Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 5, 2013.

Update #21

Updated our Journal (21): Books & Writers

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TL;DR: Numenera books shipping; writers meet; crafting a screenshot; designing dialogue; programmer joins the team; new concept art by Chang Yuan.

Hello Forgotten Ones,

Thomas here. After a period of relative quiet, we have a really expansive update for you today, with a lot to talk about: from Colin’s report on the writers meet last week to Gavin discussing the art process of the game to Adam talking dialogue design.

But first an important bit of maintenance: we have finished importing and processing Kickstarter information into our account management system. You will now be able to input your shipping address and see the amount you donated, though we have not yet implemented tier and add-on management. We’ll let you know as soon as its full functionality is implemented.

A week ago we posted that we’re closing the tiers eligible for the Numenera Player’s Guide or Corebook, both digital and physical: that is, digital tiers $75 and $125+, and physical tiers $250+. Upgrading your tier will not be possible, either, but you can contact us directly through the contact inXile form on your account, if you have any questions or requests, or if you just feel like talking! After the account management system is complete, we’ll reopen higher tier options.

The Numenera books are coming out very soon (August 14th) and we’d like to get all our backers in on the first shipment. For this reason, if you’re receiving the physical books, we need your address! Our initial deadline was the 19th of July, and we sent out an email to all eligible backers to please input their info. We’ve gotten addresses from the majority of you now, so thanks to all who have given us their info! For those who haven’t, we’re happy to be able to offer an extension on the deadline: if you give us your address by July 25th we should still be able to include you in the first batch of Numenera book shipments.

Writers Meet

Last week marked a milestone event for Torment: Tides of Numenera, as we got many of the writers together in one room to discuss the game. This type of preparation is what preproduction is about – our schedule allows us to have these discussions and define the game before the production team rolls off of Wasteland and onto Torment.

Monte Cook gave an advanced rundown of Numenera for everyone (and has gathered some of his thoughts in this excellent blog post) and Colin McComb presented the current version of the story, and then the group brainstormed ideas, iterated on plot points, and discussed processes and design conventions.

We’ve been posting a few tidbits about it on our tumblr, some photos of the meet, the team in a group shot, and George Ziets shared his thoughts on the process on Formspring. To give a more complete picture, here’s a full report from Colin:

We've been planning this story meeting for months now - we started putting the gears in motion the day after the Kickstarter ended, in fact. Kevin and I sat in my hotel and plotted out the steps necessary to ensure that we'd have a fruitful and creative meeting. To that end, for the past three months I've been working on various story docs. My primary outputs for the story docs (apart from helping Kevin and Adam direct, design, and define various templates, briefs, and assorted other documents) have been:
- story flowcharts
- area flowcharts
- area list, with areas prioritized and sized appropriately in order to get an approximate idea of art resources required to develop the game environments
- companion summaries
- summary of the game's overarching story, themes, characters, and special features
- longer story doc that acts in part as a location list

Kevin, Adam, Chris Avellone, and I shared around a number of these prior to the meeting so that we could establish a baseline for all our writers. The above list makes it look like a relatively small output, but in fact each of these has gone through significant revision, iteration, and reiteration (for instance, the first long story doc was ~30 pages and a huge [perhaps unwieldy] list of discrete locations). After review and reprioritization, I trimmed the original list to the essentials for the story, focusing not just on "cool!" but "cool and useful!".

Our goals for the story meeting were:
- introduce, iterate, and improve the story
- present our overall creative vision to the writers rolling in at this stage
- present some of our design decisions and tools
- develop comfort with our tools and procedures
- discuss our reactivity options and constraints
- and more.

The first order of business on Monday morning was a final briefing with Kevin and then a quick presentation of the Ninth World and of the Torment story to the Wasteland 2 team. Monte gave them an introduction to his world, and then I ran through a hugely abbreviated version of the game's story. At 9 am, the assembled writers adjourned to a small (did I say small? probably more accurate to say, "kind of cramped and definitely warm") conference room and began plotting in earnest.

And wow, did we plot.

