Bringing the Immortal Back to Life in Torment: Tides of Numenera

There's a new interview up at Paste Magazine, in which Torment: Tides of Numenera writer Colin McComb discusses his work on the game, the resounding success it experienced as a project on Kickstarter, and even what the spiritual successor's premise will be. A handful of paragraphs:

Beyond being a convenient vehicle for getting the seed money to start production, McComb and Saunders say that Kickstarter was an essential part of getting the game off the ground, giving them an avenue to go into production with a guaranteed, invested audience, rather than trying to convince a large publisher to bet on a game as ambitious and risky as Torment.

(The great thing about Kickstarter is that we can ask people what they think about the project, about what we're proposing, and people will tell us right away,) says McComb. (It's exactly how the market is supposed to work, as opposed to taking it to an executive who's like, '˜You know, I've been reading all the latest metrics on our focus groups, and they're telling us that this won't happen.') Ultimately, the runaway success of the Kickstarter let the team vastly increase the length of their game and bring six additional writers into the fold.

But that windfall meant additional obstacles too. To accommodate the longer game, Inxile pushed the game's projected release date back, from December 2014 to the first half of 2015. It also left Saunders managing a much larger, more geographically scattered team of contracted writers than had been part of the original plan, some of whom had no prior experience working on games.

Still, Saunders says that the staff's professional familiarity with one another has made managing the project easier than it might have been. Much of the team now creating the new game was involved in shaping the original besides McComb, Planescape: Torment lead designer and Obsidian founder Chris Avellone returned for the second game, as did composer Mark Morgan and Monte Cook, who wrote for TSR's original pen-and-paper Planescape RPG and created the Numenera setting upon which the sequel is based and one gets the distinct impression that Torment has matured along with them over the past 14 years. Where the first game was based around a quest of self-discovery, Tides of Numenera firmly focuses on the question of legacy: What do the departed leave behind, and how does it affect the lives of the people who come after them?