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From the creators of Wasteland 2 and Torment comes the long awaited sequel to the Bard's Tale trilogy. Thank you for making this game a reality. The bard is back!
From the creators of Wasteland 2 and Torment comes the long awaited sequel to the Bard's Tale trilogy. Thank you for making this game a reality. The bard is back!
33,741 backers pledged $1,519,680 to help bring this project to life.

Final Week! Campaign Recap

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Hello Exiles!

It’s time for our final week! As you may know we’ve run a few Kickstarters before and we’ve always found the final week to be one of the craziest, most exciting ones. The hours tick down and everyone is excited to see what our final amount will be, and we’ve always seen our fans come through to kick us into over-drive for this final week and we hope that’ll be the case again!

We have quite a few things to share this week, but today we wanted to recap our Kickstarter so far and talk about what you’re all getting for supporting us. Before we jump into that, I have a new concept piece to share with you.

This is a 3D model of one of the enemies you will run into in the game, the huge and dangerous Ogre Brute. We did not use this particular model in our video, but crafted it very early in our prototyping stages, as a test of what we want to do stylistically and graphically. When you see this hulking monstrosity come down the corridor towards you, will you stand and fight, or flee?

Tier Changes

We looked at some of our tiers and decided to tweak our some tiers a bit, all to your benefit of course.

$400 will now also come with the Collector’s Album Box, making it a great collectables tier if the Reliquary is outside of your price range!

We’ve decided to cut the price of The Puzzle Master tier by 50%! It is now $750. We really want to see some of the nifty and creative ideas our backers could come up with, and would love to have you jump on board for this tier!

Kickstarter Creator Hangout

Recently, Kickstarter contacted us and asked if I would like to attend a hangout session that they're running. Called "Creator Hangouts", they're an opportunity for the Kickstarter community and our own fans to ask questions about crowdfunding, our games, our campaign, and more. As someone who loves the concept of crowdfunding, how could I say no?

To check out the full details on the Hangout session, you can find the event on Facebook here. The event is on July 8th, 2015, at 1 PM Eastern time. Check it out, and I hope to see you there!

Who Wants Free Games?!?

We kicked off our campaign with a huge bang, with anyone who backed in the first 48 hours (for $20 or more) getting a FREE copy of Wasteland 2, The Witcher or The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings! The game of your choice will be delivered to you once we set up our backer portal after this Kickstarter ends. Of course upgrading your pledge afterwards does not affect any free goodies you’re due! We know exactly who backed in the first 48 hours and will have your games ready for you shortly after the campaign.

But that’s not all! If you backed Wasteland 2 or Torment: Tides of Numenera, and backed The Bard’s Tale IV before June 26th, 12am PST, you get a FREE bonus reward consisting of your choice of digital goodies from Wasteland 2, Torment or The Bard’s Tale IV! Plus thanks to our friends from OtherSide Entertainment, if you backed us previously and your Bard’s Tale IV pledge from before June 26th is $33 or more, you get FREE copies of Ultima Underworld 1 & 2. We were happy to see the strong response to our loyalty rewards, and we think it’ll be a fun thing to try again down the line to reward our loyal backers.

But we never tire of giving you stuff. We’re also giving all backers $20 FREE copies of the original The Bard’s Tale, The Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight and The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate! You will getting the existing emulator versions of the three games, but we also have an agreement with the original The Bard’s Tale III programmer Rebecca “Burger” Heineman who is working to update these games to run emulator-free on modern machines!

Also in that update, we announced that we’re expanding the soundtrack of the game to a Deluxe Double Album, this upgrade being FREE for any tiers that contain the soundtrack ($50, $70 and $95 and up)!

Social Media Achievements & Free Upgrades

Then we opened the floor to you to unlock extra goodies by spreading the word on our Kickstarter and once again we’ve been blown away by your response. 18 achievements have already been hit, unlocking four rewards that are coming free to all backers $20 and above:

  • A code wheel (digital or physical)
  • Premium graph paper (digital or physical)
  • Red Boots DLC
  • Two FREE Julie Fowlis songs, including the song from the in-engine video.

So just to recap, if you back for $25 today, you’re getting:

  • The Bard’s Tale IV digital copy
  • The Bard’s Tale IV digital manual
  • The Bard’s Tale digital copy + the update when it’s available
  • The Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight digital copy + the update when it’s available
  • The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate! digital copy + the update when it’s available
  • Digital code wheel
  • Digital graph paper
  • Julie Fowlis song from our in-engine video
  • Julie Fowlis song "Smeòrach Chlann Dòmhnaill (The Mavis of Clan Donald)" from her latest album, Gach Sgeul.
  • Backer forum badge

Hard to beat that kind of value!

