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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.

Video update on the current build with Daniel Dressler and Tomoki Miyoshi

Posted by CIA, Inc. (Creator)

Dear backers,

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

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    1. Romdeau on

      Hello? Is anybody there? It's been over 4 months since you guys last said anything.

    2. Missing avatar

      Tri Luu on

      I hope this game will not be a "Better than nothing" case.

    3. Musouka on

      Seems that you guys have abandoned us once again, but please give us something. For the backers with the digital rewards, you can at least send some of the art and also the OST (that's finished, right?) while the wait continues.

    4. Missing avatar

      Warwick Urquhart on

      Does Gontaro still work on this? And do you know if he posts his own art anywhere online?
      I really like his art.

    5. Missing avatar

      Zaein on

      I backed this project back in 2013 with the hopes that it would stand out to Japanese AAA publishing houses in opposition to the stagnation and conservative business tactics they so commonly impose on their developers--that it might begin to help show that taking some financial risks could prove financially beneficial.

      Instead, this project, in spite of achieving ten times its original goal (which I understand is still a very tight budget in truth) has not only failed to stand out, it is stagnating, at least in development if not conceptually. And to hear now that the game systems will likely end up particularly bareboned on top of the rest? It's disheartening to say the least.

      I want to clarify that I'm not asking for a refund. I invested my money in something I believed in at the time, and even in spite of the countless setbacks of the past two and a half years, I wouldn't simply walk out now, even if I could.

      I just wanted the Project Phoenix staff to see some of the disappointment that's surrounding the project for what it is. I hope you do a great job. I hope you exceed your own expectations for the project. I hope you succeed, and that the project serves as a launching board for your staff to continue succeeding, whether with CIA or elsewhere. I'm afraid my own hopes for the project, however, are severely dimmed every time I read a new update these past several months.

      Good luck.

    6. Glen Proko on

      Excellent. Thank you for the update.

    7. Josh Piercy on

      I'm extremely happy to see that you are making progress! Keep up the good work, and thank you for your dedication. I feel that most developers would have given up by now, but you stuck through it and it is paying off. Thank you.

    8. Revilleza Lucky on

      Glad to see that this project is still alive and kicking!

    9. Cristian Espinoza on

      Thanks for the update. I for one am happy to wait until what you have is something that you're happy to release. I can't wait to play it but will happily wait for this project to complete :)

    10. Izzat Aziz on

      Last time I read your update I still breathing. Still am now.. but you get my point.

    11. Missing avatar

      Neo on

      Man! This is awesome! I like this video! :D

    12. Zwarteziel on

      Thank you for this update! I was surprised to see that some parts of the environment are interactive, like the bridge. Don't be discouraged by backers that don't understand game development and the difference between coding systems to test things and polishing everything up with finalised art.

      A question about the translation system, if I may: does it switch strings with localised content when you select another language or actually translate some stuff? I suspect the first, but as a former student of the Japanse language, I'm curious :)

    13. Falkon Swiftblade on

      I FREAKING LOVE the music so far guys! Super impressed :) Thank you for the update!

    14. Missing avatar


      Thanks for the update, guys! I really appreciate the video, it definitely gave me a better idea of where things are at, and I hope we can look forward to more like these in the coming months!

    15. Jarrah on

      Hey everyone, if you give me a million dollars, I'll hire a developer too.

    16. Jak

      Thanks for the update, keep up the good work!

    17. David Ryu on

      This was the very first project I've ever backed on Kickstarter, and I did it because I wanted Hiro to have all the freedoms to make a game that he always wanted, exactly the way he wanted. CIA is doing just that, though they had to take some detours. I am very happy as a backer to see that you guys are not losing your initial spirits and pushing through the adversaries. I appreciate this update, and wish you guys the best ongoing development efforts.

    18. Missing avatar

      Keith McCoy on

      Thanks for the video.

      @Hiro - just a FYI - update videos like this (for a Kickstarter) don't have to have big production values. If there was a video of someone working on programming or art - just an over-the-shoulder video of them walking us through a few things they have been working on...that IS sufficient enough if it means we'd get more frequent video updates.

