The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by Crosmando » June 17th, 2017, 5:32 am

No, D&D use Halflings, they don't own it.... :|

EDIT: I know some D&D creatures like the Beholders and Mind Flayers are trademarked, but I'm almost certain Halflings are not.
Last edited by Crosmando on June 17th, 2017, 6:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by Gizmo » June 17th, 2017, 6:02 am

You know... Bungie Studios used the Trow as a main playable race in MYTH 1&2. ;) You had earn their help by playing a game. The game was Highland Berzerkers against against a few Trow, holding flags. Hold all flags and they won; but the Trow were massive, and could kick a man and he'd burst into a cloud of blood. Awesome game; awesome level.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by thebruce » June 17th, 2017, 6:43 am

Here's how I'll be reconciling any major differences between 1-3 and 4...

BT1: Skara Brae. Mangar. Olde.

BT2: Greater realm. Wilderness and cities. Copycat villain.

BT3: Return of big bossman with a vengeance. Time and space. Enormous variety of content.

BT4: A new era. Legends of the ancient city Skara Brae. New content, locations, cultures, civilizations. Mere stories and myth from days of olde.

Each game expanded on the past game's content and provided its own new stuff. If there's a "big gap" between 3 and 4, but the history of 1-3 remains intact and essential elements of the lore of BT4, then if the game content (but not the basic concept) has changed "over time", then I could live with that. To a reasonable degree.
As long as there isn't any retconning or overhauling of the underlying themes and concepts of the Bard's Tale "world".
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by Crosmando » June 17th, 2017, 6:55 am

Gizmo wrote:
June 17th, 2017, 6:02 am
You know... Bungie Studios used the Trow as a main playable race in MYTH 1&2. ;)
Also interesting is that D&D's Drow (Dark Elves) are just Trow but with an alternate spelling.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by Zombra » June 17th, 2017, 9:04 am

Personally, I feel like the BT4 world is not a logical extension of the "homeworld" from previous games. The art style is just so different, the races are different, the architecture looks different, etc. But there is a lampshade here we can use - in BT3 the party traveled to a bunch of parallel worlds, right? The elf world, the Nazi world, and so forth. So I'm just going to say that BT4 takes place in the "Gaelic world" ... not in the BT1 Skara Brae but in an exaggerated, twisted parallel version of it. So it's still in the same multiverse but it's OK if thematic elements are completely wrong. :shrug:
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by Drool » June 17th, 2017, 12:21 pm

Zombra wrote:
June 17th, 2017, 9:04 am
But there is a lampshade here we can use - in BT3 the party traveled to a bunch of parallel worlds, right? The elf world, the Nazi world, and so forth. So I'm just going to say that BT4 takes place in the "Gaelic world" ... not in the BT1 Skara Brae but in an exaggerated, twisted parallel version of it. So it's still in the same multiverse but it's OK if thematic elements are completely wrong. :shrug:
More and more, that's where I find myself headed. They're throwing away so much of the originals in this bizarre pursuit of Celtic mythology. For the love of God, inXile, actually look at the originals. Aside from the name, there was nothing Celtic about those games. I don't want Pict-alikes and Celt-alikes and Scot-alikes, I want Elves and Orcs and Gnomes and Halflings. It's like you're only looking at BT2004 and thinking that's what you're making a...

...oh, holy hell. That's it, isn't it? You're making a BT2004 sequel in BT1-3 clothes, aren't you?
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » June 17th, 2017, 12:38 pm

Drool wrote:
June 17th, 2017, 12:21 pm
...oh, holy hell. That's it, isn't it? You're making a BT2004 sequel in BT1-3 clothes, aren't you?
You may be on to something, Drool. One only needs to look to at the header for the "BT: Classic Tales" subforum to see more support for that, it's an image from the game they released in 2004. Coin and cleavage....
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by Gizmo » June 17th, 2017, 1:13 pm

Drool wrote:
June 17th, 2017, 12:21 pm
...oh, holy hell. That's it, isn't it? You're making a BT2004 sequel in BT1-3 clothes, aren't you?
You know, it could be that they've gone down this road before, and arrived at The Bard's Tale (2004) by necessity; after enduring the infringement minefield... Where following the same path again, is the path known to have the least in nasty surprises. I actually LIKE The Bard's Tale (2004); but I did not knowingly, or willingly back the sequel to—it.

**It was the same way with WL2 btw. I did not knowingly or willingly back a Fallout 2 clone over a WL1 sequel—even though I would have (and did) enjoy that more than WL1. I would have loved a Fallout 3, done by Troika, InXile—or Bethesda... if it had but played like Wasteland 2 (with or without controllable party members)... But never as a an official sequel to Wasteland; and similar goes for a Bard's Tale sequel. Image

There are those that seemingly cannot grasp loving something—and yet not liking it at the same time... Well one can love a wet dog, and not like the smell that it brings with it; nor that it stains everything it touches.

