Plane Sailing: Torment 2 Funded Already

By Alec Meer on March 6th, 2013 at 9:02 pm.

Seven hours. That’s what can change the nature of a roleplaying sequel. While it always seemed relatively likely that inXile’s Torment: Tides Of Mahna Mahna would be funded, given the years of backlogged adoration for Planescape: Torment, with no actual footage on show and no Avellone involvement, I’m not sure anyone expected it to happen so quickly.

It got off to a flying start, but I boldly proclaimed to team RPS earlier today that it would slow down around $200,000. I was wrong. Torment’s already breached its self-elected $900,000 ceiling and is now past the million mark. It’s probably broken some kind of record.

Well done to all concerned. Do us proud, y’hear?

__________________

« | »

, , , .

184 Comments »

  1. Zeewolf says:

    So people actually want hardcore single player RPGs? Who’d have thought?

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Well, you knew this, I knew this, that lady over there knew it, and so did her brother. Heck even AAA studios know this. But the fact is that AAA studios are still unlikely to throw money at anything that won’t be selling 5 million+ copies.

      So this might well be the only way for a medium sized studio to do this.

      • FriendlyNeighbourhoodMurderer says:

        Now, please, no one mention RPG and microtransactions to EA… oops.

        • c-Row says:

          Well, they would just have to make the merchants “real money item traders”… oh, whoops.

          • jkz says:

            Now, don’t be mean, the $60/£50 gets you the base content delivery system, formally known as a game. To which modules can be purchased resulting in added choice for the consumer, everyone wins!

        • Dezmiatu says:

          I don’t know… I really think this game needs the ability to buy handicaps, emotional turmoils, and other sources of suffering to unlock new introspective conversation trees about adversity that all end with your PC crying. Close up of your sobbing, of course, costs extra with the catatonic collapse being pre-order DLC.

      • aepervius says:

        It is not about 5 million copy it is about risk and investment. If the studio knew they would sell only 100000 copy BUT from their ivnestment had a profit after tax above 10% , they would invest. At the moment it does not look that way for single player rpg torment like, but up until recentely it looked a sure bet for stuff like CoD, MW etc…

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          Whatever, we don’t need them anymore. Good riddance, publishers!

          • Tukuturi says:

            Kickstarter is by no means a replacement for traditional publishers. It’s an avenue for much smaller projects.

            As an aside, the kickstarter hivemind doesn’t really seem to be more willing to take risks than big publishers. I’m still not convinced it’s all that different.

        • Beanbee says:

          Don’t forget business realities beyond just profit. The big studios have massive overheads and their business reality is every employee being a tiny cog in the larger machine. They’ve got themselves set into AAA titles, so they can’t chop up the team into making half a dozen profitable but niche games. Corp business practices are inherently rigid.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I loved the hell out of Planescape Torment but I wouldn’t call it hardcore, or even anywhere near it. I think the message is that people love isometric RPGs and want more of them.

      • zain3000 says:

        I think he meant hardcore as in it requires a lot of time and patience from the player to uncover all of its glorious mysteries.

        • Vorphalack says:

          I think the term ”hardcore”, along with its counterpart ”casual”, are some of the most poorly defined words in modern gaming jargon and I wish people would stop bloody well using them. /endrant

          • mouton says:

            Almost as poorly defined as the word “RPG”

          • pagla says:

            rpg = rocket propelled game

          • Continuity says:

            Like DayZ?

            Sorry.

          • Don Reba says:

            A hardcore RPG is a rocket-propelled grenade with a core of depleted uranium.

          • crizzyeyes says:

            One of my favorite definitions is “retarded pretend game.”

          • mr.lutze says:

            Bioware definition is Really Pretty Gays.

          • Tukuturi says:

            It may be easy to understand the definition of terms like RPG from the perspective of prototype theory. There are several traits that belong to the prototypical RPG, including a story represented by a central character with whom the player identifies, statistical representations of character abilities, advancement in the power of characters through the accumulation of experience points, the list goes on and on. Now, consider that these traits exist in a kind of hierarchy. Games that have more of the more important traits will seem more like an RPG than games that have more of the less important traits. Games may have traits that are associated with RPGs and also have traits associated with other types of games, thus be considered less like the prototypical RPG within the category of games.

            To draw from a classic example in prototype theory, consider the difference between a robin and a penguin in the category of birds. Both are birds, but one is a better bird than the other. From this perspective, the term bird is not as cut and dry as you might think. It is still, however, as useful term for describing both robins and penguins. The important factor is that you have some degree of cultural consensus on the cloud of traits associated with the symbol.

            Hardcore, on the other hand, has always just meant permadeath to me. I guess it means other things to other people. This would be an example of a lack of cultural consensus and thus a less useful term.

