Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Crosmando » July 7th, 2017, 9:22 pm

Rogers rattles off several others that will be in the game: Elves, Trow, Einarr, and Baed.
So two of the playable races are just variations on human, and Dwarves are removed too? This game is doing it's best to spoil my excitement I'll say that.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Gizmo » July 8th, 2017, 3:31 pm

Crosmando wrote:
July 7th, 2017, 8:54 pm
Changing the combat system so radically, getting rid of Orcs, Half-Orcs, Hobbits, Gnomes and Half-Elves as playable races,...
Losing Hobbits is somewhat understandable, it's known to be ripped from Tolkien; (whether or not he ripped it from somebody else).
It's like InXile is purposely trying to alienate fans of the original BTs. Apparently to InXile all Bard's Tale means is "a blobber RPG with a Bard class" :(
Unfortunately, that is the way studios seem work these days. To Bethesda, all Fallout was... was an overly-complex world setting with names they could cherry pick to apply to a TES clone. (And likewise alienating the original fans— because there are less of them; meaning less purchasing power). Regardless of PR, most studios are not marketing the product to the original fans. :(
...the originals had a completely functional and interesting system where SP was a limited resource that needed to be managed, it feels like the BT4 team have caught the "innovation" virus, changing things purely because they are "old"...
But also the industry landscape has changed... Customers now have the misguided option (thanks to Steam), of returning their purchase after consumption—for a full refund with no questions asked... so long as they've consumed it in time. GoG does this too. :evil:

This means that we cannot get games that are quirky or unconventional—or that buck the trends. To use a food example... Anything that's an acquired taste is no longer salable (at a large scale), because the customer sends it back at the first taste of unfamiliarity. There is no time to acquire a taste for anything; and they design games with that in mind. :( (They practically have to)

Fallout (1&2) can be likened to digital Vegemite; While FO3 is the digital equivalent of Nutella.
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I suspect (but hope not), that this will play out the same with BT1-3 and BT4.

What I find irksome, is that this problem shouldn't exist with games that are funded (pre-sold) by the customer before development on it began. To me this seems like wishing to sell the product to people that would not have funded it in the first place... and doing so by changing it into something closer to what they might have been open to funding. Yeah... This smacks of Strawberry Vegemite.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Drool » July 8th, 2017, 3:44 pm

Gizmo wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 3:31 pm
Losing Hobbits is somewhat understandable, it's known to be ripped from Tolkien; (whether or not he ripped it from somebody else).
Halflings.
Anything that's an acquired taste is no longer salable (at a large scale), because the customer sends it back at the first taste of unfamiliarity.
Except it was already sold. To use your food analogy, inXile raised money for Vegemite and is trying to give us soynut butter. We gave money for Bard's Tale, not Hearthstone-meets-generic-blobber-meets-Final-Fantasy-Tactics-meets-whatever-crap-they've-been-playing-lately.

Wasn't the whole point of crowdfunding that would could make a niche game that publishers wouldn't touch? Fargo did a great video making fun of stupid publishers missing the point in chasing the mass market... and here they are, missing the point and chasing the mass market.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Gizmo » July 8th, 2017, 3:46 pm

Drool wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 3:44 pm
Gizmo wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 3:31 pm
Losing Hobbits is somewhat understandable, it's known to be ripped from Tolkien; (whether or not he ripped it from somebody else).
Halflings.
D&D has that, doesn't it? (And of course they got it from Hobbits, even though it may have been used before "Hobbit")
Except it was already sold. To use your food analogy, inXile raised money for Vegemite and is trying to give us soynut butter. We gave money for Bard's Tale, not Hearthstone-meets-generic-blobber-meets-Final-Fantasy-Tactics-meets-whatever-crap-they've-been-playing-lately.

