Kickstarter Stretch Goals
All Stretch Goals Achieved!!
At $900k (Achieved!):
- We have enough to make the game!
At $1m (Achieved!):
- Brian Fargo begins matching 10% of all pledges from $1m to $2m
At $1.2m (Achieved!): 25% More Gameplay!
- We allow you to choose your gender during character creation, pay for the cost of the writing and localization expansion, and also adding enough reactivity in the world to make the choice more than cosmetic
At $1.5m (Achieved!): 50% More Gameplay!
- We add two new writers to expand the richness and reactivity of the world: Tony Evans (Star Wars: KotOR 2, NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer) and Mur Lafferty (Vampire, Mage, Exalted RPGs) join our team.
- Torment and Wasteland 2 writer Nathan Long will pen a fourth novella to add to the novella compilation.
- One of the locations we will be adding at this point is the “Crystal Dimension”:
In strange and distant worlds, life flickers toward awareness even amid the most brutal landscapes. For instance: massive mountains of crystal heave from the land and pierce the sky under pale suns, their light refracting and bending around cunning spires never touched by human hands. The infants of this land are giants, vaguely humanoid crystalline monsters torn from the land itself and given shape and purpose by the elders, who share the light and heat from their ever-diminishing bodies, chipped and worn by age.
At $2m (Achieved!): 100% More Gameplay!
- Monte Cook’s role will be expanded; he was already involved as the creator of Numenera, giving guidance and helping us adapt the pen and paper rules to the computer, but at this point he will also joining the writing team once his work with Numenera is wrapped up.
- 2 new novellas: Mur and Tony will both pen novellas for the compilation, bringing the total to 6!
- Mark Morgan will create more music and use a live orchestra to record it, and we will offers the soundtrack in lossless FLAC format as well as mp3.
- Colin will do a developer commentary Let’s Play of Planescape: Torment.
- 5th companion: A fifth companion will be added to the base four, “the Toy”, a changing ball of goo: Is it a pet, an abandoned toy, a dangerous weapon? Whatever it is, it responds to the way you treat it by changing its appearance and abilities to reflect what it perceives as your desires. Its ultimate secrets are… well, you’ll have to find out.
- We’re adding the location The Ruins of Ossiphagan:
The erupting volcanoes and surging lava fill the air with acrid smoke and choking fumes. The bones of an enormous beast lie sprawled across the obsidian fields, its ribs splayed open as if it had been torn open by some unimaginable predator. The ossified bones have been hollowed out as homes by some intrepid or foolish citizens, and the wind howls through the openings in a mournful whistle like a giant flute. In the wastes beyond, creatures of flame and focused minds trawl the lava and skim its valuable nutrients.
- Brian Fargo’s match concludes, with him investing $100k of his own personal finances at this point.
- Steve Dengler - generous fan and angel investor - will pick up where Brian left off, and match 10 cents to every dollar donated between $2 and $3 million.
At $2.5m (Achieved!): 150% More Gameplay!
- George Ziets joins the writing team. George was the creative lead of Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, and by reuniting him with that game’s lead designer and producer Kevin Saunders (Torment’s project lead), we’re putting an excellent team back together. George’s creative notions and aesthetics perfectly fit what we want to accomplish with Torment.
- 6th Companion: A sixth companion has been added, but we’re leaving this one mysterious for now.
- Monte Cook novella: A seventh novella, penned by Numenera creator Monte Cook, is added to the compilation! (This novella will also be given as a bonus reward to Numenera backers @ the $20 Tier (EBOOK FAN) or higher, regardless of whether they back Torment.)
- Colin McComb will record a video publicly apologizing for his work on the Complete Book of Elves more than 20 years ago.
- Enhanced Death Mechanics: At this funding level we are adding the Castoff’s Labyrinth, an area that plays closely into our treatment of death in Torment. Expanding the Labyrinth will serve as an ongoing stretch goal from $2.5 million out. More detail to come on the mechanics and narrative of the Labyrinth later, but here is a piece that Colin wrote describing it:
"Death is the end. That’s what they say. But that’s not entirely true, is it? When Death crashes over you like a looming wave, you don’t die. Your body knits up fast and your eyes stare off. You move and twitch. So what is it you’re seeing? Where do you go when you die?"
When you open your eyes, you’re in a chamber with four… no, six… make it five walls. Call it five. It’s almost definitely five walls. Each of them has a door of different material, each of them wavers before you, but they become more distinct the closer you approach. The chamber is dark and dripping, a faint tremor like a slow pulse shaking the floor on a long timeline. You put your hand to the door and it opens for you, and before you lies a crumbling stone walkway over fathomless mists. You can see no roof above you, nor stars nor moon. The mists curl and lap at your feet, broken occasionally by stray eddies of wind.
