Anti-Shock: Torment Now Most-Funded KS Game Ever

By Nathan Grayson on April 6th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

Welp, time to go write a list of the top-10 gaming bridges.

$4,188,927. That’s where Torment: Tides of Numenera‘s conquest of Kickstarter ground to a halt, which is pretty good considering it started off asking – nay, begging, clothed only in rags and its own waste – for a pithy $900,000. It’s also apparently pretty good in the grand scheme of every videogame ever, seeing as Torment’s now holds the record for most-funded Kickstarter game of all time. Previously, brother in spirit (and partially in flesh, given Chris Avellone’s formidable intellectual seed) Project Eternity held the top spot at $3,986,929. But enough numbers I can barely count to using my fingers, toes, and a nearby family of millipedes. Let’s delve into what this means for the game.

The short version? Lots of things. But basically, inXile rocketed through quite a few post-Chris-Avellone stretch goals, so here’s a brief rundown of what we’re getting as a result:

  • The Hall of Lingering Reflections – “This gathering place will offer unique opportunities and tools to help you defeat your foes. It is a living museum, a history, a prison. This subterranean vault is a place of memories, a vault of pain and laughter, built by a forgotten power for forgotten reasons.”
  • Increased companion depth – More interactions with companions, and everybody gets their own elaborate side quest arc. Also, if you end up hating everyone, you can be a total jerk about it. “Whether you help them face their demons or use their pasts to your advantage is up to you,” reads the Kickstarter description.
  • The Castoff’s Labyrinth – A special portal to a new area. Apparently it and perhaps others like it will emerge from deep, hidden “crevasses of your mind.” Which sounds kind of unpleasant, if I’m being honest. I like to keep my mind nice and filled in, thank you very much.
  • Enhanced Legacy and Tide system – “At this Stretch Goal we can return to our original, ideal vision for what the Tides and Legacies can become. Torment’s fourth pillar is Reactivity, Choice, and Real Consequences and while this pillar covers far more than just the Tides, the Tides and Legacy system are at the core of both Torment’s themes and its approach to gameplay. This means even more opportunities for reactivity based on your personal play style, and a deeper, richer experience for you.”
  • Oasis of M’ra Jolios – A crazy cool underwater city thing.
  • A longer story with more areas, more villains, more NPCs.
  • A better codex.
  • A very fascinating-sounding crafting system – “This would not be a rote crafting system, but one that includes some puzzle-solving elements (though not what you’d call a mini-game) and that is tied into the world and narrative.”

Phew, that’s a lot of things. Also, it’s worth noting that a couple of those stretch goals came from the $4.25 million bracket, as Paypal contributions pushed the complete total past $4.3 million. So then, there you go. We’re now getting a positively heaping Torment sequel sundae with millions of dollars’ worth of cherries on top. That, I think, is pretty exciting. Kickstarter might not always come through for the projects that deserve it, but when all the stars align, it can be pretty darn wonderful.

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161 Comments »

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  1. MeestaNob says:

    Hurray!

    And a nice little earner for Kickstarter themselves, don’t they skim 10% before writing the cheque?

  2. kael13 says:

    Does Star Citizen at $6m not count, then?

    • Premium User Badge

      Earl-Grey says:

      In this context? No.
      As a crowdfunded game it reigns supreme, but in it’s run on Kickstarter it “only” rasied $2,134,374.
      I wonder if Torment will keep accepting PayPal donations hereafter?
      Star Citizen has been collecting PayPal donations for almost four months now, I wonder if Torment could see such support after Kickstarter?

      • Premium User Badge

        Klydefrog says:

        I imagine they will still allow people to back through Paypal at the lower tiers, much like with Double Fine Adventure and Wasteland 2. It would be interesting if they adopted a similar approach to Star Citizen though and essentially continued with the full campaign.

      • Dayfather says:

        I could have sworn the article said that Torment is the most funded crowdsourced but after logging in to correct this mistake I noticed that it now says most funded Kickstarter game, sneaky.

      • Scifibookguy says:

        Yes, inXile is still accepting PayPal pledges for Torment. There is a link for PayPal near the top of the project’s home page on Kickstarter.

    • Ansob says:

      Star Citizen was 2.1mil on Kickstarter.

      e; damn you, Earl-Grey.

      • Premium User Badge

        Earl-Grey says:

        Sorry, will strive to be slower in the future =)

      • luukdeman111 says:

        Watch your language! Offending tea on a British website is like swearing in a church!

    • Bhazor says:

      Actually it’s upto $8.5million now.

  3. karthink says:

    I was watching the Kickstarter wrap party on Twitch TV, and I could see the anxiety on their faces–everyone except Fargo, ’cause he’s cool–as they considered the monumental task ahead of them. They know they’ve got many months of twelve hour workdays coming.

    The fact that most of them have staked their reputations (and to a smaller extent, their careers) on the success of Torment is what gives me confidence in the rather fiscally unsound sum I pledged to the project.

    • Tacroy says:

      Yeah, Brian Fargo is really why I supported Wasteland 2 and Torment – managing multi-million dollar projects is hard, but Brian’s done it all before back during the Interplay days.

    • b0rsuk says:

      I hope they don’t work 12 hour days, unless some major disaster actually occurs. 12 hours is neither healthy nor productive. Besides, a large part of Torment team consists of writers, and I very much doubt they can stay creative all the time, without some time to unwind and searching for sources of inspiration.

      I backed Torment myself. I want it to be developed without excessive pressure and stupid deadlines. I want to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem.

      • karthink says:

        I just meant to say they know they have their work cut out for them and that they feel the pressure.

    • DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

      Want I wonder is whether these games are going to make any money or not. At 4 million dollars how many people interested in planescape 2 haven’t already bought their copy through the kickstarter? Are these games going to be considered failures if they don’t “sell” when they come out?

      • arccos says:

        If that’s all the money they actually needed to develop the game, any copies sold after launch are gravy. There are throngs of people who don’t Kickstart anything but still would by this when it comes out on Steam. And if they’re fully funded, they don’t have to endure the stress of publisher budgets and timelines.

        Not to mention the decreased need for an advertising budget due to word of mouth, and the consideration to maybe put some of these Kickstarted PC games on next gen consoles.

      • karthink says:

        There are 75,000 backers. If Torment doesn’t appeal to at least 100,000 people more, I don’t think they will have made a very good game.

        And If the game is good, they sure won’t suffer for lack of marketing: For a niche product, there’s nothing quite like word of mouth. (Example: DayZ blew up with RPS, Reddit and general gaming press coverage.)

        Since the game did not cost them anything, InXile have said they consider 100,000 sales to be a great success, double that and they’ll be ecstatic.

        EDIT: Also, it’s a niche PC only product sold digitally. It’ll have a long tail.

        • ai_ren says:

          I’m one of those crazies that’s going to buy when it’s released. I don’t use amazon payments…
          Still, I feel like there’s several people like me that will see these projects (those that are hugely successful w/ experienced professionals) and still would rather wait and see how things turn out with a finished product.

