Share this project


Share this project

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.

NOLA Office Update, Production Status, and the Fichti

Posted by inXile entertainment (Creator)

Hello everyone,

When we last updated you on our project, we had only just started on the brand-new inXile office. We’ve moved at lightning speed to get everything set up, bringing in new hires and moving people over from the mothership to maintain the consistent culture and quality standards of inXile. We’ll continue to grow as the project moves forward but we have a solid core staff in place to work on every facet of the Bard’s Tale.

A peek into the growing NOLA office.
A peek into the growing NOLA office.

Additionally, as we mentioned last time we’re deep in pre-production, working out the groundwork of the game. As we’re moving full-steam ahead we’re going deeper into the process of exploring the game systems, which means lots of prototyping, experimenting with different ideas and creating working systems, as well as the supporting interface design and presentation to make them feel awesome. With each prototype and technical iteration we’re finding more exciting opportunities to build on the combat system we described in the touch point doc. We’ll continue to keep you updated on our process, and as we move forward share more details or even glimpses of what we’re working on.

Speaking of, the world is one of those things that is more solidified now. Here’s just a taste of what we have been building.

The Bard’s Tale IV pre-alpha screenshot (click for a larger version).
The Bard’s Tale IV pre-alpha screenshot (click for a larger version).

The game's visuals are just one piece of the puzzle, and our Lead Writer Nathan Long has been doing a fantastic job building out the different factions and races. I’ll now turn things over to him to give all of you another glimpse at our world...

Lore Update – The Fichti

Nathan here.

Caith is the land in which we set our story, the land of Skara Brae. It is a land of stone-fenced fields, vast forests, windswept mountains and rocky shorelines at the northern end of a island in a northern sea. In Caith's lowlands live the Dael, ruddy, hardy farmers with a feudal society of knights, dukes and castles. In Caith's great northwestern forests live the Fichti, short, dark haired hunters and gatherers who keep to the older ways of tribe, clan and totem. On the shores and isles of Caith's rugged north east coast live the Einarr, descendants of Norn raiders, but now settled fishers, shepherds, and sailors. The three cultures don't mix very much, but they all think of Caith as their home, and occasionally, if the threat is great enough, they all come together to defend it.

Right now, I'd like to talk to you in detail about one of those cultures, the Fichti.

Culture of the Fichti

The Fichti are a tribe of nature worshiping humans who see themselves as the guardians of the deep forests of northwest Caith. They are a small, wiry, dark-haired people, known for painting themselves in woad and wearing clothes made from skins and pelts. They live in small villages protected by wooden palisades and survive primarily by hunting and gathering, though they also sell furs, antlers, honey, and game meat to their Dael neighbors to the south.

Though the Fichti are a matriarchal society, both men and women lead. Each village has both a Mother and a Father, as well as a Grandmother. The Mother and Father are often married, but don't need to be - they don't even necessarily need to be the same sex as their title - although the Grandmother is always a woman.

Village Mothers are the leaders in all things pertaining to organization and justice in the tribe. It is they who settle disputes among villagers and who negotiate with other villages. They are the lawmakers and peacekeepers. The village Fathers - regardless of sex - are the leaders in all things pertaining to defense. They maintain the village's fighting cohort and investigate all threats. They do not have the power to make war on their own, but once the Mother orders that war be fought, the Father is the one who leads the fight.

The village Grandmother is a priestess of Mother Hazel and Father Oak, tending to all matters spiritual and ceremonial, making sacrifices, consulting auguries, presiding over rituals, healing both the body and the mind of her flock, and seeing to the burial of the dead.

Religion of the Fichti

Unlike the other peoples of Caith, the Fichti worship actual entities, not abstractions or totems. Grandmother River is a major river that runs through their lands. Mother Hazel and Father Oak are actual and particular hazel and oak trees, giants of their kind. Likewise, the animal gods who are the children of Hazel and Oak are actual and particular animals who live in the Fichti's forests - nigh-immortal animals of unusual size and supernatural powers - but animals none the less, that live and sleep and hunt and can be seen in the real world.

This makes the Fichti especially protective of their lands and secret places, because their gods can be destroyed, and if their gods are destroyed their culture dies - and if their culture dies, they believe they will die as well.

The Fichti's religious leaders are all women, known as Sisters of the Sacred Grove, which is the grove where the two massive trees, Mother Hazel and Father Oak, face each other across a bend in Grandmother River in which is reflected Grandfather Sky. Thus all four of the prime gods are present in the glade, making it the holiest of holy places. This is where the leadership of the Sisterhood live and train young women to become priestesses, and since many of the mysteries there are not to be seen by men, the guardians of the grove are Spear Daughters, young women of a martial nature who are also trained there.

Magic of the Fichti

Magic in Fichti society is strictly the provence of the priestesses. Young girls who show signs of occult potential are quickly taken into the Sisterhood. Boys who show occult potential are generally killed. Men, it is believed, do not have the temperament to safely control magic.

This doesn't mean that magic is not practiced by men, or outside the Sisterhood. There are rebels in Fichti society just like in any other. Sometimes parents will hide the occult potential of their sons or daughters. Sometimes young men and women will discover power within themselves and practice in secret.

