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In the 38th update to reach the Torment: Tides of Numenera Kickstarter campaign page, we hear from project lead Kevin Saunders and line producer (and former GameBanshee editor) Thomas Beekers about some recent visual effects artist hirings they've done, how they're building the dialogue trees in the game, the zero impact that The Bard's Tale IV will have on their development schedule, and more. A handful of paragraphs:
At the start of the conversation, the player will see the non-player character's (NPC's) talk node (red) and each of the player character's (PC's) possible responses or follow-up questions (blue).
The writer can lock or unlock conversation nodes based on whether the PC meets certain requirements. This is done with Conditionals that can check for a variety of values such as whether the party is carrying a certain item, whether someone is in the party, whether the PC has spoken to this NPC before, etc. Using global flags, we can create conditionals for virtually any circumstance we want. For example a conditional might check if the PC has read a note that provided a piece of information that he can then confront an NPC with, or a conditional can check whether the PC was nice to the NPC's father way back in the beginning of the game, or (to give an example from this conversation a conditional Colin created here) tracks how much the PC knows about different aspects of the Bloom. It can also track the PC's motivations when we provide two responses with the same text, but with one a ((Lie)) and the other ((Truth).)
Because conversation reactivity is such a high priority in TTON, conditionals are one of the most important functions in the Obsidian conversation editor. They can check for an absolutely massive amount of pre-set scripts which can be found with a very simple search function; from checking for gender to attribute scores to skill scores to of course Tide values, added for Torment.
Just as Torment's preproduction had no impact on Wasteland 2, this project has no influence on Torment's production because different people are involved. The Bard's Tale IV is in its very early stages, with some technical research being performed along with early design work on things like the storyline, combat system, dungeon design, etc. We won't be talking about BT4 in detail for a long time yet, but we are very interested to hear your thoughts, so please share them on our forums and/or follow us on Facebook.