Torment screenshot

The Torment: Tides of Numenera Kickstarter project still has four days to raise cash from fans, but that’s not preventing the role-playing game’s artists from getting to work on the spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment.

This morning, InXile Entertainment updated the Torment Kickstarter with a message from lead environment artist Koy VanOteghem. The senior developer posted the screenshot above and talked a bit about building the world of Torment.

“Torment will certainly present some special challenges, but more so I think, unique opportunities to realize our vision in a new old way,” wrote VanOteghem. “We’re looking back to a 2D approach, with a fresh eye rooted in contemporary modeling, texturing, and engineering techniques. We hope to strike a distinct style while achieving levels of detail often difficult to present in 3D game space with a small team, through a process of prerendering major portions of in-game assets.”

The screenshot is a 2D prerendered background of an area called the Bloom. In the world of Numenera, the realm where the new Torment takes place, the Bloom is an important commercial hub city as well as a massive semi-sentient creature.

Using 2D prerendered environments will enable InXile’s artists to present a lot of detail, but it will also reduce the setting’s interactivity. That doesn’t concern VanOteghem.

“Any extra time we spend noodling in 2D will be made up tenfold when we get to our beta build and we are not ripping our eyes out trying to figure out how to get all that geometry to render efficiently on screen,” he wrote. “Our early tests are showing very promising frame rates for our 2D assets, freeing up additional processing power for characters, FX, lighting, post-processes, etc.”

Nearly 60,000 crowdfunding backers have contributed more than $3.27 million to the production of Torment: Tides of Numenera. That’s well beyond the project’s initial $900,000 goal.