The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

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The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by phimseto » March 13th, 2018, 2:16 pm

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In this latest Bard's Tale IV backer update, we share important news about the backer alpha and announce the full name of the game!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/in ... ts/2121489
Three times before
Did evil's lords
Descend on Skara Brae

And thrice did rise
Brave heroes, wise
To drive them all away

Now comes a fourth
To shackle the north
And enslave the world of men

Thus heroes bold
As in songs of old
Must take up sword again

In dungeons vast
Do these evils past
Their ancient secrets keep

So down we go
To face the foes
That lurk in Barrows Deep
All that and more in the link above! Enjoy!

- The inXile Team

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by Drool » March 13th, 2018, 2:23 pm

Man, I just don't get the title. "Tales of the Unknown: The Bard's Tale", "Bard's Tale 2: The Destiny Knight", "Bard's Tale 3: The Thief of Fate"... "Bard's Tale 4: Barrows Deep"?

I hate to sound like a cranky grognard, but why? Did you really pick a subtitle just to tell people what kind of game it is? Gears of War 5: Waist High Wall. Fallout 5: Post Apocalyptic 50s. Thief 5: Sneaky Stealing. Doom 5: SHOOT SOME FUCKING DEMONS!!!

It just seems yet another needless change. It also leaves me to worry (again) about the story. Also...
Three times before
Did evil's lords
Descend on Skara Brae
BT2 involved Skara Brae?

That said, I am looking forward to the Alpha. Um... I think I bought that level. I honestly don't remember. I should check.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by paultakeda » March 13th, 2018, 2:32 pm

I guess we're dropping the idea of focusing on a character in the party, then? I was looking forward to "Bard's Tale 4: The Monk's Habit."

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by thebruce » March 13th, 2018, 2:38 pm

Indeed, unless Skara Brae was an unreferenced 'city of the plains' per Bard's Tale 2's wilderness, elsewhere in the "realm", Bard's Tale 2 had absolutley zero reference to Skara Brae. That would be a little correction to make in the BT4 lore, if adopting the BT1-3 stories as prelude to BT4.

There was 1 reference to Skara Brae that I can find, in the BT2 manual at the beginning of Saradon's letter.


I have to say, I like the sound of Barrows Deep, though it does seem pretty typical, not really hinting or teasing at something unusual or mysterious. It has a very Lord of the Rings type of fantasy feel, but as Drool mentioned it doesn't really follow the legacy of the past games' subtitles.

I do like the idea better of referring to a 'hero' in some manner as 1-3 did. The "bard's tale" is (are each) about the people, not a location. Even if the hero is not directly a 'class' (the Destiny Knight was another name for the archmage-turned-ultimate-fighter with the wand, the Bard is the hero in BT1, and the Thief of Fate referred to the easy/intended way to win by using the thief's unique skills). Unless the "Barrow" is a unique creature or being that'll become pivotal in the plot. lol

So, the plus: I like the sound of Barrow's Deep. But honestly that's about as far as it goes (again coming from the perspective of a sequel being true to the originals)


The alpha? Definitely looking forward to the access.
Minimum system requirements? ;P
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by phimseto » March 13th, 2018, 2:39 pm

Paul, that was one of the sub-factors actually. "What, do we want to be reduced to 'Geomancer of Karma' at some point?" :-D By using this revival game to break the mold a little with the subtitle, it now opens more avenues to do new things *and* safely return to old throwbacks like The Destiny Knight without locking ourselves into a downward spiral toward "The Monk's Habit"!

