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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 combat update - Terrain

Posted by CIA, Inc. (Creator)
1 like

Today's Kickstarter and Paypal total

Kickstarter $616,720
Paypal $7,026

Total $623,746

Over 10,000 backers!

We are thrilled to have over 10,000 backers back our project! We still have many exciting updates to come, so please tune into our updates and tell your friends about our project ;)

Explaining the use of terrain in combat

Here's our first combat update video. We've realised that we have a huge amount of explaining to do in terms of combat, so decided to take it in little chunks at a time. The video may raise more questions and requests, but please understand that this is only a small handful of examples of how you can use the terrain to your advantage. Check it out and let us know what you think!


Hood Rat Entertainment likes this update.


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    1. Clement Fan on

      This has incredible potential. I have not had such high expectations of a game since FFVIII (and you all know how that went unfortunately...)
      Keep up the good work!

    2. Missing avatar

      Kevin Tom on

      Just wondering... On a general basis, how much will terrain-based tactics influence a player's success in the game?

      These mechanics look as if they have incredible potential (i.e. chopping down trees in forested areas to expose enemies, or hiding in said trees to set up an ambush), but I'm a little concerned as to whether they will play a significant role in the final gameplay build. If balanced incorrectly, players will likely neglect or rely solely on the terrain mechanic.

      For instance, if the bonuses from using the terrain to your advantage prove to be insignificant, then players may decide to opt out of environment-based strategizing, which is a crying shame since it looks so promising. On the other hand, if terrain mechanics are too powerful, other battle mechanics may suffer as a result.

      Do you intend for the terrain to be an absolutely integral part of the combat system (Meaning that we will have an extremely low chance of winning if we don't use it)? Or is it more of an optional tool that is only necessary in harder difficulties.

      Also, how far do you plan to go with this terrain mechanic? Will there be many unique environments (e.g. icy mountains, swamplands, underwater, airborne, etc.) or should we expect to see grasslands (As depicted in the gameplay mock-up screen) for the majority of the game?

      Thank you for your time

    3. Christian Wongso on

      Are we still be able to micromanage everything? I love the battle system from baldur's gate and dragon age where I can pause every 2 seconds to give command to my team, and then resumes it to see the action being executed. Well I do hope we can give command while the game paused as I'm not really good with RTS :)

    4. Josh Houston on

      Geomancer on FFTactics, high ground for archers and bowman. FFTactics is such an amazing game! If this borrows from it, I have not doubt it will be just as defining!

    5. Kevin Griffin on

      Sounds like Fire Emblem/FFTactics but with active battles! Interesting. Very, veeeeeery interesting...

    6. Olivier Lebeau-Paradis on

      I like the use of destructible terrain. Not that many games are using it.

    7. Missing avatar

      Donny on

      nice music btw,

      I wonder if the battle or some scenes will be bloody? (If it will, Anyway to turn off the blood?)

    8. Michele "Wise Monkey" on

      In my opinion the gameplay of an rpg is described by three distinct interconnected parts (any other game mechanics is optional).

      The combat: self explanatory, it describe how fights are rapresented.

      The exploration: Comprehend the stucture of the world, the npc and the interaction with them, the treasure chests, the quest (Main or secondary) and the storyline.

      And finally the Party management: It describe how the characters grow in strength and how the equipment and ability are managed by the player.

      Many jrpg shine on this aspects for example in FF Tactics the player can custumize the ability of the party members in order to find the best configuration during battles; Other examples are the materia in FF7 the limited item pool in Dragon Quest the runes in the Suikoden series.

      I think the RTS definition can only describe the combat part of the gameplay.

    9. Vince Vazquez

      This all sounds killer. I mean, the terrain stuff is something far more games should take into account. Should have been doing for a long time, more like it. Whenever I get into a battle in a forest, in any JRPG (or RPG period), I always hate that I can't set fire to the trees with flame spells. Mess up enemies using that kind of thing. That's why I'm pumped for Everquest NEXT.

      This though? It's probably going to be awesome, and the concept art is cute and helpful in explaining some fairly ambitious stuff... but man, I want to see something in-engine. I don't care if there's placeholder textures, assets are T-Posed and particle FX are incredibly rough. I just want to see what you guys have, and how it shows off what you want to you do with Phoenix. I'm very curious there. Currently, I'm imagining battles playing out roughly like Ogre Battle-meets-Dota. A big in-engine vid would probably explain all the elements of gameplay better than a series of shorter videos :)

      Still, nice update! One way or another, I'm certainly glad to see you guys diving into details now.

