Bits of Bard's Backer Business
TL;DR: Release Date info, Community Update & Survey, Backer Rewards updates, and E3 news
The Bard's Tale IV Production Update
inXile president Matt Findley here. Many of you have reached out to ask, so we want to take this opportunity to confirm that The Bard's Tale IV will be releasing in 2018. Thanks, too, to our work on The Mage's Tale, we have increased the visual scope of the game in ways that we could not have with just the Kickstarter. With everything now in place, it is simply a matter of taking the time to make the game right, make sure we implement all the stretch goals and backer content, and hit the level of detail we want. The world of Caith is a beautiful one in both sight and sound, and we want our approach to capture that.
Newest Member of the inXile Team
As inXile continues to expand, with more games coming and a growing back catalog, we are receiving more and more requests for Kickstarter and backer news, customer support, and general information. Thus, it's time - some would say long past time - we upped our communication game. So here we go.
First, for those of you with questions, troubles with your backer rewards, or who need assistance with Bard's Tale IV and our other games, we have launched a new Help Center page which will serve as a one-stop support location for all the info you need. It also includes an upgraded ticketing system, so we can better keep track of your direct emails and social media messages.
Second, and more importantly, we are pleased to announce that we have hired a brand new community manager, Paul Marzagalli. Paul has been active in the gaming community and industry many years as a games writer, consultant, and member of various game-related advisory boards such as the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers, the Boston Festival of Indie Games, and the Gerontoludic Society. Paul is also a long-time gamer, playing titles like Bard's Tale and Wasteland during Interplay's golden age, and he remains a huge fan of RPGs from the 80s, 90s, and today. Beyond that, Paul is a great communicator with deep knowledge of inXile and the wider gaming community. We are happy and excited to have him on board, and you can expect to see him popping up in Kickstarter updates, forums, social media, and more going forward.
And now, to kick off this new era of better communication, here's Paul with some important and exciting info for backers of Bard's Tale IV!
inXile President & Studio Lead - inXile New Orleans
The Bard is Taking Requests! Have Your Say in Our Backer Survey!
Hi everyone, Paul here. Thanks to the inXile team for the warm welcome! It has been an outstanding (and fast) first month.
Though this is the “official” announcement of my arrival, I have been out in the community for the past few weeks so I may have already spoken with many of you. Whether in the forums, on our game Facebook pages, or on Twitter @phimseto, please pop by and say hello!
With The Bard’s Tale IV, inXile is bringing back an iconic franchise for old fans and a new generation. In getting to know our backers and the greater inXile community, I put together a survey to help me understand where you are coming from as a RPG fan. This survey isn’t something that I will be sharing publicly, rather it is to help me better identify who our Bard’s Tale IV backers are and what they like in a Bard’s Tale game. This will help us with development not just of The Bard’s Tale IV, but with how we consider and develop future projects! You can find the survey below:
The survey is brief and it is your chance to talk directly to the game devs and let us know what you think. The more of you who participate, the merrier, much like a bard’s sing-a-long! Thank you in advance for your help and thanks to everyone for supporting The Bard’s Tale IV!
Last Chance to Help The Bard Tell His Tale!
Over the past few weeks, we have begun the process of gathering and implementing our in-game backer rewards - that means backer NPCs, items, puzzles, etc. If you backed us at one of the following reward tiers, and haven't heard from us yet, please let us know by writing us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sending in a ticket at our Help Center.
- $350 - Loreteller (write an item description)
- $750 - Relic Crafter (create an item)
- $750 - Puzzle Master (design a puzzle)
- $1,000 - Sagateller (design an NPC)
- $1,200 - Til Death Do Us Part (design an NPC couple)
- $2,000 - Musician's Tier (design a song)
- $5000 & $10,000 - Be a Barfly & Exclusive Reveler's Festival (3D model you as an NPC, design an item)
As part of this process, we need to close off the tiers that contain these in-game backer rewards - that is the $350 tier, and every tier $750 and up. We will be closing these at the end of this month. If you haven’t backed and wanted to be a part of the game, or have backed but were thinking of upgrading, this is the time to make your move!
The Bard's Next Tour Date: E3!
The other big news is that The Bard's Tale IV and inXile will be at E3 next month. We are excited to be there talking about the game. In addition, be on the lookout for the next backer update right around that time.
Physical Rewards Update: A Treasure Box That Is A Treasure Itself
As game production marches on, so does work on all our backer rewards. We were so excited when we received these photographs (along with the first shipment) that we wanted to share progress on the Reliquary Boxes. When the Kickstarter launched, we announced these boxes as rewards for the $550 tiers and up. The boxes were inspired by and designed to evoke both Scotland and the original Bard's Tale box art.
To do that, we enlisted the help of local California artist Kathleen Kaderabek, whose proof of concept (pictured above) is the template that we are using. As part of this update, Kathleen was kind enough to share some of her work process with everyone.
"A couple of years ago I was approached about doing a large number of boxes for The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter. Now it's time to start production! In the end, I'll be working on close to 200 of these large ornate pieces. Pictured here is my semi-assembly line with pieces coming out and going straight to being stained then varnished. Also, shop dog. <3"
"Each panel for each box goes through several steps before the box is constructed. First, they are engraved and then the stain is painted into the engraving by hand. Afterwards, the stain is wiped off and the piece is buffed to achieve even coloring. After this stain sets for a couple of hours, they go on to be sanded and varnished! Lots of work for each of 8 panels that go into each box."
"I get way too excited over perfectly sized and cut triangles. These are for the endcaps of the peaked lid, and I can't tell you how long it took to get just right! :D"
"Slowly but surely, we're making progress. :)"
"Finally starting to get boxes pieced together. These still have a lot of work to do, involving metal accents, nails, hinges and such but the first batch is getting close to finished!"
"Part of yesterday's work was starting on prepping the metal that will go along the edges of each box. I start with rolls of metal sheet (25 ft worth!) And use antiquing glaze on 3 ft portions of it to dirty it up and tone down the shine. Another layer of glaze may be added today before the metal is cut into strips and attached to the boxes."
"It's a metal day! Getting all these lined with antiqued metal takes some time but worth it."
"Now to do the finish detailing for a few days and we're done. With the first batch at least! :)"
"The first batch is done and delivered to InXile!"
"Taking an idea and creating a tangible item takes a good bit of work and planning, especially with something this detailed, but I think we have the process down now. Only 165 more to go! :D"
Thank you, Kathleen! We are always happy for the opportunity to support local artists like Kathleen. If you like her work, please think about giving her artist's page a look.
For those of you getting Reliquary Boxes, good news! We plan to ship them out as we receive them, so be on the lookout as we work to confirm shipping address with those backers receiving them.
That's all for this update! Thank you again for your support of The Bard's Tale IV. We look forward to your feedback in the backer survey, keeping in touch with you here and across social media, and in our next update around E3. See you then!
Public Relations & Community Manager