          • mouton says:

            @Tukuturi

            Yeah, I know. But far too many people behave as if RPG was some golden standard of set features and go into lengthy debates why something is or isn’t RPG.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Well that could be used to define Skyrim. I normally take hardcore in an rpg to mean rigidly adhering to a consistent stat system that represents the world, also turn-based combat. Planescape breaks D&D systems left and right, and the combat is really not that bad.

    • Barchester says:

      Of course people want those kind of games. Only the big publishers don’t know that and try and cram explosion-filled blockbuster rollercoasters down our throats. I for one am still very happy with a lot of the stuff still coming out of this entire Kickstarter thing.

      • Zyrxil says:

        It’s a big world, of course there are people who want them. Even with a $4 million budget though, it’s still not the size of project that traditional publishers are going to have an easy time finding a good size profit on.

        • DeVadder says:

          It is not the fact wether this is too small a profit for a publisher. A company is not a single person and can do several things at the same time. I bet every publisher would love those profits.
          The problem is, they are not available to them like they are to inXile. Activision could not sell Torment two years before it gets released with zero actual gameplay existing. Noone would buy that.
          So Activision would have to take the risk of developing first (well, funding of developement), selling later while inXile can sell first and develop afterwards. They are practically guaranteed a good profit at this point. Afterall, they just have to release any game to not have to pay refunds. I am not implying they were planning to do that. They certainly are not! But they have zero risks. If everything went upside down and the game would not come out as good as hoped, they would still have sold thousands of copys.
          Trust me, if Activision could get that profit that risk free, they would not say ‘Nay, that is not enough money, we only do projects that get us more than 10 million in profit!’

          • iridescence says:

            I don’t think it’s “risk free”, if they mess up bad enough they would ruin their reputation in the gaming industry and with consumers which certainly is worth something for a small developer.

            Also, I’m sure Activision could develop a hardcore RPG and make a modest profit on it and I’m sure they know they could. But, for huge companies like that it’s all about return on investment. basically “Why would we take $1 million profit on ‘Torment 2′ when we could make 50 million profit on ‘Generic Call of Duty Clone 3′ “?

            Simply saying “This would make you a bit of money” would never convince them. It’s why we need indies who will happily take a modest profit and some critical acclaim for a well designed game.

          • sockdemon says:

            Reputation? Activision?! They care about reputation now? When did that happen?

          • iridescence says:

            @Sockdemon: I was referring to Inxile’s reputation not Activision.

    • Keyrock says:

      Wait, but Crytek said that offline single player has got to go. Now I’m really confused.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        I think Crytek are not native English speakers and this was a mistranslation of “Single player- way to go!”

    • Jimbo says:

      Yes, *some* people want it. Like ‘some’ people want anything. The devil is in how many people want it.

      The big publishers aren’t entirely stupid (as much as we like to convince ourselves they are everytime they make a decision we don’t like). 20,000 backers and $1M is fantastic for inXile and I’m glad it got funded, but it’s a rounding error for Activision. It’s what CoD sells in about a second. They aren’t cramming explosion-filled rollercoaster games down *your* throat. They make those games because orders of magnitude more people will buy them than will buy a game like this. It’s fine for you to not be one of those people.

      Kickstarter is making good things possible, but let’s not get carried away, I doubt any big publisher bigwigs are looking at these games and kicking themselves over the tremendous opportunities they have turned down.

      • Zeewolf says:

        OTOH, the 22k backers who jumped on this on the first half of day one are only a small part of the audience. I’m pretty sure most potential customers are not Kickstarter-backers.

        I haven’t backed it, and I’m probably not going to. I will probably buy it when it’s released, though.

        Edit: Also, unlike Activision most medium-to-large videogame companies are not swimming in cash, and a million dollars in six hours would be pretty significant.

        • Jimbo says:

          I’ll probably end up buying it too. I just think the ‘See? Big publishers don’t know what they’re doing!’ comments whenever anything is a tiny bit successful on Kickstarter are boring, predictable, disingenuous and beneath us.

          Kickstarter has proved that there’s still a market for certain out-of-fashion genres (and that’s great); it hasn’t proved that multi-billion dollar revenue companies were wrong to conclude that those games weren’t worth their time anymore. I appreciate that ~20k doesn’t represent the entire audience for this game, but these days it’d need to get to 50-100x that before ‘big publishers’ started paying attention and seriously reconsidering their position.

          • Klydefrog says:

            What I don’t get is why people even mention big publishers at a time like this. Kickstarter is a million times better for us (the players) than traditional publishing, and the fact that InXile have managed to successfully fund two games through it in a way that actually treats the players like a publisher is fantastic. As they’ve said, normally if they were funding games through publishers they would find funding for and get their pre-production team working on a new game as soon as pre-production for the last game is finished and that’s exactly what they’ve done here. This is surely concrete proof that small but well known development teams like InXile and DoubleFine don’t need to jump through hoops for publishers any more but can actually fund all their future games through Kickstarter. If anything we should be trying to hide this from the OTHER publishers in case they try and steal our lovely clients.

