The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

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The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by Brother None » June 23rd, 2015, 3:26 pm

The latest update speaks to our first stretch goal hit!! Also, next stretch goal, social media stretch goals and some other details.
The most awesome news first: with pledge rate picking back up this week we have hit our first stretch goal, with $1.3 million raised on Kickstarter!!

With this stretch goal we’re adding two more companion NPCs to our roster, and enhancing our companion NPC system, giving all recruitable NPCs unique personalities, backstories and the ability to open up additional side content and reactivity. Companions will voice their own thoughts and interject in dialog and situations, and allow us to do that much more with the setting and story. Think Morte from Planescape: Torment and his wisecracking ways, or one of our many companions from Wasteland 2!

Our next stretch goal reveal is an exciting one! Monte Cook is just the first of an exciting team of RPG developers we like to call the RPG Superteam. We have three more big names to announce, and all of these guys will join our team designing one dungeon each at $1.5 million!

First up, we have Sean K Reynolds (the right head), a veteran tabletop game designer who many of you may have heard of. Sean was born in in southern California. A resident of Seattle off and on for the past 18 years, he has designed for TSR, Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, and other publishers, working on tabletop RPGs for D&D, Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Birthright, Ravenloft, and Pathfinder.

Next, we have Wolfgang Baur (the left head), who, among other things, is author of the award-winning Kobold Guides to Game Design, and has created dozens of tabletop adventures and sourcebooks including Hoard of the Dragon Queen (with Steve Winter), Dark*Matter (with Monte Cook), Kingdom of the Ghouls, Fortress of the Stone Giants, Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth, and Courts of the Shadow Fey. He also did foundational work on the Planescape and Al-Qadim settings for Dungeons & Dragons, and is the creator and keeper of the flame for the Midgard Campaign Setting and the upcoming Southlands Campaign Setting, and has contributed monsters to both D&D and Pathfinder.

Third, Bruce Cordell (the middle head), an award-winning game designer working at Monte Cook Games, writing for The Strange and Numenera RPGs, both launched via wildly successful Kickstarters. Prior to that, Bruce worked on Dungeons & Dragons over the course of 4 editions as a writer and developer, writing over 100 D&D products, including the Expanded Psionics Handbook, Gates of Firestorm Peak, Return to the Tomb of Horrors, Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, Gamma World, and the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. He is also a novelist, and has penned many books for the Forgotten Realms setting, including the Abolethic trilogy.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by Drool » June 23rd, 2015, 6:38 pm

Y'all keep mentioning Morte. Please tell me there will be non-"comic" relief NPCs. Morte got pretty old pretty fast when I was playing Torment, and I would have gladly left him in that damn pillar.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by jrodman » June 23rd, 2015, 8:20 pm

Drool wrote:Y'all keep mentioning Morte. Please tell me there will be non-"comic" relief NPCs. Morte got pretty old pretty fast when I was playing Torment, and I would have gladly left him in that damn pillar.
IMO, disliked characters should be player-resolvable by killing them.

In which case, bring on the comedy character!

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by ZiN » June 23rd, 2015, 11:54 pm

Awesome update! I really liked how he talked about the challenges and hardships of programming the original games in the old-times and it was funny when he explained that they were required to sign contracts even before... oops, wrong Kickstarter :oops:

I mean
Drool wrote:Y'all keep mentioning Morte.
"Don't trust the Bard"
jrodman wrote:IMO, disliked characters should be player-resolvable by killing them.
That's what [P]arty Attack is for, among other things.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by Crosmando » June 24th, 2015, 6:40 am

Drool wrote:Y'all keep mentioning Morte. Please tell me there will be non-"comic" relief NPCs. Morte got pretty old pretty fast when I was playing Torment, and I would have gladly left him in that damn pillar.
I'd rather no companions at all, I mean why is this crap even relevant to Bard's Tale.

When will the pandering to [edited] end and InXile will start treating this game like a dungeon crawl not an episode of Friends.

Thank you for not using hate-speech derived language on this forum. Zombra
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by kilobug » June 24th, 2015, 8:12 am

[edited] ? Episode of Friends ? Really ? Because a few NPCs have optional side-quests ? Come on...

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by Crosmando » June 24th, 2015, 8:23 am

Yes. It's completely inappropriate, BT is not a game about companions with stories it's about delving dungeons, killing monsters and leveling up, I sure as hell don't want some companion interrupting my adventuring with their life story every second, and even if the companions are optional it's still resources in the wrong places, and it's a waste of oxygen during the Kickstarter campaign. I want to hear about the character system, the classes, spells, races and combat.

I fear that basically this is the Torment writing team trying to justify their continued employment, even if it makes BT4 into something that resembles less BT and more Betrayal at Krondor.

EDIT: And from how Fargo explained it, you will have 4 slots for player-created characters, 2 for companions and 1 for summoned creature, so basically taking the companions will be practically forced if you don't want to handicap yourself.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by IHaveHugeNick » June 24th, 2015, 8:28 am

[edited]?

