Hey everyone, Joel here from Playdek. First and foremost, I want to apologize for the latest lack of updates on Unsung Story. I’ll go into some of the reasons for that, and will also outline the planned development steps for Unsung Story. But upfront, in addition to extending my apology for keeping you all in the dark too long, I want to let you know that Unsung Story has not been cancelled, nor are there any plans to do so. I understand that when left without information to form an opinion on, it leaves an open environment for speculation, so I want to put that to rest. Unsung is and has been in development, although development has been going more slowly than we anticipated, and I will cover that as well. There is no way to avoid stating the fact that the game will be delayed until next year, and we wish it were otherwise. But please know that we are working at bringing you the best playing tactical RPG possible, and I will outline the strategy for doing so.
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.
Now, I will cover some of the development highlights that have been completed up to this point, in no certain order, and by no means covering all that has been done:
- Online backend gaming system for PvP, including matchmaking, rankings, tournament system, create game system, friends lists and chat
- World story, scenarios and stages for the first five episodes
- Game design, including character school system and battle system
- Unity integration with our core engine for 3D graphics
- Concepts for world locations
- PvP arenas with grid system, battle system and UI integrated
- Online PvP game play
We are currently focused on building out the attribute, stat and item tables for two character schools, and balancing them, using PvP as the method for doing so. The plan is to have all of the schools thoroughly tested and balanced in PvP, with all of the item and character tree progression included. First we will get to a solid playing tactics experience that is fun, engaging and challenging, that we will then use to script out the scenarios for Matsuno’s campaign episodes. The final game experience will consist of Matsuno’s story campaigns that you will play through against the A.I., with replay value that allows for character growth and item collection. Player’s will also be able to skirmish against the A.I. in arenas, and matchup against other players in online PvP.
After getting through our near term remaining product responsibilities outside of Unsung Story, we will add those resources to this development, and will concentrate on the estimated plan below:
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.
From that point on, the other episodes will be rolled out, as well as additional arena levels and items. Of course, all of this content will be given to backers for their pledge, including all levels, items and campaigns.
In closing, I again sincerely apologize for the silence throughout this development process, and we will be consistent in updating you from here on forward. Next month, we will share some in game video footage of PvP arena game play in action, and go over the process we have gone through in modifying the user interface for ease of use and flow, taking into consideration multiple platforms. We believe we still have some work to do in this area, and welcome your feedback. It’s been our loss up to this point not involving the great community of backers we have, and going forward will be more transparent, while looking to engage you on the development progress as it unfolds. Thank you for believing in this game, thank you for having faith that this genre is alive and well, and thank you for your patience and support. Until next month.