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Wasteland 2 has been released to great acclaim, earning Game of the Year from PCWorld, and reaching #1 on the Steam sales charts. Now, the Director's Cut comes as a free PC update to all backers as our thanks for making the game happen!
Wasteland 2 has been released to great acclaim, earning Game of the Year from PCWorld, and reaching #1 on the Steam sales charts. Now, the Director's Cut comes as a free PC update to all backers as our thanks for making the game happen!
61,290 backers pledged $2,933,252 to help bring this project to life.

Two Weeks to Bard's Tale IV; Quirking It Up

Posted by inXile entertainment (Creator)

First up: hopefully you’ve heard that we are all set to launch our Kickstarter funding campaign for The Bard's Tale IV on June 2nd, 2015. Check out the site to follow the countdown timer along with us, keep an eye on Kickstarter, or sign up for an email notification when we launch. We've also got a sneak peek at the reward tiers for our Bard's Tale IV campaign on our forums, and we'd love for you to check them out and let us know your thoughts before we go live!

The Bard's Tale IV is a special project for us. The game was Brian Fargo's first major release and got Interplay off the ground 30 years ago. At inXile, The Bard's Tale was reimagined for consoles in 2004, and also found great success on mobile later on. Now, we're thrilled to bring you a true sequel to the original trilogy with The Bard's Tale IV. It'll be a game that goes back to the classic dungeon crawling style, and we are excited to share it with you as we bring it to life through the power of crowdfunding.

If you're familiar with our development practices at inXile, you'll know that it's been our strategy to gear up preproduction on one game while another is in full swing. This methodology has the advantage of letting us set up a small early design and prototyping team, while the rest of the company is working on a game in full production. So once the production is complete on Torment: Tides of Numenera, that team of artists, engineers, animators, writers and designers can roll onto The Bard’s Tale IV. This means we don’t need to go through the cyclical layoffs that happens all too often in game development when a large project is finished. Crowdfunding is critical to helping us achieve that vision.

Wasteland 2: Game of the Year Edition

If you missed our last announcement, we just recently revealed that the heavily upgraded GOTY edition will be free to all owners of Wasteland 2. This is our way of thanking you for making Wasteland 2 happen.

Our work on the Wasteland 2: Game of the Year Edition is moving forward at a phenomenal pace. As more of our features get some well-deserved polish, we’re seeing the whole package coming together quite nicely.

Today we’re going to show some of our interface updates, the overhauled character creation process, and discuss some details of our brand-new Quirks system. Take note that the screenshots below are not final art, and show off our new controller interface. They will still be tweaked as we get closer to release (and we'll be changing this further for keyboard/mouse as well).

The Gang’s All Here

The first thing we wanted to do with the GOTY Edition is make it easier to jump right into the game and get up to speed with a squad that can tackle the dangers of the wasteland. To do so, we've added the Squad Overview interface.

Now, you'll have a better picture of your entire squad at a glance, so you can identify changes to make before starting on your mission. Your attributes, skills and traits are displayed here to help you identify your Ranger squad’s strengths and weaknesses.

When you dive into each squad member's details, there's more new stuff to see. We've rearranged the layout of the Character Creation process significantly. Now, you customize your character's appearance, portrait, and bio as the first step. This provides a more natural progression, letting you establish your character's style before you think about what stats to give them. We've also added some quality of life improvements, such as an improved portrait gallery.

From there, we move on to the Customize Ranger screen, where you edit all your stats and skills. It works just the same as before, but it's been visually upgraded to match the rest of our art changes and reorganized to be a bit easier to digest.

We all have a few Quirks, right?

The idea of a unique defining quality for your character has been a common and well-loved one in CRPGs for many years now. Quirks have great role-playing value by letting your characters have distinct personality elements from each other, which give them a special bonus that only they have. In a party-based game, we think it's important that all your characters feel unique, and that's what quirks will let you do. 

When we approached quirk design for Wasteland 2, we wanted to achieve a few different goals. It was important for us to avoid quirks that you "have to pick" in order to play your character the right way, or create quirks that are so good you'll always want to pick them on all your characters. By giving each quirk both an upside and a downside, we can make sure that they are interesting to play without becoming overpowered. This also means that quirks are optional – you can choose to go quirk-free if you want to, and you won't feel disadvantaged in doing so.

We also wanted to have quirks that go beyond your typical stat tweaks, and act as fun or unpredictable gameplay modifiers. While some of our quirks take a simpler approach, some will give you a more radical change to gameplay that might require you make careful trade-offs and considerations. Of course, giving them a unique or compelling personality-based theme also means you'll definitely want to try them out.

One such example is Repressed Rage. Some people are more mild-mannered than others, but sometimes it's the quiet ones you need to be careful about. With this quirk, you'll keep your anger bottled up inside, but you can only keep it that way for so long. When you take a critical hit in combat, you become enraged and gain a heavy damage bonus, in addition to a higher chance of scoring a critical hit. But on the flip side, your mild-mannered self won't be able to inflict "normal" critical hits. Obviously, this will have some implications for how you choose to build your character throughout the game.

