Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A rich, diverse Tactical RPG, envisioned by the master of the genre Yasumi Matsuno, Playdek, and you, the fans!
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.

Recent updates

Photos

QUICK UPDATE: BackerKit Add-ons

29 likes

Hi all,

Ooops! Several of you have pointed out that without the Add-ons in BackerKit, you cannot spend the extra portion of your pledge to complete your survey properly. We are fixing this ASAP, and will message everyone once it is back up.

Thank you, Matthew Scott

September 1st Update

129 likes

Dear backers,

I want to start by thanking all of the backers that chose to send messages over Kickstarter, email, and tweet to say thank you for taking this project over. Even those that were cautiously optimistic, or otherwise – we deeply appreciate your support.

In some of those message, I was asked a lot about why we got involved with Unsung Story. Rather than repost that information, you can read it here: 
http://www.usgamer.net/articles/unsung-storys-new-developer-explains-why-they-took-on-such-a-toxic-project

In most of those messages, one request was made over and over – communicate regularly and often.

So here is our Kickstarter update going back over the month of August:

INACCURATE KICKSTARTER FAQ AND CAMPAIGN INFORMATION
We have spoken with Kickstarter, and while they were able to change some things for this project site, there are still many that we will not be able to change since the details for this project (like who the current publisher is) are locked as of the day the campaign successfully funded. We are working on a solution to find a new space that will allow Little Orbit to share all of the new information about Unsung Story with the backers without old conflicting details.

NO ACCESS TO FACEBOOK PAGE YET
There is a technical problem preventing us from getting admin control of the Unsung Story Facebook page. For the time being, please check Kickstarter for the most current information on the project.

KICKSTARTER MESSAGE INBOX
When we took over the account, there were more than 400 unread messages. Since it was impossible for us to know whether Playdek responded outside of Kickstarter, we replied to all of them as best as we could. We apologize if you got duplicate responses. As of now, we are starting with a fresh Inbox to help our support team address any new issues as they come up.

BACKERKIT REWARDS
We've spent quite a bit of time reviewing BackerKit. All of your Kickstarter rewards are loaded and surveys went out years ago. However, we only have completed surveys for 82% of backers. Please spread the word to other backers to go complete their surveys, so that we can insure they get their rewards. If you haven't filled it out, go here: https://unsung-story-tale-of-the-guardians.backerkit.com/

BACKERKIT ADD-ONS AND WIPE
In reviewing BackerKit, we found that none of the backers were charged for Add-ons added from that site. In light of the status of this project, we felt it was inappropriate to suddenly charge people for something that was set up so long ago, so we have elected to cancel all of the orders and remove all of the BackerKit-related Add-ons. Please don't panic. We are not doing this to punish anyone. We just want backers to be confident that the game is going to ship before we offer any new opportunities to purchase Add-ons again.

NO CURRENT PAYPAL DATA OR HUMBLE BUNDLE DATA YET
Unfortunately, we are still waiting on comprehensive backer purchase data from Playdek's direct Paypal sales and from the Humble Bundle that was originally offered. Once we get this information, we will add those rewards to BackerKit so that backers can complete their surveys properly. We appreciate your patience.

Next, I'd like to discuss a couple internal discussions that we encountered this month.

WAITING V. MOVING FORWARD 
In an effort to deliver the game that Playdek promised, we reached out directly to Yasumi Matsuno, Akihiko Yoshida, and Hitoshi Sakimoto. Matsuno's storyline and design are incomplete. As the days roll by with no response, we have begun to ask ourselves how long can we afford to wait while backers see no progress. And from a practical standpoint, we have a game to make. With that in mind, we will begin locking down key aspects of the game in art, design, and story over the month of September.

SPOILERS V. SURPRISE
In preparing this update, we all felt an overwhelming desire to share everything we've been working on while we wait for responses from Matsuno, Yoshida, and Sakimoto. Going forward, we need to balance the number of things we potentially spoil for backers. I don't want to sacrifice the amazing surprises that await players down the road when they finally get to play the game. Instead we will focus on other ways to show real progress.

As a consolation, I will share one new part of the design that is core to the direction of the game at the bottom of this update.

