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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature: Tales of Toment, Part 1

Default RPGWatch Feature: Tales of Toment, Part 1

July 30th, 2007, 19:32
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
What was the exact role of Guido Henkel in the development of PS:T ?
He's the face of the Chosen One. No, I'm serious, the face on the cover and in-game? That's Guido Henkel.

Other than that, I have no idea. It's a good question, one I've actually been curious about myself, since I know Henkel primarily from RoA. Maybe MCA or McComb will join us here and answer the question (well, not MCA, he's on a holiday now)
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July 30th, 2007, 20:31
I agree with magerette that those things that Chris names as drawbacks (at least to sales) in PS:T are a large part of the "magic" of that title. Even though I never did P&P with Planescape, and PS:T was the only cRPG I played in that setting, I instantly loved it. It seems so much more flexible a setting that more traditional settings like Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance (of which I've played in both many a P&P campaign and cRPG). The non-presence of traditional races is SO refreshing. I'm pretty sick of elves and dwarves at this point.

I found the "reading" aspect of PS:T excellent, and largely skipable for those not inclined. I remember one particular NPC that went on and on and on about the nature of the Planes. I went through every last morsel of that conversation thoroughly enjoying every bit. I couldn't believe how much wonderful information on the world and its peoples was put into a cRPG. I'd never seen anything like it, nor have seen it since. I absolutely "buy games to read". Of course, things I like pretty much spell doom for mass-market appeal.

As for marketing, unrelated to Chris' comments, I admit the cover of the box put me off. It looked like Rob Zombie to me (and that's not a good thing). I ended up only buying it a year or two after it came out after hearing how good it was. I had made false assumptions on the title purely because of NO's mug. Of course, after playing it, I know how foolish I had been.

I certainly agree that these things limited the sales of PS:T, but they certainly didn't undermine its quality. Some of these are the very aspects that make PS:T unique in RPG history. Without them, well, it wouldn't be PS:T.

Edit: I forgot to mention, a big thank you to Brother None for this interview. It is very well done.
Last edited by Guhndahb; July 30th, 2007 at 21:11.
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July 30th, 2007, 20:33
Guess we are showing our age demographic here. Sugar, darning needle or whatever you want. At least they can have the deceny to turn this thing into abandonware unless you can buy the thing as a download somewhere.
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July 30th, 2007, 21:29
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Actually, you can get PS:T for 10 bucks various places. A bit cheaper than the BG bundles that are usually around 12-15 bucks, but that's natural since it's two games + addons.

Edit: I should add that these prices are used, of course. You can't get PS:T new anymore unless you pay full price for it, since it's not actually getting produced as far as I know, but BG etc are all being sold in those "big hit bundles" where various companies buy the rights to sell the big hits relatively cheap.

If you want an original Baldur's Gate it will cost you about the same as PS:T, since neither are being produced in their original form anymore.
I wasn't attempting to slam BG, and it's popularity and fame shouldn't be called into question just because so many years after release BG2 for instance, plus it's two expansions, is selling in the retail box here for $12.90, while at the same site, PS:T
(with Soulbringer) is going for $49.95.

In fact, that's probably DUE to it's success and popularity, i.e., most people have a copy already.

I just thought it worth mentioning that the value of PS:T remains constant over time, and is probably selling as many copies now as it did years ago (but I can't prove it…just an assumption on my part )

Originally Posted by mytgroo View Post
Guess we are showing our age demographic here. Sugar, darning needle or whatever you want. At least they can have the deceny to turn this thing into abandonware unless you can buy the thing as a download somewhere.
I don't think it can be sold as abandonware while the Undead form of Interplay is still in existence.

And my age demographic is definitely showing cuz I have no clue whatsoever about what the sugar and darning needle thing means.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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July 30th, 2007, 22:26
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Hmmm…

Actually, I'm still in contact with Tim Cain too.
Yes I was afraid of that (it is logical, as you say after all). Its such a pity too
(as is his apparent decision to stay completely away from the industry, unless
I am mistaken ?).

