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inXile Entertainment

The Bard's Tale IV photo
The Bard's Tale IV

Back The Bard's Tale IV kickstarter, get three Bard games free


Well. If you pay $20+, anyways
Jun 11
// Vikki Blake
Back The Bard's Tale IV's Kickstarter Campaign with $20 or more of your hard-earned cash, and you'll secure yourself the "free incentive" of the first three games in the series for free. That's full versions of The ...
Bard's Tale trailer photo
Bard's Tale trailer

The Bard's Tale IV makes good use of Unreal Engine 4


First-person exploration!
Jun 04
// Jordan Devore
Oh, good. When inXile launched its Kickstarter for The Bard's Tale IV earlier this week, there wasn't much to go on in terms of actual game footage or assets. Here's an in-engine look at the hopeful dungeon crawler which, at...
Kickstarter photo
Kickstarter

inXile Entertainment launches Kickstarter for The Bard's Tale IV


Going for the hat trick
Jun 02
// Alessandro Fillari
Just when you thought Kickstarter had plateaued, there comes another campaign set to reignite the fire for crowdfunded game development. After the successes of other titles such as Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained from different...
Wasteland 2 photo
Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2's Game of the Year Edition will be a free update on PC


Target individual body parts!
May 07
// Jordan Devore
Come this summer, you won't want need a PC to play Wasteland 2. inXile Entertainment is bringing its harsh post-apocalyptic role-playing game to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with an expanded Game of the Year Edition. Existing p...

Wasteland 2 photo
Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2 on Xbox One and PS4 is a pleasant surprise


Releasing this summer with improvements
Mar 04
// Jordan Devore
[Update: On top of the Xbox One release, Wasteland 2 is also coming to PlayStation 4 this summer, inXile confirmed today. CEO Brian Fargo noted that "if you are backer of Wasteland 2 or have already purchased it on PC, fear ...
The Bard's Tale IV photo
The Bard's Tale IV

The Bard's Tale IV cometh


Kobolds be damned
Jan 24
// Robert Summa
I'm an older gamer. You know how I know this? Because when I see things like The Bard's Tale IV is coming out, my nostalgia glands kick into high gear and I resemble a wired Johnny Depp from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Review: Wasteland 2

