Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

For all Bard's Tale IV discussion that does not fit elsewhere, suggestions, feedback, etc. No spoilers allowed.

Moderator: Bard Hall Bouncers

User avatar
tree
Initiate
Posts: 13
Joined: January 29th, 2015, 4:13 pm
Location: The Wilderness
Contact:

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by tree » February 6th, 2015, 6:11 pm

Scorpion wrote:
Zombra wrote:It appears that Heineman is off the table for BT4.
So it's going to be BT4 vs DW2 eh? Maybe they will have a profit sharing option.
This might actually work out for the better. Double the chances to see a good Bard's Tale/Dragon Wars style of game. Kind of like Dave Mustaine splitting from Metallica to make an equally if not superior band Megadeth. :twisted:

Only time will tell to see which will be the better game. I'm hoping for 2 equally awesome dungeon crawlers.
Master of Shrubberies

User avatar
Scorpion
Initiate
Posts: 23
Joined: January 25th, 2015, 5:39 pm

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by Scorpion » February 6th, 2015, 7:04 pm

tree wrote:
Scorpion wrote:
Zombra wrote:It appears that Heineman is off the table for BT4.
So it's going to be BT4 vs DW2 eh? Maybe they will have a profit sharing option.
This might actually work out for the better. Double the chances to see a good Bard's Tale/Dragon Wars style of game. Kind of like Dave Mustaine splitting from Metallica to make an equally if not superior band Megadeth. :twisted:

Only time will tell to see which will be the better game. I'm hoping for 2 equally awesome dungeon crawlers.
Looks like DW2 will be developed by Olde Skuul and published by Interplay. Should I buy stock in Interplay, as recommended by tonurics, it's only a penny!

Image

jrodman
Explorer
Posts: 352
Joined: March 13th, 2012, 9:15 pm

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by jrodman » February 27th, 2015, 7:46 pm

I'm fascinated by the idea of Jaquays (is she still at Olde Skuul? -- ahh, website confirms) and Heinemann working on Dragon Wars. Two of my childhood heroes of fantasy & adventure.

It can't really live up to my expectations but I can dream.

_noblesse_oblige_
Master
Posts: 1129
Joined: July 13th, 2015, 7:18 pm

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » July 23rd, 2015, 10:05 pm

IHaveHugeNick wrote: Good to hear its not like when your favourite band that doesn't play together, because people are still holding onto 30 year old grudges. :D
Amen. And it was really good to see Faran Brygo and Michael Cranford sitting at the same table, conducting that interview together in the final hours of the BT4 Kickstarter.

As others have stated, Michael has been out of the business for a long time. I still wouldn't mind seeing him as a "spiritual adviser" for the game... as long as he doesn't try to steer it towards being a MMORPG.

Another area where I would be happy for his involvement would be for inXile to release 30th Anniversary Edition album boxes and manuals for the originals and to have an N number of copies autographed by Brian and Michael for people making add-on pledges at a certain level.
cmibl<enter>

User avatar
Crosmando
Supreme Jerk
Posts: 5130
Joined: January 3rd, 2013, 8:48 am

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by Crosmando » July 23rd, 2015, 10:10 pm

Scorpion wrote: Image
Going public is the worst thing a video game company can do. I mean what would stop a group of investors from buying up the company's shares and then start making demands as to what type of games they make? I hope InXile stays a private company indefinitely, listing themselves on the stock exchange was the beginning of the end for Interplay.
Matthias did nothing wrong!

User avatar
Gizmo
Grandmaster
Posts: 3625
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by Gizmo » July 24th, 2015, 12:01 am

It was said that Micheal Cranford looked upon his BT game as his personal challenge to the player. If his game beat you ~then he won.

(Does anyone else remember this?)
Last edited by Gizmo on July 24th, 2015, 12:16 am, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Crosmando
Supreme Jerk
Posts: 5130
Joined: January 3rd, 2013, 8:48 am

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by Crosmando » July 24th, 2015, 12:03 am

It would be great if they could get Cranford involved, if only to design a single dungeon.
Matthias did nothing wrong!

