inXile announces the launch of our Kickstarter campaign for Torment: Tides of Numenera
On Monday we released the news that we would be launching another Kickstarter campaign for Torment: Tides of Numenera today. If your reaction to the news was, “Hell yes, that is awesome news!” you can stop reading this update and head right to the Torment Kickstarter page to check out a lot more detail on the product. There is a ton of information about the team and the project, so please give it a read. We are crazy excited about the opportunity to work on Torment, and the Torment Kickstarter page should be enough to get all of you excited too.
If your reaction to the news about Torment was more like, “inXile, you greedy bastards, why would you launch a Kickstarter before Wasteland 2 is even done!”, then keep reading; we are addressing that point in this update…
To those outside the industry, it might seem odd to launch another Kickstarter before Wasteland 2 is done. We understand that it raises some questions, and we want our Wasteland 2 backers to understand the decision and to have access to all the information that has led us down this path. The goal of this update is not to convince you to back Torment; the goal of this update is to answer one simple question. Why now?
One of the keys to success for a small game company is being able to create continuity within the development team. It takes a long time to get a team put together, and it takes an even longer time for a team to settle in to new working relationships, a new engine, new systems, and a new asset creation pipeline. A team’s knowledge and experience grows a lot during a development cycle, and all of that knowledge gained is lost if we let the team break up when a project ships. To address that issue we have developed a very simple strategy that has already worked for us on dozens of titles in the last 25 years. Here is a quick explanation of our development team-structure philosophy:
inXile, with all of our internal employees and outside contractors, consists of enough people to be considered about the size of a team and a half. This is by design. We always want a small and efficient team (the “half team”) to design both our product and our product development plan. This is called pre-production. It is the most important time in a project’s life cycle. This is the time when we want to make sure we slow down and get it right. During this phase we don't need all the engineers and 3D Artists on the project, it is mostly concept art, design and dialog writing. When this process is completed and we are ready to roll into full production we want to have a large team of people ready to make the game. If the planning was done well during the pre-production phase we can be very efficient during production and leave ourselves with plenty of time to iterate and make amazing games. If there is no pre-production done, and the full team is trying to create the design and development plan as they go, months, if not years, are wasted. Having a full team try to start a project when the pre-production has not been completed is like stacking up a giant pile of money and lighting it on fire. This same philosophy served us quite well at Interplay in creating some of the best RPGs of all time.
The “half team” in our team and a half model consists of writers and artists as well as designers and a producer. They are the ones that define the game design, write the dialog, define the combat, the UI, the missions, and even parts of the level design. We spent about 6 months working on this pre-production for Wasteland 2 and we would like to spend even longer doing it on Torment. For inXile, this “half team” that did the pre-production for Wasteland is done, their work on Wasteland 2 is completely finished. We want to get this group into pre-production on Torment to keep them working together on a project we are all passionate about.
Currently, Wasteland 2 is in full production with a team of 15+ people cranking away on it. This is the full team that consists of engineers, scripters, character modelers, environment artists, and animators. This team is implementing the plan created during the Wasteland 2 pre-production cycle. When this full team rolls off of Wasteland 2 at the end of the year, they will need something else to do. Having a complete pre-production plan at that time allows us to roll the entire team onto a finely honed game design. Team continuity is maintained, and efficient production can begin. In a traditional publisher model, now is the time in the project life cycle where we would start to try and sign the next big contract. The best tool we have to get that done is to go back to our new publisher, you, and explain that now is the best time to start the next project.
Our “half team” is ready to start the pre-production for Torment now. They need about 8 months to get this pre-production work done. In an amazing coincidence, in about 8 months I will have a full team that is ready to take that pre-production plan and create a game. The alternative, starting pre-production on Torment after Wasteland 2 is done, increases the cost of Torment production greatly and requires us to reduce our headcount during the process.
Staggering projects like we are doing with Wasteland 2 and Torment is the best tool a single-team company like inXile has to be successful. It has the triple value of making us more efficient, giving us a better game design and making sure we keep our design and art talent working with us.
To make everything as clear as we can regarding the Torment Kickstarter and what it means for Wasteland 2, I will attempt to answer some other questions you might have:
• We do want to be abundantly clear that no Wasteland money is to be spent developing Torment. No Torment money is being spent on Wasteland 2. That said, lots of tools, plug-ins and pipeline processes that have taken man months to create will be shared between the projects if we can keep team continuity.
• The pre-production of Torment is not going to hinder the development of Wasteland in any way. As explained above, they are different teams during the pre-production.
