i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by Iiago » June 13th, 2017, 8:37 pm

demeisen wrote:
June 7th, 2017, 5:36 pm
A fair point. They're not a huge studio, and I guess the game is a ways off yet. I'm just prematurely psyched and mildly bewildered that everybody isn't talking about it. :D
Totally understand! Even thought the game's a year away I keep checking these forums desperate for some additional tid bit to come through.

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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by DNACowboy » December 6th, 2017, 7:01 am

I have to say that the BT4 marketing campaign was somewhat underwhelming (that's employing my British understatement), come on, lets be honest, it was non-existent! Whether that lack of effort will affect the finished game has yet to be decided; however, with the developers relying on crowd-funding perhaps the need for a strong marketing campaign is irrelevant....?

What I do know is that once the game comes out we should start to see a real buzz from rpg fans everywhere.
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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by demeisen » December 7th, 2017, 4:46 pm

DNACowboy wrote:
December 6th, 2017, 7:01 am
however, with the developers relying on crowd-funding perhaps the need for a strong marketing campaign is irrelavent....?

What I do know is that once the game comes out rpg-fan excitement should start appearing
Purely speculating here, but I'll guess they'll want to get some healthy non-backer sales numbers, especially if the game comes out a bit late (meaning more dev budget needed). Editing to add: It appears they got about $1.5M from the KS, which is next to nothing, even if scavenging art assets from another title. Hard for me to imagine $1.5M funding the kind of game in the preview videos.

It's probably a difficult line to walk, in a way. They want to please oldschool RPG fans who want the full-on hardcore 1985 level experience, but also want to avoid alienating too many prospective purchasers who weren't around for those games, have no nostalgia for them, and little appetite for punishment. The RPG genre isn't huge to start with, and it gets real small real fast once you head down niche subgenres. If you push away too many casual players, it's hard to turn a profit. On the other hand, if you don't allow for something approximating the oldschool experience, those fans will be unhappy.

I have no idea what their plans are to balance competing factions. You can never make everybody happy. Best thing, I guess, is to try to cater to multiple play styles where that's easy enough (e.g, Ironman modes), and otherwise just pick your road and walk it.

I'm just glad we're getting BT4 at all. After the RPG "dark ages" from 2000-2014 or so, I figured the CRPG genre was dead and buried for good. Maybe BT4 won't be everybody's perfect resurgence, and it won't have a AAA budget behind it, but never mind. I'm happy to see it happen. Beggars can't be choosers, and all that.

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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by DNACowboy » December 8th, 2017, 6:33 am

demeisen wrote:
December 7th, 2017, 4:46 pm
DNACowboy wrote:
December 6th, 2017, 7:01 am
however, with the developers relying on crowd-funding perhaps the need for a strong marketing campaign is irrelavent....?

What I do know is that once the game comes out rpg-fan excitement should start appearing


I'm just glad we're getting BT4 at all. After the RPG "dark ages" from 2000-2014 or so, I figured the CRPG genre was dead and buried for good. Maybe BT4 won't be everybody's perfect resurgence, and it won't have a AAA budget behind it, but never mind. I'm happy to see it happen. Beggars can't be choosers, and all that.
Me too, I cannot believe the SSI Gold Box crpgs were never remade or follow-on games re-introduced to a new generation, games like Darklands, Wizardy, Pools of Radiance, Arx Fatalis, Eye of The Beholder, Dungeon Master were all total classics, much like the rebooted Wasteland and Fallout titles yet we have failed to see those titles re-emerge, which in retrospect seems so strange. From what I gather technological advances doomed the early crpg, check out this very interesting piece on how crpgs declined and why: https://web.archive.org/web/20150128183 ... mes-broke/

In closing, I had a good look at my rpg collection the other week after requiring storage space, I was so lucky to be a gaming journalist at the time, publishers sent out the boxed games with wonderful in-depth guides (and associated miniatures) however, more importantly, the game presentation boxes and material still look stunning today; the artwork of the manuals and maps are beautiful, the stories very rich and the characters so memorable, making today's rpg's look like utter crap. :-/
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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by demeisen » December 8th, 2017, 8:23 am

