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  1. #21
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    It's a Dark Souls situation, except for Avellone (I hope he's going to be a stretch goal). It's a sequel in everything but the setting.

  2. #22
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    Is it the Torment theme that's so special? If so, hasn't it been attempted a million times since PS:T, as is industry tradition?
    Torment is one of those games that is praised by critics and most of the people who play it, but didn't have much influence on the industry as a whole. So no, there aren't many games that have attempted Torment's themes. Part of the draw is the Planescape campaign setting - dark and often surreal fantasy that avoids cliches - and part is the introspective focus of the game's story. PS:T is about finding out who your character was and deciding who he will be.

    It looks like they've got some of the key people involved in creating and writing for the Planescape setting involved in Tides of Numenera, and what they've shown us so far looks good. The game itself and those making it are more of an unknown factor for me, but having a strong setting to work with is important, and they have members of the original team working on it along with the approval of those at Obsidian.

    So I'm fairly optimistic. It's impossible to say at this point what the quality of the final game will be like, but simply making the attempt is a big point in their favour.

  3. #23
    Lesser Hivemind Node Fanbuoy's Avatar
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    Okay, thanks. I guess I should get around to playing it at last in a couple of weeks. If I like it, there will still be some time left to decide.

  4. #24
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    It's really hard to describe why Planescape: Torment is such an extraordinary game to somebody who has not played it. In my opinion it's because it's a game that is primarily aimed at adults, something that does not happen very often. Well, unless your definition of adult game is Wet Empire.
    It's a fantasy game, yes, as it is part of the D&D continuum but whereas Forgotten Realms is Tolkien, Planescape is Moorcock.
    to wound the autumnal city.

  5. #25
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    http://www.gamearena.com.au/news/rea...18719?latest=1
    I'd agree this game is not mainstream but that does not mean it's not epic. I'm supporting this one and other similar games in the future.
    It's always a good idea to confront the status quo. Torment is clearly a good example of this concept. I just wish this game will be released sooner.

  6. #26
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    Okay, thanks. I guess I should get around to playing it at last in a couple of weeks. If I like it, there will still be some time left to decide.
    You've probably got a couple of years to decide. Not that I'm suggesting you put off playing Torment.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    The following should be read with a tone of curiosity, not cynicism:

    What makes this game so special? The setting is different from PS:T and Avellone isn't on the staff. While many of the same people will work on this new game, I dare guess that most of them have worked on projects in between without reaching the level of PS:T. Why should they succeed this time?

    Is it the Torment theme that's so special? If so, hasn't it been attempted a million times since PS:T, as is industry tradition?

    I guess what I'm really asking is: Is it the Torment name that drowns poor screens in money or is it the team? Or a combination or some other factor? Should I be cynical or optimistic?

    N.B. I haven't played PS:T yet (which probably makes me a bad person, but I haven't had the time), nor do I know much about the game.
    It's mainly the name of Torment, although a lot of the same people are working on the game (and the setting comes from someone involved with the creation of the original).

    Torment's theme is less special than the way it's intricately woven into the game. Every single character is defined by their pain, and their pain keeps them tied to the main character in ways many of them don't even understand. It's beautifully crafted and the themes (Torment is not the only theme in the game, just the titular one. Arguably the role of belief is more important) and atmosphere constantly reinforce each other.

    As for cynicism, I backed Wasteland 2 and I did not back this. For three reasons:

    I thought their theme was a bit simple, and they focused too much on it in the pitch. "What is one life worth?" Didn't really sound that impressive (although Torment doesn't either). The way they hammered it in though really didn't work for me, because what sets Planescape Torment apart is its subtlety. Their pitch was a bit hamfisted.

    The second is that you have to trust in Fargo's abilities as a team leader, not just as a person. I fully believe that he will do everything between hell and high-water to get these games out. However, I'm not as convinced in his abilities as a manger. Wasteland 2 updates have been glacial, and don't seem to show very quick progress. Also, Choplifter HD and Hunted.

