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Project Phoenix is a JRPG with a squad based RTS game design, brought to you by veteran developers and creators from the East and West.
Project Phoenix is a JRPG with a squad based RTS game design, brought to you by veteran developers and creators from the East and West.
15,802 backers pledged $1,014,600 to help bring this project to life.

No time to waste

Posted by CIA, Inc. (Creator)

Hello again, faithful backers.

It seems our slated programmer is proving to be behind schedule in joining us... He will potentially be off of his current project and able to join us by the end of the year...

I would like to reiterate at this time that we are dedicated to seeing this project through, despite delays.

I spoke with Hiro and we have decided we just cannot afford to wait any longer. Our guy may still join us but we need to make some progress now.

I am putting out a call to any Unreal programmers who may be able to help us out. We are, of course, offering compensation but involvement would be contingent upon showing previous work, portfolio, etc. and interviews. We have a few dev friends we are hoping can help source but we would be happy to consider any recommendations our backer community could point to. Comment here or send a message with any viable leads.

Additionally, I will be hitting up the Unreal forums and making a posting there soon:

We really need programmers with experience because we do not have time for someone to learn on the fly. We have waited too long already.

We know there are many of you who will support us in this decision and we need your continued encouragement to do our best and put out the game that we envisioned. We WILL get programmers on this project and we WILL complete this game.

Thank you.

chinaviola, Michael Jones, and 44 more people like this update.


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    1. Sohrab Rahmani on

      Shameless. You sent hundreds of emails of inane topics(a lot unrelated to the development of the game) then started churning out excuses now this.
      This is a dead project.
      I am always one to say Keep fighting but this is out of hand.
      You know you're game will turn out nothing like was promised.
      I don't expect to receive my money back
      I just hope people managing this project realize what a black mark on their records this will be.

    2. Daniel Lucchesi on

      Where is that Unity forum thread you were supposed to publish?

    3. Otoshigami No. 40723

      yep and it's like we are backing an INCOMPLETE team creating a incomplete game with no programmer from the beginning. that is the biggest mistake before launching their project phoenix KS game. we are looking for a COMPLETE team who are fully Committed to the game, not to get sidetracked by one programmer who is working on other games that may join or not. I don't mind Delays as it happens all the time as long as the team are committing to the game but a team with one missing core member to work on a main game, that's not a Delay, it's a COMPLETELY waste of time for both developers and Backers. that is a facepalm for me.

    4. Darmin Hadzic on

      I'm just glad you are keeping us informed. Take your time, but don't drop off the radar, and don't do anything like starting a new project prematurely, because that will ruffle a few too many feathers.

    5. Glen Proko on

      If you want pain, look at the backers of Japan Needs Heroes and Japan Needs Heroes 2. Project has gone on for 4.5 years and four months ago we were told that the books are printed and sitting in a warehouse waiting delivery. They're still there because the parent company, Red Giant Entertainment, behind it all just hasn't bothered to ship them (or can't afford to).

      Compared to that Kickstarter project, this is a breeze. If it's going to take until 2017 for this to be finished, so be it as long as the updates keep coming regularly and genuine progress is being proven to be made.

      And I'm in this one at the Treasure Hunter level; I don't want to lose my $120 either.

    6. Jito463 - WoOS, LofUT on

      No time to waste...
      No time to waste...
      No time to waste...
      What a kick in the teeth to your backers. That's all you've seemingly done with this project, is waste time. Yes, I read that you've made progress in other departments, but that's ultimately futile without a programmer. It's like building an entire car, but saying we just need an engineer to design and build the engine. Sure, what you have may look pretty, but it's worthless without that one critical component.

      I'm not one to call out asking for a refund, given the nature of Kickstarter. Besides, I got in at the $20 Pioneer level, so I'm hardly out much anyway, but I doubt I'll ever see this project come to fruition. If it does, great, and I'll gladly eat my words. I'm not going to waste my time waiting for it, though.

      Good luck, and I hope you pull it off.

    7. Ryan Bell on

      I bet that Unreal forum is comedic gold right about now ;)

      CIA you have got to get it together. At least you guys aren't as nuts to launch another KS when you haven't even delivered on your first game like how Comcept did with Red Ash.

      Oh wait... Under the Dog. I guess you guys did. Well here's hoping this thing comes out before 2020. *fingers crossed... expectations lowering*

      Hey KS gang what other videogame projects have you guys backed that crashed and burned and never delivered? I'm just curious.

