Post-Planescape: Fargo Reveals The Future Of Torment

By Alec Meer on January 9th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.


Rumours have been swirling for years about a possible sequel to Black Isle’s legendary and powerful roleplaying game Planescape: Torment, but the closure of the original studio and the jealous guarding of the Planescape rights by owners Wizards of the Coast seemed to have put paid to any comeback. But with original Interplay boss Brian Fargo very much back in the RPG business with current studio inXile’s wildly successful Wasteland 2 crowdfunding, everything changes. He and his team have come up with a way to make a new Torment game: this is really happening.

And there was much rejoicing.

Read on for details of its new setting, the people involved, whether it’ll link to the original game, which thematic aspects will recur, how the combat may work and how they’ll get it made.

First up, the new setting for this new Torment will be Numenera, an original roleplaying setting and system created (and recently Kickstarted by) Monte Cook, a contributing writer/designer on the original Planescape pen and paper RPG and assorted other Wizards of the Coast projects. A mix of fantasy and sci-fi with a strong focus on storytelling freedom, it may not be Planescape but hopefully it offers an appropriate blend of liberty and strangeness for a new Torment game. Have a look at its site for fulsome details of what’s planned for it. Here, meanwhile, inXile boss Brian Fargo sheds a whole lot of light on what the partnership means for his studio’s Torment sequel.

RPS- I know he revealed it back in August and seemed to have a ton of groundwork done already, but is Monte Cook’s Numenera setting being designed with a Torment game in mind to any extent? Will you guys have a chance to shape his plans for that as you’ll be working together?

Fargo: The wheels for the Torment game have been in motion for quite some time. The more we explored the Numenera setting, the clearer it became that it’s a natural fit for a Torment game. And it isn’t too surprising that Numenera’s aesthetics work well for Torment given that Monte was a key designer for the Planescape setting.

Numenera is very exotic and rich, but is a flexible universe that empowers and support GMs. As Torment desires certain locations or features, we’ll be able to do what we need to while fully respecting the setting. This goes beyond a typical licensing arrangement as Monte will be giving us direct input and even provide writing for some of the game areas. I’m really pleased to have Monte be part of the team.

RPS – What are the stand-out aspects of Numenera for you, in terms of suiting your dev plans? How much is about the setting and how much the roleplaying mechanics?

Fargo: A Torment game requires big ideas and a truly exotic setting in order to explore the underlying thematic elements. Colin described it best when he said “Torment’s themes are essentially metaphysical, getting to the heart of what it means to be alive and conscious, and it’s easier to ask those questions in a setting that is far removed from the familiar.”  Numenera is such a setting, and it has tremendous potential to cultivate those ideas.  We won’t have faeries or devils, but we’ll have diabolical creatures from far dimensions with schemes beyond human imagination. We won’t have gods, but we’ll have creatures who have lived for millennia with the powers of creation and destruction at their fingertips, with abilities honed over countless lifetimes. We won’t have other planes per se, but we’ll have pathways to hostile worlds and bizarre landscapes and ancient machines that catapult the players into places where the ordinary laws of nature no longer apply. In terms of role-playing mechanics, we won’t be attempting to literally translate the Numenera tabletop system into electronic form. However, its gameplay mechanics are very solid and include several components that will lend themselves to great (and innovative) cRPG gameplay. It’s great to have the Numenera rules as a starting point and to be working with Monte to adapt them for a cRPG.


RPS – Given no Planescape and presumably none of the PST characters, what makes a Torment game a Torment game to your mind?

Fargo: We know it hasn’t been done often in the game industry, but we’re envisioning Torment as a thematic franchise with certain themes that can expand over different settings and stories. We will focus on the same things that made people appreciate PST so much: overturning RPG tropes; a fantastic, unconventional setting; memorable companions; deep thematic exploration of the human condition; heavy reactivity (i.e., choice and consequences); an intensely personal (rather than epic) story.

RPS – How much are you thinking of working in overt links to/echoes of PST as opposed to broader thematic commonality? And what are the legal restrictions there – for instance, if you wanted to include a smartass talking skull with a dark secret, could you include a smartass talking skull with a dark secret?

Fargo: Rather than overt links, we are trying to recapture the feeling that players experienced through PST –both while playing it and after having completed a playthrough. We will remain true to the essence of PST, but we’ll also be looking for ways to improve the areas in which PST could have been even better. Fortunately, besides our personal experiences, we have years of feedback from other passionate PST fans to draw upon. We certainly would not infringe on any copyrights but with that said there are very few elements in RPGs that can be protected. There are several games with talking skull heads, for example, if we wanted to incorporate things of that nature.


RPS – Where are inXile up to in terms of designing this thing, given you’ve presumably incredibly busy with Wasteland? Will you be working on it concurrently with Wasteland or saving it for later?

