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

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

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » February 8th, 2017, 10:02 pm

ZZGO wrote: Maybe I missed something, but has it been spelled out anywhere by InXile that there won't be mega combat? I can easily see 388 more berserkers waiting beyond that 4x2 grid, ready to step over the corpses of their fallen comrades. Perhaps there should be a ninth "far behind" grid for the monsters where their reinforcements roster is.
Regardless of any reinforcements mechanism, the combat animation (and the possibility that action selection might only be mouse-driven) greatly slows down the combat resolution. Also, if group effect spells can only target monsters visible on the battle grid, then that too will slow down combat resolution in large fights, if there are any, making them drawn out, and probably cumbersome, affairs.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » February 8th, 2017, 10:25 pm

Also want to second someone said in the KS comments for this update (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/in ... t-15877065):
Robert Silesius wrote: However, I still can't get over the fact that the monsters don't feel like Bard's Tale to me AT ALL, sadly. They are too "far out", too disgusting and too brown. Bard's Tale was colorful and light (at least the versions I played on Atari ST and early PC), this just looks wrong.
Yes, this. Zombies, specters, and seekers may not have been pretty in the original game, but they were colorful (except on the Mac version) and were grotesque in a thematic way. The monsters in this new game are aliens - not identifiable creatures of fantasy.

Also, I still insist that a lot of them look a bit like claymation figures. The idea that they are "too brown" puts a finger on part of what is wrong with them.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Drool » February 8th, 2017, 10:43 pm

ZiN wrote: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.
Agreed. It needn't be as obscure as the towers in Gelidia, but we don't need hand holding either.
Gizmo wrote: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.
I don't understand your picture. Their right would be my left, but why would it cross over like that? The parties are facing each other.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Gizmo » February 8th, 2017, 11:07 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:Ah, that word modern again. What does it mean in the context of games? What makes a game modern?
Conciliatory.

**If Quake were done today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1ZtBCpo0eU
Just change the name from "Bard's Tale IV" to something new and, bingo, they have new IP.
Agreed.

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

Post by ZZGO » February 8th, 2017, 11:38 pm

Ah yes, the feel.
Although I'm a bit surprised at the negativity or at least disappointment that some people are voicing, I have to agree that there is a notable difference in tone between the classic Bard's Tale trilogy and the BT4 previews. InXile seems to be trying a little too hard to enforce that Scottish cultural framework in BT4 that simply wasn't there before, and (to me) isn't an integral or even important aspect of the game. So yeah, there was this place called Skara Brae... but really, that name was the only reference, and it had no cultural connotation whatsoever. Going by the city names in BT2 you could argue just as well that BT4 should be set in ancient Greece.

The actual flair of the classic BT series instead was a fairly standard, arguably even corny, heroic fantasy environment.

And that ties into the "feel" of the monsters as well. I liked the goblins, as they were recogizable as staple fantasy goblins. I don't dislike the other, bizarre monsters. Classic BT had a lot of weird monsters, too. But to come across as special they need to be embedded in a larger range of familiar, classic fantasy opponents (orcs, wolves, thieves, giant spiders, brigands, you get the idea) that serve as establishing a background that makes the weirder things work. Without such a background canvas, as others have observed, it is those bizarre monsters that set the mood (to overall bizarre). InXile don't have to reinvent the wheel with the monsters. Just give us good game mechanics and good puzzles.
Drool wrote:
ZiN wrote: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.
Agreed. It needn't be as obscure as the towers in Gelidia, but we don't need hand holding either.
Dunno. In such a graphically detailed environment, it is pretty easy to miss things. In my view, Bard's Tale is a "technical" game (for lack of a better word). I want to clearly see the pieces of the puzzle I'm supposed to solve, and not have to arduously search around in a landscape for hidden buttons or items. One of my few niggles with Dungeon Master was how they sometimes hid important switches in tiny cracks in the wall. If you missed that 2x2 pixel button hidden in an otherwise regular wall tile then you were stuck.
That said, the game shouldn't outright tell me what to do either. I like the idea of somehow marking special places with runes, onscreen messages, or in any other suitable fashion, where the player must then come up with the idea by him-/herself to to use an inventory item or perform a special action.
The broken bridge, for example, should have been self-explanatory. As a player you ought to know that you can fix it with a bard song, in the sense of a minor in-game puzzle. The big honking rune sort of feels like cheating as it outright tells the player what to do here.

