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Join the RPG renaissance! From the creators of Wasteland 2 and Torment comes the long awaited sequel to the Bard's Tale trilogy.
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.

The Bard Takes Some Questions!

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TL; DR: Storefront news, Q&A, GDC Highlights, Bard's Tale Trilogy remasters update

Hi everyone, Paul here with the latest backer update! Hope you've been well! David, Jeff, and the team are taking in all the alpha feedback from backers and incorporating elements of it into our production, so a discussion of that feedback and our Wizard class preview will have to wait for next go-around. For now, though, something equally special: we have a pretty big update ranging across the entire history of The Bard's Tale! We've got a Q&A with The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep dev team based on questions from our forums, a look back at GDC (including some press coverage that you might have missed), and finally some big news regarding the remastered Bard's Tale Trilogy! There's a ton here so strap in and let's begin!

Making A Wishlist

Before we get to the Q&A, there is one big "we're getting close" milestone that we wanted to share with you: the store pages for The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep are live on both Steam and GOG!

The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep on Steam
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep on Steam
And on GOG too!
And on GOG too!

Although our backers are already getting copies of the game, we ask that you please take a moment to "wishlist" the game for yourself (and encourage a friend to do so, too)! This helps with both sites' algorithms and increases the game's general visibility. Your support is a huge help for us as an indie studio, and we appreciate the assist.

Q&A with the Dev Team!

Thanks to everyone who sent questions our way! We obviously couldn't answer every single one, but don't fret if yours isn't here – we'll be answering more in the next backer update! If there's a question that you would like answered, please feel free to ask it in the comments section below! What follows is a dive into some of the more specific gameplay mechanics, so we hope you enjoy it!

Q: How many dungeons will BT4 have & how many locations/zones will BT4 have?

A: The combined count is 25 dungeons or dungeon-like areas. That said, it's a dungeon crawler - you always have to be on your guard!

Q: What races will be playable in BT4? The Trow have been mentioned as a new race, but what others are confirmed?

A: Dwarves, Elves, and Trow, and there are different variety of Human cultures (Baedish, Fichti, Einarr, and Outlander).

Q: Will it be possible to create your full party?

A: Yes, though not all at once. You start off with one character, and you'll be able to swap that one out during the introduction if you wish. Over the course of the game, you'll be able to grow your party up to six.

Q: Will BT4 be a continuous world where all locations connect together as one big world, or will it have a travel map between locations like Wasteland 2?

A: Yes, you can access the entire world by walking, or you can utilize our fast travel system to warp to previously explored areas. For those old school types, you are never required to use the fast travel system – it's just there for convenience.

Q: How many of BT4's monsters are from the originals or are directly based on the portraits from the originals?

A: For rank and file enemies, many of them were built to fit the current culture and story of this Bard's Tale. About a third of the monsters are from the original games, and the remaining are new, with most inspired by Scottish folklore and mythology (we covered some of them in a previous update). Some of our old major bosses are coming back as well. And no, we won't be fighting Nazis (sorry, Bard's Tale III fans), but a couple of fan favorites like Herb and the 99 Berserkers make a return!

Q: Does BT4 have time-sensitive puzzles? If so, do they take place in real-time or turn-based mode?

A: There are no Shadow Snare puzzles like in The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight - something which requires a real-time solution or you fail (and, in the case of the Shadow Snare, your party dies). While it was certainly an unique feature back in the day, it was a bit too punishing and there are other ways to challenge the player and provide that fun gaming tension.

Q: How many of BT4's bard songs are from the originals or are directly based on the songs from the originals?

A: The vast majority are songs from the original games. Out of the nine magical bard songs that the bard has access to, only the Song of Compulsory Cavorting is brand new. We took the core of what the songs did, or the role it played in the originals, and updated it to fit our combat & exploration systems. They even sound like the old bard songs.

Q: Will there be references to the other cities outside of Skara Brae (such as those you visit in The Bard's Tale II)?

A: Yes, there will be references to the other cities outside Skara Brae. You may even get to visit one.

