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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.

Classes explained: The Pathfinder

Posted by CIA, Inc. (Creator)
77 likes
Dear backers,

I hope you've all been well.

Today, we're going to go through the Pathfinder class, and let Daniel talk a bit about our progress / production and a notification about an announcement we're going to make in May.

The Pathfinder

The Pathfinder in-game art reference
The Pathfinder in-game art reference

The Pathfinder is a ranged combat specialist, highly suited as a scout and applying heavy damage from range. With the ability to stay hidden in plain sight (stealth) and with a large vision range, the Pathfinder is capable of surveying the lay of land and possible threats for the main party. Even caught out in the open, the Pathfinder is more than capable of getting out of sticky situation by snaring enemies, laying traps and outrunning the enemy. 

ArmourThe Pathfinder uses leather armour for manoeuvrability and stealth.

Weapon
The Pathfinder can be trained to use ranged weapons and one handed close combat weapons. The ranged weapons allows the Pathfinder to deal damage without the fear of being hit by a melee weapon and enables a quick getaway after attracting attention, perhaps for the main group to get past a tricky checkpoint. In the off chance that the Pathfinder is caught in close combat, he/she isn't totally defenceless as they are more than capable of using one handed close combat weapons.

SkillThere are two major skill-tree for the Pathfinder and it splits between ranged damage and stealth / crowd control tree.

Leader skills
The leader skill allows each squad to be lead by a character and in turn, it is characterised by a passive buff affecting the whole unit. In the case for the Pathfinder, we are currently considering a runspeed increase for the whole squad or increase stealth attributes.

Sylrianah is a skilled Pathfinder
Sylrianah is a skilled Pathfinder

 ☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆

Production Situation

Daniel here, I have been working now just over a year at Creative Intelligence Arts. I want to be the one who presents our situation. There is lots for us to complain about but I am not going to play the blame game here. Instead let's talk about money.

As everyone knows the headline figure received between Paypal and Kickstarter was 1.14Million USD. As we have mentioned in the past this figure is misleading because it ignores how 0.26M of that disappeared even before we received it. That 0.26M is split between Kickstarter's fee, Paypal's fee, and something we had not expect: unfulfilled pledges.

So now that leaves 0.88M right? Well not yet, you see we did not plan to give out cheap backer rewards. We planned to give physical rewards backers the best quality figures, boxes, and all fantastic things Japan makes. Which meant our planned expenses for backer rewards are significant. We set aside a further 0.35M to deliver these rewards. This money cannot, has not, and will not be touched for development.

Now it is important to note that being generous like this with backer rewards was common practice during our era of Kickstarter. It was common thinking that generous rewards were what motivated backers. While many other projects have said the same thing as if they failed to calculate the costs that is not what happened to us. We fully calculated the costs of commissioning high quality figurines and high quality prints. We set this money aside because we knew it was a major cost. In practical terms what this means for backers at high dollar values is a majority of their backing funds are locked up for delivery of the rewards.

So our development budget is a still pretty impressive 0.55M USD. That is about enough to hire 5 full time AAA developers for almost 12 months. Ok I will drop the sarcasm, we all know 0.55M USD is not a significant budget for developing a game like Project Phoenix. Instead we had a plan, and it was realistic plan, but it relied on a few things.

All the AAA developers we worked with were going to be contracted, many contracted at reduced rates with royalty share. The 3d assets were going to be done by the same company which later did work for Blizzard's Overwatch. They are great modelers, and we are thankful they worked on Project Phoenix. Plus they did so at a work rate which can only be described as insulting. The programming was going to be done by a genius, once he finished up work on this other major indie game. I mention those two aspects because those are where we think production was the most troubled.

Now you might wonder what the budget would have looked like with the original smaller Project Phoenix envisioned for the 0.1M USD minimum goal. The truth is such a budget would have been easier to pull off, almost all developers were committed to working on royalty basis. The workloads for the 2.5d & reduced scope project would have required only partial dedication of developer's after hours time.

