Torchlight launches today!

Woohoo, torchlight-1-year-stompTorchlight, the new ARPG by Runic Games and using OGRE for rendering, is launching today! Well, strictly speaking the single player game launches today, with an MMO version planned for 2010. Torchlight has been developed in Seattle by a veteran team composed of the designers and leads of projects like Diablo, Diablo II, Mythos, and Fate, so you knew this was going to be good.

Well, Runic were kind enough to send me an advance copy which I played a little yesterday, and boy, is it polished. You can really tell the heritage of this team, it’s immediately fun to play and has really great production values with tons of neat little touches and is something of a visual treat, which considering it was designed to work on low-end hardware too (it has an explicit ‘netbook mode’ for goodness sakes) is no mean feat. A level editor is coming out very soon too – the very same one that Runic used to create all the levels in the game – so that will be a lot of fun to play with too I’m sure.

Obviously we’re very proud that OGRE has been a part of creating this title. Torchlight is available to purchase in about 10 minutes time according to the countown clock, as a digital download from Perfect World, Steam, Direct2Drive and other partners. It’s staggeringly good value, so go get it!

[edit]In case you need more convincing, here’s a nice video review / overview:

  • John Burton

    Seems the countdown clock is wrong, it counts down to zero at midday local time but it’s midday in their timezone that matters so 8PM in the UK.
    Ah well it looks good, I think I might treat myself to it as it’s pretty cheap

  • http://www.spannerworx.com Paul

    Yes looks like great fun! I pre-ordered my copy on Steam last night because they had a 10% off discount on pre-orders.

  • Leedgitar

    Got my pre-order in :) The Steam countdown indicates it will unlock around 6pm my time (EST), which works out good since that will be the end of my work day. Can’t wait to check it out!

  • http://www.hardwar.org Andrew Fenn

    I’m on the way home from work now. Planning to buy it from the site the moment I get in the door.

    I’ve been following this game since you mentioned it last time on your blog months ago.

  • Joe

    The game looks cool, and if I actually had time to play it, I might buy it. Given all the talk recently about small time game devs going DRM free its interesting to read this from there site:
    “We’re also scrambling to get Torchlight up on our site – we had some issues with wrapping it for DRM…”

  • http://www.stevestreeting.com Steve

    Yeah, it has custom DRM if you buy it standalone – 10 installs allowed I believe after which you have to ask for more. Or, if you buy it from Steam you get the usual Steam setup without any extra limitation – that’s my option of choice personally. I expect Steam will be the most popular purchase option anyway so most people won’t notice any DRM per se.

  • blankthemuffin

    I wish more developers were like 2d boy. Linux/Mac versions, as well as DRM free.

    The thing which I noted as well is that they seem to like the idea of the game running on netbooks, yet still no linux version though linux has even greater market penetration there. And if numbers like these are any indicative http://2dboy.com/2009/10/26/pay-what-you-want-birthday-sale-wrap-up/ it seems crazy anyway. Of course you add the expertise and technical issues involved with concurrently developing two versions, but with a well designed base it’d be less of an issue, and they started with ogre so…

  • http://andrewfenn.blogspot.com Andrew Fenn

    I’d like a Linux build too however playing the game in wine is good enough for me. Some people have already said there are problems with the DRM in wine though. I downloaded the game but haven’t had a chance to try it out myself.

    I think it’d take them a while to get a port out. Even world of Goo from 2D boy took a year after the windows release before the linux port was ready, although they weren’t using OGRE which takes a lot of the work out of porting for you.

    I don’t think I’d buy the game again if it was ported to linux since I already bought it for windows.

  • http://www.stevestreeting.com Steve

    What you have to bear in mind is that they got this game out in under 12 months (following the collapse of Flagship Studios), and to do that they had to prioritise. Like it or not, a Linux version would bring in a tiny fraction of customers compared to the Windows version so I’m not surprised it’s not high on their list. A Mac version is due sometime but realistically a great Windows game was the target they needed to hit first – everything else is just a bonus. Pulling time away from features & core QA to build / test on minority platforms would not have been a smart business decision. The only smart choice is to get the best fully-featured game out on the most popular platform first, get the popularity, THEN build for other platforms.

    And about Linux dominating the netbook market, this was true about 2 years ago, it’s not anymore. The vast majority of netbooks sold in the last 12-18 months run XP. http://hothardware.com/News/96-Of-Netbooks-Run-Windows-XPSurprised/ . I think the 96% is not accurate, but it’s definitely fair to say ‘the majority’ – certainly every netbook I see on a store shelf these days is running XP, you have to go specifically looking for Linux based ones via online sellers. The days of most netbooks defaulting to Linux and thus converting people to it were brief.

    I love my Mac, and I know many people love their Linuxes, but in a business environment you just can’t fight the numbers.

  • Shadow007

    It seems from a few posts I read that the game would run on Linux under Wine if not for the DRM scheme …
    Perhaps they could devise a way to use that to provide a Linux Experience ?

  • Mazza

    Torchlight is great! Had to buy it. It’s so addictive, all the smiting and the casting and the collecting. Just wish they will introduce Co-op soon.

  • kinjalkishor

    But arguably they will get more customers(loyal too and long term), by developing Linux and Mac versions. Even Quake 1 was largely OS independent and it did lot good to it. It is different playing natively on Linux without hassle.
    If nobody develops for Linux, then how is Linux gaming is going to popular, and if it is not popular no one is developing for it. This is the catch 22 of Linux.

    I fear same may not befall PC gaming in general due to consoles. If it were not due to loads of advantages on PC , PC gaming would had been died long ago.

  • http://www.stevestreeting.com Steve

    “But arguably they will get more customers(loyal too and long term), by developing Linux and Mac versions.”

    Certainly, if by ‘more’ you mean ‘an increment of less than a third of the Windows users’. But that incremental extra is simply not worth taking time away from polishing the game to a fine shine on Windows first, when you have a tight budget. Later they can add more users from the Mac and Linux camp, but what would you prefer on a fixed timescale:
    1) Support for Windows, Mac and Linux from day 1, but less time to polish the game, or
    2) High polish on day 1 for Windows only, Mac and Linux added later

    If you think 1, you don’t understand the game business. Day 1 impressions are *everything*, and spending your limited time on minority platforms over game polishing on the most popular platform would not result in better overall sales. Much better to make the best impression you can on the most popular platform first, then support the other platforms later. That way around you have a game everyone knows is awesome and will press to be supported on their platform, as opposed to a less polished game on all platforms at once which will be less likely to gather a following. Priorities.

  • blankthemuffin

    Oh yeah, it’s a wish for a reason. And 2D Boy didn’t release their linux version concurrently at any rate.

    I wasn’t aware OEMs had gone back to XP so strongly, although I suppose it’s not really surprising. Change being the devil and OEMs being inexperienced with the platform. And if I whip out that tin hat, Microsoft breathing down their necks. At least they’re not shipping them with Vista. Maybe projects like Intel’s Moblin will turn that back around again.

  • http://www.jacmoe.dk/ Jacmoe

    Travis wrote some time ago that a Mac port is in the works. :)

  • kinjalkishor

    @steve, Yes I meant they should release Mac then Linux version after the polished version. The problem I see is many times there is windows and Mac version but nio Linux version.
    Also Linux customers may not be more quantitatively but they care more for Linux games as there is not much to choose from, and I sense reputation of games increases faster being multi-platform. If one makes a good game for Linux, it gets lot more value from Linux users.

    Also that will boost Linux gaming more and will open more oppurtunities in Linux population, increasing sales, though that is arguably a very long range thing.

  • rackko