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Other Gaming => 4X Gaming => Topic started by: Martok on November 26, 2020, 02:50:15 AM

Title: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on November 26, 2020, 02:50:15 AM
I'm not sure how many (or if) folks here have been following this one at all, but it's finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  :dreamer: 


Website (https://allianceofthesacredsuns.com/)


Steam page (https://store.steampowered.com/app/1113400/Alliance_of_the_Sacred_Suns/)




Comparisons are frequently made to Crusader Kings, Emperor of the Fading Suns, and Dune -- all of which are deliberate on the dev's part.  The game is often also mentioned in conjunction with Star Dynasties (which I posted about last month (https://www.armchairdragoons.com/forum/index.php?topic=2613.0)), although AotSS has been in development for longer.  (I also suspect it's a somewhat more involved game, but obviously there's no way to really know either way until both titles have been released into the wild.) 


The developer, Kathawk Games, is getting ready to launch a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of (literally) buying themselves a little more development time if they can get it, but are otherwise prepared to go into Early Access.  Whichever way it turns out, though, I'm pretty excited for this one; it looks pretty deep! 






Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: bbmike on November 26, 2020, 08:27:20 AM
That's going to have to actually come out of the tunnel and into the light and then drive several miles down the road before I even consider it. Burned way too many times before.
Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on December 04, 2020, 04:45:13 PM
Kickstarter campaign is now live!  :D 


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aotss/alliance-of-the-sacred-suns?ref=ksr_email_user_watched_project_launched


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: bbmike on December 04, 2020, 05:01:54 PM
(https://www.aarcentral.com/emoti/yawn.gif)
Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on December 04, 2020, 06:34:17 PM
What can I say?  Playing a 4x in a CK2/Dune-like setting appeals to me.  >:D 


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: bbmike on December 04, 2020, 06:36:50 PM
Me too. But it better be good.  8)
Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on January 01, 2021, 08:34:19 PM
So the Kickstarter campaign was cancelled -- but probably not for the reason you'd think: 


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aotss/alliance-of-the-sacred-suns/posts/3063782?ref=ksr_email_backer_project_update_registered_users


Quote
UPDATE: We have some incredible news to share about Alliance, and what it means for the Kickstarter going forward.

Alliance of the Sacred Suns can be wishlisted on Steam and will release in 2021. Wishlisting Alliance signals Steam to show our game to more players, and is a huge help!

I am excited to announce that Alliance of the Sacred Suns will be published by Hooded Horse Inc., with guaranteed funding of $300,000, 10x our Kickstarter goal. Hooded Horse is also the publisher of Terra Invicta, another upcoming space strategy game, and we are over the moon about having the funding and resources to make Alliance reflect the vision we had for the project so long ago.

As we will need additional time to develop the project at our new expanded scale, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Kickstarter campaign. With over 350 backers, many of you wanted to see Alliance succeed, and we don’t want to forget about those who were willing to help in our time of need.

So all of our backers, regardless of pledge amount, will receive free access to the Beta when it launches towards the end of 2021 as a thank you for your pledge and your support!

Signup for the Beta will be available at our website for 30 days.

We are very excited and grateful for this opportunity to bring the full vision of Alliance to the gaming community. We will make you proud of your support, and you will be pleased with the world we can bring to you.

Sincerely,

The KHS Team






So good news overall for Alliance of the Sacred Suns and its developer, Kathawk Studios.  It's a game that I think deserves to be fully funded, and to get the development time it truly needs, and I'm glad to see that it will.  :bigthumb: 


What I'm curious about is Hooded Horse's motivations for becoming the game's publisher, and backing it with that level of funding:  From what I understand, Hooded Horse is basically a company formed by the Pavonis Interactive, the folks behind the aforementioned Terra Invicta, itself another space strategy game partially funded (successfully) via Kickstarter. 

In other words, the devs for Terra Invicta founded their own publishing company, and now suddenly have two space 4x-like games in their portfolio.  It makes me wonder if they're attempting to become the next Iceberg Interactive(?).  ??? 


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on March 21, 2021, 04:48:06 PM
A new preview (and dev interview), plus a new (gameplay) trailer: 


https://explorminate.co/alliance-of-the-sacred-suns-preview/






I'll be honest:  Right now, this is looking more interesting than Star Dynasties (although I still look forward to getting both). 


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Steelie on March 21, 2021, 07:45:08 PM
I haven't pulled the trigger on Star Dynasties yet. The news about Alliance of the Sacred Suns and this preview video is gonna cause me to wait and see how it turns out first, I think. Definitely the more interesting of the two titles at this point.
Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on March 22, 2021, 04:08:22 AM
Both projects have piqued my interest for a while now, and it's interesting to see how they compare and contrast. 


