It's E3 2015 week, and it's hectic times all around. We have a great update for you all. We have lots to share, including some new talent we're hoping to have join the Bard's Tale team, some glimpses at the game's story background, and even a full track from the brilliant Mark Morgan!
First, here is a quick tour of our E3 showing. Brian, Thomas, Joey Betz and myself stopped by sunny LA to demo Wasteland 2 running on Xbox One. While it's not Bard's Tale related, it's still exciting to show off.
Show-goers enjoying Wasteland 2 on console for the first time.
Brian being interviewed by the press. This was not the first nor the last.
Monte Cook Prepares to Join the Ranks!
Monte Cook of Monte Cook Games will also be joining us as a stretch goal at $1,400,000! Monte Cook, as many of you may know due to his involvement with our other game Torment: Tides of Numenera, is an acclaimed author and game designer. Monte has written hundreds of tabletop roleplaying game books and articles and won numerous awards. Starting out with the Rolemaster and Champions game lines, he soon went to work for TSR where he worked on Dungeons & Dragons, including the 3rd Edition, and the much-celebrated Planescape setting. More recently, he is of course well known for creating the Numenera tabletop setting, The Strange and much more!
Monte will be taking charge of the design for one of our dungeons with your support. We look forward to working with him to deliver some mind-bending dungeon designs!
Mark Morgan's First Song
As some of you may know, we have a long-standing relationship with the legendary RPG composer Mark Morgan, who is well known both for his work on the Fallout games, Planescape: Torment, and now, Wasteland 2 and the upcoming Torment: Tides of Numenera. Mark has always been a fantastic fit for our games and with The Bard's Tale IV we feel that he will be able to deliver some excellent music as well.
Today, we're excited to offer you an extended peek at an early sampling at some of his work on the game. If it sounds familiar, the first 15 seconds of this song were used in the intro scene of our Kickstarter video.
Some of you may remember this song's inspiration – The Traveler's Tune – from the original Commodore 64 version of The Bard's Tale, and Mark has remastered and expanded the song featuring brand-new instrumentation and arrangements.
The Old and the New
Today we'd also like to give you a taste of some of the story and lore from the game. Many of our backers have been asking us how this game will fit into the world of Skara Brae. Our lead writer Nathan Long is happy to satisfy some of that curiosity…
In a hundred and fifty years even the bravest deeds become nothing more than bard's tales. Most people today in Skara Brae don't believe Mangar, Lagoth Zanta, Tarjan, or the brave adventurers who defeated them and their horrors were ever more than legends - and those that do still believe keep silent.
Ever since the Church of the Sword Father civilized the land of Caith and chased out the heathen a hundred years ago, the new Skara Brae, built on top of its ruined predecessor, has become a god-fearing town, where it is dangerous to admit to harboring such superstitious notions or knowing anything of the old ways.
Which is unfortunate, because it's starting to look like the trolls and bloodfiends and hobgoblins from all those fairy stories have returned. Terrible things have been happening in Skara Brae - people slaughtered in their beds by unseen beasts, holy sites desecrated, folk disappearing between field and home, statues of the Mad God found in bloodstained back alleys, and the Song of the Maiden heard again for the first time in a generation. And worse, the people most equipped to deal with these old threats have been made outlaws.
Since the advent of the Fatherites, the practice of magic has been made a sin, and the old races of elf, dwarf, and trow have been banished, with all known ways to their realms smashed and sealed. And now, unable to stop the horrors that have been preying upon Skara Brae, the church has decided to put the blame for them on the Adventurer's Guild, shutting it down and calling its members cultists, witches, and pagans who must be burned at the stake for their unholy crimes.
But though the Guild is boarded up, it lives on in the Skara Brae beneath Skara Brea. Heroes gather nightly in the old sewers, exchanging rumors of fresh footprints in ancient crypts, of lights in the ruined towers of foes centuries dead, and of the Fuath and the Famhair, and a madman who would sacrifice the world to bring about their return.
With the Fatherites turning their backs on the truth and hunting down those who would tell it, the adventurers know they have no one to turn to but themselves. To survive, the elves and the dwarfs and the trow, and the men and women of Caith who still keep the old ways, must now band together and protect a land that wants them dead.
Some of you keeping an eye out may have noticed that milestone 12 has been unlocked! Thanks to an excellently comedic film script by Carlos Uribe (which you can read here), the FREE Red Boots DLC has been unlocked for all Bard's Tale IV backers at $20 or above (that is, anyone who is getting the game). If you're wondering, “why red boots DLC?”, well, you'll want to check out the team's previous game, Wasteland 2!
If you haven't done so already, check out the full dungeon story text on our Tumblr page. Nathan's itching to continue the tale, so let's keep those achievements coming! We're close to getting a few more, and as you spread the word, it not only helps the campaign but unlocks cool goodies for everyone!
That's all for now, everyone! We hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into the lore. With your continued support we will be able to bring on an amazing roster of talent and make The Bard's Tale IV an even more epic game. As if that possible… :)
Project Lead – The Bard's Tale IV