The first day was focused on presentation: I drew the map on the whiteboard and outlined the story in broad strokes, delving into specific details at crucial points. We defined story terms, and we broke down the companions to reassemble them again. Nathan and Pat introduced their companions to the group to general admiration, and we figured ways to make those companions work within the bounds of the story as defined so far and within the party dynamic. We outlined the Tide mechanics, Legacies, and began to discuss the Meres from a story perspective. It was, as Monte described it, a day that was primarily about creative output, in which this collection of gifted writers offered ideas and solutions for a variety of issues.

The second day was focused more on input - which is to say: we watched, listened, absorbed, and asked questions. We began to discuss technical area design, using Meres designed by Tony and Adam to outline ways to use the conversation editor and describe some critical gameplay features that we hope to implement. Jeremy Kopman, a scripter and designer, presented a walkthrough of the Obsidian dialogue editor. Tony and George took over after that, giving us a technical conversation design presentation that drew on their combined decades of experience in the industry.

Day three was a combination of the two. We tackled the question of how to implement and design the Meres. What is it that makes these compelling? What story and gameplay incentives do players have to explore these? How do they combine with the pursuit of the Angel and the urgency mechanic we've outlined in the past? And do we even want to call the Angel of Entropy by that name? Because we're still discussing these internally, I'm not going to commit to anything, but I think we came away from the final day with a new and exciting perspective on the future of this game.

From a purely personal standpoint, this was one of the highlights of my career. A free and frank discussion with titans of the industry, with everyone purely committed to the project and no egos clashing and no one with anything to prove, this was precisely what we'd hoped to accomplish - a thorough iteration of the story and its associated pieces, and a heightened dedication to making sure this game is a truly unique experience.

We didn't bring everyone out for this first meeting because we're staging our writers -- we want to improve on our processes by using some of our current team to test them out before everyone is involved. We want to make sure we've got a solid footing for our existing writers as well, and want to ensure that each of them gets the attention they deserve for the areas they're creating.

We did feel a keen lack of Adam during the meeting, sadly. As he’s been deeply involved with the project since day one, his presence would have added a lot, but circumstances prevented him from joining us. We tried to make up for this by inserting, "Adam is awesome!" comments where appropriate, but given the time difference, the only time we could have caught him would have been at 7 am or at the very tail end of the day. Next time. Next time we'll have him.

I'd like to thank Chris Avellone, Monte Cook, Steve Dobos, Tony Evans, Matt Findley, Shanna Germain, Jeremy Kopman, Nathan Long, Monty Markland, Pat Rothfuss, Kevin Saunders, and George Ziets for contributing their valuable insight to these three days. It really was fantastic.

Crafting a Screenshot

My name is Gavin Glenn-McDowell and I am an environment artist here at inXile Entertainment. Currently I am spearheading the environment art pre-production on Torment: Tides of Numenera. I would like to update you on our current progress, as well as some behind the scene peeks of how we plan to make some of the areas and environments for the game.

I think that we are all aware of how unique and well-crafted the Numenera setting is. I speak for the entire art team here at inXile when I say we are incredibly grateful and excited to work on this project. Creating this game will require an immense amount of creativity, which is a good thing. Even though the theme and aesthetic are extremely interesting, what is even more exciting is the methods and technology we plan on using to create our environments.

In order to start the pre-production properly we returned to the Kickstarter screenshots and videos for insight and deconstruction. Peeling back the layers of the Kickstarter art efforts has been eye opening and informative. We created a technique for making backgrounds that we haven’t seen before and that we are continuing to explore.

Presently, we are evaluating the overall process and working on some experiments and tests to ensure that when production starts, all the kinks have been worked out and the entirety of the team is ready to go.

2D pre-rendered games have been around for a long time, arguably since the beginning. The goal has always been the same: to create a 2D image with as much believability and visual story telling as possible. With Torment: Tides of Numenera we decided to reset the way we think about creating those 2D images. The tools have changed a lot over the years, but some of the newest advancements in production software have allowed us to really break tradition in 3D game development. One of the drawbacks to 3D has always been getting those games to run on typical machines. On a typical 3D development cycle, an artist spends about 30-40% of their time optimizing and preparing assets to run in real time. Returning to a 2D pre-rendered production with modern tools has resulted in some new ideas about the way artists work and present their efforts. With the technique and methods we have created so far, our artists will be spending more of their time creating content as opposed to optimizing it. This purely creative process means that we can really push the environment art to levels unseen in classic 2D pre-rendered games.

