Project Phoenix scammed us? Creative Intelegent Art Fraud?

Falk

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 26, 2017
974
You can buy the game after it releases. You don't have to buy a game before it even exists, by unproven startups.
I think his point is if 100% of people followed that line of thought, great Kickstarter projects would never have come to pass.

I don't doubt at least some of them would have been able to secure funding without a crowdfunding platform, but not everything.
 
Oct 27, 2017
212
I think I almost backed this. It sounds like I dodged a bullet.

Glad all I've backed is Bloodstained. I had a former co-worker who did a Kickstarter, got his money, then just flaked out and abandoned it. He hasn't posted an update in four years. His backers still post wanting to know what's going on with it. It's super sad.

Some people are just horrible business people and won't have their shit together no matter how much money you throw at them.
 
Oct 27, 2017
509
I made the mistake of backing a kickstarter game in H-hour and learned my lesson. Never again. It's really sad that these stories seem like they're coming out over and over again.
 
Oct 25, 2017
356
Japan
The lesson here is to never Kickstart anything and never pre-order anything.

Only buy good games, after they're released, and review well.

Everything else is setting yourself up for lies.
I backed Torment, Pillars of Eternity, Double Fine Adventure, and Wasteland 2 and have been extremely pleased with the results of all of these projects. That being said, Project Phoenix had an aura of overselling itself from the start without anything really substantial to back it. The project leader being only known for music production and not game production should have been obvious warning signs, even if he had experience in video game music, because those are two different beasts altogether. Budgeting games is hard and Project Phoenix, as well as the broken promises of other Kickstarter projects (even those I mentioned!) should be enough proof for that.
 

Raging Spaniard

Artist at EA Star Wars
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
977
someone made a response by the name of TINY METAL PROGRAMMER on KS comments.
https://www.kickstarter.com/project...nix-japans-indie-rpg-feat-aaa-talent/comments
Sounds believable except when he keeps plugging TINY METAL every other sentence.

Whole situation is a mess. The developer may cery well be getting screwed here but they havent exactly earned the consumers trust on this one.

I have seen many a developer sabotage their project on their way out the door though, so this is tricky.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,000
Chicago
Tiny Metal looked pretty good, but it's hard to support it if the content of this post is true. Considering that I don't think Project Phoenix has ever shown anything aside from concept art though, it's not all that hard to believe that this allegation may be true.

Extremely sucks that there are people out there like this, and it definitely does damage the entire industry. Jason Schreier already wrote about Project Phoenix damaging the industry once this year and I guess he's going to end up doing it again if this story checks out.
So Project Phoenix was announced in 2012 and to date, five years later, after numerous vague and half-baked status updates, all that was ever shown was concept art?

The post in the OP is hardly a warning call then, red flags should have been flying for years.
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,285
Sounds believable except when he keeps plugging TINY METAL every other sentence.
Admittedly, the fact that they insistently capitalize it was was the first thing I noticed. I feel like they hit the caps lock key more times in a post than I do in a year, and I'm pretty anal as a rule.
 
Oct 25, 2017
22
Admittedly, the fact that they insistently capitalize it was was the first thing I noticed. I feel like they hit the caps lock key more times in a post than I do in a year, and I'm pretty anal as a rule.
i just see it as a NAME TITLE but i dont think it was intentional or some hidden ads on it.
 
Nov 2, 2017
701
It's not "a few". The huge majority turn out well, and only a small select few that had a ton of red flags prior to attaining their goal that sometimes go wrong.

Nothing even close to "gambling".
You do realize I wrote "quite a few" not "a few" right? "Quite a few" means a significant number. Doesn't change the fact that some kickstarters don't work out(for many different reasons ) and you ended up wasting money.
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,285
i just see it as a NAME TITLE but i dont think it was intentional or some hidden ads on it.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm still totally undecided on this. I'm not going to claim that they're plant because of capitalization, that'd be goofy. But as soon as I look at the posts, my eyes are immediately drawn to the recurring caps lock words that are splattered all over them. It's feels really weird to read.
 
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Oct 26, 2017
100
Dodged the bullet on this one. Their KS smelled funny. It's quite frustarting for people that supported them and been waiting for years. Some legal countermeasures should be put in place.
 
Oct 27, 2017
734
So will we still be able to purchase Tiny Metal or what? It was just about out. Shame even if it does make it out, I highly doubt there will be any patch support if it's needed.

Kinda joking. Would only think about buying if it's really good. Maybe.
 
