Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians - All News
Monday - May 04, 2020
Unsung Story - May Update
The May update for Undung Story gives a progress update, including the new Harmony skill system.
Our lead designer made significant progress on one of the last remaining systems to be designed --- providing bonuses for coordinating units together properly. We've spent a lot of time iterating on ideas for this system trying to determine the best way to showcase hybridization and experimentation with Unsung's sound-based magic and abilities.
The Harmony Skill System helps to remove some pressure of putting support roles on just one or two characters, and it allows the player to make meaningful choices with the tools at their disposal.
Here’s a brief rundown of how it will work:
The game will have a new Harmony UI with 6 empty slots. Brandon's initial idea is to stylize it as measures in sheet music using 3/4 time. For those who aren't familiar with the difference between 3/4 and 4/4 time, in 3/4 time there are 3 beats per measure and in 4/4 time there are 4. Beats are typically quarter notes.
Every skill in the game will slot into three different categories; Offense, Defense, Support.
For now, we're using colors to show this.
- Red = Offense
- Blue = Defense
- Green = Support
When you use an ability, its color gets slotted as an eighth note in the current measure of the battle you're playing. After filling in 6 notes, (I.e. using 6 abilities) the player will trigger a team wide bonus for X amounts of turns. This team wide bonus is dependent on what colors are in the measure.
The last skill color a character used will be shown in the character portraits as well, to help make it clear which type of role they current playing and what notes they are adding based on the skill.
Here are some potential examples for how the colors would work.
- Scenario #1: The bar has an even distribution of all colors: RED, RED, GREEN, GREEN, BLUE, BLUE. Everyone on the team gets light buffs for Attack Damage, Focus Regen, and Defense increase.
- Scenario #2: The bar has an even distribution of two colors: RED, RED, RED, GREEN, GREEN, GREEN. Everyone on the team gets medium buffs for Attack Damage and Focus Regen.
- Scenario #3: The bar has all one color: RED, RED, RED, RED, RED, RED. The team receives a high bonus to their Attack Damage.
- Scenario #4: The measure is random, but has a majority color: BLUE, GREEN, GREEN, RED, BLUE, GREEN. The team would receive a medium bonus to Focus Regen.
- Scenario #5: The player figures out a specific sequence we create and hint at during the game, and the bonus ends up very powerful and unique.
Integration with other systems:
- Leveling a skill can increase its contribution to the bonus. For example, having a maxed out RED skill can increase the Attack Damage buff by X%. Stack a bunch of maxed out RED skills and get a very powerful Attack Damage buff.
- Using a Crescendo while the buff is active increases the buff by X for the party for X turns.
- Build a group of Berserker types that execute BLUE skills to get a monster defense buff.
- Make a defensive, shield class with all RED abilities that can contribute to and get that attack increase.
The important part is that even if the player chooses to never engage with this system, they will still receive periodic buffs that complement their playstyle.
Friday - April 03, 2020
Unsung Story - April Update
The April update for Unsung Story goes into how the Corona virus has affected Little Orbit and has this to say about the progress of the game:
We are now fully implemented on Missions 1-3. Everything from cutscenes, gameplay, dialog, and all the classes/abilities you get at that point. We have also completed work on the Hub environment, and implemented parts of the Job Menu screen. Progression and leveling are also in, and we have a basic Battle Results screen at the end of every mission that awards XP and items. At this point, we're only missing the final intro, world map, and mission selection to round out the Start of Game experience.
A lot of back-end work and collaboration with the Programming team went in this month to give Design the ability to create cutscenes that work within the already established gameplay of Unsung Story. With the current amount of cutscenes we are planning on having we needed the ability to script them together, as opposed to hand animating them or tediously calling specific basic animations (like a walk cycle) every time we needed a character to move. The team now has a customized, expandable system that will meet our needs for the rest of development.
As I said earlier, the beginning, in-game, and end cutscenes for missions 1-3 have been implemented, as a trial run for this new system and it’s been wildly success so far. These cinematics have started putting together our world of Unsung Story, and it’s breathed character and life into what was previously just a series of gameplay missions.
Story and Timeline Consolidation and Revision
The story meetings you heard about back in February have given the team our final version of the narrative and its main story beats, as well as how we want to get there. The narrative is the tightest and most cohesive it’s been so far, and this has allowed us to really dig deep and solidify the lore and world. We sat down in March and fleshed out characters, revised the world’s timeline in small ways, and identified gaps in the lore that we discovered during our story meetings. This helped us write the first pass dialogue for the first chapter, which we have implemented in missions 1 through 3.
While Art refines and makes the UI look better than ever, Design has also been hard at work trying to stay one step ahead to wireframe screens for core game systems. We have completed a first pass on the Job Menu and Battle Results screen, which has been sent over to Art and implemented. Work is now shifting to the Unit Recruitment menu.
Tuning of player skills and job progression
Now that the core game loop, cinematics, and main flow of the game is coming together, Design revisited the starting Jobs and their skills. All Jobs available for chapter 1 have been given another tuning, with skill progression within these jobs coming online. Before, we had a collection of skills from varying levels available to play strictly for dev testing purposes. Now QA and other players have to begin the game with the real starting units.
Itemization has started to enter the design phase, with tiers, types, and stats of items being fleshed out and designed on paper. We now have an accurate estimate on the number of weapons and items in the game, including all variants. Art has begun work on some of the weapon models and needed UI to support the item and weapon systems going in.
I'm not going to go into any detail here, but throughout all the work that’s been done in March, we are still designing out and having discussions on gameplay systems that will be coming online in the next few months. Some of these you have seen in updates, the ones you haven’t are still in the early stages of designing and will be shared in the future once they are fully fleshed out and implemented
The update comes with several screenshots and short videos.
Monday - March 02, 2020
Unsung Story - March Update
While the release of the first chapter of Unsung Story is getting nearer (I think), we get a new update about the development of the game.
With the goal of shipping Chapter 1, there was a lot of progress all over the game in February.
- 4 Missions and 1 Cutscene location are now at the "final polish" stage. We also finished the first pass on the Player Hub area and another central Cutscene location.
- We have finished a first complete pass of all the narrative elements and dialog for a couple missions in Chapter 1. Late last month we started implementing those elements in Mission 1. I got to play through some initial work on Friday before I left.
- All of the leads took the time to make our 4th story pass through the rest of the game to adjust bits that needed to move around. We also need to identify all the potential spots for backer NPCs to fit in. These are always very dense 3+ hour meetings for each chapter. In this latest pass we were able to streamline a number of bulky storylines that were bogging down the narrative and not serving the gameplay. We got through Chapters 2-5. Chapter 6 will be on Tuesday this week.
- Wireframing continues to come along nicely. All the User Interface screens that are unlocked during Chapter 1 are laid out. Our art team will be working with the developers to start implementing them on Monday.
- The Human Male and 3 different job outfits are complete, so we can finally start rigging and initial animations. This is the one area that I feel we're the most behind on, but this effort has now been moved to the forefront, and I'm looking forward to having the real units in the game instead of our placeholders.
- Our Art Director started working on more of the key visual effects for the game, so we can get the complete sense of how final combat will look.
- The development team implemented the save system, game flow for starting a new game and getting into each mission, while laying all the ground work for upcoming user interface functionality.
Tuesday - February 04, 2020
Unsung Story - February Update
In this update for Unsung Story, we get to know about the progress, the new UI and an update of a new mission, accompanied by some new screenshots.
There was so much progress in January, that I honestly find it difficult today to summarize everything in this update.
- 3 Missions are now at the "final polish" stage. The other 4 missions in Chapter 1 are playable and have finished geometry, but they need their lighting, skybox, and environment effects finished.
- We finished implementing an all new User Interface including dialog, unit placement, movement, and targeting.
- We completed an initial layout for the a couple of the Chapter 1 cutscene locations and the Player Hub. This week the team will be putting together reference and sketches for some of the details, and then we'll hand those off to get concepted.
- In preparation for the Player Hub, we have been wireframing and building out the various functional screens for that location including Recruiting, Quest board, Shop, and more.
- We started overhauling the look of characters and their job outfits to match the more sophisticated look of the missions. All of the character and monster designs will remain similar to their concepts, but a lot of the proportions and details are being tweaked. The plan is finish the Human Male with 2 job outfits, and once we're comfortable with the results, we will start rigging and animating.
- We have also started organizing the Steam page for Unsung, which is nearly ready to launch. We are just updating screenshots and creating a short trailer (which is required).
Then there is this video showing the new UI.
Saturday - January 04, 2020
Unsung Story - January Update
The January update for Unsung Story is about polishing the first chapter of the game.
December was a short month, but I am very excited about the progress. Our primary focus is to get all the remaining gameplay systems done, so we can play through Chapter 1 front to end. In last month's update, I listed the general roadmap for those tasks.
We made good progress on the following:
- Art exploration of visual effects for skills and abilities. This is a new area that we haven't spent a lot of time on yet. It's important for the visual effects to feel integrated with the world and character art.
- Design focused on implementing the Hazards system for all chapters, as well as refinement of the Trigger system which hooks into the Hazard system in several places. They also spent some time working with environment animations to build a guide for the art team. And lastly they built out UX wireframes for many of the screens we haven't worked on yet.
- UI design across several new screens. There are some significant revisions to the direction we were heading once we got into more detailed screens. I feel like the added iterations has helped the UI visual language to mature a bit. I'll post some shots once we're comfortable with how things are going.
- Lots of technical art polish to Mission #1. The focus here is to tighten up the art specs for the remaining missions. Many materials got upgraded and tweaked to be more cohesive and less flat. Once we're happy with Mission #1, we'll be doing Mission #7 as an interior example.
Monday - December 02, 2019
Unsung Story - December Update
Development on Unsung Story is continuing again.
We finally got far enough ahead to transition some members of the Unsung Story team back into development this month. With the late Thanksgiving this year, November ended up being 1 week shorter for the team, but we did get a full week before the break to jump back in.
To kick things off we did a full review of progress from where we left off with a focus on the Chapter 1 MVP.
The initial roadmap for the next couple months includes:
- Finish implementing all the environment art for Levels 1 - 7. This involves swapping out elements of our whitebox levels to transfer gameplay functionality to the finished art versions.
- UI review to identify and prioritize the design and implementation of the remaining screens such as Main Menu, Main Map, Chapter Map, Character Details, Equipment Management, Victory Screen, Vendor Menu, Options Menu, Party Management, Unit Customization, Job Selection/Review, Unit Recruitment
- Design review to identify and prioritize the few remaining systems we need to finish such as Equipment/Itemization, Unit Recruitment including random generation of stats/appearance, Cosmetic/appearance unlocks, Job progression/unlocks, Artifact (lore) items, and Skill mastery details.
- Engineering review to breakdown the existing systems and schedule resources to implement the design deliverables for new systems so designers can load the game data.
- Technical art review to go over skyboxes, weather/time of day, camera occlusion, vfx, animation, unit item socket system for weapons, and post processing.
- Art review to identify missing Player unit models, Story character models, creature models, vendor models, icons, etc.
- Story review for cutscenes and dialog.
NOTE: It looks like we accidentally included the Sharpshooter in our original MVP scope, but that job is a bit too far down the job tree. Some adjustments will be made.
I also want to acknowledge some of backer comments about Industry Crunch. Little Orbit does try to avoid longer working hours where ever possible. Many of my employees have been with us for more than 10 years, and I think of them as extended family. For this month, we were able to scale back to regular hours for the bulk of the team.
Everyone has expressed their excitement to be back and even some frustration with the short amount of time to work on Unsung during November. But on behalf of the entire team, we appreciate your patience and support, and I hope all the backers got a nice holiday break.
Tuesday - September 03, 2019
Unsung Story - September Update
The September update of Unsing Story focuses on the player hub.
The Player Hub is where you purchase items and equipment, level up, get extra quests, add customizations, and more. It is a critical part of any tactics game where players will spend hours fine tuning their units.
In Unsung Story, there are 8 distinct NPCs in the Player Hub that help with various functions. Each will have a unique character design and personality. It is our hope that you guys will enjoy getting to know them over the course of the game.
1. The Weapon Vendor
This character is very knowledgeable about weapons. He has studied both modern and ancient weaponry and is willing to help your cause by offering to sell you some of the weapons from his personal collection. The player can uncover more weapon information through course of the game that can be 'stored into the Opus' to expand this character's knowledge of weaponry and unlocking new items for sale.
Players can buy weapons from this NPC that can be used by specific job types. These weapons should be categorized by type or job, such that sorting through the options is made easier with sorting. Players can see details of each item before buying, to see what stats or abilities they provide. Players can also sell their weapons to this NPC for currency.
In addition to selling weapons, this NPC houses many of the functions of the weapon advancement / leveling system. This NPC allows the player to take excess weapons and convert them into weapon XP for other weapons that they want to use. The NPC also allows the player to slot in the weapon relics into empty weapon relic slots on their weapons.
Saturday - August 03, 2019
Unsung Story - August Update
Little Orbit has been working on Unsung Story for two years now, which makes it a very long time for this game to get released (for all kinds of reasons). In their August update they now mention that the game will be released on a chapter basis.
Releasing Chapter 1 to the Backers
Based on our progress, I feel like the project as a whole could benefit from a chapter by chapter release on PC.
In order to do this, we have broken up the job tree so that we can release seven jobs with Chapter 1, seven more jobs with Chapter 2, etc. You can see the job tree from my June update here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/littleorbit/unsung-story-tale-of-the-guardians/posts/2524318
The jobs for the Chapter 1 release will be: Mercenary, Physician, Archer, Guardian, Elementalist, Sage, and Sharpshooter. This covers all the first and second tier jobs in the tree.
