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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.

First Stretch Goal Down, Many More To Follow

Posted by CIA, Inc. (Creator)
1 like

$300,000! Thank you so for helping us reach our first stretch goal!  The additional models, and extended music will allow us to create a better gaming experience for you, and all future gamers of Project Phoenix.  As an additional treat, we've discussed your concerns over DRM, and have decided on the following two modes of play: 

Online Play - internet connection required

Players will use their login ID and password for their account to log in. However, you will have access to the following online services:

1) Claiming Kickstarter Reward Items

2) Online profiles (more to be explained in coming weeks)

3) Gain Achievements

4) Accessing your saved games from any operating system on any machine

5) Access to Updates and Bug fixes

6) Multiplayer - if the upcoming stretch goal is reached

Offline Play - no internet connection required

After entering the activation key, the game will be able to play in Offline Playwithout requiring an internet connection or you to login.

You may install the game onto multiple computers. The save data will be stored locally and is transferable between different computers. Only the single player feature will be available of the game.

* Offline Play saves will not be able to access Online content .

** Online Play will not be affected by internet shortages during single player play, as it will continue to sync until successful - we are currently working out the details to prevent abuse if this happens.

So the good news is that you can choose between Online and Offline styles of gameplay, and between these different styles for each save that you create. We hope we have answered our backer's calls for a DRM free version of the game!


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    1. Andergraund on

      Take it easy guys, this would be no biggie if they just hadn't used the term DRM and instead said that offline there are no real limitations and to get your online stuff and do online things, you just need to register a free online game account for authentification.

      And obvious you cannot use your offline save for online play/profile because: cheaters - just 0,1% of the gamers need to cheat to destroy the online experience of the other 99,9%.
      But thanks to those save game editors/hacks you even can get all items and stuff even if you play offline and never get those online items - see I even took this argument from you.

      This is not a shitty SimCity DRM or somthing like iTunes or somthing that prevents you totally from installing the game like more than 3 times. It is just an authentification/game account for online stuff, if you want to mess around you simply stay offline.

      Don't shut down your brains just because of the word DRM... >_>

    2. S. "Bo" Martensson Jr on

      I'm voting for Steam with Workshop support so we could craft our own stories in this exciting world. That would be simply awesome.

    3. Paulo Laranjo on

      @Samuel Nunes
      You shouldn't agree with him without reading the update, it clearly proves how much he is making up.

    4. Missing avatar

      Samuel Nunes on

      @Matthew Mather: my thoughts exactly.

    5. Missing avatar

      Brian on

      Well the only DRM the game would have would be with Steam. I wonder if they could offer the game through

    6. Missing avatar

      Keith McCoy on

      @Nigel - if you want to enjoy the game completely offline, there is no DRM - just the standard product key registration that's existed for 25-30 years. If you want to enjoy the online features, you will need to create an account, which is standard fare. The sheer fact this game includes online/multiplayer features means they have to have some sort of account-based system...that should be common sense.

    7. Paulo Laranjo on

      @Nigel Lau

      If you can't be online to play online, why are you complaining about needing to be online? Or are you afraid of tiring yourself out by typing the equivalent to a CD key?

    8. Tyrone Wested

      man i'm not a pc gamer and glad. you guys get crazy fanatical. i understand getting up in arms about required online for a single player game but flipping out about the offline requiring an activation key like any piece of computer software is NUTS.

      that said i'll give a sigh of relief once they confirm the vita version

    9. Niggles on

      Considering cancelling my pledge and asking others to consider as well since game effectively wont be DRM free (majority of indie game projects on KS or have been on KS have offered the option - the Shadowrun one was a bit of a fiasco though).

    10. Littleknife on

      @Spellforger: I am sure your Kickstarter rewards, once claimed online, will be available for all local savegames and offline play.

    11. Spellforger on

      I'm actually glad that the idea is to divide online and offline gaming: that's what Diablo 3 should have done in the first place. That said, I hope that Kickstarter rewards, once claimed being online (pretty much obviously) will be available to all local savegames, including those for offline play.
      That's because all those online checks and protection *should* grant that nobody can hack his or her savedata and have advantages or privileges over other players. But during offline play I'm playing alone and nobody should be bothered by the fact that I'm riding a Phoenix or not.

    12. Paulo Laranjo on

      @Matthew Mather
      The "I'm an old school gamer" argument doesn't work, because I've been playing on all systems since the ZX Spectrum and Amiga 500.

