Project Phoenix, The Indie JRPG By AAA Talent
Creative Intelligence Arts have announced plans to develop Project Phoenix, a Japanese role-playing game combined with real-time strategy. Made by an international staff with AAA credits to their names, a Kickstarter will be launched soon to fund part of the game’s creation.
The company’s founder, Hiroaki Yura, will be leading the project as game director. Joining him are talents such as Kiyoshi Arai, an art designer who’s worked on Final Fantasy XII and XIV, as well as influential composer Nobuo Uematsu. Other staff members have worked on titles such as Halo 4, Crysis 3, L.A. Noire and much more, including Blizzard Entertainment’s major franchises. They’re also teasing the reveal of a secret designer “from a leading anime mecha title that changed the course of Japanese pop culture’s influence in the world.”
Project Phoenix will follow the story of Ruffles, an amnesiac angel who has landed in the world of Azuregard. Together with three others—Marcus Stern, a troubled Templar; Sylrianah, a reserved but curious elven princess; and Zarum the Lost, a battlemage suffering from internal conflicts—the unlikely four must discover their place in a world beset by war.
Described as a sprawling adventure, players will travel across Azuregard to do battle. The game’s blend of JRPG and RTS will result in fast and dynamic combat, where taking advantage of the environmental terrain features will provide a tactical edge.
The goal of the upcoming Kickstarter project will be to raise $100,000 for programming and artistic development. Stretch goals will allow for the creation of additional areas, cut scenes and the hiring of award-winning sound engineer John Kurlander and the Eminence Symphony Orchestra. Hiroaki has gone on Twitter stating that the minimum goal is “enough to create our 3D models.”
More information on Project Phoenix will be revealed in three days’ time, according to their teaser site. Team members will be in the forums to answer fan questions then, a much-needed move to shed light on the title and the creators themselves. After all, there isn’t much to know about Creative Intelligence Arts other than it being focused on games and music. Hiroaki Yura himself is a violinist, who also happens to be the founder of the above-mentioned Eminence Symphony Orchestra.
Project Phoenix is scheduled to release in mid-2015 for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android, with mobile being the primary platform. Until we find out more, let’s practice some restrained enthusiasm: Hnnngh!
Update: The Kickstarter is now live and, as expected, has already met it’s goal in less than nine hours. The project is currently in pre-production and so only has a few art and music concepts at this stage. However, they do describe Project Phoenix as a “squad-based, real-time strategy game” with an estimated release of mid-2015.
A collaboration of this scope with a low Kickstarter goal definitely raises a few eyebrows, so they took to addressing that issue under a FAQ. It explains that the members will not be getting a salary during the project, only royalties based on the amount of work they contribute. Therefore all funds raised will go towards development with an immediate focus on 3D modelling, while relying on stretch goals to make it bigger and better.
The minimum pledge to secure a digital copy of Project Phoenix is US$20 (SG$25) and it’ll come with closed beta access.