InXile Reveals First Torment: Tides of Numenera Screen

InXile Reveals First Torment: Tides of Numenera Screen

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InXile Lead Environment Artist Koy vanOteghem also talks a bit about the advantages of developing and playing games in two dimensions rather than three.

The first Torment: Tides of Numenera screen was revealed today via Kickstarter update, and it certainly looks "Torment-ish" - which is to say, organic, shadowy, weird and something that would be not at all out of place in the great Planescape: Torment. A good first step, in other words.

It's considerably different than the three-dimensional ways of games like Dragon Age, however, and while that may seem a bit dubious to some of you whippersnappers out there, vanOteghem said that pre-rendering environments in two dimensions, which was the norm in the pre-Neverwinter Nights era, will hopefully allow the team to "strike a distinct style while achieving levels of detail often difficult to present in 3D game space."

"The big debate: playing games in 2D vs. 3D - I know many of you are interested about our decisions regarding the art direction. There has been much talk about the costs associated with '2D development,' the quality and scope that can be produced by a small team, and the impact that this might have (for funding) of other departments," vanOteghem explained in the update.

"To be clear, what we are really talking about here is not a 2D game, but what you might call a 2.5D game, with just a portion of art production that is 2D in nature. Bear in mind, any extra time we spend noodling in 2D will be made up 10-fold when we get to our beta build and we are not ripping our eyes out trying to figure out how to get all that geometry to render efficiently on screen," he continued. "Our early tests are showing very promising frame rates for our 2D assets, freeing up additional processing power for characters, FX, lighting, post-processes, etc."

While much of the art is 2D, characters are being rendered in 3D, and vanOteghem said that although he was concerned about lighting in the early stages, he's now confident that dynamic lighting and shadowing can be used very effectively in the game's environments. "These issues, among others, simply require a mind shift in the creation process, and it's quite liberating," he wrote.

Here's a link to the screen in all its full-sized glory:

I have to admit to being a little surprised by the concerns over pre-rendered backdrops. I am old and therefore tainted by decrepitude, but I can't think of any 3D-rendered isometric RPG (which is admittedly a fairly narrow field) that has matched the sheer beauty of "hand-painted" games like Icewind Dale, Temple of Elemental Evil and of course Planescape: Torment. Perhaps I'm missing some vital technical point, but to my mind - and to my eye, thanks to this screenshot - the decision to opt for 2D backgrounds is solid.

Source: Kickstarter

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I think it's looking nice so far. Some pieces look a little too rough or shiny though, and you can see a few random out of place lines in the terrain. I imagine this was done in Z brush in the span of a week or less.

That looks brilliant, I am really glad I decided to back this. Some of the backers tiers are a little odd though. For example the limited amount $39 tier doesn't get the soundtrack or art book, but the $35 tier does. The $39 gets some more novella's instead.

It just seems odd that it's not entirely based upon the amount you give meaning the more you get.

8 people have donated $10,000 more... damn that's dedication.

I like it! But, then again, it appears to be a complete rip off of that other level in that one other game.

Im ashamed by their obvious mismanagement of all the kickstarter money I didn't contribute.

Legion:
That looks brilliant, I am really glad I decided to back this. Some of the backers tiers are a little odd though. For example the limited amount $39 tier doesn't get the soundtrack or art book, but the $35 tier does. The $39 gets some more novella's instead.

It just seems odd that it's not entirely based upon the amount you give meaning the more you get.

8 people have donated $10,000 more... damn that's dedication.

I know what you mean, I for one am sort of lost about what I'm getting... I backed with U$ 50,00 (first I backed with 25 bucks, later on I decided I wanted the novellas lol), which means, I'm getting all novels, digital game, concept art and stuff, now it seems I'm also getting a comic book, and the whole novella thing is a mess, it seems some tiers will get some stories but not all? Lol

it's probably nothing but one update ago the torment people were talking about how they had a big surprise for April 1st, and made emphasis on how it wasn't going to be a prank. I was totally expecting a prank, and if this is it then I gotta say they have a really boring way of getting some laughs from their audience.

If it's legit, then I'll admit I'm a little disappointed. The game doesn't look retro, it gives a hell of a straight-up dated vibe.

Is... is it just me, or does the top right quarter of the screen look way better than the rest of it? It's so sharp and detailed; everything else just seems kinda blurry by comparison.

Skyrim's lonelier corners- where the real loneliness caused by the aching void of character you find inside every NPC (both major and minor) is less a problem- is the closest that a 3D environment has ever come to making me feel as involved in a fantasy RPG as did every single one of Baldur's Gates/Planescape's/Icewind Dale's maps.

