Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Photo original
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. You can continue to support Torment by visiting our web site.
74,405 backers pledged $4,188,927 to help bring this project to life.

Updated our Journal (19): Building Foundations

1 like

TL;DR: Less than $94K from the $4.5M Stretch Goal (and Stronghold), what we’re up to (design and planning), Shanna Germain talks about Torment’s setting (video), some Q&A with Adam Heine.

Hi Forgotten Ones,

Hope you've been well!

Stretch Goal and Stronghold

After the Kickstarter ended, we extended the time table for the $4.5M Stretch Goal, which includes the “stronghold” feature, to the end of April. Through last Sunday, April 21st, the PayPal amount was about $217K, bringing our combined total for Stretch Goal purposes to $4,406,094. One week left! Note that if you pledged through Kickstarter, you can still use PayPal to move to a higher Tier or to add add-ons at this time (see “Upgrade Your Donation” and “Add-ons” sections toward the bottom of that page). 

We thought it would be helpful to clarify a bit what we mean by a stronghold for Torment. It would be a location in the game that is “owned” by the PC, but won’t be a cozy home – it would be designed to fit the atmosphere of Torment and the setting of the Ninth World of Numenera (examples include an airship or a dimensional pocket). It would be a playable area and would include its own sorts of quests and challenges. We don’t intend for the stronghold to be a management mini-game, but it may serve gameplay functions as a storehouse, travel hub, and/or “museum” for accomplishments.

While a permanent home can be very relevant to one’s life, many do not leave such a legacy. Thus not only would the stronghold likely be optional, but its exact form within the game might change based on your decisions. It might not be a physical location at all (or even a static one – it may travel with you) and it would be well integrated into the storyline. Colin’s been resurrecting and evolving ideas from when we first considered the feature before culling it, and we hope to be able to run with them.

What Are We Up To?

So what are we doing on Torment right now? Our emphasis for the next while is on planning the project and building a strong foundation for the writers before they begin their work. I'll talk more about the project planning in a future update - for now, I'll explain what types of design work we're focused on.

Colin, with support from Adam and me, is focused on better defining the story and its scope. As we talked about a few times during the campaign, we designed the story (and other aspects of the game) to be highly modular so that we could adapt it to best fit the funding we received. Now that we know our budget for development, we can solidify the scope of the game. We reached the Longer Story Stretch Goal and Colin is looking into how to best incorporate some of the story ideas that we had pruned prior to the Kickstarter. In parallel, we (with Adam leading the charge) are drilling down into the details of how we’ll implement all of the Tidal and other reactivity. We have talked about this reactivity at a high level, but we need to establish more concretely how we will be executing it.

A strong foundation for the writers means more than just the story though. We are also developing templates and examples for area and companion design, as well as conventions and constraints for dialogue. Once we have those, we can implement some preliminary dialogues to test out conversation creation and get a better sense of how the conversations will play.

These early prototypes will be made easier from our work on Wasteland 2, along with some preliminary collaboration with Obsidian and their work on Project Eternity. These prototypes will be critical in efficiently focusing the creativity of our writers. As you recall, we have quite the writing team assembled! Some of our writers are very talented creatively, but haven’t had as much video game development experience. Having clear, well thought-out guidelines will help ensure the work of our decentralized writing team is consistent and perfect for Torment.

This design and planning with a very small team will be continuing over the next few months (along with some technical aspects that we'll talk more about in a later update). This means that another thing we’re doing is conserving funds while we build this foundation - Torment has the benefit of a longer pre-production period (than Wasteland 2) and we want to make the most of it.

Meanwhile, the From the Depths novella writers are beginning work on their stories. Digital or printed copies of these (including also the novellas by Colin and Monte) are rewards for many of you, but they also serve a design purpose. Writing the novellas at this stage will allow the writers to immerse themselves in the Ninth World, and flesh out the nature of each of the five Tides. These novellas will essentially provide the full definition for each Tide, with the protagonist in each being the embodiment of what that Tide means. So the writers will be delving into the true meanings of the Tides and the novellas will help the entire team better understand what each truly encompasses.