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

Post by Gizmo » February 9th, 2017, 12:15 am

Drool wrote:I don't understand your picture. Their right would be my left, but why would it cross over like that? The parties are facing each other.
The UI shows them facing the player. If they are facing the enemy, then we see that their left is the right side of the screen. If we turn them around as a unit (to stand as we [or just I?] assume they are standing in-game/ in combat), then we can see that the red headed fellow with the mustache is actually standing on the [left] side with the undead spellcaster. Their lefts & rights are reversed; that is... unless they are standing with their backs to the enemy. Of the two rows that we see, is the lower one with the bard in the front or the back?

Image

*This isn't suggesting that they be turned around [per se], it's demonstrating the point raised with the previous picture.

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

Post by Zombra » February 9th, 2017, 1:18 am

You did way too much work to explain that, man :lol:
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by thebruce » February 9th, 2017, 6:49 am

1) Regarding creature design - one other aspect to the static artiwork cards for creatures that hasn't been mentioned yet: while it gives more of fine-art creative option for the artists, as players it's not just about design of the creature, it's also the backdrop, the framing and composition - all of these little stylistic elements to the artwork add to the character and feel of the creature. When working with 3D renderings in a literal environment, you simply can't get that extra sense of, say, looking up towards the blue sky to see the towering giant over the canopies reaching down at you. That extra level of 'fantasy' is lost in a literal environment.

That's another reason when the project first launched that I'd hoped not to see creatures roaming the dungeon, but would have prefered a 'card' style approach where sure it can still be 3D rendered and animated, but at least the context and environment of the creature now becomes part of its iconic presentation, rather than the dungeon you're currently in. All of that is lost if the only 'feel' of a creature is its skin and clothes facing you in the restrictive (and literal) 3D map.

And, of course a towering giant over the trees doesn't make sense if you encounter them in the dungeon, but they were abstract games, and didn't hide that fact; it really didn't matter. The more the game context is pushed, the more everything has to adhere to the style or it'll feel "off -- A literal dungeon crawler with abstract elements will feel out of place. Just like an abstract crawler doesn't feel right if you presume everything is literally true (grid-based forests? Identical trees? 10x10' castles? Of course not :P)


2) Sooooooo Scottish! Yes, I agree with recent comments about the over-Scottishizing of the game. And I'm part Scottish. I love Scotland. "thebruce" has its roots in Scotland. But this is Bard's Tale /:) I'm really going to be hoping for an option to disable banter, both for the dialect and the "wit". I'd prefer the 'upbeat'ing of the game to be a bonus, an option one choose to enable apart from the default, darker tones of a serious fantasy RPG. It ain't BT2004.

ZZGO wrote:In such a graphically detailed environment, it is pretty easy to miss things. In my view, Bard's Tale is a "technical" game (for lack of a better word). I want to clearly see the pieces of the puzzle I'm supposed to solve, and not have to arduously search around in a landscape for hidden buttons or items. One of my few niggles with Dungeon Master was how they sometimes hid important switches in tiny cracks in the wall. If you missed that 2x2 pixel button hidden in an otherwise regular wall tile then you were stuck.
That said, the game shouldn't outright tell me what to do either. I like the idea of somehow marking special places with runes, onscreen messages, or in any other suitable fashion, where the player must then come up with the idea by him-/herself to to use an inventory item or perform a special action.
The broken bridge, for example, should have been self-explanatory. As a player you ought to know that you can fix it with a bard song, in the sense of a minor in-game puzzle. The big honking rune sort of feels like cheating as it outright tells the player what to do here.
Yes, this. In the classic, the visuals were templated; we didn't look for cues in the graphics - the puzzles and mysteries were in the text we encountered. Coming back to that literal environment thing, if too much attention is put on making the map visually precise, then it's much more tempting to make (and have to make) graphical cues, and this too detracts from classic BT.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by ZiN » February 9th, 2017, 7:45 am

