Long-standing community site RPGWatch interviewed our Systems Designer on The Bard's Tale IV, David Rogers, about a number of aspects of the game. The full article is a great read for fans, so take a look.
RPGWatch: Dungeon-crawl RPGs are known for great length and plenty of time investment in order to craft your ultimate party. How long do you think the game will run, and will there be a lot of side content in the form of side quests to add length to the game?
David: It is too early to say how long the game will be until we have locked down content and gameplay, but we always strive to hit the right balance between lengthy games with a lot of depth while still delivering a highly polished experience.
RPGWatch: Approaching content in any order that you would like is important to get a more "open" feeling game. Will there be multiple dungeons to tackle at once, and will the player have options as to which dungeon they should explore next?
David: There absolutely will be free choice involved. There will be times when you have multiple quests and dungeons that need your attention and it'll be up to you to decide which order you tackle them in, or if you tackle them at all.
RPGWatch: Party management is great fun in a dungeon-crawl RPG, especially when status-altering effects and other factors come into play. What sort of "game within a game" mechanics can we expect while we're diving into these dungeons? What factors will we have to manage along the way?
David: There are some tried and true mechanics you'll be playing as you crawl through a dungeon. We'll ask players to manage a finite number of consumables to ensure they're in peak fighting condition when a combat occurs. This could be health potions, anti-venoms, or even things relating to trap avoidance and secret discovery, such as lock pick sets. We're also asking players to decide if and where to make camp after a hard day of adventuring. We're all RPG fans here, so we don't necessarily try to re-invent the wheel at every turn.
With that said, there are also elements about our game that should feel really unique to The Bard's Tale. We want to incorporate music into our gameplay in a major way. We have some major talent, both on the writing and musical front. We want to bring those big guns to bear by having the player gleam insight about the various cultures of Caith through its music, and then be able to sing the magically attuned songs of Caith that they've learned in order to interact with the world.