The history of The Bard's Tale arrives in podcast form

Context and creator, all in one action-packed episode.

Brace yourself, folks: It's another interview with the designer of a highly influential PC role-playing game from the ’80s. In the footsteps of our interviews with Richard Garriott about Ultima and Robert Woodhead about Wizardry comes... a conversation with Michael Cranford about The Bard's Tale. Between these three episodes (and the supplementary features I've been writing over at USgamer), you should have a pretty good picture of how RPGs emerged on computers in the first half of the ’80s by now.

As with the Ultima episode, the interview portion isn't long enough to account for a full episode. So, once again, Jason Wilson and Rowan Kaiser stepped into the studio to provide some helpful context for the interview with a brief rundown of the series and its importance. Although 90-ish minutes isn't really enough to do this series justice, the combination of conversations should be enough to at least make a case for The Bard's Tale as a seminal work of game design.

Don't worry, though — Retronauts won't always be about aged PC RPGs. (Much as some might like for it to be.) We'll be back to business as usual soon, and I don't have any additional interviews along these lines up for the foreseeable future. I'm just grateful I was able to make these three happen — it's rare to be able to record a podcast with someone who helped shape a genre, let alone three someones.

Retronauts Episode 165
The Bard's Tale
MP3, 41.0 MB | 1:27:44

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Episode description: It's a double dose of bardy delight! First, Jason Wilson and Rowan Kaiser join Jeremy and Bob in the studio to talk about the importance of Interplay's The Bard's Tale. Then, designer Michael Cranford regales us with the saga of its creation.