I consider Arcanum every bit an important part of RPG History as PT* and
generally a game getting less credit than it deserves.

Perhaps Tim Cain will feel more comfortable to revisit the past after a few
more years have passed (and perhaps concider a comeback to gaming).
Personally I wish him (and the rest of Troika) the best in whatever they do…

*
Those two are the ones that immediately pop into my mind when people ask me
what are (imo) the highlights of the iso era (before anybody asks: I still havent
played the fallouts although I did buy the white collection a couple of months
ago and have them in the pipeline, finally).
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July 30th, 2007, 22:40
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
Yes I was afraid of that (it is logical, as you say after all). Its such a pity too
(as is his apparent decision to stay completely away from the industry, unless
I am mistaken ?).
He still works in the gaming industry, as does Leonard Boyarsky. It's JD Anderson who completely left the industry behind.

Tim Cain just doesn't want to be a public figure anymore, he doesn't handle marketing, PR or producing anymore, and doesn't like doing interviews. I don't even know what game he's working on, tho' I know he's working at NCSoft (same goes for Leonard. I know he's working at Blizzard and not working on SC 2, but other than that…).
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July 30th, 2007, 22:44
Well, I couldn't resist posting in a PS:T thread again….especially when it's an RPGWatch Feature! Great job and nice to see the game getting props (again), looking forward to part II. The comments made by Guhndahb made me think that there is an analogy with another favorite of mine, this being a movie: the Shawshank Redemption. Not a huge commercial success at first, then gaining momentum through word-of-mouth and now being right at the top of people's favorite movies of all time. Also the title put people off, just as the cover box for PS:T. Even the languid but beautiful pacing of the movie (criticised for being "slow") could be compared to the wonderful all-out writing in PS:T, making for some serious readin' time. As I said before in another thread, the moment I recognised PS:T as being an interactive novel instead of just a regular cRPG I was totally sucked into it and haven't had a comparable experience yet. It actually gave me pause to realise that at first I couldn't muster the patience to read through some dialogue and exposition. Although I can enjoy a game like Oblivion on it's own merits, I'm a bit sad that the kind of rich storytelling has disappeared from cRPG nowadays. I guess nobody wants to take any more risks with all the money that goes in the development cycle of games, better put in some elves and dwarves to not alienate the casual gamer…..and lose some serious bucks. I'll be off to the Hive, you berks keep spreadin' the chant now!
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July 30th, 2007, 22:53
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
He's the face of the Chosen One. No, I'm serious, the face on the cover and in-game? That's Guido Henkel.

Other than that, I have no idea. It's a good question, one I've actually been curious about myself, since I know Henkel primarily from RoA. Maybe MCA or McComb will join us here and answer the question (well, not MCA, he's on a holiday now)
Officially he was Executive producer, but he left the production after half of the production time. Rumours say that's the point, Interplay forced the design team to finish the product, what results in the more linear gameplay of the second part of the game (ravel onwards). But that's rumour.

Henkel left Interplay because he was at variance with the management. Henkel seems to be an idealistic man, and that time was the beginning of Interplay's financial issues.

A small passage can be found in this german article: http://www.pcgames.de/?menu=060301&a…d=32590&page=1

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July 31st, 2007, 00:39
Originally Posted by Avantenor View Post
Officially he was Executive producer, but he left the production after half of the production time.
I think it was only four to five months before the game shipped that he left Interplay (he was the Senior Producer on PST) so he must have left after a bit more than half way through.
After Interplay, Henkel helped his wife run a DVD review site and then he ended up founding a company (G3 Studios) that is making mobile games. Don't know if that's what he is still doing. Looks like the website hasn't been updated in quite a while.
Anyway, there is an interview here at RPG Vault from September 1999 where it is stated that he left the PST team in August (1999). The game shipped in November/December so he must have punched out relatively close to the game's release. Here's a quote:
In early August, following the announcement of Neverwinter Nights, Guido was also named as Black Isle's Project Director for that title. So, it came as something of a surprise when he told me only a few days later that would be leaving, which he did at the end of the month.
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Default Excellent Interview

July 31st, 2007, 02:56
Great read, thanks!
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July 31st, 2007, 04:35
Will someone please cast a creative haste spell on Chris & Colin, like 10 times in a row please ?

