Torchlight 2 would need redesign for XBLA

Runic's plans for an Xbox Live Arcade edition of action-RPG sequel Torchlight II are looking a little less certain, as the dev's revealed it would need to be "fairly comprehensively redesigned" to fit within the memory limit.


While the Xbox Live Arcade edition of tip-top action-RPG Torchlight has been very successful, developer Runic Games faces serious obstacles with the sequel on Xbox 360. CEO Max Schaefer has told Eurogamer that technical limitations mean Torchlight II would need to be redesigned if it were to be released for the console.

"With Torchlight 2 there is a little more complication as far as just being able to do a straight port, as we did with Torchlight 1," he said. "In all likelihood, if Torchlight 2 gets to the Xbox it would be probably fairly comprehensively redesigned."

Schaefer explained that Runic "managed to shoehorn" the original Torchlight into the Xbox 360's memory limit, "but just barely." He illustrated, "As some people have pointed out, there's a little bit of frame-rate slowdown when it gets super crowded on screen. That's another fact of it not being designed for the system and just being shoehorned onto it."

The more ambitious sequel, then, would be in real trouble. Torchlight II boasts large overworld areas, character customisation, co-op, random events, and other snazzy, memory-consuming new features.

"We would have to be redoing the interface for a console release anyway, just like we did with Torchlight 1, so it would probably make sense to do something more specifically tailored to the Xbox," Schaefer said.

Asked on Twitter whether it'd be worth the effort, Runic minister of culture Wonder Russell responded, "Possibly! That definitely is the big question. Not ruling it out!"

There's certainly financial incentive to bring the sequel over, as Schaefer explained the original was a big hit. "I think it's the number one revenue game on XBLA for the year so far," he said. "We missed out being the top for units sold to Full House Poker by a little bit but they cost less than we do. It was definitely a profitable and valuable experience and we're happy with the results."

Fingers crossed, Xbox 360 fans. As for the PC edition of Torchlight II, Runic hopes to launch this fall. "It's definitely, 100 per cent, for sure this year and not the winter with any luck," Schaefer revealed. "It's coming along really well. We've hit our internal July milestones, so we should be on track for a fall release."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 5, 2011 7:00 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Torchlight 2 would need redesign for XBLA.

    Runic's plans for an Xbox Live Arcade edition of action-RPG sequel Torchlight II are looking a little less certain, as the indie dev's revealed it would need to be "fairly comprehensively redesigned" to fit within the memory limit.

    • reply
      August 5, 2011 7:16 AM

      "It's definitely, 100 per cent, for sure this year and not the winter with any luck," Schaefer revealed."

      So it's a sure thing, maybe.

      Sadly I think these guys are going to miss their window of opportunity.

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        August 5, 2011 8:22 AM

        "The doctors say he's got a 50-50 chance of living. Although there's only a 10% chance of that."

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        August 5, 2011 12:33 PM

        The PC version is, not XBLA, which is probably going to get released 6 months later.

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      August 5, 2011 7:17 AM

      I'm glad they're trying to get this out in the fall. I fear that if it has to be delayed into the Winter, people will just skip it and wait for Diablo 3.

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        August 5, 2011 8:17 AM

        Not me, I'm far more interested in Torchlight 2 than Diablo 3. Moddable, no persistent online DRM, and music by Matt Uelmen.

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          August 5, 2011 8:21 AM

          There are a number here who feel exactly as you do, but it is absolutely safe to say that D3 will easily outsell every competitor, just as SC2 and WoW have done.

          Not to imply Torchlight 2 is at all a lessor game! That is just how things will happen, just as MW3 will outsell BF3. People know Blizzard and know Diablo.

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            August 5, 2011 12:52 PM

            If Diablo 3 comes out before Torchlight 2, they(devs) won't finish it because they will all be playing Diablo 3.

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            August 5, 2011 7:39 PM

            Very likely it will. Certainly it'll make more money, as Blizzard will charge more, and is slower to discount old games.

            But for unit count, I wouldn't be too surprised if Torchlight 2 does surprisingly well for a small company. I think it'll be a huge hit as well. Torchlight 1 did pretty amazingly well.

            Sales aren't a good judge of what is the better game, though. I still have a lot of bad memories of colossal lag in, when friends insisted on playing there. And lost characters due to missing login to preserve dates by a day due to computer problems. And still unfixed Diablo 2 bugs like the Maggot's Lair doors, deaths due to CD check causing minutes of bizarre random game lag/time warp wackiness. Great, but frustrating game online those days.

