Kickstart. In Kickstarting, Grow Planescape Sequel

It’s something of a well-kept secret of mine that I love Planescape: Torment to bits. No, that’s not right, I even proclaimed so on this very website once upon a time.

With Project: Eternity under way, a new Kickstarter project lays claim to the money you’ve put aside for the possibility of ever seeing a Planescape: Torment sequel. This isn’t that, but it’s likely to be as close as we’ll ever get.

From InXile Entertainment (they of not yet complete Wasteland 2), Torment: Tides of Numenera is based on the Numenera universe rather than the AD&D-based Plansescape. It has been given the thumbs-up by PS:T’s designer Chris Avellone, and promises to have many of the elements that made the original so great:

  • Torment is a single-player, isometric role-playing game.
  • You will play a single, specific character, though you will encounter optional NPC companions you may choose to include in your party.
  • The story-driven game will have a rich dialogue system and approach similar to that of Planescape: Torment.
  • The game will be developed in the Unity engine for PC (Windows), Mac, andLinux platforms.
  • The game will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian,Spanish.
  • The game will be distributed DRM-free. (You’ll be able to get it from Steam, and other DRM-free download options will be made available.)

We’re crafting Torment with the goal of creating a gameplay experience like that evoked by Planescape: Torment (or PS:T). We want Torment to challenge, reward, surprise, and entertain you in ways that PS:T did. To do that, we examined PS:T carefully, and took these four pillars as our foundation:

  • A Deep, Thematically Satisfying Story. The philosophical underpinnings ofTorment drive the game, both mechanically and narratively. Your words, choices, and actions will be your primary weapons.
  • A World Unlike Any Other. The game has a fantastic, original setting, with awe-inspiring painterly visuals, imaginative locations, truly offbeat items, and massive feats of magic. In Numenera, however, “magic” is actually something surprisingly different.
  • A Rich, Personal Narrative. The story is thoughtful and character-driven—epic in feel but a deeply personal narrative, with nontraditional characters and companions who have their own motivations and desires that drive them throughout the game.
  • Reactivity, Choice, and Real Consequences. The game emphasizes replayability and reactivity, and your choices will make a real difference. You can play the game with a different approach and discover entirely new pathways. Most important, we won’t tell you how to play. The best ending is the one you choose, flowing naturally from your actions throughout the game.

They’ve also assembled most of the team who worked on Planescape, including Mark Morgan who composed the incredible soundtrack. The story, meanwhile, will revolve around the theme of “what does one life matter?”, which is about as close to “what can change the nature of a man?” as is grammatically possible.

There has been some criticism (and a pre-emptive rebuttal) that InXile really ought to have finished Wasteland 2 before embarking on a new project, but as we’ve heard, Kickstarter is increasingly used as a marketing opportunity rather than a primary source of funding. Either way, this one has an expected release date of December 2014.

The Kickstarter runs for 30 days, with a target of $900,000. The obligatory video starring People Who Want Your Money, is below.

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