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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. Torment: Tides of Numenera is available now for PC on Steam or GOG, as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
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. Torment: Tides of Numenera is available now for PC on Steam or GOG, as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
74,405 backers pledged $4,188,927 to help bring this project to life.

Updated our Journal (27): Extra Effort

Posted by inXile entertainment (Creator)

TL;DR: Skills and exploration; story revisions; the benefits of a lengthy preproduction; Adam Heine promoted to Design Lead


Just a quick update to talk about where we’re currently at as we enter the holiday season.

As you may have heard, the Wasteland 2 Early Beta went out to eligible backers last week and is now available on Steam as an early access title. The Wasteland 2 Beta was not part of any of our Torment tiers, but if you selected access to the Wasteland 2 Beta as an add-on, hopefully you saw one of our early announcements about this, received your beta key through the Torment pledge management system (pretty much all digital rewards for Torment pledges will be distributed through that system), and are playing it already. (If not, please write our support team and we’ll get it taken care of.)

Congratulations to the entire Wasteland 2 team for reaching this point!

A Few Words on Preproduction

I wanted to speak a bit about how Torment is progressing. The last round of major story revisions has been completed (more on that below) and we’ve resumed fleshing out and designing specific areas. Artist Aaron Meyers (who was also an artist on Planescape: Torment) has been making great progress on an environment prototype, proving out our art pipelines and helping us assess how the density of our design content will feel in the game. We don’t have any new art to share yet, but expect us to have something for you to see before winter’s end.

For a while now, some of you have been asking when we’d be transitioning from preproduction to production. With Wasteland 2’s recent early beta release, you may be aware that the inXile team will be spending more time on that game to get it done right—one of the fundamental benefits of Kickstarter is that we have the direction from our backers to emphasize quality over punctuality. This decision impacts Torment because most of the production team (e.g., programmers, artists, animators, etc.) will be moving onto Torment later than originally expected, which means we’ll be in preproduction for a longer period of time.

Believe it or not, this is the best situation from the perspective of Torment. When you’re in production with a large team, trying to incorporate any new idea can result in a lot of wasted work and confusion. (An “idea” in this sense could be many different things: an improvement to how conversation data is authored that enables a new type of dialogue reactivity, a new technique for handling shadow-casting lights in environments, a major change to an existing companion that improves the overall party dynamics, etc.) So when considering the new idea, you either accept this negative impact or discard the idea.

With a small preproduction team, the negative impacts have a smaller effect and the values of the ideas are more about the benefits they provide. Fewer people also means fewer miscommunications and greater flexibility both to experiment and to iterate. The closer you can get to your final design and technology before you are creating content at a rapid pace, the better the final result will be. So extra preproduction time is very beneficial, as long as you that time includes prototyping in-engine and iterating on the design instead of expanding the game’s scope.

We approached our preproduction aware that we might begin production later. On a traditionally funded project, you can ultimately be forced to make some decisions that you know are bad for the overall project to meet a specific schedule, but because we are free from external milestones, we can flexibly adapt, keeping our focus on the overall quality of the final game. It can be challenging to think that far ahead, but it’s even more challenging if you have rigid short-term goals binding you.

It’s true that if you just extend preproduction without any making any other changes to your plans, you’ll go over budget and over schedule. But the productivity improvements you gain through a longer preproduction period make up for the added cost of having a small team in preproduction for longer. (This is one reason, for example, that expansion packs are much cheaper to make than full titles – the development cycle for the original title is effectively part of the expansion’s preproduction.)

We’ll let you know if we ever determine that Torment’s release will be delayed beyond the first half of 2015. Thus far, our extended preproduction has been a very good thing and at this time I don’t anticipate it will push us out of that release date window.

Kevin out.

Skills and Exploration

Adam here. It's been a while since I've gotten to tell you about system design, so today I wanted to talk a bit about skills in Torment and how they feed into our exploration gameplay.

Skills and Difficult Tasks

As you may recall from our talk about dialogue, skills work differently in Numenera than in most RPGs. In Numenera, skills don't define what you can do, but they do make success more consistent in related tasks.

