The Bard's Tale IVThe Bard's Tale IV news from inXile Entertainment2018-05-17T09:05:37-07:00 The Bard's Tale IV Update 44: The Bard Takes Some Questions! TL; DR:&nbsp;Storefront news, Q&amp;A, GDC Highlights, Bard's Tale Trilogy remasters update Hi everyone, Paul here with the latest backer update! Hope you've been well! David, Jeff, and the team are taking in all the alpha feedback from backers and incorporating elements of it into our production, so a discussion of that feedback and our Wizard class preview will have to wait for next go-around. For now, though, something equally special: we have a pretty big update rangin... https://bardstale.inxile-entertainment.com/community/news/the-bards-tale-iv-update-44-the-bard-takes-some-questions/?act=view&id=74 <p style="text-align: center;"><b><img src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/021/251/445/f12b50eae792aa4f690aab9d9620c6d9_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1526479112&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=6a7b288ce6a6468ac7604524a6d42d82" alt="" width="639" height="334" /></b></p> <p><strong>TL; DR:&nbsp;</strong>Storefront news, Q&amp;A, GDC Highlights, Bard's Tale Trilogy remasters update</p> <p>Hi everyone, Paul here with the latest backer update! Hope you've been well! David, Jeff, and the team are taking in all the alpha feedback from backers and incorporating elements of it into our production, so a discussion of that feedback and our Wizard class preview will have to wait for next go-around. For now, though, something equally special: we have a pretty big update ranging across the entire history of The Bard's Tale! We've got a Q&amp;A with The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep dev team based on questions from our forums, a look back at GDC (including some press coverage that you might have missed), and finally some big news regarding the remastered Bard's Tale Trilogy! There's a ton here so strap in and let's begin!</p> <h2 id="h:making-a-wishlist">Making A Wishlist&nbsp;</h2> <p>Before we get to the Q&amp;A, there is one big "we're getting close" milestone that we wanted to share with you: the store pages for The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep are live on both Steam and GOG!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/566090/The_Bards_Tale_IV_Barrows_Deep/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/021/251/467/1bb0bd5d21a97eb00dc06ba2774f174d_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1526479226&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=99a7e1103887332ea702609cad6a7e72" alt="" width="636" height="239" /></a><em>The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep on Steam.</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><a href="https://www.gog.com/game/the_bards_tale_iv_barrows_deep" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/021/251/474/a2741b13bf2149104dea34af3431e3ab_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1526479256&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=11f525ef19e4b52bce48c28ee3070525" alt="" width="639" height="240" /></a><br /></em><em>And on GOG too!</em></p> <p>Although our backers are already getting copies of the game, we ask that you please take a moment to "wishlist" the game for yourself (and encourage a friend to do so, too)! This helps with both sites' algorithms and increases the game's general visibility. Your support is a huge help for us as an indie studio, and we appreciate the assist.</p> <h2 id="h:qanda-with-the-dev-t">Q&amp;A with the Dev Team!&nbsp;</h2> <p>Thanks to everyone who sent questions our way! We obviously couldn't answer every single one, but don't fret if yours isn't here &ndash; we'll be answering more in the next backer update! If there's a question that you would like answered, please feel free to ask it in the comments section below! What follows is a dive into some of the more specific gameplay mechanics, so we hope you enjoy it!</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;How many dungeons will BT4 have &amp; how many locations/zones will BT4 have?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>The combined count is 25 dungeons or dungeon-like areas. That said, it's a dungeon crawler - you always have to be on your guard!</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;What races will be playable in BT4? The Trow have been mentioned as a new race, but what others are confirmed?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>Dwarves, Elves, and Trow, and there are different variety of Human cultures (Baedish, Fichti, Einarr, and Outlander).</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;Will it be possible to create your full party?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>Yes, though not all at once. You start off with one character, and you'll be able to swap that one out during the introduction if you wish. Over the course of the game, you'll be able to grow your party up to six.</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;Will BT4 be a continuous world where all locations connect together as one big world, or will it have a travel map between locations like Wasteland 2?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>Yes, you can access the entire world by walking, or you can utilize our fast travel system to warp to previously explored areas. For those old school types, you are never required to use the fast travel system &ndash; it's just there for convenience.</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;How many of BT4's monsters are from the originals or are directly based on the portraits from the originals?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>For rank and file enemies, many of them were built to fit the current culture and story of this Bard's Tale. About a third of the monsters are from the original games, and the remaining are new, with most inspired by Scottish folklore and mythology (we covered some of them in a previous update). Some of our old major bosses are coming back as well. And no, we won't be fighting Nazis (sorry, Bard's Tale III fans), but a couple of fan favorites like Herb and the 99 Berserkers make a return!</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;Does BT4 have time-sensitive puzzles? If so, do they take place in real-time or turn-based mode?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>There are no Shadow Snare puzzles like in The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight - something which requires a real-time solution or you fail (and, in the case of the Shadow Snare, your party dies). While it was certainly an unique feature back in the day, it was a bit too punishing and there are other ways to challenge the player and provide that fun gaming tension.</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;How many of BT4's bard songs are from the originals or are directly based on the songs from the originals?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>The vast majority are songs from the original games. Out of the nine magical bard songs that the bard has access to, only the Song of Compulsory Cavorting is brand new. We took the core of what the songs did, or the role it played in the originals, and updated it to fit our combat &amp; exploration systems. They even sound like the old bard songs.</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;Will there be references to the other cities outside of Skara Brae (such as those you visit in The Bard's Tale II)?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>Yes, there will be references to the other cities outside Skara Brae. You may even get to visit one.</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;Will BT4 be akin to BT1 in forgoing automatic regeneration of SP/HP in dungeons, so there's an element of longer term resource consideration?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>The answer is yes - HP does not regenerate over time like the originals. HP doesn&rsquo;t regenerate over time automatically but can through the use of items and abilities. We also added checkpoints in the form of Luck Stones. These strategically-placed artifacts will save the game and restore your party's HP, if you can survive to reach them. This gives the game that feeling of tension as you delve deep into the dungeons, but without needing to backtrack all the way back to the Guild every time you need a breather.</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;How will attributes work? Will we roll for random attributes like the originals or will we have a point +/- system like WL2? Will attributes go up automatically when a character levels up, or will we get points to raise the attributes of our choice?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>Everything about your character, including your attributes, comes from your skill tree. Your starting attributes depend on your starting archetype, and you can customize them via the skill tree as you level up. Each time you level up you get to choose how you spend that skill point. You might choose to upgrade an attribute like intelligence, learn to craft a new potion, or learn a new passive ability. Some of these skills, however, are locked behind advanced tiers that only the Review Board can unlock for you.</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;Will it be possible to permanently recruit monsters from random encounters?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>While you will not be able to dominate enemies and have them join your ranks, you will be able to summon and keep a variety of monsters in your party.</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;Will the player be able to fully customize their main character (class, race, gender, etc.), or will there be pre-defined settings (you're always a bard, you're always human, etc.)?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>Yes, any character you create can be fully customized. You can pick your class, culture, portrait, and even your voice.</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;Do enemies level scale in BT4?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>Like the original, enemies don't scale. We set the level and difficulty of the enemy when we place them in the world. So you could come back to an older area and wreck shop because you're much higher level, or you could go into a higher level area and get your face stomped.</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;Are the party's total action points based on party size?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>Your party gets more opportunity as a quest reward for completing major plot points. You tend to get larger parties as you get more opportunity, so while they aren't directly linked, they do develop along a parallel track.</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;The AP system shown in the alpha seems to be favor smaller parties. Is it still worth bringing more party members?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>More characters is generally always better (except in a few rare circumstances), as it provides more HP on the battlefield to soak attacks, more abilities to chose from, and more people in the right place at the right time to perform key plays in combat.</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;What is the maximum party size?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>Six is the max party size. We also leave open two slots for summoning creatures if you have a full group. It can be 6+2, 4+4, 5+3... whatever party configuration works best with your play style.</p> <p><strong>Q:&nbsp;Are all the conversations fully voiced acted?</strong></p> <p><strong>A:&nbsp;</strong>They sure are!</p> <h2 id="h:gdc-2018-highlights">GDC 2018 Highlights</h2> <p>If you follow us on social media, then you'll know that The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep had a great reception at this year's GDC, something we were very excited and grateful about. It was warmly received by the crowds there, we had a few VIPs stop by, and of course a number of fans and backers stopped by to say hi and chat about the game with David and Jeff! Here are a few pictures from the event.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/021/251/575/f5eed0a06c07b4805cd787717978c5bc_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1526479912&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=5283e4ef81d4769c797f4786b4f0bca4" alt="" width="401" height="535" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The Bard Draws a Crowd</em></p> <p>The team had good crowds for all three days of the expo! Jeff, David, and Art Director Maxx Kaufman all had their hands full getting as many folks access to the demo as possible.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/021/251/582/e4ff66ea5cd089840d2ba79615db099e_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1526479944&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=4b9ef1f5800fb59075374571bc260176" alt="" width="377" height="503" /><em>The Bard's Tale IV Creative Director David Rogers with Bard's Tale series creator Michael Cranford</em></p> <p>A highlight was when Michael Cranford swung by to get his first look at the game in a while. He had a great time checking out the demo, and when I spoke with him later that day, he was absolutely thrilled with how the game was coming along and had developed since his last check-in with it. That kind of affirmation was really awesome, especially coming on Day One of the expo.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/021/251/606/ed8f0603ce6ae777ac1ffd3e6e278089_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1526480056&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=3388eff4b48dde918980ab9e79fb3fba" alt="" width="387" height="516" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Kurt Heiden (pictured left) also stopped by!</em></p> <p>Another series vet also stopped by. Kurt Heiden was the audio point person on Bard's Tale II and Bard's Tale III. Barrows Deep marks a return for Kurt, as well. He arranged/composed some of the Ability and Exploration Bard tunes that you will be using in the game!</p> <p>In case you missed it, here is some of the press coverage from that week:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Ars Technica:&nbsp;</strong><a href="https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/03/hands-on-with-bards-tale-4-the-first-proper-series-entry-in-30-years/%20" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/03/hands-on-with-bards-tale-4-the-first-proper-series-entry-in-30-years/&nbsp;</a></li> <li><strong>Game Informer:&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.gameinformer.com/games/the_bards_tale_iv/b/pc/archive/2018/03/26/a-classic-dungeon-crawler-returns-with-new-dgc-sensibilities.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">http://www.gameinformer.com/games/the_bards_tale_iv/b/pc/archive/2018/03/26/a-classic-dungeon-crawler-returns-with-new-dgc-sensibilities.aspx</a></li> <li><strong>Gamespot:&nbsp;</strong><a href="https://www.gamespot.com/gallery/25-coolest-upcoming-games-you-probably-havent-hear/2900-1917/5/%20" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">https://www.gamespot.com/gallery/25-coolest-upcoming-games-you-probably-havent-hear/2900-1917/5/&nbsp;</a></li> <li><strong>Hardcore Gamer:&nbsp;</strong><a href="https://www.hardcoregamer.com/2018/04/02/the-bard-is-ready-to-tell-a-new-tale-in-barrows-deep/295182/%20" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">https://www.hardcoregamer.com/2018/04/02/the-bard-is-ready-to-tell-a-new-tale-in-barrows-deep/295182/&nbsp;</a></li> <li><strong>Kotaku:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="https://kotaku.com/bards-tale-ivs-special-weapons-are-also-puzzles-1823988857%20" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">https://kotaku.com/bards-tale-ivs-special-weapons-are-also-puzzles-1823988857&nbsp;</a></li> <li><strong>PC Gamer:&nbsp;</strong><a href="https://www.pcgamer.com/booze-makes-you-a-better-wizard-in-the-bards-tale-4s-great-rpg-combat/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">https://www.pcgamer.com/booze-makes-you-a-better-wizard-in-the-bards-tale-4s-great-rpg-combat/</a></li> </ul> <p>For long-time series fans (or backers curious about The Bard's Tale IV's roots), GDC also hosted a Classic Game Post-Mortem on The Bard's Tale and The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight, featuring series creator Michael Cranford. Courtesy of GDC Vault,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.gdcvault.com/browse/gdc-18/play/1024929/Classic-Game-Postmortem-The-Bard" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">you can watch that talk here</a>.&nbsp;It's well worth a look.</p> <h2 id="h:the-bards-tale-trilo">The Bard's Tale Trilogy Remasters Update&nbsp;</h2> <p>Finally, some long-awaited update news on the original trilogy remasters. As you may remember, when we did our original crowdfunding campaign, we were approached by Olde Skuul and told that they were working on a remasters project. Due entirely to your requests, we agreed to offer these remasters as bonus extras in addition to your backer rewards when they were done.</p> <p>The project was a large one, and was taking longer than anyone was hoping for. After discussing the situation with Olde Skuul, we agreed to part ways on this. However, the entire inXile development team &ndash; from Brian on down &ndash; wanted to see this project realized for both the backers and for a new generation of players, so we undertook a search to find the right partner for this project. That journey led us to Krome Studios, and we could not be happier with the work that they are doing so far. It is my pleasure to introduce Lindsay Parmenter, Head of Development of Krome, to walk us through a little of what they have in store for you.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/021/251/683/20d5a383ca543451dd9e5b4c9801bc40_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1526480434&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=c30ac8189aef76159a59ddfb63373967" alt="" width="392" height="355" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Greetings from Krome Studios!</em></p> <p>The original Bard's Tale games hold a special place in our hearts - many of us here at Krome Studios, especially Design Lead James Podesta and myself, played the games back in the 80s and are also backers of Bard's Tale IV.