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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.

Progress Update

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Hey everybody,

We want to update everyone on our current development track and Unsung Story. We are nearing release this month of the product mentioned in our last update, and are close to wrapping up that product and focusing our development team on Unsung Story. We expect to have part of the team back on level design work, along with more game play design work and art, towards the end of this month. From there, we have some engine work to do on the animation system, and will extend the current prototypes with more character class work so that we can continue game balancing the various classes. In May, we should have another update that will have more game specific progress we can go into, and will start sharing more game specific features and design. At this time, we still expect to be on track for a beta playable release to backers in the fall, containing a few levels and two character schools, with each school having multiple class variations within it.

As we ramp up development progress on the game, there are a few outstanding points about our game focus and the development that we most recently worked on that we feel need additional addressing. We have explained these points before, but for some reason there still seems to be some backer confusion around what we have stated, and how it is interpreted. So to address that:

1) Unsung Story is a single player Tactics RPG, and has been since its inception. The game is centered on a single player campaign mode, with multiple episodes and scenarios. Hopefully that is very clear. Will the game have a mode that allows for players to play against each other in online matches if they choose to do so? Yes. Will we release a beta module that allows for players to play against each other online, in order to gather valuable game play data for balancing the game? Yes, and this does not change what the core of the game is, and always has been – a single player Tactics RPG.

2) Some have inquired as to the development costs for the current project we are releasing. The funds for that game were provided separately from any other source of development funds, apart from any earned Playdek revenues.

3) As previously stated, we anticipate having a first playable of a few game levels in backer’s hands in the fall of this year. It will have player versus player capability, followed by AI for single player. If possible, we will release both in the initial release, and will determine that as we get closer.

And so, we want everyone to know that we are close to being on track with our latest development plan, and should have some game specific development updates to start sharing in May. Over the summer, we’ll have new screenshots, videos and art to share, along with game play specific details about our progress on the character and battle systems, and the game world. Thanks for your support and be back with another update in a month!

Playdek

Comments

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    1. Mark Dorney on

      Here you go, Paul.

      Development status: FUBAR

    2. Paul Allen on

      Going through my backed projects for undelivered backing. I'd like an update on the current development status for this project.

      Thanks.

    3. Missing avatar

      n1ckn4m3 on

      Seems like even the Playdek apologists have finally shut up. It doesn't take much intelligence to know when you've lost all ground to stand on.

    4. Missing avatar

      Andrea Robinson on

      "we want everyone to know that we are close to being on track with our latest development plan, and should have some game specific development updates to start sharing in May. [...] Thanks for your support and be back with another update in a month!"

      They posted those exact sentences on April 9. Today is June 9. That's two months. To be fair I guess they didn't specify whether they meant May 2016 or May in some future year.

    5. Michael Brand
      Superbacker
      on

      @Khiem Diep
      There is no "guarantee", but it's important to understand that when investments/loans fail, creditors are entitled to seek compensation. People and organisations get investments/loans in exchange for knowing that if they don't make good use of the money, they'll owe collateral in the form of assets and intellectual property to their creditors.

      Kickstarter project creators might not owe collateral in the traditional sense to their backers... But what they put up as collateral instead is their reputation. If project creators are unable to fulfil the rewards or make a refund, backers are not only perfectly entitled to find other methods of redress, it's what we *should* do to keep the Kickstarter platform as scam-free as possible.

    6. Mark Dorney on

      No there is no guarantee, but under Kickstarter ToS project creators are obliged to either complete the project or, if they are unable to do so, make efforts to provide alternative options for backers. Playdek have given us nothing but one severely underwhelming video that looks like it should have been made in the first week of production.

      It's not an investment. Investments are providing money for the purpose of profit, we know there is no profit to be had. But we are nonetheless promised rewards, with a reasonable expectation that those rewards are fulfilled in exchange for our contribution, and if not those, then something otherwise suitable.

      So yes, we are owed something. The idea that we just have to take it on the ching and move on when our contribution, not investment is taken with nothing to show for it just because of the supposed nature of the platform, is a dangerously cavalier attitude. We all know there's a fair chance the project will fail, but we still need to be offered something out of it, the dev can't just wsh their hands of it after doing Lord knows what with our money.

      We as a collective userbase need to be pushing for accountability and suitable recourse when a project goes off the rails. Not just shrugging and saying "Oh, well that's Kickstarter." Playdek have made no effort to placate us backers with anything to show for our contributions and that simply is not acceptable.

