Torment 2: What Can Source The Nature Of A Crowd?

By Alec Meer on March 6th, 2013 at 1:51 pm.

It’s no surprise whatsoever that inXile’s PlaneScape: Torment spiritual sequel would hitch itself to the Kickstarter mast. Because, er, they always said it would. That Kickstarter is now live, live, live, as Torment: Tides of Numenera sings for its $900,000 supper for the next month or so.

Update: 15 minutes after launching, they’ve made $50,000 $70,000 already. Bloody Nora!
Update 2: Less than two hours from launch, Torment’s at over $300,000. Seems unlikely this one won’t make it, eh?

The pitch video’s a direct sequel to the executive-lampooning ‘publishers don’t accept anything that isn’t a manshooter’ concept of inXile’s last crowdsourcing success, Wasteland 2. Of course, what we want most of all is some reassurance that this really does evoke Planescape: Torment, even though the settings and characters are entirely new and PST’s main man Chris Avellone isn’t specifically involved with this Planescape-free follow-up. Original Planescapers Colin McComb and Monte Cook are, however.

Let’s take a look, eh?

inXile boss Brian Fargo has been making promises such as “This Torment game is truly for people who love great writing in a game. An RPG for connoisseurs.” It talks the talk, but can it walk the soul-wounded walk? You’ll have to take a gamble.

Here are the key promises:

* Torment is a single-player, isometric role-playing game.
* You will play a single, specific character, though you will encounter optional NPC companions you may choose to include in your party.
* The story-driven game will have a rich dialogue system and approach similar to that of Planescape: Torment.
* The game will be developed in the Unity engine for PC (Windows), Mac, and Linux platforms.
* The game will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish.
* The game will be distributed DRM-free. (You’ll be able to get it from Steam, and other DRM-free download options will be made available.)

As for how it will relate to PST, there’s this:

* A Deep, Thematically Satisfying Story. The philosophical underpinnings of Torment drive the game, both mechanically and narratively. Your words, choices, and actions will be your primary weapons.
* A World Unlike Any Other. The game has a fantastic, original setting, with awe-inspiring painterly visuals, imaginative locations, truly offbeat items, and massive feats of magic. In Numenera, however, “magic” is actually something surprisingly different.
* A Rich, Personal Narrative. The story is thoughtful and character-driven—epic in feel but a deeply personal narrative, with nontraditional characters and companions who have their own motivations and desires that drive them throughout the game.
* Reactivity, Choice, and Real Consequences. The game emphasizes replayability and reactivity, and your choices will make a real difference. You can play the game with a different approach and discover entirely new pathways. Most important, we won’t tell you how to play. The best ending is the one you choose, flowing naturally from your actions throughout the game.

I need to research and absorb all this and everything else they’ve put up a little more, and hopefully we then can bring you less copypastad coverage soon.

Avellone has given the project his blessing, by the way. He’s very excited, in fact:

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148 Comments »

  1. Oozo says:

    I really hope for a “Guido Henkel Mug Shot For Cover!”-stretchgoal.

    PS That child actor is really not too bad an actor… for a child.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      He’s awesome! The bit after Fargo says, “Torment” right before the kid replies, “Never heard of it,” is great.

    • Berzee says:

      Seeing a video like this with an actual Zany Child Star leaves me wondering:

      WHY are the voices of CHILDS in VIDEOGAMES so often just LADIES talking in CREEPY CHIPMUNK VOICES???

      • Hahaha says:

        Because making children work is looked down on by the majority of the first world…..

        • Berzee says:

          But there is a first world child *right up there* in that embedded video file! I know it’s possible!

          (Even used car dealers on my radio make their children sing stupid songs instead of asking their wife to sing stupid songs in a baby-voice. I want developers to be at least as resourceful about their voice acting as the used car dealers.)

        • Nick says:

          children do VO work all the time.

      • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

        Because children and animals are a pain in the ass to work with.

      • Ultra Superior says:

        And to add insult to injury, children in games are 99% unkillable !

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        Have you seen the going rate to capture a child to work in the dialogue-mines these days?

        • Lars Westergren says:

          I think my new life goal is to be 1/10th as witty as Lord Custard Smingleigh.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            how do we quantify witty?

          • Lars Westergren says:

            Centi-Wildes?

          • Kamos says:

            Centi-smings?

          • Chuckaluphagus says:

            Milli-Custards.

          • gwathdring says:

            Thank you, Lars. :D

            Hmm. Running with this, somewhat like a Coulomb, a Wilde is a very large quantity of Witty (N Very Large typically meaning N^(-1) + x ~= x for the fundamental scale of our problem at our desired level of precision, or similar). As such, working with Centi-Wildes probably still puts us working with overly large amounts of wit.

