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Kickstarter: Bard's Tale IV (inXile, 1.25 mil, PC, Mac, Linux)

autoduelist

Member
Aug 30, 2014
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I was right thinking they would have a much harder time funding this one. I think the problem is the series is too old. Most of us don't know how it's actually going to work from a gameplay perspective (apparentely they don't know either if they can't say if combat is in isometric view or not). It worked with Wasteland because they basically sold it as 'party-based old school Fallout'. With this one they haven't said something like that, so I bet most people don't know how it will be.

I wish they would have made a futuristic IP using the same tech as PoE and Torment. Oh, well.

I can understand why they are reluctant to say one way or another. FP Dungeon Crawler combat is about as cheap as you can get outside of being a text based MUD, once you pull back and begin to need to animate models and have them interact with other models the costs are going to go waaay up.

It probably would have helped if they'd decided what they could do with base funding and what it is they'd want to do that's more visually impressive and how much it'd cost and then put it up as a stretch goal (preferably with a Proof of Concept trailer or sketch) since that way at least people would know what they'd like to do and what may be possible.

Honestly, I hope they keep the combat as close to the original as possible. I realize they need to modernize it somewhat, as the original was just scrolling text:

You see 99 Trolls, 99 Trolls, 99 Trolls, 99 Trolls

Input:
(a)ttack (a)ttack (c)ast (drbr) (d)efend

Feedback:
Troll swings club at Gaf and hits for 24 damage!
Gaf attacks troll for 76 damage!
Troll Dies!
Neo hits troll for 102 damage!
Troll Dies!
Bishop casts dragon breath:
Troll hit for 58 damage! Troll Dies! (this scrolls by 97 times)
Vitagaf Defends!
99 Trolls advance!

Obviously, we need something better than that... but not too much better. I still want it a drpg-- M&M Legacy X still had combat like that, just with graphics (and far less enemies so it could be shown graphically).

My guess is that combat will greatly depend on final budget. Just the decision on how to (or not to) show spell effects would be a huge cost decision. Isometric (or any combat solution that would allow tactical positional changes) would also require far more development.

So maybe they simply can't tell us about combat yet since they don't want to promise / suggest something they can't deliver.
 

RPGam3r

Member
May 12, 2014
3,416
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I'm absolutely convinced that Wasteland 2 wouldn't have benefited at all from announcing console versions during the campaign, and might well have ended up with less funding (by losing out on part of the "old-school RPG" appeal, and making potential backers concerned about the ramifications). When that campaign was running, console gamers by and large didn't know who inXile was, who Brian Fargo was, who Interplay was, what Wasteland was and what Kickstarter was.

I don't know what the situation would be like now, for Bard's Tale, but considering the funding rate I doubt they are missing out on much.

I don't think standard console gamers are the people funding kickstarters for the most part anyway. However, that doesn't mean there are not console gamers well aware of these teams/individuals who just favor playing on consoles. I fit into this group. I would have gladly chipped in big for the Wasteland 2 kickstarter, but held back since it was not coming to consoles at that time.

I'm not saying there are many people like myself, I just know there are some and that some may be neglible or meaningful.
 

Mivey

Member
Oct 28, 2014
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I'm not saying there are many people like myself, I just know there are some and that some may be neglible or meaningful.
That's just the thing. No one knows how these things would sell on consoles. Let's say the Wasteland 2 GOTY on PS4 and XBone far outsells the PC version, that would make a console version for Wasteland 3 from day one far more likely.

In the end, a company is not a charity, and inXile would not treat console platforms as the second fiddle, if they had not clear financial reasons/ assumptions for doing just that.
 

RPGam3r

Member
May 12, 2014
3,416
0
0
Ohio
That's just the thing. No one knows how these things would sell on consoles. Let's say the Wasteland 2 GOTY on PS4 and XBone far outsells the PC version, that would make a console version for Wasteland 3 from day one far more likely.