    19. Sean Hull on

      Because they made a crapload of money, the moved into a fancy new place thinking they hit it big. They bought all kinds of new equipment and things and then they sat on their hands for a year wasting money on overhead while nothing got done. Now they realize they can only afford one dev for the next two years.... I mean, would you rather them go back to working from their garages and bring on another person or two? Can't have that!

    20. Missing avatar

      Terence Foo on

      Now this is an example of an excellent update. Very informative and feels like actual progress is being made. I don't need constant or super frequent updates, just reminders every now and then that rebuilds my confidence in this project. Good luck!

    21. Missing avatar

      xbluelinex on

      This video and update is a strong move in the right direction. I get that some people will be disappointed and will probably never view this project favorably, but I'm glad that this project is moving forward with, at least from what I can tell, a couple of people who seem genuinely excited about working on it.

      I would echo that videos like this do instill confidence that the project is being managed well now. I know they take a lot of time away from development and real work, but I think such is the price to pay for using Kickstarter and not having a publisher. Instead of time in meetings with your publisher, you can produce a video for your backers. Perhaps that is a way to treat all of your backers. Present to all of us what you would traditionally show to your publisher.

    22. Missing avatar

      Ritchie Tiongson on

      At least we're seeing some progress. Guess this will make for a nice filler game when it comes out in 2018.

    23. Hayden Yi

      Thanks for the update guys! I know it's been quite delayed and you guys might feel like you need to prove things to us. But please take your time! Sure there are lots of people disappointed, but there will be even bigger disappointment if the game is rushed. Look, I don't care if it comes out in 3 years time or longer, I just want to play an amazing game that showcases your talents

      Loving the gameplay and your honesty. I won't regret my decision in backing you so don't regret releasing a rushed game! Put in all the features promised and more and show everyone you weren't bluffing :)

    24. Balmung on

      Thx for the Update, I like the video. Some peoples should learn how game development works and that graphics are on this state of the game have near the lowest priority. But I self play a bit around with UE4 and know to good, that many hobby devs mean they must start with AAA graphic of her "game", 99% from that projects are stopped in the first weeks/months and have no gameplay at all. ;)

      And I better didn't start with the people that want to make a GTA5 clone, but better, in some months and of course with zero knowledge about game development. It is really sad how less knowledge the most players have how complex and how time intensive game development is. They think it is super easy... Even when it is a simple Mod for a game... the wish: "I need next week such a Mod..." the truth: months of work to make this Mod.

    25. Kenny Nierwienski on

      Why are more developers not being hired? This project made 10x it's goal, over one million dollars. There is no excuse to have only one developer. Was all the money blown already or something?

    26. Eraciel Losareth on

      @CIA Inc, Hiroaki Yura

      Hi ! I hope your health is getting better :)

      Thanks for this update, I really enjoyed the video. For what I've seen in the video, first, ok, it's not HD quality, but it's far from being ugly as hell, like some people here tend to say it... For this kind of game, I find it pretty good, for a non final version ( I'll take Project Setsuna, refering to Tomoki, as he worked on it , or Bravely Default/Second, and the graphic differences are not really disturbing to me ). Level design is not excellent ( I'm refering to trees smallers than the hero, or stone road starting out of nowhere while there is a road a few meters away ), but, again like you said, it's not representative of the real project so ^^ not afraid :D

      All I can say is that I'm happy to see videos like this, one like this every month or two would be really appreciated, we can see, this way, how the game system is progressing , thanks to the magic of Daniel :] !

      Like @Maxime said, you're all doing a good job, I can't wait to have PP in my computer and complete it ^^ continue like that, don't listen to these freakin' haters, and ... that's all !

    27. Maxime on

      Cool update, I really like it!
      I don't have a question, it's more of a request: make more of them, and more frequently ;)
      Continue the good job, and don't fear the aggressive haters!

    28. Michael Matzat on

      Ha, i actualy just saw that the bridge idea even was in one of the inicial promotion videos. I like that you stick by what you said early on, that makes it seem more focused all of the suddon even with the long time that has past.

    29. Michael Matzat on

      Well, September 2013 till March 2016. I think criticism is ok. I remember one of the past updates that made it feel like no work had been don „at all“ (something wakky like „wrote the outline of the story way over a year in.) showing that this clearly is on a more rocky path.

      At least it still is on that path so i´ll be looking forward to whatever happens once stuff actually comes together.