            Perhaps miliWildes puts us in a sufficiently small range for measurements, but the average person seems to be solidly in the micro Wilde regime with some of our lowest measurements of unimpaired human beings ranging from 5 to 10 micro (or at the lowest end nano) Wildes. It follows, if we look at a particular sentence, comment or other linguistic unit, we have a certain Wilde current. Quite unlike Coulombs, the rate at which Wildes flow tends to be quite small. Though Wilde was not anywhere near spent over the course of his lifetime, if we assume his source was completely depleted in his roughly 1450656000 seconds, we have a very small current of 1 Wilde per Gigasecond! But Wilde scholars are quite adamant that his source of river of wit was not run dry, and resulting estimates gave us the rather odd result that Mr. Wilde was rated at multiple Wildes! For this an other reasons, an arbitrarily lower value of 1 Wilde per Terasecond was chosen for the point of standard measurement giving us the short-lived unit of Wilde Current, the Oscar. Complicating matters was the discovery that wit can be replenished over time, making estimates of Wilde standard values for Wilde currents more difficult without improved research methods. Progress, as ever, continued.

            More recently, it has been determined that sources on the order of miliWilde can induce virtually any Wilde current, but currents on the order of the source magnitude (or higher orders) will obviously be unsustainable over long periods. Under normal conditions, sources on the order of miliWilde produce about 1 Wilde every 300 Megaseconds, or roughly 1 nanoWilde per second.

            These are the typical values, and to avoid historical confusion Wilde currents are simply measured as Wildes per second (again, typically uW/s) and the Oscar was left at it’s legacy value and relegated to obscurity. Wilde sources found in nature are mostly equilibrated; that is, they are replenished by currents one the same order as the current they produce. Relationships between incoming and outgoing Wilde currents still requires significant further study.

            In summary, we typically measure these sorts of statements in nanoWilde (nW), for they produce currents on the order of nW/s and are delivered on the order of seconds.

            A note on units: Various fields use different unit conventions. Literary engineers are more interested in density (often nW/cm^2), and deal with currents measured in cWildes/Yr. Verbal engineers tend to be more interested in uW/hr currents, and philosophers in kWildes/Century. Though film scholars tend to their own conventions, many in the industry still use the legacy current units for unknown reasons. Perhaps most strange is the routine celebration of works that achieve Wilde currents but a SINGLE Wilde per terrasecond, a rate that would only expend the entirety of our low-percentile sources over the course of roughly a month without any replenishing Wilde current!

          • Don Reba says:

            The original Wilde would have to be submitted for keeping at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures.

          • gwathdring says:

            I’ll get my shovel. It would be a shame to harm the recent renovations, but they did remove some of the site’s character in any case. I’m not sure how much of the mass can be recovered, but there should be plenty of accumulated cynicism to preserve the more relevant qualities.

          • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            @gwathdring:

            Delightful. Your work here should be taught in science lessons as part of the national curriculum.

      • Berzee says:

        I hear and understand all of your objections, but you’ve got to understand.

        This is where I’m coming from:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSeYudeKgLI&t=2m50s

        I’m not interested in EXCUSES, I’m interested in making sure that never happens again. >_< D: !!!!

        *hugs knees, rocks back and forth, weeping softly*

      • Niko says:

        All praise to Catbug!

      • MadTinkerer says:

        Here’s the number one reason:

        Let’s say you are making a television series with a child character as one of the important members of the cast. Like most TV series, you film in real-time, but the stories take place over a shorter period of time than one year.

        Do you want to have a second season? Okay, let’s roll the dice: OOOH! You got lucky! The kid grew a couple inches but his voice was unaffected! Do you want a third season? Are you sure that season canonically takes place less than two years after the first? Because now you have a very-very-close-to-teenager playing a nine-ish character, and his voice isn’t going to fool anyone for long.

        If they had started Bart Simpson off with an age-appropriate male voice actor, he’d be my age now.

  2. pakoito says:

    Top 40 backers! Now I have to desconfigure all updates and finish that goddamn Planescape Torment. It kept crashing after

    SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER
    SPOILERSPOILERI got the weapon to kill myself from the titanSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER
    SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER

    and I don’t want to spoil myself from the rest of the game watching a Let’s Play or reading from a FAQ :(

    • Goodtwist says:

      damn you!!!!

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Weird thing is, I’ve finished planescape torment so long ago, I don’t even remember it. I’ve lost all my memory… Sometimes I recall just tiny bits.

      Like the awesome ending where you pick up the mace and join the blood wars after the long sought death.

      There is an option to kickstart torment AND get a wasteland 2 as well, for all of us who missed it.

      Me happy puppy.

  3. Honsou says:

    I love that intro.

  4. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    Love the image of a little kid as the corporate lackey

    • pakoito says:

      What do you think MBAs are? They just grow older and the hookers get more expensive, but deep down they’re the same jocks.

      And I’m not talking just game industry.

      • Berzee says:

        I have a theory that suit jackets have shoulder pads in them because MBAs are still sad that they never became professional football players.

        • pakoito says:

          I think you mean AMERICAN Football, which is barely played with a foot and the ball happens to be a deformed ovoid.

          • Berzee says:

            The MBA was originally an American degree,
            which adds an implied American context to any sports references in proximity.

            If I had meant old world football I would have said foot-to-ball, naturally!

  5. MuscleHorse says:

    The intro music heavily evokes PST – or is that just because it’s from PST?

    Want.

    • Gamboni says:

      As a total Mark Morgan super groupie I can say with certainty that the music is fresh material. They thank him in the Special Thanks section of the kickstarter so I’d wager the music was made specifically for this, which would explain the Torment vibe.

