Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

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Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Brother None » March 26th, 2015, 10:18 am

This thread is for news on the Bard's Tale IV not directly from inXile

Brian spoke about the Bard's Tale IV to Gameranx in a recent interview:
You recently announced The Bard's Tale IV, a proper sequel to the series that got many of us into RPGs in the first place. Are you planning to modernize the game, or will it feature grid-based dungeoneering a la Etrian Odyssey, or some combination of the two?

We are going to experiment with a couple of new techniques so I hesitate to reveal too much now but I would say that locking someone onto a grid would take away from the immersion I want to get across. There are ways to have the best of both worlds. I wouldn't want people to read too much into this answer since I have some ideas that I want to see played out first.

Can you tell us a little more about the combat system in The Bard's Tale IV? In an interview with IGN awhile back, you mentioned borrowing concepts from Hearthstone. Could you shed some light on how that works?

It’s still very early in the design phase for The Bard’s Tale IV but we have a good sense of how we want it to feel. Heathstone is a game that does a great job at providing systems that make the player think at each turn. Instead of simply having a battle of attrition where you spend turn after turn slowly reducing your enemies health, we want to keep the combat lively, forcing you to make tough decisions at each round. Our focus right now is in defining the core combat variables that our designers can use to craft the enemy skill and spell books. Many skills will have direct counters that will allow you to turn the tides in your favor based on your character choices and party make-up. We want it to move snappier than a turn based game, not be a click fest nor be too passive. Stay tuned.

When are you planning to announce the Kickstarter for The Bard's Tale IV?

I think we did. ;) Timing of a crowdfunding campaign is a function of us having the proper assets ready for prime time.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by sear » March 27th, 2015, 7:13 am

We've also got some new tidbits on Bard's Tale IV from Eurogamer as they sat down to talk with Brian and Chris Keenan recently.
The Bard's Tale began life in 1985, with Interplay's Tales of the Unknown: Volume One. The Bard's Tale 2: The Destiny Knight followed in 1986, before The Bard's Tale 3: Thief of Fate came out in 1988. If nothing else, with Wasteland 2 and The Bard's Tale 4 Fargo is keeping '80s gaming franchises alive and kicking.

"It's going to be a proper sequel to the original," Fargo says, without giving much away.

"We felt a little cheeky and we did that comedy version in 2004, and we cracked ourselves up with it. But we recognise people wanted a true sequel. And they wanted that classic dungeon crawl. I think Bard's Tale is probably as close to my heart as any game as I've ever done before. And I love this style of game."

Then some good old-fashioned Fargo hype: "I think where people will hopefully be pleasantly surprised, is just how ambitious it is. From a graphical perspective, from a musical perspective, it's going to be bigger and bolder than what people are thinking it will be."

Chris Keenan is similarly enthusiastic, but a tad more reserved.

"There's a lot of room for improvement in that genre," he says. "They aren't going to be the huge, five million sellers, so they've kind of been a little bit lost in time. There's not a big swathe of them that come out. You've had your Might & Magic 10s and your Grimrocks, but there's certainly a lot of creative freedom we can take on it."

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by paradox-fi » March 28th, 2015, 12:17 pm

Brian Fargo wrote:I would say that locking someone onto a grid would take away from the immersion I want to get across.
:(
Brian Fargo wrote:There are ways to have the best of both worlds.
Fingers crossed :)
Brian Fargo wrote:Heathstone is a game that does a great job at providing systems that make the player think at each turn.
Hearthstone may be a good game, and making a game influenced by it may be a good idea, but turning Bard's Tale into a card game sounds really really really really really weird.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Woolfe » March 29th, 2015, 4:43 pm

paradox-fi wrote:
Brian Fargo wrote:Heathstone is a game that does a great job at providing systems that make the player think at each turn.
Hearthstone may be a good game, and making a game influenced by it may be a good idea, but turning Bard's Tale into a card game sounds really really really really really weird.
The underlined part is the important element. He isn't saying turn BT into a card game. He is talking about the back and forth action/reaction that occurs in each others "turns" in Hearthstone. So even though it is the other guys turn, there are still things you can do.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Lucius » May 18th, 2015, 8:59 am

Bah cut and paste not working on my phone.

