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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 musical update

Posted by CIA, Inc. (Creator)
1 like

Today's Kickstarter and Paypal total

Kickstarter $570,462
Paypal $3,127.56

Total $573,589.56

Music from Project Phoenix plays a large part in our game. There are several reasons to this, and one of the main reason is that I started out in this industry as a Music Director.

So today, I'd like to start off by talking to you about our core values of music in our game.

1) Music is awesome. Music can portray what picture can't and it gives colour to the very air you're breathing. The beauty is they are so much emotions that can be interpreted in many different ways by different people. It makes a scene memorable and gets gamers pumped for battle.

2) Music isn't everything. Time and time again, as a Music Director, I remind my composers that music isn't everything. Us, servants of music is always at the mercy of the "picture". We write music to "picture". We support and buff the picture to make the whole experience so much better. And of course, the picture means nothing without the game. In the end, we don't mean or amount to much without the game itself.

3) Less can be more. You really can't appreciate or know true happiness without experiencing sorrow. You won't know what loud is, without knowing soft. I believe that we shouldn't assault gamers with a tsunami wall of sound. Just because there's more people in the orchestra, it doesn't make the music more epic or awesome. Just because we're using silence, it doesn't mean we're lazy. We want to use "less" to good effect.

Now, building on this foundation, I've put together three excellent composers to compose for our game.

Nobuo Uematsu
For those of you who doesn't know, he is the guy who created the music to the majority of Final Fantasy series, Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon to name a few. I respect many of his works as that has set a standard in music from JRPGs.

Kevin Penkin
In his twenties and moving to London to study at the Royal Academy, Kevin is a very talented composer from Perth, Australia. He is a great fan of works by Nobuo Uematsu, Yasunori Mitsuda and Hitoshi Sakimoto. I think his work feels more "Japanese" than Western as he really treats the melodic line with grace. He has worked on several titles assisting with arrangement and collaborating on compositions with Nobuo Uematsu.

Tomoki Miyoshi
A prodigee of his time, Tomoki wrote his first professional work at the mere age of sixteen for the cinematic of SOULCALIBUR V. His scores were immaculate and had no mistakes for the thirty minutes or so of the music he composed and scored for the Eminence Symphony Orchestra. He has been highly praised by the esteemed engineer John Kurlander. He has recently finished worked with a major animation studio in Japan, and is known for a very cinematic approach to his soundtrack.

With these talented composers, we are sculpting the musical model to Project Phoenix. I have big plans for the music, and I personally would love to see the 1.65m stretch goal reached.

At the 1.65m stretch goal, the composers will receive the following

1) Recorded by the Eminence Symphony Orchestra
I think enough said here. If you don't know who they are, they are the first and only orchestra that specialise in the recording and the performance of video game and anime music. They have worked on titles like Diablo III and 
Here's a video of them performing "One Winged Angel" from Final Fantasy VII by Nobuo Uematsu.

2) Recorded and mixed by John Kurlander
John is, in my mind, one of the grandmasters of musical engineering for Fantasy. Having worked on the Lord of the Rings trilogy and receiving three consecutive grammies for his work, and many many legendary feats of craftsmanship follow his name. I'm not exaggerating, what I mention here is a very miniscule description of what kind of man he truly is.
His work will truly allow our music to shine.

Please trust me when I say we need them for our music. Last time I took full control of a music production, our game was nominated for eight categories for the Annual Game Music Awards and we took home three wins. I believe I can do even better this time thanks to the backers of this project giving me creative freedom to be at my full potential.

We've started on a pre-emptive sketches of the music to the game. Here are some work in progress. It will most likely change somewhat but the "feel" is there.

Cinematic "The Ride" V3 by Kevin Penkin
This cue is planned on being used during a cinematic where Marcus and his band are riding on Dragons... and doing stuff... I apologize for the lack of description, I hope you understand I don't want to ruin the story.

