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Game News George Ziets explains the Gullet stretch goal

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Infinitron, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: George Ziets; InXile Entertainment; Torment: Tides of Numenera

    With Torment: Tides of Numenera's Gullet stretch goal on schedule towards being fulfilled, area design maestro George Ziets has decided to share a few words about its origin. The Gullet is his attempt to recreate the Planescape: Torment dungeon experience. Read on:

    So here we are… four days remain on the Gullet stretch goal, with a little under $7000 left to raise. Before the stretch goal ends, I’d been meaning to say more about how the Gullet came to be, so if you’re interested in the realities of area design, read on!

    I wrote my design for the Bloom in late 2013. At that point in time, very little work had been done on the content side of our game. All we had was a Mere that consisted of two scenes, and we still had to determine the overall look and feel for Torment. My goal was to give our players an experience that was as close to the original Planescape Torment as possible - I played PST a lot while I was writing the design documents, trying to make sure I hit just the right tone and analyzing what worked and what didn’t.

    One element that sometimes worked… and sometimes didn’t… were the dungeons. While PST was primarily a dialogue-driven experience, it included a few dungeons, strategically scattered throughout the game. Some were purely combat-focused, like the mausoleum in the Hive. Others were a mix of combat, exploration, and dialogues, like the catacombs beneath the Buried Village. I thought the latter worked best. Combat wasn’t one of PST’s strengths, but when it was balanced with exploration and a few dialogues, the whole experience was tense, interesting, and fun. It also contrasted nicely with the dialogue-driven gameplay that preceded and followed it.

    So when I designed the Bloom, I decided to include something similar (though shorter in length) – a “dungeon” environment that skewed more heavily toward exploration and discovery. And since players would pass through this area on their way into the Bloom’s depths, it would be set toward the end of the zone… a perfect time to pay off on some of the player’s earlier choices.

    That’s how the Gullet was born. This was where old and forgotten things would be found, devoured by the Bloom in the distant past, sinking slowly into its guts, finally coming to rest here. Echoes of the Bloom’s victims would wander here too, including victims the player may have “nudged” to their demise. In the end, all things find their way to the Gullet. (Last week, somebody on the team likened it to the Bloom’s liver, which I thought was a particularly apt comparison.)

    I drew up a map on graph paper, numbered the encounter areas (old-school D&D-style), and detailed everything that would happen in the Gullet. When the other leads reviewed the design documentation, they seemed to like the Gullet content, and I was pretty excited to include all this weird and horrific stuff in the game. But strictly speaking, the Bloom could function without the Gullet (and its most important content could be relocated somewhere else), so when we realized that we didn’t have the resources to develop all the content I had proposed, the Gullet became [C] priority. I was sad, but such are the realities of game development.

    In the old days (by which I mean 2012 or so), a cut was a cut. If we didn’t have the resources to implement everything we had planned, we made the decision to cut something, and that was that. The cut content was forever lost. But now, in the strange world of crowd-funding, the Gullet has a second chance at life. Will we make it to the stretch goal? I hope so. I think it’ll be fun to prototype our version of a PST dungeon, full of exploration and weird discoveries. If you’ve contributed, thanks for getting us this far… and if all goes well, I’ll see you on the other side of the finish line.
    During the time it took George to write that, some generous soul contributed $999 to the fundraiser. They're definitely going to make it.
     
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  2. StaticSpine Arcane Patron

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    During the time it took George to contribute $999 write that, some generous soul contributed $999 to the fundraiser.

    :ziets:
     
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  3. Think big! Smoking Dicks

    Think big!
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    Didn't realize they were still taking stretch goals. What has there been since the Kickstarter ended? Did they actually get the stronghold?
     
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  4. AbounI Colonist Patron

    AbounI
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    in addition to this letter, we can also take a closer look at a sketch of one area of this Gullet
    [​IMG]

     
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  5. MurkyShadow Glittering gem of hatred Patron

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    I think my landlord will understand why I'll be late with the rent, if I explain to him the importance of the Gullet.
    *pledged*
     
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  6. Doctor Sbaitso SO, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS. Patron

    Doctor Sbaitso
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  7. lurker3000 Arcane

    lurker3000
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    So what do they do with the money if they end up $10 short? Hookers and blow?
     
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  8. Mangoose Arcane Patron

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    Oh god please don't.
     
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  9. MicoSelva Prestigious Gentleman Don't call Abigail Patron

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    Good that areas like the Gullet will be in the game too. Diversity will make the game better. I think it would suffer if it would just be dialogues everywhere - combat and exploration are important too.
    :balance:
     
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  10. Trojan_generic Magister

    Trojan_generic
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    Is this shit ever going to be ready? I don't remember anymore which year it was when I pledged.
     
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  11. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

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    Late 2015 iirc, so they still have enough time.
     
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  12. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I think he meant that he doesn't remember what year he pledged to the game.

    The Torment Kickstarter was in March-April 2013.
     
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  13. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

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    Ah, okay. I thought he meant "which year it was supposed to be ready".
     
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  14. Trojan_generic Magister

    Trojan_generic
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    Yes, when I pledged. Time flies. At least I bought Wasteland 2 as a bonus item. It is the first game I ever got out of Kickstarter. To avoid spoiling the Torment, I don't follow the news much.
     
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  15. kazgar Arcane

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    YEAH!

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/torment-tides-of-numenera/posts/1032763

     
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  16. Reapa Doom Preacher

    Reapa
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    what do you think they did with most of the money already invested?
    usually business works like this: a nail factory gathers its market experts team to debate on how much money they can ask for a nail. that team will analyze the cost of making that nail, the going rate from the competition and how many nails you would have to sell in order to pay your workers on time, expand your factory, and buy hookers and blow for themselves and the managers and so on. then the nail board factory which needs those nails looks at the price and before making an offer gets its market experts team to analyze how much they need to pay their workers to implant the nails into the boards, how much they can expect to get for the finite weapon, how much expansion and research will cost and how much hookers and blow will cost for the people in charge. based on that evaluation and the price of the nails, hookers and blow will always seem to cost more then they would be able to pay, so they will argue over the price of the nails on several occasions until they feel enough hookers and blow will be bought upon signing a contract.
    As you see hookers and blow are an important variable in setting the price of a product. But with kickstarter there are no debates. There is no second team of marketing experts to argue with the one setting the "stretch goals". Hookers' holes can be stretched indefinitely. Kickstarters don't even need to take in account any plans for future developments like sequels because they would just make a new kickstarter with new "stretch goals".
     
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