The dialogue in PS:T, the concepts, the characters, the contrasts… absolutely a creative peak. They shouldn't have substantial negative hindsight about their creative project, even though some imperfections and regrets will always exist. Those negatives can be crushed by the weight of imagination. For example…

Megascope:Regret

Travelogueementia

Horrorscope:Revived

Angelicsphereortray

Hybridrealm:Create


(Help ! I can't come up with any rational/viable sequel names !)
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July 31st, 2007, 08:34
Thanks for the great article. I loved this game - one of the best I have played. I still hvae it somewhere will have to dig it out and play it again. Does it run on XP OK?
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July 31st, 2007, 10:51
yes, it does

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July 31st, 2007, 18:28
Very nice read Thank you so much for this It is always interesting to read about the way gamea are made.
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August 1st, 2007, 11:49
Originally Posted by Parmenion View Post
Thanks for the great article. I loved this game - one of the best I have played. I still hvae it somewhere will have to dig it out and play it again. Does it run on XP OK?
Originally Posted by Avantenor View Post
yes, it does
Woohoo! I was about to ask the very same thing . . . such nostalgia for that game, a true classic in every conceivable way, I don't think I've ever enjoyed a game anywhere near as much. Even now reading some of the dialogue sends shivers down my spine, probably the only computer game that I'd consider a true work of art rather than simple entertainment.

Time to dig it out I think.

Interesting to know that there's so many plotlines, stories & extra coolness that were left out in the mad rush to hit deadline. Surely it wouldn't take too long to wrap those up and put them in, I'd imagine sales of a Gold Edition Torment with extra content would be be more than enough to justify the time involved, there's a big loyal fanbase out there and more than enough n00bs who've heard old timers going on and on and on about how great it was who'd probably pick it up if it were in shops again.
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August 2nd, 2007, 00:55
Check out Platter's fix pack and the Restoration pack. I haven't gotten around to trying them, personally. but I've heard they are worth it.

-= RPGWatch =-
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August 11th, 2007, 20:37
Hi! I would have a question to Mr. Avallone or to Brother None or to anybody who could answer it. Is there a way to get the vision statements to the planned sequels? I'd be very interested in it. My other question: Will be made a Fallout Bible like encylopedia to Ps:T? Thanks for you help!
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September 23rd, 2007, 15:44
- Not an accessible setting. It's not a fantasy world that is comfortable for players to settle into, and we did not take pains to make it comfortable (no dwarves, elves, or halflings, as one minor example).

- Story-heavy in the wrong ways. It has a slow start, and while the momentum does pick up in the Hive, there's a lot of reading, and people don't buy games to read, they buy games to play them.
In my opinion, both points presented as disadvantages were in fact the usp of Torment. This special setting offered many possibilities to realize mean ideas, that would have never been realized in an e.g. Baldur's Gate-Setting.

Yes, there is a lot of reading in this game, but I think, that - like a good book - there are also many possibilities to create a genial atmosphere, that would never be possible to realize based on graphics or other gameplay elements only. I buy games, especially RPGs, to experience adventures. And the best place to experience such is in my mind. To stimulate it the best way, there's no better thing than reading. Nice graphics do it too, but won't reach the level a good text does. So I recommend to keep all of the usp to create a superior game instead of an average.

I love P:T. It's a really prized possession. Since I installed it when it was released, I never uninstalled it and I'm still playing it. It's too bad, that a second game desingned in this way has never been released. I would buy it and I suppose, that many other european fans would buy it too (just take a look in all the rpg-forums, there are many proofs, that P:T is kindly regarded by many fans).

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