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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.

Development Update

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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.

Joel

Comments

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    1. Spike
      Superbacker
      on February 10, 2016

      Reading this now, they really wanted to copy Banner Saga development. At least their campaign had Play Online, which was overlooked when they revealed Factions and people were upset.

    2. Noah on September 28, 2015

      I don't want PVP either. I backed for the Single Player Campaign. Finish that first then tack on PVP later if there's such a strong demand for it.

    3. Kristan Alicesun on September 26, 2015

      Thank you for your honesty. I patiently await your progress. And I agree that the PvP data can greatly improve the single player AI. I do understand how many people feel about the single player story, as I've loved JRPG stories since I was young and started with Final Fanasy II (IV). So just make sure to deliver a fantastic game & then all the concern will die down! ;~)

      I started with Kickstarters on the Double Fine Adventure because I wanted access to the process, not just a product. So while the situation with the finances & layoffs is unfortunate, I think it's good for the community to see how hard the business of making games can be. We'll still get our game, just delayed. So keep your head down & remember that some of us understand your troubles & just want some regular communication.

    4. Louis Bonaviso on September 23, 2015

      I have no interest in PVP.

    5. Alyindar
      Superbacker
      on September 23, 2015

      I agree with Kyle, I'm not interested in a PVP game. I backed because of Playdek's consistent ability to deliver a challenging single player experience.

    6. Kyle Schleich
      Superbacker
      on September 23, 2015

      Drop PVP altogether since its a waste of everyones time and concentrate on single player game you pitched. If you dont then the bait and switch will cause quite the mountian of anger towards you.

    7. Larkin on September 23, 2015

      Due to the lack of communication, delay of delivery date, and switch to focus on PvP I am requesting a refund.

    8. Matt Lohkamp on September 22, 2015

      everyone messes up, and it's good to own up to it for everyone involved. just remember, you've got a relationship with your fans, and your backers - and like any relationship, the only way you can make it work is if you COMMUNICATE. I'd always rather be disappointed with the truth than disappointed by not knowing.

    9. Stefano Anselmi on September 22, 2015

      I'm not negative as the majority here (though still greatly irritated by the lack of updates), in fact I'm pretty happy with the stated purpose of those PvP tests.
      A PvE strategical game can only be as good as its AI, and using the tactics of actual intelligent players as basic models is a sound direction.
      I like playing games where the difficulty level is based on actual intelligence from the enemy AI, not inflated numbers.

      Keep working on this Playdek, just keep us informed with montly updates: proper communication is going to avoid overreactions from the community.

    10. Little Orbit Creator on September 22, 2015

      The PVP aspect was planned from the beginning, however the main focus for Unsung Story will still be the single player campaign and the story it will tell as you play through the game. This is why we did focus so much on the single player during the campaign. Those of you who still want to experience a game that if fully immersive and rich in story will still receive that game. And the use of PVP in the beginning will help us tweak the AI to help balance the game play experience. If any of you have played any of our other games before, you will have an understanding as to how much pride we do take in our AI. By using the PVP data, we will be able to improve and develop a game that you will truly love to play. I know it may not seem like that now, but we will do everything we can to prove this to you as we continue through development.

    11. Tyler Laney on September 22, 2015

      Metrics for the following 127 Comments:

      14 are positive
      10 are neutral
      99 are negative

      -Approximately 30 unique users are actively demanding refunds.
      -Most negative comments relate to the focus on PvP, many have concerns about the lack of updates and use of funds, and only a few voiced concerns about delays.

    12. Steve on September 22, 2015

      What the fuck is this nonsense? If anyone ever needs a definition of "bait and switch," I will direct them here.

      I did not put my money in for some garbage online PVP game, I put my money in for the spiritual successor to FFT.

      Refund please.

    13. Missing avatar

      KnightQC on September 22, 2015

      Really disapointed about the PvP thing, I won't play that side of the game for sure. I wouldn't care waiting longer to get what was promise, even a 8 hours campaign would at least makes me feel like I had some of the content I do pledged for.

    14. Missing avatar

      Jason Krietsch on September 22, 2015

      I am also displeased to say the very least.

