The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

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ZZGO
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by ZZGO » February 8th, 2017, 2:45 am

Oh, and I'm a bit sad that the update didn't adress the Bard's Tale Remastered situation at all. :(

-------

"What a shame," you mumble, as
you face

1 Elephant in the Room [90']
1 Bout of unfulfilled nostalgia [10']

Will you
(C)ry in frustration
(G)nash your teeth
(M)umble under your breath
(W)ail in despair?

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by RadonGOG » February 8th, 2017, 5:37 am

balinor wrote:
Zombra wrote:
balinor wrote:I disagree. Static portraits are better because it is hard to tie the movement of a mouth and facial expressions to speech. Even AAA studios fail at that task frequently and the disconnect there hurts more than just having a static picture.
Million-dollar AAA lip syncing or nothing, huh? Awful to see that some people prefer nothing to something. Personally I thought it looked terrible when M&MX took a step backwards from previous games in the series. Just draw a postcard and call it a day. Oh well, entitled to your opinion and all that.

Did you ever play Wizardry 8, by the way? Did the animation ruin it for you?
I did play it yes and no it didn't ruin it for me, but I did find it a distraction.

You'll also note that I didn't suggest million dollar AAA lip syncing as you have implied, I actually suggested that just a static picture would be better.

I'm sure it wasn't intended that way but you came across quite hostile just because we disagree on something relatively minor.
In general, how about giving people choices between animated banter and static banter? Can´t be so hard...
...that popping could even persist then. I´m sure you´ll find somebody who´d like it.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by thebruce » February 8th, 2017, 6:01 am

ZZGO wrote:See, in classic BT your character class and level didn't matter (much) during exploration, and was basically only important for combat - save for the few instances where you needed a Bard in your party for certain puzzles, and some spells. If not for frequent combat encounters, a party of level 1 characters could have played through the game.
I would very much like it if BT4 brought this to a next level where "wilderness proficiency" (perhaps even divided into an outdoor and an urban aspect) is another factor besides magic skill and fighting skill. Archetype character classes that spring to mind include Thieves, Hunters, and Rangers - these would have skills and powers that are more useful in exploration than combat, such as detecting and disarming traps (which never really worked well in classic BT), perception, and perhaps movement: Lock-picking skills. Perception skills. Scaling/climbing (for rock faces and trees), allowing your party to go where they otherwise couldn't. Perhaps loremasters to identify items and hints along the way, or merchant skills to pay less and sell your booty for more. Alignments or patron gods that will allow you access to some parts but give you no end of troubles in other parts. In short, please make it worthwile to have characters and skills that are not combat-oriented.
Dragon Wars played around with this a bit. And I loved the idea of having an external booklet with lore and the game just refered you to a paragraph number if you wanted to learn more that wasn't explicitly related to gameplay.

mieu wrote:Someone on youtube said this this
"The pop-up characters and the glib tone really breaks the feeling of immersion...also hearkens back to the "joke" version of Bard's Tale...which for OG Bard's Tale fans isn't a good thing"

I would say yes, lose the "see you Jimmy" attitude of the party and make them serious adventures, the jokes and stupid glib remarks are still fine for the imps as is their nature, and i would have the portraits more akin to Might and magic or Wizardry other than that it looks and sounds great, just need to get rid of the gufaw guffaw adventurer banter as it was more like a funny cartoon not a serious dungeon situation
Indeed! If anything, provide an option to disable the 'fun' banter, plz.

Zombra wrote:Yeah. Apparently all voice actors are required to speak with a Scottish accent heavier than a caber and thick enough to stun Nessie with. I could have lived without this, but I guess the real Skara Brae is in Scotland so they decided for BT4 to have music from Scotland and monster types from the mythology of Scotland and Scotland scenery Scotland and Scotland Scotland Scotland Scotland Scotland Scotland Scotland
Also, Scotland.

ZZGO wrote:Also, in the demo the party isn't jumped in random combat but can see monsters physically moving throught the dungeon.
Question 1 - does each wandering monster represent only itself, i.e. a single monster, or can it stand for a whole party of monsters?
Question 2 - will there still be random combat encounters with unexpected opponents that you can't or didn't see beforehand, such as a group of thieves jumping the party?
1) IF I'm interpreting that last monster correctly, they may 'get around' the lack of 'groups' of monsters by having come with a strategy of creating 'more' monsters to fight in the same battle in similar ways. Morphing, phases, maybe battlecries that could gather more that run in from outside... I don't get the feeling of an abstract representation of multiple identical creatures in one spot. The spacing is much too literal, definitely not as abstract as the classics.
2) What I saw in the combat was the party approach an initial set, and then a few more 'random' creatures ran in from around the corner. That may be how they deal with 'random' encounters. What You See May Not Be What You Get. But I'm interested in how the camera angles will work... combat began facing diagonally, and looked like it spread past a 1x1 grid space. How does that translate to combat in tight spaces, or locked to grid movement?
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Zombra » February 8th, 2017, 9:35 am

balinor wrote:I'm sure it wasn't intended that way but you came across quite hostile just because we disagree on something relatively minor.
Sorry, things have been hot lately.