With some fancy software and talented artists, we are discovering that the amount of detail we can achieve is astounding and the impact this has on the background art makes the game far richer and beautiful than we have previously seen. The content created during the Kickstarter was just the tip of the iceberg.

The next couple of months will be exciting for both the project and art department as we further develop and refine the visual development of the game. I hope to provide you with further updates and insights in the future. Until then, here is a dissection of one of the screenshots illustrating the process (full size). Thank you again for all your support. This wouldn’t be possible without backers like you.

On Dialogue Design

Adam here. I was not able to join the team for the writer’s meet, which is a shame, but Colin’s writeup on it does give me the perfect opportunity to talk a bit about something I’ve been spending a lot of time on: working with the conversation editor we’re using for Torment (obtained through our arrangement with our friends at Obsidian Entertainment, with some of our own modifications planned). I've been using it to write example dialogues and establish our dialogue guidelines for the game.

Conversations in Tides of Numenera will be a lot like what you remember from Planescape: Torment. The NPC will tell you something (maybe a lot of something—we're thinking up to 300 characters per NPC node), and you'll have a list of responses to choose from. Some of those responses might include actions to perform, skills to use, or telling the truth vs. lying.

What options you have available, and what the NPC says in response, can depend on many different things: what you've said or done in the past, how you've customized your character, who you choose to travel with, etc. (I recently wrote a post on basic reactive dialogue, if you're interested in how that works.)

And there are some design aspects unique to Tides of Numenera. There are the Tides, of course, which are shaped by your choices, and which affect what certain NPCs say and do. These work very similarly to how alignment worked in PST, but they're more complex. We're working through what those complexities mean now, and how they’ll impact dialogue design, exploration, and combat.

Using skills will be different, too (side note: I say "will," but we're still in pre-production, so any of this can change). Say there's a difficult task you want to attempt—lying to a prison guard or deciphering the text on an ancient puzzle box. Typically, in D&D-style RPGs for example, if you don't have the associated skill, your chances of success are very low, or you might not be able to attempt the task at all. In Numenera, all such tasks are treated the same, and anyone can try them. Training in a related skill or skills will lower the difficulty of the task, but even if you're untrained, you can still apply Effort.

Effort is a concept from the Numenera tabletop game. Essentially you spend points out of the appropriate stat pool (Might, Speed, or Intellect) to lower the difficulty of a task. The idea is, even if you've never been trained in lock picking, a very smart or dexterous character can, with some Effort, increase their chances of cracking a lock.

Your stat pools are renewable with rest. And of course, all of this is balanced. If you're trying to crack a combination lock created by a culture that died out millions of years ago, which requires a combination of smells rather than integers, well . . . you'd have to have a high-level character specialized in the task, who spent all the Intellect they had on Effort, just to make the task possible. That character would still have to roll ridiculously well.

Effort provides more options to customize your character and tackle obstacles. If there's a task you want to attempt—even if it's something normally contrary to your character build—you still have a chance of succeeding if you can use enough Effort. On the other hand, someone who has trained or specialized in that sort of task will have a greater chance of success, and will maintain that edge in similar tasks throughout the game.

I hinted at die rolls above, which brings me to something else I want to share with you. Active skills—that is, skills you choose to use and have the option to apply Effort to—will be done with die rolls. In dialogue, these skills will usually be things like Persuasion, Deception, and Intimidation, although other skills might find uses in dialogue as well. In some cases, if you fail a task, Effort can also be spent to gain a second chance.

But we have a whole category of Lore skills that represent your knowledge. These skills will enable certain response options in dialogue, giving you choices that a player without the skill wouldn't have. When this happens, there won't be a die roll, because the skill is being used without requiring effort on your part. The unlocked response options are just there.

You won't know a special response has been unlocked until after you choose it. I'll explain why in a second. Take this example:
NPC: "Here's the device Colin gave me, though I haven't opened it yet. I want my wife to have that honor." He shows you a capsule made of synthsteel. Shadows seem to slide off it, making it appear brighter than everything else in the room. It bears strange, jagged markings.

