Chris Avellone is going to be a writer on Divinity 2: Original Sin [official site]. His involvement was confirmed at the 11th hour of Larian Studio’s already successful Kickstarter project – though not as a stretch goal, for once.
RPS Feature Taking Effort
I’m interested in Torment: Tides of Numenera [official site], but not for the typical reason around these parts – I’ve only ever played the first two hours of Planescape: Torment, to which the game is a spiritual successor. Instead, my interest is the result of playing the game’s other source material: Numenera, a pen-and-paper roleplaying game set a billion years in the future, which throws out much of the levelling, stats and combat of D&D-derived games in favour of a streamlined system that favours storytelling and improvisation above numbers and hard rules.
Curious about how many of the pen-and-papers unusual systems were being translated to a computer RPG, I spoke to inXile’s Colin McComb and Thomas Beeker – creative lead and associate producer, respectively – about bringing effort, cyphers, GM intrusions and backstories to the PC.
RPG maestro and human stretch goal Chris Avellone probably isn’t planning to go solo but earlier today he confirmed that he’ll be leaving Obsidian. The studio’s most recent title was the superb Pillars of Eternity, on which Avellone worked as a narrative designer, but both he and Obsidian, the company that he co-founded, have a proud back catalogue. Obsidian is still home to some of the finest minds in the RPG business, not least Eternity lead Josh Sawyer, so my main interest here is not what happens to the studio he’s leaving but what Avellone does next.
I don’t know. Iiiiiiiiiiii ddddddddddon’t kkkkkkkkkknow. A Wasteland sequel seemed like a fantastic idea, given the divisive actiony direction Bethesda took Fallout in. A Planescape: Torment follow-up was absolutely giving literate roleplayers what they wanted (hopefully, anyway – that one’s not out yet). Bard’s Tale, though? I know it’s a landmark cRPG, but it’s not one I’ve heard many people crying out for a new sequel to. I guess I worry a little that it’s old-school roleplaying for old-school roleplaying’s sake, and I’d prefer something stone-cold new. But what do I know, given inXile’s The Bard’s Tale IV Kickstarter campaign (their third to date) has rounded up $800,000 of its desired $1.25m in less than a day? Clearly there’s an appetite, and clearly The Bard’s Tale IV is going to happen.
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You can’t swing a dead (giant) rat without hitting a big ol’ RPG these days. In the last couple of months, we’ve had the party-based pleasures of Pillars of Eternity and the bold, handsome excess of The Witcher 3. Divinity: Original Sin is flexing its systemic muscle for another bout and there are plenty of other attractions waiting in the wings.
Despite all that competition, Torment: Tides of Numenera [official site] could be one of the most intriguing RPGs in years. The spiritual sequel to Planescape: Torment promises to outweird the rest of the pack, if nothing else, and the new video below shows the range of environments that will be on show. It’s like watching a showreel of five or six RPGs crammed together – sci-fi and horror cheek-to-cheek with swords and sorcery.
RPS Feature Numa Numa
I’m looking forward to inXile’s Torment: Tides of Numenera, like nearly everyone else who works at RPS. The difference is that I never played Planescape: Torment, the game Tides aims to spiritually succeed. Instead my interest comes from the other end of its name, since I’ve been playing Numenera, the Monte Cook pen-and-paper RPG that gives this new game its setting and some of its mechanics.
With two successful Kickstarters under its belt, one well-received RPG sequel out in the wild and one spiritual RPG sequel on its way, what next for Wasteland and Tides of Numenera dev inXile? Sadly, it doesn’t involve ditching any crazy capitalisation. It does, however, involve bringing back another much-loved olden roleplayer. But which one? I’ve stuck a few guesses (two of which are in this post’s title) below.
In the shorter term, they’ll also be doing a bit more tinkering with Wasteland 2.
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I myself experienced three minutes of torment just moments ago. It’s always a nightmare when my girlfriend heads into the bathroom before I can get in there for my first wee of the morning.
I felt much better when I experienced a different sort of Torment – a proper in-game look at the next RPG from Wasteland 2 creators inXile. It’s fascinating to see how Tides of Numenera is trying to evoke its spiritual predecessor Planescape: Torment without, in fact, being a Planescape game.
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RPS Feature On Delays, World Creation, and Planescape's Imperfections
I very much want Torment: Tides of Numenera to be excellent, because the world needs more Torment. Not in the literal sense, of course; the world is a miserable place. But Planescape Torment was a wonderfully different sort of RPG set in a wonderfully different sort of world, and another descent into the gnarliest bowels of fuckweird would be quite grand. Numenera’s still a ways off at this point, but inXile seems to be on the right track. Yesterday we talked combat and why quality is more important than size, and today we continue on by chatting about why Planescape Torment *wasn’t* perfect, what that means for Numenera, the recent delay, and why we won’t just be able to attack any old random NPC. All that and more below.
RPS Feature On Changes, Combat, And Quality Over Length
Madly anticipated Planescape Torment spiritual successor Torment: Tides of Numenera has been delayed. We won’t be able to probe its strange, sloughing depths until late 2015, which is a shame except that if inXile released when they were originally planning to we’d probably get a stack of concept art and a mountain of design documents instead of a game. Torment’s Kickstarter wrapped up more than a year ago, though, and it has made progress. Big progress. I spoke with project lead Kevin Saunders, creative lead Colin McComb, design lead Adam Heine, and new lead area designer George Ziets about how the game has evolved. In part one, we discuss combat, how backers have influenced the game, using Pillars of Eternity tech, why Torment will be more about quality than size, skill systems, and story changes. It’s all below.
Torment: Tides of Numenera aims to be a spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, but it seems producing vastly complex, non-linear RPGs is a difficult task. Following the success of Wasteland 2, inXile’s other Kickstarted game, Tides of Numenera has swapped its previous ‘early 2015′ release date for a revised ‘late 2015′. In a lengthy post at the Torment blog, the team have offered update on the game’s current development.
They say that history often repeats itself. People feud endlessly over similar issues, trends ebb and flow, and you already are your parents (THERE IS NO ESCAPING IT SEARCH YOUR FEELINGS YOU KNOW IT TO BE TRUE). But it’s not all bad. Sometimes, for instance, classic game genres are reborn in glorious blazes of phoenix-like beauty, and you’re like take that dad you had to play Dungeons and Dragons with pens and paper I’m totally different please let me be different. And so, as it was in the days when games like Baldur’s Gate and Planescape Torment swapped genetic material, so too shall it be soonish with Pillars of Eternity and Torment: Tides of Numenera. Torment will borrow Eternity’s gorgeous engine tech, allowing for hyper-detailed backgrounds that ooze and skitter with intoxicating weirdness.
A couple of weeks ago inXile asked Torment’s backers to make a choice about the game’s combat – turn-based or real time with pause? Late on Friday, the votes came in and the developers reckon that even though “statistically it was a tie”, the combat will be thoroughly and entirely turn-based. Hurrah! I hadn’t even considered the question until it was asked, assuming that Numenera would be following in the action-sapping footsteps of Wasteland 2 and I’m glad that around half of the people who backed the game and bothered to vote agree that turn-based is the most sensible approach. A large update to the Kickstarter page explains the reasoning and I’ve copied some pertinent quotes below.