Stretch Goal Additions

Along the way, you’ve been helping unlock stretch goals to make the game bigger and better.

  • The first two of these expanded the gameplay system by adding an enhanced companion NPC system, an enhanced crafting system and adding 2 more cNPCs.
  • After those, we’re working to gather the ultimate RPG super team of dungeon designers, each of whom is taking charge of a dungeon or unique area: Monte Cook, Bruce Cordell, Wolfgang Baur, Sean K Reynolds, Colin McComb and Chris Avellone!

We’re a ways into gathering this super team and with each goal make the game bigger and better, we’re hopeful we can knock more stretch goals down in our final week.

We also frequently get requests for people to pick up rewards available outside their own pledge tiers. We've rolled out many of these throughout our campaign based on popular fan feedback. If you already backed us, you can add one of the following add-ons by going to the manage pledge section and increase your pledge amount by the exact amount your add-on(s) cost. We will contact you to specify your add-ons once the Kickstarter ends with more information.

Bard’s Tale IV Game Details

Of course, last but most definitely not least, we have been sharing more details on our title, the first of which is this in-engine video we posted on the third day of our campaign:

Additionally, I recorded a pair of Q&A videos where I answer some of our backers’ questions. You can find the first of these in this update, talking about combat and more, and the second in this update, speaking to saves games, grid-based design and more. There was also this update on classes and races.

The big one that is a great read for people that want to know about our project is this Touch Points Document, which we shared in this Kickstarter update.

As always we’re listening to our fans and based on their feedback decided to expand the player party size to six, along with any summoned creatures you have space for. Read the document to find out more, our games offering over thirty beautiful levels to explore with over a hundred different enemy types!

We'll have more updates for you throughout this week!

Brian Fargo
Leader in Exile

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrianFargo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBardsTale
Tumblr: http://thebardstalerpg.tumblr.com/

PerfectVirus, Martin Gregory, and 101 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Tet Yoon Lee on

      BTW, I should clarify while I tailored my argument for Bard's Tale, I haven't actually read that much about the specifics. I just heard of it very recently. But the anti save game stuff I've been hearing for over 15 years and so far, I've never seen a good argument for why a game shouldn't have saving at any time as an option barring timing or engine difficulties. (Traditionally disk space may have also been a factor.)

    2. Tet Yoon Lee on

      Igal: That's a common claim, but it makes no sense. The only time a save system forces a certain game design is if the you have to spend too much time implementing it that you can't implement other things. Otherwise the save system doesn't in any way force any game design.

      Good designers should be able to design a game any way they want, even with unlimited saves provided as I mentioned earlier, there aren't engine lor time limitations. No one forces people to save all the time, or to use saves in a manner that some feel is "cheating". Designers are free to implement check point saves, but also allow people to save any time. You can even make saving all the time a toggeable option.
      Designers are also free and should be able to design the game so it can be played without having to load all the time, even if you can save all the time. Without traditional game development, where most testers are either paid or have a special agreement with the company, you should be able to trust your testers to play in the manner you direct, such as not relying on saving and loading, and report balancing and other problems from such a play style.

      With more modern crowd funding and early access development style, where more ordinary games who pay for the game are engaged with beta testing, if you fear that your player base will rely on saving too much and therefore not report balance problems, you can always disable save any time in early development for public releases. Or make it difficult to enable (e.g. modify an config file manually). Really though, I don't think this is necessary, designers, particularly on a game with as much involvement as this, are generally able to trust that their public beta testers to listen to what they've been told. So if the designers want people to report balance and other problems from not saving all the time, they just have to tell them.

      Ultimately the histoy of Inxile suggests they are good designers, and so should be able to implement saving at any time, without ruining the balance such that people have to save all the time. If something has gone majorly wrong with the team that this isn't possible, we backers need to know now!

      In other words, I agree with Steven Duff. Unless there's really a technical reason why save anytime can't be implemented. And considering how early development is and while far from AAA budget, the game is also way beyond most indie games, I can't imagine there is a technical reason.

      (If some people who want to play without saving all the time won't be able to resist the urge to save all the time if the option is implemented, even if the game has checkpoint saves or even perhaps lets you disable saving all the time, that's their tough luck.)

    3. Missing avatar

      Quantomas on

      Brian, you have done a marvellous job in preparing for the Bards Tale IV kickstarter. It's obvious from the quality of all the items you have presented. It's a pity that the media this time simply didn't take up the story, I guess there is a good deal of stuff we didn't get to see because of this.

      It is pointless to blame the jaded media now. What you can do instead is to keep the crowdfunding for the Bards Tale IV open, via Paypal and your dedicated website. Do the backer updates from this website, and it will keep alive.