      I did not see anything about PVP and have no interest in it. I wanted something like FFT, which except for the remake had absolutely no such thing in it.

      I am disturbed that you were talking to publishers. This is leaving a sour taste in my mouth like when I heard about Shenmue 3's kickstarter which just basically became a cashgrab at that point.

      I know that kickstarters aren't sure things, things change. But this coming out of left field is bad news. Give us what we were offered last year. If you want to make some vanity project after that, go ahead. I'll just be ignoring it once I get the game.

      Or give me my money back, like a lot of other people want.

    15. Dave, Shadowrunner on September 22, 2015

      I Would also appreciate a refund.

    16. Nick Hanson
      Superbacker
      on September 22, 2015

      I don't care about the PvP aspect either. I had no idea it even existed as I thought this was a single player game. If I buy what has been said about the single player still being everything the campaign promised though I still have an issue with the timeline. All of the phases outlined in this post are multiplayer related until POST october 2016 when the first two episodes will be blocked out and built. If that's the case I don't see how the FULL actual single player game (not a beta, not a multiplayer test) can possibly be released in 2016. It sounds like the actual game I backed (single player story based tactical RPG) isn't likely to be released until 2017 at the earliest... if at all.

    17. Mobius on September 22, 2015

      PVP isn't my thing so I'd like a refund too, thanks.

    18. Missing avatar

      Nikolai Wright - 'Lionel23' on September 22, 2015

      I have to say, I'm very disappointed with this development. From the original pitch, it was not advertised this was going to be an online PVP game with matchmaking and stupid ladders. You branded this as a Final Fantasy tactics spiritual successor.

      So let me get this straight, you've had financial problems with details you can't exactly tell us (so much for transparency), then you change the deadlines and goals to release an unasked for PVP mode BEFORE the game you promised and/or are somehow making this a focus? I don't want that nor did I ever ask that. If you want to do multiplayer, do it AFTER or make a new project, don't tack on and replace what you promised. I have sent you an email via Kickstarter asking for a refund unless this multiplayer PVP change is dropped, because it was not part of the original pitch.

    19. Sketchcraft on September 22, 2015

      You know, I've never asked for a refund in 30+ KS I've backed, Having made a few, I understand the process and development can cause delays. But a multiplayer PVP game is in no way a successor to FFT. I request a refund.

    20. Ahmed Mosly on September 22, 2015

      What? PVP? I didn't back 140$ for a deep PVP game. Unsung Story was first and foremost pledged as a spiritual sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics with single-player focus. Multiplayer and PVP should be post-game DLC content, developed after the single-player is over with. I feel that I have been lied to and didn't sign up for this. Nowhere in the pitch did I see multiplayer and PVP. I kindly request a refund if you will continue this course.

    21. Missing avatar

      mike on September 22, 2015

      I have no interest whatsoever in PVP. This was not what you were asked to deliver. I request a refund.

    22. Daniel Moore on September 22, 2015

      Uh... why do I give a damn about PvP?

      I want tactically interesting combat against asymmetrical opponents with a really intricate story.

      PvE Uber Alles. If I wanted PvP I'd go play counterstrike. Perfectly symmetrical and perfectly uninteresting (to me).

    23. Missing avatar

      Jason Copeland on September 22, 2015

      I know that I am not alone in my disappointment in the delays and lack of communication. The fact that this project has gone more than a year without a hint of information as to its development status shows a clear lack of both respect and trust in your backers, many of whom have made significant monetary contributions to your campaign. I will be seeking a full refund of my Kickstarter donation. I wish you luck in your future endeavors.

    24. Missing avatar

      Jonathan Armstrong on September 22, 2015

      This is complete crap, if you didn't intend to make FFT successor why the hell did you market it like that. Change your minds halfway through development. Nobody wants your crappy PVP BS.