    7. Griffinman01 on

      @Reese
      Make sure you name drop a lot of big guys in the business so you can raise $660,126 rather than 100k. I mean, if you're gonna defraud people, might as well go big and say that Yasumi Matsuno is part of it so you can really rake in the dough!

    8. Reese Holland on

      Khiem does that mean I should hire a concept artist (and a patsy to take the blame) then launch a $100k kickstarter campaign and call it free money in my pockets? Its just an investment, that's all I'm asking for right?

    9. Missing avatar

      Khiem Diep on

      I'm not a Playdek apologist but everyone should know that when you put money in a Kickstarter project, there is no guarantee. Your money given is closest to an investment, not a purchase or pre-order. In an investment sometimes you lose what you put in, sometimes you gain more than what you put in but that's a risk you have to take into account when funding a kickstarter project.

    10. Missing avatar

      Tony on

      @Mark I think it is more about hipster society and wanting to be different and by their own account, superior. People who feel the need to be Playdek's white knights just think they're better because they're in the minority, nothing more.

    11. Mark Dorney on

      How can we seriously still be seeing Playdek apologists? Of course they owe us something. They don't just get to walk away with over $600,000 of our money with nothing to show for it, not only with no repercsussions, but people actively supporting their right to do so! It makes me sick.

    12. Missing avatar

      Tony on

      People who say "Kickstarter isn't a store", we are not "customers", and project creators like Playdek "don't owe us anything" are quite simply wrong. You can justify it however you like, but Kickstarter is just a marketplace by another name. Projects are just stores where they sell product to us, the customers. And those project creators do in fact owe us what we bought from their store. There is legal precedent to support this.

    13. Michael Brand
      Superbacker
      on

      @Urabutbl
      Please, please PLEASE stop abusing comparisons with Banner Saga!

      1: Banner Saga promised multiplayer as part of their campaign and development blueprint, Unsung Story did not.
      2: Banner Saga had mostly consistent monthly updates that kept backers in the loop, Unsung Story did not.
      3: Banner Saga had playable betas of the game within months of the campaign, Unsung Story did not.
      4: Banner Saga officially released the full game within 21 months of their campaign's end, Unsung Story did not... At 26 months and counting, and still without even ONE playable beta to show for it.

    14. Gil Ruta on

      Disappointing to hear about, but I'm still supportive, nonetheless.

      Folks need to realize that crowdfunding doesn't guarantee you will get *anything* in return and that you're simply funding an idea. I don't see any hard evidence of that here--not yet, at least. If this project doesn't live out to the expectations that I've set...then that's on me to learn about for the future. Playdek doesn't owe me (or any pledger here, for that matter) a single thing in return. I hope the game does turn out to be at least decent. And even if it doesn't turn out great...or even turn out at all...that was the risk I took as a backer.

      In the meantime, I wait patiently and look forward to the next update. :)

    15. Griffinman01 on

      @Stephen

      I've backed multiple kickstarter projects, some of which were video games:

      Hyper Light Drifter came out to rave reviews a couple weeks ago and they were totally transparent of the whole process. We saw preview builds we got to try out, plenty of artwork and work in progress videos, and the game came out in one hell of a polished product. Yes they missed their projected date, but every backer knew why and was kept in the loop at all stages of development:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1661802484/hyper-light-drifter/description

      Kingdom Come Deliverance just put out their first Beta after numerous alpha builds that people have been debugging for roughly a year at this point. This game is looking to be a historically accurate open world game that might almost be as immersive as something like Skyrim. Again, we've seen tons of development videos showing works in progress, staff talking about their jobs, showing 3D models, game play testing, and all sorts of development builds:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1294225970/kingdom-come-deliverance

      Bloodstained Ritual of the Night just showed some really cool development videos showing their new animations and the bare bones level design (before all the atmosphere and textures are added):

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/iga/bloodstained-ritual-of-the-night/description

      Mighty Number 9 is gearing up to a full release any time now and has had a huge number of videos and demos that backers got to try out. They've been featured at dozens of game conferences, anime expo, and more for a long time. You know that this is only being delayed due to polish and adding more cool content:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mightyno9/mighty-no-9/description

      Even games that are touted as 'vaporware' like Star Citizen show 1000000x more content than we've seen here:

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen/description

      Unsung Story has shown us a 2 minute video that tells us nothing.

      You tell me if this project as any resemblance to any video game kickstarter. We're not talking delays for polish or adding content. We're talking delays because they've mismanaged everything from the start and have lied to backers about core aspects such as the degree of Matsuno's involvement, the content of the game, and have yet to even show us any real artwork. After 2.25 years of development they don't have anything to show for it.