Q: Will BT4 be akin to BT1 in forgoing automatic regeneration of SP/HP in dungeons, so there's an element of longer term resource consideration?

A: The answer is yes - HP does not regenerate over time like the originals. HP doesn’t regenerate over time automatically but can through the use of items and abilities. We also added checkpoints in the form of Luck Stones. These strategically-placed artifacts will save the game and restore your party's HP, if you can survive to reach them. This gives the game that feeling of tension as you delve deep into the dungeons, but without needing to backtrack all the way back to the Guild every time you need a breather.

Q: How will attributes work? Will we roll for random attributes like the originals or will we have a point +/- system like WL2? Will attributes go up automatically when a character levels up, or will we get points to raise the attributes of our choice?

A: Everything about your character, including your attributes, comes from your skill tree. Your starting attributes depend on your starting archetype, and you can customize them via the skill tree as you level up. Each time you level up you get to choose how you spend that skill point. You might choose to upgrade an attribute like intelligence, learn to craft a new potion, or learn a new passive ability. Some of these skills, however, are locked behind advanced tiers that only the Review Board can unlock for you.

Q: Will it be possible to permanently recruit monsters from random encounters?

A: While you will not be able to dominate enemies and have them join your ranks, you will be able to summon and keep a variety of monsters in your party.

Q: Will the player be able to fully customize their main character (class, race, gender, etc.), or will there be pre-defined settings (you're always a bard, you're always human, etc.)?

A: Yes, any character you create can be fully customized. You can pick your class, culture, portrait, and even your voice.

Q: Do enemies level scale in BT4?

A: Like the original, enemies don't scale. We set the level and difficulty of the enemy when we place them in the world. So you could come back to an older area and wreck shop because you're much higher level, or you could go into a higher level area and get your face stomped.

Q: Are the party's total action points based on party size?

A: Your party gets more opportunity as a quest reward for completing major plot points. You tend to get larger parties as you get more opportunity, so while they aren't directly linked, they do develop along a parallel track.

Q: The AP system shown in the alpha seems to be favor smaller parties. Is it still worth bringing more party members?

A: More characters is generally always better (except in a few rare circumstances), as it provides more HP on the battlefield to soak attacks, more abilities to chose from, and more people in the right place at the right time to perform key plays in combat.

Q: What is the maximum party size?

A: Six is the max party size. We also leave open two slots for summoning creatures if you have a full group. It can be 6+2, 4+4, 5+3... whatever party configuration works best with your play style.

Q: Are all the conversations fully voiced acted?

A: They sure are!

GDC 2018 Highlights

If you follow us on social media, then you'll know that The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep had a great reception at this year's GDC, something we were very excited and grateful about. It was warmly received by the crowds there, we had a few VIPs stop by, and of course a number of fans and backers stopped by to say hi and chat about the game with David and Jeff! Here are a few pictures from the event.

The Bard Draws A Crowd
The Bard Draws A Crowd

The team had good crowds for all three days of the expo! Jeff, David, and Art Director Maxx Kaufman all had their hands full getting as many folks access to the demo as possible.

The Bard's Tale IV Creative Director David Rogers with Bard's Tale series creator Michael Cranford
The Bard's Tale IV Creative Director David Rogers with Bard's Tale series creator Michael Cranford

A highlight was when Michael Cranford swung by to get his first look at the game in a while. He had a great time checking out the demo, and when I spoke with him later that day, he was absolutely thrilled with how the game was coming along and had developed since his last check-in with it. That kind of affirmation was really awesome, especially coming on Day One of the expo.

Kurt Heiden (pictured left) also stopped by!
Kurt Heiden (pictured left) also stopped by!

Another series vet also stopped by. Kurt Heiden was the audio point person on Bard's Tale II and Bard's Tale III. Barrows Deep marks a return for Kurt, as well. He arranged/composed some of the Ability and Exploration Bard tunes that you will be using in the game!