There is a feeling of recognition deep inside you. You know this place. And ahead, across the span, you see a familiar face.
"What are you doing here?" you ask.
"You’re dead," she says. "What I mean is that you’re not dead. You’re coming back to life. And now you’ve got fragments of us in your head. Every time you take our suffering, we get stronger. In here, I mean. But if you want to come back to the world, you need to find your way out of here."
At $2.75m (Achieved!): 175% More Gameplay!
- Brian Mitsoda joins the writing team. One of Brian’s earliest jobs was working QA on Planescape: Torment, but he soon climbed the ranks thanks to his creative capabilities, eventually leaving Interplay and becoming a key writer on Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines. Brian was the creative lead for the Dwarfs project at Obsidian, working on the grim prequel to Snow White with lead designer Kevin Saunders. He is currently working on his own Kickstarter game Dead State. His priorities will continue to lie with that game but thankfully the schedules of both make his creative contributions to Torment possible.
- Castoff’s Labyrinth Reflections: Reflections of Companions and NPCs are added to the Castoff’s Labyrinth. These Reflections have different dialog and information than their living counterparts, and you will learn secrets about them that would otherwise remain hidden. (But are these secrets really about them? Or are they about you?) The more Fathoms within the Labyrinth, the more Reflections there will be, and the deeper their dialogues become.
At $2.85M (Achieved!): Expansive Epilogue
- Expansive Epilogue: We take our satisfying conclusion even further and tie up loose ends throughout the game for many other aspects: regions, cults, factions, etc. The epilogue will be presented through text, combined with 2D art for some elements.
At $3m (Achieved!): 200% More Gameplay!
- More Legacies: We increase the number of Legacies from 6 to 11, resulting in greater depth and more reactivity in gameplay and dialogue.
Given that Legacy is the primary theme of Torment, you can imagine that its effects will run deep. Your Legacy depends upon which of the five Tides you favor – as demonstrated through your actions and decisions within the game. At our target funding, we envisioned six Legacies: one for each Tide, and then a sixth for those who have no dominant Tide. Your Legacy (and the Tides) has a variety of impacts on both gameplay and on interactions in dialogue. For example, certain items will provide different abilities depending upon your Legacy, and your Legacy also affects what focus you master. Your Legacy might draw others to you, or make them wary of you. As your actions affect the Tides, you can choose to adopt a new Legacy and embrace your decisions or you can resist their pull – for a while, at least. Some NPCs and creatures will notice and react to the Tidal impact on your Legacy, with some reacting favorably and others… not so much.
Six Legacies yields a lot of potential for reactivity and choices and consequences. But at this Stretch Goal, we take the system much further. Instead of depending only upon one Tide, your Legacy will be based upon your strongest TWO. This increases the number of Legacies to 11 (ten possible pairs, plus an eleventh for when no two reign supreme). By almost doubling the number of Legacies, we unlock many more options for gameplay and opportunities for the world and its people to respond to your choices. Your Legacy can change throughout the game, and doubling the number of Legacies doesn’t double the gameplay time. But it does have a tremendous impact on how reactive and replayable Torment will be. That makes this game a deeper, richer experience and provides you with a host more options to consider and explore as you seek your answer to Torment’s core question. Naturally, this also means that we’ll be creating even more cool, unique items and effects that respond specifically to the paths you’ve chosen.
- Cults: We are adding cults to the game, which are antagonistic, roving enemies who pick up and move as they will, as the winds blow them, or as rumors of powers, enemies, or wealth summon them. Are they all being manipulated by a shadowy enemy? They might be! They might be entirely disconnected! Should any of these cults discover who you really are, they’ll seek you in accordance with their own principles. But perhaps if you are clever enough, you can discover how to manipulate them to your advantage… and you might need to, if they all descend upon you at once. We’ll begin with the following two Cults:
The Children of the Endless Gate: Death worshippers, some call them. They prefer to think of themselves as spirits trapped in flesh, and the horror of their cage pushes them to atrocity. They call themselves liberators and agents of freedom, and when they hunt the slums of the cities they leave no evidence of their passing but a tracery in blood, an ever-wet gate to a realm of pure spirit… and horror.
The Order of Flagellants and Austerities: Once a hermetic and monkish offshoot of the Order of Truth, the so-called Scourges became a mendicant order and set out into the world with the appointment of a new leader a century ago. They are a missionary sect, devoted to cleansing the world of its many sins… among which are a reliance on the numenera, of using powers not rightfully granted with birth, and of pollution of the flesh with extravagances and constructs. A single Scourge alone is no threat, for they act only in communion with their brethren. But a group of them? They feed on the rage of their kin, borrowing strength of will and thew, and run berserk if they are not stopped, laying bare the bones of those who oppose them.