COPYING V. INSPIRATION
Several backers sent us suggestions about reducing the scope of the project and some even went so far as to say we should just copy Final Fantasy Tactics in order to fulfill the campaign promises and release a game they could enjoy. I think this is an important topic, and one that I want to set the record straight on.

As much as we all love Final Fantasy Tactics, we cannot release a “copy” of that game. Instead, we are 100% focused on Matsuno's new design that took inspiration from his earlier work. Unsung Story has many great innovative elements, and while those will take a little longer to build, we are confident that the wait will be worth it.

Here are some of the areas we worked on this month.

MATSUNO’S ORIGINAL DESIGN AND STORY Our internal team has finished going through all of Matsuno's retranslated original work, and an enhanced high concept for the game has been finalized that embellishes on some great seeds planted within the original design. Additionally, the design team has reconstructed the game flow through each of the chapters and identified the cities, characters, and general themes that we'll be focusing on. I am extremely pleased with what they have come up with so far, and I look forward to seeing the world of Unsung Story evolve far enough that we can begin to share more details. Expect some things to stay exactly like Playdek presented, and some to change.

FFT MODDING COMMUNITY HELP
During August several members of the FFT modding community approached us, expressing their desire to be involved. We have decided to utilize this team to evaluate our general approach to the game design, controls, art, and narrative. To that end, we have put them under NDA, and for about two weeks now, they have been providing feedback.

Yes, they have had lots of exposure to the project. No, we wont reveal their names. Yet. But I may have one or two of them contribute to these updates down the road.

ART TESTS
We ran a couple visual tests to work with the size of elements on the screen and camera angles. We even looked at some 2D pixel art created for Unsung Story by the FFT modding team, which I must say came out spectacular. But for various reasons, I have decided to stick with the full 3D game that the campaign originally promised.

RECONSTRUCTION OF THE GDD
One of the most prevalent questions last month was "When will the game be ready?" In order to answer that question with any accuracy, we need to finalize the game design document. The end goal of any GDD is to map out the systems and scope of the game in great detail so that we can design the schedule and milestones. Playdek's design contained some of Matsuno's ideas, some PvP ideas, and some of their own original ideas. We decided to start from scratch at the end of July. Our goal is to preserve the heart of the game you backed while also assuring that all the pieces will fit together in an amazing game.

**DESIGN SPOILER**
During our review, we came across a section in the World Overview about the magic system and how spells are cast. One of our designers found this section oddly specific. According to this section spells are more than just words, regents, or movement. A caster must "use a special intonation" to harness true magic by moving tone up and down through energy points in the body like octaves on a musical scale.

That means that in the world of Unsung Story, the tone of a spell is crucial, and the most powerful spells are sung.

Before next month, we will be reaching out to the $1K+ backers to start including them in our design process. So you may start to see backer-only updates.

Thank you for your continued patience and support.

Sincerely, Matthew Scott

A NEW BEGINNING...

245 likes

Dear backers,

At this point, I’m sure you have a bunch of questions, and I can already see a flood of comments coming in. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to answer all of your questions today.

Please know that we are sincere in our effort to help, and we working as quickly as possible to get you as much information as possible. I realize that this has been a frustrating journey, and I'm asking for just a little more patience as we get going.

I would like to start by taking a moment to introduce myself. My name is Matthew Scott, and I am the CEO of Little Orbit. We started as a small game developer in 2003, and have grown into a small publisher in the last 7 years. To date we have primarily focused on retail with 20 titles on many different platforms working alongside Cartoon Network, Dreamworks, Warner Bros, and Mattel.

Inevitably many of you will google us, and you may have your doubts - which is okay. This project has struggled. But give us a little time, and hopefully we'll surprise you.

I am a gamer at heart, and my first love has always been turn-based tactics games. I met the Playdek team a couple months ago and got a firsthand look at the amazing work from Yasumi Matsuno. Simply put, this game needs to exist, so I am excited to be taking this project over and helping deliver it to the community.

I am also a huge fan of Kickstarter, and its ability to directly connect people with the creators they want to support. Since 2009, I have followed and personally backed many video game projects. I know each of these teams worked long and hard to live up to their campaign promises. Many of them managed to create amazing games that likely wouldn’t have been possible in the traditional system.

As we have seen this is a difficult business. There are so many things that can go wrong to sabotage even the most seasoned teams. But despite all the challenges, making games is what I love to do.

