Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

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Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by D-D » January 25th, 2017, 9:49 am

This was a stretch goal that was achieved, but was not shown yet:
Voluminous Codex: We always intended for Torment to have a journal that would log your discoveries within the Ninth World. Not the kind of Journal that tells you exactly where you need to go next and what you need to do – you are an RPG connoisseur after all, and don’t need us to hold your hand. But what you might like is a journal to catalog your travels and discoveries, one to which you might refer when some past details elude you. One of your suggestions that we really liked was to take the journal quite a bit further. At this Stretch Goal, we are doing that – we’ll expand the journal, giving you more lore, more creature and character portraits, and more information on interesting/important events as you come across them. As with the rest of the game’s user interface, the journal will be highly customizable to suit your tastes.
It sounds very cool, and I hope it has not been cut. Can devs confirm this? And what means "highly customizable"?

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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by CottonWolf » January 25th, 2017, 10:06 am

Considering they're cutting things that weren't even stretch goals, at this point it's probably best to assume that any stretch goals we haven't explicitly heard are still in have been cut.

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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by anonymous6059 » January 26th, 2017, 4:32 am

D-D wrote:This was a stretch goal that was achieved, but was not shown yet:
Voluminous Codex: We always intended for Torment to have a journal that would log your discoveries within the Ninth World. Not the kind of Journal that tells you exactly where you need to go next and what you need to do – you are an RPG connoisseur after all, and don’t need us to hold your hand. But what you might like is a journal to catalog your travels and discoveries, one to which you might refer when some past details elude you. One of your suggestions that we really liked was to take the journal quite a bit further. At this Stretch Goal, we are doing that – we’ll expand the journal, giving you more lore, more creature and character portraits, and more information on interesting/important events as you come across them. As with the rest of the game’s user interface, the journal will be highly customizable to suit your tastes.
This sounds so cool. So much better than the hand holding headache they are using. I doubt this will happen mainly because this game was made for console. It would be much harder on the kids if they had to actually navigate and uncover stuff for themselves. :cry:

Also, it is much more difficult to add journal entries, and work with a complex journal using a Xbox controller.

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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by D-D » January 26th, 2017, 5:09 am

Yes, it sounds cool. And Planescape had this as well, it was very memorable. But it's not in the EA.

I believe, if they had cut something so important, they would tell us. I just want to be sure after all the other cuts :(

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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by sear » January 27th, 2017, 7:11 am

We're still going to release the Voluminous Codex, but we're now planning to offer it as a separate lore compendium outside of the game.

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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by D-D » January 27th, 2017, 7:33 am

Will it still be "highly customizable" and what does that mean?

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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by anonymous6059 » January 27th, 2017, 7:49 am

D-D wrote:Will it still be "highly customizable" and what does that mean?
Sounds to me like he's suggesting it will be a digital reward. Most likely just a PDF that goes into detail about the characters in the game. That isn't what the codex was supposed to be, but it is better than nothing. It could be interesting.

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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by Zombra » January 27th, 2017, 9:57 am

Damn. An encyclopedia that evolved along with the PC's own discoveries would have been a pleasure to build. A big dry text file is not enticing at all.
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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by D-D » January 27th, 2017, 10:04 am

Will it at least be like Dragon Age Keep, so you can upload your saves and unlock journal entries and a bestairy and concept art? I don't know why you couldn't keep this in the game itself...

Reading about the monsters and looking at the art was fun in Planescape, and I don't want to look on my phone every time to see those entries...

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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by fairfax » January 27th, 2017, 10:22 am

This is absurd.

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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by Aramintai » January 27th, 2017, 10:50 am

sear wrote:We're still going to release the Voluminous Codex, but we're now planning to offer it as a separate lore compendium outside of the game.
What a stupid decision. It reminds of the Grimoire cards in Destiny where you have to leave the game, go to devs webside and read all the lore there. Is it THAT difficult to make another menu in the game where you can read a bunch of text??
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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by Named » January 27th, 2017, 1:07 pm

sear wrote:We're still going to release the Voluminous Codex, but we're now planning to offer it as a separate lore compendium outside of the game.
At $4.25M (Achieved!): Longer Story, Voluminous Codex, Crafting Numenera Are U kidding me? In PST we have full Voluminous Codex in the game!

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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by kaiman » January 27th, 2017, 1:14 pm

Zombra wrote:Damn. An encyclopedia that evolved along with the PC's own discoveries would have been a pleasure to build. A big dry text file is not enticing at all.
It could even have been made a numenera the player gets hold of and thus integrate quite organically with the rest of the game. Being a separate thing means it will probably fly under the radar of many players.


