The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Announcements & media coverage pertaining to The Bard's Tale series. Only moderators & inXile can make new threads on this forum.

Moderator: Bard Hall Bouncers

Serjo
Explorer
Posts: 327
Joined: January 27th, 2017, 2:28 pm

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by Serjo » March 20th, 2018, 12:15 am


SK_1759
Acolyte
Posts: 97
Joined: September 24th, 2015, 6:10 pm

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by SK_1759 » March 20th, 2018, 8:27 am

Expecting 6-12" of snow Wednesday in the NE US. I know what I'm doing for the snow day! It'll be like when I was a kid. Can't wait!

User avatar
phimseto
Developer
Posts: 849
Joined: April 18th, 2012, 7:01 am

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by phimseto » March 20th, 2018, 8:59 am

SK_1759 wrote:
March 20th, 2018, 8:27 am
Expecting 6-12" of snow Wednesday in the NE US. I know what I'm doing for the snow day! It'll be like when I was a kid. Can't wait!
Sigh. Please don't remind me.

User avatar
thebruce
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1875
Joined: February 17th, 2015, 8:46 am
Contact:

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by thebruce » March 20th, 2018, 11:30 am

I'm really hoping the gameplay will be snappy! Or at least have the option of being snappy! That was a great thing I don't want to lose about the classics - modern games, while snappy in ways, are also pretty draggy with animations and whatnot. Apart from the scroller, everying in BT was only limited by your CPU and key-pressing speed :)

Moving through a dungeon, I hope to be able to tap arrows and in quick succession to get from spot to spot, just like the classics.
hm, I'm not sure that point was ever raised, at least to this specificity.

Is there an option to disable the smooth 'walking' animation from square to square with grid snapping on?
Visit BardsTaleOnline.com - your community Bard's Tale classic RPG resource!
Twitter: @BardsTaleOnline / Facebook: Bards.Tale.Online
@thebruce0

User avatar
Gizmo
Grandmaster
Posts: 3711
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by Gizmo » March 20th, 2018, 1:28 pm

A friend of mine was having trouble in Baldur's Gate (I think in the Durlag's tower dungeon). He would enter this room, take the bait (some treasure item on display), but could never escape in time; before the exit door (intentionally) dropped too soon for him to reach it.

So I helped him; by having his character cast dimension door while the outer hall was still a selectable target. So he made the escape... but this was clearly not the intention of the designer. While I like that BT, and EoB, and even Riven allow for instant tap-transit... I think it might pose a potential risk to scripted encounters—if not implemented carefully.

The other consideration, is that instant transit from node to node, is only really of interest to those not interested in any sense of immersion (at the time), and who are actually just trying to return to a past location—no one explores like that; (or they have a death-wish). Riven even does one better, and makes it an option to enable 'zip mode'; where it detects distant locations (already visited, that are under the cursor), and allows instant relocation, bypassing any tiles in between.

Grimrock does not allow instant transit from tile to tile, tap for tap... Speed is contingent on the party's condition; whether they are overloaded, or suffering crippling injuries. (There are exceptions though, that can allow faster walking)

This could come into play (present a problem) if the party were absconding with something heavy... and with enemies in pursuit. Unfair indeed, to allow them run run like the wind, while hauling—practically anything.
Last edited by Gizmo on March 20th, 2018, 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
paultakeda
Forum Moderator
Posts: 2806
Joined: March 14th, 2012, 2:47 pm
Location: AAAAAARGH!

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by paultakeda » March 20th, 2018, 1:40 pm

thebruce wrote:
March 20th, 2018, 11:30 am
Moving through a dungeon, I hope to be able to tap arrows and in quick succession to get from spot to spot, just like the classics.
hm, I'm not sure that point was ever raised, at least to this specificity.

Is there an option to disable the smooth 'walking' animation from square to square with grid snapping on?
I thought the grid only snaps on during combat, and the rest of the time it is a first-person POV moving fluidly through the world (so no tap arrows to get from spot to spot). It's FPS navigation with grid combat.