Sep 23 // Alasdair Duncan
Wasteland 2 (PC [reviewed], Mac, Linux)Developer: inXile EntertainmentPublisher: inXile EntertainmentMRSP: $39.99/£29.99Released: September 19, 2014 inXile head Brian Fargo has talked at length about how Wasteland 2 was rejected by numerous publishers over the years. It's a traditional, old-school PC RPG in almost every way -- so much so that it feels like a follow-up to the original Fallout games.  The world of Wasteland 2 is still the irradiated wastes of a post-apocalyptic USA. The only form of law enforcement is the Rangers, a group of former military engineers operating out of a base called The Citadel. Starting with a party of four characters, players will roam the the Southwest, initially hunting for clues to solve the murder of a Ranger but gradually uncovering a new enemy. What's interesting about the Rangers is that they're not universally liked; despite your best efforts, you won't always be able to change people's attitudes about your specific team or the Rangers in general. Not everything is black and white and your crew is going to have to make tough choices to achieve its goals. The wasteland is a dangerous, unforgiving place. Although the Fallout series has always had some dark humor to it thanks to the retro-futuristic setting, Wasteland 2 is mainly played straight -- there's not a lot of joy to be found in the irradiated wilderness. [embed]281221:55635:0[/embed] At the start, you'll get to select a team of four characters that you can either pick from a pre-set group or design on your own. All the named characters have a predefined set of skills to suit certain roles, like a medic or sniper, but you're free to generate a custom character and choose their skills as you please. As with a lot of role-playing games, you're shown many stats, abilities, and attributes when you pick a character and it's hard to know what to invest in. Wasteland 2 is the type of game where after a few hours of playing, you'll realize you've got a bad or otherwise ineffective combination of skills and will want to just start over. That's echoed with a lot of the quest design where there's often the urge to reload a much earlier save because you've either missed something or your party didn't pick up a vital piece of equipment from an earlier mission. You're not going to see everything on the first playthrough so don't be disappointed when there's some unresolved loose ends in the story when the credits roll. However, certain early missions just seem to lead into other ones without feeling resolved and you're left with unfinished business in your log. The game could do a better job of keeping you informed of where the most pressing mission is happening or let you know before you leave an area that there's still things to be done. Eventually, you can recruit for your team and add up to three extra party members. They all have their own attributes, gear, and stats but are prone to losing their cool under fire and ignoring your commands. Most of the time this actually works out fine as they charge into battle, shooting enemies as they go but sometimes they'll walk into a trap and just cause trouble. Early on, it's worthwhile to take an extra teammate or two with you just to at least have another person for raiders and mutants to focus on instead of you. One way the game could stand to improve is sharing resources between party members; dragging and dropping items to a member's icon more often than not led me to just dump items on the ground instead. Combat is based on action points that the player can spend to do things like move, shoot, and reload. Positioning and use of cover is key but it can be frustrating when you've got party members who are armed with melee and short-ranged weapons fighting in a big open area. An action queue is displayed at the top of the screen, showing the order of characters and who will act first, which is based on their initiative skill. Action point usage is displayed pretty clearly -- like when you hover over an enemy to see how much AP it will take to shoot them, or to throw a grenade, for instance. Keeping characters out of harm's way is a good idea as you can roll some unused action points over into that character's next turn. While it's possible to just push your way through early battles, you'll need to make good use of your party's skills to beat large groups of enemies.  It's easy to see where Wasteland 2's fairly modest, Kickstarter-generated budget has gone. Close up, the character models are basic, even compared with previous-gen console games. They're almost PlayStation 2-era graphics -- but they're not the reason you're playing the game. A few darker areas could have used some extra user-interface prompts to help players pick out their party and traps, and there's a strange lack of consistency with character's painted portraits and their actual 3D model in the game. One of my custom characters had a picture portraying him as a clean-shaven black man even though the actual 3D model showed him being white and having a grey beard. It's not a major problem at all, but it was jarring every time it popped up. Something else that's noticeable is the voice acting, or lack thereof. While your main contact General Vargas is fully voiced and you'll hear plenty of radio chatter with other characters, more often than not it's only the first and last line of a conversation that has spoken dialogue -- the rest is just text. Again, not a problem in the larger scale of things, but it's noticeable. If these sound like nitpicks, then it's because they are really the only problems that are due to how the game was made. Other issues come from the fact that this is a real old-school RPG, the kind that most developers haven't made made in a while (Divinity: Original Sin is a recent exception). It's the type of game that sticks with the "dice rolls in the background" mechanic and there will be times when you have a 99% chance to succeed and you'll still fail. There are separate skills for lock picking, safe cracking, and bypassing alarms. That's been part and parcel of the genre for years so if that kind of thing doesn't put you off, you're going to enjoy your time here. Wasteland 2 is an expansive game that demands to be replayed again and again to get the best out of it. While a lot of the detailed mechanics feel somewhat archaic, they're not going to hold back dedicated players who want to micromanage and really role play their group of characters. It has all of the familiar elements and even if some aspects of its presentation are not quite up to modern standards, its design and gameplay are timeless and welcome.
Wasteland 2 review photo
This Kickstarted RPG delivers exactly what was expected
[Disclosure: I backed the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter and as such received an Early Access copy of the game.] Wasteland 2 is one of the projects that saw success in the wake of Double Fine's Broken Age. Just a month after Tim Sch...

Torment photo
Torment

Here's our first glimpse at the gameplay of Torment: Tides of Numenera


Looks like a classic PC RPG to me
Sep 18
// Alasdair Duncan
I've been playing inXile Entertainment's Wasteland 2 before its full release on Friday but I have to say, I'm even more excited for the studio's other title, Torment: Tides of Numenera. We've now got our first good glimpse a...
Wasteland 2 photo
Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2 will be released on September 19


Just one month to go for the post-apocalyptic RPG
Aug 19
// Alasdair Duncan
Just a few weeks ago, we let you know that the much anticipated Wasteland 2 was being delayed a few weeks into September. Now we've gotten word from inXile head Brian Fargo that the game will finally be with us on September 1...
Torment: Tides of Numeria photo
Torment: Tides of Numeria