DNACowboy wrote:
December 8th, 2017, 6:33 am

Me too, I cannot believe the SSI Gold Box crpgs were never remade or follow-on games re-introduced to a new generation, games like Darklands, Wizardy, Pools of Radiance, Arx Fatalis, Eye of The Beholder, Dungeon Master were all total classics, much like the rebooted Wasteland and Fallout titles yet we have failed to see those titles re-emerge, which in retrospect seems so strange.
Indeed. BTW, for DM: if you haven't discovered them already, check out Grimrock and Grimrock2 (the second is significantly better, IMO, and there's no real need to play the first to enjoy the second). They aren't made by FTL, which went bust in the 90's, but they are very much Dungeon Master brought into the present era, with modern improvements. The gameplay, puzzle style, interactive elements such as pressure plates etc, are a straight up homage to Dungeon Master. 1 and 2 are both available on GOG, DRM-free.

So we don't have all the classics, but at least we've got:
  • DM -> Grimrock
  • BT[123] -> BT4
  • Fallout -> Wasteland[23]
  • BG2 -> POE
  • PS:T -> T:TON

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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by Drool » December 8th, 2017, 6:53 pm

demeisen wrote:
December 8th, 2017, 8:23 am
Fallout -> Wasteland[23]
Sigh.
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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by Gizmo » December 8th, 2017, 7:08 pm

For some reason I like Grimrock1 better than Grimrock2, but I like Grimrock2's engine better; it's quite improved.

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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by ZiN » December 9th, 2017, 12:49 am

demeisen wrote:
December 7th, 2017, 4:46 pm
I'm just glad we're getting BT4 at all. After the RPG "dark ages" from 2000-2014 or so, I figured the CRPG genre was dead and buried for good.
I would welcome such "dark ages" where the harbingers are games like BG2, IWD, Morrowind, Arcanum, Vampire, ToEE and Wizardry 8. Either that, or your dating is off by a good 5 years.
Drool wrote:
December 8th, 2017, 6:53 pm
demeisen wrote:
December 8th, 2017, 8:23 am
Fallout -> Wasteland[23]
Sigh.
demeisen wrote:
December 8th, 2017, 8:23 am
PS:T -> T:TON
Double sigh.
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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by demeisen » December 9th, 2017, 1:07 pm

ZiN wrote:
December 9th, 2017, 12:49 am
I would welcome such "dark ages" where the harbingers are games like BG2, IWD, Morrowind, Arcanum, Vampire, ToEE and Wizardry 8. Either that, or your dating is off by a good 5 years.
Fair enough: I might be off by a few years. BG2 was 2000, Arcanum was '01, and IWD was what, '02? ToEE was certainly a point of light in an otherwise fairly bleak era. Anyway, my point wasn't that there were exactly zero good games in those years - there were a few nice micro-budget RPGs - but that the CRPG market headed off down the first-person-shooter-with-stats, hand-holding, consolified-ui, here's-the-quest-marker, chase-the-mass-market thing.

Fortunately, the genre pulled itself out of a nosedive, thanks in large part to studios like Obsidian, InXile, AlmostHuman, Larian, Spiderweb, and a few others. Many of them said they couldn't have done it without crowdsourcing, because publishers simply wouldn't fund CRPGs any more, save for the FPSRPGs. Rag on their efforts if you like, but for a while things were looking awfully bleak. Now we've at least got something to quibble about.

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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by NewlyObsessedFan » January 8th, 2018, 11:14 am

Recently discovered this project. Looking at the comments under the youtube videos, under review articles, on the very few threads on reddit - almost hurts to see so many people bashing the genre, the defining aspects of the sub-genre and the design focus. ie. "why does it have to be turn based, why is movement grid based, why just portraits and not a game field with 3D party models..."

Seems like a lot of people want entirely different games and choosing to badger this project hoping that their preferred sub-genres hijack via popular demand.

Meanwhile here is me with Wizardry 7 being the first game I ever played when I was old enough to actually really play it myself rather than helping my dad - outside of brief foray into Wizardry 8, I have never gotten my true 'your favorite childhood game, truly remastered'. Wiz 8 was obviously an improvement, but the setting/graphics weren't nearly enough.

This though - if the rest of the game is like that demo, going to be exactly what I wanted all this time.

Pity so few of the younger gamers share this. Personally, turn-based games are only ever looking better and more desirable to me, the more I age and the more responsibilities and pressures the world dumps on me.

