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 Serjo » February 13th, 2017, 12:11 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:The provided alpha versions aren't even feature complete - that's not a completed job.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by ZZGO » February 13th, 2017, 12:55 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
Infinitron wrote:Maybe just as well, she was going to stuff the games with stupid jokes or something.
Indeed. I actually felt some relief when inXile announced the cancellation. A remaster should be a remasterut - uprez the graphics, remaster the audio, touch up the UI, port to a new platform, but leave the game content itself alone.
Funny, for me the wishlist is practically the reverse. I don't need improved graphics or somesuch, just a solid engine in a "more of the same" sense; but if the dungeon maps and puzzles - what you call game content - remain the same then the replay value is near zero for me.
Official new maps for the old game would be nostalgia galore. :)

(That, and BT4 with its improved skill tree - really looking forward to that. There are limits to what the classic BT engine could do.)

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by joekucera2002 » February 13th, 2017, 3:28 pm

Maybe Michael Cranford should be contacted to help.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » February 13th, 2017, 3:50 pm

ZZGO wrote:I don't need improved graphics or somesuch, just a solid engine in a "more of the same" sense;
I don't need them either, seeing as I still happily play the emulated versions. Honestly, this whole remaster project is a side show that I simply don't care about all that much. But, if someone is going to make a remaster then it should be a remaster and not a variant on the original game. A remaster has value in introducing this classic to people who have not played it before. And, it would still be fun for some veterans to play next time they get the craving to replay. (For me that craving hits about every 3 to 5 years - there's always other party compositions to try and different emulated versions to play.)

If, after a remaster has been successfully made, someone wants to produce variant content, then I'm fine with that. Also, releasing a new BTCS to the community would be nice. But, let's get the basics right first.
ZZGO wrote: Official new maps for the old game would be nostalgia galore. :)
I would have found that nice for BT IV. Even made some suggestions in that regard. In BT I, there were a couple of mostly uninteresting places on the map of Skara Brae that I really wanted to be more interesting:
  • The area behind the Kiosk Temple that was guarded by the stone giant statues. If they were guarding the entrance to another dungeon, then that would've been neat.
  • There really wasn't much going on in the NE quadrant of the map, aside from Kylearan's Tower - in particular that maze of streets south of Blue Highway: Stonework, Serpent, and such.... Again, another dungeon would've been neat.
  • And, another level or two in Kylearan's Tower could be fun.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Drool » February 13th, 2017, 10:08 pm

Bester wrote:Unless some proof of your version is supplied, there's no reason to think that you didn't just scam her.
What, you want the contract? GFL.
She provided the "alpha" versions, which are quite playable. Maybe there's a few bugs to fix. Maybe not. But she did her job, where's the payment?
Have you played it? Characters aren't damaged properly by spells, songs don't work out of combat, fights with large groups of enemies don't give proper XP, large groups don't attack right... Oh, and 2 and 3 literally unplayable with 3 having no monsters and crashing to desktop when entering Skara Brae. That's a little more than "maybe... a few bugs to fix".
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by ZZGO » February 13th, 2017, 10:48 pm

I'd argue that when you offer the game to a new audience, it won't matter to them if the content is 100% classic or "remastered". But it would give us older fans a reason for a real replay.
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:In BT I, there were a couple of mostly uninteresting places on the map of Skara Brae that I really wanted to be more interesting:
  • The area behind the Kiosk Temple that was guarded by the stone giant statues. If they were guarding the entrance to another dungeon, then that would've been neat.
  • There really wasn't much going on in the NE quadrant of the map, aside from Kylearan's Tower - in particular that maze of streets south of Blue Highway: Stonework, Serpent, and such.... Again, another dungeon would've been neat.
  • And, another level or two in Kylearan's Tower could be fun.
My thoughts exactly. I actually have a workover in mind that expands the story with Lord Garrick's (failed) quest from the cluebook, with one or two additional dungeons. The stolen silver shapes are a great opportunity for extra story content and to derail walkthroughs, for example, with no change to the gameplay and little change to the story (just expanding it a bit, in that "more of the same" way). And yes, Kylearan needs an antechamber level. The Temple of Kiosk statues, I have something in mind for that area as well but probably not something so obvious as a dungeon. ;)
I have similar ideas for parts 2 and 3.

Alas, like I said, I had actually sent Olde Sküül/Burger Becky an email to see if they're even interested, but received no reply yet. Not that I really expected it, but it was worth a try. If there is going to be a modding community for the remastered edition I may release my ideas as a fan project eventually, though I'd much prefer them to become part of an official package.
Last edited by ZZGO on February 14th, 2017, 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Gizmo » February 14th, 2017, 8:38 am

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:I'm not happy with the way BT IV development has gone, but I would stop short of calling it a scam. I think that they're misguided, but not intentionally malicious.
Same here on all three points. As happened with FO3, it seems way off the mark ~except for the fantastics art design.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by waltc » February 14th, 2017, 1:48 pm

Bester wrote:That's not what Rebeca claims. Given inXile's shady reputation, I tend to believe Rebeca. Unless some proof of your version is supplied, there's no reason to think that you didn't just scam her. She provided the "alpha" versions, which are quite playable. Maybe there's a few bugs to fix. Maybe not. But she did her job, where's the payment?

