GameRanx Interviews Brian Fargo

interview2015-07-07 20:41:16

Brian Fargo speaks to Gameranx about crowdfunding and The Bard's Tale IV.

The Bard's Tale is one of the oldest, and most recognizable classic role-playing game franchises. As with Wasteland, there's pressure to live up to its legacy. What are your biggest fears in developing The Bard's Tale IV in a gaming era that pines for nostalgic throwbacks but is also rife with new conventions that the modern player expects in an RPG game?

There is certainly no lack of pressure when you try to take these beloved franchises and then create them with money from the very gamers who are going to play them. It's the timespan between the sequels that make it a tricky proposition, normally you would have had incremental changes over the years. In these cases we jump forward decades and the tastes, desires and time available to the core audience varies greatly from person to person. There are some folks that would genuinely be happier with a game that looked like it came out in the early 90's but that would not be doing the Bard's Tale justice to me.

The series would have naturally progressed over the timespan and there have been way too many technological and UI breakthroughs to be stuck in that era. Instead we focus on the core elements of gameplay like tight mapping exploration, party and phase based combat, riddles and poems, and the character classes they grew up with. And if a player wants to make it really difficult like in the first games and only allow for saving the game in the Adventurer's Guild, we'll make that an option. I actually quite enjoy the exercise of bringing it all together in a new package.