Instead of designing with skills in mind, we design the tasks first. Anything you want to try to do – lie to an Oorgolian soldier, activate a long-dormant intelligence, manipulate an unfamiliar beam weapon, or dodge the lethal bite of a steel spider – is considered a Difficult Task. Every Task is assigned a difficulty level, a stat the Task is based on (Might, Speed, or Intellect), and an optional skill (or skills) that can apply. (In the tabletop game, difficulties range from 1 to 10; unmodified difficulties from 4-6 are tough (> 50% chance of failure), and difficulties of 7 and up are impossible without the modifiers discussed below).

Skills have four levels (Inability, Untrained, Trained, and Specialization). Training in any applicable skills lowers the difficulty by a step and specialization lowers it another step. (And as you might imagine, inability increases the difficulty, though inability is something you have to specifically choose through perhaps your descriptor or focus, and some skills don’t go lower than untrained). You'll notice that tasks at the highest difficulty are impossible even with specialization. Either multiple skills would have to apply to such tasks, or there must be another way to lower the difficulty.

And there is. In Numenera, another way – at higher levels, the primary way – to reduce the difficulty of a task is Effort. You can apply Effort by using points from your related Stat Pool (Might, Speed, or Intellect), up to a maximum Effort level determined by your character’s Tier (or level). Each level of Effort you spend lowers the difficulty by one more step. (There’s another stat called Edge that reduces the cost of using Effort, making lower-level tasks easier or even free as your character advances, but that’s a topic for another time.)

What this means is that anyone can have a chance of success at most tasks, if they're willing to spend their resources on Effort. Characters with applicable skills do not have a monopoly on related tasks, but they do have two advantages: they conserve their Stat Pools (saving Effort for the tasks that really matter) and they have a greater chance of success at previously impossible tasks.

Disabling Traps

The concepts of Difficult Tasks and Effort feed into every aspect of gameplay. Take the common exploration-style task of disabling traps. Like any other task, disabling a given trap will have a Difficulty associated with it (and you will be notified of this Difficulty, at least in an abstract way such as "Hard," "Very Hard," "Impossible," etc.). By spending Effort from the associated Stat Pool, you can lower that difficulty (probably Speed, though it could depend on the kind of trap).

And it will have skills that apply. Torment won't have a Disable Traps skill, but the Quick Fingers skill applies to this kind of task (as well as others). Training or specialization in Quick Fingers will lower the difficulty even further. But more than that, certain traps may have other skills that apply. For example, the difficulty to disable a mechanical trap might be lowered if you are trained or specialized in Lore: Machinery, but a transdimensional trap might allow Lore: Mystical to apply, or Lore: Civilizations if the trap has shifting runes for you to decipher, etc.

You might find that, for certain special traps, the nano in your party is just as equipped to disable it as the jack (one being trained in Lore, the other in Quick Fingers), so if one fails, the other can take a shot at it (because each character's first attempt is free, but further attempts will cost you something—assuming your disabling attempt doesn't set off the trap, of course). For some traps, maybe the nano is even better equipped, or at least doesn't have to spend as much Effort to achieve the same chance of success.

Other Exploration Tasks

If you can't (or don't want to) disable a trap, maybe you can jump over it? Not jumping like a platform game; it would be a specific action you take—like bashing a door or picking a lock—where you end up on the other side of the trap when you're done. We're talking about this and other alternatives (levitation, anyone?). Jumping would be like any task: Might-based Effort for which the Jumping skill can apply. Some traps might be extra tricky to disable but easy for your whole party to jump over. Other traps might be harder to jump over, but the means to disable it lies within easy reach on the other side, such that one party member can spend some Effort to get over the trap and turn it off.

The flexibility of Numenera's skill system gives us extra options for environmental puzzles. For us, a "puzzle" isn't an attempt to divine the will of the designer, but rather an obstacle with multiple solutions involving various Difficult Tasks and their applicable Effort and skills. To get at the beating heart of some ancient machine, you might smash through its cardiac gate, bypass the whisperlock, persuade the machine's custodian to give you a key, use a cypher to walk through the gate, etc. All of these are different tasks with different applicable skills, any of which you might try based on your party's skills and available Effort.