          • Reiver says:

            I think one of the reasons people do so is annoyance that for 10 or so years these games simply haven’t existed due to the industries gatekeepers deciding there isn’t a market for them or at least a market worth bothering about. It just seems like publishers have disregarded the medium sized project with niche but consistent appeal. It’s getting better now with new models of funding and distribution as well as Paradox and a few others doing their thang but I can’t help but feel that 10 or more years of potentially great gaming experiences have been lost in favour of churning out bland meh games aimed at a much more unpredicatble and fickle market.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            @Reiver
            Not only that, but when publishers do get their hands on classic games they destroy all the actual mechanics and simply use the characters or setting in a third person movie game.

            We don’t want publishers near our nostalgia!

          • Klydefrog says:

            @Reiver @Sparkasaurusmex

            I agree with both of you but we shouldn’t dwell on the past. The fact is inXile have proved that developers with their reputation don’t have to worry about publishers any more and neither do we. Brave new world and all that.

      • sophof says:

        Actually, and this is going to sound a bit insane, but I think most publishers ARE stupid, or at least the people with the power. I have never seen a company run by only competent people, nor any proof of a strong correlation between salary and competence (I’m sure there is some). This business is also in the unique position of being a creative business, but usually run by people with no affinity for it.

        They are just as stupid as the execs at Microsoft can so often be, as a politician sometimes can be, or anyone else really. If it looks like a duck and so forth…

    • frightlever says:

      I think PS:T was actually the “easiest” of the Infinity Engine games. Combat was a breeze, in general, and you needed minimal Min-Maxing. The fact that every member of your party and virtually every major character you met had a rich background was far more important than any of the typical “hardcore” mechanics. Even dying in PS:T was virtually no-consequence, at least early on.

      I’ve only played PS:T twice through but I might be due another go. Problem for me is that it’s all still so fresh in my mind from my last playthrough about seven years ago.

      Still have my original disks in their case though the box is missing. Sniff. I wonder will anyone picking up the physical collector’s edition from the Kickstarter get a windfall like the original PS:T and ICO owners could have from back when downloads were niche.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        In the context here though “hardcore” just means “diametrically opposed to casual”
        So things like a lot of text or visible statistics can have easy-to-play games colloquially recognized as hardcore.

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    To doo, be doo doo… mahna mahna….

  3. luukdeman111 says:

    Kickstarter fatigue aye?

    • InternetBatman says:

      Wait for four months and people will be claiming it again on the eve of the next big kickstarter. I swear some people want everyone to be burned out on Kickstarter because there’s no joy in their hearts.

      • Continuity says:

        More likely no money in their wallets. I keep telling myself that I’m done with kickstarter for now, after backing ~20 game projects, but then we get things like this.. which I can’t refuse.

    • hitnrun says:

      In fairness, you could probably post a prospectus for a Facebook-Wall-Spam game with no assets except prose explanations of how the game will be inspired by Planescape: Torment and get $200k within a month.

    • noom says:

      I’m glad this has done so well so quickly. The big question on my mind is what would happen if inXile decided to launch another kickstarter further down the line with an entirely new IP (I know some people on here hate that term, but I can’t think of anything better right now…). Would it meet with the same level of success I wonder…

      I, for one, like to think that it would.

      • Cleave says:

        I think that after Wasteland 2 launches, if it’s well received, then inXile will absolutely be in a position to do that.

        A quote from today’s Wasteland 2 update:

        “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.”

        And one from the first Torment update:

        “Our goal is to make great RPGs for you all for the rest of our careers.”

        It sounds to me like they view Kickstarter or other such funding methods as a long term business model and I would imagine that once Wasteland has shipped and full production on Torment has started they’ll turn back to us with their next pitch. I couldn’t be more excited about veteran developers being freed from the shackles of the traditional model.

        • Tuor says:

          I hope that method works for them. I really do. But from my point of view, there are only so many PS:T and BGs out there. So, if they want to do this over the long term, then the products they end up giving us will have to be good enough that we’ll support them on entirely new endeavors. I wish them the best of luck.

    • DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

      People keep saying “Kickstarter’s changed” “people are more wary” etc. and I have no clue why. All I’ve seen is the lame sounding ones fail and the interesting looking ones succeed same as always. I think somebody somewhere was trying to be a trend forecaster and a bunch of other people just repeated what they read by that guy.

      • Josh W says:

        People in the 17th century started hitting book fatigue, where there were many many good books being printed, and people slowly had to loose their grip on “all knowledge everywhere”, and specialise.

