Over the past couple of months, I’ve been spending a lot of time watching Visionary Games and their progress with their upcoming title Project Phoenix Rising. During this time, I’ve come to appreciate what the team has done, the designs for their champions, the designs for the minions, and even a pre-alpha design for pieces of their upcoming map for the game. In order to understand what the team is up to, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Captain Spicy, Lead Project Manager and get some answers regarding their game.
Dustin: Do you feel that Visionary Games is already surpassing Epic Games in their developmental process of Paragon and the grounds of having open discussions and development with the community?
C.S.: Well, it’s hard to claim whether or not we will have actually surpassed anyone, let alone Epic Games, in the development process when only comparing community involvement. Since we are so new and still in the infancy days of development, it’s hard to really compare our current success to big-name game development studios like that until we have actually produced a product we can measure success from.
Since I am a bit biased, I’d say the approach we are taking is certainly new and exciting compared to the old school development styles presented by other game development studios, and it does have a huge impact on the product we are creating. It is really interesting seeing everyone’s opinions on how we should do some things or how we shouldn’t do things, and they are all taken into account before we do make any major decisions concerning the product development.
However, there are a lot of basics that we will retain from a normal business model, such as waiting for complete incorporation before accepting any sort of funding to prevent any tax issues and to prevent any single person from being able to just run away with the funds (which is something I think all of us would like to avoid). Open development video’s and how it’s helping mold Project Phoenix Rising at this point in time.Dustin: How do you feel that the open development, releasing of development videos, live streams, and the likes are helping mold Project Phoenix Rising?
C.S: I think that having these live streams of our development process really helps to not only show how transparent and open we are willing to be, but it also helps give a glimpse to the viewers exactly how difficult it actually is to create the art, the models, the landscape, and everything else involved with making a video game of this art style. We have actually been able to raise enough funds to help pay for a license for one of our team members so they can start development on VFX, which I think was the coolest thing the community has done. It really shows that there are people out there who do have faith in what we are doing and are willing to help financially even when we aren’t fully open to accepting funding. (modifié)
Dustin: Partnerships, will they be considered? What about consoles and or crossplay features?
C.S.: Everything is being considered, however, we don’t just go making huge decisions like that all willy nilly. Just like the decision process taken to choose whether or not to use the free assets, any decisions made about partnerships will be thoroughly discussed by the team, and the board of directors while watching the input of our community. So I won’t say yes or no to that question because I’d rather not allow my decision to prevent us from any possible future opportunities that may help us out. Speculation on whether or not the console market and crossplay will be possible.
We aim to release on the PC first simply because that’s the easiest to work with and off of. Before we can begin development on any consoles, we will need to be a registered company so that we can acquire a development license to start building for those systems. Crossplay is entirely dependent whether Sony or Microsoft is willing to allow it. We’ll find out more on that once we get to that point.
Dustin: Now the big one: Microtransactions. Will Project Phoenix Rising have them?
C.S: Well, yeah, there will be some form of monetization involved. I’d like to be able to pay the people working on this for the work they’ve done and the work they will continue to do upon release. The game itself will always be free to play with no pay to win elements. The microtransactions will be revolved around cosmetics only such as skins, recolors, voice lines, etc. There are other elements in the works, but until they are finalized, I can’t speak more of them yet.
Dustin: What MOBA’s, including Paragon, helped inspire Project Phoenix Rising? Do you think it will change the MOBA landscape at all?
C.S: Project Phoenix Rising is unique in the fact that we are taking elements from all of the top tier MOBA’s out there, including but not limited to LoL, DOTA, Smite, and Paragon. The main elements we will be taking from Paragon will be the art style and the Z-axis, Third person view element. Most of the mechanics, Master kit creation, and other such things are more of a conglomerate of all the MOBA’s out there though. We have a lot of experience here in all of those top-tier MOBA’s and we also listen intently to the discussions that happen in the public Discord and Reddit channels.
How we could change the MOBA landscape is a tricky question. I guess that would better be answered once we get that far.
Dustin: One last question, Spicy. A release window, do you all at Visionary Games have one in mind at this time?
C.S: That too, is a tricky question, because we do already have networking working and the ability system is coming along as well. It’s all a matter of how fast we are able to continue making progress and any bumps in the road we may encounter on the way. Since it’s still so early in development, I can’t give any solid dates for anything.
We should have closed testing available for us by the end of this year with enough characters to create a mirror match, but again it depends on progression rate. Something that would be open to the public is an entirely different story, and I won’t set any possible accidental deadlines for us.
In many ways, it’s hard to choke down the information possible given to us by Epic Games about Paragon shutting down later next week. While many of us are trying to prepare for it by getting as many matches in, playing the last few rounds with our friends on PC, our palms are still getting sweaty, our eyebrows damp and furrowing as we know our last few matches are quickly approaching us.
Luckily, we have Visionary Games on their way to rescue us. However, the if, when, and where are still in the air, but we already know they are doing a great job at what they are doing this far. If you haven’t and you wish to stay up to date with the progress on Project Phoenix Rising, we highly suggest you check out the official Visionary Games subreddit and even jump into their Discord where future fans of the upcoming project and newcomers like yourself can discuss the game and what you hope to see.
We want to give a huge shoutout to the community managers and Captain Spicy himself for their time setting up this interview during their busy schedule.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPGs, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.