The races for the Chapter 1 release will be: Horned and Humans. We will hold back the male and female Singed race for the Chapter 3 release.
I don't yet have a release date for Chapter 1, but I want to do this for a number of reasons:
- The first and most obvious reason is that I believe there is a large portion of the community that would love to get their hands on something sooner than later. This project has a long controversial history. I want to get the backers something to play so they can finally see the results of their Kickstarter funding.
- The second reason is that in a project this larger, the sooner we start beta testing and getting feedback the better.
- And lastly, this approach will allow us to eventually release the final more polished Chapter 1 through Early Access to start building up steam (excuse the pun) with reviewers and new fans for the full release next year.
More details to come.
Monday - June 03, 2019
Unsung Story - June Update
The development update of this month for Unsung Story is about jobs, character customization and some general updates.
As you may remember from previous updates, the narrative of Unsung Story takes place over multiple chapters, each featuring its own unique setting and characters from across Lasfaria. During your journey, you will ally with important figures who are trained in special jobs that are different from the 20 jobs typically available for you and your party characters. We call these unique roles Prestige Jobs, and there are 5 of them in total. These heroic allies will often join your party as playable characters, allowing you to command the exceptional spells and abilities they have to offer on the battlefield!
In keeping with last month's Story Character feature, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the allies you will meet and the Prestige Jobs they ascribe to:
Early in the game, you will meet the renowned soldier, Brienze Dupree, a skilled Vanquisher. The Vanquisher is an exceptional melee fighter, great at counterattacking and becoming more dangerous when either the Vanquisher or their foes are at low health. Trying to fight a Vanquisher toe-to-toe is not a wise decision. Here are some of the Vanquisher’s skills.
Duel: The Vanquisher taunts an adjacent enemy, forcing that enemy to concentrate their attacks on the Vanquisher. The Vanquisher also becomes enraged, increasing their offensive potential for a few turns.
Terminate: This melee attack deals strong physical damage, while guaranteeing a critical hit when striking an enemy with less than half of their maximum health. A great attack to use on already weakened foes.
In Chapter 1, you will be introduced to Lady Sirena Renfern, an experienced Lore Master. The Lore Master takes some inspirations from both the Librarian and Elementalist roles, employing a blend of offensive and supportive magic in a unique package. Positioning and targeting are crucial to a Lore Master, as well as keeping an eye on how much Focus they need to use. Now, let’s look at some of the skills you might see a Lore Master using.
Verse of Air: This is a ranged, single-target, spell which deals a high amount of wind damage. It also grants a boost to the Speed of all adjacent allies when cast.
Measure of Frost: A cross shaped 'area of effect' spell, which does a fair amount of ice damage to anyone caught in its path. Once used, the caster also has a high chance to apply a defensive bonus to themselves.
Chapter 2 finds you alongside Asette Dupree, a female horned, trained in the ways of the Ranger. The Ranger uses a combination of ranged attacks and versatile support abilities. They are considerable offensive ranged threats, but are a bit more durable than the typical Archer. Rangers excel when they can stay out of the melee, supporting their allies, while biding their time to find the perfect moment to strike. They receive bonuses for dealing the blow that knocks-out the enemy.
Gift of the Woods: This ability can target the Ranger or one of their adjacent allies. The target gains increased accuracy and a regenerative healing-over-time effect for several turns.
Turn the Tide: A ranged attack, dealing physical damage to a single target. If this attack knocks-out an enemy, the Ranger may revive one of their own knocked-out allies, getting them back in the fight.
The Daggermage makes their first appearance in Chapter 3, when you encounter the talented Miriam Duval. The Daggermage is a stealthy caster, using elemental daggers to quickly tear and blast apart their enemies. They are the epitome of the ‘glass cannon’ concept and must rely on their stealth skills to avoid being targeted by enemies.
Umbra Stiletto: A ranged attack, the Daggermage throws a conjured magic dagger at an enemy that deals Dark damage. Then they slip into the shadows, gaining Stealth until their next turn. If the hit is critical, the Daggermage remains in Stealth for several turns, instead.
Meteor Blades: A melee attack that deals fire damage in an area-of-effect pattern after hitting the target. If the Daggermage uses this skill while in Stealth, there is a high chance to apply additional damage-over-time burning effects to each enemy hit.
Our final Prestige class is the Crusader, championed in Chapter 4 by a singed named Sir Roderic Apresa. The Crusader has a wide range of abilities and are heavily influenced by their equipment choices. Capable of protecting both themselves and their allies, they also have the potential to unleash a sudden magical onslaught, but they must carefully balance their focus resource to do either.
Convalesce: A ranged cross-pattern skill, which has a beneficial area-of-effect. Convalesce heals all units in the targeted area; units at less than half of their maximum health will be healed for more.
Smite: A melee attack that deals magical Light damage, the attack has a chance to stun its target when used against an isolated foe.
Friday - May 03, 2019
Unsung Story - May Update
The May update of Unsung Story, provides more information on Inversions and has the first background of a character.
I’m Brandon, a System Designer here at Little Orbit, and this month, I want to give you a small glimpse into the Inversions content system (formerly known as Fractures).
For context, the destruction caused by the 77-year war has taken its toll on the Opus, and the magical schools used to maintain it. Reality is starting to come undone. This has begun to manifest itself throughout the world by way of Inversions; areas where other possible realities have started to seep through allowing chaos to pour into the world and wreak havoc.
This system introduces repeatable, semi-randomized content for players to explore outside of the main storyline. Inversions are unlocked by completing the regular version of the map. Then players can move on to the alternate version of that mission that has different encounters, creatures, starting unit locations, mission objectives, times of day, or weather patterns unique to the region when applicable.
We are still designing these, but here is a quick hypothetical example:
In the main story line, we have a morning mission that involves eliminating all the hostile creatures that threaten your party in the outskirts of Branholme. The story version is fairly straight forward and involves opposing Saxtel army units as enemies.
Once that mission is completed, the player can choose the Inversion. This mission takes place in a what-if alternative history where the enemy attacked earlier during the previous night. This time you must eliminate all hostile creatures without using any Ice-based abilities, and instead of just Saxtel army units, they are helped by monsters known as the "Ancient Ones".
Aside from the fun, Inversions are an exciting source of additional puzzles, experience, and new character items. Players can repeat these missions to experiment with different jobs and skill loadouts before attempting the next story mission.
The core of the storyline in Unsung Story focuses on the 77-year war between the Alionne and Saxtel forces; a battle between different ideologies. Inversions give us the ability to step away from that war and explore other aspects of the world including … more of the creatures.
Thursday - April 04, 2019
Unsung Story - April Update
The update of April for Unsung Story brings, amongst others, a general update of the status:
At this point there are a bunch of long term tasks that wont really be complete until the game is Alpha, but I'll try to break them up to give a sense of progress.
- Design is still finalizing the white boxes for all 50 missions. 15 are done and out for conceptual art. 9 are playable. You'll notice that we keep adjusting the play field size on Mission 5 based on play testing. Those changes have been filtered back through other level designs to keep everything consistent.
- Art is managing the process of working through conceptual art based on the white boxes and then the 3D modeling build out of each level.
- Development continues to build out class skills and combat mechanics. But they are also building tools for the artists and designers. I'll be showing off the first pass of our Environment Control and Tile Editor below. Right now they are also adding support so that design can script Spawns, Hazards, and environmental events. These elements are necessary to complete the remaining 35 mission white boxes.
- Development is also building out the Fracture system which our extended game play feature for Unsung Story that allows players to replay levels they have already beaten. Unfortunately I didn't have time to get a good enough write-up for that part of the game, so we'll be walking through it next month.
- Art has completed work on the Female Human across all class outfits and 3 different body forms. Those assets are still being glued up in the engine, and it was quite a bit more work than we anticipated. Conceptual work is being done on the gender / racial variations to each class outfit alongside various story character designs. They also have lots of continuing work on animation, vfx, and UI.
There is also information about the vertical slice process, environmental control, gameplay and the level editor.
Monday - March 04, 2019
Unsung Story - March Update
The March update for Unsung Story brings us information on vertical slice number 2.
We're back with another Kickstarter Update and second in a series about our Vertical Slice progress.
This month, I'm not going to focus on level art, because I want to save that for next month. I think it's important that properly light everything and show off what the final game is going to look like.
Towards the end of last month's update, I said that in March we would show off more progress with the characters. During our internal meetings in February, we thought it would be cool to shift the format of the monthly updates and start doing more video blogs, which can better demonstrate features and gameplay. So bear with us, as our Art Department is still getting the hang of these during our first two attempts.
We'll start with character customization. For this part, I enlisted the help of Craig, our lead technical character artist. Craig is going to show off the Female Human Archer along with some of the body and hair customization features. We didn't get a change to show multiple head swaps or skin tones, but those are also working.
Instead of a lot text they have made this visdeo about character customization:
And this one is about the UI progress:
Monday - February 04, 2019
Unsung Story - February Update
In the latest update for Unsung Story, you can read that the game will not be released this year, a vertical slice, mission 5 notes and other stuff.
First, I want to apologize about the lack of backer interaction and forums. I have an unfinished task sitting on my to-do list to get everyone migrated to GamersFirst accounts so they can access the new Unsung Story forums. Things have been super busy, but I plan on getting this finished in February.
Second, here is an update on various parts of the game:
- We have updated the story board to lock in the first 50% of the game.
- We have updated the mission layouts / whiteboxes for the first 25% of the game.
- We are about 15% done building out the character art, heads, hair, and outfits.
- We are working back through all the abilities (lots of design tweaks based on game testing). Right now I think we have about 20% of the abilities completely done again.
- Lots and lots of finalized engineering systems related to movement, combat, and AI.
Lastly, the bad news.
After having spent the last couple months with the Square Grid and going through production timelines, it is clear we aren't going to have a finished game by the end of this year.
I absolutely hate having to move things back.
The main problem is the mission art production time. We have 50 missions, and we're using mostly unique assets in each one. Early in the project, we made the design decision not to build some basic tile sets and just re-use those over and over. It takes a minimum of 1 month to fully complete the art for each mission. We are in the process of ramping up about 4 teams to work concurrently. Using those estimates, we have at least 13 more months of production which doesn't include time for cutscene environments, polish, submission, manufacturing and shipping. I will be spending some time to see how well we hold to our time estimates, and then I'll come back with a new date.
Please know that I want to ship this game as soon as possible. You guys have waited far too long already.
Sunday - December 02, 2018
Unsung Story - December Update
In the December update for Unsung Story, it is explained why they will not continue with the triangle grid and an overview of mission 5 is given.
Changing gears this late in the project is very difficult. It's a particularly hard decision because I've already made and reversed this decision once before. But more painfully, it invalidates a bunch of work the team as done.
However, I'm going to spend our December update discussing why this needs to happen.
For those that want the context around the grid system discussions, I had originally posted an update in December 2017 saying that based on extensive analysis, the Triangle Grid didn't work. You can read it here.
My conclusion back then was: The Triangle Grid system added complexity without really adding value. It's harder to estimate distance or directional facing – the two core elements any good tactics game needs to help communicate.
Then during my visit to Tokyo in January earlier this year, I met with Matsuno, and he adamantly insisted that the Triangle Grid did work, and he challenged us to avoid cutting it. So my team spent a couple weeks working on the issues, and we came up with what we felt was a nice solution. I showed off an early prototype in my March update. You can read it here.
In that update, even though we had found a way to make the system work, I acknowledged: I'm taking a risk in one of the biggest gameplay systems in Unsung Story - a risk that introduces a million new ways to fail. Hopefully it will be worth it.
Since then, you've seen some of the progress on our Visual Target mission, the 20 classes and 240 abilities, and the 50 white box missions for the rest of the game.
However around the 1 year anniversary in August, issues started popping up with the mission designs.
Early testing on some of the levels showed that while they were functionally complete, they just weren't fun to play. We started back tracking over the issues and making adjustments, but the issues we encountered didn't change. Ultimately we have come to the conclusion the majority of the problems in the levels rest with the Triangle Grid.
To be clear, the Triangle Grid does technically work. That was my initial problem back in December. We solved that, and I'm even a big fan of how we implemented it.
But now we've hit a new problem - the Triangle Grid doesn't work for a tactics-style game which needs to focuses on the following:
- Precise movement options & scale
- Emphasis on verticality
- Balancing melee and ranged combat
Friday - October 05, 2018
Unsung Story - October Update
The October update of Unsung Story provides numerous updates on the development status and also that they have finalized the moving of all development to one development studio.
Since then I have had many fans and backers ask me why we decided to move everything away from Torus.
The decision was based on a gradual take over of the project that started back in March, after Torus faced a number of challenges coming out of Pre-Production. Unsung Story was always going to be very collaborative because of the Matsuno source material, but by May all of the art production had been moved to Little Orbit, and in July we took over several of the design deliverables. By August it was clear that the project would start to suffer if we continued to split development between the two studios. Little Orbit has an 8 year working history with Torus, and they have shipped many titles for us. I deeply appreciate all the work they did on the title for nearly a year.
August and September have been a blur of ramp up.
In addition to the existing internal folks already working on the game, my Executive Producer, Nick, has officially taken over along with his associate producer, Kyle. We moved a new designer (Jared) onto the project at the end of August. We have a new lead level designer and two new engineers joining the team today! And we'll be moving over two more engineers (Brandon and Rodney), a UX artist (Jessica), and a technical artist (a different Nick) as they free up off other projects later this month.
Saturday - September 01, 2018
Unsung Story - September Update
The September update for Unsung Story, is about diversity.
