tl;dr: Beta test released, companions with Colin, IGN stream
Chris Keenan here!
Today we are absolutely thrilled to announce that the Torment: Tides of Numenera beta test is now available to all applicable backers! This also brings what is likely to be the final part of the Road to Beta series of updates, though we will of course be sharing more details with you going forward throughout development.
If you pledged at a level which comes with beta test access, you can get your Steam key by logging in with your Torment account, visiting the Rewards page, and clicking the "Manage Keys" button you see there.
While your beta test downloads, please be sure to check out our Beta Release Notes, which covers some known issues and contains notes on a few game features. And remember, the Beta Test Access add-on is still available to all backers who want to join in and experience the game first-hand before final release.
A Free Gift for Beta Backers
You may remember that acclaimed author Pat Rothfuss offered to write a Torment comic book. We are happy to announce that not only is it finished, but we are also making it available free to all of our previous Torment beta backers at no additional charge. You can check out yourRewards page on the Torment backer web site to download it right now (click the "Downloads" button on your reward that includes your beta key).
Note: If you are a backer who pledged separately to get the Pat Rothfuss comic as an add-on, you can use the "Remove Reward" button on the add-on to get your pledge value back and use it towards other add-ons of your choice.
Introducing… the Companions
One of the defining elements in the original Planescape: Torment wasn't just its weird and wondrous world, but also its characters. Players remember many of the game's companions today for good reason, and with Torment: Tides of Numenera we are hoping to create deep, nuanced and interesting characters who you will be able to connect with, and in some cases, change.
Previously, we have been a little quiet on sharing our characters with you, in large part to avoid spoiling them. However, with the beta release now available, we thought it was an ideal time to introduce a few.
I'll be turning things over to Colin to give you a quick bio on some of the fine folks you can expect to journey with while exploring Sagus Cliffs. Of course, this isn't a full list of companions in the final game – it's not even a full list of companions in the beta.
As a warning, there are spoilers contained below, but nothing that will go beyond what you will see in the beta.
Aligern is one of the first companions the Last Castoff will meet. He's a snappish, world-weary nano who doesn't suffer fools or waste time on matters he considers trivial. Despite this rough exterior, Aligern has a deep moral core, and his innate sense of right and wrong guides every decision – and he's not shy about letting others know when they've stepped out of line.
Aligern wears a long, dark coat and rugged traveling boots that have worn countless miles under their soles. As a nano, he's got extensive experience with the numenera. He wears a lattice of moving tattoos across his forearms that shift and weave around each other, which he can use to attack his enemies or to defend himself against attacks. Unlike some other nanos, he's not afraid to get his hands bloody, wading into melee combining useful esoteries with his trusty mace.
As the Last Castoff wakes to consciousness, Callistege is there, watching, calculating. She's an associate of the Order of Truth, and she holds the accruement of knowledge as one of the paramount pursuits. She is known to be amoral, calculating, and manipulative, and she has cultivated a reputation for incisive brutality. Those who know her do not cross her, and some have suggested that this is precisely the outcome she was aiming to achieve. She is morally flexible in her pursuit of hidden truth.
And she does seem to have found secrets better left hidden. She is multi-dimensional... literally. Echoes of her flicker in and out of reality around her. Each of these "sisters" wears her signature elaborate dress, mirroring her actions, deviating in ways both subtle and obvious. In battle, she fights with a mix of nano abilities and ranged attacks, and is able to use her sisters to "teleport" herself from place to place to avoid taking damage.
Callistege's response to the Last Castoff is more outwardly sympathetic, encouraging the Last Castoff to experience and learn from the world... but those who know her would suspect her all the more because of this. What are her motives?
Tybir is a glad-handing and garrulous old mercenary, quick with a joke and an offer to buy the next round. He has stories to tell, having served as both soldier and gallowglass, and he's frequently the life of the party. He's always looking for fresh opportunities for profit, fame, and fun... not necessarily in that order.
Tybir wears the practical clothes of a soldier, but in garish colors – a long leather coat, baggy pants, open shirt and belted equipment, all with a casual flair. He's handsome, and many have found him charming, but now that he's older, more dissipated, and thicker around the waist, his charm seems to be slipping away from him. He favors the simpler tools of a soldier in combat, but he's never far from using a dirty trick or insult to even the odds.
With the Last Castoff, Tybir is friendly, outgoing, and eager to please. This might have something to do with the imminent execution of Tybir's most recent associate...
5 Million Dollars, IGN Streams Torment & Hero's Song
Interest in Torment's beta test has been huge, and we have now crested $5 million in pledges! Seeing that was a big moment for us, and a fresh reminder that we could never do this without your support along the way. Thank you once again!
Next, for those of you who are holding off on the beta, IGN was kind enough to sit down with Brian and George yesterday afternoon to demo the first hour of the game.
This video is not spoiler-free, but gives you a good idea of what you can expect to see out of the beta content.
Last, we'd be remiss without giving a quick shout-out to the new Kickstarter title Hero's Song. Developed by Pixelmage Games, a veteran team with experience on several RPGs including EverQuest and Shadowrun, Hero's Song is a hardcore action-RPG with pixel-style graphics. Importantly, the award-winning author Patrick Rothfuss is lending his considerable talents to Hero's Song (in addition to his work on Torment, of course). They are just out of the gate and could use the help reaching their $800,000 goal.
Once again, thank you for joining us and for helping make Torment possible. Your group of game developers on the Torment team have poured the last few years of their lives into creating an incredibly special and memorable world for you to explore. The passion exhibited along the way can be felt in the characters, the setting, and the overall experience.
And it's only going to get better from here…
We'll see you next time!