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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Unsung Story - Editorial @ The Reticule

Default Unsung Story - Editorial @ The Reticule

February 22nd, 2014, 11:53
The Reticule takes a look at the the kickstarter campaign for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians, and talks about how Playdek could of did better.

Crowdfunding Comment – Unsung Story

In recent crowdfunding updates, I’ve probably not done a fantastic job of hiding my enthusiasm for the Unsung Story project – I’d always have that little bit more to say on it, and my original write up betrayed my long-established interest in Yasumi Matsuno’s games. Considering the project’s recent but strangely narrow funding success, I’ve decided to take a closer look at some of the all too common mistakes made in a disappointing pitch.

So the Kickstarter is funded, as I never doubted it would be. But boy did this thing limp over the finish line. Its rise was meteoric at first: of its $600k target, $150k was taken in a single day and by the third day, half of the goal had been pledged. From here, the initial stretch goal ceiling – over $3 million – seemed within reach. Hilariously optimistic in retrospect, given the slow, slow crawl to $500k and the final push to just $660k weeks later.

Why was this such a problem pitch?

On one hand, the funding curve is perhaps exactly what you’d expect from the Yasumi Matsuno fanbase – fans of Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, Ogre Battle, Vagrant Story and the rest of the Matsuno back catalogue couldn’t open their wallets fast enough, but it’s a section of the audience that’s probably as small as it is passionate. If you didn’t know the name or hadn’t played many (or any) of his games, it was up to the Kickstarter pitch to convince you.

The pitch wasn’t awful as such, but it certainly wasn’t convincing either. Some highlights follow, many that should be all too familiar to anyone who has seen interesting pitches fail before.
More information.
Last edited by Couchpotato; February 22nd, 2014 at 23:37.
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February 22nd, 2014, 11:53
I funded this game on the last day. I've never played any of Matsuno's titles. My biggest problem with JRPGs tends to be the art style, and I was convinced only in the last update that I would be okay with the art. In general I think it was sad how poorly Playdek did the kickstarter. They assumed that thier fan base was as big as those for Planescape:Torment and Baldur's Gate, which it obviously was not. Anyone else needs to show something. They should have learned from Wildman and Deathfire.
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February 22nd, 2014, 19:50
Originally Posted by forgottenlor View Post
I funded this game on the last day. I've never played any of Matsuno's titles. My biggest problem with JRPGs tends to be the art style, and I was convinced only in the last update that I would be okay with the art. In general I think it was sad how poorly Playdek did the kickstarter. They assumed that thier fan base was as big as those for Planescape:Torment and Baldur's Gate, which it obviously was not. Anyone else needs to show something. They should have learned from Wildman and Deathfire.

Honestly, I think the fandom here is competitive with Planescape: Torment and BG. Final Fantasy Tactics is -huge- in the console strategy RPG scene, not to mention the Ogre games and Vagrant Story.

The problem was trusting the team involved. If Matsuno was directing a veteran team (like if the Tactics Ogre remake team was still around), I would've backed it -in a heartbeat-. Instead, he basically wrote a story and design for a mobile game developer. Sorry, that's not the kind of background that's going to excite a fanbase.

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February 22nd, 2014, 22:49
Originally Posted by killias2 View Post
Honestly, I think the fandom here is competitive with Planescape: Torment and BG. Final Fantasy Tactics is -huge- in the console strategy RPG scene, not to mention the Ogre games and Vagrant Story.

The problem was trusting the team involved. If Matsuno was directing a veteran team (like if the Tactics Ogre remake team was still around), I would've backed it -in a heartbeat-. Instead, he basically wrote a story and design for a mobile game developer. Sorry, that's not the kind of background that's going to excite a fanbase.
Perhaps you are right, though Brian Fargo managed to get 2.5 million for Wasteland 2, and quite honestly the only thing his studio produced was the incredibly mediocre Bard's Tale ARPG (not the original). He did have a few big names doing writing and so on, but I'm not sure the situation was so much different from that of Unsung Story.
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February 22nd, 2014, 23:36
Fargo benefits from the classics Interplay produced but I agree, his team is very different now. While I love Matsuno, I'm not familiar with PlayDek but, I think they can handle the mechanics. What really separated FF:T from other SRPGs for me, was the amazing story, and I hope we get to see that again. Granted, the class system was great and combat mechanics were fairly deep but, I have more faith in PlayDek's ability to emulate that than I do in them to write a story of FFT's caliber. Wish they had raised more money but look forward to the release anyway. Between this and Telepath Tactics, I'm really hoping one of them can recreate the magic of FF:T.
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