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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.

Thoughts on a Nikkei Article, Ask Cinematic Artist Koya Takashashi Your Questions

Posted by CIA, Inc. (Creator)
1 like

This Week’s Totals:

Kickstarter: $1,014,600
Paypal: $67,961

Total: $1,082,561

Crowdfunding and "Cool Japan"

This week brings us a bit of an interesting discussion on Crowdfunding and "Cool Japan" which was brought to light through this article that appeared in Nikkei, Japan's largest business publication.  For those of you who can't read it, the gist of it is that the concept of crowdfunding is in its nascent state in Japan but it can become a viable funding model for anime and Japan-based projects, particularly in light of the success that Little Witch Academia and Project Phoenix (wooo!) have experienced!

For Little Witch Academia, the idea came as a result of Youtube commenters who expressed the desire to pay for the anime.  In our case, we wanted to create a game with skilled developers and creators that wouldn't have gotten approval at a bigger company.  This last point is especially relevant because of the generally risk-averse nature of the game industry and the relative niche that the JRPG genre occupies within most gamers' consciousness, making JRPGs relatively less appealing to companies deciding which games to pour resources towards, especially one that's looking to implement novel game mechanics.

This is why a platform like Kickstarter is so viable for allowing passion projects like ours to see the light of day!  Without the backing of so many JRPG enthusiasts, we would not be able to succeed, and that why we're committed to updating you with regard to our progress.  Not only does this keep us honest, it keeps you all informed of what's going on, like our Director hard at work this week looking through the Project Phoenix script:

So thank you again and for those who can read Japanese, don't spoil things tooooo much. ;D

Hagiwara-san's Responses Slightly Delayed...

But worry not!  Asami Hagiwara has responded to your questions.  We do need a bit of time to translate her words to your questions!  But if you wanted to know about Hagiwara-san's day to day schedule... look no further than the picture below:

Ask Koya Takahashi Your Questions!

And up this week, we have Koya Takahashi, Project Phoenix's Lead Cinematic Artist!  Those of you who've been following Project Phoenix will have seen Takahashi-san's work, particularly his rendition of the City of Cordo, shown below:

Needless to say, his beautiful artwork will go a long way towards making Azuregard come to life so that it can become the living, breathing entity that we're all striving towards.  There are plenty of artistic considerations that go into creating the world and we're sure you're curious about the concept, so feel free to take this time to ask Takahashi-san your burning questions!  Because of the timing required in translating your questions, get them in by 23:59pm on Tuesday, October 1 for your questions to be considered!

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    1. EvaUnit02

      Question for Takahashi-san:
      Do you think that more Japanese made games should be less reliant on pre-rendered FMV cutscenes and make more use of real-time in-engine cutscenes, like how many Western made games do?

      Thanks in advance.

    2. Maxime on

      @Jasae why are you publicising other projects in the update comment section?

    3. Jasae Bushae on

      Are there any other kickstarter projects you would encourage people to take an interest in? Like Mighty Number 9 or Shantae half genie hero?

    4. Chaiyut Asawameiteerungroj on

      Even if I saw project phoenix introduction video at here many times, I still don't understand about position of Mr. Koya Takahashi.
      What does Lead Cinematic Artist do? Is it about cut-scene or event?

    5. Benjamin Sussman on

      Since most of my other questions will likely be asked, I thought that I'd try to ask mine in Japanese.


    6. Maxime on

      I wish I had interesting ideas for questions, too! And I know how you feel, Vince! Also, Ahmad, you can adjust the amount of actions you can undo in photoshop!

    7. Asavarserkul on

      My questions to Takahashi san
      How is it to work with so many People from different countries and companies?
      Are you satiesfied with what you are creating?
      What are your thoughts about the whole Gaming Industry?

    8. BlackGauntlet

      Are those stuffed toys or real animals behind Hagiwara-san? (0_0;)

    9. Missing avatar

      Ahmad Al Shaibani on

      Wow! All you guys asked some awesome questions, I don't think I have anything to ask but say Let's Enjoy the ride!!! XD
      I KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL VINCE !!! Especially with Photoshop's limited CRTL-Z!!! You choose your steps wisely !!!

    10. Missing avatar

      Eric Zhang on

      1. Collaboration between western and eastern projects have never been done before. Do you believe Project Phoenix help both sides to collaborate more with each other?
      2. If you weren't a artist what would you be doing instead?
      3. What have you noticed the major difference between Eastern and Western games?
      4. What are your hopes of Japan relying on kickstarter?
      5. What advice would you give to people who want to pursue a career in art?