Wasn't the whole point of crowdfunding that would could make a niche game that publishers wouldn't touch? Fargo did a great video making fun of stupid publishers missing the point in chasing the mass market... and here they are, missing the point and chasing the mass market.
That is the whole point of the last half of my post. ;)

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Woolfe » July 8th, 2017, 6:36 pm

Gizmo wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 3:46 pm
Drool wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 3:44 pm
Gizmo wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 3:31 pm
Losing Hobbits is somewhat understandable, it's known to be ripped from Tolkien; (whether or not he ripped it from somebody else).
Halflings.
D&D has that, doesn't it? (And of course they got it from Hobbits, even though it may have been used before "Hobbit")
The concept of half sized/childlike humans has existed in various mythology all over the place. Specific names may be trademarked, hobbit for example, but the underlying concept would not be able to be.
Gizmo wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 3:46 pm
Except it was already sold. To use your food analogy, inXile raised money for Vegemite and is trying to give us soynut butter. We gave money for Bard's Tale, not Hearthstone-meets-generic-blobber-meets-Final-Fantasy-Tactics-meets-whatever-crap-they've-been-playing-lately.

Wasn't the whole point of crowdfunding that would could make a niche game that publishers wouldn't touch? Fargo did a great video making fun of stupid publishers missing the point in chasing the mass market... and here they are, missing the point and chasing the mass market.
That is the whole point of the last half of my post. ;)
Yep. I haven't given them my money for WL3 yet... and likely won't at this stage. I think the wonderful crowdfunding concept has failed. The use of Fig is really an example of that. Suddenly its about investing and money again, not about creating games that are like the original IP.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by ZiN » July 8th, 2017, 7:00 pm

Wow, this is starting to look worse, than Fallout 3, really. FO3 actually kept more from the classics, than this. I'd never have thought i'd say that, but here we go. It's like a Frankenstein's monster of BT2004, Amberstar, FFT, Hearthstone, Skyrim, and who knows what else they thought to be fun & awesome. Anything but an old-school dungeon crawler, and even less Bard's Tale...

They also seem to be ignoring and/or intentionally defying feedback, survey and all, which is sad, because it's been great so far.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Gizmo » July 8th, 2017, 7:15 pm

Woolfe wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 6:36 pm
I think the wonderful crowdfunding concept has failed. The use of Fig is really an example of that. Suddenly its about investing and money again, not about creating games that are like the original IP.
Businesses have to be about money. One can't float a business on dreams. Who here would like to work for (and depend upon) a company whose prime directive isn't about aggressively ensuring that their company will thrive (and pay salaries) next quarter? Still... I'm always of the opinion that if a thing is not feasible to do properly, then it shouldn't be done at all. The hope was that crowdfunding could make it become feasible to do properly.

**It should be obvious by now to all that a proper Fallout sequel was never feasible for a company of the size, reputation (, and incredible self importance) of Bethsoft to be able to make. There is not enough market in it to pay their bills for a month.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Zombra » July 8th, 2017, 8:09 pm

For whatever it's worth, Fargo was loudly hustling for "Hearthstone-like" combat during the crowdfunding campaign. In that regard at least, this was not a bait-and-switch.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Gizmo » July 8th, 2017, 8:27 pm

Zombra wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 8:09 pm
For whatever it's worth, Fargo was loudly hustling for "Hearthstone-like" combat during the crowdfunding campaign. In that regard at least, this was not a bait-and-switch.
I recall that; although...AFAIK I've never played Hearthstone, so I have no idea what it's like. I guess, on some level, I hoped it was akin to Bard's Tale... ? (I mean gee... why wouldn't a Bard's Tale game play like a Bard's Tale game? ——Why BE a Bard's Tale game if not?)

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Zombra » July 8th, 2017, 9:38 pm

Gizmo wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 8:27 pm
I guess, on some level, I hoped it was akin to Bard's Tale... ? (I mean gee... why wouldn't a Bard's Tale game play like a Bard's Tale game? ——Why BE a Bard's Tale game if not?)
I don't disagree, just wanted to make the point. Anyone who thought they were backing a factory sequel was kidding themselves, and only have themselves to blame.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Drool » July 8th, 2017, 9:45 pm