Yet when the funding exploded we did the same thing every other project of the era did, we exploded the scope. Gone was 2.5d and instead the plan was multiple high grade 3d worlds each with unique environmental assets. Now there was an overworld and cutscenes. The game got longer, the story more detailed, gameplay more complex, and the world larger. What also got larger was the commitment required from developers. Thus the portion of labor the budget needed to cover expanded. Gone was the idea of developing after work, now Project Phoenix needed people to work full time in their office. More art and for every piece of art the project needed to pay more in cash.

This was not a failure, we had an expanded budget from the kickstarter and Hiro's professional work. Accounting only for contracting outlays we have invested the 0.55M USD development budget plus 0.48M USD we earned from his professional work. To re-iterate, the 0.26M and 0.35M USD we mentioned earlier were not used for development. This 1.03M USD counts only out of company outlays, it does not include our own salaries or any rent. **Of every $1 of development money from your backing, $2+ was spent on development.** We have not taken publisher money, or sold interest in project phoenix to investors. Hiroaki Yura himself is Project Phoenix's biggest backer to the tune of almost 500K USD. We are not complaining. Every game developer wants to do their best. Every developer dreams of a bigger budget and larger game. We expanded Project Phoenix because we were hyped along with our backers.

We are still hyped. We are still committed to Project Phoenix, but as you can guess the original production plan did not work. We know that production plan did not work because when we released the vertical cut players were not impressed with the art. Now of course not all of the 1.03M USD was invested on 3d models, we commissioned concept art for a full world. Yet if the 3d assets were not acceptable to our backers this left us in a hard spot. Building higher detail assets requires not only spending more money and time per asset but also throwing out the existing assets. Of course the loss of our original programmer means we must now finance all programming out of a budget which was never designed to accommodate this. Hence, even less professional revenue going towards financing art.

Which put us into our current position. We expect to make our backers happy will require higher quality assets and more programmers. To this end we stopped investing the returns from our music business into art assets and instead drove them into a different smaller production, with further assistance from private investors. Should this tiny product succeed those private investors have promised to invest significant capital into Project Phoenix. In this way we have been able to expand our in-house development staff and work towards a bright future for Project Phoenix. Instead of financing salaries and running costs out of Project Phoenix we have been building a team out of the budget of this tiny project.Work has continued on Project Phoenix, but only things for which budget existed. If you have been wondering why the past few months have had lots of story updates, that is the reason why. We are very excited for this tiny project which will be announced in May. It is fun to play and we are proud of that.

Should it hit the success we are hoping for it will set our team in a position to deliver Project Phoenix anything we had hoped for. This is not a plea to support that project, please consider it but understand it is not Project Phoenix.

In closing, the problems facing Project Phoenix have been the same problems facing other large kickstarters of the era. We have seen other projects release at quality below fan's expectations and we are putting our all into avoiding such a fate.

Daniel Dressler - Lead Programmer

Keldrin, Andrew Pam, and 75 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Cenk "Skysect" Aslan on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    2. Revilleza Lucky on

      So...is this still going on? is there anything about an Alpha trailer of the gameplay at all?

    3. Missing avatar

      Casey DeWitt on

      Saw your comment when you posted it but haven't seen an email come through from you, tested it and seemed to receive some from me but I'm going to chalk this up to guerrilla mail being dumb. Sincere apologies on the runaround tonight Mark :(

      I just made a new gmail account, temporarycdewitt@gmail.com. I'll continue to monitor both addresses, understand if you might not have the time to play email tag tonight though.

    4. Mark Eisenstat on

      Sent you an email. Thanks.

    5. Missing avatar

      Casey DeWitt on

      @Mark Eisenstat
      Unfortunately the site doesn't seem to recognize either of my e-mail addresses and won't let me register on the forums. Doesn't look like I had previously registered either, I found an old email detailing how most people have already gone to the forums, I must have missed that boat sadly.

      Maybe we can talk on LinkedIn or via email? My account is here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caseydewitt/ and I just made a temporary email here so we can at least exchange somewhere other than the comments section: 7x7438+3av6p0rnyxgzof@guerrillamail.org

    6. Mark Eisenstat on

      @Casey DeWitt
      Casey, I can't find you on the forums to send you a PM. If you can register, please send me one @Alkorin. Thanks.

    7. Missing avatar

      Peter on

      In this update you spoke about diverting funds towards a smaller "project" which you hoped would generate the revenue needed to complete Project Phoenix, and told us you were excited to announce it in May.