Another quirk we've had a lot of fun making is Two-Pump Chump. With this one, you live life fast – but perhaps a little too fast at times. You'll start combat racing for the finish line, and on those crucial early turns will have some bonus Action Points and a higher damage output to help you eliminate the enemy quickly. But after a few turns, your character will start to lose stamina and will suffer decreasing effectiveness over time. You'll want to make sure your initial zeal is powerful enough to take care of business before you become much less useful.

And that's just a very small sampling. We have 20 quirks in total, and we hope you'll have as much fun building out your squad with these new modifiers as we had coming up with all of them.


There have been some impressive Kickstarters making the rounds, showing once again the format is still strong. We'd like to give a shout-out to Yooka-Laylee, a 3D platformer from the creative talent behind Rare classics like Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country. People were starving for another platformer of this type and it shows, as this Kickstarter is doing very well indeed!

Next, there's Independent By Design, a book project about indie game development that documents the success stories about some of the highest profile independent game developers out there. We are also honored to be featured in the book among the ranks of some great developers, including Vlambeer, Introversion and many more. They're a little under halfway to their goal, so be sure to check them out and show your support.

That's all for now! It's going to be a crazy next few months for both Wasteland 2 and The Bard's Tale IV, and we hope you'll join us for this wild ride!

Chris Keenan
Project Lead – Wasteland 2 / The Bard’s Tale IV

Yann Yu, Paweł K., and 63 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Shatterbrain on

      Please don't ruin the interface for PC / KB+M users by adding console support. Couch/Controller and KB+M have different interface needs.

    2. Timothy Patrick Bishop on

      Now that the Bard's Tale page is started can we keep updates about Wasteland 2. Tired of developers not spending real money on advertising and diverting updates on Wasteland to talk about them. People can follow you on twitter if they want to hear about other projects. Either talk about GoTY or say nothing. The last update on Wasteland 2 is all about another project. Enough is enough.

    3. PegasusOrgans-AGL 589 on

      Why would they give you a second copy ie a console version?! The fact they are giving you an updated copy for the system you bought the game for is more generous than any of the big publishers. Every triple A enhanced edition (apart from The Witcher) is considered a new purchase. Ask if the new Tomb Raider edition is free... hint, IT ISN'T.

    4. Missing avatar

      Stas Oskin on

      Will the GOTY console versions will be available for backers as well?

    5. Missing avatar

      Leon Moor on

      Make the trading interface more informative. Just having pictures in your inventory is fine because that's my stuff, I know what it is. But I would like to have item names/types/prices displayed next to the pictures in the trading screen. At the very minimum weapon types.

    6. J.R. Riedel on

      For what its worth you just made me buy Torment :P

    7. Jeremie Lariviere

      cool update, thanks! i'm looking forward to BT4!

    8. Gillsing on

      I have to agree with some of the others regarding the "Hypochondriac" name for that quirk. As far as I've been taught, and according to a dictionary, hypochondriacs are people who believe themselves to have medical conditions that they don't actually have. As such, I would expect them to use healing supplies on themselves even when they're not needed. Which could possibly be too much of a drawback in a world with limited supplies.

    9. Tomimt on

      From the looks of it you will be able to wrestle me out of my money early on again.

    10. Nerdy Suit on

      Though I knew of inXile and Brian Fargo (and had played some of his previous games), I had never played or purchased an inXile game before WL2. Now, I absolutely love this company. I feel like KS has given you guys some incredible opportunities and life that you would not have otherwise had. IMO, you are the perfect exemplars of how to do KS right. I backed WL2 (and I love the game, even before the GOTY edition). I backed Torment (it looks amazing...I can't wait). And I will definitely back Bard's Tale.

    11. James T. Benton on

      In the Wasteland 2 GOTY Edition, can you make Jobe (me) less of a dick and dumbass that even I want to kill? Please?

    12. Missing avatar


      Quirks sound awesome, but I feel like the Hypochondriac sounds a little off by not self-medicating for everything. Something like no one else being able to heal them, or even wasting double the resources when treated, sounds more like a hypochondriac than refusing any treatment at all, to me.

      As for the discussion going on below, early birds can be essential for small-time risky kickstarters that need help getting that initial push, but I'm pretty sure The Bards Tale IV doesn't need that kind of handicap. Regardless, best of luck in the campaign!

    13. Laurent Maire on

      Also forgot to say: hopefully we get to see some funny and inventive quirks like bloody mess on the roster. Not gameplay effecting necessarily but fun to include in your game.

    14. Laurent Maire on

      Sounds fantastic, plenty of roleplaying flavour to these quirks by the looks of things. Controller support and UI changes are sounding very promising. I absolutely love the key art you're showing with the Quirks too; the decrepit babydoll is fun, distinctive and iconic - excellent choice.

