inXile’s fourth entry in The Bard’s Tale will launch next month on Kickstarter – June 2nd to be precise, which also happens to be the 30th anniversary of the first game’s release.
IGN spoke to the game’s creator, Brian Fargo, and asked what players cab expect from The Bard’s Tale 4. Fargo explained that we would see much of what made the original so great including turn-based combat and perhaps even some recognizable music or artwork (It has been confirmed that they have the rights to all the assets of the original trilogy).
Regarding turn-based combat, Fargo is aware that some may prefer a real-time system, but tried to reassure potential backers. “There will be plenty of combat diversity and depth,” Fargo told IGN. “You look at something like Hearthstone, for example. It’s sort of that going back-and-forth process, and you see the complexity and detail and strategy and nuance that can happen. It’s really an amazing system. I love those modern influences. I took a lot away from that, and see things we need to do with our combat system.”
Little else is known about Bard’s Tale 4 so far, and the only taste we have is the following screenshot which showcases what we can expect now that InXile are making use of the Unreal 4 engine. The studio’s other recent projects, Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera, utilized Unity.
The main reason behind the switch in engine is that the team will be using photogrammetry to create the game’s objects. Photogrammetry is a technique where photographs of real-world objects and architecture are used to generate in-game equivalents, and was most notably used by The Astronauts to create last year’s The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.
Only a handful of the 40 or so staff at inXile are currently working on the game, but it’s clear that the studio is being ambitious with what it wants to create: the team will be asking for $1.25m from potential backers, a figure it says that it will match with its own money if the project is successful. As far as platforms go, PC is the only one confirmed for the time being, though apparently inXile is considering a console version at a later date, similarly to how it is porting Wasteland 2 to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Whether The Bard’s Tale 4‘s Kickstarter campaign is successful or not remains to be seen; it all depends on how much interest there is in the series. There’s no denying that the original trilogy of games has its fair share of fans however, and both Brian Fargo and inXile are well-known at this point. We’ll just have to wait and see if the studio is able to score a hat trick with a third successful Kickstarter project.