Okay, that's enough internet for today.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by dorkboy » June 24th, 2015, 8:37 am

Crosmando wrote:[...]
EDIT: And from how Fargo explained it, you will have 4 slots for player-created characters, 2 for companions and 1 for summoned creature, so basically taking the companions will be practically forced if you don't want to handicap yourself.
That's pretty much what WL2 did, though. Was it really a problem?
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by Crosmando » June 24th, 2015, 9:20 am

dorkboy wrote:
Crosmando wrote:[...]
EDIT: And from how Fargo explained it, you will have 4 slots for player-created characters, 2 for companions and 1 for summoned creature, so basically taking the companions will be practically forced if you don't want to handicap yourself.
That's pretty much what WL2 did, though. Was it really a problem?
This isn't WL2. And WL2 did it because WL1 did it. In Bard's Tale you could fill up all 7 slots with player-created characters right from the beginning. My problem is that this KS campaign shows that InXile have very little knowledge of the original BT games, or they simply don't care about them. No one who really knew the gameplay of BT1-3 would say that the best first stretch goal/update would be about companions with stories, it's coming from somewhere else (ie Torment or Pillars of Eternity).

Well, at least we'll get an updated port of the original trilogy, that's about all the good I can see coming from this KS...
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by Gizmo » June 24th, 2015, 11:00 am

Crosmando wrote:No one who really knew the gameplay of BT1-3 would say that the best first stretch goal/update would be about companions with stories, it's coming from somewhere else (ie Torment or Pillars of Eternity).
There is an out for them though; the stretch goal could be and addon to the Brother's Kringle spell, that expands their history and allows you to free them from the spell. :twisted:

Ah well... As beautiful as it looks (and it does!), it doesn't seem like it's going to be anything but a new game with BT4 tacked onto it; not dissimilar to that new game with "Fallout 3" tacked on to it. That doesn't mean it won't be a good game, but it seems unlikely to be good for the same reasons, and reputations as the original Bard's Tale games.... but of course we don't truly know yet.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by thebruce » June 24th, 2015, 12:05 pm

Hopefully it has more in common with the classics than the name and grid-based maps that you can lock your movement to... :P
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by ZiN » June 24th, 2015, 12:12 pm

Crosmando wrote:I want to hear about the character system, the classes, spells, races and combat.
I'm with you man there:
The updates and stretch goals are extremely lackluster. We're already past half of the campaign and there is effectively 0 tangible information about the game.
All we know is, that they're planning a 4 man party, with story NPCs, that the graphics will be extreme and that they're hiring a lot of guys to design it. All the updates are basically the same circumlocution about minor things and cajoling backers, by giving away free stuff.

The developers of Dungeons of Aledorn, for example had to work their ass off to barely make it, but they had the most meaty updates i've seen in a Kickstarter so far. But again they didn't had the luxury of being an established, famous team, with lots of freebies to give away. It's a bit odd to say so, but Inxile and other heavyweight companies could sometimes "learn" a thing or two from these true indie teams.
Gizmo wrote:Ah well... As beautiful as it looks (and it does!), it doesn't seem like it's going to be anything but a new game with BT4 tacked onto it; not dissimilar to that new game with "Fallout 3" tacked on to it. That doesn't mean it won't be a good game, but it seems unlikely to be good for the same reasons, and reputations as the original Bard's Tale games.... but of course we don't truly know yet.
If that would be the case, then their original pitch video would be pretty close to being a scam, with all the old-school and faithful sequel fudge thrown in. It's already somewhat bogus, considering that Fargo is partly listening to the guy and making a "free to play" enhanced edition of Wasteland 2, for the (early) backers of BT4.

Image

This free WL2 Director's Cut and the Burger Enhanced BTs keep me firmly moored at the $20 camp, but if it was not for those, these updates and stretch goals would really make me consider cancelling my pledge, until i know more.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by Gizmo » June 24th, 2015, 12:16 pm

ZiN wrote:This free WL2 Director's Cut and the Burger Enhanced BTs keep me firmly moored at the $20 camp, but if it was not for those, these updates and stretch goals would really make me consider cancelling my pledge, until i know more.
That was a joke in the video; and not the same thing as the free update to the Unity 5 version of Wasteland 2 that all backers will get for free.
(Unless I'm terribly mistaken.)

