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Brian Fargo Crowdfunds For Classic RPG Series Sequel "The Bard's Tale"

By scaine - | Views: 11,723
Wasteland 2 developers InXile Entertainment are back on Kickstarter for a third time and this time it's for a (proper) sequel to the classic 1980's RPG series, "The Bard's Tale".

I say "proper" in this context because of course InXile did release a title called "The Bard's Tale" in 2004 for consoles, later for mobile in 2011/12, then finally for Linux in 2013. However, the same way that I refuse to acknowledge the existence of an Aliens 3 film, a Matrix 3 film nor a Terminator 3 film, I also refuse to associate that 3D top-down action/adventure game as a relation of the original, epic series.

And back in 1985, the original Bard's Tale game could certainly be considered epic. Published by a then-still-cool EA (who have now finally sold the rights to the franchise to InXile), the game was a classic dungeon crawl, seeing you take 6 adventurers, one of whom is the eponymous Bard, into randomly generated dungeon mazes and the city scape of Skara Brae, killing monsters, levelling up and eventually facing down the evil sorcerer, Mangar.

Fast forward to 2015 and Brian Fargo has big plans for the Unreal Engine 4 powered sequel.

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Indeed, while still set in Skara Brae, and featuring a Bard, not much else here is recognisable! The in-game engine leaves behind the grid-based movement system of the original games - a movement style used as recently as last year in the Legend of Grimrock games.

We have smooth movement, dynamic lighting, fully 3D environments viewed from the first and third perspectives and even more intriguingly, we even have every object in the game fully rendered in 3D too. That's going to be important, because the team want to draw inspiration from the 2012 mobile hit "The Room". The idea is that you might discover a sword, use it for a while, then perhaps later you notice some strange ridging along one side. A closer look reveals a switch which you can trigger, which in turns releases a poison along the edge of the blade. But this doesn't happen automatically and instead you'll be zooming in on the weapon and turning it around, clicking on it and perhaps using other items on it to discover its secrets.

And you can't talk about The Bard's Tale without mentioning the Bard! Fargo and his team have hired a "top" gallic singer performing original songs to ensure that the Bard's buff effects and special abilities really come to life. In fact, as you help Skara Brae over the course of the game, you might even hear other Bard's singing your praises in original song, retelling your legendary exploits and immortalising the decisions you make along the way.

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The Bard's Tale IV went live on Kickstarter on June 2nd and collecting 50% of its $1.2M funding on the first day alone. Already tracking at nearly $1M funded and with over 5 weeks still to run, there's plenty of time to get on board what certainly be another Kickstarter success for InXile.

Fargo has promised that InXile will pledge $1.2M of their own money on top of the Kickstarter funds in order to make Bard's Tale IV a success when it releases in late 2017. You can get on Bard board (sorry) for $27, and there are still thousands of early Bard (sheesh!) bird offers which knock $2 off the cost.

But yes, 2017 is a blow. They're doing this right, and that means at least a two year wait. If you want to pledge for the Beta-level access, you're looking at the $70 tier and sadly Eric from InXile was honest enough to admit that they might not support Linux for the beta, although it's certainly their aim to launch on Linux on day one.

image Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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scaine 6 Jun, 2015
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Quoting: ShmerlNot Gallic though, but Gaelic. And it's great that they invited Julie Fowlis to work on the game.

The song in the trailer is a translation of the poem from The Bard's Tale I intro:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6EkbfgXqWg

Being Scottish, you'd think I would have caught that! :D

My fault for copy/pasting a line from an interview Brian Fargo gave on the internet...

As for the confusion I caused by suggesting that the 2004 Bard's Tale game was bad - I should have expanded on that. It's not a terrible game, but besides the name, it has absolutely nothing to do with the original series. InXile didn't have rights to the IP, so they created a Bard's Tale that bore none of the original series style, gameplay, locations or lore. How they got away with calling it "The Bards Tale" still isn't clear to me. Despite not being awful, I still regret buying it. But looking at the video of this game, it's hard to believe I'd regret backing this game.
Speedster 6 Jun, 2015
Quoting: dubigrasu
Quoting: ShmerlNo, the satirical Bard's Tale isn't bad - it's a very funny game and is a great self contained story (for me it was the game of the year when it came out for Linux DRM-free). I guess what others meant is that it shouldn't be viewed as a sequel to the Bard's Tale trilogy. I don't think inXile ever viewed it in such light anyway.
Aha, gotcha...thanks.

Yes right, that game really should have had an entirely different name.

Normally, you get a new addition to a series that keep only the name (and nothing else) when some other company has bought the right to the name, and the person hired to lead the project would really prefer do their own thing than be faithful to an existing series. Frankly I never even bought the 2004 game when it came to linux because I was too disappointed it wasn't a proper sequel like this.
inlinuxdude 6 Jun, 2015
On the 1st day of the Kickstarter, for a $20+ pledge, one also received a free copy of Wasteland 2, The Witcher, or The Witcher 2. I didn't know that and waited until just after the 24 hours when I pledged. Luckily for me they then extended that offer for another day, so I'll be getting a free copy of Wasteland 2 which I'd put off buying for some reason (already have Witcher 2). Yay! I am really excited about this game, though, which is why I pledged. I remember some long Bard's Tale sessions with my friend in college back in '90 or so... We hadn't seen much like it as a computer game before that.
RTheren 6 Jun, 2015
My eyes and hardware are in pain :O

There's no way to run it on my actual HW. :(
Shmerl 7 Jun, 2015
Quoting: RTherenMy eyes and hardware are in pain :O

There's no way to run it on my actual HW. :(

By 2017 you might get a new computer already :)
Shmerl 7 Jun, 2015
Quoting: SpeedsterFrankly I never even bought the 2004 game when it came to linux because I was too disappointed it wasn't a proper sequel like this.

I recommend you playing it still. It's pretty good on its own. Don't think of it as a sequel. It's one of the rare satirical games. And songs there are hilarious. The only thing that annoyed me was a bug that caused the whole system to slow to a crawl at some random points. But I played the whole game regardless since I liked it a lot.
Waikano 9 Jun, 2015
Quoting: Shmerl
Quoting: SpeedsterFrankly I never even bought the 2004 game when it came to linux because I was too disappointed it wasn't a proper sequel like this.

I recommend you playing it still. It's pretty good on its own. Don't think of it as a sequel. It's one of the rare satirical games. And songs there are hilarious. The only thing that annoyed me was a bug that caused the whole system to slow to a crawl at some random points. But I played the whole game regardless since I liked it a lot.

Really just backing what Shmerl said, it was one of the first games I played on Linux and thought the slow down was a Linux issue later learned the issue existed in Windows version as well. Personally I don't mind it was called Bard's Tale since it was being satirical of the RPG genre in general and The Bard's Tale was one of the originals that started the the whole thing.

Steam sells it for 9.99 and there are sales coming up...I'm sure one can get it for less and worth the time and money in my opinion.
Shmerl 9 Jun, 2015
It's 80% off on GOG now ($2): https://www.gog.com/game/the_bards_tale
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