So here is a cheer for the Bard's Tale and a sincere hope we shall someday see a V and a VI and than onward to show that japaneze Final Fantasy upstart who is boss of the RPGs

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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by thebruce » January 8th, 2018, 12:06 pm

NewlyObsessedFan wrote:
January 8th, 2018, 11:14 am
Pity so few of the younger gamers share this. Personally, turn-based games are only ever looking better and more desirable to me, the more I age and the more responsibilities and pressures the world dumps on me.
I think we're all partly hoping that inXile will make a game that puts that style of gameplay in a good light for modern generations with a great experience, but also hoping that there aren't too many corners cut, and compromises so that those you describe will buy into the game. It was sold and crowdfunded as a revival of the classic RPG and sequel to the Bard's Tale trilogy, so that really should be the primary goal. If they want to do a spin-off and brand new style game for modern demographics, that should ideally be another project. Arguably, they did that with the Mage's Tale in a way, by making it an Oculus game. I have yet to try that one though, and really really want to. It's just cost prohibitive. :(
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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by Gizmo » January 8th, 2018, 1:11 pm

@NewlyObsessedFan
I have to assume that you've at least heard of/ or seen the Grimrock series, but have you played them yet?
They seem to have kicked off a (welcome) genre return for the classic dungeoncrawler.

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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by NewlyObsessedFan » January 15th, 2018, 5:14 am

@Gizmo

I've looked at the series and and some videos of gameplay - it doesn't feel like a dungeon crawler to me based on those. When I think 'dungeon crawler', imagination goes to stuff like a party of adventurers exploring and searching carefully, mapping out their way, searching everywhere for traps and treasures

while the videos of Grimrock that i saw were more a first person shooter game - fast paced strafing around, shooting mobs as they chase you.

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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by Gizmo » January 15th, 2018, 7:43 am

NewlyObsessedFan wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 5:14 am
@Gizmo

I've looked at the series and and some videos of gameplay - it doesn't feel like a dungeon crawler to me based on those. When I think 'dungeon crawler', imagination goes to stuff like a party of adventurers exploring and searching carefully, mapping out their way, searching everywhere for traps and treasures

while the videos of Grimrock that i saw were more a first person shooter game - fast paced strafing around, shooting mobs as they chase you.
That doesn't sound like them to me; I'd say play them to see for yourself; start with the first one. The developers have made a very deliberate homage to Dungeonmaster and Eye of the Beholder. While it is not either of them per se, the series is the best pair of dungeoncrawlers that I have seen in twenty years.
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Both come with level editors; and I worked for more than a year on a map—with 22 other modders. We created a nine level dungeon that some say is par with the main campaign. In both games, the editor allows one to make & play maps in minutes; or to intricately design layouts with puzzles and secrets as complex and interconnected as any could wish for. The campaigns have plenty.

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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » January 15th, 2018, 4:58 pm

NewlyObsessedFan wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 5:14 am
while the videos of Grimrock that i saw were more a first person shooter game - fast paced strafing around, shooting mobs as they chase you.
Yep. That was my experience when I played the original Grimrock. I believe the term is "action RPG". Definitely not turn-based. There were many timing-based puzzles, for example. Also, the way of casting spells involved hitting a sequence of runes, iirc. If you prefer to carefully map a dungeon and think about puzzles in a more leisurely sort of way, then I would not recommend the Grimrock series. (The original Grimrock was nice-looking, but all the other stuff was too much of a turn-off to bother with Grimrock 2 when it came out.)
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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by Drool » January 15th, 2018, 7:03 pm

Eh. Aside from the truly awful magic system, Grimrock was pretty close to the Eye of Beholder series. I wouldn't call them action RPGs so much as "real time blobbers", because they were party-based.
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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by Gizmo » January 15th, 2018, 7:44 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 4:58 pm
Yep. That was my experience when I played the original Grimrock. I believe the term is "action RPG". Definitely not turn-based.
What dungeoncrawler is turn based? (...aside from 'Thunderscape' I mean. Other than that one, I have never seen a crawler that was***.)
Dungeoncrawlers from even before (and including) The Bard's Tale (1) were not turn based. Realtime computer games generally came before turn based computer games, and the first dungeoncrawlers were no exception.