Regarding Star Dynasties, Iceberg Interactive appears to be touting the game as an RPG set in space, with light grand-strategy elements.  In contrast, Alliance of the Sacred Suns appears to be more of a straight-up 4x/grand-strategy title, with deeper and more complex empire-building mechanics (alongside the all-important interpersonal relationships).   

I don't know how long SD's creator Glen Pawley has been working on his game, but I'm pretty sure AotSS has been around longer regardless (albeit under the original working title of Imperia 5X) -- I think I first stumbled across the original site (https://allianceofthesacredsuns.com/) 5-6 years ago?  It began in a much rougher & cruder state, but its creator Steve Hawkins has brought the game a very long way in the interregnum.  I hope it still releases later this year as planned; I've been waiting a long time for this one.  :D 


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on July 25, 2021, 03:12:30 AM
Demo is now available!  It's nice to see these making a bit of a comeback. 


Quote
Big news - we have just posted a public demo of Alliance of the Sacred Suns! You can play both tutorials as well as 10 turns of the main game. Some gameplay system are still missing/incomplete but it should give you a good sense of the type of game and what we're shooting for!

The store page is here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1113400/Alliance_of_the_Sacred_Suns/. Please remember that the game is still in development and many game elements may not represent the final version, especially the UI. Thank you!




Downloading now!  :D 


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Undercovergeek on July 25, 2021, 03:57:41 AM
Let us know
Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on July 25, 2021, 11:15:05 PM
Played for a bit this evening.  Obviously, I could only glean so much from a ten-turn demo, but overall I'm liking what I'm seeing so far. 


Pros:  It looks good, sounds good (the music is awesome), and the UI makes it pretty easy to find stuff.   The tutorials do a decent job of walking you through the basics.  It definitely gives off a Dune and/or Crusader Kings "IN SPACE!" vibe, which I'm digging.  Character interactions feel fairly authentic, and characters in general feel like actual people for the most part.

Cons:  While it's well-designed, the UI could use more work, especially QoL improvements.  Some of the colors feel like they should be toned down a hair.  Being able to move screens/menus around via click-drag would be helpful (which I've already suggested in the game's Discord).  More tooltips would be very welcome.  I'm also getting occasional choppiness with animations and when opening up menus -- nothing serious, just enough to be noticeable (and slightly annoying). 

Pro or con, depending on your personal preference:  This game is both fairly deep and complex.  (Hence, why the developer has spent so much time working on the UI -- they want to make the game as accessible and easy to play as possible.)  It feels a bit like Distant Worlds, in that you don't *need* to drill down into the various layers to enjoy the game, but they're there for if/when you want to dig into them. 


In general, I'd say AotSS appears to be heading in the right direction.  I don't think it's going to be for everyone, but personally I'm definitely still looking forward to it. 


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on October 15, 2021, 01:11:12 PM
Steve Hawkins, the lead developer, posted a progress update (https://www.reddit.com/r/4Xgaming/comments/q8gh76/whats_going_on_with_alliance_of_the_sacred_suns/) on Reddit: 


Spoiler: ShowHide

Hey everyone!

I realized when I responded to a question about Alliance here last week that I hadn't really posted in a while, and I wanted to make a special post for this reddit since so many of you guys and gals have been following this project for a long time, and I wanted to acknowledge that.

So, in a nutshell, development is going AWESOME right now. Back in the days when it was me, an artist, and some help here and there, it was very slow going. Now that we have proper funding, we have expanded our staff significantly, so now we have: myself; our lead artist; another full(ish) time programmer who specializes in UI and LUA scripting; a systems developer who has been part of the team for a while, but who is now able to devote more time to assisting with the world-building, writing and story/quest systems; an award-winning novelist who is writing much of our stories, quests (quests?!? yuuuup) and rewriting the tutorial; and we are about to add another artist who will work closely with our team to provide a unified art experience.

So not coincidentally, we've just completed our best 2 weeks of output ever - we added the new story system UI and the LUA compiler, the new end turn window and button, we completed the alert bar with all hovers and popups, including a help system for potential issues like 'running low on food' or 'almost broke' that gives you tangible advice; and we added the invasion/planetary combat system. And we fixed a ton of issues. And added an in-game bug reporter. Whew.

By the end of the month, we expect to have a revamped House nexus, and a really wicked cool Emperor screen that really will be the focus of the game, as it should be - think of it as the lead character in an RPG's character screen, and you'll have an idea of its magnitude and importance. We'll also be adding the fleet creation screen, army management screens, and battle reports. We also have planned out and started programming for a new conversation system - when you talk to a character and they refuse to see your point of view, you will now be able to challenge them to a multi-round verbal duel - we're not talking Griftlands level of detail, since Alliance is not a battle game, but we think it will be an very interesting way of allowing your character to interact with the world and use the emperor skills (soon to be called 'epiphanies') that you have learned and leveled up. We'll be writing a full blog about that system soon, but I am literally more excited about it than any other system in the game.

