goes into quite a bit of detail about how we built the Necropolis area and how we used it to incorporate the thousands of epitaphs and tombstones in the game.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/in ... ts/1674434
Chris checking in. In our last update, we mentioned that we had partnered with Techland Publishing for Torment, and that our first major event would be showing the game at Gamescom 2016. After quite a few weeks of prep, it was go time. Brian, Colin, George, Thomas and myself all packed our bags up to visit Germany, and it was an incredible experience.
Techland did a fantastic job in setting up not one but two booths for us, and worked around the clock to provide support and assistance demoing the game. We even had professional cosplayers on hand! They are treating Torment like one of their own titles and know how important it is to get things right. We would not have been able to pull it off so successfully without them.
Designing the Necropolis
Adam here. A little while ago, George told you how we are incorporating backer NPCs into our game. I want to tell you how we're including the largest quantity of backer content: tombs and epitaphs.
First, let me take you back to our Kickstarter planning sessions. We knew from the start we wanted a reward where higher-tier backers could include their name in the game somewhere. In a game about legacy, set in a world built on the bones of forgotten civilizations, it made perfect sense for that reward to be a tomb. We designed a massive gravesite for these tombs, called the Valley of Dead Heroes. In this place would be hundreds of tombs, memorializing heroes of the past and naturally raising the question: "What does one life matter?"
Like our backer NPCs, we wanted the tomb content to feel like a natural part of the world. We also wanted to encourage players to actually read the tombs – not all of them, but some of them at least. And ideally different players would search through different ones. It was a challenge, but one we were confident we could make great... until the Kickstarter broke records, and we found ourselves with nearly four thousand tombs and epitaphs that needed to be in our game somewhere.
As we began designing areas, we did the math. We originally planned for two scenes that would contain most of the tombs: the Valley of Dead Heroes and "Valley Part Two" which would be placed in another zone of the game. But even if we made those scenes enormous, cramming in as many tombs as we could fit on-screen while still giving the player space to walk, it would only take care of half of the required number. We also considered sprinkling the other tombstones throughout the game, but that would still require far too many tombstones to be placed in every single scene in the game. So our algorithm master and all-around guru Joby Bednar had the very Numenera idea of a massive underground storage space, now used in the Ninth World as a burial ground.
The rooms in this space would be accessed by a control panel: the user enters a code and is taken to a room in which lie a subset of our tomb/epitaph markers. Mechanically, the room would be a single Unity scene, but with the props, lighting, effects, etc. swapped out based on the code the player enters. It would take a lot of custom scripting, but it gave us the flexibility to handle all the backers we needed to feature. It was the perfect solution, and with some design constraints outlined, thus was born the Necropolis…