Phoenix, growth compromise.

by on May.12, 2014, under developer diary, featured, phoenix values

Phoenix, growth compromise.

Last week we reviewed the purpose of the team: Our Mission is Crafting dreams with stories and hard work. Building hope and evolving through hardship since 2004; as well as the first and one of the most important core values that represent our beliefs: Belonging. We are a community; People matter.

Having said that, we move on with the next value to present today, which is:

Growth, a compromise with learning and creativity.

When we started we had the humbling opportunity to have experienced as many personalities and talent as we had possibly could, but fact is not many stayed through the years and those who did are nowadays part of a much larger share of the responsibility than just production alone.

From left to right Katie Hallahan, Cesar Bittar, Michael Fortunato, Richard Flores and Allert van der Leij. Auditions for The Silver Lining back in early 2000’s.

The Silver Lining was what brought us together, but it was also a school for all of us. I believe I mentioned before that we did have some talent that came to us from solid careers in other industries; however, we also had new graduates that brought nothing but fresh eyes into the whole thing. One thing is for certain, we all have had to learn as we moved forward into the future, because while we may be knowledgeable in our areas, the gaming industry has always been evolving and nothing is like it was back in 2004 when we got started.

What we had known we had to improve upon, what we didn’t know we had to learn, and everything in between was hit or miss moments. We have had to own up to every single wrong and hold dear every single right to keep us going forward.

Our Growth hasn’t been specifically related to the team finally shaping up to what it is today with the talent that we have got, but the fact that everybody has had to move as the industry itself moves, with how it is expected and required of us to do so. Therefore, we believe in the compromise of learning – it is a never-ending process from production to development to marketing and every single business aspect of the team; with everything we do right, to do better, and everything we do wrong, to fix it.

I have mentioned before that, while on our path to making The Silver Lining a reality, it has been a learning curve; from all the things that the community has loved and supported to everything the community has rejected and called us out on. To admit everything has been magically perfect and fit into place would be a lie, but the fact that we’ve taken into account everything into a fuel to motivate the growth via learning and creativity is exactly what differentiates the team and makes us believe this is indeed, a core value we respect and we continuous to practice at best as we can. Having survived through Vivendi, Activision, and two Kickstarter campaigns with both premise and delivery, we can certainly say there’s more to Phoenix that’s yet to be seen.

Wait, What? Not ready yet! Let’s blame it on GDC madness of 2011.

From a technical perspective, we have improved from the old days of using Torque. Most of TSL was developed with Torque until it stopped updating, then we moved forward with Unity and we have been ever since Cognition, learning all the capacities and limitations the engines provides. In fact, if we chronologically revisit all games developed and published directly by Phoenix you can tell the amount of work optimized. Every single moment has become an opportunity to listen and to evaluate what we’ve got, and where to go from there.

It hasn’t been a one day thing, it has been progressively proven over the achieved milestones. Like how Cognition doesn’t really look all that to Moebius is, just as Gabriel Knight is a completely different game from the other two. There’s been time in-between, and a lot of re-evaluation of the processes and how to do better. The positive outcome is that there have been visible optimizations; however, we also understand there is yet a ways to go and it’s the reason why we’re looking forward into our next game rather carefully.

Among the positive, Phoenix has done quite a few things right since the start, like community work. We don’t only connect with developers we connect with gamers and pretty much everyone who wants to connect with us. We are a community working for a community so that has always been somewhat of an organic process for the team – meaning, that even though we have a healthy rapport with people that we shouldn’t do better, in fact, that’s a direct responsibility with creativity. We are always working with content, pushing creative outlets to engage with people, understanding that those who are on the other side of the process need as much information to make an educated guess and hopefully spark their interest into connecting with the game. We never assume, we always invite people along.

Ok, we can do this! From left to right: Vitek Goyel, Cesar Bittar, Katie Hallahan and Weldon Hathaway.

All of this is a direct understanding in engaging with the same people in different ways, or at least connecting with the same idea in multiple ways, which is a lot harder than it sounds because we aim for people to not just connect but to enjoy while they reach out to us. Luckily we have had such wonderful people following us, they quickly connect and stay with us making the family grow, because for us even our community is part of the Phoenix family.

This is a growth we never foresee stopping. We are constantly evaluating not just development, but production as well, just as any other business affairs we have to tackle – how to make things more accessible, how to make ourselves understood easier, how to connect better, how to build more of a quality game experience, how to become better. And seeking a common ground with what we do and what our expectations are is exactly what will keep us moving forward as we work hard day after day to get there.

One thing has been consistent throughout the years, we just love what we do: Katie Hallahan, Nick Bryan and Gavin Greene.

We are what we believe in, and sharing these beliefs with you is sharing the very core of what Phoenix is all about. For next Monday, we shall be covering more of the values that defines who we are. Thank you for keeping up with us, thank you for reading; and for those of you always there, thank you for being a part of the Phoenix family.

Say Mistage
Social Media Director
Phoenix Online Studios


Belonging. Because we are a community, people matter.
Growth, a compromise with learning and creativity.
Perseverance. Determination and hard work.
Communication. Respect and responsibilities.

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