Torment: Tides of Numenera Social Round-up

29 Apr 2013

In between updates I suppose it wouldn't hurt to see what Torment: Tides of Numenera's designers have been up to on social networks such as Formspring, starting from project director Kevin Saunders:
As for the Heine's video update, personally, I'd like you to design the system optimized for this game without referencing the PnP rules since they are different creatures while respecting the setting.Who is responsible for the designing the core system?

We will be designing Torment’s core systems to be what’s best for the computer game, with the Numenera PnP rules as the starting point. I agree with you that a PnP game and a CRPG want some different things from their rules systems (and Torment will have its own wishes!). But there are similarities as well. We licensed Numenera not only for the setting, but also to use its systems as a foundation for Torment’s – one of the appeals of Numenera was that we felt its rules were well-suited for computer adaptation for Torment. This approach also saves time over creating a new system from scratch (as much fun as that can be =) ).

We’ll modify aspects of the rules as is best for Torment. (The skill system, for example, is too open-ended for a computer game.) We won’t be trying to provide a pure translation of the Numenera PnP experience, though many aspects of its essence (the focus on narrative and exploration, for example) are well aligned with our vision for Torment and we see value to creating a shared experience between the two games.

While the core system design will be very important, the story and reactivity elements are more pressing and it will be a while before we are really focused on this part. But from the initial discussions we’ve had, I would say that Torment’s systems will likely have more complexity than the PnP rules do.

Currently, I expect that Adam and I will be the most involved in designing the core system. Though it is possible that we might later bring on board a new systems designer to own this aspect of the game. Monte will be involved, too, of course, though his goal with Torment is also to create the best video game possible and he is very open to our modifying his system as deemed best..

One thing about the transition, though. Heines mentioned spending XPs on "rolls" but, in the context of save anytime, cannot such randomness be exploited outside of something like combat, can it? I'm asking this since decision-making must be important.

We haven't discussed this in detail yet, but assuming we do have random "rolls," something like saving the random number generator's random seed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_seed) would at least discourage players from exploiting the randomness.

On the same social platform, creative director Colin McComb had quite a few things to say:
Since the kickstarter has reached so many reactivity/depth goals, will you dare to explore wholly new and complex ways to implement reactivity? Or will you stick to the trusted formula (1 or 2 levels of branching, merged at choke points) only more of it?

Both. Which is to say, we're going to be exploring some new options for feasibility and ease of implementation, but we're going to leverage the foundation on which our experience was built. We want to take that experience further, rather than relying exclusively on our previous knowledge.

Leveraging collective synergy to think outside the box and formulate key objectives into a win-win game plan with a quality-driven approach that focuses on empowering key players to drive-up their core competencies and increase expectations.

We do plan to circle around and reach out to relevant professionals who might bring the ability to develop a paradigm shift that will result in organic growth for this exciting B2C outgrowth model.

(I swear to god the original response didn't sound buzzwordy when I wrote it)

...

Dear Colin - if we manage the strongholds, then could we have a stronghold that reacts to your dominant tide? Mechanically the same but one changed appearance depending on your tide. Eg Knowledge might be a huge library (like the Library of Alexandria)

That would be pretty cool. I'll see what the others have to say about this on an implementation level.

...

How is the character generation/development going to handled from a implementation level? We've been told that characters will be described as a 'ADJECTIVE CLASS who DESCRIPTIVE ATTRIBUTES' Will we be provided with a list that matches mechanics or skills?

Probably too early to tell on this right now, but one of our goals is to let the player toggle the information that reveals the internal mechanics of the system, so that people who want to dive into the metagame can explore various options that way.

Or maybe I dreamed that...

Regardless, the Numenera app will shed some light on how all of those things are tied together, and the TToN team will be working with Monte to tie his mechanics to a a more complex CRPG engine.

Finally, while most of the Formsprings questions he receives seem to be focused on Project Eternity, George Ziets, guest writer on the project, had a few choice words on the Bloom, the predatory hub/city of the title:
The Bloom as you described it is utterly fascinating. Is it meant to be fully sentient like a human? Or it is aware on the level of a Venus fly trap for instance. What input will you have in further defining the Bloom? Will there be deities in Numenera?

The Bloom is probably not sentient on the level of a human, but it’s a life form unlike anything currently on the planet so… its level of awareness isn’t directly comparable to anything we know.

I don’t know whether I’ll actually be doing area design for the Bloom yet - it’ll probably be a while before we start assigning areas to designers. My assumption is that the Bloom’s further development will be up to Colin and whoever gets assigned to work on it.

As for deities – I don’t think the Ninth World will have a pantheon of gods as Project Eternity does, though there could be beings who are seen as gods, or believed to be gods, by some people in the world.

That's all for now, though we'll keep you updated on the developments of this interesting project.