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by ZZGO » March 13th, 2018, 2:49 pm

You don't have to "focus" the gameplay on a character class. I agree that that would be detrimental (though it apparently worked a treat for The Mage's Tale).
You could still keep to the naming scheme by referring characters who are integral to the story but not technically a character class (king, sage, scholar, inquisitor, you get the idea).
Ah well. I'm more surprised than bummed out by the name choice. It's no big deal.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by thebruce » March 13th, 2018, 2:50 pm

The name isn't make or break :P
Probably any name selection would elicit both yays and nays anyway.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by ZZGO » March 13th, 2018, 2:52 pm

Oh, and I have to say I am impressed by the song/poem.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by demeisen » March 13th, 2018, 3:00 pm

Drool wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 2:23 pm
That said, I am looking forward to the Alpha. Um... I think I bought that level. I honestly don't remember. I should check.
I'm in the same boat. No clue if I backed the Alpha level or not.

Ah, just checked, and I didn't. I wonder if it can still be added on (or at least, beta access), or if that's locked down now. I didn't immediately see a way, but I didn't look very hard either.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by paultakeda » March 13th, 2018, 3:02 pm

phimseto wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 2:39 pm
locking ourselves into a downward spiral toward "The Monk's Habit"!
So, wait, you don't like "The Monk's Habit"? :lol:

A lot could have been done with the nomenclature. As mentioned, the first game related to the importance of the bardic class, back when CRPGs didn't really emphasize that, nor had the actual compositions playing. The second was for an arch class, and the third did get to an actual class in the party. You could also have used it to identify the villain, or a protagonist NPC, or some other individual, maybe even the mythology of a story and not a character in it.

Barrow's Deep is okay. But it could have been "The Draugr of Barrow's Deep".

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by thebruce » March 13th, 2018, 3:05 pm

I still like Legacy of the Stars ;) A quaint followup to the wrapup of the trilogy.....
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by phimseto » March 13th, 2018, 3:10 pm

I wanted The Bard's Tale IV: Pool of Radiance (But Not The One You're Thinking Of, The Other One). For some reason, they didn't go with that. ;-)

You're right that we could have done any of those things, but then that's why I'm cool with what we went with at the end of the day. By tweaking the tradition a little, it opens it up for us to do something like that easily next go around (or to turn around and do something along the lines of Bard/Knight/Thief). There were plenty of suggestions along all those lines, but ultimately the team wanted something that they liked and felt symbolized the exploration elements and down into the depths danger of the game.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by Serjo » March 13th, 2018, 3:14 pm

demeisen wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 3:00 pm
Ah, just checked, and I didn't. I wonder if it can still be added on (at least for beta access), or if that's locked down now. I didn't immediately see a way, but I didn't look very hard either.
Alpha access wasn't offered as an add-on, and only about 450 people qualified for it out of 13,300+ backers in total. Torment had at least 4,000 backers with alpha access, and it was also sold as a $10 add-on.

Normally these numbers would be concerning for BT4, since the Torment alpha barely seemed worth the devs' effort with a far bigger audience.

But since we're so close to release already, this might be closer to a small preview of the beta than a "real" alpha.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by Zombra » March 13th, 2018, 3:53 pm

I'm sad there isn't a character class in the title - there are so many left to use that could have been great - but what's in a name anyway? I think the forum community should think up their own subtitle and we can call it that among ourselves. Now let's just see if we can agree on one :P

The more important alpha advent news is pretty exciting!
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » March 13th, 2018, 4:50 pm

Given all the "tweaking the tradition" that inXile has done in other aspects of the game that have been seen so far, I'd be more concerned about choosing an appropriate title than subtitle. Something like "Auld Scotland: The Bouncing Bobbleheads' Tale", perhaps?
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by Drool » March 13th, 2018, 5:38 pm

Serjo wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 3:14 pm
But since we're so close to release already, this might be closer to a small preview of the beta than a "real" alpha.
Having played real Alphas, I wouldn't complain about something like that. The last alpha I played wasn't even a vertical slice yet. It was barely more than a tech demo.
phimseto wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 3:10 pm
I wanted The Bard's Tale IV: Pool of Radiance (But Not The One You're Thinking Of, The Other One). For some reason, they didn't go with that.
I'd be hip to that. Or perhaps, Puddle of Luminescence.
but ultimately the team wanted something that they liked and felt symbolized the exploration elements and down into the depths danger of the game.
It still strikes me as a weird choice. I mean, how many games put their subgenre in their subtitle? Perhaps it's just me being cranky, but something like "Thief of Fate" seems more evocative than "Barrows Deep". Also... the more I look at it, the more I feel kind of confused.