It's no secret that I love the tactics genre - especially the early games that all heavily influence Unsung Story. However, Artistic Diversity is one of the areas that I feel we can improve on when looking at those games. These previous titles focused on worlds where the population is a single skin tone from a single culture. To be fair, there were clear technology limitations that prevented changing the color of sprites or body features in real time.
Unsung Story focuses on an epic war between to clashing cultures, and I feel like we need to make sure the two sides of that conflict feel uniquely different.
Last month, I made a decision to pursue a solution to a couple different problems we were facing in the project that I felt needed to be solved. I wanted time to address the overly sexualized females, the lack of diverse body types, and give a nod to a more classic art style without losing our original vision.
This month, I'm very pleased to show our progress.
- Base human models are done with lots of texture and body form variation. These were completely reworked last month to support everything we wanted.
- Technology work in the character avatar system so that units can seamlessly shift between variations.
- All class concepts are now finalized and half of the 3D models are done. This is where the equipment and clothing is coming from for our base models.
- Creatures! We've created build outs for 10 unique types of creatures, and this month we started working on concepts. More than half are complete.
- We are working back through the missions for gameplay and design iteration. We found a lot of areas for improvement in the initial whiteboxes, and have started making adjustments to objectives, map shape, spawn points, and some enemy combos.
- Programming hand-off. There was some ramp up this month, while Torus handed off to our internal team.
More can be found at the link.
Friday - July 06, 2018
Unsung Story - July Update
In the July update for Unsung Story, which brings us the name of the world the game takes place in.
Welcome to Lasfaria, the location for the 77-year war between the Alionne Kingdom and the Saxtel Empire. It represents 11 months of digging in, hard decisions, and pushing forward to get where we are today.
Various names for the world floated around in the documentation we were given like Rasfalia, Razzfaria, and others. But Lasfaria was my favorite, and I felt it was time we finally named this down.
- All 51 missions are now in the game. This is a big milestone for the game, and now begins the long road of building out and perfecting the gameplay of each level.
- Lots of work refining the narrative. We spent a significant part of June fleshing out cutscenes, character dialog, and story moments. Each mission design had to be reviewed and in many cases modified to make sure it still contained all the elements necessary for the story.
- "Crescendo Attack" system created. These are the big ultimate attacks that are meant to change the pace of combat and deepen the strategy of the game.
- Initial AI design created. Currently each unit has the same priority system, but moving forward we'll be starting to differentiate how the AI plays each class, so they take advantage of their core abilities.
- Initial Tutorial created. This is a rough pass through the tutorial elements that happen during the first two missions. The goal is to keep tutorialization as light as possible, while the player gets into the game. We expect to learn a lot from our early alpha testers to help us.
- Significant work on core game flow. This covers critical things such as the order in which abilities are resolved as well as the order in which UI and animations are played and displayed.
- Added many base animations to the game. These include locomotion (movement between nodes), scaling/climbing, dropping to lower tiles, Disciple Bo-Staff attack (used for all physical attacks currently), Archer basic draw and release (used for all projectile attacks currently), reactionary animations for buffs & debuffs (basic stagger).
- Basic progression is in the latest build. Players can now save, load, and create new games.
Monday - June 18, 2018
Unsung Story - Developer Blog #3: Animation
The third developer blog for Unsung Story is focussing on animations, which includes some animated gifs.
The first thing an animator needs to begin animating is a fully “rigged” and “skinned” 3D model. Most of you are probably familiar with the idea of a 3D model, but the ideas of “skinning” and “rigging” are a bit more esoteric.
“Rigging” is essentially the process of creating a skeleton that sits inside the 3D model, which an animator can then use to control motion. Each skeleton is comprised of several controllers that the animator can use to quickly deform and move different parts of the model, which is obviously useful!
“Skinning” refers to the act of assigning the amount of influence that each of these controllers have over the model and each other. In the real world, moving a part of yourself moves everything connected to it to some degree, which is what skinning emulates. For example, when moving the arm of a model, we want the shoulder to influence the whole arm, the elbow to influence the forearm and hand and the wrist to only influence the hand.
Friday - June 08, 2018
Unsung Story - June Update: Art
In a new update for Unsung Story, some information is shared about the art direction for the game.
I have been pretty open about holding this area back, because I wasn't happy with the direction. Before locking in, I wanted the team to be able to explore a lot of different space. We're done exploring, and I'm very pleased to show off how that process is going.
Before I jump in, I want to acknowledge that this is the one place in the project where we have significantly deviated from the original direction set out by PlayDek. We couldn't get Yoshida back.
We tried a number of different styles that were reminiscent of FFT, but we just couldn't make them work. So what you're going to see today is different.
I own 100% of the responsibility for the look. I chose this style, and I'm a big fan of how it's coming out. For some, you may like what I'm about to show off. And I'm sure there will be others who will be massively disappointed. Trust me, there are plenty of great medieval settings and character styles in the game. It just happened to turn out I don't have a lot of that to show off today. So I'm going to ask for a little patience, while we dial this in and integrate everything together for the final look.
I do also need to take a moment and give massive thanks to my tireless Art Director, Tyler James, and the team of artists working under him.
Even though I get to have all the fun writing these updates and sharing everything, he really did all the heavy lifting on what you're going to see this month. We've spent plenty of late nights comparing notes throughout each stage, but he has spent many hours working with the artists, giving feedback, painting guides, and generally bringing this game to life.
The article continues with describing the direction that is planned for the art, for which readers gave feedback, which prompted Little Orbit to come with an additional update.
Kickstarter is sometimes an imperfect medium to have a two-way conversation, but in this case I feel the need to at least follow up to the many comments on yesterday's post.
I want to start with a little extra context for how we arrived where we are with the style.
1. We cannot copy Yoshida's style
PlayDek engaged Yoshida, he did work, he was never paid for it, and there was a dispute. I have already spent months going back and forth with Cygames about bringing him back or even paying for the work he did, but we couldn't make that happen. So it's important to bear in mind that legally we need to stay clear of his style and anything he did previously for the project. I don't want to step into dicey territory that will jeopardize the project.
For the record, I absolutely love Yoshida's work. I wish this situation were different. As you saw in early updates, we tried playing with some hybrid styles. At best they were passable. At worst they felt like cheap Western knockoffs of Japanese art. So we abandoned that approach.
2. We are limited by what the studio can do
It is possible that PlayDek would have been able to deliver on the thousands of art assets it takes to make this game - all within the style they showed. But it's important for me to acknowledge what my studio can and can't do well. We are not a 2D pixel art studio. We aren't a Japanese-based art studio with lots of that style of talent.
In fact I saw mention of Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment in the comments, and I think that's a very good example. My studio (Hijinx/Game Machine) worked on Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment. It was our first tactics game, and being forced to deliver on that art was awful. Konami had their hearts (pun intended) in the right place, but they also pushed us into a box where we weren't going to be successful. I don't want to repeat that situation.
Side note: I wont take the bullet for the VH:FoJ cutscenes. Those were completed by another team that we had no control over.
3. We are already significantly behind
Many backers have graciously told us to take all the time we need - despite having already waited more than 4 years for the game they paid for. And in a perfect world, we could iterate forever. Sadly that is not the case. We are a small studio, we took on a lot of extra cost for the eventual Kickstarter rewards, and eventually we need to ship this game.
So where do we go from here?
Tuesday - May 22, 2018
Unsung Story - developer Blog #2
The second developer blog for Unsung Story is about the UI design.
This is Rowan Ryder again from Torus Games, here with Tyson Hollitt, who’s in charge of the User Interface design for Unsung Story. Today, we’re going to talk about UI design; where it’s currently at, how we got there and how we plan to proceed.
At the beginning of any project, it’s important for the UI Designer to collect reference material; trends from games in the same or similar genres, trends from the industry at large and even examples of UI from software outside of games. We look at what’s working and what isn’t, then combine that knowledge with what we understand to be unique about our game.
In this case, we need to break down and understand what players expect from the UI; each units vital stats, their equipment, the turn order, where each unit can move, etc. It’s also important to lean on what the player already understands — players are constantly learning while they play a game (any game), and it’s important that the interface doesn’t ignore this fact.
Finally, pre-production involves listing out what information will need to be exposed to the player through the interface. It’s extremely helpful for the dev team to have access to this information in an easily digestible form so we don’t overlook anything as we move forward.
It’s very common for developers take information for granted when they live and breathe a game for months, but as soon as a new player gets their hands on the game they’ll find it bafflingly vague and obscure. As such, we rely on an itemized list of information to make sure we’re on track (as well as regular play testing!).
Wednesday - May 02, 2018
Unsung Story - May Update
In the may update for Unsung Story, there is talk about an upcoming stream, physical copies for console versions, current state, maps and a development update.
am extremely happy with the development progress. Not only did we get our first console builds this month, but we also got to play initial versions of several different battle maps that included many new classes and abilities.
So that's what I'm going to talk about for the rest of this update.
But first, here is a quick review of what Unsung Story is all about for context. Back in August we started from scratch and rebuilt the story and design based around Yasumi Matsuno's original ideas.
Matsuno's goals in the design
- Instead of a World Map, we have a Historical Map that allows the player to revisit various battles and moments in the War
- Players will explore the game across 5 different chapters - each with their own main Story Character
- Classes have pure gameplay mechanics (Warrior, Priest, Wizard, Pioneer)
- Players can level up and unlock new classes to switch between
- Player units can have a Primary and Secondary class which creates lots of variations and unique combinations
- Environmental height and incline affect movement, speed, and attack
- Simplify the presentation of stats to make them less complicated without sacrificing depth
- Introduce the triangle grid for slightly different tactical choices
Basic story concepts
- The game takes place in a medieval fantasy world filled with wild chaotic magic that is fueled by vibration and shaped by songs. This magic literally has the power to reshape reality around the caster.
- Realizing that the world could not sustain life, the first inhabitants built the Opus of History - the first and oldest song that holds the world together. Since that time History has been sung and recorded in magical schools around the world.
- The game opens at the end of a 77-Year War. Cities have been decimated, and the schools ravaged. A final, desperate war summit has been called - a plea to finally end the war because the Opus of History is starting to fail, and no one knows why. The world is coming apart at the seams.
- A small band of aging heroes are given an impossible task. Armed with an experimental spell, they must brave the unknown by traveling into the Opus to find a way to repair the tears.
- But something unexpected happens, the spell doesn't work as expected. Instead the squad is transported backwards in time and thrust into the middle of a recent major turning point.
- From there the player will meet key figures on both sides of the war. They will fight each key battle working their way backwards and gaining a small new opportunity each time – methodically unraveling the intricacies of history in an effort to prevent the war in the first place.
So there you have it. A narrative told in reverse that allows the player to slowly learn about the past, then visit those battles, and even come back to play them again to experience alternative timelines. At its core, the game focuses on the war. Each map and encounter needs to capture that spirit in a different way.
Last month, I shared the entire class list because it wasn't going to be possible to share progress without discussing those in more detail. This month, we're going to deep dive a couple battle maps and discuss some of the class abilities. Again, the standard disclaimers apply. Some of this will change as we get further into iterating on the game.
Monday - April 23, 2018
Unsung Story - Developer Blog #1
The first developer blog for Unsung Story is about the level design process.
Our Game Plan
We’re still dong some pre-production, which means the team is engaging in a whole lot of planning and documentation that will let us work more quickly and efficiently as we move forward. This can be a little bit frustrating for both fans and developers, as neither of us get to see the game come together as soon as we’d like, but it always makes for a better game in the long run.
Quite some time has been spent on working out the ideal size that our levels should be. Successful turn-based tactics games tend to keep their maps on the small side, as bigger levels often have a lot of unused space. In early testing we also found this to be the case, and have been slowly reducing our level size until it feels right. Of course, making the maps too small can be just as detrimental. It’s a tricky balance!
The grid system has been a fun challenge to work with and we’ve had to take a notably different approach to designing levels on a triangle grid (as opposed to a square grid). Right-angles, for example, do not flow naturally on the grid system that we're using, but they're such a common aspect of human architecture and we have to allow for them. This requires us to think outside the box (pun intended) in regards to how we design our levels.
Monday - March 05, 2018
Unsung Story - March Update
In this month's update of the development of Unsung Story, which is for the most part about keeping the original triangular grid of the game.
I'll start this topic with a broad philosophical statement meant to make me sound intelligent and deep thinking, but that’s really just to soften the blow before I make a more personal admission.
None of us are perfect, and game development is no exception. Sometimes we make choices that are perfectly reasoned, well thought out. Safe. For a project like Unsung Story that has been delayed so long, many times those will be the right choices. But sometimes our protective instincts get in the way of pushing frontiers. Sometimes knowing exactly where the road leads, keeps us from wandering into a hidden alcove full of wonder and imagination.
To put it more bluntly, I was wrong about changing to the Square Grid.
As I said in a previous post on Kickstarter, the Triangle Grid was definitely one of the core elements that drew me into Unsung Story. I had never seen anything like it, but when it came time to crack that system open, we spent weeks staring at the PlayDek mockups and trying to make heads or tails of them.
Eventually I made the call. It’s what a publisher does. You can hear the clock ticking, and you have to keep things on track. At the time it felt like the system added needless complexity for no real gain and a lot of very awkward gameplay limitations.
It all made perfect sense...
..Until I went to Tokyo and met with Mr. Matsuno.
There are some preliminary screenshots in the article showing the triangular grid.
Wednesday - December 20, 2017
Unsung Story - Grid Design Analysis
Little Orbit talks about the original grid design of Playdek for Unsing Story and the changes they have made to it.