__

*Perhaps a good (official BT4) modder's-toolset, could serve as a towel for this wet-dog; coming fresh out of the 2017 marketing mud-puddle. Though it won't un-crop its ears, or restore the missing part of its Tale.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by thebruce » June 17th, 2017, 2:57 pm

Zombra wrote:
June 17th, 2017, 9:04 am
Personally, I feel like the BT4 world is not a logical extension of the "homeworld" from previous games. The art style is just so different, the races are different, the architecture looks different, etc. But there is a lampshade here we can use - in BT3 the party traveled to a bunch of parallel worlds, right? The elf world, the Nazi world, and so forth. So I'm just going to say that BT4 takes place in the "Gaelic world" ... not in the BT1 Skara Brae but in an exaggerated, twisted parallel version of it. So it's still in the same multiverse but it's OK if thematic elements are completely wrong. :shrug:
I hadn't thought of that one... I like that version better. :)

An "Alternate Skara Brae Reality" does work as a feasible logical extension after space/time traveling to other dimensions :P
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by Gizmo » June 17th, 2017, 3:48 pm

thebruce wrote:
June 17th, 2017, 2:57 pm
An "Alternate Skara Brae Reality" does work as a feasible logical extension after space/time traveling to other dimensions :P
How is that sequel material though? Would that work for Halo perchance?
(Rhetorical, of course. It can work, if desperate to have it so...)

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » June 17th, 2017, 3:51 pm

thebruce wrote:
June 17th, 2017, 2:57 pm
Zombra wrote:
June 17th, 2017, 9:04 am
Personally, I feel like the BT4 world is not a logical extension of the "homeworld" from previous games. The art style is just so different, the races are different, the architecture looks different, etc. But there is a lampshade here we can use - in BT3 the party traveled to a bunch of parallel worlds, right? The elf world, the Nazi world, and so forth. So I'm just going to say that BT4 takes place in the "Gaelic world" ... not in the BT1 Skara Brae but in an exaggerated, twisted parallel version of it. So it's still in the same multiverse but it's OK if thematic elements are completely wrong. :shrug:
I hadn't thought of that one... I like that version better. :)

An "Alternate Skara Brae Reality" does work as a feasible logical extension after space/time traveling to other dimensions :P
I wish I could let inXile off the hook that easily. But, they've sold BT IV as having continuity with the original series. The talk about 150 years later, Skara Brae being rebuilt, etc.... It really feels like too much of a stretch to me. Maybe, in the end, I'll end up holding my nose and engaging in the suspension of disbelief that Zombra proposes. But, it just doesn't feel like the original series and so it's hard to accept a game bearing the same name.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by Gizmo » June 17th, 2017, 3:53 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
June 17th, 2017, 3:51 pm
But, it just doesn't feel like the original series and so it's hard to accept a game bearing the same name.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by thebruce » June 17th, 2017, 9:02 pm

Well, I mean we are dealing with effectively a non-trilogy sequel. ANother 'excuse' for its distance from the originals. BT1-3 was essentially a complete trilogy. Now we're tacking on episo-- part 4. :P

Hey I'm trying here, I tend to be a devil's advocate, trying to find the best in most situations; half full and all that :) They know what we want. We don't know why they're making some of the decisions they are. We choose to give them the benefit of the doubt or not. All we can do is hope they listen as we beg with tears and hopeftully-not-futile hope!
*whimper?*
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by Drool » June 17th, 2017, 9:57 pm

Gizmo wrote:
June 17th, 2017, 1:13 pm
I actually LIKE The Bard's Tale (2004); but I did not knowingly, or willingly back the sequel to—it.
I like it well enough too, but I didn't back a sequel to that game...
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by Zombra » June 17th, 2017, 10:12 pm

I just like making rationalizations for things that don't make sense. I can even take the "same continuity" jive (and it is jive, no question) and spin that so it works too. Maybe in those 150 years, a strange plague suffused the land, killing off the orcs and hobbits, turning the landscape into Scotland, and making everyone forget this all happened. This is hardly better than "a wizard did it", and of course there's no way to actually confront this bizarre turn of events in game, so really it's meaningless; but still, having an explanation at all comforts me.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by Crosmando » June 18th, 2017, 12:16 am

I think the best way would be to have BT4 take place in a different land/island but in the same world as BT1-3. But of course we're well beyond the point when that could be changed.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by ZZGO » June 18th, 2017, 4:28 am

I kinda liked the alternate dimensions as a plot element in BT3. However, I would hate to see them as an excuse for retcons/reimaginings/poor continuity.