    The third is that you have to trust not only Fargo, but also the writing team. The writing in the Wasteland demo was not great. Angela Deth's quote wasn't great either.

    I don't want to end on a cynical note though. I feel like I have been unduly negative about this game in other posts. In a world where I didn't have to sell blood to back Project Eternity, I would have backed this too. The risk would have been worth it if $40 wasn't all the spending money we have a month. So here's a few bright points to dull your cynicism.

    - They're using tech they already understand quite well, which means less nasty surprises.
    - McComb did some good writing in PST and Avellone respects him.
    - George Ziets did good writing in MotB (which was well-written all around), and Obsidian respects him.
    - They already look like they made an interesting skill and combat system for Wasteland 2.
    - The Brain City looks pretty damn cool.
    - There have been three successful 2D rpgs kickstarted for over a million. You saw the Shadowrun Returns video today, Wasteland 2 released a neat video, and PE is making steady progress that is well-documented (and creating a system which combines 3e and 4e D&D better than WotC can).
    Last edited by Internet; 09-03-2013 at 02:55 AM.

  8. #28
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Kickstarter seems to support cooperation between developers. InXile looks independent. Obsidian doesn't appear to work with the same publisher 2 times in a row, and Eternity is self-published. Is this the start of a new trend ? Will we see more developers join forces if they like each other and share a passion ? More humane and passion-driven game development ?
    pass

  9. #29
    I have such a hard on for this game I pass out every time I hear it mentioned.

  10. #30
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    I started playing Planescape: Torment for first time. Impressions? Meh. I must have some sort of aversion to Infinity Engine, I think, because I didn't like Baldur's Gate either. What's bugging me most is quests. I walked into some woman house and after quick conversation I have to help her husband to deal with his debts. WTF? Why? Who the hell is asking some random stranger who invades they private house to help for such a thing like paying debts? WHAT DID THEY THINKING?!

    And now here we are - next Torment and probably the same bullshit as devs want to make isometric graphics, tons of dialogues etc. Sure, I can skip these quests. But it not make game much better. It's like: "I see some punks beating a poor guy, but I close my eyes and they will disappear".

    I wish they would somehow experiment with videogame narration and gameplay instead of ressurecting old and broken (for me) style.

    Now you can punch me in face.

  11. #31
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    You are not paying for this game, you have no say in how it should look like. People are paying for it because they want a game like this. If it looked like you propose, it wouldn't get funded.

    The text and conversations are what people like the most about Torment. Sometimes it's unrealistic like when you invade someone's house and don't offend him, but it would make the conversation even longer. Not everyone enjoys cutting through 5 minutes of small talk to get to something interesting.
    Last edited by b0rsuk; 09-03-2013 at 11:15 AM.
    pass

  12. #32
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    You're right, but I want more devs to do something fresh, because games have potential for more various ways to tell a story than just clicking through dialogues and Torment seems to have good setting for these experiments.

    For example - these guys who "speaks" with symbols from first Torment. Awesome idea. But if that idea is executed that you must read: "you see some symbols blahblahblah" is rather bad. I would want to SEE these symbols and maybe figure them out by myself and not by my character wisdom or intelligence stats. Yeah, it's somehow against RPG nature of this game, but would be much more engaging and fun.

    Also - I do not dislike Torment setting, just mechanics. Oh, it also have very annoying way to mark *some* words with strange *characters* that looks *very* bad in dialogues.
    Books doesn't need that to provide good dialogues. Visual novels doesn't need that either. Why put something like that in a game?

