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Game News Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Update #49: Beta Feedback, Bard's Tale 1 Remaster Coming August 14th

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: Brian Fargo; InXile Entertainment; Krome Studios; Paul Marzagalli; 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

    Krome Studios' remaster of the original Bard's Tale trilogy was supposed to be released on Steam Early Access last month, with only the first game included initially. However, in a brief Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter update on the day of its intended release, inXile informed backers that they'd changed their plans and now intended to release the trilogy as a regular product at a later date in mid-August, though still including only Bard's Tale 1 at first. The episodic (for lack of a better term) remastered trilogy now has its own pages on Steam and GOG, with an exact release date of August 14th. According to inXile's press release, it'll cost $15. The second and third chapters in the trilogy are scheduled for release this fall and winter, respectively. Here's the launch trailer, which prominently showcases the remaster's new animations.


    In actual Bard's Tale IV news, today's Kickstarter update features a list of changes and improvements that inXile have decided to implement based on player feedback. Some of these changes should make our resident blobber purists a bit happier.

    We were thrilled with the reception of the beta both from the public and our backers, particularly through the submission form link that let players give their feedback directly from the game. It was great to read all the kind words, and even where there was criticism, it was constructive. On that note, we've been poring over the comments and data in the near-month since the beta's release and discussing it in-depth daily.

    We are now at a point where we can share some early feedback from the dev team on your comments. As we begin to implement fixes and other tweaks, we wanted to give you an update on some of the changes we have planned for the launch version of the game (as well as some changes that we are considering) thanks to you. Here's a list, along with a call out of some of the many names whose comments were read and considered.
    • Courtesy of feedback from users such as Zortok, we are increasing the number of mastery slots from 3 to 4.
    • Courtesy of feedback from users such as mdntblue, we are working on granting mercenary tokens earlier so that you can make you own characters sooner.
    • Courtesy of feedback from users such as dpisacane, we are speeding up how quickly you get to six party members.
    • Courtesy of feedback from users such as Paranoiac, merchants will have multiple pages so that it is easier for you to sell your stuff.
    • Courtesy of feedback from users such as Sirtechfan, along similar lines, we’re tuning the item economy for the early part of the game based on your feedback.
    • Courtesy of feedback from users such as Drool, we are working on improved ways to compare items in the shop. You will be able to compare items in a store with items equipped on your characters.
    • Courtesy of feedback from users such as Nystrom, one quality of life feature for inventory: we’ll have pages for inventory items, lore items, and quest items so players can more easily track/understand what they are picking up.
    • Courtesy of feedback from users such as lemiarty, starting inventory will be larger.
    • Courtesy of feedback from users such as Jalis, after the eight main narrative quests, there will be significantly fewer waypoints telling you where to go. For the most part, it will be a destination marker and that’s it.
    • Courtesy of feedback from users such as Omelet79, we are adding a cost to resetting your characters’ skill trees. It is no longer freely available anywhere. You now pay using a mercenary token at the Review Board to do so.
    • Courtesy of feedback from users such as Entrei, adding a “surrender” button on combat that allows you to reload your most recent checkpoint rather than play out a losing combat. We will be sure to add a “Are you sure?” double-check to avoid any accidental activations!
    If you didn’t see your suggestion here, that’s not because we haven’t seen it. We are tracking and considering everything that is coming in. The above are items that we’ve reached consensus on, and wanted to share with you now. Thank you again for the feedback so far. It is helping to make The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep a better game.​

    The update also includes links to all the recent Bard's Tale IV previews and a glimpse at one of the game's character models that inXile have polished for release. Perhaps the game will meet the high graphical standard they set for themselves during the Kickstarter after all.
     
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  2. Sacibengala Learned

    Sacibengala
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    It is bad for me wanting to play the remasters but don't care too much about the IV? I'll probably play all the remasters before I risk the new one.
     
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  3. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    Not in ours. :M
     
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  4. duanth123 Arcane

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    I think most of the purists won't be playing this piece of shit.

    [​IMG] Edgy x 1
    Infinitron

    So thirsty.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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  5. Grampy_Bone Cipher

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    Looks dope
     
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  6. Ocelot570 Novice

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    No price announced... Could this be another classic Fargo switcheroo?
     
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  7. Invictus Arcane The Real Fanboy

    Invictus
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    I bet these will cost $5-10 bucks a piece... and to be honest from what I have seen of the reworked artwork and the more than welcome addition of automap I will definetly be buying the first game
    Also really looking forward to the Bard’s Tale 4, looks like a fun & entertaining game
     
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  8. Hobo Elf Arcane

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    The remastered art looks a lot worse than the old pixel art.
     