      What will possibly help your cause most is a small playable demo level. Once it is ready, it can easily reignite your crowdfunding drive.

      After all, there is a unique opportunity for dungeon awesomeness if Bruce Cordell, Wolfgang Baur, Sean K Reynolds and Colin McComb get into competitive dungeon building mode. We don't want to miss that!

    4. ET3D on

      I guess that in a few years we'll see "Chris Avellone is still working on his saga".

    5. ET3D on

      "Chris Avellone is still working on his novel" - so it turned from a novella into a novel? I guess that explains why it's late.

      @Alex Gregory, the original trilogy is available with any copy of Bard's Tale 2004, so I assume you don't have that, either. :)

    6. Nemo Pohle on

      You guys are amazing, hope we can make that 1.9m stretch goal. Would be glad to back another kickstarter of yours or affiliated with you.

    7. Missing avatar

      Alex Gregory on

      Hot damn, I'm ready for this. I never played the original trilogy, so having the chance to try them out before jumping into IV is going to be awesome.

    8. Christian Vierheller on

      We’ve decided to cut the price of The Puzzle Master tier by 50%! It is now $750. We really want to see some of the nifty and creative ideas our backers could come up with, and would love to have you jump on board for this tier!
      At first I wanted to pledge for the tier to Create an NPC but then I realized that wit all Creation Tirs come "only" the signed Collectors Box and not the Reliquiary. Since I felt instantly in Love with the Reliquiary Box I pleged for another Tier. So there are about 700 Bakers who Pleged for the Ultimate or Supreme Box Pledges spending already 550-675$ and spending another 750$ woulnd`t make any much sense .So cant you create some other Add-ON Versions for Reliquiary Box holders to Create NPC/ITEM/Puzzles and also get the Standing Stones of Gratitude ?

    9. inXile entertainment 3-time creator on

      Just to clarify regarding Wasteland 2, as we've stated before:
      * For the creation of modding tools, the conversion to Unity 5 turned out to be a requisite step, and we'll be working on these tools after the Director's Cut release
      * Chris Avellone is still working on his novel and will continue to do so until it's done. As is often famously the case, writing novels can be hard to put to time constraints, but the process is continuing including notes from us and iteration on his work as he progresses.

    10. Missing avatar

      Igal on

      @Steven - While I understand your frustration, you have to realize that the save anytime thing is not an isolated decision in a vacuum. The difficulty level of combat, the size of dugeons and probably many other things in the game have to be balanced against the save system in order for the game to be challenging and interesting enough. If you balance against a save anytime system, the game may be too difficult to be played without constant saving, and you effectively force everyone to use this play style and change the essence of the game. If you allow saving anytime but balance against a "savepoint" play style, you may end up with a game which is much too easy for people who save all the time, and they may feel cheated.

    11. Missing avatar

      Steven Duff on

      Not allowing saving at any time is frankly a dumb design decision. It adds *nothing* to a game, and all it does is create annoyance for your users. You know, those people who you're asking for money? Games crash, real life invades, and yes, your party gets wiped out sometimes.

      "Why yes, we could have designed the game to not require you to play this annoying part over and over again, but we chose to force you to be irritated! Isn't it great?"

      It's even more asinine if you're doing it purely as an attempt to force a gameplay style on your players. Each player knows exactly what amount of saving is right for them. Some save a little, some save a lot. Both are correct and valid, and everyone gets their personal maximum enjoyment this way.

      But no, the genius marketing and design of 'save when we want, not you!" turns away a bunch of your potential purchasers right up front, and angers others later.

    12. ET3D on

      I'm a parent and I don't care about saves. It's not like I'd play the game anyway. :) I'm just thinking of it as supporting game development and getting a copy of WL2 to gift.

    13. TrentJaspar on

      @T.J.: look on the bright side-- by the time the game is released and patched, your kids will all be in grade school. =) Seriously, though, I like save-anytime also, but I trust inXile that they know lots of us have kids (I have two toddlers also). It's not going to be some awful checkpoint system with minimum-hour+ game sessions between checkpoints. Can anybody promise you'll never lose any progress because you had to tend to a kid who skinned his knee? No of course not (though I guess you can pause as long as you want...). But I think lost progress will be minimal overall. Otherwise I wouldn't have backed.

      As for cancelling your pledge forfeited the bonuses for early pledges...well, don't you think that makes sense? The promotion for early backers is a *loyalty* reward, and cancelling a pledge isn't exactly loyal, is it? =)

      Anyway, I hope you back the game. But if you're conflicted, well, you can always buy the game when it comes out if you change your mind. Cheers.

    14. Missing avatar

      BladeRnr on

      @T.J. Not this again...

