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Torchlight II
Posted on April 20, 2012

Happy Friday! Last week in our PAX East Wrap Up Part One, we showed our Xbox award, a behind the scenes video of the con, and the exclusive reveal of the final pet, the Papillon. Today in Part II, we bring you the second PAX East exclusive: the opening cinematic!

We've kept this tightly under wraps until now, and this is the first time the public have been able to see it. We are excited to show you "New Heroes Will Arise."


"Heroes may fall, hope may fade, but new heroes will arise."

This particular cinematic opens the game, filling in the story between the end of Torchlight and the beginning of your hero's quest in Torchlight II. Art Director Jason Beck created all the storyboards, and Klei Entertainment animated the scenes with sound effects. JD Wiker wrote the script, and Matt Uelmen assisted with sound effects and provided the score. Here's Jason Beck with some insight into the process.

What led to the decision to include cinematics in Torchlight II?

It was really two things that led to the decision to include cinematics in Torchlight II.

One, we simply had the time and budget for it this time around… things that were in short supply for the first game.

Two, we were very aware that the story was an area where we could improve upon Torchlight greatly in a sequel. Like I said, we didn't have a whole lot of time to invest into properly setting up, fleshing out, and delivering a particularly engaging story for the first Torchlight. We had a lot of our backstory and key points mapped out "in our heads" (we have a collective hive mind), and we tried to hint at greater things where we could, but it wasn't necessarily translating into a narrative. We wanted to make sure we addressed that for Torchlight II.

We're still not making a "story game", but I think we do a much greater job for providing context and motivation with Torchlight II.

How did you arrive at the style?

When we started talking about doing cinematics we also had to be pragmatic… we couldn't go big-budget CG, nor did we want to go with in-game cutscenes. We landed on doing something that was heavily stylized and 2D. I think part of the hope is that going that route would be an unexpected solution that also meshed with our restrictions.

Our initial mockups looked like something that played out on a parchment surface; primarily muted colors with some vibrant colors for punctuation/contrast and a more graphic, inked rendering style.

Some of the inspirations included the opening 2D sequence in Kung-Fu Panda, the cinematics from Heavenly Sword, the flashback God of War 3 cinematics, and Samurai Jack. With that sort of style in mind, doing it all in Flash became a really attractive option.

What made you choose to work with Klei, and what was the collaborative process like?

In our search for the right animation studio, we knew Jeff Agala and his art team at Klei came from a traditional 2D animation background. When we asked them for recommendations they offered to take on the project themselves and we immediately jumped at the chance to work with them. It seemed like just an absolute no-brainer for what we wanted stylistically and what they have shown to be so great at in their own games… and it proved to be so.

What can you tell us about the other cut scenes in Torchlight II?

Honestly? Not much. Why present a bit more story if you're just gonna spoil it ahead of time?

We tried to focus on the opening and closing cinematics and treat the two cinematics in the middle more as transitions. You could consider the cinematics in Torchlight II as having two majors and two minors.

Since our game is almost entirely from a three-quarter, top-down viewpoint we wanted to use the cinematics to give players views they simply didn't get in game; a bit more sense of place and environment with vistas they couldn't see otherwise.

Also, Vader is Luke's father, Snape kills Dumbledore, and Bruce Willis was dead the whole time.

Like our cinematic? Then be sure to check out Klei Entertainment's upcoming game, Mark of the Ninja, releasing this summer!

Torchlight II
Posted on April 13, 2012

Happy Friday! A week ago today, we were at PAX East, as many of you were! We were showing Torchlight II in the NVIDIA PC freeplay area, and we had a couple very fun reveals. The first one was the addition of the much-requested "Falcor" pet.

Tl2 ls falcor huge

The Papillon

Most of our community know Falcor as the little black and white dog that posted his "day in the life" back during development of Torchlight, and has popped up in nearly every dev diary video. Falcor technically owns Wonder, but he has been an office dog since the Mythos days and was raised by everyone at Runic Games. Falcor makes his digital debut as the model for the papillon pet in Torchlight II. Take a look at how animator Matt Lefferts captured his personality!

Chat more in our forums about the new addition!

Torchlight XBLA wins Game of the Year!

During PAX East we also found out that Torchlight for XBLA won Game of the Year from Official Xbox Magazine! Amazing!

Tl xbla goty award huge

PAX East Impressions

Wonder took some iPhone footage of behind the scenes, including player impressions. Take a look!

Torchlight II got a lot of attention at PAX East! In case you missed all the buzz, here are some of our favorite tweets that came out of the show!

Thoughts on PAX East? There's a whole discussion devoted to it in our forums. Find out what people are saying!

Coming next week, PAX East Wrap Up - Part Two!

Torchlight II
Posted on April 6, 2012

This Friday we are talking a little bit about a neat new mechanic in Torchlight II: the charge bar! As you damage enemies, the charge bar will fill up, and you can use this to give your character an advantage when in the thick of combat. Time spent not fighting will cause the charge bar to empty, so you will need to keep an eye on things to keep your edge. Each class uses the charge bar in their own way, so take a look!

Want to see the charge bar in action for yourself? Come by the NVIDIA PC Area at PAX East this weekend (April 6-8), play Torchlight II, and ask Max and Wonder questions about development!

Charge engineer

The Engineer

The Engineer's weapons and armor can only channel so much Ember before the pressure reaches a critical level. When charged, the Engineer can vent some or all of this excess Ember energy in the form of potent attacks!

Charge berserker

The Berserker

A Berserker's fury builds until flesh and bone can no longer contain it! Once fully charged, the Berserker's rage converts all successful attacks into devastating critical hits, and few opponents can stand in their way.

Charge outlander

The Outlander

An Outlander's fighting style builds in speed and precision until it reaches a fever pitch. While charged, the Outlander becomes a whirling dynamo, moving faster and faster and striking where it hurts the most!

Charge embermage

The Embermage

The Embermage's power stems from control, and control requires concentration. When fully charged, the Embermage enters a trance-like state of total focus, effortlessly unleashing powerful torrents of pure magic!

Who doesn't love videos? Check out this awesome video of the Berserker showing off his fancy charge bar!