With respect to any game design element, it’s important to establish who our audience is and what we’re trying to achieve. In this case, our primary target audience are fans of Final Fantasy Tactics, fans of tactics games in general, and then fans of RPGs. While we are hoping to modernize the approach, it’s critical that our grid system clearly communicates distance and direction on the map. As a player, these two factors (distance and direction) affect many of our choices when determining what a unit might do in any given situation. Can I get out of range of an attack? Can I get an advantage on another unit by attacking from another angle?
What was PlayDek’s solution?
Looking back at the triangle grid announcement, we can see that their Triangle system essentially breaks down Hexagons into smaller triangles split like a pie from a center vertex. Functionally this is identical to a hexagon system, but since the characters can stand at the intersection of each triangle, it means the grid offers more discrete movement.
Later in development, PlayDek released work-in-progress screenshots that showed a traditional square grid system, but at this point they referenced their “8 Point Movement and Attack System”.
Wednesday - December 06, 2017
Unsung Story - December Update and a Release Date
last week Little Orbit had a four day meeting with Torus, the developers of Unsung Story and this update is summarizing these four days.
Day 1 was about the story, which is like:
"Unsung Story takes place in a medieval fantasy world where spells are cast as songs, and magic can reshape reality. With the threat of such power, the original shapers created a way to stabilize the world. Since the beginning of time, History has been sung and recorded in magical schools around the world. The game opens at the end of a 77-Year War. We follows a squad of aging heroes as they are given a covert mission: to infiltrate the archive of a nearby school and cast a legendary spell that may turn the tide of the conflict."
Day 2 was about art and programming:
In the first half of Wednesday, we spent time reviewing inspirations for characters, weapons, armor, environments, UIs, animations, and VFX. Honestly I felt we were pretty well nailed down on the art design and approach, but the dev team came up with lots of good questions involving how render swappable inventory, playable races, monsters and other areas. We've got a number of new pre-production deliverables now to help us flesh those out, and we're looking forward to sharing progress soon.
Day 3 was about game mechanics and sound:
We spent the better part of the day going through the initial candidate list of 20 classes (not including the Elite classes) spread across our 4 different schools - Mana, Nature, Divine, and Technology. This game rests squarely on the classes, abilities, and spells, and it's an area I want to nail down early, so we have the maximum amount of time to integrate the game mechanics into each chapter.
Day 4 was about getting a release date:
This was our final full day of meetings for the week, and the focus was entirely on attempting to nail down a release date that we could stand behind.
The day started with going through each month and identifying all of the game's components, and we spent time going through notes from the previous days adjusting the milestone schedule.
When are we releasing Unsung Story?
This has been the #1 question asked by backers, and in light of this project's history, I felt we needed to spend a fair amount of time going through the game's scope, timeline, and deliverables, before we made any formal announcement. We are going to continue refining the project timeline through the end of the year, but at this time we will be simultaneously releasing all platforms in Q4 2019.
Wednesday - November 08, 2017
Unsung Story - Design Update
In a new design update for Unsung Story, Little Orbit has checked out what the original design ideas were and what Playdeck made of them, noting that the original deisgn was for a mobile game and that many changes were made by Playdeck to transfer it to a PC game. Little Orbit wants to focus more on the original design ideas, without it becoming a mobile game only.
I don’t feel comfortable sharing the actual initial design without Matsuno’s permission, but I think it is important to understand the main focus, because that has formed an important starting point for us. The key note is that his first design was for a mobile game. So many of his decisions were based on simplicity to match that platform. It wasn’t until the Kickstarter that Playdek massively increased the scope of the game to the spiritual successor of Final Fantasy Tactics. At that point, we see lots of changes that attempt to retrofit the original ideas into a larger framework.
Here is an overview of Matusno’s original design goals:
- A traditional epic fantasy theme
- Original notes talk about a war with an invading “demonic” force
- The story is focused through Story Characters and Chapters
- The player controls “Unsung Heroes” who are the true heroes but lost to history
- Instead of using a main map or any concept of linear time, the player chooses to play key battles during the war that they could replay at any time
- Unsung units have classes like Knight, Archer, Priest, Wizard, and Pioneer
- More classes for the Unsung units unlock based on leveling up that give new abilities and slightly modify power or speed
- Players can switch classes from the base class to new classes as they unlock
- Use group-based skill points to level up or improve skills
- Height and incline affect movement speed and attack
- No complicated stats
We agreed internally that we needed to focus on a couple goals to help focus Unsung Story:
- Preserve most of Matsuno’s original design and narrative
- Combine those ideas with the scope of what backer’s paid for in Kickstarter
- Combine those ideas with the extra features added by Playdek if possible
With this base, we spent some time analyzing how to meet these goals.
And they found out the following:
1. PLAYDEK'S WORLD LACKS MANY OF MATSUNO'S IDEAS
2. PLAYDEK'S LINEAGE, CLASS, AND PROFESSION SYSTEM IS OVERLY COMPLEX
3. MAGIC IS NOT DESIGNED
4. PROBLEMATIC PROGRESSION FOR UNITS
Which are things that Little Orbit is planning to change in the game. I wonder if Little Orbit knew what they were getting themselves in to.
Monday - October 02, 2017
Unsung Story - Backer Exclusive Content
Little Orbit has decided that more backer exclusive content is needed in their Kickstarter postings for Unsung Story. So this is about the Kickstarter updates and not the game. I really doubt that is functional as a public update potentially generates more attention, but whatever.
So, for those who did not spent any money on the Kickstarter, the news in update #59 is that there will be three more exclusive updates this month. The first of those 3, Update #60 talks about changes to rewards and add-ons.
The majority of changes are based around two issues that we found:
1) Few backers selected the item, which make it financially wasteful to produce
The biggest example of the first case is the Game Package sold as a $5 add-on. This package promises 3 exclusive stages only for the backers that ordered it, and only 329 backers purchased it. That means we would be producing 3 extra stages of the game for a small group of players, and we can never release those stages anywhere else. That's not a commitment we can make. For now, we are going to cancel this item. However we are evaluating the possibility of offering a new add-on closer to launch that will give backers a discount on purchasing some form of DLC that isn't exclusive.
Similarly only 52 backers selected the Kindle version of the main game and 61 backers selected the Kindle version of the Card Game. Windows Tablet had equally low orders. It's possible that back in 2014, both of these platforms were more viable, but today we need to focus on systems that the majority of backers chose.
The late addition 2nd T-Shirt is another example. Only 5 backers selected this add-on, so it makes no sense to go through the work and effort of making it. NOTE: This is a different shirt from the "developer" T-Shirt that was promised as part of the main campaign. We will be producing the "developer" T-Shirt.
2) Shipping was never calculated properly, so the add-on or reward was under priced
As an example of this second case, we did some research and the least expensive international shipping is $24 through USPS for padded flat rate envelopes.
Many larger reward tiers will require larger boxes to deliver everything. Yet international shipping was only priced at $15. While we do want to deliver as many rewards as possible, we can't afford to lose money on international shipping.
Lastly, the physical copies of each game were thrown in with little to no thought about shipping or extra costs. Only 6 backers chose the Physical version of Linux and 6 backers chose the Physical version of OSX.
Don't panic. While we are changing or canceling some rewards, we are also going to give some limited refunds to make up for it.
Please don't flood us with requests for full refunds. We have a complete list of everyone and what they ordered. If you purchased any of the rewards we are changing or canceling, we will be contacting you and working through either a replacement of equal value or giving the money back.
The following add-ons and rewards are being canceled:
- $25 PayPal Pledges for T-Shirt (3 backers selected)
- $40 PayPal Pledges for T-Shirt (1 backers selected)
- Add-on for 2nd T-Shirt (1 backers selected)
- Kindle version of Main Game (52 backers selected)
- Kindle version of Card Game (61 backers selected)
- Windows Tablet version of Main Game (113 backers selected)
- Physical OSX (6 backers selected)
- Physical Linux (6 backers selected)
- Physical Windows (482 backers selected)
- Exclusive Game Package with 3 extra stages
The following add-ons and rewards are being changed:
- $15 International Shipping is being raised to $24
- Addon for Additional copy will not included physical versions
Besides this there are apparently funds to also release the game on Xbox One, PS4 and Switch.
Wednesday - August 02, 2017
Unsung Story - In New Hands
Playdek have handed development over to Little Orbit for their Kickstarter game Unsung Story.
To All Unsung Story Backers,
Thank you for the support you have shown to make this project happen. Through the trials we have had as a company over the last few years, Playdek has strived to keep the project alive, as we believe in the game and the story that Yasumi Matsuno designed to set it in. To that, we want to let you know that the project is going to continue forward, but our involvement is coming to an end.
Effective immediately publisher/developer Little Orbit has taken over all the rights and assets to Unsung Story from Playdek, and is now the project creator. They believe strongly the game can be an amazing Tactics RPG, and they are excited to carry on and bring Matsuno’s story to life. They will be bringing you project news from this point on to update everyone on their plans for the game.
Again, we want to thank you for your support of this project, and though we are sorry that we were unable to complete it for you, we believe the project is in good hands, with people who have the same passion for the game. Please send all questions concerning the project, backer inquiries and development discussions to email@example.com. Thank you.
Saturday - December 24, 2016
Unsung Story - Development Outline
Playdek reports that while Unsung Story might be on life support, it's got a pulse. To paraphrase, "We got a credit line that will just cover development costs. We won't eat, but we'll release playable builds to backers.".
Up first is news on support from our secured credit bank for next year. We have a new agreement in place with them that allows for us to continue development and maintain our progress towards releasing playable builds to you the backers and follow that with a solid beta version. Without this support, we would not be able to continue as a company, so we are very thankful and sober-minded about this agreement. We have revenue to continue game development, but no more beyond that, and therefore our only option is to allocate our revenue to operating costs and development. What we can do for the backers of this project is deliver on the game and the rewards, and we have an agreement now with our financial overseer to do what we can to make that a reality.
We are working towards completing a playable build, that we will release first to the design backer’s tier for feedback. We will be looking for feedback on UI and controls, character movement and basic combat. This build will have one arena, and character specializations from two of the planned Schools...
Read more here.
Thursday - September 22, 2016
Unsung Story - Project Update #53
In today's Kickstarter update for Unsung Story, Playdek announces that they have a new design partner, as yet unspecified, working with them to produce new content. More details are coming, apparently.
So, essentially, it's an announcement to say that an announcement is coming. Hmm.
Though it took a little longer than anticipated, we are happy to tell you that we have entered into a strategic agreement with a major company, who will be providing design work for the tactics game, as well as other Unsung branded games in the future. We have begun the collaboration process with them, and will start to see the fruits of those efforts over the next few months.
We will coordinate with them and make a formal announcement in the near future, but want you to know that this is in place and will have a positive impact on the gameplay, mechanics and overall delivery timeline for the beta and full release. We had hoped to have some design and art progress to show by this month, but we are just now getting the time we need to spend with our partner on the core mechanics and the game world and need to do this before providing updates with visual content progress. Rather than making estimates as to when we think content updates will be ready, we will stick to updating on the design progress more regularly, and then update you when we have a good step forward with some content progress, whether it be concept art or screenshots of in-game progress.
Again, look to get a formal announcement on our partner as soon as we can all coordinate on public messaging for that. Hopefully, it won’t take longer than a few months, but announced or not, it is happening and is a huge plus for Unsung Story development.
Wednesday - June 29, 2016
Unsung Story - New Update
In a new update for Unsung Story, Playdek informs us that more information about the schedule of the beta will be expected in August.
Here is an update on our current progress towards an Unsung Story beta release. First off, we have released the product spoken of in our updates, and have been getting resources onto making a beta playable version of Unsung Story tactics. The second platform release of the other product took a little longer than expected, so getting onto content work is behind about a month. We apologize for being off a month with this update, as we had hoped to have more specifics for you in May. We have fortunately been able to start getting some agreements in place for outside design assistance on the character classes and mechanics, and we will be able to update you on those specifics later next month.
We are also starting the process of getting additional concept art work contractors in place as well for world and level design, and look forward to sharing the new art work with you. Our beta game play and content goal still remains the same, which is two levels and two character schools, with each school having multiple class variations. We need to spend a bit more design time on the characters for the beta goal before we can provide an updated timeline estimate for the beta release, but we should have a good handle on that by August.
As of now, we estimate to have new art, screenshots and design details to show by September, and we will have another design update for you next month.
We know that we have one method of restoring faith in this project, and that is through delivering on a great tactics game, which we intend to do. Thank you again for your patience and support.
Friday - April 22, 2016
Unsung Story - Nothing to Show
Couch spotted this editorial byCliqist about Unsung Story and that in the two years of development since the Kickstarter campaign, the devs still have nothing to show.
It’s been over 2 years since the campaign ended and Playdek still doesn’t have much to show the 15,824 people who supported Unsung Story, and backers are furious. Waving around an association with Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story veteran, Matsuno might have been enough to get people interested, but Playdek’s vaguely sparse updates and clear lack of focus seem to have burned any goodwill they had with their community. The February 2016 update where they mentioned they hadn’t even been working on Unsung Story certainly didn’t help.
The latest update on April 9th assured backers that the team was finally going to be getting back to work on Unsung Story. Playdek is finally nearing completion of a separate project they had taken on to help with finances. It seems that even with these assurances backers are understandably skeptical. Especially since, when asked how the funding for Unsung Story was being handled they were told that, “roughly $1,500,000 has been spent on various aspects of Unsung Story development,” but were given no screenshots or gameplay footage outside of a short combat demo to back up these claims. It’s worth noting that the combat in the video is using standard square-grids, when one of Playdek’s selling points during the campaign had been the unique use of triangular grids. Add to this the focus on releasing a PvP prototype before a backer release sees the light of day, and things aren’t looking too good for this project.