Shanna on the Ninth World

Shanna Germain, the lead editor for Numenera and also part of Torment’s writing talent, talks about the Ninth World and our place within it. Most of Torment will take place in the furthest reaches of the known land: Beyond the Beyond. This video also includes a sneak peek of the map of the Ninth World!

Q&A

We released a video Q&A from Adam last Friday about level and skill progression. He was getting over a nasty flu when he recorded this, but don't worry. He's back to his old self now.

And here is a text answer to another popular question from the Q&A UserVoice:

[Asked by Alexman17c] Since a deeper game seems to be preferred over a longer game, how will you implement this design focus? Will it be mostly through bigger and more interconnected dialogue/decision trees, or will it also be through adding more locations within areas (i.e. shops, houses, alleys, etc.) and more NPCs?

Adam responds:

We'll be adding depth in many different ways, but primarily depth is focused on choice and consequences. That is, a given scenario might have 3 or 4 different solutions, and each of those solutions will close certain paths and open others. This will apply in small ways -- within dialogue trees, for example, as you follow one line of dialogue, it will close off others -- and occasionally in larger ways as your choices shape the world around you. Entire areas might be altered or closed off, and new ones opened that would've been unavailable had you made a different choice.

Depth also means going deeper with the companions. For example, additional choices you can make with their characters and your relationship with them, or deeper interactions between the companions themselves, so different combinations of companions in your party will lead to different results.

Ultimately, depth is about making each playthrough unique, since you won't be able to explore every path to its fullest extent. It's about emphasizing the fact that your choices matter.

In case you were curious, like in Wasteland 2, we've intended to allow you to save your game anywhere, except when within a conversation (and possibly during combat). So you will be able to reload after a conversation and try something different. However, in many cases, the full consequences of your actions won’t be clear until long after you made that decision. We’re taking this approach to increase the impact of the reactivity in Torment. You might suspect that long-reaching effects of your actions could make the game challenging to design. That’s true, and we’ll be carefully designing how exactly we achieve these effects. This approach has the side effect of encouraging replaying the game and reducing the urge to “save scum,” but those aren’t our primary motivations.

You may already be familiar with MrBtongue (on YouTube), but in case you aren’t, he posted a video about Choice and Consequence last week that we identify with – in Torment, we are intending what he calls “Type One.” (We also enjoyed his Planescape: Torment commentary. We agree with what he says and what he hopes for from us with Torment: Tides of Numenera.)

Administrative Matters

In our last update, we discussed administrative matters, such as managing your pledge, Amazon payments, and forums/UserVoice, so please look there for that information, or contact us through our Support form if you have specific questions. (Our Support form is better for handling the large volume of messages than the built-in Kickstarter system, so please use it instead.)

We haven’t imported the data from Kickstarter yet and will send out a message when it’s all ready for you to modify your data. (We expect this to still be at least a month away.) But we will be able to combine PayPal upgrades and add-ons with Kickstarter pledges, so adding add-ons now won’t cause problems.

Some expressed concerns about having to register with inXile’s system to manage their pledge. We require this based upon our experience with Wasteland 2 – we developed our system after Wasteland 2’s campaign because Kickstarter does not provide the features and functionality we need to ensure that we can get everyone their rewards. (The quantity of both backers and rewards that we have had for both Wasteland and Torment brought logistic challenges that required a different solution.) The truth is, as much as we wish a separate system wasn’t required, we simply don't have the manpower required to data check 77,000+ entries across both Kickstarter and Paypal (and in some cases, a mixture of the two). So please register so that we can ensure you will receive your rewards. (And thanks to the more than 10,000 who registered after the last update!) We appreciate your understanding and are sorry for the extra step and inconvenience.