      I don´t know how hard a localization selection actually is but i feel like many games have it. ;) I do like the environmental combat, didn’t expect the bridge part at all, thats a nice twist. Kinda makes it feel more european RPG than jRPG but i don´t mind that.

    30. jimmywolf on

      the video was well made an for less then 4 months are work it's good if we ignore all the time that passed an this was how it started i doubt anyone would be negative me included.

      sadly every delay silent moment an new game released that raise the bar on what is a good game it make it harder not to feel bitter an think this game crap even if it a 9/10 on release.

      despite my pessimism, i do look forward to the end game an would love to have are faith rewarded for the time an money invested waiting to see "Japan's indie RPG feat. with AAA talent! "

    31. Eugene Yunak on

      it's fine for the assets to look like this, like the dude says, it's what all games look like until final assets are integrated. that said, a studio will usually have *some* assets, you don't need the engine to start working on the models.

      what really pisses me off is you only have one programmer. being a programmer myself, i think you are either incredibly ignorant, or a scammer. c'mon, it's not that hard to find competent developers, and for the most part you don't even need them to be proficient with 3d programming or game engines. are you deliberately delaying what is already an incredibly delayed project?

    32. CIA, Inc. Creator on

      >> ZefTaDef

      As mentioned in the update, this game will continue to look like this until our final assets are complete. If you look at any other development, they all go through the same thing of working through building the system and the gameplay. The last thing on our mind currently is how it's going to look.

      So please, have a little more patience, and follow our updates as we improve the build one at a time.

      Thank you

      Director / Producer of Project Phoenix

    33. ZefTaDef on

      Posted without reading the other people yea this is the worst thing I've ever backed is this one inept person with a hobby making this or a literally team of highly inept people.

    34. ZefTaDef on

      This game looks like literal garbage. Wasn't expecting much anyway.

    35. CIA, Inc. Creator on

      >> Cenk "Skysect" Aslan

      I know it looks horrible!! We'll make sure you won't be disappointed as we'll be working on the visuals at a later stage. Hopefully once you're satisfied, I can buy you a beer to say sorry for the delay!

    36. CIA, Inc. Creator on

      >> Pratchet

      Thank you!

      Director / Producer of Project Phoenix
      Hiroaki Yura

    37. CIA, Inc. Creator on

      >> Richard Wojtaszak

      We're in the process of creating the right tools for all our dev to work at once. Once all that is sorted, we will see all kinds of progress as we go.

      Sorry for the frustration, but we will try and update you on all aspects of the game.

      Director / Producer of Project Phoenix
      Hiroaki Yura

    38. Cenk "Skysect" Aslan on

      This game looks like ugly shit . First time I regret my support on Kickstarter . REFUND my money !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    39. Missing avatar

      Pratchet on

      Great update, looking forward to more.

    40. Missing avatar

      Richard Wojtaszak on

      Well this is a major update to what we as backers have ever seen in terms of game play, It used to be just a thought process of hiding in some bushes and manually moving the orcs around the map.

      That being said, I think i like the fact your trying to get the rest of the dev team involved in the process of helping the game come along and not just produce things on the fly when asked and only get feedback much much later on or there and then and not have half there stuff put in game.

      As for the sound, Well that either can be done as the game is being developed or used as a much much later time.

      Having one DEV however Really takes the P $$ out of the game.

      I do not know what games will be after 2 years more of dev time because its being done by one. But I know that was the original plain and i think that still stinks to high hell.

      I have seen 2d game dev make his own game release it in over 2 years of dev time. I am waiting for another rpg by another group and they have a much larger dev team. Will i ever want to play that game once it comes to life, Who the hell knows by then i probably would have passed on to the weeds in the ground.

      As for questions though. I Would like to ask If everyone can work on the game at once which will be a major player in this game as it could progress in real time. Who is going to over see all of that work being in real time. I know you have your leed guy but you all will be appart of that process if what you say can happen will do..

      I like the progression so far of the game but i do wonder how many more updates we can get before people start to call for a demo of the game to be released into hands of the backers because they wish to test and play the game.

      With all the dev team playing modifying, in real time if that is at possible then the game will write it self and i do wonder how quickly or how short you will make the game because of time and $'s.

      Thanks for the update and will wait till the next big update that comes along.