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People News Ex-Obsidian Kevin Saunders Joins inXile as Project Director, Probably on New Torment Game

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Crooked Bee, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Crooked Bee Nyadmin Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2014 MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
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    Tags: InXile Entertainment; Kevin Saunders; Torment: Tides of Numenera

    As all of you probably know by now, Brian Fargo's company InXile has acquired the rights to the Torment IP. It has also been known that Colin McComb is working on this project. And now Gamebanshee reports that Kevin Saunders, who was the project director on Mask of the Betrayer, has been hired by InXile in the same role - according to Kevin's own Formspring post:

    Are you working at InXile now then?

    Yes! I was contracting at inXile in November, but have recently joined full time as a project director. It’s great to be involved in RPGs again and I love the route inXile is taking – making games directly for the players. It allows us to explore ideas and gameplay that many, including us, are passionate about, but that aren’t mainstream enough for the big publishers (with Wasteland 2 as an obvious example =) ).

    I’ll be leading the development of the next game. The writers are finishing up their roles on WL2 and we want to keep that talented group together. Also, by the time WL2 is completed next fall, we’ll want preproduction done for the next game so that the development team can rollover to it (after a well-deserved break, of course!). You need different size teams at various points in a project, and having multiple projects in development is important to allow you to keep your team together. So it’s time to plan for what’s next!​

    Given what we know already, it is, I believe, safe to assume that Kevin is going to be the project director on the new, yet unannounced Torment game, bringing his Mask of the Betrayer experience to the table. Now if they just hired George Ziets too, mmm...
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  2. IronicNeurotic Arbiter

    IronicNeurotic
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    My question.

    And I called it

    :martini:
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  3. Surf Solar cannot into womynz

    Surf Solar
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    So as a relatively small studio they are working on two games at once, one of which has yet to proove that it's actually a good game? Ok...
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  4. Infinitron RPG Codex Staff Patron

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    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Would you rather that they fire Wasteland 2's writing team? One game is being produced, the other will be in pre-production.
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  5. Haba Harbinger of Decline Patron

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    Codex 2012 MCA Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    RPGCodex - putting the creep back into cRPG!
    Jaesun Brofists this.
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  6. Gondolin Prophet

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    Nothing gets past the Codex. :D
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  7. ironyuri Unwanted

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    Except the odd pre-op tranny. Poor kingcomrade.
    SCO, Azalin, MaskedMan and 4 others Brofist this.
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  8. Gondolin Prophet

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    The odd pre-op tranny turned out to be a feature, not a bug.
    Bluebottle, Azalin, serch and 5 others Brofist this.
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  9. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I'd rather they finished one game (or at least reach the final stages of development), and only then focus their efforts on another. Introducing another project will mean they will have to employ extra hands.

    On the other hand it is good that they bother themselves with pre-production.
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  10. Infinitron RPG Codex Staff Patron

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    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    I do hope the Kickstarter (if there is one) will be only after pre-production. Otherwise, TOO SOON.
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  11. Lockkaliber Liturgist Patron

    Lockkaliber
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    Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Torment 2 without MCA? Fuck that shit. I know these people have great track records and McComb worked on Torment, but it just doesn't feel right.

    edit: and reading Colins blog post about how he found some banal answer to Torment's central question when he got kids doesn't really make me too optimistic either. Still, it probably will be a coop between obsidian and inXile, but I'll remain sceptical until I hear that MCA has full creative control over the story.
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  12. Infinitron RPG Codex Staff Patron

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    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    I'm afraid this probably won't be the case. But feel free to harass ask MCA about whether he's going to be part of the project at all.
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  13. Ogg Savant Patron

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    Codex 2012 Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera
    His blog post was not really about how he found an answer to "what can change the nature of a man?" But rather about the new questions he now has to answer. Among which : "what does one life matter ? does it matter at all ?"
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  14. mondblut Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Do you realize that at various stages of production a project needs different kinds of specialists? What are awsum art directors gonna do through 6 months of betatesting, posting about dialogue typos in bugtracker? Yay for them.

