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Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Update #4: Brian Fargo Q&A, NPC Stretch Goal

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Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Update #4: Brian Fargo Q&A, NPC Stretch Goal

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 9 June 2015, 13:22:36

Tags: Brian Fargo; Chris Keenan; inXile Entertainment; The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep

The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter campaign reached $1.1M and 25,000 backers over the weekend, but it's now slowed down to a relative crawl and it'll take some time before it reaches its funding goal. Nevertheless, inXile have returned from their weekend vacation today to announce the campaign's first stretch goal in a new Kickstarter update, which also includes a 10 minute Q&A session with Brian Fargo.

Stretch Goals

Another question was regarding stretch goals. Where are they? We certainly have a number planned and ready but it just doesn’t feel right to put them out before we know we’re going to fund. Now that we’re comfortably heading to being fully funded we can no longer resist sending the first of these your way!

At $1.3 million, we will add an enhanced companion NPC system and add 2 more CNPCs, including Lioslaith the Shadow, a legendary Spear Daughter of the matriarchical Fichti people, the dark haired, woad-painted nature worshippers who live in the deep forests far to the northwest of Skara Brae.

With this enhanced companion NPC system, all recruitable NPCs will have unique personalities and backstories which will open up interesting side content and add rich and surprising reactivity to your adventure. In addition, these CNPCs will voice their thoughts and asides, giving their take on the people, places and events that you encounter as your party moves through the world. No two CNPCs are alike and they carry their own reputations with them. While they can add some additional firepower to your party, some might even get you into more trouble than you were expecting…

Here's a summary of the Q&A video:
  • inXile are aiming for maximum immersion outside of combat, but you will be able to optionally turn the HUD on if you want.
  • Combat will use either a traditional blobber perspective or a JRPG-like third person perspective, depending on budget. Gameplay will remain the same either way.
  • As many have suspected, the "dynamic phase-based" combat system appears to be just a traditional "squad turn-based" system ala X-COM, where your entire team gets to move before the enemy team moves, rather than all turns being interleaved.
  • Your party will consist of four player-generated PCs, plus an NPC and a summoned creature.
  • The game will have both challenging setpieces and random encounters. inXile will try to make the latter not feel like mindless trash mob battles.
  • inXile are attempting to reach a compromise between the original games' punishing save system (where you could only save in the Adventurer's Guild in town) and modern save anywhere conventions. There are no details yet, but it sounds to me like you might need to find and unlock save points within areas.
  • You will be able to cast spells outside of combat, which will be used to solve environmental puzzles.
  • The story of the game takes place 150 years after the original trilogy. You will discover why all those evil wizards and mad gods were so obsessed with Skara Brae.
  • The game will have a character system similar to the original games, including their prestige class mechanic, which will be expanded.
The best part of the video, though, is when Brian finds himself having to explain what a "blobber" is - a term that, as far as I can tell, originated on the RPG Codex and never really travelled that far. Until now.

There are 41 comments on Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Update #4: Brian Fargo Q&A, NPC Stretch Goal

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