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Tech Status Update: Tuesday August 13, 2013

The Phoenix Project
Tech Status Update: Tuesday August 13, 2013
By: Doctor Tyche, Game Tech Director
Subj: Kickstarter 'Stretch Goals'

It has been a week since our last update, and what a week it has been. The first full election of company officers has been completed, and I, for one, welcome our new Quinn overlord, er, I mean company President. With Segev's transition to student now all but completed, stepping in to his shoes as Studio Director is Wraith, known to his family and friends as Jacob or PlanetJ.

Now that the business adjustment is completed, all steam ahead for the Kickstarter. One area people have been asking us about has been to find out our stretch goals. To understand them, you first need to understand our target.

Our initial target, the baseline, is for 12 zones, the first 30 levels, 5 archetypes, with 20 powersets, and the client running on Windows.

Stretch goals mean we can enable people to dedicate more time to the project, which in turn means more work done on the various areas. More levels, more powers, more archetypes at launch. We have mapped out a full range, over 40 zones, 50 levels, 18 archetypes, over 60 powersets, and to have our client running on Windows, MacOS X and Linux. Our plan is to have them in eventually, even if we only hit the minimum with Kickstarter. The stretch goals then become the factor in how much we will have at launch.

Some areas are easier than others, so for instance Mac support comes early on, while side switching comes late in the stretch goals. Side note, the late introduction of side-switching may sound odd until you grasp how we are aiming to do it. It is not a simple bipolar expression, where you either are, or are not, a hero or villain. Nor is it a circular wheel where you go from one to another around and around. It is far more subtle, far more expressive. If we were to do something simple, then it would take less time. But, is that what you really want, or do you want it to be more nuanced, to be better able to express the difference between a hero and villain? Your caped crusader hero is far difference from your redeemed netherworld demon, after all, and it is about time a game reflected that. The same with your super-powered corporate suit against the crazed French-speaking maniac bomber, the world reacts to each differently.

A lesson I learned a long time ago, promise only what you have a 90% chance of delivering. While we want to promise everything we have planned for day 1, the truth is we have to be realistic. 30 levels needs half of the content of 50 levels. 12 zones needs a fifth of the artwork and coding demands of 40. And so on. By taking this approach, we know we can deliver a game, and eventually add what we want. But with stretch goals met, we can bring more sooner, and that leaves it up in to your hands.

We at The Phoenix Project appreciate all of your support, and thank you.