tl;dr: Production update, Red Novella released, backer posters available
Eric checking in. In our previous update, we told you about how we were targeting an April milestone for getting the game content complete. We're happy to say that we've hit that milestone – this means Torment is now playable start to finish, albeit in a somewhat rough state.
The feedback we've gained from the backer beta has been invaluable in allowing us to improve upon the game in a number of ways. In particular, we've been in the thick of a massive user interface overhaul on both the art and design fronts, cleaning up a lot of the temporary and placeholder stuff that was in when the beta launched. It is shaping up extremely well.
Furthermore, we've been reworking the game's introduction. This is one of the things we got the most comments about during the beta's early stages - how while the strangeness of the world, the visuals and the writing were all engrossing, the pacing and the way information was communicated about the game systems and story felt like they could use a bit of work. The changes we've made should address these points while also moving things along a bit more quickly.
A lot of these polish points are still in the works, and we're also chipping away at our bug lists, balance and systems tweaks both in and out of combat, and adding additional layers of improvements on for animation, visual effects and scene artwork. We're still working towards a more stable and complete build for you to enjoy, but when the next beta update comes, it will be one of the most extensive we've done.
From the Depths: Red
We have some good news on the rewards front today. Those of you who backed Torment at levels that included novellas will be happy to hear we are releasing a new installment in our "From the Depths" series - The Red Hand.
This novella comes courtesy of writer Nathan Long, who crafted several characters and quests for Torment: Tides of Numenera. You will also likely recognize Nathan as the lead writer behind Wasteland 2, not to mention that he has well over a dozen fantasy novels and several TV episodes and films to his name.
The Red Hand is a Ninth World story set in the subterranean city of Haref, which shows how art and passion can inspire great acts of heroism, but can also be twisted into tools of oppression. It follows an artist in love with a revolutionary leader as his art turns her outrage into a powerful symbol of revolt, and then escapes his control.
Applicable Torment backers who got the Red Novella with their rewards can download it right now from their Torment backer account. Just login to your Torment account, check the Rewards page and look for the "Downloads" button on your reward package that contains the novella. And remember that our novellas are still available in digital form as add-ons if you don't already have them.
For those of you who would like a preview, here is a sampling from the early pages:
A splintering crash from the front of the bar stopped Parna and brought everyone's head around. A pair of massive purplegray Bayan watchmen—twice the height and five times the weight of the slight, blue-skinned Nil—were ducking through the door, truncheons in hand. Another crack, much closer, and the back door caved in too. A third Bayan squeezed in, her muscles bulging under her leather uniform and slurge-shell pauldrons—a sergeant of the watch. Her short-haired, heavy-boned head brushed the ceiling.
"No one move," she rumbled. Her voice sounded like boulders rolling down a tailings scree. "By order of the Sona Assembly, you are all under arrest for fomenting unrest and plotting rebellion. Kneel and put your hands on your—"
The patrons of the Black Pit didn't wait for her to finish. They bolted in every direction. Some dodged around her and her men and out the doors behind them. Some squirmed through the transoms on the street side of the bar. More ran for the secret doors that were the elementary precautions of any meeting place for rabble-rousers.
"Stop." The massive sergeant strode forward, trying to grab a mob of Nil who were all fighting to dive down a hatch in the floor. Sahi saw his chance. He caught Avza's arm and called for Parna.
"Parna! Come on! Out the back!"
Sahi laughed as they ran through the broken door into the alley and the sergeant called after them. How did that lumbering cow expect to catch a pack of running Nil? She was far too big and slow.
Two more hulking watchmen loomed out from the shadows of the alley. Parna tripped over the body of a bruised and battered Nil lying on the stones. Sahi and Avza hauled Parna up and ducked under the Bayans' swinging truncheons. The Bayan turned and pounded after them, heavy feet shaking the ground.
"Why do they bother saying that?" panted Parna. "Has anyone ever obeyed?"
"Less talking," Avza gasped. "More running."
They dodged around Mother Beda, the old Nil woman who sold grilled mushroom skewers in the mouth of the alley behind the bar, and plunged into the shadows of the subterranean street.
"Damn kids!" Beda shouted. "Watch your shenanigans, you—"
The Bayan watchmen burst out of the alley, knocking Beda's cart and grill to the cobbles and spraying her with hot coals. Beda shrieked and stumbled away, clutching her bare, burned arms.
"Bayan pigs!" She shook her carving knife at them. "Look what you did! You ruin everything!"
Sahi looked back at Beda's shout and saw one of the Bayan club her with a casual backhand. His truncheon was as big around as Beda's leg. It smashed her to the ground.
Sahi skidded to a stop. "No!"
Avza tugged at his arm as the Bayan lumbered closer. "There's nothing we can do."
Sahi couldn't pull his eyes away from Beda as she clutched her bleeding head and tried to get back to her feet. She reached out to steady herself, then sank back down, unconscious or dead. Her hand left a bloody print on the back wall of the bar.
Torment Posters Are Back!
During the Kickstarter campaign, we had exclusive Torment backer posters available as add-ons, but they haven't been available for a while… until now.
Due to popular demand, Torment posters are now available once again! These feature a striking design to match the one we did for Wasteland 2, and includes a list of backer names integrated into the artwork.
As an added bonus, the Torment poster includes free shipping for anyone in the USA, and everyone worldwide with total pledge level of $70 or above. To add the poster to your rewards,login to your Torment backer account, check the Rewards page, and add it as an add-on (it will be either on your Shop or Unlockable tabs).
In the News
A few news items to round out the update. Last time we showed you an interview with Colin and George on Arvan Eleron's Twitch channel that many of you enjoyed. And shortly after that, we had some other friends of ours featured on another episode of the show.
Featuring Monte Cook, Shanna Germain, and Patrick Rothfuss, the hour-long discussion has them talking about their contributing roles to Torment: Tides of Numenera and the Numenera setting as a whole.
Next, more interview goodness! Colin and George were recently featured on Shane Plays, a gaming-focused radio show and podcast hosted by Shane Stacks. You can enjoy the nearly hour-long interview to hear them wax about such exciting topics as Torment's development, how to break into the games industry as a writer, and who would win in an arm wrestling contest between them and Brian Fargo.
Last, we'd like to draw your attention to Consortium: The Tower, a single-player, first-person sci-fi immersive sim set in one massive location. The project initially launched on Kickstarter a couple of months ago, but as a smaller project without a pre-existing fanbase it didn't quite get the attention it deserved. This is exactly the kind of undiscovered title that can do well on a more curated platform like Fig, so we recommend you take a look if you like the sound of the pitch but missed it the first time around.