Fargo: We’re very early in Torment’s preproduction right now. We have a basic story outline, design sketches of the major characters, and thematic concepts defined. Wasteland 2 is in full production and we don’t want to detract from that focus. But with that said, the writers on Wasteland are complete for the most part and the concept artists are not involved at this stage in the game. The guys working on Torment are no longer working on Wasteland 2 and I want to keep these talented guys busy for us.  Typically we do begin design of the next game while the production team is working on the current one. This allows the team to take a nice break once they are complete on the current game and then come back to roll onto a design that is thorough and polished. The last thing we want to do is break up a winning team.

I find this model creates a better quality flow of product and doesn’t have the team jumping onto a sequel before there has been adequate time to absorb the feedback from the game that just shipped. It is a luxury that most mid size developers are not able to have and it allows the time required to create classics. I never like sequels to be rushed and working this way ensures the team works on fresh ideas.


RPS – While PST was a team effort Avellone’s become the poster boy for it since release – so, have you been thinking/talking about getting him involved? And if you can’t for any reason, do you have a plan on how to convince the PST faithful that is a true-blue Torment?

Fargo: Chris deserves all the credit that he receives and we are working with him on Wasteland 2 as you know. My role as executive producer is to assemble top notch teams and to make sure we stay on point for what we are creating. I’m really happy with the team we have assembled for this game. It was Chris who urged me to work with both Colin McComb and Kevin Saunders for this project and he has given us his blessing for another Torment. Colin McComb and Monte Cook were two of the primary developers of the Planescape campaign setting for TSR, and Colin was one of the main designers on the original Torment. Colin serves as creative lead for this Torment and will be driving the story vision for the game.

Kevin Saunders, the project director, worked with Chris at Obsidian for 5 years – including leading the Mask of the Betrayer (MotB) team.  People might remember that MotB was very well received and there were more than a few comparisons to PST. Kevin was also the lead designer and producer for Shattered Galaxy, which swept the 2001 Independent Games Festival and was acknowledged by GameSpot as the Most Innovative Game of the year.

Additionally, we have one of the unsung heroes of PST on the design team: scripter Adam Heine, who really helped breathe life into the game. He was also one of the designers on Black Isle’s TORN, having moved to that position in large part because of his excellent work on PST.

Our talented artists include Dana Knutson, the concept artist from the original Planescape campaign setting, and he’s been helping bring our ideas to life.

And to really show we are serious about the writing aspects of this game we brought Ray Vallese in as the editor to ensure the detail and consistency of the story. Ray too was part of the Planescape team at TSR.

There will be some other surprise talent that I’ll announce later on but I thought it important to stress the heritage of the great team we have. I feel quite confident that the players of PST will feel comfortable and appreciate the experience being created.


RPS – Real/pause time or turn-based?

Fargo: I’ll let the producer Kevin Saunders answer that one: “The details of combat are still an open question, but our initial leaning is that real-time with pause will provide the better experience for the game. Whichever direction we ultimately take it, we’ll be giving combat considerable attention – we are aware that one of the criticisms of PST (including from Avellone) was its combat and we want to improve upon that aspect. The Numenera combat system provides a  stronger starting place for a cRPG than AD&D 2nd Edition did and we’ll prototype early so that we have ample time to iterate over the course of the project. We are also working on ways to weave narrative elements into the combat system such that the gameplay and story complement each other. But I should mention that even while enhancing combat, we will stay true to PST by making it so players can almost completely avoid battles based upon their choices.”


RPS – Are you thinking Kickstarter again?

Fargo: Absolutely. There are obvious advantages to Kickstarter for both developers and backers. We get our games funded without dealing with a crazy publisher and the backer gets a game for much less than what the finished product would cost non-backers. But beyond that, the benefit of crowd funding is that it provides feedback and accountability to the people who are actually going to play the game. It validates the concept and helps us prioritize the sensibilities of the project. We are not forced to compromise for the thought of how the “mass market” might react. It’s a wonderfully pure process and one that hinges on trust.

RPS – Can you talk about why Wizards of the Coast were resistant to licensing Planescape again?

Fargo: We asked and were rebuffed. In reality we didn’t push very hard on licensing it as the team was excited to work with Monte on Numenera and they felt that there would be less creative restriction. And WotC has been pretty silent on this space for some time. Neither Feargus nor I was able to get a Baldur’s Gate 3 project going.

RPS – Did you meet any resistance when seeking the Torment name?

Fargo: I patiently waited for someone to do something with a Torment concept but nothing happened. After many years the rights expired and allowed me to step in and put together a great team to make another title of its kind. We will improve on the mechanics and deliver a deep narrative story that is deserving of the name Torment.

RPS – Thanks for your (pause-)time.

 

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143 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    Now that sounds more like it could go with the Torment name. Good.

    • cynthialorenzo6 says:

      my co-worker’s aunt makes $87/hr on the computer. She has been without work for ten months but last month her pay check was $20622 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more here..Money Hot Spot

  2. dethtoll says:

    They had me until “real time with pause.”

