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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: June 29th, 2015, 12:16 pm
by Drool
Well, they were still more memorable than the base party.

I mean, is BT4 going to bring back Brian the Fist and the rest of the "A Team"?

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: June 29th, 2015, 3:23 pm
by jrodman
Amusingly, the name Brian the Fist has stuck with me over the years, but certainly just the name. I couldn't even tell you what class he was, and only assume it's a he based on the name. When quickly creating a party in a game, especially something like early Wizardry, or Bard's Tale 1, where I expect not to keep all my characters, I often name someone something like Brent the Puncher or Bill the Elbow. If I met an NPC named Brian the Fist in a Bard's Tale game, I would probably think "Huh, someone actually played with the default party? Odd."

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: June 30th, 2015, 5:51 am
by Themadcow
Brian the Fist, El Cid and Merlin are the ones I instantly recall. Samson and Omar if I take a minute to think about it, but Markus never pops into my mind (I just had to look him up). Apparently Sir Grady was in some A-Team lineups replacing Samson but not in the ones I played.

It's good to bring up that party though because it illustrates nicely that most people got rid of that pre-made team to make their own (stealing the A-Team's gear in the process) even though Brian, El Cid and co started off at a higher level with some decent stats. It tells you that even back then, people wanted full control over their party make-up even if it meant replacing a lv2 Paladin with a lv1 newly rolled one...

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: June 30th, 2015, 8:20 am
by Crosmando
Would be awesome if the A-Team were the new religious pantheon of Gods in the country, Merlin the god of magic/wizards, Brian the Fist the god of Paladins/holy warriors, etc, but with the whole banning of the old ways it seems unlikely except as an underground religion.

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: June 30th, 2015, 10:55 am
by ZiN
Crosmando wrote:Would be awesome if the A-Team were the new religious pantheon of Gods in the country, Merlin the god of magic/wizards, Brian the Fist the god of Paladins/holy warriors, etc, but with the whole banning of the old ways it seems unlikely except as an underground religion.
It would be even more awesome if you could import your own godlike characters, The Company of Heroes, as the pantheon.

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: June 30th, 2015, 12:36 pm
by Drool
Themadcow wrote:Brian the Fist, El Cid and Merlin are the ones I instantly recall. Samson and Omar if I take a minute to think about it, but Markus never pops into my mind (I just had to look him up)
To be fair, when I hear El Cid, Merlin, Samson, and Omar, it's not Bard's Tale I instantly think of. I'm more inclined to think of 3 legendary heroes and a dude I worked with.

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: July 7th, 2015, 4:14 am
by ZiN
Image
This is a 3D model of one of the enemies you will run into in the game, the huge and dangerous Ogre Brute. We did not use this particular model in our video, but crafted it very early in our prototyping stages, as a test of what we want to do stylistically and graphically. When you see this hulking monstrosity come down the corridor towards you, will you stand and fight, or flee?
It depends on how many of them are in the group, how far away they are at the start of combat and what other enemy groups are present.

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: July 7th, 2015, 4:33 am
by Crosmando
Sewer dungeon confirmed!

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: July 7th, 2015, 6:27 am
by thebruce
Yep, love the model, but I hope, like really hope that the reference was not literal; I don't want to see creatures in the dungeon, in meat-space. Not during the movement mode at least. Especially if the visible model is not representative of enemy group(s)... =/

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: July 7th, 2015, 11:21 am
by Zombra
Of course it has a sewer level. It's a video game!

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: July 7th, 2015, 12:40 pm
by Gizmo
thebruce wrote:Yep, love the model, but I hope, like really hope that the reference was not literal; I don't want to see creatures in the dungeon, in meat-space. Not during the movement mode at least. Especially if the visible model is not representative of enemy group(s)... =/
I think that's going to have be a concession. I doubt that BT4 will be that abstracted, and honestly I'm not sure if it needs to be; apparent monsters only change one aspect of exploration... The party has a chance to see them unaware, and either avoid them, or prepare for a fight... or potentially spy on them, and learn if they are actually hostile or neutral, perhaps even hire-able, or can at least be conversed with.

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: July 8th, 2015, 4:07 am
by jrodman
I think seeing the enemies in the dungeon is okay, but it's tricky. I wouldn't want it to end up feeling like a game of dodge-em. How the enemies are programmed to appear should make a certain number of fights unavoidable.

