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Torment game set in Numenera universe to be developed by inXile

Wednesday, 9th January 2013 17:00 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

inXile’s Brian Fargo has announced a new Torment game is in the works with Planescape Torment designer Monte Cook and other members of the original team.

Set in Cook’s Numenera universe, which was anothersuccessfully funded on Kickstarter last year, Fargo has elaborated on what the game will entail.

“We won’t have faeries or devils, but we’ll have diabolical creatures from far dimensions with schemes beyond human imagination,” Fargo told RPS. “We won’t have gods, but we’ll have creatures who have lived for millennia with the powers of creation and destruction at their fingertips, with abilities honed over countless lifetimes.

“We won’t have other planes per se, but we’ll have pathways to hostile worlds and bizarre landscapes and ancient machines that catapult the players into places where the ordinary laws of nature no longer apply.”

Fargo said the idea for a Torment game has been mulled around the studio for quite some time, and the more the team explored the Numenera setting, the “clearer it became that it’s a natural fit for a Torment game.”

“And it isn’t too surprising that Numenera’s aesthetics work well for Torment given that Monte was a key designer for the Planescape setting,” he said. “Numenera is very exotic and rich, but is a flexible universe that empowers and support GMs.

“As Torment desires certain locations or features, we’ll be able to do what we need to while fully respecting the setting. This goes beyond a typical licensing arrangement as Monte will be giving us direct input and even provide writing for some of the game areas. I’m really pleased to have Monte be part of the team.”

Fargo said the title is currently in pre-production at the moment with the “story outline, design sketches of the major characters, and thematic concepts defined.”

Details on combat are still up in the air, but at present, the team is looking at “real-time with pause,” to provide a better experience for the game, especially after criticisms arose regarding Planescape Torment’s combat.

Fargo said the team is also considering taking the project to Kickstarter for funding, after the success of Wasteland 2.

“There are advantages to Kickstarter for both developers and backers,” he said. “We get our games funded without dealing with a crazy publisher and the backer gets a game for much less than what the finished product would cost non-backers.

“The benefit of crowd funding is that it provides feedback and accountability to the people who are actually going to play the game. It validates the concept and helps us prioritize the sensibilities of the project. We are not forced to compromise for the thought of how the mass market might react. It’s a wonderfully pure process and one that hinges on trust.”

A follow-up to the critically-acclaimed Planescape: Torment was hinted at in December by one of its original designers, Colin McComb, and given a blessing by Chris Avellone, who unfortunately is not involved this time.

You can read the full interview through here.

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5 Comments

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  1. The_Red

    Glad to see some members of the original team but one of its best features of Chris Avallone’s writing and without him, I’m not entirely on board with this one.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Sini

    Considering he said in one of the interviews Torment had too much dialog I’m glad he is not in on this one.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. YoungZer0

    I’d love to see the game being produced on some proper engine for once. As much as i loved the original, a lot of the art and the world itself is definitely hindered by the forced perspective and small pixels.

    Frostbyte Engine.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Tormenter

    Sini… you’re the only person I’ve ever seen who has actually raised this point, part from myself, and I completely agree with you… Chris stay the F away from Torment. For that a$$hole to have said that, and it was only a few years ago, knowing full well how popular and highly regarded it was, he was basically giving his finger to the fans .. trying to make out that were we strange because because we liked thoughtful, wordy gaming experiences.

    As far as I’m concerned PS:T (THE best rpg ever made) was a total, planets converging, fluke, and I don’t believe ANYONE involved could make anything even nearly as good.. especially going by the level of professionalism, or lack thereof, they’ve all shown to have. Avelone and crew have NEVER produced a game that was finishable, even playable, out of the box, their level of quality standards has always been in the shitter. Nice ideas, piss poor execution, and don’t blame the publishers, dev companies are responsible for THEIR OWN reputation and continuously producing games for publisher who don’t care about the product being created is JUST AS BAD as not caring about the product themselves because they know fine well the release of the product will be sub-standard and they obviously don’t care enough about their customers and players to assure that that doesn’t happen. We KNOW publishers are greedy con men, but the devs still play the game the publishers way regardless of the effect on the customer. All they want is the wage, they don’t care.. or at least not that their ‘caring’ amounts to anything, about the final experience of their fans, and that oes for ALL devs who do this, although Avelones companies are particularly guilty of this.

