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Torment: Tides of Numenera


Miner Willy
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As Gerbik pointed out in the Wasteland thread, this really warrants its own thread, seeing as it's a fan-funded pseudo follow-up to one of the best games ever made, Planescape: Torment, being developed by many of the original team, with Chris Avellone set to come on board when they hit $3.5M, which seems pretty likely.

For anyone who hasn't played it, Planescape: Torment is an old-school isometric RPG with the emphasis firmly on narrative and dialogue. Here's what I said about it in the gog.com thread after re-playing it a couple of years back (AVOID THE SPOILER in the last one if you've yet to play it):

Planescape really is ridiculously good... as an RPG it's still unsurpassed in just about every way. I've completely lost interest in New Vegas since I started playing this again. The really lovely thing is that I've forgotten just about everything, so it's like playing it fresh all over again. Massive wub.

I'm just going to repeat what I said before: Planescape is incredible. I'm maybe half way through now, and it has an incredible level of depth. I had remembered the quality of the story of course, but I forgot how enjoyable it is to do things like uncovering characters' back stories. There's a load of reading at times, but it never feels like a chore at all. Best game I've played in ages.

Well, I finished Planescape: Torment on Friday night, and was completely blown away by it all over again. Fairly big spoilers below, so if you have any interest in the game then play it instead: it’s so worth it.

As I posted earlier in the thread: the first half of the game is brilliant. Right up until you defeat Ravel I would say is close to perfection in terms of pacing and story-set-up. I loved the way the characters were introduced, and that they were so well developed – and the fact that they aren't what they pretend to be, but that you can get to the bottom of it all by quizzing them: Morte's deception; Dak'kon's enslavement; Annah's feelings for you. The "Don't trust the skull" bit I thought was especially smart.

That first half concludes with the superb Ravel face-off, and I loved the dialogue in that scene – and of course it’s there that you really start to understand that the whole thing hangs together brilliantly, and that this definitely isn't going to end up with some typical RPG quest.

However, after that point I confess I began to doubt the extent of my love for it. During the second half there are clearly sections which were rushed during development (Curst especially) - and then some parts where it becomes a little too focused on combat (under Curst), which is of course not PT's strongest suit.

It does recover though, with the brilliant Pillar of Skulls section, and then I just loved the return to Sigil: visiting Mebbeth again and understanding more of Ravel's story (and re-visiting Keris Serai in the brothel); and then the ultimate irony of the portal to the game’s conclusion being located in the very place you started - one which TNO doesn't fail to acknowledge, of course.

So you get to the Fortress of Regrets, and again, the game takes a mis-step. I found the first trial (where you have to run past the shadows) pretty painful, and in the end I had to go back to an earlier save, grind up a couple of levels (this despite having done almost all of the game’s side quests), and then return with a well-stocked supply of charms in The Nameless One's inventory. Even if you were sufficiently powerful, it’s still a trial-and-error section, and entirely combat/running-based. I understand that it works from a narrative point of view, but it’s not the game’s finest moment, for sure.

Still, I made it through second time round, and went on to meeting the three other Nameless Ones... and it's there that I understood just how clever the game is. I thought this section was one of the best moments in the game: the dialogue is again superb, and the unveiling of what had actually happened fit as perfectly as any film – and of course it's all done with a superb flourish. I had actually forgotten all of this stuff from the first time I played it, and the truth of it hit me just as hard as before. Suddenly you realise that this genuinely is a personal tale: that even the main enemies are all the products of this one man's actions, and that ultimately his entire quest is all an attempt to undo the wrong he originally did. Pretty much no strand is left untied, apart from the idea that the companions have entered the fortress before, yet are alive. I confess still don't understand that aspect.

I felt like this revelation completely justified everything that had gone before. Even the design of the Transcendental One, which I'd previously felt was the game design showing its age, suddenly makes complete sense, and again, you marvel at how well it all hangs together. (Even the earlier sections, such as Pharod & Trias aren't the narrative pawns you first dismissed them as – they all fit perfectly, as essential parts of the overall narrative)

And then the final 'battle', which is best off not fought, as the best ending is achieved via conversation. A fitting end, with The Nameless One's friends brought back to life, and he himself heading off to pay his dues in the endless torment of the Blood War. I thought it was a perfect conclusion, and of course really emotional - not least because of Fall From Grace's words when she vows to find TNO in that dark place, no matter how long it takes, and that he must fight to remember her through his suffering. Watching him pick up the mace and head off to war was a real lump in the throat moment for me.

As the credits rolled I sat there in awe: amazed at the quality, and with that bittersweet feeling you get when you come to the end of an amazing book, TV series, whatever.

I feel fortunate to have played this game twice 'as new'. It's 11 years old, but I genuinely think Planescape: Torment may be my favourite game ever.

They don’t make ‘em like they used to.