In case you missed it, here is some of the press coverage from that week:

For long-time series fans (or backers curious about The Bard's Tale IV's roots), GDC also hosted a Classic Game Post-Mortem on The Bard's Tale and The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight, featuring series creator Michael Cranford. Courtesy of GDC Vault, you can watch that talk here. It's well worth a look.

The Bard's Tale Trilogy Remasters Update

Finally, some long-awaited update news on the original trilogy remasters. As you may remember, when we did our original crowdfunding campaign, we were approached by Olde Skuul and told that they were working on a remasters project. Due entirely to your requests, we agreed to offer these remasters as bonus extras in addition to your backer rewards when they were done.

The project was a large one, and was taking longer than anyone was hoping for. After discussing the situation with Olde Skuul, we agreed to part ways on this. However, the entire inXile development team – from Brian on down – wanted to see this project realized for both the backers and for a new generation of players, so we undertook a search to find the right partner for this project. That journey led us to Krome Studios, and we could not be happier with the work that they are doing so far. It is my pleasure to introduce Lindsay Parmenter, Head of Development of Krome, to walk us through a little of what they have in store for you.

Lindsay Parmenter, Krome Studios Head of Development
Lindsay Parmenter, Krome Studios Head of Development

The original Bard's Tale games hold a special place in our hearts - many of us here at Krome Studios, especially Design Lead James Podesta and myself, played the games back in the 80s and are also backers of Bard's Tale IV.

After some casual conversations with the inXile team, the opportunity came up to put something together that we think will be really great for the Trilogy remaster. Not only are we updating the games to work natively on modern systems, but we're also putting on a fresh coat of paint, to give a new generation of role-playing and dungeon-crawling fans an easier opportunity to experience these classic games.

As a short list, our goals for the Trilogy remaster are:

  • Up-res the original art, but keep the art in theme with the originals (the original examples are from the Amiga version of Tales of the Unknown):

And obviously it wouldn't be much good doing an up-res of character and enemy images if we didn't animate them!

  • Add in various audio throughout the games for attacks, spells, and more.
  • Add some quality of life improvements, such as the automap, tooltip popups in the UI, etc.

It's fantastic to be able to share with you some of the work that we've been doing on The Bard's Tale Trilogy. We know everybody's been waiting a while for this, and we look forward to updating you all with the progress in the months ahead.

A collage of what to expect with the remastered Bard's Tale Trilogy
A collage of what to expect with the remastered Bard's Tale Trilogy

That's It for Now

Paul here again to wrap things up. Thanks to Lindsay and Krome for this quick look at the original trilogy remasters. Right now, the plan is to complete work on the first Bard's Tale game and then release that to all of you to play while work continues on the next two games. We're hoping to have that for you this summer. Once work has completed on the other two games, the entire remastered trilogy will be made available to you via your CrowdOx rewards. This project is our way of delivering an extra thank you to all of you who backed The Bard's Tale IV, our other crowdfunding projects, and our other games through the years. We're grateful to have you as fans and we're excited to bring you The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep later this year!

Until Next Time,
Paul Marzagalli
Public Relations & Community Manager
@phimseto

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Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Thomas Benn on

      Ok, so the images of the remaster look really nice. If this projects pans out like this all over the three games, it would be great.
      To be honest, the list of games Krome did so far
      http://www.kromestudios.com/games.html
      is really not bolstering my confidence, as really nothing is even near the ballpark of a classic RP (or ANY RP, as far as I can say) but until I see the finished product, I'll give the guys the benefit of the doubt and keep my fingers crossed.
      Can't wait to the end result. :)

    2. Steve Leadbeater on

      Absolutely LOVE what Krome are doing for the remasters of the original trilogy. This was exactly what I was hoping for. Love that the original artwork is being respected. I've backed 20+ projects here and i can honestly say this is the most exiting one.