-BT4 kickstarter starting on Jun 2.

-1st person perspective confirmed

-Unreal Engine 4

-Some kind of phase based combat

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Zombra » May 18th, 2015, 11:38 am

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Gizmo » May 18th, 2015, 11:57 am

Woolfe wrote:He is talking about the back and forth action/reaction that occurs in each others "turns" in Hearthstone. So even though it is the other guys turn, there are still things you can do.
That is a sad state of the times IMO; that they have to include a thing like that. This means even after their turn, the other player is looking for stuff to occupy their attention instead of studying their opponent's actions.... It's like two people talking, and both only concerned with their phones and when they next get to talk again. :(
(They are supposed to be listening for comprehension; and in a duel, they are supposed to respect the other player enough to concentrate on what actions they take; and what their strategy might be.)

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Drool » May 18th, 2015, 12:23 pm

Gizmo wrote:This means even after their turn, the other player is looking for stuff to occupy their attention instead of studying their opponent's actions....
What...?

Studying your opponent's actions to figure out if there is a counter-action to do is the same as not paying attention to the opponent's actions? If anything, having interrupts increases the amount of attention you need to pay to the combat.

Which, incidentally, is why I'm not a big fan of interrupts. I like being able to "fire and forget" my actions, let the log scroll by and then decide what I'm going to do. I like being able to take a break from staring at the screen.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Lucius » May 18th, 2015, 1:35 pm

Gizmo, I think you are misinterpreting what Woolfe was saying, albeit I think he could have explained himself better.

Have you played Hearthstone?

If not, I'll explain a little bit. Generally you can decide fairly early on in a game that you will do this, followed by that then this and you have a plan to win. Of course, the other person takes their turn and your plan is at best delayed. Through the whole game you are thinking,"ok I'm going to do this next. If he does this though, I'll have to wait on that and do this instead."

It's all about thinking ahead and getting lucky that the opponent doesn't draw a card that will counter your plan. If BT4 can emulate that style of moves, counter-moves, planning ahead aspect, WITHOUT the huge luck component, I know I will be very satisfied with combat.

tl;dr - he means on the opponent's turn, you are constantly thinking about how you will react and foreplanning, not actually literally doing something else.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Drool » May 18th, 2015, 3:25 pm

A couple things from the RPS interview. First, him expanding on the Hearthstone comparisons he makes:

"But the field is dynamically changing so that things are happening based on each turn. You might see the mage on the other side whipping up a spell that'll take two turns for instance, so figure that you have to take him out"

And setting:

"You'll be returning to it [Skara Brae], and it's almost a couple of hundred years in the future and both the old Skara Brae and its dungeon have been built over."

So it it looks like the events of 3 will be quite awhile in the past. I hope it means that we might eventually break into the old catecombs, tunnels, and Unterbrae under the city. I also hope that there's some mention of the events of the previous games, but not as heavy handed as references were in WL2.

Edit: Oooo:

"It will pick up where they left off, though Mangar and Targen [sic] are dead. I'm not going to say you didn't really kill them. But their cults live on, and the reasons for what they did will live on in the next story."

Really, the whole interview is really good, with a lot of nice pull quotes.

