Was the success of Legend of Grimrock and Might & Magic X an inspiration to create The Bard’s Tale IV? Or was it an earlier idea?
I wanted to do this no matter what.
And by saying that The Bard’s Tale IV will be a bigger production, do you mean its scale or something else?
The audiovisual side.
In terms of difficulty, will it be mostly for hardcore gamers – like those who enjoyed Legend of Grimrock – or a wider spectrum of players?
It will be definitely hard. There are certain things that people really love in dungeon-crawlers, like the original The Bard’s Tale. They want to move on the grid in the first person view, control the party when combat starts, explore tricky, clever and hard dungeons – do all the things that made that subgenre. As I said, visual is the only thing we want to take to the next level. First The Bard’s Tale was hard, second The Bard’s Tale was hard, third The Bard’s Tale was even harder – we are not about to stop that.
In one of your earlier interviews you said that The Bard’s Tale IV will have a turn-based combat system but fights are going to be more dynamic than in classic dungeon-crawlers. Could you elaborate on that and tell us how the combat will look like?
The original The Bard’s Tale was a classic turn-based game – you perform actions with your entire party and then it’s your foe’s turn. So it was: attack, attack, use item, defend, and then watch what happens. I don’t think these days this makes sense anymore; it’s a little too dull. Hearthstone is a good example of what we’re thinking about. You will have an opportunity to react on what is going on during your turn. That’s a big difference to me. Let’s say that your first character cast a spell which bounced back and dealt him/her some damage and you were planning to attack the enemy with your second character but when you saw what just happened you changed your mind: “No, I have to heal the caster”. You couldn’t do that with the old mechanics.
Will The Bard’s Tale IV have anything in common with the last The Bard’s Tale, the one released in 2004? Perhaps the sense of humor?
Hmm.. Maybe the folklore that we draw on... But those productions are totally different. This one will be more serious. I’m not saying there will be no humor, as we can’t help ourselves sometimes, but it’s definitely not going to be a comedy.
Is there any chance that you will ever revisit the concept of the comedy isometric hack’n’slash?
There is a group of people who love the comedy version and would like to see the sequel to it... so it’s a good question. I don’t know, maybe it will happen. It’s funny because we came out with the comedy version and people who thought they were going to get another version of The Bard’s Tale were a little surprised. But there is a bunch of people who loved it. We put it on iOS and Android and it had almost perfect ratings. So... I don’t know. Who knows, maybe someday.
And what about Wasteland 3? Any chance for that?
Oh, someday we will get to it. Right now I have my writers working on things, we have different ideas we like... We are working around the tapestry until it starts to feel right...
But we’re not going to wait another 25 years for it?
We can beat that, we can do better than that [laughing].