TL; DR - Quick Hello, GDC Notes, Backer Alpha FAQ
The Backer Alpha is Here!
Today is a day thirty years in the making! For the first time since players defeated the Mad God Tarjan in 1988’s The Bard’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’re all excited to finally share The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep with you. Whether you are one of our alpha backers or will be watching press coverage, we’re looking forward to hearing what you think!
Further in this update is a FAQ for our alpha backers. If that’s you and you can’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:
- Your Steam key for the alpha test
- A message from VP of Development Chris Keenan & alpha test notes from QA Lead Daniel Dean
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.
In the meantime though, I wanted to share with all of you some of what we’re up to this week at GDC.
inXile at GDC 2018
You may remember this photo from our E3 2017 update.
Jeff Pellegrin & David Rogers
Pictured are BT4 Producer Jeff Pellegrin and Creative Director David Rogers. As Chris noted in last week's update, 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’ll find them there from today through Friday, March, 23. I am told that the kilts are making a return as well!
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’s GDC livestream coverage. You will be able to watch that interview here.
In other Bard’s Tale-related GDC news, one of this year’s hugely popular Classic Game Post-Mortems will feature The Bard’s Tale and The Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight. 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 “must” for any Bard’s Tale fan! If you can’t be there, the talk is being recorded and we’ll be sure to share a link if and when it becomes publicly available!
That’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 on our forums!
Until Next Time,
Public Relations & Community Manager
Alpha Backer FAQ
How do I get my Steam alpha key?
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’t completed your CrowdOx backer survey, you can find more instructions on how to do so here.
Can I get the alpha test on another platform?
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.
How do I download the alpha test?
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 this page.
What operating systems does the alpha test support?
While we are supporting more OSes for the final release of the game, the alpha test is only available for Windows.
What are the system requirements?
- OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (64-bit)
- Processor: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970/AMD 290 equivalent or greater
- Storage: 16 GB (SSD recommended)
Note that the above requirements are for the alpha test only. As we continue to optimize, these requirements may change by final release.
How long will the alpha test run for?
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.
Will my alpha test key count as my final game key?
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.
How do I report bugs or provide feedback for the alpha test?
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’ve set up a specific thread here for everyone to chime in with their thoughts and feedback.
Can I do Let’s Plays or stream the alpha test?
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.