Elven Glades by Tomoki Miyoshi
This cue is going to be used for the outskirts of the Elven forest of Vervanna during the Overworld. Imagine Marcus and his band riding on horseback viewing the beautiful forest of Vervanna with a backdrop of rolling green hills of The Kingdoms of the Far Realm. A feeling of anticipation and excitement in the knowledge that they'd be meeting the Elves, an extremely rare occasion for non-elven mortals.

I hope we have demonstrated our passion and skills in music. I apologise in advance in regards to cues by Nobuo Uematsu as his first cues would probably be approved for publicity around January next year. I am planning a very different return of the master of music of JRPG and I sincerely hope it'd catch everybody with a pleasant surprise.


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    1. Levi Flaman on

      Really hoping for the Uematsu/Eminence/Kurlander collaboration. After a rocket start, the total slowed to a trickle and I'm worried 1.65m seems too high to reach with 2 and a half weeks left. I still listen to my Distant Worlds CD that I got at a concert in Rosemont, IL regularly.

      Arigatou gozaimasu, Uematsu-san.

    2. Missing avatar


      If the whole soundtrack is going to be this awesome I am going to have to upgrade my pledge to include the soundtrack for sure...

    3. Deborah Li on

      WOW. WOW!!!!!! these are the kinds of music i miss on classic JRPGs. the epic music that are as big and amazing as the game itself.

    4. Falkon Swiftblade on

      I genuinely hope this game can get funded for at least 2 hours of music. 4+ hours like Skyrim would be better though, I love it! ;)

    5. Falkon Swiftblade on

      the music is the best so far, it may be my new fav game soundtrack in 20 yrs! Everything is splendid :)

    6. smeglord1 on

      I am so glad I went for the backer level that gave me a copy of the soundtrack. I like how its shaping up.

    7. Trypetide on

      I think they did a better performance on this one…

    8. CIA, Inc. Creator on

      It's one of my favorites as well. Are you able to pick out Hiro in the video? It seems to zoom in on him for a close up from time to time ;)


    9. Turk

      aaaahhh listening to 1 winged Angel gave me goosebumps all over :)

    10. Missing avatar

      Wagner GFX5000i on

      Wonderful update, some of the best soundtrack musics I've ever heard. When I close my eyes, I can even imagine how beautiful the game will look like, and that's something very rare to find these days.

      I hope to see a special update for the art as well. Seeing your thoughts about the "picture" of the game and everything else that you plan to make the world of Azueregard as beautiful as it can be.
      (with this level music and art quality, I'm sure it will be on our minds for the rest of our lives)

    11. Missing avatar

      Jamie DeFalco on

      I love the cue "The Ride". I'm moved by it. I know I'm gonna hear this in my head all day.

    12. Olivier Lebeau-Paradis on

      Pretty Solid samples, can't wait for January though. ;)

    13. Scott Hawkinson on

      Beautiful samples. It has made me rethink my pledge. :)

    14. Missing avatar

      Samuel Nunes on

      Thanks for the awesome update! These two are some really great music pieces, especially considering that they're still works in progress. And it's really cool that we get to hear them while still in WIP state! :)

      I have one question though: one thing that I especially liked when hearing both pieces, was that there's a clear distinction in music style between them. This makes me hopeful that the soundtrack as a whole might be very rich in styles and influences. But this point is something which you did not mention yet I think... what are your thoughts about soundtracks like e.g. in the anime "Sword Art Online" (OST by Yuki Kajiura), which make use of lots of different music genres? Is this something you would have in mind for the game? Or do you prefer keeping a more unified style?

    15. Inplainview on

      "I hope we have demonstrated our passion and skills in music."

      Absolutely. It is hard to believe these examples are only "works in progress".

      Thank you for the excellent update.

    16. Shiru XIII on

      OMG !! Both songs are awesome :) ! Even for WIP tracks, they really sound great !

    17. Pogopuschel on

      Yeah, music all the way! :-)
      Had to up my pledge after hearing this.

    18. Trypetide on

      It's really interesting to hear these pieces. They're still a little raw around the edges, but we get really well the feelings and direction they take.