User avatar
Gizmo
Grandmaster
Posts: 3711
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by Gizmo » March 20th, 2018, 1:42 pm

AFAIK, (and hopefully!), grid-snap is at least optional throughout the game; both in combat, and during exploration. Not unlike as in Stone Prophet, and Menzoberranzan.

**However... I did not get the impression that the party can move during a fight. :( (Shouldn't they be allowed to Run?)

User avatar
thebruce
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1875
Joined: February 17th, 2015, 8:46 am
Contact:

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by thebruce » March 20th, 2018, 2:03 pm

Grid exploration is toggleable option in BT4, yeah; that's the only impression I ever got from the announcements. The combat grid overlays during encounters, but the grid navigation option is there for the nostalgic classic feel.
but could never escape in time; before the exit door (intentionally) dropped too soon for him to reach it.
Not applicable to classic BT - there were no literal live-time events in the exploration of BT maps (ignoring BT2 snares). If BT4 includes live-time events in exploration, then it has introduced something new and literal to the map world which is not honouring the originals. YMMV as to whether that's good or bad. But specifically in relation to my point above - that is what I said I hope is not a factor in BT4. If I'd prefer snappy grid movement, then that necessitates I'd prefer not to have live-event exploration events.

But I don't want "tap transit" in the sense of the way Mage's Tale moves around the map by clicking some arbitrary point on the ground and zipping straight there. That's not the same as snappy grid navigation.

My stance on literal meat-space depiction of the game world has been made repeatedly over the time I've been in this forum :)
I don't mind pretty graphics to make the wandering and visuals nicer to look at... but I want the option to exist in the game world to the same (non)literal degree that we existed in it in BT1-3. And that therefore allows for snappy grid-based navigation.
Visit BardsTaleOnline.com - your community Bard's Tale classic RPG resource!
Twitter: @BardsTaleOnline / Facebook: Bards.Tale.Online
@thebruce0

User avatar
Gizmo
Grandmaster
Posts: 3711
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by Gizmo » March 20th, 2018, 2:17 pm

thebruce wrote:
March 20th, 2018, 2:03 pm
but could never escape in time; before the exit door (intentionally) dropped too soon for him to reach it.
Not applicable to classic BT - there were no literal live-time events in the exploration of BT maps (ignoring BT2 snares). If BT4 includes live-time events in exploration, then it has introduced something new and literal to the map world which is not honouring the originals.
Yes it's applicable. They are not —honoring the originals— as you put it, they are branding a new game with an old name. My impression was that the released videos already show scripted live-time events; and I have the distinct impression that the BT4 maps assume to be seen as a live meat-space depiction, rather than a representational abstraction—like BT1-3. It's unfortunate (seeing that it's a BT sequel and not pushed as a spin-off), but that's what sells these days. :(

Upshot being, that instant travel from one cell to the next has the potential for triggering scripted events, and leaving before they complete. My guess is that the game is fluid free-roam, with a node grid tacked on as an afterthought; tested sure, but not part of the core design, and (just a guess) not something the engine is setup to take advantage of in its scripts—or in anything else. Purely cosmetic, and inconsequential; (just like us fans that would want it :mrgreen: ).

This (optional grid) also happened in Menzoberranzan, and a nasty side effect was that while the game played fine in free-roam mode, it actually caused areas to become inaccessible in grid-snap mode... because the game assumed that the party could step around obstructions (it assumed free-roam mode; the grid-step was an afterthought that merely positioned the otherwise free-roaming party, and that meant that they could not step around the stalagmites in front of them).

My guess is that node transition in BT4 will be done as a smoothed guided tour, from point to point; exactly like Myst5; and with the same problems.
https://youtu.be/y2xgXF2MrLY?t=5m21s

*I got a kick from the creatures in this clip being called Barrow. :lol:
But I don't want "tap transit" in the sense of the way Mage's Tale moves around the map by clicking some arbitrary point on the ground and zipping straight there. That's not the same as snappy grid navigation.
Tap-transit meant 'tap a key, and appear in the next cell'; or in BT4's case, the next node.
(In Riven, 'zip mode', was a settings option that did allow teleportation to a visible location that has already been explored.)

