Torchlight Developer Diary Part 1: The Talent


In their attempt to write a developer diary for Torchlight, Runic games managed this:

“Dear Diary, I think I will make a kick-ass game. Yes! That’s all for now. Lootfully yours, Runic Games.”

Fortunately they instead chose to elaborate further in video form, and you can see it below.

It’s a shame it sounds like they recorded it using Skype on dial-up (yeah, like we can talk), but apart from that this is a fun insight into developers behind the forthcoming dungeon crawler. They employ someone with the job title Zombie Pyrotechnician. Which is a recession-proof skill.

In the video they confirm it will be $20, and come with a level editor on release. Which is on the 27th October.


  1. jsutcliffe says:

    So is he a zombie who specializes in setting things on fire, or a person who specializes in setting zombies on fire? Or is he just a Union soldier who likes President Roslin? Details, man. Give us details!

    Also, there’s nothing wrong with that diary entry. It’s better than “Dear Diary, I think I will make a mediocre game. Yes! That’s all for now. Unenthusiastically yours, Ubisoft*.”

    *insert game developer you’re currently annoyed with here.

  2. Railick says:

    Given it is a small studio I would have to go with him being a zombie who is also a Pyrotechnician simply because I don’t think they’d be able to afford to hire such a specialized type of Pyrotechnician (What they you have to have a Minotaur dismembermenttechnician?)
    BTW how do you guys pronounce Minotaur? I've always said "Min-O-Tore" but recently I've seen two movies where they say "Mine-O-tar" which seems very odd to me :P

    Shadowcat “It hammers at my retinas like an evil woodpecker of pure energy”

    • dancingcrab says:


      I’ve heard it pronounced your way, though.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      I think it might be a US/UK difference. I say “mine-o-taur,” while my American wife says “min-o-taur.”

      People look at us funny with those weird pauses between syllables, too.

    • dancingcrab says:

      I’ll have to ask my American wife too! That should have occurred to me.

    • mejobloggs says:

      I always hear it as min-o-tore in NZ. Never heard ‘mine’ afaik

  3. MacBeth says:

    My next business card will, I think, have to say Zombie Pyrotechnician on it. If nothing else, I like throwing molotovs in L4D so it’s not entirely untrue.

    • Paul S says:

      The little telecoms hardware dev company I used to work for folded before the next batch of business cards were printed, but I was due promotion from Electronic Engineer to Beaver Wrangler.

      Was most unhappy.

  4. Railick says:

    Is it a US vs UK thing? Both movies I heard it pronounced that way the people saying it had English accents : ) (One was Prince Caspian and I believe the other was Ink Heart but the dude saying it had a British accent)

    • dancingcrab says:

      That would confirm jsutcliffe’s point. Brits (like jsutcliffe and myself) say ‘mine-oh-tor’. Americans might tend to say ‘min-oh-tor’. I’m going to grab the next American I see (probably my better half) and ask.

      The Dude abides.

    • TeeJay says:

      I say “banana”, you say “banana”! :)

  5. jsutcliffe says:

    On a more sensible note, I’m quite interested in this. I love the art style, both the in-game footage and the 2D concepts (which is odd, as I don’t usually like such cartoony people). I know practically nothing about whether it’s actually a game I would enjoy — I get the impression is it Diablo-esque, but I’ve never played a Diablo-type game. I also have no idea whether its emphasis is on single player or multiplayer,

    It sure is pretty though.

    • dancingcrab says:

      Their other popular game, Fate, is a Diablo-clone and completely single-player.

    • Railick says:

      It should also be noted their other popular game is actaully Diablo :P One of the people that made Diablo is making this so ;P

      From what I’ve just read this is going to be a more serious (slightly) version of Fate. You still get the pet (cat or dog) and it still goes with you and has the awesome ability of going back to town to sell all your loot so you don’t have to. You still level almost the exact same way and the levels are random ect. Sounds like it is going to be awesome.

  6. Railick says:

    IF it is anything like Fate I know I will enjoy it. It looks a lot like Fate only less generic (Which is good) One thing I loved about Fate is that you had the option to retire and state a new game as the relative of the origonal hero. It would make you slightly stronger and also you could pass down a single item from the pervious game that will have gotten stronger in the mean time, I seriously hope they put that in this game. (also the pet was pretty cool, you could start off with a cat or dog but by feeding it fish it could transform into all sorts of things. Everything from a spider to a dragon type thing, very cool. My favorite was a scorpian/lion mix)

  7. jsutcliffe says:

    A tiny bit of research later, I see that it is entirely single-player, and has excellently low system requirements: link to

    • Bremze says:

      Also, they have said that its possible to play Torchlight on a netbook because they don’t use any shaders iirc.

    • Vinraith says:

      “Q: Will I be able to play Torchlight online?

      A: Because of the relatively short development window and tiny development team, we decide to focus our efforts on making a complete single-player experience. However, we are already in development of a massively multiplayer action-RPG set in the world of Torchlight for future release. ”

      Single player is a good thing, but I wish they were working on a co-op version rather than a (blech) MMO version.

    • Railick says:

      It will probably end up being more like Guild Wars

    • dancingcrab says:

      Yeh. Fate was good and $20. Torchlight will be even better, and still $20.