      We aren't talking about Batman: Arkham Asylum, so I don't know what's rustling your jimmies so much. This reminds me more of Torchlight II, where you can't access the online content without an account and if it stays that way, good, because it would be useless to remove it when you can't even play online if you aren't online. I know that it's obvious, but it doesn't seem that way for the detractors.

    13. Missing avatar

      Keith McCoy on

      @Matthew Mather - in what way do you see this needing a workaround? When there are no longer servers supporting the Online content they are offering, you will still be able to install your game and play the single player content to your heart's content. "Activation Key" likely means the standard product key, which has been coming with computer games for the last 25-30 years.

    14. Matthew Mather on

      P.S. I grudgingly accept the current proposed DRM in the assumption/hope that there will be a workaround for it eventually when the servers are no longer available. It's not quite as good as Minecraft-style, but it's acceptable.

    15. Matthew Mather on

      Oh and I was one of those who didn't buy FF7 on PC because of the stupid DRM.

    16. Matthew Mather on

      The drama with DRM is that it's an artificial means to restrict anyone from using a peice of software. Those of us who have been playing games for a long time know that as you update systems, older games become "naturally" more difficult to use due to OS issues, hardware emulation issues (does midi sound as good on your new expensive soundcard as it does on your old cheap card), driver issues, the disappearance of the source code so that certain tweaks will never EVER happen, and so on. Every form of DRM permanently adds more hassle to any game I want to show my kids that I played when I was their age.

      Some lunatic goatbuggering ratbastards, to be polite, in recent years had the idea of tying DRM activation to specific servers. No server connection, no game access. Not for MMOs where such was necessary, but for non-MMOs, where there was negative benefit for the customer. Turn off the server and the game vanishes. GONE.

      This, I think, is a big reason why subscription MMOs other than the one largest have all now failed. The DRM cannot be removed from an MMO and it will eventually bite the entire community and why should someone pay a sub for that? Now MMOs can only be made if they're selling harmless virtual goods for a game that's "already free". Tying this sort of system to a single-player game and/or tying a formerly LAN or dedicated server multiplayer game to proprietary servers means that at least the multiplayer will DISAPPEAR AT THE PUBLISHER'S WHIM.

      And if anyone reading this thinks I'm being overly dramatic: you haven't played very many games. You may play enough to "be a gamer" but you haven't played enough, because you haven't been bitten by this or you somehow missed the fact you were being bitten.

      Who wants to play some Halo 2 Multiplayer? OH WAIT NO ONE CAN EVER AGAIN ON ANY PLATFORM BECAUSE OF DRM. Who wants to play some slightly older LAN multiplayer game over the internet via your favorite free proxy with your grandkids? OH WAIT YOU CAN BECAUSE THERE'S NO SERVER BASED DRM ON THAT.

      So it does depend on the kind of DRM in question. Server-based DRM has been the main reason for the rise in anger in general, but it's always a pain the older a game gets to have just one more hoop to jump through on something that hasn't been available for sale in two decades.

      The best kind of DRM is the super passive Minecraft style DRM where it doesn't prevent you from playing, but you can't get the latest update without a legitimate login. Most people don't even notice it. Some Steam games are basically like this as well. Many prevent you from playing if Steam isn't running, but some don't care: the only restriction is that without a legitimate purchase Steam won't update the game to the latest version.

    17. Paulo Laranjo on

      I don't get all the drama with the DRM.

      I'm against it's use, but as long as it's implemented as it has been described, there is nothing wrong with it. It's not like we are talking about 5 activations per account or something retarded like that. And as Stephan Krawec mentioned, writing a key or going online to activate the game is exactly the same thing, since you don't need to do it again. Get over it, there are more important things to worry about on this project.

    18. Stephan Krawec on

      Some of you guys are so anti-DRM it's fanatical, as soon as you see or hear a little bit of DRM you go crazy. I've been a PC gamer for over 15 years. I've been putting in CD-Keys since then and still to this day have been putting in these "Activiation"-Keys (even with steam). It's a smiple DRM to stop small time piracy it really does not harm the end user to enter a 8-15 digit key.

      The key here is harm the user. That's the piracy we should be up in arms about. Don't hate on a company that wants to protect their software. No it's not going to stop all the people that are going to pirate this game, but it might stop some and that's worth it for this small time company.

    19. Missing avatar

      Keith McCoy on

      "Activation for Offline" means putting in a product key....the way games have ALWAYS been. Doing so does not require the internet.

