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Role Playing (Games) Games

Planescape: Torment Successor Funded In 6 Hours 118

Posted by Soulskill
from the give-the-people-what-they-want dept.
New submitter abuelos84 writes "Just a few hours after the Kickstarter project was opened to the public, Torment: Tides of Numenera, successor of the legendary Planescape:Torment, had been funded. In the dev's own words: 'Our heads are still spinning at the incredible response we have had from today's support of our Kickstarter campaign. We had plans to roll out our stretch goals and to write our Kickstarter updates but never in our wildest dreams did we think we would fund this quickly!!! We are joyfully scrambling right now to get a longer update and some stretch goals in front of you as soon as we can. We should have more to say later today.'"
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Planescape: Torment Successor Funded In 6 Hours

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  • Well no shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by razorshark (2843829) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:39PM (#43099017)

    People are DESPERATE for a game with meat and depth like the old RPGs of yesteryear. There are too many games with more concerned with quicktime events and cinematics than there are with story and character development. The big publishers seem to think that fluff is enough, but a gamer cannot survive on fluff alone.

    • Re:Well no shit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sheehaje (240093) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:48PM (#43099115)

      I think there are plenty of games with meat on them. The Witcher series has been excellent from a story telling perspective ... Skyrim, while predictable had a deep backstory - even some of the MMO's out there have good story telling and deep back stories. I think they just get lost because the market is so flooded now a days...

      With that said, Planescape: Torement has to be one of the most memorable games I've ever played. I still remember the Nameless One and Morte - and I haven't played it in ages...

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        The damn game actually made my cry. I remember that. Between what was happening and the music that accompanied it...

        Damn, it's working me up even now!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by mad flyer (589291)

      Quick time events...

      dear god grandpa... you are showing your age...

    • Re:Well no shit (Score:5, Interesting)

      by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:48PM (#43099787) Homepage

      What I find a little surprising is that Dreamfall: Chapters [kickstarter.com] has a far harder time making money then those old RPGs. When it comes to storytelling in games The Longest Journey and Planescape Torment are almost always mentioned as one of the best examples, yet Dreamfall: Chapters, which is a sequel to TLJ, has only made 1.2mil so far, enough to get funded, but it took them 25 days, not a few hours. Guess there are a lot more old RPG gamers then adventure gamers around.

      • Dreamfall is no where near loved as much as torment. Dreamfall pretty much missed most gamers radar.

      • Re:Well no shit (Score:5, Informative)

        by mcvos (645701) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @08:31PM (#43100215)

        The Longest Journey and Dreamfall: Chapters are not remotely as well known as Planescape: Torment. Almost everybody I know has heard of Torment. It's mentioned constantly all over the place. This is the first time I hear of TLJ or Dreamfall.

      • TLJ was a great game, but the sequel Dreamfall was terrible. Will Dreamfall: Chapters be as terrible as Dreamfall? Or as good as The Longest Journey. It was not something I wanted to bet money on.

        • I agree, Dreamfall was a disappointment. It felt like work to get through, and most of that was fueled by my love of TLJ. The gameplay was awful (and hard! I don't know many people who bothered to finish it because there were some sequences that were a brick wall difficulty-wise), and the story finished with a very unsatisfying cliffhanger ending. For a couple of years after I played it I would have been excited to find out what happened next. Now though I have kind-of written it off. If I hear it is good
        • by X0563511 (793323)

          I was never able to get into TLJ like I was with Torment.

          I just could not connect with the character, or the world she seemed to live in.

          I'll give it another try soon, because these comparisons are suggesting to me that I have really missed out on a gem.

          • by X0563511 (793323)

            I just found this [gog.com] which should go a long way. A good part of the reason I couldn't get into it was the horrible chicken-scratch handwriting font they used everywhere.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mike Frett (2811077)

      Actually, I just bought 'Eschalon Book I' for Linux a few hours ago out of pure curiosity, very surprised I was at the quality of this RPG. I'm gonna buy Book II and Book III when it arrives, I'm just overjoyed that the old style RPGs are still being made by a small company that cares.

      Tides of Numenera was pimping Linux support also, so that's a good thing, thumbs up.

    • Re:Well no shit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Thursday March 07, 2013 @12:59AM (#43101839) Homepage
      "People are DESPERATE for a game with meat and depth like the old RPGs of yesteryear."