    • Infinitron says:

      A successor to a RTwP game is also RTwP. Shocker!

      • Spider Jerusalem says:

        yeah it, uh, is actually.

      • Premium User Badge

        ffordesoon says:

        Heh. It’s funny, I knew that a complaint about RTwP was going to be one of the first comments, and yet I was still surprised to actually see it.

        But yes, it’s not as if that’s some radical departure from Planescape. I’m more excited about the combat possibly not being horrible.

      • Rao Dao Zao says:

        I was expecting it to be an FPS, actually.

        • Banana_Republic says:

          It would have been if EA had acquired the license. Too bad they couldn’t get PS from the tightwads at WotC. I would have loved to have seen Fall-From-Grace appear in another game. Always my favorite character from RPGs.

          • utharda says:

            Must agree on fall from grace. However, and this is hard because it involves revealing my 40ness, but I’d love, love love, to have more games with gold box d&d style combat.

            (Thank god for Age of Decadence)

    • Pathetic Phallacy says:

      Yeah, Balder’s Gate 1 and 2 were RTwP and we all know how much they sucked. Am I right!?

      • Premium User Badge

        ffordesoon says:

        Careful. That’s Wizardry’s personal Bat-signal.

        • PodX140 says:

          Thanks for making my day, that made me laugh far too much.

          Wizardry, we love you despite all your stubborn arguments, come and discuss rpg’s again on RPS :(

      • vorvek says:

        Well, combat in Infinity Engine games isn’t too good, tbh. It doesn’t mean the games sucked, though; the games were quite good despite combat, but I wouldn’t simply point towards it being RTwP as the cause. It’s just that the abstraction wasn’t too good and the AI was really bad.

        • Premium User Badge

          cpt_freakout says:

          I thought the combat sections in Icewind Dale 1 and 2 (which is to say, most of the game) were really good, in the sense that they made positioning and movement in the map really important. There’s only so many tactics you could adopt in 1 with the fighter, though, but if you had mages/druids/rogues things could get very interesting when facing several types of enemies. I agree that in BG it’s a bit different, and combat is just one more step in the way somewhere, but I also think that it was that way mostly because of the design of the maps. The tactical choices were mostly reduced to ‘what weapon am I gonna use for this’ instead of being about movement, but IWD did that right in general IMHO, especially in the mid-to-late game.

        • sinister agent says:

          The wolf misses. You miss the wolf. The wolf misses. You miss the wolf. The wolf misses. You miss the wolf. The wolf misses. You sigh and go to play something else. Maybe next year, eh?

    • Squirly says:

      They have me despite RTwP. But they most definitely have me.

  3. Cerius says:

    Again, Monte Cook didn’t create Planescape. He was a major designer on it, but it was created by David “Zeb* Cook.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      And while we’re at it, look at some of Tony DiTerlizzi’s artwork for the setting.

      • johann tor says:

        Tody DiTerlizzi killed it on the books, but if I remember correctly it was Dana Knutson’s sketches that were said to have sold the management on the planescape concept. He is an extraordinary artist and you would do yourselves a favour to look up some of his work.

    • lordcooper says:

      #morethanoneperson

      No?

  4. gritz says:

    To be fair, I’m pretty sure it’s not a case of Wizards of the Coast withholding the Planescape setting so much as the ongoing legal clusterfuck between Hasbro and Atari preventing any D&D property being developed as a video game.

    It is a damn shame too, because the recently deceased 4ed of D&D could have made for some spectacular turn-based tactics games.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      I am in agreeance with your sadness.

      All we get is this faux NWN bullshit :(

      • PodX140 says:

        WOAH there. Woah.

        NWN, the original with the expansions, were probably some of the best RPG’s that ever came out. I have not found a more immersive, true to 3.5, and fun RPG. The length was phenomenal, the combat was stellar, character leveling and items/artifacts great, they offered not only probably the best graphical depiction of 3.5 for dungeonmasters to use, but an incredible campaign to go along with it. And it could be played through with a full party as well.

        If you could name RPG’s based on DnD 3.5 that come even close to NWN I’d be surprised, as well as thankful for something new to dive into.

        • B1A4 says:

          The Temple of Elemental Evil

          • GeneralTso92 says:

            Really?
            I didn’t mind it, but i was always under the impression that it was sort of a black sheep, seeing as i’ve almost never seen anyone write anything good about it.

          • Ragnar says:

            ToEE had great strategic combat and not-so-great everything else. If you’re looking for a D&D dungeon crawl (which, let’s be honest, is where D&D’s strength lies), ToEE is the best. If you’re looking for good story, characters, role-play, and all those other things we generally associate with RPGs, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

          • Enkinan says:

            Absolutely.

