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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.

The Backer Beta Has Landed!

Posted by inXile entertainment (Creator)

TL; DR - Backer Beta news, Backer Beta FAQ

The Backer Beta is Here!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here. It has been a whirlwind for everyone since we launched the alpha systems test in March. We’ve been soliciting feedback, bug reports, and acting on all of it in the intervening months. All of the comments we have received from you have helped us make the game better and brought us to this point - the release of the backer beta.

We’re excited because this time so many more of you get to experience playing the game for yourselves. The backer beta has a roughly 4-5x larger player base, and that’s something we’re very happy about. We’re thrilled for those of you who finally get to try the game out for yourself, and we’re looking forward to your feedback.

And there’s a lot of feedback to provide. The backer beta is a big slice that takes you through the beginning of the story, introduces you to the game’s core systems, and then lets you go play in that world for a little while. Character creation and customization, combat, exploration, puzzle solving, and (of course) dungeon crawling all await you.

Further on in this update is a FAQ for our beta backers. For those backers, please be on the look out soon for a CrowdOx email containing:

  • Your Steam key for the beta test
  • A PDF containing a letter from VP of Development Chris Keenan & beta 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 beta and getting access to it.

For all our backers, the release of the beta means that we are that much closer to our Q3 release date for the game. That’s almost upon us, so expect lots of news in the near future! 

Until Next Time, 
Paul Marzagalli 
Public Relations & Community Manager 

Follow Us: 
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Backer Backer FAQ

How do I get my Steam beta key?

We are distributing our Steam beta test keys through CrowdOx. If you have completed your CrowdOx backer survey, you will receive an email from CrowdOx containing your key, along with an email containing 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.

I don’t want to use Steam. Can I get the backer beta on another platform?

We are only supporting it on Steam for the beta test, mainly because as an indie studio we don’t have the bandwidth to support multiple stores for a beta. Doing things this way allows us more time to work on the game itself and be reactive to player feedback. For the final game, you will be able to make a choice of which platform you want at a later date.

What operating systems does the beta test support?

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

What are the recommended system specs to play?

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: 50 GB

These requirements may change by final release as we continue to optimize the game.

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

Yes. The beta test will unlock the full game upon release. If you prefer a GOG key at launch, we will offer you the chance to deactivate your Steam version and get a GOG key at a later date.

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

For beta backers, please see the email that will arrive with your Steam key. It contains a link to a page you can go to report bugs and provide feedback. For both our beta backers and everyone else, please visit our forums! We’ve set up a forum thread here for everyone to chime in with their thoughts (as well as track known issues).

Can I do Let’s Plays or stream the backer beta?

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 a beta look at the game, and it will change and improve before release.

Adam Sherman, Geoff May, and 130 more people like this update.


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    1. Keith McDaniel on

      I paid the $33 pledge, is there a way to upgrade to higher tier for beta access? Don't want to pay $80 on top of the $33 I spent

    2. Missing avatar

      Marc Dugal on

      Will Bard's tale 1 still be available today (July 24th) and how will we get access to it? (STEAM KEY?)

    3. Rivethead on

      @Paul/InXile - now that we know a release date of September 18th, when can we expect delivery of the other digital goodies such as strategy guide, novellas, soundtrack, etc.?

    4. Missing avatar

      Matthew Stetson on

      Very disappointed to see there's no beta for Mac/Linux. It's bad enough we pledged for access you aren't delivering, but I'm worried you'll ship Windows and tell the rest of us you'll ship "soon".

    5. Missing avatar

      David H on

      After finishing the Beta I've come away with mixed feelings so far. The atmosphere and exploration are great and very much invoke the same feelings I had back in the days of the original three games. However, the character skills/spells/songs progression and selection is sorely lacking, especially when you have to sink points into things you'll never use just to progress to the next tier. Also, only having three active masteries per character is extremely limiting in combat and a far cry from the selection you had in the previous three games. Overall, the game looks quite fun, but with the current skill system it will have almost zero replay value for most players.

    6. RoyT on

      $70 was the minimum pledge for beta access. In the main comment thread is info on how to add beta for $15.

    7. Dan Spezzano on

      @RoyT Thanks for the response, I did the most basic level I think asking crazy sums to beta test a KS project is a cash grab I want no part of. It has just been so long I couldn't remember the details here. CrowdOx is the worst thing I've ever seen by the way if not for the help of someone at inXile I wouldn't of gotten anything thus far.