    16. MannyLaMancha on

      @Stephen, I can only speak for myself, but the lateness doesn't bother me; almost every single game I have backed has been up to several years late, so I expect it at this point. What is upsetting (and what I expect others are upset about) is that it appears two years passed and they had nothing to show for it but under one minute (not counting title cards) of underwhelming video, a literal few pieces of concept art, the appearance that not much had been done at all, and deafness to the protest of them pouring their resources (our money and their time) into an aspect of the game that was never pitched or asked for. (Yes, I realize Banner Saga released a PvP to balance their game, but they at least were upfront about it and had been making significant, visible progress beforehand.)

    17. Stephen P. Suelzle on

      Oops. Too late. I just looked at some of the comments below. Its too bad really, that understanding how Kickstarter works, how game development works or even how the world works isn't a prerequisite for backing something.

    18. Stephen P. Suelzle on

      Thank you for the update and clear information. I am still looking forward to playing Unsung and hope that cranky whiners will hold off doing what they do best.

    19. Missing avatar

      Mithrandir on

      @Shannon Potter @Xifanie
      Matsuno never was on their team. I thought they were kinda transparent on that. Matsuno was only a "consultant". He gave some ideas, scenario, and approval to use it to make the game. Maybe he was supposed to help them throught the development too, but i doubt it happened.

    20. Unco Lober on

      You don't get it, Urabutbl. Playdek didn't even try making the game. After three years of development, they don't have a single in-game screenshot.

    21. Urabutbl on

      ITT: People still don't understand how Kickstarter works. Please, if you have the patience of a three-year-old child and/or are living on food stamps, delete your Kickstarter bookmark and save your money. Kickstarter is not for you. It never will be. But OK, again for the slow-witted: YOU ARE NOT A CUSTOMER, YOU ARE A BACKER; YOU HAVE NOT BOUGHT ANYTHING. Kickstarting is about finding something you think might need YOUR help to get funded, and helping that thing into the world - it is not a weird form of pre-ordering.

      I kickstarted Banner Saga way back when. It was seriously late, and for ages was just a wonky PvP-arena with serious bugs, that they used to balance the campaign. The game, eventually, turned out late. I like Playdek, they make great games, and until it's out and bad, complaining that your Kickstarted game is late just makes you seem like a child.

    22. Griffinman01 on

      @MannyLaMancha

      I personally think that calling this vaporware is an insult to vaporware. I mean, people call Star Citizen vaporware and that has all sorts of stuff shown to the public. This 'game' has fewer videos posted than most board game kickstarters.

    23. MannyLaMancha on

      @Reese, given what has been seen (or rather not seen, vaporware seems like a very apt description.)

    24. Reese Holland on

      I don't want the shadow of what Unsung Story was supposed to be, a couple years late and a buncha features short.

      I want a refund. I don't want a copy of Unsung Story.

      I'd rather commit this $50 to bumping up my pledge on Arcadian Atlas, which is being developed as the ONLY product by a brother-sister team who is making Playdek look pretty bad.

      If I decide it is worth buying, I'd rather wait until it is at an extreme discount from retail price a year or 2 down the line.

      What you get from providing me a refund:
      - Sharp reduction in negative press (from me) related to Unsung Story and Playdek across all channels
      - One less scathing negative review at launch
      - One less person in correspondence with the Attorney General's office (I'll even send them a pleasant follow-up that you complied with my refund request)

      All for the cost of $50. How many replies to correspondence with AG will it take before the value of $50 in work hours has been shed? Its worth more to you, as a team, as a business, to cut your losses and honor a refund request.

      My next letter to AG will be demanding access to the "PC prototype" mentioned in the correspondence. At this time we still have no reason to believe the game is anything more than vaporware. You can head this off, you know how. You know where to reach me.

    25. Missing avatar

      Piotr on

      @Michael Magliocca: I understand your frustration, I have backed amount for full game too:) But also I would like to point out some lack of logic in your words. You are saying that we are going to get a product that is not even close to that advertised. In a next few sentences You are saying that we basically didn't see any running game. And I agree with that:) But how on earth do you know that the game is not as advertised if you haven't seen even a bit of gameplay?!? ;) And about PVP - having it doesn't mean(excludes) we won't have any good solo campaign! As far as I know Baner Saga was for a long time available only as PVP-only game called Baner Saga: factions and it didn't prevent it from getting great story WITH great combat system, that was tested that way.