Many of these outlaws find their way to the Lodge of the Black Dog, a coven of renegade Fichti witches and warlocks who don't believe that magic requires a moral or religious basis. The lodge dwellers are not necessarily evil, but neither are they safe or sane, and have no compunction against seeking out power and artifacts that other Fichti would consider cursed or taboo.

Relations with the Outside World

Although they understand they live in the land of Caith, the Fichti do not feel much kinship for the Dael or the Einarr, the other cultures who share that land. The Dael they think of as weak farmers, too civilized to survive alone in the wilderness. Still, there is little animosity between the two cultures unless some greedy Dael sneak into the woods to poach game or timber. Other than that, the Fichti are happy to trade furs for axeheads with their soft southern cousins, for the one thing they do like about the Dael is the strength and sharpness of their steel.

The Einarr are the Fichti's traditional enemies, going back to the days when Einarr longboats would glide onto the shores of the inner sea and Einarr raiders would sack Fichti villages and take captives and plunder. The Einarr don't raid anymore, but old grudges die hard, and no Fichti shakes hands with an Einarr without checking after to make sure all his fingers are still there.

The Fichti have no real relationship with the Dwarfs, who don't make a habit of roaming around the northern woods, but they are the race of men who have the closest relationship with the elves, though they still regard them as beings to be mistrusted. They honor the elves as the original rulers of the forests, but also believe they abandoned the world when it needed them most, and left it to men to save it from the Famhair. They also fear the elven habit of luring away Fichti men and women who appeal to them. At the same time, the elves have often helped the Fichti against the darker horrors of the forest, and have taught them much of magic and the land, so they are grateful for their kindness.

A Fichti saying that illustrates this conflicted relationship is, "Take elven wisdom, not elven wine." This refers to the belief that any advice freely given by an elf is safe to take, but any time food or drink or a bargain is offered, it is always a trap, and must be avoided at all costs, or the Fichti who made the deal, even if they didn't know a deal was being made, could end up as playthings for some elven lord or lady, trapped forever in the Realm of Coill.

Nathan out.

Shout-Outs and News

Today we have a handful of other projects to share with you. First, our good friends at Harebrained Schemes have just released Shadowrun: Hong Kong - Extended Edition, which contains an additional 6+ hour bonus campaign free for all existing owners and new buyers. Check it out if you like their unique brand of turn-based tactics and cyberpunk.

Next, a small break from our usual gaming fare to bring you a sci-fi film project. Uprising is a post-apocalyptic comedy which celebrates robots in games, film and television culture. When four MIT grads unleash an AI, they inadvertently bring about an Armageddon of life-sucking Roombas, self-driving Priuses that hunt down human survivors, and just good old fashioned killer mechs. The project is just past its halfway point, so if you like the sound of it, take a look.

Last, we’d like to raise a glass to the Torment: Tides of Numenera team in Newport. Torment has been in development since 2013 and has hit a major milestone with the release of its beta and is now also available on Steam Early Access. If you would like to take a look at our thematic successor to the Torment legacy, you can join in this early version now and help us make it better.

Matt Findley
inXile President & Studio Lead – inXile New Orleans


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. RC on

      @Tarasis @Koshinator @Bryy Miller and our other fellow explorers of Skara Brea... concern yourselves not with Lee Sweeny. This fellow pulled this same unfounded disgruntled act with other Kickstarter projects too. I think he gets his jollies either riling other folks up, or just himself. But this behavior is par for the course when he backs a project.

    2. Daniel

      when I first glanced at the update I was like: Oh photographs. Then I realized the second one was actually a screenshot because of the logo... that's some quality

    3. Missing avatar

      Budd Wright on

      I'm sure inXile and Brian Fargo have got this, and our Bard's Tale IV will be great. I do admit, though, that I'm less than enthusiastic with the art direction -- it's not that this screenshot isn't beautiful... it just doesn't evoke those Bard's Tale feels of the original trilogy. I'm old school, but can appreciate all the latest gen graphics and whatnot, but I hope this still feels like a true Bard's Tale game all around, and not just Skyrim with Bard's Tale trappings!

      Still... I say again, I trust inXile and Fargo.

    4. meganothing dread bard of torment BOSB on

      @Lee: Yes,and oh my god, they killed Kenny!!!

    5. meganothing dread bard of torment BOSB on

      @Brain: The probable reason it wasn't offered is that in the *BT* kickstarter torment is just a "minor" addon like stickers and t-shirts. It doesn't make sense to offer a more expensive "deluxe torment" package to predominantly BT-fans. You expect most of them to only get the torment addon if it is cheap enough.

      Yes, they might get more input with more beta testers, but their secondary goal might also be to only have the core torment fans as beta-testers, quality before quantity. You probably are one of the few cases of backers who falls through the cracks of their scheme, a real torment fan that missed the original torment KS but is on the BT kickstarter.

    6. Missing avatar

      Rick on

      Thanks for the update :-)

      Screenshot looks great (even if blurred). Definitely ingame. This is the graphics an Oldschool RPG deserves. Also the environment looks very natural and open. Almost like Skyrim. Probably better.