      I disagree with your characterization; I have been playing CRPGs since the 1980's and some of the best ones I've played have been relatively recent. Fallout 3 (ok, not SUPER recent) and Mass Effect for example. In fact, when I compile my list of the best CRPGs made they are spread widely through that time period. I think why people want a Planescape:Torment-style game was because Planescape:Torment was quite simply the best computer/video game ever made, not because it was representative of a larger group of games. It was a unique achievement.

      The fact that Chris Avellone isn't involved and that it can't use the Planescape universe does not fill me with undue optimism, but I do trust Brian Fargo (I consider the original Wasteland in my Top 5 of All Time as well) and I will definitely try the game.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I have been playing CRPGs since the 1980's and some of the best ones I've played have been relatively recent. Fallout 3
        You mean the worst game in the series, aside from that thing they made using the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance engine?

      • by Faw (33935)

        Playing CRPG since the 80s and as the best you mention Fallout 3? Fallout 3 was prettier, but thats the problem, prettier is not better. Fallout 1 was better, Baldur's Gate was better, Planetscape:Torment was better. Hell, even the old TSR goldbox RPGs were better (Pool of Radiance, Champions of Krynn and my favourite Buck Rogers).

        • by nomadic (141991)
          Fallout 1 was definitely not better; it was a very, very good game but as a game I think Fallout 3 is superior. The old TSR goldbox RPGs were dreadful, they played like wargames, not RPGs, is basically what you could expect when giving the job to SSI which was a mistake.
          • I loved Fallout 1 and 2, but just couldn't get into Fallout 3. The characters felt like cardboard cutouts, the music was nothing special compared to the atmospheric music of the previous two; I dunno, something just felt lost in the transition to 3D/Bethesda.

            Having said that I've tried other Bethesda games like Oblivion and found that dull as well. Never tried Skyrim, though it sounds like it inherits similar problems as well. Yes I may be part of the minority for not liking Bethesda games, but at the same

  • Good luck (Score:4, Insightful)

    by imsabbel (611519) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:40PM (#43099027)

    That seems a bit like crowd sourceing a successor to the Lord of the Rings.

    Getting the money is easy, but getting a product out, after all the time and all the dispersed talent, that does not suck in comparison to the original, that is a challenge

    • by Anonymous Coward

      With the RPG dream team they have working on it and the fantastic new setting, I have faith that it'll turn out okay.

    • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dan667 (564390) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:50PM (#43099141)
      I have pretty much zero concern that Torment: Tides of Numenera will be anything less than awesome. They did a Kickstarter for Wasteland 2 before this and Inexile have been very transparent about the development of that game and the early game play video looks great.
      • by zlives (2009072)

        yes but i almost think i would like them to focus on wasteland and finish it quicker... if they have the extra time/resources?!
        i will buy this when it comes out, i did back wasteland2

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          They are finishing wasteland 2. The writers and concept artists have nothing to do currently. Soon the graphics people will have nothing to do, then the programmers and so on. Large studios will happily lay off people between games as soon as their part is done. InXile is dedicated to not being like those large studios.

        • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Informative)

          by prehistoricman5 (1539099) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:35PM (#43099637)

          They explain why they are doing that in the kickstarter. They don't want to lay off their concept artists while they finish WL2 because they actually have 1.5 development teams.

        • by X0563511 (793323)

          Hell one of the perks for contributing decently in the kickstarter is that you get Wasteland2 as well.

          • by zlives (2009072)

            exactly!! i wonder if one contributed "decently" in WL2 do they now also get Torment

      • Re:Good luck (Score:4, Insightful)

        by eth1 (94901) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:47PM (#43099777)

        I have pretty much zero concern that Torment: Tides of Numenera will be anything less than awesome. They did a Kickstarter for Wasteland 2 before this and Inexile have been very transparent about the development of that game and the early game play video looks great.

        What made Planescape:Torment one of the best games ever wasn't something that would ever show in a gameplay video. It was the story and character development that kept you desperate to keep uncovering more. I think that was the only game I've ever played where I went straight through from Friday night to 3 am Monday morning with nothing but bathroom breaks and a snack or two. Not even Fallout was that good. I think part of the reason was that the story was a very personal struggle, and really got you emotionally invested in the outcome, rather than the standard "time to go save the world" plot.

        It sounds like they're trying to head that direction again, but the only way to tell will be to play through... Definitely hoping they can do it, though.