Is it a proper name? "Out behind the House of Usher, was Barrows Deep." Is it missing a verb? "The barrows are deep." Is it missing an apostrophe? "Under Maiden's Hill is Barrow's Deep." Is it a weird Yoda-eqsue grammar thing? "And lo, the barrows deep and caves dark." I assume the latter.
thebruce wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 2:38 pm
Unless the "Barrow" is a unique creature or being that'll become pivotal in the plot.
Holy cow, that's it! The vampires from Tenebrosia Tar Pits! No, wait, that was Barlow. Nevermind. :lol:
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » March 13th, 2018, 5:58 pm

Drool wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 5:38 pm
Is it a weird Yoda-eqsue grammar thing? "And lo, the barrows deep and caves dark." I assume the latter.
Or just a Middle English / Old Scots thing. A lot of languages place adjectives after nouns, including older forms of English, in many cases.
But, yeah, I don't think the subtitle feels right either. It is contradictory to some extent, since a barrow is a mound, which is something rising out of the ground, not going down into it for any considerable extent. "The Barrows High" would be less contradictory. The entombment passage tunneled into a barrow could be deep, I suppose, but that is not technically the barrow proper.

But, I'm not going to waste much effort on the subtitle, since I think the title doesn't fit the game that they are making either.
thebruce wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 2:38 pm
Unless the "Barrow" is a unique creature or being that'll become pivotal in the plot.
I hope not. Then we'll have people running around thinking that the barrow wights of Arnor in the LotR are called "barrows" for short.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by Zombra » March 13th, 2018, 6:14 pm

Drool wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 5:38 pm
Is it a proper name? "Out behind the House of Usher, was Barrows Deep."
It's capitalized in the poem so it looks like it is indeed a proper noun. If I got used to Saints Row I can get used to this.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by demeisen » March 13th, 2018, 8:12 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 5:58 pm
A lot of languages place adjectives after nouns, including older forms of English, in many cases.

It is contradictory to some extent, since a barrow is a mound, which is something rising out of the ground
I also read it as a place name: there's a location called Barrows Deep. *Edit*: There's a place called Barrow Alaska, though in that case it was named after a person, and there are names like Tacoma Narrows, or Challenger Deep, or what have you. So it fits in that spirit.

I don't mind the title. Maybe it's a hidden cave network under a barrow? It has the ring of a locale you'd want to explore, and a little handwaving goes a long way, with names.

I'm more interested to see if something has happened with the weird portraits, when people get their hands on the alpha / beta releases. Or at least, if it's moddable somehow.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by Serjo » March 13th, 2018, 8:55 pm

The description for the GDC booth is now live:
THE BARD’S TALE IV: BARROWS DEEP

INXILE

First playable exclusive!

Utilizing Unreal Engine 4, The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep represents a graphical leap forward in the RPG dungeon crawler genre, immersing you in a highly detailed and lush world you'll want to map to its farthest reaches. inXile uses photogrammetry to create in-game 3D objects from photos of architecture, taken right in Scotland. With the Bard leading the way, the game has a strong focus on sound design and music, the latter inspired by and involving Gaelic musicians.

The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep is built to scratch that classic dungeon crawler itch with the use of modern design principles and top of the line graphics, breathing life into this iconic series for fans old and new. As inXile CEO and series co-creator Brian Fargo notes, "When we originally created the first Bard's Tale, the visuals were such that we had to rely solely on our imagination. Seeing Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep in the Unreal Engine is something we could only dream about back in the day."

https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog ... ace-at-gdc
Still no publisher listed :!:

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