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Veteran devs, Final Fantasy composer launch indie JRPG project on Kickstarter

A team of Japanese developers with a long history of experience in role-playing games, including veteran Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu, launched their indie JRPG endeavor Project Phoenix on Kickstarter this morning.

The group is led by Creative Intelligence Arts, a Tokyo-based media company and home to popular video game and anime arrangement group Eminence Symphony Orchestra. Eminence and Creative Intelligence's founder, Hiroaki Yura, will serve as director and producer on Project Phoenix, while Uematsu will score the title.

The project includes a long list of experienced game developers and artists, including L.A. Noire game designer Vaughan Smith, fantasy novelist Yoko Enoki, Final Fantasy concept artist Kiyoshi Arai and sound engineer John Kurlander, who has worked on The Lord of the Rings films and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim.

Project Phoenix will be a "JRPG with a squad based real-time strategy game design," according to the Kickstarter page, and will be focused on a single player experience. The team has some ideas for multiplayer and co-op modes, but these will be included only if the company receives more than its minimum funding goal of $100,000.

The storyline follows players through the world of Azuregard, where they must solve the mystery behind a fallen angel with amnesia and amass a ragtag band of heroes to save what they hold dear. The game will emphasize world exploration and individual character progression, and combat will occur in both pre-scripted events during the storyline and in random battles on the world map.

The game is slated for release in mid-2015 and will launch for Windows PC, Mac and Linux via Steam and the company's website. Creative Intelligence notes on the Kickstarter page that they are also hoping to launch a "different," possibly more limited version of Project Phoenix for iOS and Android, with a PlayStation 4 port possibly if the project gathers enough funding.

Notably, Project Phoenix is the first indie video game Uematsu has worked on. For more information, including deeper details on the story and soundtrack samples, check out the game's Kickstarter page.

Update: The Project Phoenix Kickstarter drive reached its goal of $100,000 within the first nine hours of going live, according to the developer. The fundraiser's next target is its $300,000 stretch goal, which will add "double the amount of character and monster models" as well as additional music from composer Nobuo Uematsu.

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