          • Zekiel says:

            And I’m one of those crazies who pledged but not enough to actually get a digital copy so will be a buyer on release. I figured that (a) £16 now (or whatever it is in pounds for a digital copy) is probably worth more to me than £25 in 18 months time (not due to inflation, just due to my circumstances) and (b) that in spite of being incredibly excited about the fact that this game is happening, it is entirely possible that it’ll be a game with fantastic writing and lacklustre gameplay (in which case, I guess I won’t be a buyer on release…)

          • karthink says:

            @Zekiel: Fantastic writing but lackluster gameplay? You mean like Planescape: Torment? Oh, that would still be well worth it.

            Actually, InXile are hanging their hat on the reactivity of their RPGs, especially Torment. (It also helps them stand out from the big budget Bioware stuff; they sure can’t compete on production values.)

            That’s where they want to see all the writing go–into the choice/consequence branches. So the game having great writing will be equivalent to the game having great reactivity. I’d call that gameplay.

            What might end up crap is the combat, animations, pathfinding, etc. Basically everything related to graphics and AI except the 2D backgrounds.

          • Zekiel says:

            @karthink

            Agree, entirely. I think when I said “gameplay” I am thinking of the more immediate stuff (combat and the like) rather than reactivity, which sounds like it could be awesome. And it is entirely true that PST’s gameplay was pretty lacklustre… so maybe I will buy it regardless!

        • DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

          Okay that’s good to know. In the early 90s games like king’s quest were considered a big success cause it sold 200,000. Would be nice if we could get back to maybe making games that targeted that kind of success. I don’t know what’s going on when Tomb Raider sells 2 million and is considered a disappointment. Not everything needs to be a billion dollar budget AAA thing or someone’s artsy sidescroller indie project, I think there’s some room in between.

  4. Ansob says:

    This gathering place will offer unique opportunities and tools to help you defeat your foes. It is a living museum, a history, a prison.

    “It is… a dungeon.”

    The mock-up screenshots look absolutely great, though – the art direction really seems to have capture what made Torment so damn interesting visually.

  5. BTAxis says:

    Also, if you end up hating everyone, you can be a total jerk about it.

    Alright, sold. This is exactly what happened to me in Dragon Age and Mass Effect, after all.

    • lordcooper says:

      Go play the original some time. I had to walk away from my PC multiple times during my ‘jerk’ playthrough. It doesn’t let you be a jerk so much as the physical manifestation of all that is wrong in the world.

  6. KwisatzHaderach says:

    Great, so people can now start to fund this little gem:
    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ghost-of-a-tale/x/2892111

    Go, make it the most-funded project on IndieGoGo!!!

  7. karthink says:

    Actually, the Castoff’s Labyrinth has been part of the project since it hit $2.5mil. It’s apparently where your consciousness goes to when you die, and it fills up with figments of your imagination as you play the game.

    http://tormentrpg.tumblr.com/castofflabyrinth

    • Sakkura says:

      Yeah, but the 3.75 million goal gives the labyrinth an alternate exit to a different place.

      • karthink says:

        Yeah. But that’s not how Nathan’s text above reads. I don’t think he understood what the Labyrinth was supposed to be, and it gives a new reader an incomplete idea.

  8. Alexander says:

    I’m not sure how important all those additions are – I especially like that companion reactivity and importance has grown – but damn, I am excited by this. There’s a beautiful future ahead for RPGs and I can see it from here.

    • karthink says:

      The increase in number of legacies from 10 to 16 is possibly a very big deal. Much more than the rest of the stuff mentioned above.

      • Alexander says:

        Yup, some of those sound just like more types of dungeons, but still, it’s a Torment dungeon – I can have confidence in that.
        So what exactly are legacies? Are they what they sound like, meaning stories of your past that influence the course of the game or something else?

        • karthink says:

          Tides form the alignments system in the game. Like the good/evil, lawful/chaotic grid, but more subtle because there are five of them and a single action can influence multiple tides.

          http://tormentrpg.tumblr.com/gameplay

          Your legacy is the place you occupy on the tides. With the increase in number from 10 to 16, this means you can have one dominant tide (5), or two comparable ones (5 choose 2), or no dominant tide at all. (Compare with the 9 possible alignments in DnD). And this affects everything from how people react to you, what items you can use and skills you learn, up to and including the ending. They want to design as variable an experience based on this as they can afford to.

          The vision document explains.

    • Vorphalack says:

      The underwater city should be a huge slice of content, considering they defined a major city as something with the scale of Athkatla or Baldurs Gate.

    • mouton says:

      I never look at the stretch goals, I view them as a necessary fund-bait. Cool if they are made, but I will not complain if some of them fail to materialize.

  9. AngoraFish says:

    “Kickstarter might not always come through for the projects that deserve it”

    I’ve yet to see a PC game project fail that wasn’t either asking for far too much for what it was, or was far too vague to enable anyone to make an informed decision about its worthiness.

    • Premium User Badge

      DeVadder says:

      I assume he means Death Inc. which got insanely well recieved by games journalists and thus failed very publically. Especially RPS appeared to have fallen in love with the game.
      Sadly, many people, like myself, thought there not to be a lot of game in it.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Blackspace – managed to raise nearly $150K, more than most, but $350K for an indie developer with little track record was more than a touch optimistic.

        Wildman – $500K raised, hundreds of thousands more than most, but $1.1million goal was out of the ballpark for a turn-based, obscure game concept that was hard to articulate.

        The Golem – $96K pledges, but the $750K goal was far too optimistic for a company that had never developed a game before and couldn’t even articulate what type of ‘game’ it was…

        The Ship – £18,247 for a £128,000 goal. This probably was worthy, for what it’s worth, but only five updates during the campaign didn’t demonstrate much evidence of enthusiasm on the part of the developers…

        Shaker – $244,932 wouldn’t have been a bad total for most, but the generous $1million goal for a vaguely worded promise of some “old school” RPG action missed the point about why some of the other RPGs have been successful (hint – it’s not about old-school, it’s about depth and maturity rather than graphics and gizmos).

        There are no doubt others.

    • Walsh says:

      Nexus Jupiter incident 2 and Rogue System, which had multiple videos demonstrating the engine and some of the gameplay.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Nexus 2 received $161,731 in pledges, but was asking for a thoroughly unrealistic $650,000.

        Rogue System only received $53,085 in pledges for a goal of $300,000, which is pretty optimistic for any game launched by a relative unknown.

        • karthink says:

          You can make the argument that every game on KS got exactly as much as it deserved or was realistic by defining “deserved” that way. It’s not much of an argument, then.

          Rogue system needed a minimum of $300,000 to be made. The man running the project gave a breakdown of his costs, turns out he would be taking $30K per year for two years if he got $300,000. If you concede that Rogue system deserved to be funded through kickstarter, that sum is the minimum it needed to make.

          Nathan’s remark is really ill-defined because whether some project deserves to succeed on KS depends entirely on the reader’s highly subjective appraisal of its value to them. I had no interest in Rogue System myself, for instance.