In the end, a company is not a charity, and inXile would not treat console platforms as the second fiddle, if they had not clear financial reasons/ assumptions for doing just that.

I agree, this is why I started my comment by wondering if any study has been done (my assumption if there has been it has been internal to teams setting up kickstarters).
 

4Tran

Member
Mar 10, 2013
4,319
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0
That's just the thing. No one knows how these things would sell on consoles. Let's say the Wasteland 2 GOTY on PS4 and XBone far outsells the PC version, that would make a console version for Wasteland 3 from day one far more likely.

In the end, a company is not a charity, and inXile would not treat console platforms as the second fiddle, if they had not clear financial reasons/ assumptions for doing just that.
Old school PC game inspirations like this aren't going to be a big hit on consoles. There's no history of these games on those platforms, and they're not nearly as accessible as modern games. And even if they did, inXile are making the games that they're making precisely as labors of love. If they wanted to make more commercial fare, they would be picking different kinds of games to make sequels of. They're almost certainly going to concentrate on the PC versions first and foremost.
 

autoduelist

Member
Aug 30, 2014
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I don't think standard console gamers are the people funding kickstarters for the most part anyway. However, that doesn't mean there are not console gamers well aware of these teams/individuals who just favor playing on consoles. I fit into this group. I would have gladly chipped in big for the Wasteland 2 kickstarter, but held back since it was not coming to consoles at that time.

I'm not saying there are many people like myself, I just know there are some and that some may be neglible or meaningful.

I'm primarily a console/vita gamer now, but I grew up with these games. I no longer have the desire to get things running right on my PC, so... console it is. But I gladly backed Wasteland 2 because it was mfing Wasteland 2. It didn't play well with a laptop (touchpad just wasn't fun), but I'll double dip when it comes to PS4.

I funded this because it's mfing Bard's Tale. I am ecstatic these games are being revived for a modern era. Hopefully it plays better on my laptop though.
 

Mivey

Member
Oct 28, 2014
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0
Old school PC game inspirations like this aren't going to be a big hit on consoles. There's no history of these games on those platforms, and they're not nearly as accessible as modern games.
If the games bomb, that's probably the last we will hear of inXile games on consoles.
As you say, Fargo is not interested in chasing the mainstream market.

I would think that a port of this game could be a bit harder. With Wasteland 2 they have a template (XCOM) they can copy on how to get the combat mechanics working on a gamepad. Doing it with a hardcore dungeon crawler is going to be more involved.
 

Elaugaufein

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May 11, 2013
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Standard dungeon crawlers have a fairly long console (and then handheld) history in Japan. In SMT Strange Journey and IV basically are dungeon crawlers. So I can't really see interface being a problem.

It's more that niche games like Dungeon Crawlers aren't going to get the returns to justify the ludicrously high budgets you need for 60 FPS 1080p flash and spectacle on a console. It's why the dungeon crawlers genre has basically moved to handhelds.
 

ringlord

Member
May 14, 2005
466
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0
I was actually just thinking that Bard's Tale is probably just a touch to old to be inside the Kickstarter sweet spot (and it doesn't have a Fallout equivalent like Wasteland did). 87-90 mean that the people it would most appeal to probably have concerns like family and major career commitments.

That describes me. Lots of commitments now. But screw those! IT'S FUCKIN' BARD'S TALE IV!
 
May 18, 2012
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Standard dungeon crawlers have a fairly long console (and then handheld) history in Japan. In SMT Strange Journey and IV basically are dungeon crawlers. So I can't really see interface being a problem.

It's more that niche games like Dungeon Crawlers aren't going to get the returns to justify the ludicrously high budgets you need for 60 FPS 1080p flash and spectacle on a console. It's why the dungeon crawlers genre has basically moved to handhelds.

