The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

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The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by sear » February 15th, 2018, 3:04 pm

Hello all,

Today's Bard's Tale update on Kickstarter is a deep dive into the Bard archetype, including two of its classes. The game's Creative Director, David Rogers, gives a detailed breakdown of the Brew Master and Rabble Rouser, going into their unique skills and specializations.

Image

Beyond that, there's also a new set of high-res wallpapers going out to applicable backers (keep an eye on your email inbox), and a look at some Album Box concept designs!

Last, but not least, there's an updated release window for the game: we're happy to announce that the game should be out in Q3 of this year!

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by thebruce » February 15th, 2018, 3:17 pm

The one bit that got me was the comment that seemed to imply the original was all about the beer guzzling drinking drunkenness... But, even in the context of the Bard alone, I really don't think it was. The 'drink' was another very minor game mechanic. There was little to no reference to the bard being drunk or really anyone else at all drinking. It feels like the devs want to keep that sense of "beer-fun" in BT4.

Now in regards to the bard, I can understand the beer thing being a important for the character mechanics; ever class/archetype needs something specific and unique to focus on, so I'm glad that's a thing that's being though through deeply. I just.. don't want it to feel like the bard is going to be the "comic relief" (or that BT4 even needs some kind of "comic relief"), let alone in the way of promoting inebriation for power, even if there is a 'line' that you generally don't want to cross.

Still hoping for a serious party-based RPG, with a chuckle, maybe, here and there. Otherwise without going into details, I like the general detail being considered for the Archetype mechanics. I'm glad the spellcasters are returning as an archetype, which makes sense; and being called "Practitioner" rather than spellcaster makes me wonder if there's potentially more hidden to the archetype than the 5 caster sub-classes...

ETA: I'm liking the new artwork in the update header, which is included in the OP here.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Zombra » February 15th, 2018, 3:27 pm

* I like the new character art! Glad to see our new Bard blinking :) I imagine her mouth moves when she talks, too! A friend of mine compared the new portrait with old Might & Magic style portraits, in a very positive way. Great work and you're welcome for the idea. 8-)

* Still not a fan of the wiggling/flying/throbbing character portraits. I hate to scream "options menu" but please, since this is apparently not going away, an option to turn those animations off would be great. (Keep blinking/talking!)

* Brew Master mechanics sound really interesting.

* Rabble Rouser sounds even cooler!
** Shouldn't it be "Hot Cross Buns"? Is there a pun I'm not getting?

* Not real excited about the hard-to-read combat font.

* Delighted to see the interface move away from the science fiction spaceship look.

* I would love to get wallpapers without the Bard's Tale text logo. I already bought the game, you don't need to keep selling it to me. Text is not good for actual desktop wallpaper art - it screws up my icons.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Serjo » February 15th, 2018, 3:29 pm

They did a great job burying the new release date in that update. People are asking for info in the Kickstarter comments without realizing that it's been revealed :lol:

In any case, 5-7 months is a really short time to get out alpha + beta, collect feedback, and change the game in time for release. Exciting times ahead.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Lord of Riva » February 15th, 2018, 4:12 pm

* Still not a fan of the wiggling/flying/throbbing character portraits. I hate to scream "options menu" but please, since this is apparently not going away, an option to turn those animations off would be great.
im just seconding that, it looks really wierd.

Otherwise it is an solid update, not much to be said without the rest of the game though.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » February 15th, 2018, 4:27 pm

