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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.

Backer Alpha Unleashed!

Posted by inXile entertainment (Creator)

TL; DR - Quick Hello, GDC Notes, Backer Alpha FAQ

The Backer Alpha is Here!

Hey Everyone,

Today is a day thirty years in the making! For the first time since players defeated the Mad God Tarjan in 1988’s The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate, fans will have a chance to play a sequel and experience new gameplay! This first playable version is an important stepping stone toward the game's release later this year, and we’re all excited to finally share The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep with you. Whether you are one of our alpha backers or will be watching press coverage, we’re looking forward to hearing what you think!

Further in this update is a FAQ for our alpha backers. If that’s you and you can’t wait another moment, go ahead and skip on down the page (we totally understand)! For those backers, please be on the look out soon for a CrowdOx email containing:

  • Your Steam key for the alpha test
  • A message from VP of Development Chris Keenan & alpha test notes from QA Lead Daniel Dean 

The FAQ at the bottom of this update should hopefully address any basic questions you have about the backer alpha and getting access to it.

In the meantime though, I wanted to share with all of you some of what we’re up to this week at GDC.

inXile at GDC 2018

You may remember this photo from our E3 2017 update.

Jeff Pellegrin & David Rogers
Jeff Pellegrin & David Rogers

Pictured are BT4 Producer Jeff Pellegrin and Creative Director David Rogers. As Chris noted in last week's update, David and Jeff will be at the Epic Unreal Engine 4 booth (Moscone South 801) demoing the alpha. If you are on-site for the event, you’ll find them there from today through Friday, March, 23. I am told that the kilts are making a return as well!

For everyone interested, Jeff and BT4 Art Director Maxx Kaufman will be interviewed at 12:30pm PST on Thursday, March 22nd as part of Epic’s GDC livestream coverage. You will be able to watch that interview here.

In other Bard’s Tale-related GDC news, one of this year’s hugely popular Classic Game Post-Mortems will feature The Bard’s Tale and The Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight. Headlined by series co-creator Michael Cranford, the talk happens today, March 21 from 5:00pm - 6:00pm PST in West Hall, Room 3016. If you are at GDC, this is a “must” for any Bard’s Tale fan! If you can’t be there, the talk is being recorded and we’ll be sure to share a link if and when it becomes publicly available!

That’s it for now, but more cool Bard's Tale IV news to come both in the news and as we return to our regular updates! As promised for our alpha backers, below is the FAQ regarding the alpha process. Thanks to everyone! Let us know what you think of the game here, on social media, and on our forums!

Until Next Time,
Paul Marzagalli
Public Relations & Community Manager

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Alpha Backer FAQ

How do I get my Steam alpha key?

We are distributing our Steam alpha test keys to applicable backers using CrowdOx. If you have completed your CrowdOx backer survey, you will receive an email from CrowdOx containing your key, along with a letter from VP of Development Chris Keenan and QA Lead Daniel Dean. Please be patient, as depending on how many emails need to be sent, it may take a little while for the system to fully process all of them. If you haven’t completed your CrowdOx backer survey, you can find more instructions on how to do so here.

Can I get the alpha test on another games platform?

We are only supporting Steam for the alpha test. For the final game, you will be able to make a choice of which platform you want at a later date.

How do I download the alpha test?

Applicable backers will be sent an email with a Steam alpha key. The alpha key requires you download the Steam games client and create an account with it. Once you have logged into Steam, you can use the "Activate a Product on Steam" option in the "Games" menu to activate your alpha key and begin downloading the alpha test. For more instructions, please see this page.

What operating systems does the alpha test support?

While we are supporting more OSes for the final release of the game, the alpha test is only available for Windows.

What are the system requirements?

  • OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (64-bit)
  • Processor: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970/AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Storage: 16 GB (SSD recommended)

Note that the above requirements are for the alpha test only. As we continue to optimize, these requirements may change by final release.

How long will the alpha test run for?

We do not have a set time the alpha test will run for. However, when the beta test becomes available, we will let all the game's backers know.

Will my alpha test key count as my final game key?

No. The alpha test is a separate Steam library entry from the final game. Using your Steam alpha key now will not prevent you from getting the final version on a different platform later.

How do I report bugs or provide feedback for the alpha test?

For alpha backers, please see the message included with your Steam key. It contains a link to a page you can go to report bugs and provide feedback. For both our alpha backers and everyone else, please visit our forums! We’ve set up a specific thread here for everyone to chime in with their thoughts and feedback.

Can I do Let’s Plays or stream the alpha test?