And if we're being true to our philosophies, different solutions can each have reactivity of their own (smashing down the gate might trigger extra defenses, persuading the custodian could mean you've gained a friend or used up a favor for another quest, using the cypher means you won't have it for a later task, etc.), ultimately resulting in more interesting replayability across the board.

Adam out.

Story Time!

Colin here. You may have seen this picture of Adam, Kevin, Steve, and I standing in the inXile office together at the culmination of our intensive meetings there last month. But we weren’t just standing around smiling the whole time (we almost forgot to take the picture in fact). In actuality, much of what we were doing was hammering down the last stray nails of the upgraded story—

::record scratch:: “What do you mean, upgraded story? Like, you re-wrote it?”

No. We *revised* it. It's different.

Like game development, writing is an iterative process that requires occasional sledgehammers... and we wanted to make sure our foundation was as strong as possible. On this project in particular—a thematic successor to one of the most beloved CRPGs of all time—we want to make sure we get it right. It’s a rare writer who can spit out perfection the first time (and if you know one, please send him or her my way).

As the Creative Lead on this project, it’s my job to make sure we don’t settle for “good enough” on the story. To that end, we took the original story, examined its component pieces, and reassembled it in a different (and better) configuration. We kept all the elements we described in the Kickstarter—all the characters, all the items, all the *everything* except the fine details of the narrative. This was a reorganization of our elements in a way that is more focused, clearer, and more entertaining.

Which is to say, our original story was good, but now (if I may be immodest for a moment) I think it’s pretty great. With the combined talents of Adam, Kevin, Chris Avellone, Tony Evans, Nathan Long, and George Ziets, it had better be.

Anyway, as I was saying, much of what we were doing was hammering down the last stray nails of the upgraded story and making sure that we are ready to bring our outside writing talent to bear on a number of different areas at once. We now have a unified set of documents that will bear the combined scrutiny of some excellent writers, effectively share our vision for the story, and help us gauge the player’s experience throughout. These are our Story Spines.

That sounds a little creepy and maybe a bit murder-y, so let me explain what I mean: a spine is a firm through-line of the story, the pieces on which the rest of the experience hangs. The first and most important is the PC’s Spine. This is the narrative of the game as experienced by the PC (and thus you, the player), from the very beginning of the game to the end, laid out from point to point. We took our design doc and stripped out all the extraneous details and the information that the player might never know—even if this was information that would inform the motivations of the other major characters in the game, if the player didn’t know it at the time, we moved it to where the player would learn it or removed it from the PC Spine altogether.

Doing this exposed some potential problems in the plot of the game, and it was invaluable to us in making sure we have written a whole and cohesive through-line for you to experience. We did the same thing for other major characters in the game: what’s their history? What do they know, and when do they know it? What are they trying to achieve at any given moment in the story?

We had these spines written and ready for the meetings we had in November, with significant input from George and Tony. Then we borrowed the talents of Chris Avellone and Nathan Long to tear them apart, and we rebuilt them again—faster, stronger, better. After making sure we had all these details fully ironed out, we had several more meetings, in which I gave a summary of the improved game to a variety of teams, starting with Brian Fargo and Matt Findley. After that first meeting, Brian said (and I paraphrase): “This is awesome. This is the story for this game. Go.”

We then presented the story a few more times to several other groups—the art team, the programming team, the designers—and I upgraded my Fast Talk skill to Specialized [Adam: not a real Torment skill], tearing through a high-level summary of the game in about 10 minutes (Kevin and Adam took over the meetings after those speeches while I recovered with a tank of oxygen).

Barring a few minor changes and detail fixes, these spines form the core of the Torment story. We’ve provided four writers with some design constraints for their areas and these spines, and I’m anticipating some very cool ideas back at the start of the new year.

Oh, and maybe I should mention down here that we’re working on quests and storylines for multiple particular areas, and as soon as I’m done with this post, I’m back to crafting the first player experience in the game. It’s looking... pretty good.