User avatar
Gizmo
Grandmaster
Posts: 3625
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by Gizmo » July 24th, 2015, 12:18 am

It could be cool, I think. Perhaps a hidden advanced party dungeon with deathtraps? :twisted:

User avatar
Crosmando
Supreme Jerk
Posts: 5130
Joined: January 3rd, 2013, 8:48 am

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by Crosmando » July 24th, 2015, 12:51 am

Also if you die in his dungeon you get a screen with an angel that looks like him saying Sorry bud
Matthias did nothing wrong!

Nekot-The-Brave
Scholar
Posts: 119
Joined: July 21st, 2015, 9:00 am

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by Nekot-The-Brave » July 24th, 2015, 8:09 pm

Crosmando wrote:
Scorpion wrote: Image
Going public is the worst thing a video game company can do. I mean what would stop a group of investors from buying up the company's shares and then start making demands as to what type of games they make? I hope InXile stays a private company indefinitely, listing themselves on the stock exchange was the beginning of the end for Interplay.
To be honest, after looking over all of the Wikipedia articles, linked twitter articles, and others; they were going downhill before the IPO. Going IPO was the only way to attempt to save the company from bankruptcy.

I'll see if I can find the articles that I read before.

User avatar
Crosmando
Supreme Jerk
Posts: 5130
Joined: January 3rd, 2013, 8:48 am

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by Crosmando » July 24th, 2015, 10:29 pm

Yes, but the IPO resulted in the company being bought out by Titus Interactive and Herve Caen, which is what really killed them.
Matthias did nothing wrong!

User avatar
Drool
Forum Moderator
Posts: 9574
Joined: March 17th, 2012, 9:58 pm
Location: Under Tenebrosia, doing shots with Sceadu.

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by Drool » July 25th, 2015, 11:55 am

Eh.

"Sir, you're bleeding to death. The only thing that will save you is this hyper-coagulation medicine. Unfortunately, it'll turn your blood to sludge and you'll die of a stroke in three months. But, you know, it's that or three seconds."
Alwa nasci korliri das.

User avatar
Gizmo
Grandmaster
Posts: 3625
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by Gizmo » July 25th, 2015, 1:51 pm

Eh.

"Sir, you're hemorrhaging money. The only thing that will save you is this Bawls Energy Drink! Unfortunately, it'll turn your credibility to sludge and you'll go broke in thirty months. But, you know, it's that or sell out."

We all remember* the mid December lay-offs for Black Isle right? "Ho, Ho, Ho, here is your pink slip."

*[3rd hand]

*Come to think of it hey... here [this was pretty informative, if sad]:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apg08u6n2YM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srdR55V ... pLGZfVsLr9

But nothing to do with Michael Cranford getting into BT4.

User avatar
Michael Cranford
Initiate
Posts: 1
Joined: June 8th, 2015, 10:36 am

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by Michael Cranford » August 16th, 2015, 11:05 am

I just happened to stumble on this thread today, googling myself. Lol.

I had dinner with Brian a few weeks ago, and I've had a positive relationship with him for a long time now. Brian's a great guy. As noted above, I did an interview with him at the party at the conclusion of the kickstarter campaign. I don't think I am going to be involved in BT4 though I was offered the chance to contribute some content. I work for a global engineering firm doing application development, and along with a couple writing projects I have in the works, I don't have flexibility to do much else. The idea of working on a project like BT4 otherwise sounds like a blast, and while I haven't made my living in the gaming industry, I am a lifelong gamer and I have done some coding for the Unreal engine. I have more ideas for game design and content now than I ever did at age 22.

As a side note, per the MMORPG comment, let me clarify what I said in an old interview. If I were developing something along those lines, I would appeal to the broadest possible audience, as a business decision. I would also include mature and hardmode content, and would likely weight it in favor of that. That's my personal preference in MMORPGs (I played hardmodes, back when I had time to do such things). I don't see these as mutually exclusive ideas, for that scale of a project. I wouldn't envision BT4 as an MMORPG, no way. It would dumb it down and rip the soul out of it.