      @HIRO , There is something that really intrigued me though.
      A really appreciate when in a game, you have a good repartition to the use of music.

      Like you said, "You won't know what loud is, without knowing soft. I believe that we shouldn't assault gamers with a tsunami wall of sound".

      If possible, can you tell us a little more about this point specifically, the kind of inspiration you have, ideas... feelings.
      For my part, there is a person that use really skillfully this kind of technique, maybe you're acquainted to him: Yūzō Koshiro.
      Generally, he is known for his work on game like the Ys & SHINOBI series, Bare Knuckles (street of rage), and more recently the Wangan Midnight or Etrian odyssey series.
      But, he did some orchestral pieces that is the point of my argumentation.
      "The Story of Thor" and "Actraiser".

      - Actraiser: because of his re-orchestration album, that is one of my favorites. It's a mishmash of most of the game soundtracks, but with a total orchestral twist. If you don't had the chance to listen to it, go ahead, it's really short (30min). For example, "Pyramid ~ Marana ~ Seijyaku ~ North Wall" track. And I known it's a little "old school", but you really have this feeling of traveling with sound.
      (The link with tracklist included… ).

      - The Story of Thor: It's one game that I really loved and still do, from the first second of the intro (and the visual, of course. Like you said, the "picture"). It turns out to be, at last for me, one of the most compelling and epic soundtrack that I've heard since now. It's subjective, I concede that.
      It emanates really something orchestrally grandiose, narrative and subtle from this soundtrack, all of that with the restrictive sound of the Mega Drive. (INB4 "SNES is the best", not the subject). Keep in mind that we're totally in an Action-RPG type of game, but nonetheless it's a great experience to feel and play.

      If you can just hear all the pieces, that would be the must, but you can try "The Story of Thor" & "Evil Territory" tracks for starter.
      ( The link to the soundtrack with tracklist… )

      For trivia, the second game sadly released on Saturn (not because of the system, but of its success). Here he used a different approach. Also orchestral, but... I don't know. Personally, I find it lacking something... the instrumentation, I guess.
      ( A link to one track to illustrate my point… )

      Well, that's it. Hope to read your opinion about this, Yura-san.
      I really appreciated this update, and hope to see soon the same kind, with others member of your crew (why not the writing part in the next one !)

    19. Missing avatar

      Rink on

      Amazing update also for me. Now I really really want to see that stretchgoal reached as even now in this early stages it seems like this could become the best game soundtrack of all time (imho chrono cross - no sorry Nobuo Uematsu, you were clearly beaten there, but you can make it with this game now :P). Upping my pledge right now, especially for you Kevin Penkin - awesome work!
      I would love to see and hear an orchestra playing that music you created. Can I ask: was the music first or did you have the cinematography and on what second what happens, when you wrote this composition? Even without any picture at all if makes me all emotional. I liked Elven Glades as well, but for me "the ride" is superior ;) Nobuo Uematsu really will have to show his best work.

    20. Missing avatar

      Keith McCoy on

      I'm quite pleased with these first few snippets.

      One of my big complaints about the current state of jrpgs was the overall tone has been lost from what it was back in the pre-Playstation days. Since then, most jrpgs lean towards the souped up steampunk/futuristic settings with the absurd art direction (spiky hair, ridiculously oversized weapons, outfits that serve no purpose other than to look sexy or "cool" (which is VERY subjective)). Along with that art direction, it seems like the music has gotten further away from the classical, and moved to lots of techno-rock...which I don't particularly care for in my rpgs.

      I like the classic fantasy setting with classical the rpgs I remember during the NES and SNES eras. All signs point to this project catering to that, which makes me happy. It's been a while since a jrpg has done that successfully. FF9 was the last one that did it really well in my opinion.

    21. Maxime on

      I hate to be that guy, but to everyone who ''can't wait for release'', the estimated delivery date is in more than a full year!! :P Can't say I don't feel the same way, though.
      Been listening to the WIP samples a few times in a row now. I'm in no way musically educated, but I know when I like something. And I like this. A lot! Thanks for the update!