Oct 25, 2017
35
Okayama, Japan
I know Tariq. He’s a pretty great guy and extremely passionate about games. Although I’m not sure as to what has happened, this definitely won’t have been a petty way of getting back at a company over something. This definitely sounds like something, Tariq has thought about and thinks needs highlighting. Hopefully will get to chat to him about it soon.
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,285
Just to confirm, was it already known that Project Phoenix and Tiny Metal were connected? I did a very brief google of the two names together, and what I found were the comments on the Kickstarter, a random post from the old site saying that Tiny Metal looked like a scam liked Project Phoenix (no connection implied), and a few other things like that post.
 

Falk

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 26, 2017
974
Just to confirm, was it already known that Project Phoenix and Tiny Metal were connected? I did a very brief google of the two names together, and what I found were the comments on the Kickstarter, a random post from the old site saying that Tiny Metal looked like a scam liked Project Phoenix (no connection implied), and a few other things like that post.
Project Phoenix's website in May (or thereabouts) hinted that they were working on another game. Around September/TGS Yura did indeed start posting more about Tiny Metal publicly on social media and the like.

Tiny Metal does indeed look great, but I personally have doubts that it'd come anywhere close to salvaging Project Phoenix barring some kind of miracle/reboot.
 
Oct 25, 2017
262
Japan
Just to confirm, was it already known that Project Phoenix and Tiny Metal were connected? I did a very brief google of the two names together, and what I found were the comments on the Kickstarter, a random post from the old site saying that Tiny Metal looked like a scam liked Project Phoenix (no connection implied), and a few other things like that post.
It was definitely news to me that the two were related. I'd been aware of Tiny Metal since at least the spring, but I didn't realize that the team was the same as Project Phoenix. Seems like the project lead is at least a somewhat known figure, so it should have been easy enough for any games journalists to put the two projects together but somehow nobody seemed to do so (think emoji). It's completely unsurprising that this isn't something they'd be actively advertising, as Project Phoenix has turned out to be more of an albatross, and they wouldn't want that hung on their necks in the public eye. (Seriously, how the hell did nobody at any of the outlets make that connection?)
 
OP
OP
Aurizen
Oct 25, 2017
438
Philly
It was definitely news to me that the two were related. I'd been aware of Tiny Metal since at least the spring, but I didn't realize that the team was the same as Project Phoenix. Seems like the project lead is at least a somewhat known figure, so it should have been easy enough for any games journalists to put the two projects together but somehow nobody seemed to do so (think emoji). It's completely unsurprising that this isn't something they'd be actively advertising, as Project Phoenix has turned out to be more of an albatross, and they wouldn't want that hung on their necks in the public eye. (Seriously, how the hell did nobody at any of the outlets make that connection?)
Wow, I hope that isn't true. They could very well recycle loads of the game and use that in Project Phoenix and then it wouldn't be as unique as we hoped.
 

thetrin

Content Acquisition at DANGEN Entertainment
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
1,408
Osaka Japan
You can buy the game after it releases. You don't have to buy a game before it even exists, by unproven startups.
Except that if you never preorder or kickstart anything, and everyone takes that lesson to heart, amazing games like Thimbleweed Park never exist. So yeah, it sounds like a great lesson in hindsight, but doesn't really stand up to scrutiny.

If appropriate, let us know what happens.
I'll let you guys know what I can. It's likely I won't be able to say shit.
 

Falk

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 26, 2017
974
It was definitely news to me that the two were related. I'd been aware of Tiny Metal since at least the spring, but I didn't realize that the team was the same as Project Phoenix. Seems like the project lead is at least a somewhat known figure, so it should have been easy enough for any games journalists to put the two projects together but somehow nobody seemed to do so (think emoji). It's completely unsurprising that this isn't something they'd be actively advertising, as Project Phoenix has turned out to be more of an albatross, and they wouldn't want that hung on their necks in the public eye. (Seriously, how the hell did nobody at any of the outlets make that connection?)
Tiny Metal is fronted by Hiroki Kikuta, not Hiroaki Yura.

edit: See http://nichegamer.com/2016/10/12/se...-advance-wars-spiritual-successor-tiny-metal/
 
Oct 25, 2017
262
Japan
Wow, I hope that isn't true. They could very well recycle loads of the game and use that in Project Phoenix and then it wouldn't be as unique as we hoped.
Project Phoenix doesn't have a known team, AFAIK, but the project lead, Hiroaki Yura, is absolutely the same for both Tiny Metal and Project Phoenix.
 
Oct 25, 2017
262
Japan
The tiny Metal site has ©2017 HIROAKI YURA at the bottom.

EDIT: He also claimed the project in the post where he gave Project Phoenix backers access to the Tiny Metal beta/demo, as quoted here: Project Phoenix scammed us? Creative Intelegent Art Fraud?