    8. Jasae Bushae on

      As ive said before, Ive waited much longer for a game ive already purchased, so im not phased by the wait. Though I must agree that trying to make some progress right now is the best approach. Even as patient as I have been, I would be quite exasperated if a second programmer walked after all of that waiting.

    9. Michael St. George Matatics

      I sympathize with the backers desiring a refund, but I don't think it's fair for them to think backing a project is the same as buying the finished product. It's making an investment—if the stocks drop, or if the business venture fails, you don't simply get a refund, call it a day, and merrily go about your business. You lost the money already, get over it already and get over yourself.

      I admit though, this project is currently balanced upon the edge of a knife. It is not far from failing—but it hasn't crashed and burned yet. Once they get a reliable, experienced, cool-headed programmer to to start working consistently on the game, everything else will fall into place. I can wait it out a little while longer for that to come about—if for whatever reason that doesn't happen by spring of next year, then I may legitimately start getting a little worried and allow my hope to wane. In the mean time, I ask that everyone remain gracious and stay classy.

      Good luck, CIA! I'm rooting for you to pull through. (o^_^)b

    10. Philhouse

      Much delay...yet also much negativity. Keep at it peeps, hopefully you'll find the right programmer(s) soon.

    11. Vince Vazquez

      Good luck! I'm an art guy - Character Modeler and Animator, specifically - so I can't help. Wish I could, but I don't even attempt stuff except to mess around in Unity since it's so much more intuitive than Unreal (and everything else, tbh). But I know the Unreal people are out there; hope you find someone good!

    12. Jon David Soriano on

      No wise-ass comments from atop a high-horse here. As long as you don't give up, I'll be patiently waiting.

    13. Missing avatar

      Nicholas Brooker-Henk on

      Okay, that's it, I give up. Can I get a refund so I can back a real game by serious developers?

      Go back Indivisible guys, it's a project that actually deserves your money.

    14. Missing avatar

      Michael on

      You still don't even have a programmer to make the game, and now we're just going to throw open the doors and hope someone will come help?

      This is not how you develop games! Good lord.

    15. TINY METAL Programmer on

      Fellow Tokyo developers pointed me here and suggested I offer to talk. I am a Tokyo game programmer who happens to be making my own turn based strategy game for the past two years in Unreal4. You can see what I have here: contact me if you would be interested in hiring me and licensing the existing game engine. The game logic I wrote is pretty adaptive, should be able to ship in a few months if you have the assets.

    16. Missing avatar

      Jesse Wang on

      I work as a software developer and this is the textbook case of a project doomed to fail.

      Even if you were able to hire the most talented Unreal developers, the game will take at least until 2017 to launch. You can't throw money and people at a problem and expect everything to fix by itself.

      There needs to be QA testing, compatibility testing with different consoles, performance optimizations, the list goes on.

      Okay so I've done a lot of criticizing, but is there anything that can be done? YES!

      Lower the scope of the project

      1. Make the game episodic or divided into chapters so that you can quickly build something playable (pretty much every Telltale game)

      2. Focus on one platform at a time and launch other platforms later (Bastion launched first on XB360, then slowly made its' way to other platforms).

      3. In the most extreme case, gut features that were promised to backers on the initial release, then introduce them as free DLC.

      Finding "good" programmers

      1. Announcing a call to "any Unreal programmers out there" is the equivalent to showing your hand in a poker game. This wording reeks of desperation and you'll most likely receive a lot of offers from bad people. There will be some well-intentioned people but don't have the chops to work on a project like this. There's also going to be scammers who know you're desperate for help and will try to milk you of all that Kickstarter money before disappearing.

      2. You need a trusted programmer to help vouch for other programmers. I'm sure Yura-san is able to use his connections at Blizzard to help with this. This programmer doesn't have to be on the project, but plays an integral part in deciding who is a good choice. How are you supposed to know your hired programmer is any good without another programmer's advice?

      3. Show more confidence that the management knows what they're doing. The last thing a programmer wants to hear is "We have this project that we've been working on for over 2 years without a programmer, now it's up to you to get it all working ASAP because we have a lot of angry backers".

      Or... kill this project

      Stop disappointing backers with these updates.
      Compile all artwork and music and send it to the backers via book/PDF/digital download, etc.
      Sure we'll still be angry that we didn't get the game that was promised, but at least we have something.

