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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.

July Update - Travel the World

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Dear Backers,

This month I traveled back out to Melbourne, Australia, so we could all sit down as a team and go through every aspect of Unsung Story together. I've only just returned, and I'm fighting a bit of jetlag, so I apologize in advance if this month's update is a little unorganized. 

In case you didn't see it, be sure to check out our Dev Blog on Animation from this month. Taliesan and Rowan do a great job of walking you our process on character movement. I love watching them breath life into these characters.

We're nearly a year in! 

There's so much going on at this point, it's hard to pick and choose what to talk about while still not spoiling major elements of the game. However, in keeping with the theme of travel, this month I want to finally take our players on a visual walkthrough of our world to see how it has been developing.

The World of Unsung Story

Welcome to Lasfaria, the location for the 77-year war between the Alionne Kingdom and the Saxtel Empire. It represents 11 months of digging in, hard decisions, and pushing forward to get where we are today.

Various names for the world floated around in the documentation we were given like Rasfalia, Razzfaria, and others. But Lasfaria was my favorite, and I felt it was time we finally named this down.

Zooming in a little further, we'll take a look at Branholme and the surrounding country side of the Alionne Kingdom.

Branholme City
Branholme City

As the home for the School of Technology, Branholme is filled with imaginative wonders and innovation. 

Branholme building sketches
Branholme building sketches
Branholme Level Art In Progress
Branholme Level Art In Progress
Stone and Building progress
Stone and Building progress

The Alionne citizens know prosperity and comfort, much of which is built by harnessing the power of a special ore that can absorb and release sound energy. This ore is something that can only be mined in large quantities within their Kingdom.

Branholme Mining Platform
Branholme Mining Platform

Over the eons of exposure to this raw element, a new race has emerged within Lasfaria, the Singed

The Singed are the third and final playable race in Unsung Story. Players will get to control units that are Human, Horned, and Singed through out their adventure.

Singed Male Cavalier
Singed Male Cavalier
Singed Male Guardian
Singed Male Guardian
Singed Female Priest
Singed Female Priest

Next I'm going to go over a general progress, then I'll walk through some UI progress, and I'll end with some videos of current gameplay in our visual target mission.

General Update

  • All 51 missions are now in the game. This is a big milestone for the game, and now begins the long road of building out and perfecting the gameplay of each level.
  • Lots of work refining the narrative. We spent a significant part of June fleshing out cutscenes, character dialog, and story moments. Each mission design had to be reviewed and in many cases modified to make sure it still contained all the elements necessary for the story.
  • "Crescendo Attack" system created. These are the big ultimate attacks that are meant to change the pace of combat and deepen the strategy of the game.
  • Initial AI design created. Currently each unit has the same priority system, but moving forward we'll be starting to differentiate how the AI plays each class, so they take advantage of their core abilities.
  • Initial Tutorial created. This is a rough pass through the tutorial elements that happen during the first two missions. The goal is to keep tutorialization as light as possible, while the player gets into the game. We expect to learn a lot from our early alpha testers to help us.
  • Significant work on core game flow. This covers critical things such as the order in which abilities are resolved as well as the order in which UI and animations are played and displayed.
  • Added many base animations to the game. These include locomotion (movement between nodes), scaling/climbing, dropping to lower tiles, Disciple Bo-Staff attack (used for all physical attacks currently), Archer basic draw and release (used for all projectile attacks currently), reactionary animations for buffs & debuffs (basic stagger).
  • Basic progression is in the latest build. Players can now save, load, and create new games.

User Interface

In May, our Dev Blog talked about the UI design. That work has continued in June, and we have our first efforts to show stats and game elements. Next month we'll be working on creating and integrating as many screens as possible to get the core game flow in.

Any Tactics game is filled with stats and abilities. It's the heart of the game. But in Unsung Story, we have the added complexity of equipping two different classes at once - which doubles the amount of important information we need to show. Our job is to surface all this information as cleanly as possible, so players can understand the impact of changes they make. 

Initial Skills and Abilities UI work
Initial Skills and Abilities UI work

Much of the work above is placeholder. We haven't yet created the style guide with icons, fonts, colors, and window frames. But this was a big step forward in defining what we need to do.

Visual Target Level

Lastly, let's take a look at what some of this looks like together. 

Sometimes early in development, the team will create a single level to try and capture the feel of what we're building. We call this a "Visual Target". As is often the case, this level will never be used in the game. It's purely made up and has no part in the actual story. Many of the art elements in the scene are still placeholders, and not representative of final level art.

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We're playing with a lot of things in this scene, however we still don't have all the classes modeled out yet, so we've inserted our Disciple for all the units. You'll notice he is human with a regular skin tone. Each class can be any of our three races with a number of skin and other variations.

