## Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians

A rich, diverse Tactical RPG, envisioned by the master of the genre Yasumi Matsuno, Playdek, and you, the fans!
Created by
15,824 backers pledged \$660,126 to help bring this project to life.

## A Visual Look from a Game Play Perspective

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Hello everyone!

Tonight we are sharing with you the first part in a series of updates that will expand on the game play mechanics for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians. Again it is important to note that these details are all preliminary and may be subject to change; however we will make sure you know of any changes as they occur. You guys have been so great at posting up ideas and suggestions that with your help together we will be able to make this the game that we all have been waiting for.

This first update introduces a visual look into the game from a game play perspective. Each concept piece is representative of what the viewer would see from different camera angles. As we develop the game, we will research different approaches to the camera, comparing both fixed angles as well as a free camera, to find what is optimum for the user experience.

The battle system for Unsung Story is a turn based system that puts importance on speed for each units actions. Therefore, faster units will act on their turns first. The image below represents an example battle stage, as seen by the player, with the player’s party in blue and the opposing force in red. All of the world stages will be richly modeled and detailed, with various terrains and elevations.

Instead of a square tile system, Unsung Story will use triangular tiles, with units standing not at the center of tiles, but at the intersections. This gives units six possible directions of movement.

This image below depicts different target choices for the player in this triangular based system. In this example, the Active unit has three options:

1) Use attack “X” on the adjacent Enemy A
2) Use attack “Y” on Enemy B, two tiles away
3) Use defense “Z” to aid the adjacent Ally C

The attack radius shown above is a radius of 2, in other words. A, B, and C are all within the acting unit's range. A and C are well within range, and B is at the edge of the range. The purpose of this system is to explore what more can be presented to the player, by way of multiple action choices, while having a consistent six possible direction choices available to them.

The next update will cover some of the battle system components in more detail, as well as some further character class details.

Also tomorrow we will host an AMA with Gary Weis, the Chief Technology Officer here at Playdek. He will be able to answer your questions about his background in the gaming industry, his passion for strategy and RPGs, and his technical and development expertise. You can join us tomorrow on the Unsung Story subreddit; the thread will be created about half an hour in advance so you will be able to post up your questions early if you’d like.

Time and Date: 2:30pm PST / 5:30pm EST on February 7th, 2014
Location: http://www.reddit.com/r/theunsungstory/

Thank you again for all of your support, and stay tuned because we have more information about Unsung Story coming your way over the next few days!

Cheers,

Playdek

Peterious, Jeff Szudzik, and 67 more people like this update.

#### Comments

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1. ### intrepidis on February 10, 2014

I agree that the triangle system is very close to hexagon system, but I like the triangle system because it's easier to envisage the near/far reaching. Also, the triangle system looks more tidy to me, hexagons look bulky and cluttered.

2. ### Kelly Overholser on February 10, 2014

Hm, I think Wooster makes a valid point with terrain effects. Really, there's no mechanical difference between a hex based system and a triangle based system, so it's effectively all an intuitive difference. As long as there's something in the system that makes triangles more intuitive than hexes, it makes sense to use it. I think Wooster's idea is a good one; if terrain is based on the triangles and each space is affected by all of the surrounding terrain, it makes much more sense than if there were "triangles" in the intersections of a hex grid that had terrain effects.

3. ### Saturnine on February 9, 2014

I love this idea of a triangle based system, as a chance to experience something new. I hope it leads to more distance based options, where say, a sword slash can attack up to two lines away, while a dagger slash can only reach one, but a dagger thrust might give it that extra distance.

4. ### Wooster on February 9, 2014

@Michael Brand

Oh, I'm not denying in the slightest that what I'm proposing is cosmetic over a traditional hex system. But with the different visual interpretation, it lends itself to a different interpretation of the same layout.

Admittedly, there isn't a technical reason why my proposed system wouldn't work on a Hex system. But when you stand on a single tile, you 'expect' the stat bonus to come from only that tile. By standing on the intersection it's more intuitive to get the bonuses from the adjacent tiles. That's where I say it would work in this but not a traditional hex.

As for shapes vs lines. Again, purely visual in difference, but it'd be two paradigms for attacks.

5. ### Michael Brand Superbacker on February 9, 2014

@Wooster
Personally, I fail to see how that would be any different than a unit on a hex grid, with cumulative effects calculated based on each of the six lines the hex grid shares with its six neighbours. Now for spells targeting "shapes", do you mean something like this (example using a 6-sided star)?
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z3blvzf9ucjh8xu/Tri_vs_Hex-Redux-AOE_6star.png
As you can see, in practice it is once again *functionally identical* to what is already possible on a hex grid, with the same unit coverage and with the same possible range of movements. The only difference is purely visual, something that could be changed without affecting the underlying mechanics in the slightest.