Wednesday - April 13, 2016
Unsung Story - Some Clarifications
As we ramp up development progress on the game, there are a few outstanding points about our game focus and the development that we most recently worked on that we feel need additional addressing. We have explained these points before, but for some reason there still seems to be some backer confusion around what we have stated, and how it is interpreted. So to address that:
1) Unsung Story is a single player Tactics RPG, and has been since its inception. The game is centered on a single player campaign mode, with multiple episodes and scenarios. Hopefully that is very clear. Will the game have a mode that allows for players to play against each other in online matches if they choose to do so? Yes. Will we release a beta module that allows for players to play against each other online, in order to gather valuable game play data for balancing the game? Yes, and this does not change what the core of the game is, and always has been – a single player Tactics RPG.
2) Some have inquired as to the development costs for the current project we are releasing. The funds for that game were provided separately from any other source of development funds, apart from any earned Playdek revenues.
3) As previously stated, we anticipate having a first playable of a few game levels in backer’s hands in the fall of this year. It will have player versus player capability, followed by AI for single player. If possible, we will release both in the initial release, and will determine that as we get closer.
And so, we want everyone to know that we are close to being on track with our latest development plan, and should have some game specific development updates to start sharing in May. Over the summer, we’ll have new screenshots, videos and art to share, along with game play specific details about our progress on the character and battle systems, and the game world. Thanks for your support and be back with another update in a month!
Monday - February 29, 2016
Unsung Story - Development Update
Playdek tells us how $1,500,000 have been aready spent on various aspects of Unsung Story:
Fortunately we have cleared a few more company hurdles since our last update and have plans to share at this time concerning Unsung Story development. We have new agreements with our secured creditor in place that has enabled us to map out how we will continue progress on the previous development plan we shared. Our secured creditor has been tremendously supportive through our company financial and development struggles, and is a team player in our good faith effort to remain a viable company and fulfill our development commitments and company obligations.
Per the previous update, we have an immediate product to ship that will put the company into a stronger revenue position, and that revenue will allow us to continue the Unsung Story development plan. Before we cover the rest of that, some of you have been asking as to how funding for the project has gone up to this point, as it pertains to what has been developed so far with the money spent. To date, roughly $1,500,000 has been spent on various aspects of Unsung Story development, and the following are development features that are in a working state:
Programming – Game Play Systems
Grid system for turn based architecture; Activation system for character turn order; Character attribute and stats system; Unit movement and action system; Combat actions and reactions; A.I. system and actions; Game play cameras; In-game U.I.; Character jobs and job switching system
GDD; Back story and plot; Historical timeline; Five game episodes – story, plot and scenario; Character schools, lineage and job types; Battle system; Controls (PC and tablet); Interface design
Programming – Online Architecture and Game Engine
Unity graphics engine fully integrated into the Playdek game engine; Particle system; Animation system; Billboard system; Asynchronous turn based system; In-game chat; Player profiles; Friends list; Tournament system; Notification system; Matchmaking
Sunday - February 07, 2016
Unsung Story - Project Update #49
It looks like Playdek has hit a few snags in their development of Unsung Story, but they're still pushing ahead the best they can.
Dear Unsung Backers,
There has been another delay in reporting to you since our last development update, and we apologize for that. Our continued intention is to make a great game, and get Unsung Story to development completion and released to you and the gaming public. During the last few months we have had some development setbacks that are affecting our timeline and progress on the game, while also affecting what we need to do in the immediate future as a company.
After we posted our latest development progress, we unfortunately lost a few key staff members that were part of Unsung Story development, and that has had an impact on any progress since then, as well as our product focus. We now have one internal team capable of working on a single project, and for the financial strength of the company we need to focus on a few products in the near term that have the ability to get to a retail release before Unsung Story is able to. While this is a difficult choice to make, it is one we need to do for the ongoing financial health of the company. For Unsung Story, we will explore options for outside development help, and will look to see if we are able to bring on an outside team that can assist us in furthering development. While we aren’t assured this will come to fruition, we do want to make sure that we are exploring any options at hand that can make progress on the game.
While the development goals that were spelled out in the previous update remain intact for now, the release window of those goals is affected, and at this time we do not have an update as to what the new release window for development rollout will be. This will be affected by the ability and timing of any outside support, as well as when the single internal team is able to get back onto Unsung development, and when we do know, we will update you all. As we pursue this direction, we will refine the release timeline as soon as we are able to. With the loss of that staff, and without having any new progress to share since the last update, we felt we needed to sort through what options and directions we had available before we updated you on the current status, but again do apologize for the lack of recent updates. We will get back to you as soon as we can with any progress and status update. Thanks.
Thursday - October 22, 2015
Unsung Story - Combat Preview
Playdek has published a video showing a preview of the combat in Unsung Story.
We have put together this short video that we would like to share with you that shows some of the combat in Unsung Story in action. We have two different stages highlighted in this video, and while watching the video you will notice a few different aspects of combat we may not have talked about or shown up until this point, so please let us help explain a few things.
Movement in Unsung Story is currently showing in a square grid, however units are able to move in 8 directions much like the directions on a compass. When your unit is able to move, all of the different squares your unit is able to move to will be highlighted, making it easy to see where you can move in order to plan out your attack.
If a unit is within melee range of an enemy unit and has the ability to attack physically with a weapon, then this option will become available at that unit's turn. All available enemies within attack range will be highlighted for an easy view, and it is important to note that different weapons will have different ranges of attack. For example, polearm users will not have to stand as close to an enemy as a sword wielder will need to.
Certain units will have the ability to switch their weapon during combats. Different skills and abilities will be tied to specific weapons, and will only become available when equipped to a unit.
Skills will also be available to certain units based off of the school they belong to. By assigning skills to both units themselves and the weapons, Unsung Story will allow players to customize their units based on what they like to play and what they might need available in their party to balance it out.
Next month we will have a more thorough video going over the specifics in combat, so if you have any questions about the combat system or would like us to talk about anything in particular in the next update, please post in the comments section here and we will do our best to answer everyone. We will also plan another AMA where you will be able to ask your questions directly to us, so stay tuned for that. Thank you everyone!
Friday - October 02, 2015
Unsung Story - Reddit AMA Finished
The Reddit AMA with Playdek about Unsing Story took place a few days ago, so if you want to find their feedback on things, such as the recent PVP announcement and the reduction of the team, you can head over there and read it for yourself in all detail, including all the unanswered questions.
The focus of the game is neither PvP nor single player. The focus of the game is to be the best tactical RPG possible. Single player narrative against the AI and PvP online are play modes of the game, and therefore neither one is a focus. The tactics, meaning the character stats and attributes as well as skills, work the same no matter which mode you play the game in, and needs to be balanced evenly. Making an internal multi-player mode available first to outside players gets more hands on the tactics system and gives us more feedback to fine tune and balance the system.
Tuesday - September 29, 2015
Unsung Story - Reddit AMA
Tomorrow there is a Reddit Ask Me Anything for Unsung Story.
We wanted to let everyone know that this Wednesday Joel will participate in an AMA over on the Unsung Story subreddit. This will be your chance to ask him the questions you may have about Unsung Story development directly.
We will be sure to post up the link to the actual thread in a small update on Wednesday, and to prepare you should create a Reddit account if you do not already have one so you can post up your questions and comments during the event.
Date/Time: Wednesday, September 30th, at 2:00pm PDT/5:00pm EDT
Wednesday - September 23, 2015
Unsung Story - Switching to PVP
*Apparently Kotaku was exaggerating things enormously according to the latest kickstarter update which you can find in the comments. Thanks Gabriel!
Original Story below:
Kotaku reports on how Unsung Story has left backers demanding refunds.
The impressive Kickstarter pitch promised a story-heavy strategy-RPG that sounded like the Tactics sequel fans have been craving for years now. I backed it, and I wrote about it several times on Kotaku. Now I regret that. Unsung Story has become yet another one of Kickstarter's many disasters-a frustratingly opaque project that's apparently switched focus and has left tons of backers asking for refunds.
Here's the new timeline from yesterdays update:
Phase One June 2016: Initial PvP beta release for online testing. This will include multiple arenas and two character schools with fully functional game play.
Phase Two August - Sep 2016: Additional schools will be added, post beta feedback from the previous phase. Other online features TBD will come online.
Phase Three October 2016: Online skirmish mode against the A.I. will be added, allowing for A.I. balancing and testing that will include all of the feedback gathered from the online PvP beta game play. The Design and Art backer tiers will be involved with their respected character and scenario creation process.
Phase Four Post October 2016: While the online PvP beta testing is going on, the scenarios for the first two episodes will be blocked out and built, and the scripting will be adjusted as the A.I. is balanced from the beta feedback. When these episodes, along with character creation and item collection are polished, the first two episode campaigns will be released.
TLDR; This is down to the change to PvP over single player. Understandable.
Tuesday - September 22, 2015
Unsung Story - September Development Update
In this update for Unsung Story we are informed on the financial issues Playdek has, the status of discussions with potential publishers and the current status of the game.
Up first, we have had interest from outside publishers to partner with us on Unsung Story, and over the course of the summer months had ongoing discussions with a few in particular. Being that these discussions were confidential in nature, we were unable to discuss neither this nor any of the details. Currently there is still interest from some parties, and while we will continue to explore what a partnership like that will mean for the development of the game, we can’t continue the silence due to those matters, and therefore why we are updating you now, and will continue from here on out on a regular development basis. I understand that in hind sight it might appear that we could have just shared this with you all, but without knowing how it was going to impact the development and any announcements concerning the game, we chose to wait it through that timeframe. So again, my sincere apology for keeping the curtain closed.
I want to cover some of the development issues that have impacted the game’s progress as well. Earlier in the year, Playdek went through a financial crunch that caused us to reduce some key staff. Some positions were focused on technical components to the engine being used for Unsung, and a few were content development staff who worked on all of our products. Needless to say, these were great people, and it was not only an unexpected loss, but one that we clearly had to adjust to, with product other than Unsung that was still on our schedule to deliver, let alone continue steadfast on Unsung development. Playdek is a venture backed company, so please understand that is about all I can say on that matter, but at this point we are navigating those issues and have allocated our remaining resources to our remaining products, Unsung included.
That said, this has had an impact on Unsung development, as while we have been able to continue progress on the game, as stated it has gone much slower than expected, and unfortunately we are behind our original development plan and timeline. As it has been said, these things do happen in game development, and all of us in the industry and without have seen significant delays on some major games and franchises that were previously announced. However, they of course do not have a great KS community involved in the progress of the game as we do, and it is on us for not involving you as much in our process up to this point. The theme here is we will work to rectify that, and will outline the plan going forward, one that we will keep you in the loop henceforth.
Saturday - May 16, 2015
Unsung Story - Combat , Equipment and a Map
Playdek bring us an update on Unsung Story with information on combat, requirement categories for equipment and the Rasfalia map.
During your travels through Rasfalia, you will encounter enemies that you must defeat in order to continue with your quest. When fighting in a battle, each unit will have a number of actions they will be able to perform during their turn. These actions include:
- Switch Weapons
- Use Skills
- End Turn
Move and Attack are pretty self explanatory. However, Switch Weapons is a bit unique per character. Your characters will have the ability to equip up to two different weapons. During a battle you will be able to switch between the two. The importance of these weapons is that weapons have the chance to come with specific abilities bound to them. By equipping these weapons, your character will be granted access to these particular skills that may be outside their fixed skill-set as defined by their class. These weapons will be a very important feature to utilize and can drastically affect the way the battle will play out. The Use Skills ability will allow you to use skills available to your character, either from their class or granted from their weapon. And lastly, End Turn will end your turn.
The battles will be swayed on the actions you take during your turns, so it will be important to study the enemy, find their weaknesses, and attack accordingly.
Saturday - March 07, 2015
Unsung Story - Update: Classes and More Screens
Defined classes? This week's update from Playdek tells us all about the five major class categories that Unsung Story will feature. There's some colorful new teaser pictures of environments, too!
With the Battle System rules defined, our game designers have been able to turn their focus towards defining the schools that will help characterize the different playable Job Classes found within the game. Previously called “Professions” in early development, these Schools have been broken down into five categories: War, Nature, Divine, Man, and Arcane.
- Units within the School of War specialize in the use of martial weapons and skills. Soldiers and Lancers are examples of two Jobs found within this school.
- The School of Nature revolves around the use of weapons and skills that pertain to living alongside nature. Huntsmen and Beastmasters are just two Jobs found within this School.
- The School of the Divine promotes the use of powers imparted from higher beings which manifest as Miracles or Hexes. Priests and Necromancers are two Jobs that emerge from this School.
- The School of Man highlights the perfection, ingenuity, and vices of man. Incidentally, Apothecaries and Assassins are two Jobs found here.
- The last School, the Arcane School, uses magic instead of physical means to overcome obstacles. Here you will find Jobs such as Wizards and Summoners associated to this School.
Other factors that will impact your playable units will be their Lineage (which will be discussed at a later time) and the Unit’s attributes. The starting attributes assigned to each Unit will be determined by their chosen School at the time of creation. The six attributes assigned to the Units include Vitality, Strength, Dexterity/Agility, Intelligence/Mind, Faith/Piety, and Charisma.
- Vitality governs a Unit's Hit Points and movement.
- Strength governs the Attack Power of a Unit and improves and Unit's Hit Points.
- Dexterity/Agility governs a Unit's base chance to hit, perform critical strikes, and dodge attacks.