</p> <p>After some casual conversations with the inXile team, the opportunity came up to put something together that we think will be really great for the Trilogy remaster. Not only are we updating the games to work natively on modern systems, but we're also putting on a fresh coat of paint, to give a new generation of role-playing and dungeon-crawling fans an easier opportunity to experience these classic games.</p> <p>As a short list, our goals for the Trilogy remaster are:</p> <ul> <li>Up-res the original art, but keep the art in theme with the originals (the original examples are from the Amiga version of Tales of the Unknown):</li> </ul> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/021/251/730/aeabf319a0169c76f20ed13021c1c009_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1526480624&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=898a4adbb866dc2c7e3581bce6871e18" alt="" width="639" height="250" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/021/251/738/6df93974a152efa80ea2c3ad0ec321c8_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1526480667&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=19b8b1c01fb4af3c41cfd5b38f746c1a" alt="" width="639" height="250" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/021/251/740/9ff8304ecfa6fbf519f8a7aecf2f61d8_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1526480691&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=644988a3b40e720301c5babe90357142" alt="" width="639" height="250" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/021/251/751/ee23bbc48f61ecfff255b60567f3cdd0_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1526480728&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=d0cea7b8ab716244537030719c9c9423" alt="" width="639" height="250" /></p> <p>And obviously it wouldn't be much good doing an up-res of character and enemy images if we didn't animate them!</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/021/251/755/214f6cc217653c2d43682c02b3e10328_original.gif?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1526480756&amp;auto=format&amp;gif-q=50&amp;q=92&amp;s=1a5c914c497ede82b626a6ec5bce5e25" alt="" width="512" height="400" /></p> <ul> <li>Add in various audio throughout the games for attacks, spells, and more.&nbsp;</li> <li>Add some quality of life improvements, such as the automap, tooltip popups in the UI, etc.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>It's fantastic to be able to share with you some of the work that we've been doing on The Bard's Tale Trilogy. We know everybody's been waiting a while for this, and we look forward to updating you all with the progress in the months ahead.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/021/251/786/457245f3edcecdeef2db679ffaf70755_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1526480959&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=1766b23bfb2d8ee83db5e4af4af365d7" alt="" width="639" height="479" /></p> <h2 id="h:thats-it-for-now">That's It for Now&nbsp;</h2> <p>Paul here again to wrap things up. Thanks to Lindsay and Krome for this quick look at the original trilogy remasters. Right now, the plan is to complete work on the first Bard's Tale game and then release that to all of you to play while work continues on the next two games. We're hoping to have that for you this summer. Once work has completed on the other two games, the entire remastered trilogy will be made available to you via your CrowdOx rewards. This project is our way of delivering an extra thank you to all of you who backed The Bard's Tale IV, our other crowdfunding projects, and our other games through the years. We're grateful to have you as fans and we're excited to bring you The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep later this year!</p> <p>Until Next Time,&nbsp;<br />Paul Marzagalli&nbsp;<br />Public Relations &amp; Community Manager&nbsp;<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/phimseto" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@phimseto</a></p> 2018-05-17T09:05:37-07:00inXile Entertainment The Bard's Tale IV Update 43: Backer Alpha Unleashed! TL; DR&nbsp;- Quick Hello, GDC Notes, Backer Alpha FAQ The Backer Alpha is Here! Hey Everyone, Today is a day thirty years in the making! For the first time since players defeated the Mad God Tarjan in 1988&rsquo;s The Bard&rsquo;s Tale III: Thief of Fate, fans will have a chance to play a sequel and experience new gameplay! This first playable version is an important stepping stone toward the game's release later this year, and we&rsquo;re all excited to finally share T... https://bardstale.inxile-entertainment.com/community/news/the-bards-tale-iv-update-43-backer-alpha-unleashed/?act=view&id=73 <p><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/625/056/eb1e1116f87af02933dcdb6bd5075d0d_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1521651489&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=55d959d09242d9633e6e2d9612ebcd3f" alt="" width="639" height="334" /></strong></p> <p><strong>TL; DR&nbsp;</strong>- Quick Hello, GDC Notes, Backer Alpha FAQ</p> <h2 id="h:the-backer-alpha-is">The Backer Alpha is Here!</h2> <p>Hey Everyone,</p> <p>Today is a day thirty years in the making! For the first time since players defeated the Mad God Tarjan in 1988&rsquo;s The Bard&rsquo;s Tale III: Thief of Fate, fans will have a chance to play a sequel and experience new gameplay! This first playable version is an important stepping stone toward the game's release later this year, and we&rsquo;re all excited to finally share The Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV: Barrows Deep with you. Whether you are one of our alpha backers or will be watching press coverage, we&rsquo;re looking forward to hearing what you think!</p> <p>Further in this update is a FAQ for our alpha backers. If that&rsquo;s you and you can&rsquo;t wait another moment, go ahead and skip on down the page (we totally understand)! For those backers, please be on the look out soon for a CrowdOx email containing:</p> <ul> <li>Your Steam key for the alpha test</li> <li>A message from VP of Development Chris Keenan &amp; alpha test notes from QA Lead Daniel Dean&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>The FAQ at the bottom of this update should hopefully address any basic questions you have about the backer alpha and getting access to it.</p> <p>In the meantime though, I wanted to share with all of you some of what we&rsquo;re up to this week at GDC.</p> <h2 id="h:inxile-at-gdc-2018">inXile at GDC 2018</h2> <p>You may remember this photo from our E3 2017 update.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/618/237/3fbab0c039b30770f6d3fc87642bbb05_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1521594090&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=26233d851c3f6dd52a127c91b5009d03" alt="" width="461" height="620" /><em>Jeff Pellegrin &amp; David Rogers</em></p> <p>Pictured are BT4 Producer Jeff Pellegrin and Creative Director David Rogers. As Chris noted in&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv/posts/2121489" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">last week's update</a>, David and Jeff will be at the Epic Unreal Engine 4 booth (Moscone South 801) demoing the alpha. If you are on-site for the event, you&rsquo;ll find them there from today through Friday, March, 23. I am told that the kilts are making a return as well!</p> <p>For everyone interested, Jeff and BT4 Art Director Maxx Kaufman will be interviewed at 12:30pm PST on Thursday, March 22nd as part of Epic&rsquo;s GDC livestream coverage. You will be able to watch that interview&nbsp;<a href="https://www.twitch.tv/unrealengine" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>.</p> <p>In other Bard&rsquo;s Tale-related GDC news, one of this year&rsquo;s hugely popular Classic Game Post-Mortems will feature&nbsp;<a href="http://schedule.gdconf.com/session/classic-game-postmortem-the-span-classhighlightbardspans-tale-i-and-ii/852119" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Bard&rsquo;s Tale and The Bard&rsquo;s Tale II: The Destiny Knight</a>. Headlined by series co-creator Michael Cranford, the talk happens today, March 21 from 5:00pm - 6:00pm PST in West Hall, Room 3016. If you are at GDC, this is a &ldquo;must&rdquo; for any Bard&rsquo;s Tale fan! If you can&rsquo;t be there, the talk is being recorded and we&rsquo;ll be sure to share a link if and when it becomes publicly available!</p> <p>That&rsquo;s it for now, but more cool Bard's Tale IV news to come both in the news and as we return to our regular updates! As promised for our alpha backers, below is the FAQ regarding the alpha process. Thanks to everyone! Let us know what you think of the game here, on social media, and<a href="https://forums.inxile-entertainment.com/viewtopic.php?f=57&amp;p=192429#p192429" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">&nbsp;on our forums</a>!</p> <p>Until Next Time,&nbsp;<br />Paul Marzagalli&nbsp;<br />Public Relations &amp; Community Manager&nbsp;<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/phimseto" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@phimseto</a></p> <h2 id="h:alpha-backer-faq">Alpha Backer FAQ</h2> <h3>How do I get my Steam alpha key?</h3> <p>We are distributing our Steam alpha test keys to applicable backers using CrowdOx. If you have completed your CrowdOx backer survey, you will receive an email from CrowdOx containing your key, along with a letter from VP of Development Chris Keenan and QA Lead Daniel Dean. Please be patient, as depending on how many emails need to be sent, it may take a little while for the system to fully process all of them. If you haven&rsquo;t completed your CrowdOx backer survey, you can find more instructions on how to do so&nbsp;<a href="https://inxile.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004326814-How-to-get-Bard-s-Tale-IV-CrowdOx-backer-survey" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>.</p> <h3>Can I get the alpha test on another platform?</h3> <p>We are only supporting Steam for the alpha test. For the final game, you will be able to make a choice of which platform you want at a later date.</p> <h3>How do I download the alpha test?</h3> <p>Applicable backers will be sent an email with a Steam alpha key. The alpha key requires you download the Steam games client and create an account with it. Once you have logged into Steam, you can use the "Activate a Product on Steam" option in the "Games" menu to activate your alpha key and begin downloading the alpha test. For more instructions, please see&nbsp;<a href="https://inxile.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004662068-Activating-Steam-keys" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">this page</a>.</p> <h3>What operating systems does the alpha test support?</h3> <p>While we are supporting more OSes for the final release of the game, the alpha test is only available for Windows.</p> <h3>What are the system requirements?</h3> <ul> <li><b>OS:</b>&nbsp;Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (64-bit)</li> <li><b>Processor:</b>&nbsp;Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater</li> <li><b>Memory:&nbsp;</b>8 GB RAM</li> <li><b>Graphics:&nbsp;</b>NVIDIA GTX 970/AMD 290 equivalent or greater</li> <li><b>Storage:&nbsp;</b>16 GB (SSD recommended)</li> </ul> <p>Note that the above requirements are for the alpha test only. As we continue to optimize, these requirements may change by final release.</p> <h3>How long will the alpha test run for?</h3> <p>We do not have a set time the alpha test will run for. However, when the beta test becomes available, we will let all the game's backers know.</p> <h3>Will my alpha test key count as my final game key?</h3> <p>No. The alpha test is a separate Steam library entry from the final game. Using your Steam alpha key now will not prevent you from getting the final version on a different platform later.</p> <h3>How do I report bugs or provide feedback for the alpha test?</h3> <p>For alpha backers, please see the message included with your Steam key. It contains a link to a page you can go to report bugs and provide feedback. For both our alpha backers and everyone else, please visit our forums! We&rsquo;ve set up a specific thread&nbsp;<a href="https://forums.inxile-entertainment.com/viewtopic.php?f=57&amp;p=192429#p192429" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>&nbsp;for everyone to chime in with their thoughts and feedback.</p> <h3>Can I do Let&rsquo;s Plays or stream the alpha test?</h3> <p>Yes! You are welcome to share your experiences with others, and if you have a Twitch or YouTube channel, you are also welcome to monetize your videos as well. Our only request is that you clearly state in your coverage that this is an alpha look at the game, and it will change and improve before release.</p> 2018-03-21T10:25:22-07:00inXile Entertainment The Bard's Tale IV Update 42: The Bard Begins His Tale... Three times before Did evil's lords Descend on Skara Brae And thrice did rise Brave heroes, wise To drive them all away Now comes a fourth To shackle the north And enslave the world of men Thus heroes bold As in songs of old Must take up sword again In dungeons vast Do these evils past Their ancient secrets keep So down we go To face the foes That lurk in Barrows Deep Greetings Citizens of Caith, Chris Keenan here, VP of Development at inXile, and we come to you with... https://bardstale.inxile-entertainment.com/community/news/the-bards-tale-iv-update-42-the-bard-begins-his-tale/?act=view&id=72 <p><em>Three times before </em><br /><em>Did evil's lords </em><br /><em>Descend on Skara Brae</em></p> <p><em>And thrice did rise </em><br /><em>Brave heroes, wise </em><br /><em>To drive them all away</em></p> <p><em>Now comes a fourth </em><br /><em>To shackle the north </em><br /><em>And enslave the world of men</em></p> <p><em>Thus heroes bold </em><br /><em>As in songs of old </em><br /><em>Must take up sword again</em></p> <p><em>In dungeons vast </em><br /><em>Do these evils past </em><br /><em>Their ancient secrets keep</em></p> <p><em>So down we go </em><br /><em>To face the foes </em><br /><em>That lurk in Barrows Deep</em></p> <p><em><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/541/867/c7910fe92edf2b8b26553516043ac674_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1520972594&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=ada1cb1c4cd47e7831587cc543e1c4d7" alt="" width="639" height="231" /></em></p> <p>Greetings Citizens of Caith,</p> <p>Chris Keenan here, VP of Development at inXile, and we come to you with two pieces of&nbsp;<em><strong>very good news</strong></em>.</p> <p>First off, next week will be the release of the backer Alpha, and backers&rsquo; first opportunity to go hands-on with the game!</p> <p>This demo showcases many of our core features that we have highlighted in previous Kickstarter updates. This twenty minute Alpha Systems Test includes looks at combat, puzzles &amp; traps, puzzle weapons, Songs of Exploration, and more (including one often asked about Easter egg).</p> <p>We know many of you are excited to check out the game, and we hope those of you with Alpha reward access enjoy this first hands-on look at it. We&rsquo;ll have more information next week on how to access the Alpha Test, as well as how to leave feedback for us. We&rsquo;re excited to get the game into the hands of those Alpha backers!</p> <p><a href="http://i.cubeupload.com/UGI26m.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/541/816/ef660d27502f5c2d66b459f0af93e778_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1520972364&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=5451daa0cbbf1a384c26644f3e133612" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;For the rest of you, there are plenty of ways to get in on the action. Next week marks the start of this year&rsquo;s Game Developers Conference, one of the game industry&rsquo;s biggest and most important events. As part of the conference, from 03/21 - 03/23, we will be demoing The Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV using the backer Alpha Test. There will also be plenty of press coverage of the game, so keep your eyes open (and we&rsquo;ll be sure to link to some of the coverage in a future update, too).</p> <p>The second big piece of news you might have caught at the beginning of this update. We are proud to announce the full title of our game and share it with you first -&nbsp;<strong>The Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV: Barrows Deep</strong>! We tossed around a number of possible subtitles for a long time. The Destiny Knight and Thief of Fate described important story hooks for those games, but for the return of The Bard&rsquo;s Tale after so many years, we wanted a name that captured the essence of a dungeon crawler.</p> <p>From the catacombs beneath the Mad God&rsquo;s temple to teleporting between realms, The Bard&rsquo;s Tale series has always been about seeking out places that only adventurers would dare, descending into the depths, overcoming monsters and puzzles, and defeating the evil within... and to be heroes worthy of a tale sung by a bard. Exploring the dark corners of the world is the essence of a dungeon crawler, and in Barrows Deep, your adventure awaits!</p> <p>We hope you like it, and please let us know what you think! We&rsquo;ll return with David&rsquo;s look at the Practitioner archetype soon, but for now enjoy the ride over the next couple of weeks as GDC and the backer Alpha Test take center stage! Thanks to all of you for helping us make The Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV: Barrows Deep a reality.</p> <p>Cheers,&nbsp;<br />Chris Keenan<br />VP of Development</p> 2018-03-13T13:51:25-07:00inXile Entertainment The Bard's Tale IV Update 41: Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards TL;DR:&nbsp;A Look at the Bard classes, Archetype Poll #2 Winner, Backer Rewards Update, Crowdfunding Corner First Round's On The Bard Howdy, everyone! David here, back again to give you the first of our class breakdowns. Everyone at inXile was a little proud that you chose The Bard for the first preview. That character class was what helped set the series apart from its contemporaries such as Wizardry and Ultima, and the image of a bard quaffing a drink as he heads into... https://bardstale.inxile-entertainment.com/community/news/the-bards-tale-iv-update-41-hard-drinking-rabble-rousing-bards/?act=view&id=71 <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/249/993/f3f56de8df17014e0820111bf88cee99_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1518729786&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=e5df89f6122b0827f13c6f0dc59ed0cc" alt="" width="639" height="334" /></p> <p><strong>TL;DR:</strong><b>&nbsp;</b>A Look at the Bard classes, Archetype Poll #2 Winner, Backer Rewards Update, Crowdfunding Corner</p> <h2 id="h:first-rounds-on-the">First Round's On The Bard</h2> <p>Howdy, everyone!