        • Zakski says:

          I’m a bit late here, but I’m pretty sure by “faux NWN bullshit” he is talking about this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neverwinter_(Video_Game) and not the great original games

        • Ragnar says:

          NWN – the original – was great with a party of friends and terrible single-player. It was one of the most boring RPGs – from both a story and gameplay perspective. It was more concerned about being true to D&D mechanics than about being fun single-player. It wasn’t until the 2nd expansion that we got a decent single-player RPG from it.

    • InternetBatman says:

      4ed would have been magic on the computer, as turn based or rtwp. I think Obsidian is taking a lot of ideas from it for Project Eterenity though (which sounds more interesting with each update from JE Sawyer and Tim Cain). In Project Eternity spells will be like encounter powers or dailies when a character first gets them, and then move down to at-wills as they grow more powerful.

      • gritz says:

        That’s how spells work, but will they have the balls to make fighter exploits work that way too?

        • InternetBatman says:

          I don’t think so. I always thought 4e fighters had a bit too many moves anyways. Not because of that wizards are superior nonsense, but just because you end up doing stupid things like kneebreaker on a giant earthworm, etc. I would like to see most melee classes on a continuum between reaction and offense, and possibly subdivided by what monsters they specialize against. 4e melee classes are offensive most of the time, with very few reactive abilities.

          It’d be neat to have a monk punch a dragon in the throat when it breathes in, and then have the fighter tackle the wizard when a claw comes his way or jump in front of a fireball.

          That wouldn’t be impossible to design either. Fighters choose to be defensive or offensive as their turn starts, and get a separate move list for each one.

          That’s a bit of a long aside, and 4e would still make an awesome video game.

          • Premium User Badge

            ffordesoon says:

            Yeah. Funny that that’s the key problem with 4e as a PnP system; it was designed to be an awesome video game.

          • gritz says:

            Not really, it just took the lessons learned over 30 years of video game RPG’s and applied them to the stalest and most conservative game in tabletop.

          • apocraphyn says:

            Haven’t they already said that they intend to allow the player to choose how they wish to craft their character (within class constraints)? So, take a Warrior – you’ll be able to focus heavily on activated abilities if that’s your thing, or you can just go for passives and perform a similarly decent job, with less active input on the behalf of the user.

            Sounds good to me – I mean, obviously the min-maxers will find the optimum builds and there’ll be people who complain, but they all take things far too seriously. (Though I’m sure we’ve all dabbled in a bit of min-maxing).

          • Premium User Badge

            ffordesoon says:

            @Gritz:

            I dunno about that. I’m completely new to PnP, and had never played a single game from any PnP system until about six weeks ago. 4e is my first. I’ve also been playing video game RPGs for almost twenty years. I am the target market. I should love it, right?

            And yet, much as I do love playing with my friends, I still find 4e’s systems overly utilitarian and restrictive in terms of what I as a player am allowed to do. I like a lot of the design decisions from a purely gamist perspective, and I like that the mechanics don’t punish you overmuch for picking the wrong class or race or whatever. But a lot of the rules discourage risk-taking, experimentation, improvisation, and imagination. Which is to say, the areas where PnP excels. I sort of wish there was a Pathfinder equivalent for 4e, because there is a great PnP game in there, but until that happens, it’s an unused design document for an amazing video game that works passably as a PnP system.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Faldrath says:

    January 9th and you’ve already given me the best news of the year. It’s all going to go downhill from now on :(

  6. JackDandy says:

    If they want this project’s kickstarter to succeed, they should start it after WL2 is out and everybody can see if the potential of crowd-funded games really can be realized by them.

    Best of luck to them.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Absolutely this. I put a substantial amount of my game budget into kickstarter last year. I’d like to see how it turns out before giving more.

  7. luukdeman111 says:

    “We know it hasn’t been done often in the game industry, but we’re envisioning Torment as a thematic franchise with certain themes that can expand over different settings and stories.”

    I like the sound of that…. Kinda like the Bioshock idea….. I think that’s a great way to please both people who complain about all the sequels that are being made and people who want to play new games in their beloved franchises

  8. Premium User Badge

    squirrelrampage says:

    Goddamit, RPS! I had sworn not to spend any money on Kickstarters in 2013 and now you directly call upon my inner Tiefling and get me all hyped again… *grumble, grumble*

  9. Paul says:

    Sounds good.

  10. Drakale says:

    Deep thematic exploration of the human condition; heavy reactivity (i.e., choice and consequences); an intensely personal (rather than epic) story.

    If anything gives me faith they are doing it right, it’s this quote.

    • Chandos says:

      This. A gajillion times this.
      The stand-out theme of the original for me was a man trying to figure out who he was, just when I was in a phase of my life trying to answer the same question for myself. That personal connection made the game far more special for me than any “epic” fantasy could.

      From PS:T’s original vision statement (posted below by Drakale): “Why save a world you know nothing about and have absolutely no attachment to? Fuck that.”