- Intelligence/Mind governs a Unit's Mana Pool, the strength of INT based equipment and spells, as well as the number of spells, miracles and/or hexes a Unit can equip.
- Faith/Piety governs the strength of Faith based equipment and Miracles as well as mana regen.
- Charisma governs a Unit's ability to influence, lead, and raise the morale of men as well as beasts. While each Unit will receive starting attributes at creation, you will be able to change these attribute values through leveling.
Tuesday - February 24, 2015
Unsung Story - Development Update
Well what a surprise everyone as Playdek finally posted a new update this week for Unsung Story. So without wasting any more time here is a quote from the update.
Since our last update, we have been making game play adjustments to our Battle System and rules in order to improve the game flow, combat and balancing. We have been making multiple playables to tune the systems and script the scenario stages, and I have been lucky enough to grab some early screens of this work to share with you which shows some of the development progress of the game. The images I am sharing with you are far from finished, but it should give you an idea of what’s to come. You will also find a hefty storyline section that goes over the events in the first two scenarios of the first episode, so if you don’t want to know too much about the story skip the first section of this update! Lastly we included some more art images of Sir Vensniel L’Brasca for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Saturday - February 14, 2015
Unsung Story - New Forum Update
After months of no communication with backers the Community Manager from Playdek has finally responded on the forums to questions about the game.
Hello everyone! I do apologize for my absence recently, however I am here now and putting some things together for everyone. We are working on a development update to try to get everyone up to speed on the game and to share with you some things that have been worked on since our last update.
Friday - January 16, 2015
Unsung Story - New Forum Updates
Playdek has been pretty quiet with information on Unsung Story, but has posted some new replies on the games forum this week that might interest a few of you.
The first reply is about how to find information about new updates.
At this time we only use the Kickstarter update system which sends emails directly to the Kickstarter backers, however we leave these updates open to the public, so you will be able to look at the page anytime in order to see what has been going on. We have been working on things after the recent holidays and should be able to start sending out news to everyone about the game, but in the meantime you can periodically check on our forums for updates as they will start to be posted here and discussions will slowly make their way from the KS page to these forums.
The second reply finally has news about the upcoming beta.
We will need a handful of willing testers to help us test out our upcoming mBer platform in Summoner Wars!
More details will be coming soon so if this is something you would like to be a part of stay tuned!
Friday - November 28, 2014
Unsung Story - Post-Funding Update #40
An update for Unsung Story has been made available that talks about atory, development status and art update.
The portions of the Battle System our designers have been focusing on are the turn-management system and the action point system. By expanding on the traditional turn based tactics model through the use of a strategic turn-based timeline which can be manipulated by the different actions available for the characters, Unsung Story brings a new game play approach to the tactical RPG genre. Players are given greater control over when and how they can use their characters during battle, which opens up an entire new level of strategy formulation. This turn-management system is dependent on the action points needed in order to perform certain tasks during the character’s turn. Players can choose to perform lesser actions during their turn to influence the activation order and chain the activations of specific units to change the turn order based on their plan.
Tuesday - October 21, 2014
Unsung Story - Forums Are Up Update
The next post-funding update for Unsung Story is about the game forums.
I wanted to let you know that we have our new forums up and running for everyone to come and join! We will use these to help spark new discussions about Unsung Story as information is released. We will also be able to use these forums for a place for the Art Consultants and Design Consultants to meet and discuss their plans in the hidden section of our forums (more information on that coming soon). So feel free to click on the link and sign up for an account today!
Playdek Forums: http://playdek.invisionzone.com/
Also we have started working with BackerKit for the survey process, so you should expect to see an email from them soon to start working on your survey. We will leave the surveys open so you will be able to edit them at anytime up until we close it, so this should help out all of those who don’t know which platform they want to play on yet or who may be moving. The fun part is quickly approaching, so stay tuned everyone!
Monday - September 08, 2014
Unsung Story - Post-Funding Update #38
This update for Unsung Story is about the 10 professions in the game.
Here are the ten different profession trees that will be available in Unsung Story:
The first profession is so large that it is broken up into two smaller professions: High Clergy and Low Clergy. A very powerful force in Rasfalia, the clergy members touch the lives of everyone regardless of their rank or social class. Unlike the majority of the other professions, Clergy members are not born into this line of work and instead end up either choosing to be a part of it at some point throughout their lives or are thrust into it by some circumstance. High Clergy members are comprised of the Nobility of Rasfalia while the Low Clergy members are made up of the Commoners.
- High Clergy
- Low Clergy
- Lost/Forbidden Arts
Friday - August 01, 2014
Unsung Story - Post-Funding Update #37
Playdeck is offering information on the development progress of Unsung Story in this Kickstarter update, with additional information on things to come and upcoming events,
Also after additional product planning, design overview, and technical considerations, we have changed the strategic product focus from the card game to the tactics game and will be releasing the tactics game first, with the prequel card game coming afterwards. By changing focus and releasing the tactics game first, we will be able to set a very strong tone for the world of Rasfalia that will help to create stronger game play ties between the tactics game and the card game, that wouldn’t be possible if we lead with the card game. The card game is currently set to come out in late summer of 2015 and we will keep you updated with its progress once we start development.
Early this September we plan to have the new forums up for everyone and will send out an invite to all of our backers to sign up and create a forum account. Within these forums you will find the Alpha and Beta play test forums, the Art Consultant forums, and the Design Consultant forums. These forums will be hidden from the general public and you will be given special access to the forums your tier level granted you. With the Alpha and Beta play test forums, we will be able to talk to all of you directly and will be able to use these forums to gather suggestions and ideas you may have for Unsung Story.
Sunday - May 18, 2014
Unsung Story - Producer Rebecca Interview
Playdek has posted the next update for their funded kickstarter game Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians with another interview this time with Assistant Producer Rebecca.
Interview with Assistant Producer Rebecca!
Thank you to everyone who went and posted up a question for this Q&A Interview! We have been able to gather the answers from Rebecca, our Assistant Producer, so without further delay, here you are!
Q. Is the game on schedule?
A. As of right now, we’re looking good. Games a year out can still surprise us, but we’ve learned that even if something comes up, it’s important to let you guys know so that it doesn’t come down to a week before and you get told you’re going to have to wait another 2 months.
Q. Is the QA team behaving?
A.They’re always behaving. I’ve got two great guys, Cameron and Jesse, who work to ensure that we send the games out with as little bugs as possible. They play 5 player games against themselves, or become very nit-picky with the look of a glow, just to get things right. We’ve also got an amazing set of Volunteer testers that we get to play games with and share our excitement when we finally get to release a game.
Q. Rebecca, what lessons have you learned from previous projects you've worked on, and how are you going to apply those lessons to Unsung Story?
A. Right now the big one is to be as transparent as possible. Although we can’t share everything, it’s important to not leave anyone in the dark. When we were working on our Summoner Wars port to Android, we came across some big bugs that set us back, and it was important to keep everyone at Playdek aware of where we stood with the project. Our advantage with that project is that we hadn’t made it public so we had time on our side to ensure it was right not just on time. Since Unsung Story is very public facing with the Kickstarter, we will have to make sure that you aren’t left without knowledge of any setbacks. It’s almost expected that they will happen, and although some people are going to be upset, we’ve found the majority of people are much happier just being given an update on the status.
Friday - May 16, 2014
Unsung Story - Christophe Boelinger Interview
Playdek has posted the next update for their funded kickstarter game Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians with a new interview with Game Designer Christophe Boelinger.
Interview with Christophe Boelinger
As promised, here are the answers to the questions you asked Christophe Boelinger! So without further delay, here you are!
Q. How do you create tactical decisions in the game mechanics that are fun instead of mundane (i.e. why bother using a sword over a mace)?
A. Generally when I design a game system or game mechanics my base rule of work is to try to respect every aspect of real life (if we can talk about real life for an Heroic Fantasy world). ;)
Meaning I’m trying to translate into the game mechanics every rule and possibility that real life normally offers. It has very often proven to be efficient, I guess because life is naturally balanced and offers nice challenges.
Q. What are the differences between balancing a turn-based tactical game vs. this game (more RTS as far as I understand)?
A. I’m not sure I got your question right, but I’ll try to answer from what I think I understood anyway. I have worked mainly on board games so far. So to me, designing a turn based video game is like designing a real table top board game or miniature game. Not many things change. Even better, I could say that the computer brings many advantages like:
- No rulebook to read for the player, meaning more freedom of richness hidden under the hood of the machine.
- More freedom of terrain, multiple levels (or floors), and various ground types. This richness is almost impossible to access on a board game because you would need to add so many pieces in the box that at some point the game would become too expensive.
- Visual representation from various angles, sound effects, and stats appearing when you pass over the units instead of having a counter with multiple numbers and stats on it. All those technical features helps having a game that looks more simple even though it can be tactically very challenging because of all the parameters we can implement in the units and for the terrains and types of floors.
Balancing such a game will of course be very demanding, because of all those various professions, classes and subclasses, and the freedom of evolution that we want to leave to every player. But hey, I guess that’s the price to pay for a maximum freedom of choice given to the players! ;)
Monday - May 12, 2014
Unsung Story - Meet the Playdek Team
Playdek has posted the next post-funding update for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians with news about a new Q&A on Reddit with some of the team.
Another chance to meet more of the Playdek Team
This week we have been reading all of the great questions you submitted and are very excited to see what answers Christophe Boelinger has for everyone! Unfortunately it appears that we may not have the answers ready for you until early next week, but once we have them we will post up another update.
Today however we want to give you all a chance to get to know one of the people who will be keeping things in order for Unsung Story; our one and only Rebecca the Assistant Producer! Rebecca has been with Playdek for over a year now and since joining the team she has been helping to make sure the projects are kept on schedule and supervises the QA team.
We have created another thread for you to post up your questions to get to know Rebecca a little bit better, such as which projects she has previously worked on with the company, why she is excited to be a part of Unsung Story, and who her favorite Disney character is! We will collect the questions on Wednesday and post up the interview on Friday, so you have time to think about what you want to ask!
Next week again we will post up the answers from Christophe Boelinger in an update, and then later next week we will have the answers from Rebecca! Also if you would like to see an interview for someone else in the company within a specific department, let us know the department and we will set that up.
Monday - May 05, 2014
Unsung Story - Post-Funding Update #32
This update for Unsung Story is about meeting one of Playdeck's team members: Game Battle Designer Christophe Boelinger.
This week we are working on setting up an interview with Christophe Boelinger who will work on Unsung Story as a Game Battle Designer.
A little background of Christophe Boelinger:
Christophe Boelinger is a game designer from France who found his passion for games at the tender age of 7. A designer at heart, Christophe would delight friends and family members with variations he created from other board games. This shaped his passion and eventually he entered into the board game realm as a professional in 1998 by winning the Simulation Game award with his game Grande Surface (not released) in the Boulogne-Billancourt Game Designers Contest. This only fueled his passion and from then on he has been creating great board games such as Dungeon Twister, Archipelago, and Earth Reborn to name a few.
What Christophe will contribute to Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians:
Christophe is a master at tactical systems and board games. With his keen eye for strategy and his astute ability to balance tactical systems, Christophe will be a key factor in making sure that all of the different battles you will encounter in the game will be both fun and challenging. He will also help in balancing the different class-types found in Unsung Story so that players will win using strategy, game planning, and wit. Aside from co-developing the battle system for the Unsung Story tactics game, Christophe will also be designing his own card game that will tie into the Rasfalia universe at a later time.
If you want to ask him something, you can ask your questions by posting them here before Wednesday.
Sunday - April 27, 2014
Unsung Story - Post-Funding Update #31
A new update for Unsung Story is available with some small updates on the card and tactics games.
This week we wanted to give you a little progress update on both the Unsung Story Card Game and the Tactics Games. First, the card game.
From my desk in the office I can periodically hear debates and laughter coming from the game design office which can only mean that if they are having that much fun designing it, we all will have even more fun playing it! It has a mixture of competition, backstabbing, and comradery that makes this game so different. While you are trying to defeat your opponent and win the game, there are also times where you and your opponent will want to set your differences aside and help one another out… Or not. The choice will be up to you and the strategy you create while playing!
The tactics games is moving along and it’s starting to come together. Joel was able to meet with some additional partners a little bit ago and it looks like things with Hitoshi Sakimoto and Akihiko Yoshida are starting to ramp up! We are also in the process of reviewing the scenarios and plots for the game and we can’t wait to share with you when the time is right! Once the summaries and plot are nailed down we will be able to move further into the art phase which will be exciting as you will all be able to watch the art evolve into the final product.
We are currently working on setting up a special AMA for you guys to participate in as well as a Q&A interview with people who are going to be heavily involved in the development of Unsung Story, so stay tuned for more news on that! Thanks for reading, and we hope everyone has a great weekend!
Monday - April 21, 2014
Unsung Story - Post-Funding Update #30
Playdex has posted the next post-funding update for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians with an interview with Story Artist Sacha Roberts.
Interview with one of the Unsung Story Artists
We hope you all have had a great week!
We are still working behind the scenes on preparing a few things for you, so for this week we wanted to share with you a community spotlight for one of the artists working on Unsung Story. Most of the concept work you have seen for this game has been created by Sacha Roberts.
Sacha has been involved in the gaming industry for the last 4 years and joined the Playdek team not too long ago. Since joining the team he has been busy at work developing artwork for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians.
Without further ado, here is the interview with Sacha Roberts!
Sunday - March 23, 2014
Unsung Story - Post-Funding Update #29
Playdeck has posted the next post-funding update for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians were they talk of great things to come in the games future updates.
Great Things are Coming!
We hope you had a great week this week!