1. "Where did he find it?"
2. "Do you know what these markings are?"
3. "I think these markings mean 'Death'."
4. "Do you mind if I keep it for a bit to examine it?"
5. Open it.

Response #3 would only be available if you're trained in Lore: Linguistics. But that skill would only be mentioned after you choose it. The reason for this is because many RPG players—ourselves included—have been trained that specially marked or specially unlocked responses are always going to be the best ones. And so we choose them without thinking.

Of course, you'll eventually be able to figure out which responses are available due to your skills, like when your linguistically inclined character is always deciphering texts, but you'll have to read and think about the responses to do so. More importantly, the Lore-based responses won't always be the best options, just different ones.

If you select Response #3, for example, you might find that admitting your knowledge to this NPC means you don't have the capsule for later:
3. "I think these markings mean 'Death'."

NPC: [Lore: Linguistics] "What?!" He glares at the inscription, as though anger alone will enable him to read it. Then he tucks the capsule back in its bag. "That bastard. I'll get Colin back for this, believe me!"

If you add the concept of Truths and Lies to this scenario, things can get even more interesting:
1. "Where did he find it?"
2. "Do you know what these markings are?"
3. (Truth) "I think these markings mean 'Death'."
4. (Lie) "I think these markings mean 'Wealth'."
5. "Do you mind if I keep this for a bit to examine it?"
6. Open it.

Did I mention we're implementing those, too?

Team Addition

After a significant search, we found a programmer to join our ranks. Steve Dobos will join us on August 5th (and was able to come down early to attend the story meeting). We interviewed numerous talented programmers and had a number of very promising candidates. Steve came to our attention in a roundabout way – he wasn’t initially applying for the position. Steve was one of the first people Kevin ever hired, bringing him on board Shattered Galaxy in 2000 as a technical designer. Steve contacted Kevin recently, seeking only a recommendation as he began a new job search. But it turned out that he was a serendipitous fit for our open position. Over the last decade, Steve had expanded greatly as a programmer and had substantial experience in both C# and Unity. We expect his strong 3D math skills to be a big help in solving the various challenges we face in pursuing the approach Gavin discussed.

And it just so happens that Planescape: Torment is one of Steve’s favorite games – in fact, he had it in hand, having just purchased it, the same day that he and Kevin met more than thirteen years ago.

Interesting Kickstarters

There’s a pair of Kickstarters currently ongoing we’d like to give a shoutout. Both are part of Kicking It Forward, and thus pledges to spend 5% of their eventual profit (not of crowdfunded money raised) on promising Kickstarter projects.

First is Satellite Reign, a real-time, class-based cyberpunk strategy game from the creators of Syndicate Wars, and a spiritual sequel to that title. They recently released an engine gameplay visualization to give you a better idea of the game, and are now nearly funded with 5 days to go. Take a look and see if you want to help them get over the hump!

Another Kickstarter that appeals to our old-school and post-apocalyptic sensibilities is the vehicular combat game with RPG elements, MotorGun, which returns a lot of the old Auto Duel concepts. Long-time inXile employee Maxx Kaufman is one of the leads of the title, making a great team along with Mike Arkin, Dave Jaffe, Zack Norman and Scot Kramarich, among others. Check out the gameplay footage and their pitch and see if it’s up your alley.

Other News

There has been some great Torment: Tides of Numenera coverage since the last update, in particular this in-depth interview with Kevin Saunders and Adam Heine discussing theme, systems and combat. Another good read is this GameStar interview with Colin McComb, Kevin Saunders, and Adam Heine talking Kickstarter and Torment: Tides of Numenera details.

The PC Gamer UK August issue has a multi-page spread on “Torment Reborn”. A piece of it discussing choice and consequence specifically is available for you online.

Last but not least, we have a new concept art piece for you from the incredibly talented Chang Yuan, “The Forge of the Night Sky”, wallpapers available from our website. It shows the Ruins of Ossiphagan, as described in the third Kickstarter update:
The erupting volcanoes and surging lava fill the air with acrid smoke and choking fumes. The bones of an enormous beast lie sprawled across the obsidian fields, its ribs splayed open as if it had been torn open by some unimaginable predator. The ossified bones have been hollowed out as homes by some intrepid or foolish citizens, and the wind howls through the openings in a mournful whistle like a giant flute. In the wastes beyond, creatures of flame and focused minds trawl the lava and skim its valuable nutrients.