The triangle grid is really coming along. The guys have done a great job visualizing this system in a way that feels seamless and less intrusive.

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We're using the grid render system as a way to surface lots of useful information like distance ranges and attack areas. Here we some of our Elementalist and Physician skills visualized.

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And finally a little bit of fun with our Cavalier and his Transfer skill.

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As always, we appreciate your continued patience and support.

Sincerely, Matthew Scott

James Wherley, James Wragg, and 104 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Ryan Eddy
      Superbacker
      on

      Honestly, I am floored. You guys took a COMPLETELY bungled project, and you're turning it into something I am actually looking forward to playing! Thank you so much!

    2. Will Parr on

      Love how far the game has come in only a year. You guys are doing great work. I hope this is a successful venture for you after all this effort. Also I don't see how any of the art in this post is "sexualized" as another commenter complained. The art style isn't the dreamy/stetchy looking watercolor style I was wishing for (think the cutscenes from the War of the Lions remake), but I still like it.

    3. Steven M Hernandez on

      I'm just excited to play. Thanks for taking over and doing your best!

    4. Andrew on

      Looking pretty good. Hoping you will speed up those movement animations and simplify the attack animations.

    5. Missing avatar

      Jasmine on

      Not too thrilled with the LoL/WoW art style, but the game is being made so I can live with it. The backgrounds look pretty great though even if they contrast with the brighter coloring of the sprites.

      Looking good guys, keep up the awesome job!

    6. Hechizero on

      The concept art for female units is still showing over-sexualized female characters. Please reconsider changing it; we shouldn't have to ask for this.

    7. Missing avatar

      Chris S
      Superbacker
      on

      Looking good everyone, keep up the good work :)

    8. Missing avatar

      Andrew Williams on

      I was never as excited about this game as many, which is why I just wrote it off. I usually just skim the updates. I just wanted to comment that regardless of how the game ends up, Little Orbit has at least run this kickstarter since taking over with a laudable amount of honesty and patience.

      I am not in love with the character designs. I don’t dislike them either. What I do like the look of is everything else coming together. I want to play this game now and that says something about how the crew has turned this around.

    9. Missing avatar

      Fearless Freya on

      thoroughly impressed with this update. Love the continuous updates we have received. This went from a game with dashed hopes under Playdek to really excited and looking forward to it again under yall.

      You have consistently updated us, and I love the direction (and explanations) of the processes of the game. This is looking to be an awesome game, and one I'm glad I backed. I know it's still a ways off, just ask that yall keep fine tuning and no need to rush. Keep up the great work !

    10. Missing avatar

      David Tronche on

      love everything so far with, still, the exeption of the female character proportion. Hope you will fix this in time.

    11. Missing avatar

      danny betkowski on

      Expect things to be a little rough still, and for that reason this all looks good! The only negative comment I have is the first video with unit movement, how he stops at every grid point (and stops on another character). I hope the movement in the final product is more fluid as he goes from point to point.

    12. Missing avatar

      D Beto on

      Just sending out the positive support of a long term backer who is grateful that anything still fun will come of this :) Thanks for the consistent updates and excited to find out more - like if we have a range of potential release dates and for which platforms! :D

    13. Ralph Chilton
      Superbacker
      on

      Pat on the back for the entire team. I still can't believe it's actually happening :) Thanks for the update

    14. Flávio Gomes on

      It looks AMAZING! Great artwork, the grid is working. Keep it up!

    15. Roderic Rinehart on

      It actually looks like a real game. I'm impressed.

    16. Rob Crowther
      Superbacker
      on

      @Ii Lii

      > What's the brightest-colored fabric you could afford to make, and who would wear it?

      As it turns out: quite bright and almost everybody: http://www.jennydean.co.uk/dyes-of-the-celts/

      "The Romans commented on the brightness of the clothing of the native Britons and the results of my experiments indicate that, even without alum as a mordant, it was certainly possible to produce bright colours in the Iron Age."

    17. Missing avatar

      Donald Haithcock on

      So many people don't seem to GET the fact that the character designs simply can not and will not resemble Akihiko Yoshida's work on FFT for LEGAL REASONS much less originality reasons. Get it through your thick skulls, people, it is what it is. Settle back, relax, take your anti-depressants and enjoy the ride. :) Personally I rather like the offered character designs, though I wish there were a bit more diversity in form. Not every guy is built like a wall, or gal a brick * house. :p But I'm thrilled that all of this work is being done on a project that PlayDek had shanked so terribly badly ... it's awesome that it's alive and thriving! I can't wait for it to be in my hot little hands!

    18. Missing avatar

      Ii Lii on

      Regardless of what you could do with the actual designs, there's a certain classiness that sticks in my mind about Final Fantasy Tactics class designs. Sparse and earth-toned. The kind of classiness your logo still implies. Imagine yourself in a less technically advanced society. What's the brightest-colored fabric you could afford to make, and who would wear it?

