Rumor: New Torment Game in the Works

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Rumor: New Torment Game in the Works

The internet is abuzz with rumors that inXile Entertainment is cooking up a successor to the legendary Planescape: Torment.

A sequel to Planescape: Torment? Dare we dream? The truth is that I'm not sure I even want one. Torment told its tale, dropped the mic and left the stage with a finality, so rare in videogames, that ensured its legacy could never be tarnished by a sub-par sequel or quickie cash-in. Yet want it or not, it's starting to look like we might end up getting one anyway.

First up is word that Kevin D. Saunders, formerly of Obsidian Entertainment, has taken on a full-time position at Brian Fargo's inXile Entertainment after working there under contract on Wasteland 2. "It's great to be involved in RPGs again and I love the route inXile is taking - making games directly for the players. It allows us to explore ideas and gameplay that many, including us, are passionate about, but that aren't mainstream enough for the big publishers," he wrote on Formspring. "I'll be leading the development of the next game. The writers are finishing up their roles on WL2 and we want to keep that talented group together."

And then there's Wasteland 2 writer Colin McComb's blog post from a few days ago in which he talked about the huge impact that Planescape: Torment had on his career and what he'd like to do with a follow-up. "Of all the games I've written, the one that I keep circling back to is Torment. And now that the bulk of my work on Wasteland 2 is largely complete (with some iteration work that still needs to be done), I can start thinking about Torment seriously," McComb wrote.

"The first step in designing a new Torment story is to ask the primary question. I'm older than I was when I worked on Torment, and my questions now are different than they were. I have children now, and I look at the world through their eyes and through mine, and that's changed me - in fact, the intervening years have changed me so much that I have new answers for the central story in the original Torment," he continued. "So now that I know what can change the nature of a man, I ask: What does one life matter? ... and does it matter at all?"

What makes this more than just conversational fodder for RPG nerds is the fact that Fargo now apparently holds the "Torment" trademark. The U.S. Patent and Trade Office website indicates that the owner of the mark is Roxy Friday, LLC, which as Fusible pointed out last year includes Fargo among its officers.

It's all still very much in the realm of rumor and conjecture, and even if a new Torment is in the works it'll be a "spiritual successor" rather than a straight-on sequel. Wizards of the Coast has discontinued the Planescape setting and McComb said on the RPG Codex forums that it as "little apparent interest" in licensing the IP. "I first approached them in February, and it became clear early on that they didn't seem very interested in talking to me," he wrote. "That's okay, though. Other, equally cool options exist."

McComb said in his blog post that he wants to "re-examine the fundamentals of the setting" and use a system other than D&D in a new game. "I'd want to align the player's story axes along different lines than Good/Evil or Law/Chaos to something more subjective. The core of Torment is, after all, a personal story, and while we can be judged by others on the basis of our actions, arbitrarily aligning those actions on an external and eternally fixed line removes some of the agency from the player's game," he wrote. "I have a lot of ideas about what to put into a new Torment game, but my primary goal would be to help the player tell a story that was evocative of the original Torment without aping it. To be faithful to the odyssey of the Nameless One, and to recognize that it has ended, and that stories of Torment are ongoing."

A Torment sequel without Planescape: could it work? Someday, we might actually get to find out.

via: GameBanshee, RPG Codex

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I never actually played Planescape: Torment (don't kill me!), but I have to admit that the design philosophy sounds interesting so far.

Not a direct sequel and possible flop, but still!:

Oh and here's an even more interesting quote courtesy of No Mutants Allowed:

Colin McComb:
As far as I'm concerned, MCA told a complete and beautiful story. If Chris wants to add sequels, that's his prerogative. If I added direct sequels, that would be fan fiction. I *like* that the question of what happens to his companions after the game has ended remains unanswered. Adding more details cheapens the impact of the original, and the unanswered questions about the companions makes their stories more powerful.

That's why Chris and I have both said that we would not be involved in sequels; we don't need to wrap up every loose end. Spiritual successors, yes - there are Torment stories that are untold. But not sequels, at least not right away (the last clause is just in case Chris discovers a new story he wants to tell with those companions).

So why do I want to use Torment? Because it was a deeply personal, philosophically engaging story that was not tied to the fate of the world - it *is* the end of the world for some characters, and it can sweep across the depths of infinity, but it remained a story about one man and the impact he had on those around him. Using Torment in the title tells you what kind of game it is. It's a specific story about a specific kind of person, a thematic link.

