The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

For all discussion on all the previous Bard's Tale games: the classic 1980s games (Bard's Tale, II: Destiny Knight, & III: Thief of Fate) & the humorous Bard's Tale (2004) spin off.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Lucius » February 16th, 2017, 7:45 pm

None of this is all too surprising to me, especially how these remasters came about. Becky Heineman jumped in on a piece of the pie and was way out of her league. Remember she came to Brian and was all "hey I have the source code! I can do a complete remaster for you!" This was a labor of love project that was getting paid for if ever completed. InXile recognized that and treated it as such. I certainly don't fault Old Skuul for needing to feed themselves and shelving the project until they can afford to work on it though, but she should have communicated this to the interested fans at the minimum.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Drool » February 16th, 2017, 10:13 pm

Meh. If this is the fire that gets her finish, I'm not going to complain.

As for adding it to their catalog, I don't much care either way, as long as I get my copy. Actually, strike that. I would love for them to sell the game because it would give more people a chance to play it. The current state is a bit a mess, but it certainly looks nice. If 2 and 3 got the treatment 1 did, and if the bugs could be squashed, it would certainly be a definitive edition.

Because, frankly, the re-release and the version in BT2004 are better than nothing, but not great either (BT04 version has broken images, re-release is DOS version and thus buggy).
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by waltc » February 17th, 2017, 5:03 pm

Zombra wrote:Becky does have a forum account here ... but community interface isn't her job. She's a contractor. There's no special reason she should personally say anything to us.
Excuse me? As I recall, she wrote in posts in the old forum that *she* had *personally* rewritten the program from the ground up, etc. etc. So, she is very much personally involved--your statement is ridiculous...;) A third party even quotes her saying "BT3 is my baby", etc. Does that sound like some aloof, "I'm above it all" person here?...;)

Look, the point is that these forums were started for beta participation in the construction of the program--the idea that these forum had no purpose and that she's "above it all" makes no sense whatsoever. I guess you can have the privilege of telling the folks here who made the bug reports that they wasted their time--go ahead.

Not trying to be difficult--but *she* and her company were hired on this project and this forum was setup for her benefit--what did you think people were doing making bug reports here? Because they had nothing better to do? We *thought* Becky was reading the thread--she did make a couple of posts--yes, and there is every *special* reason in the world she should be talking to us.

It doesn't matter though...this was a great idea that inXile has ruined by turning it over to someone incapable of doing a simple remastering job--somebody just looking for a paying "gig" I guess. So...it's not going to happen--fine, I get it. But please, can we stop with the silly posturing? It's absurd. It was Becky's project and she had talked before and if she wasn't going to handle that end of it then she should have put someone here who would. Sorry, but this "she's too good to talk to to you" nonsense is ridiculous, and completely untrue.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by waltc » February 17th, 2017, 5:09 pm

Lucius wrote:None of this is all too surprising to me, especially how these remasters came about. Becky Heineman jumped in on a piece of the pie and was way out of her league. Remember she came to Brian and was all "hey I have the source code! I can do a complete remaster for you!" This was a labor of love project that was getting paid for if ever completed. InXile recognized that and treated it as such. I certainly don't fault Old Skuul for needing to feed themselves and shelving the project until they can afford to work on it though, but she should have communicated this to the interested fans at the minimum.
Yes, well, I can't agree. Suppose Brian came up and said--"Hey--the Kickstarter was fine and all of that but we ran out of money months ago and hey we have to eat so we took a better gig. You understand, right? I'll get around to BTIV someday soon, I swear!"

I doubt very much if you'd feel the same. Of course, Brian isn't going to do that for a number of good reasons. Look, if you want people to take you seriously that is the kind of thing you *don't* do. If Becky was broke and penniless she should never have taken the project to begin with. I have nothing against Becky or any of those folks, but...

I'm simply disappointed...it's just not professional and that's the bottom line. Sorry we can't agree on that. I'll live...;)

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » February 17th, 2017, 5:37 pm

Drool wrote:Actually, strike that. I would love for them to sell the game because it would give more people a chance to play it.
For sure, I too would love for others to experience this classic - but not the remasters in their current state.

My point is not that I want exclusive access, because I don't really care about that. Assuming that inXile using the word exclusive wasn't just a bit of marketing fluff designed to increase enticement and devoid of any actual, legal meaning, then it does have possible ramifications for Olde Sküül being able to legally redistribute the remasters independently of inXile.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Zombra » February 17th, 2017, 5:51 pm