      We're at the end of May now and there's been radio silence from you folks.

      Just so we're all clear on the situation: we are now at a point when not only is the development of the game delayed and unclear, but even the development of your "tiny project" is delayed and unclear.

      I'm not asking for a refund: I'm fully aware of the risks involved in backing a Kickstarter project, and I'm happily realistic about the possibility of projects like these not succeeding. However, the total lack of honest or timely communication from the Project Phoenix team is outside the limits of acceptable behavior. This project may or may not turn out to be a waste of money, but the bigger crime is way in which you have chosen to treat your backers' patience and goodwill.

    8. Missing avatar

      Casey DeWitt on

      @Mark Eisenstat
      Sounds great, much appreciated! Hope to hear from you :)

    9. Alex Snell on

      I would like my $255 back please

    10. Glen Proko on

      Nevertheless, appreciated Mark.

    11. Mark Eisenstat on

      @Casey DeWitt:
      If Hiro hasn't already seen your comment(s), I will point them out to him ASAP when I speak to him next. I don't know how often he reads these comments himself.

    12. Jeffrey Wong on

      @Sterling Treadwell, Casey is more of a manager than a programmer from what I can see in LinkedIn. I think her offer to help was to steer the ship in the right direction again.

      I hope CIA(Hiroaki) takes her offer seriously, though i don't think it will go that way.

      I'm still optimistic, here's to seeing the beta in another year or so...

    13. Sterling Treadwell
      Superbacker
      on

      @glen Proko- I'm glad the final released work and goods came out solid. I wasn't trying to say that project was total failure, more showing that while CIA was involved it was shot in the foot and almost ruined... I'm really glad it turned around.
      .
      I don't expect they'd put the assets out for others to finish, or hand it over to someone. AT BEST they would hire on Casey as a contractor that may get compensation based on profits/sales when the game is finished, but they'd need to vest him, see a resume, etc etc. At this point I'm not sue they would do that unless Casey's background in game development was far and extensive enough. Sadly by not taking him on this project will just hover on the edge of oblivion waiting for that perfect nudge to send it over.

    14. Keane Wing Kam Chan on

      for the sake of everyone here, please accept Casey's offers, pull the pieces of the project back together to see what Casey can do to recover or get a proper way to refund.

    15. Zombra on

      You threw out all the art and are starting over?

      That's actually good news.

      It means you can do the cheaper 2.5D like you originally intended and let go of the idea of rendering an entire planet in lush 3D. Forget it!

      DROP THE SCOPE back to what is in the original pitch and the stretch goals listed on the front page. THAT is what we pledged for, that is ALL we pledged for, and that is all that is needed to make everyone happy.

      ... And release the full soundtrack! That's done, isn't it?

    16. Glen Proko on

      @Sterling Treadwell:

      Under The Dog was a successful anime Kickstarter project. As a mid-range backer of it, I thank my luck cheque book that after the management was swiftly and severely kicked back into shape by Morimoto's actions. Once the project was finished, everything I got (region free Blu-Ray disc with challenge coin, soundtrack and artwork) was all worth it for my backer level. And if I see more come from Under The Dog to make it a full series past the Episode 0 Pilot that was given to the backers then I will be fully behind it as long as I see beyond question that the new management that got it sorted out are in charge again.

      Project Phoenix may only have Daniel left trying his damn hardest to pull this Kickstarter project out of the event horizon, as you speculated. If so then good luck to us all.

      @Casey DeWitt:
      On behalf of the backers here, thank you again for your repeated offers of free assistance to the project team to get Project Phoenix back on track to true completion.

    17. Mark Dorney on

      Thank you for releasing such a detailed breakdown. It is sincerely appreciated.

    18. MannyLaMancha on

      I guess I'll stop crying "thieves!" on this one. Thank you, Daniel. I don't agree with CIA on their handling of mostly everything, but I appreciate the insight. I backed for a spiritual successor to Final Fantasy Tactics; 2.5D is preferable to me (I mean, individuals on Newgrounds can churn out wonderful things in 2.5D,) so I say drop the 3D and deliver.