  13. #33
    Lesser Hivemind Node fiddlesticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    I wish they would somehow experiment with videogame narration and gameplay instead of ressurecting old and broken (for me) style.
    If you're looking for innovation, Kickstarter probably isn't the right place. The biggest projects (Doublefine Adventure, Wasteland 2, Project: Eternity, Shadowrun Returns) are all explicit callbacks to older titles and older styles of gameplay. Which makes sense, in a way. If you promise me a completely new experience, I will be inherently skeptical because I have no idea how your game will actually play. Tell me you want to create another Torment however, and I will be a lot more willing to fund you. You could call this nostalgia, but I think it's more about assurance. I know I liked Torment, therefore I'll probably like this project as well.

    I don't think it's really a problem though. Not all games with great writing imitate the Infinity Engine games. You could try out Alpha Protocol, which eschews sidequests and which ties all NPCs neatly into the main storyline. Or you might like Psychonauts and The Longest Journey, games that have nothing to do with RPGs altogether. And if you're looking for something featuring a greater degree of personal freedom, Far Cry 2 might be worth a try.

  14. #34
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    Yeah, that's the one thing I dislike in Kickstarter. You need to came up with some nostalgic stuff if you want to make a money.
    That's why kickstarting next Torment is good opportunity to do some experiments, because people would back it anyway, because it's Torment.

    BTW, thanks for reminding me that I have to finish Psychonauts.

  15. #35
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    What's bugging me most is quests. I walked into some woman house and after quick conversation I have to help her husband to deal with his debts. WTF? Why? Who the hell is asking some random stranger who invades they private house to help for such a thing like paying debts? WHAT DID THEY THINKING?!
    Torment does fall into the trap of having side quests be favours for random strangers, but you'll find that sort of think infects a lot of RPGs; it's a kind of RPG trope, "you're an adventurer (and not just some random thug), so you'll help me with my meaningless task."

    Hopefully they can rise above this lazy design.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    Kickstarter seems to support cooperation between developers. InXile looks independent. Obsidian doesn't appear to work with the same publisher 2 times in a row, and Eternity is self-published. Is this the start of a new trend ? Will we see more developers join forces if they like each other and share a passion ? More humane and passion-driven game development ?
    Don't forget about Sportsfriends, which was a massive collaboration of interesting games. I wonder if steambox will pick that one up? It makes sense given that it's linux, local multiplayer, and has a lot of good rep.

    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlesticks View Post
    If you're looking for innovation, Kickstarter probably isn't the right place.

    I don't think it's really a problem though. Not all games with great writing imitate the Infinity Engine games. You could try out Alpha Protocol, which eschews sidequests and which ties all NPCs neatly into the main storyline. Or you might like Psychonauts and The Longest Journey, games that have nothing to do with RPGs altogether. And if you're looking for something featuring a greater degree of personal freedom, Far Cry 2 might be worth a try.
    That's pretty unfair, because even the big titles have shown to have some creativity and inventiveness, the difference is that the creativity is within the conventions of the genre. Wasteland 2 has ambushes. Project Eternity has the grimoire system. DFA has the lumberjack system (I actually have no idea at all how DFA is turning out because I haven't been watching the episodes). Shadowrun plays exactly nothing like the SNES game (or failed X-box game).

    Far Cry 2 gives the illusion of freedom and it isn't even very strong. It goes out of its way to stop you from doing things it didn't think of or doesn't want you to be able to do. And the writing is hamfisted.

    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    You're right, but I want more devs to do something fresh, because games have potential for more various ways to tell a story than just clicking through dialogues and Torment seems to have good setting for these experiments.

    For example - these guys who "speaks" with symbols from first Torment. Awesome idea. But if that idea is executed that you must read: "you see some symbols blahblahblah" is rather bad. I would want to SEE these symbols and maybe figure them out by myself and not by my character wisdom or intelligence stats. Yeah, it's somehow against RPG nature of this game, but would be much more engaging and fun.

