Gameplay

Project Phoenix is a sprawling adventure in which you explore a vast, rich land and do battle against formidable enemies. The gameplay eschews micromanagement in favour of a focused Real Time Strategy system enhanced by JRPG elements. You can level your characters and teach them new abilities but at the same time they behave intelligently when you are not controlling them directly.

The game has three distinct modes: Exploration, Combat and Character Advancement.

rough

A rough in-game version’s 3D model reference of Marcus Stern

Exploration is where you travel the many realms of Azuregard. As well as progressing the story, you will discover different races, acquire better equipment and meet new characters. Each time you arrive somewhere new, you’ll be able to outfit yourself with the local equipment and experience some of their culture. There will be no grinding through enemies to be able to advance to the next area. You will be able to advance at your own pace, and either push on with the story or take your time as you see fit.

Each town or city you find yourself in will be populated by an interesting cast of characters, with their own stories to tell. There’ll be good reason to stick around some places, or to do a bit of extra exploration.

Combat takes place in predefined areas, tailored to match the locale. There will be two main types of combat: Story battles and Random battles. Story battles will be carefully-tuned scenarios integral to the story’s progression. Random battles will be dynamic combat scenarios activated occasionally during the story, but generally when exploring areas without any new story content (such as when backtracking). They will be available whenever you want, without being a burden to play.

Combat uses a point and click system to control your party of heroes. Each hero has abilities they can use in battle, and the use of these abilities depletes either their mana (magic reserves) or their stamina. Tactical play and the combination of different heroes will be the main factors in your success, as well as taking advantage of the following conditions:

Terrain: Terrain comes in different heights, so you can use the lay of the land to your advantage. There are also destructible elements to damage or slow down your foes. Some units also get a movement advantage in different terrain to allow for more strategy.
Fog of War: Apart from special scenario objectives, the combat map will be hidden until explored. This helps keep things exciting and suspenseful and also gives you plenty of opportunity to use the scouting abilities of particular heroes.
Threat Management: Generally enemies will target those they consider the greatest threat, or a specific target when the story dictates. However there are character abilities to redirect their attention to another character. Not only does this lend itself to structured defensive play – knowing who the enemy will target will allow you to set up some cunning traps! Of course, no JRPG is complete without memorable, awe-inspiring bosses, and we have plenty of those as well. These challenging scenarios will have you focusing your entire party on an epic enemy, using your skill to win the day.

battle_concept

In game battle concept of Project Phoenix

Character Advancement is an important piece, and comes from the game’s JRPG heritage. Each hero you control will be a distinct class, with their own look, abilities, and usable equipment. Of course there will be overlaps in equipment, but there won’t be too many dilemmas when it comes to selecting who gets a new item. As characters increase in experience, they automatically get improved stats, as well as new abilities. For further customisation we have a simple talent system in place, so that you can choose the path you want your characters to take. If you want to have more control over your team, we are also including customable heroes that can be recruited as you progress through the game. That way, if you love a character class but want to put your own spin on it, you can.

rough_sketch

Rough concept sketches of characters & classes from Project Phoenix