        • Re:Good luck (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Miseph (979059) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @09:14PM (#43100531) Journal

          Yeah, when I tell people to play it, I'm always a little stumped when they ask what makes the gameplay so good... frankly it isn't: it has a lot of bugs, the graphics are less than impressive, the controls are far from ideal, the magic system borders on useless, the combat is unchallenging, and NONE OF THAT MATTERS AT ALL.

          The point of Torment isn't any of those things, the point of Torment is the chill that runs down your spine during conversations with Ignuus, the point of Torment is feeling you heart race as the Lady's shadow falls over you, the point of Torment is the soul crushing revelation of What Can Change The Nature Of A Man. None of those things make any sense in a 30 second demo, or even in a 30 minute demo.

          • by Culture20 (968837)
            And those things don't work as strings of cutscenes either. They need the RPG to make you invested.
          • My personal favorite discovery in Torment was the micro-story:

            A man finds himself in a swamp, a hag standing over him cackling. He has no memory of how he got there, he has no memory of who he is.

            The hag says "And what will your third wish be?"
            Bewildered he asks "How can I have a third wish when I haven't had a first or second wish yet??"
            The hag replies: "You have already had your first and second wishes and by their conditions I am not permitted to tell you what they were..."
            The man thinks to himself, "Wel

    • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Informative)

      by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:10PM (#43099403)

      Getting the money is easy, but getting a product out, after all the time and all the dispersed talent, that does not suck in comparison to the original, that is a challenge

      Have a look at the team they've got signed on to it:

      • Brian Fargo: Founded Interplay, the publisher of Planescape: Torment
      • Colin McCombe: Designed the pen-and-paper Planescape setting, and worked as a designer on Planescape: Torment
      • Monte Cook: One of the big names in D&D development. Helped develop the Planescape pen-and-paper setting, and did develop the setting for Numenera
      • Mark Morgan: Composer for Planescape: Torment

      The only guy on their team who wasn't involved in Planescape: Torment is the project director.

      • by Pirtan (2852547)
        The main thing that these guys have created something truly amazing, and not some fake for ~ $ 3 million
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:40PM (#43099031)

    It's like if million of voices screamed "shut up and take my money" at once.

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @06:47PM (#43099093) Homepage
    On the one hand all these games being funded by Kickstarter are great because it means that they get to know they have a natural audience before they've made it. And it effectively lets people act in some sense like very small time investors but getting a product back as the result of the investment. The same goes for a lot of the other fun Kickstarted projects. But at another level, what ends up being successfully Kickstarted seems to not reflect well on people as a whole. Games, webcomics and other entertainment projects routinely get quickly Kickstarted, sometimes a lot over the funded level. However, at the same time, science projects and other genuinely helpful for humanity research projects struggle with their Kickstarters and almost never have this sort of response. Apparently when it comes to actually seeing where we'll spend money we'd all prefer fun games to actually learning about the universe or fighting disease.
    • by twocows (1216842)
      You're really surprised by that? There's a reason the entertainment industry is booming while groups like Doctors Without Borders have to fight as hard as ever to get the funding they need.

      That said, I don't think it's an inherently bad thing. Humanity isn't made of saints, so what? What matters is that a successor to one of the only games I've ever played with worthwhile writing is getting a sequel. People were never going to spend their entertainment money on anything else, so it may as well go to some
      • Maybe then we need to make the science people "into a game". Hold on, before we get to shouting "dehumanized". While discouraging the practices of a certain specific game company, make what those guys do into a "sim(ulation) game". Pick your favorite doctor! Follow him as he dispenses medicine! Or works on a solution to a problem! "14% progress... 15% progress...". Count the lives saved/restored to health!

        The graphics are "simple" in that top down 2D is an easy first level implementation.

        But I bet someone w

    • by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:15PM (#43099445)

      However, at the same time, science projects and other genuinely helpful for humanity research projects struggle with their Kickstarters

      I wouldn't be surprised if they struggled with their Kickstarters, since Kickstarter is exclusively for creative projects:

      Everything on Kickstarter must be a project. A project has a clear goal, like making an album, a book, or a work of art. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it.

      If you want to fund something with a nebulous goal, with the aim of helping someone, you make a donation, you don't pledge to a kickstarter. In a sense, donation-driven organisations are the oldest form of crowd-funding.