That's nowhere near close enough. I have no faith in the ability of 3D to compete with the classic form, so I'm really glad of this news. I love the screenshot.

Andy Chalk:
I have to admit to being a little surprised by the concerns over pre-rendered backdrops. I am old and therefore tainted by decrepitude, but I can't think of any 3D-rendered isometric RPG (which is admittedly a fairly narrow field) that has matched the sheer beauty of "hand-painted" games like Icewind Dale, Temple of Elemental Evil and of course Planescape: Torment. Perhaps I'm missing some vital technical point, but to my mind - and to my eye, thanks to this screenshot - the decision to opt for 2D backgrounds is solid.

Source: Kickstarter

Permalink

It's a question of costs, huge, highly detailed hand painted backgrounds are more expensive than simple 3d terrain, particularly if that terrain doesn't need to be modelled from every angle. That's why they are reassuring backers that they aren't wasting money on graphics that could be better spent on adding more rich dialog and interaction.

For myself I think it's a worthwhile tradeoff, it looks gorgeous and that level of fidelity will help immerse me in the experience.

ill be really curious to see how much they bring in during the final 48 hours

Am I the only one who thinks the alien altar is kinda out of place? ;d The whole thing screams Zerg instead of Torment though, which I suppose isn't a bad thing yet I can see it being cliche if they continue with these kinds of environments.

Candidus:
Skyrim's lonelier corners- where the real loneliness caused by the aching void of character you find inside every NPC (both major and minor) is less a problem- is the closest that a 3D environment has ever come to making me feel as involved in a fantasy RPG as did every single one of Baldur's Gates/Planescape's/Icewind Dale's maps.

That's nowhere near close enough. I have no faith in the ability of 3D to compete with the classic form, so I'm really glad of this news. I love the screenshot.

I dunno man, I thought Darkreach was pretty f***ing epic.

The problem with skyrim isn't the environments, it's the damn waypoint marker map. I wish a person could just turn that shit off so you find things naturally instead of following some friggin radar.

I'm pretty sure you can turn it off, but then you run in to the problem of nobody ever giving you actual directions because the game is built around using it.

The Crotch:
I'm pretty sure you can turn it off, but then you run in to the problem of nobody ever giving you actual directions because the game is built around using it.

The only way to turn it off that I know of is to turn HUD opacity all the way down, but then you lose your health and magicka bars as well. I've even looked for mods to remove the compass with no success.

BACK IN MY DAY we didn't have any of your fancy smancy Third D graphics! No! We had background art where the pixels were as big as cats and flatter then an ironing board!

In all seriousness while its nice to see some work coming out the art was always gonna be one of the lesser important things about a PS:T sequel. Hopefully they will drop some story hooks soon. Or some character art at least.

Lazy:

The Crotch:
I'm pretty sure you can turn it off, but then you run in to the problem of nobody ever giving you actual directions because the game is built around using it.

The only way to turn it off that I know of is to turn HUD opacity all the way down, but then you lose your health and magicka bars as well. I've even looked for mods to remove the compass with no success.

No, it's there. You can find it in the system settings.

Captcha: am I happy? Shit, I think I need to take a step back and think about my life.

Atbird:

Lazy:

The Crotch:
I'm pretty sure you can turn it off, but then you run in to the problem of nobody ever giving you actual directions because the game is built around using it.

The only way to turn it off that I know of is to turn HUD opacity all the way down, but then you lose your health and magicka bars as well. I've even looked for mods to remove the compass with no success.

No, it's there. You can find it in the system settings.

Captcha: am I happy? Shit, I think I need to take a step back and think about my life.

My usage of the marker depends on if they mark the location on my map or not. I don't mind markings on my map-that's why there is a map. Other then that, I turn it on when I can't frigging find something, like an item in a huge cave. Also, you can turn the marking on and off in the quest journal. When you click on it you toggle the marking on/off.

On topic: Think it's time to pick up Planescape: Torment.

Wraithsight:
Hopefully they will drop some story hooks soon. Or some character art at least.

Hope that satisfies you, at least a little. There are also more Torment videos on inXile's youtube channel.

Incidentally, they have a 1080p video of that screenshot showing some lighting, animation, and holy shit a character wearing a cloak that moves as they do that is so cool fuck yeah.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/torment-tides-of-numenera

They just hit 4 Million, beating out Project Eternity.

Shit has gotten real.

 

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