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Torment Kickstarter Update #19: Pre-pre-production, Shanna Germain on Numenera, and other stuff

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Torment Kickstarter Update #19: Pre-pre-production, Shanna Germain on Numenera, and other stuff

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 24 April 2013, 13:59:48

Tags: Adam Heine; InXile Entertainment; Kevin Saunders; Monte Cook; Shanna Germain; Torment: Tides of Numenera

There's a nice and meaty Torment: Tides of Numenera Kickstarter update today, the first since the campaign ended. It covers a whole bunch of topics, but the main part is a comprehensive overview of what the team will be up to in the next few months. I quote:

So what are we doing on Torment right now? Our emphasis for the next while is on planning the project and building a strong foundation for the writers before they begin their work. I'll talk more about the project planning in a future update - for now, I'll explain what types of design work we're focused on.​

Colin, with support from Adam and me, is focused on better defining the story and its scope. As we talked about a few times during the campaign, we designed the story (and other aspects of the game) to be highly modular so that we could adapt it to best fit the funding we received. Now that we know our budget for development, we can solidify the scope of the game. We reached the Longer Story Stretch Goal and Colin is looking into how to best incorporate some of the story ideas that we had pruned prior to the Kickstarter. In parallel, we (with Adam leading the charge) are drilling down into the details of how we’ll implement all of the Tidal and other reactivity. We have talked about this reactivity at a high level, but we need to establish more concretely how we will be executing it.​

A strong foundation for the writers means more than just the story though. We are also developing templates and examples for area and companion design, as well as conventions and constraints for dialogue. Once we have those, we can implement some preliminary dialogues to test out conversation creation and get a better sense of how the conversations will play.​

These early prototypes will be made easier from our work on Wasteland 2, along with some preliminary collaboration with Obsidian and their work on Project Eternity. These prototypes will be critical in efficiently focusing the creativity of our writers. As you recall, we have quite the writing team assembled! Some of our writers are very talented creatively, but haven’t had as much video game development experience. Having clear, well thought-out guidelines will help ensure the work of our decentralized writing team is consistent and perfect for Torment.​

This design and planning with a very small team will be continuing over the next few months (along with some technical aspects that we'll talk more about in a later update). This means that another thing we’re doing is conserving funds while we build this foundation - Torment has the benefit of a longer pre-production period (than Wasteland 2) and we want to make the most of it.​

Meanwhile, the From the Depths novella writers are beginning work on their stories. Digital or printed copies of these (including also the novellas by Colin and Monte) are rewards for many of you, but they also serve a design purpose. Writing the novellas at this stage will allow the writers to immerse themselves in the Ninth World, and flesh out the nature of each of the five Tides. These novellas will essentially provide the full definition for each Tide, with the protagonist in each being the embodiment of what that Tide means. So the writers will be delving into the true meanings of the Tides and the novellas will help the entire team better understand what each truly encompasses.​

Besides that, there's a new video featuring Numenera lead editor Shanna Germain, who is also going to be a member of Torment's ever-growing writing team. In the video, she describes and maps out the Numenera world, with a little help from guest star Monte Cook:


The update also mentions Adam Heine's Q&A video from a few days ago, and answers an additional question from the forums in text. The answer describes how the game will focus on depth of choices and consequences, and it includes a nice shout-out to Youtube RPG vlogger MrBtongue. Speaking of shout-outs, there's also one for Divinity: Original Sin, as requested on the forums (suck it, Roguey!). Finally, there's a status report on the PayPal funding, which is currently at about $217K, bringing the game's total funding to $4,406,094. It comes with a description of the planned 4.5 million dollar stronghold stretch goal, although it doesn't seem like there's much chance of reaching it.

There are 67 comments on Torment Kickstarter Update #19: Pre-pre-production, Shanna Germain on Numenera, and other stuff

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