Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Codex Interview RPG Codex Interview: Torment: Tides of Numenera

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Zed, May 22, 2014.

  1. Zed Codex Staff Patron

    Zed
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    16,608
    Codex USB, 2014
    Tags: Adam Heine; Colin McComb; George Ziets; InXile Entertainment; Jeremy Kopman; Torment: Tides of Numenera

    [​IMG]

    What was first meant to be a catch-up interview with George Ziets, now the Lead Area Designer for Torment: Tides of Numenera, turned into a much broader interview as we also managed to get a hold of a few other game designers as well. So, for this interview, George Ziets is joined by Creative Lead Colin McComb, Design Lead Adam Heine, and Crisis Designer Jeremy Kopman. Holy moley.

    Here's a slice of it:

    The original Torment as well as Mask of the Betrayer are known for their originality and weirdness – at least in comparison to other CRPGs. When talking about why Pillars of Eternity will incorporate dwarves, elves and other fantasy tropes, Josh Sawyer touched on the importance of player familiarity. What's your take on this? Do you think it could ever get too “unfamiliar”? Too abstract?

    George Ziets
    This is partly a matter of personal taste, but I place much less value upon familiarity in new settings. Audiences are a lot more flexible than we often think. To me, it’s more important that character motivations and emotions feel believable and identifiable, regardless of setting. If you create characters who feel and act in a believable way, have problems that players can identify with, and are likable, audiences will tolerate a lot of weirdness in setting details.

    Presentation is also a major issue to consider in a new setting. If you try to throw a lot of unfamiliar setting details at a player in the first ten minutes of gameplay (or, worse, in a convoluted opening cinematic), you’re likely to lose your audience. If, on the other hand, you drop them into a world that is full of mysteries, and the player is learning about the new world as an integral part of gameplay and story, their unfamiliarity with the setting can actually be an asset – it encourages a sense of ongoing discovery that can help keep the player engaged throughout the game.

    I think problems arise in new settings when characters are flat and boring, stories are clichéd, the audience isn’t emotionally invested in what’s happening, and the creators are relying upon the details of the setting itself to interest the audience. A lot of hard science fiction falls into this trap. Writers can become so focused on communicating the details of the setting that they fail at job #1, which is creating an engaging story.

    Colin McComb
    Josh is a really smart guy, and he’s right that many gamers place a great deal of value on familiarity so that they have touchstones on which to base their experience with a game. Using standard fantasy tropes is a great way to get people to ease into acceptance of the stranger aspects of the setting – for instance, the novel soul mechanics of Pillars of Eternity. This is the right decision for their game, which deliberately takes on some of the trappings of a magical, medieval setting. Given their vision and the experience they’re targeting, it would be a mistake for them to introduce too much abstract weirdness into the early part of the game.

    Our vision was about something else altogether, and I think – I hope! – that we made our backers aware of just how weird and wonderful our setting is. Part of why we chose Numenera in the first place was because we want to deliver a setting that is intentionally strange and mysterious to our players, and one that will come to make coherent, internally consistent sense through the course of the game. We’ve said before that the game takes the player through the life of the Last Castoff, and we meant that. When the player enters the game, he or she will do it as an infant to the world. The world should be unfamiliar, just as it is to a newborn. The player will gain familiarity through experience.

    That said, sure, a game could get too abstract or too weird. But I believe that if we create strong characters with believable motivations, realistic choices, and interesting situations, the strangeness of the setting becomes an inextricable part of the pleasure of the game.

    Planescape: Torment had some very combat-oriented zones, particularly in the late game, while other parts of the game remained relatively combat-free. These combat zones could cause problems for socially invested characters. Is this something you're looking to address in Torment: Tides of Numenera?

    Jeremy Kopman
    Because the Crisis system leads us to build fewer but more expansive turn-based, tactical portions of the game, we don’t plan to have any areas densely populated with groups of mobs you are forced to fight. While all Crises present tactical challenges, some are more likely than others to lead to combat, and at times combat will be the most straightforward solution to the problem at hand. But even if the player finds him/herself in a spot where they have no choice but to fight, non-combat build options (Skills, Esoteries, Tricks of the Trade) will frequently offer a benefit. Players can attempt to converse with intelligent enemies, using their PC’s features to broker peace, frighten their opponents into losing morale, or simply distract them so their allies can gain the upper hand. In addition, many esoteries grant Fettles (the TTON term for status effects) that could weaken opponents’ resolve and leave them more susceptible to conversation options, disable them long enough to flee, or even charm them into helping the party. If your party is still in danger, exploration abilities and skills can be used to open paths to escape or inflict damage on the enemy without any attacks (as in the gantry example in the Crisis question above).

    As we’ve stated before, we plan for it to be possible to complete TTON without engaging in combat at all. Players can finish or avoid every Crisis using social, stealth, and exploration abilities. Having said that, we haven’t promised that it will be easy. It will likely require very careful decision making and smart character build choices to complete the whole game without throwing a single punch/self-propelled energy projection device.​

    You really ought to read all of it, like, right now.