waltc wrote:
Zombra wrote:Becky does have a forum account here ... but community interface isn't her job. She's a contractor. There's no special reason she should personally say anything to us.
Excuse me? As I recall, she wrote in posts in the old forum that *she* had *personally* rewritten the program from the ground up, etc. etc. So, she is very much personally involved--your statement is ridiculous...;) A third party even quotes her saying "BT3 is my baby", etc. Does that sound like some aloof, "I'm above it all" person here?...;)
Of course she's involved with the project. That doesn't make community management her job.
waltc wrote:Look, the point is that these forums were started for beta participation in the construction of the program--the idea that these forum had no purpose and that she's "above it all" makes no sense whatsoever.
Nobody said these forums have no purpose. Bug reports were to be collected here and sent to her. That doesn't make community management her job.
waltc wrote:Not trying to be difficult--but *she* and her company were hired on this project and this forum was setup for her benefit--what did you think people were doing making bug reports here? Because they had nothing better to do? We *thought* Becky was reading the thread--she did make a couple of posts--yes, and there is every *special* reason in the world she should be talking to us.
Maybe she read the whole thread and maybe she didn't. Not her job. Bug reports submitted here were collected and sent to her; that's what the thread was for. If they weren't, that's inXile's reponsibility, not Becky's.
waltc wrote:It doesn't matter though...this was a great idea that inXile has ruined by turning it over to someone incapable of doing a simple remastering job--somebody just looking for a paying "gig" I guess. So...it's not going to happen--fine, I get it. But please, can we stop with the silly posturing? It's absurd. It was Becky's project and she had talked before and if she wasn't going to handle that end of it then she should have put someone here who would. Sorry, but this "she's too good to talk to to you" nonsense is ridiculous, and completely untrue.
I'm not saying she's above you or too good for anything. I'm just pointing out that community interaction is not part of her job and never was, regardless of what you assume. Making a couple forum posts does not obligate her to make more. She is a contractor for inXile. She doesn't work for you.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Gillsing » February 25th, 2017, 8:41 am

Brother None wrote: More recently, Becky has made appearances, such as on the Shane Plays podcast where she suggested Olde Skuul stopped working on the project because they haven't received payment. This implies that they've stopped working because we haven't paid them monies that are due, but as mentioned above, we agreed no monies would be due until completion.
I just listened to that podcast, and from 35:12 and forwards she explains that her priority is "work that's actually paying me a paycheck" (so she can pay rent). Games where she's not confident that she'll ever see any money gets put on the back-burner. Presumably that includes games that she won't have time to complete before rent is due. About the Bard's Tale remasters specifically: "... I was supposed to be getting some money for it and I have no idea or any idea if I'll ever see it, so it's on the back-burner."

With the actual agreement in mind it seems easy enough to interpret her words as "I'm not currently getting paid for it" rather than "I haven't been paid what I'm due", so I don't really see why you went for the latter rather than the former. Though I suppose that without knowing about the agreement it might seem as if inXile is at fault, which certainly might give the wrong impression to some backers. So maybe you felt it's better to err on the side of making her explain herself clearly?

This is just a small detail though. I have no issue with inXile's lack of confidence in Old Sküül's ability to complete the project. It seems to be more of a hobby project that might eventually be completed, with an agreement that is loose enough that it doesn't have an actual deadline.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by waltc » February 26th, 2017, 1:16 pm

Zombra wrote:

I'm not saying she's above you or too good for anything. I'm just pointing out that community interaction is not part of her job and never was, regardless of what you assume. Making a couple forum posts does not obligate her to make more. She is a contractor for inXile. She doesn't work for you.
Look, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree...;) Not trying to be a pain here, but your defense is irrational, frankly. She posted more than once out here, even though you say it isn't/wasn't her job. I've beta tested lots of software over the last 30 years (many at length) and in every case I've had quite verbose communication with *the programmer(s)* directly--because it's *the programmer(s)* who needs to know these things straight up. Some PR weenie is useless for that--you should know that. Ergo, you have the purpose for a beta-testing thread such as the old thread. A beta-testing thread is *not* a PR thread. It's for programmers and testers to *talk* to each other. Otherwise it's not a beta testing thread at all--especially in these very small projects--things are simply not nearly so formalized as you think.

So, then whose job is it? According to what inXile wrote here, when the company *tried* many, many times to get in touch in touch with 'Olde Skuul' to get an update--inXile was ignored. So, obviously it wasn't inXile's job, eh? (Since inXile was not programming the remaster but had farmed it out to OS, a third party.)

What's the point of Becky coming into these beta forums and describing how she's rewritten the first three games from the ground up--and then simply dropping out of the thread after that and not informing *anyone* of the status of the program? That's *not* the way you get software finished. It's not the way a real *beta testing* thread is conducted. Trust me.

Based on her scant few posts to the BTR thread, Becky was quite capable of "corresponding with the beta testers", as this thread had nothing at all to do with PR...;) Indeed, as the lead/only programmer, she's the *only* person who should be actively involved in the beta-test thread.

No she doesn't work for me, but apparently she doesn't work for inXile either and has forfeited whatever "contractor" status she may have had. But that's beside the point, completely. The point is the remaster was botched entirely--and that certainly was far from the fault of inXile. I'll conclude by simply saying this has been the skimpiest beta-testing I've ever seen, bar none--and of course, it turns out it wasn't really ever a true beta-test thread--since the software has died on the vine. Too bad, I was looking forward to it. Ah, well, Que Sera Sera, eh?...;)

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Zombra » February 26th, 2017, 2:45 pm

Yeah, posting about the progress of the project is really nobody's job. I'm not suggesting she needs to hire a PR person either. Not every rinky dink company needs to have PR at all. Olde Skuul is not a service company, so it doesn't have a customer service department. Therefore, PR is not her job and it's silly to attack her and call her out as "unprofessional" just because she doesn't do PR. If that strikes you as "irrational", so be it.

