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A rich, diverse Tactical RPG, envisioned by the master of the genre Yasumi Matsuno and you, the fans!
A rich, diverse Tactical RPG, envisioned by the master of the genre Yasumi Matsuno and you, the fans!
15,824 backers pledged $660,126 to help bring this project to life.

July Update - Chapter 1 Mission Progress

Posted by Little Orbit (Creator)
75 likes

Dear backers,

Summer is heating up at Little Orbit, and we're back with another update.

I'll start with a General Update, and then jump into Missions #1 & #2 from the game.


General Update on Progress

Linking Topics in Kickstarter Updates to our Forums

Last month, we linked all of the Kickstarter topics on the GamersFirst.com forums to provide a space for our backers to discuss them. Kickstarter can be a very one-sided conversation, so the effort is to allow for more collaboration. I'm going to continue doing that this month, but since we didn't get any feedback or comments, please let me know if that's something that isn't necessary.

You can visit the General Discussion area of the Unsung Story forums here:

https://forums.gamersfirst.com/forum/116-general-discussion/


Storyboard Progress

This month we held a series of team-wide meetings to walk through each section of the storyboards. I wanted every member of the team to thoroughly understand what we're targeting for scope and design. 

Due to the length, this required more than a week to complete, but we got an amazing amount of feedback that has already generated a number of great revisions to cutscenes and narrative elements that will help streamline the game. 

While a couple of the missions got moved around, none of them were cut or materially altered. 

Last month, I mentioned that we will use the Storyboard to jump start the Strategy Guide for the game. So this month I thought it would be fun to show a small sample of what the Storyboards look like. This is a series of pages for Mission #5 "The Clocktower Incursion" - our Vertical Slice level. You'll see scratch dialog the helps give the narrative writer a feel for what characters are talking about. Don't worry. The writing isn't final.

White box, 2D Concept, and 3D Level Progress

At this point the design team is working on the white boxes for Missions 24 & 25. That puts us halfway through the level designs. Our white boxes are fully playable level prototypes with all the necessary elements, and at this pace we're completing about 4 a month, so we're moving at a good clip. The levels gradually get more complex the further we get into the game, so I'm guessing we will slow down a little bit. But it's important that the design team stay ahead of the conceptual and 3D teams in order to hit our release date.

Lastly, the 2D concepts for Chapter 1 (Missions 1 through 7) are nearly complete. 

Our 3D production milestones are out of order with the narrative structure of the missions. We have completed all of the 3D work on multiple missions in the middle of the chapter, but for this update, I thought it would be best if I started at the beginning of the story.


Monthly Topic - Missions #1 and #2

The vast majority of our work in now focused on implementing missions for the storyline.

As part of that effort, our next major milestone is to complete Chapter 1, so that Kickstarter Backers and our testers can play through the first 7 missions with their starter units, gain experience and gold, purchase items from vendors, and train abilities in the first couple jobs. 

With that in mind it is very hard to come up with topics and show progress without revealing spoilers. 

WARNING: The rest of this article is going to walk through characters, storylines and gameplay spoilers for Missions #1 and #2.


Mission #1 - The Bridges of Branholme

Lasfaria is a turbulent world easily manipulated by sound magic. The Opus, or the First Song, was created thousands of years ago to help keep the world stable and more hospitable to the mortal races. This scene establishes Branholme, the capital city of the Alionne Kingdom, as the central location of this chapter where 77 years of war with the Saxtel Empire has taken its toll. The Alionne army is failing, and the country is suffering from unexplained earthquakes and tremors. Times are desperate. 

Cutscene #1 - The Branholme Opus Room

After the intro cinematic and character customization, the game starts with a brief cutscene in the Opus Room in the School of Technology. This room lies at the heart of the school and is a large cylindrical space of immense power with a hovering ball of light and energy at its center and a series of large rings in place spinning around it. 