    10. Missing avatar


      The whole JRPG vs SRPG vs RTS etc is something that the developers really need to devote some time to clearing up. I would say the core impression one gets from the promotion so far is that its a JRPG.
      I note that the line at the top says that it is a JRPG (with RTS squad based game design, while a bit further down it is described as an RTS (with Japanese RPG design influences). These are two almost contradictory descriptions of a game. One suggest that JRPG is the driving influence, with RTS the secondary design, the other suggests that RTS is the primary game, with JRPG influences being the secondary design.
      To me it seems that the JRPG side seems to be what is being put out there the most, the game has even being referred to as the rebirth of JRPG. A JRPG definately seems to be the impression that many, many people have picked up as a result. Now JRPG is not equal to RTS by any stretch of the imagination, they two are really completely different genres of gaming. People who like JRPG's don't necessarily want to play RTS's and vice versa.
      I might also point out that there is a world of difference between a SRPG and an RTS. So quite possibly the devs need to clarify exactly what they are aiming for. Utawarerumono is an SRPG (or one might say a VN with SRPG battles...), Warcraft is a RTS with no RPG elements in site. Myth is an RTS without resource management. Spellforce is a RTS with some light RPG elements. Baldur's Gate is a western RPG with real-time yet pausable content. FFVIII and FFXII are both JRPG's but both have quite different approaches to combat. FFVIII is typical JRPG, FFXII is real time, yet I would in no way describe it as RTS. All of these games typically involve a squad or squads.
      Really the devs need to front up, get a bit more honest and either ditch the term JRPG (and lose a number of backers I suspect) and start clearly referring to it as an RTS with Japanese inspired RPG elements (if that is what it primarily is), or somehow explain very clearly how they are crafting a blend of two different gaming styles that is somehow still true to both, and exactly who this is going to appeal to.

    11. Missing avatar

      Richard Forster on

      In a previous update the team stated that this will be like WarCraft III, but with much more control over our heroes.

    12. Missing avatar

      Philipp Engert on

      @ Seizui: Growlanser seems to be a good comparison, actually. And I liked that game a lot!
      To all the others mentioning Dawn of War 2: Dawn of War 2 managed squad-based gameplay really good. The DoW2-gameplay could easily be featured in games like Baldur's Gate or Neverwinter Nights - so the next step, giving them the touch of a JRPG, is not impossibe to do, right?
      I think this will be a very interesting take on modern JRPGs. For instance, many people complained about FF13's Paradigm Shift-System, because it was something completely new - and I loved it, BECAUSE it was something new, because it was interesting: it gave you more strategic control!

    13. Seizui on

      Eh, the closest thing that I could say was RPG and RTS would be... Dragon Force for the Sega Saturn. You could almost argue the Growlanser series to a lesser degree.

    14. loner1200 on

      @Keith - In all fairness to Andrew, the main page does say it's a JRPG and a RTS. I struggle to think of a JRPG to date that is also an RTS. I'm still not fully sure what they mean by RTS in this case. Will this feel like DoW but with a JRPG's themes? That's the closest to a squad based RTS that I can think of. I guess this might be something new altoghether. Prior to DoW I wouldn't have been able to imagine the DoW system either.

    15. Andrew Pierce on

      @Keith: No I didn't, I don't know how I missed that though I feel like kind of an idiot now ;). I guess I got excited about a new JRPG after the video and just went straight to backing it before reading anything, but now that that's cleared up for me I guess I'll be lowering my pledge a lot, I'm not a fan of real time combat in RPGs. I know it can be done well but more often than not it just doesn't fit with the pacing of the story telling, either I enjoy the real time combat and the adrenaline makes me less interested in the story so the story gets in the way of my fun, or I don't enjoy the combat and the combat gets in the way of enjoying the story :(. With turn based combat I can take my time so adrenaline doesn't mess with me and I can enjoy both parts to their fullest.

    16. Missing avatar

      Keith McCoy on

      @ Andrew Pierce - I really don't want to sound like an @$$, but did you not read the VERY first line of the project description on the home page???

    17. William Allen on

      From what I am hearing, it appears that squads you are not controlling are capable of acting independently based on a preset behavior. Is this true? I would actually enjoy a combat system like this where I would not have to micro manage so much, rather guide the team as a whole.

    18. Andrew Pierce on

      Well now I'm confused, I thought this was going to be a JRPG like the core Final Fantasy games or Dragon Quest, but this makes it look more like a TRPG like Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea, except that it didn't sound like it was turn based which is worrying because that would be more like Dawn of War 2 which is much more like an RTS game than a JRPG :(.
      What kind of game is this going to be most similar to for the combat?

    19. Killer Bunny of Sin on

      Very very nice update.

    20. Zombra on

      I prefer reading to watching videos ... just saying.

      Looking forward to a great game. :)

    21. Missing avatar

      Keith McCoy on

      I appreciate the update. A Question though:

      What will the combat look like? Is it going to be the fixed perspective of top-down, like in the main concept art that's been available since day 1 (the one shown above that describes the 3 different squads)?

      I guess I expected the new concept sketches were going to show a visual of what it will look like in the game, but instead seemed like random illustrations that will likely not be the perspective those events will actually be viewed from.