Next month we'll be adding that duel system, updating the economic nexus, the stellar nexus (finally we'll have searchable and sortable columns for planets, systems, and provinces!) the character nexus, numerous custom tooltips for things like fleets, planets, systems, and other entities in the game that need unique tooltips, and last but certainly not least - a new character screen! Huzzah! Also we'll be working extensively on optimization and bugs, and starting to get feedback from our first beta about balance and any other issues.

I will say releasing the demo gave me a bit of nerves, since it's the first time most people have been able to get their hands on the game, and there have certainly been some bugs and issues, but all in all it's been a positive experience. We've gotten a lot of feedback on our Steam forums about the demo and a lot of it has been feedback we can use, and much of it has been offered in the spirit of making the game better because they're excited about it. We've certainly had one or two trolls, but that's to be expected when you wade beyond the chest-deep water in game development, and we're certainly headed for the deep end now! Several streamers have played the game over the last few months and they're basically in agreement: when it's completed, cleaned up, and has the full tutorial and in-game help, it's gonna be a winner.

So, basically, we're rocking along, we know what we need to improve, and we now have the people and resources to do just that. For those of you who have been along for a while - the end is in sight. If you played the demo and were confused about what to do, or felt lost, come back to it in a few months - we should have most of the in-game tooltips and help system in by then. And if you're one of those who got the game years ago and kind of forgot about it... well, man, are you in for a surprise about what we've done! :-) If you want to get more day-to-day updates, I strongly suggest joining our Discord channel - you can do so here: https://discord.gg/ubXQTFmhns

As always, thanks for your support and encouragement, and we'll see you in the Alpha Constellation!

-Steve



TL;DR - The full game won't be out until sometime next year, but development has been coming along very well overall.  Steve always has a pretty positive attitude where the game's progress is concerned, but he seems especially pumped up these days.  It's fun to see.   


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on November 10, 2021, 05:44:01 PM
For those who aren't fond of Steam, the game is now available to be wishlisted on GOG as well. 


https://www.gog.com/game/alliance_of_the_sacred_suns


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: bob48 on November 10, 2021, 05:57:48 PM
I'm quite tempted by 'Solasta: Crown of the Magister' and 50% off on Steam atm.
Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: bbmike on November 10, 2021, 06:09:24 PM
I was more than tempted.  :-[
Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on November 10, 2021, 06:25:32 PM
I'm quite tempted by 'Solasta: Crown of the Magister' and 50% off on Steam atm.

I'd say grab it if you derive any enjoyment from party based PRGs and turn based tactical combat.  I enjoyed it quite a bit (even the voice acting was sometimes so-bad-it's-good).

I would say grab it from Steam over GOG if you have any interest in downloading user-made campaigns.  The game comes with a dungeon editor and users have been uploading their creations.  You can d/l them for the GOG version as well but it's easier with Steam.

Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Undercovergeek on November 15, 2021, 07:19:31 AM
Terra invicta a game high on my want list is delayed til spring next year ☹️
Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on November 15, 2021, 11:39:25 PM
Yep, saw that.  It looks like most of the games being published by Hooded Horse have been pushed back to/are being released sometime in Q2 2022 in general. 


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on December 08, 2021, 06:28:06 PM
I think this was pretty much an open secret already, but it's now official that Alliance of the Sacred Suns is being pushed back to next year: 


https://www.gamespress.com/en-US/ALLIANCE-OF-THE-SACRED-SUNS-DELAYED-TO-2022




Interesting to note that the delay was at the request of the developer, KatHawk Studios, primarily for the reason that they want to do an open play-test first (sign up here (https://allianceofthesacredsuns.com/alliance-of-the-sacred-suns-playtest/)) in January before launching the game later on in Q1 2022.  Given that, even when the game *does* release, it will be doing so into Early-Access, I'm admittedly a little puzzled over why they're bothering with a play-test first. 

...Which doesn't mean that I won't still sign up for the play-test anyway (naturally).  ::)  Lord, I'm a sucker for punishment.  (Or maybe just a sucker...) 


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on December 08, 2021, 06:54:04 PM
Lead developer Steve Hawkins also published a dev blog today.  It gives more details on the reasons for the release delay, progress so far, and what they're working on as they prepare for launching the game into EA next year: 


https://allianceofthesacredsuns.com/whats-next-for-alliance-as-we-hit-the-homestretch-of-development/




Currently, there are two major features they're working on implementing:  One is the Emperor system (or rather, a (finally) fleshed-out version of it), where you as the Emperor/Empress must learn to manage your limited time (represented by Action Points) between taking care of the Empire, your relationships, and yourself.  Focusing on the first 2 factors at the expense of the 3rd comes at a price, as doing so will shorten your lifespan -- the game ends when you die, so it's something you have to keep in mind. 