Maestro Greymore, the Head Master at the school, has hired the player's characters to travel to the edge of the city and escort Sirena, a reclusive Lore Master, back to the Opus Room safely. She has recently discovered critical information and needs to convince a gathering delegation to end the war. 

The player leads a small mercenary band called The Unsung. This group does not have loyalty to any of the warring factions and are relatively unknown, making them a perfect choice to help the Maestro; they can be trusted not to betray for political reasons, and they can operate covertly.

Cutscene #2 - The outskirts of town

The player finds Sirena just outside the city's walls at the Branholme Observatory. She wears the robes of a Lore Master (one of our Prestige Jobs) and wields a staff.

Sirena thanks the player for their help escorting her, worried that it’s not safe travelling these days. The war has created lots of conflict and you never know someone’s allegiance or intentions.

Suddenly Branholme guard bots approach Sirena and the player from the direction of the first bridge. The bridge is disabled behind them. These bots have a strange green magical aura circling around them, and they claim Sirena is trespassing and must be stopped.

She explains that the city is normally guarded by these mechanical constructs, but something has turned them hostile, and the mission starts.

Mission #1 breakdown
Mission #1 breakdown

Earlier this year, I walked through the process of our Vertical Slice. We started with the overall narrative, and identified 50 missions. Our level designers created sketches for each mission, and then started building out white boxes so we can play and test them.

Once a white box is complete, we create a Concept Guide.

Here is the Concept Guide for Mission #1. 

Mission #1 Concept Guide
Mission #1 Concept Guide

From there, we work with the concept team to flesh out a series of 2D paintings that match the layout of the white boxes. These concepts are used by the 3D team to build the final level.

Mission #1 Concept
Mission #1 Concept

Post Mission Cutscene #1

Sirena and the player arrive safely at the School of Technology. It's been years since her return, and she circles the Opus Room in wonder, talking out loud. “You’ve heard about how we sing into the Opus stories about our world and our lives to preserve it. At this school, we use Technology but each other school is unique with their own form of magic - Mana, Divine, and Nature."

She motions to the Cantors, old singers stationed around the room casting spells directly into the ball of light. "When they sing about our accomplishments, our mastery of magic, and our progress as a society, it strengthens the bonds of the Opus which helps hold Lasfaria together. The world literally depends on this act, keeping the energies of the Opus in harmony."

Gravely, she turns to Greymore, “But something is wrong. I have long been researching the decline of the Opus. The tremors that break our land. Chaos is growing, and soon every nation will suffer as we have. For years we have only sung songs of death and destruction. It's time to end the conflict."

Greymore presses Sirena to convince the gathering delegates from each nation of her findings. 

She agrees to go to the meeting but asks for the player to stand guard in case it erupts in violence. But first, the player needs to prepare.

Introduction to the Hub

At this point the player gets a brief introduction to the Player Hub where the player's units can rest, equip themselves, and work with other craftsmen to improve.

Feel free to comment on this mission on our forums here:

https://forums.gamersfirst.com/topic/10015-july-2019-kickstarter-mission-1/


Mission #2 - The War Summit

Cutscene #1 - The Secret Chamber

We step into the secret chamber to find that all four delegates from the most powerful areas in Lasfaria have arrived and the meeting is already in progress. The Queen of Alionne looks frustrated. Things aren't going well. An argument has broken out between the delegate of Jelamond, a small country to the north and home to the School of Divine, and Lethanor, a territory currently under Alionne control on the border of Saxtel and home to the School of Mana.

Sirena attempts to interrupt with her important scientific findings, but they ignore her. 

Brienze, the Horned former Emperor and delegate from Saxtel, slams his fist on the table to gain everyone’s attention. “The soil has claimed enough of our tribes.” 

Suddenly, a loud metallic bang spooks everyone. Their secret location has been compromised. 

The player rushes outside alongside Sirena and Brienze and are surprised by attacking bots and sinister Saxtel units that have invaded the city. Brienze quickly denies any connection with the attacking Saxtel units and jumps into the fray to protect the delegates. 