Until next time!

Thomas Beekers
Line producer

TOD likes this update.

Comments

    1. Order_of_eternity.small

      Creator Gary Riley, Tormented Grand Cipher of ∞ on September 21, 2013

      I still have not received mine - i am beginning to worry :-(

      I did update my address and everything

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      Creator Gonchi on September 17, 2013

      Haven't received mine yet. Waiting game sucks.

    3. Missing_small

      Creator Kat on September 16, 2013

      Got mine on Friday, I live in Alaska. Dat bubble wrap! (books were very awesome too :3 )

    4. Photo.small

      Creator Francis Bolduc on September 12, 2013

      I finally received my books today.
      Thanks!

    5. Photo.small

      Creator Francis Bolduc on September 9, 2013

      From Canada, still waiting for my books too.

    6. Order_of_eternity.small

      Creator Gary Riley, Tormented Grand Cipher of ∞ on September 8, 2013

      hey guys, from UK here, still waiting for my book?

    7. Missing_small

      Creator Mark-12 on September 6, 2013

      I received my Corebook and Player's Guide. Thank you, guys, for the amazing work!

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      Creator Mark O'Toole on September 1, 2013

      Bit late reading this, but that stuff about the dialogue is fantastic.

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      Creator Scott on August 30, 2013

      I know there was a delay on the shipping of the Main Kickstarter books for Numenara, I'd guess that the books related to this Kickstarter will go out once all the original orders have shipped. I hope to see my second set arrive by early October at the latest. Looking forward to more info on everything, and the final release of Wasteland 2, can't wait on my digital copy of that to tide me over till Torment. :)

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      Creator Yaron on August 26, 2013

      Hi, is there any update on the state of the books?

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      Creator Dynamic Adventures Inc. on July 28, 2013

      Amazing update can't wait for this game!

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      Creator David Nemeskey on July 28, 2013

      I LOVE the idea of Lore skills. Finally! However, please either make them regular skills where the level actually matters, or just have a different system for them, because I know I wasted lots of skill points on them in Dragon Wars, not knowing they were essentially boolean. :) Anyway, I support the idea very much, it's something that really set Dragon Wars apart from the RPGs I've played -- the apparent depth of the world and the promise that with the Lore skills you can somehow be more involved.

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      Creator Sander Vanden Bempt on July 26, 2013

      Damn, I usually don't read these long type of posts, but am I happy I did! This is truly shaping up to be one of thé must have games for me. The dialogue system particularly seems awesome, combined with the effort. U guys are, for what I can see, doing a completely amazing job on this game and I truly hope it will trumph the first one. My hopes are set very very high! Love it

    14. Missing_small

      Creator Willie on July 25, 2013

      Thanks for the very informative update. I echo the sentiment of hiding the "stats" in dialogue trees; in fact I would go as far as to never show the stats at all (even after you have made the dialogue choice or some other choice). PST never showed you something like this "Snap his neck. [Dexterity > 18]" or "Your philosophy is faulty, because.... [Intelligence > 18]" and we don't need it now. I don't want Tides of Numenera to turn into a min-max game. I don't mind the developers including such information in a guide or manual, in fact I would like to perhaps after having played the game see what stats influence what choices, but not WHILST I am in the game; that just breaks immersion and reminds you it is a video-game with stats. Don't get me wrong though; I am a big min-maxer and love stats in my RPGs (and to power game), but this is one game (just as with PST) where I suppress that urge and where I don't want the game displaying such information. This is after all a deep RPG that is story driven, not a game where you try to get as powerful characters as possible to maximise DPS/killing efficiency.

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      Creator Robert Cote on July 25, 2013

      I am very excited for this game! You guys are awesome! Keep up the good work and updates!