        Many people have tried to keep up to speed with kickstarter, and it’s been too overwhelming, which probably means that a few really good kickstarters will start falling through the cracks between the different people who are able to keep tabs on things, and their areas of interest. On the other hand, many kickstarters in the direct view of these things will continue to do brilliantly.

        Edit – Wait a second I mean the 18th century!

        • frightlever says:

          “People in the 17th century started hitting book fatigue”

          Was this a real thing? I gotta go Google this. I find this concept vaguely calming. OTOH, now that I’ve found out about it I have to learn more, which is kinda the problem in the first place.

    • Klydefrog says:

      Well, when this launches on the same day that Death Inc. and Project Awakened undeservedly fail I’d say, yeah, Kickstarter fatigue. Only for original IPs though. Reboots of well-loved franchises clearly don’t apply. Although why hasn’t Dreafall Chapters reach $2 million dollars yet? Answers me that eh? Or just go and pledge to Dreamfall Chapters. At least let’s get it up to $1.5 million so they don’t have to cut anything. Come on!

      • l3illyl3ob says:

        Project Awakened was never going to succeed no matter when in it launched. Why? It looks too good. No, really. When a game looks like it could be a $60 AAA game, the Kickstarter crowd loses interest. They don’t want another open world AAA game, they want things you have a hard time finding anywhere else. So don’t blame fatigue. KS is a bad fit for Project Awakened.

        • Klydefrog says:

          Yeah, you make a good point actually. Death Inc. though? That seemed like a perfect Kickstarter for me; cutesy aesthetic, slightly old school but with some new gameplay twists. Maybe the problem there was the sort of people interested in that type of thing had already given their money to Project Godus and the like.

      • RProxyOnly says:

        dp

      • RProxyOnly says:

        Update 24 ruined that project.

        Exclusive content for different tiers?.. that’s a lot of bullshit and something a publisher would try on us and in that case they can go to a publisher for funding as far as I’m concerned.

        It stinks of store exclusive DLC and microtransations.. it’s not right for a KS’er to pull that shit. All backers should get the full game.

  4. Enkinan says:

    These guys deserve it, can’t wait to see how it comes out. Also can’t wait to see the stretch goals, since they were still preparing them, not expecting to fund in 6 hours, 2 minutes.

  5. Beybars says:

    I’d like to think that it’s my 20$ that made the difference and inspired people to chip in.

  6. Trashcanman says:

    Guess this goes to show that there really is a market for more mature games with lots of mechanics and depth. Do hope at least a few suits pay attention.

    • guygodbois00 says:

      I hope most sincerely they do not. Whenever suits turn their “Sauron’s gaze” to something it crumbles to fine dusty console game.

      • Vorphalack says:

        Exactly. EA / Activision / Ubisoft couldn’t produce something like the old Infinity engine games, they would only fuck it up through micro-transactions, DRM, console control / hardware constraints and superfluous tacked on multi-player. Better for this sort of game to stay small and have a chance to retain its integrity.

        • The Random One says:

          Case in point is that Ubisoft is legitimately trying to do this kind of thing, and do think the Assassin’s Creed series and Far Cry 3 are mature and intelligently deal with serious questions, bless their hearts.

  7. toxic8 says:

    Endure, and in enduring grow strong.

    • Mirqy says:

      my girlfriend knows this as the ‘updated my journal game’. Of all the memorable quotes, that’s the one that stuck, because ol’ nameless says it about 24,000 times.

      I bet the devs are saying ‘I feel stronger’ every time they get another 100 K pledged.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        “….you must gather your party before venturing forth” is basically the only line I really remember from BG 1 and 2, despite those being a couple of my favorite games.

        Even reading the words “updated my journal” causes a part of my brain to replay TNO’s voice saying it. And I get this little excited feeling… same as Zelda’s magical you-found-a-secret sound.

    • Daniel Klein says:

      By knowing the teachings of Zerthimon, I HAVE become stronger.

    • Arkh says:

      Steel marks flesh, but flesh cannot mark steel.

      That’s actually wrong because flesh does mark steel but on a micro scale.

  8. Hardtarget says:

    I just don’t get this. I get that they have a huge group of artists that are now done on Wasteland and need something to do but a kickstarter for a second game when you haven’t released your first game, which was also kickstarted, and all you have to show is a terrible Choplifter HD and a pretty average Bard’s Tale remake just rubs me the wrong way.

    I can’t believe that they raised a million dollars so quickly based purely on the planescape name with basically nothing of wasteland 2 out yet.

    I backed Wasteland 2 and would have backed this if Wasteland was shaping up but it’s just way too early for me to make any kind of call.

    • pakoito says:

      Despite hating the show, they provide a good explanation here

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukADFPuscG8

      And just for reference, inXile is one full team and a half.