Woolfe wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 6:36 pm
Yep. I haven't given them my money for WL3 yet... and likely won't at this stage. I think the wonderful crowdfunding concept has failed.
Honestly, I'm not as concerned about WL3 as I am BT4. They seem to be very gun shy about making a Bard's Tale game.
Gizmo wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 7:15 pm
Businesses have to be about money. One can't float a business on dreams.
But, again, they got the money up front.
Gizmo wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 8:27 pm
I recall that; although...AFAIK I've never played Hearthstone, so I have no idea what it's like. I guess, on some level, I hoped it was akin to Bard's Tale... ? (I mean gee... why wouldn't a Bard's Tale game play like a Bard's Tale game? ——Why BE a Bard's Tale game if not?)
Not even remotely. It's... honestly, it's more like Magic: The Gathering than anything. It's also free if you want to try it out. I played a little but didn't get much out of it.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Gizmo » July 9th, 2017, 12:39 am

Drool wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 9:45 pm
Gizmo wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 7:15 pm
Businesses have to be about money. One can't float a business on dreams.
But, again, they got the money up front.
Indeed. I touched on that point earlier.
Gizmo wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 8:27 pm
I recall that; although...AFAIK I've never played Hearthstone, so I have no idea what it's like. I guess, on some level, I hoped it was akin to Bard's Tale... ? (I mean gee... why wouldn't a Bard's Tale game play like a Bard's Tale game? ——Why BE a Bard's Tale game if not?)
Not even remotely. It's... honestly, it's more like Magic: The Gathering than anything. It's also free if you want to try it out. I played a little but didn't get much out of it.
This then begs the question: Why emulate a free game—in a paid one... when the other one is free? I can't imagine the artwork alone (no matter how exquisite (or grandiose) would sell the game on its own. If someone liked Bard's Tale... Would they buy (for instance) an Etherlords clone simply because it was set in the Bard's Tale universe? (Well... maybe, but would they buy it as an official numbered sequel? I would not.)

I really do think that this (IMO unwelcome) mindset is spreading; for once again we see a studio ~apparently deciding that it's okay to chuck with abandon the gameplay and aesthetics of a established (even grandfathered) game series, whilst keeping the name. Does this mean that any BT5 will follow suit with Fallout 4? (Becoming an even further tangential work, while still bearing the series' name; and summarily redefining it for the new fans—the ones that matter?)

Serious question; because it's an irksome thought... Is this the plan? (To nudge the BT series into the mainstream, for slick packaged sequels?)

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Woolfe » July 9th, 2017, 2:20 am

Gizmo wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 7:15 pm
Woolfe wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 6:36 pm
I think the wonderful crowdfunding concept has failed. The use of Fig is really an example of that. Suddenly its about investing and money again, not about creating games that are like the original IP.
Businesses have to be about money. One can't float a business on dreams. Who here would like to work for (and depend upon) a company whose prime directive isn't about aggressively ensuring that their company will thrive (and pay salaries) next quarter? Still... I'm always of the opinion that if a thing is not feasible to do properly, then it shouldn't be done at all. The hope was that crowdfunding could make it become feasible to do properly.

**It should be obvious by now to all that a proper Fallout sequel was never feasible for a company of the size, reputation (, and incredible self importance) of Bethsoft to be able to make. There is not enough market in it to pay their bills for a month.
Well Duh. But there is a difference between building something just to put bums on seats, and making something that meets the expectations. And the issue with crowdfunding, is we back because we want something that meets expectations, and when we back, we actually pay the primary cost then and there. What we have been getting tho is bums on seats. Look at how much Fallout has seeped into WL2. Look at how often those of us who were fans of WL have to fight tooth and nail to try and prevent elements of it being lost. If the devs really were on the side of the IP, then we wouldn't need to fight, because the distinction would be pointed out by them constantly.
I appreciate that they need to change to meet new standards, and that they need to keep it fresh, and that they want to do new things with it. But when that is done at the expense of the IP, then why even use the IP?

Oh and to follow up on my Fig point. Now they have a reason for pushing Bums on Seat, over "Meet expectations", because now they have to support their "investors" who are now not just the fans who backed because they want to see the IP renewed.
Zombra wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 8:09 pm
For whatever it's worth, Fargo was loudly hustling for "Hearthstone-like" combat during the crowdfunding campaign. In that regard at least, this was not a bait-and-switch.
My issue is not actually with the combat etc, my issue is with the seeming world changes. I only barely played the original, but it had a lot more standard fantasy fare. Now it seems like a lot of that IP is being abandoned. I have lost a degree of faith in InXile, so I no longer trust that the flavour will be there anymore.
Drool wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 9:45 pm
Woolfe wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 6:36 pm
Yep. I haven't given them my money for WL3 yet... and likely won't at this stage. I think the wonderful crowdfunding concept has failed.
Honestly, I'm not as concerned about WL3 as I am BT4. They seem to be very gun shy about making a Bard's Tale game.
I unfortunately no longer fully trust them, and they already have my money on BT4. I am more willing to wait on WL3.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Gizmo » July 9th, 2017, 4:00 am

