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Torment: Tides of Numenera Interview at GRY-Online

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Torment: Tides of Numenera Interview at GRY-Online

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Sat 19 July 2014, 12:25:00

Tags: Adam Heine; InXile Entertainment; Jeremy Kopman; Kevin Saunders; Torment: Tides of Numenera

Polish magazine GRY-Online offers a dual-language interview (Polish and English) on InXile's Torment: Tides of Numenera. The developers interviewed are Adam Heine (Design Lead), Jeremy Kopman (Crisis Designer), and Kevin Saunders (Project Lead). Have a snippet on difficulty as well as on "romancing options", without which "modern RPGs" apparently "cannot exist" according to the interviewer:

What about game difficulty? Are you planning to escalate it somehow? If so – what will change at „hard” in comparison to „normal”? And if not – how do you want to reconcile the expectations and needs of hardcore RPG gamers and casual ones?

Kevin Saunders: We do plan to have difficulty settings, but aren’t yet prepared to discuss the details of how we’ll approach this feature. In general, we aren’t targeting super casual players, but we are using best practices for UI design and game design to make the game accessible rather than arcane. The quests, storyline, etc. typically don’t take well to different difficulty levels and we aren’t planning much, if anything, there. Meanwhile, because the Crises are hand-crafted experiences, and fairly few in number, we hope we can be somewhat sophisticated in how we alter them based on difficulty.

So as to not fully evade your question, here are a few specific examples (or counter examples):

Opponents: On harder difficulty settings, we may add additional enemies that create more tactically challenging encounters.

Difficult Tasks (DT): If we do make DTs harder at higher difficulties, it won’t be by much. This method of difficulty scaling fundamentally alters too much of the gameplay, making many Skills less useful, which disrupts the balance of a variety of things.

Friendly fire: We will likely have friendly fire active in all difficulty modes and not something that changes due to the difficulty setting. With the turn-based combat, making your party immune to friendly area of effect abilities would fundamentally alter the nature of those abilities and undermine the tactics.

Resting: You may get more “rests” at easier difficulty levels, allowing you to be a little less discerning about when to spend Effort.

Randomness: Not really a difficulty thing, but another axis we’ve toyed with as a game option is the degree of randomness. We are planning for randomness to play a factor in some aspects of gameplay and not others, but might let the player adjust some of this. For example, in Numenera weapons typically inflict a fixed amount of damage, which affects the flavor of combat compared to random damage.

Nowadays modern RPGs cannot exist without romancing options. Previous games from the genre were not avoiding this either – even Planescape: Torment had some kind of love story involving the Nameless One and Annah. Will we able to take relations with our companions to the „next level”? Will it affect story somehow?

Kevin Saunders: Love can indeed be part of one’s legacy, but including love stories is not a focus for us. The types of relationships you can develop depend upon the specifics of the characters and situations – to the extent that any deep connections can be established, it will be because they arose naturally through the story, not because we preplanned them. Of course, romantic love is only one flavor of love.​

The full interview is also worth a read not just for other snippets of info about the game's approach to crises or combat, but also to enjoy Kevin's answers to the typical game journalistic questions about RtwP vs turn-based, the non-rotating camera, and voice-overs and cutscenes.

There are 34 comments on Torment: Tides of Numenera Interview at GRY-Online

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