There's a fairly brief interview with Torment: Tides of Numenera's Kevin Saunders and Colin McComb over at PC Gamer, covering the change of setting (from Planescape to the new world of Numenera) and how it affects mechanics and the overall experience. Here's a snip:
In Numenera, you play a unique being who feels no pain but has the power to redistribute the suffering of others. This concept '˜torment', if you will will be one of the major factors in linking the game's combat with its dialogue system. Interestingly, inXile are letting tone and narrative lead game design. (The D&D licensed games were very much tabletop first, and the computer game's job was to translate that experience,) says producer Kevin Saunders. (Here we're able to have the computer experience come first.)
Pain might be a central theme, but inXile don't want the experience to be punishing. It's important to the developers that we feel '˜listened-to' by the game, and rewarded for paying attention by the responsiveness of the world to our actions. Rather than negative endings, then, consequence is more about responding in a way the player feels is right.
(We want to make sure that every ending is thematically appropriate for the choices the player has made throughout the game,) McComb says. (We're not going to be like '˜now it's time for you to be stretched out on the rack! Here come the thumb-screws!' It's going to be about the choices you make. How much are you willing to take on, and what will you shove off onto other people. What kind of person does that make you?)