The term 'Action RPG' is for describing hack-n-slash RPG-lite titles... Like Diablo and Sacred, not EoB & Dungeonmaster; certainly not the Grimrock series. Technically I wouldn't call them RPGs at all; there is no dialog, there are no NPCs, no quests, just a hostile dungeon to escape from.... by exploring the map, solving puzzles, and clearing the denizens that are in the way; and this is to allow you the freedom to spend the time do the first two. The game is all about the map... just like dungeoncrawlers should be.
There were many timing-based puzzles, for example. Also, the way of casting spells involved hitting a sequence of runes, iirc. If you prefer to carefully map a dungeon and think about puzzles in a more leisurely sort of way, then I would not recommend the Grimrock series. (The original Grimrock was nice-looking, but all the other stuff was too much of a turn-off to bother with Grimrock 2 when it came out.)
I call this bizarre; and at first I thought, 'What game did you play?'. It's unfathomable to consider LoG 1 or 2 as Action RPGs, nor fault them for not being turn based—they are not supposed to be; they are dungeoncrawlers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzIiXx-8BHc

_
*** I did not recall correctly: Thunderscape is Phased-Based, like BT; not turn based.
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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by thebruce » January 16th, 2018, 6:21 am

Not turn based in the same manner of BT when it comes to combat. Whatever label you want to give it, the combat isn't like BT. When you can't sit and think and strategize before being attacked, when your hand is forced on a time constraint, it's not 'turn based'.
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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by Gizmo » January 16th, 2018, 10:48 am

thebruce wrote:
January 16th, 2018, 6:21 am
Not turn based in the same manner of BT when it comes to combat. Whatever label you want to give it, the combat isn't like BT. When you can't sit and think and strategize before being attacked, when your hand is forced on a time constraint, it's not 'turn based'.
BT combat is phase-based. The player decides an action and/or a target for each PC—what they will attempt for that round. They do this blind to the future events, and the game handles the outcome linearly; even invalidating some actions, when they become impossible... Like attacking a target that has already died. The player has no control at this point, and sees only the consequence of their intents play out.

In Turn-based combat (almost as a rule), the player has complete foreknowledge of the preceding events in the round. They do not make their decision blind, because they know exactly what has occurred in every turn, and perhaps develop a good idea of what still can occur; they can use this to influence their decision of PC's action. Additionally: They know by turn's end, whether they have succeeded or not. No one starts their turn with an outdated sense of the events. When a PC kills an opponent, the next two PCs don't also try to kill them; they direct their actions elsewhere.

Exploration in Dungeoncrawlers is not turn based; combat might be, but this is uncommon. Bard's Tale and—especially Eye of the Beholder) have realtime exploration of the environment; they allow the loitering party to be attacked at unawares. Here though is where a game's particular combat rules may differ. BT starts an encounter, an indefinite combat round, and then awaits the player's reaction. Thunderscape does this too; Thunderscape is also Phase-based. EoB (and most games like it) simply register the enemy's attack; (no pause). The party can get attacked from behind, and never see a formal combat round. Both combat and exploration are in realtime. Characters may attack at will, and may attack again, when they have recovered. Monsters do the same.

Interestingly, I have just replayed a bit of Thunderscape, and it comes across as a blend between Bard's Tale, and Witchaven—sans FPS mechanics. If anything, Thunderscape has several elements that I would much prefer a modern Bard's Tale sequel to imitate; if a Devil Whiskey style game is not an option. (Though never so loud—as they obviously had fun with the name; and BT appropriate music, instead of their Jan Hammer style sound track.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD-YaTSP3KQ

*Do consider that this is from 1995, and not take it as a literal preference for the exact same thing; only the potential here is what's on display.
Take special note of the world map, when he opens it [6:50]. When combat begins, the player selects an action for each PC, and then the game shows the events play out. There are many possible actions and variations available to Thunderscape PCs; also variable attack types, and strengths.

** As far as I can tell... the enemies in Thunderscape continuously loop their attack animations... but don't actually damage the party until the combat phase.

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Re: i'm slightly surprised how little BT4 talk the internet has.

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » January 16th, 2018, 5:58 pm

thebruce wrote:
January 16th, 2018, 6:21 am
Not turn based in the same manner of BT when it comes to combat. Whatever label you want to give it, the combat isn't like BT. When you can't sit and think and strategize before being attacked, when your hand is forced on a time constraint, it's not 'turn based'.
Yes. Exactly.
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