Boo! Torment: Tides of Numenera now delayed futher into 2015


The success of Wasteland 2 is a big factor in the delay
Jun 16
// Alasdair Duncan
Torment: Tides of Numenera is one of my most-wanted games in development, so it's disappointing to hear that it will now be released in "late 2015." The release date had already been shifted to "early 2015" and now there will...
Wasteland 2 photo
Wasteland 2

A regular playthough of Wasteland 2 will take about 50 hours


You won't see all the content on a single playthrough
Apr 14
// Alasdair Duncan
After playing the beta on and off between updates, I've already figured that Wasteland 2 is going to be a big game. Developer inXile thinks it's going to to take at least 50 hours to play though the game which is a pretty big...
Wasteland 2 photo
Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2 will be done 'when it's done'


inXile's long-awaited sequel is still in Early Access
Feb 22
// Alasdair Duncan
Development on inXile's Wasteland 2 continues to rumble on after its release in beta form at the end of 2013. There's still no news on when the game will be complete and an update from inXile head Brian Fargo confirms th...
Wasteland 2 beta photo
Wasteland 2 beta

Wasteland 2 beta out for backers, coming to Steam soon


Go play it already!
Dec 12
// Joshua Derocher
At last, backers of Wasteland 2 can start playing the beta on PC. If you log into your Ranger Center account, you can get a Steam key to start playing. To be eligible for beta access right now, you have to have been one ...
Torment combat photo
Torment combat

Torment fans vote for turn-based combat in Numenera


Combat will be like Wasteland 2's
Dec 09
// Joshua Derocher
inXile asked Kickstarter backers what type of combat they would like to see in Torment: Tides of Numenera, and turn-based came out slightly in the lead. The votes were so close that inXile said it was basically a tie, but the...
Torment combat photo
Torment combat

Tides of Numenera devs ask if fans want real-time combat


How do you want the combat?
Nov 22
// Joshua Derocher
Torment: Tides of Numenera developer inXile entertainment just put out a blog post with a Q&A video that has details on the game's alignment system, and they ask fans how they would like to see combat implemented. The fi...
Get your cRPG on photo
Get your cRPG on

Wasteland 1 re-released on Steam and GOG.com


Wasteland 2 backers will get it for free
Nov 08
// Joshua Derocher
The classic 1988 computer role-playing game, Wasteland, will be available once again for you to purchase starting right now, to play on your modern computers from Steam and GOG.com. inXile, the studio working on Wasteland 2,...
Wasteland 2 reactions photo
Wasteland 2 reactions

Unique snowflakes: Wasteland 2 NPC consider player gender


And more: Wasteland 2 to waste no chance creating meaningful encounters
Aug 12
// Steven Hansen
A cool piece of news regarding the much anticipated Wasteland 2 comes courtesy of Rock, Paper, Shotgun. World building, exploration, and individual experience are pivotal to this style of role-playing game. It seems that Wast...
Wasteland photo
Wasteland

inXile is bringing the original Wasteland to GOG, Steam


Free for backers of Wasteland 2
Aug 09
// Jordan Devore
Now this is a pleasant turn of events. inXile Entertainment plans to sell Wasteland on GOG.com and Steam ahead of the release of its new Wasteland 2. Those of you who contributed to the game's crowdfunding initiative will get...
Wasteland photo
Wasteland

Deep Silver to handle Wasteland 2 distribution for inXile


Parternship lets inXile concentrate on making the game
Jul 11
// Jordan Devore
The publisher of Saints Row IV, Metro: Last Light, and Dead Island will be working with inXile Entertainment on the crowdfunded Wasteland 2. Deep Silver will be responsible for the role-playing game's release at retail, quali...
Torment Kickstarter photo
Torment Kickstarter

It's official: Chris Avellone joins the Torment team


Colin McComb is now a very happy man
Apr 03
// Fraser Brown
Earlier today, the Torment: Tides of Numenera Kickstarter hit another stretch goal. In combination with the project's PayPal total of $67,000, the title has gained funding of over $3.5 million, so Chris Avellone will no...