Do you trust him?

Mission #2 Concept Guide
Mission #2 Concept Guide
Mission #2 Concept
Mission #2 Concept

Feel free to comment on this mission on our forums here:

https://forums.gamersfirst.com/topic/10016-july-2019-kickstarter-mission-2/


And that is where I'll leave it for this month. If you like this walk through, let me know. I can continue our progress through Chapter 1 next month.


As always, we appreciate your continued patience and support.

Sincerely, Matthew Scott

June Update - Prestige and Customization

Posted by Little Orbit (Creator)
88 likes

Dear backers,

This month we're going to go behind the scenes and give a sneak peek into the process of designing and building out our Character Customization system. We'll also be updating the Job Tree, introducing Prestige Jobs, and revisiting some old Kickstarter Campaign rewards to take a look at how we have decided to incorporate those in the game.


General Update on Progress

Linking Topics in Kickstarter Updates to our Forums

This month we have created topics on the GamersFirst.com forums, and we are adding links at the bottom of each major section in this update so that the backers can discuss things. 

I have long been frustrated by how one-sided Kickstarter updates can be, so our intention is to open things up for backers who want to engage.

Storyboard Progress

We are now officially done with the Storyboard doc. 

As you recall, we had to back track through a lot of completed work when we decided to switch to the Square Grid. I know that was a big disappointment to some, but the team continues to feel that was the right decision.

As part of that decision, we also identified the need to get everything into a single document that details the screen by screen flow through the entire game. This is the single largest milestone we will deliver in Unsung Story. It is both a design document and a checklist for the assets needed to complete all 50 missions. 

When I say big, I mean it. 

In it's completed form the Storyboard is now more than 600 pages long. I know that sounds like overkill, but each mission takes between 8-20 pages to properly detail out. This includes the original design sketches of the layout, unit placement, enemies, creatures, bosses, mission specific attacks, exp gained, rewards, props, objectives, sub objectives, cutscenes, and rough dialog. We've also left placeholders for the whitebox shots, level concept drawings, and shots from the final 3D models.

I am very proud of our design team and my Art Director who was major contributor in each meeting. 

I am also considering using the Storyboard as the basis for the Strategy Guide reward that was promised as part of the original campaign. As some of you may know Prima closed its doors this Spring, and there aren't many companies left in this space. So we have been brainstorming the best way to deliver this reward.

Along side the Storyboard effort, our level design team has continued to work on whiteboxes. We now have 20 of them revised to fit the square grid and match the requirements of the Storyboard. They need to stay ahead of the concept and 3D art team who are plowing through missions at amazing speed.

And now onto the main topics for this month.


Updated Job Tree

As part of completing the Storyboard, we took the time to freshen up our job tree which got a little out of date. 

Most of the changes are subtle like changing a job name here and there or moving where it gets unlocked. 

Every unit still starts as a Mercenary or a Physician. Those are the two starting jobs, and as they level up you can change Primary and Secondary jobs to equip their weapons and skills.

Job Tree
Job Tree

But most importantly, there are now more than 20 classes because we've added Prestige Jobs.

You can discuss the Updated Job Tree here:

https://forums.gamersfirst.com/topic/9429-june-2019-kickstarter-updated-job-tree/


Prestige Jobs

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:


Vanquisher

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.


Lore Master

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. 


Ranger

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.


Daggermage

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.


Crusader

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.

I hope you enjoyed this quick overview of the Prestige Jobs. 

We are excited to give you a more in depth look at these, and other jobs, in future updates!


Kickstarter Reward Note

Some of you may remember the Kickstarter Edition Elite Classes. I'm excited to announce that these Prestige Jobs created for some of our most memorable characters will also be playable for those of you who got tiers or addons that included the Elite Classes, and instead of getting 4 there will be 5.