    20. Missing avatar

      cired on

      What about Offline LAN Multiplayer?
      I want to be hopeful for this.

      I'm trying to visualize what the multiplayer gameplay will be like with the current available info.
      I'm assuming the RTS part will be something similar to Relic's Dawn of War series (Real time and Squad based).
      By mentioning RTS and Multiplayer, I'm assuming that it will have a Multiplayer "skirmish" mode which you can duel your squad against your friend's squad ala normal RTS.

      I hope more info will be relased regarding the type of multiplayer that will be implemented.

    21. Gromber Fox on

      Activation on offline? WTF?

    22. Shane-o - WoOS on

      Excellent post, ErekoseDM, especially:

      "I hope the "Japan's indie RPG" "Kickstarter's FIRST Japan-based video game project!"
      isnt as insanely militantly anti-PC, pro-DRM, pro-Region-Restricting and console-or-bust as the rest of the Japanese gaming industry seems to be going for."

      Because this could be the start of a nice change :D We'll see though

    23. ErekoseDM on

      @Creator Creative Intelligence Arts, Inc.
      thanks for the response about the pending response.

      "It may be possible to patch the game manually."
      still isnt concrete but ill await the aforementioned update with patience.

      there is a difference in the 2 possible scenarios:
      Scenario 01 - download patch.exe for use on my single player game. (easily archive-able. optimal for me.)(i could go to a coffee shop and download it with their faster speeds on my ipod and install when i got home. Im sure many would download at work, install at home.)

      Scenario 02 - auto-patching needs the game running on the same machine. (not optimal. not archive-able. not future proof.)

      hopefully after the team meets up to clarify it will be some good news on the DRM-free front.

      i hope the "Japan's indie RPG" "Kickstarter's FIRST Japan-based video game project!"
      isnt as insanely militantly anti-PC, pro-DRM, pro-Region-Restricting and console-or-bust as the rest of the Japanese gaming industry seems to be going for.

      was definitely hoping Indie + Japan + PC would translate into some DRM-free goodness which has been almost synonymous with Indie games and KS.

      highly interested in the further updates on the topic (as illustrated by prior posts in this update thread), but take the time to have everyone on the team weigh in.
      thanks for the response pending response.
      looking forwards to the project.

    24. Teppic on

      I'm canceling because of DRM.

    25. CIA, Inc. Creator on

      Sorry for the lack of response everyone. Some of these questions I do not yet have the answers to, so it would be counter productive for me to speculate. We are working on another update to clarify Online/Offline play, stretch goals, and gameplay in general. Please be patient, and we will not wait until the next stretch goal to update you further.

      In regards to Updates and Bug Fixes. You will be able to update your game for your offline save, but it is going to require that you have an internet connection to download the update. It may be possible to patch the game manually, but at some point it's going to require a connection to our servers to download.

      I hope this clears up at least one issue.


    26. Skyl--- on

      This is all fine for me, as long as you remove the activation from the offline DRM-free build. It's best to be clear and transparent about things from the start. Keep things simple, avoid spending resources on things that will not help against piracy anyway (activation server etc....). Look at what the rest of the industry is doing.

      For the online version, Steam has everything you need to distribute the game, including optional SteamDRM if you are worried about those things, and support for Win/OSX/Linux.

      Third party DRM will always receive backlash. Best to avoid it from the start. Spend your resources elsewhere and if your game is great, people will buy it anyway.

    27. Tyrone Wested

      super confusing i just want to play this on my vita. lets get that word ASAP

    28. Landan Lloyd on

      All seems pretty reasonable to me. I don't see why so many people are getting their nickers in a twist about the DRM. It's not excessive like sim city, just a simple activation code if you want to play offline. Unless people are planning to pirate the game to their friends, which kinda defeats the point in backing a project you want to support, they wont have a problem wit this.

    29. Markus Rajala on

      And the DRM is out of the bag. I guess this was too good to be true, after all. Not withdrawing my pledge, but I am dissapointed, to say the least.

    30. Industrial Scribe on

      I'll be dropping down from a high $180 tier to the $20 if the single-player game can't install patches and bug fixes offline.

      I agree that Multiplayer and achievements are totally exceptable (and even kickstarter rewards) to only be accessible online but my single player game should work anywhere without me having to download a hacked version.