Talking about the events surrounding business dealings and a disconnect between two guys in their early 20s seems a little silly. From the viewpoint of 52, me at 22 is a bit of a puzzle. But as I have said in interviews, Brian was doing what he thought he agreed to with our original agreement. He is a good businessman, and business is business. It may be entirely my fault that things went wrong. If it was, it wouldn't surprise me. I used to have difficulty separating business from personal, and there was a lot of emotion in that for me; I felt more deeply connected to that game than any project I've done since. I apologized to him about 20 years ago for any misunderstanding or bad feelings I caused. The attorney who represented me in the negotiation was a strange guy, Brian will remember, and misled me to assume the worst. It took me years to realize that, and that triggered the apology.

I wasn't aware of this "hostage" story until I was asked about it in that interview a number of years ago. My memory of this is vague. But I have, on a number of occasions over the years, withheld final delivery of code or executables until I received what I was owed by a client. A couple never paid, and never got the final work product. I guess those clients might refer to that as holding hostage, I don't know. It's just how you choose to look at it. One (who did eventually pay) was really offended, but I wasn't sure they would pay otherwise. You can take Heinemann's disparaging slant on this for what it is. I am a good guy and wouldn't do anything underhanded. That's not how I approach life. If I withheld source code until the agreement was signed, I did it because I believed I was owed something specific and was worried. In the end, there was a compromise. Obviously there should have been something in writing from the beginning. So it was at worst a misunderstanding, and I undoubtedly handled it wrong. Add that to a long list.

I've read Bill's musings, in more recent years, and I can tell you that a lot of what he says about BT1 and BT2 is fictional. He was an outsider on the process of development and he was so extremely socially disconnected he couldn't have tracked much; I have to wonder if he's got Asperger's, looking back. No disrespect to the guy (and by guy I mean, genetically), I liked him back then, he made me laugh, but he's a storyteller with an agenda, and that was a long time ago. He sat isolated in a cubicle in the back corner of the room. He and I never spoke about anything significant relating to the development or design of the game from the beginning through completion of BT2.

Maybe I'll wander around the forums more. If Burger has posted anything outrageous, point me to it and I'll respond.

Thanks to the one post for the reference to my personal site; if you happen to have an interest in such things spiritual, please find the FB page and like it. If not, send your curses my way, the Lucklaran buff is up. Humming it right now.

I hope BT4 is a massive success and Brian knows I'm happy to do PR in support. I know Brian will take this in the right direction, BT means as much to him as it does to me. Thumbs up for more celebratory parties.

User avatar
Gizmo
Grandmaster
Posts: 3625
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by Gizmo » August 16th, 2015, 11:13 am

Good games. I bought the original retail release of InXile's the Bard's tale, because it came with legitimate copies of BT 1-3.
(That I liked the 3D bard's Tale also, was a welcome bonus.)

_noblesse_oblige_
Master
Posts: 1129
Joined: July 13th, 2015, 7:18 pm

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » August 16th, 2015, 11:50 am

Michael Cranford wrote:I don't think I am going to be involved in BT4 though I was offered the chance to contribute some content. I work for a global engineering firm doing application development, and along with a couple writing projects I have in the works, I don't have flexibility to do much else. The idea of working on a project like BT4 otherwise sounds like a blast, and while I haven't made my living in the gaming industry, I am a lifelong gamer and I have done some coding for the Unreal engine. I have more ideas for game design and content now than I ever did at age 22.
Michael, if you do happen to find the flexibility to become involved, here is one fan who would welcome your involvement in BT4. :)
Michael Cranford wrote: I wouldn't envision BT4 as an MMORPG, no way. It would dumb it down and rip the soul out of it.
A great relief to read that. But, speaking of the soul of the game, I would love to hear your thoughts on what made the original BT such a success and which has left people pining for a new one, thirty years after its release.
cmibl<enter>

User avatar
ZiN
Adventurer
Posts: 663
Joined: January 27th, 2015, 7:57 am

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by ZiN » August 16th, 2015, 6:10 pm

Michael Cranford wrote:I just happened to stumble on this thread today, googling myself.
Nice, thanks for writing up a post, it's interesting to read about the "history" of the Bard's Tale, as a franchise, directly from its creator. As _noblesse_oblige_ mentioned, i'd also like to hear more about your personal views, of what made these games great, and perhaps if you remember such things, the challenges and decisions you faced, while making BT.
Michael Cranford wrote:I don't think I am going to be involved in BT4 though I was offered the chance to contribute some content.
If you could keep posting every now and then, that would also count as "getting involved" and "contributing", in my opinion.