ZZGO wrote:Ah yes, the feel (...)
InXile don't have to reinvent the wheel with the monsters. Just give us good game mechanics and good puzzles.
Very good points there, i hope they are going to listen, it's still not too late. Oh, and i wouldn't mind the odd sci-fi stuff either, like the dimension travelling and Kinestian (dwarvish) robots, etc. The exemplary BT3, Wizardry and M&M all had this and i liked it very much.
ZZGO wrote:
Drool wrote:
ZiN wrote: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.
Agreed. It needn't be as obscure as the towers in Gelidia, but we don't need hand holding either.
Dunno. In such a graphically detailed environment, it is pretty easy to miss things. In my view, Bard's Tale is a "technical" game (for lack of a better word). I want to clearly see the pieces of the puzzle I'm supposed to solve, and not have to arduously search around in a landscape for hidden buttons or items. One of my few niggles with Dungeon Master was how they sometimes hid important switches in tiny cracks in the wall. If you missed that 2x2 pixel button hidden in an otherwise regular wall tile then you were stuck.
Yup, pixel hunting isn't fun after a while, but don't forget the plethora of magical spells and bard songs, which would provide hints (not huge flashing icons, mind you), as to what's going on. Even hunters or rogues could have skills for these, in addition to racial abilities.

Also very much agree with thebruce's sentiments. As for combat i missed the optional combat log (scroll), with flavourful descriptions about what's happening.

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

Post by maxheadroom » February 9th, 2017, 9:21 am

Gizmo wrote:
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.
Exactly my point. I backed Bards's Tale IV, not Bards Tale 2004:Part 2 which is what that felt like
As others have mentioned if that 'comedy' banter is set in stone I do hope there's an option to turn it off altogether.

Remember the Shadowgate remake from a couple of years ago? That brought the game right up to date while keeping the tone spot on

Dont mean to sound overly negative, as I mentioned in a previous post the engine looks great and the combat system (while maybe needs some tweaking) is going in the right direction, Just lose the cringe-worthy up-beat banter and those easy-mode 'use this spell/item to pass this puzzle' glyphs

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

Post by Lord of Riva » February 9th, 2017, 9:52 am

maxheadroom wrote:
Gizmo wrote:
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.
Exactly my point. I backed Bards's Tale IV, not Bards Tale 2004:Part 2 which is what that felt like
As others have mentioned if that 'comedy' banter is set in stone I do hope there's an option to turn it off altogether.

Remember the Shadowgate remake from a couple of years ago? That brought the game right up to date while keeping the tone spot on

Dont mean to sound overly negative, as I mentioned in a previous post the engine looks great and the combat system (while maybe needs some tweaking) is going in the right direction, Just lose the cringe-worthy up-beat banter and those easy-mode 'use this spell/item to pass this puzzle' glyphs
AFAICT Bards tale 1-3 werent the most serious either right?
i actually like the banter idea very much but as always it depends on how much it is done, if it happens to regulary or if its like random snippets of text that fit ill together i as well will easily be bored/annoyed by it after some time.

Its actually a big feature if its done right, so the only thing that is a bit wierd to me is that it exists at all since BT4 wasnt backed this high the gameplay should come first.

In the end i can also agree that the Shadowgate remake was excellent.