    19. Vash on

      Positive feedback here:
      Ok so, couldn't you just accept that after all this time you need help? We live on the Internet Era and I'm sure there are many people out there with enought talent.
      You surely could find many talented people that wants to join you if you make a simple offer like a little % of the sellings that will come after the game is done and released on platforms like Steam. I'm sure there is even people that surely would help you for free! And even more free help with a simple tilt down of your heads and saying "we fu**** up big time but we really want to give people the game they wanted and we would thank any help".

      Not so Positive feedback here:
      "We all know 0.55M USD is not a significant budget for developing a game like Project Phoenix".
      Come on... we didn't even knew what it was going to be! Suddenly you just wanted to make a full 3D game with all the extras included. Why? We just wanted a good jrpg even if it was just with visuals like the original Grandia with all the 2D models on a simple 3D enviroment. And you could just create the game and add later the extras as free DLC or something.

      "The truth is such a budget would have been easier to pull off,","Gone was 2.5d and instead the plan was multiple high grade 3d worlds each with unique environmental assets". This made me facepalms so hard I got aliens wondering what was that echoing sound from the sector AZ-1 of Galaxy 1457FT.
      Again, Why? We just wanted a nice game! Check games like Paper Mario. You just need to do a good job with the art even if it's a simple one that will get you less trouble and people will like it. But now at this point I would prefer to at least have a game created even if it's like Undertale, poor graphics but a game you can like to play.

    20. Nemo Pohle on

      Guys, please just cancel the project already. It's bad PR for crowdfunding which is still a great concept. People stopped backing altogether because of this and that's just unfair considering all the great games Kickstarter gave me. On the other hand, this makes SpaceVenture actually look good :)

    21. Ed on

      Thank you for the update. I know you will never read this but that's only fair since I'm adding this project name to my junk filter because the money I gave you (well not you Daniel since you came in 3.5 years in to the project and are now the de facto spokesperson) is not worth the frustration of seeing Kickstarter emails in my mailbox only to find out it is this project and it is still in development. I don't care about your problems, I don't care about a refund, i don't care about how this team has blown through the money without the basic business sense of including their own salaries(which I don't even care enough about this project to doubt the validity of this statement), and if this game ever comes out I will not bother activating the key, because this project is nothing to me except for an occasional reminder to be careful of what I back. Goodbye.

    22. Missing avatar

      Michael on

      It sounds like the entire development was a house of cards predicted on getting some anonymous "genius" to do most of the work for little or no money, and having to actually hire people caused your entire budget to fall apart. What utterly inept project management.

      Just cancel the game and save yourself further embarrassment. Your literally admitted this project was made in a different "era" of Kickstarter. An entire Kickstarter era has passed and no game has appeared.

    23. Chaiyut Asawameiteerungroj on

      We can see this project must take time longer than Dragon Quest 7 absolutely. Perhaps more than 10 years. Anyway, the most one thing that I really want from my pledge reward is the "Nobuo Uematsu" original signature.

    24. Missing avatar

      Max Wooks on

      Thanks for the update. It's a constant reminder why I never buy into a kickstarter project anymore. Keep it up!

    25. Missing avatar

      Casey DeWitt on

      I'll say it again to whoever at CIA Inc. is monitoring this page, I will get this project back on track for free. I have nothing but free time right now and am tied to no other studios. I haven't heard from anyone yet and it's clear (even to Kotaku apparently) that the faith in the project is low. I don't think that means this project is unsalvageable, I've brought back projects in worse shape than this and I'm happy to explain how. No gimmick, this is what I love doing.

    26. Ivan Vodopiviz on

      Well, it sure took you an awful lot of time to come out clean and admit that the project just can't be done. And Daniel's part... well I don't know. Maybe young people will think it reasonable? For the rest of us who've taken part in projects (some of us in big gamedev projects!) the whole plan was is and will ever be pure madness. There's absolutely no way that was going to ever work.

      At least publish whatever you have in a GitHub repo and let us lend a hand. Yeah, I'll work for free to finish the game I gave you money for.

    27. Missing avatar

      kickstartsomestuff1 on

      Vaporware. Refund time. Obviously there's no money. It's all been spent. But how about you take out a loan and give back to the community.

