One year after successfully raising $2,933,252 for Wasteland 2, inXile Entertainment returned to Kickstarter to fund their new project, Torment: Tides Of Numenera. Set in Monte Cook’s tabletop RPG setting of Numenera, Torment promised to be a rich story-driven, isometric RPG.
Backers flocked to the campaign, pledging $4,188,927 of the $900,000 funding goal. The extra funds unlocked a treasure trove of additional content. This Included high level stretch goals such as new companions, the city of Oasis, and crafting.
Torment: Tides Of Numenera is set to launch February 28th, 2017. This will be another major release for inXile. But, backers had began to notice some unusual discrepancies.
The Best Things Come To Those Who Wait
One of the first points of contention involved the Collector’s Edition. Typically the allure of backing a crowdfunding campaign is getting access to exclusive rewards as thanks for adopting the project early. However, the retail Collector’s Edition (announced in December of 2016) offered additional items that had never been made available to backers.
Understandably, this left some backers with a sour taste in their mouths. Why risk backing a project when you can just wait until it’s done and still get special rewards? The items weren’t just token offerings either. Buyers who waited for the retail edition received a statue, printed world map, and tidal talisman, among other goodies.
Left On The Cutting Room Floor
Still, this slight pales in comparison to information shared in the developer’s latest update. Less than a month until launch, inXile has announced that some of the features promised in the original campaign, including some added by stretch goals, would not be available in the final release. Features on the chopping block? The added companions, crafting, and Oasis as a second major city. They have also shelved the Italian localization of the game. Currently there are only tentative plans of it being delivered post-release as a community translation.
According to the update, these cuts needed to be made because they didn’t fit with the game’s revised and expanded scope.
“During the Kickstarter, we had to move fast. We had to make decisions and add content on the fly. The problem is, as with any plan, some of those decisions looked great on paper but didn’t survive contact with reality.”
Now, in fairness to inXile, it is typical for projects to undergo changes during development. Some features and mechanics don’t mesh with the rest of the experience when you finally get them all together. However, as some frustrated backers have pointed out, these sorts of changes are usually communicated before the game is ready to launch.
In what a few backers are calling a lie of omission, inXile waited until members of the community called them out on the missing features before addressing the changes. While they’ve made some substitutions that’s no excuse for their lack of transparency.
The Adventure Of The Disappearing Stretch Goals
Crafting was cast aside in favor of additional cyphers and artifacts. Oasis will still exist, but the Bloom will now feature as the second major in-game city. Rather than delivering the new companions unlocked through stretch goals in the main game inXile is considering adding them as DLC at a later date.
Considering this isn’t inXile’s first campaign it’s a bit concerning to see them having so many problems. Problems they could have easily solved or avoided if they’d simply communicated better. Maybe they’ll learn their lesson when they release Wasteland 3?