      This candy wrapper aesthetic spits in the face of all that.

    19. James Robinson on

      Good lord, this looks amazing! Well done guys!

      (I still can't believe this project is still moving. Kotaku! Please report this!)

    20. Chris J Capel on

      I'm liking everything I'm seeing and hearing. You have restored my faith in this game to the point where I'm actively looking forward to it now. Well done and keep it up.

    21. Francis on

      Really cool stuff! I see you have a very ambitious animator, these kinds of animations would look cool in a 3rd person or a fighting game - but for this project you´re setting yourself up for a lot of trouble when doing animations that;
      1) go outside their "square", as you need to do checks for if there is obstacles in that direction and then play a unique animation that doesn't move outside the "square"
      2) jump up so high that they might clip into overarching art
      3) jumps around so much, as it makes it hard to read what actually is happening, of course sound and vfx will fix some of the issue, but it's safer, easier, faster to make and more readable to do just One anticipation for One action - instead of having 7-8 beats to it.

      I see a lot of detail in the animations already but don't forget to have a camera in the gameview, very zoomed out and from above, so you see the overall shape of the animation before putting work on details, that also might not be seen from that angle.

      Keep up the good work, it's looking great!

    22. Michaeljack on

      Shaping up nicely! Guys you have restored my faith in this game several times over :)

    23. Chris Conley on

      I assume the walking animation/programming is still early. Obviously moving halfway in a straight line and coming to a complete stop, turning on a dime, and moving the other half off at an angle is less ideal than moving smoothly along a spline path.

    24. Zachary Reese on

      People wanting the Final Fantasy Tactics look must've not seen the update where they're legally not allowed to make the characters look at all similar to Akihiko Yoshida's art style. Thus, we have this, and depending on where they go with it, it could be very interesting!

    25. Adrian Tai on

      same sentiments shared by others here... firstly, thanks for the update. and as always, we're grateful that you guys picked this up and making real progress with it. as for animation, i'd love for it to me more "cartoonish", but well, i think it's a small matter.

    26. Missing avatar

      J.Terry on

      Love it. Thanks for the hard work.

    27. Missing avatar

      Jordan on

      Looking like it's coming along nicely. I do have to admit though, I don't like the character art styles. They look too much like a free to play MOBA game. Character designs similar to the original Final Fantasy Tactics is probably what we all envisioned when we signed up to back this. Less fantastical, 100x better. Just my opinion though. I assume it's too late to change anything now, but a bit of backer feedback/involvement in this wouldn't have gone amiss.

    28. Shane (CoffeeGnerd)
      Superbacker
      on

      Counter-request—DON’T ditch these character art styles. I love them.

    29. Griffinman01 on

      Looks amazing! Once again, Kudos for taking this project from something I regretted backing to something I'm optimistic about. Keep it up!

    30. Charles Brandon Adkins on

      WoW! better than i had ever hoped!
      GREAT work... love the direction this game has taken!

    31. Missing avatar

      Andrew Small on

      Is there any chance you can ditch these absurdly hyper-stylized character designs in favor of something safer, blander and less offensive to the eyes? Forgive me for being pedantic but they're severely dampening whatever enthusiasm I have about the rest of your admittedly excellent work.

    32. Tyler Chase on

      This game looks more and more promising with each update. I really appreciate your passion for this project. I'm also finding the art style to be very appealing. Keep up the good work, I'm glad I get to look forward to this game once again.

    33. Silentshot on

      To be honest mate, you have astounded me time after time. Like all of us when we started to see this go belly up and you guys grabbed it by the horns and had to wrestle it in to a direction and walk a narrow mine field with the company, Kickstarters and no real product. We were all. Worried and you have gone above and beyond keeping us filled in and trying to create a game in the spirit that it was meant to be. Thanks for the updates and keeping the game alive.

    34. Ken Wong on

      I thought this project was a lost cause but now I'm always excited for the beginning of each month to see your updates. Keep up with the awesome work.

    35. TouchGameplay
      Superbacker
      on

      Looking forward to see how this will work out since not many were sure if this will even work out at all when you Guys took it over from those pricks over at Playdek.

    36. Missing avatar

      Siegfried Tigno on

      I might be getting flack for this, but I can't help but feel that the character designs give too much of a "Blizzard" vibe, given the bulk Warhammer-esq stock of the characters and their highly saturated color schemes.

    37. Kenneth Johnson on

      Loving that your team took over and are actually delivering on the Kickstarter :) Looking great so far.

    38. Alex Polson on

      This is looking great! Keep up the great work team!

    39. Christian Rose on

      This looks really cool, i have warmed up to unique style.