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The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 10th, 2017, 3:15 pm
by Brother None
Hi everyone,

From time to time we've been seeing questions about the Bard's Tale remaster and its development status. Normally we don't discuss details like this, but in the interest of giving you more transparency and clearing up some of those questions, we felt it was a good idea to post a statement here.

When the BT4 Kickstarter campaign started, we initially promised the emulated versions of the original BT trilogy - those were finished and delivered to backers many months ago.

Shortly after the BT4 campaign began, Olde Skuul expressed interest in developing remastered and updated versions of the classic BT games. We were a bit reluctant, as we had concerns about Olde Skuul completing development, however, we agreed on the condition that inXile would provide payment on completion of the project. Because of this, our wording around the BT remasters was a bit more tentative:
"Meanwhile, Rebecca will be working on the updated versions of the games and if that goes well we'll get you those as soon as she delivers them to us, also for free! As we're not working on these versions ourselves we cannot give an ETA or guarantee on their release, we'll all be waiting for Rebecca to deliver us an upgraded version worthy of the name!"
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.

There was some initial work done on the remasters, and we released some of those beta builds to you as a way to keep you guys involved during BT4's pre-production stages, as well as to help fuel development and get feedback for Olde Skuul. Unfortunately, Olde Skuul's progress slowed and eventually stopped. Our emails and IMs would sometimes take weeks or months to get replies. During this period we even provided internal and external QA resources at our own expense to help push development along, but those efforts didn't help much either. At this stage, we feel it's unlikely that Olde Skuul will finish development on the BT remasters.

Obviously, we're not happy with this situation, and it has been a frustrating sequence of events for us, but we felt it was right to let you all know what happened. In the meantime, we've removed the BT remasters from our reward packages on the Bard's Tale backer web site. The emulated version we previously released as promised will remain available to everyone who backs The Bard's Tale IV.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 10th, 2017, 3:47 pm
by Qoojo
Thank you for the information.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 10th, 2017, 5:21 pm
by _noblesse_oblige_
Yes, thank you.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 10th, 2017, 7:31 pm
by Gizmo
Indeed, thanks for this. It's good to have it repeated as officially confirmed information; no longer just [accurate ;) ] fan speculation.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 10th, 2017, 10:23 pm
by ZZGO
A shame, though I hasten to add that I don't blame InXile for the situation. I for one was quite excited about the remasters, and still hope the project is going somewhere. Looks like the ball is in Becky's court now.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 10th, 2017, 10:24 pm
by Drool
Brother None wrote:At this stage, we feel it's unlikely that Olde Skuul will finish development on the BT remasters.
Well, fuck.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 10th, 2017, 11:22 pm
by Gizmo
Does she have the legal option (with permission) to post a Fig or Kickstarter page for it?

*Don't throw anything at me, please; but that's a semi-serious question.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 11th, 2017, 12:01 am
by ZZGO
Gizmo wrote:Does she have the legal option (with permission) to post a Fig or Kickstarter page for it?
My thoughts exactly. But personally, I'm not prepared to pay more than, say, five bucks for the remastered edition when I could play the emulated editions from InXile.

Now if there's going to be a Kickstarter for the Remasters, Olde Sküül should go full monty and put in an optional data set with small changes to maps and riddles so that I could experience the games anew. I'd pay for that.
(Incidentially, I had already sent Burger Becky an email offering to submit modding plans and extra content; but I've not received a reply. The BT cluebooks gave me some great story ideas.)

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 11th, 2017, 12:19 am
by Gizmo
It needs an integrated BTCS in the menu.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 11th, 2017, 12:56 am
by ZZGO
Gizmo wrote:It needs an integrated BTCS in the menu.
Not sure if/how that would work. Given that Becky's idea was to produce an entirely new machine that was processing the old data, and that said data had to be converted to a unified format, I guess you'd need to write an all-new Construction Set for the remasters.

But my point wasn't about modding support, but rather about providing an official expanded edition of the games.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 11th, 2017, 4:15 am
by Gizmo
ZZGO wrote:Not sure if/how that would work. Given that Becky's idea was to produce an entirely new machine that was processing the old data, and that said data had to be converted to a unified format, I guess you'd need to write an all-new Construction Set for the remasters.
Come to think of it, I didn't ~actually mean remastering the BTCS; rather I meant including some kind of an editor that would allow tinkering with the converted games, and/or crafting new ones; in the new format, I suppose.