For the people who insist the game be a Planescape game, I have two points:
1. As I said, WotC does not appear to be interested in licensing Planescape.
2. Anyway, countless people told us that a Planescape game would never succeed, because it was "too weird." We just had to tell them to trust us - we had it handled. As you've seen, we did.

I'm not going to ask you to trust me just yet (I enjoy not having feces flung at me), but I will ask that you keep an open mind until you see what I'm thinking.

Wow, a flashback to trailers of old.
it's cool guys, lets just take clips from all the cut-scenes and string them together,
The audience will really know what the game's about now.

To be fair though, back then most people seeing the trailers probably had an invested knowledge as to what the product was about, so it was probably more for hype than publicity.

Anyway, never really played the original though I've got it lying around somewhere,
Be interesting to see what they make of it.

Want.

Also he needs to use Pathfinder because that is a game system that blows d&d out of the water. Or better yet find a way to use the card based combat system Gabe from penny arcade is working on.

http://penny-arcade.com/2012/09/12/its-not-called-c4rd-warri0rz-anymore1

This is the greatest piece of news I've heard since Wasteland.

Planescape: Torment is one of the most unique/strange settings and has a very engaging storyline. The fact that you can get through the game with almost pure conversation is still amazing.

With Wizards taking the D&D franchise backwards trying to emulate WoW and Guild Wars, they had basically eliminated the Planescape setting and retconned most of the setting into obscurity. It's great to see there's a possibility of it coming back.

Maybe this positive force of Baldur's Gate, Planescape, and Ravenloft resurgence may also convince Wizards to sway away from this silly Neverwinter (not Neverwinter Nights, it's a marginally related D&D v4.2) push they are stumbling through and just get back to producing great campaign settings like Planescape, Spelljammer, Dark Sun, and Ravenloft.

Ah Torment, I must have played you though so many times, looking back i don't even remember why i bought it as i had never heard of it before. Must have been the Post Baldur's gate glow.

Do we still have to step around spoiler wise for Planescape or has enough time passed that we can talk about Morte, Vhailor and the Gang?

Torment is Chris Avellone's baby. It would feel wrong if he weren't the lead writer on this.

Please no.

After BG:EE, the new Wasteland game, Project Eternity, and all the other kickstarter classic RPGs, I'm gonna be too goddamned busy to enjoy a Torment game tossed in the mix. I think this is a nostalgia-fueled fad that will go away once the second generation (not the 3 named above, but the ones that try to ride on their success) experiences a massive dropoff in kickstarter funding and/or sales. I don't want a Torment game on that list.

Absolutionis:
This is the greatest piece of news I've heard since Wasteland.

Planescape: Torment is one of the most unique/strange settings and has a very engaging storyline. The fact that you can get through the game with almost pure conversation is still amazing.

With Wizards taking the D&D franchise backwards trying to emulate WoW and Guild Wars, they had basically eliminated the Planescape setting and retconned most of the setting into obscurity. It's great to see there's a possibility of it coming back.

Maybe this positive force of Baldur's Gate, Planescape, and Ravenloft resurgence may also convince Wizards to sway away from this silly Neverwinter (not Neverwinter Nights, it's a marginally related D&D v4.2) push they are stumbling through and just get back to producing great campaign settings like Planescape, Spelljammer, Dark Sun, and Ravenloft.

You forgot Dragonlance in that list of settings. ;)
I grew up on the novels so I might be slightly biased.
O.T. I never actually played torment, I've always wanted to though.

Color me cautiously optimistic. I loved the story, characters, and myriad options in PS:T, but it'll take some awesome writing to make even a spiritual sequel worthy of the label, much less an actual sequel.

I don't see why a new game set in the Planescape universe (multiverse?) would have to step on any other game/setting's toes. It's a HUGE setting that has hooks into pretty much any other universe you might want (which is probably why it didn't stick around long for WotC, it's a bit too big and weird). A setting designed to tie together other settings.

Even within Sigil itself there's so many places and events completely unrelated to what occurred in Torment.

Yay, a cover-based shooter in the Planescape setting!

Pipotchi:
Ah Torment, I must have played you though so many times, looking back i don't even remember why i bought it as i had never heard of it before. Must have been the Post Baldur's gate glow.