- 7th Companion: Another surprise companion is added. You want blood? You’ve got it.
- Castoff’s Labyrinth Secret Meres: Meres are added to the Castoff’s Labyrinth, these Meres (dependent upon the Fathoms) are hidden within the Labyrinth and are accessible only from your own mind.
- Steve Dengler’s match concludes, with Brian and Steve now contributing an extra $200k to the game’s development budget — on top of the Kickstarter funding!
At $3.1M (Achieved!): Third Cult: Dendra O’hur
- Third Cult: Followers of the Great Queen Sar’lavun, the Lady of Maggots, the Dendra O’hur are a nomadic cult of cannibals and devourers of the flesh. They draw power from their victims, the strength of the fallen meat passing to their limbs and the command of the numenera to their minds. Recognizable from their tattered and moth-holed cloaks and their sharp-but-rotting teeth, the Dendra O’hur have no friends… but they command fear, and this is enough for them.
At $3.25M (Achieved!): Pat Rothfuss!
- Pat Rothfuss joins the writing team. If you haven’t heard of Pat Rothfuss or read his Kingkiller Chronicles (The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man’s Fear, and the upcoming third book), then stop looking at these stretch goals and go read them right now. His narrative is filled with beauty, wit, skill and sheer audacity, and he is a huge fan of Planescape: Torment. We are proud to add him to our team.
At $3.35M (Achieved!): New Labyrinth Feature: Lacunae
- Lacunae Not everyone in the Labyrinth has a living counterpart. Lacunae are figments of your mind that represent parts of yourself (or do they?). Through conversing with a Lacuna, you’ll discover puzzles and quests, and might even enhance your own abilities. As we delve to deeper fathoms, you’ll be able to find more Lacunae with whom to interact.
At $3.4M (Achieved!): Patrick Rothfuss Companion
- Patrick Rothfuss Companion: Patrick Rothfuss writes one of the companions that you can recruit on your travels.
At $3.5M (Achieved!): Chris Avellone!
- Chris Avellone joins the writing team! You may have heard of him. He was the creative lead from this one game called Planescape: Torment, the game that inspired us to create this project. Chris will be the first to say PS:T was a team effort, but he was its creative visionary and wrote the lion’s share of the game. He later cofounded Obsidian Entertainment, where he is the Creative Director. Chris was the lead designer for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2, and has contributed his design expertise to every project Obsidian has developed. He also worked with inXile on Wasteland 2 last year, including designing the area showcased in our gameplay first look video.
At $3.6M (Achieved!): The Hall of Lingering Reflections
- Hall of Lingering Reflections: This gathering place offers unique opportunities and tools to help you defeat your foes. It is a living museum, a history, a prison. This subterranean vault is a place of memories, a vault of pain and laughter, built by a forgotten power for forgotten reasons. The memories of its denizens are frozen in time, and so they have no knowledge of the passage of the centuries beyond these walls. Its doors open into smaller worlds, pocket dimensions that house these shells in a simulation of their memories. But who lies hidden here? What secrets might you unlock? And is it possible to spirit one of this company away as you seek your creator?
At $3.75M (Achieved!): Increased Companion Depths, Alternate Exits in Castoff’s Labyrinth
- Increased Companion Depth (including Companion Quests): We’ve always planned to make interactions with your companions deep and memorable. At $3.75M, we’re committing to this further by adding optional side quests unique to each companion that further bolster their character arcs. Learn who sent the jack to the Stichus tunnels in the first place, or maybe discover why the fallen priest is adept at unleashing horror on his foes. Whether you help them face their demons or use their pasts to your advantage is up to you.
- Castoff’s Labyrinth: Alternative Exit to Another Part of the Ninth World: A secret portal within the Labyrinth that takes you back to your body but leaves you someplace different than where you left. Will you take it? At this Stretch Goal, the Labyrinth reveals secrets that will allow you to access a new area in the living world, one you wouldn’t have been able to access otherwise. (At deeper Fathoms, more of these portals may exist in the crevasses of your mind.)
At $4M (Achieved!): Enhanced Tide and Legacy System, Oasis of M’Ra Jolios and More Mark Morgan Music
- Enhanced Tide and Legacy System: Number of Legacies increased from 11 to 16: You may recall your Legacy is determined by which Tide or Tides you favor, and that Legacy affects NPC reactions, item bonuses, and your character’s Focus. At the start, we had planned only six Legacies, determined solely by your dominant Tide (plus one for when no Tide is dominant). At $3M, we expanded that to 11 Legacies, so that your Legacy would be determined by your TWO strongest Tides (irrespective of which of the two is stronger).