  6. The Dark One says:

    The component most lacking in that Wasteland 2 gameplay video was the writing, which is why I’m wary of this kickstarter. Chris Avellone may have given them an official blessing, but them to prove they pull off a simple keyword-based system before tackling something as ambitious as a Torment-style game.

  7. lomaxgnome says:

    They really should have finished Wasteland 2 first. There’s too many of these rpg kickstarter projects now in the “funded, in development, but getting very close to being way behind schedule” status to expect people to throw more money in on something else that’s nearly two years away. It also makes me strongly question if they have faith in Wasteland 2 getting a strong post release reception.

    • pakoito says:

      Once they have the engine almost ready, it’s just a matter of assets and scripting. There are no technical challenges they haven’t overcome yet with Wasteland. Two years of content development stretches a bit.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      > They really should have finished Wasteland 2 first.

      It would have been ideal, yes, but they can’t do that. As he explained in the video, in the games business it is not unusual that a lot of people get fired once their part of a project is finished. inXile is not big enough (yet) to pay the salary for a lot of people half a year or so, but they don’t want to fire people. The writing and most of the artwork for Wasteland 2 is finished. It makes sense to start a new project now so these people can start working on a new game.

      > expect people to throw more money in on something else that’s nearly two years away.

      It would appear a lot of people disagree with that. They’ve reached 10% of their goal, approaching $100.000, in less than half an hour.

      • InternetBatman says:

        That’s entirely fair. However, without Wasteland 2 finished the only metric I have to judge the quality of their work is Bard’s Tale, Choplifter HD, and Hunted. I was giving to give Wasteland a shot, but they need to prove something to me before I back again.

    • gruia says:

      THats what I thought, but Brother None convinced me the Wasteland game is really far ahead, and the resources for design can be used in this new project.

    • Godwhacker says:

      Well, they sent out a long letter to backers of the Wasteland Kickstarter today, addressing exactly these concerns. Here it is:

      On Monday we released the news that we would be launching another Kickstarter campaign for Torment: Tides of Numenera today. If your reaction to the news was, “Hell yes, that is awesome news!” you can stop reading this update and head right to the Torment Kickstarter page to check out a lot more detail on the product. There is a ton of information about the team and the project, so please give it a read. We are crazy excited about the opportunity to work on Torment, and the Torment Kickstarter page should be enough to get all of you excited too.

      If your reaction to the news about Torment was more like, “inXile, you greedy bastards, why would you launch a Kickstarter before Wasteland 2 is even done!”, then keep reading; we are addressing that point in this update…

      To those outside the industry, it might seem odd to launch another Kickstarter before Wasteland 2 is done. We understand that it raises some questions, and we want our Wasteland 2 backers to understand the decision and to have access to all the information that has led us down this path. The goal of this update is not to convince you to back Torment; the goal of this update is to answer one simple question. Why now?

      One of the keys to success for a small game company is being able to create continuity within the development team. It takes a long time to get a team put together, and it takes an even longer time for a team to settle in to new working relationships, a new engine, new systems, and a new asset creation pipeline. A team’s knowledge and experience grows a lot during a development cycle, and all of that knowledge gained is lost if we let the team break up when a project ships. To address that issue we have developed a very simple strategy that has already worked for us on dozens of titles in the last 25 years. Here is a quick explanation of our development team-structure philosophy:

      inXile, with all of our internal employees and outside contractors, consists of enough people to be considered about the size of a team and a half. This is by design. We always want a small and efficient team (the “half team”) to design both our product and our product development plan. This is called pre-production. It is the most important time in a project’s life cycle. This is the time when we want to make sure we slow down and get it right. During this phase we don’t need all the engineers and 3D Artists on the project, it is mostly concept art, design and dialog writing. When this process is completed and we are ready to roll into full production we want to have a large team of people ready to make the game. If the planning was done well during the pre-production phase we can be very efficient during production and leave ourselves with plenty of time to iterate and make amazing games. If there is no pre-production done, and the full team is trying to create the design and development plan as they go, months, if not years, are wasted. Having a full team try to start a project when the pre-production has not been completed is like stacking up a giant pile of money and lighting it on fire. This same philosophy served us quite well at Interplay in creating some of the best RPGs of all time.

      The “half team” in our team and a half model consists of writers and artists as well as designers and a producer. They are the ones that define the game design, write the dialog, define the combat, the UI, the missions, and even parts of the level design. We spent about 6 months working on this pre-production for Wasteland 2 and we would like to spend even longer doing it on Torment. For inXile, this “half team” that did the pre-production for Wasteland is done, their work on Wasteland 2 is completely finished. We want to get this group into pre-production on Torment to keep them working together on a project we are all passionate about.

      Currently, Wasteland 2 is in full production with a team of 15+ people cranking away on it. This is the full team that consists of engineers, scripters, character modelers, environment artists, and animators. This team is implementing the plan created during the Wasteland 2 pre-production cycle. When this full team rolls off of Wasteland 2 at the end of the year, they will need something else to do. Having a complete pre-production plan at that time allows us to roll the entire team onto a finely honed game design. Team continuity is maintained, and efficient production can begin. In a traditional publisher model, now is the time in the project life cycle where we would start to try and sign the next big contract. The best tool we have to get that done is to go back to our new publisher, you, and explain that now is the best time to start the next project.