It's a bit sad that you and Bill Rebecca Burger Heineman still seem to hold a grudge against each other. You two making up would be wonderful. After all, he really loved Bard's Tale, and worked hard to make it the best it can be. And now, she is quite enthusiastic about both BT4 and remastering the classics. You said you haven't played BT3 (and Dragon Wars). But she played BT1-2 and learned everything about/from them, to make sure BT3 and DW were a fine and true sequel and a spiritual successor respectively, to the original BTs.
She talked about Bard's Tale recently. You were mentioned a few times, what i remember is, that she said you were a hardcore dungeon master, who had no qualms about killing the players, in which case you would "win". Some of the traps/puzzles in BT2 support this. But then again, some parts of BT3 didn't fall behind in difficulty either...
She also mentioned, that you've said "women don't play these games" (which was probably 99% true back then, these days it's more like 90%), so you didn't implement the choice, to choose characters' genders. The first thing he implemented in BT3 (and DW), was this feature, in addition to making sure that all entities in the games, were referred properly, as he/she/it. Also it was he, who implemented the automap in BT3, plus retroactively in the GSII version of BT2.
It would be really nice, if Burger also stumbled upon this thread and talked about Bard's Tale and it's history. Both of you took very good care of The Bard's Tale series and even if your world views differ greatly, your mutual love for Bard's Tale could perhaps be a starting point to make up (perhaps another dinner, with her and Brian). By the way she is planning to make a game called Dragons of the Rip, which would be technically a spiritual successor, to a spiritual successor, of Bard's Tale (Dragon Wars).

Then there is the proposed plot of BT4, and also some additional thoughts about it:
Long story short, the characters became gods at the end of BT3, and in BT4 everyone forgot about them and Skara Brae became a "god fearing" city, under the rulership of a foreign, theocratic organization known as the Fatherites. Their leader is the Sword Father and he outlawed "following traditions" and using magic, while "civilizing" the land of Caith. The parallel, with the early to late medieval Catholic Church is quite obvious.
Needless to say, i (we) would be most interested, to read your opinion about this, as the creator of Bard's Tale, with a Ph.D. in religion and social ethics, plus a degree in philosophy.

I hope you will have time to check back every now and then. See you around!

Infinitron
Adventurer
Posts: 599
Joined: March 14th, 2012, 7:40 pm

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by Infinitron » August 17th, 2015, 8:28 am

Wow, how did I miss that thread? :lol: You forgot to mention the part where you called BT4 a slap to his face.

IHaveHugeNick
Master
Posts: 1200
Joined: September 23rd, 2014, 7:31 am

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by IHaveHugeNick » August 17th, 2015, 9:13 am

Cheers Michael, thanks for input. Hope you'll stick around.
Two rite whiff care is quite a feet of witch won should be proud.

User avatar
thebruce
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1850
Joined: February 17th, 2015, 8:46 am
Contact:

Re: Will Michael Cranford be involved in BT4?

Post by thebruce » August 17th, 2015, 6:04 pm

Awesome to hear from you Michael! It is rough to get this sense that things aren't quite settled between you and Bill/Becky. Not sure who's taking the lead on keeping that flame lit, but hopefully it'll blow out soon. It would certainly be great to have you participating as one of us in these forums from time to time :) Hope to see you around!
Visit BardsTaleOnline.com - your community Bard's Tale classic RPG resource!
Twitter: @BardsTaleOnline / Facebook: Bards.Tale.Online
@thebruce0

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests