We've always felt blessed to have a very active, passionate fanbase. You showed this support not just in returning en masse to back us once again for our third Kickstarter, but also in your in-depth, thoughtful discussion and questions about gameplay elements in the Kickstarter comments and our official forums.
Party Size, Touch Points Doc, and More
One of the topics you have discussed the most is party size.
First off, we have read your arguments regarding expanding the party, and heard you! So we have decided to expand the player party size to six, one of which will be a companion NPC. Additionally, you will have summoned creatures and the like to aid you, which will not count against your party cap. Currently, our plan is to allow you to summon as many additional creatures as there are available grid slots.
There's more details on this topic we also wanted to share. If you're familiar with our work you may know we like to do vision documents for each of our games, and we shared those with you for Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera. To tide you over, we have made a touch points document to share with you. Check it out here!
Of course, for some of you all, this doc covers a lot of familiar ground from the Kickstarter page and our updates, but we also have new details for all of you as well.
As discussed in a previous update, we're bringing back a lot of the classes and races from the original trilogy, with your options expanding to ten character classes and over seven unique races. Furthermore, we're also planning on expanding the class evolution concept from the classic games' classes to cover all of our character classes – leading to huge amounts of depth and customization. You'll be able to further define, specialize and tinker with your character as he or she reaches certain levels, choosing groups of unlocked spells, abilities and talents in order to best suit your needs or party make-up. We'll have more precise details to share on this in a future update.
We are still deciding the best way we can make good on bringing you a true sequel to The Bard's Tale trilogy, but we'd like to give you an idea of the scope of the game that we are targeting internally right now (which, as usual, is subject to change):
- Over thirty beautiful levels to explore.
- Locations including Skara Brae and the catacombs beneath it, towns such as Torr Fion and Fettercairn, wildernesses, castles, ruined temples and lost cities, as well as the legendary realms of the Elves, Dwarves and Trow.
- Over a hundred different enemy types, including dozens from the original trilogy, as well as dozens of new creatures based on ancient Scottish, Orcadian, and Pict mythology. All-new enemy factions will oppose you: the Fecti, the Einaar, the Lestradae, and the Fatherites. We'll speak more on this lore in future updates!
- Hundreds of usable items, many of which can be used in our crafting system to create consumables and special items.
- Hundreds of unique weapons and armor to find; most can be enhanced through crafting, and many will be physically manipulated as a 3D model/puzzle to become more powerful.
- Dozens of powerful magic spells, including some that allow the user to summon creatures to fight by their side.
The Bard's Poem
If you saw our in-engine video, you may also already know the song sung in that video is a translation of the opening poem from The Bard's Tale I, which is also recited by the Magic Mouth in that video. What you may not know is that the lyrics were actually expanded over the original, and. translated to Gaelic for Julie Fowlis to sing.
The full poem:
The Song I sing
Will tell the tale
Of a cold and wintery day;
Of castle walls
And torchlit halls
And a price man had to pay.
When evil fled
And brave men bled
The Dark one came to stay.
Till men of old
For blood and gold
Had rescued Skara Brae.
The spell to bind
His fractured mind
Was spoken in a breath
For fear his hand
Would strike the land
And all would beg for death
In vilest dread
The Mad God fed
Inside his halls of pain
With courage still
We broke his will
And put to end his reign
Within the tomb
A barren room
Holds first of seven's might
The wand set free
To ever be its knight
A visage worn
By time and scorn
And spells that left it scarred
His lips still move
And powers prove
This tale told by a bard
Bard's Tale Goes Xounts
Some of you might have noticed that in our higher reward levels, we have something called the Xounts sound system, featuring a customized look for The Bard's Tale IV, and we also gave a tease at this in the last update too. But we thought that we'd touch on that a little more today.
What is Xounts Up? It's a completely unique sound system that combines 360-degree stereo sound with atmospheric lighting and bespoke design. We love collaborating with creative spirits that share our crowdfunded space, so we're very happy to see Xounts Up now on Kickstarter. They sent us a sample, and we came away so impressed we decided we had to include it for backers at the $2,000 and $5,000 tiers.
As part of our cooperation, the Xounts Up Kickstarter is also offering a limited run of 99 Xounts Up Speakers with premium The Bard's Tale IV Style, the same item that is a part of our high backer tiers. Brian recorded a video with his endorsement, so check here to see his thoughts!
That's all for now. With less than two weeks to go, we're starting to head into the home stretch. We'd like to thank you for your support thus far and we hope we'll be able to make a big finish towards those stretch goals! We'll leave you with a picture of a wild Chris Avellone that decided to stop by…
Chris Avellone not included with the box, but with your support we'll have him for the game!
Leader in Exile