      Our “half team” is ready to start the pre-production for Torment now. They need about 8 months to get this pre-production work done. In an amazing coincidence, in about 8 months I will have a full team that is ready to take that pre-production plan and create a game. The alternative, starting pre-production on Torment after Wasteland 2 is done, increases the cost of Torment production greatly and requires us to reduce our headcount during the process.

      Staggering projects like we are doing with Wasteland 2 and Torment is the best tool a single-team company like inXile has to be successful. It has the triple value of making us more efficient, giving us a better game design and making sure we keep our design and art talent working with us.

      To make everything as clear as we can regarding the Torment Kickstarter and what it means for Wasteland 2, I will attempt to answer some other questions you might have:

      • We do want to be abundantly clear that no Wasteland money is to be spent developing Torment. No Torment money is being spent on Wasteland 2. That said, lots of tools, plug-ins and pipeline processes that have taken man months to create will be shared between the projects if we can keep team continuity.

      • The pre-production of Torment is not going to hinder the development of Wasteland in any way. As explained above, they are different teams during the pre-production.

      We hope this update helps to explain the logic of why we are launching this Kickstarter now. Based on our experience we know that now is the time to get Torment rolling. We also hope that we can count on your support for Torment, and if not your support, at least your understanding. This system has always served us well so we think it makes sense to try and re-create it with you.

      • lomaxgnome says:

        Well that does certainly sound well thought out and logical. And from the immediate backer response, it appears my fear that “kickstarter fatigue” would hurt people’s willingness to contribute was unfounded. It will be interesting to see if they can maintain this business model indefinitely.

  8. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    Excited. This will mark my second backing of a Kickstarter that pulled my Torment heartstrings.

  9. oceanclub says:

    Does anyone know what the difference between the $20 and $25 tiers is?

    P.

    • pakoito says:

      Early birds get $5 discount, it’s KS custom (a.k.a. Social Engineering).

      • AngoraFish says:

        Ludicrous KS group-think that should be banished from all existence. Why anyone ever considered it a good idea to give the finger to a percentage of your potential backers, for not being early enough two years out from delivery of your final product, is a mystery that can only be explained by the existence of dumb.

        • pakoito says:

          There’s a business logic behind it. At $20 you’re (supposedly) selling the game at a loss so you cannot deliver all games like that. Now, first orders come with a 20% discount that puts the game in a sweet spot and allows for some virality.

          • Berzee says:

            Let me go into the back room and talk to my boss and maybe we can work out a deal that works for you, but I can only offer it for a limited time! Just tell me son, what do I need to do to put you in a Backers List today?

          • AngoraFish says:

            The KS price is already a supposed ‘discount’ on the release price, so it’s a discount on a discount.

            Although there are several problems with the practice, the biggest is that the early ‘discount’ tier remains on the KS page forever staring latecomers in the face for not getting the news early enough. This is no different from walking into a shop only to discover that the product you came in to buy was being sold at a discount the day before, and they still haven’t got around to taking the sale price tags off. For my money, at that point, it’s better than 50/50 that I’ll turn around and walking out the door to wait for the next ‘sale’. You tell me the business logic in that?

            To quote JabbleWok from an earlier thread on the topic, the trend “just discourages latecomers, as their support is not seen as as welcome, but also discourages … upgrading as [early backers] lose their bargain. So it’s very much a double-edged sword – get a certain number of pledges quickly but risk losing out thereafter.”

          • oxykottin says:

            Do not think of it as a product you are purchasing. Think of it as investing in a companies stock early. You purchase at the ground level you get a lower price.

        • Don Reba says:

          I think the idea behind the early bird discounts is that gaining followers in the early flashmob phase of the campaign is more valuable than during the later slow haul. It is probably easier for people to part with their money when they are part of a large crowd.

        • HothMonster says:

          I believe it is an attempt to get people in early. A kickstarter that has a decent hunk of cash already looks more promising to people. In this case that 20$ tier totals a third of their budget, so the idea is those sell out quickly and anyone stumbling onto your page sees you are already well on track to your goal and people are interested.

          If you know you want to back the game they want you to do it quickly to encourage others. Otherwise people who always knew they would back might wait to the last minute because they have no incentive not to.

          Though this project will probably meet it’s goal before the day is out so in this instance it was unnecessary. But for smaller/less known projects I can certainly see the use.

    • JFS says:

      I think 20 $ is on the pricing borderline, but 25 $ is definitely too much. It’s higher than what they wanted for the comparable Wasteland 2 reward tier, in any case (which was 15 $ for those who don’t feel like looking it up).

      I don’t think I am pledging when customer milking starts to seep into Kickstarter as well. 25$ will most likely be the price in the first Steam sale a few weeks after release, and at that point it’ll be clear what you’ll be getting.

      I’m a big fan of Kickstarter, but I think you shouldn’t overstep the mark.