    • Vinraith says:


      I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. My Guild Wars account tells me I’ve logged in excess of 1500 hours on that damnable game at this point. :)

    • Railick says:

      From what I’ve read this is going to be pretty much exactly like fate even down to the retiring and infinite dungeon and fishing. (I remember fishing up a Cheese Hat in Fate that gave me a huge bonus to gold found but reduced health by 75% or so :P

  8. Railick says:

    Q: Is there a place for me to store items besides my backpack?

    A: Your character has a private stash which can store excess items. All of your characters also share an additional stash which you can use to transfer items between them. In addition, your pet has its own pack that you can use to store items while exploring the mines.

    AWESOME!! Diablo 2 needed this.

    • Vinraith says:

      Actually that’s exactly the system from Titan Quest: Immortal Throne.

    • Railick says:

      I’ve always avoided Titan’s Quest because of the setting . I got Age of Myth and ended up hating it, I don’t want anything to do with ancient Greek ect myths in my games :P I don’t want to fight a Gorgon with a mirrior shield and a brone short short no thanks. I want a giant claymore and armor so heavy no human could ever walk in it or two giant steel axes that I can spin over my head (and in the game)

  9. Railick says:

    After reading the FAQ For this game I am extremely excited. I can’t wait for this game to come out.

  10. dancingcrab says:

    Ack. Just discovered the retail box won’t be out until January. I’m of the indefensible ilk that can’t really stand purely digital copies. However, this will give me time to play through Fate: The Traitor’s Soul.

  11. Wonder says:

    What, do you think our diary is full of witty jargon?! Well, maybe. But yeah, we saved it for the video. ;)

  12. Railick says:

    I can’t wait to get home to watch this video. I’ll probably end up skipping blood blow tonight and playing fate some more. Might start a new character in hardcore mode and see how that goes.

    I wonder why they chose to move away from Fate’s classless game play and go for 3 classes instead ? I kind of liked the ability to make up my own class (Say a warrior with heal magic abilites ala a paladin or cleric)

    Am I the only person that sit there for 3 hours straight fishing just to see what crazy stuff I could find ? :)

  13. We Fly Spitfires says:

    So excited. Just can’t hide it!

  14. JKjoker says:

    hmm, the game looks like fun but they went for full ripoff taking every single thing from other diablo and diablo-like games (some of the areas look so much like the ones in diablo 3 videos that i think blizzard might sue them), i hope they at least tried something new with the items

    • unique_identifier says:

      weren’t a few of these folks diablo developers themselves before they left blizzard?

    • JKjoker says:

      unless they have “the one diablo dev to rule them all” i dont think it makes any difference, the Hellgate team had the same thing and the game stunk really, really bad

      like i said, the game looks fun but the question is, will it have anything fresh and interesting to set it apart from the hundreds of diablo clones, or will it just play it safe and rip everyone off Halo style ?

    • abhishek says:

      I agree. I can’t really see anything unique about this game. It’s a clone in every sense of the word.

  15. Serondal says:

    Got to watch the video finally . I’m even more excited about this now ^_^

  16. Vinraith says:

    Looks fantastic. I don’t know why people looking for “unique” are even in this thread, we haven’t had a fun, well constructed action RPG since Titan Quest and I for one would be thrilled to see something “by the numbers” that was well built and enjoyable with a bit of personality. This seems like it’s likely to fit the bill.

  17. Dominus says:


  18. Mac says:

    Anyone know if this will have a Steam release?

  19. trindermon says:

    NO CO-OP, no buy. sorry, that feature is DIABLO. all the rest is meh.

  20. Jorgen says:

    Co-op would be awesome in a title like this! How could they overlook that?!
    Forget turning this into an MMO, just give us co-op.

  21. El_MUERkO says:

    i’d love to play this with spartan: total warrior controls

  22. jamesL says:

    abhishek said “I agree. I can’t really see anything unique about this game.”

    what about this ?
    link to

    and yes, it will be available from Steam and Direct2Drive around December

  23. jamesL says:

    yes, it will be available from Steam and Direct2Drive around December

    abhishek said “I agree. I can’t really see anything unique about this game.”

    what about this ?

  24. jamesL says:

    try that link again

    they are including the editor they used to develop the game

    and they have it running on a notebook

    “We’ve only got a GMA 916 with 64MB of VRAM here ( real stinker ), and it runs ~14-17FPS in moderate areas…. It’s ‘playable’ on our netbook, although obviously not optimal.”

  25. jamesL says:

    let’s try that link again

    they are including the editor they used to develop the game

    and they have it running on a notebook

    “We’ve only got a GMA 916 with 64MB of VRAM here ( real stinker ), and it runs ~14-17FPS in moderate areas…. It’s ‘playable’ on our netbook, although obviously not optimal.”

  26. jamesL says:

    dam ! sorry for so many posts
    it wasn’t posting from firefox, so I tried IE 8 and now I see they actually did post from firefox

  27. Meatloaf says:

    Yeah, OK, so it’s an obvious Diablo clone. Thing is, it’s got three advantages right now: One, it’s got a level editor – yeah, Diablo has always been procedurally generated, but that doesn’t have the same flavor. It just feels generated, not crafted. Two, it’s a clone, but it looks like a bloody good one. Three, it’s coming out this month, not three years from now.

  28. sandwiches says:

    Don’t forget that it’s only $20.