    28. Darmin Hadzic on

      Artisan II backer here.

      I feel for the few people there that are still desperately trying to bail water out of a ship that has long since sunk, but making claims that the failings were not the result of blowing out the scope is disingenuous.

      If I like this mini project, I'll take a look.
      However, and I must stress, DON'T blame the failure of this project on this new one should it not deliver the "success you are hoping for", whatever numbers those are.

    29. Sterling Treadwell
      Superbacker
      on

      @Keith- You know.. thinking of this 2+ month delay and how I've seen many large contract based companies work.. I suspect the Programmer is the one doing this because he is the only one focused and devoted to the project. Everyone else is working on their own projects or side contracts and clueless. It means Daniel had to go and read up on the entire history of this kickstarter and try to make sense of where we/they are at. Then attempt to be as honest about it as possible. At the same time, in writing this up, it needs to still be approved by the Lead before release to us(which also takes time). The fact Daniel mentioned the original write up got edited by someone (read: management) on their phone, which borked up all formatting, really shows that the leads on all of this(excluding Daniel) aren't taking the necessary time and care with the project. It is off their radar and so minimal effort and attention is all it will get. I wouldn't be surprised if Daniel is, effectively, now the lead programmer, manager, pipeline director and overall driving force to bring everything together. Which.. is also way more than what you'd contract a programmer to do...
      .
      I also find it funny that so far most everything they HAVE shown is what was subcontracted out to other firms. The into cinematic? handled by an outsourced group. The models they originally had? done by a group (that did overwatch? among others) . I guess this would explain why we never see new or advanced pics or video for the game. If they are farming out all the assets to contractors and as Daniel said, in some cases what they are being paid is "insulting", then the motivation for quality work, and expedious production, is out the window.
      .
      I'm also baffled why they decided to lock away over 1/3 the overall budget ($350k?) to physical rewards all this time and making it untouchable. If they are struggling to get the game created, and saying the left over budget to make th game is still sorely lacking, and Hiro had to throw $500k at it himself to keep it going, what good is locking this chunk of funds away? If the game runs out of budget and can't complete.. what, you throw the money at refunds? it wouldn't cover the cost by a long shot. Do you take the money and run? Pay off what contracts are left and file for bankrupcy? I guess I could see that.. CIA is only one of Hiro's projects, he has a new "company" for game designed pinned on his portfolio (likely for this new game they mention) so if he has to shut the doors on this one and rise again under "Area 35, INC" then.. why not?
      .
      Looking at Hiro's other projects, it looks like he has listed on his wiki that he assisted with an anime project (also kickstarter funded) called "under the Dog" and.. looking at the development speil on the wiki and how eventually the project split from CIA and the new director found how poorly managed it was, and how
      .
      "Upon being appointed, Morimoto's first task was to assess the anime's financial standing, finding that there was no funding set aside for operational costs, and that some of the rewards promised to backers were more costly than first estimated. "
      .
      sound at all familiar?
      .

    30. Missing avatar

      Keith McCoy on

      1) Thanks for the update.

      2) Why the hell did it take 2+ months since the last update? There could have easily been 3-4 updates in that same amount of time at the same quality as the Pathfinder portion of the content.

      3) When there are big breaks between updates, it suggests something is wrong (beyond what is already known)

      4) Class breakdowns are appreciated, but this was very minimal. As mentioned below, it's all the same basic stuff you'd expect from your typical "Ranger" type class, without going into much detail at all about how your interpretation will be unique.

      5) Show us something NEW, please. I've made the suggestions about these class breakdowns (as well as a tons of other ideas), but in the couple we've got so far, we've only been shown concept art that we've all already seen in past years. Surely there's more art.

      6) Could Daniel please expand on the statement: "We know that production plan did not work because when we released the vertical cut players were not impressed with the art"? I know there were people who spoke up, but there were also plenty of people who liked the style, and just thought it needed to be a bit more detailed. And that shouldn't be an issue, because I seem to remember Hiro saying it was also rough draft stuff anyway, and that it would be better in the end. But now Daniel saying this kinda makes it sound like that initial stuff WAS intended to be the final.

