Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Phoenix Project Update: Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Phoenix Project
Status Update: Tuesday, July 24, 2013
By: Lauren (Rae)

Cameron (Segev) is up to his neck in the nitty-gritty this week, so I've stepped into do a do quick update in the interim. I'll be just like the good old days, where I rambled on a lot, except..well, different.

Part of the reason that Segev is so busy is that we've been working on a bit of a shuffle around behind the scenes - the sort of thing that isn't very interested to write about, but is important in making sure that the project is functioning as efficiently as we can do (particularly important with volunteer labour).

I'm sure you're probably sick to death about hearing about the Kickstarter - work is steaming ahead with that - and I'm in the process of lining up a series of interviews in the run up to September, which we hope will help to bring a few more people into the Missing Worlds Media community and hopefully help us achieve our Kickstarter target.

The guys have already carried out interviews with Polygon [ed note: now available at this link! -zm] and Inc Gamer, and we've got more lined up with, as well as podcast interviews with Plus10Damage and Critical Hit being arranged, which we're hoping will start to filter out over the next few weeks.

A couple of our developers look set to be heading to Gen Con Indy 2013 - while we don't have an official presence there, we're hoping to be able to hand out a few flyers and help to make yet more people aware of our existence. Gen Con has a lot of people excited, as Mercedes Lackey, who was so instrumental in the SaveCOH campaign and helped to lead the Hail Mary charge has been named the guest of honour.

If you're going to Gen Con, let us know - if you can help hand out flyers, or just fancy meeting up with a couple of our devs, we'd love to hear from you.

Segev is hoping to write about the reshuffle of MWM once that's been completed, but..well, at the moment he's just a bit too busy doing it to actually write about doing it.

Other than that, the only thing I have to offer you is this little video. It's a sneak peak at the launcher that some of the development team have been working on.

..I can't wait for it to have something to connect to. The first time I saw this, I was really rooting for it to connect to a server.

Soon - with your help, at least.


The Phoenix Project Update: Tuesday, July 17, 2013

The Phoenix Project
Status Update: Wednesday, July 17, 2013
By: Segev
We're sorry for the even later update this week, more of a mid-week one than a start-of-week. We had planned to share an overhaul of the KS perks that we'd been working on, but at the last minute realized that we'd forgotten to take something into account. While we're working on cleaning that up, what we have at the moment is nothing "new" there. So instead, a little more on current events!

This past weekend was Cape Con. We didn't have any official "presence" planned there, but Quantum Hero was in attendance, as she'd planned to go since before this whole project even really got started. She apparently sneaked in a very brief demonstration of the working launcher that our Tech people have put together. It may not be as exciting as some other things, but it's actually a pretty big and important "under the hood" step, so she was very pleased to have it to share. Apparently, there were even some non-CoH fans who saw her presentation and were interested enough to express a desire to support the KS. This is very encouraging!

Other fun tidbits she reports include the "cape mission" that the heroes of Cape Radio performed. Apparently, an infestation of devious mole-villains had attacked at the Great America amusement park, and they took photos after whack-a-moling them to thwart their evil schemes. In all, it sounds like a great time was had by all. She reports, as well, that the next Cape Con will be in Texas, so those who're fans of Cape Radio and just plain gatherings of good folk who like super heroics, keep your ears open!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Phoenix Project Update: Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Phoenix Project
Status Update: Tuesday, July 9, 2013
By: Segev

My apologies for the late update. The stars just aligned to get in the way. But, fear not! Here it is for this week! We'll start off with a bit more on Kickstarter.

With the various funding drives that are ongoing or upcoming in the Plan Z family, it has been expressed that some are concerned about the privacy of their personal and/or credit card data. The Phoenix Project is very concerned with protecting and honoring the privacy and integrity of any personal data shared in the process of supporting us. While I'm sure our sibling projects are, as well, I can obviously only speak for the Phoenix Project. Methods for achieving this protection of our backers can vary. We are going with Kickstarter, in part, as our means of doing this with the initial push: the credit card information, paypal accounts, etc. used to back Kickstarter projects are given to Kickstarter and Amazon to manage, and do not flow into the hands of the project coordinators. As an established and well-known business, Amazon has tools and policies in place to protect people automatically, freeing us to concentrate on providing the best rewards and presentation we can for the drive itself. In short, for this stage of the funding process, Kickstarter is the simplest method we can use to protect your privacy as you back us.

In answer to a few other frequently-asked questions, yes, most of the higher-level rewards refer back to lower-level ones as "included." We have had it suggested that we consider reshaping it to use add-ons and to have fewer "reward levels;" we're looking into that. If it does provide a tighter method of packaging things with less confusion, we'll probably have something more in that format for the final version.

Work, meanwhile, progresses apace, and we have our 3D artists talking to our tech people about some new assets they are working on to expand our adaptation of the engine. A lot of what we've got and are doing, we're saving for the KS itself, but here's an example of a very simple particle-use for a super-speed motion with our little blockman avatar.

That's using in-engine assets and our tech team's efforts with "auras;" our artists are looking at ways to build more exciting ones for final release. Stay tuned for more as we release a few more teasers in the next few weeks!

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Phoenix Project Update: Monday, July 1, 2013

Missing Worlds Media Presents
The Phoenix Project Update
July 1st, 2013

We are at present just over two months before the planned for beginning of our Kickstarter. One of the biggest questions we have been given has been asking us what our planned for perks are, so this week we decided to give you the planned for list. Yes, this is a blatant solicitation of feedback, so we can tweak and refine the list before we launch the Kickstarter.

