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Here's a curious one: Unsung Story, a tactical RPG that was funded on Kickstarter with over $600K now has a new developer and they're starting again with it.

Playdek has officially given up all the rights to the project, which is now entirely handled by developer and publisher Little Orbit:

Effective immediately publisher/developer Little Orbit has taken over all the rights and assets to Unsung Story from Playdek, and is now the project creator. They believe strongly the game can be an amazing Tactics RPG, and they are excited to carry on and bring Matsuno’s story to life. They will be bringing you project news from this point on to update everyone on their plans for the game.

For those who have no idea what it is: it was meant to be a "spiritual successor" to the line of tactical RPGs designed by Yasumi Matsuno, who helped to create games like Final Fantasy Tactics (amongst a few other popular titles). The problems Little Orbit seem to be facing are many, including an incomplete storyline and design, which certainly won't help. They have also been unable to access Paypal or Humble data for it giving them more barriers to overcome.

It's probably going to take a long time to actually come out, since Little Orbit posted an update right after that, stating that they are starting over "from scratch.". With the game already being years overdue, I imagine that was a bit of a sting to read for backers.

When the new owner was asked about Linux support, given that it was promised on the Kickstarter, they said this:

My apologies. I wasn't avoiding your question, but I don't have a concrete answer other than to say we want to deliver all of the rewards including the Mac and Linux ports. However I cannot guarantee they will be day-one. We value the entire Unsung Story community, and we will do our best.

It's good to know they still have it in mind, for any Linux gamers who actually backed it. This is another reason why I personally don't pledge to many crowdfunding schemes, as there's always a large risk to them.

What a mess this one became.

Thanks for the tip, Kels!

5 Likes, Who?
TheSHEEEP 7 September 2017 at 2:02 pm UTC
With such a troubled development, the game will be great!

Right?

Because all games with a troubled development turn out to be all the better for it...
Mountain Man 7 September 2017 at 2:02 pm UTC
Ah, yes, another Kickstarter success. At least it was a success for the original developer who seems to have taken the money and run.
razing32 7 September 2017 at 2:26 pm UTC
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I feel sorry for Little Orbit.
They are either really brave or just plain suicidal
wintermute 7 September 2017 at 2:42 pm UTC
QuoteI imagine that was a bit of a sting to read for backers

Actually this backer is quite pleased to hear there's any chance of releasing this game at all, I'd long ago given up on it. I'm certainly not surprised they can't use any of Playdek's code, I'm more surprised to learn Playdek had written any code at all.
Doc Angelo 7 September 2017 at 3:07 pm UTC
Wow... is this for real? Playdek collected the money and did not even develop an alpha or something? It would be only fair to give the Kickstarter money to the new developer. But as I understand, the money is already "spent". But on what exactly?

How is it legally? If the Kickstart project literally doesn't do anything, can he be sued? Or is every developer completely free to do as they like with any amount of money?
Purple Library Guy 7 September 2017 at 5:16 pm UTC
Doc AngeloWow... is this for real? Playdek collected the money and did not even develop an alpha or something? It would be only fair to give the Kickstarter money to the new developer. But as I understand, the money is already "spent". But on what exactly?

How is it legally? If the Kickstart project literally doesn't do anything, can he be sued? Or is every developer completely free to do as they like with any amount of money?
I suppose nobody will fund their next kickstarter, but if I had 600 grand for nothing I think I'd be able to console myself about that.
Mountain Man 7 September 2017 at 5:38 pm UTC
Doc AngeloWow... is this for real? Playdek collected the money and did not even develop an alpha or something? It would be only fair to give the Kickstarter money to the new developer. But as I understand, the money is already "spent". But on what exactly?
Based on the comments from backers, it sounds like they may have used the money to fund other games they already had in development with the idea that they would use the profit from those games to fun Unsung Story. I, of course, have no way to confirm these accusations.

Doc AngeloHow is it legally? If the Kickstart project literally doesn't do anything, can he be sued? Or is every developer completely free to do as they like with any amount of money?
Kickstarter supposedly has a mechanism in place for holding people accountable, but the reality is, there seems to be nothing stopping people from doing whatever they want with the money. All that's needed is a "good faith effort" for them to fulfill their obligation, a term that's apparently open to interpretation.


Last edited by Mountain Man at 7 September 2017 at 5:38 pm UTC
razing32 7 September 2017 at 6:17 pm UTC
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I just remembered I saw a youtube video on the whole debacle :
Salvatos 8 September 2017 at 12:39 am UTC
TheSHEEEPWith such a troubled development, the game will be great!

Right?

Because all games with a troubled development turn out to be all the better for it...
You never know I suppose, Slain turned out nicely after the original developer released a mess and another developer took over and re-released it a few months later. I don't know either of the companies involved here, but if they're starting from scratch, the quality of the game will depend on the new developer's talent and whatever happened up to this point doesn't seem like it will matter much.
Kels 8 September 2017 at 5:02 pm UTC
I must say that Little Orbit has gained a lot of points from the existing backers by actually providing updates and having a professional attitude toward the whole mess, both of which were lacking from Playdek. They've had a good start in terms of transparency at least.

The fact that they're apparently tossing out a lot of the terrible ideas the original devs wasted considerable time and money on, like a multiplayer arena that nobody actually asked for.
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