</p> <p>David here, back again to give you the first of our class breakdowns. Everyone at inXile was a little proud that you chose The Bard for the first preview. That character class was what helped set the series apart from its contemporaries such as Wizardry and Ultima, and the image of a bard quaffing a drink as he heads into battle has been an enduring one. We have had some fun ideas updating the character class for the new game. Today, we&rsquo;ll be talking about two of the six classes that bards have access to: The Brew Master and the Rabble Rouser.</p> <h2 id="h:brew-master-just-one">Brew Master ("Just one more test, and then we are ready for the world!")</h2> <p>Bards are only as powerful as the brew that fuels them. In the original trilogy, bards must wet their whistle. When they&rsquo;ve sung too many songs, they&rsquo;d have to return to the Adventurer&rsquo;s Guild for a drink. Caith is a big, wild place, and the adventure extends well beyond the walls of Skara Brae! With that in mind, we didn&rsquo;t want to force the player to stop what they are doing and backtrack to the Guild every few fights. Still, we also wanted to hold true to the booze-fueled theme of the Bard's Tales of old. In The Bard's Tale IV, the Bard drinks as they fight to gain useful generate Spell Points, which are in turn used to sing their magical songs.</p> <p>&nbsp;<img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/250/047/54a3e05f7bfed70bf96b3688cd8391d6_original.gif?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1518730207&amp;auto=format&amp;gif-q=50&amp;q=92&amp;s=a232fcae72dce57bf6f04e071b78cf2f" alt="" width="493" height="370" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>A Bard doing what they do best - quaffing drinks!</em></p> <p><strong>Brew Masters</strong>&nbsp;are not only masters of brewing beers and spirits, they&rsquo;re masters of drunken brawling. The Bard&rsquo;s&nbsp;<strong>Basic Combat</strong><b>&nbsp;</b>skill teaches a bard to not only swing a hatchet, but also how to chug a drink in the heat of combat and craft Trow Squeezins, a drinkable power-up. Trow Squeezins, and really all brews in The Bard&rsquo;s Tale, do two things: grant Spell Points and build up the status effect "Drunken." The Spell Points can be saved up or spent on one of the bard&rsquo;s magical songs (which we&rsquo;ll cover below). As for the latter, being drunk also carries its own risks and rewards.</p> <p>How well a bard can hold their drink is based on their Intelligence stat. While your Drunken status effect is equal to or lower than your Intelligence stat, you&rsquo;re fine, dandy, and fighting-fit. However, the moment your Drunken status exceeds your Intelligence, your bard goes into a drunken fury, gaining a huge burst of Strength before blacking out for a few turns. Overindulging limits how many songs your bard can sing in a fight before going out of commission, but can also be used strategically to get yourself out of a jam. The boost in Strength they receive before blacking out empowers both their attacks and their songs, allowing for huge damage/defense spikes in a time of need.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/250/076/2830917cfb337f018038502dbd1903ea_original.gif?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1518730373&amp;auto=format&amp;gif-q=50&amp;q=92&amp;s=15f5468d5b21c2057e393280d2713b01" alt="" width="525" height="394" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Downing a bit of Elven Wine in the midst of battle.</em></p> <p>The next skill in the Brew Master line is&nbsp;<strong>Battle Brewer</strong>. Battle Brewer grants +1 Intelligence, allowing you to hold your liquor that much better. You&rsquo;ll need it, because it also teaches you how to craft Elven Wine. Elven Wine is notoriously potent. It grants +2 Spell Points, but also grants +4 Drunken. Since you can only chug booze once per turn, and some songs cost 2 or more Spell Points to sing, Elven Wine is your fastest way to pull off that clutch song. It&rsquo;s also your fastest way to end up asleep in a nearby gutter when your party is being bashed by some giant monster. Please drink responsibly.</p> <p><strong>Mean Drunk</strong>&nbsp;is another optional skill bards can pick up along the way. It&rsquo;s not required to achieve the title of Brew Master, but it sure is handy for them. The Mean Drunk skill grants your Bard a passive effect which causes them to throw a mug at the enemy after every drink, for a little extra tick of damage.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/250/086/44b16204751b49d275b132d83c489a3c_original.gif?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1518730416&amp;auto=format&amp;gif-q=50&amp;q=92&amp;s=35f7e25d7184359ba3dd85d4f1cc2029" alt="" width="460" height="345" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Mean Drunk in action. We're not sure what hurts more - the mug in the face, or the indignity.</em></p> <p>Continuing the Brew Master skill line is&nbsp;<strong>Town Drunk</strong>. Through this skill you learn to brew beer. It&rsquo;s not just any beer though - it's Dwarven Stout! This grants +1 Spell Point and +2 Drunken, but it also causes your next melee attack to be empowered with Dwarven belligerence, causing knockback to enemies you hit. The fact that some boozes grant bonus attack effects makes Bards very versatile. Knockback can be used to disrupt enemy positioning, causing a channeled attack to miss, or exposing a weak wizard that would have otherwise been protected by their ally.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/250/103/53df0ffb2ccde6c9c2836fd7b614548c_original.gif?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1518730474&amp;auto=format&amp;gif-q=50&amp;q=92&amp;s=6f7ec114d3201b7bcd3240cdfe90ce47" alt="" width="449" height="337" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Chugging down a bottle of Dwarven Stout.</em></p> <p>Lastly, we have the capstone skill in the class line:&nbsp;<strong>Brew Master</strong>. Brew Master grants the bard extra Strength, Intelligence, the recipe to brew Lowland Park Whisky, and the Shot of Courage passive. Lowland Park Whisky is the finest whisky in all the land, and in addition to granting Spell Points and Drunken, those who drink it are empowered with pompous indignation that causes their next melee attack to deal Mental Damage. That&rsquo;s a huge buff, as Mental Damage is used to break the focus of enemies and ignores Armor. Generally, attacks that deal Mental Damage are on the weak side, but when a bard is swigging Lowland Park Whisky, they can pump out the highest Mental Damage in the game. The Shot of Courage passive is nothing to sneeze at either. At the start of each combat, the bard takes a free drink, granting them a free spell point and a Drunken level.</p> <p>Brew Masters are powerful allies, able to choose the right brew for the job. A clever Brew Master also knows the exact moment to over-indulge for a huge burst of power to wipe out an enemy party. It&rsquo;s also useful to note that bards can drink any booze they come across, so if your party contains more than one bard, only one needs to go down this path to brew booze for the others.</p> <h2 id="h:rabble-rouser-time-f">Rabble Rouser ("Time for a bit of the rough and tumble!")</h2> <p>Rabble Rousers are probably the most aggressive of the Bards, emboldening their allies to perform great feats. If you want to boost your party's damage output, Rabble Rouser is the Bardic class for you.</p> <p>The first skill you learn on the way to becoming a great Rabble-Rousing musician is, appropriately,&nbsp;<strong>Hot Crossed Buns</strong>. Hot Crossed Buns is the first skill any bard learns as they pursue any of the four musical classes: Rabble Rouser, Troubadour, Minstrel, and War Chanter. From the Hot Crossed Buns skill, the bard learns to play the most basic instrument, the Bones. With their musical Bones, they can play&nbsp;<strong>Sanctuary Score</strong>, the first magical song a bard learns. By singing Sanctuary Score, the Bard shifts into a stance which provides healing for the entire party at the end of each turn, until they leave the stance willingly or mental damage breaks their focus, forcing them out of the stance.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/250/184/c6ac5204318964d7b025c9edb7439a72_original.gif?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1518730844&amp;auto=format&amp;gif-q=50&amp;q=92&amp;s=c0e5b1b30f16bd5f7a739828ae0ce0f9" alt="" width="599" height="450" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Entertaining and buffing the party with Sanctuary Score.</em></p> <p><strong>Rabble Rouser: Novice</strong><b>&nbsp;</b>is the first real step down the Rabble Rouser path. Here, the bard learns to play&nbsp;<strong>Rhyme of the Doutime</strong>&nbsp;on a Schofar. This new song reduces the cooldowns of all your allies' abilities, allowing a character to launch the same ability multiple times in a row, which can be incredibly power if an enemy needs just one more hit to go down, or that character is benefiting from lots of buffs.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/250/206/022fe06bb4eb9d64a67eafee297a081a_original.gif?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1518730896&amp;auto=format&amp;gif-q=50&amp;q=92&amp;s=5f14ab9ef5571650a8e7d520cb17e87a" alt="" width="507" height="380" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The Bard can help allies attack with increased frequency.</em></p> <p>If you become a&nbsp;<strong>Rabble Rouser: Master</strong>&nbsp;you gain access to an even more powerful song,&nbsp;<strong>Falkentyne&rsquo;s Fury</strong>. In this iteration of The Bard&rsquo;s Tale, Falkentyne&rsquo;s Fury marks all enemies with a special Falkentyne&rsquo;s Mark for a few turns. If that enemy takes damage while the Mark is on them, it explodes, dealing Falkentyne&rsquo;s Mark extra damage. This ability does a TON of damage, and drives you to spread the damage out across the entire enemy party before the Mark falls off, rather than focusing your damage on a single character like you normally might be inclined to do.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/250/217/1a8c81a1ef715e7591c43d476f0487b8_original.gif?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1518730956&amp;auto=format&amp;gif-q=50&amp;q=92&amp;s=4a5fd27ccc916d198e62b1fbf0b50d6e" alt="" width="477" height="358" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Falkentyne&rsquo;s Mark finishing off a pesky enemy.</em></p> <p>And lastly, if the Review Board deems you worthy, you can become a&nbsp;<strong>Grand Rabble Rouser</strong>. Grand Rabble Rouser grants you a suite of stat bonuses, but most importantly of all, it grants your party one bonus Opportunity point! Opportunity is probably the most sought-after upgrade in all of Bard&rsquo;s Tale, as each point lets you perform an additional action each turn. If it sounds like you might want to build out an entire party of Rabble Rousers, keep in mind you can&rsquo;t gain bonus Opportunity from the same skill twice, so it&rsquo;s probably best to diversify your party if you&rsquo;re going for an All-Bard "marching band" party build!</p> <p>I hope you enjoyed this class preview. As for our next one, let's see who won our second backer poll!</p> <h2 id="h:the-voters-have-spok">The Voters Have Spoken! Our Archetype Winner Is....</h2> <p>Now it's time to announce the winner of our 2nd Pick An Archetype contest:&nbsp;<strong>The Practitioner!</strong></p> <p>The Practitioner has a special role in the party. Like the rogue, they're glass cannon power houses. Unlike the Rogue, they deal all their damage using Spell Points instead of Opportunity, which allows your Practitioner to output extra damage for your party without spending Opportunity that would otherwise be used by other adventurers. The Practitioner has 5 classes to its name: the spell-slinging AOE-focused&nbsp;<strong>Conjurer</strong>, the crowd-controlling&nbsp;<strong>Magician</strong>, the enemy-disrupting&nbsp;<strong>Sorcerer</strong>, and the monster-summoning&nbsp;<strong>Wizard</strong>; and if you master three of those four classes, you can gain access to the ultimate Practitioner class, the&nbsp;<strong>Archmage</strong>. In the next class breakdown we'll discuss the various ways Practitioners generate Spell Points, as well as explore the summoning mechanics of the&nbsp;<strong>Wizard</strong>.</p> <p>Cheers,&nbsp;<br />David Rogers&nbsp;<br />Creative Director</p> <h2 id="h:backer-reward-update">Backer Reward Update - Of Wallpapers &amp; Album Covers</h2> <p>Paul here with the latest bits of backer business, including a backer reward update! In December, we provided the first couple of backer-exclusive wallpapers, showcasing high-resolution images of our game environments. We're pleased to announce that rest of them are being uploaded right now! Those of you who backed at a level where wallpapers were included (or added them on) should receive an email containing Wallpaper Set 2 from CrowdOx when they are available, provided you have confirmed your pledge. If you haven't confirmed your pledge yet, please&nbsp;<a href="https://inxile.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004293053-New-backer-site-for-The-Bard-s-Tale-IV" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">see here</a>&nbsp;for instructions on how to do so.</p> <p>In other backer reward news, we are in the process of finalizing the cover variant that we want to use for the Album Box. Brian put the question to folks on&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/BrianFargo/status/963206787393454080" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">social media</a>, and we're sharing that question with you here. Take a look at the image below and then&nbsp;<a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BT4CEalbumcover" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">click here</a>&nbsp;to let us know which one looks best to you!</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/250/328/442f8e03e35d68e6d8d3187babaecfb8_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1518731709&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=fee1661fc281bd1bb772d10b08e47e76" alt="" width="639" height="285" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><a href="https://imgur.com/vTp0yCS" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A, B, or C?</a></em></p> <p>And if you're looking for confirmation that "SUBTITLE TBA" means what you think it does, the answer is "Yes!" The game, like its predecessors, has a subtitle, one that we will be sharing with you down the road.</p> <h2 id="h:the-bard-in-2018">The Bard in 2018</h2> <p>Now that we're in 2018, a number of you have asked "when" this year you can expect to see the game. We're happy to announce that the game should be out in Q3 of this year. We're looking forward to getting the game to you (with alpha (soon!) and beta access to those backers along the way)!</p> <h2 id="h:crowdfunding-corner">Crowdfunding Corner</h2> <p>Our first crowdfunding recommendation this update has a Bard's Tale backer connection.&nbsp;<strong>Nightmarchers&nbsp;</strong>is an action RPG made by a team led by Scott Brown (aka Scorcherer), who you may remember we featured in the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv/posts/2073616" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">last update</a>. Nightmarchers is a post-apocalpytic RPG, but the twist is that it takes place in Hawaii, a setting that offers something new to long-time fans of the genre. The campaign is in its final days,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.fig.co/campaigns/nightmarchers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">so head on over to take a look</a>. We think you'll like what you see.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/250/372/7b0db29d3214099770843349c718d5f7_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1518731979&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=ee2654f794f0487dbc42d5c0dd700a43" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></p> <p>Our next recommendation is for all you original Bard's Tale trilogy fans. Many of you, like me, discovered The Bard's Tale series on Commodore computers. That's why this project, a documentary called&nbsp;<strong>The Commodore Story</strong>, caught our attention. The documentary is done and the crowdfunding campaign is for providing a few neat little extras that you may enjoy. If you grew up in that era and had a Commodore, this is definitely one that&nbsp;<a href="http://kck.st/2FUZQnH" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">you should check out</a>.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/020/250/389/73e1bc4cc502ca6dd225b33737314732_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1518732073&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=6ddc8275019e3e9c220fa77ce62ff902" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></p> <p>That's all for now! One last thing: the quotes next to the class names above aren't actually from the game, but are older pop culture references that came to mind when thinking about them. I'll be curious to see if anyone can identify both without having to search the internet for clues. Let me know in the comments!</p> <p>Hope everyone has had a great 2018 so far! Stay tuned for next update for all manner of Wizardly discussion (and other things)!</p> <p>Until Next Time,&nbsp;<br />Paul Marzagalli&nbsp;<br />Public Relations &amp; Community Manager&nbsp;<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/phimseto" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@phimseto</a></p> 2018-02-15T14:51:09-08:00inXile Entertainment The Bard's Tale IV Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team! A Quick Check-In on The Bard's Tale Development Season's Greetings, citizens of Caith! Chris Keenan, VP of Development, here to provide a status update on the production of The Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV. As you have seen in our previous updates featuring puzzle weapons, grid based movement, classes, etc., the Bard's Tale is hitting and passing a major critical milestone of all features and sub-features being completed and implemented into the game. Most of the elements of th... https://bardstale.inxile-entertainment.com/community/news/the-bards-tale-iv-update-40-seasons-greetings-from-the-bards-tale-team/?act=view&id=70 <h2 id="h:a-quick-check-in-on">A Quick Check-In on The Bard's Tale Development</h2> <div> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://i.cubeupload.com/E6e0xI.jpg" alt="" width="674" height="352" /></p> <p>Season's Greetings, citizens of Caith!