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Matt Chat 295: Rebecca Heineman on the Bard's Tale Trilogy Rerelease + Staglands Review

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Matt Chat 295: Rebecca Heineman on the Bard's Tale Trilogy Rerelease + Staglands Review

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Mon 15 June 2015, 16:53:07

Tags: Dragons of the Rip; Matt Barton; Olde Skuul; Rebecca Heineman; Serpent in the Staglands; The Bard's Tale; The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight; The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate; The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep; Whalenought Studios

The latest episode of Matt Chat is a double feature - a twenty minute interview with Interplay veteran Rebecca Heineman on her involvement with the Bard's Tale trilogy rerelease commissioned by Brian Fargo for his Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter campaign, followed by a 45 minute "review" of Serpent in the Staglands. I'll summarize the former.

The interview starts off with Becky giving a description of the work her team is planning to do for the rerelease. She seems to have this well thought out. It'll be based on the source code of the Apple IIGS versions of the games (including the never-released Apple IIGS version of Bard's Tale III) which she considers to be the best. However, some visually superior graphical elements will be taken from the Amiga versions, creating an ultimate version of the trilogy. They may also redraw some art, but the majority will simply be upscaled. In addition, they're looking into remastering the soundtrack, replacing the MIDI tracks with modern digital recordings, although Becky notes that this may cause issues with the game's bardic music, which used MIDI to play the same songs with many different instruments. Finally, Becky is also going to try to backport the automap feature of Bard's Tale III into the first two games. She's convinced she can get this all done within a few months, or by the end of the year at the latest.

The second half of the interview gets a bit awkward, as Matt insists on delving into Becky's opinion on various contentious topics, including the Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter campaign and its success or lack thereof, Wasteland 2's quality, Seven Dragon Saga's failure, and Michael Cranford's professional ethics. Things remain mostly professional, although she does confess that she's baffled by Brian Fargo's decision to use Scottish folklore for the new Bard's Tale, saying that the original games were never about that and that she prefers the independence afforded by a completely fantastic world, like the one she's creating for her Dragons of the Rip project. Which, by the way, she's still planning on Kickstarting at the end of the month, despite the new work her team has been given. Hmmkay.

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