Torment: Numenera stretch goal adds Chris Avellone

Friday, 22nd March 2013 09:59 GMT By Dave Cook

Chris Avellone will join the Torment: Tides of Numenera team if inXile’s Kickstarter campaign hits $3.5 million. inXiles Brian Fargo speaks with VG247 about his involvement.

Chris Avellone is synonymous with Planescape: Torment, one of the most critically-acclaimed RPGs of all time, so it’s little surprise that fans were clamouring for his return on inXile’s spiritual successor.

Once the Torment Kickstarter hits its $3.5 million stretch goal, Avellone will be officially on board. So people better start pledging if they want to see his name on the credits.

As we learned in our first Torment: Planes of Numenera interview, Avellone was initially unable to commit to the project, due to his work on Obsidian’s own Kickstarter Project Eternity. Regardless, Fargo wasn’t going to let him go easy, and constantly asked him to re-consider.

“We never stopped pursuing having Chris involved,” Fargo explained. “There was always a chance, but we never dared to hint that that was even a possibility. So we’ve stayed pretty straight-forward saying ‘It’s not going to happen’, but meanwhile I was working behind the scenes, as was Colin [McComb] and Kevin [Saunders].

“Chris always had a desire,” Fargo stressed, but said that it all fell down to Obsidian head Fergas Urquhart, who needed Avellone’s expertise on Project Eternity. inXile had to work out what the scope of his role would be, and how he’d fit into the Torment production cycle. Eventually terms were met and joint custody of Avellone was agreed upon.

“He’s going to fulfil two roles for Torment, “Fargo continued. “The first is he’s going to review and provide feedback on all of the creative elements in the game – so that’s story, characters, and areas. His input will be great for Colin, as he works out the whole detail of the game.

“The second capacity is that he’s going to be designing and writing an eight companion for the game and work with Colin and Monte [Cook] to craft one that suitable, both for Torment and for the Ninth World. So those are the two things he’s going to do.

“There’s a lot more work for those companions than you might think. Because of their reactivity it’s quite a bit of work.”

Torment: Tides of Numenera is becoming something of a dream team for Planescape fans, as creator of the Numenera pen and paper RPG Monte Cook is also on board. He’ll be joining the project once he has his own Kickstarter product out the gate. Fargo was more than happy to explain the extent of his involvement alongside Avellone’s role.

“Monte too, will be designing an area of the game,” Fargo confirmed. “What we do is, Colin will lay out the basic foundation of the overall world. it’s the same thing we did with Wasteland 2, where we had different writers for different areas. Chris has a couple of areas, Colin had an area.

“We typically work with different writers in different area. What’s great about that from a design perspective is the game never feels the same. When you go to areas written by different writers we focus on continuity to make sure there’s an evenness to it but creatively they feel very different.”

The team is growing beyond Avellone and Cook, as inXile’s Kickstarter goals keep on adding more writers to the pile, most recently Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines writer Brian Mitsoda and author of the The Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy Pat Rothfuss.

Torment is shaping up to be a fantasy RPG fan’s dream. But don’t get too comfortable yet, as we’ve got a lot more Tides of Numenera details from Fargo heading to VG247 soon. Stay tuned, you won’t want to miss them.

Are you excited Avellone is on the team? Let us know below.

Torment: Tides of Numenera is slated for a December 2014 release on PC, Mac and Linux.



  1. bitsnark

    This is a bit crazy.

    I mean, isn’t Avellone’s involvement contingent on them hitting their new $3.5M stretch goal?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 Fargo didn’t mention that to me yesterday no, and their PR has just been in touch to clarify.




    #2 2 years ago
  3. bitsnark

    @2 Eeeek!

    *Runs* *Hides*.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. The_Red

    Those sneaky bastards. Ever since the game was announced, I have talked to many Torment fans and every single one of them was asking for Avallone’s involvement more than anything.

    So now that the money flow has slowed down a bit, they add this. Avallone should have been one of their first stretch goals as opposed to those other writers from previous goals.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Dave Cook

    @3 Thank you though. Wouldn’t have known otherwise.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. bitsnark

    @5 That’s alright – I was just surprised (hugely so in fact) that they made no mention of this in the interview!


    #6 2 years ago
  7. Dave Cook

    @6 Yep, me too. Fargo’s golden though, a really lovely chap and a great interview.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. bitsnark

    @7 Yeah definitely. Great interview too! Seems more like an accidental oversight than anything.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. TheWulf

    I just wish they’d include writers other than Avellone from Obsidian, he’s Obsidian’s worst at the moment and nothing more than merely a name. At some point he lost his ability to write anything imaginatively and he’s not recovered. If you don’t buy that, then take a look at what Chris (specifically) has been responsible for writing in their most recent games. Fallout: New Vegas especially. He’s been responsible for the most mind-numbingly dull plots, and the most one-dimensional characters. He was responsible for Craig Boone.

    There are some truly inspired writers to be found at Obsidian, as the non-Avellone parts of Fallout: New Vegas proves. The sad part is that no one is head-hunting them to write parts of games, which would inevitably make those games better. It’s just Avellone.

    Well, I suppose this keeps Avellone off Obsidian’s bigger projects. That’s a bonus.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Bhorium


    If you actually had been during your research you would know that it is in fact Eric Festermaker who was responsible for writing Boone (who’s character you appear to be missing the point of since you see him as “one-dimensional”).

    Allow me to declare your claims to be highly dubious.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. The_Red

    I have to STRONGLY disagree. New Vegas had a really fun story with many classic elements. It wasn’t Fallout 2 / Torment 1 but it was more than decent. As for Boone, I think he had enough backstory and character to be much more multi-dimentional than most NPC characters in recent RPGs (Even if the dark past as a Ranger felt cliched).

    #11 2 years ago

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