Old school RPG fans eagerly awaiting the spiritual successor to one of the greatest RPGs ever made,1999’s Planescape Torment, will have to hold on just a bit longer, as developer inXile Entertainment announced that Torment: Tides of Numenera will be delayed from its original early 2015 release date to late 2015.
The delay was announced in a very detailed blog post, which explained that inXile’s commitment to its other old-school RPG successor, Wasteland 2, has meant that more time will be needed to transition the Wasteland 2 production team to Torment.
Wasteland 2, which was crowdfunded to the tune of nearly $3 million, had a successful Steam Early Access phase. As a result, inXile was able to solidify its production schedule and release date, while adding a steady stream of updates. Torment, however, had a more tenuous schedule. Its rather unconventional production timeline has been explained as such:
For the last while, we’ve been in what I’ve called a “limited production” mode. During this phase, the emphasis has been on proving out our design and pipelines (i.e,. how exactly we get anything from being an idea to being fully implemented in the game). This is typical for preproduction, but the distinction I’d make is that we’ve been creating actual game content, which is unusual in the industry. During this time, we’ve had relatively few people creating content and have been allowed time to experiment and iterate, prioritizing getting things figured out over getting things done. This leads to greater productivity, fewer mistakes, and ultimately a better game. This goal is generally somewhat at odds with completing feature X by date Y, which is typically what you do during production to ensure that the game can be completed to the quality desired given the time and/or resources you have available.
In other words, more time equals a better game.
Like Wasteland 2, Torment was crowdfunded well past its funding goals, surpassing a million dollars in just six hours and achieving over $4 million in funding from over 74,000 backers by the end of its Kickstarter, becoming the most funded videogame Kickstarter.
Torment will be set in the fantasy world of Numenera, which was conceived by table-top RPG designer Monte Cook. The player will take on the role of the Last Castoff, a discarded vessel of a god-like being. Having been cast away by the host, the Last Castoff gains consciousness but no memories, and must set on a quest to find his former host as a malevolent being called the Angel of Entropy seeks to destroy him or her and his or her former host.
The studio behind Torment, inXile, is comprised of many industry veterans such as Interplay founder Brian Fargo and Planescape Torment composer Mark Morgan. The game has received the blessings of notable ex-Black Isle members who worked on Planescape Torment, Chris Avellone and Feargus Urquhart, both of whom are working on their own Kickstarter-funded RPG, Pillars of Eternity.
Torment: Tides of Numenera is being developed on Unity for Windows, OS X and Linux.