      The Bard's Tale kickstarter is shaping up to be a cracker! Seems you're doing an excellent job of making some noise before the launch. I do have to add my voice to the general distaste for early-bird tiers though; while true it does reward those who back instantly, sight unseen, based only on your initial pitch, it also feels like it penalises those who visit the project late, or who need time to mull it over or have important questions they'd like answered first. Additionally it encourages 'camping' higher-value tiers and discourages movement between them: I've benefited before from early-bird offers only to find later, when convinced I wanted to upgrade, that the higher level I wanted to upgrade to was all bought out. Keep my great value lower tier or pay an additional $15-20 to achieve the 'normal' cost of the higher tier? Several times now it's been beyond what I was willing to pay and I wound up contributing less. It's divisive and creates a sort of weird economy within your reward levels. Anyway, just some thoughts. Good luck with everything, I know you'll do great.

      @Sabin, despite the name the quirk sounds more like ocd really. You could just play it that way if it feels more right to you as compulsion rarely follows 'normal' logic. The idea is it's more of a roleplaying thing than a stat thing and the tradeoff is necessary to keep it balanced - I like it!

    15. Bryy Miller on

      Also, the $33 Pirate tier is amazing.

    16. Bryy Miller on

      Love the new design.

    17. Jan Veidt on

      Really not digging the '25$ Early Bird'.:S Was hoping it'd be 20 tops. So I'm most likely going to have to skip this one. Never played Bard's Tale, nor am I a fan of first person party-based RPGs, so there's no nostalgia or anything for me here, unlike with WL2 & Torment.:| Sorry. Guess you know best and you gotta do what you gotta do. Definitely wish you good luck!

    18. Sabin Figaro on

      This is all looking and sounding super-great and I can't wait to find out more when it launches :) Though I do think the hypochondriac quirk doesn't really make sense, a hypochondriac that doesn't treat his own maladies? Eghhhhh... that sounds sort of backwards to me XD

    19. tarasis on

      I've seen a couple of KS do the first two days early bird tiers. Seems a good compromise for those of us outside the U.S. I imagine I will got for the $50 tier.

      My one concern is the lack of mention of digital release of BT 1-3. I hope you are able to release them like you did Wasteland 1, or maybe bundle the Amiga versions somehow. Something other than having to use the Bards Tale game from the 2000's to access them. (I do have it for iPad and on GOG)

    20. Welverin on

      Those Early Bird reward tiers guarantee I won't back Bard's Tale 4.

    21. Daniel Frantzen on

      Hi, I've got two questions:

      1) Could you guys make a button layout for the Dual-Shock 4 controller? It's a minor thing, but I see more and more people using their PS4-controller on pc. I like it, since I can use it wirelessly with bluetooth.

      2) Do you think it's a problem that the Bards Tale 4 campaign is happening at the same time as E3 and lots of other news come out? Could it get overshadowed?

      Thanks, and good luck with the campaign (I'm really looking forward to it!)

    22. Chris Skuller

      I agree with the early bird thing being a 2 day limited deal and not a set number. Having a set number actually sometimes turns me away from the project because I feel like if I wait, I can probably get in later once someone cancels their pledge. I hate to sound cheap, but money's tight and I'd rather back two campaigns cheaply than one that's expensive.

      As for Bard's Tale 4, you can count on me to back it. You guys have proven yourself to me a thousand times over. It's good to see the resurgence of the "old" Interplay. I remember when simply having the name Interplay on the box guaranteed quality.

      With that said, I wonder, is the Bard Tale 4 going to actually have some compelling narrative content? I'd like that. One of my main beefs with the old Bard's Tale trilogy was that they felt kind of empty in comparison to some of it's peers (like Ultima or Might & Magic for example).

      An example of the 1st person dungeon crawl genre that I thought did story right would be Etrian Odyssey Untold, where you had your party chime in sometimes in the dungeon and add story to what could have been just a grind.

    23. inXile entertainment 3-time creator on

      @Stephen "Stoibs" D - We are totally rebalancing weapons, enemies, loot & economy, and so on, both because we want to keep making the game better and polishing it up to offer a great experience, and also because we know that Quirks (and Perks, which we may preview later on) are going to change things so much that we could never leave them as-is anyway.

    24. Stephen "Stoibs" D

      There's a preview of tiers?
      Why wouldn't they be posted here?
      Is there a link somewhere?

    25. T.J. Brumfield on

      I loved that you posted a preview of the tiers on your forums to get some feedback. Looks like I'm going to have to go in for the $50 tier to get all the novellas.

    26. Stephen "Stoibs" D

      Please don't have a limited number of early bird tiers for Bards Tale like you did with Torment, all that did was cater to and reward 'Americans' and other people generally around during that timezone, and screwed over those of us who were sound asleep at ~2AM when it launched only to see all of these sold out several hours later when we woke up and saw the Kickstarter for the first time.
      Do 24Hr/48Hr limited time offers at the very most if you must do these silly early bird things.

      Also please make Handguns actually viable in this Wasteland 2 GOTY edition upgrade, either through direct tweaking, making an actual proper upper tier gun with non-crap stats (like a Gauss Pistol or something) or through a Quirk and perk. My biggest complaint about the imbalance really is that gunslingers on the harder difficulties don't at all scale properly compared to the other options.

    27. Stephen De Chellis on

      Will the physical copies be real physical copies or discs with steam keys like the Wasteland 2 kickstarter used?