  10. Vorphalack says:

    I’m actually a bit relieved they didn’t reach the $4.5M tier for the player stronghold. I can see that working for Project Eternity, but i’ve always thought the aim of the Torment project was to create something more introspective and narrative focused. A player controlled base might have ended up feeling tacked on for the sake of one more stretch goal.

    • Scelous says:

      Shame on you.

      • Vorphalack says:

        What? They got more than enough money to make all the good stuff, and they don’t have to waste man hours working on a feature that probably wouldn’t add anything meaningful. The reason that the ”stronghold” was all the way up at the $4.5M tier probably came down to none of the design team wanting to work on it. The game will be better off with more focus and less feature creep.

    • Kamos says:

      It was going to be a new location with NPCs, quests, and which would possibly be different, depending on your character’s tides. I for one think it would be awesome.

      • mouton says:

        Cool but not essential. I, for one, believe that too many cool additions can derail or dilute the project.

        • Not Marvelous says:

          I agree so much! If I haven’t registered to comment… elsewhere, I would register just to say how much I agree with some people on this thread.

        • Kamos says:

          If they have presented it as a stretch goal, it is because *they* think it is possible to do.

    • AngoraFish says:

      The $4.5K stretch goal really did look like they were running thin on ideas. I’m also happy that the total finished around about what appears to be its natural level without moving into bloat territory.

  11. cervor says:

    It really needed two or three years more to show Rogert Ebert what videogames were all about and ultimately had the potential to be, with or without Torment being a full success, but I believe he more or less was conscious of of it most of the time….

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      Leave it alone. It’s really pathetic how people felt the need to stick it to Ebert by showing him some hamfisted narrative nongame ‘experience’ they considered ‘art’. Now that he’s dead they still can’t let it be.

      • Not Marvelous says:

        Couldn’t agree more.

      • DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

        This need a lot of gamers have for their games to be seen as “legitimate” by their parents or whoever is really bizarre. But it’s also the only good explanation I can think of for bioshock infinite’s current reception.

        • ai_ren says:

          It’s not meant to be sarcastic, but…

          Why?

          I just mean what do you mean by Bioshock Infinite’s popularity. I don’t want to start a whole discussion and I realize you probably understand that there’s lots of reasons it’s popular but I’m wondering what you mean by it being a justification = popularity.

          • DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

            I mean I played the thing and if it wasn’t for how polished and nice looking and glitch free it was I’d wonder if it was playtested at all. Even people who enjoy the thing admit the shooting isn’t very good, they say it’s more about the “story and characters” and the story and characters are hamfisted nonsense beginning to end. It doesn’t even strive for saturday morning cartoon levels of coherence. It’s like somebody made a parody of “AAA Art Game” for 14-17 year olds desperate for their hobby to be seen as legitimate and they’re eating it right up. I can’t imagine anybody who has read a book or seen more than two movies in their life or is an actual grown adult could be taken in by it.

            Best I can figure is Bioshock is to videogames what Fight Club or Donnie Darko is to some moody sixteen year old who hasn’t seen a whole lot of movies. Except at the end of the day, while those movies might not be as deep as the sixteen year old thinks they are, they’re still competently made films that tell a coherent story. Bioshock Infinite isn’t even that.

        • JackShandy says:

          Here we see a common internet-dweller, trying to communicate with one of his kin. Will these two exchange views and leave with mutual understanding, or will this thread wither and die like so many others?

    • cervor says:

      Sorry for the comment. There was no point in bringing him up and the statement didn’t make much sense either. It was a random association after I had just drunk a little too quickly (long after I had been awake early).

  12. Ironclad says:

    Does anyone know what cut kickstarter -the website, the organisation, whatever you wanna call it- takes from these donations?

    • karthink says:

      5% if funded, nothing if not.

      Amazon takes an additional 5%.

      • Ironclad says:

        So in effect, kickstarter took 209446,35 from the total?

        • Ansob says:

          Yes, that is what 5% of $4.2mil amounts to.

          • Ironclad says:

            I posted that number because I was unclear wether the total on the kickstarter page is before or after taking the cut.

  13. SominiTheCommenter says:

    Clearly the best bridges can be located on Dark Messiah of Might and Magic.

  14. HisDivineOrder says:

    It’s going to be great when these games funded by these Kickstarters, in a couple of years, all begin to show up and many of them suck.

    Because as they continue to pile on, sucking and proving unworthy, and people begin to realize they threw their money away supporting people who couldn’t find publisher support for a reason, they’ll all give up on Kickstarter entirely. By then, they’ll be flipping the channel and finding the Veronica Mars bomb from the theaters on every channel including Syfy.

    By then, Kickstarter will be a despised thing that no one speaks of in good company.

    • Scelous says:

      I’ve backed Shadowrun, Project Eternity, Wasteland 2, and now Torment, and believe me, the thought has crossed my mind. On a different messageboard, someone pointed out how Brian Fargo really hasn’t made anything good in awhile. Similarly, Obsidian always has major bug issues, and I’m not sold on it’s because they were “rushed.”

      I think it’s a very real possibility that one or perhaps even all of the projects I funded will be disappointing. I’m already kind of disappointed by what I’ve seen from Shadowrun.

      That being said, I would rather back 10 projects that have the potential to be disappointing than get another first-person shooter set in modern day Middle-East. Or, another MMORPG, which is a genre I feel has damaged gaming as a whole.

      So it’s still worth it, in my opinion. I’d rather gamble for a good product than settle for the worthless shlock publishers are currently churning out.

      • Tacroy says:

        Huh, I had pretty much the opposite reaction about Shadowrun – I loved that first look thing they did last month; it looks awesome for an alpha.

        • Scelous says:

          Yeah, I know. It seems like practically everyone is happy with what they saw from Shadowrun, which I think is a good thing. I’m glad most backers are happy.

          I think it came from unrealistic expectations on my part, since I was kind of taken aback by how much of a budget game it looked like. I mean, it looked like a game I would see on a cell phone (which makes sense, I guess, since it’s getting a mobile release as well).

          I don’t know. I expected it to look more graphically stunning than it does. But they are still in alpha, so there’s that.

          • RProxyOnly says:

            I know what you mean.. Shadowrun Returns LOOKS to be great, but if your delve into it their is SO MUCH missing from the game and been changed that I’m not sure about any longer. What really pisses me off though is that THEY BROKE THEIR KS DEAL.. I’m a physical backer for that and we’ve already been told that we won’t get half of the game til later, then ONLY AS DOWNLOAD, they reneged on the overlay issue.. which has been replaced by some cheap ass ‘mehanics’ … plus the bastards started to sell their best backer only bonus.

            Backers unhappy with the way their KS turned out should start legal preceding against their chosen company as soon as possible, if we don’t start doing this the actual product will get further and further away from what’s being offered… I wish I had the money, I’d drag Harebrained in to court.

          • Scelous says:

            @RProxyOnly: I’m confused. I pledged the $125 amount, so I’m getting the “deluxe box edition.” What’s changed? What do you mean only half the game? Also, what’s the overlay issue?