      • by JoshuaZ (1134087)
        Petridish is the scientific analog of Kickstarter, devoted specifically to scientific goals , and they've had much less success. Note also that Kickstarter itself has included science related projects that have narrow, specific goals. And they don't show this sort of success. The issue isn't anything to do with any specific systems goals or rules but what people will fund.
        • Although you shouldn't think of it this way if you don't want to get burned eventually, people see funding a Kickstarter as an investment they put in to get something back from it. With science that wouldn't work, because you cannot honestly guarantee that you will get a result. It's the wrong format. I wonder about the relationship between Kickstarter games and illegal downloading. It would not surprise me if Kickstarted games avoided some of the losses that normally come from pirates ripping the software
  • I think I'll wait for the reviews, I don't really know much of about the developer and the one game of theirs I've played didn't impress me. Maybe it was because they sucked at humor I dunno or maybe I'm just not the humors sort. Kickstarter is nice but you got to be careful any charlatan could promise you the moon and stars and deliver you nothing or worse a pile of shit.

    I'm not really a huge kickstarter fan I've backed only two projects which were books by one of my favorite authors. Someone who had earne

    • by gweihir (88907)

      My take is that about 50% of these Kickstarter Games will deliver on their promises to a reasonable degree. That is a great rate! Not only does that mean you pay the standard price for a good game, but these will be good games that would otherwise never have been made. Or to put it differently, a 50% chance of this working out is very, very reasonable at the price asked!

      • And hey, for us Aussies, we're paying about a third of the standard price, since Kickstarter doesn't discriminate based on region, whereas we're gouged hard for traditional software purchases. Not to mention, if you're careful about what you back, you'll probably avoid a lot of the 50% failures.

      • Actually, the $25 price point on the kickstarter for the game is less than 50% of the standard price, even in the U.S. where games are cheap. I suppose that's partially because literally half the sticker price of a AAA game goes to marketing.

        • by gweihir (88907)

          Good point. And the while point of Kickstarter is that today you do not need the marketing, distribution, etc. anymore, as even single individuals can distribute large amounts of data at low cost. Time to cut out that slack, so People that are passionate about making good games can get them directly to people that are passionate about playing good games.

  • by Daetrin (576516) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @07:22PM (#43099515)
    Perhaps i'm attempting to draw conclusions from a too small set of anecdotal data, but it seems like in some ways it's easier to kickstart these things than it is to get people to buy a published game that's already been through the development process.

    I've contributed to Wasteland 2 and several other smaller game projects that looked particularly interesting to me, and i'll probably contribute to this too. Several of the games i've contributed to have already come, either in full or demo form, and i don't think i've played more than about 5-10 minutes total of all of them. Not because i'm not interested, i've just been busy.

    Ni No Kuni is an awesome game. Or at least it sure looks awesome, and i've heard good things about it from friends. I've been interested in it for quite awhile. After the usual long wait for Japanese games it finally came out in the US about a month ago. Have i bought a copy yet? Nope. I don't have the time to play it right now, and it will still be there a few weeks, or a few months, or even a few years from now, in used format if nothing else. And the odds are it will only get cheaper as time goes on. I realize that i probably ought to buy a new copy sooner rather than later, just to encourage the development of those kinds of games, and maybe that motivation will manage to overcome the apathy about performing a task for which i will receive no immediate reward, but maybe not.

    On the other hand the Kickstarter games require an up-front investment. If i want to be sure the game will exist for me to play in the future i need to put money down _now_. Even if the goal has already been met there are usually stretch goals, or at the very least one can generally calculate that the higher the funding the higher quality the game will eventually be.

    And it certainly doesn't hurt that you can usually jump into a Kickstarter at a very low level. It looks like for Torment i can get a copy of the game for just $20. But if the tiers are structured intelligently then once i've decided i'm going to pledge _something_ it's often easy to talk myself up the ladder. "If i just add $5/$10/whatever more then i can get this extra cool thing!" And of course it's much easier to feel a connection with the developer when you're contributing to their campaign, unlike when you hand some cash over to a random GameStop employee. That's a pretty intangible benefit, but it does exit.

    I realize that a big part of the "problem" here is just my own laziness at putting off buying new games, but Kickstarter definitely seems like a very neat solution to the "problem" in my particular case.
    • "but it seems like in some ways it's easier to kickstart these things than it is to get people to buy a published game that's already been through the development process."

      The opposite is true, publishers stopped making games like this because the market was not deemed big enough so there's all this pent up demand because publishers thumbed their noses at the people who put them on the map.