    15. Missing avatar

      NRZ on

      @InterstellarMarine: Maybe I should do a kickstarter to make me a billionaire so I can donate to good games like this in the future (The goal would be $1,000,000,000 of course with stretch goals on demand) :D

    16. Missing avatar

      Igal on

      @inXile Could you please consider adding a digital copy of Wasteland 2 as a possible add-on, as you have for Torment?

    17. Missing avatar

      NRZ on

      I've thought about upgrading my pledge, but ultimately decided against it. If there won't be a save anywhere option, I almost certainly won't ever play the game. So, for (possibly) support alone, I believe my current pledge is the maximum I can offer.

    18. Interstellar Marine on

      Why are there no billionaires passionate about games who donate to things like these?

    19. madGamer on

      Beautiful ugly brute ogre. Amazing!

    20. Belisarius
      Superbacker
      on

      That soundtrack does sound great. May look at the other pledge level.

      I also definitely prefer save anytime. Replaying scenes reduces the immersion.

      If you want a game for your kids the "Monstrous" kickstarter is about to enter its last 48 hours.

    21. Missing avatar

      Shmerl on

      Will it be possible to buy the digital songbook with lyrics and scores after the release if it won't become available as an add-on?

    22. T.J. Brumfield on

      I pledged $50 the second this was live but said I'd drop my pledge if the game wasn't going to offer save anywhere/anytime. I saw others said they wanted it clarified because they planned to pull their pledge. The only clarification on saving has been that save anywhere/anytime is not on the table. I'm a man of my word, and I pulled my pledge. I came back to read all the updates to see if that had changed.

      I see inXile saying they really listen to fan input, which is why they changed party size, yet they ignored all the comments who felt such a system really adds nothing and is punitive. As a parent with multiple kids and toddler, I rarely get uninterrupted time to game.

      I apparently forfeited all these bonuses for early pledges when I cancelled my pledge and inXile still appears to be ducking the issue that many people asked for clarification on.

      In addition to all the complaints about saving, inXile hasn't answered any questions about the MCA novella that is missing, nor the missing promise to deliver mod tools for Wastleland 2.

      It is one thing to launch a second Kickstarter before you deliver the first (I understand that you want one team in pre-production while you're still finishing the first). But this is a third Kickstarter when there are two parts of the first still not developed. And I think the last update we saw on MCA's novella was 18 months ago.

      I get that MCA is very busy, including work on Torment. I'm a big fan of his. But I'm really disappointed that inXile is asking fans for more money, but not answering questions.

      I can only assume these factors are contributing to this campaign falling short of expectations and the previous campaigns.

    23. Jeremie Lariviere
      Superbacker
      on

      Cool update, thanks!

    24. Missing avatar

      Gabe on

      OK did my part and changed my pledge from the 55 level to 105. Here's to getting to 1.5 at least!

    25. Missing avatar

      Graber Stefan on

      Hi! Please make an add-on for "Digital Songbook"!

      Actually, I'm a backer of "ALL DOWNLOADABLE SUPERPACK" / $ 50 and at the time I backed (within the first few hours), this was part of the tier!! I took a screenshot - and now it's gone. That's unfair! Please make an add-on at least!

      Best regards, Stefan.

    26. Missing avatar

      Njål Solfall on

      What does the "+ update" mean for the original trilogy?

    27. Narq on

      Wow, all the extra swag! And Oprah's audience thought they had it good!

    28. inXile entertainment 3-time creator on

      @Belisarius - the only difference is that $20 is cheaper; it was an early bird with limited slots. $25 is the same contents but a slightly higher price for later backers. That said, if you are lucky and you catch someone upgrading their pledge and see the slot open up, you can still potentially jump in at $20.

    29. Belisarius
      Superbacker
      on

      Hello - just to clarify, are there any rewards differences between the $20 and $25 early bird pledges.

      I think some of the confusion comes from the line in the update "So just to recap, if you back for $25 today, you’re getting:"

    30. inXile entertainment 3-time creator on

      @Todd Mulholland - yes, absolutely! Everyone gets the classic trilogy games at $20 or above (which also doesn't change if you upgrade your pledge).

    31. Koshinator on

      @Sonny Scott: Yeah, me too... something's gone wrong with kickstarter's backend

    32. RagerX on

      Same question as Todd. $20 early bird. Bards Tale 1-3 and updates when available?

    33. Missing avatar

      Todd Mulholland on

      If you have the $20 early bird, do you still get Bard's Tale 1-3 and the updates when available?

    34. 1soni
      Superbacker
      on

      I'm getting an error when I click on the link in the email.

    35. tarasis on

      Fingers crossed that those last 48 hours bring the punters in! That's $25 level is a hella good deal.