      • sinister agent says:

        Quite. The bit that made me interested in Torment, after bouncing off it several times, was when I grit my teeth and perservered a little longer than the last time… and discovered a conversation with an NPC, who revealed that their EPIC WORLD SAVING QUES-oh wait, hang on, actually, this person is just hanging around because they pity you. That’s it. There’s no saving the world, no BEHOLD THE DARK DOOM OF DOOMDARK. It’s just some people and they did some things, and it got a bit out of hand, and now they’re trying to work out what, if anything, it all means, same as anyone else.

        There’s not really anything at stake as far as the fate of the universe is concerned. The only reason to keep going is curiosity about what’s going on, and when the writing and characters are there, that’s enough. It’s far more effective, in fact, than just threatening you with destroying the world if you don’t do what you’re told.

    • Syros says:

      Absolutely! That’s what gives reassurance that these guys get it.

  11. ResonanceCascade says:

    He’s saying all the right things. But it remains to be seen how Wasteland 2 turns out. If it’s good, I’ll be a lot more excited.

  12. zain3000 says:

    Setting: Check
    Team: Check
    Avellone’s Blessing: Double Check

    I’m sold.

  13. Colin McComb says:

    I’d like to point out (as Cerius keeps doing) that it was Zeb Cook who created the Planescape setting. Monte and I were the primary developers/designers in that world after the initial boxed set.

    • Drakale says:

      Anyone interested in game design should have a look at the planescape vision statement.
      http://www.rpgwatch.com/files/Files/00-0208/Torment_Vision_Statement_1997.pdf
      Lots of gems in there.

      • Caradog says:

        Thanks for that – what a great read!

      • Michael Fogg says:

        “We intend to create an amusingly eccentric, mindspinning, cliché-breaking power fantasy splashed with visceral moments of breathtaking violence.”

        Ahaha, and they made a game in which you spend 90% of play time reading text and having discussions about personal philosophies. I gather that document was meant for the investors.

        • Drakale says:

          I think they managed to coin 7 buzzwords in a single sentence, that’s how much passion these guys had.

      • Strangerator says:

        Min specs. Heh.

        “We‟re looking at a 16MB Pentium 90 with a 2x/4x CD ROM drive and a 2 meg Video Card. The game will be a multi-CD game (3 CDs).”

    • gritz says:

      Hey, since you’re here, were either of you (or Zeb) involved much in the development of PS:T?

      • Cerius says:

        Colin was the second most important designer on on Planescape: Torment (after Avellone) and did design on Fallout 2. Zeb worked on Fallout 2.

        AFAIK would be great to hear details from colin.

      • Colin McComb says:

        Gritz – Zeb was in-house, working on (originally) a PC version of Planescape that later rolled into the Stonekeep 2 game, so we had him as an easy resource. I was the second designer to come on to the Torment team.

      • Brother None says:

        You can read a lot more about Colin’s role in and thoughts on Planescape: Torment in this interview I did with him and MCA years ago: http://www.rpgwatch.com/show/article?articleid=55

  14. nonadventurer says:

    Seriously excited for this one!

  15. Hoaxfish says:

    I think it’s interesting to see them take the road of “thematic” sequel, in the same way that Bioshsock and Bioshock Infinite aren’t directly tied together. I’m not sure aliens and ancients can replace demons and gods, as the former lack the “mystical” qualities that made humanising the latter such a success in Planescape.

    I hope they stagger their Kickstarter, so that their first kickstarter can actually be seen as a “good game” rather than unfinished before they jump back in with another begging bowl.

    WotC is probably hoping people never learn of Planescape ever again.

    • twig_reads says:

      Or like Bioshock was to System Shock? Oh please say you do know what System Shock is, I don’t want to feel old :/

      • Hoaxfish says:

        yes, but System Shock and Bioshock do not carry the exact same name (though they are very similar).

  16. Billards says:

    I’m assuming the name will be “Numenera: Torment”, given that they’ve paid for the licence?

    Great interview, and they seem to have their heads screwed on as far a sequel goes.

  17. Ergates_Antius says:

    You know what would make this better?

    QTEs.

    Oh, and that voice that says “Headshot” whenver your get a headshot.

    And more jam.

    • Premium User Badge

      Keirley says:

      Here’s hoping the words “YOU ARE LEAVING THE MISSION AREA” are a constant presence.

    • KevinLew says:

      If you are going to put in QTEs, then I want every other “brilliant” modern game invention in there:
      * Platforming elements if it’s a first-person viewpoint game.
      * Turning a wheel or other simple actions must be done via pressing the “E” key repeatedly.
      * Two weapon limit for the characters.
      * Archers must yell out “Reloading!” between each arrow shot.

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        * Archers must yell out “Reloading!” between each arrow shot

        Wizards too.

      • Premium User Badge

        darkChozo says:

        Don’t forget the emergency one-hit-kill melee attack. Though then you run the risk of people running around and doing melee only…

  18. Premium User Badge

    ffordesoon says:

    Planescape with good combat?

    Day one.