To me static pictures are basically "nothing". A big step back from games from 15-20 years ago! I couldn't believe it when I played Might & Magic 10. No animations, no crazy or poisoned status, no paper dolls, nothing. BT4 can do better. BT4 can do something. To me it doesn't have to look like high definition full motion video. Maybe it's because I'm older and I am OK with representational graphics instead of photographic ones. I would just rather have the characters look alive instead of dead. YMMV.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by thebruce » February 8th, 2017, 9:42 am

Well, then there are 'card' style games, where the focus is artwork, not animation, but the context there is that we're looking at card hands, so we kind of naturally don't expect to see animations. Static portraits are still used today, but yes, typically in a different context that allows for static artwork.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by balinor » February 8th, 2017, 11:01 am

Zombra wrote:
balinor wrote:I'm sure it wasn't intended that way but you came across quite hostile just because we disagree on something relatively minor.
Sorry, things have been hot lately.

To me static pictures are basically "nothing". A big step back from games from 15-20 years ago! I couldn't believe it when I played Might & Magic 10. No animations, no crazy or poisoned status, no paper dolls, nothing. BT4 can do better. BT4 can do something. To me it doesn't have to look like high definition full motion video. Maybe it's because I'm older and I am OK with representational graphics instead of photographic ones. I would just rather have the characters look alive instead of dead. YMMV.
No worries. As an older gamer myself (played through BT1 when I was about 8 on the CBM64 when it first released) I get what you are saying. I guess I'm just of the type who prefers to let my imagination fill in more of the gap.
RadonGOG wrote: In general, how about giving people choices between animated banter and static banter? Can´t be so hard...
...that popping could even persist then. I´m sure you´ll find somebody who´d like it.
This would probably satisfy both myself and Zombra. I have no problem with choice at all.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Drool » February 8th, 2017, 11:53 am

ZZGO wrote:I'm not a native speaker of English, and half of the time I had a hard time understanding what everybody said. Subtitles - preferrably in a scrollable conversation box - would be appreciated. If plot-relevant information is given through party banter or overhearing monsters then subtitles are a must.
I am a native speaker, and I pretty much always use subtitles. It's very easy to miss something even when you're fluent, so I fully agree that subtitles would be a good thing.
Zombra wrote:To me static pictures are basically "nothing". A big step back from games from 15-20 years ago!
I know I'm in a minority, but the waggling pictures amused the hell out of me. That said, Brian implied on Twitter that it's just a placeholder.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by kaiman » February 8th, 2017, 1:05 pm

Tuoweit wrote:I have one nitpick though: The first minute or so of the video, walking around in the forest, looks super blurry, especially when the camera pans around. I guess it's a combination of depth of field and motion blur, but (IMO) it's way over the top. I hope this is either a WIP thing or graphics features that can be turned off.
I second that. All the placeholders and unpolished art weren't as bad as the blur :-).

Other than that, I quite like what I've seen. Especially the absence of a HUD during exploration is great, as is the party banter. Combat seems to verge a bit on the silly side (actually, is it only me or are there some traces of Battle Chess shining through?), but then I don't need all my games dead serious and grim dark!

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Lord of Riva » February 8th, 2017, 1:10 pm

for some inexplicable reasons motion blur is a staple in First-person Dungeon-crawler it seems. And its the first thing to disable in any game.

I fail to see the attraction of it.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Lix » February 8th, 2017, 1:39 pm

Motion blur and DoF are popular in "first look"-type videos because they can hide glitches and poor texture work.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by maxheadroom » February 8th, 2017, 2:40 pm

mieu wrote:
I would say yes, lose the "see you Jimmy" attitude of the party and make them serious adventures, the jokes and stupid glib remarks are still fine for the imps as is their nature, and i would have the portraits more akin to Might and magic or Wizardry other than that it looks and sounds great, just need to get rid of the gufaw guffaw adventurer banter as it was more like a funny cartoon not a serious dungeon situation
Exactly this. Mechanically everything is really impressive but tonally the banter is much closer to the god-awful Bards Tale 2004 than the true successor to the original trilogy that we were promised.

"What an 'Uplifting' tune!" sounds like something a 90s kids action hero would quip. In fact the voice acting in general is delivered like its aimed at children

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Dork Mage » February 8th, 2017, 2:58 pm

Doom's animated torso worked well. You could tell how bad your health was just from the portrait... and be repeatedly reminded to find some health (the grin when finding a good weapon was nice too).

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Gizmo » February 8th, 2017, 4:39 pm

maxheadroom wrote:Exactly this. Mechanically everything is really impressive but tonally the banter is much closer to the god-awful Bards Tale 2004 than the true successor to the original trilogy that we were promised.
That wasn't a sequel, it was a spin-off that made use of the name.