Camelot Unchained and Divinity: Original Sin

For those of you who are interested in MMORPGs (or just the crowdfunding phenomenon), you might check out Camelot Unchained, which focuses on realm versus realm gameplay. They have some interesting new design ideas that innovate on MMOs and will provide a unique experience. City State Entertainment’s founder, Mark Jacobs, is contributing $2M of his own money to the project and they are supporting the Kicking it Forward initiative, pledging to donate 5% of their finished product’s profits to other Kickstarters. (Camelot Unchained will be a subscription game, not free-to-play.) Their Kickstarter is doing well at over 2/3 funded, but still needs a strong finish to reach their funding goal over the next week.

Another Kickstarter you might be interested in is Larian Studios’ Divinity: Original Sin. It’s an RPG with turn-based combat that supports both cooperative and competitive multiplayer (as well as solo gameplay). The game is well on its way to completion and is targeting a release date later this year, so you can already see some gameplay footage of it. They’ve funded already, but have almost 3 days left to reach additional stretch goals.


 

Our next update (in a few weeks) will include how we did toward the $4.5M Stretch Goal, but if you want the final verdict on May 1st, please check out tumblr as we’ll post there as soon as we know.

Thanks! Until next time,

Kevin Saunders
Project Lead

João Varandas likes this update.

Comments

    1. Creator Steve Dozniak on May 4, 2013

      Hey, update the final stretch goal as achieved, inXile, will ya?

    2. Creator Marcus on May 1, 2013

      Once again, thank you to inXile for supporting Camelot Unchained. We couldn't ask for a better 24 hours so far and the word you guys put out for CU means a lot. I'm truly excited for Torment as well as Camelot Unchained.

    3. Creator ProtonAx on April 26, 2013

      To the statements "within dialogue trees, for example, as you follow one line of dialogue, it will close off others" and "in many cases, the full consequences of your actions won’t be clear until long after you made that decision" I must applaud. Historically game developers have been too afraid of creating content that not every player will see to actually make choices matter during the course of the game (or just as bad have lazily mirrored the state on each branch of the choice so that the choice is cosmetic at best). I think it is high time that games made choices matter beyond one line of dialog at the game’s end, or the way your allied faction(s) dresses.

    4. Creator Irfan Umar on April 25, 2013

      You want us to register at inXile? I only just noticed!

    5. Creator Silver on April 25, 2013

      Good update. :)

    6. Creator Glen Bodor on April 25, 2013

      Would love to upgrade my pledge, but to go from the $110 physical to the $275 physical is just an insane jump. Would've been happy to double and add $110, but $165 is too much. Sorry, I hope the Stronghold succeeds.. It's so damn close.

    7. Creator Adrià Amor on April 24, 2013

      Vote for a Shanna Germain audio novel as a special ad-don to achieve the Stronghold!
      https://torment.uservoice.com/forums/197950-game-ideas/suggestions/3893151-shanna-germain-audio-novel-as-a-special-ad-don-to-
      As she has proved in the last update 19, not only is she a skilled writer but an hypnotic narrator with her amazing voice half sexy and half lovely and charming.
      I think that it would be amazing to enjoy the story and atmosphere of Numenera while traveling on a bus or lying on our beds. It would specially became a perfect special ad-don to boost the pledges in this final week and achieve $4,5M Stronghold Stretch Goal.

    8. Creator Sam Gem on April 24, 2013

      The girl is looking really good! I mean the game! I mean both!

    9. Creator Alex the Gamer on April 24, 2013

      Thanks for answering my question!!
      -Alexman17C

    10. Creator FightingFurball on April 24, 2013

      @Sciborg 9000:
      Really?
      Damn I hoped for a bit more than the single kiss of MC and Annah in PS:T. Which was pretty neat to be honest but really lacked in a follow up.
      For that matter neither Neeshka nor Haer'Dalis got much lovin' either... What's up with putting the Tieflings down?!
      They deserve more love!

    11. Creator inXile entertainment on April 24, 2013

      For general clarification (following up on what Thomas said below), PayPal will continue to be an option for pledging, add-ons, or upgrading your pledge even after the end of this month. The April 30th deadline is just for purposes of determining what we will do regarding stretch goals.

