Following an extremely turbulent development cycle, the Kickstarter backed Unsung Story is set to leave pre-production later on this month. Developer Little Orbit announced on April 1st (and no, it was not an April Fools joke) that, save for art assets, everything has now been mapped out. This news was accompanied by a planned demonstration of the game in its current build over Twitch:
We are going to be planning a Twitch stream of the current build later this month. We will be sending out more details over Facebook, Twitter, and email to the folks who registered on LittleOrbit.com.
We also have our first developer blog going up in mid April. So look for that in the Unsung Story forums on LittleOrbit.com.
While the update stressed that it was still heavily in development, it outlined everything from basic class structures to stats. These include the likes of common RPG tropes such as Priests, Necromancers and Archers. The more unique ones among its arsenal include along with anti-magic Spellbreaker tanks, and Echo Knights which warp space and time. The stats Strength, Intelligence, Speed, Agility and Health are all self-explanatory. Yet these are also accompanied by Focus, a variation on MP limiting how many spells can be used at a time, Natural Strength and Natural Intelligence. The latter two will utilise a number of as of yet unknown factors to detail a character’s baseline physical and mental capabilities.
The announcement also used several screenshots to give a better impression of planned map sizes and layouts:
We have completed bubble maps for nearly all of the levels in all of the chapters. The designers have gone through each one and identified the location, story character requirements, and primary objectives. I’m starting to see “gray box” layouts for various maps which gives us an opportunity to get them up and running in the prototype as quickly as possible.
Gray box layouts are a bit more detailed than what you’re seeing in our prototype shots. These are much less blocky and have actual level geometry.
This version of Unsung Story is in its early stages, but it is still the most complete version seen to date.
Initially announced on Kickstarter back on September 18th, 2013, Unsung Story was conceived by Yasumi Matsuno of Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story fame. This was to be developed in partnership with an unknown company by the name of Playdek, and the Kickstarter itself promised to deliver the spiritual successor to those games. Despite earning $660,126 from a total of 15,824 backers, and a major publicity push in the form of a Kotaku article, the project repeatedly stalled after being funded. Weeks if not month would pass without any updates. Playdek would also repeatedly miss its own set deadlines without comment. Another Kotaku article by Jason Schreier, author of the previous article and project backer, outlined the development history in a follow-up piece. He described it thusly:
“It’s the culmination of nearly four years worth of shady behavior, broken promises, and wasted money.”
The development of Unsung Story was eventually taken over by its current developer, Little Orbit, on August 1st, 2017. Little Orbit paid a nominal amount to Playdek to take over the project and started over from scratch, going back to the original design documents from Yasumi Matsuno, with CEO Matthew Scott telling us last year they went so far as to get them retranslated from Japanese to ensure they are working as close to that as possible.