          • RProxyOnly says:

            I pledged the deluxe also… so were in the same boat

            The USB tags are now being sold, they aren’t backer only any longer… the second city, Berlin won’t be released til waaaay later, and it’s DLC, you won’t get it as a physical disc.. even though we were supposed to according to the KS, It’s not even really a part of the game anymore.. it’s just going to be ‘an area’ with some stuff to do in it, it’s turned into average shitty DLC. If I’d known at the time it would have no story concequences, even though we were told it would, then I would have cancelled my pledge.

            The overlay system, which was how they were going to deal with the skills seeing as they couldn’t make a matrix for the decker.. that’s gone, no overlay anymore.. just a bunch of mechanics… which end up badly neutering the ‘classes’. No loot or looting system, objects can’t be destroyed on the fly.The game is a ghost of what we were told it would be.

            Plus that ridiculously large UI with the big idiot button, top left.

          • malkav11 says:

            I’m pretty sure that they never promised that the second city would be in at release or included on the physical disc(s). And personally I’d much rather have the originally conceived game content (with the extra classes, preferably) in polished form released when ready than wait for them to put together expansion content before putting anything out. I’m also thinking you may have had higher expectations for the overlay system than they had actually intended, though reading the kickstarter page again, the version in the video definitely seems scaled back a bit. Still, looks like it’s hitting most of the right notes for me – we’ll just have to see how they handle deckers.

            And I think it looks stunning, especially for an alpha.

          • RProxyOnly says:

            Why would they have to spell it out? It was a stretchgoal, period. Those pledging the physical tier had every right to expect it would be part of their box, but it isn’t. As it isn’t a part of the release and will be tacked on later as dlc it doesn’t even have a connection to the overall story.. yet something else that is contrary to the ks. what is the point of a second city if it doesn’t have any bearing on the game except as padding.. if they’d stated the second city wouldn’t be connected to the game I doubt the funds would have reached as high as they did.

            What we are seeing here is the ‘real’ reason games end up not what was expected.. developers simply underestimate everything.. it has nothing to do with bad publishers, it turns out that it is the developers’ fault after all.

            And exactly what do you means by saying I had higher expectations for the overlay?.. that was the games only saving grace.. they couldn’t do matrix, so they were implementing a system that that would mitigate that fact.. the overlay was the major mechanic that was supposed to bring the game together..My expectations are drawn only from their words.. but as soon as they start straying, then I have a problem.

          • stiffkittin says:

            Sorry, just have to reply to RProxyOnly. Not trying to be a dick and I understand your disappointment, that’s yours and you’re entitled to it. But you’re simply mistaken on a few things:

            – Berlin was a last leg stretch goal. It was never sold as an integral part of the initial Seattle campaign with ties to that story. It was pitched as a whole new city to explore. That’s it. Clearly you were expecting something more but I’m sorry, that was a misunderstanding on your part. That said, since they’re not talking about it at all yet, there’s no evidence it won’t contain some links to the Seattle campaign. Maybe it will, maybe not. Either way, the expectation we should have is that it will compare favourably to the Seattle experience and bring in a host of new art and content to the mission editor. I think that sounds like a lot more than another shitty DLC, but maybe I’m just optimistic.

            – It is, however, indisputably late. That’s clear. Like seemingly the majority of successful videogame Kickstarters, they undersold the dev time for the greatly expanded game they ended up promising. Yes they’re really sorry about that. They’ve also been pretty communicative about not being able to meet their deadline.

            – The overlay systems simply aren’t finished yet. Some elements of it are in the Alpha – like mages seeing ley-lines – but much of the interface isn’t implemented. None of the Decker stuff was ready to show, at all. They’ve mentioned this several times recently.

            – The game absolutely does contain systems for looting. In fact, the editor allows you to script triggers to any object in the game (including dead enemies) and cause just about any effect to occur you could wish for; such as spawning item containers. Harebrained just didn’t feel it fit with the narrative and game-flow of their campaign and left it out. I tend to agree. If you’re familiar with the Shadowrun P&P this makes sense. It’s not really a mob-looting kind of game at its core. Still, if you want that to be a system in your game then you’re totally free to go crazy with the editor, and I’m sure many will do just that.

            – I sympathise with your disappointment over the USB dog-tags. But try and understand that a great many backers don’t see anything wrong with them selling pre-orders of the game + some rewards (essentially to late backers) to help development along. I understand that you feel receiving that stuff made you special, but the reality is that those rewards aren’t automatically exclusive to you and a few thousand other people. They do appreciate their backers though, and couldn’t make and sell this stuff to make a profit anyway. Even if they wanted to, their licensing deal with Microsoft won’t allow it. Is it really so bad then, if they sell modified, re-branded versions of some USB thumb drives to a few thousand others who (like you) are also willing to take a gamble on an unreleased indie game?

          • malkav11 says:

            You can expect whatever you want, of course, but unless that expectation is based on a solid commitment made by the developers, you’re likely to be disappointed and you have only yourself to blame. It’s not at all uncommon for late stage stretch goals like that, especially when they’re a separate chunk of content from the original project scope, to be delivered after the fact. And they never promised otherwise to my knowledge.

            And as far as the overlays, what I mean is that there were clearly class role specific overlay functions happening in that alpha video. They might not live up to what you were envisioning, although it’s important to emphasize the video was of -alpha- gameplay, so it’s almost certainly nowhere near finalized or fully implemented, but they were there.

          • karthink says:

            The USB tags backers get are different from the ones that are currently being sold with collector’s edition preorders.

            But even if they were the same, I don’t see the problem. How is it skin off your back if someone else gets it? What are you losing in the process?

      • RProxyOnly says:

        dp

      • ChromeBallz says:

        Obsidian HAS been bugged by rush issues – For example, LucasArts gave them exactly 1 year, from the deal to going gold, to finish Kotor 2.

        That is 1 year for them to learn a new engine, do the writing, do the art development, story development, environment art, animations, EVERYTHING.

        And LucasArts expected a triple A game within that time.

        Alpha Protocol suffered a similar fate. NWN2 was more generous but still not exactly very lenient. Obsidian has had a really, really hard time and you’ll find that the bugs and streamlining are the only real issues in any of their games, with the story and characters being praised almost every single time by everyone. And even criticism on those could easily be traced down to cut content due to time issues.

        Publishers are idiots – They don’t understand anything that isn’t metrics or sales related. The only reason they might fund a project is if they expect to gain money from it, and getting a large amount of creative control over it to serve the financial purpose. This is not conjecture or a conspiracy theory, this is a fact. Stuff like Torment, Eternity or Wasteland would not, ever be picked up by any publisher since they wouldn’t think they’d make any profit on it, and even if it was picked up, do you expect something like Torment to be released without excessive lens flares, explosions and hamfisted changes to the plot “to make it more accessible”?

        I only need to point at the Mass Effect series to show you what i mean – So many things of the original plot are still in the game, allusions, clues and even straight up dialogue and visuals (oily shadows and dark energy come to mind), but EA thought that “the general jane and joe wouldn’t be able to understand it”. So, they changed it to “Reapers are just evil, deal with it”.