            I love Blizzard's game design, Diablo 2 was amazing for atmosphere (partly due to Uelmen's music...). It astounds me that there's so few competitors for non-MMO co-op CRPGs, so many years later. (Yes, there were some close but not quites, like Titan Quest and Dungeon Siege 1, but they missed on RPG mechanics and replay value issues like static maps.)

            Frustrating that Torchlight 2 didn't manage to make it out earlier, might have helped them make a lot more sales. But I'm personally glad they're trying to get it right rather than out fast. Still, I fully expect to be pushing all my friends to get it and then to get their diminutive equines in gear and play it online with me. Doing it right should do great things for their reputation long term. Glad to see them take the long view.

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              August 5, 2011 7:44 PM

              Wow, I'm tired. Rambletronic Overdrive there.

              And if it wasn't clear enough: I loved the heck out of Diablo 2 in spite of the flaws. Amazes me that it hasn't really been surpassed yet. For such a simple formula, it's held off all comers for a remarkable length of time.

              There have been games that got individual things better than it did, but getting it all pulled together into a package that gets most elements equally right, and covers the same features? Nobody's really done it. The games that do random maps are mostly single player. Most of the ones that did multiplayer had even buggier MP than D2.

        • Zek legacy 10 years
          August 5, 2011 12:38 PM

          Do we know if Torchlight 2 is going to have persistent online character storage at all?

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      August 5, 2011 7:26 AM

      Ouch. :(

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      August 5, 2011 8:19 AM

      make it retail then. I'll buy it

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      August 5, 2011 8:20 AM

      This is RAM memory, not hard drive space memory, right?

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      August 5, 2011 12:20 PM

      Torchlight 1 was pretty much redesigned for XBLA so I figured TL2 would be the same case

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      August 5, 2011 12:27 PM

      So Rage and Crisis 2 can run on the 360 fine, but Torchlight "just barely" was able to? Am I the only one who thinks that sounds completely bogus? I loved Torchlight, but there are 10 year old games that stand up to it visually. If they can't get Torchlight 2 to run on the 360, it has nothing to do with limitations of that system.

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        August 5, 2011 12:34 PM

        Limitations as compared to the PC, which is the lead platform. If they'd designed it from the ground up for XBLA we'd probably have a completely different game on our hands.

        That being said, I don't think the memory issue has anything to do with visuals, though it most likely could get compressed somewhere.

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        August 5, 2011 12:37 PM

        It's not "bogus", it's why Rage and Crysis 2 have massively higher budgets than Torchlight 2.

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        August 5, 2011 12:43 PM

        XBLA and retail games are not the same

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          August 6, 2011 12:56 AM

          It's the 360's 512mb memory that's the issue. Nothing to do with XBLA. Eurogamer failed miserably by stating "it's the XBLA memory limit that's the problem, not the file size restriction." when they really meant Xbox. Now everyone is reporting it as an XBLA memory issue which is not the case.

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        August 5, 2011 12:44 PM

        Rage and Crisis 2 are not XBox Live Arcade games. XBLA games have a 350 MB size limit.

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          August 5, 2011 12:45 PM


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          August 5, 2011 12:48 PM

          That was hard drive space, which is now 2GB, and not the RAM issue they are talking about. There is zero reason why XBLA games should have limited RAM compared to retail.

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        August 5, 2011 7:51 PM

        PC can do insanely more visual variety than a console, thanks to more memory. There's only so much memory budget for textures, models and animation.

        Trying to tune a game designed for the PC to fit in the tiny memory available on a console costs a lot of expensive effort. Streaming things in from the hard drive without hiccuping is some major effort. Which is a HUGE chunk of John Carmack's R&D for Rage. Streaming megatexture environments is a huge accomplishment, he's really changed what games can do in a memory footprint, and how much disk activity is needed to do it.

        I can't wait to see Id Tech 5 used for a full RPG. I hope Bethesda saw the possibilities, and is planning to dump their juryrigged Gamebryo engine for it, as soon as they can. On a PC, with more memory and disk bandwidth, what it could do for CRPGs is just mindboggling. And then there's MMOs...

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        August 5, 2011 8:05 PM

        Please find me a game from 2001 that looks as good as Torchlight thanks.

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      August 5, 2011 12:45 PM

      If it comes to my Mac sooner because of this I will be happy :)

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      August 5, 2011 8:30 PM

      Runic isn't indie anymore Alice. Perfect World owns a majority stake in the company.

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