You may recall Project Phoenix from a few months back, but relatively little has been heard about it since.
The project was Kickstarter's first Japan-based video game project, and brought together a number of renowned talents from all over the world, including Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu, L.A. Noire designer Vaughan Smith, Japanese fantasy writer Yoko Enoki and Final Fantasy XII and XIV's artist Kiyoshi Arai. The project is directed and produced by Hiroaki Yura, who previously worked on titles as diverse as Diablo III, Valkyria Chronicles, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and Steins;Gate.
The original Kickstarter was a big success, raising over a million dollars -- well over the $100,000 the team was initially asking for -- and providing the opportunity for the team to flesh out the project even more than they originally intended with fully detailed cities, customizable character creation, a full overworld and additional music from Uematsu.
But what if you missed the original Kickstarter rush and still want to help out the project? Well, you can; via the official site, the project is now accepting donations via PayPal and, moreover, offering some additional rewards -- mostly in the form of backer-exclusive in-game items, pets and mounts -- that weren't available during the original Kickstarter campaign.
"We're very excited to see our Kickstarter campaign continue through PayPal," says Yura. "We've already been able to implement challenges like having your entire party battle inside a kraken. Additional resources will allow us to make the journey through Azuregard a more enriching, engrossing experience."
At present, the campaign total is at $1,086,659 raised from 16,715 backers. The next tier of stretch goals comes at $1,650,000 and will bring two new zones, a series of sidestories and a musical collaboration between Uematsu, the project's sound engineer John Kurlander and the group of musicians Yura founded, the Eminence Symphony Orchestra. Beyond that, later stretch goals include more advanced skill trees, additional localizations and additional layers of polish. Should the project manage to break the $4,050,000 barrier, there'll even be some form of multiplayer mode implemented, though that's a big stretch from where things are right now.
Project Phoenix itself is still in the pre-production phase, but the game design and storyline are already fully mapped out, and both the artists and musicians are hard at work on bringing the world of Azuregard to life. The game is currently pencilled in for a June 2015 release on PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4 and Vita, though there will also be more limited iOS and Android versions available.
You can find out more about the project as a whole on the currently rather bare-bones official site, and with any lucky we'll start to hear more about the game in active development this year.