    17. Missing avatar

      Richard Faccia on

      Even if work has started or even been completed for some aspects, this was originally a Kickstarter for a video game and development on that video game has, by their admission, not even started in the slightest. It is completely in the design stage right now, years later. Arguably the things they do have (models, a "cinematic", some of the OST) could have been in the Kickstarter campaign like other projects have had instead of updates 2 years later.

      They don't have a single programmer on staff. A considerable effort is required to even use the art assets they created in an actual game engine doing actual video game things (like attacking after issuing a command). These are not trivial tasks. You are putting an awful amount of faith and pressure on developers that you don't even have yet.

      I'm okay with delays but bleeding the money away over many years while the work on the video game has not started is a waste of the budget and the time of people involved.

      I would ask that you consider re-scoping this entire thing, yes even this late into it, because it has slipped out of your control. I, personally, don't want to wait for some gutted game to maybe release 3 years from now just to see the cinematic and listen to the music. Other projects have released what they can and reimbursed who they can and called it to reflect and retry another day.

    18. Jak

      It sounds like you got professionals in all the departments except for programming. Need to hire some better people in the industry. I hope you find someone with a lot of experience. You need to get more organized.

    19. Soress on

      Sadly I've joined the ranks in giving up on this project as well. If there are refunds I would like it as well, but honestly don't expect it as I imagine the money is long gone after two years of work.

      I do believe there was a lot of work done, I've looks at your clips/art and listened to the beautiful music made for this, but I just can't see this game being what it had hoped to once be.

      I'm sure you guys are far more frustrated than we are, as this was your dream and we wanted to support you in that dream. I wish you the best and I'm sure this was a rough learning experience.

    20. Missing avatar

      Keith McCoy on

      The news is discouraging, but I don't take it to mean the game will be abandoned. I take it to mean it's going to be pushed back even more. It's not the end of the world. This game isn't the be all end all of gaming. It's one of MANY games either currently available or in development to be excited about. If this one isn't ready sooner than later, you'll be able to keep yourself occupied with other things. No need to get nasty people.

    21. Eike Hanssen on

      You're kidding me ... right? It's not the delay (normal for ambitios projects) or anything else (risk of failure), the money is long gone and so is my hope ...

      ... it's the headline. So pretty please, with sugar on top, make fun of someone else and just end this project instead of rubbing it in our faces everytime it almost has been forgotten. Thank you very much.

    22. dragonDberry on

      Not all have lost hope yet :D, knowing that you guys are doing you'r best, working hard on it as best as you can... I worked my self on many projects and it just doesn't always go as planed.
      The money is not really that important, heck we payed 2 years ago, like it would change our lives so drastically if we would get it refunded or if we wouldn't have payed it, but knowing that we sticked with it till the end and in the end get the final product ... bwah pricelles.
      Great and excelent RPGs always take time I say ;)

    23. Sindalomeion on

      Well, I hope I'll be able to play that game one day.
      I hope I'll enjoy it.
      But to be honest, I lost faith in it: it looks more and more like a vaporware.
      In the end, we all take risks in backing a project. Most of the time it works.
      Sadly, sometimes it fails.

    24. Sam on

      as always I think this game will end up being worth the time and money that has gone into it, things haven't been very smooth but thats the risk when you are financing any venture. I still love the art style and what we have seen of the game so far and will be happy when I have the properly finished product in my hands regardless of how long it takes

    25. Eraciel Losareth on

      One of my philosophy teacher in high school said that " To show how ugly people can be, let's bring them to war". Well, Kickstarter isn't a kind of war, yet I'm kinda disgusted by some comments. There is a huge delay, yeah, like everybody else, I want this project to be on the road, running like the Flash. Am I disappointed ? A little, to know that there will be no programmer since at least the New Year. Am I being rude, or a hell of a freakin crybaby asking for "Refund" when Kickstarter specify that there is NO FUCKIN OBLIGATION OF REFUND ! You're kinda reminding me french socialism : "I want, so if I say I want, the other 62M people, who don't want, need to want !". A few want to be the voice of the many. Sad.

      @CIA Inc, Stuart

      Thanks for the update, I really hope these people who's crying won't affect your work or the team, because they seems not to have a life, of any others videogames/hobbies ( which is kinda of interesting when you see what's up now and up to the end of the year ).

      Take your time, I prefer a Final Fantasy XV-like development than an Assassin's Creed-like : Good but long to come, than mediocre and quick to arrive.