    8. Sir Chaox on

      Everyone still missing a beta key (assuming you pledged at that level or added one on), email inXile support and they will help you out. :]

    9. Desmond Gaban on

      Its been days and I have not gotten my key.

    10. Hauke Stammer

      I was waiting a bit longer to not add to all the requests and questions beeing asked - but I still did not get my key even I douvle checked with CrowdOX and resend my backer survey.

      Any help? Thx!

    11. RoyT on

      Just certain pledge levels. What was yours?

    12. Dan Spezzano on

      I've had many issues with CrowdOX in the past and someone has been kind enough to help me. Honestly it has been so long I don't even know if I qualify for the beta , was it for everyone or a certain level?

    13. Missing avatar

      Greybowsky on

      ok i played an hour, the beta is not as bad as i feared when i read about character creation. Actually you can create your own toon after 5 mins playtime. But ofc i will miss to reroll stats endlessly while creating my party. Hope that i can create more toons while movin through the "tutorial area", but atmosphere and turn based combat are pretty ok as far as i can tell. I guess these oldschool times with BT 1-3, MM6+, wizards&warriors, wizardry, pool of radiance, Krynn series etc. are over *cry* .. in W2 i could create up to 4 toons right from the start (and i guess the game was a success for u) .. and i ask myself why did you go this way with BT4. Most oldschool RPG fans i know love to spend hours in creating and developing their heroes ... looking forward to play BT4 when its gold in september and hope you surprise me with creating 4 toons in adv guild in the very beginning :-) Loved BT1-3, Wasteland 1+2 and even Fallout 1+2 ... keep up the good work ... peace ... G.

    14. Tue

      Ok, finished the beta ... which should be renamed a demo. :)
      But all in all it is nice - though there are definately some polishing that needs to be done here and there. But seems mainly to be quality of life issues (when you look past the occational bug).

    15. Fuzzy Puffin on

      @Scott just add it to Steam.

    16. Sir Chaox on

      So I submitted my survey at 2pm PT yesterday and haven't received a key yet. I'm a little concerned that maybe I submitted my survey too late and I won't be getting a beta key unless they resubmit the request or something. Is this something someone at @inXile can check? Thanks. :)

    17. Missing avatar

      Scott Burnham on

      I got my beta key but there aren't any instructions on how to use it....

    18. Missing avatar

      David Gilbert on

      SO looking forward to BT4 Beta, (I played the Alpha) ...received my Beta key today, and Steam says 'Invalid Beta code'. Noooo..... is there a link to Steam Beta where key will work?

    19. inXile entertainment 3-time creator on

      @genso and @allen (and others with similar issues) - We'll be working with CrowdOx today to try to sift through any remaining issues, but feel free to reach out to them at hello AT too just to see if there's something they can nudge on their end to get you your keys, too.

    20. Missing avatar

      GensoSuikoden on

      I wonder too, i added the beta demo as an add-on yesterday and still haven't got my key.
      Maybe those who upped pledge later on have been lost in the process?

    21. Allen Vailliencourt on

      Hey @inxile - I updated my backer pledge and added the beta access. Do you know how long it might be till CrowdOx gets those new keys out? Saw some streams last night. Game looks awesome btw!

    22. Dusk Shadow

      8 GIGS RAM!?!...aside from that, 50 gigs space is huge! Coupled with the graphics recommendations, I doubt I could play this properly if at all on a minimum setting implemented in the future....damn...T.T really wanted to play this. R.i.P.

    23. BlackGauntlet

      Get to work, beta-testers!
      Find those bugs so the rest of us can enjoy a more polished experience.

    24. Jeremie Lariviere

      thanks for the update, looking forward to the finished game

    25. OIS on

      Activated! Though I'm more underspecced that I thought I would be for this one :D

    26. Missing avatar

      Neo on

      Hi! Please make a full support of GOG Galaxy features!

    27. Anthony on

      @Josh - people paid quite a premium for this access. You’ll have to wait like me, I’m eager to play but we have to respect other backers here.

    28. Tue

      Now I know this is beta, but was wondering if it was intentional for there not being a male/female option at given time for the character? Would assume it is added later on (not much use for different voices otherwise), but have to ask.

    29. inXile entertainment 3-time creator on

      Apologies for the slower key distribution due to the large mailing list. CrowdOx also had a glitch they needed to take care of to make sure the remainder of the distribution went smoothly. The process should be wrapping soon, and those who are getting backer beta keys should all have them in the near future.