Colin out!

A Promotion

Kevin again. It’s my pleasure to announce that Adam Heine has accepted a promotion to the role of Design Lead for Torment. From the beginning he has played a key role in the design of the game, and he has repeatedly demonstrated to everyone involved in the project that he has a strong command of the sensibilities that will make this game great. Adam’s ownership of various aspects of system and area design has grown over the past months, and when he visited inXile’s office last month, I formally recognized his contributions by promoting him to Design Lead. In this role, he’ll be leading the design vision of the game much as Colin is leading the creative vision. Though honestly, Adam's work hasn't changed very much – the promotion is largely an official acknowledgement of what he’d already been doing.

Colin brought Adam onto the fledgling project last year and wanted to provide some backstory and share his own thoughts:

“Adam came on board Planescape: Torment early during the development process, when all we had was a Mortuary. We desperately needed scripters to create the rest of the Planes. He quickly distinguished himself as an agile thinker, extremely creative, and able to solve problems by approaching them from multiple different angles. He showed his excellence in catching bugs, in creating scripts, and in delivering new ideas for quests and characters.

After PST shipped, he became a designer on Black Isle's TORN. But eventually he had to succumb to reality, realizing that as a newlywed, he shouldn’t be commuting an hour and a half (each way!) to Irvine from San Diego every day, and that 60-80 hours a week of work wasn’t a recipe for a happy marriage. So he left Interplay and took a standard programming job closer to home... and eventually he packed up and moved to Thailand to foster orphans.

Years passed. In that time, he has continued to flex his creative muscle by writing novels and short stories, all while raising as many as 10 kids at once. He’s also continued to design board and computer games in his spare time, but without a production team, they’re mostly thought exercises. Fortunately, you don't need a production team to write fiction.

Last year, Eurogamer had a small PST retrospective with Chris Avellone, Halo 4’s lead designer Scott Warner, Adam, and me. At the end of it, Adam said that he’d love to get back into games. I said I’d love to work with him again sometime—I had nothing but positive experiences with him on PST.

It was shortly after that that Brian Fargo asked me if I’d like to work on a new Torment. And it was mere moments after that I strongly suggested that Adam be involved. Adam has proven the wisdom of that decision over and over again on this project. He has helped me shape the story from the outset. He has delivered reams of excellent design work: from loot to inventory to crafting to area design to... well, he’s been touching almost every system in the game.

And while we were out in California a couple of weeks ago, his hard work and insight paid off. Kevin offered him the position of Design Lead, and Adam accepted. Adam is an extraordinary designer, and I’m proud to be working alongside him.”

Congratulations, Adam! (And thanks!)

Hope you all have a great holiday season!

Kevin Saunders
Project Lead

Albert Soler, Matty Fitzhenry, and 85 more people like this update.


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    1. Ailantan | Story addict on

      I'm a gamer, not a game developer. Make a game in your way, don't listen to everything gamers say. Take your time.

    2. Missing avatar

      Luca Barbato on

      I'm still waiting to get my password recovered, no key at all =/

    3. Jere Krischel on

      Left a few messages on, but still haven't gotten my Wasteland 2 beta key :(

    4. Elciled on

      Do good on the not rushing part. People expect KS games to be made in a year or so and be all they dreamed of, then they complain the quality isn't up to par.
      I've heard W2 beta is looking more like an alpha. I wouldn't care if it took like 3 more years if that's what it took to be really great.

    5. Missing avatar

      Restless on

      Damn, this sounds sweet. So much replay value...

    6. Torment- The Enduring Exile on

      BTW the ancient machine example Adam uses is right out of an adventure from the Numenera core book.

    7. Corpselocker on

      @Torment - ...and it won't be the surprise with a cool present inside. It'll likely be akin to the "Unhappy Meal" where your hamburger has a bite taken out of it and the toy is smashed to bits.

      I read the Numenera PDF awhile back and was really excited about their system. If I could have only had that game ... oh... three decades ago, I would have only used it.