</p> <p>Chris Keenan, VP of Development, here to provide a status update on the production of The Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV. As you have seen in our previous updates featuring puzzle weapons, grid based movement, classes, etc., the Bard's Tale is hitting and passing a major critical milestone of all features and sub-features being completed and implemented into the game. Most of the elements of the game are built and where they need to be. &nbsp;</p> <p>Now we are at the fun part of getting a feel for the game in its entirety, and most importantly in 2018 we are upping our QA efforts to minimize all blocker bugs, hangs, and crashes. We are proud to say that we wanted to get all community backer content into the game as soon as possible, and have been aggressively tackling everything from backer items, to item descriptions, to modeling our barfly heads! This also includes our stretch goal promises, and we continue to deliver those items as production rolls along. Furthermore, to our other backer promises, key team members are now focused designing our physical goods. Paul Marzagalli has done excellent job of collecting everyone&rsquo;s information and bridging the gap of backers&rsquo; requests with our production team. One example of your fellow design backers is Scott Brown aka &ldquo;Scorcherer&rdquo;, who has backed several inXile&rsquo;s projects including The Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV. In this game, Scorcherer is an informative ghost NPC in the world of Caith. &nbsp;</p> <p>Here is small quote from Scott Brown about his "Design a NPC" character: &nbsp;</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><i>&ldquo;It was really fun working with Paul and the Bard&rsquo;s Tale team to create my NPC Scorcherer. While I used that name for characters that I built in other crowdfunded games, this was a coming home party in a way &ndash; Scorcherer was the name of my main character when I played the original Bard&rsquo;s Tale games as a kid. I decided what was most important to me was that it was actually my old character here to pass along his wisdom to the new adventurers of Skara Brae and I let the team choose what fit best. We had a few conversations and they came up with the idea of him being a ghost, which I think is truly fantastic. Now Scorcherer will live for eternity!" &nbsp;</i></p> <p>I am very excited about these upcoming months. This is the best part of game development: furthering the &ldquo;fun factor." We have all our puzzle systems in, we're polishing the core combat loop, we've turned a corner, and now we're just playing the game and making it more fun. Lastly, with this year-end update, the team wanted to provide some new "stocking stuffers", give a look ahead to what you can expect for both backer updates and the game itself, and to get all of you as excited about 2018 as we are! &nbsp;</p> <p>Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!&nbsp;<br /><br />Chris Keenan&nbsp;<br />VP of Development</p> <h2 id="h:the-voters-have-spok">The Voters Have Spoken! Our Archetype Winner Is.... &nbsp;</h2> <p>Hello backers, David back again to announce the winner of our Pick An Archetype contest.&ensp;The winner was both surprising and yet totally expected:&nbsp;<b>The Bard! &nbsp;</b></p> <p>The Bard is perhaps the most versatile archetype in the game. The Bard has access to most of the melee weapon types, can access light or medium armor allowing them to gear towards strength or constitution builds, and the Bard&rsquo;s magical boozes grant some on-the-fly versatility.</p> <p>Within this archetype you can specialize into the following classes: the enemy-controlling&nbsp;<b>Troubadour</b>, the damage-bolstering&nbsp;<b>Rabble Rouser</b>, the aura-generating&nbsp;<b>War Chanter</b>, the resource-enhancing&nbsp;<b>Minstrel</b>, the nimble and lethal&nbsp;<b>Jester</b>, and the magical booze-concocting&nbsp;<b>Brew Master</b>.</p> <p>In our next update, we&rsquo;ll discuss not one but two of the Bard&rsquo;s classes: the Rabble Rouser and Brew Master. We&rsquo;ll explore the cool abilities and passives they provide and show you some examples of each in action.</p> <h2 id="h:one-vote-down-on-to">One Vote Down, On To The Next One! &nbsp;</h2> <p>While we prepare our Bard class preview, we'd like to also identify which archetype you'd like to see previewed next. We've readied another poll, this one without "Bard" as an option, so you're guaranteed to see something new.<a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/archetype2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">&nbsp;Just let us know which archetype you want</a>&nbsp;(and make your case in the Kickstarter comments)!</p> <p><a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/archetype2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/669/197/7fd59e10cf4b53edd7a6413b78158043_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1513913338&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=f14f3c28f2a51d015cdc224d90084d24" alt="" width="639" height="308" /></a></p> <p>We'll announce the winner in the next update, let you know which classes we've chosen, and preview them in the update after that. &nbsp;</p> <p>Thanks for reading,&nbsp;<br />David Rogers&nbsp;<br />Creative Director &nbsp;</p> <h2 id="h:tuning-up-the-legacy">"Tuning Up The Legacy" Preview &nbsp;</h2> <p>Hi again, everyone! Greg Underwood, Senior Programmer here.&nbsp;</p> <p>First up, thanks to one and all for the response to my discussion on the Grid Movement system. It spawned an interesting (and lengthy) thread on the forums and I wish I had enough free time to dig through it all! Since then I&rsquo;ve also had a chance to return to the problem and do some work on generating movement nodes in our more fluid, curve-filled overworld levels. It&rsquo;s a little outside the scope of this update, but I&rsquo;ll see if I can sneak some of the fun technical bits into a later one. It was quite a technical challenge that led me to a few interesting discoveries and insights.&nbsp;</p> <p>Our original idea for my updates was to focus on different aspects of the new games that harken back to the original games, with movement and the grid/nodes as an obvious first choice. It&rsquo;s not ready yet, but for our next entry I&rsquo;m working on a discussion of how Magic Mouths will feature in the new games. They were an important part of the original series &ndash; often conveying information critical to solving a puzzle or advancing your quest - so of course they have to make an appearance in the new games! This feature requires meshing together technology, art, design, and writing, so not surprisingly a lot of people have been involved. It&rsquo;s taking a little time to coordinate with everyone and find moments where our schedules align enough to have a quick chat. I&rsquo;m looking forward to bringing you the results in an upcoming backer update!&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;Until then, cheers and happy holidays!&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;-Greg</p> <h2 id="h:deck-the-walls-with">Deck the (Walls) with Pictures of Bard's Tale &nbsp;</h2> <p>Hi everyone, Paul here with some stocking stuffers for our backers: a pair of new screenshots showing off a couple of locations and creatures in the game. Special thanks goes to Art Director Maxx Kaufman and the art team for pulling these together.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://i.cubeupload.com/ylY6Dr.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/672/964/d0748e77a37c932a2e0e3308c3bcfd19_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1513955761&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=d182e20591dfe7fed50f338948578128" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://i.cubeupload.com/ErqVnp.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/672/970/daf274fba21514312d01e73b5e43119c_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1513955782&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=049d86bff7340854b997bfda6576d6a2" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></a></p> <p>For those of you who are getting the High-Res Digital Wallpapers reward (tiers $50, $70, and above), we're also making lossless 4K resolution versions of these available for you to download and use as desktop wallpapers! If you're one of those backers, keep an eye on your email inbox shortly for the download link. Look for another batch of wallpapers coming in a future update, too.</p> <h2 id="h:backer-site-update">Backer Site Update &nbsp;</h2> <p>Speaking of CrowdOx, thanks to all of you for your fantastic response to the new backer portal. It was absolutely fantastic seeing so many of you lock in your pledges and watching our Twitter feed flood with "I just helped make The Bard's Tale IV a reality" notifications! The backer portal re-launch was a great success for the vast majority of you, and we continue to work with those of you who have had some issues. Thanks for your patience as we get everyone caught up and locked in for the remainder of the journey. &nbsp;</p> <h2 id="h:coming-soon-a-new-tr">Coming Soon: A New Trailer! &nbsp;</h2> <p>Be sure to follow our social media channels for a head's up when the trailer goes live in the new year, and we'll be sure to include a link to it in our next backer update as well.</p> <p>Thanks to all of you who have helped get us to this point! In 2015, you helped us make a long-held dream a reality. In 2018, the Bard will be back!</p> <p>Happy Holidays,<br />Paul Marzagalli<br />Public Relations &amp; Community Manager<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/phimseto" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@phimseto&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> 2017-12-22T13:43:24-08:00inXile Entertainment The Bard's Tale IV Update 39: Puzzle Weapons, Backer Portal, and a Vote! TL;DR&nbsp;- Puzzle Weapons, Backer Portal Reopens, Contest Winner, Backer Rewards Update, Crowdfunding Corner Greetings, citizens of Caith! David Rogers here with another update for you. Today I'd like to talk about puzzle weapons in The Bard's Tale IV, one of our features that we teased during the Kickstarter campaign that is now beginning to take shape. What are puzzle weapons exactly, and how will they work? That's what I'm here to talk about today, so let's dive in!... https://bardstale.inxile-entertainment.com/community/news/the-bards-tale-iv-update-39-puzzle-weapons-backer-portal-and-a-vote/?act=view&id=69 <p style="text-align: center;"><b><img src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/446/804/16e6e5601ee0385ddd1c00e6ac762c67_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1512076351&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=2ae2afbc6ca18462981c4945c78ffdc3" /></b></p> <p><b>TL;DR</b>&nbsp;- Puzzle Weapons, Backer Portal Reopens, Contest Winner, Backer Rewards Update, Crowdfunding Corner</p> <p>Greetings, citizens of Caith! David Rogers here with another update for you. Today I'd like to talk about puzzle weapons in The Bard's Tale IV, one of our features that we teased during the Kickstarter campaign that is now beginning to take shape. What are puzzle weapons exactly, and how will they work? That's what I'm here to talk about today, so let's dive in!</p> <h2 id="h:the-hidden-power-of">The Hidden Power of Puzzle Weapons</h2> <p>Puzzle weapons are our spin on magic weapons in the world of The Bard&rsquo;s Tale, and part of the Enhanced Crafting System stretch goal that you helped achieve. We want the sense of discovery to begin anew when you loot a magic weapon, rather than end as soon as you look at the tooltip. If you think back to the Kickstarter, you might remember this concept video:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/QK3B_w3ojdM" width="560" height="314" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;We used that mockup to explore several core concepts about puzzle weapons that really enchanted us. We loved the idea that a weapon could hold dormant power, and that you could be holding onto one of these weapons for hours or days without realizing exactly how powerful the weapon truly was. We loved the idea that not every part of the weapon was fully obvious, and that you might have to poke around to find how to unlock the next step. We also liked the idea that your weapon would transform in some way when its true power was finally unlocked. These are all core tenets we held onto when designing the full puzzle weapon system for The Bards Tale IV.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/504/517/1741d333e991615c456e09253ae74027_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1512504663&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=14d092d12ee0b2cdba77775e23a7ed5b" alt="A Puzzle Weapon in full 3D glory (click for a larger version)." /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">A puzzle weapon in full 3D glory.</p> <p>This is what a puzzle weapon looks like now. Puzzle weapons were crafted by the elves in ages past, and left in the realm of men. They&rsquo;re infused with powerful magic that can only be unlocked by the worthy. When the player finds them, their true power lays dormant. To unleash that power and allow it to flow fully through the weapon, you must manipulate and examine the item in 3D. Components of the weapon may be missing, puzzles might be scrambled, and riddles are most definitely accounted for.</p> <p>Behind the scenes, puzzle weapons are generated from a large set of components, and found as high-tier loot as you adventure through the world. For example, a puzzle mace is constructed from a pommel, grip, collar, and bludgeon head. Each part features its own type of puzzle, and each puzzle has multiple variations and difficulties. The higher quality the item, the more ways to unlock its power you might find. The difficulty of the puzzles are based on your progress in the game, and how many other puzzle weapons you've previously solved.</p> <p>&nbsp;<img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/446/887/f8a4d12e412269fb73e0b25f16625fa0_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1512076700&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=74bf2a18b236da0c60ffeca826eb75a6" alt="The anatomy of a Puzzle Weapon (click for a larger version)." /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">The anatomy of a puzzle weapon.</p> <p>In addition to self-contained puzzles that see you manipulating components on the item, there are also puzzles that interact with other elements of gameplay. Some puzzle weapons have you scouring merchants for magic gems for your weapon; others having you seeking out ancient shrines; while others still have you seeking to defeat specific enemies to feed the weapon with their blood; all the while you&rsquo;re looking for hidden buttons, secret compartments, and manipulating small elements.</p> <h2 id="h:an-in-depth-look-at">An In-Depth Look at Puzzle Weapon Mechanics</h2> <p>Let's go through an example. You've just found an Elven Mace with an empty power gem slot, and a set of interlocking rings around it. Rotate those rings the right way, and you'll spell out a riddle written in Elven language. The verse might read something as obvious as &ldquo;As pure as snow and bright as moon, thy shining light is evil's doom.&rdquo; - but many may be more cryptic.</p> <p>Using the riddle, you'll determine which of the five differently colored Elven Seed Gems need to be inserted. Of course, finding one might require you to explore the world, barter with a merchant, or defeat a powerful enemy guarding it.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/447/041/87c1ca5f822c227ca0a283a69f2b59a6_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1512077522&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=2061a1b64b752b4fac17213441fd9eab" alt="Elven Seed Gems are rare, but can sometimes be found on enemies or when trading with merchants" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Elven Seed Gems are rare, but can sometimes be found on enemies or when trading with merchants.</p> <p>With the correct Elven Seed Gem inserted into the pommel, the weapon now has its power source, and begins glowing with magic! So what happens next?</p> <p>Each time you solve a component on a puzzle weapon, that weapon earns a&nbsp;<b>boon</b>. Boons are special effects that come in multiple strengths, and can evolve as you continue to unlock your weapon's powers. One boon category is the Elder boon, which has three strengths:&nbsp;<b>Elder</b>,&nbsp;<b>Of Ancient Slumber</b>, and&nbsp;<b>Ancestral</b>. Your elven mace may become an&nbsp;<b>Elder Elven</b>&nbsp;<b>Mace</b>, meaning that its ability gains damage every single turn. Solve another component, and it becomes an&nbsp;<b>Elven Mace of Ancient Slumber</b>, which means that the first time it&rsquo;s used in combat, it&rsquo;s awoken, and deals a massive amount of bonus damage. Fully unlocking the weapon's true power could turn your mace into an&nbsp;<b>Ancestral Elven Mace</b>, which would cause this weapon to accumulate a large amount of bonus damage each turn it goes unused. And just to drive the point home, when you achieve the final tier of boon, the weapon visibly transforms to indicate that its magic is fully realized.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/504/525/b8aa2b61916bb9fbf4fa555377144c9b_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1512504728&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=227da5df7ebb984f0d30e2b13ea101d5" alt="An unsolved Puzzle Weapon sword along with its completed counterpart (click for a larger version)." /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">An unsolved puzzle sword along with its completed version.