Torment: Tides of Numenera Kickstarter Launched

As we had already been told, Torment: Tides of Numenera's Kickstarter launches today, with tiers ranging from a $5 donation with no rewards except a thank you note to a $20 early bird digital copy of the game, to tiers all the way to $10,000. There are plenty of details concerning the game's design, plot and concept art in the Kickstarter video and the write-up, so I invite you to check it out.

That said, here's a choice of quotes to get you started:
Torment: Tides of Numenera is a game set in the world of Monte Cook's new tabletop RPG setting, Numenera. Torment continues the thematic legacy of Planescape: Torment, a critically acclaimed role-playing game from 1999 that's considered by many to be a hallmark for storytelling in computer RPGs. With Torment, we're striving to create a rich role-playing experience that explores similar deep, personal themes. Here's the scoop:

  • Torment is a single-player, isometric role-playing game.
  • You will play a single, specific character, though you will encounter optional NPC companions you may choose to include in your party.
  • The story-driven game will have a rich dialogue system and approach similar to that of Planescape: Torment.
  • The game will be developed in the Unity engine for PC (Windows), Mac, and Linux platforms.
  • The game will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish.
  • The game will be distributed DRM-free. (You'll be able to get it from Steam, and other DRM-free download options will be made available.)


Team. If you were looking for team continuity, you've got it. Many key members who played a role in the Planescape setting and Planescape: Torment are involved in Torment: Tides of Numenera. Colin McComb and Monte Cook were two of the three primary writers for TSR's Planescape setting. Colin was also a key designer on PS:T, where he worked closely with lead designer Chris Avellone. For Torment: Tides of Numenera, Colin is leading the creative vision in the setting that Monte has crafted. The two are also joined by their long-time partner Ray Vallese, who edited and wrote for the Planescape setting and who'll be editing Torment content. (That's right the quality of writing for Torment is so important that we have a professional editor on the team.)

We have the honor to work again with Mark Morgan, who composed PS:T's music. You can hear his first piece in our Kickstarter launch video. Other contributors to Torment in this preproduction period have included Adam Heine (a scripter on PS:T) and Aaron Meyers (an artist on PS:T). And, of course, it was Brian Fargo who originally saw the potential of Planescape: Torment at Interplay and who greenlit the project so that it could be made in the first place. And we're going to bring on a lot more people-some of the Wasteland 2 team, or course, and other high-profile writers who can provide their own inimitable voice to the game. We're excited to be working with them.


What does one life matter? Do our lives matter at all, or are they meaningless? What legacy do we leave behind? These are age-old questions, and they're not easily answered especially in a setting like Numenera's Ninth World, where the inhabitants wander through the rubble of forgotten ancients who must have felt that their lives mattered, too.

That's our primary theme: What does one life matter? We're going to help you tell a story, and in the end you'll have explored your answer to this question. You might decide that one life is the most important thing in the world, if it's the right life. You might decide that a life means nothing, though Life itself has meaning. You might decide that Life has no value at all. We won't force you toward a specific answer in your search. But we will force you to think.

Torment's second theme also rises naturally from Numenera's setting: abandonment. Whether the abandonment of place, of life, of children, or of will, we'll explore what abandonment really means and how it affects the unfortunates in its wake. You can help those you encounter (including your companions) make that choice, and you'll also make it for yourself. That choice will be part of your legacy.

And last, we come to mystery. You enter the game as you enter the world: newborn and ignorant, and you must find your truths, the answers that fit your journey best. Those around you might help you, hinder you, or hurt you. But why? What drives them? What drives you? It is this search for meaning that leads you into the deeper questions, and you'll uncover even stranger mysteries as you delve into the heart of your being.


Torment will have a strong emphasis on story and character development, which will permeate other facets of gameplay, such as combat and exploration. The Ninth World is a place of great mystery and wonder, all waiting to be discovered.

Torment will emphasize the quality of combat encounters over quantity. We have different combat systems in mind to reach this goal and will engage backers on this topic throughout the process. The game will be a more cerebral RPG than most, with less hack-and-slash and accumulation of items and more NPC interaction, problem solving, and reflection. Torment will have thrilling combat and fantastic items, of course, but the game isn't an action RPG. The items you find will be awe-inspiring, not just through the powers they provide but through their rich histories and their relevance to the narrative.

As in Planescape: Torment, you'll play the role of a specific individual. At the game's start, however, you are a blank slate and have control over the path you take through the story, and you will also make choices to customize your abilities and skills. We're taking the approach of having you role-play a specific individual so that we can focus on telling a very personal tale yours.

The funding goal for the project is $900,000 comparatively lower than recent big-name Kickstarter projects such as Project Eternity, but in line with Wasteland 2, which also had a $900,000 funding goal.