    26. CIA, Inc. Creator on

      Otoshigami No. 40723 >>

      Although it's hard to believe since we haven't shown it, we've had progress in other departments besides programming. I'm sure Stuart is picking a time to show these things before the end of the year.

      And sure, it's not like we haven't reached out all our friends already, but good programmers are hard to come by, and especially when they're great, they usually have a good project to work on. The programmer who is planning to work on Phoenix has had his previous game delayed, which is normal for any project but only by a month or two. I'm going to speak with him within the hour to try to get a very rough schedule now.

      Otherwise without going into detail... because it is supposed to be a surprise and Stuart has his own time to reveal these things, the following people/dept has been hard at work.

      Yoko Enoki: Working on further scenarios outside of the game for something special
      Unannounced Illustrator: Has been working on extra characters for a special in-game event for the game
      Unannounced Animator: Is about to finish an unannounced cinematic, to give insight to the world of Azuregard
      Music: Something is being finalised. I really can't go into details because that's like telling you what it is

      There are bits assets we've overlooked during development in March, and that's been tidied up so we've done all we can without a programmer for now. We're more than ready once he/she is on board and I'm sure we'll be able to show some kind of progress.

      Anyway, that's about all I can reveal for now, before I get my head bitten off by the PR dept., but although outwardly we need to tell you all the sour stories so we're not misleading backers in anyway, there are a lot of great things which has been on the boiler and getting ready to be revealed.

      Director / Producer of Project Phoenix
      Hiroaki Yura

    27. Manny M on

      Time flies... I only just realized this funded over TWO years ago. Amazing progress in two whole years guys. Keep it up...

    28. Manny M on

      Oh man... What a disaster this project is turning out to be. The desperate plea for help from the community who handed over $1 million on an empty promise is probably the most pathetic thing I've seen in a kickstarter campaign to date... And I've backed quite a few.

      Totally writing this one off. Annoyingly I only really backed this to show support for a friend who was on the original team and he's not even involved anymore. What a waste.

    29. Otoshigami No. 40723

      I get it when there is a delay(as long as the team are committing to the game constantly) and it's fine but when it comes with a delay where team cannot go forward without a programmer or other professions FOR A VERY LONG TIME WITH NO PROGRESS, that is where we are starting to lose faith in you because what is the point of making a game if one or more KEY MEMBERS left or not planning to making the game at all? what you guys did was a WASTE of time for us backers who want to see you guys making progress, not some BAD NEWS STORY(which was updated about twice or 3rd time?) about one programmer who ain't joining your cause. if this keeps up, then this project will become a disaster and a joke and it wont be pretty for bad press. if you guys Really need a programmer, Find someone from BLIZZARD who has plenty employees or ex-employees since they know how to make RTS warcraft. it shouldn't be that hard will it? I know Hiro wont give up on this but there is a limit on how one man can take with all this mantle of responsibility. I don't think I can defend Hiro this time since you guys are between a rock and a hard place.

    30. Tony on

      Refund please.

    31. Rodrigo Varela on

      "Don't worry fellas, we're getting this game released around 2052."
      I highly doubt you can get AAA talent in the Unreal forum. Oh man, oh man, what a blunder.

      Just kill me in my sleep.

    32. Henry B on

      Everyone here should go and back indivisible, they had a demo even before starting the indiegogo campaign and need the money...

      Honestly, you should give the money of this kickstarter to them...

    33. Revilleza Lucky on

      Thank you for keeping us in the loop with your update. Honestly, please take your time. We who believe in this project knows how long it can take to create a great title. I'd rather have a polished magnum opus than a rushed mess.

    34. Oh Zhi Wei

      Just hang in there and get it done(and done really well) that'll show em.

    35. Gareth Hughes on

      Yeah this is pretty ridiculous at this point. Being late is fine. I doubt most people really expect game kickstarters to be delivered on time. But you guys haven't even started yet.

      Wish I hadn't got hyped about this and given $120.

    36. Khairuddin Haji Mohamed on

      Its ok I've got tons of other games to keep me busy (seriously I for one am not in a rush for this personally I would give you all the time in the world as long as you make a quality product - I think gamers are just becoming so impatient and unforgiving these days, especially kickstarter gamers).

      Don't give up! :)

    37. Brash Smith on

      yeah I'm still in the should allow refunds already camp.

    38. Missing avatar

      Jim on

      Each post gets more and more pitiful for a project that raised over one million dollars. Cripes, next thing you'll tell us that you are starting another Kickstarter to raise money to get a decent programmer...