6. ### Wooster on February 9, 2014

Hmm.

One thing that the Triangle grid system lends itself to, that a Hex grid or even a square grid doesn't is cumulative terrain boosts.

In Valkyria Chronicles every character or at least near every character had a terrain they resonated with, and another they didn't. (One may like metal, but not roads for instance)

Standing at the intersection of 6 triangles and terrains might allow for an (ƒ)x6 boost or penalty to accuracy or magic or defense or whatever for instance.

One could also have spells manipulate the effects. Casting Ice at a target or tile could change the
surrounding tiles to Water or Ice or whatever. Could be a boon or a penalty in the long run depending on what your allies and enemies affinities are.

Also, I wonder if physical attacks might target across lines and intersections, but spells might target shapes.

7. ### Chris Conley on February 8, 2014

I really like the grid. Functionally identical to a hex grid, as mentioned, but it looks nicer.

8. ### Michael Brand Superbacker on February 8, 2014

Okay, once and for all... Comparison images to show that even if not intentionally designed as an hex grid system, that the triangular tiles with "six possible directions of movement" ends up resulting in *functionally* the same result:
...
- You may have to Download Original for this to animate, but it shows that if you take a standard hex grid and draw lines between the possible movements to each of the six grids next to it, then remove the outline of the hex grid... You'd result in triangular tiles:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1aksbqpml1wnlfc/Tri_vs_Hex-Redux-Outline_vs_Inside.gif
...
- Next, a representation of the second mock-up image, in both triangular tiles format and hex grid format. You'd see that despite looking different, the possible range of movements and attack for your unit (U) is completely identical.
- For example, (A) and (C) blocks your 2 possible directional, but you have 4 other possible directions of movements.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/fso91hjngu74eq7/Tri_vs_Hex-Redux-mockup.png
...
- Finally, how AOE damage can be represented in both. The purple arrows in both sides represents your common, line-AOE attack hitting 3 enemies.
- The blue arrows on the left represents a special line-AOE attack that allows you to attack 2 enemies, while passing by other enemies slightly off your attack direction. The blue circles on the right represents the direction of the same attack, ignoring hex grids that it passes between.
- The red triangle on the left represents a possible AOE attack based on affecting the 3 units that touches that triangle. The red circle on the right represents that same AOE, with hex grids that are affected based on the point where the 3 hex grids intersects.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/102rksywoq1nk20/Tri_vs_Hex-Redux-AOE.png

9. ### DancingGolem on February 7, 2014

Just chiming in with a note about how incredibly disappointed I am that it's hex based. It's mostly personal choice as it's very busy and it's not how my brain works. I find absolutely no pleasure in strategy games using a hex-based grid. It could have the coolest mechanics, intriguing storyline, lovable characters, but as soon as combat starts I lose all drive to play.

I definitely did not see this move coming when I pledged, and I'm actually cancelling my pledge because of this. I really want to play the game, I'm a huge fan, but I just can NOT play a hex-based game.

It's like having a FPS that doesn't let you invert the Y-axis, everything just feels wrong to those who use it.

Good luck
1 early bird open now for anyone who wants to switch

10. ### margibso on February 7, 2014

I can see how with dots and vertices you can have more varied terrain since the vertices can leave the dot at different angles vertically, but I still prefer hex because the triangles make the board way too busy. If my counting is correct the lines eat up twice as much space. Hex looks much cleaner.

11. ### Michael Brand Superbacker on February 7, 2014

Sorry, here's what I should have done in the first place (rotated and cropped versions of my example images, to more closely match the mock up):
https://www.dropbox.com/s/4es4btfbtv6s5jh/hex_vs_triangle-v2-rotate.png
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dwaa9n8ho3a12nr/hex_vs_triangle-v3-rotate.png

12. ### Joshua Darling (JDgamer0994) on February 7, 2014

@Michael Brand: the triangles you have shown to prove its hexagonal are too large compared to the pick-up picture. Not to mention have the direction changed to fit a traditional hex system. In their picture the B enemy is actually about where you placed A enemy, and you A enemy would be at the mid point of 3 of your hexagons (the one your character is on, the one in front of it, and the "northwest" one).

13. ### Michael Brand Superbacker on February 7, 2014

@Joshua Darling
Don't get distracted by the colouring, and take a close look at the original hex grids on the template, what you refer to as "dot to dot" is *literally* the same as moving between the *center-point* of the hex grids.
Or to illustrate it in even further detail, basically what the mockup shows:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/k4qqumdjnmru4og/hex_vs_triangle-v2.png
What it looks like painted as a traditional grid system:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/15ztcj3cf2s2p4j/hex_vs_triangle-v3.png
... They might look different, but that's only because of the *visual* reversal of the hex grid outlines (normally visible), and the connections between the middle of one hex grid to its six adjacent neighbours (normally invisible). They are *functionally* identical.