Yeah, there are a ton of first person perspective dungeon crawler RPGs on portable systems. Etrian Odyssey & SMT are the big series, but there are plenty of one-ofs as well. If anything, it feels like more games of this type are coming out on the 3DS & Vita these days than on PC.
 

Durante

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Oct 1, 2006
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peter.metaclassofnil.com
I haven't played the more recent Etrian games, but the ones I did play don't really have the environment interactivity of something like Grimrock -- which inXile also invoke in this KS. They could probably figure something out, but it's a bit more of a challenge than Etrian/SMT-like games.
 

Elaugaufein

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May 11, 2013
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I haven't played the more recent Etrian games, but the ones I did play don't really have the environment interactivity of something like Grimrock -- which inXile also invoke in this KS. They could probably figure something out, but it's a bit more of a challenge than Etrian/SMT-like games.

That part is definitely true. I thought you were referring to the Dungeon Crawl genre rather than that (which is a very new thing). You'd probably have to tailor that to whatever you're planning to port the system too (I can see some real potential in the various gizmos on the 3DS and Vita, and the Kinect and Eye have some interesting possibilities for consoles but you'd need a fallback for people who don't own them)
 

Coxswain

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Feb 27, 2008
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Man, I kinda just went from 0 to 100 on this one as soon as I got around to the bit on combat. Proper phase-based combat (assuming they're using the term in the same sense that I do, and it sounds like they are) is so damn good when it's done right, and yet it's almost completely nonexistent outside of tactical games and a handful of the more modern Shin Megami Tensei entries.
 

Alex_Mexico

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Mar 13, 2014
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I'm amazed by the amount of backers this game got and so freaking fast! Bloodstained needed less than 24 hours to get to $1,000,000+ but took weeks to amass 24,000 backers!

Hell, it's been 24 days since the Bloodstained KS began and they're barely 18,000 backers ahead of this game.

I guess it comes down to average amount per backer but in pure amount of people Bards Tale IV impresses me.
 

Memorabilia

Member
Oct 25, 2013
4,883
711
595
I'm really happy this is on track to getting backed! The little bit of disappointed spin is a head-scratcher...this is actually doing better than I expected. I'm a little sad I missed the early bard $95 tier...had a family emergency that pulled me away & it slipped my mind the past couple days. Ah well...it looks like there's a couple other options that'll work just fine.... Really excited! Probably haven't looked forward to a game this much since...forever...certainly nothing on console this gen or last had me this hyped....
 

Mivey

Member
Oct 28, 2014
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That is what I meant, when I said it is going to be more involved.
In Grimrock, for example, a lot of the puzzle depend on throwing items around with precise timing, while moving through the world quickly. So you using the mouse and keyboard at the same time.
Unless they allow you to slow down time, which would defeat the purpose of timing based puzzles, that sounds like a hassle to do with a controller. The Steam Controller might help though.
 

Elaugaufein

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May 11, 2013
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That is what I meant, when I said it is going to be more involved.
In Grimrock, for example, a lot of the puzzle depend on throwing items around with precise timing, while moving through the world quickly. So you using the mouse and keyboard at the same time.
Unless they allow you to slow down time, which would defeat the purpose of timing based puzzles, that sounds like a hassle to do with a controller. The Steam Controller might help though.

As someone who owns a laptop , you're really making me regret buying Grimrock now :p
 

Mivey

Member
Oct 28, 2014
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As someone who owns a laptop , you're really making me regret buying Grimrock now :p
I tried playing it with a touchpad, it works but feels so tedious. It would help if you had keyboard shortcuts to initiate attack with each of the four characters. Currently you have to left-click their weapon display.

So just try to get a mouse, that would really pay of for this game.
 

Kusagari

Member
Dec 29, 2005
47,639
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Gainesville FL
I think console versions do absolutely matter for something like Mighty No. 9 or Bloodstained.

For a game like this or Wasteland, you would think the vast majority of the audience would both have a gaming PC and prefer playing them on PC.
 