    31. Missing avatar

      floorislava on

      Using this mythical genius programmer leaving the project as an excuse for all of the delays is a joke. It seems more the kickstarter was used as seed money to get a small contract studio up and running.

    32. BlackGauntlet
      Superbacker
      on

      "Ok I will drop the sarcasm, we all know 0.55M USD is not a significant budget for developing a game like Project Phoenix."

      To tell the truth, I don't even know what this game is like, seeing that nothing is shown here beyond concept art, of if there even is a game at all.

    33. Sterling Treadwell
      Superbacker
      on

      jesus.. ok the pathfinder art was originally partially shown in update #20 and both images shown in update 36. that was back in like 2013. We're at update 141 in 2017 and when you brekdown the class of pathfinder... you show this original early "reference art". Again.. with nothing else but some brief write ups of what a pathfinder would do.. and.. I have to say.. the way you conceptualise it is akin to a ranger/hunter class in most any game, so I wouldn't say that your time taken to put this class together was deep, original, or interesting.

      This update is just proof of so many misteps that were done. I am sorry the lead programmer has been thrown to the backers to try and play interference. I am sorry the original Manager is not owning up and dealing with this fallout. Isn't the programmer already overworked with this, since it is behind and they're the ONLY programmer? Why use what precious time you have making them talk to us?

      .

      Because you needed someone enw.. a fresh face.. a patsy.. someone we haven't talked to and might listen to. It is a tactic. If we heard all this from the project manager vs him it would expectedly go south FAST. And despite all this.. from looking at the comments.. it did anyway.

      You should have stuck to the original concept for the game, if you wanted to make it so passionately you risked a kickstarter. You should have stayed in the realm of reason. Instead you funded WAY beyond your dreams and got big ideas and.. well.. started hiring contractors for salary rather than what you originally conieced... hiring part timers on profit sharing. So.. when you far surpassed the 100k you anticipated... you threw money in handfuls at everyone you knew that wanted to contribute and the results are... you ended up with hardly any content and little to show for it.. an incomplete husk of the game.. and when you showed what EXISTED the backers groaned and screamed, echoing what you knew deep down.. that this was a nightmare mess that was poorly planned and put together.

      ZThis project is doomed unless it is thrown into "new management" and someone uses some true creativity to redirect assets and process in a way that can ressurect it. At this point, in all honestly, if you bakes the assets you have into HD 2d well animated sprites and used a 3d map to have us explore and move around I'd be happy, because it would speed along he pipeline and potentially get the game released. And eventually when all is done and backers get their goods and the game is out there you can patch in updated assets to polish the game. Sort of like how Wasteland 2 released with "ok" graphics and gave folk the HD update later.

      .
      The focus at this point is showing us a roadmap for success, not backpedaling and defending and trying to make it sound like you guys are not failing to deliver because " well back in those days everyone did it". seriously?

    34. Ted Shimizu on

      Definitely poor Project Management on this. Monitoring progress and burn rate would have alerted you to time and cost issues early on.

      Consider phasing the project into chapters or in-game geographical regions as DLC's. If the story is truly solid, then you should be able to build a much bigger fan base beyond your kickstarter backers to help fund the remainder of the game. You'll also get quality feedback to iterate future DLC's.

      Show us something, why not start with a high res video of a self running story with the assets you already have to tell some back story? A game trailer is still better than nothing, and at least we'll get hear a few musical scores.

    35. Sean Hull on

      I keep seeing comments about using the money for development of a smaller scope, and refunds.

      Guys, THERE IS NO MONEY!

      Read between the lines here. They moved into a big fancy office, had to actually hire people, then moved out of that office, etc, etc, etc. They money IS GONE. There is nothing to refund, there is nothing left to develop with. They have been feeding us crap for the past year, and working on other projects.

      The fact that the success of this project is tied directly to the success of another project is a sham. We got duped, we got scammed. Write the money off, move on, and make damn sure that you never support ANYONE that was associated with this joke of a project!

    36. Sector94 on

      One thing I don't get : if Hiro was able to invest 500K of his own money, why was a kickstarter needed in the first place?? Anyway, I still have faith in the team, which says a lot considering how few projects I care enough about to back nowadays.