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      Creator Ignasi Viñas Birba on July 25, 2013

      @Mikhael Blackthorne remember that Torment is dialogue oriented, so it has sense to hide those tags to make decisions less mechanic and to bound them more to what the player whants instead to what gives them the most desirable outcome.
      On the other hand, the combat is all about strategy, so you need to know exactly the effect that skills will do to your enemy to plan your moves wisely and to bring strategy near the player more than intuition.
      To sum up my point of view, while dialogue must be more player oriented than strategy oriented actuall combat has to be otherwise, to maintain the importance of the R on RPG and the strategy of combat. Otherwise, it would make combat frustrating and dialogue monotone.

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      Creator Baudolino05 on July 25, 2013

      *under the hood

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      Creator Baudolino05 on July 25, 2013

      @Mikhael Blackthorne: "So if you will be hiding dialogue tags I assume you will also hide things like the damage numbers we are doing in combat and the health of enemy combatants? We wouldn't want players to know what effects their character creation choices are having would we? People might only make smart decisions."

      Frankly I can see how skill tags in dialogues and other kinds of info in combats are related. In the first case, a skill tag often points to a "to win line", which isn't desirable feature in an RPG. During combats, knowing what's happening under the hud simply helps players to make informed decisions, which is highly desirable in my book.

      "Could every game please just copy Vampire Bloodlines and stop rolling things like persuasion or deception. In Bloodlines you either have a high enough skill or you do not. If I have a total of deception 2 and the other guys has sense motive 4 let's just assume this is not someone I can BS and move the dialogue along."

      I'm not against a bit of randomness in RPG, but I can see your point here. What really matter, anyway, even if Torment adopted a system with no dice-rolls, would be the way skill checks are presented. With o without skill tags...

    19. Missing_small

      Creator Mikhael Blackthorne on July 24, 2013

      So if you will be hiding dialogue tags I assume you will also hide things like the damage numbers we are doing in combat and the health of enemy combatants? We wouldn't want players to know what effects their character creation choices are having would we? People might only make smart decisions.

      Could every game please just copy Vampire Bloodlines and stop rolling things like persuasion or deception. In Bloodlines you either have a high enough skill or you do not. If I have a total of deception 2 and the other guys has sense motive 4 let's just assume this is not someone I can BS and move the dialogue along.
      You can still have effort with such a system. Speaking of how effort does effort work in dialogue then? Will we not be able to use intellect to open up lore dialogues? It seems like we couldn't if the lore option won't even come up.

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      Creator Helena - Ordo Draconum on July 24, 2013

      I like the idea of the 'effort' mechanic; it sounds like a good way to add some flexibility to the skill system. As long as it's not so overpowered that it makes your character build pointless (if, for example, almost everything can be achieved with 'effort' regardless of your skill level) - but I'm assuming that won't be the case.

    21. Missing_small

      Creator Bund on July 24, 2013

      What might be a cool update from you guys would be input from the story writers who were a part of this process. Specifically I'm thinking folks like Patrick Rothfuss, who typically writes novels and therefore only needs to think of a single pathway for a particular dialogue, and now when writing side quests and a whole side NPC they basically need to think of a series of dialogue and responses and how that affects/alters the story, how the tides factor in, how the skills of different characters work. You guys' updates are cool, but as someone from a different medium I imagine the different perspective would be really interesting to hear.

      Great update btw!

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      Creator Silver on July 24, 2013

      Great update, looking forward to the Numenera books as well.

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      Creator Baudolino05 on July 24, 2013

      No skill tags during dialogues is the best news I've heard so far. One of the main reason (if not THE MAIN REASON) because Torment's dialogues were so compelling to play is the lack of tags (AKA to "win lines"):
      Regarding the pressure, as long as the Angel of Entropy is a big part of the narrative, I want a game mechanic that makes me feel like a prey. Nothing worst than a false sense of urgency...

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      Creator Bulbatrs on July 24, 2013

      thank you for the link to the dragon text game.... it's awesome!

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      Creator Restless on July 24, 2013

      Really looked forward to an update!!
      Everything sound pretty good, although I hope that Angel of Enthropy (or whatever) will not prevent us from taking in the beauty of the 9th World!

    26. Missing_small

      Creator Alexander Aas on July 24, 2013

      Love how the dialogue sounds! Not seeing the particular skill is a good idea.