        Kickstarter, even if the projects go wrong, at least gives us the chance that we’ll see a good game as it was intended to be, instead of a game as it was influenced by managers and sales analysts. For that reason alone, even if all the games i backed turn out crap, i won’t regret it, because it was my choice to donate the money and i donated it to the actual people making the game instead of the people who just want to screw with it.

        • RProxyOnly says:

          If Obsidian couldn’t do what they said they would, within the time period they said they would do it in, then they shouldn’t have said they could.

          Fact is, they said they would do something and didn’t.. it was their fault, not the publisher’s… They would have said anything to get the contract to make the game.

          Then to cap it all they said they had a patch that they weren’t ‘allowed’ to release.. that’s a lot of BS. If they had cared one iota for the experience of their players and customers.. nevermind their own reputation then the patch would have ‘leaked’… we still haven’t seen it, and that leads me to believe that they were lying about it.

          • Vorphalack says:

            What ChromeBallz said wasn’t entirely accurate. LucasArts pushed the release date for KotOR 2 forward several months in order to secure a holiday release well after the game was in development. The botched ending and buggy release were entirely LucasArts fault. They couldn’t patch it properly because they cannot legally alter the product when they don’t hold the rights to the IP. All this hate mongering, and you could have just Googled the facts.

          • stiffkittin says:

            Actually Feargus Urquart’s explanation is a bit of both. About halfway through development they proofed an even more daring version of their treatment of the story, which had their producer at LucasArts super-excited. They received word-of-mouth assurances that they should push ahead with their narrative explorations towards an extended release. Later on, a bunch of internal reshufflings within LucasArts saw their contacts swapped-out and the new project overseers demanded they wrap it up by the original Christmas release date.

            By that stage Obsidian were up to their forearms in the guts of an unfinished game. Having never got the new contracts and assurances in writing, they were forced to sew the beast up as best they could; shoving the organs into roughly the right place and pushing it out the door. Otherwise they would have reneged on their existing agreement and lost everything.

            So, basically a management snafu, and some major naivete on Obsidian’s part.

      • Zekiel says:

        Yes, this. I am incredibly excited a Torment sequel is being made. PST was the one of the defining games for me and I backed the new one because I’d love to see a spiritual successor.

        But while I think there is every hope that the new Torment will have some fantastic ideas and fantastic writing, it’s entirely possible that the finished product may be less than stellar, due either to lacklustre gameplay or bugs. There are so many games that sound like they should be amazing and turn out to be ‘meh’ due to so-so gameplay, frustrating bugs or DRM (thankfully not an issue with this one). But even if that’s the case with the new Torment, I’m still glad it’s being made!

    • Whosi says:

      Yeah because what everyone needs(or apparently at least you) is more of EA, Ubisoft, Activision, etc. telling us what we should be playing and how we should be playing it. They know all and we should be happy they do, right?

      • karthink says:

        Engaging HisDivineOrder and his belief won’t help anyone or anything. He (or she) has evidently made up their mind. Better to just wait for the first three big games–Wasteland, DFA and Shadowrun and see for ourselves.

    • thegooseking says:

      They can’t find a publisher for a reason, you’re right.

      But you’re so very, very wrong about what that reason is.

      Publishers won’t back them because they think they can’t be confident about how much profit they make. Not because they’ll be bad games; just financially risky ones. And it’s not even that they won’t be profitable; just that there isn’t a high enough degree of certainty about that. Which inherently comes with the territory in games. There are all sorts of reasons for it, but publishers have been backed into a corner where they have to play it safe (though it’s probably more accurate to say they’ve backed themselves into that corner). But it is a creative industry, and ‘safe’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘good’.

      • Lemming says:

        You’re right of course, but you neglected one of the other major reasons publishers are backing away from these titles, and it’s entirely their own doing: It’s because the profit isn’t large enough for them. Unless they see a reason for it to make millions upon millions (ie diluting it to cover as many demographics as possible), they aren’t interested these days.

        Even a guaranteed profit isn’t enough, it has to be a guaranteed fuck-ton of profit.

    • Prime-Mover says:

      How could them failing possibly be construed as a good thing? Please explain. Fair enough that you have little confidence in their succes, but you come across as actually hoping for their failure. It boggles.

    • Subject 706 says:

      @HisDivineOrder

      Who pissed in your tea? Why would you want them to fail??

    • botonjim says:

      I can’t, for the life of me, see how that would be ‘great’. Do you resent people enjoying games you’re not interested in?

    • Rindan says:

      The reason why EA didn’t fund these games is exactly why I want them. Go ahead, list the number of major Freespace/Wingcommander style space games have been released in the past fucking decade. How about the number of isometric RPGs with a strong emphasis on story in the past five years? The number isn’t zero, but it is damn close. That is the reason why games like Star Citizen, Wastland 2, and Torment received piles of cash. There is a market out there for these games.

      There is a market screaming for these games, and instead EA is shoveling shit into our mouths with the likes of Sim City. How could any rational person look at Sim City and say “mean, that is what the customer REALLY wants!” Yes, since the dawn of time, after every Sim City game, gamers were like “man, I wish the city was smaller and had fewer transportation options” and “boy, I wish they hadn’t spent so much time on perfecting the traffic simulation and instead made it so that I could see my sims fully zoomed in!” and “this game would be way more awesome if it always had to be online!” and “I really wish EA had its own Steam imitation so that I could have two accounts!”.

      The reason why these Kickstarter games are doing so well is a violent reaction against shit publishers selecting and publishing shit. Will every Kickstarter be a success? Probably not. If you fund a dude in his basement based off a cool tech demo you are an idiot if you cry yourself to sleep when that Kickstarter fails to deliver. However, passing a few million to serious teams and telling them to run with it? I would say it is a pretty safe bet. Even if the money they have isn’t enough, it is certainly enough to find a publisher on their own terms.

      Also, you drastically overestimate how much I care about $40 I spent a couple of years ago. If every game I have funded fails in a couple of years (3 games, ~$100), my response well be ‘meh’.

    • malkav11 says:

      I would expect about the same failure rate with Kickstarters from established companies as game development in general, which is not insignificant, and probably somewhat higher for completely new developers. But I knew that going in, and I’ve spent accordingly. And if the risks do pan out, I’m getting games far more interesting to my particular tastes than what the traditional publisher model is offering.

    • Kamos says:

      While I *hope* the games I have *donated* to will be good, I will not ragequit if they don’t exactly measure up to my admittedly very high expectations. The thing you are failing to understand is that they are being given money to make games with a certain focus, that wouldn’t be made otherwise.

      More specifically, *I* am giving them my money because I want for there to at least be a chance that a game like Torment can exist. And, if it is good, it is a bonus. But you obviously wouldn’t understand it. Go back to playing your triple A shit, troll.

    • Moraven says:

      The developers may not be experienced all the game, but the ideas they have will never be supported by publishers since a lot of them want to invest $40 mill into a game and hope on hundreds of millions back. This is why the European publishers when they do it right work great. They invest in small games that get enough and more back on their investment.

  15. RProxyOnly says:

    The campaign was an abortion, shitty goals that are going to turn the game in to a book instead. Hiring their friends to write novels, fucking comics? and shitty expensive tiers.. PE was a far better KS.

