Bard's Tale Construction Set

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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Crosmando
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Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by Crosmando » June 20th, 2017, 12:45 am

Is there any chance of this being re-released by InXile?
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Re: Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by BHelper » June 21st, 2017, 12:19 am

Do you want with or without the hideous limitations on size of a map, number of lines in a special, amount of text displayed in a line, number of images to choose from, etc.?
As somebody who's been through two of the few published BTCS scenarios three times each, converting them to other systems, I hope you're asking for a release of this generation's dev tools.

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Re: Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by Crosmando » June 21st, 2017, 1:03 am

I've honestly never used it, I just thought it would be good having it available for sake of history.
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Re: Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by Gizmo » June 21st, 2017, 8:23 am

I was waiting for this topic to appear. I would certainly like (and use) a built in map editor for Bard's Tale. If InXile & OldSkuul can release that, they are —once again in the situation where they can release a stand-alone game executable maker, or in the very least have the Remastered set also serve as a user map interpreter. Forgotten Realms:Unlimited Adventures, had to be an interpreter, because they did not own the D&D IP, and could not release an editor that exported stand-alone games for it.

Map tools make a difference! Grimrock released with just the game, but they quickly tacked on the map editor, and people are still making maps with it. They haven't updated their official blog in almost two years.

Is there any reason the remastered engine need be hamstrung by the limits of the originals, rather than just adhering to their limits when running the original maps? Couldn't it be made to support new maps that are (arbitrarily) four times as big?

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Re: Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by thebruce » June 21st, 2017, 8:49 am

Another point to keep in mind - with a much more 3D and rendered 'world', it may not have the graphical customization and flexibility that BTCS had, when BT was all about tile graphics and portraits. Easily modded to make use of your own graphics. I imagine a BT4 construction set would be something along the lines of Halo's Forge. Using existing assets (and a very wide variety of them) in such a flexible way that you could still theoretically create relatively foreign environments in appearance. At least, that would be nice. :)
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Re: Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by Gizmo » June 21st, 2017, 9:07 am

If it imported PNG (or MNG & aPNG) images, the user could draw their own walls & monsters in (even) MS-Paint. If it imported (and natively used) vector formats, that'd be even better.

Technically one can already do this in Blender; it has a functional game engine in it. ;) But it would be nice to have an official turn-key editor available on GoG.
Last edited by Gizmo on June 21st, 2017, 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by thebruce » June 21st, 2017, 9:14 am

If BT4 is all 3d rendered, it's more than just flat images. They'd either be using in-game 3D models or provide models and textures of their own. That's what I'm meaning. When the game is all flat tiles, it's much easier to recreate a visual 'world'. So BT4CS would either be using existing assets, or have a way to create and/or import new 3D assets and textures. From what it looks like, BT4 won't be using flat tiles. At all. :P

Now maybe they could make use of depth maps to extruding flat tiles; that could be a way to provide pseudo-3D environment assets. But literal in-world content (objects, life, etc), which isn't something the classics employed, is a different level of 'construction'.

Another reason many of us were (and still are) hoping for less a literal world than it seems we may be getting.
(though right now I'm coming off the effect of watching a live play session of The Mage's Tale on Youtube - which was beautiful and makes me wish I had an Oculus - but it's a different type of game the Bard's Tale :P)
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Re: Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by Gizmo » June 21st, 2017, 9:32 am

thebruce wrote:
June 21st, 2017, 9:14 am
If BT4 is all 3d rendered, it's more than just flat images.
Aha... I was thinking classic BT, not BT4.

Even so... an Unreal engine game could almost certainly emulate the classics using low-res canned geometry, that the user could assign materials to.

As for a BT4CS, I once suggested an idea for a map converter in the Bethesda D00M forum. Where the new D00M game could offer a best effort conversion of classic wads, and present them in the new format. The idea was to use tiles, similar to the Aurora engine (Bioware's version of Neverwinter Nights).

Here is a funny thought: InXile integrated the classic BT games into their re-release of the Bard's Tale 2004. Could they not do the same with BT4, and/or/but include a construction set for the original three titles?

A construction set for BT4 would be quite an endeavor... but Grimrock is a superb example to look at.

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Re: Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by thebruce » June 21st, 2017, 11:05 am

oooh, updated BTCS for the classic style. Right. Yeah I was thinking BTCS for the BT4 engine. Gotcha.

How about using the BT4 engine to recreate the classic experience? Lock movement to grid, 3D model the grid-based cities and dungeons. Maybe add some depth mapping to the wall/building faces :P
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Re: Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by Gizmo » June 21st, 2017, 9:36 pm

That could be neat. 8-)
Image
I touched upon that in my earlier post. I'd assume it could be done fairly easily. The geometry is all planes. :lol:

But what I was originally suggesting, was that the BT(r)CS user could draw their own replacement textures for the flat wall tiles, and have the map editor use them; much as was done with monster portraits in the original BTCS.

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Re: Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by Crosmando » June 21st, 2017, 10:35 pm

Haha very nice Gizmo, I honestly wouldn't mind something like that in BT4, like as a secret level.
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Re: Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by Drool » June 21st, 2017, 10:46 pm

That gif is neat, but the angle in town is weird. Makes it look like the party's 3 feet tall.
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Re: Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by thebruce » June 22nd, 2017, 5:57 am

Crosmando wrote:
June 21st, 2017, 10:35 pm
Haha very nice Gizmo, I honestly wouldn't mind something like that in BT4, like as a secret level.
Doom did that :)
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Re: Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by Gizmo » June 22nd, 2017, 9:49 am

D00M: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxwArGdIBLY

Just like Shadow Warrior 2013, before them. It IS neat, but the retro-secrets are too sparse (within) IMO; there could have been more to them than just a room... And they could have used the original monster sprites. :twisted:

Shadow Warrior: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPW2tK3M4uM&t=41s


Crosmando wrote:
June 21st, 2017, 10:35 pm
Haha very nice Gizmo, I honestly wouldn't mind something like that in BT4, like as a secret level.
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Re: Bard's Tale Construction Set

Post by dulsi » July 29th, 2017, 7:25 pm

I'm biased but if you want a better Bard's Tale Construction Set, you want Bt Builder. Bt Builder is my open source reimplementation of BTCS. I'm trying to fix my annoyances with BTCS. Bt Builder has UI choices that more closely match the old Bard's Tale games. I've been slowly adding in new spells to implement features not available in BTCS. For example APAR is available. Limitations like the number of specials per map, items, spells, and monsters are all removed. The editor looks bad but is functional. If someone needs some feature to implement a module idea let me know and I'll see if I can add it.
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