A Bard's Tale [WIP]

This is a thread to announce my demo for my new game, A Bard’s Tale. In it, you play a young bard embarking on a journey to rouse the sleeping gods.

Currently it’s about 50k words (including code) - I don’t have a hard update schedule, and plan to release more in chunks as sections are completed. But the current demo is pretty lengthy (:

I am new to the CoG forums, and I’ve been doing a lot of my publicity on Tumblr, but I figured I should make a thread here with the demo :sweat_smile: Follow the Tumblr blog for more info and for more candid dev updates!

To play the demo, go here: https://dashingdon.com/go/5973

A Bard’s Tale is a fantasy adventure interactive novel with a prominent romance component.

It takes place on the fictional continent of Amaran, a high fantasy setting based on Asian and Pacific Islander cultures as opposed to traditional Eurocentric high fantasy.

In the wake of a terrible war, you are a young bard just starting your journey. Will you answer the call to adventure and embark to rouse the sleeping gods?


  • Six different playable fantasy races, with a total of seventeen unique character origins.
  • Options to be male, female, or nonbinary, and the option to choose pronouns separate from gender identity.
  • Two Romance Options that are romanceable by any gender of player characters.
  • Single-player RPG elements - stat building phases and stat check phases/puzzle and combat elements.
    *Opt-in 18+ sexual content. Players must agree to see such content in each instance, and opting out does not affect the story or gameplay.

I can’t wait to try this; it looks amazing. could we get some more info about the RO’s?


Of course! Sorry, I guess that was a blind spot on my part because they’ve been such a hot topic on the Tumblr blog.

Aspen is a human with copper skin and dark curly hair. Aspen’s route is intended as a slowburn - his heart is still healing from a great loss, and while he wants to love again his grief is a sizable roadblock.

Tempest is an aquan with teal skin and dark blue hair that flows around her head as if caught in an ocean current. It seems as if she wants only the physical parts of a relationship, but could there be something underneath the flirty facade?


whats elementi, fairfolk and sori ?

and yes, while when you click on them it tell you what they are…there is no ‘Go back’ choice, if you want to choose something else.

There is a chance to confirm your choices or go back to the previous choice after you select an origin - I played around with the placement of the return option and found that coupling the race choice with the origin choice was for the best, so that players could see both before finalizing their decision.

Fairfolk, elementi, and sori are three races that are specific to this world setting - although elves have a different historical and cultural standing than most typical high fantasy as well.

As copy-pasted from an answer on the blog:

Elementi are individuals with a strong affinity to a particular element, and their appearance reflects their ancestry. Legend has it that elementi were the first creation of the gods, and therefore share their appearance with the other aspects of creation.

There are four subtypes of elementi: aquans (water affinity), terrans (earth affinity), pyrans (fire affinity), and aerans (air affinity).

The biodiversity within even these subraces is extremely varied, and kind of up to your imagination! In the game you will meet an aquan with hair that flows as if trapped in an ocean current, a terran with silver palms and skin like the moon’s surface, a pyran with skin markings that glow like coals, an aeran that defies gravity.

In terms of popular culture comparisons, elementi are similar to the genasi race from D&D, or the godlike race from Pillars of Eternity.

Fairfolk are natives of the coastal city of Puapua - at the time of creation, the land the city is built on was a hotspot of magical energy, which infused the local population with fey ancestry.

Fairfolk are identifiable mostly by their pastel coloration, and the fur that covers their bodies. Certain fairfolk whose bloodlines are strongly tied to the land can manifest additional features such as digitigrade legs, tails, or longer ears.

Sori are mostly found in the mountain towns and cities, as they prefer the thinner atmosphere. Sori appear as birdlike humanoids, and their plumage is as varied as birds in real life.

Their bodies are most similar to the Rito from The Legend of Zelda, or to tengus from Pathfinder and D&D 3.5. That is to say, very birdlike but with articulated fingers. Unlike the Rito, however, sori are flightless.