      • Tacroy says:

        If you just want the game, then yeah waiting until after release is definitely the thing to do. Especially these days, pre-ordering games just seems like a shittier and shittier deal.

        But Kickstarter is not some sort of weird extended pre-order. It’s a form of patronage, a semi-organized way of saying “I believe in the principles and art and vision of this company, even if the thing I get ends up being crap”. If enough people do so, it sends strong signals to game development and publishing companies that this sort of thing is what we want.

        If you don’t want to make a statement like that, and be okay with the possibility of your money literally disappearing into the ether, then you shouldn’t back things on Kickstarter; just wait for the release, or heck even the Steam sales a few months afterwards.

        That being said, I’m probably not going to pledge as much for this as I did for Wasteland 2 – while I have faith that InXile will produce good games, I’d prefer to hedge my bets since they haven’t done a full release yet.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Kickstarter is still transactional, just like patronage and preorders.

          In patronage you give money to a creator for an unmade product, and then you eat the loss if it doesn’t get made or it sucks.
          In a preorder you give money to a retailer for an unfinished game, and then you have to eat the loss if the game is bad.
          In a kickstarter you give money to a creator for an unmade product, and then you have to eat the loss if the game doesn’t get made or the game sucks.

          There’s little difference between the three. The “I believe in the principles and art and vision of this company, even if the thing I get ends up being crap” is just a form of risk-assessment. If it wasn’t transactional there wouldn’t be rewards.

          • HothMonster says:

            Their is a bit of difference when it comes to games imo though. Publishers can have a big impact on games and their design. While what they contribute is not 100% bad 100% of the time it is largely believed that their demands, milestones, and budget thumping can hinder good devs and turn a great idea into an ok game.

            Of course without anyone ever settings milestone or thumping the budget things like Duke Nukem get made so of course removing a publisher doesn’t necessarily = a better game or a better realization of a design goal.

            So I would rather the devs be beholden to making me happy instead of some investor who doesn’t care about the game beyond how well it sells. While it may be a risky venture then a pre-order it certainly has greater rewards. Pre-order or not a game nearing completion is not going to change. No one has ever said, “wow look at all those pre-orders, lets sink some more cash into this games development.” But crowdsource lets a dev decide for themselves what their market wants and also opens a direct line of communication to that market for receiving feedback and bouncing ideas.

            Of course there are those kickstarters that are done to drive up investor interest so you get the worst of both worlds.

          • InternetBatman says:

            I certainly agree that distributed patronage could transform the industry for the better, but if we forget that the interactions are a transaction we can give away our basic consumer rights. Kickstarter is not a charity, and neither was patronage. It is as much a financial transaction than a statement of belief, and we should not forget about that.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Yeah they don’t have to offer any rewards for a legitimate KS. It’s just donations to fund the game you want to see. Luckily if you donate enough you won’t have to buy the game when it’s out.

      • AngoraFish says:

        So the alternative is what? That they go back to EA or another publishing house for startup capital? No thanks.

        I’ll keep funding these babies because a) they very likely wouldn’t be funded at all otherwise, and b) even if they were funded, the product will be warped beyond recognition by irrational publishing house demands such as always on DRM and major concessions to the plot in order to make the game acceptable to the ‘masses’.

  10. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I think they’re over-egging the “question” bit. When I played Planescape: Torment, I remember the whole “what can change the nature of a man?” thing emerged from the “basic” plot of amnesiac-trying-to-unlock-his-past. It wasn’t on the back of the box, it wasn’t signposted, it just bubbled up from the story.

    I dunno, it just seems they’re overdoing it. Why not let there be a “basic” plot and then let us discover the implications as we play, instead of shoving the central question in our faces all the time? It’s almost a spoiler. “Look at me, I’m philosophical!”

    Anyway, puns: I’m a bit tormented about this, it’s plane to see.

    • Tacroy says:

      No no, the point is that Kickstarter changes the nature of games.

      • rei says:

        But the question is “what does one life matter?”, and not what can change the nature of games :D Kickstarter has no answers there!

        • Tacroy says:

          Riight, I saw that afterwards.

          Honestly I’m a bit okay with that, since I never figured out that “what can change the nature of a man” was important to PS:T on my own… some people are really oblivious.

  11. Robbeasy says:

    Methinks they might just make their target on this one – $217,000 already….

  12. Moraven says:

    Has any Kicking It Forward games released yet? Are the companies simply going to just use that money into new Kickstarters? Will we ever know if it is being investing into other games and what games they are?

    • plathy says:

      You can see what projects a company has backed directly on their kickstarter page. It looks like inExile has backed 25 projects so far.

    • AngoraFish says:

      ‘Kicking it Forward’ is paid for out of future profits following release. As few of these games have been released, and even fewer would have made any significant post-release profits, it’s highly unlikely that there is much KIF money floating around, if any.

      And we won’t know, in any case, unless the developers tell us. It’s an honesty/charity system, and one that Kickstarter, incidentally, discourages. The original developers have no obligation to tell you specifically either, particularly if you’re not a backer of the original game.