    The funding was given to them on a plate, in less than one day. They realised that they would get the money anyway so they didn’t give a shit about their backers.. they did fewer updates than anyone else and couldn’t even be bothered to interact with their backers in the final couple of hours, completely ignored them and couldn’t even be bothered to put up a final update with the KS

    Inxile should have all the money taken from them, the don’t deserve it.. greedy arrogant bastards.. I cancelled my pledge.

    • Not Marvelous says:

      I sincerely hope you are not serious.

    • Prime-Mover says:

      What!?

      I… wh.. what?

      They did 16 very long and informative updates, many of them including videos. And lastly, they did a 6 hour live-stream at conclusion. I’m not quite sure what you’re so upset about.

      • RProxyOnly says:

        Prime mover and Not marvellous

        I am very serious.. the fact that you have low expectation is no reason expect everyone else has.

        A live stream for 6 hours.. just for the party, they didn’t even acknowledge anyone who couldn’t get there.. and of the 6 hours.. how much of it actually worked?. and no final update either.

        The backers and forum were completely ignored in the closing stages..

        As for ’16 very long..’.. I’ll give you the ’16’ part.. but I certainly wouldn’t accept them being any shorter… and it’s still less than anyone else despite getting more money….and frankly the goals were shite.. how many novels is it? 9 now?.. they are supposed to be making a game, not using the money to hire their mates to write books.. and c’mon.. fucking comics too?.. plus the whole thing stank to high heaven of panic and disorganisation.

        Every word I’ve spoken is true… if you still feel the need to argue, then that is your problem to deal with.

        More money then anyone else, with less effort.. Inxile must be pissing themselves with laughter at those throwing money hand over fist… People actually gave their food money, idiots.

        • Kamos says:

          I don’t have low expectations, though I no doubt have *different* expectations. Comics? Great. Novellas? Great. I actually asked for them in the forums which they have provided for us, the pledgers, to suggest stretch goals.

          The stretch goals were all about expanding the reactivity of the game. I can not think of any better stretch goal for this particular game, and apparently, a lot of other people agree, considering how many have voted for a “more interactive game” over many other stretch goal suggestions.

          Overall, they have released much more information than other Kickstarters. Multiple video updates, in-engine screenshots and videos, several music tracks, etc.

          What you’ve written isn’t “the truth”, it is just your opinion. I never use the word “entitled”, but if I ever did, it would be here, with you calling people idiots because of how they choose to spend their money. Get a grip, man.

        • karthink says:

          Almost all of the stretch goals, such as hiring Ziets and Mitsoda, the castoff’s labyrinth and the novellas, were suggested by the backers.

        • Rindan says:

          u mad bro?

          You have some pretty epic nerd rage going on. Maybe you just shouldn’t have given them your money and called it a day. If you need 30 updates to be satisfied and they don’t do it, um, don’t give them your money? You can abort your pledge any time before time is up.

          I happily backed it and then promptly ignored every single update. 16 updates. which breaks out to be 1 every couple days, was far too many for my taste. I glanced at the tl;dr and junked the mail.

          I want a game. I care fuck all how many times they respond in the forums or how many updates they spam me with. I don’t want interaction in a forum, I don’t want spam mail telling me how hard they are working, I just want a fucking game and nothing more or less. You apparently want the developers to sit down and personally talk to you and make you feel special. That is cool and all, but I am pretty sure that that puts you in the minority. Most people just want a game. That isn’t low standards. That is just sane priorities.

          My suggestion? For the sake of your health and to keep from blowing an aneurysm, if in the future you back a KS and it isn’t fulfilling your TALK TO ME quota, just cancel your backing and go to a project that will hold your hand in exactly the way you want it.

          • karthink says:

            @Rindan: He did cancel his pledge. But that’s not enough, he has ensure that everybody understands InXile is a greedy, opportunistic, lazy, incompetent, ungrateful piece of dreck in exactly the way that he believes them to be because he didn’t like how they didn’t talk to him daily and because he didn’t like their stretch goals. Also, that we’re fools for giving them our money.

    • JFS says:

      While I do not share all of your criticisms (e.g. the one about to few updates), Torment was the first major iso-RPG kickstarter I didn’t back. It somehow felt off, but I can’t put the finger on why I didn’t want to give them money.

      The screenshots (or screenshot proxies or whatever) look gorgeous, though.

    • Kamos says:

      Oh, you’re that insane and disrespectful guy from the KS comments complaining about how few updates there were and that people disagreeing “like taking it in the mouth” and bla bla bla. Good to see you’re still raging hard.

      1) They interacted with us throughout the campaign in the comments, Colin, Adam and Kevin would drop in all the time to comment on what we were talking about.

      2) They chose to make “few” updates over spamming people with messages about nothing. I appreciate that. They have still made 16 updates, which is pretty good for a 30 day campaign.

      3) They were on the live stream for the final hours. They were reading questions from the people there, despite the fact that every second message was about “yellow shirt guy”.

      As for the game turning into a book… Seriously. Do you even understand what their proposal was from the very beginning? A RPG focused on multiple choices and the results of those choices? You need writers for that.

      Yeah, so you don’t want that. And you are SO ANGRY that they were “ignoring you and taking your money for granted”. It is a good thing you removed your pledge, no one should donate to a kickstarter if they don’t feel like they should.

      • RProxyOnly says:

        If that was aimed at me, I didn’t post on the ks site…These are my opinions, I don’t have to read a forum to be told what to think, but if there’s more people saying similar things then I can’t be that wrong.

        • malkav11 says:

          Other people also sharing your view does not make it correct or founded.

    • SighmanSays says:

      Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? Think the game will be great and it will be great. It’s a mother, beautiful game, and it’s gonna be great. Ok?

      • RvLeshrac says:

        The original poster is an idiot, but your comment is idiocy.

        “We don’t need any lifeboats, this ship will be unsinkable!”
        “The markets are self-correcting, and will ensure the stability of the financial system.”
        “There’s no need to worry, he’ll calm down after Poland.”

        • Vorphalack says:

          His post is actually a Kelly’s Heroes reference. I wouldn’t take it that seriously if I were you.

    • Infinitron says:

      Complaining about there being too many writers in the spiritual successor to a game known for its endless walls of text. Yeah.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I hazard to say that if that’s your feeling then you have NO idea why they want to make the game they want to make. Because the way to make it and who are involved in it are quite important.

      Honestly, I’m glad you won’t be offering them your feedback.

  16. Zepp says:

    I think they have too much money and it may hurt the game in the long run.

    We should appreciate people who make amazing gaming projects without such gargauntuan funding, not those overpayed gaming clebrities.

    • RProxyOnly says:

      You Sir, deserve a gold star.

    • Kamos says:

      This is so funny. No understanding whatsoever of how much it costs to make a game. I encourage you to grab a piece of paper and a pen and calculate the amount of money vs. the number of people working on this project.

      • karthink says:

        Also, KS/Amazon will take away $418K in fees. Physical rewards for big KS projects can cost a fourth to a third of the funding. They also lose 3-8% of their funds in pledges that don’t go through.