Woolfe wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 2:20 am
Well Duh. But there is a difference between building something just to put bums on seats, and making something that meets the expectations. And the issue with crowdfunding, is we back because we want something that meets expectations, and when we back, we actually pay the primary cost then and there. What we have been getting tho is bums on seats. Look at how much Fallout has seeped into WL2. Look at how often those of us who were fans of WL have to fight tooth and nail to try and prevent elements of it being lost. If the devs really were on the side of the IP, then we wouldn't need to fight, because the distinction would be pointed out by them constantly.
I appreciate that they need to change to meet new standards, and that they need to keep it fresh, and that they want to do new things with it. But when that is done at the expense of the IP, then why even use the IP?

Oh and to follow up on my Fig point. Now they have a reason for pushing Bums on Seat, over "Meet expectations", because now they have to support their "investors" who are now not just the fans who backed because they want to see the IP renewed.
Woolfe, you're preaching to the choir on points already implied in the quote. ;) Woe is us, eh?

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Dork Mage » July 9th, 2017, 6:02 am

Gizmo wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 12:39 am
Serious question; because it's an irksome thought... Is this the plan? (To nudge the BT series into the mainstream, for slick packaged sequels?)
Yeah... I think that's what this is. Frankly, the kickstarter didn't look like a BT sequel nor did it look like it could be one.

Bethesda put '3' on Fallout to leave no doubt about where Fallout was going (had become). The same here for BT by Fargo.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by ZZGO » July 9th, 2017, 7:17 am

I'm in the process of replaying the original Bard's Tale, and am currently in Mangar's Tower (having aborted my first foray somewhere on its 3rd level without getting the master key).
I'm having fun.
But this is a game from thirty years ago, one that I could play on a digital watch today. It harkens back to the unrefined days where CRPGs struggled to find their niche and establish their standards (much like Pen & Paper RPGs at the time, actually). Classic Bard's Tale got arbitrary and wonky game mechanics with a thin veneer of story; game design sure has evolved in the past 30 years.

Would I play a "Bards Tale Plus" of 1993 tech standard, with new dungeons, riddles and monsters? Hell yes!
Do I expect Bard's Tale IV to be that game? Hell no!

I don't get how anyone could have expected the kickstarter game to resemble the classic games. I for one was fully aware that I'd basically be paying for a game that could legally claim to be a successor to the old BT games and would presumably somehow be based on the old games' backstory. But I never expected, much less wanted, thirty year old game mechanics. The defining aspects of BT were quirks and bugs from today's prespective, not brilliant game design. Or do you seriously expect to have archmages in BT4 with four times the hit points of your strongest warriors, and a gazillion spell points that might as well be considered limitless for game purposes (Harmonic Gem anyone?)?

I'll judge the game when I see it.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Gizmo » July 9th, 2017, 10:19 am

ZZGO wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 7:17 am
Or do you seriously expect to have archmages in BT4 with four times the hit points of your strongest warriors, and a gazillion spell points that might as well be considered limitless for game purposes (Harmonic Gem anyone?)?
Of course... if they are that hard to make; and presumably balanced by test & refinement.

As with FO3 before it shipped... No one (or almost no one) wants a 1:1 clone of the previous game in the series... But I certainly expected a game that at least played like it descended from the series. FO3 played like it descended from Oblivion; and was like a cuckoo's egg in the nest. So far... The only thing that I've seen BT~ish in BT4 is the magic-mouth. :? That's a legitimate harbinger IMO. I don't think all is lost with it ~yet... But it might be if the the core intention is to purposely strike off in a tangent... How could it ever be right if they intentionally did that?