Chris Avellone on Torment and being a human stretch goal

Apr 02 // Fraser Brown
[embed]250577:47910:0[/embed] Despite exceeding its funding request by over $2 million, Torment continues to get more and more new backers every day. Chris doesn't think that his inclusion in the stretch goals is the main reason for that. "I’d argue that Pat Rothfuss and the other elements may have had more to do with the recent influx than me, especially since Name of the Wind is such a great book," he explained. I think he's being a bit too modest, though. Patrick Rothfuss may be a popular author, but Chris Avellone is a name synonymous with the thematic franchise.  "Beyond that, though, Brian and Kevin have assembled an impressive narrative and design league for the project, and it’s amazing having all that talent focused on one project," Chris continued. "Between Colin McComb, Monte Cook, Tony Evans, Mur Lafferty, Brian Mitsoda, George Ziets, as well as Nathan Long, who I worked with on Wasteland 2 – all of them are a great writing crew to work with, and I’m happy that I at least get the chance to be a part of it, and I certainly hope it pans out." Although Chris's potential involvement wasn't revealed until after the Kickstarter had smashed the initial goal, he was asked to join the team almost from the start. "Brian Fargo brought it up within a day or two of him acquiring the Torment name when I was in the office working on Wasteland 2. Working on Torment was an ongoing discussion, but between responsibilities to Wasteland 2 and [Project] Eternity, I couldn’t see how I could make it work, although I trusted Brian and inXile to do a good job." Brian Fargo and Kevin Saunders were obviously dead set on trying to get Chris onboard, and eventually they managed to work something out. "Once my design work on Wasteland 2 finished up, however, Brian and Kevin approached Feargus [Urquhart] and I with a plan that seemed reasonable to Obsidian, Feargus and I discussed the workload, made sure it wouldn’t impact Eternity, and I get to, hopefully, be part of the Torment team. This discussion didn’t come about until a week before my announcement on the project, so it came together really fast -- kudos to Brian and Kevin for making it happen, I’m grateful they pushed for it, and I’m glad Feargus and Obsidian were open to the idea." Last month, I spoke with Colin McComb and Kevin Saunders about the Torment Kickstarter, a mere 24 hours before it began, and Kevin described Chris as the "mastermind" behind making a spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment a reality. It was Chris who hooked up Colin and Brian Fargo, and last year he spoke at length about the possibility of a sequel to the story of the Nameless One, or at least a spiritual successor. Chris doesn't think he lives up to that, however. "There’re people I’ve worked with who have really came through for projects in the past and have proven themselves, these people are my friends, and Kevin Saunders, Colin McComb, Tony Evans, and Adam Heine I’ve all worked with directly over the years and I feel they have a lot to add to Torment." It strikes me that Chris seems to be a bit more comfortable with talking about the work of his friends and colleagues, and their accomplishments, rather than his own. He continued, "Tony Evans, for example, I’ve told numerous times that if there was a Torment project, he’s a perfect designer for it based on his aesthetics and the fact he’s one of the most hard-working guys I know -- in terms of proving himself, he worked overtime of his own accord on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II even while his wife was pregnant, and I’ve never forgotten it to this day, so when it comes to a list of people I want to work with again, he’s on it -- even if I never want him to have to work those hours again. Monte I’ve worked with, too, although largely in the capacity of Planescape approvals and the many Hero Games submissions from me he rejected over the years, which I forgive him for, since he was right to reject them." One of Chris's roles on Torment will be the creation of an eighth companion, who will join the Last Castoff. I asked if he had been working on any concepts for it yet. "Yes! As soon as I heard working on it was a possibility, I started writing out a series of companion concepts based on the material that the crew has been developing -- I did eight different concepts, starting from a theme and then building on each one with supporting details. I don’t want to set any in stone just yet until I can swim around in the world a bit more and see how I can tie the characters to the plot and the theme more." I wondered how far along the other seven characters were,  if any had been properly planned out, and if that meant there was some potential for overlap, limiting Chris's design freedom. Apparently some have been planned out, but there's a broad range of personalities and a bunch of character development, so Chris wasn't concerned