It’s some testament to the crack team InXile have assembled for their Torment sequel that it’s reached its Kickstarter goal three times over without the involvement of series mastermind Chris Avellone. And like a choice chunk of gammon in the oven, that team just got a little cracklier. If Torment: Tides of Pneumothorax hits $3.5 million in the next two weeks, Chris Avellone will contribute to the design of the game.
“Chris will be the first to say PS:T was a team effort,” wrote InXile in a project update. “But he was its creative visionary and wrote the lion’s share of the game.”
If the stretch goal is met, Avellone will be reviewing and providing feedback on “all creative elements” of the game, including story, characters and area design. He’ll also be designing and writing a companion from scratch, working with original Torment co-writers Colin McComb and Monte Cook to conceive a personality fit for the Numenera universe.
“Of course, from the start, we hoped Chris could contribute to Torment as well,” said InXile. “But as recently as a couple weeks ago (16 days to be precise), we didn’t know whether Torment would even fund. And besides, Chris’s commitment to Project Eternity made it unclear whether he’d have the time.
“Given his key role in Planescape: Torment, and the respect he has earned from the game’s fans, we didn’t want to even hint that Chris might be involved unless we were certain it would be possible. Our unexpectedly strong start – because of you – made it an option we could explore. So explore we did.”
And so InXile head Brian Fargo has presumably been back and forth to former colleague and Obsidian head Feargus Urquhart to work this thing out. In the end, the two studios managed to slot their respective schedules together in such a way that Avellone can now contribute to Torment without leaving an auteur-shaped hole in his own Kickstarter-funded, classically-styled CRPG, Project Eternity.
The Torment Kickstarter recently smashed through its $2.85m stretch goal, which means more extensive, Fallout-style epilogues at the game’s end, and added Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines writer and Dead State developer Brian Mitsoda to its roster.
If an asteroid hits California in the next year, we’re going to lose about half of the men and women responsible for the entire development of the Western RPG over the past 20 years. I’m going to start work on a gigantic rock-expulsion net this evening. You in?