Now if you want to attack the way she handled project development, that's another issue entirely. It's OK if you think that the communication pipeline was badly handled. No argument there - but Becky still doesn't owe you an explanation, apology, or anything else.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by tarasis » March 3rd, 2017, 1:46 pm

*sigh* what a bloody mess.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by GhostSaint » March 20th, 2017, 7:52 pm

I would just like to add (as a backer that checks in every month or so) that I am very pleased to actually hear more official information and to know more than I did before. While the remaster may (or may not) be coming out in the future, I would like to thank inxile for letting us know a little bit more about the reality of the situation so that we can be more knowledgeable.
I (for example) had put off playing the emulated versions that we got way back as I was going to wait on the remastered which seemed to be in the near future. Now that I understand that they are in the far future (if ever) I can be happy for what I do have.
Anyway,

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by unclepickle » March 21st, 2017, 12:02 am

I only ever downloaded the first beta release. Were the later ones really any better? From what I can gather probably not but, if so, is there any way for backers to still download the lastest build? Thanks

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by tarasis » March 21st, 2017, 3:50 am

Unless someone still has it and can send it to you, no.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Drool » March 21st, 2017, 7:43 pm

The second release wasn't markedly better. As far as I could tell, all the bugs were still present, it just allowed you to load 2 and 3. Not that you could do anything in them...
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Crosmando » April 9th, 2017, 9:16 am

Lucius wrote:
February 16th, 2017, 7:45 pm
None of this is all too surprising to me, especially how these remasters came about. Becky Heineman jumped in on a piece of the pie and was way out of her league. Remember she came to Brian and was all "hey I have the source code! I can do a complete remaster for you!" This was a labor of love project that was getting paid for if ever completed. InXile recognized that and treated it as such. I certainly don't fault Old Skuul for needing to feed themselves and shelving the project until they can afford to work on it though, but she should have communicated this to the interested fans at the minimum.
Ehhh, if you have the source code there's not really anything you can't do, I mean Doom was ported to every platform under the sun by fans, not professionals. No offense but the more I think about it, Becky Heineman and her company seem a bit shady to me, considering that the only game they have put out is a remake of Battle Chess, and even that was in Early Access for ages and according to Steam users still seems to be riddled with problems, and that's fucking chess! How much more simple can you get. Oh and it was published by Interplay, an equally shady company these days. Who knows if she even has the source code? Maybe she spun a tale in order to get some desperately needed work for her and her company, or maybe she's stringing Brian Fargo along for more money, holding the source code as ransom? Maybe her company is just staffed by incompetents who can't code?

Anything could be true, but the worst thing is betraying the Bard's Tale fans with (what seems to be) false promises of a remastered source port. Hey Becky, I don't care what your issue with InXile is, the only reason The Bard's Tale is now longer a dead franchise is because we the fans put our money towards reviving it, your personal issues mean nothing.
Matthias did nothing wrong!

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Qoojo » April 13th, 2017, 1:49 pm

After reading the Battle Chess reviews, even the positive ones mention the bugs, and seeing the state of the BT remakes, pretty much double taps any notion of them being able to deliverable a decent remake.
Last edited by Qoojo on April 13th, 2017, 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by joekucera2002 » April 13th, 2017, 3:07 pm

It would be easier (and faster) to petition Interplay for the source code, and get a few developers from this board to remake them. I would love to contribute the effort.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Gizmo » April 13th, 2017, 3:57 pm

I got the impression that nobody [at Interplay] knows where that stuff is anymore... But of Bard's Tale, I would assume that Olde Sküül has the source code, because the developer kept track of their own work.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Cranfordfan » June 2nd, 2017, 3:18 am

Hi @All

I´ve just registered, because of just this important note:
It is possible, that someone still have the complete source code of The Bard´s Tale line.
Michael Cranford himself. I own his first masterpeace named "Maze Master" from the year 1983 on Commodore 64 tape. He programmed this game just before The Bard´s Tale I. Many of people call Maze Master as "The Bard´s Tale Zero", the only and real "source" of the further parts.
The source code on this tape has the base structure of the BT series, unfortunately encrypted, so as EA made their copy protections in this way in the early 80ties.
So, in my opinion, actually there is more than only a financial problem, I dont´t think, that Rebecca is only confused to be out of money.
Perhaps she is looking urgently for the important missing binary codes to finish her work as soon as possible but could not find them ?

Nice Regards
Cranfordfan from Germany
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Crosmando » June 2nd, 2017, 4:05 am

So does our new Community Manager phimseto have anything to say about this? Could he go to InXile and ask if this is ever going to be sorted out?
Matthias did nothing wrong!

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