While Adam, Colin, and I were developing the Tides concept over the past months, we envisioned the full system as including 16 Legacies (ten possible pairs, plus five for when one Tide dominates all others, plus one for when no Tides are dominant). We contemplated how we would handle and leverage this robust system to create an unprecedented degree of reactivity. Prior to the Kickstarter, we crushed our dreams as unrealistic and contented ourselves with 6, which we felt still left us with a more intricate system that most games have.
But at this Stretch Goal we are returning to our original, ideal vision for what the Tides and Legacies can become. Torment’s fourth pillar is Reactivity, Choice, and Real Consequences and while this pillar covers far more than just the Tides, the Tides and Legacy system are at the core of both Torment’s themes and its approach to gameplay. This means even more opportunities for reactivity based on your personal play style, and a deeper, richer experience for you.
- Oasis of M’ra Jolios and More Mark Morgan Music: At this Stretch Goal, we are also adding the major city location of the Oasis of M’ra Jolios (the underwater city in the desert whose concept we sent in Update 11 and whose wallpapers are available on our website). And we are adding even more Mark Morgan music, which of course will be included in the game’s digital soundtrack and audio CD rewards. (We’ll want more music to properly convey the mood and atmosphere of the new areas and companions we’ll be adding – including the Oasis.)
At $4.25M (Achieved!): Longer Story, Voluminous Codex, Crafting Numenera
- Longer Story: More areas, more villains, more NPCs. We’ve sketched out some of these already—the First Castoff, the Angel of Entropy, the Ruins of Ossiphagan, the crystalline dimension, etc. But at this stretch goal we are creating an even longer, more intricate story than we had planned. A few of the optional areas and ideas we had planned for the core story showed obvious potential for being extended into major subplots, or even adding to the core plot and storyline. We pared back these ideas to be realistic about the game scope - making a great game requires focus and you have to be willing to cull many of your ideas so that the game will be highly polished. At this Stretch Goal, we have a couple specific threads in mind we’ll resurrect and incorporate into the story Colin originally dreamed up, confident that we’ll have the resources to really do them justice.
- Voluminous Codex: We always intended for Torment to have a journal that would log your discoveries within the Ninth World. Not the kind of Journal that tells you exactly where you need to go next and what you need to do – you are an RPG connoisseur after all, and don’t need us to hold your hand. But what you might like is a journal to catalog your travels and discoveries, one to which you might refer when some past details elude you. One of your suggestions that we really liked was to take the journal quite a bit further. At this Stretch Goal, we are doing that – we’ll expand the journal, giving you more lore, more creature and character portraits, and more information on interesting/important events as you come across them. As with the rest of the game’s user interface, the journal will be highly customizable to suit your tastes.
- Crafting Numenera: The numenera may be beyond our understanding, but they aren’t beyond our use. This Stretch Goal allows you to learn the tricks to combining the numenera into your own custom cyphers and artifacts. This would not be a rote crafting system, but one that includes some puzzle-solving elements (though not what you’d call a mini-game) and that is tied into the world and narrative. This is yet another idea we started to explore early on for the game, but that felt out of scope for our original budget. But at this Stretch Goal, we can confidently commit to restoring this aspect of our design vision as well.
At $4.5M (Achieved!): Expanded Reactivity and Depth, Player “Stronghold”
- Expanded Reactivity, Length, and Depth: We asked on the forums whether you preferred a deeper, more reactive game, or a longer story. The votes are overwhelmingly for both. The other Stretch Goals outline many of the ways in which we will do this (such as the increase to 16 Legacies), but there are other ambitious options as well. We have many ideas in mind, but will have to examine carefully what will be best for the game and its narrative. At this Stretch Goal, we are pursuing some of these other ideas that we never thought would be possible, with a specific focus on reactivity and utilizing the Tides (and the other methods of tracking your decisions and actions) to make the world both larger and even more in tune with the story you’ll be creating for your version of the Last Castoff.
- Player “Stronghold”: In your struggle to find your legacy, there may come a time when you want someplace more permanent to call home (or perhaps not so permanent or not so much a home). At $4.5M, we are implementing a player stronghold that you may come across in your journeys. The stronghold will be a playable area, a personal hub and base of operations, and it may come with its own quests or difficulties. What will it be exactly? We’ll explore further to see what makes the most sense for the game and narrative. Some of the ideas (from us and from you) vary from a personal airship to a hidden location in your mind, to an alternative dimensional pocket. What it won’t be is your typical cozy home - it will fit the atmosphere of Torment’s story and Numenera’s world. We’ll surprise you with what it may be (and perhaps its form will even depend upon your choices within the game).