about overlap. "The universe is liberating for exploring ideas. Even when doing the original Torment, doing all the NPCs and CNPCs in that game was barely scratching the surface of the character possibilities of that world, and Numenera is much the same way." Character design won't be his only role, though, as he'll also have consulting responsibilities, which he explained. "Right now, my additional responsibilities include looking over the design documentation -- narrative, systems, themes, vision, and more -- and offering feedback, pointing out the positive design ties to the first Torment in case Kevin and Colin are being too modest, and suggesting iterations and reinforcing any other ideas that I think might make for a more compelling Torment experience. Based on the crew they’ve already assembled, including Tony Evans and George Ziets, I feel that a number of the designers already get what makes a great thematic and narrative experience based on their work on Neverwinter Nights: Mask of the Betrayer." I think it's worth noting that Mask of the Betrayer is probably the closest thing to a thematic sequel to Planescape: Torment, at least until Torment: Tides of Numenera launches. The complex characters and plane-hopping shenanigans are two significant things the games share, but it also had an affecting narrative that, frankly, blew the original Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2 out of the water. One of the most compelling companions in that title, Gann, was penned by Chris himself. The challenge with making a spiritual successor is finding a way to connect it to its predecessor without the use of the same characters and universe. Torment is a thematic franchise, with a major similarity being the metaphysical and philosophical questions. Chris told me what jumped out at him, making inXile's Torment remind him of its forebearer. "A few things. A set character, a story focus, a focus on themes, strong, detailed companions, the brilliance and innovative nature of the setting and locations. "The area design theme for the Bloom alone, for example, is a muse for all sorts of character ideas and adventure ideas: the fact it’s alive, it moves around, destroys/eats anyone that tries to quantify it, and has people and monsters living there, and oh, it also opens up pathways to other dimensions depending on what you feed it -- all of that fits perfectly with the area designs for Torment. Just hearing the idea for that location immediately sparked my imagination for doing [companions] and NPCs." With both Obsidian and inXile developing CRPGs considered successors to tabletop-inspired classics, there's a wee bit of friendly rivalry between the studios, which Kevin Saunders joked about in an earlier interview, but Chris noted that Project Eternity and Torment: Tides of Numenera have significant differences, such as the use of morality in the latter, and said that the studios made an effort to ensure that their core concepts and themes didn't overlap. If there is a friendly rivalry, the emphasis would undoubtedly be on the "friendly" part. Both studios are filled with staff who have worked together, and Obsidian is currently working with inXile on the development of Wasteland 2. I asked Chris if this was a relationship we could expect to see continue. "We’re sharing technology, design systems, area templates, and Brian and Feargus have a great working relationship, both personally and in their approaches to management. "There’s also a lot we’ve shared between studios regarding Kickstarter approaches, sharing copies of our games to help promote each other’s Kickstarters, and also the pipeline structure of Kickstarter -- inXile was one of our first and strongest supporters for Eternity, and now we’d like to do the same with them and Torment. Also, on a selfish level, I like drinking with Brian Fargo and discussing design and Kickstarter ideas, so that’s my acid test for a successful relationship right there." Further confirmation that drinking facilitates good working relationships. On the subject of Kickstarters, I wondered what else Chris would like to see come out of the funding platform, and if there were any particular games he thought deserved a second life. "Well, seeing elements of King of Dragon Pass brought out in Unwritten: That Which Happened was one mark off the checklist, as was seeing Shadowrun Returns and Dreamfall Chapters up on Kickstarter. Also, I’d love if someone *cough* Ken Levine *cough* did a System Shock 3. Which I would want to work on. Even if it’s just getting him coffee." You heard him, Ken Levine. Get to work! Torment: Tides of Numenera is currently sitting at $3,365,759 with three days left to go. 
Chris Avellone interview photo
Also, drinking with Brian Fargo
Just before he left to go on a likely well-deserved holiday, I had the opportunity to pester Obsidian's Chris Avellone about his role in inXile's upcoming RPG, Torment: Tides of Numenera.  Chris is a veteran of RPGs, par...