    Also - I do not dislike Torment setting, just mechanics. Oh, it also have very annoying way to mark *some* words with strange *characters* that looks *very* bad in dialogues.
    Books doesn't need that to provide good dialogues. Visual novels doesn't need that either. Why put something like that in a game?
    Devs are doing fresh things, and it's a bit unfair to say that because they're making a spiratual / thematic sequel to game you don't like that you don't like it's not fresh. There's room for Sui Generis and Project Eternity, for Fallout NV and Wastland 2.

    The original PST did a lot of mechanical experimentation. The importance of wisdom, the fact that players couldn't die, the spell cinematics, moving alignment, lie tracking, putting an endstate in the middle of the game, punishments for killing people in public, etc.

    And yes, there character agency vs. player agency is always an issue, but it's not like there's a right or wrong decision to that. When you say it would be more engaging and fun, it's important to clarify that it would be more engaging and fun to you. Which is perfectly acceptable. Arx Fatalis is like that with symbols if you haven't tried it.

    Setting and mechanics are pretty intricately linked in Planescape Torment, which is in many ways a deconstruction of D&D.

    Finally, the thing about people barging into houses is kinda funny, because that's one thing Baldur's Gate actually does do. People will get mad if you come into their house uninvited, and call the guards if you steal things. If you kill the guards, more will chase you any time you're in the city.
    Last edited by Internet; 09-03-2013 at 02:04 PM.

  17. #37
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Check out Castle Story, Planetary Annihilation, FTL, Sui Generis, At The Gates. Not exactly sequels or clones.
    pass

  18. #38
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    What's bugging me most is quests. I walked into some woman house and after quick conversation I have to help her husband to deal with his debts. WTF? Why? Who the hell is asking some random stranger who invades they private house to help for such a thing like paying debts? WHAT DID THEY THINKING?!
    It's a fair criticism, but I think there's a couple of good reasons for doing it like that. The biggest one is people expect it. Even if it's not realistic, it's nice having people give you stuff to do. There are games where you can wander into every house but only 5% of them contain anything interesting (e.g. TES) and it's kind of dull. In Torment you're often approached by people, or have your attention drawn to them by unusual scenes and behaviour, rather than quest-givers having the equivalent of a floating exclamation mark. There's also a fair number of traps for the unwary, or people who don't have your best interests at heart. You might get given quests in the same way you do in Baldur's Gate, but there's not always a magic item at the end.

  19. #39
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Besides, you can walk only into a few houses. This is a metaphor for: there's nothing interesting in the rest.
    pass

  20. #40
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    So, numbers on Kickstarters:
    In the first three days of funding:
    Wasteland 2 had 38.21% of its total, Project Eternity had 34.7%, and Shadowrun Returns had 33.29%.
    In the first four:
    Wasteland 2 had 42.19% of its total, Project Eternity had 38.63%, and Shadowrun Returns had 36.92%.

    I have a list with a lot more, but I thought these three were the most germane because they're top down RPGs that wildly exceeded their funding, which was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The games are of course unique in their own rights, and I'll establish a larger list as more get made. They all had pretty big boosts in the middle. Shadowrun's boost corresponds with it hitting $1m (and announcing a collector's edition), Wasteland 2's is the signing of Avellone, and PE's is the "screenshot."

    So if Torment: Tides of Numenera follows the patterns of other games it will likely get somewhere between:
    From 3 day: $6.36m (Shadowrun) to $5.78m (Wasteland 2)
    From 4 day: $6.3m (Shadowrun) to $5.5m (Wasteland 2).

    It looks like it might be a bit lower than these estimates because it's decreasing faster than any of them. Day 2,3,4 decreases:
    Wasteland 2 -16%, -35%, -54%; Project Eternity -31%, -59%, -20%; Shadowrun Returns -27%, -53%, -33%.
    Torment decreases are significantly sharper:
    -65%, -60%, -40%.

    The increased decreases make me feel like $5.5m might be the best guess for now, and it might actually get lower than that. Not that $5.5m (plus paypal which wasn't factored into any of this) and $200k from Brian Fargo and Steve Dengler is anything to sneeze at.

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