~Kinggi~

Banned
Oct 22, 2006
23,454
1
0
Man looking at kicktraq this thing was almost all front-loaded. Made 23k yesterday. Wonder what can be done to improve it.
 

szaromir

Banned
Apr 26, 2006
14,216
0
1,265
Man looking at kicktraq this thing was almost all front-loaded. Made 23k yesterday. Wonder what can be done to improve it.

That's typical for KS campaigns and at that rate you'll have additional $100k every 4 days which would be decent if it could remain unchanged until the final push.
 

autoduelist

Member
Aug 30, 2014
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That is what I meant, when I said it is going to be more involved.
In Grimrock, for example, a lot of the puzzle depend on throwing items around with precise timing, while moving through the world quickly. So you using the mouse and keyboard at the same time.
Unless they allow you to slow down time, which would defeat the purpose of timing based puzzles, that sounds like a hassle to do with a controller. The Steam Controller might help though.

Timing puzzles don't necessarily mean Grimrock style. For example, even a turn based crawler (like, say, the original Bard's Tale) could have 5 buttons scattered through a dungeon floor and give you X moves to hit them all [which would obviously be just enough to hit them all in order without getting lost].

Or, in a modern turn based dungeon crawler, you could discover an altar that had 'timing' puzzles built into it -- no party movement involved. Think something like the puzzles in Myst or often found between stages in hidden object games, etc.

Personally, while I loved Grimrock (and bought/played Dungeon Master day 1, as well as other OGs like Eye of the Beholder) I dearly hope Bard's Tale will be turn based within the dungeons - at least if combat is engaged. I'm not as much of a fan of the combat within realtime games (leads to environmental abuse as you run around in circles trying to never get hit). Even turn based combat with enemies taking up grid space (like m&m legacy x) seem to lead to the same kind of abuse. I'd rather be in a fixed combat zone that prevents such tomfoolery.
 

~Kinggi~

Banned
Oct 22, 2006
23,454
1
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Apparently one of Fargos best friends died and there was a funeral so thats why they have been quiet lately. Also one of the other guys got sick.
 

Arulan

Member
Dec 14, 2010
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The rate of funding has sure slowed down. It's a good thing they plan to add another $1.25 million themselves once they reach the funding goal.

Blobbers are such an under-appreciated sub-genre of cRPG. Good dungeon-level design and solid puzzles are so hard to come by. Other RPGs should take note as well. I could use something more intellectually challenging than a match-three puzzle *cough* Skyrim.
 

hemtae

Member
Nov 4, 2007
4,219
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New update: Brian Speaks, First Stretch Goal Added and...oh yeah, One Million Dollars!!!

Thanks to all of you we passed the $1.1 MILLION mark over the weekend! This puts it at the 23rd most funded video game Kickstarter of all time after less than week! We can’t thank you enough for your support. It is so inspiring to see so many of you continuing to join the RPG renaissance and prove the party based dungeon crawl genre is far from dead!

The reception of our in-engine video of The Bard’s Tale IV was also absolutely phenomenal. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it now, and if you did and loved it, share the word with your friends! ! The more that you share it, the bigger our budget, and the better the game we all get. We cannot do it without your help and involvement!

The in-engine video walks you through a level built in Unreal Engine 4, using our in-game-quality art assets, with no pre-rendered bits anywhere. This kind of prototype serves to give you an early look at our game, but also for us to familiarize ourselves with running these environments in Unreal engine 4 and to get a feel for our goals and atmosphere. But a video can’t answer all questions, so over the weekend in the project comments, we asked you all to let us know what topics you want to hear more about.

Brian has recorded a video to answer those questions.

Stretch Goals

Another question was regarding stretch goals. Where are they? We certainly have a number planned and ready but it just doesn’t feel right to put them out before we know we’re going to fund. Now that we’re comfortably heading to being fully funded we can no longer resist sending the first of these your way!