You can discuss Prestige Jobs on our forums here.

https://forums.gamersfirst.com/topic/9430-june-2019-kickstarter-prestige-jobs/ 


Character Customization Mockups

For the rest of this month's update, I'm going to spend some time going through our Customization system. This process starts with Jessica, our User Experience (UX / UI) artist.

She typically starts in Photoshop with a set of approved user interface elements, and then works through the various screens. As you can see, we've been working hard to establish what Unsung Story's interface will look like.

Choose a Job

As I said earlier, all units start as either a Mercenary or a Physician.

Customization - Choose a Job
Customization - Choose a Job

Choose a Race

Next we have to choose what race we want our unit to be. Each race has a couple stats that they excel at, so it's important that we leave room on the screen to talk about what makes them unique.

Customization - Choose a Race
Customization - Choose a Race

Choose a Body Type and Skin Tone

It's not shown here, but the body types will be a mix of male and female. Both the shapes and skin tones will be unique to each race.

Customization - Choose a Body Type & Skin Tone
Customization - Choose a Body Type & Skin Tone

Choose a Face and Eye Color

We want every one of your units to feel special, so they can have various faces. You wont see the face a lot on the battle field itself, but for selecting units, dialog, and cutscene sequences we'll get up close and personal as they animate in their portrait box.

Customization - Choose a Face & Eye Color
Customization - Choose a Face & Eye Color

Choose a Hair Style and Hair Color

Right now we have about 9-10 hair styles per race / gender combination along with one hair style unique to each job.

Customization - Choose a Hari Style & Hair Color
Customization - Choose a Hari Style & Hair Color

Choose a Color Scheme

At the end of Customization you can choose from a couple special themes for your color scheme. We're still working on these, but for anyone who got the Kickstarter Edition Classes then you'll get a special skin.

Customization - Choose a Color Scheme
Customization - Choose a Color Scheme

Finally, we've put together a short Work In Progress video showing off some of those customization features. Right now we have most of the basic races, genders, and job outfits modeled in 3D. However, each of those models then has to go through a second "unification" step. This is where the vertices on the model are nudged and pushed to fit each body type so that it works correctly with our customization system. Each job outfit has to work properly with each race, gender, and body type.

This month we finished a cross section of female human models, so we could work through and test the art pipeline before moving onto mass production on the remaining races and genders. 

To show things off properly, we cheated in this video and swapped the Physician for our Archer since that was one of the job outfits that has already been unified.

The usual disclaimers apply. There are clearly some unfinished elements, but we hope you enjoy where it's going.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

You can discuss the Character Customization work in progress here:

https://forums.gamersfirst.com/topic/9428-june-2019-kickstarter-character-customization/


As always, we appreciate your continued patience and support.

Sincerely, Matthew Scott

May Update - Inversions and the creatures they spawn

Posted by Little Orbit (Creator)
54 likes

Dear backers,

This month, we're going to change things up a bit and refocus on design. Specifically we're going to talk about the system we designed for extra gameplay that we originally called Fractures.

Before I jump into that, let's do a general update and a roadmap for the next couple months of updates.

New Forums & Account Migration

Last month, I let backers know we were going to be migrating everyone to the GamersFirst forums.

Those emails went out about a week ago.

If you didn't get one, please contact support@littleorbit.com. The instructions provided a unique code that you can use to link your Kickstarter rewards to your GamersFirst account. This will enable us to get you the proper forum badge when they are available. 

Please don't misunderstand. The goal is to get the community back involved with Unsung, and this is our online platform now. However, your information is safely stored with Kickstarter and BackerKit. Even if you don't migrate to GamersFirst, you'll still get your game and other rewards as long as you filled out the BackerKit survey.

Upcoming Kickstarter Updates

Each month I write around 1,000 words (sometimes as much as 3,000), and as hard as we try to make a cohesive update with screenshots and video, I can't always align our internal milestones, and sometimes these topics aren't what you guys want to hear about.