*Much like Bethesda's FO3 and FO4 both were ~though they'd say otherwise. :lol:
thebruce wrote:Indeed! If anything, provide an option to disable the 'fun' banter, plz.
I'm not generally a fan of option fever, and wonder if suffering the banter shouldn't be the cost of having them along... and if so, then the option to silence them is defeating the cost. ;)

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Zombra » February 8th, 2017, 5:07 pm

Gizmo wrote:
thebruce wrote:Indeed! If anything, provide an option to disable the 'fun' banter, plz.
I'm not generally a fan of option fever, and wonder if suffering the banter shouldn't be the cost of having them along... and if so, then the option to silence them is defeating the cost. ;)
I'm not a fan of option fever either, but one thing that does come to mind is the slider in the strategy game Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive.

Image

You probably can't read it on this tiny screenshot I found, but that last option is "frequency of comments", which for that game at least was really nice. You could turn it up so they barked every time they were selected or performed actions, or down to almost never, or anywhere in between. Barks can get really annoying, particularly if they're bombastic ones like we saw in the video ... but I don't want to shut them down entirely either.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Woolfe » February 8th, 2017, 6:07 pm

Looks Good... doesn't look like Bard's Tale.

Why not just create some new IP instead of messing around with this stuff so much. Can you guys do something new. At this point I am doubting I will ever back you again :-(
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Gizmo » February 8th, 2017, 6:55 pm

Woolfe wrote:Looks Good... doesn't look like Bard's Tale.
I can agree with this; but I would say the same of Wasteland 2, and FO3 and FO4. They all look good, and are nothing like they should be, for the names they wear. WL2 is more like a proper Fallout sequel should be than a Wasteland sequel ~IMO. For any Bard's Tale sequel, I would have [of course] wanted something more akin to a modern styled Devil Whiskey/Grimrock~ish... [that leans farther towards Devil Whiskey]

**Or why use the name?

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Taryl » February 8th, 2017, 7:33 pm

On the subject of party banter, maybe their representation should just look over at the character they're speaking to, if it's someone in particular. If they're just saying something in general, they might keep their eyes on the surroundings. If the character on the left says something to the character on the right, then his head turns that way and we see the side of it, and the character on the right's head might turn left to look at him. If one speaks to the character behind them, then the look up and to the side that people do to indicate that in real life could serve, without having to turn around.

Some games go overboard on character banter in an attempt to establish identities. Both in frequency and tone. I hope we'll be able to enjoy the game without rolling our eyes at the NPCs.

A lot of it looks really good. The music is still great (though the party was talking over it). The environment is terrific. The monster laughing at the misfortune of other monsters was hilarious, as well as them reacting to the monster that went by behind them. Maybe if one wanders by while a fight is in progress they can try to yell at it and get it to reinforce them (and the party try to silence those attempts)? Obviously wouldn't have worked in this case, but...

Oh, and when "Brave Sir Robin" is played, I expect at least one party member will comment. If we're allowed to have skeletons on our side and the skeleton is selected to speak, it should do like its kin in Army of Darkness and yell, 'Let's get the hell out of here!' :)

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by ZiN » February 8th, 2017, 7:39 pm

Bad:
- No Bard's Tale feel.
- The portraits are obviously WiP, they need to be better animated, like Zombra and others have mentioned.
- I find the voice acting very annoying and way over the top, it's not funny. Again Wizardry 8 did this so much better. Needs subtitles also.
- The huge "Insert Orb of King Edgar" popup was very immersion breaking, it would be much better if the player had to use the required item from the inventory. Same goes for the purple icon at the ruined bridge.

Good:
- Wayland's Watch: I loved hearing the first few beats of the classic bard song, very nostalgic. Can't wait for the rest, and also the full versions, when played in adventuring mode.
- The levitate spell is cool and i know, even though its animation is long, i can queue new actions while it's playing.
- The other spell effects are also cool, looking forward to seeing and hearing more. (Stone Touch, Gotterdamurung, Mangar's Mallet, Earth Maw, etc.)

The grid system is interesting, i wonder how would 2 Rainbow Dragons, 3 Blast Giants and 1 Colossus look like with this, instead of tiny goblins, and fleshbeasts.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Gizmo » February 8th, 2017, 8:50 pm

Taryl wrote:On the subject of party banter, maybe their representation should just look over at the character they're speaking to, if it's someone in particular. If they're just saying something in general, they might keep their eyes on the surroundings. If the character on the left says something to the character on the right, then his head turns that way and we see the side of it, and the character on the right's head might turn left to look at him. If one speaks to the character behind them, then the look up and to the side that people do to indicate that in real life could serve, without having to turn around.
And that's the way they all became the Brady Bunch...

I like this idea, but I do think that it risks the above. :lol:

**What I actually don't like, is that they face the player, so technically, their left & right should be reversed; especially if the rules restrict reach to same side opponents.

Image

Disciples 2 is a good game to study for this kind of combat ~IMO.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcxUs-VAmNM

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » February 8th, 2017, 9:55 pm

Lucius wrote:I'm not sure if they can make a "modern" sequel and have it still feel like the BT trilogy. I believe any attempt to do so would just be a massive disappointment anyway. Better to make a great game than to try to reclaim the feeling of a 30 yr old IP.
Ah, that word modern again. What does it mean in the context of games? What makes a game modern?
Lucius wrote:I'm ready to see what they can do with a new IP.
Like this game? Just change the name from "Bard's Tale IV" to something new and, bingo, they have new IP.
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