      • Cleave says:

        “Whichever developer solves this pre-production problem is already half way to being the next Valve, Bioware or Blizzard”

        So inXile then?

    • InternetBatman says:

      It doesn’t rub me the wrong way, but I didn’t pledge either. A playable Wasteland 2 demo might kick me off the fence.

    • wodin says:

      I must admit their previous games aren’t upto much. SO yes looks like if you have the IP you will get millions no matter how poor your previous work was.

      Still I backed W2..but nit this..Planescape didn’t do it for me..I’d rather have seen Arcanium.

      • Don Reba says:

        It is about the people, not the IP. Torment did well despite not continuing with the Planescape universe. Project Eternity did well despite being a new IP altogether. I backed Torment, because I approve of its pitch and because I believe the people working on it have the experience they need to deliver on it.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          Exactly. This isn’t about IP or even development houses. It’s more to do with the individual talent. We feel somewhat secure that these guys know what we’d like in a PS:T sequel, and won’t sacrifice that to make it more accessible to a larger audience. Not that they won’t try to make it more accessible, they just (hopefully) won’t compromise the PS:Tiness of it.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Personally, I have enough faith in them that I don’t mind throwing some money at them to see what they come up with. Better to back a project which I really want to deliver than to back something I know will, but don’t care as much about.

      But then, I really like them rpgs.

    • Caiman says:

      You talk as though none of the people working at inXile have ever worked on anything else, that nobody there has a portfolio, resume or CV! There’s a huge amount of talent there, it just needs the right projects to shine. I think a lot of the faith for this new Torment derives from the encouraging work on Wasteland 2 shown to date, including that recent playthrough video which shows they’re heading in the right direction.

    • Continuity says:

      I have enough faith in Brian Fargo to give him the benefit of the doubt. He may not have always made great business decisions at Interplay but he sure as hell made the right call on a lot of games that wouldn’t have seen the light of day otherwise (Fallout anyone?).

  9. thrawn says:

    Pft. They’ll never succeed if they keep doing this “no DRM” fad nonsense. How will we get the full game experience without launch-day server crashes? I want this thing on Games for Windows Live!

  10. Giuseppe says:

    This news makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside :D

  11. Anguy says:

    I have to say this was one of the best pitch videos I’ve seen yet.
    They really grabbed me with their story introduction there and I just thought “How awesome is this?” and clicked on the “Back this project” button

  12. aliksy says:

    I should probably back it even though I don’t like monte cook or the subtitle. hrrm. Those aren’t very good reasons. Or I could wait 2-3 years for it to be released, reviewed, and discounted. Hmm..

  13. mr.black says:

    Kickstarter? What Kickstarter..? :scrolls main page: Oh!

    Congratulations!

  14. SMiD says:

    Donated this morning at the $110 level and been watching this climb during the day. Feels really good to be part of something special.

  15. caddyB says:

    I backed the early bird thing, but will be giving them all my monies if a client pays up before the end of the campaign.
    Being a freelancer sucks sometimes.

  16. Flavioli says:

    Here’s to hoping the industry takes this as clear indication that there exists a demand for this type of game.

    • Lanfranc says:

      The industry is probably quite aware that there exists a demand, but the real question is whether that demand is large enough to get the big players involved. Could very well be it isn’t.

      • Flavioli says:

        True, I’d never expect the AAA studios to get on board with this, as their focus has understandably gone into more accessible types of games… but what about the more mid-tier publishers, such as Paradox? I’m not saying Paradox itself, as this is not the type of thing they do, but surely some publisher that focuses on lower budget games might be interested in funding something like this. It wouldn’t be the next Skyrim, but surely it would make more money than many of the games that are actually getting funded by publishers rather than Kickstarter. Maybe I don’t understand how this whole thing works.

  17. coffeetable says:

    It’s a shame Kickstarter didn’t happen back when it was $2 to the Great British Pound.

  18. Alexander says:

    I would cry if I’d have a heart.

  19. Dick Page says:

    They did break a record, as far as I can tell: fastest to one million. http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/ouyas-big-day

    • flang says:

      That list is missing Project Eternity, which is made it to a million in a similar timeframe (6-8 hours I think). I’m sure we’ll get official word sometime soon.

  20. RakeShark says:

    I fear this might suck the wind out of Garriott’s sails for whatever he’s planning on doing in a day or so, presumably a kickstarter/crowdfund project of his own.

  21. ResonanceCascade says:

    I was gonna let this one pass me by, but once I saw I could get my name on a headstone…crumbled.

  22. Jorum says:

    Planescape Torment possibly my favorite game ever, but am not sure about backing this.
    Torment had two great pillars – brilliant narratives and the incredible richness of the planescape universe.
    Ending up with brilliant narratives and good characters are not easy and by no means guaranteed. It’s not something like graphics or level design.
    And replacing Planescape with something equally rich and compelling *from scratch* is quite a task.