        So they only have about 2.6-2.8 million dollars at most to actually spend on the game.

  17. Michael Fogg says:

    Sadly, the orginal Planescape Torment is a mysogynistic piece of dreck. Just have a look at the in-game encyclopedia images. Therefore I cannot muster any excitement for the sequel. It will most likely be more of the same sexist crap, given many of the creators are still on borad.

    • QualityJeverage says:

      Because obviously the industry hasn’t changed and people don’t change either. Let’s just assume they can never create anything worthwhile ever because you didn’t like what they made 14 years ago.

      • Not Marvelous says:

        That’s great news, but boy are the comments in that thread bad. I’m glad they don’t leave stuff like that for fans to decide.

        • Kamos says:

          I agree. It is great that they listen to feedback, and that they actively go after what we as backers of the project think, but ultimately they should be the ones making the decisions. I’d like to think that the people backing the project are great, but oh boy. We do have some really rotten apples.

    • Kamos says:

      Sex != sexist

      • karthink says:

        The original PS:T vision document comes across as pretty sexist. The game was better, but those codex images… he has a point.

        • Kamos says:

          The worst offenders in the codex are the images for prostitutes. However, there is a reason why they are dressed the way they are: they are prostitutes. You can argue that there aren’t male prostitutes in the game, and I will agree. You can also argue that you’d like for there to just be no prostitutes in the game, and of course, you’re entitled to your opinion. However, that was their choice for the setting.

          Then there is Annah. There really isn’t a good reason for her to wear the clothes she wears. It is a very sexual thing. But I wouldn’t call it sexist, I’d say it is sexual content. Soft porn. For men and women that like women, of course. Definitely not for kids.

          Overall, the game doesn’t come across as sexist, or as trying to denigrate women. Quite the contrary, there are very strong and interesting characters such as Ravel and Fall-From-Grace. Hell, I’d say the most powerful characters in the game are women (the Lady of Pain and Ravel). Anyone that keeps from playing Planescape Torment because of the images in the codex is just missing a great game.

          • Michael Fogg says:

            Arguably the image for ‘noblewoman’ is, perplexingly, even worse.

          • Kamos says:

            I had to launch the game to check it out. Indeed, had the “noblewoman” and “harlot” images been reversed, it would have been very hard to notice it, since they both portray women with minimal clothes. Pornographic? Absolutely. Immature and sexist? Perhaps. However. I fail to see the misogyny. This is not the way women are portrayed as a whole in the game (check out the female dustman, i.e.). Neither does it preach violence, discrimination or hatred of women.

            I have no problem whatsoever with sexual content in games. What I do have a problem with is: 1) that similar content is not available for women and 2) that sexual content is often not recognized for what it is. Some people really *do* think that chainmail bikini is valid armor for a female warrior, in example, and not part of some fantasy they enjoy.

            In the end, the images in that codex are the fruit of either: 1) a deliberate decision to include sexual content or 2) sexism. Probably a bit of both, considering the low regard for this issue 15 years ago. Still, no reason (in my humble opinion) to say that the game is a “misogynist piece of dreck”.

    • Scelous says:

      Good God, not this again.

      • Yglorba says:

        It’s a valid concern. A game’s art style, including the choice to sexualize all the female characters, is a major part of what the game is, and sends a message in the same way using pixel art, voxels, or cell-shading does.

        I am not hugely bothered by seeing sexualized female characters everywhere myself, though it’s annoying when it’s blatantly pandering (and I’ll be honest, the original PST did sometimes cross that line for me.) But more than that, I’d like games that I can show a broad range of people without being embarrassed — I’d like games that don’t look like they’re designed by a bunch of marketing heads trying to appeal to hormonal teenagers above all else. (And often those sexualized females are there for just that reason — because some marketing head said “we need to pull in the 18-25 male demographic a bit more, up her cup sizes a bit and give her clothes a boob window so we can put her in the marketing.)

        That’s a totally valid thing to want out of your games.

        • Kamos says:

          I’m very tolerant of sexual content in games and yet, I feel that if a game “relies” on it to sell, then it must be very bad as a game.

          It just makes it harder to take the story seriously too. I don’t think Planescape: Torment goes overboard with it, but they could probably have used a bit of restraint with “harlots everywhere” and the noblewoman’s clothing, in specific.

          • Scelous says:

            Fair enough. You guys gave good explanations, and I do agree with you.

    • theponja says:

      What do you want? A green game? Without conflict, without differences, please it’s a history. Don’t read nothing more than that or just play another game.

    • wererogue says:

      If you go trawling through the interviews and retrospectives, there’s a bit where somebody talks about how they tried to get their artist to tone down the sexualized images, but he was massively sleep-deprived and basically feral at that point.

      That’s not an excuse for the depictions in the game, but they are somewhat offset by the amount of realization and agency some of the women in the game have. I would agree that the art of the game is pretty sexist, but what I’ve experienced of the narrative sure isn’t.

  18. RProxyOnly says:

    Here’s another point for those banging on about inxile being so cool.

    What other KS have you seen than has felt the need to pocket an uncounted $200k?.. what other KS has claimed that they need to be compensated for cancelled pledges? It’s a huge con… if you swallow that they need compensation for free money then you’re too stupid to be in charge of a credit card.

    Steve Dregler (sp?), his ‘pledge’ counts as nothing.. a whole $100k, and him and Brian do some back door deal that justifies neither his nor Brian’s $100k is counted towards the final total (Brian can do what the hell he wants with his money, but Steve decided to donate because of the KS, so the KS and by extension, the community, should have benefited… that $200k, which has no right to be kept aside from the rest of the fundraising effort (no other KS has EVER done this), would have paid for the stronghold that people are not going to get now… there is no chance in hell they will raise a further $200k from Paypal.

    Think about these think the next time you think of verbally sucking them off… Dregler pledged the most money I’ve seen for a private individual.. and his donation completely bypassed the community it was supposed to be benefiting. If you don’t see or refuse to see something very distasteful in that then you are in denial.

    • Infinitron says:

      U butthurt bro?

      I’m sorry inXile don’t meet your standards for indie hipsterness. Now scram.

      • RProxyOnly says:

        What does indie hipsterness have to do with anything?.. Oh sorry I get it. You’re trying to ignore the point I made. Well good luck with that, I’m sure you’ll find a bag for your head and a pair of headphones, keep looking.

        • Infinitron says:

          I AM EXTREMELY UPSET THAT SOMEBODY HAS 200,000 DOLLARS THAT AREN’T BEING USED THE WAY I WANT THEM TO BE USED

          HEAR ME ROAR

          • Premium User Badge

            Lars Westergren says:

            I PLEDGED $20 TO A KICKSTARTER! THAT MEANS I GET TO TELL THE $100 000 GUY HOW HIS MONEY SHOULD BE SPENT! I AM THE PROJECT MANAGER NOW!

          • karthink says:

            @Lars: “I PLEDGED $20 TO A KICKSTARTER”

            He’s cancelled his pledge, but his work is not yet done. The world needs to know.