I recognize that this project is now more than 2 years late from when it was originally supposed to ship, but rather than jump into lofty promises, I want to level set expectations with a bit of both bad and good news.

First the bad news.. Little Orbit is starting from scratch. We have spent hours going through the Kickstarter comments and researching all of the project materials, and I feel the backers have made one thing clear – we need to focus on the original single player game and Matsuno’s design that was promoted during the campaign. And that is exactly what we are going to do. At this point, our primary goal is to separate the years of modifications and changes that were made while Playdek attempted to deliver something to their backers.

Second the good news.. And I want to make this absolutely clear - Little Orbit will honor the Kickstarter backer rewards at no extra cost. I can't know how frustrating this has been for the many fans of this game. But over the coming weeks we will be reaching out to make sure we have all the current information for each of you, so that rewards can be delivered properly as we make progress.

That’s all I can share for now, but we will be following up as soon as possible with more details on the game and our progress.

Thank you for your continued patience and support.

Sincerely, Matthew Scott

UPDATE #55

18 likes

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 kickstarter@littleorbit.com. Thank you.

Playdek

UPDATE: Design progress and next step development goal to share

52 likes

Hi Unsung Backers,  

We have some design progress and next step development goals to share, with the plan to keep updating you all more consistently going forward with our progress towards those goals.  

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. These specializations function as a job system. We will go into more detail on the Schools in general in future updates, and for now here is an overview of what will comprise this playable:  

We will feature 2 Schools, War and Divine, with three Specializations (Jobs) with character XP and upgraded items from each. Specializations function as a job system, with specific abilities. Each job will have starting XP and stats that are balanced for that type of job. The Specializations/Jobs will be grouped under the different schools, but both combatant sides, Alionne and Jheksal, will use jobs from the different schools. Each side will provide a specific bonus that is unique per empire. For example, playing with a Soldier on the Alionne would could give you +1 to movement, while playing with a Soldier on the Jheksal side would give you +1 to damage.  

The following Specilaizations will be included in the playable, three from each school:  

School of War Specializations/Jobs:  

Soldier: These front-line units employ weapons and tactics that emphasize dispatching the enemy as quickly as possible. Soldiers use weapons such as Straight Swords, Thrusting Swords, Axes and Maces, and wear Light to Medium Armor.  

Lancer: These units specialize in the use of melee weapons with increased range such as Spears and Halberds. Lancers wear Light Armor.  

Ballast Knight: Hailing from the ranks of Nobility, a Ballast Knight's wealth allows them access to powerful weapons, shields and armor that are imbued with special abilities, such as Great Swords, Ultra Great Swords, Great Hammers and Great Axes. Ballast Knights wear Heavy Armor.  

School of Divine Specializations/Jobs:  

Priest: Uses Divine abilities that support and bolster the defenses, mana and health of their allies. Priests use Staves, Daggers and Chimes, and wear Light Armor.  

Paladin: These holy warrior knights invoke divine magic to enhance the abilities of themselves as well as their allies, and to smite their enemies. A Paladin's armor and physical training allow them to absorb a great deal of punishment and remain standing. Paladin’s can wield Curved Greatswords, Great Scythes, Great Hammers and Great Bows, and wear Heavy Armor.  

Necromancer: The Necromancer has the ability to raise and control the undead, commanding them to do their bidding in battle. They use Talismans, Staves and Daggers and wear Light Armor.  

The arena for the playable will have Line of Sight obstacles, interactive objects, environmental and natural effects, and height variations added to the gameplay mechanics. We will go into more detail on the environmental aspects to gameplay in later updates that show the arenas visually.  

The early iterations of the playable will be head to head multiplayer, with options for choosing which specializations to play with against your opponent. After getting feedback on the flow of combat, as well as the stats balancing for the specializations, we will apply that to our A.I. trainer and roll out the option for players to play against an A.I. opponent.

In next month’s update, we will cover the specific specializations from the Schools of War and Divine that will be in the first playable, and will also go over some of the weapon types associated with each class. Future updates will cover the magic system and environments. We appreciate the support and patience the backers have shown towards this difficult development cycle, and we look forward to demonstrating the progress we are making throughout the new year.

 Playdek