    12. Creator RL on April 24, 2013

      @Chris. Shanna is Lead Editor on Monte's Numenera RPG so it makes a lot of sense to have her involved in this as well, she also apparently writes some pretty good SFF fiction (including erotic as you point out) which certainly can't hurt :)

    13. Creator Marcin Czaplicki on April 24, 2013

      yay Adam Heine replayed by video to question asked by my brother, not often I can be so proud of my younger brother ;p

    14. Creator Sciborg 9000 on April 24, 2013

      @Chris: I think Germain makes an interesting addition to a diverse writing cast. Makes me more confident I'll be surprised.

      Of course, we already know ME sexual consumation isn't planned so Germain's erotica talents may take a back seat to her SFF skills.

    15. Creator Chris on April 24, 2013

      http://www.amazon.com/Shanna-Germain/e/B008A8U6VC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

      Not the kind of credentials I would expect for an RPG (maybe for the Witcher, but not for the inXile folks).

    16. Creator Mark Knapp on April 24, 2013

      Thanks for linking over to Camelot Unchained. That project seems pretty awesome too.

    17. Creator Lucas He on April 24, 2013

      looks like you try to create a crazy fantasy rpg in a just common fantasy world, iam a bit disappointed.

    18. Creator Lucas He on April 24, 2013

      the world looks so .... normal.

    19. Creator Theobeau:OOoE\Mad man with a box/Exiled on April 24, 2013

      It's great to see inXile continue to keep the community update with the progress of the project.

      Re: @Brent Ahern below: + 1 agree with his sentiments entirely.

      inXile: you know you want to do it!

    20. Creator Shane-o - WoOS on April 24, 2013

      AWESOME!! I had guessed earlier on Shanna would be on the team when they said one other person would be joining them, and I'm so glad I was right! :D

    21. Creator like i care on April 24, 2013

      Divinity OS is not multiplayer. It's single player or cooperative dual-player. Basically the game can be completed either playing alone, or with a friend, each of you controlling one of the 2 main characters. It has lots of C&C, dynamic interaction between the 2 characters, a live world and TBS combat. Check it out, you should all like it.

    22. Creator Johan V. Damgaard on April 24, 2013

      Damn you, Kevin. Not only do you link to tvtropes, you link to a tvtropes article with a link in it to Cracked.
      Do you want me to lose my entire day, is that your plan?!

    23. Creator Stefan >> DEXYD << on April 24, 2013

      WOOS!
      Great update.

    24. Creator Kingslayer on April 24, 2013

      Thanks for another great update. I swear, with all these amazing games being funded through Kickstarter, the best publisher in the world may soon be us, the gamers.

      As for the Divinity OS (abbreviating it like that makes it sound like something God has installed on his computer) I always think its funny how traditional RPG fans are always so offended by multiplayer. Actual pen-and-paper RPGing is multiplayer, guys!

    25. Creator JDL | Stranded | http://kck.st/1uRFZsE on April 24, 2013

      I've been waiting to watch that video since I got the email at work.

      The wait was totally worth it. So many tasty morsels. Dat map... Mmm. It's so pretty!

    26. Creator Brent Ahern on April 24, 2013

      You know that voice in your head saying...

      "Man the fans are so great and they got so close to that final stretch goal, we should just give it to them regardless if they make it or not."

      LISTEN TO THAT VOICE

    27. Creator Kentauroi on April 24, 2013

      A new DFA episode, a new hefty Torment update, and a new Project Eternity update all in one day. I must of done something practically saintlike today to get this kind of karmic backlash.

      It's nice to get some more details on the setting and how you'll implement choice, and it's great to see a MrBtongue shoutout Him, Campster and the Extra Credits guys always have an interesting perspective on games and game development. Hopefully we achieve the Stronghold stretch goal, because the prospect of carrying my sanctum around in my pocket sounds intriguing.

    28. Creator Dustin on April 24, 2013

      Take your time!

    29. Creator Phlegmish on April 24, 2013

      Looking good. Also, thanks for plugging D:OS. The current cRPG revival is truly a wonderful thing.