Tides of Numenera  photo
Tides of Numenera

Tides of Numenera's first screenshot shows off the Bloom


It's blooming marvellous
Apr 01
// Fraser Brown
If the first screenshot for Torment: Tides of Numenera is anything to go by, inXile's kickstarted RPG is going have some rather exotic locales -- grotesque and exotic. This in-game screenshot shows off the Bloom, and it sound...
Avellone to join Torment photo
Avellone to join Torment

Chris Avellone becomes a Torment stretch goal


$3.5 million for the man behind Planescape: Torment
Mar 22
// Fraser Brown
What would make Torment: Tides of Numenera, which recently smashed its Kickstarter goal in seven hours, a more scintillating prospect? How about the lead designer of its thematic predecessor, Planescape: Torment, th...
Torment setting photo
Torment setting

Torment: Tides of Numenera: A billion years in the making


It certainly feels like I've been waiting this long
Mar 06
// Fraser Brown
With the ridiculously speedy success of inXile's Kickstarter for Torment: Tides of Numenera, it's only a matter of time until we'll be diving into the role of the Last Cast-off, the title's protagonist. I got up to speed on w...

InXile talks Torment, story details, and crowd-funding

Mar 06 // Fraser Brown
Kevin and Colin are no strangers to Planescape: Torment, and both offer the new project years of experience. Colin, the creative lead, co-wrote and developed Planescape: Torment with Chris Avellone and spent five years working with TSR on the Planescape campaign setting which is where he met Monte Cook, the mind behind Numenera.  Kevin, the project director, worked at Obsidian for more than five years alongside Chris Avellone, his first game at the studio being the fascinating, if unfinished, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. Notably he was also the lead designer on Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, an expansion that, in my opinion, was a vast improvement on the core game and probably the closest thing we've had to a Planescape:Torment sequel up until now. While the absence of Avellone may be felt by some fans, the team working on Torment, at least on paper, seems like the perfect group to be working on a spiritual successor to the Nameless One's traumatic journey, and includes members who worked on the art, writing, and even the music of the original game. Kevin described it as "serendipity," with Avellone as the "mastermind" setting up the project, despite not being a part of it. It was he who hooked up Colin and Brian Fargo, and last year he talked up a storm about wanting to see a new story with the themes laid out in the first game.  But for all its connections with the twelve year-old classic, Torment sounds like it will be very much its own game and exists within a brand new setting, Numenera, devised by D&D veteran Monte Cook. I wondered how much freedom this gave the team when it came to making their own mark on this world. "We are actually working very, very closely with Monte on this ... he is very happy to work with us, and provides us with guidance and direction when we need it." Colin explained, "We have a lot of freedom." Kevin noted that Numenera has been designed to give GMs a lot of flexibility, and that this makes the setting a good fit, as it offers them this freedom as game developers as well. Monte Cook actually has an official role on the project beyond just being the licensor -- he's also one of the developers. Torment has been described as a thematic franchise rather than one that's stuck in any one setting, and in Torment, inXile wants to expand on the questions and themes raised in its predecessor. If Planescape was meant to answer "What can change the nature of a man?", Torment answers "What does one life matter?" It's up the players to seek the answer themselves, however. The question ties into the rest of Torment's themes: abandonment, mystery, all lying at the heart of the game. While the scope is vast and metaphysical, Kevin emphasized that it's still a focused game. "It's a very introspective, personal journey that we're talking about. It's going to be really epic in feel, much like [Planescape] was, but when you get down into it, what [Planescape] really was was a very personal story about a guy trying to discover who he actually is." Set one billion years in the future, Torment shows us an Earth utterly changed and alien. Countless civilizations have risen and fallen, and humanity has now returned to an almost medieval level of technology and understanding. Magic played a large role in Planescape: Torment, and will do so again, but it's not divine or arcane magic -- this time the driving force behind it is long forgotten science.  "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -- Clarke's Third Law Colin expanded on this. "Magic is basically just science that we don't understand yet. In this case it's one billion years of scientific advancement. Think about all the cool things that are happening with science now, I mean they just invented cranium rats (terrible pests from Planescape: Torment that, when grouped together, increased in intelligence and even cast spells)." According to Kevin, inXile is emphasizing the mystery of science, thus things will feel more like magic, more fantastical, even if their basis is in science. "For people looking for a fantasy game, that is what it will feel like to them." Monte Cook describes the setting of Numenera as being like 1000 AD, where you have a lot of ostensibly simple clusters of villages and lead a subsistence lifestyle, but are surrounded by the remains of ancient civilizations, their ruins, and the remnants of their technology. The basic plot has already been worked out, and right now perfecting the narrative is the focus since, as Kevin stated, "it drives everything else." With that in mind, I picked their brains about the premise, not really expecting them to reveal much this early on. I was delighted to be wrong. Colin revealed the tale of the "Last Cast-off": "There is a man who didn't want to die. His motivations had been lost over the centuries, but at some point he discovered some ancient tools that allowed him to cast his consciousness into a new body, and he has used these tools to cast himself across a succession of bodies over the course of centuries, if not thousands of years. "What he doesn't realize is that every time he leaves a body, it awakens with a new consciousness. And so he has left behind all of these cast off shells, and they are awake and alive, and they realize 'Oh my god, I've been abandoned by my father. What's my place in the world? What am I doing here?' And it turns out that they attract suffering. Eventually there is so much of this suffering that has been created by these shells, that an age-old guardian has been awakened and is now hunting [their] sire." It's certainly a premise I couldn't have imagined, and it definitely has hints of Planescape: Torment about it, namely the refusal to die. Players will control the last of these living shells, and the first thing that they see as they are thrust into existence is the aforementioned guardian hunting their sire, and then they plummet to the Ninth World, taking over the cast off body. It sets up the story of self-discovery perfectly, and it's undoubtedly something of a tragedy, much like its predecessor.  