Thank you for all the feedback in Update #132 "Release... the Kraken!". Many of the comments were very helpful in gathering valuable opinions on how we should start the story, which I believe is a very important point. It's important to talk and take opinions from all the backers as our gut feeling about what your opinion may be and what it actually may well be entirely different.
I have had the time to talk to Yoko about the comments posted from our last update and you all have given confidence in our decisions. Thanks again!
Here's a photo of Asami working on Rie's avatar concept sketch inside the game. We are currently working on what the best backer character design pipeline is for backers above the Civilian level. Hopefully by the end of the month, we should have completed our test trials and be able to start working on the character creation process with those selected backers.
Next update should also shed more light on the game music creation process, and finger's crossed, we may have a new track from Tomoki soon.
Apologies for the short update, but back to work we go. As always, thanks for reading!
Hiroaki Yura Director / Producer of Project Phoenix
I'd like to first share with you some of our progress and updates about what we're doing, then ideas and dilemmas we have of our First Act.
News and Updates
Meeting table A friend of mine has helped us make a great meeting table for us. From now on, this table will serve us well to hopefully make great decisions and meetings on how to make Project Phoenix better and speed its way to completion. We chose a rounded table in traditional Japanese thinking of having a well rounded relationship with everyone.
Asami moves in to the CIA studio One of our main illustrator, Asami Hagiwara has moved into our office from September for better communication and teamwork. She will be sitting in front of our Project Manager, Rie Tanaka, so she will be less inclined to sleep and dream of cats. We're planning to start designing more in-game characters. We will be contacting backers who have paid for character designs soon to start work on them and bring them to life in-game.
Schedule Our studio's schedule for this month.
Finish off unannounced mobile game for a publisher due end of this month
QA / bug test a game for another publisher
Prepare for a concert in Tokyo for "I am Setsuna" on the 4th of October
Help several projects with Audio pre-production phase
In terms of Project Phoenix, we would like to achieve the following:
Create and establish a pipeline for designing backer characters
Decide on the scenario for Acts One and Two
Start work on audio designs / musical cue list
Creative input wanted!
We would now like to share with you a portion of the story from Project Phoenix. We'd like to have feedback since although we feel what we decided on is the right thing, it may necessary not be something everyone would agree with. It's important to have a consensus of some sort to keep our "sense" about.
If you do not want spoilers, please do not read below. Some information from the excerpt below shed light on background that may be hard to find in the game itself or even not be mentioned at all.
The First Act concentrates on "The Kingdoms of the Far Realms", an area dominated and controlled by three human kingdoms, Izaria, Gilrock and Chrondoria. The story starts with the unceremonious fall of Ruffles and the subsequent conflict between our main protagonists on how her fate should be decided.
The protagonists make their way to Cordo, currently we are toying around with the idea that Cordo is assaulted by the Kraken during their visit. The Kraken is drawn by Ruffles and her coming into contact with a certain artefact.
The Kraken in Project Phoenix, is a little different in comparison to other Krakens from popular literature. The origin of the Kraken used to be that of an island city, wealthy to the point that it's citizen has started practice luxury in excess, with disrespect to all kinds of life, and infidelity its norm. When the people reached the lowest point in their depravity, the Angels rained death from the skies and burned the city to the ground. With the combined anguished screams of thousands of souls, the Old Ones awoke. Filled with vengeance towards the Angels that almost wiped out their existence, the Old Ones used their powers to turn the island city of the dead into a living monstrosity. Thus becoming the Kraken, it prowls the dangerous seas in bidding of the Old Ones.
The Kraken was originally going to be introduced in Act Three at Fisherman's Bay. However, we felt the need to drive the story and give the players a sense of urgency to find their quest and complete their journey.
The objective of the first act is for the player to gain a good grasp of the world in Project Phoenix, an introduction to the state of Azuregard. However the purpose and drive to the story would weaken due to the fact that wandering through the far realms just to get to Airaurdrenn (Elven City) isn't exciting enough. So Yoko and my idea was to smash up the first city you arrive (after, of course, being able to play tourist) and bring drive and urgency to the journey by sending the Kraken and its minions into Cordo. Smashing up a city, of course, would cost a lot of funds to achieve, but the dev team in general think it's worth it.
What do you think of introducing the Kraken early on? We understand we are only giving a partial glimpse at the story, but we would like your feedback based on the knowledge of this update. Do you like your RPGs to start with a bang or start slowly?
Please let us know! Your feedback will be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for reading our update, and see you all in two weeks time.
Hiroaki Yura Director / Producer of Project Phoenix
We hope you've all been well.
It's been a little over a month since Daniel started working at CIA, and happy to report that he has made many new friends and working happily in our little studio.
Here's a message from Daniel explaining his current work in his own words.
For the next year my task is to build out our systems and workflow. We have core combat thanks to Pascal's efforts but as we all know there is much to a JRPG outside the combat system. For us this means systems such as conversations, quests, saving, overworld, items, and trading. Along with the translation, updater, installer, menus, map editor, and any further fancy features we find ourselves adding. All these systems must in turn require minimal programmer intervention for the content creators.
For the foreseeable future I will be Project Phoenix's only programmer. This means building systems which do not require assistance to use. Sadly these same systems are not snazzy or beautiful. I can only ask your understand as we go forward over the next year. Often I will spend weeks or even months on behind the scenes code. Code vital to the game yet there will be few visible to show.
Best I can do is re-assure you this is how video game development works. The typical AAA hype machine tends to focus on Concept Art, then jump right into the game play. Sadly this gives a false impression of the volume of work each component of a game requires. Code takes time to even for teams of dozens of programmers.
So I can only say thank you for your understanding and patience going forward over the next year.
Today, we also have a special video of Daniel and Tomoki (composer), talking about development then a run through of our current state of the build with Daniel. Please note that the horrible video and sound editing was done by myself and with the limited time I have these days, I ask for your forgiveness in it's quality.
I hope you all enjoy the video, and any questions and comments will be welcome in the post below.
Director / Producer of Project Phoenix Hiroaki Yura