  19. Premium User Badge

    Keirley says:

    Really looking forward to this. Glad they’re trying to fix Planescape: Torment’s wonky combat, too. But while I knew it was never going to happen I was kind of hoping for a completely non-violent game this time around. Everything I loved about Planescape: Torment was in the setting, the story, the conversations, and interactions, and it only ever seemed like it included combat because that’s what was (and still is) expected from RPGs.

    Planescape: Torment was really good at letting you avoid combat, but there were times where it was still necessary. I loved the game, but I’d also love to see a deep, complex RPG that doesn’t rely on combat/violence at all, and if any game could do that it would be a Torment game.

    • gritz says:

      Agreed 100%

      I look forward to the day when I don’t have to play “guns and conversation” or “swords and exploration” instead of just “exploration and conversation”.

      • someone else says:

        Might I suggest adventure games and interactive fiction?

        • gritz says:

          Heh, the best adventure game of the last 5 years was also the most violent game I’ve played in the last 5 years!

          But really I’m waiting for my non-violent, conversation-heavy Skyrim. Open world exploration + meaningful character interactions, please.

  20. Cerius says:

    Ever thought about opening a formspring like Kevin and Sawyer are doing?

    Would love to hear your thoughts on some things.

    Edit: Ah, damn didn’t click reply to colin.

  21. InternetBatman says:

    I’m excited for this game. It sounds interesting. I don’t think associating it with Torment will do it favors in the end though.

    Torment was about a group of people who were united through suffering that was largely self-inflicted / caused by a dissonance between worldview and realtiy, but later manifested externally. It is a very Avellone flavor, and could equally be used to describe Kotor II and to a lesser extent Lonesome Road.

    This project has a lot of talented people around it; they should explore their own sections of metaphysics rather than tie themselves to a past project, no matter how well executed it was.

    • zain3000 says:

      I agree with you to a certain extent, however there is still a lot of room for the project to explore similar themes (such as revenge, retribution, redemption) in a similar manner to which PST explored suffering.

      As Ravel said, The Nameless One acted as a lodestone, attracting those who had experienced (and continued to experience) their own torment. Perhaps the protagonist in this title can act as a similar magnet for those wishing one of the three R’s above (or any number of other suitable motivations).

      The thematic threads to PST need not be adhered to in a stringent manner. A subtle connection is all that’s needed.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I think a bit of a problem is that the name is the theme. It’s a minor problem, but one that the content creators will have to be conscious of. Numenera: Delerium or Numenera: Penance would subtly remind the audience of the first game without forcing its themes into the conversation.

        Names have power, especially when you’re talking about a game where names have power.

      • gritz says:

        It’s been a long time since I played PS:T, but wasn The Nameless One directly responsible for almost all of the other characters’ torments?

        • InternetBatman says:

          He was and he wasn’t. He certainly developed Ignus’ obsession with fire, but Ignus was the one who chose to live in agony. He gave Dakkon false information which led to doubt, but that doubt already existed inside Dakkon, and Dakkon obsessed over it. I don’t remember much of Annah, but her torment was related to her preconceived notions of a hostile world. He set Morte up to sin, let him wind up on the pile of skulls, and then pulled him out and created a dependency. Deionarra chose to dwell over him, perhaps because she originally could not believe he didn’t love her. Fall From Grace was obsessed with what she was. Etc.

          This might be reading a bit far, but these sound like text book reactions in a group of friends or family when the leader is chemically dependent or suffers a bipolar break. I would not be surprised if this happened and influenced the writing.

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      ffordesoon says:

      I dunno, man. You make an interesting point, but it’s not like Avellone’s the only guy who has interesting stuff to say along those lines.

      It’s not as if we’re getting a flood of games about regret, so they might as well stake a claim to that territory as a franchise element.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I don’t know. Winter Voices is about regret. Both the main character and the buyer experience it.

    • Josh W says:

      Exactly, I don’t want their games to revolve around torment just to preserve a brand, I’d rather they just have it be a spiritual sequel without that.

      I mean bioshock has the name because it is a successor to system shock, and this is a similar trick, but shock means a lot less than torment in the context of a personal and philosophical game.

  22. Crosmando says:

    Sounds like Fargo is still open to the nature of the combat system though, hopefully we get enough loud shouting from NMA and Codex that Fargo will give in and give us turn-based combat

    • gritz says:

      Hopefully he doesn’t and just makes a good game however he wants to make it, rather than tailoring it to the scattershot demands of messageboards that specialize in turning rose-colored nostalgia into entitlement and invective.

      • Crosmando says:

        “scattershot demands of messageboards that specialize in turning rose-colored nostalgia into entitlement and invective”

        So the people who funded Wasteland 2 then?

        • InternetBatman says:

          I don’t think the Codex was the only community funding Wasteland 2.

          • Premium User Badge

            ffordesoon says:

            To be fair, it’s not like that describes the Codex and NMA exclusively, either. Shit, that could describe Bioware Social.