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: July 8th, 2015, 6:25 am
by thebruce
Don't want to see enemies in the dungeon in exploration mode, period. Nope

ETA: skippable animations/transitions to combat, sure, just not while exploring

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: July 8th, 2015, 10:34 am
by ZiN
thebruce wrote:Don't want to see enemies in the dungeon in exploration mode, period. Nope

ETA: skippable animations/transitions to combat, sure, just not while exploring
Same here. This is not Grimrock. Instead, i want to shout "Death and Drek!" when they pop up. (By the way all these introductions, which appeared in the text box, before combat, were always funny, from BT1 to Dragon Wars. Bring those back!)
Random encounters shouldn't be visible. Special, set encounters, bosses and the like are another matter, i wouldn't mind seeing them beforehand.

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: July 8th, 2015, 1:45 pm
by Gizmo
This is not the sword to fall on; that was not a core feature. ;)

My guess is the space on the floppy, and a limitation of the animated transition from cell to cell. It would have to be scaled during the move, and nothing would show up a cell away anyway, and they would have to have combat sprites in three sizes ~for everything. That is trivial now, and they already have the 3D monster models).

Pool of Radiance had a similar (but less complex) first person view. They solved is by animating the encounter:
Image

That is something even Bard's Tale could have done, and had they... the scoff would be come of daring to not show the monsters. ;)

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: July 8th, 2015, 2:24 pm
by jrodman
The "enemies randomly poof into existence over and over" experience isn't really a feature. It was imported from Wizardry without any real critique. Wizardry was *just barely* able to fit the game they wanted onto the computer they had, using the Pascal runtime on 48kb of memory, so had to make a lot of compromises.

The assembly language approach of The Bard's Tale, with dynamic loading from the floppy, allowed for a much more sophisticated game, but most game elements were just adopted wholesale from Wizardry anyway because that's often how the creative process works.

So, what was good about the *result* of the random popup encounters?

* Gives the impression of endless numbers of foes
* Allows for focus on the environment/dungeon/mapping when exploring
* Ensures the player knows that attrition is a problem, and getting out of the dungeon again may not be easy.
* No ablity to "clear" an area to make it feel safe & boring
* Lack of ablity to pick and choose combats meant a variation in experience existed between cheerful slaughtering and gnashing of teeth on encounter 13 barbarians

Maybe there are other positive effects I'm missing. But I think all of those goals are probably achieveable without the random popups.

I suppose what you lose is the ability to fight 200 enemies and have it "work". Having 200 foes surprise you unavoidably seems pretty weird.

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: July 8th, 2015, 2:30 pm
by Zombra
I think we covered this topic pretty exhaustively elsewhere, but since it's come up again, my opinion is the same as before: monsters magically appearing right on top of me out of nowhere, over and over and over, is a goddamn drag. We can do better.

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: July 8th, 2015, 3:18 pm
by ZiN
Zombra wrote:I think we covered this topic pretty exhaustively elsewhere, but since it's come up again, my opinion is the same as before: monsters magically appearing right on top of me out of nowhere, over and over and over, is a goddamn drag. We can do better.
As a classic Wizardry fan (as far as i know you are, right?) i wasn't expecting that from you. But yeah, sure anything is possible, as Bethesda has proven time and again.

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: July 8th, 2015, 3:34 pm
by Zombra
ZiN wrote:
Zombra wrote:I think we covered this topic pretty exhaustively elsewhere, but since it's come up again, my opinion is the same as before: monsters magically appearing right on top of me out of nowhere, over and over and over, is a goddamn drag. We can do better.
As a classic Wizardry fan (as far as i know you are, right?) i wasn't expecting that from you. But yeah, sure anything is possible, as Bethesda has proven time and again.
Haha, turnabout is fair play :D

I do love Wizardry, but I'm certainly not a hardliner for all the old ways. Changes and innovations to gameplay in all genres has brought real improvements as well as streamlined stupidity. It's a question of evaluating each change on its impact to the experience, for good or ill. To me, making a design decision based strictly on faithfulness is great as long as all else is equal. I will trade a faithful game for better gameplay any day of the week (note that better does not always equal newer ... but in this case it does).

Invisible monsters may be the Bard's Tale tradition, but it's not particularly the blobber tradition. Seeing monsters in the environment goes back at least as far as 1987 (Dungeon Master) - just two years after Bard's Tale I - it can hardly be classified as a new kid dumbening. And I liked DM and M&M3 much more than the Wizardry games of the time (and more than Bard's Tale, if I'm being honest).

Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Posted: July 8th, 2015, 4:05 pm
by ZiN
Fair enough, but then i don't want to hear stuff like: "It looks like one creature, then when combat begins it's actually a dozen, in 3 groups!"
Sure i like DM, EoB, M&M and Grimrock too, but that implementation would be very tricky and challenging to combine with BT, and i have a feeling it wouldn't turn out too well. Also there are a lot of goodies, like BT, DW, RoA, Wiz 6-7, or to mention a few modern ones, Lords of Xulima and Darkest Dungeon, that use "invisible enemies" and not for the worse.