    8. Torment- The Enduring Exile on

      People complaining about the Numenera system are in for a surprise :)

    9. Willem on

      Thanks for the update. Also: take all the time you need to do this game justice; do NOT rush it. This is part of why I back games on KS, so that you don't have some stupid corporate types constantly breathing down your neck forcing you to sacrifice the quality of the game for their "bottom line". Stay within the budget sure (which of course implies finite time), but this time not for some corporate "bottom line", but rather for the gamers (our) "bottom line".

    10. Grinsevent Wheresluggage of Sin on

      Furthermore, we knew it was this system :)

      and : if I remember well, you can't use more effort than your tier (level) on one task... So, someone using all his might on running gonna be short of breath.

      But it can resplenish pretty fast (I think, if you keep the idea of sprint or jump : you used effort to take it, and if you have to fight, your pool may stay emptied, BUT after a while, it's ok). I mean, the whole pool thing must be pro encounter/arc... And don't break like the so usual "you rested 48 days and 2 hours, your life has been respenished AND you get your spells ready" .

    11. Missing avatar

      Abstraction on

      > I don't like systems that require investing a finite resource (that is easily recharged) to allow unskilled characters being able to compete with highly skilled players.

      They aren't. Take running as an example: everyone can dash 100 meters, but for non-runners it will require Effort to get good result. Not everyone can run 100 meters under 10 seconds, no matter how they are determined to.
      To be more precise, specialized character can apply more Effort to a single task (you can't waste all your Effort on a single roll) and can do things which are simply beyond capabilities of others.

      > I don't like the fact that there is a way to reduce the cost of effort points with an entirely different stat that seems like it can be pumped to allow a completely skill-less character to preform all the same tasks as a highly skilled character.

      There is no such way. Other stat may allow different approach (lock can't be picked? - simply blast it), but any given way of solving a problem relies on certain one or two skills. You don't have them - you search for the other way. If you aren't trained in Quick Fingers, but you are dexterous in general, you may try untrained check with effort. If your Speed also is no good, this won't help, you'll have to find another way.

      Though if there is an easy way to replenish Effort [too often], it really will be a problem (compare with a way to rest after every encounter in D&D, which pretty much breaks the system).

    12. Atro on

      Not a fan of this skill system at all. I don't like skill systems that result in highly skilled characters having percentile chances of failing (unaugmented) related skill checks. I don't like systems that require investing a finite resource (that is easily recharged) to allow unskilled characters being able to compete with highly skilled players. I don't like the fact that there is a way to reduce the cost of effort points with an entirely different stat that seems like it can be pumped to allow a completely skill-less character to preform all the same tasks as a highly skilled character.

      The entire system rewards generalization and punishes specialization.

    13. FatSoDa on

      yes.. preach to the unbeliever. they must be ... err shown their evils.

    14. Mrianou on

      After reading "Canard PC", it does not matter if I'm still waiting for is the game experience I expected. Happy Holidays

    15. Torment- The Enduring Exile on

      And just to add to that, I played a Numenera game on G+ with a gentleman who had an app that just had me push a Might, Speed, or Intellect whenever I wanted to perform an action. I would then add any effort I wanted to rolls before performing them.

      All the difficulty "stuff" when on behind the scenes and he decided if the roll + effort was high enough.

    16. Torment- The Enduring Exile on

      @Chris It will likely be as streamlined as the Infinity Engine with the D&D rules. The difference is Numenera is pretty streamlined already.

      I mean other than Effort, there isn't much to worry about. You just make a decision on when you think its worth spending stat pool points on your weaker rolls.

    17. Chris J Capel on

      Can I just check (in sort of agreement with Anthony below) that all this stuff about Tasks and Efforts and checks are going to be streamlined in the main game so I don't have to know them? All this stuff about "You can apply Effort by using points from your related Stat Pool (Might, Speed, or Intellect), up to a maximum Effort level determined by your character’s Tier (or level)" and "You gain 1d6+your Tier for a rest action" just makes my eyes glaze over.