With that mind, we reviewed the comments from the last couple updates, and here are some topics that we will be organizing for the coming months.

  • More music - This has been the #1 request since January. I'm still considering how to do a monthly reveal on some music tracks without giving away everything.
  • Story Characters - From here on out, I'm going to try and include a small write-up from a designer along with the current concept sketch for a single major Story character each month. Just know that the cinematics for the game will be the last items we complete, so much of the conceptual work isn't finished yet.
  • More user interface / user experience - A couple backers requested updates on UI screens like inventory, party, and character management.
  • Character creation - We're making good progress in this area, so I'm hoping this will be next month's topic.
  • More mission design / concept / gameplay progress - This one is always tricky. I'm never sure how much players want spoiled. We did three months in a row of this, so I thought we would focus on different things this month, but backers continue to ask for more detail on other missions, so I'll keep covering it.

Most importantly, these updates are for you. Please let me know in the comments or on our forums, what future topics you would like to see.

Main Topic - "Inversions"

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.

The Ancient Ones

Not all chaos or creatures are evil. For the Saxtel Empire, some are worshipped as Gods.

Frost Ancient One
Frost Ancient One

The Felidae Tribe

Back in September and October last year, we showed off Lionus Maximus, one of the indigenous creatures of the Alionne Kingdom. The Felidae are their tribal relatives that players can explore in some Inversions.

Felidae Tribe
Felidae Tribe

Kanlong

Lastly, are the Mana-infused Kanlong that inhabit the Lethanor region. These sleek dragon-like creatures are formidable enemies.

Kanlong
Kanlong

And finally, I'm going to finish off this month with our first Story Character bio.

Sir Leonardo Vensel

Age: 24

Home: Branholme, Alionne Kingdom

The renowned knight Leonardo Vensel came from humble beginnings. Born in the frigid climates of the Jelamond territory to a poor farming family, he was raised on the gallant tales of the 'knights of legend' and dreamed of one day becoming a knight himself. As he grew into adolescence, he left home to train at the Hodh School of the Divine to become one of the revered Echo Knights. Gaining a reputation for his dedication and discipline, he achieved his dream of becoming an Echo Knight at an uncommonly young age.

Upon the completion of his training, Sir Vensel said goodbye to his family and moved to Branholme, capital of the Alionne Kingdom, where he would become part of the kingdom's royal guard. Serving with dignity and humility as a royal knight, Vensel would befriend Prince Dragus Walraven, heir to the throne of Alionne. The two men formed a brother-like bond that would last for years.

After a short time, Vensel took a temporary leave from the military to travel the world as a knight-errant, seeking to help those incapable of helping themselves and discovering more about the world beyond the borders of his kingdom. Sailing across the Jakeos Sea to the kingdom of Curia, he had many memorable exploits of bravery and chivalry, making a name for himself there as a hero among the common-folk. 

On one such adventure, he rescued a beautiful young woman from a lone kidnapper. This woman was Giovanna Luestra, the princess of Curia, and a romantic relationship developed between her and Vensel. In the end, their budding romance was cut short, as Vensel was summoned to return home to his duties in Branholme. The two parted ways, hoping to one day reunite.

Returning to Branholme, Sir Vensel discovered that his friend Dragus had become King of Alionne. Vensel, having the trust of King Dragus, was appointed to Knight Captain of the Royal Guard. Vensel thrived in his new role and felt a satisfaction in fulfilling his duty to his kingdom, but part of him still longed for the love he left behind in Giovanna. Would he ever see her again?

Vensel's exploits and deeds as Knight Captain would garner great prestige, but there is one specific event that would eventually elevate him to the same legendary status as the knights he heard tales of as a child… an event at the heart of the Unsung Story itself. 

But for that, you'll have to play the game.

Sir Leonardo Vesnel
Sir Leonardo Vesnel

As always, we appreciate your continued patience and support.