We are busy planning some new forums for everyone which is very exciting, and the surveys are also not too far behind. In the meantime feel free to start using our current forums to post up suggestions, questions, and even try to make your own guess as to how Unsung Story will play!
We will continue with these weekly updates so you know we are still thinking of all of you, and it won’t be long before we will be able to share lots of content with you about Unsung Story! Great things are on their way!
Saturday - March 15, 2014
Unsung Story - Post-Funding Update #28
Playdek shares information in the latest post-funding update about new Humble Bundle Packages on the Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians website.
New Humble Bundle Packages on our Website
This week we updated our website with new packages through Humble Bundle. These widgets will remain up for new supporters, and once we have finished our physical reward packages we will update the website with more widgets.
We have also seen a few of you ask about the Kickstarter survey and we have not sent it out just yet so do not worry, you haven’t missed it yet. When we are ready to send it will let you all know so it won’t take you by surprise.
Thank you all for your continued support, and very soon we will be able to share more information with you about Unsung Story. Have a great weekend!
Friday - March 07, 2014
Unsung Story - Post Funding Update #27
It has been a bit quiet after the succesfull funding of Unsung Story, but Playdeck promises they are ramping up soon and have a lot more to share. In the meantime they are stil $85K shy of adding Co-Op to their game, which is a stretch goal and can still be reached by means offunding the game through Paypal.
Right now we have received a total of $666,610.49 (through Kickstarter and PayPal) meaning we are less than $85k away from New Game + and Co-Operative Play (2v2 and 2vAI)! We are also extending the Kickstarter packages we have available on our site through to run through the weekend so if you haven’t checked them out yet now is your chance!
Friday - February 28, 2014
Unsung Story - Post Funding Update #26
In this update Playdeck announces that they have re-arranged the stretch goals for Unsung Story, which can potentially still be reached through Paypal pledges. They also announce their co-operation with Alexander O. Smith and Joseph Reeder who are joining the team even though the stretch goal at which they originally would join the team has not been reached yet.
As both of them have their roots in game localization, I'm not sure how that ties into Unsung Story, but time will tell.
Sunday - February 23, 2014
Unsung Story - Post-Funding Update #25
Playdek has a new post-funding update for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians that reminds eveyone PayPal is now open, and you can still buy any add-ons you want.
PayPal is Open & Last Chance for Add-Ons
It has been a great week here at Playdek and we are well rested and gearing up after the success of our Kickstarter campaign! After catching our breath, we have finished up our PayPal donation page so that you can have one last chance to grab a few add-ons you may have missed during the campaign.
For 2 weeks we will have a few of the Kickstarter backer tiers available to donate at as well as some of the add-ons we were offering. This is a great chance to receive any add-on you may have missed, like the Kickstarter Exclusive Game Package, before you are no longer able to purchase it!
Again these tiers and add-ons will be available for 2 weeks before we remove them and change things up, so make sure to head on down and pick up these items today! Also as a reminder, all money donated through PayPal will be used towards the stretch goals! We will update you with a running tally in a few days!
PayPal Donation Page: http://unsungstory.com/wp/donate/
Saturday - February 22, 2014
Unsung Story - Editorial @ The Reticule
The Reticule takes a look at 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.
Monday - February 17, 2014
Unsung Story - Update #24, PayPal
In the next update for Unsung Story Playdek gives information on Paypal donations.
PayPal is Coming!
Thank you again for your support on this campaign, we are so exited to have each and every one of you join us on this adventure!
We know a lot of you have been asking so we wanted to let you know that we will be opening up PayPal donations on our website (http://unsungstory.com/) later this week and these funds will also continue to count towards our stretch goals! We will send out another update when it is available so make sure to keep an eye out for that!
Saturday - February 15, 2014
Unsung Story - Kickstarter Updates# 21-23
Playdek has released three more updates for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians.
Update #21 - Thank you everyone! We did it!
We reached our goal today! This has been an incredible journey and without all of you this wouldn’t be possible, so thank you!!!
You guys are the best and we are so grateful to have you with us on the rest of the journey!!!
Thank you again so much, and stay tuned because this is only the beginning of our adventure together!
Update #22 - Make Sure to Grab any Additional Items Now!
Thank you again! With your support we were able to reach our goal with time to spare! You guys have given us the best Valentine's Day gift possible! This is just the beginning and we can't wait to share this great adventure with you in the months to come!
With just a little over 3 hours left in the campaign, you may want to take a look at our add-on list and add any additional items to your pledge before the funding closes! The Kickstarter Characters, Exclusive Game Package, and additional copy of the game (physical or digital) can only be added at the $20 tier and up, however the rest of the items can be added at any backing level! Don't miss out on these great additions!
Update #23 - We did it! And it's all because of YOU!
What started out as an idea so many months ago has grown into this amazing collaborative project with the most amazing group people we could ever want to join our team; and by that we mean all of you!
Without your support, all of your comments and suggestions, the concerns you had and the praise you gave, the ideas you shared with us to improve both the campaign and the game itself, and your confidence in this Kickstarter campaign to help fund Unsung Story, none of this would even be possible. So for all of that, we want to thank you.
This process has been something unique and we are beyond excited that you guys were able to help us make this idea a reality!
Over the next few months we will continue to share with you our progress and development both on Kickstarter and on our website (http://unsungstory.com/) so you can continue to see how this game develops and continue to provide your ideas, suggestions, and support in order to make this the game we all have been waiting to play.
Friday - February 14, 2014
Unsung Story - Update# 20, Add-Ons & Art
The kickstarter for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians needs only a few thousand more to reach it's goal. To help raise the funds Playdek has new Add-ons.
Kickstarter Edition Character Art, Tshirt Art, and Add-on Update
You guys are amazing and all of the support you have shown us throughout this campaign has been appreciated by every single one of us involved in this project! We wouldn’t be this close to our goal without all of you and for that you have our eternal gratitude!
In today’s update we wanted to share an example to highlight the visual differences between the characters that will be available at the start of the game and the characters you will receive through the backer rewards and add-ons. These aren’t exactly what the characters will look like in the game, but rather an example of the difference in design you can expect to see when you receive the Kickstarter character.
After the campaign has ended we will send out a survey in order to find out which add-on(s) you purchased size of the T-shirt, and other customizations where possible. We have more exciting information coming out soon that I know you will all be excited about.
They also share information on two AMA's.
For those of you who missed the AMA with Joel Goodman you can view it here: http://www.reddit.com/r/theunsungstory/comments/1xtl33/ama_with_joel_goodman_playdeks_chief_executive/
We will also host another AMA tomorrow with Gary Weis again, our Chief Technology Officer, to allow you guys to ask any remaining technical questions you may have.
Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/theunsungstory/ (we will post in the comment section and on this update the exact URL when it is created)
Date/Time: February 14, 2014, at 2:00pm PST / 5:00pm EST
We will also be sure to have a few people from Playdek hop on our IRC channel throughout the day to talk to you and answer some of your questions! To join the IRC you can visit our website here: http://unsungstory.com/wp/chat/
Thursday - February 13, 2014
Unsung Story - Update #19, Game Play and Environment Concept Pieces
Another update for the Unsung Story Kickstarter is available showing concept pieces for game play and the environment.
Unsung Story - Update#18, Backer Reward Update
Playdek has another update for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians that talks about new baker rewards, and digital add-ons.
Backer Reward Update and New Digital Add-Ons
Thank you for all the comments from last night’s update! We have been reading everything you have been posting and have decided to make the following changes to some of the reward tiers and to the add-on list!
First however, we wanted to let everyone know that Unsung Story will include a player vs player mode where you will be able to take your party members you level up while playing Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians into head-to-head combat against another player. This is different from the Arena Mode in the stretch goals as that is more of a tournament style mode where this one will include a player ranking system and has been included in the game design since day one. We realize that we haven’t really brought this into focus yet and have seen a few of you ask for something like this so we wanted to let you know that it is already included in the game.
After the campaign has ended we will send out a survey in order to find out which add-on(s) you purchased size of the Tshirt, and other customizations where possible. We have more exciting information coming out soon that I know you will all be excited about.
We will also have our AMA with Jeff Garstecki, Playdek’s Chief Creative Officer, later today. You will be able to ask him questions about his work experience in the industry, his art style and how he handles creating art for games, and his passion for video games. So join us tomorrow and post up your questions!
Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/theunsungstory/ (we will post in the comment section and on this update the exact URL when it is created)
Date/Time: February 12, 2014, at 3:00pm PST / 6:00pm EST
Thank you all for your support thus far, we are so close to reaching this base campaign goal! We want to reassure everyone that we will open up PayPal after this campaign ends and we are more than happy to prove going forward the value of the game through continued development progress updates. We are confident that we will be able to build up more confidence in this game and reach all of the goals we set out to accomplish. This may happen quick after the campaign, or it might take a few months, but either way it is still possible.
Wednesday - February 12, 2014
Unsung Story - Kickstarter Updates #16 & 17
The Unsung Story devs have two updates today. In update number 16 they provide information on the class system.
In Unsung Story, classes are spread across three game play types that allow for unique party construction:
- Warrior types that are geared for attacking and defending
- Mage types that use magic for attacking, healing and buffing
- Monster types that excel in the use of specialized attacks
With this perspective in mind, the system is then made up of five primary class types:
in the slightly more recent update, more information is provided on the tiers, especially the different $165 tiers, and a new add-on. In addition they also mention a Reddit AMA is scheduled for tomorrow with Jeff Garstecki, Playdek’s Chief Creative Officer:
Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/theunsungstory/ (URL will be posted on our Facebook page, Twitter account, and in the comments section on the Kickstarter page once the thread has been created)
Date/Time: February 12, 2014, at 3:00pm PST / 6:00pm EST
Tuesday - February 11, 2014
Unsung Story - Kickstarter Updates#14 & 15
Playdek has posted two more updates for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians.
Update #14 - "More Game Play Insight from the Questions You Asked"
Below are some answers to your questions. Note that this is all based on my original iOS/Android game design, so the ideas here are coming to the game whether or not the Playdek Kickstarter is successful. Thanks! -Matsuno
Update #15 - "Hitoshi Sakimoto joins the team and UStream with Joel Goodman"
Today we have some great news to share with everyone! We have been able to confirm that Hitoshi Sakimoto will be joining the core team along Yasumi Matsuno, Akihiko Yoshida, and everyone here at Playdek to work on Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians, regardless on how the Kickstarter turns out. We can’t see any other composer for this game and we know that most of you can’t either so we are very excited to have Mr. Sakimoto join the team!
Also in case you missed it we broadcasted a live video stream with Joel Goodman, Playdek’s Chief Executive Officer, in order to allow you to ask him questions and find out more about him and this project! He talked about his experiences in the gaming industry, how this project came to be, and even how your suggestions and ideas are impacting this game.
If you want to check out the video then click on the link here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/43668636
Thank you as always for your support and comments, they are truly appreciated! We have more planned for this week and can’t wait to share it with everyone so stay tuned!
Sunday - February 09, 2014
Unsung Story - Update# 13, AMA Recap
Playdek has a new update for Unsung Story about the Reddit AMA from yesterday.
AMA with Playdek’s Chief Technology Officer
In today’s update we wanted to share with you the AMA with Gary Weis, Playdek’s Chief Technology Officer. He had a great time answering all of your questions ranging from his past work experiences to advice on how to get into programming.
Feel free to give it a read and find out more about the genius behind the programming department here at Playdek: AMA with Gary Weis
Next week is the final stretch and we have some great activates and updates planned for you all, including and AMA on reddit with Jeff Garstecki, Playdek’s Chief Creative Officer, and the live Ustream chat with Joel Goodman just to name a few things!
Friday - February 07, 2014
Unsung Story - Update# 12, Game Play Perspective
Playdek has a new update for Unsung Story that gives a visual look from a game play perspective. Don't get your hopes up it doesn't contain any game play.
A Visual Look from a Game Play Perspective
Tonight we are sharing with you the first part in a series of updates that will expand on the game play mechanics for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians. Again it is important to note that these details are all preliminary and may be subject to change; however we will make sure you know of any changes as they occur. You guys have been so great at posting up ideas and suggestions that with your help together we will be able to make this the game that we all have been waiting for.
This first update introduces a visual look into the game from a game play perspective. Each concept piece is representative of what the viewer would see from different camera angles. As we develop the game, we will research different approaches to the camera, comparing both fixed angles as well as a free camera, to find what is optimum for the user experience.
The battle system for Unsung Story is a turn based system that puts importance on speed for each units actions. Therefore, faster units will act on their turns first. The image below represents an example battle stage, as seen by the player, with the player’s party in blue and the opposing force in red. All of the world stages will be richly modeled and detailed, with various terrains and elevations.
Also don't forget the new AMA on Reddit.
Also tomorrow we will host an AMA with Gary Weis, the Chief Technology Officer here at Playdek. He will be able to answer your questions about his background in the gaming industry, his passion for strategy and RPGs, and his technical and development expertise. You can join us tomorrow on the Unsung Story subreddit; the thread will be created about half an hour in advance so you will be able to post up your questions early if you’d like.
Time and Date: 2:30pm PST / 5:30pm EST on February 7th, 2014
Wednesday - February 05, 2014
Unsung Story - Interview Roundup
Gamezone has the first interview for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians, and calls it the tactical RPG you’ve been waiting for.
What exactly is Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians?
Joel – It is a story driven tactics RPG, in the classic turn based style of the genre, that brings new game play elements to this widely loved style of game.
Where did the idea for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians stem from? How long have you had a project like this in mind?