    • Brother None says:

      How is it being pocketed? Their money is still going directly into the game’s budget. But you have to account for failed pledges in your stretch goals, for budgeting purposes, since they will affect your final budget. Ignoring them would be bad business, and you do have to be able to actually make the stretch goals you promise at the levels you promise them at.

      So in this case, their pledges allowed us to ignore failed pledges for purposes of determining exact stretch goal levels. We could have also factored them in and then bumped up every stretch goal by 200K, but I don’t see how that’s any better.

      And Steven Dengler was aware well ahead of time how his money would be factored in.

  19. RProxyOnly says:

    Lmao.. $200k keeps you from your goal and you support them for it… LOL. Keep these coming, hysterical.

    • Infinitron says:

      Why do you care about other people’s money and how they use it? Kind of presumptuous of you, isn’t it? It could just as easily not be there at all.

  20. Crosmando says:

    Lol lol lol

    So when are we going to get the inevitable self-righteous whining piece from RPS about how fans on Kickstarter are only interested in nostalgia-fueled “old-school” games and not inventive and INNOVATIVE non-games like “The Walking Dead”???

    Maybe we might even get an admission that it ISN’T the case the *gamers want to go backwards*, but in fact the truth is that *games themselves have gone backwards*. After all, I’m pretty sure Wasteland 2 didn’t raise 3.2m because the backers thought Fallout 3 was better than Fallout 1/2, or Project: Eternity didn’t raise 4.3m because they all thought Dragon Age was such a faithful spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate.

    Then again, I fully expect hipsters will never admit that WL2/PE/Torment had very little to do with nostalgia and “going backwards”, they were about getting RPG’s back on track before they stopped being PC-exclusive and became trashy action games.

  21. Crosmando says:

    Also, I’d like to point out that a 9 or 10% fee when you are moving money in the millions is a very good deal, especially since crowdfunding avoids taxes

  22. noodlecake says:

    Well I’m exdspecting the gameplay to be incredibly boring and dated on this, let’s hope the art, animation and story make up for it.

    • Vorphalack says:

      Game play does not become dated. Rules and mechanics do not age.

      • Not Marvelous says:

        Yes, but AD&D had horrible mechanics, which made the previous Torment a very lackluster experience, mechanics-wise. And since Monte Cook is doing Numenera, I don’t expect it to be much better than a more streamlined, playable version of classic D&D mechanics.

        Then again – who knows. In my opinion, a narrative-heavy game should have rather simple mechanics. Something to determine the way your character behaves and makes decisions, his personality, something that keeps track of his allegiances and motives, that sort of stuff. I do not really want to pick a class and a descriptor, I do not need skills for who know how many types of weapons. Legacies seem like an interesting concept, IF they fit into the world, and from what I’ve heard, they’re InXile’s invention, not Cook’s. So they may not.

        I am rambling. What I want to say is: CRPGs should finally stop to take conceptual cues only from D&D. Maybe in this game it doesn’t matter what ‘equipment’ you wear or whether you know how to pick a lock – then the underlying mechanics shouldn’t be full of equipment stats and skill check difficulties.

        That this Torment may well be too ‘old-school’ in this sense, I agree.

        • Crosmando says:

          “AD&D has horrible mechanics”
          Except it doesn’t, and if you had played it a P&P session of it you’d know it wasn’t. It is/was a masterfully designed roleplaying system.

          I think the type of game you are looking for is an adventure game, although from your comment it seems that even puzzles might be too “hardcore” for you, so maybe a visual novel might better.

          The type of game you describe is certainly not a CRPG. CRPG’s ~are~ stats and skill-checks, stats are how an RPG measures how skill your character/s are, and how they interact with the world. Without say a number to determine how skilled your character is at picking a lock or bluffing to an NPC, then who decides how successful (or not) the player is?

          • Not Marvelous says:

            AD&D is masterful? It is even more ridiculous than the 3rd edition, itself also an attempt to design a system based on rules only fit for ‘dungeon-crawling’. I have played (and GMed) hundreds of P&P sessions of it, always struggling with the rules to create a sensible story. Something that Torment did too, and often. It did have some OK mechanics though, mostly when it strayed from the rigid AD&D rules because of the story (the changing attributes and alignment, the no-death rule).

            And I am very ‘hardcore’ when it comes to RPGs, thank you, especially P&P ones. If game developers were to take cues from Spirit of the Century or Cold City or a game like that I would be ecstatic. Recently The One Ring transferred the feel of a Tolkien story better than any computer game I’ve seen. And those games look and play nothing like any edition of D&D.

            It is also interesting that you mention stats and numbers as the only way to decide something. I will give you an example that you’ll probably hate: Dragon Age 2. In that game, you had a (very crude) personality system. Sometimes, whether you are able to influence someone’s opinion, deceive or intimidate was not based on numbers at all, but on whether you were a particular type of person. And it should make sense mechanically: if you live and act like a brute, you will be intimidating, etc. DA2 did not have a number on some arbitrary ‘persuade’ skill that worked no matter what you do otherwise. Instead, it attempted to connect a character’s personality with her abilities mechanically. In that regard, I see Dragon Age 2’s RPG mechanics as novel, original and ultimately progressive for the genre, if mostly unsatisfying and, as I already said, crude.

            Anyway, RPGs (and hopefully CRPGs also) are not about stats and skill checks, they are about the design of mechanics that enable you to tell, or participate in, a story or world. Sure they can be based on ‘stats’ in some form, but they absolutely do not have to be. I have feelings for AD&D, sure, and I could easily play it tomorrow and have fun at least for a little while. But that doesn’t make it good, let alone masterful.

          • malkav11 says:

            I have to agree that 2nd edition D&D has some pretty intensely dumb mechanics (the way demihumans were handled, for example). I also agree that tabletop RPGs are about supporting the creation of shared narrative, at least by and large. The thing is, tabletop RPGs are not CRPGs. And the mechanics and systems are a large part of what define CRPGs as a videogaming genre. The storytelling and worldbuilding aren’t exactly prevalent in the earliest examples of CRPGs, and while for a while CRPGs and adventure games were certainly the genres most focused on those attributes, I think we are (thankfully) at a point where they’ve propagated across much of gaming to the extent that they are not a meaningful way to distinguish CRPGs anymore.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    Don’t let the haters get anyone down. This is so awesome and I’m happy to be part of it.

  24. theponja says:

    As a Torment fan I’ve a bad feeling about this. I’d like to see the success of this all Kickstarter projects but I’ve a good feeling about Project Eternity. You can see really how the project is going on the updates on their forums, how step by step the are going to the goal. I can’t say the same from Inxile. The have the wasteland 2 project on going. The last update is from February 23th, nothing else in the last month and half. Now they lunch another project with a very high Nostalgia Factor very far from the end of the previous one. Hummm …. I can’t avoid to think they’re trying to use “found by kickstarter” moment to get more money. I’m really hope they’ve success by the signals aren’t the best ones.

  25. Optimaximal says:

    I guess the question is, when is the tipping point going to be hit where people stop contributing to big Kickstarters until at least *one* of them is released?