    7. amigacooke on

      Good to have an update, but pictures of a partially occupied office 6 months after funding don't inspire massive confidence.

      Looking forward to more developments and further updates.

    8. Bryy Miller on

      ... how have they screwed anyone?
      WL2 was out, has no DLC, no micro, none of the anathema that people seem to hate.

    9. Jeremie Lariviere

      great update, thanks!

    10. Koshinator on

      @Lee Sweeny: I have no idea what you're referring to... perhaps you are thinking of a different dev team?

    11. tarasis on

      @Lee Sweeny: What? I haven't had that sense from inxile at all.

    12. Paul Marzagalli on

      I'd be remiss if I didn't express my hope that if the game does take us to Skara Brae, the layout remain as close to the original as possible. I know it was blown up in BT3, but so what? I want to go for a nice 3D stroll down Death Archer Road on my way to the inn at the end of the block! :-D

    13. Missing avatar

      Saxon1974 on

      Cool screenshot, I like the whole Celtic feel of the setting.

      Are the others races as anti-male as the Fichti?

    14. Sir Eyeball on

      glad to see an update be it somewhat shallow gamplay wise. More about the game and less about the background and story next time please. The story and background I will likely get when I get the game anyway and it won't matter to me before that at best.

    15. Charles Brandon Adkins on

      for starters...
      appreciate the update... and, yes, the screeny is fishy,
      with some doubts of authenticity ... would like to see more,
      including graphs layout, artistry, and design...
      to say this campaign is 'short' on material would be a gross understatement.
      * 'odd' comments here, some people quite upset
      specially 'sweeney'... have yet to see a 'failure' or 'ripoff' from inxile,
      so NO idea why he is sooo distraught.
      * also, the 'not a robot uprising' film looks fooking awesome! backed!

    16. June

      Looks promising so far! Thanks for updating, it's good to hear some new material after all this time.

    17. inXile entertainment 3-time creator on

      @Trevor Martin: we will have more on combat. There is some awesome stuff coming that we want to share with you, but it is not ready just yet.

    18. Lee Sweeney on

      I have lost all trust for inXile, after screwing folks left and right.

      The will never get money from myself again, nor any support for projects that some Marketing thing is allowed to destroy.

      They rode the hearts of gamers to success, then rode them to death, with shady practices.

      They have proven that Greed is the only thing that matters to them, may they be forgotten.

    19. madGamer on

      @Ttrever bt has always been less about story but i hope that in bards tale IV they add a little more. i think it helps in atmosphere of the game :)

    20. Trevor Martin on

      Graphics look impressive (or potentially impressive at least) and its great to finally get an update - but BT has always been less about detailed lore, and more about combat, dungeons, puzzles and mechanics rather than story. It would be good to have a bit more info about those elements rather than a series of scene setting descriptions. The forums need something to discuss �

    21. Brian Sfinas on

      @meganothing, As I said in my post, I suspect that that's what it is, but since the option wasn't made available for backers of this game (only backers of Torment were offered beta and alpha access as far as I'm aware) I'm wondering if there is a reason it wasn't offered, other than to sell the Early Access version to people who have already purchased the full game. This aspect of video game Kickstarters has never made sense to me. I get trying to win more money from the players by offering an early opportunity to play it from the pitch, but if people are already buying the full game from a secondary offer years later, what is the goal of not providing them an opportunity to voice their opinion on the development of the game? Especially for a game that has faced so many hiccups, delays and essential crew shake-ups, it seems like they would benefit from more helpful input, rather than their current strategy.

    22. meganothing dread bard of torment BOSB on

      @Brain: Maybe fear of the possible shitstorm of backers that already paid extra for the beta?

    23. Radon on

      Regarding the pre-alpha-screenshot: I like the style, but the quality of the shot isn´t good at all. Your jpg got a terrible high compression level that kills alot of the details...

    24. Missing avatar

      Steve Oliver on

      Any word on the BT 1-3 udpates to run on modern OS?

    25. light487 - Kickstarter Junkie on

      Only thing I don't like... I have to wait till next year :)

    26. Gwenael Talhouet (Belmont1)

      Wow, just wandering in the game world seems enough to justify backing the project XD

    27. Brian Sfinas on

      Speaking of Torment, is there any reason the folks at the Tormented Bard Level (and above which includes a digital copy of Torment) can't participate in the beta without purchasing it seperately other than that there are some people who are allowed to participate in the beta that paid more than those who just get the game from the Torment Kickstarter? ie: is there any reason to not let us participate in the Early Access experience for that game if we've already paid for it other than to get us to invest more money?

    28. Missing avatar

      Skirge01 on

      Brian answered my question on Twitter ( that it's an actual screen shot. WOW!

    29. Missing avatar

      Skirge01 on

      As much as I trust Brian Fargo and inXile, I have to ask whether that's an actual screenshot (understanding it's nowhere near final) or is it a bullshot? It honestly looks too good to be true.

    30. Christoph Zürcher on

      Was looking forward to an update on this project. The screen looks absolutely stunning.