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

Post by thebruce » February 9th, 2017, 9:59 am

I don't really like passive banter in any game. If there are story elements to be experienced, like triggering essential information somehow, that's different than content that really adds nothing but 'feel' to the game. Sometimes we like to play in silence ;P The comedic slant just makes it less endearing, imo.

In Halo, there's banter, but the NPCs can get distant; and you have an option to turn on more, or make it more entertaining. The basic setting is, in the context of that game, quite non-intrusive. If one of my characters in BT speaks up in a long quiet exploration period, I'd like it to be important, not a 'squirrel' moment.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by ZZGO » February 9th, 2017, 10:05 am

There were some (usually subtle) jokes in the classic trilogy, such as Sir Robin's Tune or the portrait of the Dark Domain princess. But classic BT wasn't a comedic or tongue-in-cheek game at all (the 2004 game was that). BT was a straight, epic and serious (if pulpy and occasionally humorous) dungeon crawl. A Conan-style adventure, not Bill & Ted style.

So I can see why people are scratching their heads over the humoristic approach of BT4.

Edit: The 2004 game, not the 200 game.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Lord of Riva » February 9th, 2017, 10:28 am

ZZGO wrote:There were some (usually subtle) jokes in the classic trilogy, such as Sir Robin's Tune or the portrait of the Dark Domain princess. But classic BT wasn't a comedic or tongue-in-cheek game at all (the 200 game was that). BT was a straight, epic and serious (if pulpy and occasionally humorous) dungeon crawl. A Conan-style adventure, not Bill & Ted style.

So I can see why people are scratching their heads over the humoristic approach of BT4.
hrm okay, i never played any of the games in this series, i expected them to be akin to Wasteland which i found pretty "tongue-in-cheek"

*shrug*

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

Post by Gizmo » February 9th, 2017, 10:38 am

thebruce wrote:1) Regarding creature design - one other aspect to the static artiwork cards for creatures that hasn't been mentioned yet: while it gives more of fine-art creative option for the artists, as players it's not just about design of the creature, it's also the backdrop, the framing and composition - all of these little stylistic elements to the artwork add to the character and feel of the creature. When working with 3D renderings in a literal environment, you simply can't get that extra sense of, say, looking up towards the blue sky to see the towering giant over the canopies reaching down at you. That extra level of 'fantasy' is lost in a literal environment.

That's another reason when the project first launched that I'd hoped not to see creatures roaming the dungeon, but would have prefered a 'card' style approach where sure it can still be 3D rendered and animated, but at least the context and environment of the creature now becomes part of its iconic presentation, rather than the dungeon you're currently in. All of that is lost if the only 'feel' of a creature is its skin and clothes facing you in the restrictive (and literal) 3D map.

And, of course a towering giant over the trees doesn't make sense if you encounter them in the dungeon, but they were abstract games, and didn't hide that fact; it really didn't matter. The more the game context is pushed, the more everything has to adhere to the style or it'll feel "off -- A literal dungeon crawler with abstract elements will feel out of place. Just like an abstract crawler doesn't feel right if you presume everything is literally true (grid-based forests? Identical trees? 10x10' castles? Of course not :P)
There is something to be said for abstraction, and there are even negatives for having too much detail, but the noticeable impact from Bard's Tale (and Wasteland, and even the heads in Fallout) was the relative realism and detail of the animated faces up close. I had high hopes that this wouldn't be lost ~in FO3, and later Wasteland 2, and now Bard's Tale 4.... but I'm not seeing it in any of these titles.

In FO3 or FO4 they could have designed the game to spend the ENTIRE polygon screen budget on the talking head face for the conversation UI; had they done so, we could have seen faces like this: [and had fully animated ~La Noir style conversations with them]
Image

I lost hope early on with FO3, but certainly had it for a while with the announcement of Wasteland 2, and later (even MORE SO) with the announcement of Bard's Tale 4... But so far, the best in any these titles I've seen is a deliberate nod to the WL series:
Image

... And never a full (dial turned up to 11) extrapolation using modern resources... Loosely somewhat like this [quick mock-up]:
Image
Just imagine if this portrait was a fully rigged animated model either for conversation; or even just given a fidget animation [like the originals]. Conversations done Fallout 1 style, but with heads on par with the Nvidia Head demos.