    30. Creator Maric on April 24, 2013

      Looking forward to Torment! its going to be incredible!!! Kudos and karma for life for graciously plugging Divinity and Camelot Unchained in your update. As a backer of all three projects, Camelot Unchained is the only one not yet funded, and this game needs to be made. I as well as the other backers are grateful for the mention. We've worked so hard to spread the word, but have a long ways to go in one weeks time!
      Looking forward to your next Kickstarter!

    31. Creator Roman - Jagged Weresheep of Sin on April 24, 2013

      ty guys for mentioning sin. Really lookin forward for those great rpgs maaaan end of 2013 and 2014 will be AWESOME! i hope my wife wont leave me.

    32. Creator Zaresh on April 24, 2013

      Nice to see you giving Camelot: Unchained some love, it really needs to get funded. Why couldn't DOMINUS get made?! We need better MMOs!

    33. Creator Manaf - Tormented Exile on April 24, 2013

      Please vote for Call Of Cthulhu as the next Kickstarter Project

      Consider this... one of the most popular tag besides #rpg in Kickstarter is #cthulhu. There have been around 35 Cthulhu related campaigns that have been successful so far in kickstarter(Including, I kid you not, ”Cthulhu Knitted Ski Mask”). So you already have an existing fan base in Kickstarter eco system besides RPG fans to recruit into the campaign.
      We never had a proper horror CRPG ever(I am not counting Vampire:The Masquerade)....
      It should be everything what made H.P Lovecraft great. The story should be very adult and nihilistic. Sanity needs to be a major system and it could be even be necessary to be a little insane to survive the elder gods. Instead of fighting we can utilize investigation,sorcerous ritual(this should not be easy like D&D and needs to have a puzzle element to cast it and only in specific situations))and conversation(Like in Torment). Having some turn based combat with some cultists and deep ones utilizing guns would be awesome as well.
      We also never had a proper 30’s era RPG ever. Consider the characters and things you could show in a thought provoking manner.Cults, Organized Crime, Racism ,Sexism, Jingoism all the existing human horrors along with the Elder evils from beyond time and space.(Plus lots of people smoking)
      For adapting to a CRPG system instead of utilizing the original system you guys can also consider the Gumshoe system from Trail Of Cthulhu.It is more investigative and might be better suited for a CRPG
      By that time you guys would be experts in Unity and creating more 2.5D Graphics piece of cake
      Get a few horror writers like Joe R. Lansdale, Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker(he already worked on a few games,so he would be already familiar with the medium) included and i think you could make at least 6 or 7 million out of the campaign.
      By that time most of the Kickstarted RPGs like Wasteland 2, Shadowrun Returns, Project Eternity would have come out so people complaining about Kickstarting another game while the first one has not been delivered would have been silenced by then.

      https://torment.uservoice.com/forums/197950-game-ideas/suggestions/3845992-call-of-cthulhu-as-the-next-kickstarter-project

    34. Creator Devin Goddard on April 24, 2013

      I still want a way to use the WL2 account that I already registered as my registration with inXile for T:ToT. Any chance that's gonna happen?

    35. Creator fret_burn on April 23, 2013

      Came here to complain about your describing Divinity as a "multiplayer rpg..." only to find you've already repented of your heinous crime. Good boy Torment!

    36. Creator TLPS on April 23, 2013

      @Thomas Beekers

      Great. Thanks for the info.

    37. Creator Thomas Beekers on April 23, 2013

      @Jame Retief
      Your Kickstarter pledge won't show up until we import all our Kickstarter data, no. After we import Kickstarter data the amounts would be combined and you can pick a new tier. You can wait to upgrade too, if you like, coz...

      @Thiago Lourenço Pacheco Sad
      Pledges for the public will be closed at the end of the month and changed into a preorder system, but existing backers will have access to our backers-only store and still be able to upgrade whenever you like.