    22. Juan Esponera on

      That's a very nice idea, in my opinion. I have to say that the 1.65m goal seems quite far, now that the money pledged by day is not too much

    23. Scott Jennings on

      @Chen @Edwin I agree, after hearing Elven Glades WIP I now want to get the soundtrack.

    24. Eric C on

      Yeah it's pretty awesome. I wish we could see the gameplay in action as well, but it sounds like that is very far off. I'll have to deal with imagining it in my mind.

    25. Ale on

      I'm in awe really...thanks for this update

    26. Missing avatar

      chrisg on

      Wow, awesome, epic! I really hope that you will get the money for the orchestra!
      You should give backers a reason to increase their current pledge. The new $800,000 goal doesn't do anything - we get something for free when that goal is reached. For an example on how this is done well, have a look at the successful game project "Armikrog" here on Kickstarter (the project is over, so this isn't an ad for them):
      Scroll down to "Digital Add-Ons for any Tier ".
      They offered many different addons, where people add a certain amount to their pledge to get something extra.
      I suggest that you offer mainly digital addons like developer comments or interviews, extra music etc. because they don't take away any money for fulfilling the addon (like a poster, which costs real money to make and send). This way you will have more money for the actual project.

    27. Yuchen Y. on

      Just love music like these. Cant wait to get my hands on the soundtrack. Hopefully you will keep posting more samples like these.

    28. Edwin Toh on

      Great line up and loving the Elven Glades WIP!

      Thanks for all the great updates! I can't wait for this game to be released.

    29. Marcos Nijborg on

      I just imagine a lot of heroes riding dragons.The music it's not all, but it's an important factor in the game, it evoke feelings and emotions, and can make a person cry. Remember in Lost Odyssey the scores in the 1000 years of dreams, and many of those stories (and its music) make me cry just for the beauty in itself. I know this game will give the music an important factor to be remember for such a long time. Cheers!

    30. Brian on

      @Hiro Thanks and makes sense - no point in surround if it's not a full real life orchestra (though it's amazing what synths can do these days)

    31. Raül Meroño Pericas on

      "These are only early samples..."

      Can't wait to hear some more!! ^0^

    32. Brian White on

      I love the Elven Glades piece. I think the other one needs some work. It doesn't give me the same effect the Elven Glades song does. You know that "make your hair stand up" feeling? It also doesn't sound as epic as is should. II mean you are riding a dragon it should make it feel like you are flying. Right now it sounds more like a battle with orcs. Just saying.

    33. Missing avatar

      Donovan Williams on

      Both of the original cues are amazing. I especially liked Elven Glades. With the musical muscle that is on this team, the expectation is set pretty high, as I'm sure you all are aware. Based on these short cues, as well as this update, I'm confident this game will live up to those expectations.

      One of the things that pleased me the most in this update was that Hiro acknowledges that "Music isn't everything" and "Less can be more". Given his background, that was good to hear. Bottom line: awesome job on everything so far! Especially this update!

      Super happy to be a backer of this project. Although, I'm still a little concerned- no, curious would be a better word- with the stance battle system. We'll just have to wait and see how it works exactly.

    34. CIA, Inc. Creator on


      Point taken. We'll see if I can get a surround mix but please do remember we will definitely need to hit the 1.65m stretch goal for that.


    35. Juan Esponera on

      Thanks for another incredible update. Second and third tracks were really impressive for me (the first one was too, but I already knew it... was fine to listen at it again)

    36. Brian on

      I understand these are early versions of the music, I expect them to only get even more richer and complex and for that I'm really excited!

      That leaves me with a question,

      The physical soundtrack is on DVD, will that be DVD-Audio or perhaps one of the compressed surround standards (DTS, DD etc)? It would be awesome to have surround mixes of these tracks.

    37. Eric0965 on

      Love the music, awesome work! :)

    38. Missing avatar

      deleted on

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