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Unsung Story - December Update

by Myrthos, 2018-12-02 21:32:53

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

Information about

Unsung Story

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: J-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development