However, it looks like 99 barbarians and 99 barbarians and 99 barbarians and 99 barbarians won't be happening.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Gizmo » May 18th, 2015, 4:04 pm

Drool wrote:Studying your opponent's actions to figure out if there is a counter-action to do is the same as not paying attention to the opponent's actions? If anything, having interrupts increases the amount of attention you need to pay to the combat.
Lucius wrote:Gizmo, I think you are misinterpreting what Woolfe was saying, albeit I think he could have explained himself better.
You are right. It sounded like a partial turn during the opponent's turn.
Have you played Hearthstone?
Nope. :mrgreen:

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by thebruce » May 19th, 2015, 7:28 am

Gizmo, you should play Hearthstone :)
I started a few weeks back on iPhone, admittedly though only get a brief session in maybe once every day or two (time!), but it's actually pretty slick and fun.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Gizmo » May 19th, 2015, 12:09 pm

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Woolfe » May 19th, 2015, 8:14 pm

Yes apologies, I too have never actually played hearthstone, but I have played other card like games. And one of the common elements is the constant planning and reacting, having to think about your strategies and change them as things come to pass. I WAS also referring to the elements where you actually play a reactive card in an opponents turn. So a counter card, or the like. But mostly it was the back and forthing that this sort of activity illicits that was important.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Crosmando » May 19th, 2015, 11:02 pm

Either way, a CCG video game is not exactly the most appropriate game for BF to reference when we're talking about a sequel to the classic BT trilogy. I want to hear more about how the developers/designers are playing first-person dungeon crawlers, both old and new, for inspirations. I want to hear how they're playing and analyzing games like Wizardry 8, Might & Magic X, Thunderscape, Devil Whiskey. Referencing Hearthstone must feels like Fargo just trying to be hip by mentioning the "flavor of the month", same way he mentioned Dark Souls and Game of Thrones in that same interview. Feels like cheap name-dropping to appear cool to "mainstream" audiences.

Heck even console games like Etrian Odyssey or action games like Legend of Grimrock are more relevant, because they're first-person crawlers.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Priest4hire » May 20th, 2015, 1:05 am

I agree actually. It did feel as through Hearthstone was being invoked due to its popularity at the moment. And card games like Hearthstone achieve their strategic depth via extreme abstraction. To me, that's the antithesis of what RPGs are about. Though more complexity and thought on the part of the player in combat it good.

Speaking of, Wizadry: Tale of the Forsaken Land features a system they called Allied Actions. Two or more characters would act in concert to launch a special attack. There were quite a range. For example, two rear row members could be dedicated to throw rocks at the first enemy that casts, disrupting the spell. It added some complexity by giving a range of tactical choices in a way that didn't slow the game down and wasn't too abstracted.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Crosmando » May 20th, 2015, 2:26 am

Thunderscape also had different types of attack, at the "planning" phase you can choose from Standard Attack, Berserk Attack, Attack for Vitals and Shield Bash (for melee characters) - all of which had different strengths and weaknesses, and for spellcasters you can choose how much mana you put into each spell, there's a minimum "floor" of how much each spell costs to cast, but you can "supercharge" it's effects but using more mana.

Not exactly revolutionary or anything, but it would be good to look at that for BT4.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Drool » May 20th, 2015, 4:20 am

I think he's also mentioning it because he's been playing it a lot, so it's foremost in his mind.

Also, he doesn't need to explain sequential phase-based combat to people like us; we've played Bard's Tale and Wasteland. He doesn't need to explain how top-down tactical combats work; we've played Gold Box games. He doesn't need to tell us about dark fantasy settings; we've played Torment and read Elric.

However, we aren't going to solely cough up 1.25 million bucks. He's going to need the interest from newer and younger players. Throwing out references to Hearthstone and Game of Thrones is going to mean more to them than Pool of Radiance or The Weird of the White Wolf.

In other words, it's marketing. Hate it all you like, it's still a fact of life. Especially when you're trying to raise a million dollars over the course of a month.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Brother None » May 20th, 2015, 3:18 pm

Our tumblr is live and ready for your perusal at http://thebardstalerpg.tumblr.com/
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Drool » May 20th, 2015, 9:08 pm

I just want to comment on the banner shaped screen shot y'all have.

I really like it. If the game looks that good, I'm going to be thrilled. You've done a good job of mimicing the rock walls of the original games:

Image

And, if I'm not mistaken, way in the background there, you've got a magic mouth!
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