EDIT2: Tiny Metal is mentioned in his Japanese twitter bio, but not his English one.
 
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L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,285
I do appreciate Tiny Metal Programmer responding to us peacefully, even if it is unusual.

Project Phoenix doesn't have a known team, AFAIK, but the project lead, Hiroaki Yura, is absolutely the same for both Tiny Metal and Project Phoenix.
So this seems like they weren't hiding the connection, then? Even if they weren't actively promoting it (which, I mean, I totally understand).
 

Falk

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 26, 2017
974
The tiny Metal site has ©2017 HIROAKI YURA at the bottom.

EDIT: He also claimed the project in the post where he gave Project Phoenix backers access to the Tiny Metal beta/demo, as quoted here: Project Phoenix scammed us? Creative Intelegent Art Fraud?
Right, no, I'm not saying Yura isn't involved. If you read the post I quoted, I was responding to the notion of 'how come people didn't instantly link the projects together'?

Tiny Metal was initially marketed as having not much to do with Project Phoenix, except perhaps in terms of "we're a bunch of japanese veterans" and Tomoki Miyoshi (bless him) doing the music.
 
Oct 25, 2017
262
Japan
Right, no, I'm not saying Yura isn't involved. I was responding to the notion of 'how come people didn't instantly link the projects together'?

Tiny Metal was initially marketed as having not much to do with Project Phoenix, except perhaps in terms of "we're a bunch of japanese veterans" and Tomoki Miyoshi (bless him) doing the music.
Yeah, looking at it now it seems like they may have been intentionally obfuscating things with western outlets... (see what I added to that post about his twitters) ((this is exactly the sort of thing that journalists are supposed to be looking for))
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,875
Considering there's been more than one account on knowing the guy I am more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Some of the best con men have lots and lots of friends, are charming and people would vouch for them blindly. Not saying he is one, but several accounts of knowing him means absolutely nothing, just that he knows his way around people.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,432
I backed PP too, and lost most of my believes after all the delays... that said, until we have solid proof of it, I prefer not to believe to accusations. Sure this should be investigated after all this time and these things written, but too often on the internet peoples talks shit because they know how to make people angry.
 
Oct 25, 2017
609
It was definitely news to me that the two were related. I'd been aware of Tiny Metal since at least the spring, but I didn't realize that the team was the same as Project Phoenix. Seems like the project lead is at least a somewhat known figure, so it should have been easy enough for any games journalists to put the two projects together but somehow nobody seemed to do so (think emoji). It's completely unsurprising that this isn't something they'd be actively advertising, as Project Phoenix has turned out to be more of an albatross, and they wouldn't want that hung on their necks in the public eye. (Seriously, how the hell did nobody at any of the outlets make that connection?)
I'm a backer, and I'm pretty sure the emails I've been getting for Project Phoenix have been mentioning their connection. I'll see if I can find anything in my inbox.

EDIT: Based on my quick look, it seems like the development of a smaller side game was first mentioned on April 23, 2017, and that TINY METAL was first mentioned by name on August 15th.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
5,724
Singapore
Some of the best con men have lots and lots of friends, are charming and people would vouch for them blindly. Not saying he is one, but several accounts of knowing him means absolutely nothing, just that he knows his way around people.
Damn man, that's not a nice thing to say about Hiroaki Yura. :(
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,875
Damn man, that's not a nice thing to say about Hiroaki Yura. :(
Lol.

He (Hiroaki this time :-)) did come up with the current game though at least. Clearly there was serious mismanagement of Project Phoenix, I'm just not at all certain it was intentional.

To me the other guy (not Hiroaki...) does sound like a disgruntled (full of himself) person out for revenge. I guess time will tell.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
4,104
Is the Tiny Metal delay really because of this? Or just that something last minute was discovered, preventing release? The game hasn't had complete info on the eshop like other games do that are about to release. And I feel like it wouldn't get pulled a day in advance just because its developer is worried about a controversy most people aren't even aware of.
 
Oct 25, 2017
262
Japan
They're based in Japan, it was presumably supposed to have launched here within the next 16 hours or so.

They had a "seven days until launch" tweet last week, which pretty strongly implies that they thought all systems were go for a launch tomorrow. This is really weird.
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,285
They're based in Japan, it was presumably supposed to have launched here within the next 16 hours or so.

They had a "seven days until launch" tweet last week, which pretty strongly implies that they thought all systems were go for a launch tomorrow. This is really weird.
On one hand, I genuinely don't see how this would lead to a delay even if it's true. On the other hand, that is some suspicious timing, yikes. Maybe they want to address this and are pushing the date over so that launch isn't dragged down by these rumours? It's the only thing I can think of. Weird is a good word for all of this.