Kevin Saunders on Crisis Concepts
In an ongoing discussion thread on the Torment Crisis concept, project lead Kevin Saunders elaborates on the idea:
George Ziets on the writers meet
First, here is a picture of us (taken by Shanna Germain) firing helicopter-slings near the pier in Newport Beach. :)
Just sitting in a single room with the concentrated mental power of Colin McComb, Monte Cook, Shanna Germain, Pat Rothfuss, Chris Avellone, Nathan Long, Tony Evans, Kevin Saunders, and the InXile guys was pretty amazing. Honestly, I wish I could have that group spend a few days brainstorming ideas and ferreting out the weak points for every game I develop.
I think an observation that Colin made was very telling. Nobody in the room was trying to prove themselves or compete with anyone else. It was very much a “yes, and…” discussion, with each of us building upon and getting excited about the others’ ideas. That may have been because we’re all over 30 years old and relative veterans in writing or design. But whatever the reason, it was one of the most fun and productive design discussions I’ve experienced.
Kevin Saunders on Torment’s Core Systems
We will be designing Torment’s core systems to be what’s best for the computer game, with the Numenera PnP rules as the starting point. I agree with you that a PnP game and a CRPG want some different things from their rules systems (and Torment will have its own wishes!). But there are similarities as well. We licensed Numenera not only for the setting, but also to use its systems as a foundation for Torment’s – one of the appeals of Numenera was that we felt its rules were well-suited for computer adaptation for Torment. This approach also saves time over creating a new system from scratch (as much fun as that can be =) ).
We’ll modify aspects of the rules as is best for Torment. (The skill system, for example, is too open-ended for a computer game.) We won’t be trying to provide a pure translation of the Numenera PnP experience, though many aspects of its essence (the focus on narrative and exploration, for example) are well aligned with our vision for Torment and we see value to creating a shared experience between the two games.
While the core system design will be very important, the story and reactivity elements are more pressing and it will be a while before we are really focused on this part. But from the initial discussions we’ve had, I would say that Torment’s systems will likely have more complexity than the PnP rules do.
Currently, I expect that Adam and I will be the most involved in designing the core system. Though it is possible that we might later bring on board a new systems designer to own this aspect of the game. Monte will be involved, too, of course, though his goal with Torment is also to create the best video game possible and he is very open to our modifying his system as deemed best..
Colin McComb on Character Creation and More
Colin McComb took to his Formspring to answer a troika of questions.
Probably too early to tell on this right now, but one of our goals is to let the player toggle the information that reveals the internal mechanics of the system, so that people who want to dive into the metagame can explore various options that way.
Or maybe I dreamed that…
Regardless, the Numenera app will shed some light on how all of those things are tied together, and the TToN team will be working with Monte to tie his mechanics to a a more complex CRPG engine.
Tony Evans on Combat and his Past Work
Torment writer Tony Evans answered a couple of questions on his Formspring.
When I refer to combat being strategic, I mean the ways in which combat is affected by the choices you make outside of combat - as opposed to tactical, which refers to decisions you make during a combat encounter.
Zecorian’s Demesne (the final dungeon of SoZ) was a brilliantly designed masterpiece by Jeff Husges, that made great use of exploration, stealth, traps, puzzles, conversations, customized combat AI, and devious boss encounters. I think it is a shining example of both strategic and tactical role playing, and it serves as a good analogue to what Torment will strive for in making fewer, more optional, and more meaningful combat encounters.
Colin McComb on Reactivity
Creative lead Colin McComb tackles a couple of questions on reactivity on his Formspring.
Both. Which is to say, we’re going to be exploring some new options for feasibility and ease of implementation, but we’re going to leverage the foundation on which our experience was built. We want to take that experience further, rather than relying exclusively on our previous knowledge.
That would be pretty cool. I’ll see what the others have to say about this on an implementation level.
Colin McComb on the Castoff’s Labyrinth and More
Colin McComb answered a few more questions on his Formspring, about the Labyrinth and the dying earth genre.
I imagine that until the player learns special tricks, going to the labyrinth might result in a Lose state for whatever battle the PC is in. Since we’re planning for our battles to be narratively important, losing a battle should be a big deal for the story.
Sure they will. But we’re just going to put them in, and we’re not going to make a big deal about their inclusion. In other words, they’re here, they’re queer, and so what? :)
That is, we’re not *making an effort* to include them. We’re just including them. Here’s Numenera writer/editor Shanna Germain’s post on the subject (read down):http://shannagermain2.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/why-i-love-building-the-ninth-world/
George Ziets on the Bloom
Torment writers George Ziets talks about the Bloom on his Formspring.
The Bloom is probably not sentient on the level of a human, but it’s a life form unlike anything currently on the planet so… its level of awareness isn’t directly comparable to anything we know.
I don’t know whether I’ll actually be doing area design for the Bloom yet - it’ll probably be a while before we start assigning areas to designers. My assumption is that the Bloom’s further development will be up to Colin and whoever gets assigned to work on it.
As for deities – I don’t think the Ninth World will have a pantheon of gods as Project Eternity does, though there could be beings who are seen as gods, or believed to be gods, by some people in the world.