          • gritz says:

            To be fair to NMA and the Codex, I don’t feel like I need to wash my brain with hot water and bleach after reading them, unlike most of the things I’ve seen coming from Bioware Social.

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      ffordesoon says:

      You’re silly.

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        He’s ‘silly’ for preferring a form of combat that allows for more depth and tactical decision-making? Let me guess, you’re one of these people who think turn-based combat was a result of technical limitations of the time, and games have ‘moved on’ since then.

        • gritz says:

          This dude is pretty silly too.

        • D3xter says:

          He’s silly because Planescape: Torment was never about slow tactical combat and decision making (and as people have already mentioned it was RtWP therefore, since that wasn’t where the game was trying to put its focus on), but mostly about a bunch of characters and telling a story. Arguably it might’ve been even better with no combat at all, similar to something like “Sanitarium”, which kind of had similarities to the game.

          Now if someone is trying to make a Jagged Alliance, HoMM, Desperados or Fallout: Tactics sequel people would be much encouraged in expecting turn-based systems and the people demanding an Oscar-worthy story would be similarly regarded as “silly”.

  23. TCM says:

    As long as the main characters says “Updated my journal.” whenever you get new info, I’m good.

  24. yeastcapp says:

    The Numenera setting looks to have artistic and thematic similarities with both the Planescape and Panzer Dragoon settings, two of the most evocative and compelling fantasy universes ever in video games.

  25. Rather Dashing says:

    So the guys who created The Bard’s Tale and Hunted are working on a sequel to one of the best games in history. Oh no.

    • Premium User Badge

      FhnuZoag says:

      Yeah, Brian Fargo will not get a penny from me unless Wasteland 2 releases and is fantastic.

    • Cerius says:

      Not exactly.

      Kevin Saunders and Colin were not involved in those two games at all as well.

  26. HadToLogin says:

    So, few dudes who worked on one game is enough to call game with different setting, lore, enemies and whole new RPG system same name?
    Didn’t knew Fallout New Vegas is actually Vampire: Bloodlines 3 and is an Alpha Protocol’ sequel…

  27. Morte66 says:

    There cannot be enough talking skulls in Torment games.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Okay, that’s funny! Nicely done.

      I’d propose a cybernetic companion that can reconstitue itself into a number of different forms. One of which could be a shiny metal skull….with snide intent.

  28. Premium User Badge

    Tom De Roeck says:

    I miss wizardry D:

  29. Muad'Dib says:

    Updated my journal.

  30. Keran says:

    I’ve always considered Planescape: Torment one of the greatest fantasy books of all time, that just happened to be a game (with, let’s be honest, mediocre-to-poor gameplay at times). I am very much looking forward to this one, but I know that if it has a better gameplay and not as good a story – I’m going to be disappointed.

    Still – looking forward to it.

    On a fanboyish note: smartass floating talking skull? Yespleaseyespleaseyesplease…

  31. apocraphyn says:

    It took 10-15 years, but we’re finally getting ‘spiritual’ sequels to the likes of Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment and Fallout (yes yes, it’s Wasteland, not Fallout). I am really, incredibly happy with the state of things, currently.

    Now it’s just a matter of waiting to see how they all actually turn out.

  32. derella says:

    I’m not Kickstarting anything until some of the things I already backed start to bear fruit. Well, except for Dreamfall Chapters(which should be launching soon, as they are filming the pitch right now), and this…

    Fuck, I suck at New Years resolutions.

  33. P.Funk says:

    I thank god, or some non deific semi-corporeal ageless power, for kickstarter.

    Its like I see the genius of my youth’s gaming coming alive again, a new renaissance of game design, and all it took was taking out the greedy middle man.

  34. ooktar says:

    I’m super excited to see this happen as a childhood fan of the original, and I’m confident that the end result will be fantastic, But I am a little concerned at how the this new setting is gonna play out. In My opinion, the world of Planescape is one of the most interesting worlds ever with its unique looking architecture of the buildings, the various species and characters, and the overall concept of the world itself (Different Planes of existence connected through various portals).

    At the Time, for me at least, just the world itself broke away from the cliche RPG settings and provided a completely fresh game world that even to this day still holds up. It broke the regular routine of getting a quest from a towns person, traveling through the forest to the dungeon, looting the dungeon, returning to town, and repeat, a lot of the quests were unique and had multiple ways to go about solving them, each one resulting in a different scenario that could affect you later in the game. It had a completely different world compared to anything else at the time with vast forests and undeground dungeons replaced by sprawling industrial-like cities and unique quest settings. Instead of the regular fantasy cast of elves, dwarfs and orcs, It introduced a whole slew of new and interesting races and species.

    Looking at some of the images of Numenara, it looks much more like a traditional fantasy setting (They remind me of some of Roger Dean’s paintings) as opposed to Planescape. I do like the character designs, but the overall world just looks too “Traditional” for me (Especially with the dragon). It doesn’t look bad mind you, and I have confidence that the end result will be faithful to the original concept of Torment. But just the uniqueness of the world of Planescape was enough in itself to make for a memorable experience.

