Posts Tagged ‘Planescape-Torment’

The RPG Scrollbars: Roles We Take, Roles We Choose

Not for the first time, I’ve spent quite a while recently pondering the nature of roles – more specifically, mechanical role versus narrative role. When we think of RPGs, what we’re usually thinking of is the latter. You play the role of the Hero, but in a universe that’s typically designed to let you define that however you like. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but there’s a key difference between that and stepping into the shoes of someone more specific. Geralt in The Witcher 3 for instance is – spoiler alert – a Witcher. Every encounter revolves around that, every system involves it, every decision has, whether it’s by your choice or Geralt bringing it up, a mercenary element that reinforces that asking for money in exchange for your services is expected and not, as is often the case, the first step towards douchery and getting the Evil ending.

I’ve also been playing a lot of Hearthstone. The two things are linked.

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A Tides Of Numenera Beta Date For Backers & Steamfolk

We already knew that a beta for Torment: Tides of Gary Numan [official site], spiritual* sequel to Planescape: Torment was due this month, but now we have a date. Or, to be precise, dates. Another thing we already knew is that original Kickstarter backers of the inXile RPG would get their clammy crowdfunding paws on the beta, but now we know that it’ll update its journal to include Steam Early Access a wee bit later in January.
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Torment Numenera Beta Inbound; Devs Open New Studio

News that inXile’s spiritual Planescape sequel Torment: Tides of New Model Army [official site] won’t, in fact, release its first beta during 2015 comes as little surprise, given there are only four and half minutes left of this year. Even so, it’s good to have confirmation that a sizeable chunk of the soul-searching RPG will be with us “early next year”, with the delay in order that we get “a more polished and complete Beta Test” that should offer around 10 hours of adventuring and existential crisis.
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Watch This Torment: Tides Of Numenera Crisis Footage

The Numenera pen-and-paper roleplaying system does a lot of interesting things to simplify stats, combat, and to offer players more choice in action and outcome. I am extremely interested to see how those systems translate to Torment: Tides of Numenera [official site], which is using the setting and system as a basis for a spiritual successor to the beloved Planescape: Torment. The first chance to see some of how it’s working is in a video below, as Jeremy Kopman – who has the excellent job title of ‘Lead Crisis Designer’ – talks through the game’s encounter system.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Sacred Worlds

Most RPGs ask you to save the world, but not all of them offer a world worth saving. Honestly, there’s been quite a few where given the choice I’d have joined the evil overlord just to beat up all the potion vendors who wouldn’t even give me a discount before the final battle, and for the mere chance of stabbing the guard in Act 1 who wouldn’t let me into The Town Where The Actual Bloody Game Starts.

This week though, I’m interested in the other side of that – the worlds that become more than just a place to grind for loot and XP. The places that feel real. Beloved worlds, which don’t necessarily correlate with beloved games. I really enjoyed Skyrim for instance, but Skyrim as a world largely leaves me cold for reasons that have nothing to do with the Frostfall mod. That’s not the same as saying it’s bad, or any real quality judgement at all, simply that for me it never became a second home, more than a playground. Fallout New Vegas meanwhile, despite its problems, ticked all of the boxes. It was a world I could believe in, get immersed by, and not want to leave, which given the current political climate around the world is quite probably for the best.

Here are some of the most special worlds for me. How about you? Note, we’re talking entire worlds, as in the settings for whole games, not specific places like, say, Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy VII or FFXIV. Those are cool too, but… another week!

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The 50 Best RPG On PC

An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC RPGs ever released. Covering the entire history of computer role-playing games is a daunting task and attempting to place the best games in such a broad genre in any kind of order is even more daunting. Thankfully, we are equal to all tasks and below, you will find the best fifty PC RPGs of all time.

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The Ultimate Torment Interview Of Ultimate Torment, Pt 2

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. 

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The Ultimate Torment Interview Of Ultimate Torment, Pt 1

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.

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Torment: Tides Of Numenera Recedes Till Late 2015

Concept art. Very concepty.

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.

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Larian On Near-Closure, Divinity’s Future, Gender Parity

Divinity: Original Sin is looking positively divine. Honestly, in the sheer heat of the moment, I might be more excited about it than Pillars of Eternity or Wasteland 2. I already spoke at length with Larian head Swen Vincke during a massive video play session, but that wasn’t enough. Afterward, we chatted about everything from the studio’s rocky, too-close-to-closure-for-comfort history to the possibility of using Divinity’s engine on a non-fantasy RPG to the chances that Larian goes back to Kickstarter. On top of all that, Vincke told me why having gender parity (one male, one female) on his writing team turned out to be the “best decision ever.”

Vincke’s admirably frank answers to roughly a million questions are below. 

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