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      Creator Mark Huber on July 24, 2013

      I'm actually just fine with an urgency mechanic. Assuming it acts as the urgency mechanic in Fallout 1. Since the condition to be filled to appease the urgency was "not" the win condition, it meant there was no time limit on the game, just on the one action (getting the water chip in this case). After that you had unlimited time to further explore the game.

      Assuming they make it something like that, I'd be just fine with it. Just no hard limit on the max amount of time I can invest in a play through please.

    28. Nexusavatar.small

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

      Very detailed and interesting post, which as always, gives us players insights into the complexity and challenges in making a great cRPG.

      The discussion about conversation paths was particularly thought provoking.

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      Creator Christian on July 24, 2013

      It was pretty obvious to me that response #3 was special. If you really want people not to always pick the skill-based response you'll have to conceal them better ... which might be difficult to do.

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      Creator meganothing dread hamster of torment on July 24, 2013

      Wait. What? Urgency mechanic. Seems I missed something.

      It is easily the most-hated mechanic of any RPG that tried it. So why?

    31. 1up_800_white.small

      Creator Christian on July 24, 2013

      I'm totally confusing Torment and Project Eternity here. Sorry!

      So then I rephrase my question: do you, other than Project Eternity does, not texture the 3D renderings you paint on?

    32. 1up_800_white.small

      Creator Christian on July 24, 2013

      So do you use completely untextured 3D renderings? Originally, it seemed you were producing a kinda normal looking 3D rendering and then refining it by touching it up manually. In this update it seems more like you are completely skipping the 3D textures.

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      Creator Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on July 24, 2013

      also: epic update is epic! I love how you communicate with your backers!

    34. Rem_cover.small

      Creator Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on July 24, 2013

      i hope there will be scenarios/items/circumstances in which, if you don't have the skill and can only use "effort", it will be impossible to have a successful roll. like the mega-epic chest or highly difficult language. i wouldn't want my character to put all skillpoints in fighting and pushing up my attributes so i can solve basically all tasks with "effort". but ok, Adam said they're going to balance it so i guess they'll think of something :)

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      Creator ET3D on July 24, 2013

      Great update. Lots of detail and very interesting.

      I enjoyed reading about "effort". I have a very similar concept in one of the game designs I write to my digital drawer, so it's validating to see it in this concept. Of course if I ever do create that game people will think I took it from Numenera, but for one thing the chance of that game ever being written is very low, and besides I won't really mind. I assume Torment will be a great game, and "stealing" from the best is a good thing. :)

    36. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Jables D Brew on July 24, 2013

      Wow, good stuff, crew! Thanks for the update.

    37. Bertrand_russell_governors.small

      Creator Jeff Szudzik on July 23, 2013

      Fantastic update, the excitement is palpable!

    38. Planescapetorment_n.small

      Creator Torment- The Enduring Exile on July 23, 2013

      Thus far reaction to "time limits" has been overwhelmingly negative.

      Also, I'm starting to agree with some of the other posters here about removing skill/attribute tags from responses. I guess I won't know how I feel until I play it but it seems to be a lot of work for a feature that may not be necessary.

      Any chance to get some info on character customization? Number 1 voted feature on the uservoice.

    39. Missing_small

      Creator Azriel on July 23, 2013

      @Shiroco Desertstorm of the OOoE Fallout had a very generous time limit and people still hated it. Just KNOWING there is a time limit in whatever form is a negative to me. I know different people have different tastes, some like it and some hate it. I doubt there is a middle ground.

      As for the dialog, I am in favor of a switch to turn on tags in dialog as an option. I have more fun seeing my stats/experience actually matter in the dialog choices.

    40. Trinityknot.small

      Creator Shaz, Tormented Obsidian Order Comtessa on July 23, 2013

      Before Kickstarter, all I really cared about was the box in my hands and the game on my drive. Kickstarter changed all that.

      I never expected to be so fascinated by updates like this, but I am. Seeing how the puzzle is coming together is utterly captivating. Reading about the Efforts and the dialogue design sees me losing all sense of propriety and becoming little more than a squeeing fangirl. Kickstarter might as well be my own personal fountain of youth!