    If they don’t get those, then you have a great RPG but not something equal to Torment.

    So really really really really want this to work but think it’s definitely be a project that whilst not failing as a good game, could fail to be what people hope.

    • Apocalypse says:

      They don´t need to build a new universe from scratch. They use http://kck.st/O61qCH Numenera, a rich world already developed by Monte Cook.

      • solidsquid says:

        Numenera isn’t an existing setting though, at best it’ll just be getting finished when this Kickstarter finishes. It’s been split into two projects, but they are essentially working with a new setting that’s being created from scratch to replace Planescape

  23. Lokik says:

    So sad that I’ve been a poor bastard during all these amazing Kickstarters. Nice to get to download the game for such a low price, but those physical packages seem so nice…

  24. dongsweep says:

    Perhaps everyone was getting fatigued but apparently the right Kickstarter can change the nature of a man.

  25. Shuck says:

    I’m curious as to how the development process will be different from Planescape, as the money they’re raising is a fraction of what they spent on that game, just as the money raised for Wasteland 2 is a fraction of what was spent on Fallout.

    • Cleave says:

      Modern tools and experience increases productivity?

      • Shuck says:

        That helps, but it doesn’t explain the entire difference – the amounts being asked for are about a quarter of what they spent on the previous isometric games. (E.g. Fallout cost, adjusted for inflation, about $4.3 million.) A lot of that would be asset costs. Actual 3D models can be easier to work with than rendered sprites for games like these, and perhaps they also have pre-existing asset libraries of which they can make use. Still, that’s a significant difference.

        • soco says:

          They aren’t getting the entire budget just from Kickstarter. They mention in the mire of the massive info dump on the page that they are doing some self funding and Fargo has pledged some of his own money.

          “With Torment, if we reach the $900,000 goal but fall short of a million, Brian will personally fund the remaining amount to reach $1 million total for development. If funding beats $1 million, he will instead contribute 10 cents from every $1 pledged from the $1 million to $2 million mark.”

          Looks like Fargo will be putting in a 100 grand of his own.

          “Also, inXile has established secondary revenue streams that will bolster Torment’s development budget. For example, last September, The Bard’s Tale was released on Android, winning many awards and selling hundreds of thousands of copies in just a few months. While this doesn’t provide enough money to create a game like Torment, it lets us invest in Wasteland 2 and Torment to improve their quality. Although Torment would not be possible without your support, we are self-funding a portion of the game as well. Just like you, we want Torment to be the best it can be.”

          So the Kickstarter money is the bulk, but not the whole. This probably puts it pretty darn close to those budgets from the original games.

          • valuum says:

            Reading about their “one and a half team” – where a team is apparently 15 people – I was starting to wonder, so thanks for the info. Wouldnt want the staff poor, see!

        • Lanfranc says:

          The way this Kickstarter is going, I’m pretty sure they’ll end up with considerably more than $4 million, anyway. A rough guess of maybe somewhere in the $5–8 million range would not be implausible.

        • Don Reba says:

          Artist productivity has greatly improved in the last decade, by the way. Even just for 2D, all the accumulated knowledge and improved tools make a huge difference.

          • solidsquid says:

            This is a bigger deal than some people might realise. Artists are more used to producing work for media like this at a fast pace and to a high quality now. Hell, speedpainting is a hobby for a lot of them. Combined with much more streamlined workflows, it’s easier for experienced artists to produce work and supply it in an appropriate format for the next stage of development

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      What were the budgets for the original games?

      • Shuck says:

        I’ve read that Fallout was $3 million (which is about $4.3 million in contemporary dollars), with similar budgets mentioned for the Infinity Engine-made games as well (I’ve seen numbers over $4 million for Baldur’s Gate’s budget).

        • Kiya says:

          Modern tools make a huge difference – Brian Fargo said in one interview that his 14 year old son did things in a week that would have taken him two years -> http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-08-13-brian-fargo-interview-our-definition-of-success-is-their-failure fifth paragraph down.

          They also don’t have to carve chunks out of their budgets for publisher required marketing or pay for expensive *known* actors to say three lines of dialogue.

          There are many ways that game budgets get inflated to meet publisher requirements. They have no need to try and reach some mystical wider audience – the people who want their games have paid up front, any sales after the game is finished are a bonus.

  26. daphne says:

    Not surprising, the game’s pretty much the end boss of Kickstarter for games.

  27. Emeraude says:

    I so love when the cynic in me gets proven wrong.

  28. salad10203 says:

    Can someone explain to me how much larger of a budget would be required to turn it from an “isometric fixed” to “isometric free” like Dragon Age? I never played RPG’s before KOTOR so my expectations are always to be able to zoom down and have a view akin to “OTS” to get more immersed.

