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WCFTech Interview with Colin & Gavin

news2017-01-26 10:37:29

The guys at WFCTech have interviewed Creative Lead Colin McComb and Senior Writer Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie about Torment. You can see the full article here, but we've posted a snippet below.

When you set out to make the spiritual and thematic successor to Planescape: Torment, one of the most beloved cRPGs of all time, it was no easy task. Do you feel you’ve accomplished your original goals with the project? Is the final game perhaps a bit different from what you had first envisioned?

Colin: One of the things with game development is that it is always different from what you first envisioned. I cannot think of a single development experience I’ve ever had where it was exactly as we thought it was going to be from the start. That’s the same in pretty much any creative endeavour as well; artists say they make a mistake and have to repurpose the entire painting, musicians have their happy accidents, and we do as well. We have gone through multiple major story iterations, not to mention the smaller iterations as well. That said, I am really happy with what we’ve done. I was actually scared enough at the start of development when Brian Fargo asked me to do this project that I considered saying no, just because, you know, you are following up Planescape: Torment. How do you do that? If you fail that, that’s basically your career. ‘Hey, thanks for shitting over our beloved franchise!’. We assembled a great team, and I guess Gavin is part of that. Wait, let me correct that. Gavin is a crucial part of that. He brought a lot of levity and a level of humour to the game. I tend to write pretty serious, and Gavin brought a much more light-hearted approach. You’ll be playing thinking, ‘Oh, this is so funny’, and then he just dinks the dagger in you, and you go ‘oh my god, he was just loosening me up for the big emotional shot here’.

Gavin: I specialise in nice, fluffy comedy with a sad, chewy centre.

Colin: To get back to your question, I do think we’ve made a worthy companion to Planescape: Torment.

What’s the single feature of Torment: Tides of Numenera you think will set the game apart from the rest?

Colin: We were actually joking about this ahead of time.

Gavin: I think the reactivity is something we are really proud of. I’m sure you’ve heard this number a few times now, but there’s over a million words. I think we broke a million just in doing the polish, and coming back to previous conversations and adding in extra layers of reactivity. If you mention a guy across town in a conversation and you look at that and go, ‘oh, hey, maybe I should have some sort of reaction to that’, and I can go over to that character and then they have something to tell me just because I had that one line from that other character across town. We tried to do that everywhere we could. George Ziets is our lead level designer and he has been amazing at this sort of thing. All these questions that are such to a level of detail that make you go, ‘wow, this game would be better if I did this one extra thing’, so let’s open up this conversation again and add this extra stuff. That’s probably been the defining thing for me.

Colin: I think the thing that is going to set this game apart is probably that level of detail, that meticulousness. George’s designs... he’s incredibly imaginative. I created the broad overview of these things and then George got in there and just nailed this stuff. Nailed it so hard, nailed it so well. I think that Sagus Cliffs is going to be held up as a model for how to design cities in the future. It’s just so intertwined and so dense, I think people are really going to respond to that.

Gavin: That’s not even taking to account the backer characters.

Colin: The game launched as a Kickstarter title and we raised four or five times our asking price. Some of the reward tiers allowed backers to create NPCs that went into the game.

Gavin: And yeah, that is tricky. They could come up with a line, they could come up with a few sentences, or they could give us an entire page and we would do our best to fit this into the Numenera world. One person wanted basically Ryu from Street Fighter. Literally, he has the bandana, he has the outfit, everything like that. It was George’s job to take those characters and give them Numenera backing, and link them to all the different quests throughout the zone. George is amazing. He would do that and then hand it over the writers for conversation development. This game would not be what it is without George.