I had the exact same situation. I wasn't even particularly well-informed about the game prior to launch. I think I hadn't even heard about it before reading the review (yes, THE review, because back then my only source of reviews was one game magazine). But I was still on the high after BG, so a new RPG using AD&D and Infinity Engine? Count me in!

When I saw "Torment Game" in the title I thought: "Oh God not another article about Battlefront 3"
But this... I like this.

Andy Chalk:
First up is word that Colin McComb, formerly of Obsidian Entertainment, has taken on a full-time position at Brian Fargo's inXile Entertainment after working there under contract on Wasteland 2. "It's great to be involved in RPGs again and I love the route inXile is taking - making games directly for the players. It allows us to explore ideas and gameplay that many, including us, are passionate about, but that aren't mainstream enough for the big publishers," he wrote on Formspring. "I'll be leading the development of the next game. The writers are finishing up their roles on WL2 and we want to keep that talented group together."

That's not McComb's Formspring, it's "Kevin D. Saunders" as it says on the right. He is apparently project director of this new "Torment".

He was involved in Neverwinter Nights 2 and KOTOR 2 as a Senior Designer and was Lead Designer on NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer.

McComb did write the Blog and did leave all the comments though, he also answered a few questions to EuroGamer: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-12-03-chris-avellone-blesses-inxiles-planescape-torment-successor

It might also be interesting to know that he was employed by TSR and wrote a large part of the Planescape campaign setting and stuff: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_McComb#TSR

I really need to get around to playing Torment sometime. I hear a lot of talk about it, but never got all that into when I tried it a year or so back.

Planescape Torment was awesome and I only played the game two years ago. (Somehow it passed me by when I was playing games like Baldur's Gate as a kid). Fortunately it sounds like he won't really be making a direct sequel and will instead be focusing on a spiritual successor that will have an engaging personal story like the first game. I can't wait to see what he comes up with.

WTF no. Hell no! Seriously leave it alone. Not every single game in man kind needs a sequel. Why the hell does it need a sequel? This is beyond stupid and it would suck anyway.

Planscape needs an HD release, not a freaking sequel. Stop with the damn sequels for every single video game made already. Leave this one alone.

Sounds like the new guys understand sigil and the planes better than WOTC does thee days, torment sounds like it should be the spiritual successor to the original we've been waiting for....wouldnt be surprised if WOTC suddenly became interested once they see how good the game is during development though(they better keep it as removed form the d&d setting as they can though or Hasbro will sic there lawyers on them faster than they can blink).

I want them to decide who you decided to use with the Nameless one in the last fight and Cannonize it. Then let that character be the lead or the lead's mentor in the next one.

image

lets hope those mayans weren't right.

and that they stick to not using the same nameless one/protagonist.

DVS BSTrD:
When I saw "Torment Game" in the title I thought: "Oh God not another article about Battlefront 3"
But this... I like this.

no thats "torturing game"

I'm a huge fan of the Planescape setting, but I'd actually think a spiritual successor to Torment is preferable to acquiring the Planescape license. Securing the IP would no doubt require that they use the new rules set, and I really think a Torment sequel would do far better without it. This isn't just a "4th Edition Sucks!" rant, I think the AD&D system restricted the original as well. They really need to come up with something that handles social interaction with the same depth of mechanics that combat gets, without it feeling like someone jammed combat rules into the debate. I realize this isn't a simple request, but even flexibility in this regard would be great for such a game.

Don't make it about the Nameless One, don't make it about the Nameless One, don't make it about the Nameless One...

Seriously. His story is finished, and has been finished well. It is over. Finito. The mystery that surrounded him is what made him interesting, and that's all been settled. I'd love another Planescape game; it's a setting with boundless potential and quite a bit of intelligence it its making. I just really hope the people behind this understand that that's enough.

Hungry Donner:
I'm a huge fan of the Planescape setting, but I'd actually think a spiritual successor to Torment is preferable to acquiring the Planescape license. Securing the IP would no doubt require that they use the new rules set, and I really think a Torment sequel would do far better without it. This isn't just a "4th Edition Sucks!" rant, I think the AD&D system restricted the original as well. They really need to come up with something that handles social interaction with the same depth of mechanics that combat gets, without it feeling like someone jammed combat rules into the debate. I realize this isn't a simple request, but even flexibility in this regard would be great for such a game.