    • Shuck says:

      Hard to say exactly, but quite a bit. For a previous project I worked on, the decision was made to go fixed isometric almost entirely because of how much we’d save in asset costs, even though we had an engine designed for 1st/3rd person OTS views. Environments needed fewer surfaces (as the ceilings, etc. were unseen), textures and models could be lower detail because of the size at which they were being seen, animations didn’t need to be as smooth or have transitions from one type of movement to another, as you’d not notice the difference, etc. Most of a game’s cost is the assets, so it adds up quickly. Going the other direction would probably cost a lot more than we saved, as the engine (and tools, etc.) wouldn’t necessarily be set up for it.

      • salad10203 says:

        Thanks. I had a feeling the cost could go up pretty quickly. I guess I will have to give fixed-iso a try, I am too hungry for an RPG to let it get in the way.

  29. Reapy says:

    Went for the 45 one for wasteland 2 and this. I was all for wasteland 2 but I wasn’t comfortable paying for nothing, after seeing their preview vid I’m down for paying ~20 bucks for what they are making, which leads me in to the fact that I’ll most likely enjoy this, even if made out of the same engine.

    I was very sad to see the IWD / BG / torment genera RPG style change to what KOTR did for apparently everybody. Glad to see it’s coming back, here is 45 dollars.

  30. Shooop says:

    Can this mean there is actually a market for story-driven single-player RPGs with choices more meaningful than “who do you want to sleep with?”

    Bioware must be shocked!

  31. H-Hour says:

    Wow, I probably couldn’t come up with a game concept I’d be less interested in, but clearly there is an audience that is dying for this. It really shows the power of knowing your niche and catering to it, rather than trying to expand your appeal to reach some kind of wider market.

  32. valuum says:

    I really like the both games tier; you get two games for twice the Torment support. Damn you guys/those guys are fast though, good thing it isnt limited..

  33. Ergonomic Cat says:

    Note that Chris Avellone put up a video expressing his level of excitement for this game (Hint: It was high, and profane), so it’s only sort of lacking him. He’s not there, but he’s said some very nice things about it….

  34. Michael Fogg says:

    Don’t know if I want to live on this planet anymore. You’d think that people could ‘crowdsource’ schools for poorly developed parts of the world. Or research into sustainable energy sources. Or treatment for people who live with no health insurance. Instead they pile literally millions of bucks into items of nerd nostalgia which are ultimately not even relevant to the broad cultural landscape. Fuck this shit.

    • drewski says:

      Oh yeah? You work for a non-profit, live in a slum on beans and rice and donate 100% of your non-essential income to causes, do you?

    • Don Reba says:

      One naturally asks: what do I get from supporting third-world schools, besides having my children’s jobs outsourced overseas?

    • HothMonster says:

      If this game upsets you so much I don’t know how you didn’t kill yourself when you heard the Twilight box office numbers.

    • iridescence says:

      You are aware that there are charities and non-profits for all those things, right? And people donate a lot of money to them. Far more than this million dollars. So people want a game and are willing to put up money for it, why does it bother you? Do you get similarly up in arms during Steam sales or when you go to the mall?

      If so maybe you should stop worrying so much about what strangers spend their money on.

    • InternetBatman says:

      People pay creators to make beautiful things. This planet sucks.

    • derbefrier says:

      Well you could look at it like this. All these nerds just gave a good amount of people paychecks for awhile. You know, money, that thing we need to have a home, eat food, educate our children, go to the doctor. So in a way what your complaining about not happening in fact is happening by them providing a product some people want. We may not need a new RPG but those people do need to eat and now they will.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      >You’d think that people could ‘crowdsource’ schools for poorly developed parts of the world. Or research into sustainable energy sources. Or treatment for people who live with no health insurance.

      You can do all these things. Kiva, Watsi, Microryza. All .org addresses, I’d link but suspect the spamfilter would eat the post.If you want to lend on Kiva I can get you started with an invite.

      However, art is important too. That is a fallacy that would make it immoral for anyone to spend money on anything, because there are always worthier causes.

    • xao says:

      Yeah, it’s really too bad that charity and entertainment are mutually exclusive. I’m not sure how you cope with the guilt of using a computer, over the internet. Surely there are better things on which to spend those resources. I can only imagine the shattering conflict in your heart, torn by your dependency on such unworthy trappings. Truly, my heart aches for you.

      In other news, nothing you do is relevant to the broad cultural landscape. If you do something of significance, well, then you simply haven’t defined the cultural landscape broadly enough! Ah, the joys using ill-defined concepts to belittle the work of others.

      As a fellow denizen of this planet, feel free to leave any ol’ time.

  35. Sardukar says:

    I backed this. $25 is a small amount of money to risk on Brian Fargo. I like how Wasteland is looking and besides, I’ve wasted more money on stupider things than a reasonable chance at playing a Torment sequel. With Project Eternity and this, I have a pretty good bet on playing at least one excellent torment-like RPG.