    37. Missing avatar

      Ryan Vu on

      I recently finished my business major. I wish I knew now what I didn't know when I backed this project. Unrealistic goal setting and poor project management hidden behind shiny marketing. I know 100% that this won't be finished in any reasonable amount of time even starting from today. I recognise that my money is gone and will learn from this for my future business decisions.

    38. Olivier Lebeau-Paradis on

      This project was unlucky to be in the early days of Kickstarter before mistakes were made and documented. At least steps are been slowly taken torward having something to release someday and it is a kind of game that is already "old" so even if it stay in production for another 5 years it won't be much different.

      One thing I would say though is that long-winded explanations only gives naysayers more ammo to criticize how the project was managed while we hopeful actually want something tangible to cling to. So far we are given way more repeated excuses then progress and that's the biggest letdown.

    39. Romdeau on

      Well, I've come to basically accept the modest $35 I spent backing this project is basically gone and has nothing to show for it. When the dirty laundry starts to get tossed out like this, the project is basically done. I have no hope that this game will ever be made and it appears that the project's planners had no idea what the hell they were doing. They also refuse to take responsibility for it as well.

      And now we're supposed to buy this "mini" product in order to fund the rest of the game? No thanks - I'll buy it if it stands on it's own merit (and is independently reviewed) but there's no way I'm "donating" anything else to you guys.

    40. Octopus_Pancake on

      Well after a steady stream of successful kickstarter projects that have failed to deliver, a fair number on my end -_- ugh, I can honestly say I'm done with kickstarter or any crowdfunding. This also includes early access titles on platforms such as steam. I gave it an honest try, dropped money on promising prospects only to have more than half of them completely tank, some still trying to stay above water and miserably failing to do so, present project included >:(. Needless to say I'm about right in asking for a refund at this point. It's not about the money for me though. It's a statement saying if you can get WELL over your projected goal, by like what 1000% or some such nonsense?, and fail HOW IN THE WORLD would you EVER have made it with your original posted goal?? I fail to believe this project, putting aside the AAA people, could have made it given your current predicament.

      I am sorry I'm pissed off, sick and tired of projects failing to deliver on successful funding and all that jazz. I'm going to be harsh because it's WELL WARRANTED. GIVE ME A REFUND. Thank you very much please don't ever do another kickstarter as I truly think you have tarnished your name in the gaming industry at this point.

    41. Missing avatar

      JasonVB on

      Please take Casey up on her offer. I've seen her resume. She can get you back on track.

      At this point, I have no hope that the CIA team has any capacity to deliver ANYTHING, regardless of how you plan to address scope creep, attempts at a second round of funding, or anything else you might have in-house.

      To try and pin your failures on "the era of Kickstarter" or the AAA expectations that no one really had, or Kickstarter/Paypal fees that you HAD to have known about.... that's all scapegoating. It's inaccurate.

      Either issue refunds (even partial) and walk away from the project, or consider admitting that you're in over your heads, and you might need outside assistance from willing volunteers who will help you reign in this project and get SOMETHING delivered.

    42. Young_Gangrel on

      What?!? Are you serious? This was clearly the single decision that caused all your problems. If you had kept your scope locked down, as you should have, and as any decent project manager will tell you is the best way to control your project, you wouldn't have the problems you have now. You should have kept your scope to what it was communicated to us when we backed your project, delivered that product and then used any remaining funds to develop updates if you wanted to continue to expand the product. Just because other failed KS projects were going crazy on scope when their funding exceeded target doesn't excuse or justify your decision. Own your decisions and your actions and take responsibility and accountability for them. What I see in your update is a lot of blame being directed everywhere outside of the decisions that you, the project owners, made. But it is those decisions that are at the heart of your failure. Man up and face the music.
      Either take up Casey on his offer and have him on board your team as he said FOR FREE to help bring years of experience to your team (look up his name he does actually exist AND has the experience he claims to have) or you are proving to us all you are truly just dancing further and further away from the truth.

    43. Jak
      Superbacker
      on

      I appreciate the updates, and not giving up, especially with so many people against you. Your attitude is in the right place! Keep going, no matter what!

    44. Missing avatar

      Alissa on

      Wait, they want us to purchase a game they are releasing in May so they can continue working on Project Pheonix?