    22. Missing avatar

      XV-Dragon on

      @Maxime and Aldo - Got agree with that, since cutting bride could be a way to loot or hinder travel in general (this could be a big issue if we hit the 1million stretch goal, which fully explore able over world) and for all we know the wall could have writing or such for a quest goal or maybe something simpler like the wall supported X amount of floor above.

    23. Maxime on

      @Aldo In the video he says that if you destroy a path to cut off the enemies, you might miss on something useful. Treasure, maybe? Also, I imagine if you, like in the video, decide to break the wall, you might be surprised by not 1 opponent, but a hundred. Just this one part of the system they explained in the video brings so much potential it's getting very interesting!

    24. Aldo S. on

      Will there be risk/possible disadvantages of doing certain actions? Will it always be advantageous to surprise orcs by making holes in walls for example?

    25. Christian on

      I'm so afraid you're going to turn this gorgeous 2D concept art into crappy-looking 3D game graphics.

    26. Missing avatar

      Jens mogensen on

      Great update. Love how much you go into detail.

    27. Skyl--- on

      Great vid Hiro !

      I really like this project, I hope Japanese devs will develop more games for Linux in the future (for international audience).

    28. Shiru XIII on

      Very interesting ! The concept arts are well done and give a nice preview of the Battle system.

      I've a few questions...:

      Will there be a battle arena ?
      Will there be some "duel" fight ? (a hero all alone vs a major foe)
      Will the equipment change the character's apparence ?
      Will there be some ultimate weapons ?

      Thanks in advance for the answers and keep up the good work !

    29. Inplainview on

      Awesome update! The art department deserves a pat on the back, along with some coffee and donuts. ;)

      As Hedwig said, it can be difficult to verbalize conceptual thoughts in a way that other people can share in your vision mostly as you see it, so I think the video was written superbly in that aspect.

      I can't wait to hear more about the classes and their passive abilities. It does bring up lots of questions as you stated, but I'll hold back because I understand there is much more left to be revealed until we can get the full feel for the concept you have for gameplay.

    30. AJ Meadows on

      It looks incredible. If the gameplay matches even half the quality of the concept artwork you've shown, I'll be more than satisfied. I had no idea the terrain would be a component of the combat system. Very cool. Can't wait to see more!

    31. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    32. Juan Esponera on

      @Andrew Man, how could possibly be a gameplay at this moment?? They're still gathering the money to do it

    33. CIA, Inc. Creator on


      I'm sorry, we're not ready (very far from ready) to even show you any kind of footage at the moment. We will keep those updates rolling!


    34. CIA, Inc. Creator on

      Stephanie Read,

      Most humanoid enemies will be squads but some of those mean old bastard bosses, don't have much friends at all, or they have a whole army of friends to destroy you!


    35. Missing avatar

      Stephanie Read on

      This is a great update, really exciting! Will the enemies also act in their own tactical groups each possibly using different terrain in a single battle?

    36. Andrew on

      I was expecting some gameplay, so a little disappointed on that front...but other than that, it sounds quite interesting and I certainly like that terrain and environments have an impact on battles not just from your standard elevation impact seen in most games, but also in the interactivity, such as your bridge example.

      Can't wait for the next video!

    37. Missing avatar

      XV-Dragon on

      I'm looking forward t this game though the combat style is still a concern to me (I'm one of those reflex players so turn base style was always a boon for me in the older RPGs) but I might still do well in this game once I get the feel for the system, plus as stated in the video we have only seen a small bit of combat info so far.

    38. Yosharian on

      This is fantastic stuff guys! Really stoked to see developers using distance and height as tactical advantages in combat systems, you don't see that kind of thing anymore in games!

    39. Maxime on

      Wow I was really waiting for this update, but at the same time I was a bit afraid to be disappointed somehow, but I'm very happy with the vision CIA has in regards to battles. I like how getting high ground makes you see farther. Really good update! Waiting for more like this!

    40. CIA, Inc. Creator on

      Alex Choi,

      There will definitely be multiple "correct" answers to a strategic problem. There will be objectives like "get to point A within 5 mins" but we do not intend it to be linear. The way you achieve a mission, is ultimately up to you.


    41. Missing avatar

      Richard Forster on

      I smell some cat-mouse play with the enemy around some advantage points.

    42. Alex Choi on

      So, it looks like Musou play style is unachievable even with the best equip in the game?

      Meanwhile, I like the idea of making tactical advantage decisions. However, will this possibly mean that in the higher difficulties, you will have to do linear things within certain time limit (like capture the high ground before your enemies do) or otherwise losing the battle? If so, the replay value of the game may decrease as you'll just need to follow a standard procedure. Am I getting it right?

    43. Hasan Patel Rodriguez on

      Thumbs up! great work wish you the best and hope we can achieve all those extra goals. Also the music is superb

    44. David Long

      This looks so so good! I can't wait for it!

    45. Juan Esponera on

      Thanks for this update... and what an update!! Seems that the game is gonna be deep in tactics. I'll set the higher difficulty for sure, to enjoy it as much as I can.
      Keep working this hard ,CIA!! =)