Kevin Saunders on Crisis Concepts
In an ongoing discussion thread on the Torment Crisis concept, project lead Kevin Saunders elaborates on the idea:
To elaborate on a few points to help the discussion:1. The Red/Blue dichotomy illustrated in the example differs from what we intend for TTON in two key ways:
2. We’re not imagining time constraints so much as time relevance (and it would be in the context of the Crisis not the entire game/area). For example, you might have a short time to prepare before potentially hostile forces arrive. Or a light source may be faltering, which would plunge you into darkness if you don’t arrange for an alternative fast enough (or maybe the darkness would be to your advantage…) Our goal is to have “failure” be more about appropriate consequences for the situation and not an inferior state that leads you to want to reload. We recognize that this is easier said than done, and I doubt we will fully achieve this ideal, but it’s our intent.
- We see the Tides as generally operating behind the scenes – they typically won’t be as explicit as in the Crisis example. Your choices will be about what makes sense for the situation. Sometimes the Tides might be directly relevant, but usually they’ll be tangential; your choices won’t be forced to fit the Tides.
- Those who have observed that the depiction of Red and Blue are too simplistic are correct. We don’t intend for Torment to simplify to Red = Violence and, in fact, Red covers a host of concepts including passion, emotion, action, change, pathos, zeal. In the full game, we’ll have the benefit of hours of gameplay leading up to such a situation. This will give us the opportunity to convey more of the subtlety of the Tides. For this example, we chose to be more explicit because it had to stand alone.
3. The concerns and challenges noted in this thread raise great points and suggest that iteration on the design (both of the system and each Crisis) will be even more important than usual.
4. I can appreciate the skepticism of our pulling this off. =) The idea is one thing, but the execution is where the challenge is. Part of the approach we’re taking here is to restrain our ambition in terms of quantity. For example, suppose there were just a dozen or so Crises in a standard playthrough, averaging perhaps 20-30 minutes of gameplay each. With this limited number of these hand-crafted set pieces to design and implement, we could be much more ambitious in terms of their quality (including how much C&C each provides). We have some concerns that this could be too few, but are inclined to favor quality. Then we can strive to get ahead so that we can implement more with much less risk to quality.