      Thank You

    3. Joe Titos on

      Squeeeeeeeeee! Cannot wait for this! The original Bard's Tale is one of my favorite games of all time. I love the setting and the humor, to this day. ^_^

    4. Missing avatar

      Neo on

      It's always nice to see a TRUE REMASTER of the old classics. It's sad that for some developers an itch for gain is everything! Even the golden classic is not sacred to them. Perhaps the worst "Remaster" that the game community has received in 2018 is the "Simon the Sorcerer: 25th Anniversary Edition" series. Developers from Adventure Soft studios just lost their self-esteem and spat players in the face by doing this "Remaster".

      https://www.gog.com/game/simon_the_sorcerer
      https://www.gog.com/game/simon_the_sorcerer_2

      I'm glad to see that the developers from inXile have not chosen this path! :)

    5. Missing avatar

      Neo on

      Thanks for the update! The Bards Tale 1-3 Remastered is awesome! :)

    6. Magican
      Superbacker
      on

      I actually only backed this Bards Tale IV for the remastered version of 1-3 as I grew up with them on my Amiga. I have made some post on the InXile remastered page and made a Let's play on Dragon Wars. But I personally think Bards tale series is mush better. I cannot wait to play 1-3 again with nice graphic and sound. And also make a lets's play for all 3. Thank you for keeping this alive!

    7. Missing avatar

      NHILONE on

      I thought the Remastered was forgotten since it was abandon by old skull,i really like the bards tale trilogy since i was at a young age.This game was my first dungeon and dragons rpg games on i was hook when i play this games.I am very thankful to Exile that they do care about the backers fans.i waited so long for the remasterd and now i am more hype for the old bards tale and new now that ive seen it thank you also to Krome Studios on working the old bards tale.I am very so happy thank you guys i cant thank you enough for this i waited so long i can wait some more that what i see its worth the long long wait if i must to bring me back to my old days of non stop playing. thank you! guys

    8. Lewis Crown on

      ZZGO the hidden code for the dream spell. It healed the party completely, blasted all enemies, reduce your AC & I think it added an attack as well. Outside of combat it would take you to the entry stairs.

    9. Brad Prociuk on

      ZZGO and BASP. I can't remember what ZZGO does but I remember BASP.

    10. Jeremie Lariviere
      Superbacker
      on

      very cool update, thanks!

    11. David Nemeskey on

      Another _very_ important question (might have come up previously, but I don't seem to recall): will there be different instruments to play, all with their own renderings of the songs? I liked that aspect of the 2004 game, especially with the more quirky instruments, such as the singing sword.

    12. Loswaith on

      woo, double hype both for 4 and the remakes... the hard choice will be what to play first

    13. Rivethead on

      I think one of the questions was mis-interpreted by the guys and should be clarified: "Will it be possible to create your full party?" When I read that, I think of games like Icewind Dale where you create your full party from the start (all six slots) if you wish. You could have 2 fighters, 2 clerics, a thief and a mage (for example). All starting day 1, all starting at level zero, all classes, portraits, races, sexes determined by the player. Your answer (and answers to other questions) implies that BT IV is more like Baldur's Gate....you pick ONE character to start with and can build out your party with NPCs along the way. If it's more aligned with how it's done in Baldur's Gate, then I would argue the answer is really "no" and not "yes. " Thus, I think the answer needs some clarification.

    14. Lewis Crown on

      Is anyone else finding when the watch the Classic Game Post-Mortem BT1 & BT2 video that you get to 37.5 minutes it then skips to the end?

    15. Netobvious
      Superbacker
      on

      I noticed beyond just improving the graphics resolution and detail on the original Amiga art, you also slightly modified the poses, the most obviously noticed in the two lifted fingers of the crimson mage, and even the facial expressionns of some fireside patrons. Was that to channel more life and authenticity to the images?

    16. Hellspark
      Superbacker
      on

      Krome Studios... I had to check but they are the ones that also made Blade Kitten (somewhere around 2011 I think) which I quite enjoyed. Also an Australian company which is an added bonus :)

    17. Lewis Crown on

      I have a few questions. Will the different human ethnicities have in game effect or will they just have roleplaying effects?

      Will you be able to save those summoned monsters & reuse them? (Only really significant if the summoned creatures hit points can change between summoning’s.)

      Last but not least will it be possible to transfer our characters from the old emulated version to the remastered version (Not BT1 to BT2 but emulated BT1 to New BT1) or will we just have to start over?