David Rogers in Update #41 wrote: In the original trilogy, bards must wet their whistle. When they’ve sung too many songs, they’d have to return to the Adventurer’s Guild for a drink.
Eh? How about the inns that were scattered about? Would have to double-check, but I don't think the AG refreshed the bard's songs any more than it refreshed a mage's spell points. At least not in the first game.
David Rogers in Update #41 wrote: With that in mind, we didn’t want to force the player to stop what they are doing and backtrack to the Guild every few fights.
(a) The number of songs between drinks increased with level in the originals, similar to a mage's available spell points. The limited songs/spells mechanic created a nice tension, which always meant that you would be nervous about delving too far into a new dungeon.
(b) Has he ever heard of magic items in the originals, such as the Bardsword? Unlimited songs.
David Rogers in Update #41 wrote: Still, we also wanted to hold true to the booze-fueled theme of the Bard's Tales of old.
Which game was this? The 2004 one?
thebruce wrote:
February 15th, 2018, 3:17 pm
The one bit that got me was the comment that seemed to imply the original was all about the beer guzzling drinking drunkenness... But, even in the context of the Bard alone, I really don't think it was. The 'drink' was another very minor game mechanic. There was little to no reference to the bard being drunk or really anyone else at all drinking. It feels like the devs want to keep that sense of "beer-fun" in BT4.
They might as well add in "coin and cleavage" fun too and make it like the 2004 title all the way. :roll:
Zombra wrote:
February 15th, 2018, 3:27 pm
* Still not a fan of the wiggling/flying/throbbing character portraits. I hate to scream "options menu" but please, since this is apparently not going away, an option to turn those animations off would be great.
+1 on this. All that bobbing about reminds me of the lid on a boiling pot.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by thebruce » February 15th, 2018, 5:09 pm

Ok so I've been thinking a bit more on the box design proposals... putting a few of the ideas into play from the other thread, after putting them side by side I came up with a design I think really embraces the spirit of the lineage (and makes use of new art ;))

Any thoughts?

Image

BT3 is the only outlier, with the subtitle in the centerpiece. But then it was all about breaking the norm :P

ETA[Feb16]: Adjusted the BT4 album based on some feedback (commented below)
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Zombra » February 15th, 2018, 5:19 pm

thebruce wrote:
February 15th, 2018, 5:09 pm
Any thoughts?
Looks great to me. The art could be centered a little better and the IV is ridiculously huge, but I like it overall. Actually it shouldn't use the maze from I either, it should have a new one. I liked the asymmetrical maze in the survey.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by thebruce » February 15th, 2018, 5:27 pm

hehe yeah, just working with what I got. I actually kind of like the IV large. Maybe not that large, but largeish - to emphasize the return to the BT universe after a couple of decades. :P the artwork is as small as it can get vertically (I stretched it a bit actually vertically) the horizontal content at that crop doesn't fit well in the circle, so that's really the best I could get (without cutting off the faces on the left and right side for balance) heh
It is a "concept" after all, lol
Thanks
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Themadcow » February 16th, 2018, 12:34 am

Serjo wrote:
February 15th, 2018, 3:29 pm
They did a great job burying the new release date in that update. People are asking for info in the Kickstarter comments without realizing that it's been revealed :lol:

In any case, 5-7 months is a really short time to get out alpha + beta, collect feedback, and change the game in time for release. Exciting times ahead.
Aye, that information wasn't in the email update so anyone *ahem* reading the email then going straight to KS comments wouldn't have seen it.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Crosmando » February 16th, 2018, 4:22 am

Hmmm, I don't seem to be getting emails for updates anymore.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by thebruce » February 16th, 2018, 7:26 am

Note: I updated the BT4 album design in the image above - reduce the "IV" (I still like its location though), and the title just a tad, and opted to shift left and enlarge the artwork, which sadly bumped the left female character out of frame but seems better for balance, including keeping the bard's flask unobstructed. :P

You know, I just realized, that centerpiece is very much stylistically in line with BT1's 'party' artwork. Cool :)

eta: it may be possible to bring the IV up to the title, but the artwork doesn't really compositionally leave room for a taller title.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by agris » February 17th, 2018, 2:14 pm