At $1.3 million, we will add an enhanced companion NPC system and add 2 more CNPCs, including Lioslaith the Shadow, a legendary Spear Daughter of the matriarchical Fichti people, the dark haired, woad-painted nature worshippers who live in the deep forests far to the northwest of Skara Brae.

With this enhanced companion NPC system, all recruitable NPCs will have unique personalities and backstories which will open up interesting side content and add rich and surprising reactivity to your adventure. In addition, these CNPCs will voice their thoughts and asides, giving their take on the people, places and events that you encounter as your party moves through the world. No two CNPCs are alike and they carry their own reputations with them. While they can add some additional firepower to your party, some might even get you into more trouble than you were expecting…
 

HK-47

Oh, bitch bitch bitch.
Oct 24, 2007
49,169
0
1,010
A good first stretch goal. They should add it to the top of the campaign page pronto.
 
Feb 28, 2008
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A good update, though I would perhaps like to see the class unlocking system touched up just a tad by way of allowing you to start out with the more exotic ones you managed to unlock in subsequent games after beating a run in full or some such if for no other reason than the sheer spectacle and that much stronger a reason to challenge it time and again with increasingly outlandish party combinations while cutting down on the slog to only eventually make such things happen which would normally be a thing.
 
May 18, 2012
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Man looking at kicktraq this thing was almost all front-loaded. Made 23k yesterday. Wonder what can be done to improve it.

Not surprising that this is frontloaded since they were offering a free game to people who backed in the first 24 hours (which they later extended to the first 48 hours).
 

Wiktor

Member
Dec 27, 2004
17,252
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1,635
I wonder if a study has been done on what limiting the platforms does to the speed/success of kickstarters. .
Depends on the game probably. With hardcore oldschool styled pcgames console versions would probably hurt the campaign, since many people will take it as sure sign the game will be consolized and if it's consolized then devs should go to some publisher instead of asking the money from pcgamers.

Meanwhile if a game is from console-centric genre, like Shovel Knight, then the announcement of console version is bound to help;
 

Mivey

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Oct 28, 2014
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Personally, while I loved Grimrock (and bought/played Dungeon Master day 1, as well as other OGs like Eye of the Beholder) I dearly hope Bard's Tale will be turn based within the dungeons - at least if combat is engaged. I'm not as much of a fan of the combat within realtime games (leads to environmental abuse as you run around in circles trying to never get hit). Even turn based combat with enemies taking up grid space (like m&m legacy x) seem to lead to the same kind of abuse. I'd rather be in a fixed combat zone that prevents such tomfoolery.

I totally understand what you mean. It's just that in Grimrock ( not having played M&M:X yet, though I am planning on finishing it over the summer) the combat has been designed with that running around in circles in mind. I used that extensively and it rarely feels like abuse. Fighting without that feels completely unbalanced and broken.

And we already know that you are fighting groups of enemies in this game, so the same kind of freedom in regards to movement is probably nonsensical. Though it will be interesting how they prevent you from running about, while still allowing you to turn tail and flee. Unless they don't, in which case this game could be really hard.
 

HP_Wuvcraft

Banned
Apr 18, 2011
33,525
1
0
I love stretch goals that are really just "we wanted to put this in the game but it would cost too much".

No, not being sarcastic.
 

Stiflers Mom

Banned
Apr 27, 2012
8,474
12,741
1,150


This map gives me the feels.. Spend so much time in Skare Brae in the late 80ies..

I am not that convinced about the new Bard's Tale, though.

That video doesn't sell me on what I expected a new BT being like..
 

FlyinJ

Douchebag. Yes, me.
Sep 22, 2005
12,696
1
0
They just announced that all backers are going to get copies of Bard's Tale 1-3.

I initially said "oh huh whatever" thinking about what a mess they would be on modern systems.

