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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.

PvP Clarification

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Hey all, Joel here, and thank you for the support and understanding following the most recent update concerning the delay to the game. Though unfortunately common in this industry, delays are still none the less difficult to convey and not the ideal development situation any developer wishes to be in. What is most important though, and this goes to all KS backers, is delivering a final game at the highest quality, that is fun and compelling to play. And that is what we intend to do.

An article was run today that I believed was going to aid in clarifying the PvP aspect of our development approach, but unfortunately it set out to do the opposite. So if I may, I'm going to re-address the facts again concerning what we are doing with the PvP mode of Unsung Story, and how the single player narrative game is unchanged by this. First, here is the quote I gave for the article: 

"The PvP focus is not a sudden switch, but more importantly to the backers, it does not impact the single player campaign mode as far as content and depth. We have been focusing on developing the game play, as you can imagine, as nothing else matters if the game is not fun to play and challenging as a tactical experience. The best way to ensure that the campaigns have balanced scenarios with good A.I. is to gather play testing data from online players in head to head matches, and then polish the game with that feedback. We have utilized this method in our board game development, and it works very well. Not all players will participate, but many will choose to play online, and therefore will provide us with data of what works and what needs modifying. This does not change the single player game in anyway, but adds to its depth and polish. All of the campaign scenarios and story that were a part of the original game idea and KS are all there, and will be released. Again, this first phase merely allows us to have a method to help tune the game." 

To ensure there is clarity on this development plan as opposed to sensationalism, the facts concerning the modes for the game are as follows: 

1. The single player narrative game as outlined in the KS is intact, in every way. The world story is complete, and narrative for five episodes, including scenarios, is also complete. This entire single player experience will be rolled out to all backers. Meaning, nothing has changed to the single player game that you backed due to a PvP mode. 

2. The game has not been turned into a PvP experience, and PvP is not required to play the single player game. Again, players may play the single player game without ever having to play the PvP mode. 

3. PvP is an additional mode of game play that complements the single player game. PvP mode will also be made available for all backers, and players will be able to skirmish against the A.I. in this mode. 

4. Releasing a PvP mode first is an iterative step in development only, and will allow us to play test the game before we release a single player mode that needs to have a balanced, competitive A.I. We did not invent this development approach, as it has been used by other developers to great affect in game balancing. As stated in my quote above, it is a tuning, balancing step for us. 

5. Players who wish to join in the online PvP balancing portion may do, and those who do not can begin playing when the single player is balanced for release. 

6. The rich narrative driven single player game will be released with a strong A.I. that provides maximum replay value, via the data tuning that we will get from the PvP mode release. 

Those are the facts, and I understand they might run counter to what is being said, but the best we can do at this point is provide the actual facts to you, the backers, and get back to the development plan we are on, making the best game possible. The game that you pledged for is being made, nothing has changed that, and we will fulfill the game and rewards that you backed for, which is a great tactics RPG with a strong narrative game. 

In our update next month, we will have some in-game video to show you as well as our UI progress. Thank you all for your support and understanding, and we're looking forward to sharing the update next month. 

Joel

James Wherley, Game-O-Gami, and 76 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Derrick Smith on

      Where are the updates at? It's 2016 for christ sake.

    2. Brandon Markham on

      I backed this project quite some time ago, forgot about it, and come back to this. Where is my Alpha access?

    3. Missing avatar

      Hunter Bateman on

      Let's make sure to hold them accountable to this:

      "Joel will be participating in an AMA next week on the Unsung Story subreddit to answer your questions about the most recent updates, and to share any additional information with you all. You are more than welcome to stop by and post up questions, concerns, and anything else you may have for him to see. Once we have a date and time available, we will share that with you."