Joel – The original concept came from Yasumi Matsuno, and we have been discussing this idea with him for a little over a year now. We have always wanted to make RPGs, and are big fans of tactics RPGs, so having the chance to work with the master is a chance of a lifetime.
What games inspired you for this project?
Joel – All of the greats: Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, and some of my personal favorites like Jeanne d’Arc and some of the Valkyria Chronicles games.
Next US Gamer had the chance to interview Yasumi Matsuno.
USgamer: You said this is a world. It seems like you’re a big fan of world-building, with things like the Ogre series and the Ivalice series. Can you talk more about your vision for this and how you plan to explore the entirety of this world?
Yasumi Matsuno: The setting of the Unsung world will be very deep and detailed, as you’ve already experienced in some of the other worlds I’ve created. In particular, the card game is aimed at very hardcore gamers, so we want that to be very detailed. More completely, the game world will be composed of nine small countries, each competing to be the hegemon. Those nine countries will be very complex. Certain races will live in certain countries, but other divisions will also come into play – it’s like the Balkans. It’s going to be very complicated.
USgamer: That seems to be something you’ve gone to before. Tactics Ogre had a connection to history there as well.
Matsuno: You know us very well. [chuckles] It’s not just going to be about battles, but there will be very strategic implications in the world map. This game won’t be one big story you have to follow as a main character. You can start with any country, as the head of the country, and you can compete with the others, or you can try a different country. The game systems become very important, because the story may not be as strong or big a part of the game. Once you play one country, you have a certain story to follow. With the other countries, they’ll have their own stories to follow. It’s going to be a multi-story type of presentation.
Sunday - February 02, 2014
Unsung Story - Update# 11, Design Insight
Playdek has a new update for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians with a new Q&A session with video game designer Yasumi Matsuno.
This is the meat behind what we have been revealing. He is happy to see all of your great interest and support, and this is what he wanted to reveal to you, the fans, in his words. He looks forward to your feedback and comments. It is important to note that these details are still being fully conceptualized and designed, so some of the information he is sharing with you today is subject to change; but if/when that happens we will be sure to let you know so you can stay on top of the development of the game.
We will continue to work on some more great updates for you and will continue to release more and more information as time goes on. Our creative juices are pumping and we are so excited to be able to work on this amazing project, and it wouldn’t be possible without you guy all there supporting us, so thank you!
Please continue to keep your ideas and suggestions coming because everything you say is being read and who knows, you may have the next great idea we implement into the game!
Thanks to Aubrielle for the link.
Friday - January 31, 2014
Unsung Story - Update# 10, Website & Video
Playdek has a new update for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians with information of a new game website, and a new video answering a few questions.
First episode of Community Corner is now up!
This week we have been taking questions from you, our fans, on Reddit about Unsung Story. This morning we pulled the top 11 questions with the most votes and answered those questions in our first episode of Community Corner with our Community Manager Shyla and our Senior Product Manager Briana so check it out!
Along with this video we have launched our Unsung Story website which includes forums and a chat room where we can continue to discuss the game and share ideas, so feel free to visit our site and sign up for a forum account today!
Unsung Story website: http://unsungstory.com/
We have some really great updates coming your way soon with some content that is sure to get you excited, so stay tuned!
Thank you Aubrielle for the news tip.
Thursday - January 30, 2014
Unsung Story - Update# 9, New Character Classes
Playdek has a new update for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians.
Story Excerpt from Yasumi Matsuno &New Character Classes Revealed!
Boy, are we excited for this update! We have two new classes to share with everyone, some equipment and profession information, and even an excerpt from the story of Rasfalia written by Yasumi Matsuno for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians!
First, before we get into the game content, we have something very exciting to share with everyone. We are ecstatic to announce that Akihiko Yoshida, one of the greatest character and game artists of all time, has joined the Unsung Story team!
Akihiko Yoshida is joining the core team at the base goal level and will be creating character artwork for Unsung Story! We have a video from him that he wanted us to share with all of you!
As we start getting deeper into the details of the game with you all, here are two new classes for your enjoyment. These classes mark the 5th and 6th ones announced so far, and we can assure you that there are more to come!
Minister: Profession – Corporeal
The Minister is emotionally and technically aligned in healing arts, which are culled from centuries of cultural knowledge. They have extensive knowledge of organic compounds, as well as the inner workings of the physical form. In the practice of their art, the Minister uses Needle Guns, Balances and Knives.
Arcanite: Profession – Esoteric
The Arcanite is a secret, meditative practitioner of the “Unknown” arts of Rasfalia. These arts are generally passed down through generations of private orders and groups, and thus are not known to the wider citizenry. As each order has their own specialized methods of practice, Arcanite’s tend to have a very personal attachment to their chosen tools, which include various types of amulets, artifacts and scrolls.
Unsung Story - Interview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a new interview for Unsung Story tajt talks about the games story, PC porting, and DRM.
RPS: Is the Kickstarter largely an effort to bolster the game and bring it to other platforms? If the Kickstarter doesn’t succeed, is a PC version off the table?
Goodman: The KS is intended to allow us to bring the game to platforms that we would be unable to do so, and to provide world class talent that Matsuno has worked for in the past. If the KS is not successful, we will have to evaluate all of the intended platforms that the KS is funding.
RPS: Playdek’s history is largely in less grandiose (at least, relative to Matsuno’s previous works) sorts of games on non-PC platforms. This is a big step in a very different direction. What makes Playdek qualified to handle it?
Goodman: The core of Playdek’s team has a long development history together, going back over a decade, and we have made many console games together, for multiple platforms from the previous generation of consoles. The digital board games that we have been making at Playdek have been awarded for their high quality, and are actually very complex in their details. Tactics type games have an inherent board game quality to them that we believe fits our strengths very well.
RPS: How many episodes will initial funding provide? Is there any chance that you’ll ever have to seek additional funding for more?
Goodman: We are still determining the number of episodes for launch, but that number will be high enough to ensure a complete experience is delivered, with deep game play lasting many hours, and good replay value. Playdek will take care of the content scope of the game internally.
RPS: How long will each episode be, roughly? How far apart do you expect each release to be? How many episodes are you planning?
Goodman: Each episode will have somewhere between 5-10 stages, or scenarios, and we are planning for at least 5-10 episodes at launch. We still need to determine the DLC plan for episode expansion.
Wednesday - January 29, 2014
Unsung Story - Update# 8, Q&A Sessions
Playdek has a new update for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians with information on a message from Yasumi Matsuno, and upcoming Q&A sessions.
Freed from direct team management responsibilities, and with his singular focus on the game design and story, we are seeing some truly inspiring creativity flow from Yasumi Matsuno! We have a brilliant game design document from him as well as an impressive story outline and plot summary for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians, and are incredibly excited to be able to develop such a rich and inspiring game.
In order to give you all a chance to have your questions answered about the game we have posted up a Q&A thread on Reddit. Please, feel free to come here to ask us all the questions you want. Then on Thursday we will post up a video reply with the answers to the five most upvoted questions. So, hurry on down to ask the questions you are dying to know the answers too!
To post your question up now, just click on this link: http://www.reddit.com/r/theunsungstory/comments/1wbl99/unsung_story_qa_1/
Can’t wait until Thursday to get your questions answered? On Wednesday we will host a live Ustream.tv video session where you will have the opportunity to ask Joel Goodman your questions about the project. Joel will sit in front of the camera and answer as many questions as he can.
Thursday - January 23, 2014
Unsung Story - Kickstarter Updates #6 & 7
Playdek posted two new Kickstarter updates for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians.
Update #6 - "Updated Stretch Goals, PS4 Added"
You guys have been the best fans anyone could have asked for and we are so grateful to have such a passionate bunch of people backing this amazing project! When we first started down this journey we had no idea we would come across such an inspirational group of fans that it makes us really excited to be trying to make sure all of your needs and wants with this game are being met. We have been reading all of your comments, ideas, and suggestions and have decided to rearrange the Stretch Goals to move your priorities such as platform preferences and additional creative talents to the front of our list.
Update #7 - "Thank You All for Your Support Thus Far"
Thank you all so much for your continued support and for your all of your great suggestions and comments! We are so close to reaching our base campaign and we are super excited to have all of you on board through this amazing journey!
After our last update we saw a lot of comments regarding our initial decision to allow backers in the $80 tiers and up the opportunity to choose their copy of the game for their preferred platform which included Stretch Goal platforms as they are met. Your reaction really got us thinking; the entire point of this Kickstarter campaign was to bring this game out to all the platforms you requested and because of this we realized that we shouldn't limit your choices.
We have decided that fans at all tiers that have a digital copy of the game ($20 tier and up) will have the ability to choose between all platforms we develop for; PS Vita, PS4, and Nintendo 3DS included.
Monday - January 20, 2014
Unsung Story - Update# 5, Thank You
Playdek has posted update number five for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians, and says thank you to all those that have backed the project.
First off, we wanted to thank every single one of you for being the amazing fans you all have been! The support and comments you are sharing with us are all greatly appreciated and your dedication to this project is overwhelming! We are listening to everything you have to say and have been taking notes in order to provide you with the answers to your questions.
We love the feedback we have been receiving and based off of your remarks we are currently reevaluating our stretch goals. We will be able to share a restructured list with you all soon!
This past week has been exciting as part of our team have been in strategy meetings with Mr. Matsuno in order to provide you with more information about the art and the game play and we will have this information ready for you shortly. Our next big update will be on Tuesday and with this update we have a very EXCITING announcement to make that I am sure none of you will want to miss!
We couldn't have imagined working with an outstanding team such as yourselves and are amazed with your involvement and the ideas you are sharing with us! We are honored to be working with you, the fans, to bring this wonderful game to life! Thank you and stay tuned!
Friday - January 17, 2014
Unsung Story - Kickstarter Updates 3&4
Playdek once again has posted two new Kickstarter updates for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians. As I said before funding is looking good as the game is half funded already.
Update #3 - Stretch Goal Changes and Add-Ons
In this update I wanted to go over a few things that we have seen you suggest and recommend. The first deals with our Stretch Goals.
A few of you have pointed out how confusing it was to see stretch goals that were related to the card game. Because of this we have gone through and removed any goal that pertained to the card game. This Kickstarter is about the Tactics RPG game so it makes sense to keep all stretch goals focused on improving this game and adding more content. When you look at the goals now please understand that we are not done revising them and you will most likely see a new update soon with a reorganized stretch goal list so stay tuned!
Update #4 - Base Campaign Changes and Digital Add-Ons
These past few days have been amazing, and it is all because of you! We love reading your comments and suggestions and have been taking everything you have posted into consideration. After reading a lot of your suggestions we have been able to talk a few things over and we have decided to add the following to our Base Campaign Goal ($600,000):
- The base campaign will now also include the Linux platform! So all you Linux users out there can now rejoice!
- The game will now be available as DRM Free!
- We will now translate the game into the following languages: English, Japanese, French, Italian, German, and Spanish!
We know a few of you have been asking about these things and we are super excited to be able to provide these for you! I will update our page to reflect these new additions.
Thursday - January 16, 2014
Unsung Story - Kickstarter Updates 1&2
Playdeck has posted two new Kickstarter updates for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians. The game is on track to get funded as it has already earned $275,534 of $600,000 in just two days.
Update #1 - Off to a great start!
Thank you everyone for backing this project and supporting us with this exciting new adventure!
We have been monitoring your comments and questions and will do our best to address everything we are seeing come in. We are developing more and more FAQs from the questions we are seeing and will be adding them to the page so thank you everyone for posting them up!
We will update again soon with more details about characters, classes, game mechanics, and the story flow over the next few days so keep your questions coming! We are very excited that you can all share in our excitement for this project and hope that this game is everything that you want it to be and more!
Update #2 - Addressing Your Concerns and Party Creation Information
Hello everyone! We wanted to take this time to clear up two common concerns we are seeing about this game to help clear up the air.
The first is in regards to which game this Kickstarter is actually for. While we will have multiple games coming out set in the world of Rasfalia that Yasumi Matsuno is creating for us, this Kickstarter campaign is solely for the Tactical RPG game. The card game we are creating will serve as a prequel to the tactics game and is already being developed with a separate budget and this development will not hinder the development of the tactical RPG. We decided to offer this card game in specific reward tiers as an additional thank you for backing, however it will also be made available for purchase at a later time for those who wish to own it.
Secondly we have seen a lot of concern that we are trying to take a mobile game and port it to PC if we are successful. This assumption is incorrect.
Wednesday - January 15, 2014
Unsung Story - A New Tactical RPG
Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians is a new Kickstarter looking to bring the Tactical RPG to the PC , and Mac users. The game needs $600,000 with 30 days left.
According to the press release it's being developed by Yasumi Matsuno.
Carlsbad, Calif., Jan. 14, 2014 – Playdek, known for its award-winning mobile games, announced today a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to bring its new RPG tactics game Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians to PC and Mac. Playdek originally joined forces with master designer Yasumi Matsuno to develop a series of mobile games based on Matsuno’s creative vision. The overwhelming fan response to its partnership with the legendary designer encouraged Playdek to turn to Kickstarter to help it raise $600,000 to develop the game across multiple platforms, deepen the content and add to its creative “dream” team.
Famous for designing the classic games Final Fantasy® Tactics, Vagrant Story® and Final Fantasy® XII, Matsuno is known for creating vibrant and immersive worlds and intense, tactical game play. He will design the original story, characters and game world of Unsung Story on all platforms.
I also have a video for anyone to watch if your interested.
Information aboutUnsung Story: Tale of the Guardians
Developer: Little Orbit
SP/MP: Single + MP
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· To be announced
· Publisher: Little Orbit