A potentially frustrating problem of instant cell-to-cell transitions (like in EoB and BT1-3), might be a loss of direction, if the camera rotates during the travel—and some probably do. Certainly the screenshots show split nodes that step to one side, and become two paths, but if any nodes round a corner, then the player might not 'see' that happen if they can transition the nodes instantly; and they end up facing a different direction, but possibly without realizing it.

PsychicMonk
Scholar
Posts: 159
Joined: April 16th, 2012, 10:54 am

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by PsychicMonk » March 20th, 2018, 4:59 pm

Gizmo wrote:
March 20th, 2018, 2:17 pm
My impression was that the released videos already show scripted live-time events;

In this video they say that there are enemies patrolling the areas in realtime and that they have vision cones that can be avoided...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt4CkMq ... e&t=02m42s
Different walking speeds and/or teleporting would be kind of cheating with such mechanics.
and I have the distinct impression that the BT4 maps assume to be seen as a live meat-space depiction, rather than a representational abstraction—like BT1-3.
I'm also pretty sure that the maps are "literal" with more or less correct scale and graphical representations of everything in the game world except hidden stuff. Everything else would really surprise me. So no more square sized buildings or e.g. missing a prisoner chained to the wall by one square because it only becomes "visible" when you enter the correct square.

User avatar
thebruce
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1875
Joined: February 17th, 2015, 8:46 am
Contact:

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by thebruce » March 20th, 2018, 6:15 pm

They are not —honoring the originals— as you put it, they are branding a new game with an old name.
I know. And that's specifically what I'm referring to - I don't want to wait 2 seconds for the grid-movement animation to complete every time I move from square to square. That's like fighting 496 berserkers on the slowest scroll speed.
No, if we have grid-locked movement, then my hope is that the game will be snappy, not draggy. I honestly don't care if they're honouring the originals or building a new brand on an old name - this is a functional thin, a mechanics preference. We know we have a grid-locked option. That's there for grid-based nostalgia. If that's the case, it'll be a detriment if the motion doesn't also become snappy. If anything, at least like Skara Brae in BT1. Animated but maybe 1/3 second betwen grid spots.
Upshot being, that instant travel from one cell to the next has the potential for triggering scripted events, and leaving before they complete.
That's a break in game logic. You have non-literal movement combined with literal in-world events. I would not recommend combining the two at all. So in that case, obviously, I am very very VERY curious and interested in how they're combining grid movement with mechanics like roaming monsters - if I'm not going to be bored moving 'realistically' slowly from space to space. Thankfully the alpha is tomorrow and these questions will be answered.
cell-to-cell transitions (like in EoB and BT1-3)
Just for accuracy's sake, as mentioned above Skara Brae in BT1 was animated forward cell navigation.

I really hope that this "node" system inXile described is not arbitrarily placed nodes, and it's just the way they're describing how the grid cell stop spots are coded, having dynamic altitude and whatnot. If it's grid-locked, all "nodes" should be on evenly spaced coordinates. Whether a cell navigation moves 2 or more cell spots and/or turns with a forward motion - we'll find out tomorrow. I, personally, hope not.
In this video they say that there are enemys patrolling the areas in realtime and have vision cones that can be avoided...
Which is a mechanic that, on the surface, seems problematic with grid-lock on. Another reason to be very curious to play the alpha release and find out exactly how they're coding it.
I'm also pretty sure that the maps are "literal representations" with correct graphical representations of everything in the game world except hidden stuff. Everything else would really surprise me. So no more missing e.g. a prisoner chained to the wall by one square because it only becomes "visible" when you enter the correct square.
Right, and while that's not a game-changer for me, we've had plenty of intense discussion and debate about the nature of the literal vs abstract game world, and how it's not merely a matter of visual technical capability, but a game style itself (there are plenty of modern games that are far from literal) where imagination is a core element to enjoying the game world; creating your own immersion, as it were. BT1-3, while limited technically, also provided a game experience that is still certainly viable today, though definitely not "mainstream". With BT4 going more literal, it's distancing itself from the style of 1-3. I like prettier graphics, but I really hope the game feels like it's still keeping some semblance of the the original trilogy... and not becoming a 1st-person-with-party-on-UI 3D dungeon adventure.
Visit BardsTaleOnline.com - your community Bard's Tale classic RPG resource!
Twitter: @BardsTaleOnline / Facebook: Bards.Tale.Online
@thebruce0

