Torment: Tides of Numenera was the first time I remember noticing actual people being turned into stretch goals on a Kickstarter campaign. The person in question was Planescape: Torment scribe and co-founder of Obsidian, the studio he recently left, Chris Avellone. And it looks like inXile is doing it again, offering up Avellone like some sort of crowdfunding sacrifice, for The Bard’s Tale IV.
If the Kickstarter campaign, which has already reached its initial goal, hits $1.9 million before it ends in 11 days, then Chris Avellone will come on board as a writer and designer. He’ll be putting together a new dungeon, the Cairn of Horrors, which will contain the “worst things that live in the imagination of Chris Avellone,” says inXile.
“I owe my career to seeing Bard’s Tale II on a Commodore 64 at a friend’s house,” says Chris Avellone. “When I saw the streets of Skara Brae up and running (gasp – in simulated 3D! And in color!), I suddenly realized I didn’t have to be the game master all the time in order to get my RPG fix, there was finally someone out there who had done the formidable job of creating a digital dungeon master for RPG aficionados with the same amount of lazy players as I had. So I have Brian Fargo to thank three times – first for the game itself (and all the Interplay RPGs I played to follow, including Bard’s Tale 1, Bard’s Tale 3, and Wasteland), second, for hiring me at Interplay, and third, for asking me to be a part of Bard’s Tale 4 – with your support, I hope we can make it happen!”
If Avellone does join the team, it will be the third inXile game in a row that he’s been part of, since he also worked on Wasteland 2.
He’ll be joined by fellow Planescape: Torment and Torment: Tides of Numenera designer Colin McComb, if the Kickstarter hits $1.7 million. McComb will also be designing a new area, specifically in the Realm of Elves.
“I’m pleased that both Chris and Colin may come aboard Bard’s Tale 4 for extra design,” says Brian Fargo, inXile’s CEO. “We are in the final weeks of the campaign and have assembled an all-star cast of writing, design, art and music. Now it’s a matter of how many more people join our campaign to build these glorious RPGs.”
The Kickstarter for The Bard’s Tale IV is sitting at $1,365,502 at the time of writing.