      What I think about this situation with that project: it's better that they are still in business releasing new games and preparing for our game, then out of business leaving as with 0 chances to get v. Good game that we all are wishing for. And all their games I have played so far are top notch, so there is high possibility that this one will be also:) (but probably I have different view on that case, as I have leaded many IT projects myself and I know that there are no "magic boxes", but real people and money).

    26. Mark Dorney on

      I would offer my thoughts on the matter at this point, not that you want them, but Unco pretty much covered it all already.

    27. Missing avatar

      Joshua Travis on

      This game's never coming out.

    28. Unco Lober on

      @YSoSidious, what final game? What merits? After three years of development, a year and a half past the release date, they can not show a single screenshot: apparently, they have not done any work on the game at all. Were we a real publisher, they would have been sued out of existence.

    29. YSoSidious on

      To those considering leaving negative feedback out of spite on the App Store, etc: Don't. Rate games on their merit alone. I hate reading Steam or iOS user reviews and can't tell if a game is worth it or not because some people are goddamn petty. It's a problem on Amazon user reviews too. You aren't doing anyone any favors.

      Bad mouth Playdek and how they mishandled this Kickstarter all you want. Passive-aggressively include a mention to it in the review if you want, but let the final score in the game's review rest on the game's merits alone.

    30. Michael Magliocca
      Superbacker
      on

      @Piotr: Actually, they did. July 2015 was the due date for the final product to be in backer's hands. Now, a delay on Kickstarter is not a huge deal in many cases, but we are set to possibly receive a product that is not even close to the one advertised. That is called bait and switch. Not only that, but we have seen nothing resembling a game that is well along in development nine months after they estimated delivery. They should not be starting to work on a game nine months after the estimated delivery date, and it should not be radically different than the one advertised. That, to me, means they should have offered a refund option as soon as they lost the key staff that drew most of us to this project.

      I want a complete refund of my pledge. I have no interest in any PVP game of any sort. That is not what I backed, and I do not want to pay for something I did not back.

    31. Manuel Kroeber on

      Thanks for the update, keep them coming!

    32. Missing avatar

      Piotr on

      People are... horrible... It seems, they think Playedeck should take money from Kickstarter put it to one side of some magical box, and on the other side if it we should get a game that everyone backing imagined...
      Playedeck is company, they have to make money to exist and deliver high quality product like they always did! If they are telling You that the are starting to work on the game, now when they can - what is so bad about it?! Did they gave any due date for final product. I prefer to wait and get some good product.

    33. Fred Harlin Green Jr. on

      I second this motion from Michael Brand
      If Playdek was genuine about appreciating the support of backers who put in $660,126 to back this project, maybe you should consider not only telling us what this mysterious "product" is, but giving all backers a copy for free?
      After all, what better way is there to convince backers that you have a competent team that will release a competent product, and our original trust in Playdek wasn't misplaced, than by proving it? Why wouldn't you want 15,824 appreciative supporters to advertise this "product" to the wider world via word-of-mouth, the best and most trusted form of advertising?

    34. Michael Brand
      Superbacker
      on

      If Playdek was genuine about appreciating the support of backers who put in $660,126 to back this project, maybe you should consider not only telling us what this mysterious "product" is, but giving all backers a copy for free?

      After all, what better way is there to convince backers that you have a competent team that will release a competent product, and our original trust in Playdek wasn't misplaced, than by proving it? Why wouldn't you want 15,824 appreciative supporters to advertise this "product" to the wider world via word-of-mouth, the best and most trusted form of advertising?

    35. Arjan Schokking on

      Sounds good, get cracking then.

    36. Spike
      Superbacker
      on

      Why would we care to playtest and balance a mode that the majority seem to not want or care about?

      Stop wasting time and money on the PvP mode.

    37. Steve on

      Refund us NOW. Keep your shitty lies, admit you blew all the money on anything but the game, refund us, slink back under the rock you came from and call it a day.

    38. Xifanie on

      @Unco Lober:
      I made a thing for you, your last line just remembered me too much of that part of the game.
      http://xifanie.ffhacktics.com/playdek_kickstarter.png

    39. Timothy Hames on

      An update well that's not expected but its appreciated. At this point just make this game excellent.

    40. Kristan Alicesun on

      Thanks for the update. Looking forward to regular updates in the future!

    41. Anthony Kirk on

      i wish i could get my money back...