Their faces are mostly human, but the ratio of feathers that appears on your sori’s face is up to you, dear reader. I’ve described their faces as similar to Pallegina from Pillars of Eternity.


Though so :smile:

are there difference, change in dialogues or anything for choosing a different race ??

There are! Certain races have more “secret” dialogue in this demo, but it will balance out as you travel to more regions. (: As far as WHAT they are… that’e for you to discover (;

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can you turn Aspen offert and get a room? Or is your only option is to go to the cove ? (Btw…why anyone would do that with a stranger they met under 2min :roll_eyes: )


I just finished the demo, and I can say I am in love with this game. I like the detailed lore, I like the magic system, and I like our little group of friends :slight_smile:
I do wish that Monsoon was an RO, especially since there are options to flirt with him/its made obvious that the MC is drawn to him. But regardless, I am quiet happy with the other two choices because both are adorkable and interesting.
I seriously can’t wait for more :smiley:

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I’m really interested in following your progress! I’d definitely like to see how the stats get implemented as the game continues, as I’m also interested in developing an RPG adventure story.

At the moment, I don’t feel terribly drawn to either of the available ROs - I’d really like to smooch the King instead, haha. To me, the first meeting seems a little early to have explicit scenes available. If it were my choice, I’d probably leave that for a bit later in the game, and use the first meetings to develop more of a rapport with the ROs. Right now, it feels like they’re just there for an info-dump and a quick romp.

Anyway, I like the work you’ve put into laying out a detailed world, and I’ll look forward to seeing your progress. :slight_smile:

This is too good

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Just a question. Won’t game name be in conflict with inXile Entertainment games?

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Yes, there is an option to get your own room at the Salty Dog. (: I forget what the exact wording is, but it’s the 4th option that’s not the flirt, the platonic room sharing, or the Blooming Cove.

Thank you! Monsoon has gotten a cult following somehow that I still can’t fathom. I did ask about expanding RO options in the exit survey, but I’ll admit that I’m reluctant to if people are GENERALLY happy with Aspen and Tempest.

It won’t be explained until later, but a recurring theme within the story is your divine connections with other people. You’ll feel them with other characters throughout your journey, like Monsoon and Edin, but your divine bond is strongest with Aspen and Tempest. The story focuses on the three of you from this point on, so logistically it is hard to make Monsoon or Edin a full romance route.


An infodump and a quick romp :joy::joy::joy:

Coming into this I was a bit frustrated with the slow progress of certain… OTHER stories that I won’t name. Tempest is, at first, only interested in the hookup - her route is intended to be the reverse slowburn.

Aspen, on the other hand, is trying to put himself out there before he’s emotionally ready to. You won’t get anything close to that first scene with him for a while, but I’m going to be honest I put it there as a hook LOL.

And yeah I wanna kiss Edin too. All my friends that helped me workshop this story bullied me because my crush on him really jumped out.


I am not an entertainment lawyer but I am a film school grad - I assume you’re talking about the The Bard’s Tale games from 1985-2004, in which case I don’t think the similarity is enough to warrant a case. The primary intent behind trademark laws are to avoid confusion of a similar product with a similar name.

While they are both interactive media, of a sort, The Bard’s Tale games were released long enough ago, and in a different enough format, and not with THE exact same name that I don’t think the conflict is significant. But thank you for your concern!

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Just as a note, @sugarplumfairy, you can reply to multiple users/posts in one post by using the Quote function (highlight the text you want to respond to and it will show up)! :slight_smile:

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They released the new one in 2018.

Anyway, I just thought to give heads up, I wasn’t sure myself. I hope one day to see your game published. :slight_smile:


Oh oh oh! I like where this story is going! And thank you for the 18+ heads up. Everything is great and I can’t wait to see more!


They also still sell the port of the ‘04 one on iOS and Google Play (and I highly recommend it, very funny). You won’t be able to release it under this title, though it is fine for it to be a working title until you decide on a final one for release. My second story was Quite App-parent until it was released as the more vanilla (and easily searchable) The Parenting Simulator.