Agree. Although the planescape setting did it give it a deep mythology/atmosphere to tap into.

This is a yay momment for me, good or bad at least i get to see this come again and here is hoping Wizards stfu and get back to making good stuff for D&D and suport this, you don't need planescape but damnit it was a good setting and it could come again for the next edition! And with rumors of BG3 damn we live in exciting times :)

Huh, I just bought Torment yesterday on gog. Playing it for the first time but I didn't have too much time today, so I've only played an hour or two and I'm not sure whether I like it yet but I've heard great things about it.

Whether I'll like it or not, I hope that this rumour is true for those who do love it.

Dexter111:
That's not McComb's Formspring, it's "Kevin D. Saunders" as it says on the right. He is apparently project director of this new "Torment".

This is correct, thanks for pointing out the mistake. The post has been updated appropriately.

The more I think about this, the more I think it can't work. I don't want a spiritual successor, I want another Planescape game. Pre-Faction Wars Planescape, for that matter. A new Torment without the Planescape setting may turn out to be a good game, but it won't be the game I want. (Or possibly don't want. I still haven't decided.)

I'm waiting to hear how they're excited to add a multiplayer aspect to this...

PureIrony:
Don't make it about the Nameless One, don't make it about the Nameless One, don't make it about the Nameless One...

Seriously. His story is finished, and has been finished well. It is over. Finito. The mystery that surrounded him is what made him interesting, and that's all been settled. I'd love another Planescape game; it's a setting with boundless potential and quite a bit of intelligence it its making. I just really hope the people behind this understand that that's enough.

Seriously though don't make it about the Nameless One, don't make it about the Nameless One, don't make it about the Nameless One...

I agree completely, the setting is amazing with so many possibilities for NEW characters & plots.

Yea, I don't care about :Torment, PLANESCAPE is what is badass.
One of my biggest issues with D&D (beyond 4th edition being crap) is their failure to use all of their awesome settings or at least a significant number of them. They're only using THREE right now, out of TWENTY-SEVEN.

They're ignoring:
Greyhawk
DragonLance
Spelljammer
Planescape
Ravenloft
Kingdoms Of Kalamar
Rokugan (arguably)
Al Qadim
Ghostwalk
etc
etc
etc
etc

What are they actually supporting right now?
Nentir Vale/Points Of Light (or whatever the basic 4th edition world is)
The Forgotten Realms
Dark Sun
Eberron

I want more stuff from the awesome settings, like Planescape, dammit!

Andy Chalk:
The truth is that I'm not sure I even want one. Torment told its tale, dropped the mic and left the stage with a finality, so rare in videogames, that ensured its legacy could never be tarnished by a sub-par sequel or quickie cash-in.

Very much this. Torment told a unique story in an interesting way, and then it finished. A game set in a different universe without any of the same characters is not a new Torment game, it's simply trying to cash in on a popular product to try to get interest in a new one. Even if it ends up being a good game, there's no reason to pretend it's related to something it's not. I'd have hoped for better from these guys.

I don't think they should continue the story, because it wrapped up so nicely. Maybe have some of the characters from the first one in it to show that it's kind of a sequel, but I'm hoping they don't use The Nameless One at all.

deth2munkies:
Please no.

After BG:EE, the new Wasteland game, Project Eternity, and all the other kickstarter classic RPGs, I'm gonna be too goddamned busy to enjoy a Torment game tossed in the mix. I think this is a nostalgia-fueled fad that will go away once the second generation (not the 3 named above, but the ones that try to ride on their success) experiences a massive dropoff in kickstarter funding and/or sales. I don't want a Torment game on that list.

They could also make a new Ultima. A real single-player game sequel, not an MMO or any crap like that. Something that looks like Skyrim, but with all the amazing interactions of the old games.

I wouldn't mind seeing Nameless One return, just not as a playable character. A story in the same Planescape setting, exploring more of the mysteries of Sigil and of the Lady of Pain. Plus, while the ambiguous fates of Nameless's party worked just fine in the original game, I'd still like to see at least some of them again. The Nameless One shouldn't be a central figure of a sequel, but having him pop up at key moments to guide the player would be interesting.

Frankly, I would want the opposite of what they are proposing. Torment is a complete story. It does not need to be revisited. On the other hand, Planescape is a great setting that I would love to see revisited in a future RPG that isn't trying to rehash Torment's stories or regroup its characters.

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