The other major feature being added before the play-test and Early-Access launch is the Oratory Kombat system -- yes, really.  :P 

(https://i.imgur.com/qMJLBw5.jpg)


In earlier versions of the game, when you asked a character for help and/or to change their mind about something, and they told you to piss up a rope in response, that was it; you couldn't do anything about it.  With the new OK system, however, you *can*. 

It sounds like these, ah, debate battles shouldn't take more than a few minutes to play out, and are entirely optional in any case.  But I love that that they're in the game; I think it's a very cool idea. 


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on February 25, 2022, 11:49:40 PM
Rob posted a podcast interview with Steve (https://explorminate.co/alliance-of-the-sacred-suns-podcast-interview/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=alliance-of-the-sacred-suns-podcast-interview) yesterday, discussing the game's themes, and how much it's progressed since publisher Hooded Horse picked it up.  It's not often you hear a developer gush about how great their publisher is, but Steve does pretty much exactly that whenever he talks about Hooded Horse.  (And not just in the podcast -- he's had very positive things to say about them elsewhere as well.) 


One thing for sure worth noting is that AotSS is getting a tutorial campaign.  Given how the game is essentially trying to combine genres (4x/grand-strategy and RPG), plus all the difference mechanics & features involved, this can only be a good thing. 


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Huw the Poo on March 04, 2022, 06:08:46 AM
I'm pretty hyped for this, the videos I've seen look amazing. Any more news on when it's coming out? They might still make "Q1 2022" but Distant Worlds 2 releases in six days so at this point I might welcome another delay. :D
Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on March 04, 2022, 07:14:51 PM
Honestly, I wonder if AotSS won't, in fact, be delayed to Q2 at this point. 

A number of other games being published by Hooded Horse are slated to be released during that period already: Falling Frontier, Old World on Steam/GOG, etc.  Besides which, you would think that if the game was still going to be coming out this month, that they would have announced an official release date by now. 


Like you, though, I won't be sad if AotSS is delayed.  I expect that DW2 will be keeping me busy for a good while, starting next week.  ;) 


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Huw the Poo on March 04, 2022, 07:45:11 PM
I expect that DW2 will be keeping me busy for a good while, starting next week.  ;)

Same, buddy. Although for me it releases a day before I go away for a long weekend, so I will have to wait a few more days. It will be agony!
Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on March 04, 2022, 08:07:05 PM
Hey, at least you know you'll have something to look forward to when you return.  :D 

Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on March 19, 2022, 04:52:26 PM
Honestly, I wonder if AotSS won't, in fact, be delayed to Q2 at this point. 

Well would you look at that... 


https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/1113400?emclan=103582791464890585&emgid=3124941429725519133




I'm certainly not giving myself any points for calling this one; it was easy enough to predict.  It looks like a final playtest/demo will be available to everyone sometime in April, which suggests a May release. 

I definitely think this is the right call, especially in light of DW2's launch issues.  My main concern at this point is how Hooded Horse is going to handle the release of so many games in a single quarter (assuming no further delays, of course); hopefully it doesn't cause AotSS to get short shrift in terms of support on the back end, come release-time. 


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on June 03, 2022, 05:37:47 AM
Major news/update! 


https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/1113400/view/3321980888430689401



The highlights: 


1.)  Core game is now complete, though much work remains. 

2.)  Beta-testing is soon to begin.  First round will consist of only 100 players.  Sign-up "sheet" is [ur=https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfl3Pjxq2cslzjCh84g-B2f5xjE__AZubAAJ12hIuOMiKqkUw/viewforml]here[/url]. 

3.)  The game is clearly not coming out anytime soon, though the lead developer states they "fully expect to release Alliance in 2022."  (I definitely called that putt wrong... :doh:) ) 

4.)  Whenever the game *does* come out, it will be as a full release.  There will be no Early Access period for AotSS. 

5.)  We get new screenshots and explanations of how several of the game's systems have been implemented and/or refined. 


Overall, Alliance is looking significantly better than it did even just a year ago.  Of all features & mechanics, however, I'm especially excited for the various "Emperor Systems".  The devs are clearly intending to emphasize the game's RPG aspects as much as the 4x/grand-strategy side, and I am definitely here for that.  :D 


Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Huw the Poo on June 03, 2022, 09:30:24 AM
4.)  Whenever the game *does* come out, it will be as a full release.  There will be no Early Access period for AotSS. 

Thank christ for that. I'm so sick of early access.
Title: Re: Alliance of the Sacred Suns
Post by: Martok on June 03, 2022, 03:09:41 PM
^  Same here.  I understand why some developers do it, but man it really does get old after a while.  I'm glad Kathawk and Hooded Horse decided to forgo EA and just use the extra time for regular polishing and beta-testing instead.