</p> <p>But don&rsquo;t get too eager buying up every Seed Gem you see and haphazardly jamming ithem into your puzzle weapons. The elves are strict folk and demand perfection. When answering riddles on your puzzle weapons, incorrect answers are punished with a&nbsp;<b>curse</b>. Curses are negative effects that apply to attacks made by that weapon. Similar to boons, they start out light, but as you answer question incorrectly time and time again, the curse grows in severity. One of our curse categories is&nbsp;<b>Decaying</b>, which has three tiers of severity:&nbsp;<b>Dull</b>,&nbsp;<b>Chipped</b>, and&nbsp;<b>Rust-Pocked</b>. The first time you fail a riddle, your Elven Mace may become a&nbsp;<b>Dull Elven Mace&nbsp;</b>and suffer from a slight reduction in damage. Not so bad, even with the damage reduction it may still be the best weapon you have available. If you fail a riddle a second time, it becomes a&nbsp;<b>Chipped Elven Mace</b>&nbsp;instead. Now, instead of being dull, it has a % chance to be unusable for the rest of the fight after a single attack. If you continue to insist on guessing at the solution to the riddle, it finally becomes a&nbsp;<b>Rust-Pocked Elven Mace</b>, which imparts a much harsher curse: you&rsquo;re only ever able to activate this weapon&rsquo;s ability once per combat. Curses aren&rsquo;t designed to make you throw away the weapon outright, but we do want you to think twice about trying to brute-force your way to a solution. There may be a way to remove curses in game, but don't expect it to be cheap or readily available.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/447/163/c6ceb567103b514e7d9f5c5f05c649bb_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1512078138&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=c682a99e1d8d2cbe70ac3fc6ab3922de" alt="A Puzzle Weapon staff in its final form" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">A puzzle weapon staff in its final form.</p> <p>Both boons and curses influence how you use your weapon in combat, or how you might build a character. For example, a Rust-Pocked Ancestral Elven Dagger would lead to a boss-obliterating rogue build where you wait 5 or 6 turns to accrue an insane amount of bonus damage before using other strength-amplifying abilities to land a walloping final blow. Unlocking the true power of a puzzle weapon is a quest in its own right, and one well worth the effort if you ever hope to save the world of Caith.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/447/182/01ca0d44f1992ea8a707249021c1a889_original.gif?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1512078210&amp;auto=format&amp;gif-q=50&amp;q=92&amp;s=fb79a3d5b80c17ec0d5923b03a28a9e1" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">A work-in-progress shot of one of our puzzle components: the grip maze.</p> <h2 id="h:your-chance-to-help">Your Chance to Help Shape Our Next Update</h2> <p>With the game moving along in development, we'll be previewing character classes in our coming Kickstarter updates. Each of our character classes are found under one of four archetypes - Fighter, Practitioner, Rogue, and Bard. Classes are specialization lines within an archetype, and each archetype has between 4-6 classes. For example, if you'd like to play a Commander, you'd find them under the Fighter archetype. If you wanted to create a Sorcerer, you would find them under the Practitioner archetype. We couldn't quite decide on which class to preview first, so we decided to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BT4archetype" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ask for your help</a>!&nbsp;<a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BT4archetype" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Vote on which archetype you'd like</a>to see a preview from, and we'll choose a class to highlight in a future update. We will have more to say on the archetypes and all the classes moving forward and the game moves closer to release.</p> <p><a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BT4archetype" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/447/209/3e174256f3e7b5a5c8434b4347b1ad0f_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1512078338&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=f11f6732690ecd80577c3125af1d29e8" /></a></p> <p>Thanks for reading,&nbsp;<br />David Rogers&nbsp;<br />Creative Director</p> <h2 id="h:a-portal-appears">A Portal Appears!</h2> <p>Hi everyone, Paul here with some long awaited news: the&nbsp;<a href="https://app.crowdox.com/projects/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Backer Portal is live once again</a>! As you may have seen in a previous update, we've been moving our backer data from our own web site to CrowdOx, which we've also used on Wasteland 3 with great results.</p> <p>&nbsp;<a href="https://app.crowdox.com/projects/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/447/471/e905bbca92d7fe98624a6fba4228785f_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1512079856&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=ac168551679d8103b407f553fcfb1a6d" /></a></p> <p>We'll be sending out emails to everyone soon, but you can get a head-start by&nbsp;<a href="https://app.crowdox.com/retrieve/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">visiting CrowdOx</a>&nbsp;and entering the email address you used on Kickstarter. CrowdOx will then send you a link that you can use to confirm your backer info and rewards. Once you receive the email and click on the link provided, you will be brought to a survey page that will walk you through the pledge confirmation process.&nbsp;After you have confirmed your pledge, you will be able to access currently available awards, and see which ones you'll be receiving at a future date. Be sure to double-check to ensure details were imported correctly! This is also a great opportunity to update your shipping address if you had a reward level with physical goods included. If you have any problem with this process, you can write us via the support contact info listed on the page or at our&nbsp;<a href="https://inxile.zendesk.com/hc/en-us" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Help Center</a>.</p> <p>In addition, this means that pledge upgrades, add-ons, and late backer pledging are once again available. If you were waiting on a particular reward level or add-on, or you had a friend who was waiting on backing the game, now's the time! Help us spread the word!</p> <ul> <li>When doing your backer survey for CrowdOx, there won't be a choice for Steam or GOG code for your copy of The Bard's Tale IV. That option will become available close to the game's release.</li> <li>Once you've completed and submitted your backer survey for CrowdOx, you will be sent another email with links to any unclaimed rewards (such as game codes). The email won't necessarily go out right away, so give it a few minutes to show up and be sure to check your spam folder, too.</li> <li>If you have a problem with any part of this process or your pledge in general, you can&nbsp;<a href="https://inxile.zendesk.com/hc/en-us" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">reach out to us</a>&nbsp;for help.</li> <li>The permanent link for the backer site is:&nbsp;<a href="https://app.crowdox.com/projects/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">https://app.crowdox.com/projects/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv</a></li> </ul> <h2 id="h:backer-rewards-updat">Backer Rewards Update</h2> <p>In our&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv/posts/1914099" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">previous update</a>, inXile's own Greg Underwood confessed to initially pirating the original Bard's Tale before finally purchasing it. Fortunately, having Brian Fargo for a boss meant that he was able to deliver his apology in person, who absolved him of his past transgressions with this very special certificate:</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/449/147/315ac832f1340bd406a7206c8a692535_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1512088516&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=d6af2ebac066a9d361d195db6e81bec0" alt="The Certificate of Absolution" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">The Certificate of Absolution.</p> <p>&nbsp;<img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/449/152/20dec2a451a5ca86f962d2e347b6fd2c_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1512088552&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=9b20b9ffcb3adfbff8c32df5261d9e9f" alt="Brian signing the very first certificate for Greg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Brian signing the very first certificate for Greg.</p> <p>&nbsp;Of course, many of our Kickstarter backers also asked to be forgiven, and we didn't want to keep Brian's blessing a Greg-exclusive reward. So, if you are one of our lucky backers who had the Guilt Absolution reward, you will now be able to find a high-res, printable version of this Certificate of Absolution by&nbsp;<a href="https://app.crowdox.com/retrieve/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">visiting CrowdOx</a>&nbsp;and completing your backer survey!</p> <h2 id="h:our-second-contest-w">Our Second Contest Winner!</h2> <p>Thanks to everyone who participated in our second "Write an Item Description" contest. We're pleased to announce that the winner of our drawing is... *drumroll*</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/449/330/c364d77d307472ab374819877b5ea0df_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1512089805&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=58253f7b73c7085b1cad57dbc92d4645" /></p> <p>&nbsp;...<b>George Hope</b>! George, drop us a private message on Kickstarter, and we'll get the process going! Thanks to all of you who participated! Remember - this second contest only happened because of how enthusiastic you have been about the game! We appreciate your support!</p> <h2 id="h:crowdfunding-corner">Crowdfunding Corner</h2> <p>Our suggestion for today's update is the quirky sci-fi adventure&nbsp;<a href="https://www.fig.co/campaigns/obelus" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Obelus</a>, where you play "an interplanetary insurance salesman, travelling and fighting aggressive fauna across the galaxy with no one but your trusty corporation approved mech AI for company." It's such a strange hook for a game, especially one that describes itself as an arcade combat sidescroller. With that narrative hook and some great looking pixel art design, we couldn't help but be intrigued.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.fig.co/campaigns/obelus" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">See for yourself</a>!</p> <p><a href="https://www.fig.co/campaigns/obelus" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/019/449/682/332b05f5d0a918c53094b8bcfea2f11c_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1512091992&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=fd0a45eb1affd84e5cc48f1d37b14f43" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That's it for now! You'll hear from us again later this month for our holiday well-wishes and a look forward to the future! In the meanwhile, remember to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BT4archetype" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">vote in the poll</a>&nbsp;for our next update, and leave your comments below to let us know which archetype should win and which character class you hope to see revealed!</p> <p>Until next update,&nbsp;<br />Paul Marzagalli&nbsp;<br />Public Relations &amp; Community Manager&nbsp;<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/phimseto" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@phimseto</a></p> 2017-12-11T14:22:28-08:00inXile Entertainment The Bard's Tale IV Update 38: Everything Old Is New Again TL; DR:&nbsp;Bard's Tale (2004) news, Backer Portal Update, Tuning Up the Legacy: Grid Movement, BT4 in PC Gamer, inXile at E3, Contest Winner, Crowdfunding Corner The (Other) Bard's Tale Makes A Triumphant Return Hi all, Paul here. The latest "big news" for inXile is the remastered (and "resnarkled") port of inXile's first title, The Bard's Tale!&nbsp; &nbsp; A spin-off of The Bard's Tale classic series, the 2004 PC, PS2, and Xbox title was an action RPG where you played... https://bardstale.inxile-entertainment.com/community/news/the-bards-tale-iv-update-38-everything-old-is-new-again/?act=view&id=67 <p><b>TL; DR:&nbsp;</b>Bard's Tale (2004) news, Backer Portal Update, Tuning Up the Legacy: Grid Movement, BT4 in PC Gamer, inXile at E3, Contest Winner, Crowdfunding Corner</p> <h2 id="h:the-other-bards-tale">The (Other) Bard's Tale Makes A Triumphant Return</h2> <p>Hi all, Paul here. The latest "big news" for inXile is the remastered (and "resnarkled") port of inXile's first title, The Bard's Tale!&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;<a href="https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/the-bards-tale-remastered-and-resnarkled-ps4/"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/202/270/189303643c9fb9ef109217e5f4f0c2aa_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504625499&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=2e5d7c6c3496305122f244ba1bfd7804" alt="" width="639" height="334" /></a></p> <p>A spin-off of The Bard's Tale classic series, the 2004 PC, PS2, and Xbox title was an action RPG where you played as the titular Bard (voiced by Cary Elwes), star of the game and center of his own universe, complete with his own narrator voiced by the late, great Tony Jay. The game was praised in particular for its comedic elements and its soundtrack, most especially its rendition of folk classic "Beer, Beer, Beer, or An Ode to Charlie Mopps".</p> <p>Recently, we partnered with our friends at Square One Games, who worked on the Android and iOS versions, in order to bring it to PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. You can get it now in North America and Europe via the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/the-bards-tale-remastered-and-resnarkled-ps4/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Playstation Store</a>. While it isn't directly related to the classic Bard's Tale trilogy, or The Bard's Tale IV, we're thrilled to bring the game to a new audience, and if you played the game back in the day and want to revisit it on PS4, now's a great time!</p> <h2 id="h:backer-portal-update">Backer Portal Update: Almost There...</h2> <p>You may remember from our&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv/posts/1901203" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">last update</a>&nbsp;that we're redoing our Bard's Tale IV backer web site in partnership with CrowdOx. We are working with them to finalize the transition. However, it's taken a bit longer than we anticipated on account of some required platform changes to bring over all the data smoothly. As soon as things are ready, you will receive an email prompting you to confim your pledge details, and of course, we'll also post an update to let you all know that's coming too. Once that happens, you will be able to once again track and access your backer rewards on CrowdOx, as well as change your contact and shipping information.&nbsp;</p> <p>And now to switch gears into Bard's Tale IV production news, I'm handing over the update to Greg Underwood, who's here to talk about interpreting classic series elements for the new game.</p> <h2 id="h:from-player-to-progr">From Player To Programmer</h2> <p>Hi, my name is Greg Underwood and I&rsquo;m a Senior Programmer here on the Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV team.</p> <p>I joined inXile specifically to work on The Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV, because the game means a lot to me. In a very real way, the original Bard&rsquo;s Tale is responsible for starting me on the path to my Games career. I played the original games when they came out for the Apple IIgs and back then I was a broke kid and games were a thing friends shared, either by lending or, well, to be blunt, copying. If you had a computer with two drives it was your duty to make copies for your friends! That&rsquo;s how I originally came across The Bard&rsquo;s Tale &ndash; a friend gave me a copy they&rsquo;d made, hand-written label and all. Most of the other games in that exchange were soon forgotten as I played The Bard's Tale.</p> <p>Over the next months I slowly mapped it out, working with other friends to figure out the puzzles and the exploits to gain levels (Catacombs level 3, the 36 Ghouls &amp; 69 Wights fight over and over was a revelation). Eventually I got to the final level of Mangar&rsquo;s tower and found the final room. I knew Mangar was in there - it was the only room I hadn't entered in the only map I hadn't finished. Even after figuring out it was the last room it took me a solid week to work up the courage to actually go in. What would this most epic of fights be? How could my party survive? Had I leveled up enough? Would my spells even be effective?</p> <p>When I finally worked up the courage and entered the room... nothing.&nbsp;<b>Crash.</b>&nbsp;The pirated copy of the game just crashed!</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/205/528/f35d4cdca57f762646be8f76c1150993_original.gif?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504638471&amp;auto=format&amp;gif-q=50&amp;q=92&amp;s=4b4b71a3f9225f1fc743523e987d73e9" alt="" width="639" height="399" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>No Mangar for you, Greg!</em></p> <p>I tried again &ndash; another crash. A third time &ndash; crash. Eventually it dawned on me that this was no accident, rather a deliberate copy protection mechanism. That set me back &ndash; how could the game know it was copied?! The earlier tricks of asking for street names was clever, but also easy enough to get around &ndash; when my friends and I were stymied by that we took an afternoon to go around to every square in Skara Brae and find out the street name and mark it on our map. But this &ndash; this was some next-level technical wizardry. I didn&rsquo;t know then about the tricks games developers were using to prevent piracy &ndash; &ldquo;empty&rdquo; sectors on the drive that had very specific gibberish in it that the disk-copy programs would skip.