    25. Lungkisser on September 22, 2015

      I didn't fund this for PvP and I think it's misleading you switched to PvP at the end. You should issue refunds to those of us no longer interested in no longer supporting you. Clearly, you aren't supporting your fans. :)

    26. Alex Crast on September 22, 2015

      Hmm, not too jazzed about the PVP news, but then again The Banner Saga released a PVP-only client (The Banner Saga: Factions) before releasing the single player game to let fans try out the battle system and also to help raise money via its F2P marketplace. I didn't like Factions, but I ended up loving The Banner Saga, so if the PVP stuff is truly being used to give players a taste of the combat while also helping the devs tweak the single player AI then that's fine, I suppose. I've backed a handful of games on Kickstarter and I've come to accept delays for all of them, so that's not a problem, but if Joel is being sincere and the key talent from FFT & Tactics Ogre are still a part of this project then I'm not ready to give up hope yet. At this point I'd much rather get to play this game in full than to demand a $20 refund, so here's hoping the game comes out in early 2017 as it appears to be on track for.

    27. T.L. on September 22, 2015

      I can only add my voice to the many - PvP is something I personally have no interest in, not only concerning Unsung Story, but in general. To (after months of radio silence) now announce that you are going to focus on that feature, I feel deeply disappointed. If you have any decency, you either develop the game you promised to develop (best scenario) or you should start thinking about issuing refunds.

    28. Sector94 on September 22, 2015

      PVP would have been fine as an extra or stretch goal that came AFTER the release of the single player game. But after months of hardships (and disrespectful silence to the people who trusted you. not being able to discuss details about publishers is fine, but you could have still dropped by to tell how the project was doing instead of keeping us in the dark for months) it seems like you're simply running out of money and are now going for an online game with micro-transcations, hoping to hit the jackpot in order to fund the "real" Unsung Story. I find it hard to keep faith in this project right now.

    29. Radd Berkheiser on September 22, 2015

      Delays, fine... it happens. PvP... yeah... no interest AT ALL. I specifically backed Unsung Story precisely because this wasn't another PvP arena battle circle-jerk. Not one word of this update is about the game we backed, the campaign focused tactics game in the tradition of FFT.

      You NEED to address this or begin issuing refunds. To pretty much everyone, apparently.

    30. Missing avatar

      Simon Dubuc Chouinard on September 22, 2015

      I would like a refund please. Good luck.

    31. Clockwork Angel Studios on September 22, 2015

      Oh and lest I forget, I second the voices of a clear majority of your backers.

      I will not be backing future projects of yours if refunds are not levied.

      And I'd like mine.

      I have 0 interest in this being a PvP game.

    32. Clockwork Angel Studios on September 22, 2015

      PvP?

      I thought I backed the spiritual successor to Final Fantasy Tactics?

      Well, I guess we'll see what this fail train looks like if it ever comes in.

      You'd think $600,000+ would do the trick. Guess not.

    33. Missing avatar

      Eric Boehle on September 22, 2015

      I re-watched the KS video, to get some insight on what we were told back during the campaign. On the one hand you said you are "Incredible fan's of what you do" and that you wanted to bring us "RPG and Tactical Gaming".

      But you also said, "Tactical Gameplay, Tactical Board Games in a Networked Environment. That was the foundation of everything we've done. It was our goal from the very beginning". Shame on me perhaps for not hearing that clearly. Maybe I would not have backed if I had known that Networked gameplay was your goal from the very beginning. You also had your community manager speak in the video, you were using kickstarter to "Listen to the community, find out what they want". And somehow, I doubt that was the case. To think there's this disconnect between what we wanted, and what you are proposing, I'm not sure you are listening.

      I'm going to remain hopeful. There's still time for things to change. But understand we are hurt by your prior silence, and what many consider deception. Please PROVE US WRONG, by delivering the game that we all want. I want you to ask yourself. "Is this the game I would want? Would I play this?" and for your sake. I hope the answer is "Yes".

    34. Missing avatar

      Tony on September 22, 2015

      I wonder what Mr. Matsuno's thoughts are on this change of direction.

    35. Andrew Fors on September 22, 2015

      PvP? What is this crap? That's not the game I backed. It was pitched as a single player FFT spiritual successor. This is starting to sound terrible, nothing like the game that was described. PvP was never part of the original pitch, if it's going to focus on that, you've lied to us, and I too, would like a refund.