On a more general note, seeing how quite a few of those stretch goals end up either cut or reduced in scope, I get the feeling that many of them were a bit of a stretch to begin with. Looking back at the campaign page, towards the end there's a new goal every 50 to 100k for quite a long stretch.

I have the feeling it would have been better to just stop and say: "Hey, keep throwing money at us if you want, and we'll use it to polish and make the game better, but by now we have all the features we'd ever want and can reasonably add to the game." They didn't do that immediately, but they must have realized later that throwing all those yummy ingredients that lie around the kitchen into one pot doesn't make the best of meals. And if that's the reasoning, I'm fine with stuff being cut. But to not communicate those decisions at one point or another, without people having to ask specifically for each and every promised feature!? That leaves a bit of a sour taste.

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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by IHaveHugeNick » January 27th, 2017, 4:58 pm

Yeah, this is disappointing. Cutting things out I can understand - Torment needs to be weird and bizzare, and to make a game like that, dev team needs time and freedom to experiment with lot of weird shit in preproduction. It's inevitable that some of these experiments aren't going to work out and end up in the bin.

But not communicating it is major bullshit.
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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by Zombra » January 27th, 2017, 5:47 pm

kaiman wrote:On a more general note, seeing how quite a few of those stretch goals end up either cut or reduced in scope, I get the feeling that many of them were a bit of a stretch to begin with. Looking back at the campaign page, towards the end there's a new goal every 50 to 100k for quite a long stretch. I have the feeling it would have been better to just stop and say: "Hey, keep throwing money at us if you want, and we'll use it to polish and make the game better, but by now we have all the features we'd ever want and can reasonably add to the game."
Yeah. In general I think the whole stretch goal sales model is annoying. The objects almost can't be anything except "superfluous stuff tacked on to our 'core vision'". I mean, I get it, say you'll add a kitten for $50,000 and you get cat lovers out there urging people to pledge more, but a) that's kind of gross and b) half the time you forget about the kitten anyway and end up not adding it, you just used that money for general expenses. Nobody puts that $50K into a jar only to be spent on kitten rendering, which ... they kind of should.

Anyway, the model doesn't benefit the consumer at all, it's just a hustle to build buzz for more pledge $. If they wanted to put a kitten into the game from the beginning, they can just include it in the basic design docs and adjust the asking price accordingly. And if they get extra millions they can always hire more writers etc. on their own hook. If this stuff was correctly budgeted and had any kind of oversight it might be different, but it seems like it never is and it never has. At best you have these devs scrambling 2 years later saying "We finally sent out the coffee mugs, hooray".
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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by IHaveHugeNick » January 27th, 2017, 6:23 pm

Zombra wrote:
kaiman wrote:On a more general note, seeing how quite a few of those stretch goals end up either cut or reduced in scope, I get the feeling that many of them were a bit of a stretch to begin with. Looking back at the campaign page, towards the end there's a new goal every 50 to 100k for quite a long stretch. I have the feeling it would have been better to just stop and say: "Hey, keep throwing money at us if you want, and we'll use it to polish and make the game better, but by now we have all the features we'd ever want and can reasonably add to the game."
Yeah. In general I think the whole stretch goal sales model is annoying. The objects almost can't be anything except "superfluous stuff tacked on to our 'core vision'". I mean, I get it, say you'll add a kitten for $50,000 and you get cat lovers out there urging people to pledge more, but a) that's kind of gross and b) half the time you forget about the kitten anyway and end up not adding it, you just used that money for general expenses. Nobody puts that $50K into a jar only to be spent on kitten rendering, which ... they kind of should.

Anyway, the model doesn't benefit the consumer at all, it's just a hustle to build buzz for more pledge $. If they wanted to put a kitten into the game from the beginning, they can just include it in the basic design docs and adjust the asking price accordingly. And if they get extra millions they can always hire more writers etc. on their own hook. If this stuff was correctly budgeted and had any kind of oversight it might be different, but it seems like it never is and it never has. At best you have these devs scrambling 2 years later saying "We finally sent out the coffee mugs, hooray".
Yeah, but then again, this is Captain Hindsight kind of insight. It's not like anybody here raised their hand during the campaigns and pointed out the entire idea of stretch goals might turn out to be a problem. In the more recent Kickstarter campaigns you can see a lot of games are adjusting by making stretch goals that are functional rather than off-the-cuff tacked-on content.