</p> <p>So I did what had to be done &ndash; it was time to buy a copy. I scraped together what cash I could, did a few chores for a bit more, skipped lunch at school for a day or two and finally had enough cash. I went to Microcenter and bought a copy of the game. That act &ndash; actually paying money - my money! - for a game got me thinking. I had just given someone at the store money for a game. I didn&rsquo;t understand all the ins and outs of games industry commerce but presumably that meant the store then gave some of that money to the people who made the game. Someone had just gotten paid, indirectly, by me, to make a game! This was a revelation and opened a new world of possibilities. Perhaps&hellip; some day &hellip; that person who got money to make games &hellip; could be me?</p> <p>I spent the next several years playing more games (including, of course BT 2 and 3) and learning more about computers and software. When it came time to do my Senior project in high school I made a game based loosely on both The Bard&rsquo;s Tale and Might And Magic (another favorite of mine at the time). That got me nominated for a scholarship, and I believe helped get me placed directly into the College of Computer Science when I went to university the next year. The Bard&rsquo;s Tale also helped influence the people I became friends with &ndash; more than once I connected with people over having played the games. While earning my degree I continued playing as many games as I could get my hands on and working on all kinds of game projects on the side. The plan hadn't changed and as I approached graduation I started applying to game companies. But I was caught in the classic catch-22 when new to a field &ndash; they all wanted to see experience before they would give me a job that would let me get the experience they wanted to see. I found my solution in the form of doing some contracting work on flight simulators for the US Air Force &ndash; I figured that military simulators are pretty close to games, so maybe that would work. Since then, I&rsquo;ve worked for a number of companies both in the games industry including EA, Ubisoft, United Front Games, and outside games at places like Dreamworks Animation. Some of the most notable projects I've been on would be some of the Command and Conquer games, FIFA soccer, Need for Speed, SimCity, and a movie credit in Sharktale. I&rsquo;ve worked in a wide range of positions one a wide array of projects. All because having to buy The Bard&rsquo;s Tale got me thinking...</p> <p>Which is also why I backed the BT IV Kickstarter as soon as it came out! I paused for a second on the &ldquo;Absolution&rdquo; level contribution, but then remembered I had (eventually) actually paid for my copy, so didn&rsquo;t require it. And later, when the backer email came out saying they were hiring&hellip; well, I had to apply.&nbsp;These were some of the people who shaped... well, my entire life. I wrote what I hoped wasn&rsquo;t too much of a fan-boy cover letter and hit send. And what do you know? After some back and forth on the details and time...it worked out and now here I am! It has been an amazing journey so far!</p> <h2 id="h:tuning-up-the-legacy">Tuning up the Legacy: Grid Movement</h2> <p>What are the duties of a Senior Programmer on Bard's Tale IV? Well, it varies a lot from day to day. A lot of the code I&rsquo;m working on is plumbing-level stuff &ndash; handling loading and in-memory storage of game data, building the components we&rsquo;ll use to make the puzzles and traps in game (kind of like Lego-bricks for code), save and load of game data, etc. I also range up to do some UI implementation or bolt in the occasional player ability. Another aspect of my job is to act as a voice for the fans on the team &ndash; my experience as a player and fan of the original games is part of why they hired me. And so far, they&rsquo;ve been great about listening to my suggestions and working to incorporate them. A few of those are in the works and today I'd like to introduce you to the first returning mechanic: grid movement.</p> <p>RPGs back in the day were built on a grid, both because it was familiar (via table-top games like D&amp;D) and because computers and software wouldn&rsquo;t be able to handle proper 1st person free movement for another 10 years or so.&nbsp; Early RPGs like The Bard&rsquo;s Tale not only used a grid, but the fact that it was a grid was often part of the puzzle of the game.&nbsp; You knew there were hidden areas on the map because it was a grid and your careful mapping (on graph paper, no less!&nbsp; No automappers yet) shows there&rsquo;s a spot you can&rsquo;t see how to get to.&nbsp; That&rsquo;s an aspect we wanted to bring forward into this new Bard&rsquo;s Tale game, so supporting a grid-based movement mode has always been a high priority.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/202/655/864660e4e001d4425575b606c892874c_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504627282&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=bc5906b4d5936e410b213e771682db73" alt="" width="550" height="414" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The (original) Bard's Tale.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;<img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/202/677/40a6519a5e9adb3872bdf415de55f3f4_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504627341&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=5ddafc5cd78e5673211547c892d169ad" alt="" width="639" height="574" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Pictures courtesy of The Bard's Tale Online.</em></p> <p>However, time has moved on and we want to take advantage of the many benefits of free movement, too.&nbsp; For instance, it allows for more natural, organic, outdoor areas.&nbsp; It also helps areas you wouldn&rsquo;t think of as being overly organic or natural, like castle or dungeon interiors.&nbsp; A nicely laid out building interior has a lot more soft corners and curves to it than you&rsquo;d at first think based solely on the floorplan. &nbsp;More importantly, while parts of the building align on a grid seldom do level designers align the entire floorplan to a grid.&nbsp; Finding a system that works with both a free-flowing world and grid based movement presents some interesting challenges.&nbsp; Take for example this screenshot of the interior of one of the castles:</p> <p><a href="https://i.imgur.com/RVEEe6y.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/202/867/0a2f31eeec31e20119101fcd63491789_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504628300&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=3fe72514c4078d8fff57c91116b52ae9" alt="" width="639" height="301" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Note: This shot is set up with debug lighting to make it easier to see what's going on - final art will look much less plastic!</em></p> <p>As you can see, the floor plan might be a straight hallway with 90 degree turns, but the art team has done their job in decorating the area and making it feel lived in. This landing with columns, candle stands, benches, and the stag statue create various obstacles to the movement grid system (visualized here as black squares with the yellow arrows connecting them). This layout is a first pass, partially automatically generated using a system I built to take some of the workload off our designers. This allows us to spend more time later on fine-tuning the level to our satisfaction.</p> <p>You can see how the grid of nodes coming up the stairs wouldn't work well continued down the area between the columns. We will most likely adjust the grid to have a single path go down the center of the columns, and it may or may not line up cleanly to let you walk between the columns in grid movement mode (I've drawn the likely path in red below).</p> <p><a href="https://i.imgur.com/RVEEe6y.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/203/016/0272f3bd2273674e4f21074e4881be2f_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504628837&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=616e8de55a22e90fc8953f814e2b86b8" alt="" width="639" height="301" /></a></p> <p>Another concern is how combat relates to movement nodes. A natural assumption is that combat can only happen on a movement node, but movement nodes and combat placement have somewhat conflicting requirements. Movement needs to feel regular and natural, following halls and turns. Combat needs to be placed such that all enemies can line up on their combat gird positions and not be placed inside of a wall. So we decided we needed to split out a separate combat placement grid from the movement grid. I then built tools to help identify if a given combat placement would have concerns with overlapping props or be too close to a wall. This lets the art and design teams go through a level and adjust the placement or collision settings on various objects and make sure there are viable combat start positions available.</p> <p>Here is an example of the movement grid (changed to green lines here) and combat grid (red, with obstructions noted by the yellow lines). This particular area obviously still needs some attention from level design and art to clean up so combat can be sure to have enough space to start.</p> <p><a href="https://i.imgur.com/GEx5qP7.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/203/046/a3574d8cb92b9b30689e8d989bc6f552_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504628974&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=2620fc5a96d849dd43c640674b6b3383" alt="" width="639" height="300" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://i.imgur.com/txwPAkP.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/203/066/9b66d0df3355b39bb7eac4787c796d5b_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504629038&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=fe4a4207694f791c6cc404f84eb7bb36" alt="" width="639" height="299" /></a></p> <p>As you can see, even with a tool that generates nodes for you, there's still a fair bit of work to make it all fit and feel just right, something worthy of those players who remember the graph paper days. This is just some of what I've been working on for The Bard's Tale IV and I'm looking forward to talking about more in the weeks and months to come.</p> <p>-Greg</p> <h2 id="h:icymi-an-in-depth-lo">ICYMI: An In-Depth Look at The Bard's Tale IV in PC Gamer</h2> <p>Hi everyone, Paul here again. Shortly before E3, PC Gamer visited inXile's Newport studio to take a look at The Bard's Tale IV. Their coverage of that visit appeared in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/bards-tale-4-first-look-reinventing-the-dungeon-crawler/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">this article</a>. It is a great read for those of you who may have missed it when it came out.</p> <h2 id="h:the-bard-tells-tales">The Bard Tells Tales at E3</h2> <p>In June, the inXile crew hit E3, led by Bard's Tale IV team leads Jeff Pellegrin and David Rogers. For inXile, E3 was mostly behind-the-scenes meetings with business partners, but the team found time to hit the expo floor and meet up with some fans and old friends. Here are a few pictures from the event.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/203/242/ff52935cc1a8e88b2c6ab12f99e8339f_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504629711&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=0f9fcb82a8c6a68485530953aa6092ec" alt="" width="480" height="360" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Hanging out with fellow Louisiana devs Pixel Dash (based out of Baton Rouge).</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/203/252/36e33b023a038d34d4165687ff493968_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504629755&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=38419d295001a0df040ba0c2b1c05036" alt="" width="480" height="360" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Pictured with representatives from LED and GNO Inc., two of the economic groups that are helping drive Louisiana's tech growth.</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/203/266/2bd68e6079c49115c1850afabf6df4b9_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504629810&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=e38619623a0ff5533f8acffa8fad178f" alt="" width="480" height="640" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Jeff with Final Fantasy XIV Producer Yoshi-P.</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/203/283/12d05b30d82dda2233f733b997d50f19_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504629859&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=b76fb2c420843805be261a6c2327e713" alt="" width="360" height="480" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>"Don't mind us, fellas. Just borrowing the dragon for Bard's Tale IV. We'll bring it back!"</em></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <h2>And the winner is...</h2> <p>You may recall in our last update that, courtesy of the generosity of one of our backers, we offered up folks the opportunity to write an item description for something in the game. After the random drawing, we are pleased to announce the name of our winner...</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/207/496/c364d77d307472ab374819877b5ea0df_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504646231&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=c5971f21cc90abc0b9c6b536fe8532f3" alt="" width="639" height="227" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>*drumroll*</em></p> <p>...<b>Dean Ferguson!</b></p> <p>Dean, please check your inbox here on Kickstarter. We've dropped you a note! Looking forward to working with you!</p> <h2 id="h:and-the-winner-will">And the winner will be...</h2> <p>We have to admin: we were overwhelmed by your support and the sheer number of entries. We loved the excitement and comments the contest generated, and so did the backer whose generosity allowed for it. Thanks to your enthusiasm, we are&nbsp;<b>running the same contest again&nbsp;</b>- not courtesy of another backer, but serving it up like the bard's favorite drink: this one is on the house!</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/207/578/14f63900192bb6c6381482f74165ed6f_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504646833&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=6da0cabfa019f8b543273cdcc695535e" alt="" width="639" height="402" /></p> <p>Please let us know in the comments section of this update on <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv/posts/1914099" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Kickstarter</a> by&nbsp;<b>September 15th</b>&nbsp;if you'd like be considered, and we'll have another drawing.&nbsp;</p> <h2 id="h:crowdfunding-corner">Crowdfunding Corner</h2> <p>This month, we feature two Kickstarter projects that caught our eye. The first one is in its final stretch: a sRPG called The Iron Oath which promises tactical combat and a narrative with reactive depth. Click on the picture to check it out.</p> <p>&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/312751524/the-iron-oath-dark-turn-based-tactical-rpg/description" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/203/378/1a97395cb129e0228ffd3f75ecd2a1dd_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504630201&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=4bf3011a0cbdeb2e392482ea0bebd36e" alt="" width="639" height="334" /></a></p> <p>The second game features another tabletop initiative from our pals over at Obsidian. They've teamed up with indie developer&nbsp;Danny Zondervan to create Scrimish, a fast-paced card game that utilizes Obsidian's "Pillars of Eternity" characters and concepts. Click on the pic for gameplay demos and details.</p> <p>&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1577897829/scrimish-pillars-of-eternity-decks-battle-on/description" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/018/203/401/622bec42f6669debfb799ed94f804e9c_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1504630270&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=ed23ff2be7c7dd2cef5c9cdec34adc43" alt="" width="639" height="425" /></a></p> <p>That's it for now! See you again as soon as the Backer Portal goes live!&nbsp;<br /><br />Until next update,&nbsp;<br />Paul Marzagalli&nbsp;&nbsp;<br />Public Relations &amp; Community Manager&nbsp;<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/phimseto" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@phimseto</a></p> 2017-09-05T15:56:41-07:00inXile Entertainment The Bard's Tale IV Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century TL; DR:&nbsp;A message from Brian Fargo and Nathan Long, backer news &amp; contest, BT Remaster development update, and an old friend returns home to Skara Brae... Updating the Legacy First, we've got a write-up from Brian Fargo on updating The Bard's Tale series for the 21st century: Hard to believe it's been nearly two years already since the game's Kickstarter campaign.&nbsp;I want you all to know that I'm very pleased with the way The Bard's Tale 4 is shaping up. The... https://bardstale.inxile-entertainment.com/community/news/the-bards-tale-iv-update-37-bringing-an-iconic-series-into-the-21st-century/?act=view&id=68 <p><b>TL; DR:&nbsp;</b>A message from Brian Fargo and Nathan Long, backer news &amp; contest, BT Remaster development update, and an old friend returns home to Skara Brae...</p> <h2 id="h:updating-the-legacy">Updating the Legacy</h2> <p>First, we've got a write-up from Brian Fargo on updating The Bard's Tale series for the 21st century:</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/017/130/307/df7ba903b06621f29c4a89c4dfa16c66_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1497628960&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=b9b6916b9832f43ff5b289c0ab6899cc" alt="" width="639" height="334" /></p> <p>Hard to believe it's been nearly two years already since the game's Kickstarter campaign.&nbsp;I want you all to know that I'm very pleased with the way The Bard's Tale 4 is shaping up. The visuals are outstanding, the level design is strong, the puzzles are clever, and much of the personality and charm is starting to make it in. We've also worked out a deal to have someone very special provide input - you can find out about him at the end of the update. It's really coming together now and I can't wait to show you more.</p> <p>Games today demand a deeper lore and sense of world than back in the day. My goal is to broaden the Bard's Tale world without losing the key people, places, spells, bard songs, etc. When we created Bard&rsquo;s Tale back in 1985 we were young and excitable...more interested in mapping dungeons and torturing our players with teleporters, brutal combats, spinners, and darkness areas, than we were in telling a coherent story. We threw everything except the kitchen sink into those games - Nazis, ninjas, zen masters, robots, vampires, lizard men. We weren't exactly concerned with it making sense. Why did Mangar trap Skara Brae in ice? Does anybody ever say?