Posted on January 7, 2011

Hi, I’m Tim Swope, the newest addition to the Environment team here at Runic Games. I started in July and so far it has been great. They mostly keep me busy making props and dungeon tile sets. Before I started here I worked at Griptonite Games making hand held games. Before that I worked at a grocery store.

I have lived here in Seattle since 2002. Before that I was at school in Rhode Island. Before that I grew up in Connecticut. My education was in Illustration which doesn’t translate easily into a job after graduation. I had never considered a job in the video game industry because back then I thought all video games were made in Japan. Once I moved out here and met some folks in the industry, I wised up, and took some classes at the University of Washington in 3D Studio Max. With 3D skills added to my illustration education I was able to land my first industry job within a few months. Yay!

I had picked up Torchlight soon after it came out and gotten hooked. It had an engrossing mood, lovely art and addictive game play. I knew it was made locally and I had a secret wish inside my heart to one day work there. I nearly pooped when I saw the listing for an environment artist on their site. I spent the weekend making a mock Torchlight environment to add to my online portfolio. I sent it off on Monday and now I am here. Golly!


Posted on January 6, 2011

We are proud to announce that Torchlight will be coming to Xbox 360 as a part of Microsoft’s House Party promotion in Spring 2011!

“We couldn’t be happier to bring Torchlight to Xbox LIVE Arcade,” says CEO Max Schaefer. “This is what the fans have been asking for. Torchlight for the Xbox 360 is a new way to experience a great game, and we’re thrilled to work with Microsoft to bring it to fruition.”

Check out the screenshots and an art piece we commissioned as a fun retro take on Torchlight by comic book artist Derek Charm below!

Here is some more info on Torchlight for XBLA:

  1. What has been changed to make the game work on the 360?
  2. How are controls different?
  3. Has anything been removed/added for the console version?
  4. Will Torchlight be released for the PS3 / PSN?
  5. Are there any screenshots?

Q: What has been changed to make the game work on the 360?

A: The UI is COMPLETELY overhauled from the ground up. Nothing works the same. All new art and navigation. The concept of item ’slots’ is done away with – you just have a number of items you can hold ( 50 – ignores stack counts ). Potions and scrolls stack up to 99. Potions ‘auto pick’ the best potion to heal you or regen mana. You don’t have to think about it or map it. We iterated on the UI a ridiculous amount.

You can have 4 active mapped skills at a time, and a secondary set that you can swap between (using the dpad) for 8 mapped skills. Most of us actually find it easier to use a variety of skills on the console vs. PC, oddly enough.

Force feedback is in for quakes, strikes, low health heartbeats, and tugs on the fishing line :) Feels nice.

Q: How are controls different?

A: Control is direct – no virtual cursors ever. Combat is a little different – you move forward slightly with melee attacks and all the attack animations are redone to support this. You don’t ‘target’ enemies – you’ll get a red highlight for a ‘primary’ target that is in range, but for melee attacks you hit everything in your damage cone (secondary targets get secondary damage ). Feels natural and does what you expect.

Ranged combat is actually in many ways easier – kiting and dodging are significantly more viable with a controller and the autotargeting for ranged attacks works pretty well. ‘lobbed’ skills mapped to the triggers have a default distance, but you can finesse them for longer or shorter throws by holding the trigger at a given depth. Combat pace feels ‘faster’ and more maneuverable. If you’ve played classics like Dark Alliance or Champions of Norrath, you have the general idea ( but no jumping ). Movement speed is analog – you can move slower by easing on the stick, something you can’t do at all on PC.

Q: Has anything been removed/added for the console version?

A: No skills have been omitted. Some skills have had alterations to their functionality to make them feel better ( i.e. you don’t select corpses to summon a Nether Imp – you just cast it and if there’s a corpse around, there you go ).

Pretty much everything from the PC version is here. We didn’t remove any features, with the exception of secondary weapon sets, because there was no way we could find that didn’t feel horrible in inventory management. Socketing, enchanting, fishing, the infinite dungeon, item combination, are all represented.

We brought over some goodies from TL2 to the console version. Loading times are much reduced. Better animation blending makes combat snappier ( hard to describe, but you’ll probably feel it ). Automaps are brought over from TL2’s new automap system ( They are rendered out and much more readable, and icons cleave to the borders of the ring ). In addition, there are three new armor sets (one for each class), some new random quests for one of the miners in town, and a new pet – the Chakawary.

Q: Will Torchlight be released for the PS3 / PSN?

A: There are no PS3 plans at this time. Microsoft is acting as the publisher for the XBLA release.


Posted on November 26, 2010

Black Friday is here and the shopping season floodgates have been officially opened! In the spirit of fun and gift-giving, we’ve compiled this Holiday Gift Guide: gift suggestions compiled from the Torchlight dev team, sure to delight your inner and outer gamer or geek. Happy Holidays!

Jason Beck (Art Director)

  • XBOX Kinect w/ Kinectimals – This is the first ‘gamer’ thing my nearly 5 year old daughter has openly asked for without me mentioning it beforehand. She excitedly told me about it one night when I got home as “the game where you can make your pet tiger pretend it’s dead by playing dead on the floor”.
  • Rock Band 3
  • Fallout: New Vegas

Jolene Ziegler (QA)


  • Promethia hard cover
  • Batwoman hard cover


  • Fireman’s 4 brand beer
  • A tablet PC that plays Flash and doesn’t suck


  • Daria the complete series


  • Star Wars the Old republic for PC
  • Okami Den for DS
  • Golden Sun for DS
  • DC Universe for PC

Movies Coming Out

  • Harry Potter
  • Black Swan
  • Tron Legacy
  • Green hornet

Matt Wyatt (Accountant)

Jason Lamb (QA Lead)

  • The Alien Quadrilogy Blu-ray box set.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 2 (DVD and BRD)
  • Flying your friends and relatives out to see you :-)

JD Wiker (Writer)

Ben Evans (Webmaster)

  • Catan Histories: Settlers of America – This is a great new game by Klaus Teuber and Mayfair Games. Enjoyable for veterans of Settlers of Catan and new players alike, explore and and move westward as you settle America.
  • Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series – I have always found the Discworld series to be enjoyable and immersive, yet light enough to be able to put down and come back to at any time. The books in the series are not always connected and you can read them in (almost) any order. As a starting point, I suggest either The Color of Magic or The Thief of Time.
  • The 2011 Time Travelers Calendar – This calendar takes a listing of time travel occurrences throughout movies, video games and books and lays them out on a convenient time line for your datekeeping pleasure.
  • Dungeons and Dragons Red Box – If you have never played Dungeons and Dragons, this is a great way to get introduced to the world. The Red Box contains everything necessary to get started and play.

Jesse Tucker (Level Design)

  • Dominion: Prosperity
  • Dungeon Defenders
  • Solid State HD
  • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

Matt Munroe (QA)

Mike Fisher (2D Artist)

  • PS3, and 46" HD flatscreen for consoles in the gaming room :) (Note: Good luck with that one, Mike! ;)