      (posted 4 days ago from the most recent Update)

    4. Jorge Desormeaux on

      Your explanation is garbage. Developing the systems required for online PvP play is a large undertaking: we're talking netcode, matchmaking, additional UI, testing, server infrastructure, etc. You claim that PvP is a necessary or efficient step to produce a balanced single-player campaign, but excellent balance has never been the selling point of a strategy RPG: FFT certainly wasn't.

      What you're doing is devoting resources to something that no one here asked for, and massively delaying the game we did want. I'm done, this isn't what I backed, and I want a refund.

    5. Missing avatar

      Gatt
      Superbacker
      on

      I disagree with your premise. Any introduction of PvP inherently alters the Single Player game. Balance becomes a substantially bigger concern and ideas like "Wouldn't this really cool game altering X be great!" immediately go out the window because it breaks PvP. It also means that AI tends to be phoned in because "PvP is where the challenge is".

      I find this decision to be pretty unfortunate. If I'd known that the focus would be PvP, and it is the focus because PvP has to be balanced, I wouldn't have pledged. It's events like this that taint kickstarter and no small part of the reason why I'm less and less inclined to kickstart video games. Too often are companies pitching one thing and then changing gears after the campaign closes as happened not too long ago when a company pitched a PC game and then later announced they were consolizing it instead.

    6. ShenaniganNinja on

      While this is nice to hear, it would be nice to see some actual progress on the game. More show. Less tell.

    7. Zach Inglis on

      The odd thing is - you say you're really behind on dev? So why is the solution creating a LOAD more work with this PvP addition?

      Please do share if there will be a way to get refunds.

    8. Missing avatar

      Tony on

      Player vs. environment components are not balanced based on data from player vs. player combat. Computer AI cannot show the logic, problem-solving, and reasoning of a human opponent and needs to be imbalanced to provide an engaging and challenging experience for players. No game testing, an job role I have been in before, does this. Player vs. environment and player vs. player components are always tested separately, you might discover something in one that helps you in the other, but never are they balanced against each other.

      To say that this is your intention or strategy to provide players with the single player experience that was advertised is nonsense.

    9. Missing avatar

      Hunter Bateman on

      Online/PvP Implementation WILL affect the single-player as a matter of fact.

      1) delays it heavily.
      2) takes from its funding.
      3) affects the game balance.

      I'll take a refund. This isn't what was promised & adding in PvP does not justify such a gross delay. It's not what we were told we were backing.

    10. Steve on

      Who do we get hold of to get refunds?

    11. Andrea "Cioffaz" on

      All you can do, Playdek, is refund and only then start developing the game you want...but not with my money. Thanks

    12. Missing avatar

      Spencer Hersom on

      I for one am even more excited for this game after the last two updates! The excitement since the original campaign had worn off, but the hope of a great story being augmented by fantastic battles has been rekindled by knowing that those battles will be tuned through real gameplay. Plus extra playability is never a bad thing.

      If your main concern is that if content being dropped, refer to item one. These aren't blue sky promises, they are stated as facts. Either you believe them, or you believe Playdek to be bold-faced liars. Besides, there is always a chance of failure, even if that just means the final product isn't exactly how you envisioned it. If you're not willing to lose some money on a bet, don't make any bets.

      Personally, I am curious about when it was determined that a PvP mode would be used for that purpose, though. Was that decided from the beginning? I'd imagine we'd have known about it right away if it was. Was it on the table from the beginning? Did it come up later?

    13. Bryan Gerding
      Superbacker
      on

      Some of you are such crybabies. My god, the whining.

    14. Missing avatar

      Philip Vickery on

      Why can't you answer a simple yes or no question?
      Will there be microtransactions?
      Stop skipping the question

    15. Daryl Putman on

      Just remember: you promised a DRM-free product, so make sure that your PvP product is also NOT DRMed. DRM includes Steam. So don't use the Steam multiplayer API.

    16. Missing avatar

      Travis Clark on

      I'm willing to wait for a product and game worth playing. I've invested $400 in this project because of my love of rich role playing games, stories, character development, and a deep and rich customization game play as seen in Final Fantasy Tactics games.