      @Clocknova
      The pledges on the inXile account are not "the company's", we don't have a company account, they belong to one of our devs who can pledge what he prefers. Brian has backed Divinity OS, as have several others of our team (like me). But there's no "company pledge".

    38. Creator TLPS on April 23, 2013

      One of the best update so far. The torment is now taking shape within my mind. In the good sense of the word, for sure. :P Keep up the excellent work guys, I can't imagine a best way to treat the players like you're doing, with good and clean information about the project.
      I have a question though. If it responded before, or if it stupid, i'm sorry, but: After the april 30th the paypal are not counting in the last stretch goal, but will still be possible to make pledges? Like, I really want to enhance my pledge, but not this month, just in the next one. Thanks, congrats and great work for you guys!

    39. Creator fredgiblet on April 23, 2013

      "We don’t intend for the stronghold to be a management mini-game"

      :( I actually kind of like the idea of owning, maintaining and managing a stronghold with land, like in Dragon Age: Awakening or Baldur's Gate (2?) or that one Neverwinter Nights game.

      On the other hand I think it's probably better to not include that unless it's a large focus.

    40. Creator Jame Retief on April 23, 2013

      @Adam (or any Torment team member that can answer) - I'm still unclear on upgrading tiers. I pledged on Kickstarter for the Oddity Collector Physical Tier, and now I would like to upgrade the physical tier to the Cypher level. If I pledge the difference using the Paypal option, will my previous pledge from KS be recognized and the combined total available for me to choose the new tier? Or will I have to wait until the KS funds are sorted out on the inXile website?

    41. Creator Adam Heine on April 23, 2013

      *BEING developed concurrently.

      Guess I wrote beyond too many times.

    42. Creator Eero Salonen on April 23, 2013

      Nice update, I hope that you keep them coming :)

    43. Creator Adam Heine on April 23, 2013

      @Torment Superfan -- Part of the reason is because the Steadfast/Beyond and our "Beyond the Beyond" are beyond developed concurrently. So putting Torment outside of Numenera's main setting gives us more freedom and speeds up development because we don't have to run every single thing by Monte and/or keep our game current with changes Monte makes while he's developing (it also speeds up development of the tabletop game).

      But that having been said, there will be connections to the Steadfast and/or the Beyond (remember, Monte will be doing some writing for the game too; we expect his contribution will be tied more directly to what he's been working on these many months). It's just that our main story will be in our own part of the Ninth World.

    44. Creator Adrià Amor on April 23, 2013

      Hey guys. Amazing update but I'm a bit worried about the saving limitation. Not for preventing me from always getting the best result trough trial and error but for making me imposible to freeze the game state and continue it in another time. What if I suddenly have to leave and I'm in a middle of an important combat or dialog? I would like to have the option to keep my progress in those cases

    45. Creator MattWC on April 23, 2013

      Very pleased to hear about deferred consequences. Quicksave/quickload lends itself to abuse (lockpicking anyone?), to the point where I'm sure designers factor it in. I like it that I won't be able to game the story so easily.

    46. Creator Mike Loftus on April 23, 2013

      @Torment Superfan: I see it as if the computer game didn't exist, there wouldn't be anything beyond the beyond. :) Why would you be upset that the world is MORE fleshed-out than it would have been? Besides, there's a city that is filled with portals that eats people... what else could you ask for? The Steadfast sounds boring...

    47. Creator J. "Tech" Priest on April 23, 2013

      In the video Shanna said something about going into the Beyond but I recall inXile weren't sure about going into the Steadfast yet. But I think that is all subject for fruther discussion I ope.

    48. Creator Dynamic Adventures Inc. on April 23, 2013

      Very excited about the CRPG backed this and Monte's Pen and PDF version as well.

    49. Creator SBS - Custodian of The Obsidian Order on April 23, 2013

      Nice MrBtongue shout out, he's one of the best game commentators around.

    50. Creator Clocknova on April 23, 2013

      Good to hear a shoutout for Original Sin, but don't you guys think it's time you made a pledge yourselves? I don't see it listed among your Kickstarter pledges. Just sayin'.