      Talk to me about "the Wizards of the Waste cast out the Robots of Ruin 400 years ago and they have returned to seek revenge on the Elderflower Dynasty" and I'll be interested, but say "now you have to roll 1d17 THAC0 to counter your opponent's RAM count, but only when the Bunny Bracelet +1138 is in effect" I mentally shut down. This is part of the reason I've never been truly able to get into Baldur's Gate and a large part of the reason why I love the likes of Dragon Age and The Witcher for cutting out the boring stuff. No offence, Colin! :)

      Everything else: sounding great! Can't wait, and take your time... but not so much that we don't see the game, of course!

    18. Anthony DMello on

      I know it's still early stages, but will there be a way to know the odds of succeeding a skill check? It seems like the checks are quite complicated, unless it's simply "apply enough effort until success." Giving us a % chance to succeed would hurt immersion, but perhaps it can be like Dragon Age's "I can do that for you," where the best character for the job volunteers.

    19. William

      Awesome update!

    20. Tomimt on

      Another great update. As W2 is still in beta it didn't come as a surprise that the full production of Torment hasn't yet begun, so it's a good thing you are using this time to fine tune the design. I'm hopefull that you'll manage to stay in schedule as the engine will be more familiar to you this second time around.

    21. Bert Derveaux on

      Great read, sounds good.

    22. Torment- The Enduring Exile on

      To recover your stat pool you can also make a character like The Long Eared Nano With a Wheel on his back. Then just a companion to wind you up when you need to recharge.

    23. Colin McComb on

      @Richard - Effort never needs to be recharged. Your Stat Pools, however, do - they act essentially as your "energy", being used for tasks like finding traps or for defense in dodging attacks, so they can be depleted in a variety of ways.

      Rest and recharge in the tabletop game takes four steps. You gain 1d6+your Tier for a rest action.

      1. Immediate (or one action)
      2. 1 minute
      3. 10 minutes.
      4. One day

      So it's both rest and time. :)

    24. Philip Dahmen on

      Thank you Bund and ET3D!

      @ET3D: That is one strong positive thing! I never liked to have a character with me solely due to his class. That could be a hudge improvment for me!

      @Bund: Wow! Thank you for explaining it in such a depth! Your explanation with the trap was very good! And if I'm honest I like games where in can find the best build and combinations, so bring it on :-)

    25. Missing avatar

      Bund on

      @Philip Dahmen - While your concern is understandable, it's mostly grounded in not understanding the system. case in point: your assumption that a nano is a class is wrong, and your assumption that a nano = wizard is also not correct.

      The system is kind of a hybrid between a skill based design and a class design. Nano is a "type", one component of three that make up a character; the other two are their Descriptor and their focus. With the three types as well as the Descriptor and Foci in the table top game, there are 1,400+ combinations. The types have more to do with how you approach the world; a Glaive is a more straightforward, physical approach whereas a nano is a more thoughtful approach utilizing technology (Numenera). You could have a Speedy Glaive Who Carries a Quiver and a Speedy Nano Who Carries a Quiver and both are definitely Fighters in how you play them, but they play somewhat differently.

      Does that mean there are some over and underpowered combinations? Kind of, but then again the entire game system itself, the rules, how you gain XP, etc., are geared far more towards roleplaying than combat, so while a Charming Jack Who Explores Dark Places (a more rogue-like character) may not be as strong in combat as a Tough Glaive Who Fuses Flesh and Steel, but the system's rewards are geared to allow all types of play and not just reward combat. As long as this CRPG is designed with that in mind, then there isn't really anything over or underpowered.