    30. Joshua Ressel on

      Frankly, considering how delayed this project has been (not to mention the lengthy stretches without any sort of update), they should give beta keys to all the backers who ordered a copy of the game. I backed this game under the impression that it would be shipped nearly a year ago. A beta key at this point would go a long way toward making good on that promise.

    31. Radd Berkheiser on

      Sure, I no sooner say something and the key arrives. Thanks!

    32. Radd Berkheiser on

      Taking an awfully long time to send those keys out via email, especially since they had time to send me a less than useful email earlier in the day with other rewards I already got an email on previously.

      Methinks this process is not quite rock solid.

    33. Sir Chaox on

      Super excited to play around with character creation. Not sure if I want to spoil anything beyond that, we'll see. :)

    34. Scott Kelley Ernest

      @ Jerry Marsh.. which off-topic .. Marsh is the other half of my family.. I am pretty sure the lock just means it is locked in. All of those locks seem to be things already given out... so just means it is coming.

    35. Jerry Marsh on

      Damn, bedtime....oh well, maybe tomorrow.

    36. Greg Krywusha

      Still waiting for the Steam key..... hopefully soon.

    37. Jerry Marsh on

      Just wondering, on my crowdox page, when I mouse over the Beta Test Access it says "This selection has been locked by Digital Fulfillment". It's the only one that says anything like that.
      Does this mean anything?

    38. Scott Kelley Ernest

      I haven't gotten it yet.. but can't wait.

    39. tarasis on

      Was very excited till I remembered that i’m only on the $50 tier and the beta started at $70.

      Now it’s “Noooooooooo.......”

    40. Jerry Marsh on

      Trying not to be too impatient, but STILL WAITING!

    41. Missing avatar

      santi.ontanon on

      Quite disappointed that the beta is Windows only. I backed this project only for the Mac/Linux versions. Now I'm scared they are put in the back burner...

    42. Paul Marzagalli on

      @gensosuikoden (great username btw!) and others - the rollout is taking some time, but we are working with CrowdOx to shepherd it through. Keys and emails have begun arriving successfully, so hopefully you should be receiving yours soon.

    43. WaltC on

      Everything looks great...! ***50 GBs*** storage! Nice! The game apparently has tons of content...! Only one thing in this bulletin did not compute...Since when is InXile an "Indie Studio"...?..;) I think InXile is certainly far from that by any stretch.

      To that end, GOG is making use of its Galaxy distribution UI to handle such things as developers updating their games through developer-dedicated beta channels (or for normal game updates) precisely in the same manner as Steam has always done it. Just as with Steam, GOG allows developers to update/upgrade their game software directly through Galaxy without any necessity for GOG itself having to be involved--or so it certainly appears. That is in in addition to GoG's traditional manual updating formats.

      Also, think it is great that inXile is allowing game activation on Steam which can be *cancelled later* in favor of GOG activation. Very thoughtful. One reason out of several that I prefer GOG over Steam is because of the fact that I am allowed keep my own original, installable, DRM-free copy of my purchased games should I desire, which is something that Steam, strangely enough, has never allowed.

      Thanks for the update--good news all around!

    44. Alexander Rehm

      RoyT: it's the $95 level + shipping

    45. Brent Rose

      I'm not a beta backer, but you guys absolutely *need* to beta Lin/Mac/Win together. If you don't, :
      'well we're launching windows first and lin/mac will come in a couple months'.
      several months lay-ter - 'well we've been busy working out the kinks in windows'
      more months lay-ter - 'we're still going to make lin/mac, but . . . '

      Get builds for all OS's going now. I don't know about the Mac folks, but the Linux ones are generally more than willing to help work out kinks in the build pipeline.

      That you're only putting out a Windows beta makes me think you haven't designed the software with cross-platform in mind. Please please, get builds going for everything.

    46. RoyT on

      There is no $110 pledge level. Where did you get that number?

    47. Missing avatar

      GensoSuikoden on

      So i was an early bird backer and added the beta backer demo add-on in my survey but when will i get the key?

    48. Alexander Rehm

      So I got an email from Crowdox, but no beta key, just my Wasteland 2 key, HEX key and wallpapers.... As a $110 rewards backer, I should have gotten a beta key?

    49. Missing avatar

      George Gibbs on

      Will there be any Linux testing prior to the release? Makes me worried that it may launch without proper testing.

    50. inXile entertainment 3-time creator on

      @Antti - if you access your CrowdOx backer survey, you should be able to add it as an add-on if you would like to play the beta.