**It bears repeating from olde: It doesn't matter if it's a great game ...is it the right game for the name?

I'll give you one quick example... This was the conceptualized gameplay of Dawn of War 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzVlpUf7e5w

Unfortunately that's not what we got... but at least we didn't get this as Dawn of War 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDuwoXAZngU

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » July 9th, 2017, 10:45 am

ZZGO wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 7:17 am
Classic Bard's Tale got arbitrary and wonky game mechanics with a thin veneer of story; game design sure has evolved in the past 30 years.
To me, part the charm of the classic game was the "thin veneer of story". As far as I'm concerned, inXile is really overworking the story for BT4, based on the indicators I've seen thus far.

Also, sure, game design has evolved over time. But, strictly speaking, evolution is change, not necessarily betterment. Just because some practices have changed over time doesn't mean that old things are bad.
ZZGO wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 7:17 am
Would I play a "Bards Tale Plus" of 1993 tech standard, with new dungeons, riddles and monsters? Hell yes!
Do I expect Bard's Tale IV to be that game? Hell no!
Tech standard is not the same as game design. I don't think anyone is looking for a game that conforms to a mid-80's tech standard. But, at least some of us are actually looking for a game that conforms to the essential aspects of game play from the original series.
ZZGO wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 7:17 am
I don't get how anyone could have expected the kickstarter game to resemble the classic games.
There were certainly discouraging elements to what was revealed during the KS campaign, but there was also the opportunity to provide inXile with feedback on how to shape the game. I, for one, backed BT4 well knowing that it, in the then-presented form, was not what I expected in a BT game. I saw that many other people were voicing similar concerns about the game, such as I have (and had), and took a gamble that inXile might correct course with enough community feedback.
ZZGO wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 7:17 am
But I never expected, much less wanted, thirty year old game mechanics. The defining aspects of BT were quirks and bugs from today's prespective, not brilliant game design. Or do you seriously expect to have archmages in BT4 with four times the hit points of your strongest warriors, and a gazillion spell points that might as well be considered limitless for game purposes (Harmonic Gem anyone?)?
The originals weren't perfect. I doubt anyone would claim that they were. I also don't see anyone wishing for an exact clone of them either. Arguing for a decent semblance of the original mechanics does not imply someone is looking for an exact clone of every bug and quirk. But, it doesn't mean that almost everything about the originals has to be thrown out - and throwing out almost everything seems to be very much what inXile is doing, based on every preview and KS update I've seen.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by thebruce » July 9th, 2017, 2:23 pm

Note: "I like" was a general reference to the update. My opinions of combat and basic structural game mechanics remains critical at best, but considering the world development, artistic content, and hopefully well-designed grid-based maps has me most giddy. The inclusion of Tarjan was nice in that it at least shows some connection to the originals - we don't know the details of Tarjan's inclusion yet, if anything more than a namedrop.

I agree with followup comments regarding combat mechanics and some of the dramatic differences between 1-3 and 4.

I'm curious to know what sort of influence Cranford will have in the game development. That was actually one of the more exciting recent announcements, if only because of the more direct connection to the classics (original) now within the doors of the development team. But to what degree? And does he share the same sentiment about the classics (retaining their feel) that many of us do? Time will tell...
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Lucius » July 9th, 2017, 4:53 pm

thebruce wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 2:23 pm
I'm curious to know what sort of influence Cranford will have in the game development. That was actually one of the more exciting recent announcements, if only because of the more direct connection to the classics (original) now within the doors of the development team. But to what degree? And does he share the same sentiment about the classics (retaining their feel) that many of us do? Time will tell...
On some levels, I'd hope very little. He has not been involved in game design since 1986. Even then, the design was just a hodgepodge of ripped ideas from PnP games. This man was no revolutionary in the games industry. From recent interviews, it seems to me he doesn't even play games anymore so he's even useless as a couch designer. Since then he's been involved in bible study and ethics. I could see his professional background having some use as an advisor to story components. Maybe he can help with retaining the feel of the classics, if he can even remember what they felt like, considering he was involved in those games more than half his life ago. I certainly wouldn't let him anywhere near the game mechanics at all. Honestly, considering what he's done with his life for the last 30 years, I have no idea why he got involved. Was it due to the nostalgia of working on something that reminds him of his childhood, or was it money? I don't have high hopes anyway.

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