SK_1759
Acolyte
Posts: 97
Joined: September 24th, 2015, 6:10 pm

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by SK_1759 » March 20th, 2018, 8:41 pm

Anyone know how they will distribute the Alpha?
Will the BTIV site allow you to log in again to d/l the Alpha?

Also, phimseto, just a reminder that it's going to snow Wednesday in the NE. :lol:

PsychicMonk
Scholar
Posts: 159
Joined: April 16th, 2012, 10:54 am

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by PsychicMonk » March 20th, 2018, 9:01 pm

thebruce wrote:
March 20th, 2018, 6:15 pm
Right, and while that's not a game-changer for me, we've had plenty of intense discussion and debate about the nature of the literal vs abstract game world, and how it's not merely a matter of visual technical capability, but a game style itself (there are plenty of modern games that are far from literal) where imagination is a core element to enjoying the game world; creating your own immersion, as it were. BT1-3, while limited technically, also provided a game experience that is still certainly viable today, though definitely not "mainstream". With BT4 going more literal, it's distancing itself from the style of 1-3. I like prettier graphics, but I really hope the game feels like it's still keeping some semblance of the the original trilogy... and not becoming a 1st-person-with-party-on-UI 3D dungeon adventure.
I even prefer the less-is-more approach with enough room for my imagination.
In fact at least half of the fun I had with the classics was due to nothing but my imagination.

When it comes to "Bard's Tale feeling" they already lost me during the Kickstarter with all the Scottish
folklore that feels (at least to me) totally out of place. I never imagined anything remotely Scottish while playing BT.
From what I have seen so far the BT4 look+settings is in my opinion better fitting to BT2004 than to the classics.

I guess sequels of games with sufficient room for imagination have the same problem as book->movie conversions:
The imagined part differs from person to person and the designers/artists create new stuff based on their imagination...

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I couldn't enjoy WL 2. While it might be an ok game for itself it was (at least in my opinion) a huge disappointment as a sequel. The places and people from WL1 felt totally off and were nothing like I imagined them.

The in my opinion by far best "sequel" inxile has released to date is interestingly also the game I had the least expectations for: Torment Tides of Numenera. Also I'm one of the few people who never really liked the prequel...

User avatar
thebruce
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1875
Joined: February 17th, 2015, 8:46 am
Contact:

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by thebruce » March 20th, 2018, 9:23 pm

I guess sequels of games with sufficient room for imagination have the same problem as book->movie conversions:
The imagined part differs from person to person and the designers/artists create new stuff based on their imagination...
That's a great analogy. And definitely one of the difficulties I'm sure inXile realized they'd face by taking on such an old beloved trilogy and trying to make a sequel under the same name. Accept some reality that the sequel simply cannot offer exactly the same feel as the original as if were made in the same time period, while also developing it in some way to attempt to capture what made it great for those who loved the original - where that is completely and totally arbitrary depending on who you ask. :P No small feat. Hoping they do well, for my own enjoyment at least :)
Visit BardsTaleOnline.com - your community Bard's Tale classic RPG resource!
Twitter: @BardsTaleOnline / Facebook: Bards.Tale.Online
@thebruce0

User avatar
Gizmo
Grandmaster
Posts: 3711
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by Gizmo » March 20th, 2018, 11:16 pm

thebruce wrote:
March 20th, 2018, 6:15 pm
Just for accuracy's sake, as mentioned above Skara Brae in BT1 was animated forward cell navigation.
This is true... I should have said Gold-Box instead; also forward only movement.