</p> <p>Well, we're for sure going to keep all the villains: Mangar, Lagoth Zanta, and the Mad God Tarjan. And we gotta keep Roscoe's and Garth's and the Adventurer&rsquo;s Guild. Skara Brae's in there too, and the bard songs, the old spell names, along with all of the character classes including the ever popular Archmage. But knowing the lore is a bit thin and inconsistent (a lot of players made up better stories during their play-throughs than the games actually told) we needed to add some depth to the world. How do we stay true to the spirit and substance of the original games while adding the depth, history, and personality that today's players expect from a modern game?</p> <p>Maybe we should start by figuring out how the events of the first three games fit together. How are Mangar, Lagoth Zanta, and Tarjan connected? What ambition drove them? Where did they come from? In what kind of world would beings of such power exist? What is the history behind it all? And can we give it all a unique flavor that will allow it to stand out from other fantasy games?</p> <p>The Bard&rsquo;s Tale was based loosely on Scottish and Orkney Island folklore so this seemed a good place to fill out the world and give it a unique look and feel. So let's deepen that - give it the mood, melancholy and menace of an old Celtic fairy tale. Let's make a world where elves keep humans as pets, where dwarves demand impossible payments for a broken deal, where the trow are a cursed and vagabond race, where Mangar and Lagoth Zanta and Tarjan were all corrupted by the whispers of evil entities from before the rise of man, where a ring of standing stones or an old stone arch or a tune whistled in a deep forest glade might open a door to worlds beyond the mortal realm.</p> <p>Of course going in this direction required making some hard choices. Elves and dwarves are entirely in keeping with old Scottish lore. But orcs and hobbits are a bit played out and inventions of more modern authors, and aren't such a good fit. We dug deeper into the Orkney fairytales and found a race with a long and storied connection to Scottish legends, the Trow. So they will be our third non-human race, with unique combat abilities and useful songs they can teach your bard.</p> <p>In the end it's a balancing act. Fighting to keep as many of the touch-points of the original Bard&rsquo;s Tale series as we can, while at the same time filling out the story, giving the background some consistency, and updating the combat, graphics, and game-play to state of the art standards. And with every design decision, we are doing our best to make The Bard's Tale IV a game that new players will love and old fans will welcome as a true sequel to the original Bard's Tale trilogy.</p> <p>Brian Fargo<br />CEO/Leader inXile<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/BrianFargo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@BrianFargo</a></p> <h2 id="h:preserving-the-legac">Preserving the Legacy</h2> <p>In addition, our Lead Writer Nathan Long has some more details to add about the game's lore and building on what has come before:</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/017/089/298/62fceba0215f0a73934767b6cca8b9a1_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1497392383&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=2b8e6fdf126cd4579f08a402be60f777" alt="" width="639" height="479" /></p> <p>With Brian's directive to update the Bard's Tale world for modern audiences while keeping the spirit and details of the original games intact, and at the same time giving it touch of Celtic mysticism, my task has been to construct a world that does all those things, weaving together the old stories and the new in a way that is both appealing and believable.</p> <p>Thus, I spent much of our pre-production time constructing a history for the world, using the lore and legends I had from the first games and mixing them with Celtic lore and legends to invent Skara Brae's gods, religions, and monsters, and name its people, towns, and kingdoms. But world building only takes you so far. To really find the feel of a world - and find out if and how it works - you have to live in it for a while, see how the people who live in it see it, make sense of it, and survive it.</p> <p>A good way to do that is to write a story set in the world, and, since I also had to write the Bard's Tale novellas we promised in the Kickstarter campaign, it was a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. I would write one novella each for The Bard's Tale, The Destiny Knight, and the Thief of Fate, weaving the stories from the original games into the world of the new in a way that would be recognizable to the original fans and at the same time did not break the new lore.</p> <p>As of now, I have completed the first novella and am halfway through the second. It's been a challenging exercise, but fun too, and I'd like to share the first chapter of the first novella with you so you can see how this process is coming along.</p> <p>Grab your drinks of choice at the bar and then&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/q8tlzvddoskh6m9/BT01_Chapter01.pdf?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">click here</a>&nbsp;to hear a tale of a cold and wintry day...</p> <p>Cheers,&nbsp;<br />Nathan Long&nbsp;<br />Lead Writer</p> <h2 id="h:the-bard-at-e3">The Bard at E3</h2> <p>Hi everyone, Paul here to take you through the remainder of the update. We will have more to say about E3 in our next update, but wanted to note that inXile was well-represented there by these two fine gentlemen:</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/017/089/494/3fbab0c039b30770f6d3fc87642bbb05_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1497393284&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=5c2e6653d56704685170fe37d9aa35fc" alt="" width="392" height="527" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Jeff &amp; David</em></p> <p>They are Bard's Tale IV Producer Jeff Pellegrin and Creative Director David Rogers. Jeff and David were there representing the game, meeting with fans and fellow developers, and generally spreading Bard's Tale joy across E3.</p> <p>To celebrate The Bard's Tale IV this E3 week, we wanted to share a new, super-high-res screenshot from the game's development. Check it out below, and click for the full 4K version!</p> <p><a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/arefjz0glj7lv0i/WP_Bard01backershot.png?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/017/123/664/bed17a90cc2d410e12a63b711f904ec7_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1497583415&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=472bd8344190b84bc54f8d8c79ee73e6" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>A gaggle of goblins and other surprises!</em></p> <h2 id="h:bards-tale-iv-backer">Bard's Tale IV Backer Portal</h2> <p>Some of you have noticed that our backer web site is currently down. This is because we are in the process of migrating all our backer data over to&nbsp;<a href="http://crowdox.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">CrowdOx</a>&nbsp;for the remainder of the backer reward process. We've previously used CrowdOx with&nbsp;<a href="https://app.crowdox.com/projects/100109/wasteland-3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Wasteland 3</a>, and our backers have had great experiences with it. We apologize for the inconvenience, but the site should be back up soon. When it is ready, we will let everyone know. Thank you for your patience while we are moving!</p> <h2 id="h:bards-tale-i-iii-rem">Bard's Tale I-III Remasters</h2> <p>It's been some time since we last checked in on Olde Sk&uuml;&uuml;l's updated version of the Bard's Tale I-III classic games, which Rebecca Heineman offered to do during the initial Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter campaign. Though these were not part of our initial Kickstarter rewards or stretch goals, we know that many of you have been excited about seeing this bonus offer. Olde Sk&uuml;&uuml;l has continued development on them in-house over the last several months, and they've provided a progress update on the project to let you all know how they've been shaping up and what they expect their remaining development timeline to be. To check out the news,&nbsp;<a href="https://forums.inxile-entertainment.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&amp;t=18288" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">please visit our forums</a>!</p> <p>As fans ourselves, we want these remasters to be great updates to the classic games and we wish Olde Sk&uuml;&uuml;l the best in their efforts. Of course, in addition to the BT Remastered bonus that Becky and Olde Sk&uuml;&uuml;l continue to work on, we've already provided backers with the promised emulated versions of the classic games (complete with .pdfs of the original manuals). Though many of you have already downloaded them, never fear, they'll be available again soon for everyone once the move to CrowdOx has been completed!</p> <h2 id="h:open-mic-contest-you">Open-Mic Contest: Your Chance To Be A Part of The Bard's Tale IV!</h2> <p>One of our "Write an Item Description" backers has opted out of the process, asking us to share that honor with a fellow backer. This is your chance to be a part of The Bard's Tale IV, so if you are interested in playing a small role in the game, please let us know in the comments on <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv/posts/1901203" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Kickstarter</a>. We'll collect the names and do a random drawing, announcing the winner in the next backer update!</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/017/130/203/c80827f19b00f94e0471dd77aa532785_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1497628378&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=ef53ca0d397be9f8368009bff3dcd316" alt="" width="639" height="434" /></p> <h2 id="h:the-mages-tale-relea">The Mage's Tale Release Date</h2> <p>In February, we told you about The Mage's Tale, a first-person VR adventure game coming to Oculus Touch. Now, we're pleased to announce the release date: June 20!&nbsp;<a href="https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/1018772231550220/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">You can see more details and preorder the game at a 10% discount on the Oculus store</a>. We're very excited as this will be our first VR title, and we hope our fans will like it too!</p> <p><a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/uy0zw9mxwsh8lz1/Shot%25202.png?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/017/129/143/f31685a50eb5e9c36ccc6357343f2e96_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1497623738&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=62cbb5b17b6e1b827eefce524506cf41" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>New friends await you in The Mage's Tale!</em></p> <p>Many of you have been asking, and we can confirm it will be coming to platforms other than Oculus Touch in the future. You can follow Mage's Tale news on the game's&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/TheMagesTale/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Facebook page</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/5lpad87aiqvjaf6/Mage%2520Shot%25201.png?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/017/129/506/f10dba5a65e0aeb1f9a31db6b8e939bb_original.png?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1497625212&amp;auto=format&amp;lossless=true&amp;s=2b4c0074dcb2d9f5b33d2c0a28f82bf3" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>New locations in the Bard's Tale world to explore!</em></p> <p>While the game takes place in the Bard's Tale setting, The Mage's Tale is a stand-alone title, and you do not need to play it to enjoy The Bard's Tale IV. The Mage's Tale has been fully funded by Oculus, and a great deal of the asset work done for The Mage's Tale is directly benefiting The Bard's Tale IV, so even if you don't have a VR headset, we hope you'll raise a pint in salute of our release anyway! It has helped make The Bard's Tale IV a much better game!</p> <h2 id="h:the-bard-goes-cross">The Bard Goes Cross-Platform</h2> <p>E3 is a time for announcements, and we do have a brief (but important) one of our own: inXile Entertainment is pleased to announce that The Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV will be coming to consoles. We will have more to announce, including which consoles and who our publishing partner is, at a later date. We are also investigating ways for backers to opt for console versions of The Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV, but please keep in mind that we do not currently know if the console version will ship at the same time as the PC one. Be on the lookout for more news across our social media channels and in these updates for further information. As soon as we can share details with you, we will.</p> <p>For all our backers, it is important to note that The Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV is a&nbsp;<b>PC-centric</b>&nbsp;release. As with our other Kickstarter projects, no crowdfunding money for the PC version was spent on console development. In addition, whether it is a partnership with Oculus that allows us to develop assets we can use for The Bard's Tale IV, hiring talented developers who bring a knowledge and passion for the series, or investing our own funds on top of the raised money, we are always looking for ways to make the best game possible for our fans. This is the next chapter in a classic franchise that goes back to mid-1980&rsquo;s computer gaming, so that is the legacy which we are focused on (as you have seen throughout this update). We want to grow the fan base for this game and introduce the series to a new generation, but most of all, we want this to feel like a coming home party for those backers and fans who grew up with the games.</p> <h2 id="h:bringing-the-legacy">Bringing the Legacy Full-Circle</h2> <p>We've saved the best for last. In 1984, a very young Paul was playing Adventure Construction Set, a program which allowed users to build their own RPGs. Over the next couple of years, I learned the highs and lows of what it meant to make games. In 1986, I was wandering the aisles in Toys R' Us when I saw a box for the Commodore 64 version of The Bard's Tale, a game I had seen and loved, but was previously only available on Apple. I was finally able to play the game, and it was everything that I hoped it would be. As amazed as I was by the game, I was equally astounded by this picture on the inside cover of the game box:</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/017/123/811/e7a287fc9f949573c4c7aa8474bda597_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1497584208&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=c07152e0d4cc21b0d47dd0ca579e0512" alt="" width="490" height="239" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The Bard's Tale series creator Michael Cranford.</em></p> <p>The guy who made the game wasn't some grizzled, professional-looking white collar type. Instead, Michael Cranford looked like a version of every friends&rsquo; big brother - only a few years older, letting us young'uns know what high school and college would be like. The difference was that Michael wasn't making games just for fun; he was doing it as a job. When I interviewed for this position, I cited that memory from 1986 as the moment I realized that I could do more than just enjoy making games, I could possibly do so for a living. The Bard's Tale series was the inspiration for many developers who would go on to make role-playing classics over the next few decades. Any computer role-playing fan owes a debt to the young man in that picture!</p> <p>This is why everyone at inXile Entertainment is proud to announce that Michael will be a part of The Bard's Tale IV, providing feedback for us and even contributing a bit to the game itself. He may even have a cameo in the game somewhere. See if you can find him when the time comes! For new players to the series, this is just one more way we look forward to introducing you to the special magic of The Bard's Tale series. For returning veterans, it's that much more thrilling to know that we're not alone in our excitement to return to Skara Brae - Michael Cranford will be returning with us, too!</p> <p>This has been a big update, and we'll have more to come. Remember to comment below and let us know if you're interested in writing an item description for the game!</p> <p>Until next update,&nbsp;<br />Paul Marzagalli&nbsp;<br />Public Relations &amp; Community Manager&nbsp;<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/phimseto" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@phimseto</a></p> 2017-06-16T16:05:22-07:00inXile Entertainment The Bard's Tale IV Update 36: Bits of Bard's Backer Business TL;DR: Release Date info, Community Update &amp; Survey, Backer Rewards updates, and E3 news The Bard's Tale IV Production Update inXile president Matt Findley here. Many of you have reached out to ask, so we want to take this opportunity to confirm that The Bard's Tale IV will be releasing in 2018. Thanks, too, to our work on The Mage's Tale, we have increased the visual scope of the game in ways that we could not have with just the Kickstarter. With everything now in plac... https://bardstale.inxile-entertainment.com/community/news/the-bards-tale-iv-update-36-bits-of-bards-backer-business/?act=view&id=66 <p><b>TL;DR: </b>Release Date info, Community Update &amp; Survey, Backer Rewards updates, and E3 news</p> <h2 id="h:the-bards-tale-iv-pr">The Bard's Tale IV Production Update</h2> <p>inXile president Matt Findley here. Many of you have reached out to ask, so we want to take this opportunity to confirm that The Bard's Tale IV will be releasing in 2018. Thanks, too, to our work on The Mage's Tale, we have increased the visual scope of the game in ways that we could not have with just the Kickstarter. With everything now in place, it is simply a matter of taking the time to make the game right, make sure we implement all the stretch goals and backer content, and hit the level of detail we want. The world of Caith is a beautiful one in both sight and sound, and we want our approach to capture that.