You can't entirely fault them for coming up with poorly thought out stretch goals either, nobody expected these games to explode in the many millions of funding. Obsidian were quite open that their stretch goals for Pillars were basically made up on the spot.
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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by Zombra » January 27th, 2017, 8:30 pm

IHaveHugeNick wrote:Yeah, but then again, this is Captain Hindsight kind of insight. It's not like anybody here raised their hand during the campaigns and pointed out the entire idea of stretch goals might turn out to be a problem. In the more recent Kickstarter campaigns you can see a lot of games are adjusting by making stretch goals that are functional rather than off-the-cuff tacked-on content.

You can't entirely fault them for coming up with poorly thought out stretch goals either, nobody expected these games to explode in the many millions of funding. Obsidian were quite open that their stretch goals for Pillars were basically made up on the spot.
Well ... I did complain about stretch goals back in the day actually, but I didn't make it into some kind of crazy crusade or anything (and I don't plan to now - I still just think they're lame). :)

Hopefully moving forward they can at least be more realistic, not just for inXile projects, but for all crowdfunding stuff. And hopefully we will see fewer paid for goals get cancelled :x
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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by IHaveHugeNick » January 27th, 2017, 10:18 pm

I wouldn't even say that their stretch goals were overambitious, they were just...hard to integrate into the game. Stretch goals should expand on functionality more than anything else. Character customization, modding tools, perks, prestige classes. Those are things that by their very nature will integrate organically (buzzword alert) into the game.

When you're promising stretch goals like Large RPG Hub Number 3 or Five More Writers, you're just asking for trouble.
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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by kilobug » January 28th, 2017, 12:40 am

kaiman wrote:On a more general note, seeing how quite a few of those stretch goals end up either cut or reduced in scope, I get the feeling that many of them were a bit of a stretch to begin with. Looking back at the campaign page, towards the end there's a new goal every 50 to 100k for quite a long stretch.

I have the feeling it would have been better to just stop and say: "Hey, keep throwing money at us if you want, and we'll use it to polish and make the game better, but by now we have all the features we'd ever want and can reasonably add to the game." They didn't do that immediately, but they must have realized later that throwing all those yummy ingredients that lie around the kitchen into one pot doesn't make the best of meals. And if that's the reasoning, I'm fine with stuff being cut. But to not communicate those decisions at one point or another, without people having to ask specifically for each and every promised feature!? That leaves a bit of a sour taste.
Well, they definitely failed to the planning fallacy - they vastly underestimated the cost of some of those stretch goals, so they ended up unable to fulfill them all, especially since while dev was under work they had new ideas that fitted their vision or the current state of the game even better that the original stretch goals.

I agree the stretch goal model is a bit faulty, but then if you just say "just keep throwing money and we'll improve the game" it's likely the game will not reach as high funding level, and will be even smaller/shallower at the end... perhaps some kind of "indicative stretch goals", "if we reach the 3.5M milestone, we'll do something like adding a new companion, but exactly what might change during dev" (like giving more depth/reactivity to existing companions), but I'm not sure that would work - fuzzy wordings don't motivate people much, and some would still complain about the "cut companion". I think we all know about the problem around stretch goals, but we still don't have any real solution...

Now, sure I'm a bit disappointed to see some of the stretch goals cut/reduced, but I'll reserve my judgment until I play the final game from beginning to end. If the game is great, Torment-worthy, with high reactivity, ... then "all is forgiven", at least to me.

And yes, better communication would help, but as sear said they are a tiny team with no dedicated PR/community manager, and devs/testers/... are probably underwater finalizing the game - being myself a software developer I know how things can get hot close to release, .

One last thing is that they mentioned DLC/expansions, that will be free for backers, perhaps some of the cut stretch goals will make it to a DLC/expansion, that would be great.

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Re: Is the Voluminous Codex still in the game?

Post by Lord of Riva » January 28th, 2017, 1:57 am

Im not really that bothered by cuts in game development and i am certainly aware of how it works due to my work.

What is bothering me is that they did not say anything, why is being honest (here meaning the need to not tell their early customers whats up, rather than lying) such a rare trait in game development?

There will be a NDA or some such to enforce it, i just do not understand how any of this even exists. In what scenario is not saying that something is not in the game that was "promised" preferable to it being found out leading to a shitstorm from people expecting these things?

i would love to understand the thinking on this one.

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