As a backer, I do not like the UI design I have seen. I do not like the spaceship neon blue, nor the futuristic grid lines drawn on the battle field, nor do I like the avatars' gimmicky looking hopping, popping and turning. Please reconsider your choices, inXile.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Drool » February 17th, 2018, 2:49 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
February 15th, 2018, 4:27 pm
Eh? How about the inns that were scattered about? Would have to double-check, but I don't think the AG refreshed the bard's songs any more than it refreshed a mage's spell points. At least not in the first game.
And in the third, they had these magical devices called "wineskins"...
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Crosmando » February 17th, 2018, 5:44 pm

agris wrote:
February 17th, 2018, 2:14 pm
As a backer, I do not like the UI design I have seen. I do not like the spaceship neon blue, nor the futuristic grid lines drawn on the battle field, nor do I like the avatars' gimmicky looking hopping, popping and turning. Please reconsider your choices, inXile.
Yeah, especially when you consider this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=43&t=17636

It's like they ignored the advice they asked for.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Lucius » February 17th, 2018, 7:57 pm

The portraits are so mind-bogglling distracting. The un-animated movement of the 2-d images is very distracting. Animate them or don't animate them, but this 'not really animated but they move thing' looks really childish, and frankly, it looks cheap and untalented. Do they still pulsate when talking outside of combat that we saw from the first video? Pulsating portraits isn't pleasing to me or my peers.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Gizmo » February 17th, 2018, 8:35 pm

Lucius wrote:
February 17th, 2018, 7:57 pm
Animate them or don't animate them, but this 'not really animated but they move thing' looks really childish, and frankly, it looks cheap and untalented.
Those are almost surely just placeholder avatars. The characters might be locked in by now, but I can't imagine that they would make it to the finished game as they are now; not having full animation sets for all supported actions.

_________

Variant BT4 covers are turning out to be fun to play around with. 8-)
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Last edited by Gizmo on February 17th, 2018, 8:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by thebruce » February 17th, 2018, 8:42 pm

I never got the impression that the current portrait animation was going to be the final design, but rather that it was for now a placeholder for whatever they were going to do. Because it's quick and easy. I'd suggest not focusing so much on the bobble portraits. That is, of course, if my understanding is correct... I'm just recalling from long ago discussion about them wanting to get gameplay mechanic samples out there, not having worked on the detailed animations.

A bit of feedback from the devs about what's being developed would go a long way to making us comfortable temporarily with the uncomfortable portrait animations ;P

But yes, I agree with Lucius, they should be either static portraits (yes, that is okay!) or 3d animated (I'd prefer animated portraits akin to the animated cards of the trilogy) moreso than full-out 3d modeled animations in a literal space.

I wouldn't even mind if the portraits, while exploring were facing me rather than their backs - if the portait itself is a self-contained piece of art, then it's not 'out of place' in the visible game world. I almost (almost) picture something like me holding a set of cards in my hand, in the order and positioning I want them to be for my party; no need to shuffle around depending on direction they're "facing" - that's in my head, doesn't have to be in-world literal.

Anyway I'm going on a ramble again... :)
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by Zombra » February 17th, 2018, 9:39 pm

Well ... the "wiggling portraits" are more smooth and robust in this update. They've obviously been polishing the process. (It's really not helping me like it.)

On a hunch, I watched some Hearthstone gameplay for the first time just now. Pretty sure this was their inspiration. Instead of cutesy Hearthstone cards flying around a table, it'll be player character portraits flitting and flying around a battle grid. I can already hear the adorable boops and boings.

I think someone on a high level made an executive decision that this game has to not only have intricate gameplay like Hearthstone (which still sounds interesting), the animations have to look silly and childish like it too, and the poor artists are doing their best to make it look good. Please, whoever made that decision, rethink it. Thanks.
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Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

Post by thebruce » February 17th, 2018, 9:50 pm

Agreed. On the note the 'card' visual I presenting, I was going from the content of the trilogies - character portrait cards only visible when viewing character details - to having the character 'card' visible in the UI (as opposed to number/name/stats per the trilogy) rather than bouncy cut-out portraits that keep flipping between front and back. I would rather live with (what some people seem to think is weird) having them "look like" they're walking backwards and facing me. If it's cards, not 3d models or cut-out portraits, that doesn't seem weird to me. Just my 2p. :)
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