Sincerely, Matthew Scott

April Update - Vertical Slice Part 3

Posted by Little Orbit (Creator)
70 likes

Dear Backers,

It's the 1st again, but I assure you there are no April Fools jokes in this update.

This month we're going to do a quick general update and then wrap up the Vertical Slice series by showing off a first look at what a completed level looks like along with some of our internal level building tools.


New Forums & Account Migration

Months ago we shut off the Little Orbit Unsung Forums thinking that we could easily transition everyone over to the GamersFirst forums. For those that don't know, we bought the GamersFirst.com network back in May 2018. This is now Little Orbit's online portal. However GamersFirst has over 23MM registered players, so it was a lot more complex to bring over the Unsung Story Kickstarter list.

The wait is nearly over. Later this month we will be sending out an email to all the backers with instructions for migrating their account to GamersFirst. This will give them access to the new Unsung Story forums, and eventually their proper backer badges. I apologize that this took so long.

I want to start working with the community a bit more, and Kickstarter is not well suited for a 2-way conversation. We will also be reaching out to the premiere backers to start working on rewards related to art and design.

General Update

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.

Vertical Slice Progress

You can see Part 1 here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/littleorbit/unsung-story-tale-of-the-guardians/posts/2402978

And you can see Part 2 here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/littleorbit/unsung-story-tale-of-the-guardians/posts/2432294

Before I jump in, it is worth acknowledging that we didn't quite hit the goal of a full Vertical Slice that I had hoped for. The art and mechanics of the level are finished, but other significant elements like final character models with customizations and effects are not. We are also missing most of the post processing polish which includes a better treatment for outlines around characters and depth of field. We specifically did not edit the game play footage, so you can be assured that what you're seeing is all live and working.

We'll start with some stills of the final in-game Mission 5 level art. 

These are heavily atmospheric. That is still being dialed in. Also, everything has been modeled at high resolution, but some of the surfaces are still coming across flat. In my opinion the metal bits in the level look the best so far.  

Mission 5 - Branholme Day
Mission 5 - Branholme Day
Mission 5 - Branholme Night
Mission 5 - Branholme Night

And a shot of the same level running on Switch.

Mission 5 on Switch
Mission 5 on Switch

Environment Control v1

Nick, our Technical Artist, got super excited about this system and did a last minute video capture to show off some times of day for you guys to see. I thought you guys would get a kick out of seeing the work in progress. 

Here is a quick summary:

  • This system will control time of day, weather, and other environmental factors
  • Mission 5 is demonstrated at noon, night time, and sunset
  • Dynamic lighting and shadows
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Game play progress

Brandon, one of our designers, took some time to do a play through. All of the sounds are placeholder. Aside from the new addition of all the level art, I feel like the UI polish is coming along. Controls are feeling pretty intuitive at this point.

Here is a quick summary:

  • Temporary Level Selection Screen
  • New 3D level art
  • Working mission objectives
  • Unit Placement phase
  • Optimized Unit move, skill selection, and targeting phase
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Level Tile Editor v1

To finish off this month's update, I thought it would also be fun to have Nick demonstrate one of our level editing tools. This is a critical part of our level pipeline, as it allows our artists to work with the levels without disrupting what design has done. 

Here is a quick summary:

  • The goal of the system is to reduce the iteration time between art and design
  • We can toggle the white box design elements for designers to be able to create the basic play area
  • Designers can place tiles and rotate / shape them for the needs of the level
  • Demonstrate Branholme biome and an alternate biome example
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As always, we appreciate your continued patience and support.

We'll be back next month.

Sincerely, Matthew Scott

March Update - Vertical Slice Part 2

Posted by Little Orbit (Creator)
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Dear backers,

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.


Next up is a video on the user interface. For this part, I asked Jared, our lead designer to walk through those features. This is still work in progress, but I'm very pleased with the direction.


If like this format better than the wall of text that I normally do, let us know in the comments.

Thank you for your continued patience and support. 

Sincerely, Matthew Scott