      People should also note that Steamworks and the STEAM platform are totally separate and you don't have to uses Steamworks if you use STEAM. Reward the customer while still protecting yourself should be the goal, NOT to cripple a paying customers software if he is offline for any reason.

    31. Srdjan Smudja on

      I really hope multiplayer will be added so i can play online with my friends! :)

    32. Name on

      David De Ost: "5) Access to Updates and Bug fixes"

      That's the main one bugging me. If it weren't for that I'd still frown at them for using a personally managed non-standard DRM scheme (Probably lower my pledge) but I'd happily play offline.

    33. David De Ost on

      Phew, guys, a lot of confusion here. If I read all this correctly, you don't have to be online to play with your backer rewards - you just need to connect once to receive them, and then you're good. There's no need to withdraw your pledges, guys, you can play single player offline and not need a server for as long as you want. The update is pretty badly put together, but again, you can play offline for the rest of your life, you don't have to be online to play. You only need to be online for cloud saves, achievements and multiplayer, which makes sense.

    34. Name on

      Yeah, I'm tempted to pull out as well.

      I'm not creating a new account and handing over my data to play one single player title.

      Most the online features mean nothing to me but holding back updates and bug fixes? Not cool, man.

      If you want a DRM scheme just use Steam.

      It works well (at least as well as DRM can function) and provides minimum inconvenience to the user. Everything you're offering here is already easily available on Steam.

      I'll stick around a little while to see how things pan out but unless something changes I'll be withdrawing my pledge. Those wanting the 150 Artisan level might want to keep an eye out for when/if this happens.

    35. Missing avatar

      Adauli, Red Wizard of the Obisdian Order on

      Thanks for this Info about the DRM, that means I'm out.
      I already have some game not even 10 years old that are no longer playble because the activation server is gone. Together with the issue that one of my friends will lose part of his video collection as soon he just change something on the hardware of his computer because the autentification server is no more I can't accept such DRM.

    36. Harshad on

      This is the only part that seems confusing to me:

      ""You may install the game onto multiple computers. The save data will be stored locally and is transferable between different computers. Only the single player feature will be available of the game.

      * Offline Play saves will not be able to access Online content .""

      1. Offline Play saves will not be able to access Online content? I understand that in this case if I save a game while playing offline it won't sync with the online save content, and whatever progress I have made will be stored only on that particular machine. is this right?

      2. If I play 'Online' with an active net connection, my progress will be saved to the cloud. So I can access my progress from any other machine I am playing from.

      3. Can I switch between Online and Offline play as convenient? Or I choose one option at the beginning and have to stick to that?

      Honestly, I feel the discussion about the save system can be left for later. I am happy we have an update. But I get a feeling that the game is in an extreme infancy...with many major decisions still pending. Most of the details are vague. I might be wrong, you guys might have got everything figured out, and since all of you are working from your respective countries communicating and consolidating all the information might be not as smooth as you want. I would request you guys to address this issue first and give backers some solid GAME STUFF. Your KS video is beautiful, it has made us terribly excited about the game. But I have seen people losing their patience when the details coming in from the the devs are foggy at best. We are only on day 3 now, lots of time still. But come up with a plan, get the team together or whatevr it is you guys do and give us a good solid update about the game actual.

    37. KyzZa Bytes on

      I hope that with this game you won't be obligated to go online to play it. P.s can't wait to see what classes you create (hoping for a possible shape shifter of some sort)

    38. Missing avatar

      Cheeseman on

      I really hope there wont be a multiplayer mode as I am really concern that there might be too much workload for a team of AAA developers to work on part time. The single player story mode will take a substantial amount of time to build, provided it is at least a 10 hours experience, on top of that, you have to build the netcode, authentication system, multiplayer systems and so on. At the same time, I rather have a well developed single player experience than an average single player with another average multiplayer. I felt that you have too much work at hand if you add in the multiplayer, based on experience from other kickstarter projects, a lot of my kickstarter projects eventually got themselves too much work after adding so many stretch goals to the point some of them gone dark completely.

      I sincerely hope that you arent going to jump to Steam half way of the development due to the fact that Steamworks provided a lot of basic features that you can use right away than coding them yourself. Unity will also provide a good basic engine but I am not sure whether codes for multiplayer and so on are included.

      Backers wont be happy with this decision to be honest as if you want to use Steam some time down the line, so please tell it to people on day 1. If its DRM Free, then, backers will appreciate if you can stick to it till you ship the game.