      My only suggestion so far is to please make the game more like the original FFT game compared to the later "kiddish" Tactics games.

    17. Steve on

      "You are more than welcome to stop by and post up questions, concerns, and anything else you may have"

      How do we get a refund?

    18. Little Orbit Creator on

      We know that we have underperformed in keeping up consistent communication, and take full responsibility for any confusion that has caused. We are going to do everything we can to build up a higher, more open level of communication, and will be sure to keep everyone current with the ongoing development of the game, so that you know the development progress month by month.

      To this, Joel will be participating in an AMA next week on the Unsung Story subreddit to answer your questions about the most recent updates, and to share any additional information with you all. You are more than welcome to stop by and post up questions, concerns, and anything else you may have for him to see. Once we have a date and time available, we will share that with you.

      Again, thank you all for the comments and for the support. We truly appreciate it.

    19. Missing avatar

      Max Ehrman on

      Sorry for the double post but I just thought about this.

      The only single player game series that added multiplayer and managed to NOT detract from the single-player experience (for me personally) was Mass Effect.

      The first two entries were single player, specifically. The third entry added a multiplayer horde mode which wasn't PVP but was a different type of experience from their single player games. I felt that the single player was still well fleshed out although thousands of people will say the mass effect 3 ending was god-awful (and maybe that could be due to having to shove a multiplayer mode into the game and running out of development time for the single player)

      So I guess what i'm saying is, it's absurd for you to state so non-chalantly that you can add a mode like this without negatively-impacting the already promised-on mode. Either you delay the game a ridiculous amount MORE than has already been delayed to fit everything in to it (which you probably can't do without running into money trouble again) or you sacrifice content to be able to deliver on both fronts. It seems like a lose lose and like many people have said in the comments, your reputation is on the line.

    20. Missing avatar

      Max Ehrman on

      I hope you have more than empty promises and hopeful intentions in regards to the PVE-aspect of this game when the PVP 'beta' arrives. If you release a PVP mode to the backers without anything substantial to show us on the PVE side of things, you are going to lose the faith of even more backers than you already have with this refocusing toward PVP first.

      It's all well and good to say "You'll get everything you were promised, PVP is in addition to that" but we've seen time and again that features need to be cut or rushed in game development, and for you to promise that this won't happen despite already having setbacks AND adding a mode to your initial projections seems unlikely.

      I really hope this game is the spiritual successor to FFT it was meant to be, but you have lost my faith and really bummed me out with these last couple of updates.

    21. GunplaGamer on

      You guys still have my confidence that this game will be amazing and will be released in the best way possible. I wish you and everybody the best

    22. Missing avatar

      cursedseishi on

      @Chase

      If you're going to comment, either make an original post or shut up and don't bother. Copy-pasting a comment and parroting it on the next page does nothing. And if you're honestly going to defend the "PvP will improve PvE" shtick? Try finding a game that actually fits within the same genre.

      Galactic Civilization is a 4X game. It is not, and will never be anywhere near, the same corner of "Strategy" games as Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, Front Mission, etc. etc.. And no, it is not considered to be the 'best' in that field. To try and claim otherwise on either count as anything more than opinion shows an amount of ignorance that's painful to say the least.

      And just to address that AI comment of yours anyways? Half the reason it's necessary is because, as a 4x game, there are multiple ways of winning usually. The AI can't operate under a basic "kill all" strategy, it needs to gather resources, claim land/area, build up tech/research, and work towards any of the several win conditions that exist in the round at any time. It is MUCH more complex than the AI you see in any Tactics or Ogre game. Because there's no need.

    23. Missing avatar

      Ritchie Tiongson on

      I have only one thing to say: There are many, many tactical games that did NOT need a PvP mode to balance their AI, including, to the best of my knowledge, the very games this is supposed to be a spiritual successor to. You want to balance your AI? Play the single player game and see how stupid or intelligent the AI is, then tweak from there.