  13. Stevostin says:

    The above image perfectly illustrates the sillyness of top down view when it comes to new world explorations “here’s a fantastically vertical place! unfortunately, you’ll never have a chance to grasp its essence, because, you know, top down view.”

    Top down view is good for chess and everything tactical, especially REAL top down view (yes Dota 2, I am looking at you). It’s also good for shoot em up and low spec systems. If Zelda has swtiched, there’s a reason.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Well they tried changing Fallout’s perspective, and although it sold millions, a lot of rabid old school fans didn’t like it.
      And that’s the whole point of KSing these games that aren’t “Mainstream” that publishers won’t sell. Publishers would say exactly what you’re saying, except their reasoning would be sales. But this is a Torment sequel, not to cash in on the name, but to appease the rabid old school fans who want more top-down or isometric role playing in a non-Tolkien Fantasy setting.
      So despite the perceived shortcomings, this game HAS to be isometric or something like it. You’re not gonna get the funding from the Torment fans (myself included) if you go the Fallout route and make it first person.

    • AngoraFish says:

      I much prefer top down isometric view. It’s clean, simple, easy to read and takes a relatively low hit on system resources. It enables companies to focus on developing a game, not developing an interactive 3D video. Why does every game have to be Skyrim?

      KS is in large part a push-back against companies who share your apparent view that good games and AAA 3D visuals are in some way synonymous.

    • InternetBatman says:

      That’s just ridiculous. You can inspire the same sense of awe in two dimensions as three. Hell, NWN 2 didn’t even look as good as Baldur’s gate to me, and it certainly didn’t have as many impressive set-pieces. Furthermore, it’s not like it’s a binary decision. You can make games that switch between two views.

      You’re also completely ignoring the funding aspect of this. If you want Fallout 3, you need Fallout 3 money, which no kickstarter has raised yet.

    • ffordesoon says:

      To be fair to you, I actually agree that the Fallout concept specifically works a bit better (shock, horror) in first-person. I don’t know if all the changes that were made to the formula needed to be made, but the shift in perspective actually made sense to me. Then again, that’s because pointing the camera at the ground in a game about wandering through a barren (and thus inherently dull from a visual standpoint) wasteland always seemed a little silly to me. The boundless, unforgiving horizon is kind of a big deal in post-apocalyptic media. I realize we were encouraged to picture it ourselves in the isometric Fallouts, but “show, don’t tell” applies here, I think.

      (Yes, yes, pelt me with rocks, Fallout fans.)

      In games with concepts that don’t necessarily involve staring at a lot of featureless dirt, though? Isometric and/or top-down perspective are fantastic for those. True, you lose a bit of you-are-there immediacy, but you gain a greater sense of the world as a coherent whole.

    • Josh W says:

      Good point there actually, there are specific spaces far more suited to isometric than first person, such as lovely wide open or relatively flat landscapes, wiggly coastlines, interestingly planned towns, tangled complexes of buildings, and anything with a lot of horizontal structure that can be appreciated from “the air”.

      Forests and mountains tend to be less suited to it’s strengths, although tunnels work well in both for different reasons.

  14. karthink says:

    Ha. I was actually hitting refresh on the Wasteland 2 update page waiting for this thing to hit. Well, this thing has all my money. I played PS:T in Dec 2012 and was blown away. I would have backed this game if even one of the PS:T writers was on board.

  15. Snids says:

    I like how Torment 2, Wasteland 2 and Project Eternity are all kind of cross pollinated with many of the same staff.

    It’s a really good punch forward for CRPG’s.
    Hopefully it’ll kick off a decent chain reaction of sequels and expansions and fresh titles.

    It’s really amazing how it’s all happened really. They wanted to make the games, we want to play the games and now they’re all on the way.

    I just want to play them now, I don’t want to wait.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Have patience. Putting the games out quickly is one of the big problems with publishers. Hopefully KS allows these developers to take their time making a complete and unrushed product.

    • AngoraFish says:

      I’m all for assisting these guys to have a long term career in the industry, although hopefully the trend will encourage a few fresh new faces and ideas to get a run as well.

    • solidsquid says:

      Would be pretty interesting if the companies behind both merged and were able to work on multiple games like this at once (2 in pre-production, 2 in production). Probably wouldn’t be financially viable to have that many oldschool RPGS coming out, but could be a good springboard if they followed DoubleFine’s example with the Amnesia Fortnights

      • AngoraFish says:

        Having a single studio churning these out very much runs the risk of everything turning formulaic and samey very quickly.

        In any case, these are explicitly not mass-market games, and it has yet to be seen whether there is any significant income stream post-kickstarter that might support a larger studio.

  16. slerbal says:

    hopefully we then can bring you less copypastad coverage soon

    Alec I thought you wrote “copybastard” there which sounds like a heavily muscled thug who rips off your ideas :D

  17. yeastcapp says:

    This all depends on whether they have a real vision and good quality writing. It’s hard to tell from the video alone. Great game stories usually depend on the singular vision of a brilliant writer, and I don’t see that here.. the “central question” doesn’t seem that interesting, though it depends what direction they go with it.

    On the other hand, the Tide system is basically what I’ve been waiting for in RPGs ever since i first played one, so I think they’re on a good track.

