The Bard's Tale Update 40: Season's Greetings from The Bard's Tale Team!

kickstarter2017-12-22 13:43:24

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’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.  

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’s information and bridging the gap of backers’ requests with our production team. One example of your fellow design backers is Scott Brown aka “Scorcherer”, who has backed several inXile’s projects including The Bard’s Tale IV. In this game, Scorcherer is an informative ghost NPC in the world of Caith.  

Here is small quote from Scott Brown about his "Design a NPC" character:  

“It was really fun working with Paul and the Bard’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 – Scorcherer was the name of my main character when I played the original Bard’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!"  

I am very excited about these upcoming months. This is the best part of game development: furthering the “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!  

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season! 

Chris Keenan 
VP of Development

The Voters Have Spoken! Our Archetype Winner Is....  

Hello backers, David back again to announce the winner of our Pick An Archetype contest. The winner was both surprising and yet totally expected: The Bard!  

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’s magical boozes grant some on-the-fly versatility.

Within this archetype you can specialize into the following classes: the enemy-controlling Troubadour, the damage-bolstering Rabble Rouser, the aura-generating War Chanter, the resource-enhancing Minstrel, the nimble and lethal Jester, and the magical booze-concocting Brew Master.

In our next update, we’ll discuss not one but two of the Bard’s classes: the Rabble Rouser and Brew Master. We’ll explore the cool abilities and passives they provide and show you some examples of each in action.

One Vote Down, On To The Next One!  

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. Just let us know which archetype you want (and make your case in the Kickstarter comments)!

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.  

Thanks for reading, 
David Rogers 
Creative Director  

"Tuning Up The Legacy" Preview  

Hi again, everyone! Greg Underwood, Senior Programmer here. 

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’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’s a little outside the scope of this update, but I’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. 

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’s not ready yet, but for our next entry I’m working on a discussion of how Magic Mouths will feature in the new games. They were an important part of the original series – 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’s taking a little time to coordinate with everyone and find moments where our schedules align enough to have a quick chat. I’m looking forward to bringing you the results in an upcoming backer update! 

 Until then, cheers and happy holidays! 

 -Greg

Deck the (Walls) with Pictures of Bard's Tale  

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. 

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.

Backer Site Update  

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.  

Coming Soon: A New Trailer!  

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.

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!

Happy Holidays,
Paul Marzagalli
Public Relations & Community Manager
@phimseto