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  9. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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  10. Mortmal Arcane

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    Yeah but they have to make it scale to our modern screens. Still adding the automap itself is a feature that makes that remaster worthy of interest.
    Music was also better by the way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3B7J2z5HKc
     
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  11. Strange Fellow Recovering Video Game Abandoner Patron

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    They've definitely taken some liberties with the style, and made it look more cartoonish. In the original they look like people, or at least as close as you can reasonably get with 100x100 pixels. In the remaster they look a little like Pixar characters.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    This is the mood I imagine they were aiming for with the originals:
    [​IMG]
    I think the smoothed look changes the mood of the game. I'm getting the impression, from both this and BT4, that InXile think older RPGs were more childish than they really were. Maybe I'm biased.
     
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  12. Mortmal Arcane

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    You arent biased, its the same for pen and paper rpg artworks like pathfinder , art is now lot more cartoonish compare to 80's
     
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  13. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    The thing is that the cartoony appearance is basically how that art would actually look like if you just increased the resolution and added more colors. It's interesting to look at what game developers did back in the day when they went from EGA to VGA, though. Monkey Island is an extreme case:

    [​IMG]

    These really aren't the same images at all, but the top image is maybe the sort of thing the EGA pixel artists were imagining when they drew the bottom one.
     
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  14. Darkzone Arcane

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    The changes that inXile has announced are welcomed.

    The 77-81 art of D&D and Dragon magazin was also very cartoonish:
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Only later the revised editions from 1983-1986 featured more realistic art by Larry Elmore and Jeff Easley.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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  15. Decado Prestigious Gentleman Old time handsome face wrecker Patron

    Decado
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    I will try BTIV but I am looking forward to the remasters. It will be cool to find 15 KAEL'S AXEs in a row, apparently that motherfucker just loved axes I guess, I dunno.
     
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  16. Drowed Arcane

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    The thing is that your example shows essentially the opposite of what you said: with the possibility of showing more details, the drawing became less cartoony, not more.

    What makes many current remakes look more like cartoons is that the overwhelming majority of them are basically done by a tracing process (vectors), where more details are added later. But this is a mistake, because as the example you have shown confirms, the art of the time was made within the limitations of hardware by de devs. When developers had more tools to work with, this art was basically redone to take full advantage of the equipment's potential. It wasn't just a matter of adding more subtle colors or details, but adjusting the style to take full advantage of what could be done.

    As you yourself said, it's a matter of developers being able to finally show images closer to their actual intent without the limitations. There are games where the style was actually close to cartoons, yeah, but in other cases this similarity existed as a consequence of the available tools. It wasn't the intention, and looking closely, we can see that.
     
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  17. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    I don't think I was trying to say what you think I was.
     
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  18. Dorateen Arcane

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    That party generation screen. Too bad BTIV doesn't have such elegant design.

    I think the most beautiful words at the start of a computer role-playing game are "Add member" to the party.
     
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  19. Strange Fellow Recovering Video Game Abandoner Patron

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    I do. The Monkey Island example is substantially less "realistic" in VGA than EGA. That didn't have to happen. Look at the upcoming Unavowed, for instance:
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    Much more lifelike and detailed than the BT remasters without lapsing into airbrushed cartoonishness. Why not do it like that?
     
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  20. Mightmagic Educated

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    not in yours.
     
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  21. Mightmagic Educated

    Mightmagic
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    screenshot of TBT 3

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    i don't think it's realistic. The design of monsters was cartoonish
     
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  22. getter77 Augur

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    Art change is solid enough, would've preferred them tossing a sack of cash at the Shrine of Orm lead/artist to do it their way, but still.
     
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  23. Gord Arcane

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    Hmm, just like real people you say...

    [​IMG]

    Not so sure it's so simple, actually. At the least original Bards Tale was somewhat inconsistent there already.
    Anyway, I think what we see in the Remasters is what can realistically be expected without blowing the budget out of proportions for a side-project like this.
    And within these limitations, it's quite decent, imho.
     
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  24. Strange Fellow Recovering Video Game Abandoner Patron

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    ^Yes, lots of poor choices of words from me ITT. My argument has nothing to do with realism.
    Note the quotation marks, and the fact that I was talking about a different game. But you're right of course, the monsters were cartoonish, and I didn't mean that they should make it all grimdark. Maybe "detailed" would be a better word. As it is now, I'd say the remasters actually have less detail than the originals. Same goes for the Monkey Island screens. I always figured those old fantasy RPGs were aiming for low-res Larry Elmore-style drawings, not Toy Story. I wish the remaster people thought so too.
     
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  25. Invictus Arcane The Real Fanboy

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    I like it, the style of the series is decidedly something in between the cartoony look of the Might and Magic series and somewhat more serious look of Wizardy
     
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