BUT WAIT:


inExile said:
Some of you may know that the emulated versions of these games work on most modern machines, but are a little rough around the edges. Thus, we have an agreement with the original The Bard’s Tale III programmer Rebecca "Burger" Heineman and her company Olde Sküül to update the games for modern machines! She will be working to make the games run natively, without needing emulators, on PC or Mac. This re-releases will be primarily based on the Apple IIGS versions of the games, along with updated art.

Not using DOSBOX, they are hiring someone to actually make them work natively on modern PCs!
 

BlazinAm

Junior Member
Mar 11, 2012
4,013
7
620
www.twitch.tv
They just announced that all backers are going to get copies of Bard's Tale 1-3.

I initially said "oh huh whatever" thinking about what a mess they would be on modern systems.

BUT WAIT:




Not using DOSBOX, they are hiring someone to actually make them work natively on modern PCs!
My first backing on Kickstarter keeps on giving, the game for $20, Wasteland 2, and now this.
 

Mivey

Member
Oct 28, 2014
3,887
0
0
Hopefully they publish these on GOG. Would really suck to leave a part of gaming history as a backer exclusive reward.
 

Sinatar

Official GAF Bottom Feeder
Jun 7, 2004
36,859
0
1,745
Edmonton
Hopefully they publish these on GOG. Would really suck to leave a part of gaming history as a backer exclusive reward.

I'm sure they will, they did the same thing with Wasteland Classic.

Though as I posted earlier in the thread, you can play the originals if you own the reboot version, they are all included and don't run in DOSBox.
 

water_wendi

Water is not wet!
Oct 8, 2006
19,066
0
0
They just announced that all backers are going to get copies of Bard's Tale 1-3.

I initially said "oh huh whatever" thinking about what a mess they would be on modern systems.

BUT WAIT:




Not using DOSBOX, they are hiring someone to actually make them work natively on modern PCs!
i havent heard that name in a long time.
 

~Kinggi~

Banned
Oct 22, 2006
23,454
1
0
You are getting a shit ton of value with this KS i must say. Not only are you getting the emulated versions but the updated ones for free as well.
 

Elaugaufein

Member
May 11, 2013
7,790
0
0
The native one is a port of what's generally agreed to be one of the best versions too (the DOS versions were decidely mid-tier in terms of quality) so yeah, genuinely impressed.
 

draetenth

Member
Feb 17, 2012
2,831
0
0
They just announced that all backers are going to get copies of Bard's Tale 1-3.

I initially said "oh huh whatever" thinking about what a mess they would be on modern systems.

BUT WAIT:




Not using DOSBOX, they are hiring someone to actually make them work natively on modern PCs!

Nice.
 

BrokenFiction

Member
Sep 11, 2006
8,506
2
1,265
The ATL
Looks like inXile is taking a page from Iga's playbook. New Monster KS update:

Let’s dust off those chairs in the Adventurer’s Guild and start exploring! We thought we’d do something fun, encouraging you to spread the word and giving you cool stuff to unlock by doing – including some bonus rewards as a thank-you to our backers! As we reach the milestones shared below, a story will unfold detailing our collective journey through the Enclave of the Fairy Host. Each time we complete an achievement, a new piece of story will appear, detailing the struggles and triumphs of the excursion. Along the way, we might even have some interactive decisions that will modify where we go. So here is what you can do to aid in our quest…



That’s only half the fun! As you rack up achievement points, we’re unlocking rewards at every 4 points (represented as rooms in the dungeon above)! At the first 4 points: we add a physical code wheel to *all* physical tiers, including $65. Digital tiers will receive a digital representation of this code wheel. The code wheel will not be required to play the game, but using it will unlock additional lore and flavor throughout The Bard’s Tale IV world.


We’ve got plans for some exciting stretch goals and even announced our first one: at $1.3 million we’ll add an Enhanced Companion NPC System and add 2 more CNPCs. What’s next after that one? At $1.35 million, we’ll add a Crafting System.