    As for Fargo making another torment-ish game… lol.. It wasn’t just TNO and company that made the game, the setting was as responsible as the characters and plot for giving the experience we so enjoyed and if you take it to a different setting then REGARDLESS what you want to call it… it’s NOT a fugging Torment game.

    All these idiots are doing is selling our nostalgia back to us.. so screw that. both these guys can whistle for my cash.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. TheWulf

    Frankly? I’m glad Avellone isn’t dragging this one down.

    There are many writers I love at Obsidian (Fenstermaker and Stout being personal favourites) but I just feel that Avellone is given too much creative power, and the problem is is that whilst the man is intellectual, he has absolutely no imagination whatsoever. If you’re not convinced, then look into who wrote what in regards to Fallout: New Vegas.

    Boone and Cassidy were well written, to be sure, but they were also tremendously flat and wooden; they were characters that I often wished would just stop talking. And as an empath, Boone (stereotypical badass that he was) is one of the few characters I just couldn’t empathise with at all, regardless of his emotional pain. I was convinced that his wife had run off on him, because he’s the most uninspired NPC in the game.

    And Cassidy is just a drunk with little to no self-respect, and not even really redeemable either. Give me Raul or Lily any day of the week.

    Avellone is seriously overrated and over time I’ve come to realise this. There’s a difference between having an imagination and a poetic sole, and having an intellect and technical writing skill. The best writers have both, interesting writers have the former, the writers that’ll bore you to tears have solely the latter. He’s not a bad writer, he’s just unable to handle romance or wonder, at all. Flat. Flat. Flat.

    The problem is is that Obsidian has been giving him far too much power, lately. Putting him in creative lead roles, which means that the settings and stories tend to be completely predictable. Having a little bit of predictability in there is fun, especially if it comes from clues. But with Avellone you just go by the numbers, from scene to scene, never once daring to step outside the box.

    Another thing that bothered me about him is that he removed a choice in Fallout 2. One thing you never do in an RPG is remove a choice from the player. Not ever. That is a cardinal sin. You leave it up to the player to decide upon their storyline, any good GM will tell you this; and that’s what a great RPG is – a tale spun by a good GM, leaving a lot of power in the hands of the players.

    Avellone wanted to make a cheap & nasty joke about genocide and prove how evil the enclave were (as if that wasn’t painfully obvious already, considering how one-dimensionally evil he’d painted them to be throughout the entire story). Originally there was an option to save the intelligent deathclaws of vault 13; and they had a pretty sweet ending where they worked out a peaceful plan of expansion and co-existence.

    But nope. Xenophobic route! Wahey! That choice was cut so he could have his nasty little joke.

    This is the kind of man that Avellone is. He’s fucking tedious. Tedious to the point where he’ll take choices away from the player if he feels that they impact upon HIS GLORIOUS VISION. And he hasn’t really learned from that mistake since then, he doesn’t even consider it a mistake. You don’t pull the MY GLORIOUS VISION shit in an RPG, that’s not what a good RPG is about.

    This is why I ditched Cassidy and Boone by the roadside, I knew exactly what to expect from them.

    There are other writers at Obsidian though who’d definitely make this game a better one. But Avellone? Avellone is not one of them. Please stop hyping him. Avellone would kill any imagination this game might otherwise show utterly dead; which, admittedly, far too many people seem to like. But damn it, I like games being imaginative occasionally.

    When did imagination become a crime?

    #5 2 years ago