    24. Kyle Schleich
      Superbacker
      on

      Firstly, I am completely patient, if it takes you 2 more years to complete the game, then i an 100% fine with that.

      Secondly, Im glad you made this update to clarify the situation because as usual media decided to spin a story to get advertising hits. I was a bit annoyed with the words PVP as i dont PVP in any game I play with the sole exception of Planetside 2, since it was build 100% as a PVP game. Single player is the only thing im interested in. Using PVP as an AI refinement is something im perfectly ok with however.

      Keep on Trucking! And I hope all the flaky backers get their tights unbunched out of their crotches and calm down.

      Also a little more communication frequency would not be a bad thing.

    25. Olivier Lebeau-Paradis on

      It's true that there was not much talk about PvP and I have no interest in it. But If we ever get the game we were told we would, I can wait.

      A lot of people seems to be new on Kickstarter.
      -You are a backer not a shareholder, you can't tell them how to use the money.
      -You can't get a refund because you want to, some developpers will but they simply are too nice.
      -There are and there will always have some delays, very few projects are on time, at least in video games.

    26. Peterious on

      Joseph, I agree with your statement 100%. Also, this development approach they have outlined seems very logical to me. (Full Disclosure: The PVP aspect sounds like a lot of fun, and I plan to use it frequently!)

      Thanks for taking the time to clarify Joel. I can't wait to see what you've come up with in the next update.

    27. Joseph Terzieva on

      As far as I am concerned, take as much time as is necessary to make a high-quality game. When I backed this project, I did not make any considerations for the delivery date. I donate money to projects because I believe in the quality of the concept and vision put forth.

      I will be happy no matter what the final result is because I helped make a dream possible. And in my mind, the product I want is the one that prefers the highest quality over speed.

    28. Missing avatar

      Fearless Freya on

      Ok, I'll give you kudos for the fast update clarification. However, this still feels as if the development of the next year is PvP focused and that single player PvE is being sidelined. And granted, I'm not a game developer, so I can't see how PvP beta helps a PvE single player. I understand everything has delays, but with such a PvP focus, I just don't know about this game anymore.

      As far as refunds, I suppose they're not possible as the money most likely has been spent or is in process of the PvPmode. FFT/Tactics Ogre spiritual successor....I suppose only time will tell. Perhaps with frequent content updates, my outlook will improve...

    29. Steve on

      Is there anywhere we can go or anyone we can contact to get refunds? Does Kickstarter have a section of their site where we can file complaints so refunds start being handed out?

    30. Missing avatar

      Kibida on

      Can i have a refund cause i might die within the next few years waiting.

    31. Missing avatar

      Michael Gibson on

      This update has done nothing to alleviate my issues. You've still given us no proof to believe any of the points listed here. We've been strung along in previous updates with absolutely zero to show for it. I'd still like a refund.

    32. Missing avatar

      Capaneus on

      Thanks for coming back and clarifying Joel. It puts me more at ease.

    33. Andrea "Cioffaz" on

      Kindly, i'd like to request a refund. It's (no more) the game i've pledged.
      Please tell mw how i can request a complete refund.
      Thanks

    34. Bruno on

      @Geomancer
      Hum...maybe I misunderstood. If financial situation is bad like they say, they won´t have budget to further develop single player from scratch, so I assumed most single-player development was complete with the KS money.

      I hope next month´s update show what´s been done, to clarify that. Unlike most, I´m on this boat until the end, so I hope Playdek don´t lose the few trustful that remained.