You can get Planescape: Torment on gog.com, and would be well advised to install the mods here for maximum awesomeness: http://thunderpeel2001.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/planescape-torment-fully-modded.html

So, that's why Torment: Tides of Numenera is going to be the best thing ever. If interested you can back it here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/torment-tides-of-numenera

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Good work, I've chipped in for $80, it really does sound very interesting. The huge amount of effort going into story, character and branching dialogue and reactions really does sound far more appealing to me than scripted everything and single path experiences of the majority of games.

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Excellent work, glad this game got its own thread :)

Torment, Wasteland 2, Shadowrun, Divinity, Project Eternity... man, what a great time to be a fan of quality RPGs :D

And it shows there's still a real demand for these sort of deep, complex games that don't funnel you along holding your hand.
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Certainly, and that such games can be profitable for small devs with a realistic budget. Instead of every RPG franchise wanting to be like The Elder Scrolls or Mass Effect, there's plenty of room for smaller, indie RPGs which cater to a loyal fanbase that's big enough to support that kind of small development. I couldn't be happier about it tbh.

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First concept screen from within The Bloom, one of the first areas they revealed:

Keep in mind that they won't be adding and polishing up 2D asets until they hit the beta phase, so this is still really rough - but even so the 3D character seems to work really well and the atmosphere looks great.

Also, new stretch goals!

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I couldn't give a shit about a stronghold, I'd rather not have it in a Torment game tbh I don't think it fits - but I WANT that Voluminous Codex.

Less than three days to go, now at 3.4 million dollars. There's always a spike at the end so we might pass the 4 million yet.

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OH MY FUCKING GOD! WHY HAVE I NOT SEEN THIS THREAD UNTIL NOW? THERE AREN'T ENOUGH 'OH MY GODS' IN THE WORLD FOR THIS! :omg:

And just in time to throw your money at it :D

My pledge has been pushed up a bit by the additional options (ooh, poster! Ooh, comics!), but hasn't snuck up to the $500 tier purely due to them still charging for shipping at that level - that's enough to stop me from going over the edge. Still, at more than $300 already, that's probably for the best. An expensive month.

The screenshots look gorgeous though, don't they? :wub:

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$300!! You madman! I pledged for this too - I've only played about 15hrs of Planescape: Torment so far, but it's already so fucking good that the thought of a spiritual successor was something I immediately had to get behind (although I only found out about it a few days ago too).

Great news about how well it's doing though. Kickstarter is brilliant :) There's no way they would have gone this much funding from a publisher to make an old-school RPG like this in today's gaming industry.

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Yeah, I explained the reason I threw so much money at it in the Kickstarter thread - aside from (obviously) loving Planescape: Torment, I was unable to significantly fund Project Eternity due to getting made redundant a week or two before the deadline. Ended up getting a job a few weeks afterwards, but it was too late by then - so when this came around I was determined to throw silly money at it - started at the $250 tier and have wormed my way up from there...

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Shit, I can't believe I've only just stumbled across this. Figured it was a good idea, saw they needed $3.8m to make it... oh wait, that's what they HAVE. Fuck me.

Anyway, I'm in :omg:

This, Project Eternity and Elite Dangerous to look forward to. Amaze.

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I backed a tier that allows me to write a description and history for an item (don't think I get to choose what item). Unless I have a particularly good idea for it I'll probably throw it out here as I'm sure a collaborative rllmuk item could be interesting.

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I would have backed it but it's not out til 2015 and I just can't bring myself to pay for a preorder of a game that far off launch :( The devs aren't relying on my investment to finish the game either given they've got close to £4m.

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I was thinking that the system specs would be a tad obscene, but looking at those screenshots.... I don't know. What are the chances that they'll be incredibly scaleable?

The backgrounds are probably prerendered I'm guessing so can't see it being a system hog.

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I would have backed it but it's not out til 2015 and I just can't bring myself to pay for a preorder of a game that far off launch :( The devs aren't relying on my investment to finish the game either given they've got close to £4m.

The Kickstarter says its estimated at 2014 unless that's changed?

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It's going to be long I reckon, which might not do them any favours but I do find the whole kickstarter thing fascinating. I know it's gone a bit weird in regards to not being used as much by indies as previously assumed / planned, I love the fact that these games I never ever thought I'd see again, definitely will happen and it's in part due to my contributions.

DoubleFine should do another kickstarter to buy all the point n click IPs from Disney. I'd throw money at that.

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So exciting, there's a chance they could push 4.5mil! Its at $3,945,713 right now and still climbing, plus there's a line on the page that mentions seperate Paypal donations:

PayPal Totals are over $89K as of 04/04. PayPal totals are tallied on a weekly basis and factored in for the stretch goals.

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They're now at 4,083,801 and with the 127,505 (most recent count) from PayPal backers they're getting dangerously close to the Voluminous Codex at 4,25 million :D That's good, because I really like the sound of such a codex.

Edit: what Lorfarius just said!

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