    18. Missing avatar

      Michael Miguel-Sanchez on

      Considering all the issues 15 months ago with OS and completion of the remastered games, it's great to see them in safe hands with a local Aussie developer :)

      I have to say I'm equal parts excited for the remakes (originally played on C64) and IV.

    19. Missing avatar

      wandering acorn on

      Blown away by how well the art captures the essence of the originals and has incredible vibrancy to boot! Nicely done!

    20. Ben Turner
      Superbacker
      on

      Looks like the remasters are finally in safe hands. Don’t mind continuing to wait for something done right.

    21. Ohverture on

      "Although our backers are already getting copies of the game...."
      WAIT, WHAT? IT'S FINISHED? WHY HAVEN'T I......oh. Oh right. I see what you're saying.
      God damn you English language.

    22. Joel Fox on

      Glad to hear the remasters are actually going to happen after all that stupid drama. And update visuals are a *major* bonus (really wish Wasteland had received similar treatment).

      Not that I particularly care, but will the original pixel art be available as well, like in the Monkey Island remakes?

    23. Brett on

      Awesome update! Looking forward to the remasters just as much as IV !

    24. Kevin on

      Wow could not be happier with remastered if it gets done like that !

    25. HunterQC on

      Hype, Hype, Hype !!!

    26. Chris Parrott on

      The artwork on the remastered trilogy is beautiful - well done! It brought an immediate smile to this old school gamer's face. I can't wait for both the remastered trilogy as well as BT IV. So excited to see what's in store!

    27. Missing avatar

      Evil Jorge on

      One of the questions that I have seen, but I have not seen a straight answer for, is will we be able to create (choose attributes and name) more than just the initial character you start with? I am sure the NPCs the team has created are well fleshed out and all, but a key feature in dungeon crawlers like Bard's Tale, Wizardry, and the like is building your entire party the way you want them to be.

    28. GroovyDad and the Slap Me Some Skin Kids on

      This is amazing news Inxile. I second Gamehorder's request to get a physical copy of these games. You could do a Kickstarter (Fig) for it and I bet the campaign would blow up.

    29. Gillsing on

      When I went to the Steam store page to add the game to my wishlist as requested, I noticed that the minimum RAM requirement was 8 GB. That's what I have. Will I be able to run the game after my OS grabs 0.5-1 GB?

    30. Jack Hepburn Raine on

      Have to say i wasn't really bothered about the remastered games to begin with, they were a nice bonus and i would probably never play them, as for some reason i cant go back to looking at pixel graphics just on a bigger screen etc, but have to say after seeing this update i'm looking forward to playing them just as much as BT4. Great work Krome,

      Ps kinda glad it didn't work out with the other company, as remember watching an interview about the project and the woman just seemed a little crazy and kinda peeved you guys were doing BT4.

    31. Missing avatar

      Saxon1974 on

      I like everything about this update, especially those remasters! Thank you

    32. Missing avatar

      The_Dudes on

      The remaster-images look great!
      We have a question for the next Q&A: Will it be possible to map the dungeons (and cities and the wilderness) in Bard's Tale IV with pencil and graph paper like back in the days? And if yes - will it be as easy to handle as in BT I-III, where you always knew how big the dungeon was and what blind spots were left to explore?

    33. inXile entertainment 3-time creator on

      @Richard Thanks for the head's up. It's extra odd b/c one of the last things we do before posting is having people double-check all the links and they worked just fine in preview mode. Not sure what "broke" when it went live and unfortunately, we can't edit past a few minutes after posting the update.

      Here are the links for those interested:

      https://kotaku.com/bards-tale-ivs-special-weapons-are-also-puzzles-1823988857

      https://www.gamespot.com/gallery/25-coolest-upcoming-games-you-probably-havent-hear/2900-1917/5/

      Lots of questions about the remasters, and we'll look to get some of them answered. One thing I can definitely mention is that, yes, one of the core goals of the remasters is to make sure that you can successfully import your part from BT1 to BT2 to BT3 (or just BT2 to BT3 if you want to start with the second game).

