Torment: Tides of Numenera Interview

GameWatcher's Chris Capel has interviewed Torment: Tides of Numenera creative lead Colin McComb and line producer Thomas Beekers at EGX Rezzed, and published a transcription of his chat today. An excerpt on the lessons inXile learned from developing Wasteland 2:

GameWatcher: (I laugh again, even though in hindsight I have no idea if Colin's joking or not) How much of Wasteland 2's release have you learned from? Any lessons?

Thomas Beekers: There are a few, certainly. Wasteland 2 came at a point where InXile had to put a group together again and for a lot of people it was their first hardcore RPG, so it was a learning experience for a lot of folks involved. There have been a lot of lessons learned, such as UI design and how you balance combat encounters, from Wasteland 2.

Colin McComb: We're a pretty distributed team as well. The Wasteland team was pretty much based in the offices in California, but as George [Ziets] pointed out to me the other day (the sun never sets on the Torment team)! (we laugh) We've got Thomas in the Netherlands, me in Detroit, InXile in California and our design lead's in Thailand! We have to communicate a lot by email and video chat and it's occasionally difficult to set up a time when we're in the same brain space! But on the other hand we've all been working together so well for so long that getting in to that brain space is real easy.

Thomas Beekers: It helps to get a team that has worked together before as well. Adam [Heine] and Colin both worked on Planescape: Torment.

Colin McComb: And Kevin [Saunders] has been bringing a lot of people in who he worked with at Obsidian, like George and Jesse Farrell, one of our general designers, he's been great. We've got a team that knows each other really well, and one of the great things about them is that nobody really has an ego. All of us are just there to make the project better.

And one on the premise of the game:

GameWatcher: What's the general story setup? We've heard a lot about the world and setting but not much about the story.

Colin McComb: We've been trying to keep it a secret. Essentially the setup is that there was a Nano, a powerful wizard-scientist, who wanted to escape death. After much experimentation he found a way to create new bodies and cast his consciousness entirely into those bodies, and he would jump between those bodies then go off and live his new life. Because he could do this people called him the Changing God. What he didn't know was that every time he did this a new consciousness would appear in that body, with powers and abilities of its own. He also didn't know that his experiments awoke a creature called The Sorrow, a spectre of death that's been pursuing him across the centuries. At the beginning of Torment the Sorrow has finally caught up to him in his own biological moon floating over the Earth. He flees in an escape pod but the Sorrow attacks so his consciousness leaves its body, and you are born inside this body, plummeting to Earth in a disintegrating pod. The first bit of the game is making your player choices as the planet rushes up to greet you. From there the game is about finding answers, finding your sire, and stopping the Sorrow before it wipes you out too.