    11. Vince Vazquez

      If my smartphone's translator app is accurate (that's a big "if" though), I can translate my first question, at least phonetically: Dono yo ni kare wa, kono firudo ni hairu made owaranakatta. Well, y'know, without accents & stuff :P

    12. Vince Vazquez

      lol @ Asami's pic. I know that feeling of Ctrl+Z'ing everything you're working on whenever I'm illustrating in Photoshop. Tablets, while better than mice, make nice linework so hard to do... that's why I stick to Pen Tool'ing the stuff. Haven't even attempted digital painting in a while, and I gotta say, whenever I see stuff like Takahashi's stuff, I think, "Why should I even bother?" sometimes :P I'll tell you why I should bother -- because that's amazing and I want to do it, and also I'm a little crazy!

      My question(s) for Takahasi-san would be
      -how did he end up getting into this field
      -does he have any tricks or techniques he uses that he could let us in on?
      -what's the process like when he sits down to knock out a piece? Does he go by a brief description, or does he have a broad general theme to work with?
      -does he listen to music when working on this stuff to stay focused on the task at hand, and if so, what genres & does it inspire any elements of his work? I imagine the score for the game they're working on inspires a lot of artists who work on video games :P

      Maybe this is just for art dorks like myself, who have their 5-inch WACOM tablets hooked up to their laptops right this instant, and who have a Youtube Collection for art tutorial videos to watch to get better at this stuff, but that's what I want to know! The art in Phoenix so far is absolutely beautiful! From everyone involved!

    13. Nikolai on

      To Takahashi-san,

      The vibrancy and majesty of the posted still in this update promise a fantastic visual experience, and I can't wait to see more. This curiosity leads me to ask the following:

      Is it harder to illustrate settings of peace and order in Azureguard or are scenes of destruction and chaos easier to make?

      What are your historical or visual sources of inspiration for the Dwarves, Humans, Angels, and Orcish civilizations?

      Do you have a favorite?

    14. Daniel Iron Skill Gonzalez on

      @Matt: great question. Can't wait for the response

    15. Daniel Iron Skill Gonzalez on

      Questions for Takahashi-san:

      #1 When creating cinematic pieces with the intention of conveying scope and scale, do you ever find your imagination taking things beyond what would be technically feasible? And if so, how difficult is it for you to scale back and strike a balance between your original vision and the limitations of the project (technological, budgetary, etc.)

      #2: With a number of different artists creating different characters and elements with which to populate the game, do you find yourself building the world around the characters? or is it the other way around?

    16. Missing avatar

      Matt Leuthy on

      A question for Takahashi-san: As Lead Cinematic Artist, you are obviously someone who has great influence over the players' first impressions of the game's world and how it operates. With this project have you spent more time trying to distinguish each nation/city/area, or have you spent more time trying to connect these areas with common elements to bring everything together?

    17. Ryan Brown on

      @Trypetide @Maxime
      Thank you!

    18. Maxime on

      @Ryan @Sean
      It exists. I happen to have it. And you can, too, if you just do a quick image search of city of cordo with ''large'' selected instead of ''any size''.

    19. Trypetide on

      Here you go~
      You're welcome =3

      - What are your influences, how much did they help you shape your work on the world of Azuregard, and how deep did you want to go into the depiction of this world (holding up with the story but trying to go a little far of its boundaries...etc)
      - What is Project Phoenix to you on the art level, and the emotion/desire level ?

    20. Sean Hull on

      +1 to Ryan's request.

    21. Missing avatar

      Alan Manganti Lalonde on

      Hi! Question for Takahashi-san. Will there be any architectural inspirations from varying cultures around the world? As of yet we have mostly seen Western High Fantasy (medieval), but will we have the inclusion of styles that mirror other now-mythical versions of cultures, like Feudal Japan, Chinese Dynasties, Indian Empires, and so on?


    22. Missing avatar

      frogun on

      I can barely see the sort of architecture Cordo is made of, but it looks like a very imposing Imperial Roman mixed with European Gothic?

      How exactly does he visualize the overall environments such as this? Does he slowly build up from thinking of something such as a warm, Italian coastal city and build upwards or does he try to grab a bigger picture and scale downwards by adding details?

    23. Ryan Brown on

      I would love a hi-res City of Cordo image :)