In my opinion, fictional universes suffer to the point of losing their appeal if and when the canon timeline is split or broken. Please don't do this to Bard's Tale. I've stopped caring about Star Wars or Star Trek altogether, and never liked the Marvel stuff.
Examples of doing it right are the Ultima saga (who sadly dropped the ball in Ultima 9), and BattleTech who have rigorously stuck to a single canon and timeline.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by Crosmando » June 18th, 2017, 4:33 am

Games today demand a deeper lore and sense of world than back in the day. My goal is to broaden the Bard's Tale world without losing the key people, places, spells, bard songs, etc. When we created Bard’s Tale back in 1985 we were young and excitable...more interested in mapping dungeons and torturing our players with teleporters, brutal combats, spinners, and darkness areas, than we were in telling a coherent story.
In my opinion that's what was good about BT. You only need a bit of text here and there to explain the history of each dungeon and why X type of creature is inside it.
We threw everything except the kitchen sink into those games - Nazis, ninjas, zen masters, robots, vampires, lizard men. We weren't exactly concerned with it making sense.
With the exception of Nazis all of those things are perfectly fine in fantasy (and as Drool explained on another occaison, BT3's Nazis only appeared in a dimension/world of eternal war so it made sense).
Why did Mangar trap Skara Brae in ice? Does anybody ever say?
Isn't it obvious? He did it to trap the inhabitants inside the city and to prevent outside help from getting inside the city.
How do we stay true to the spirit and substance of the original games while adding the depth, history, and personality that today's players expect from a modern game?
And here's me thinking that this Kickstarter was about fans of the originals and creating a faithful sequel to the originals. But yeah, I get it, you've already got our money, this is about getting the money of "modern gamers".
How are Mangar, Lagoth Zanta, and Tarjan connected? What ambition drove them?
Power? What else?
And can we give it all a unique flavor that will allow it to stand out from other fantasy games?
I think what would make BT4 stand out is it's gameplay style and combat, which is almost a dead genre today. When was the last high-budget turn-based blobber made?
The Bard’s Tale was based loosely on Scottish and Orkney Island folklore so this seemed a good place to fill out the world and give it a unique look and feel. So let's deepen that - give it the mood, melancholy and menace of an old Celtic fairy tale. Let's make a world where elves keep humans as pets, where dwarves demand impossible payments for a broken deal, where the trow are a cursed and vagabond race, where Mangar and Lagoth Zanta and Tarjan were all corrupted by the whispers of evil entities from before the rise of man, where a ring of standing stones or an old stone arch or a tune whistled in a deep forest glade might open a door to worlds beyond the mortal realm.
I don't neccessarily disagree with any of this, it actually sounds quite intriguing. But even ignoring the lore implications, getting rid of 3 races (4 if Half-Elves are also gone) will actually make the game more simplified and less opportunity for character customization.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » June 18th, 2017, 8:47 am

ZZGO wrote:
June 18th, 2017, 4:28 am
In my opinion, fictional universes suffer to the point of losing their appeal if and when the canon timeline is split or broken. Please don't do this to Bard's Tale. I've stopped caring about Star Wars or Star Trek altogether,
Same here.
Crosmando wrote:
June 18th, 2017, 4:33 am
Games today demand a deeper lore and sense of world than back in the day. My goal is to broaden the Bard's Tale world without losing the key people, places, spells, bard songs, etc. When we created Bard’s Tale back in 1985 we were young and excitable...more interested in mapping dungeons and torturing our players with teleporters, brutal combats, spinners, and darkness areas, than we were in telling a coherent story.
In my opinion that's what was good about BT.
Yes. This.

I don't get why narrative depth is suddenly a must-have. The original game got along fine without it. Knowing the what and why of everything can actually be an impediment to fun. Having unexplained mysteries and things that don't quite make sense can add spice and mystique to a game. The window for the use of the player's imagination is wider that way.
Crosmando wrote:
June 18th, 2017, 4:33 am
How do we stay true to the spirit and substance of the original games while adding the depth, history, and personality that today's players expect from a modern game?
And here's me thinking that this Kickstarter was about fans of the originals and creating a faithful sequel to the originals. But yeah, I get it, you've already got our money, this is about getting the money of "modern gamers".
And here's me agreeing and noting how many times people have posted, saying that the only reason that they threw any money at this project was so that they could their hands on the remasters.

Also, tsk, there's that slippery word again: modern. I'm curious to know specifically what Mr. Fargo thinks constitutes a modern game and why.

One more note. I read the provided snippet from the new BT novella the other day. Totally different feel from, say, the BT1 clue book. Here's a snippet from the novella, coming with BT4:
BT1 Novella with BT4 wrote: Love is you farting in bed and me still wanting to have a go - after ten years of it!
<sarcasm>Real classy stuff.</sarcasm> And, here's a snippet from the cluebook:
BT1 Cluebook wrote: I embrace my companions, and taste the salt of Isli's tears. Ghaklah
has asked for my dagger -- he has no wish to be captured alive. As he prepares
the spell, I can but reflect that no man could wish to die in better company.
Actually classy stuff.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century

Post by Gizmo » June 18th, 2017, 10:04 am

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
June 18th, 2017, 8:47 am
And here's me agreeing and noting how many times people have posted, saying that the only reason that they threw any money at this project was so that they could their hands on the remasters.
That's the reason I bought the BT:2004 cd's—it came with an official installer for the original three games.

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