    [PS:T spoilers] – Anyone else notice that the antagonist of this game is pretty much The Nameless One from PST? I hope that even though there legally can’t be direct links between the characters in this game and PST, I hope there are subtle references and implications that there are links between those worlds. I’m kind of thinking Crono Cross/Crono Trigger style coherence[/PS:T spoilers]

    • solidsquid says:

      From the video it sounds like they’re planning to invest a hell of a lot of time into the writing and concept development. Problem with that is that they need money to pay for those writers, which seems to be why they’re doing a Kickstart to cover it. Hopefully once these two games come out they’ll have a bigger bankroll and possibly be able to fund the games without needing to rely on Kickstarter, or at least be able to do pre-production before they launch the Kickstart

  18. Metalhead9806 says:

    Over 300,000 now… Guess people want a spiritual successor to Planescape. Honestly I don’t understand why some big budget AAA studio didn’t just make a sequel. Planescape is considered by many to be the best Rpg ever created, you would think someone would want to make money off a follow up.

    • drewski says:

      It didn’t make any money, though.

      • Werthead says:

        The game sold about 600,000 copies in its first year on sale, IIRC. Not BALDUR’S GATE numbers, but it was still profitable within a year of release, and has sold reasonably well on budget re-releases ever since. It was a cult hit.

        • solidsquid says:

          Remember that a large chunk of that money would have been going to TSR/WotC for the licence to Planescape too though, chances are they were taking a percentage of sales. Plus, without the original team working on it (which this Torment has managed to get most of together for) there wouldn’t have been anywhere near the buzz for it

        • Kamos says:

          “If a game doesn’t sell 5 million copies on launch day, it is totally a flop.” Games as disposable entertainment mentality.

      • Anthile says:

        There’s the old saying that the most creative people in Hollywood are the accountants. I doubt this is any different in the video games industry.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Do you really think that the current market would be amenable to a game with that much text? That it would make the type of money AAA funding requires?

  19. drewski says:

    Looks like they’ll get it easily, which is great, but I’m still in wait-and-see mode with inXile.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Currently trending towards: Infinity.

      • solidsquid says:

        According to Kicktraq they’re on course for $8 million. Not sure if they’ll actually make that, but Eternity *did* manage to hit $4 million and it didn’t have anything like this rapid investment

        • InternetBatman says:

          Project Eternity original trended towards 24m, because their trends are ridiculous (that’s why the projections are a bit better). Higher than Numenera’s current 17m. It also has a bit more to make on the first day to match PEs $700k. So they’re pretty comparable at this point.

          • solidsquid says:

            Oh wow, the Kicktraq’s now jumped to an estimate of $17 million in funding. Do they just take an extension of the curve as if it was linear increase from this point on to estimate these numbers or something?

          • InternetBatman says:

            Pretty much. Their trends are pretty damn useless, projections (which look like they try to fit a parabola to the funding and then give a margin of error as a cone) are better but still fall short for accuracy. I think PEs max projection was $500k off.

            There it goes, $21m right now and closing in on 700k. We’ll see how far it gets, but it’ll certainly surpass PE’s opening.

          • Lanfranc says:

            I wouldn’t say the Kicktraq trends are “useless”, but they obviously can’t do more than what the label says: report the current trend based on the data accumulated so far.

  20. Lobotomist says:

    Is this the fastest founded kickstarter to date ?

    They will probably reach the goal in half day !?

  21. Jraptor59 says:

    So this is Kickstarter #2 for the “spiritual successor”? I gave $20 to a kickstarter last year that was for the “spiritual successor” to Torment.
    I don’t trust this program. I invested in two kickstarters last year and will not use it again until they publish. (Tex Murphy and the Torment game).

    • pakoito says:

      You paid for Baldur’s Gate successor.

    • solidsquid says:

      What Torment game did you invest in last year? The only large scale isometric RPGS I can think of are Eternity and Wasteland 2. Eternity had some of the same people as Torment, but wasn’t intended as a successor, it was an entirely new franchise. Wasteland 2 was the sequel to Wasteland, not Torment. As far as I’m aware this is the first game which has explicitly been trying to recreate the atmosphere and writing of PS:T

    • Werthead says:

      I think the confusion was because Chris Avellone was musing a ‘spiritual successor’ project on his own, and then PROJECT: ETERNITY got announced and everyone got sucked into thinking that that was what he was talking about. IIRC, he later clarified it was not. ETERNITY is meant more as the spiritual successor to ICEWIND DALE/BALDUR’S GATE, complete with traditional fantasy races and a standard world and background (though apparently with a much more resonant storyline).

  22. solidsquid says:

    Good chance I’ll end up investing in this one. Just wish they’d offer the physical concept art book as a stand along add-on like the t-shirt and poster. I’m not really interested in getting box sets or collectors edition, but I’d definitely kick in some extra for the art book

  23. InternetBatman says:

    They’ll get the money they want. Hell, they’ll probably make it by tomorrow. I won’t be backing this time around though. At least give me a playable level in Wasteland 2 before asking for a third to tow-thirds larger pledge.