You know, I'm starting to really dislike inXile after it's been proven to have scammed people over and over again. Especially in the last month, so many new scams came to light, that it's just too much.
inXile's "shady reputation"...? Sorry, but "Becky" obviously bit off more than "Becky" could chew and was unable to deliver what "Becky" promised--seems open and shut. A bug-filled extravaganza in a non-playable state released as an *alpha/beta* release (according to "Becky's" own nomenclature)is surely not a finished product and as such would not qualify as one by any definition. Anyone who says that the software alpha/beta 2.00 deserves payment as a finished product needs some serious counseling in the fundamentals of reality. "Becky" was asked to remaster the whole thing--not to "deliver an alpha called a beta."

What good does an alpha release like 2.00 do inXile? No good at all--you can't play it-finish it-enjoy it. You can't sell it--you can't even ship it as a Kickstarter bonus as was the "shady" original intent by inXile! There's no product there...! So unless "Becky" has a signed note from inXile officers committing them for full payment for a bug-filled, half-finished alpha, the only one whose "shady" here is "Becky." There's just no question whatever about that....

Unless, however...this is whole dog and pony show was designed by inXile and "Becky" as a way to dramatically retract the original Kickstarter offering of the Bard'sTale Trilogy remastered for modern hardware and OSes (hell, DOSbox was fine!) You know, the old "he-said,she-said" trick, to get them both off the hook. But that's difficult to believe and here's why...

Take "Becky's" involvement with the threads here on the "Beta 2.x" whatever-it-was-supposed-to-be! "Becky's" involvement within these threads has been basically non-existent. If anything is "shady" that's shady in my book. The whole "beta thread" topic on the inXile site was for "Becky's" involvement and direct benefit. So far the few of us who have bothered to play and test these Becky-labeled betas have dwarfed any response whatsoever coming from "Becky," et al. "Becky" appears to have little to no interest in the software and that has been evident since day 1 and beta 1. The assumptions we all made that the person responsible for the remaster was actually reading these thread comments and benefiting from them would have been dead wrong. I do not remember seeing less interest in a beta-software thread than I've seen evinced from "Becky" during this entire period!--people who didn't even like it showed a lot more interest in it than "Becky."

What it seems to boil down to is that "Becky" has decided that the the hunk of useless, melted, bug-ridden candle wax called "beta 2.0" was the finished product--and "Becky" is wondering why she(?) hasn't been paid...! OMG, no wonder she's had nothing to say about the beta--she thought it was finished...! Good Lord, if inXile copied Becky's idea of "finished" ol' Brian would have been black-balled from Maine to Moscow and inXile could never be...the whole gang would be cracking rocks at the neo-Sing-Sing in their black & whites. dragging their glossy black ball & chain accessories with them...;)

I'm disappointed with this decision, even though I know it was a late offering in the Kickstarter. Seriously, it was only supposed to be a "remastering"--"Becky" did actually inform us that she had rewritten the game from the ground up in C++ (was it? Can't recall what she said.) She made one or two (literally one or two) comments here about that--and then nothing...nada..zippo-the-lippo...silencio...!...;)

Hey, guys, did Becky ever at any time enter the beta thread and say, "Well, there it is--it's finished! You guys like it? What do you think--come on, let me know! 2.00 is the final release!" and therein lies the rub--entirely and completely. If Becky thought the game was finished it seems extremely strange that she didn't take a moment to *say so.* Eh? Perhaps she simply didn't want to be laughed from one end of the world to the other. InXile shady? I don't see it. It boils down to Becky simply not being capable of completing the task--and that is the one thing I do fault inXile for doing--taking a great idea and pitching it to the wrong people.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Gizmo » February 15th, 2017, 2:17 am

A new development: http://www.pcgamer.com/bards-tale-remas ... boss-says/

*updated the broken link; thanks to ZZGO
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Grohal » February 15th, 2017, 4:37 am

Bester wrote:That's not what Rebeca claims. Given inXile's shady reputation, I tend to believe Rebeca. Unless some proof of your version is supplied, there's no reason to think that you didn't just scam her. She provided the "alpha" versions, which are quite playable. Maybe there's a few bugs to fix. Maybe not. But she did her job, where's the payment?