      Is there any way this game is actually going to be made? I keep hoping this title will be released, but this latest email with this little side project is worrying, especially coming after over a month with no updates.

      How long do we wait for actual gameplay? A demo? Something that isn't art assets? You've already got my money, and I'm not about to hand over more for a finished "tiny project" when you've not delivered on the first one.

    45. Kim Lo on

      At this point, I'm only repeating what people have said. drmandarin recaps exactly what I think.

      I appreciate that you are still updating us and trying to be transparent however, you can't truly blame anyone for any negativity here (in fact up to this point, I've kept those thoughts to myself) because this is way overdue and with nothing to show at this point. At some point, there was an update about a lot of development being done and just missing the programmer and now you have a programmer and he steps up to talk to us about the money breakdown and how the scope has exploded and all the fancy development stuff that you all need to complete the project.

      Project Phoenix had great promise and a lot of tiers that required a lot of money. A lot of the backers did invest a lot into this, I'm sure, and being transparent to you, one of the bigger projects I've backed as well. There are risks that backers put in to support this and yet, not enough updates to support it. I don't want to be negative because at this point, I'd really just like to see progress on the project and I do hope to see it. Especially since refunds are probably never going to happen no matter how many times it is asked for.

      My suggestion is to take up Casey's incredibly generous offer.

    46. Missing avatar

      Casper Rouwendal on

      For me this is the last straw. Seeing as there hasn't been a programmer attached to this project in well over a year and your detailed explanation in this update I genuinely feel the time has come to make a decision. Every update has been excuse after excuse. Unforeseen or not, most of these problems like for example the extra fees from Kickstarter or Paypal are only problems because you broadened the scope of your game. Everyone that backed this project was fully expecting a 2.5D game with a reduced scope. The extra budget could have easily been used to polish this into perfection but people wanted this smaller scope game already so I genuinely do not understand this change of direction.
      The 0.35m for physical rewards being locked down is something I understand and feel was the right move however it would again not be a problem if you had stuck to the smaller scope which the project started out with as the remaining budget would have been more than sufficient as you lined out yourself. As you went along you could've still done some of the things like adding an overworld and/or cutscenes, make he game got longer, the story more detailed, gameplay more complex, and the world larger, etc. However it seems like the project was completely mismanaged in that respect and no one really thought about how enlarged scope would impact the budget. You simply went crazy with the dreams of a bigger title.

      At this point, after years of being patient, I genuinely feel mislead. I backed this for a 2.5D RPG game that due to the "featured AAA talent" and going over it's initial funding goal by 10 times I could imagine would feature a good level of polish and would have probably been a great game. I speak for myself when I say I have lost all possible hope for this project to ever come to any kind of delivered game, especially with the direction you are heading in (relying on another mini project for this project to succeed, for real?).
      But from previous updates and more recent comments seemingly others share my sentiment and not only should this worry you but it should spur you into action with only a few viable options (due to the position you yourselves have maneuvered yourselves into).

      The way I see it have to either reduce the scope again to the original state, using whatever leftovers the original overshot goal to at least bring us what the project was about in the reduced, original scope.

      Or you use whatever is left at this point to, to your best ability refund backers evenly.

      There is of course the third way of foolhardily and stubbornly staying your current course but I lost any kind of hope you will see that through. Let alone to success.

      I appreciate the honesty of the updates but at this point, with all the previous promises being broken for whatever reason, it means little to nothing.
      Like an hourglass my patience and belief have certainly run it's course and after this long a time I'm surprised it didn't do so sooner.

    47. Missing avatar

      David G Brown on

      Thank you for the update. Please keep it up.

    48. parpaing on

      From the start, people were saying that one developer wouldn't be enough, but we were always told that everything was carefully thought through and planned. And now you come up with that excuse:" a single developer couldn't develop such a game." Next time, listen to people who've invested in your project. Everything was misleading in that kickstarter, and we were always told that the money was secured and that the company wouldn't run out of money so soon...
      There's no point in flogging a dead horse, no one is interested in Project Phoenix anymore, that ship has sailed long ago. Ori and the blind forest's developer must be glad he's dodged that bullet. I guess that he could foresee that the project was doomed and didn't want to take part in it.