I’ve advertised that we’d say more about graphics this week. The most popular Stretch Goal request from you, our backers, is for 2D pre-rendered graphics, which would mean that Torment would have a fixed, isometric camera with 2D backgrounds. A primary disadvantage is that this approach requires a longer, and therefore more expensive, pipeline for art assets, but its advantages are numerous:
The same basic feel as classic RPGs (such as the Baldur’s Gate series and Planescape™: Torment) in terms of camera and environments
Environments will have a more “painterly” look, allowing us to more closely represent our concept pieces
By designing the art for a fixed camera view, every scene will look its best
System requirements will be lower
Because we are using a 3D engine, characters, effects, and some environmental props would still be modeled in 3D. This allows them to be changed dynamically during play (a 3D box could be opened, for example) and enables us to still adapt our Wasteland 2 pipeline and underlying systems (such as for character animation).
A famous recent example of this approach in practice is the screenshot released by Obsidian for Project Eternity last fall. We agree that it would be the best style to realize our vision for Torment and have been investigating its feasibility throughout this Kickstarter campaign.
We’ve been carefully evaluating the costs and trade-offs, and it looks like a 2D pre-rendered graphics approach may be possible. Being able to achieve this quality bar is only an option because of your great support – we are thrilled at the possibility that Torment could be as strong in its aesthetics as it will be in its storytelling and choices and consequences.