$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.