**Oh... you mean the WL2/Torment bonuses for backing BT4... (I haven't really kept up with it since my pledge.)

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by dorkboy » June 24th, 2015, 1:08 pm

Crosmando wrote:
dorkboy wrote:
Crosmando wrote:[...]
EDIT: And from how Fargo explained it, you will have 4 slots for player-created characters, 2 for companions and 1 for summoned creature, so basically taking the companions will be practically forced if you don't want to handicap yourself.
That's pretty much what WL2 did, though. Was it really a problem?
This isn't WL2. And WL2 did it because WL1 did it. In Bard's Tale you could fill up all 7 slots with player-created characters right from the beginning. My problem is that this KS campaign shows that InXile have very little knowledge of the original BT games, or they simply don't care about them. No one who really knew the gameplay of BT1-3 would say that the best first stretch goal/update would be about companions with stories, it's coming from somewhere else (ie Torment or Pillars of Eternity).
[...]
True, this isn't WL2, and it is indeed a bit strange that the first stretch goal is companion related (and there may be a quite significant difference WRT party building freedom ("Craft your party your way!" :roll: ) vis-a-vis WL2 simply due to BT being class based rather than skill based...), but the proposed party scheme (4+3) is significantly closer to WL2 than it is to PoE or T:ToN (1+X?), and it doesn't seem to me like you think WL2 was like an episode of Friends (despite it practically forcing you to taking some companions along)?
I will also point out that the companion stuff is only the first stretch goal, while two of the higher stretch goals are dungeon designers. Not sure if the glass is necessarily that half empty in terms of story/companion focus.. :?
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by Zombra » June 24th, 2015, 3:55 pm

My two cents, I'm not crazy about companion stories either. Even less excited about crafting (more inventory management!). But bringing on Cook is exciting, and even the three guys I've never heard of* look like they've done some good adventure writing work - a dungeon each by them should give the game solid designs and help avoid the common crawler problem of all dungeons feeling the same. With pledges picking up after E3, we're on track again to blow through all these stretch goals handily in the next couple weeks, so good - all those guys should be on board.

*Not because they're nobodies, but just because I stopped hanging around in P&P game stores about 20 years ago :oops:
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by Elth » June 24th, 2015, 8:38 pm

Zombra wrote:My two cents, I'm not crazy about companion stories either. Even less excited about crafting (more inventory management!). But bringing on Cook is exciting, and even the three guys I've never heard of* look like they've done some good adventure writing work - a dungeon each by them should give the game solid designs and help avoid the common crawler problem of all dungeons feeling the same. With pledges picking up after E3, we're on track again to blow through all these stretch goals handily in the next couple weeks, so good - all those guys should be on board.

*Not because they're nobodies, but just because I stopped hanging around in P&P game stores about 20 years ago :oops:
I'm more interested (concerned?) in the writing that goes with it, any fool with a pencil and graph paper can create a dungeon with a few riddles and monsters. I don't want to see some big shot writer regurgitate Arthurian legends with different names (Sylvari in Guild Wars 2) or someone else trying to imprint their ego onto the BT name. Continuity and originality in story is what I want to see from this game.

I don't care about crafting, leave that to the MMORPG grinders.

NPC stories aren't as important as just making the NPC's interesting to begin with.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by Drool » June 24th, 2015, 11:23 pm

Crosmando wrote:EDIT: And from how Fargo explained it, you will have 4 slots for player-created characters, 2 for companions and 1 for summoned creature, so basically taking the companions will be practically forced if you don't want to handicap yourself.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by ZiN » June 25th, 2015, 4:23 am

Yeah, i totally don't want some know-it-all NPCs interrupting my adventuring and exploration, with their stories and expositions, further destroying my imagination. I have dozens of RPGs that feature such chatter and more to come soon, so i don't need another one. Instead i want to slaughter hordes of monsters for distraction.

As for the writers there should be a a test sheet, with questions only a person who played the originals could answer. I wouldn't let anyone write a word of BT4, who isn't perfectly in picture regarding the classics.
If i wanted to indulge myself with deep, authentic Skara Braean lore i'd simply travel to Orkney (Europe ftw), just as i did to Cornwall, and experience it first-hand, instead of - as Elth put it - regurgitated by some big shot writer.

I'd be less strict about dungeon design, those heavyweight designers will probably come up with some interesting stuff, but i'd still like to have a person who worked directly on the originals, closely monitoring them.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Update 10: First Stretch Goal Unlocked, Much More To Come!

Post by Themadcow » June 25th, 2015, 9:18 am

ZiN wrote:Yeah, i totally don't want some know-it-all NPCs interrupting my adventuring and exploration, with their stories and expositions, further destroying my imagination. I have dozens of RPGs that feature such chatter and more to come soon, so i don't need another one. Instead i want to slaughter hordes of monsters for distraction.
Couldn't say it better. If I want a ton of rambling NPCs or CPC's getting in the way of my monster killing then I'll play Pillars or Divinity:OS.

There's nothing worse for a 30-something family man, trying to get the most out of his brief gaming sessions, than having to read a bunch of text (or watch cutscenes, or audio) instead of getting involved in the action. The worst bit is that if you try to skip through it you either feel that you might be missing something, or (worse) accidentally click a dialogue option by accident... so you just end up skim-read rushing through it just incase. If this game ends up pandering to the Infinity Engine audience it'll be a damn shame.
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