    As of right now all I have to judge their quality are videos of Wasteland 2 (which look interesting but not great), Choplifter HD and Hunted (which look not great), and a Bard’s Tale (which never drew me in).

  24. choconutjoe says:

    Well, they have my money.

  25. Commissar Choy says:

    I like that you can add Wasteland 2 to your pledge. I missed out on the KS but this seems like the perfect opportunity to give them more money.

  26. ChromeBallz says:

    Project Eternity and now this? Yes please.

  27. Keyrock says:

    Count me in for the $75 tier. :D

  28. Kamos says:

    1) Announce a game made in the same vein as an old classic
    2) Show willingness to use “old” design ideas and themes (i.e. don’t turn it into an FPS)
    3) ??????
    4) Profit!

  29. Matchstick says:

    And there goes the $500,000 mark (from just under 9,000 backers – including 2 at the $5,000+ and 4 at the $10,000+ level).

    WOW !

  30. wodin says:

    Not for me…however slowly but surely the classic game list is being redone.

    I’d have rather seen Arcadium (Is that the name) redone to be honest.

    • aliksy says:

      Arcanum.

      Arcanum was a really neat game that did a good job of letting you go off the rails. You could kill almost anybody and continue the plot. There was even a “Speak With Dead” spell you could use to get answers out of the plot-npc you murdered. None of this “essential NPC” bullshit. No “level scaling” nonsense.

  31. bogeymanuk says:

    In the time it took me to read the article and comments the total jumped up $50000.00 and I’m not exactly a slow reader. Think I might have to throw money at this one; after a diet of JRPGs the original Torment astounded me that much it set a bar so high that no other RPG has come close to it in the many years since I first played it.
    It may sound odd but the story felt so complete that in all the years since I was the nameless one I’ve not gone back, I lived the story and was satisfied with how everything unfolded.
    Oh and Morte is still tied with Minsc from Baldurs Gate as my favourite game character of all time( Minsc only comes close because of the ‘meep’ when u click his space hamster! )

  32. toxic8 says:

    Approaching 800k in 5 hours!

    I will wait for you in death’s halls, my love… love… love…….

  33. Enkinan says:

    I’ve been a huge fan of the updates to Wasteland 2 and the obvious love these guys have for their jobs. It was a no brainer to drop cash for this. They are less than 100k away from goal already.

  34. luukdeman111 says:

    kickstarter fatigue aye? It’s been 6 hours and they already pretty much at their goal!

  35. InternetBatman says:

    And that’s it $911k for Numenera right now. 4000 opening basic levels left.

  36. Luke says:

    And, it’s funded. Well done.

    :)

  37. Hoaxfish says:

    Aaaaand it’s funded

    edit: damn, double-ninja’d

  38. Thurgret says:

    Funded by the first time I even get to look at it. Oh my. And it hasn’t even hit US evening time today, yet.

  39. Jeremy says:

    Geez.. has there ever been a Day One funding for a project at this price level? That’s nuts.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I think one of the big ones hit within 24hrs, but not literally before midnight on the same day.

      • kud13 says:

        “Shadowrun Returns” was funded in 28 hours. Mind, they were the third “big one” (After Double Fine Adventure, and Wasteland 2) and only asked for 400k.

        Wasteland 2 took 2 days.

        Project Eternity got there in a day.

  40. Flint says:

    Over the past year I’ve learned that CRPG fans have a lot of money.

    • Malfeas says:

      Nah, we’re just stupid with our money.
      A couple of years ago I had to decide whether to eat or buy a rpg book I wanted. I wouldn’t be able to eat for the rest of the day, until I got home late.
      Took me 20 minutes of wrestling with myself and getting hungrier to decide.
      Went for the book, obviously.

  41. Zogtee says:

    They’ve hit the target $900,000 already. :D

  42. Malfeas says:

    Wow… that was fast.

  43. Dick Page says:

    Looks like it will also be the fastest Kickstarter to $1M – http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/ouyas-big-day

  44. InternetBatman says:

    And it just hit a million. 3:51 EST.

  45. Syneval says:

    Was just going to post the same … 1 million-plus … at this going rate Im really curious to see where they end up!

  46. Lambchops says:

    After saying I probably wouldn’t back this I ended up doing so. It’s just so much more my thing than Wasteland and I couldn’t resist (RPG wise I’d only have backed this and Project Eternity – Wasteland only got a pas because it was early days of Kickstarter).

    I just really liked the idea of how they’re doing morality and the concept of layers of past civilizations providing mystery is a nice one which I always felt was sorely underutilised by the Mass Effect series so to see it hopefully get a proper outing here is rather appealing.

  47. InternetBatman says:

    Even so, 3D, full VO, all the polish stuff that takes a huge art team costs a lot of money. I don’t expect Kickstarter teams to be able to deliver Deus Ex HR.

    A niche market needs niche expectations.

  48. iridescence says:

    Voice acting is actually a huge drawback in complex RPGs. It pretty much means that complex branching decision paths are out because it’s too expensive to voice-act all that dialogue and you don’t want to pay a voice-actor to read something that only 25% of your players may actually see and hear.

    With text, it’s far easier to have meaningful choices and consequences. Easily a trade-off I’m willing to make for some extra reading.

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