*In your opinion, does it make an affecting difference though? (Just curious)
I am not certain that I'd mind if a BT game included side and backward stepping; (both would change the dynamic of a realtime shooter/stabber game, but unlike FO3's back-peddling mine-layer PC, in BT it would just mean running, or having to stop for a combat round).
I really hope that this "node" system inXile described is not arbitrarily placed nodes, and it's just the way they're describing how the grid cell stop spots are coded, having dynamic altitude and whatnot. If it's grid-locked, all "nodes" should be on evenly spaced coordinates. Whether a cell navigation moves 2 or more cell spots and/or turns with a forward motion - we'll find out tomorrow. I, personally, hope not.
We shall see, and hope... but I expect it to mimic Myst 5's node behavior; as per the Youtube link; and to not be significant in any other way than simple location-snapping. I don't expect that the game will attach significance to the party's node position. Although if they have pressure plates or scripted events, we can assume that the nearest node will be in the region of the trigger for each.

PsychicMonk
Scholar
Posts: 159
Joined: April 16th, 2012, 10:54 am

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by PsychicMonk » March 21st, 2018, 9:25 am

I expect it to be more like an "improved" version of smooth grid movement by
also allowing curved connections between nodes and also allowing nodes to be "off-grid". Basically as if the nodes were connected with invisible railway pieces and the player can move freely from node to node as long as he stays on track like some kind of interactive model train or amusement ride.

User avatar
Gizmo
Grandmaster
Posts: 3711
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by Gizmo » March 21st, 2018, 9:57 am

PsychicMonk wrote:
March 21st, 2018, 9:25 am
I expect it to be more like an "improved" version of smooth grid movement by
also allowing curved connections between nodes and also allowing nodes to be "off-grid". Basically as if the nodes were connected with invisible railway pieces and the player can move freely from node to node as long as he stays on track like some kind of interactive model train or amusement ride.
Same here.

We know that they have mentioned that they will nudge the nodes around to best suit the level layout, but whether that means rarely a foot or two off-center—at need, or a far more noticeable expanse between nodes... we'll have to wait to find out.
Image

Image

PsychicMonk
Scholar
Posts: 159
Joined: April 16th, 2012, 10:54 am

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by PsychicMonk » March 21st, 2018, 10:04 am

Gizmo wrote:
March 21st, 2018, 9:57 am
PsychicMonk wrote:
March 21st, 2018, 9:25 am
I expect it to be more like an "improved" version of smooth grid movement by
also allowing curved connections between nodes and also allowing nodes to be "off-grid". Basically as if the nodes were connected with invisible railway pieces and the player can move freely from node to node as long as he stays on track like some kind of interactive model train or amusement ride.
Same here.

We know that they have mentioned that they will nudge the nodes around to best suit the level layout, but whether that means rarely a foot or two off-center—at need, or a far more noticeable expanse between nodes... we'll have to wait to find out.
Image

Image
Yes basically the second picture but in my opinion the start/end nodes will be distributed more regularly and more compass aligned to help orientation. The curved paths are mostly needed to move smoothly around obstacles or to be able to smoothly follow a curved corridor.

User avatar
thebruce
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1875
Joined: February 17th, 2015, 8:46 am
Contact:

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by thebruce » March 21st, 2018, 10:24 am

I didn't get the idea of option 2 at all, because the whole thing about grid-snapping was for classic grid mapping. The nodes have to be on grid spots. Whether navigation from one node to another can span multiple grid spacings is a different question than whether the nodes are placed on evenly spaced map coordinates.
Visit BardsTaleOnline.com - your community Bard's Tale classic RPG resource!
Twitter: @BardsTaleOnline / Facebook: Bards.Tale.Online
@thebruce0

PsychicMonk
Scholar
Posts: 159
Joined: April 16th, 2012, 10:54 am

Re: The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale...

Post by PsychicMonk » March 21st, 2018, 10:37 am

I think option 2 is an exaggeration. In my opinion the nodes will be spread out a lot more like a grid than what is shown in this picture. The important part of option 2 is that nodes don't need to be connected with straight lines although in my opinion most nodes will be connected with straight lines.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest