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Italian Torment Interview: Colin McComb on Torment's Narrative
Interview - posted by Infinitron on Mon 23 February 2015, 23:03:00Tags: Colin McComb; InXile Entertainment; Torment: Tides of Numenera
Nearly a year after the previous one, Dr Schultz has posted a new entry in his irregular series of interviews with the Torment: Tides of Numenera development team, over at the official Italian language Torment blog. This time, it's an interview with Colin McComb, focusing on the topic of the game's narrative. Naturally, he can't reveal much, so the interview is not very long, but there are a few interesting tidbits here:
You’ve stated before that you’ve chosen the Numenera license mostly because of its setting, but as far as I know Torment’s story takes place in uncharted territories. I mean, parts of the Ninth World not covered in the Corebook. Why? And is there any chance we are going see parts of the Steadfast/Beyond in TON?
You won’t see any places from the Corebook, but some will be referenced. We didn’t want to risk conflicting with anything Monte Cook Games had planned in the Steadfast; as a younger setting, it still needs to establish some meta-campaign narrative. The Corebook was still being worked on when we began planning Torment, so we all thought it would be better if we built out beyond the Beyond and we could integrate the two areas later.
I’m under the impression that the Endless Battle is going to play a huge role in Torment’s story. Can you tell us a little more about this conflict? Additionally - given the fact that ToN is a game about legacies - is it safe to assume that the player will be able to influence the outcome of the war?
It’s funny that you should ask about that, because the Endless Battle came up in story meetings just recently. At the risk of handing out spoilers: It does play an important role in the game, both symbolically and narratively. Born out of an argument between the Changing God and the First Castoff, it has become essentially a feature of the landscape over the last several centuries. Much like the everlasting storm of Catatumbo, it’s almost a force of nature by this point. Think of the trenches and craters of World War I, and then add time distortions, gravity fields, sentient machines, and nightmare creatures released from other dimensions, and you’ll start to get an idea what it’s like.
At this point, the two sides are at a stalemate, but they push and prod for incremental advantage. Victory isn’t in sight for either side, but neither are they willing to admit defeat – they are fighting for ideological principles now, for their reputations, for some other reason – and so, despite the First being dead and the Changing God not involved in the fight, the Endless Battle continues.
It is not safe to assume that you will be able to influence the outcome of the war. On the other hand, I don’t know that you should assume you can’t.
Our readers are always eager to learn new details about Torment Companions. Can you tell us something we don’t already know about one or two of them?
Our cold, calculating jack’s name is Matkina. Her original conception was the stainless steel jack, a nod to Harry Harrison’s “Stainless Steel Rat”, and her character arc originated there. It’s changed significantly since then, but the deadly confidence, careful thought, and occasional impulsiveness colored her initial narrative portrait.
Bonus question: after the astonishing success of TTON you are confirmed as Creative Lead of the third Torment game, set in a different universe and powered by a new ruleset . The choice is entirely up to you. What will this universe/ruleset be?
We’ve loved working with Monte Cook Games, and they’ve been a fantastic business partner, but since you’ve said a different universe/different rules…
Do I get to keep working with the same team? Because if we’re together again, I think in this imagined future we’ll take a swing at inventing our own world and our own rules. Given that I’ve created and developed a number of different worlds now, and given that Adam is doing great things with the rules, and given that George and Kevin are brilliant, I don’t see any reason we wouldn’t create our own world completely under our own control. Why, we could blow up the world and no one could stop us!
Uh, hypothetically speaking, of course…