14. ### Michael Mc on February 7, 2014

It's the first time I see something like this (triangle grid), that's very interesting :) !!
Keep up the good work and you should show some artworks from Yoshida-san next time ;-).

15. ### Joshua Darling (JDgamer0994) on February 7, 2014

It is hexagonal, however it's overlapping hexagonal, which opens it up some. @Michael Brand: you will not have to move a whole hexagon, just dot to dot in this system, essentially moving halfish a hexagon if it was on a traditional hexagon grid. If each dot can hold a normal sized unit, in the second picture on a normal hexagonal grid there could only be 7 units marketable within the yellow reach zone. With overlapping hexagonal and each overlapping line able to hold a unit, there could be up to (if I counted correctly) 19 units in the same space. This can make for a vastly different experience, especially if we have a higher number of units than we are used too in this genre.

If Matsuno, Playdek, and us put some thought into skills, I think plenty of things could be taken advantage of. I guarantee the regulars are already wracking their brains thinking about it

16. ### Luc René de Cotret on February 7, 2014

Well, this is indeed functionally identical to a hex system. I think I'd prefer a hex display, it's something we're better used to, visually.
All in all, I don't really mind, though, I just want this game to happen :D

17. ### Morrandir on February 7, 2014

Glad too see that not everybody is too lazy to paint it down. ;-)

18. ### Michael Brand Superbacker on February 7, 2014

Those who comment that the triangular tiles are effectively the same as a hex grid are not mistaken. Have a look:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/b6d7iq6dwil5dnv/hex_vs_triangle.png
- The black dots representing centre of each grid, the thick black lines representing your possible movements/interactions.
- Assuming you can move 1 hex grid, and attack anything within 2 hex grid of current position.
- Green representing the *closest* spaces of the adjacent hex grids you can move to.
- Orange representing the *outside* spaces of the hex grids you can attack to (or substitute it with transparency).
- Yellow for the space between the Green and Orange zones.
... And it turns out you can replicate exactly what you see in the second example sketch, notwithstanding my bad in forgetting to work from a "horizontal" hex grid (so just rotate the image about 30 degrees to the left if necessary... Or simply tilt your head slightly to the right when you look at it, lol).

19. ### Morrandir on February 7, 2014

This is imho indeed equivalent to a hexagonal grid. (The hexagons' centers would be the triangles corners, the hexagons corners would be the triangles centers.)
The various attack angels result from allowing attacking enemies that aren't on adjacent tiles. Same concept as in Daedalic's Blackguards (with certain weapons).

20. ### Walton Werner Chua Go on February 7, 2014

For this update, i was actually expecting some concept art from akihiko-san.. :/

21. ### Wooster on February 7, 2014

Hmm. I wonder if they changed from square to grid. The top image, ignoring the overlay, looks like it'd work better with a square system. Note the path, the archway, and where the archer is standing on the top image. They don't run parallel with any of the triangles axis'.

I'm not sure why people are getting stuck up on the Hex/Triangle system, even if the differences are cosmetic. So it's a different way to represent something. So what? No harm in trying.

Anyways, I'm digging the style, and color pallet. Maybe a little saturated, but it's growing on me in contrast to the low saturated characters.

22. ### Alexey on February 7, 2014

@Michele "Wise Monkey"
Only if you are talking about units movement.

23. ### Michele "Wise Monkey" on February 7, 2014

No I was wrong it is equivalent to a normal hexagonal grid, I let the picture device me.

24. ### Alexey on February 7, 2014

It surely does differ from hexagon system. Besides already mentioned possabilities with terrain hights and 12 attack directions I want to make you all note one more thing.
Range of attack.
Two triangles range of attack is not same as two hexes range. This system clearly is richer tactics wise.
I wonder how designers will use it. Sound good. Really makes me thinking about upping my pledge.

25. ### Zachariah B. Ward on February 7, 2014

Ah the Wise Monkey is wise, so in other words it's like a hex with half-way points, so that would make it a bit more flexible and smooth. looks sweet!

26. ### Michele "Wise Monkey" on February 7, 2014

No this triangle grid is different from an hexagon, look closely to the second picture, you can move from the center of the hexagon to one of its vertices this cannot be done in a normal hexagonal grid where you can only move from centere to centere.

27. ### Kevin on February 7, 2014

While this new triangular grid system is something very interesting and new, I think most people would wonder the implications it could have in the gameplay. Doubt you guys would create or use a system simply because it's "unique". There has to be some special factors that allows for a better creation of world or gameplay. Looking forward to the next update, and bring it fast! Time is running...