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Interview: Torment: Tides of Numenera
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 36
    ^ Top  
  2. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Messages:
    12,425
    :salute:

    Fuck familiarity bullshit.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 9
    ^ Top  
  3. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    13,776
    Location:
    Ottawa, Can.
    Are they modifying the dreadful Numegaya system to fit the game better? I sincerely cannot picture anyone building a license upon this piece of crap.
     
    ^ Top  
  4. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Messages:
    12,425
    The main thing they're using is the setting. Now fuck off, fag.
     
    ^ Top  
  5. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    76,734
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands 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
    G Ziets Loom is LucasArts, not Sierra.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  6. Zed Codex Staff Patron

    Zed
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    16,608
    Codex USB, 2014
    Brother None
    *harass* *harass* *harass*
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  7. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,871,734
    Location:
    Djibouti
    So these are the supposed saviours of the genre, huh?

    Nothing but decline and false prophets!

    AS ALWAYS!
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  8. Rean Codex Grammar Police Patron

    Rean
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,865,386
    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    CMcC

    :cmcc:

    Great interview - keep them coming. I hope Brian Mitsoda's duties on Dead State won't impact on his contributions to Torment, was also nice to hear about Tony Evans working on the project - he's a bro.
     
    ^ Top  
  9. Jaedar Arcane Patron

    Jaedar
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    5,775
    Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Soundtrack for your reading:

    Also, I am most glad the game will have better mechanics than the pnp.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
    ^ Top  
  10. VioletShadow Sensate Patron

    VioletShadow
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Messages:
    990
    Location:
    Tumblr
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Great interview. Love the unfamiliarity and mystery themes.
    :yeah::dance:
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
    ^ Top  
  11. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    11,399
    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Excellent. Interrupts are a vastly underused mechanic.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  12. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    11,399
    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Zed it should be Tiefling not Thiefling. Although a race of diminutive thieves sounds pretty cool.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  13. Gakkone pretty cool guy eh Patron

    Gakkone
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    916
    Location:
    schmocation
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Nope, don't see him. False advertising!
     
    ^ Top  
  14. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    15,021
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Heh, funny. Really, where is Kevin Saunders, Zed? :P
     
    ^ Top  
  15. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Sceptic
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    10,502
    Divinity: Original Sin
    This is an awesome interview. I'm still unsure if TTON is a game for me, but the interview has gone a long way toward convincing me I should try it out when it comes out.

    Great work Zed.
     
    ^ Top  
  16. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    24,747
    No day/night cycle is bound to piss some people off. Take that, sim-scum. :smug:

    Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiies

    :lol: This has potential.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  17. VioletShadow Sensate Patron

    VioletShadow
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Messages:
    990
    Location:
    Tumblr
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Share your inside infos! +M
     
    ^ Top  
  18. Hobz Savant

    Hobz
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Messages:
    337
    Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Is Patrick Rothfuss supposed to be a good writer? I listened to most of the name of the wind and couldn't bring myself to finish it, which is quite rare. Did I just miss something?
     
    ^ Top  
  19. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    24,747
    ^ Top  
  20. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    11,399
    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    No. The Name of the Wind is bad.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
    ^ Top  
  21. VioletShadow Sensate Patron

    VioletShadow
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Messages:
    990
    Location:
    Tumblr
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I haven't read Book 2 yet, but I did read The Name of the Wind and it was sort of average. With Torment is different though, I'm pretty sure he can't just write whatever he wants. He has to deal with the overlord right?
    :cmcc:
     
    ^ Top  
  22. Zeriel Arcane

    Zeriel
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Messages:
    5,985
    That assumes they're actually editing. Who knows whether they're hands-on or hands-off with this shit, as even luminaries like Stephen King have complained about once you're successful it's very hard to find people who will legit critique you (on a professional level, obviously people on the internet will always mock you). We'll find out when we get the game, I guess.
     
    ^ Top  
  23. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    76,734
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands 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
    I also read the Name of the Wind a while ago, just out of curiosity about Rothfuss.

    It wasn't a great book, but I found its highly personal (almost to the point of solipsism) method of storytelling refreshingly different from the usual "kings, castles and armies" fantasy fare, and in that sense it was worth reading.

    I'm not a super well-read person though, so perhaps there are other fantasy tales that do that better.
     
    ^ Top  
  24. Adam Heine Arcane Developer

    Adam Heine
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Chiang Mai, Thailand
    He is standing over our shoulders, watching us answer every question, type every word...
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 9
    ^ Top  
  25. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    8,015
    Location:
    New Vegas
    God damn I would love a spy game/RPG set in the early revolutionary America period where you could choose the rebels or the Brits. Jesus someone make that.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)