      To answer your question: why would you take a rogue when anyone can do anything? At the early Tiers, you could probably do ok without your rogue; at later tiers you'll have a serious problem, but even at early tiers, a rogue-like character is still much better. For example, using the Tough glaive and the Charming Jack examples, perhaps the Jack at an early Tier has 2 Speed Edge is trained in detecting and disabling traps, whereas the Glaive is likely more Might focused for combat so he has no Speed Edge; both have effort 1. You explore a dungeon, and there is a difficulty 4 trap. A difficulty 4 trap means you would need to roll a 12 on a 20 sided die without anything special making it easier, which means the Glaive has a 45% chance of succeeding. He could spend Effort to make it easier, but only 1 step (his effort is 1). That makes it a Difficulty 3 trap which means he needs a 9 to succeed; he's increased his chances to 60% at the cost of 3 Speed points. The Jack on the other hand is trained so he automatically moves it down one step, so he starts at 60% chance of success, and can spend effort to make it easier, but since his Speed Edge is 2 to apply Effort it only costs him 1 Speed, and his chances go down another step for this trap, to difficulty 2, meaning he needs a 6 or better on a D20 roll or basically a 75% chance of success. At later Tiers, they might encounter stuff higher than difficulty 6; without any form of training there's no way the Glaive could ever succeed whereas the Jack would have a decent chance.

    26. ET3D on

      @Philip Dahmen, I look at it the other way round. In a game like Torment I pick companions by how appealing they feel with regards to the story. When a skill like disabling traps can be achieved by different classes, this gives me more freedom of choice, because my story choice doesn't mean the party is more limited.

    27. Philip Dahmen on

      Ok well it sounds logic for a nano (wizard) to disable magic traps and all, but does this system kinda make classes a little bit irrelevant?

      MaybeI'm just getting it wrong, but for me this system sounds like it could make some overpowered characters and unusfull ones. Why for example would I take a rouge with me, when one of his main task (disable traps, etc) can also be done by a nano? While a nano can call doom in every combat situation? Yeah a rouge can backstabe, but I guess calling a thunderstorm does more damage then that....later when I'm at a high level I can do just about anything with high effort? I know most of us are here for the story and awesome places (me included), but I wan't a meaningfull gameplay system.....this sounds like it would make things a little bit too easy....maybe someone can explain it to me in a different way. :-)

    28. Theobeau:OOoE\Mad man with a box/Exiled on

      An excellent and informative update which provides detailed background about the processes involved in making (what will be) an amazing game.

      Congrats on Adam being made Lead Designer.

      Cheers and happy holidays!

    29. Richard on

      I haven't read through the entire post yet (there's a lot! (and I love that!)) but I have a question about effort: does it recharge after rest or something? Or with time? Or do you need to do something else to recharge it?

    30. Tobi (Crusader Kickstarter pls!!) on

      Awesome update, thanks for the background info. Skill system sounds great, congrats to Adam. And quality over punctuality all the way!

    31. Missing avatar

      Marc Noordzij on

      Thanks for taking the time to update all of us. I'm feeling confident this will be a fantastic product.

    32. Paul Andersen on

      I'm all for quality over punctuality. I'd like for this game to be the best it can be, and I'm willing to wait.

      I'm also really liking the details of this effort system. I really gotta check out that Numenera PDF I received...

    33. Missing avatar

      elfkerben on

      Thank you for this really big update and take your time to finish the game.

    34. Missing avatar

      Koinonos on

      Great update as always. It feels like the written version of one of Peter Jackson's behind the scenes production clips which are often as good as the movies themselves.

      As someone who works in the software industry, I would enjoy to read a piece in the future once your teams start writing code as to what a typical workflow day might look like from veterans who know how to ship a product. It your dev process like Valve's where anyone can check in a bug with a fix? Or do you have war rooms like Microsoft where all submitted bugs or features undergo a group peer review before acceptance? Do you have any stories to share from a previous game about how a user feature request submitted during a beta phase (the dirty secret is that features are usually only accepted during Alpha milestones which is before users actually get to see it) managed to make it into the product thanks to a motivated team and an efficient workflow? Always a pleasure to read your dev posts!

    35. Josette Baysdell on

      I really appreciate the detailed updates provided here. Yeah, okay, the game will be late. We are already 8 months in, the game wasn't scheduled to deliver for another year, why would a few more months matter? I'm in another kickstarter right now that is already 3 months overdue and backers are getting angry - but not because it's late, because the team running the project don't bother to tell us what's going on. There are very few updates, and those are like, 3 lines. We're just sitting in the dark. It feels disrespectful and frustrating.