    • Arglebargle says:

      But aren’t you being a traditionalist about your untraditional setting?

      • ooktar says:

        If you mean that I’m defending the nontraditional setting because I prefer nontraditional settings as opposed to the more commonly used settings out there, then sure I prefer settings that are not as commonly seen compared to the majority of game settings out there. But that said, I have no problems with more traditional fantasy themes, I love the Elder Scrolls series and other D&D Video Games like Neverwinter Nights and Baldur’s Gate that use more commonplace fantasy elements like forests and elves and orcs and such.

        I was talking more-so about how at the time when Planescape: Torment came out, there was a surplus of fantasy themed games that had a lot of the same setting elements with very little creativity. It was one of the first games of the time to truly break from the overused concepts of the time and provide a unique world unlike any other.

        Remember though, this is all stemming from my initial opinion of seeing some of the Numenara artwork. In the end, I could be wrong and the world could be nothing like how it appears in the images. Plus I’ve no knowledge of the Numenara universe itself and the various races and such. But the initial images, like the one of the Ice glacier with the dragon and the one of the huge grassy plain with the floating monument-thing, makes it look more like a generic fantasy setting as opposed to the dark brooding industrial slightly-Gothic world that made Planescape what it is.

        And I have no doubts about the storyline or the game itself. I’m confident that they will be able to create a story that can will stay faithful to the concept of torment. I’m just curious as to how it will play out in this new setting.

    • Brother None says:

      Note they got Dana Knutson closely involved already, and he’s the guy who designed/helped create things like the Lady of Pain for Planescape. Numenera’s own art are the starting point obviously but with Dana’s involvement I’m pretty optimistic they can give it a PS:T-esque twist.

      Setting-wise it’s pretty open, just depends on the area you’re in. Some of the safer villages will feel more like traditional fantasy, but once you go into weirder, high-tech heritage areas – and this game definitely will – you can get a lot more creative.

  35. Arglebargle says:

    The Numenera setting reminds me a bit of the world written of by Gene Wolfe in the Shadow of the Torturer/Book of the New Sun setting.

    A world so old that races have evolved to scavenge the buried cities of ancient ages. Where beam weapons co-exist with genetically manipulated destriers used for lance charging cavalry. Deadly alien flora and fauna have completely naturalized and the beaches are made up of brilliant coloured plastic sand.

    • Premium User Badge

      Yossi says:

      Best SF series ever.
      However, Wolfe was borrowing the setting from Jack Vance’s Dying Earth series, which is also one of the main inspirations to the original D&D system.

  36. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    Pretty exciting, but I’d like to see Fargo and friends get some runs on the board with Wasteland 2 before I move past the “cautious interest” stage.

    If W2 turns out to be great, then I’ll jump two footed on the hypewagon.

  37. aliksy says:

    I hope the system is nothing like d20.

  38. The Smilingknight says:

    This should be Turn Based. They will have Wasteland 2 whole new, working and tested Tb system to use. Why waste time and money on making some rtwp system?

    Whats wrong with adding another layer of good things to the game? Youre going to have fighters and magic? Why not making it tactical instead of twitchy?

    With that in mind – there is no need for there to be a lot of combat at all.
    There may as well be much less of it and it can be a much more serious, costly proposition to even engage in combat then in any other game… save Age of decadence, probably.

    Have less combat encounters all in all but work to make them really interesting and unique in every sense.

    This will also ease the number of consequences that should overlap with the rest of the content.
    Which in turn means they can be deeper, better, greater.

  39. Premium User Badge

    Big Murray says:

    Shouldn’t they be making sure Wasteland 2 is a good game before getting excited about the next game they want to make?

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      Shouldn’t you finish the games you bought before you get excited and buy another!

      (ha ha only serious!)

    • Syros says:

      If you read the interview carefully, Brian Fargo does actually address this concern.

  40. 0over0 says:

    Exciting stuff–I can only suggest: Don’t rush it.

    We’ve waited this long, we can wait longer for it to be as close to perfect as you can financially manage. PS:T was an amazing game–it was the first computer game I’d played that made me feel as though I’d read an excellent novel and not just played a game.

  41. Ginosaji says:

    You give us Wasteland sequel and now Planescape: Torment sequel? I love you forever!

  42. Premium User Badge

    BlackestTea says:

    In the quickbar at the top it says “Fargo’s Torment Revelations”, I totally read that as a game title: FARGO’s TORMENT: Revelations…

  43. Beybars says:

    Great news, so sad that I won’t be seeing Annah, Morte, Grace or any of the others again. I once thought a good sequel would be to immediately pick up where PST left of, and have the nameless one go on a quest of redemption, to seek out what he had done in the first place that made him go to Ravel.

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