    Running 2 overlapping projects at any given time is, like, rule number 1 in surviving in game development.
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  15. janjetina Arcane

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    Torment: Tides of Numenera
    I'm quite optimistic about this one. Kevin has a track record of being a key member of the team that made the sole Obsidian game that I consider a consistently good game (rather than a flawed gem with ups and downs and game breaking bugs due to scope and resource mismanagement like some games or straight bad games like other ones) without second thought, which speaks highly of his project management skills. Having a blend of creative talent of Colin McComb (and hopefuly George Ziets and maybe Chris Avellone if he still has any left) and project management skills of Kevin Saunders is a good sign. Judging from Kevin's wording, preproduction of the new game does not seem to be interfering with the development of Wasteland 2, so I don't get why some of you get such an impression (then again, the mind of Surf Solar is truly alien to me). I will hedge my bets on how Wasteland 2 (so far the only Kickstarter RPG I've donated to) turns out, but I'm optimistic (and hopeful that they will go for a turn-based combat system) and my pockets want to be emptied.
    Anselmus, hiver and TwinkieGorilla Brofist this.
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  16. mondblut Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    So instead of a teenage angst central question we're gonna have a midlife crisis central question? :lol:
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  17. ironyuri Unwanted

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    Why would MCA having full control matter, when he and McComb seem to have worked as partners on the original? I'm all for MCA rape fantasies, but that's going a bit far in fanboyism.
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  18. Lockkaliber Liturgist Patron

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    Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Sure it was.




    Sure, he goes on to mention that there are new questions that are central to him in this later state, but that just tells us he's not really in tune with the central question of the game he's now making a sequel to. It doesn't have to mean anything bad for the game, but I didn't really like the tone nor what it could imply for the game. Especially since MCA's particular style of writing is a big part of my enjoyment of the original.
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  19. Lockkaliber Liturgist Patron

    Lockkaliber
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    Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    I think McComb has mentioned in an interview that the story of Torment was MCA's baby, not his. For all I know, he just fleshed out the game a bit and provided valuable knowledge on the setting. Since the story is what I think is the greatest part of Torment, I'm not too sure about having anyone other than MCA creating the sequel.
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  20. Brother None Prestigious Gentleman On the line for InXile

    Brother None
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    You don't think MCA's angle and perspective on these things would have changed too?

    Interesting. I mean, a lot of you seem to get it intuitively. There's artists and writers at inXile now who are essentially done for Wasteland 2 (barring coming back revisions and polish, but that's hardly fulltime stuff). Ideally, you'd roll them over to the next project. Often in the game industry they would be fired, the team built up scattered, and you'd have to start over again for the next time. inXile wants to prevent that. So far so good.

    "Too soon"? In what sense? I get the hesitation if they're asking for money before Wasteland 2 is out, I think we all understand why people would frown, be uncomfortable with that, or just be totally unwilling to do it. I get that. But we all recognize it's good for inXile to keep the team together, yes? But then...how? You say after pre-production they can ask for more money. Alright. Where would they get the money from to budget the pre-production? inXile has some revenue streams and can keep them together for a while, but for this entire long pre-prep/writing phase leading up to Wasteland 2? That's a lot of dough, and wouldn't it be nice if that dough went into contingency funds for any Wasteland 2 delays or unexpected investments.

    Wasteland 2 is fully budgeted. That means every penny of it is going to be spent on Wasteland 2. There's no money there to keep these guys employed, and there shouldn't be because the money pledged wasn't for the pre-production of another project.

    You can see the conundrum here. It's either fire these guys and hope they're able and willing to still come back after Wasteland 2's release, or at some point (I'm not saying when) looking for new funds. What else would you propose they do? Just from a budget/production planning standpoint? What's the alternative?
    hiver and janjetina Brofist this.
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  21. Infinitron RPG Codex Staff Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Brother None I don't know, man. It's just how my wallet feels. It depends on when Brian really wants to start this thing.

    You seem awfully heated up about it, though.
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  22. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    That's all fine provided that the amazing artist has finished his work on the project and won't be involved in any other major changes. Or if the workload is not heavy enough he can manage two, no problem there.

    Besides, some jobs are involved in developemnt throughout its span, once the dirst stage is initiated: e.g. coders. Those guys won't be able to run two projects at the same time. So what do we do? Employ more programmers and kick a new project because are art designer has nothing to do? Or do we lay him off temporarily and finish the first one?

    Sure, running two projects at the same time is a viable strategy and it can work for smaller studios - provided that the first project is nearing completion. Wasteland 2 is far from that and won't be in the right state until, say May 2013 .

    But there's no cause for concern now. It's just the case of Fargo having some wild ideas and checking if the PS:T2 project is viable. And that's commendable.
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  23. Infinitron RPG Codex Staff Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Mrowak, stop being such a fucking know-it-all. How do you know what state Wasteland 2 is in? How do you what Fargo is planning and when? You don't.
    Pelvis Knot Brofists this.
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  24. Brother None Prestigious Gentleman On the line for InXile

    Brother None
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    Heated? Sorry. No heat. I wanted to just stress that point of "what else can they do"? Mrowak seems to be fine with them just firing everyone and hoping they come back (and apparently Wasteland 2 will be released in May 2013? Go figure). That's basically the two alternatives, and if you want you can argue for the "fire everyone" alternative, but you can kind of see why inXile would prefer to do things differently.
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