      InExile has provided amazing updates with really interesting aspects of the game development process discussed in great detail. I feel good about getting a top notch product at the end of this, and I am continually impressed with how much information they are willing to take the time to share. Sure, I wouldn't want this to go an extra year. But so far, I am happy with what I'm hearing.

    36. David M on

      Excellent decisions all around, and thanks as ever for the design insight. My favorite side effect of participating in KS campaigns has been following all the Dev Blog updates, which are endlessly cool, hugely inspirational, and of practical value to indie developers figuring out the business. Everything you've done has been true to your mission and team values. The end result is going to be another enduring RPG masterpiece.

    37. Lee Sweeney on

      Adding 50% I meant OOPS

    38. Lee Sweeney on

      Time does not always Equal Quality,
      in this case they do seem to be spending the time wisely and should help the game in the end.
      That is a good thing, I do wish every KS would figure the EST date by taking everything into consideration and then adding 75% more time to it.
      But that lesson has yet to be learned.
      Though I have had 2 KS deliver great products on time, most miss by at least 30-40%.

      So if you think it will take 12 Months say 18, and if your early most folks will be happy. If it takes 20, then it is not too late, if it takes 24 well then you have some major issues.

    39. aratuk on

      I, for one, would be that much prouder of my contribution to this Kickstarter if Torment turned out to be, as nearly as possible, a clone of ‘Sushi Cat 2: The Great Purrade’, but with, you know, reactivity and stuff :-\

    40. Adam Heine on

      I fear if my kids designed the game, it would end up a combination tower defense and Sushi Cat (

    41. Calibrula on

      Wow. I'm very excited about everything you told us. I was even like "more time in pre-production! That sounds amazing!" The Story Spine sounds like a really cool method to keep the story making sense.

    42. Torment- The Enduring Exile on

      @aratuk I'm experiencing an awkward moment after reading your comment.

    43. Starker on

      Colin can hold his breath for 10 minutes? Did he play the leading role in a certain LucasArts adventure by any chance?

    44. aratuk on

      I think I sussed it out. You guys are using Thai orphan labor to design our game on the cheap, and this "Adam Heine" is like Fagin from Oliver Twist. There's going to be an exposé on 60 Minutes in a couple of years:
      "ฉันไม่เคยได้ยินของการเตะเริ่มต้น! ผมเชื่อว่าสิ่งเหล่านี้เป็นนิทานก่อนนอนที่มีรายละเอียดมาก"
      ["I've never heard of a kick start! I believe this to be a bedtime story with many details."]

    45. Gillsing on

      The longer you take, the more time I'll have to play Wasteland 2 and a couple of other games I've backed. Not to mention the browser-game that's stealing all my time right now.

    46. aratuk on

      @Colin Thanks, that's an interesting answer.

      @Adam Congratulations! I'm psyched, and I don't mind the game taking longer as long as it doesn't result in some kind of truncated, quick'n'dirty production — which I'm not so worried about, as it looks like WL2 is on the road to being a success for inXile :-)

    47. Torment- The Enduring Exile on

      @Adam @aratuk I work from home and my co-workers are spread over the globe. It's all done via audio conferencing, web meetings and what not. Then there's the light travel to go see them when something big is up.

      It's actually a very civilized way of living.

    48. Adam Heine on

      @aratuk: LOL.

      You've got it on both counts. Design was kind of a shared thing, with Kevin putting as much on me as he could until he figured out this sneaky trick to put it *all* on me ;-)

      And I'll be leading the design from Thailand (with occasional visits to inXile HQ), though Kevin will most likely handle the direct day-to-day stuff with the actual designers. I hold the vision reins though, and you'd be surprised what you can accomplish through the internet :-)

    49. Missing avatar

      Fry on

      Please, no. Any more arguing over combat will challenge my will to live.

    50. Torment- The Enduring Exile on

      @Fry you're right. They don't actually say that clearly in the video. My bad.

      I could have sworn it was posted somewhere but I don't want to sit and argue on KS. Can we go back to talking about combat? That was a fascinating discussion....