We hope this update helps to explain the logic of why we are launching this Kickstarter now. Based on our experience we know that now is the time to get Torment rolling. We also hope that we can count on your support for Torment, and if not your support, at least your understanding. This system has always served us well so we think it makes sense to try and re-create it with you.
seconds to go
Pledge $15 or moreYou selected
Digital Downloadable copy of game DRM free for PC or MAC OSX or Linux. This low price only available for those who helped fund. Also your party will start with a unique and quirky skill. (It won't affect game balance.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $30 or moreYou selected
Previous reward + Downloadable DRM free digital soundtrack by Mark Morgan and digital WASTELAND 2 CONCEPT ART BOOK + Extra Digital Downloadable copy of game DRM free for PC or MAC OSX or Linux + Exclusive Ranger portrait collection + Access to Four episode Video Dev Blog. Also receive a Novella on the Wasteland 2 world created by Chris Avellone.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
One digital copy and one full LARGE BOXED COPY OF WASTELAND 2, complete with worn cloth game map and old school instruction book. Also features the digital soundtrack and digital concept art book from previous award. Also receive an early release episodic Novella (Part 1) on the Wasteland 2 world created by Mike Stackpole, a member of the original Wasteland story team. The Novella will give hints and clues being built into the actual Wasteland 2 game. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $55 or moreYou selected
THE INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY ALL DIGITAL PACKAGE! You get one digital copy of the game DRM free for PC, Mac or Linux, digital soundtrack, digital concept art book, episodic novella part 1 and 2, and premiere access to an early playable beta on steam. This comes with no physical goods to help with VAT, duty and shipping costs for our international fans!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
$50 pledge + Early release episodic Novella (Part 2) on the Wasteland 2 world created by Mike Stackpole, a NYT bestselling author and member of the original Wasteland team. Also, get PREMIER ACCESS TO AN EARLY PLAYABLE BETA ON STEAM. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Previous reward + COLLECTOR'S EDITION PREMIUM BOXED VERSION which of course contains map and instruction book. But additionally comes with Wasteland miniature, Wasteland 2 faction badge. Also get your name in the credits in a special thanks section. The premium box replaces the standard box but also comes with a digital copy of the game. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
The $100 reward + a backer-only WASTELAND 2 T-SHIRT. You will get to select between one of four shirts. The T-shirt will not be available anywhere else. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
The $100 reward + a limited edition numbered collectible coin, a WASTELAND 2 POSTER and one large boxed copy. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
1200 backers Limited (300 left of 1500)
One $150 reward + your boxed collectors edition copy of the game will be AUTOGRAPHED BY BRIAN FARGO, ALAN PAVLISH, MIKE STACKPOLE, CHRIS AVELLONE and other key development team members. You will also receive 2 digital download copies (so you can leave your collectors edition sealed up!) and a lv1 Desert Ranger medal of honor (real metal medal) limited edition collectible. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
172 backers Limited (328 left of 500)
Previous reward + WASTELAND DOOMSDAY PREPARATION SURVIVAL KIT. All your doomsday needs in a themed Wasteland collectible bag. You’ll also receive a lv2 Desert Ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible. (Please add $15 for international shipping)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
147 backers Limited (53 left of 200)
Previous reward + BECOME AN NPC, WEAPON, OR LOCATION in the Wasteland 2 world! We will get your name and (if relevant) a picture of you to add your general likeness to the actual shipped game. Brag to your friends and beg them not to take you out with a Meson Cannon. You’ll also receive 5 digital copies of the game and a lv3 Desert Ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,000 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (23 left of 25)
YOU GET TO PLACE A PERSONALIZED COLLECTIBLE ARTIFACT IN OUR WORLD and write its backstory! It could be anything from an engagement ring to a teddy bear. We will have 100 of these rare and semi rare items that can be found throughout the Wasteland 2 world. When collected, all players will learn about the personal touch that you added to the world. You'll also receive a signed Collector's Edition, boxed version and 8 digital copies of the game to do what you'd like with, in addition to a lv4 Desert Ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible. (This does not include NPC/Weapon/Location as well)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
13 backers Limited (12 left of 25)
BECOME AN NPC, WEAPON, OR LOCATION AND PLACE A PERSONALIZED COLLECTIBLE ARTIFACT IN OUR WORLD and write its backstory! You'll also receive a signed Collector's Edition, boxed version and 10 digital copies of the game to do what you'd like with, in addition to a lv4 Desert Ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
9 backers Limited (6 left of 15)
Previous reward + We will BUILD A STATUE, in your honor. After getting a picture of you, we will carefully craft this in game statue. You are now forever a part of Wasteland history. At this level, we will also sign and frame actual original concept art from the game. With 30 digital copies of Wasteland 2, you will be a hit with your friends. You will also receive a lv5 Desert ranger medal of honor limited edition collectible and AN EXPLODED BLOOD SAUSAGE Wasteland limited signed and numbered collectible figurine. (for the game, you'll get 1 signed collectors edition and 30 digital copies)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
12 backers Limited (4 left of 16)
Previous reward + COME TO AN EXCLUSIVE PRIVATE PARTY hosted by Brian Fargo, Alan Pavlish and other key members of the Wasteland team (must be able to travel to Newport Beach, CA). Talk design, previous works or anything else you’d like to discuss. Also, a shrine in Wasteland 2 will be erected in your honor. You’ll receive 50 copies of the game to do what you want and our deep appreciation. You'll also receive a medal and AN EXPLODED BLOOD SAUSAGE Wasteland limited signed and numbered collectible figurine.Estimated delivery:
- (35 days)