of these other ideas that we never thought would be possible, with a specific focus on reactivity and utilizing the Tides (and the other methods of tracking your decisions and actions) to make the world both larger and even more in tune with the story you'll be creating for your version of the Last Castoff.
In your struggle to find your legacy, there may come a time when you want someplace more permanent to call home (or perhaps not so permanent or not so much a home). At $4.5M, we will implement a player stronghold that you may come across in your journeys. The stronghold will be a playable area, a personal hub and base of operations, and it may come with its own quests or difficulties. What will it be exactly? We’ll explore further to see what makes the most sense for the game and narrative. Some of the ideas (from us and from you) vary from a personal airship to a hidden location in your mind, to an alternative dimensional pocket. What it won't be is your typical cozy home - it will fit the atmosphere of Torment's story and Numenera's world. We’ll surprise you with what it may be (and perhaps its form will even depend upon your choices within the game).
Mur Nominated for Prestigious Writing Award
Last Saturday, it was announced that one of our writers, Mur Lafferty, has been nominated for the 2013 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Past nominees include George R.R. Martin (1973), Orson Scott Card (won, 1978), David Brin (1982), Scott Lynch (2007), and Joe Abercrombie (2008). Congratulations, Mur!
A Brief Technology Test
Yesterday, we showed you a screenshot of an area in the Bloom. Here is a brief lighting and technology test that shows a 3D character on a 2D pre-rendered background. Obviously, this is a very quick test – we’ve only had the screenshot for a few days, after all. =) This was basically Koy's weekend (thanks, Koy!). But if this is what we can do in a couple days with pipelines we’re still developing and without programmer involvement, than you can imagine (we know you all have great imaginations!) what will be possible after we really delve into the project and after months of polishing final areas. We added Mark Morgan’s music separately, but otherwise this little scene is running in Unity.
Have a great day!