      Interplay had a few bad flops and went out of business even though they made some of the best classic games. Interplay

      • by Daetrin (576516)
        Well first of all, just to be clear, when i say it's easier than getting people to buy a published game, i mean "easier than getting a game of this type through the publishing process and then getting enough of us to buy it in stores to make the publisher interested in doing it again."

        Like you said, fair or not, the market was not deemed big enough for traditional publishers to support these kinds of games. You can blame whoever you want, publishers for blindly following trends, the FPS crowd for providin
        • I think the problem with interplay was just they were too ahead of their time in a sense, many of the things the game industry has learned (dumbing down, storytelling) it was largely the non-game things driving mass market sales which kinda sucks. Since many older games were videogames first, story/action movie second. In modern games its the reverse.

          The thing I'm a bit skeptical about is many of these people have been in the woods for a while (away from making those kinds of games) and I wonder if they s

        • by Gr8Apes (679165)
          I'd be more willing to bet that by removing the publishers and end retailers 80% cut, these games are suddenly profitable to develop for the developers and they essentially get their money up front and can run per a true investment style - we invest in their product, they deliver, they gain credibility, their next enterprise will be easier to fund via investors. It's the same process for them, minus the headaches of an interfering publisher (investor) and being able to connect with some of their fans much m
          • by Fjandr (66656)

            Plus, I think a lot of people would much rather that 100% of the money went to the developer, and not the middleman leeches.

    • Or maybe it's just the price. I for one buy anything for 20 dollars or less even if this is the release price, even if I'm not sure I'll have time to play the game. I bought Torchlight 2 at release price since here in brazil it was the equivalent of 17 USD, also Borderlands 2 at 50% discount (~23 USD).
  • This is great of course, but there's another Kickstarter going on for Dreamfall that hasn't gotten as much money in a month as this has gotten in a day:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/redthread/dreamfall-chapters-the-longest-journey [kickstarter.com]

    It's not too late, and the game is funded so this is hardly a tragedy, but it would certainly be nice if Dreamfall could get a similar level of support.
    • I'd already contributed to both, but I upped my Dreamfall pledge when they posted that status update advertising Torment *despite* the fact that Torment has already blown by their funding so far. Pretty awesome thing to do.
    • by muridae (966931)

      You know why I havn't pledged anything to help Dreamfall? Because they talked about making the third chapter years ago. It took years to go from Dreamfall to TLJ, and yet they still talked about publishing the third in the story for so long.

      It's one of those cases where I feel like there is a less than even chance that pledging to it wouldn't increase the chance of the game getting finished. Planescape never went through that phase of publishers/writers/coders all saying "we're working on the next chapter"

      • by grumbel (592662)

        It took years to go from Dreamfall to TLJ, and yet they still talked about publishing the third in the story for so long.

        You can blame The Secret World for that. Originally Dreamfall should have been followed up swiftly by sequel, but Funcom apparently changed plans and moved all the staff to The Secret World MMORPG. For some reason they then still announced Dreamfall: Chapters, even so everybody was busy working on The Secret World. Then of course TSW got delayed quite a bit and took years to develop and once it was done Funcom decided to stop making single-player games all together, which is why the next Dreamfall is now d

  • The are so many RPG's on kickstarter that it's difficult to decide on which ones to back. Everyone seems to go for the big names of yesteryear re-writes/sequels, but not so much for the new, smaller systems or the actual Role-Playing Games (i.e. - non-computer ones). Personally I would like to see more spread of the funding across the board (no pun intended) so that more games in general get built instead of just having focus on rewrites (not that I mind the rewrites for the most part). Heres a small ran
  • I wonder if this project will be able to connect with the next generation, the ones that were just too young to enjoy the former Planescape: Torment. If so, contributing to this Kickstarter can be a good way of passing down the token. Maybe I will not play it, but for me it is important enough just to make it happen.
  • It's worth pointing out that this is not set in the same setting as Planescape: Torment (i.e. Planescape).

    Numenera is completely unrelated to D&D, at least flavor wise (it's made by Monte Cook, who was heavily involved in D&D 3rd Edition. I don't think he had any involvement with AD&D, including Planescape...).

    Not saying this is a good or bad thing, just saying, so that people are aware.

  • This campaign was mentioned with great enthusiasm in a recent Project Eternity backer update email. Since both game projects target the same kind of audience, I wonder if this hasn't had some impact on the result...
  • Would it have killed you to mention that it's an RPG? The summary doesn't even explicitly state that it's a game. Yes, it's pretty clear from context, but it's poor journalistic style not to slip these things in.

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