    35. Chase on

      Guys, multiplayer WAS mentioned. It's the whole reason I backed at a high level.
      Also what is considered to be the best SINGLE player (now also multiplayer) strategy games (Galactic Civilization) is balanced by inputting and analyzing single player tactics (and now multiplayer tactics). What they are doing WILL provide a very strong and challenging AI for all you single players.
      As far as their responses to individual users, they are not a large company, and after several gaming websites started a massive negative publicity campaign when the developers actually came out of hibernation and gave us GOOD news. Customer Service, while a definite good investment is NOT free. Their manpower is better spent working hard on the product they want to deliver, not answering what must be thousands of emails for people asking for refunds when they decided to get impatient.
      I digress I do not condone their lack of communication over the past time at all. That being said people these days are getting WAY to IMPATIENT regarding game development and kickstarter. No AAA (FF Tactics, Starcraft, WoW, FFVII, etc.) was developed in a couple years.
      Do not back a AAA team to make a AAA game and expect it the next year.

    36. Geomancer on

      @Bruno

      I'm afraid you miss-read. The development has not been completed, they haven't even started. What is done is just the planning and the dialog (text) of how the scenarios will play out.

    37. Missing avatar

      Jacob Spangler on

      I'm a little confused about how PvP/multplayer was "always" part of the game. I just reviewed the campaign page again and a quick Ctrl-F will tell you those words don't appear anywhere on the page.

    38. Bruno on

      @Geomancer

      About 3):

      From what I understand, they already finished the development and story of the single player scenarios and they aren´t going to begin them after the PVP, but rather just balance the A.I. difficult with the PVP feedback and then it will be done.

      I agree that, if things are like this, they could just release a "pre-balanced" single player and then tweak the balance according to the future PVP results, but I´m guessing this order of release is pressure from the publisher, from whom they got the money to finish the game.

      Of course they can be lying, but I´m going to assume everything they say to us is true, because if not, all kinds of conspiracy theories can appear here and then any discussion will be meaningless.

    39. Geomancer on

      Calvin in a previous comment hit the nail on the head. This is the concern:

      1) You have financial problems resulting in key staff for this project being laid off
      2) For the next 13 months (15 months past schedule) your plan is to work on PvP
      3) Beyond 13 months (beyond 15 months past schedule) you plan to begin work on the single player

      The concern everyone has is ... if you are already in a financial hole, how do you possibly expect to keep this project funded for so long past what was initially budgeted?

      People, by in large, don't care if there is PvP. Its existence isn't the problem. The problem is, when the money runs out (it always does) whatever work is remaining is what will be cut (obviously). Since you are putting single player LAST in the development process.......

      gaherisx also brought up an excellent point that all of the games this one is inspired from did not have PvP, did not need it to get a balance, and they were still fun, exciting, and challenging. Which begs the question, why can't the single player be worked on first, and then the PvP? If you really think you need PvP to obtain balance, why can't that still be obtained if PvP comes second?

    40. Francis on

      Thanks for clarifying, I'm really looking forward to playing it!

    41. Missing avatar

      Mithrandir on

      @Zombra
      All i want to say is that a bad balance isn't that horrible. It's not like i won't be playing the game because some job is overpowered. It's really just about focus, about what matters. Yeah Pvp can bring some things to the single player experience, but without levels, skills, builds that change along the game it's not that usefull. Often a single player RPG is hard at the beginning and then really easy, sometimes there's spikes in the difficulty (Wiegraf anyone ?), and how do you learn that from PvP exactly ? And even that isn't that bad, i don't care about making the game a cakewalk, i want to make my own strategies and have reasonable fun.

    42. Zombra on

      The more people complain about this, the more inclined I am to support you guys!

      All this talk about how PvP balance doesn't work for PvE games is absolute horsefeathers. PvP balancing can and does inform good PvE balance. It's not like they're matter and antimatter that can never be brought together or everything is ruined. I guess these people just want their horribly balanced PvE game so they can hope for horribly overpowered classes that make the game a cakewalk. Too bad guys, I guess you will have to learn actual strategies instead.