Numenera doesn't have the plethora of classes other role-playing games may boast, instead using a focus to allow players to customize and define their characters. Torment will be doing the same, though there may be additional foci created by inXile in conjunction with Monte Cook. These foci are essentially super-abilities that can be used by any of the three classes, the Glaive, Nano, or Jack (ostensibly the trinity of warrior, mage, and rogue). Colin revealed some of the potential focus abilities that player could select. "You can speak with the dead, you can ride the lightning, you can control animals, you can master a weapon to an almost supernatural extent." Having such disparate abilities makes me think that this will be a title that will demand to be played multiple times.  There is a synchronicity between the foci and the unique tide system, Torment's answer to the unyielding alignment system in Dungeons & Dragons. "Somehow, your character has been constructed in a way that manipulates these invisible forces," Colin explained, "so the choices that you make will reflect your tides, and they change throughout the game and will have a visible effect on you and people will react to you based on the choices that you made." Instead of their being good, or evil, or having deities and external judgements, these tides are families of concepts that help to define the player character. They are named after colors rather than literal ideals, though there are ways of thinking, emotions, and concepts that are attached to these color-coded tides. One example was the blue tide, which in part represents things like reason. Not only will actions align players more to that tide and have an effect on the people who interact with the protagonist, it also relates to certain foci that require a more logical mind and greater wisdom. Five tides exist in the Ninth World. While Torment appears to have been set up with plenty of conflict, it is still primarily a narrative-driven experience. However, that does not mean inXile isn't making an effort on the combat side of things. Mechanics are still not being revealed, as the developer wants to get backers involved in deciding these things, but a more robust system is being promised. Although combat will be featured, a lot, if not all encounters will be avoidable, according to Kevin, and the battles will have a narrative purpose. "We want it tied into the narrative, so there will be aspects of the storyline that will have gameplay effects in combat, and we want it to be important from a strategic perspective, we want to concentrate on quality of combat encounters over quantity -- this won't be an action-RPG." The weakest part of Planescape: Torment was its combat, as I see it, and the dungeon romp side of things was a lot less compelling due to this. It was the story and dialogue that hooked me, but the Planes were filled with violence, so it was a shame that getting stuck into a good scrap was a bit boring. That inXile is already asking for funding via Kickstarter while its previous Kickstarter project, Wasteland 2, is still in development has worried some people. I'm a fan of the concept of crowd-funding, but I still see it as somewhat unreliable and untested, so I don't tend to dip my toes into those murky waters.  Kevin believes, however, that there isn't a better time to start the Torment Kickstarter. "For a small developer, having multiple projects is very important. During different stages of production or game development, you need different people and a different-sized team. Right now, being in pre-production for Torment, we are able to have the design all established and the writing complete by the time Wasteland 2 ships in October. Then the production team can take a well-deserved break, and come back and they know what they are making.  "If we were to wait until later, either those people are idle or not being used as efficiently ... or the design of the game gets off track because it's being worked on by people who have less of an understanding of what the game is." By starting their Kickstarter campaign now, they are able to keep working on the game's foundations so that come October, things will be able to go into full production. InXile is aware that it is asking backers to take a gamble, but that's also why the studio released the first gameplay videos of Wasteland 2 -- to show backers and potential consumers what they've been working on. According to Kevin, the response from backers was overwhelmingly positive, which has given them the confidence to go ahead with Torment, feeling that they've shown people they can live up to their promises. It's also worth noting that, as they don't know how well the Kickstarter is going to go, if they do get more funding than they ask for, that will mean they can be more ambitious and add more features, as well as hiring even more writers while improving the visual aspects of the game. These are things they need to know sooner rather than later, and by October it might be too late to make these additions. With one game already successfully funded, the setting of Numenera also funded via Kickstarter, and now their latest project, inXile are very much fans of the funding platform and crowd-funding in general. As Kevin said to me, it makes them closer to their players. "We love how Kickstarter makes us accountable to the players and creates this relationship of trust... so moving forward, at this time, Kickstarter will be a part of what we want to do with our products. It also gives the early backers ... in exchange for their faith in us they get a lower price point for the product and they help us shape it."  Obviously there are some restrictions when choosing the crowd-funding method, most notably the much smaller budget. The $3 million that Wasteland 2 secured may seem like a lot, but it's nothing when compared to the gross, bloated budgets normally found in, say, AAA titles. Due to the budget and the schedule, Torment will not be fully voice acted. It will, however, have voice acting for major NPCs and companions. These sorts of concessions make sense when working with less funding, and personally I'm happy that inXile is using its time to perfect the writing and mechanics rather than spending time recording hundreds of hours of dialogue. The Torment Kickstarter began today at 6:00am, and at the time of writing this it has already reached $400,000 of its $900,000 goal; so I imagine it will be fully funded by the end of the day, certainly by the weekend. It's going to be released on PC and Mac, as well as possibly Linux.
Torment interview photo
"What does one life matter?"
Twelve years ago, Black Isle Studios crafted a plane-hopping, tragic adventure set in the Planescape Dungeons & Dragons setting. With a nameless, amnesiac protagonist who had been both a hero and a villain, the developer ...

