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The Bard’s Tale IV Begins Its Spool-Up For Crowdfunding

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 19, 2015

inxile-reveals-the-bards-tale-4The. Bard’s. Tale.

Brian Fargo’s Vision for The Bard’s Tale

Originally, the series was supposed to be called “Tales of the Unknown,” and the first game was to be “The Bard’s Tale.” Maybe future editions would have been called “The Magician’s Tale” and “The Knight’s Tale.” But it was “The Bard’s Tale” that stuck.

It was a reasonably big deal for me. I was still waiting for a port of the Wizardry series for my Commodore 64, and instead here comes what was arguably its successor, sporting much better graphics, animated enemy portraits… wow! As a result, when Wizardry finally made it to the C-64, it was kind of a non-event for me. I was too busy playing Bard’s Tale 1 and 2, or Ultima IV.

Although – I never played The Bard’s Tale III. So jumping straight to IV? I guess I’ll risk it. I’m not positive I really want to play the third one. I did play The Bard’s Tale Construction Set (even made a complete dungeon!), and I remember reading a Bard’s Tale book written (or co-written) by Mercedes Lacky. Sorry, I couldn’t tell you if it was any good or not. It has been a long time.

All I can say is… this looks right up my alley. Speaking as a guy who is involved (on a MUCH lower budget) in this modern revival of classic old-time CRPG gameplay, as much as it intimidates the living hell outta me, I’m excited.

Fargo mentions some of the key ideas that they are using as the foundation for the design. “The things that made it work are it’s a party-based role-playing game; it’s not an action game – you’re using your brains not your reflexes; exploration is a big part of that, and being able to map dungeons out square by square. And those games were very difficult; in that particular case you couldn’t save your game anywhere but we were teleporting you and giving you no magic zones and magic mouths and there were puzzles and riddles, so to me, it’s got to be all of those things that made those great.

It’s interesting (but unsurprising, especially for a first-person game) that they’ve switched from Unity to Unreal for this game.

The Kickstarter will launch in the next few weeks. But, as they’ve found, these days a Kickstarter campaign at this level requires a lot of pre-launch marketing. Which is… kinda weird, actually. So… the game won’t be seeing the light of day until at least 2017. But while I am not QUITE as excited as I was for the Underworld revival, I’ll be happy to see this one in development.


UPDATE: A preview of the (proposed) backer levels can be found here.


Filed Under: Game Announcements - Comments: 5 Comments to Read

  • Infinitron said,

    The exact date is specified. The Kickstarter launches on June 2.

  • McTeddy said,

    While I’m probably going to pick up Bards Tale 4, I’m really waiting on Dragon Wars. That was the only dungeon crawl I loved as a kid.

    It took me far more learning and experience to appreciate the rest.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    It’ll actually be called “Dragons of the Rip” now, McTeddy… http://ask.fm/burgerbecky/answer/128539270573

    Thanks, Infinitron. Somehow amidst all the numbers I spaced the “2” and just read “June.”

  • lakerz said,

    I’ve played through the original Bard’s Tale trilogy of the AppleIIe computer back in the day. I personally don’t think you are missing out by skipping part 3. From my memory, it was just more of the same as part 1 and 2. Looking forward to reading more about this kickstarter though.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    My impression of the third game is primarily based on the review by the CRPG Addict. The whole thing about waiting around for hours in real-time for the magic points to regenerate at those levels is enough to make me give it a wide berth (unless there’s a cheat out there to fix that).