Gamasutra - Brian Fargo Interview
Gamasutra is hosting a new interview were David Craddock talks to Brian Fargo about his gaming career. It's a very interesting read and I'll quote a bit from the 2004 Bard's Tale remake.
David Craddock: While we're on the subject of Bard's Tale, I'd like to know more about the remake your post-Interplay company, inXile, put out in 2004. That one was dramatically different in tone; it was much more humorous than the original from ’85. What brought about that change in theme and direction?
Brian Fargo: I'll give you my mindset at the time. I took some time off after Interplay. I'd been working for almost two decades straight. So you take some time off. Great. But you start getting an itch after two or three months. I spent that time playing everybody's games, especially the role-playing games, and they'd always start off sending me into the cellar to kill rats and just doing this super generic stuff.
I thought, Oh my God. I've been [making RPGs] for so many years, and it's all still the same thing. So I thought—this was kind of like a comedian deciding he wants to do a drama—I just wanted to do something different. The player would play a main character who felt how I felt, about the same old dialogue and the lack of creativity.
If you want to design a role-playing game, I can sit down and bang out a design in an hour as long as it's, "Okay, here's a dragon, here's two trolls guarding a dungeon entrance." We can all sit down and do that in an hour. But if you want to do stuff nobody's heard of before or seen before, that's creativity. That takes a while. I wanted to do something that was just totally different and sort of poked fun at the RPG.
The Bard's Tale [released in 2004] is nothing like the original. For people who were dying to recapture that experience, that wouldn't be what they wanted. But for people who just took it at face value, they got it and loved it. The real testament to that was we released it on [iphone and iPad] in December 2011. It was the number one RPG on iPad and a top ten game. We were up there with Angry Birds and Words with Friends. It got all five-star, 90-percent reviews just because of all the humor in that game.
That crowd took the game for what it was. They didn't try to compare it to the original. And I understand some people were hoping for that, but it was a console game, right? Not to mention I couldn't have gotten a PC RPG funded at that point, anyway.