Torment raises $1.5M photo
And I'm not in the least bit surprised
InXile's newest roleplaying game and spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, Torment: Tides of Numenera, has been seeking funding on Kickstarter for well under a day. After three hours, it had already secured half of...

Torment Kickstarter photo
Torment Kickstarter

Torment: Tides of Numenera Kickstarter begins March 6


And Chris Avellone gives the game his endorsement
Mar 04
// Fraser Brown
Torment: Tides of Numenera, the spiritual successor to the phenomenal Planescape: Torment, was revealed to be taking the crowd-funding route some time ago, and now inXile are finally about to st...
Torment sequel  photo
Torment sequel

Planescape: Torment spiritual successor gets a name


There's a website too!
Feb 20
// Fraser Brown
Planescape: Torment is, for me, the pinnacle of videogame roleplaying experiences. It managed to make boring stats meaningful by putting them to use outside of combat constantly, its story and dialogue blow even Baldur's Gate...
Wasteland 2 photo
Wasteland 2

Watch the first gameplay footage of Wasteland 2


Demoing the goods of inXile's highly funded Kickstarter project
Feb 09
// Conrad Zimmerman
Interested in seeing what Brian Fargo's team at inXile has been doing with the gobs of money thrown at them by backers of its Wasteland 2 Kickstarter funding campaign? Then you'll enjoy this video which features a full fifte...
 photo

Leaked video of Wasteland 2 shows off isometric view


Sep 06
// Joshua Derocher
A video of Wasteland 2 has been leaked onto YouTube. The video is in Russian, but thanks to my excellent knowledge of Google's translator, I was able to deduce that this is supposedly from a talk given by Bria...

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