For that matter, it wouldn't really have to edit the games, just allow for new maps and/or art hacks; could even be a different game executable. BTCS came earlier than FRUA, and aside from making standalones, wasn't quite equal to FRUA. People are still using FRUA for new designs. I know of a one being made this week; and at least seven new ones planned for next month. A Bard's Tale editor could become the reason to buy the trilogy.

**It's funny, I bought the 2004 Bard's Tale because it shipped with BT1, 2 & 3. ;)

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 11th, 2017, 10:56 am
by DNACowboy
Image

Guys, I didn't get chance to play the Remastered beta and I would really love to, I was a very early backer of BT4 (#1095) and back in the day I mortgaged my soul to buy an Apple just to play BT and you know who keeps tapping on my door demanding payment. With that in mind. if there is anyone out there who would offer to host the beta for me just long enough to download the game I'd really appreciate it.

Regards,

ps. I am happy to show you my KS backer receipt.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 11th, 2017, 10:38 pm
by Drool
Gizmo wrote:Does she have the legal option (with permission) to post a Fig or Kickstarter page for it?
Her or inXile, as far as I'm concerned.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 11th, 2017, 10:40 pm
by Gizmo
Drool wrote:
Gizmo wrote:Does she have the legal option (with permission) to post a Fig or Kickstarter page for it?
Her or inXile, as far as I'm concerned.
InXile doesn't have the source code [afaik]; but they could allow it to happen ~I assume.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 12th, 2017, 10:18 pm
by Drool
Gizmo wrote:InXile doesn't have the source code [afaik]; but they could allow it to happen ~I assume.
I'd back a kickstarter to purchase the source code and finish development.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 13th, 2017, 3:12 am
by ZZGO
Drool wrote:
Gizmo wrote:InXile doesn't have the source code [afaik]; but they could allow it to happen ~I assume.
I'd back a kickstarter to purchase the source code and finish development.
Me too - but only if there's an option for altered dungeons and puzzles that I can't solve in my sleep. I just know the old games too well.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 13th, 2017, 3:24 am
by Infinitron
Maybe just as well, she was going to stuff the games with stupid jokes or something.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 13th, 2017, 6:58 am
by thebruce
Drool wrote:
Gizmo wrote:InXile doesn't have the source code [afaik]; but they could allow it to happen ~I assume.
I'd back a kickstarter to purchase the source code and finish development.
GoFundMe :)

ETA: Oops, you said "back" not "run", heh.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 13th, 2017, 8:56 am
by Bester
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.

Re: The Bard's Tale Remastered Status Update

Posted: February 13th, 2017, 10:25 am
by _noblesse_oblige_
ZZGO wrote:
Drool wrote:
Gizmo wrote:InXile doesn't have the source code [afaik]; but they could allow it to happen ~I assume.
I'd back a kickstarter to purchase the source code and finish development.
Me too - but only if there's an option for altered dungeons and puzzles that I can't solve in my sleep. I just know the old games too well.
That's one of the development paths that I suggested inXile could have followed for BT IV. That, or making a prequel which contains the events leading up to Tarjan being locked in stone.
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 remaster - uprez the graphics, remaster the audio, touch up the UI, port to a new platform, but leave the game content itself alone.
Drool wrote:
Gizmo wrote:InXile doesn't have the source code [afaik]; but they could allow it to happen ~I assume.
I'd back a kickstarter to purchase the source code and finish development.
I'd rather just see the code released as open source. Trying to crowd fund the remasters would be an interesting gauge of the value of this property. My guess is that a crowdfunding effort wouldn't gain too much traction. I'm a huge fan of the games, but probably wouldn't throw more than US$5 at a KS for their remasters - I already know the content and can play them in emulators any time I want. Would love to know how much inXile planned on paying Olde Sküül for the effort. EA or whoever holds the rights should seriously consider the commercial viability of this property; they might find that they stand to gain more in reputation by releasing the sources and attendant game content than trying to exploit them for further profit.
Bester wrote: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?
There's a few bugs to fix. ;)
The provided alpha versions aren't even feature complete - that's not a completed job.
Bester wrote: 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.
Can you be more specific?
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.