      Will the cries for refunds still go unanswered?

    39. Missing avatar

      Casper Rouwendal on

      How can you say he is over simplifying this?
      AAA talent is simply not hanging around on community forums. They tend to be busy putting their talent to work.
      I totally understand that up until now you weren't pushing people, as you remind us of constantly, however if you're pushing the wrong type of people into gear then how can you hope the progress that you make to be any good?

      I too, agree with Theo and others who commented, that if you can't land a professional who has worked in the business than it seems like a pointless endeavor and I too would then prefer a refund.

    40. CIA, Inc. Creator on

      We will do our best to get good talent.

    41. CIA, Inc. Creator on

      @Eugene Yunak
      I agree good programming skill is a must and more important than direct Unreal experience but direct experience would better illustrate this. We do need someone reliable and ready to take the job now.
      @Richard Faccia
      I cannot speculate on the timeline at this point as there are too many factors, but I am here to poke people into getting things moving. It has been too long already and we need to see some progress.
      @Daniel Lucchesi
      Game development is difficult and a lot of that difficulty comes in the form of collaboration wherein there are many variables and people to rely on. If people cannot remain predictable then there are delays. We will work past them. I think the unprofessional thing to do would be for all of the team to give up and can the project. We set goals and we will see them through.
      @Samidare Miyuki
      I cannot say why we waited so long in the first place as I was not helping at that point. There should have been strict deadlines in place and contingency plans to move forward. We are doing that now, however.
      @Colonel Skills
      It will be a monthly payment. Exact compensation is undecided. We need someone willing and able to assist and we will go from there. Our current slated programmer will join when his current project is complete, pending we do not utterly replace him by that time.
      @Theo Berlin
      I think you are over simplifying.
      @Jeffrey Chun-Wai Li
      I agree and am pushing people to see some progress now.

    42. Geomancer on

      Humm, not sure how I feel about this.

      If you find someone who is a real developer with several years under the belt, that could be okay.

      But if it's just someone who's self taught, never worked for a professional studio... So much of any job is learning from an experienced mentor. Self taught can give you the basics, but you don't want someone who has to use Google when they have a question rather than asking their peers in the office.

      I fear someone jumping on board, spending a few months on the project, getting completely overwhelmed, then burning out and disappearing leaving the project even further in the hole.

      Please get a real professional, who has worked in the industry.

    43. Missing avatar

      Jeffrey Chun-Wai Li on

      I'm glad you guys are looking to resolve this situation before it gets out of hand exactly like the first time around.
      But perhaps it would have been best to assume that not all of the core staff should have been working on this project based on availability in their "spare time"

      Looking forward to seeing some progress.

    44. Theo Berlin on

      Why would you make the game if people don't want it anymore?

      You promised AAA talent to make the game, yet now you're asking your community to make it for you.

      I'd like nothing more than a refund.

    45. Colonel Skills on

      So they "may" still join you, you're putting out a call for the community to help you out...and you're offering nebulous compensation for it. This sounds incredibly desperate. It also sounds like this guy won't be joining you after all.

      I hope you're not planning on just paying royalties again. That worked out so well last time.

    46. Samidare Miyuki on

      So first you waited how long for that first guy? Then he quit on you. Then how long did it took for you to realize that this next guy doesn't have time?

      Why didn't you hire someone who had time on their hand, who wanted a job, who is committed in the very first place? Why didn't you hire someone right away when the first guy left, instead of waiting months for this guy to tell you that he is still busy?

    47. Daniel Lucchesi on

      This is sounding less and less professional.

    48. Missing avatar

      Richard Faccia on

      So even if things go flawlessly from this point on, the timeline is what, 2 years? A "AAA" game is not programmed in a year, especially not by one person. Those design requirements and specifications better be immaculate.

      I appreciate the updates, but it's hard to have any semblance of faith when from my point of view the work has barely even started a year after the deadline.

    49. Eugene Yunak on

      you *really* don't know what you're talking about do you? what you need is someone *reliable*. you need someone capable of moving fast & learning on the job; you need someone trusting your leadership and excited about the project. you *really* shouldn't care whether they have any UE experience what-so-ever. good programming ability is mandatory though, great understanding of 3d graphics would help but i'd argue even that is not 100% required if you can get someone truly awesome. that's what any decent engineering manager will tell you to do.