The Torment: Tides of Numenera Kickstarter ends tonight. It has currently amassed a huge 3.9+ million dollars in pledges, over 400% of its stated goal.

Started by InXile Entertainment, a studio formed by two ‘exiles’ from Interplay, Torment: Tides of Numenera is a spiritual successor to Black Isle’s cult hit Planescape: Torment. Though it is not set in the D&D campaign setting of Planescape (InXile were unable to obtain a license from Wizards of the Coast), the new game takes its setting from game designer Monte Cook’s Numenera tabletop RPG, which was itself funded on Kickstarter last year. The setting takes place in the distant future, after a number of civilizations have risen and then fallen again, leaving remnants of their technology, relics known as numenera, scattered across the world. The current age is referred to as ‘The Ninth World’, as its scholars believe eight great civilizations have passed.

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In Torment: Tides of Numenera, the player character is called The Last Castoff – a vessel previously used by an ancient human who found a way to transfer his consciousness from one host to the next, casting off the shell when he moved on. However, without this ancient’s knowledge, each host awakens with a new consciousness of its own when he moves on, with no memories of what has transpired. The ancient’s actions have awoken an age-old guardian intent on destroying him and his creations – including The Last Castoff. And so, the player sets off to find their creator and learn the mysteries of their creation and the meaning behind their existence.

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Kickstarter members have been throwing pledges at this title in droves. It currently holds the record for quickest project to hit one million dollars (which it accomplished in a mere seven hours, after achieving its $900,000 funding goal in six, beating the previous million dollar record, Ouya, by an hour), and it’s closing in on becoming the biggest Kickstarter success so far – at time of writing, with eight hours remaining, $3,901,337 has been pledged. This is likely down to the cult status enjoyed by Planescape: Torment, which many fans hold up as the greatest RPG ever made. Numenera is being helmed by a number of the people that worked on Planescape at Black Isle back in the late 90s, and the $3.5m stretch goal was the inclusion of Obsidian’s Chris Avellone, lead designer of the revered 1999 philosophical role-player. Hopefully Numenera can live up to the legacy of the game that inspired it.

Over the last couple of days, InXile have released a couple of in-engine images from the game, which you can see above, as well as lighting and effects test videos that you can view on the Kickstarter project page. As you can see, the game uses pre-rendered backdrops, similar to Planescape: Torment, and the environments look very nicely detailed. The team has been showing quite a lot of concept art over the course of the Kickstarter period, and much of it has been absolutely beautiful; it really makes me want to explore these areas and discover what mysteries lie within these strange environments. Have a look at this piece of art, for instance:

tormentcaNow there’s a place I can’t wait to look around!

I’ve been considering for the last few days whether or not I would make this my first ever Kickstarter pledge. I suppose I’d best make up my mind soon. Everything I’ve read sounds very interesting, and the concept art intrigues me and draws me into The Ninth World. Planescape: Torment was, until recently, one of those games that I’d always heard about but never played, but after finishing The Witcher a couple of weeks back, I decided to start playing it, and so far I’m really enjoying it – especially the more narrative-focused, talky nature of it. It’s been a bit of a challenge trying to figure everything out, but it’s also a nice change of pace as I am able to dive headfirst into the world and work things out for myself, rather than have everything pointed out to me as many games these days are wont to do. If Torment: Tides of Numenera is going to offer a similar (yet different) experience, then I guess I’m going to have to throw my money at my screen.

It’s going to be a bit of a wait for the finished game, however; the enormous amount of contributions have allowed InXile to blow past the majority of their stretch goals (most of which were to add more content, areas, dialogue choices and extra staff). This obviously means that the team will need a bit more time to complete everything, so the estimated end date for the project has been pushed back a few months from December 2014 into early 2015. Let’s hope it’s worth the wait.

Follow the links at the bottom to find out more about the game – visit the project page, InXile’s tumblr site, watch some videos, read some interviews and view some concept art. Then go and throw a bit of money at the InXile guys. I think I’m going to do just that right now; let’s help Torment: Tides of Numenera break another record and blow past $4 million!

Links:
Kickstarter project page:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/torment-tides-of-numenera
Torment Tumblr:
http://tormentrpg.tumblr.com/

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