Torment: Tides Of Numenera's Kickstarter campaign has been so successful that inXile are already behind their estimated schedule due to the massive number of stretch goals.
However, to tide you over, they've also released the first screenshot, depicting a glistening semi-sentient environment that's a character in its own right.
First up: the good news. The new screenshot (available in static form above or a nifty animated Unity test below) shows off one of the pre-rendered backdrops. The environment, known as The Bloom, is "a vast, semi-sentient predator, a monstrous, organic creation that extends its tendrils through the folds of reality." It's a deadly enemy and multiplanar trading hub combined, which is exactly the kind of insanity we crave from a Planescape successor.
Now for the bad news. Numerous stretch goals have been met due to the Kickstarter campaign's enormous popularity, and many more will likely follow suit over the final 64 hours. However, all of these new features (such as an expanded epilogue, deeper storyline and greater reactivity to player decisions) will all take time to implement, meaning that the project will not make its December 2014 release date. Presumably, then, we'll have to wait until 2015.
“We purposely designed Torment to be modular so that, if we had additional funding, we could easily expand upon the game in ways that would make sense. Your support has exceeded our expectations,” project lead Kevin Saunders explained in the latest update. “It is clear to us that to create as high quality a final product as we desire, and as you deserve, we’re going to want more time than we had in our original schedule.”
“We do know that we’ll need a few months past the December 2014 launch date we first proposed at $900,000," Saunders continued. “We’ll provide more details about our schedule after we have time to complete our planning following the Kickstarter. We thank you greatly for providing us enough resources to increase Torment’s scope and quality bar. It’s our plan to use funds to keep the team on the project longer, allowing us to design, iterate, and polish more, to make a game that truly lives up to the Torment name.”
Stretch goals are a key way for Kickstarter projects to secure extra funding, but the associated delays are leading many pundits to question whether it's always a good idea. This phenomenon has been named 'Feature Bloat,' by Cthulhu Saves The World creator Robert Boyd, who makes a convincing case for why, sometimes, it might be better to just ship the game on time.
There are just under three days left to back Torment: Tides Of Numenera, which will become the most successful Kickstarter of all time if it passes the $4 million mark.