    41. Missing_small

      Creator Argyle Sox on July 23, 2013

      Every time I see the screenshot of the golden city, I think the wheel needs a shadow. This looks and sounds great. Thanks for posting on kickstarter, I frequently forget the tumblr exists.

    42. Wilbur.small

      Creator Shiroco-Librarian of Unwritten Tales 542 on July 23, 2013

      @Azriel
      Well, I'm the same and in MotB the hunger mechanic was "fine". You could take your sweet time to finish the game (at that point the mechanic became just an annoying thing to watch out for) or you could embrace your role and play like the mechanic matters and hurry up ;D
      You could argue that the mechanic was pointless if you still can take your time and you would be right if no one would appreciate such a thing. Maybe inxile could introduce a mode with a time limit to get the "true" feeling for the story (because you are being chased and should hurry the fuck up) and a mode without OR with a reeeeaaaallly generous time limit.
      On the other hand no one knows how or even if they're gonna implement a time limit for the whole game or if there's one for certain sequences when the angel is getting near. If it only happens at certain points in the game they could implement it in a way that the player won't miss anything (quests,dialogues,items,npcs, etc.) or that the player must make a choice and live with the consequences. This would enhance the replayability as well and the time limit would help to choose the intuitive answer for each player and not the answer which the player thinks would be the best thing with the biggest reward.

    43. Missing_small

      Creator Lucian Smith on July 23, 2013

      This is a great update--thanks!

      While I appreciate the commitment to experimentation that lead to the idea of hiding information from the player about where their dialogue options came from, I think it is not going to work out the way they hope it will. If it doesn't, I hope you will still have the option of flipping a switch to put it back.

      Basically my hypothesis is that if you want the player to make meaningful choices, you are not going to be able to bootstrap your way to meaningfulness through obscurity. You need to make the choices meaningful in the first place. To me, knowing why my character can do something *increases* the meaning of the game,

      But the proof is in the pudding: if you can make a small area that could be done either way, and show it to a bunch of testers, you'll have done the experiment before it's too costly to change the design--I think that's almost certainly worth doing.

    44. Archlich.small

      Creator Eero Salonen on July 23, 2013

      Love this update, especially details about skills and effort systems.

    45. Img_0001.small

      Creator Marcio Araujo on July 23, 2013

      Amazing update!!!

    46. Tinydan.small

      Creator alcaray on July 23, 2013

      To Yoshimi and Abstraction and Malek Annabi who graciously responded to my post on the topic of expertise attribution in conversations:

      No, I pretty much meant what I said. Another example: I used to be an aerobics instructor. I had to study hard to pass the AFAA and ACE certification tests. When I'm in a conversation and I make a point by bringing up some factoid about the human body from my aerobics experience, I damn well know I'm doing it. And it's easy to tell if I got the info from that or from High School (class of '71) or from something I learned in the Boy Scouts. And I would certainly give precedence to something I learned more recently, and to something I learned in a specialized, intensive study. In short, I'm not just rolling a die in my head and saying the first thing that pops up. I'm actively using judgement to pick the smartest thing to say. If you take away my knowledge of how I got the info, then you turn me into a Alzheimer's sufferer.

      Anyhow, the problem they say they are trying to solve is not solved by removing the tags. They say that the tag tells the player the best one to pick. Well the solution is simple: add some or more negative results to "tagged" responses. Many ways this could happen naturally, and they have smart folks to work on the problem, so I won't insult by going on about it.

    47. Librarian__discworld_.small

      Creator GuiOhm on July 23, 2013

      @William Alexander: thanks for pointing that out

    48. Missing_small

      Creator Greenfr0G on July 23, 2013

      Excited about the nice, hefty update, especially the linguistic part and non-showing which option is special got me very interested, being language postgrad and all.

    49. Photo%20de%20moi%202.small

      Creator Victor on July 23, 2013

      Great update, it was a pleasing read.

    50. Missing_small

      Creator Quantomas on July 23, 2013

      Consider the Effort's success based on a probability dependent on the time of its last use, the probability decays with a use and recovers over time! This will feel more natural than a skill renewed at rest.

      Good choice on not marking special dialog options!

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