When last we checked in on Phosphor's every superhero/all-the-things sim Project Awakened, morale had taken a hit in the wake of a narrowly missed $500,000 Kickstarter goal, but the developer wasn't ready to hang up its cape, tights, shotgun, Tron light cycle, cowboy hat, ninja sword, and mechanized cybersuit just yet. There were plans on the table. Another crowdfunding drive. A playable prototype. A community driven "part-owner" program. Unfortunately, however, plans change. Now the DayZ-inspired Nether - which has been kicking around in Phosphor's glowy green chambers for about a year - has moved to the forefront, still almost entirely community driven, but with markedly more survival and less, er, everything else ever.
"Project Awakened is on the backburner," creative director Chip Sineni admitted to RPS. "There are still people working on it, but it's definitely not the studio's focus right now. We're still totally in love with the idea, but we're still trying to figure out the right way to do it. We've taken a step back and said, 'OK, let's not rush this. If we're gonna do this, let's do this right.'"
"But Project Awakened is still definitely something very near and dear to us. We might reconfigure some parts of it to use some of the same kinds of design stuff we've got [on Nether]. Things like a persistent world."
So then, at best we're looking at a bit of a wait. And at worst? Well, there's clearly a lot riding on Nether, and Project Awakened was beyond the scope of what Phosphor could achieve all by its lonesome to begin with. The passion's still there, though, so all we can do now is hope for the best. And in the meantime I plan to never, ever, ever stop playing Saints Row IV.