Armchair Hero
$1 - An emailed thank you letter including special desktop wallpaper featuring Missing World Media artwork

Construction Crew
$10 - A physically mailed thank you letter + Name included in game at a special commemorative wall

$15 - City Map physically mailed to you (guaranteed within continental US; discuss for foreign mailing, includes Construction Crew)

$25 - Digital Copy of finished game, including one month VIP subscription, plus 3 day headstart access to finished game (includes Tourist perk)

Neighborhood Watch
$35 - Special Kickstarter in-game character badge and title + a badge included in the mail with your map of the city. Opportunity to reserve your global name a week before the Avatar Builder is out. (includes Resident perks)

$50 - Enrollment in closed beta & Missing Worlds Media exclusive Kickstarter costume set - The costume is unique, only to be released to KS donors. Ever. (includes Neighborhood Watch perks)

Fly Free!
$50 - Prestige travel power - unique to KS donors (includes Neighborhood Watch perks)

First Responder
$60 - A Missing Worlds Media t-shirt (limited 100 - includes Deputized)

Super Deputy
$75 - As Deputized, plus the travel power in Fly Free! Also includes a one month gift subscription (with associated digital download) to give to a friend

Dynamic Duo
$75 - Copy of finished game autographed by the developers, including three months VIP subscription, in addition to any copies from included lower tier perks. (includes either Fly Free or Deputized, your choice)

City Councilman
$100 - Name one of the citizens of Titan City, and use the costume creator to design his look (with help from one of our artists). He will be seen doing his thing around town! (limited to 50 - includes Super Deputy)

$150 - Name and design a costumed NPC to hang out in the Supers’ night club, Titan City Gym, or other locations (yet to be named), or to include in random missions in-game, per your choice. Includes a Missing Worlds Media t-shirt. (limit 50 - includes Super Deputy)

Iconic Champion
$250 - Your Chest Emblem In The Game: Work with one of our artists to incorporate your custom chest symbol into our game's character creator. Includes a Missing Worlds Media t-shirt signed by the development team and a one-off t-shirt incorporating your logo (limit 30 - includes Super Deputy)

$500 - 11x17 poster of your character, made and signed by the artist and core development team (limited to 20, includes Super Deputy)
Inside Man (I know a guy who knows a guy)

$500 - Name and help design major NPC contact in the game (limited to 20 - must be approved, includes Super Deputy)
Nightclub Owner

$ 750 - Name and design the Supers’ Night Club NPC owner (with approval), and can uniquely use the Nightclub’s exclusive VIP room (as a living space or super base) (limit 1, includes Super Deputy)

Head Personal Trainer
$750 - Name the Titan City Gym’s owner and design the NPC’s look (with approval), and can uniquely use its private training rooms and office to use as living spaces or a super base. (limit 1, includes Super Deputy)

$1,000 - A Statue in-game, complete with history plaque, for a character you design (limited to 25 - must be approved, includes Super Deputy)

$1,500 - Glorious skyscraper named after you (or as you choose, pending approval), and gain the building’s penthouse as a unique living space or super base.(limited to 10, includes Super Deputy)

There Can Be Only One!
$2,500 - Design yourself a custom weapon or prop which is exclusively yours in-game in partnership with our talented artists. You have the option of granting access to this to others of your choosing. (limited to 20, includes Super Deputy)

$2,500 - Design a custom costume texture to your specifications to be available in the game, which is yours in the game in partnership with our talented artists. List includes gloves, boots, belt, pants, shirt, cape, and mask. You have the option of granting access to this to others of your choosing. (limited 15, includes Iconic Champion and Super Deputy)

One of a Kind
$5,000 - Design a custom costume texture to your specifications to be available in the game, exclusively for your characters. List includes gloves, boots, belt , pants, shirt, cape, and mask,with the addition of a custom weapon or prop which is exclusively yours in-game. You have the option of granting access to this to others of your choosing. (limited to 5, includes Iconic Champion and Super Deputy)

Saturday Morning Hero
$7,500 - You design a custom animation suite for your powers to be available in the game. (limited to 2, includes Super Deputy)

Key to the City
$10,000 - Your character is famous throughout the city. Everyone knows your character, with billboards up celebrating or condemning your exploits. Regular news broadcasts will include your character. You get a unique base location within a major city building. Your custom logo will be used on spotlights throughout the city to signal you for special beta-test missions before other people have access. You also have access to the developer lounge, the hangout for the developers and GMs within the game. (limit 1, includes Immortalized and One of a Kind)

Heroes’ Feast
$10,000 - Have dinner with the developers. We’ll fly you to meet the developers, followed by a tasty dinner and a LAN party exclusive Alpha test. We will even be sending you home with a box of swag. (limited to 8, includes Super Deputy)

Now, this is all being targeted with our initial budget in mind. If we run out of things rapidly, we have more options to add as we go on as well.

Some people have asked for a lifetime VIP, but due to Kickstarters rules this is not an option. Others have mentioned wanting more in-hand items, and while we would love to, the cost of manufacture and shipping is quite prohibitive for all but the simplest of items. So instead our focus has been on unique in-game elements, things which do not impact the game itself, but are nice perks and a sign to go "I was here first." The pre-order prestige sprints, PowerSlide, the Arachnos cape, the VIP badge, those were how CoH handled things. We are going a step further, giving people options to make an impact on the world itself.

In the end, this game is being designed for you, to be enjoyed by you. There is that little extra spring in your step when you step into a world where you know that statue, plaque or memorial was put there by people playing with you. And that is why we've taken this approach to our Kickstarter. Every one of you is important to us, and we want to let those who help bring this dream to life be remembered for it.