28. ### Joshua Darling (JDgamer0994) on February 7, 2014

Just a quick note, if enemy B in that picture is a viable option to attack, you are potentially giving us 12 direction choices. Granted not all weapon types would have that reach. There's a lot more that can be done with this system than a traditional hex system. Can't wait to wake up and see what everybody has come up with.

29. ### EdwardD on February 7, 2014

Looks great. I'm hoping the speed based combat plays a bit like the RPG series Grandia. Which is IMHO the best battle system of any rpg ever.

30. ### Ferdinand Fernandez - Dreamlords Digital on February 7, 2014

On another note: so I take it we're not going to have.. I don't know what it's exactly called... super-deformed art style like in Final Fantasy Tactics? That's cool with me.

31. ### Ferdinand Fernandez - Dreamlords Digital on February 7, 2014

Seems to me that it looks less cluttered than a hex grid. I don't really mind either way.

32. ### Zombra on February 7, 2014

Nice update! I like the triangle system; it seems more clear visually than a hex system. Also, I love the style in the concept art. Looking forward to US!

33. ### Tyler Laney on February 7, 2014

Triangles! Has this been done before? I'm just going to sit and think about the possibilities for the next good while and what the implication are for level design. Thanks for the informative and graphical update.

34. ### Sleet Superbacker on February 7, 2014

It's roughly equivalent to a hex grid, sure, but there are slight differences (visually if not mechanically) which I would hope they're going to take advantage of. For instance, elevations with hex grids tend to be done as 'steps,' which is fine and all, but with vertices of triangles they could change the heights of each points and still have the ground look 'smooth.'
And sure, you can still do that by just overlaying a hex grid on a curved surface, but then it's a bit less clear what height each hex counts as because you're looking at an area instead of a single point.

So I'd be happy to see what they've got in store with this direction.

35. ### Kelly Overholser on February 6, 2014

Like a few others have said, having characters stand on the intersections of triangles is functionally identical to a standard hex grid. I think I'm going to echo the comments from previous posters and say that, in this case, simply using a hex grid would be much more convenient since it offers the same tactical options and is more familiar to most players.

36. ### Alexandre on February 6, 2014

Only a week to go and still missing 130k :(
Such a great start too.
I think maybe the introduction video was not engaging enough; the fans of the genre eagerly waiting the next game were on board from the start, but it failed to catch the attention of others..

I really hope that there will be another attempt if this kickstarter does not pull through, the concept and system looks amazing!

37. ### Uzeh Thinks on February 6, 2014

I wanted to thank the team for this effort, I'm glad to be a part of this. I wish you luck and not to be discouraged along the way. You'll always have a fan here :)

38. ### Ryan on February 6, 2014

The overlapping hexagons concept is interesting. Hope to hear more about it in the next few days! Glad to see some art work!

39. ### Bruno Figueiredo on February 6, 2014

Looks interesting. ^^ Nice update! ^^

40. ### Bitwise Constructs on February 6, 2014

http://imgur.com/b0eaQRE

41. ### Nicholas N on February 6, 2014

Thank you for this update! The 6 triangle tiles concept is already an interesting take and evolution for the genre, I can't wait to hear more. Traditions don't always need to be broken, but they can use a little bending.

42. ### Bitwise Constructs on February 6, 2014

That depends on the size of the hex. If you draw a smaller hex around every intersection point it will exactly parallel this map.

43. ### Adrian Tai on February 6, 2014

but what i'd probably wanna ask at the AMA session would be the terrain effects... i see some guys are on higher ground, etc...

44. ### Lumiere on February 6, 2014

That totally wasn't clear. Let me try again.

I think the difference between the "triangular" grid and the hex grid is that the "triangular" grid allows hexes to overlap, whereas a traditional hex grid never overlaps.

45. ### Lumiere on February 6, 2014

I think the difference between this and a hex grid is that the hex can overlap.

46. ### Joseph Stasio on February 6, 2014

would like to know how this differs from a hex grid. otherwise I like the direction. I hate how other games that claim to be in this genre ignore HEIGHT. crucial.

47. ### Andrew Schodron on February 6, 2014

Triangles points eh? I really like what I'm seeing here. You managed to take grid based battles and turn them into something much more radial. I don't know if this has been done before but after taking a look I'm really amazed by the complex yet simple design. Now I'm really hoping this gets funded. This looks great!

48. ### Adrian Tai on February 6, 2014

isn't that called a hexagon? :D

49. ### Bitwise Constructs on February 6, 2014

Not to be a dissenting opinion, but this sounds needlessly complicated and shticky to the point of intentionally subverting player vocab and common strategy game paradigms. How is it functionally different from a hex grid?