    39. Missing avatar

      Mihir-Pirate King of the Obsidian Order on

      @CIA Please keep posting updates, don't wait just for certain things to happen or stretch goals to be achieved. We don't just need more info, some people also need clarification. A lot of questions have been asked and concerns raised, regarding today's update as well. Please take these into consideration and make update resolving issues and answering the ongoing questions that the community may have.

      This will only further propel the project forward as backers are satisfied and have renewed & consistent faith in the project. Fast updates are a significant requirement for KS to show that you're listening to the backers and are also continuing work on your end :)

    40. Missing avatar

      Keith McCoy on

      @cursedseishi "You look at the thing and go "Oh, its asking for a code like Diablo 2!" and stop at that"

      Um, no. I referenced Diablo 2 because it had a completely offline mode that hosts separate save files from the save files. If you wanted to play offline, you were never required to log into the internet. If, however, you wanted to download updates or play online, you logged in.

      Under the "Online Play"'s reasonable to think they could put achievements into the offline content, sure. But all the other items they've listed....that's all stuff that is pretty standard to require getting onto the internet to utilize.

    41. Missing avatar

      cursedseishi on


      The issue is the way it's presented. You look at the thing and go "Oh, its asking for a code, like Diablo 2!" and stop at that point.

      The problem is, that the update makes it sound like everything is tied only to the online part of the game. From things like the Kickstarter rewards (which could cause high-pledge backers interested in offline only to cancel or reduce their pledge), to something as mundane but necessary as updates. Even achievements, which could be handled client-side, could be a clincher for those interested in just offline play.

    42. Pierre Rapeau on

      I hope to see the game on PS Vita and I will buy it.

      Good vibes ! Thank you for this fantastic project !

    43. Jairo Rodriguez on

      I agree with Krozber. The description really needs to highlight the proposal for multiplayer. I know for a fact that it'll be a huge draw for a lot of people.

    44. Dablue

      Please dont go this route and please when you post an update really post an update. A million questions have been asked and hardly 1 is answered.

    45. Lorenzo Gaetani on

      i wanted to say something about drm but the post of @ErekoseDM is jast all you need to know, he is right, listen to him please

    46. Missing avatar

      Krozber on

      The multiplayer would be a huge draw to some people. Why isn't it posted in the description under the $650,000 stretch goal (Where I believe it gets unlocked)?

    47. ErekoseDM on

      @Creator Creative Intelligence Arts, Inc. / Cronus

      this would be a great update these were under
      "Offline Play - no internet connection required" :
      1) Claiming Kickstarter Reward Items
      5) Access to Updates and Bug fixes

      would be perfect update if all of these were under
      "Offline Play - no internet connection required" as well:
      1) Claiming Kickstarter Reward Items
      5) Access to Updates and Bug fixes
      3) Gain Achievements
      6) Multiplayer - if the upcoming stretch goal is reached

      3) - could be FTL/Primordia style achievements.
      many games implement achievements without the game being required to be online.
      6) - MP over TCP/IP Lan or local coop.

      5) - this is a must to have stand alone patches downloadable for the game for everyone who will play this offline.
      i want to download a patchfile.exe and do this manually. Not connect to network and its 'auto patched'.

      "After entering the activation key" for "Offline Play" must function with no internet.

      1) - as is mentioned email backers a code to input into the installer which would work Stand Alone from the internet (once downloaded) and have the code unlock the KS rewards. similar to the Shadowrun Returns method of KS rewards redemption.

      No Steam-CEG, No GFWL, No other DRM garbage please!

      hopefully update 1.5 will clarify at least my contention with Offline + points 1+5 at the very least.
      we shall see where this rabbit hole leads for now.
      maybe the answers are already in the comments while i wrote this out.

      all the best CIA!

      @Jesse Jacobs | Obsidian Order
      "but I'm willing to support DRM-free and/or indie developers who are willing to have direct downloads from their sites, but I will not support anything with any hint of the trash that is DRM. It's been proven countless times to be junk and not actually stop [piracy]. Some of the most DRM ridden games end up getting hacked anyway."

      here here! ^_^ i concur
      the pirates end up with the version of the game without the BS that functions better and will work into the future flawlessly.

      though its thanks to the many hackers that will fix the game after support has fallen off or companies get sold / merged / etc.

      DRM does nothing but punish backers and supporters and paying customers with crippled versions of games with stupid hoops to jump through to play for what you have already paid.

    48. Rodolink on

      onlines way better, cloud saves and all, dont care for multiplayer though