    42. Unco Lober on

      FOR THE APOLOGISTS,

      Bottom line is this: Playdek has promised a Yasumi Matsuno game. Which was misleading, because Matsuno barely did anything for the project. Then they took actual, real money from actual, real people. Then the money has disappeared. More than two years later, Playdek said that we, backers, need to be patient and something good may or may not happen in an undefined span of time. In the two years they have done nothing on the project that can be shown besides a really embarassing three minute clip of a bare-bones strategy game mockup that's garnered responses from "please refund" on average to "I still believe" at best.

      Whether Playdek has money troubles or not, whether they really need to complete this other project right now in order to survive, their problems should NOT—ever—be quenched with money out of my pocket, period.

      @Blackkat: Playdek has either wasted the funds on another project, or wasted it ON NOTHING. Yes, we don't know which one it was—another game we won't get to play unless we pay again or just nothing-simply-nothing—but either way our money was taken and spent and years after the deadline there's no game.

      Dear apologists and supportivists, you're not being humane and kind. You're enabling fraudulent behavior of a commercial company owned by people who simply don't seem to care about ethics. People behind Playdek think that they are in some cases entitled to other people's possessions in situations where they might need it (like their own financial problems). It's literally the logic of a thief: I need it, so I'll take it.

      tl;dr Taking money and misusing it is fraud. Fraud is theft. Being supportive here is not being kind—it's being supportive of financial fraud.

      Also, let's take a second to remember just how this all started. An FFT spiritual sequel, man! By a no-name indie team yet helmed by Matsuno, with artwork from Yoshida and music from Sakimoto. F****ng s**t, man! Just take my money.tiff.gif.avi. And they f****ng did. They took it and ran.

    43. Ben Whorley on

      There's a lot of people sour about missing the release date, and other developments. But if they deliver on the quality of the game, I'm willing to accept a release date being pushed back. Now they just need to be better about keeping in touch with their backers. Once a month is probably the most reasonable. People make mistakes, just when the ball gets rolling again tell us how it's rolling, even if it's slowly. Best of luck guys, I was seriously concerned this was vaporware when you said you had to work on another project. Even if it takes longer than expected, if it comes out well then that's all that matters. I hope you guys are still in touch with Matsuno-san as well. A shoestring budget for a video game can't be easy to deal with, best of luck.

    44. Griffinman01 on

      @Bryan Gerding

      From Update #50:

      "Before the company can consider any issuance of refunds, we need to first get to a position of stronger financial health, where more than just the immediate development costs for Unsung Story can be supported. Through this plan, if we are able to financially get there and can work out the support with our secured creditor, then we would certainly consider offering refunds in some manner, with that still to be determined."

      Perhaps you should take the time and follow your own advice and read this update, which doesn't mention the status of the possible refunds that were mentioned in the previous update. As such, asking for updates (and in our case, due to the sketchy nature of this project on a whole, demanding an update) on refund status is a current issue that is still being discussed by Playdek and thus one that we are allowed to comment on.

      If anything other than "I Heart Playdek and all the things they do make me squeal like a little girl until I vomit rainbows" offends you, then perhaps you should avoid the comment section.

      These crooks still have a ton of money that they have yet to give back to those who are demanding a refund and I, for one, wont stand here and listen to excuses any more. I want my money back and until Playdek refunds me for the full amount, I will continue to remind them of their failure to do so. It's as much our right to demand our refunds as it is your right to bitch about how we dissent from your love of these inept failures.

    45. Blackkat on

      Well, I for one am on the positive side of things and hope everything goes well.

      As for the people asking for refunds, refund for what? You backed something, you didn't buy something. There is nothing to refund.

      As for the "allocating funds incorrectly people", who are you to know that such a thing happened. Even if playdek hand to had to pull some people to work on another project, that doesn't mean that the funds for this were used for said other project. You're not just making baseless assumptions. The only thing it does tell you is that it was delayed, which is something that happens quite often when making or doing anything. (This is not a comment on whether or not they should have or not, just that it happens, grow up and deal with it.)

      "Give it one star on the app store and negative feed back right when it's out", really? For all you know when it does eventually come out, it could be the game you dreamed of (however delayed it was to come out). Sigh....

    46. Shane (CoffeeGnerd)
      Superbacker
      on

      Can't wait for this to hit the App Store. I'm going to give it one star and as much negative feedback as possible to prevent further revenue. Hope other backers do the same.

    47. Alexandre Boureau on

      Instead of a refund, I would be happy with getting a promo code for playdek existing or upcoming games.
      Playing Twilight Struggle now sounds more appealing to me, than Unsung Story later.

    48. Missing avatar

      mike on

      Hey so what is the status of refunds?