</p> <h2 id="h:newest-member-of-the">Newest Member of the inXile Team</h2> <p>As inXile continues to expand, with more games coming and a growing back catalog, we are receiving more and more requests for Kickstarter and backer news, customer support, and general information. Thus, it's time - some would say long past time - we upped our communication game. So here we go.</p> <p>First, for those of you with questions, troubles with your backer rewards, or who need assistance with Bard's Tale IV and our other games, we have launched a new <a href="https://inxile-entertainment.com/support" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Help Center</a> page which will serve as a one-stop support location for all the info you need. It also includes an upgraded ticketing system, so we can better keep track of your direct emails and social media messages.</p> <p>Second, and more importantly, we are pleased to announce that we have hired a brand new community manager, Paul Marzagalli. Paul has been active in the gaming community and industry many years as a games writer, consultant, and member of various game-related advisory boards such as the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers<a href="http://navgtr.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">,</a> the Boston Festival of Indie Games, and the Gerontoludic Society. Paul is also a long-time gamer, playing titles like Bard's Tale and Wasteland during Interplay's golden age, and he remains a huge fan of RPGs from the 80s, 90s, and today. Beyond that, Paul is a great communicator with deep knowledge of inXile and the wider gaming community. We are happy and excited to have him on board, and you can expect to see him popping up in Kickstarter updates, forums, social media, and more going forward.</p> <p>And now, to kick off this new era of better communication, here's Paul with some important and exciting info for backers of Bard's Tale IV!</p> <p>Matt Findley <br />inXile President &amp; Studio Lead - inXile New Orleans <br /><a href="https://twitter.com/BayouBard" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@BayouBard</a></p> <h2>The Bard is Taking Requests! Have Your Say in Our Backer Survey!</h2> <p>Hi everyone, Paul here. Thanks to the inXile team for the warm welcome! It has been an outstanding (and fast) first month.</p> <p>Though this is the &ldquo;official&rdquo; announcement of my arrival, I have been out in the community for the past few weeks so I may have already spoken with many of you. Whether in the <a href="https://forums.inxile-entertainment.com/viewforum.php?f=41" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">forums</a>, on our game Facebook <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TheBardsTale/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">pages</a>, or on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/phimseto" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@phimseto</a>, please pop by and say hello!</p> <p>With The Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV, inXile is bringing back an iconic franchise for old fans and a new generation. In getting to know our backers and the greater inXile community, I put together a survey to help me understand where you are coming from as a RPG fan. This survey isn&rsquo;t something that I will be sharing publicly, rather it is to help me better identify who our Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV backers are and what they like in a Bard&rsquo;s Tale game. This will help us with development not just of The Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV, but with how we consider and develop future projects! You can find the survey below:</p> <p>&nbsp;<a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BT4survey"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/016/733/664/9c6d4c66fe20419a815b8ebf1d1ebfc0_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1495151684&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=c6e7a813932ec80a5524885f6143624e" alt="" width="639" height="320" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BT4survey" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Bard's Tale IV Backer Survey</a></p> <p>The survey is brief and it is your chance to talk directly to the game devs and let us know what you think. The more of you who participate, the merrier, much like a bard&rsquo;s sing-a-long! Thank you in advance for your help and thanks to everyone for supporting The Bard&rsquo;s Tale IV!</p> <h2>Last Chance to Help The Bard Tell His Tale!</h2> <p>Over the past few weeks, we have begun the process of gathering and implementing our in-game backer rewards - that means backer NPCs, items, puzzles, etc. If you backed us at one of the following reward tiers, and haven't heard from us yet, <b>please let us know</b>&nbsp;by writing us by email at <b>support@inxile.net,</b> or sending in a ticket at our <a href="https://inxile-entertainment.com/support" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Help Center</a>.</p> <ul> <li>$350 - Loreteller (write an item description)</li> <li>$750 - Relic Crafter (create an item)</li> <li>$750 - Puzzle Master (design a puzzle)</li> <li>$1,000 - Sagateller (design an NPC)</li> <li>$1,200 - Til Death Do Us Part (design an NPC couple)</li> <li>$2,000 - Musician's Tier (design a song)</li> <li>$5000 &amp; $10,000 - Be a Barfly &amp; Exclusive Reveler's Festival (3D model you as an NPC, design an item)</li> </ul> <p>As part of this process, we need to close off the tiers that contain these in-game backer rewards - that is the $350 tier, and every tier $750 and up. <b>We will be closing these at the end of this month. </b>If you haven&rsquo;t backed and wanted to be a part of the game, or have backed but were thinking of upgrading, this is the time to make your move!</p> <p><a href="/pledge" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">You can find these and other backer options on our pledge page.</a></p> <h2>The Bard's Next Tour Date: E3!</h2> <p>The other big news is that The Bard's Tale IV and inXile will be at E3 next month. We are excited to be there talking about the game. In addition, be on the lookout for the next backer update right around that time.</p> <h2>Physical Rewards Update: A Treasure Box That Is A Treasure Itself</h2> <p>As game production marches on, so does work on all our backer rewards. We were so excited when we received these photographs (along with the first shipment) that we wanted to share progress on the Reliquary Boxes. When the Kickstarter launched, we announced these boxes as rewards for the $550 tiers and up. The boxes were inspired by and designed to evoke both Scotland and the original Bard's Tale box art.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/016/732/848/9892eebbf973f172f610e68f8dedb148_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1495146916&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=96a7754f0f469d36c1f34e414277caa4" alt="" width="639" height="479" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The Reliquary Box &amp; The Bard's Tale</em></p> <p>To do that, we enlisted the help of local California artist Kathleen Kaderabek, whose proof of concept (pictured above) is the template that we are using. As part of this update, Kathleen was kind enough to share some of her work process with everyone.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/016/732/970/dcedcf5ee91d9e8422bde274eeb5f7e1_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1495147635&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=dfacd1b1b0a354f80188a7e3de23a3b5" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></p> <p><i>"A couple of years ago I was approached about doing a large number of boxes for The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter. Now it's time to start production! In the end, I'll be working on close to 200 of these large ornate pieces. Pictured here is my semi-assembly line with pieces coming out and going straight to being stained then varnished. Also, shop dog. &lt;3"</i></p> <p><i><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/016/732/982/a4660f6d0cd70fd30dd840d1271954f8_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1495147716&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=3780d0ca06110017b3f8acb1d9bba8b3" alt="" width="639" height="600" /></i></p> <p><i>"Each panel for each box goes through several steps before the box is constructed. First, they are engraved and then the stain is painted into the engraving by hand. Afterwards, the stain is wiped off and the piece is buffed to achieve even coloring. After this stain sets for a couple of hours, they go on to be sanded and varnished! Lots of work for each of 8 panels that go into each box."</i></p> <p><i><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/016/732/996/1ddd1d3eaa6594dc84ab51564f95fb4d_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1495147796&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=d07d3690c31b387cfe220e2ff7e5323d" alt="" width="639" height="485" /></i></p> <p><i>"I get way too excited over perfectly sized and cut triangles. These are for the endcaps of the peaked lid, and I can't tell you how long it took to get just right! :D"</i></p> <p><i><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/016/733/206/39f782d9a5fe02f9ff02fc77785ac4ed_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1495148939&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=4615d48545c7790a58f430201dc8dcbd" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></i></p> <p><i>&nbsp;"Slowly but surely, we're making progress. :)"</i></p> <p><i><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/016/733/215/2aa6c97ce0d1843a532cf808ae41a2ca_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1495148971&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=5120d824980bf110ae4dfb1b1e12db57" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></i></p> <p><i>"Finally starting to get boxes pieced together. These still have a lot of work to do, involving metal accents, nails, hinges and such but the first batch is getting close to finished!"</i></p> <p><i><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/016/733/232/820bceb7ec990f5d359c01f0068d1a46_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1495149034&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=dc2e10fdcd366d31c602d17b8798050d" alt="" width="639" height="639" /></i></p> <p><i>"Part of yesterday's work was starting on prepping the metal that will go along the edges of each box. I start with rolls of metal sheet (25 ft worth!) And use antiquing glaze on 3 ft portions of it to dirty it up and tone down the shine. Another layer of glaze may be added today before the metal is cut into strips and attached to the boxes."</i></p> <p><i><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/016/733/245/3cc3032b3dd53605effc6cadcdbbdd0e_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1495149089&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=4d2ff4b1e67e69077dee61cd2a58252b" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></i></p> <p><i>"It's a metal day! Getting all these lined with antiqued metal takes some time but worth it."</i></p> <p><i><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/016/733/256/c0dae70e885b48adf1b2f593e6bc6700_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1495149145&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=e66905e742c17a36dc153d97edf50729" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></i></p> <p><i>"Now to do the finish detailing for a few days and we're done. With the first batch at least! :)"</i></p> <p><i><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/016/733/265/f8473ea7a68bdab24562d3978f0e2ddd_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1495149199&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=a9402bb635a7946afa82ad46a7fb5f69" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></i></p> <p><i>&nbsp;"The first batch is done and delivered to InXile!"</i></p> <p><i><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/016/733/274/f7f41c78c37c096c7c403e2b142399fa_original.jpg?w=639&amp;fit=max&amp;v=1495149243&amp;auto=format&amp;q=92&amp;s=f75452555fa6abe79a535d8cb05860d8" alt="" width="639" height="359" /></i></p> <p><i>"Taking an idea and creating a tangible item takes a good bit of work and planning, especially with something this detailed, but I think we have the process down now. Only 165 more to go! :D"</i></p> <p>Thank you, Kathleen! We are always happy for the opportunity to support local artists like Kathleen. If you like her work, please think about <a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/othernamesweretaken" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">giving her artist's page a look</a>.</p> <p>For those of you getting Reliquary Boxes, good news! We plan to ship them out as we receive them, so be on the lookout as we work to confirm shipping address with those backers receiving them.</p> <p>That's all for this update! Thank you again for your support of The Bard's Tale IV. We look forward to your feedback in the <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BT4survey" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">backer survey</a>, keeping in touch with you here and across social media, and in our next update around E3. See you then!</p> <p>Best, <br />Paul Marzagalli <br />Public Relations &amp; Community Manager <br /><a href="https://twitter.com/phimseto" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@phimseto</a></p> 2017-05-19T13:04:56-07:00inXile Entertainment The Bard's Tale IV Update 35: Combat Commentary & Brian DiDomenico Joins the Team Howdy, Exiles, David Rogers here with another Bard's Tale IV update. Recently, we gave you our first look at exploration and combat, and your response and feedback were both incredible and very useful in helping us prioritize our efforts. We wanted to respond to much of the feedback we got in more detail while also talking a bit more about some of our gameplay ideas. So, we took the video that we shot, stuffed me in a sound booth, and created a "director's commentary" on th... https://bardstale.inxile-entertainment.com/community/news/the-bards-tale-iv-update-35-combat-commentary-amp-brian-didomenico-joins-the-team/?act=view&id=65 <p>Howdy, Exiles,</p> <p>David Rogers here with another Bard's Tale IV update. Recently, we gave you our <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/the-bards-tale-iv/posts/1801716" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">first look at exploration and combat</a>, and your response and feedback were both incredible and very useful in helping us prioritize our efforts. We wanted to respond to much of the feedback we got in more detail while also talking a bit more about some of our gameplay ideas.</p> <p>So, we took the video that we shot, stuffed me in a sound booth, and created a "director's commentary" on the combat video for you to enjoy!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Zt4CkMqQtMA" width="642" height="360" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>This deep dive into gameplay and battle mechanics should give you a better sense of the depth we are working towards with Bard's Tale IV, as well as answering a few of your questions that we've seen come up a few times.</p> <h2 id="h:sound-design-update">Sound Design Update - Introducing Brian DiDomenico</h2> <p>The Bard's Tale has always been well known for its presentation. It was one of the first titles to include music as a gameplay feature, and at the time its visuals were highly expressive and detailed compared to other dungeon crawlers of the day. Our goal is to continue carrying this torch forward on The Bard's Tale IV. You've seen our visuals and art design, which we've detailed a few times previously. Early in our crowdfunding campaign, we also announced the involvement of Julie Fowlis and Ged Grimes contributing the game's unique highland-tinged music, as well as our plans to bring <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3EYDujiQ48" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">back some of the classic Bard's Tale songs</a>.</p> <p>Sound design is one key aspect we have not touched on as much yet. Music can stay in your memory for years, and graphics are certainly important for drawing players into the game world. But more than anything else, it's sound that reinforces a game's atmosphere and feel. As a dungeon crawling experience, the audio is what immerses you into the experience, creating a sense of ambiance which is impossible to convey through music and art alone.</p> <p>The Bard's Tale IV is deep in production, and many of our game systems and environments are rapidly coming together. At this stage, it's critical to have sound design work with our team and capture the unique mood of Skara Brae and the wider world of Caith.</p> <p>To do this, we're bringing in Brian DiDomenico. Brian is a composer, songwriter and sound designer. Throughout his diverse career, Brian has contributed to many titles you might recognize, including Myst V: Revelation, Jade Empire, Mass Effect 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Lost Planet 3, Ninja Gaiden Z and most recently Here They Lie. Outside of games directly, Brian has performed and recorded music with Mankind is Obsolete, Dismantled and is currently the keyboardist in the Megaman-themed rock band, The Megas. He has also performed at several festivals and conventions including Video Games Live, MAGfest, BitGen, Nerdfest, the Capcom Cup. You can read more about him on his <a href="http://www.briandidomenico.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">own website</a>.</p> <p>We're extremely excited to welcome Brian DiDomenico, and we can't wait for our designers and implementers to collaborate with him, and hear what he will be contributing to the game.</p> <p>That's all for now, but as we barrel through production and start knocking down our internal development milestones, The Bard's Tale IV is looking better and better every day. We'll have more goodies on the game's progress and community updates to share with you soon!</p> <p>David Rogers<br />Lead Designer</p> <p><strong>Follow Us:</strong><br /><a href="https://www.facebook.com/TheBardsTale/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Facebook</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/inxile_ent" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Twitter</a></p> 2017-05-01T12:48:11-07:00inXile Entertainment