You know, I'm starting to really dislike inXile after it's been proven to have scammed people over and over again. Especially in the last month, so many new scams came to light, that it's just too much.
Maybe you want to check out the "Battle Chess: Game of Kings" (a remake of Battlechess by Olde Skull) reviews on Steam or elsewhere, before you decide who to side with.
I fully understand why InXile made a "payment when work complete"-deal here.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by ZZGO » February 15th, 2017, 5:34 am

The link doesn't work (it is missing an "s" at the end) - here's a working link.
Good news then - Burger Becky says she'll finish the remasters as a project that's personally important to her. She also explains that, since InXile declined to pay her any money before the project was done, she had to put it on hold and work on other projects first. That's reasonable. (Mind you, I'm not saying that either party was unreasonable; I can understand InXile's position just as well here.)

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by waltc » February 15th, 2017, 1:32 pm

ZZGO wrote:
The link doesn't work (it is missing an "s" at the end) - here's a working link.
Good news then - Burger Becky says she'll finish the remasters as a project that's personally important to her. She also explains that, since InXile declined to pay her any money before the project was done, she had to put it on hold and work on other projects first. That's reasonable. (Mind you, I'm not saying that either party was unreasonable; I can understand InXile's position just as well here.)
Great...uh, when perchance will Becky be able to actually sign on to these forums and share that sentiment...?....;) I feel positive that inXile would like to know, too...! Third-hand information is still third-hand rumor--Becky needs to come out here and speak for herself loudly and clearly at this point...! What is *going on* here? Weird & strange...;) This makes no sense at all, I'm afraid.

Heineman, who programmed Bard's Tale 3 and also has design and map-making credits—thus her strong connection to that game in particular—said she'd like to make an arrangement to release the remastered trilogy herself, and will provide the promised keys to Bard's Tale 4 backers with or without inXile's support.

Perhaps the thing that Becky needs to learn how to do is how to make statements clearly and concisely in person. Is that really so difficult to understand. I'd like to believe this, but hey...right now it's simply ridiculous. What "promised keys" might she be speaking of? Is it possible to wax any more unprofessional at this point?

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Quantomas » February 15th, 2017, 1:50 pm

@Thomas Beekers
With all due respect, your statement may be accurate and legally sound, but this is exactly the publisher mentality Brian Fargo always riled against.

Brian Fargo, of all people, should know that life and game development deserve better than insisting on legal agreements.
Last edited by Quantomas on February 15th, 2017, 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Zombra » February 15th, 2017, 1:55 pm

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.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » February 15th, 2017, 9:32 pm

Quantomas wrote: Brian Fargo, of all people, should know that life and game development deserve better than insisting on legal agreements.
I don't understand this statement. What exactly does it refer to in the context of the present discussion?

Are you saying that there were life circumstances which caused the delivery date of the remasters to slip by more than a year? Or that payment should have been rendered for shoddy, incomplete work, simply because someone's "heart was in the right place"? Or, put another way, does such work deserve payment? What about the fans of the series who were looking forward to the remasters, did they deserve to be kept waiting for so long or to receive such as poor deliverable, only to be let down?

As others in this forum have pointed out, Olde Sküül had already developed a reputation for shoddy, incomplete work prior to these BT remasters. (See comments about the newer Battle Chess game.) inXile was completely justified for insisting upon an actual business contract when dealing with them.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » February 15th, 2017, 9:40 pm

PC Gamer wrote:said she'd like to make an arrangement to release the remastered trilogy herself, and will provide the promised keys to Bard's Tale 4 backers with or without inXile's support
The notion of Olde Sküül releasing the trilogy directly is not new news. Was hinted at previously. What's new is the idea BT4 backers will be receiving the "promised keys". This leads to a couple of questions. How are they going to reliably identify the BT4 backers without inXile's help? And, are we still getting exclusive access to the remasters, as inXile billed it?
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by Dork Mage » February 16th, 2017, 5:16 pm

"Olde Sküül releasing the trilogy directly" - probably mean they wish to offer BT-Remastered in their catalog.

"promised keys to Bard's Tale 4 backers with or without inXile's support" - tough to do as InXile owns the rights to BT.

"getting exclusive access to the remasters" - not if offered in Olde Sküül catalog.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » February 16th, 2017, 5:24 pm

Dork Mage wrote: "getting exclusive access to the remasters" - not if offered in Olde Sküül catalog.
Right. Most likely the exclusive access that inXile told us we were getting will evaporate.
Not clear that Olde Sküül has redistribution rights for the remasters. If they do, then inXile should never told backers that they would be getting exclusive access to the remasters. If they don't, then it seems that inXile has a legal option in this matter. Whether inXile would exercise such an option is another matter.
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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by meganothing » February 16th, 2017, 5:33 pm

I can't remember anything about the Remasters being "exclusive" and it would be a shame to do all that work just for the small circle of original BT4 backers.

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Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » February 16th, 2017, 7:16 pm

As I stated previously, the remasters were, in fact, presented as exclusive in the backer rewards catalog.

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(Still had an unrefreshed browser window open from last time I mentioned the exclusive access issue. Hadn't refreshed since inXile yanked the reward. :))
Last edited by _noblesse_oblige_ on February 16th, 2017, 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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