    Fair bet.

  36. Urfin says:

    I am amazed at people in comments to this and the previous post going on about how they don’t trust these guys, coming to Kickstarter a second time, entitled consumerish bla-bla.

    I mean if anyone in the games industry deserves blind trust, it’s these guys, just on merit of their achievements. Especially given no publisher’s producers with their streamlining crap that gave us modern games as they are.

    • Lemming says:

      I wonder how many of them are the same guys that think nothing of slapping down £40-£60 on a pre-order for genero-shooter 4?

      • Urfin says:

        Problem is, most people give in to shit and lower their standards, if you throw enough of said shit at them. Which is what’s been happening since the turn of the century with about every good old franchise, and almost all new ones. Standards are getting abysmally low on what a game should play like, is what I’m saying, and it’s not really the people’s fault.

        I’ve been playing for 23 years, since I was 7, and even though some old gaming flames didn’t stand the test of time, I am pretty sure that grass WAS greener, and people really have no idea just how much more stupid and empty and bad games have become compared to 10-15 years ago. Which is why gameplay-less not-really-interactive movies like Mass Effect or Deus Ex: HR are getting good ratings. People just don’t know the difference.

        • frightlever says:

          I’ve been playing video games since ten years before you were born. Pong rocked. You may think things were “better” back when YOU were a kid but not me. Right now is the absolute best time to be playing games. No question about it. If you want to play those games from your youth, someone is making them as part of a make a game in X amount of hours challenge and giving them away for free on their website. And they’ll give you as much challenge and graphical quality as you had available when you were 7. Most people have moved on. We also earn MUCH more money now. That’s how inflation works.

          Put it like this, in simple terms – if you want to completely ignore the nefarious money-grubbing practices of the AAA game publishers then you can. You can safely ignore all those games they’re making now and still have hundreds, if not thousands of good lo-fi and mid-fi games to play, either for free or modestly priced. But you don’t get to decided what people spend their money on and what they spend their money on doesn’t affect your gaming enjoyment because you preferred those games from 23 years ago, right?

          • Urfin says:

            Problem is the vast majority of those smaller games you talk about are either crap, unfinished, or carbon copies of games that were done better and way before. Good indie games are in the low single digits a year. And I don’t particularly fancy “moving on” to the crap they call games nowadays. You see, back in the day Sonic 3 was as AAA as they come. And modern stuff sure as hell doesn’t come close.

          • Goodtwist says:

            “We also earn MUCH more money now. That’s how inflation works.”
            I’m afraid that’s not true. Rather, wages for the majority of people in the “West”, the middle class, haven’t kept pace with inflation- to illustrate this also there’s a recent study done by the Swiss bank UBS. This is resulting in a diminishing spending capacity, unfortunately for us all.

    • frightlever says:

      I’m super excited for Wasteland 2 and Torment. I’m not pre-ordering anything, obviously, because the only games inXile have produced were mediocre at best. I’ve played Bards Tale (not as bad as the reviews would have you think) and Hunted: The Demon’s Forge (lasted around an hour). Bottomline, Brian Fargo is in charge and his games pedigree of late has been pretty shoddy. If Kickstarter can change that then I wish it all the success in the world but ya know, “What can change the nature of a man?” Kickstarter? Anyway, don’t let me rain on anyone’s parade. There will definitely be games coming out bearing the Wasteland and Torment names. So that’s nice.

  37. frightlever says:

    I have a vision from the year 2015 when a tired but excited inXile team are slumped at their desks. “We’ve done it. Everything is go. We have the statues, the collectors edition art books, the full color manuals, we’ve got everything ready to ship… have we forgotten anything?”

    • Sunjumper says:

      If your description is any indication they have forgotten to take any days off and are close to working themselves to death.

      You are right, they should be taking it easy and get a few weeks off before starting their next project, if they burn themselves out the quality of the end product will suffer.

    • solidsquid says:

      The game?

  38. racccoon says:

    Wow back seat car marketing and it made it. Now we got another Kickstarting butt doodle thingy thing success, no idea how people think these days, Only thing I noticed was a Limo maybe a good way to kick it!

  39. Wooly Wugga Wugga says:

    So apparently there are going to be about 50,000 tombstones in the game.

    Sounds legit.

  40. caddyB says:

    Fargo and Avellone should have babies. SCIENCE, MAKE IT HAPPEN!

  41. soulblur says:

    Well I for one am FREAKIN EXCITED!!!

    And I’ve never even played PS:T.

  42. cervor says:

    Pretty neat. Just so happens that Colin McComb is on the new episode of the talkshow “Story Board” with bestseller author Patrick Rothfuss on Youtube :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PtFlcZome4

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>