Yes! You are welcome to share your experiences with others, and if you have a Twitch or YouTube channel, you are also welcome to monetize your videos as well. Our only request is that you clearly state in your coverage that this is an alpha look at the game, and it will change and improve before release.

Yonatan Spira, D-Boy, and 121 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Mathew Beall on

      Hello - I still haven't received my alpha steam key, and I did validate that my crowdox survey is filled out appropriately.

      Are they still being sent out?



    2. Missing avatar

      Mark on

      Hello. There are only 138 of us that backed the VIP BEHIND THE SCENES ACCESS Kickstarter Tier. We identified ourselves as "the most dedicated of fans!"

      Please release the beginning part of this game (The start up to falling in the pit with the 99 Barbarians)

      We will accept that it's in Alpha. There aren't many of us. Let us play-test this for you. That was the Demo for the Computer Gaming Conference. Please patch it to the unlocked version.

      Signed - 138 of the most dedicated of fans

    3. David Nemeskey on

      The preview looks really great! It is only the party that sticks out like a sore thumb. I would really prefer 3D, moving models similar to the enemies.

    4. inXile entertainment 3-time creator on

      @chris I'm presuming that the system requirements will be tweaked a bit as the game gets optimized toward final release.

      @Tue Be sure to submit that suggestion to the devs. It's a good one.

    5. inXile entertainment 3-time creator on

      @chris I'm presuming that the system requirements will be tweaked a bit as the game gets optimized toward final release.

      @Tue Be sure to submit that suggestion to the devs. It's a good one.

    6. Rivethead on

      More comments based on seeing more video of the alpha (thanks Baxorn and Nekot The Brave!): I really love the art style used in the environments. An incredible amount of detail in the assets (I'm assuming that photogrammetry tech really made this possible). Beautiful. And characters that have "character" like Arthur always make a game memorable. Just blown away. Release can't get here soon enough for this backer. And lastly I still can't get over how polished this is for an alpha......

    7. amigacooke on

      Hope the combat grid can be toggled.

    8. Julien on

      To be honest David Alpha version is alway shorter because the full game is not event ready yet but i must say im curious is this alpha version will be directly updated with some pacht during the alpha time of ist the only version we can test right now?

    9. David B. Cunningham on

      Is there going to be additional content added to the Alpha? This is more of a demo than an alpha version of the game. Although I really enjoyed the content, I don't feel like I'm getting value out of a 20 minute demo.

    10. Tue

      Nice, though I do hope you switch it from automaticly picking controller - or at least add an option to pick at start, since there are plenty in the menu system that didn´t work for me. And doing it with a controller was just ... annoying ... to me. :)

    11. RoyT on

      How do you install from steam to a ssd if it’s not the drive where all my other steam stuff is located (C)?

    12. Netobvious

      Finally, a playable version of Bard IV. It has been an age. The bards were almost crafting some not too flattering poetry, but all is well now. Phew!

    13. Chris Liptau

      Are these system requirements the same as for the finished game later on?

    14. inXile entertainment 3-time creator on

      @Fizen - Alpha access started at the $185 BEHIND THE SCENES backer tier. The beta was available at earlier tiers (and is still available as an add-on).

      @Sara - Dropped you a message via Kickstarter.

      @Rivethead - Thanks for the early kind words!

    15. Sara Nieto Gómez on

      I dont find my key on the survey :( How I get mine?

    16. Fizen on

      Was alpha invite a completely random thing, cause I don't remember a pledge in kickstarter to get alpha.

    17. Rivethead on

      that should say "ton of depth" I really need to get back to work and not try to multitask.

    18. Rivethead on

      Ok, I just watched a youtube video of alpha gameplay and I have to say I'm pretty dam excited. For alpha, it looks very polished. Gameplay looked tactical and fun. I like the banter within the party as well as the taunts from the big-bellied bad guys. And there appears to be a done of depth to the game (items, lore, puzzles, crafting). Really looking forward to seeing more over the coming days, weeks, and months. Well done inXile!

    19. inXile entertainment 3-time creator on

      Hi Paul, unfortunately not. The alpha isn't a pledge add-on like the beta is.

    20. Rivethead on

      For those of you who don't follow twitter, Brian Fargo posted (tweeted?) a short video clip of the title screen and, more importantly, the title music. It's short and such a tease. But I like what I heard.

    21. Missing avatar

      paul simpson on

      as a beta backer, is there anyway available to boost my pledge to get alpha access?

    22. Paul Marzagalli on

      Thanks, Michael. Enjoy your time with the alpha!

    23. Michaeljack on

      Props for allowing us to Stream the Alpha and monetize the Streams. These days that's getting rarer and rarer sadly!