Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Phoenix Project's Weekly Update Monday, April 8, 2013 (honest.)

Missing Worlds Media Presents:
The Phoenix Project's Weekly Update
Monday, April 8, 2013
By: Cameron 'Segev Stormlord' Johnson

A lot has happened, and a fair bit of progress been made, but not all of it is ready for prime time, which makes this update feel a bit sparse. Still, our artists have been assigned orthographic work to do in preparation for proper transition of 2D art assets into 3D models. This is a form of projection wherein an object is drawn from a standard array of mutually-perpendicular ("orthogonal") directions in order to capture all angles in an analytic fashion and show off all parts of it in a standardized way.

For instance, here's a street lamp created for our project in orthographic projection:Image
In addition, client-server connections have been tested and found to work. Load-testing is yet to be done, but they functionally interact.

Since our gracious press maven, Rae, composed the update last week, I will go ahead and share a little of my own view of the panel at NorWesCon.

First of all, I want to thank the NorWesCon staff for their invitation and warm welcome, and especially the pawtaws crew for their hard work on behalf of Missing Worlds Media and the Phoenix Project to make the panel happen. Thanks to their printing and displaying and including the flyers in the swag bags for guests, we had a surprising number of people who had never heard of our efforts prior to seeing the flyers show up. Roughly half of the audience - which was respectable in size (my week-old memory is telling me roughly 25 people were there) - were made up of such people. Some had played and mourned the loss of the first of the superhero MMOs, while all were curious and interested in seeing what we were doing.

While Doctor Tyche, Voltknuckle, and I had a slide show for presentation, the audience participation allowed us to skip around and show exactly what people were interested in. It was also very cool to meet so many of our crew and our community in person.

One really cool thing that came up, which sticks in my mind, was the question from the audience about rogues' galleries and nemeses. It came at a time when we'd just been discussing bases and base building, and whether those would play a role in the gameplay, and it hit me: trophies. The Batcave, the Fortress of Solitude, the Watchtower... pretty much any super-hero secret base (and, presumably, a few villainous lairs) contains a trophy case, because it makes a great storytelling tool and a way to call-back to some continuity with past adventures. We can use this! Trophies can drop along with other items in missions, and be placed in your living space or secret base. They will mark a villain you've fought as somebody worth referencing again. Your trophy case will develop your rogues' gallery, until each hero has his own made up of once-randomly-generated foes, and may even help develop personalities for them.

This idea really excites me, at least, and we're pretty sure we can make it work, coding-wise, though we're only just beginning to investigate it. Storytelling-side, we have a few irons in the fire that aren't ready for publication yet, but we think they can make this happen, too.

The base building will not be mandatory to play the game, but it will start to help flesh out your characters' unique stories and influence their games. It will be more than "just" a "vanity" project, and really something that says something about the way a particular character "feels." Not every base element necessarily will do this, of course, but there's a rich vein to mine here. And we've only barely scratched the surface, I think.

Anyway, that's a glimpse into my own head as how things fall out after I get the privilege of being on a panel with you, our audience, to talk to. Stay tuned for next week's update for more on how things are developing!

I can't wait for the update at the end of this month.



  1. Shadow Elusive from the forums here, to say that's a fabulous idea with the trophies there, and definitely a direction that could yield some wonderful changes and additions to how bases would work. Good call, looking forward to hearing where else that goes. Just wanted to say that. And I forgive you for posting this so late I'm reading it Tuesday morning :D

    1. Make sure you have ones for Super Groups too. In fact, you'd better put this on the forums so we can all go crazy with it together lol.

  2. I like the trophy idea, but I'm even more impressed with the concept of once randomly generated villains getting "attached" to your hero and becoming a recurring challenge...