The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep Update #49 - Beta Reception, Remastered Trilogy Trailer

The new Kickstarter update for inXile's upcoming dungeon crawler The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep directs us to a number of articles that revolve around the game's recently released beta and lists some examples of helpful user feedback. But perhaps more importantly, the update gives us the release date for the first part of The Bard’s Tale Trilogy Remastered (Steam, GOG) that should be arriving on August 14, 2018. Check out the official launch trailer:

Here are a few paragraphs on beta feedback:

Beta Feedback Update

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.

And some details for The Bard’s Tale Trilogy Remastered:

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Aug. 6, 2018 – inXile Entertainment, the studio led by Interplay founder and industry icon Brian Fargo, is proud to announce The Bard’s Tale Trilogy, a complete remaster of the legendary series that helped define the RPG genre. Featuring updated graphics and optional quality-of-life gameplay features, The Bard’s Tale Trilogy is the ideal way to experience the dungeon crawling challenge that made the original games beloved classics. The title will release on Aug. 14, 2018, for PC on both Steam and with a retail price of $14.99.

Features of The Bard’s Tale Trilogy include:
  • Remasters of all three original The Bard’s Tale games. The first volume, Tales of the Unknown, is available at launch, with The Destiny Knight (fall 2018) and Thief of Fate (winter 2018) arriving later in the year.
  • A uniform playing experience across all three titles without the need for emulation or compatibility concerns.
  • Create a party in the first volume and play it across all three volumes to create a heroic narrative all your own.
  • For the first time, play as male or female across all three games. Also includes other quality-of-life changes such as automapping for all three games, spell access, and updated equipment/inventory management.
  • Updated art that holds true to the spirit of the originals, featuring never-before-used character art by series creator Michael Cranford!
  • An opportunity for new players to experience the events that led to The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep and The Mage’s Tale!
  • The final content to be released will be a Legacy Mode, a set of options which allows players to make the titles play similarly to the 1980s originals… with all the challenge that entails!
Partnering with Australia-based Krome Studios, The Bard’s Tale Trilogy is an ambitious undertaking for inXile, especially as no complete source code for the original games could be found. Not only that, each game worked and looked differently depending on its platform, and each title was different in many ways from the others. Often times, it was discovered that features in some versions of the games were present but had no actual functionality.

“If archaeology and game development had a baby, it would be this project,” said Lindsay Parmenter, Head of Development at Krome. “By studying the code across different versions of the game, we were able to piece together developer intent and recreate it. Of course, having access to some of the original team members helped, too!”

inXile CEO Brian Fargo added, “We were extremely limited in what we could do in the 1980s. This is an opportunity to truly realize the vision that the original dev teams had, and in some cases fix a few bugs that are over thirty years old. Even with all the challenges this project presented, we’re thrilled with how this has turned out, and we can’t wait for our fans to start playing this.”