Monday, 25 March 2013

Torment Kickstarter Hopes to Get the Old Blood Back In

Don't just learn from history, take the best from it too.

Odds are if you're a fan of Planescape: Torment then you've been well aware that for about the last twenty days there's been a Kickstarter floating around hoping to give the game a sequel, of sorts. Torment: Tides of Numenera is a game that is set to be the next in the series, and in order to both raise money and get fan input, the developer inXile Entertainment decided that Kickstarter would be the best route to go.

To say that they've found success would be putting it mildly; they met their initial $900,000 goal within hours of the Kickstarter going up, and they've since been working on their stretch goals as well. Expanding the game and adding more talent, more content, and basically polishing the product to make sure that it lives up to the expectations of the fans of the series.

Normally, a stretch reward, of which this campaign has many, wouldn't really be worth mentioning. Sure, a lot of stretch rewards are cool and often worth shooting for, but a lot of them don't really have potential to impact the entire project in a huge, discernible way. This one though, is different: very different.

To understand the significance of getting Chris Avellone into this project, you'll have to understand that he was one of the key people that made Planescape: Torment what it was in the first place. It was thanks to Avellone that many elements within the game shaped up the way they were, thanks to his worldbuilding and storytelling. That being said, the potential to have him on board with this project is a huge one.

At $3.5M, Chris will be joining our design team. He’ll have two primary roles. First, he will be reviewing and providing feedback on all creative elements of the game, including the story, characters, and areas. His input will be invaluable as a resource to Colin in further detailing the creative vision for the game. Second, he’ll be designing and writing an eighth companion for the game, working with Colin and Monte to craft a companion ideal for both Torment and the Ninth World of Numenera.

There's still plenty of time to make that goal happen, and at this point I believe that fans of the original game are probably salivating over the potential that this project now holds. That's not to say that it's a guaranteed success, but damn if it's not potentially the absolute best possible circumstances to make a game that will live up to the pedigree.

Granted, it's not just Avellone at this point either. Another one of the stretch goals that haven't been met is getting the fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss, writer of the Kingkiller Chronicle to provide content for the game. I haven't read his books personally, but those who have seem to have quite of a bit of praise for the man.

Dare I say that for someone like me, the story alone may motivate me to buy this. Of course I would like the system to be good as well, but it's shaping up to be quite the thing in and of itself. I can't help but wonder how much of this might have been only possible through Kickstarter, but right now I think that it would be best just to keep looking to see if the final stretch goals are actually reached. Given the popularity of the campaign so far, it's a good possibility. Look for more as it develops.

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