    36. mesklinite on September 22, 2015

      Yeah, PVP? I backed this to get a spiritual successor to FFT. Weird direction to go in.

    37. Missing avatar

      Fearless Freya on September 22, 2015

      so after I just commented, i went through others comments below. It appears I'm not the only one who was disappointed by the PvP focus of the long overdue update. I suppose I could vaguely understand "balance issues". However, I only backed this game because it was a spiritual successor to the likes of FFT and others like it. I see others are asking for refunds. If that is still possible, then @Playdek: consider this my official request for a refund.

    38. Missing avatar

      Fearless Freya on September 22, 2015

      I'm a bit saddened by the delay, but hey, stuff happens. More a bit upset on the apparent PvP focus. I thought this was a straight up strategy rpg with main focus on campaign single player game. Now it feels like it's meant for PvP with the single player campaign tacked on.

    39. Missing avatar

      Patrick Minton on September 22, 2015

      I read the story on Kotaku about the change in directions that Unsung Story is taking and along with a lot of other folks in the comments I want a refund of my pledge.

      A PvP laden arena game is not what I backed.

      I'd like my money back, please.

    40. Marty Czosnyka on September 22, 2015

      Was never interested in a PvP oriented arena game, and for that to become the focus now feels like a bait and switch.

    41. Ryan Duclos on September 22, 2015

      I want a refund - this isn't the game that I backed any longer.

    42. Missing avatar

      Bryan Prince on September 22, 2015

      I have nothing to add here other than what others have said. Hopefully my disappointment, coupled with everyone else's here, will speak volumes to the folly of your new plan for this game. I am disappoint.

    43. Shane Firth on September 22, 2015

      What is this PVP rubbish, that is not the game I backed. I was promised a game in the vein of FF Tactics and if you aren't planning on sticking to that promise then I would like my money back.

      Expect to see class action lawsuits leveraged against you if you fail to offer refunds.

    44. Missing avatar

      Brian Bierlein on September 22, 2015

      Add me to the list of people who are unhappy with the new PVP focus. If it's due to publisher meddling, please be sure to let them know that the backers are not happy about that at all. The people who want this game and who pledged their money to it are expecting a single player Final Fantasy Tactics style of game, not a competitive multiplayer game. I think you can balance the single-player gameplay just fine without having a PVP mode. It's been done before. Thanks.

    45. Missing avatar

      James E. Berkheimer on September 22, 2015

      I would like a refund if you guys are changing the game play that was advertised.

    46. Missing avatar

      Rieper42 on September 22, 2015

      I want to voice my disappointment to this update, but I can't do so without simply repeating what others are saying. I think Playdek need to have a good explanation for this poor decision, and if they don't they need to start some serious backtracking.

    47. Missing avatar

      Chris Muncie on September 22, 2015

      I also have to agree with the majority of other backers here. The new publisher's money / promise of money is likely driving the change in focus. A game where pve skills are designed and balanced taking into account pvp is not what we were looking for.

      A single player focus would finally enable a character to progress to an Elite Invincible Ninja God job (or whatever we would strive for, and complicated job path pdfs would show us), but if that has to be balanced for pvp... then it's a totally different game.

    48. Geoffrey Prophet on September 22, 2015

      Yaaaa, personally would never have back a PVP based game. not my cup of milk, but it also looks like who ever you have partnered with is forcing a PVP component in the game. Odds are I will not even both to download a PVP centric game and I would love a refund. But since I highly doubt that will happen and as of now I consider this project dead to me.

    49. Izzat Aziz on September 22, 2015

      I bet the money you get from publisher is the one that pushing you guys to focus on PvP instead, well my money is paid and spent, good luck.

      Fyi, no update is better than this kind of update, just update when the game is out.

      +1 cunning.

    50. Anna on September 22, 2015

      I backed for a Final Fantasy Tactics spiritual successor, not some PVP or multiplayer game. I'm sorry but I agree with the people here about wanting a refund. I want FFT, not whatever you guys are doing to it now.

      FFT and FFTA is the reason I even really got into the genre of strategy RPGs along with Fire Emblem. I'm highly upset and a bit disappointed now.