      Regarding Steam keys for BT4, they are not currently available. Ince we get closer to release date, you'll be prompted via CrowdOx to choose what kind of game key you want.

      Also, the game will definitely be available on Mac and Linux, as promised in our Kickstarter.

    34. Rivethead on

      When is Bard's Tale IV going to be released? A previous update (emphatically confirmed with a Brian Fargo tweet) said 3Q18. The third quarter of 2018 starts in just six short weeks from now. While I didn't expect release on July 1st, I did hope for additional updates as we got closer to the date.

      Another question: does weather and/or day/night impact the gameplay in any way?

      Another question: how much depth will there be in intra-party interactions? Is it just occasional banter or will party member develop running feuds, flirtations, etc. over time (or based upon in-game events). I loved what I heard in the alpha but am curious as to the depth. Thanks for making this game. I'm proud to be a backer and I wishlisted the game on Steam the moment it arrived!

    35. Missing avatar

      Richard on

      Glad to hear the remasters are being worked on again. Gamespot and Kotaku articles links are broken. You have an extra " /" at the end of the Gamespot link, and an extra "tag/" in the middle of the Kotaku link.

    36. Raven Daegmorgan
      Superbacker
      on

      So excited for the remasters! I never finished the first game, and never had a chance to play the second. These are looking awesome! However, please tell me the "lurch forward" movement of the originals will not be making a comeback?

      (I keep trying to play emulated versions, but holy gods...I'm old now, it makes me motion sick and confused. Who are all these kids on my lawn?)

    37. William M. Weist on

      Any chance of getting my Relic Crafter Artifact into a code update?
      -Backer 26,450

    38. John Henry II McMills Warrington on

      When do we get Steam keys?

      The Bard's Tale Trilogy Remasters is now looking great, hopefully the 3D is fixed now, unlike in the original.

    39. Zebulon Pi on

      You had me at Krome. 😁 Love what they’ve done with the Ty games, really looking forward to the remaster now more than ever!!

    40. GAMEHORDER
      Superbacker
      on

      You should sell an "updated" physical box for the re-mastered trilogy!

    41. GAMEHORDER
      Superbacker
      on

      Cannot WAIT for the remasters! I had a feeling OS would drop the ball on it.

    42. Darklord on

      The remaster looks fantastic, really excited by this! Cheers!

    43. James Frith on

      Although I enjoyed them immensely in the '80s, I wasn't keen on replaying the original trilogy until now. Let's face it... the original pixelated graphics are painful to look at. Now I'm really looking forward to them.

    44. Tar Andfeathers on

      Really impressed with the trilogy remastering. Looks really good. I'm not sure which one I'm more excited about, BT4 or the remastered trilogy.

    45. Missing avatar

      Kenneth Wilson on

      a res upgrade would be great.

    46. Don Murphy - AoUA on

      Remasters sound very cool, and the pics look cool as well. Very nice. :)

    47. Trevor Martin on

      Save anywhere? No thanks, might as well empty all tension and excitement from a dungeon crawler. Save points is a decent compromise, although I'd also have taken a 'suspend save' which deletes on loading. That feeling when you burst out of the dungeon with a smashed up party and a few HP left... PRICELESS!!!!

      Also great news on the remasters. Old Skuul was a nice idea, but tbh I like the direction the new team are going in. Even if BT4 doesn't shape up how the old timers want it, we'll still be able to play the originals in comfort again.

    48. Missing avatar

      Michele on

      Nice addition to the original trilogy, but a question is in the air: will it be possible to play with the original sound and graphics? If I remember correctly the original plan was to have the old games run seemlessly on modern hardware but keeping the original feeling. They would also run on the same engine. Will the new graphics is nice, if you can't play the original I see an issue here. Or will we keep a separate original and remaster version? Can you clarify on that?

    49. Missing avatar

      Roger Helgeson on

      Sorry if this was already asked but... I assume that save transfers will work with the remasters, correct?

    50. MikeHumphreys on

      Wow, awesome update. That's incredible news about the remasters!