    43. Drew Shaw on

      We backed for a spiritual successor to FFT. This better not be a half-assed single player experience with the main focus being PVP. If so then this is the biggest waste of a golden opportunity I've seen. All the time and resources to implement pvp and test for "balancing" could instead be put in to a greater single player experience. This seems fishy. We want a PvE game. Not a PvP game.

    44. Luc René de Cotret on

      Just in case people have forgotten already: This isn't the first time this Kickstarter has angered its backers by announcing core changes to the project after securing their funds. Several months ago, development screenshots were posted in an update (#41: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/482445197/unsung-story-tale-of-the-guardians/posts/1065801), revealing that the hex/triangle grid - a major selling point that was a defining factor in setting Unsung Story apart from other tactical RPGs - had been silently trashed in favor of the same-old square grid that every other tactical RPG use.

      I understand delays in production. I don't think I've ever seen a single kickstarted game release on time. The lack of communication, however, is inexcusable.

      What other things aren't you telling us? Don't you think we have a right to know as your investors?

      You can't just bait-and-switch like that.

      This is the first and last time Playdek gets my money for anything.

    45. Missing avatar

      gaherisx on

      Don't waste money and time on something your audience doesn't want. - - - > unless you have plans to make money off pvp by making this mode a pay to win. Because let's be honest, it's a common business model of mobile games, and you're a mobile games company. So yeah, just clarify the whole thing please, the whole we need pvp to balance the game excuse thing seems fishy to a lot of players, there must be a bigger reason on why you're focusing so much on the pvp aspect.

    46. Missing avatar

      gaherisx on

      I'm still kinda confused on why pvp is so much important for balancing the single player mode. Myself and many people who backed this are mostly long time TRPG fans and especially the japanese ones such as FFT, Tactics Ogre or Vandal Hearts, games that have been developed many many years ago without any sort of pvp in mind and games that still delivered a great tactical experience.

      You see the main problem here is that TUS has been advertised such as one of those games, with the big name of Matsuno on the frontline, and such as a game that would focus on the single player experience.

      The confusion is why can't you balance the game properly without beta testing pvp, it has been proved it can be done before and when games such as FFT were there they couldn't even patch what was broken (CID anyone?), but now you can patch anything you want.

      PvP should have been a bonus mode from the get go. It's a damn T-RPG, who cares about PvP really? Definitely not console players who've been used to single player experiences, and who are the majority of the backers of this project.

      I get PVP is good for replay value, but if the base game is not good no one will play it, I hope you realise that at Playdek. Don't waste money and time on something your audience doesn't want.

    47. Missing avatar

      Mithrandir on

      "We have utilized this method in our board game development, and it works very well. " -> A video game is not a board game. Developping PvP require ressources, time and money, and a lot of extra developpement for a game already late. You want to test your IA/Balance ? Fine, you can do a Beta/Early Access single player with some scenarios.

      Besides a scenario PVE is based on XP and leveling and acquiring new stuff and skills, how are you even implementing levels in PVP ? By essence this is not balanced (you will probably respond matchmaking but it won't be that easy)

      So all this seems reaaaaaaally fishy, I'm guessing you will add a shop with real currency purchase inside the PvP (maybe only cosmetic).

      Last " The world story is complete, and narrative for five episodes, including scenarios, is also complete." -> Then show us something !! Tell us about more than the world, but about the characters, the story etc.

      I'm waiting a little but I think i'll be asking a refund too.

    48. Missing avatar

      jesus del fresno on

      So to resume:
      PVP = Refund backers.
      PVE = Backers are happy
      I guess you should know, what you have to do..

    49. Michael Abi Daoud on

      I've already been burned by two failed Kickstarters...

    50. Missing avatar

      Eric Bonnet
      Superbacker
      on

      In my experience, games balanced for PvP are very badly done for PvE. Games that pretend to do both aspects equally well finish bad for both, or passable at one and horrible at the other. And the resources that went into PvP were taken from elsewhere so it also affects PvE, particularly as it adds to the already huge delays.
      So regretfully, I request a refund.