This is what I wanted of FO3, FO4, and WL2, and BT4... This is what was striking about those game's predecessors ~Abstraction, but with those faces and up close conversations [and with emotional reactions from them ~in Fallout]. Other gameplay aside: beyond that they were pale shadows of SSI's Goldbox and/or Baldur's Gate ~IMO; but with that they were exceptional.

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Don't remove those Corpses!

Post by OldPenAndPaperGamer » February 9th, 2017, 11:15 am

Hi all

I just watched the new video *finally* letting the cat out of the sac
about the super secret way Bard's Tale IV will be handling combat.
Ok, it' seems turn-based. Ok.

2 complaints though:

Please get rid of the cheap child's game feel.
In other words, make a game for ADULTS, NOT for children
(then the children will love it even more and the adults might
also like it):

#1.) Just like in Jagged Alliance 2, do *not* remove corpses
like in a Super Mario Bros game. Let them lie where they
fall and let them decay and rot slowly over time. Remove
remains only after several days. This adds REALISM which
so direly is missing in ALL new RPGs.

#2.) Get rid of too unrealistically *funny* talking during
life-and-death combats. Even if it's just a goblin, it's a
life-or-death situation for him. Keep realism.

Just some comments from someone over 13.

Regards

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

Post by Lord of Riva » February 9th, 2017, 12:03 pm

#1.) Just like in Jagged Alliance 2, do *not* remove corpses
like in a Super Mario Bros game. Let them lie where they
fall and let them decay and rot slowly over time. Remove
remains only after several days. This adds REALISM which
so direly is missing in ALL new RPGs.
This here is not anything related to a "super mario bros." game. Its related to the performance im pretty sure we wont be avoiding this anytime soon.
(im also not agreeing with your views on Adult entertainment but im not opening that can of worms.)

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

Post by Gizmo » February 9th, 2017, 12:25 pm

Lord of Riva wrote:This here is not anything related to a "super mario bros." game. Its related to the performance im pretty sure we wont be avoiding this anytime soon.
(im also not agreeing with your views on Adult entertainment but im not opening that can of worms.)
Agreed. It is also a problem in that it can seriously clutter a corridor dungeoncrawler ~even if they used impostering or low rez remains. The abstraction doesn't really benefit from strewn fodder IMO.

However... Myth [RTS from Bungie] did leave all the bodies for the duration, and it did have a great effect on the atmosphere.

Personally I think that [for the most part] the only things you should see on the floor are inventory items and interactive objects with a purpose. If there is a decaying body there, then it should either contain loot, be valuable itself, or be a marker of some kind; but not just a marker of the party's past battles.

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

Post by thebruce » February 9th, 2017, 12:35 pm

And, I'd prefer not seeing corpses littered from past battles in general as it's leading even more towards the literal environment which further straying from BT.

Heck in the classics remember there was very, very little in the viewport that was not straightforward map structure.

It's not that I don't like seeing corpses in a 3D game, but again in this context - it's just not Bard's Tale.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update #33: New Gameplay Video

Post by Lucius » February 9th, 2017, 3:54 pm

ZiN wrote:Bad:
- 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.
Regarding the above, see Divinity Original Sin. Amazing game. When it comes to puzzles or anything like that it is *almost* perfect with not handholding and not being so difficult to figure out that you need handholding. It's an absolutely incredible game that has honest to God felt like an old school style game without feeling the least bit dated. I cannot praise that game enough. I'm certain many people at InXile has played it, but anyone reading this and hasn't played it.....go buy it and play it now. If you are still reading this then I feel sorry for you because you should be playing D:OS and discovering what has been missing in your gaming life for the last 20 years.

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