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January 2022

Alliance Of The Sacred Suns

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Hooded Horse
Developer: KatHawk Studios
Release Date: Q1 2022

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'Alliance of the Sacred Suns' Early Access Delayed Until Q1 2022, Playtest Coming in January, Reveals New Features

by Rainier on Dec. 8, 2021 @ 1:25 a.m. PST

Alliance Of The Sacred Suns is a 4x strategy/RPG game that casts you in the role of the newly crowned emperor/empress of a dying galactic empire.

A thousand years in the future, humanity's last empire stands on the brink of collapse. Noble Great Houses compete for control over the decaying feudal state, while the lives of ordinary people have already begun the descent into an interstellar dark age.

You are the young emperor or empress, preparing to ascend the throne. You carry the last glimmer of hope for a brighter future among the stars.

Alliance Of The Sacred Suns immerses you fully in the role of ruler. You will create your character, selecting from a variety of backgrounds and abilities. You will engage in conversations and develop relationships with your officials. You will make hard choices in illustrated narrative events, some threatening the stability of your fragile reign, others shining the faintest hope of a new dawn for your dying empire.

Your empire's long decline means that you begin as ruler in name only. The nobility has coalesced into a handful of Great Houses, and their power has been growing for generations at the expense of imperial control. Members of the Great Houses dominate the imperial bureaucracy and complicate your rule. Yet, the strength of the Great Houses also provides critical support to your empire. A council of nobles serves as a check on your authority, but also a chance to build consensus for your policies.

KatHawk Studios’ space strategy game Alliance Of The Sacred Suns is delayed until Q1 of 2022, in order to conduct a large-scale playtest in January and polish the final product ahead of release. Interested players can sign up for the free playtest at the game's website here.

The January playtest will allow Alliance Of The Sacred Suns to have all core features fully playtested ahead of its Early Access release, allowing for further balance and polish based on the feedback of a large group of players

“We’re moving full-steam ahead on development, and just in the last month we’ve added the new Event Engine, the new Story UI, the Event Manager, a new House Nexus, and Game Milestones. Even though our core systems are essentially in the game at this point, we will need a lot of time to test and balance all of the game systems, especially in the late-game,” said Steve Hawkins, lead developer of Alliance Of The Sacred Suns. “We want to make sure that the game gets more – not less – compelling the closer you get to the endgame, and we want more time to revamp the tutorial and tighten UI optimizations such as ultra-widescreen layout and boxier screen ratios like 5:4 and 11:6. Our publisher Hooded House has been very supportive from the start and is behind us delivering the best possible game even if it means delaying it for a few months.“

"Alliance Of The Sacred Suns' unique angle of putting players in the shoes of a real, mortal character in charge of an empire is extremely exciting, and we want to make sure the game gets the time required to fully implement and polish its many innovative mechanics," said Tim Bender, CEO of publisher Hooded Horse. "Steve and the team at KatHawk Studios have done an amazing job getting the game ready, and we look forward to player's feedback during the playtest in January to help make the game even better before release."

Once ready to release, the game will move to Early Access (Steam / GOG) where KatHawk plans to expand the title with a new alien invasion "Xyl" Campaign.

"So with that said, I wanted to talk a little bit about 2 major systems that are coming to the game – the oratory system, and the full Emperor system. Currently, when you talk to a character, and they decline to do what you want/need them to do, that’s the end of the story. Now, we have a fully integrated oratory battle system, complete with unique skills, a full strategy and move tree that you can unlock as you develop your Emperor (more on that later), and an expansion of character’s personalities and their relationships with you! Now, you will engage in back-and forth conversation based on moves that you pick from strategies that may or may not work, depending on their personality and your ability to say the right thing at the right time! Highly persuasive moves use Focus, which you can recharge by using a pause action, but each turn that you fail to persuade the other character lowers their Patience, and if it reaches 0… not only do you lose the argument, but depending on the power difference between you and the other Character, you may lose Power and an additional AP!

You don’t have to enter the oratory combat, but if a character refuses you’ll have to find some other way to change their mind or improve your relationship so that they will do what you ask the next time you ask!

The other major update is to the Emperor system as a whole. We have introduced the concept of your life expectancy – once you reach this point, your chances of dying (and thus ending the game) go a whole lot higher! Fortunately, you can affect this over time – staying healthy, making friends, keeping your Spirit high, and not using every last AP each turn (i.e. don’t overwork yourself) will gradually increase this over time, while doing the opposite will lower it. A big part of Alliance is deciding how you will spend your limited time – do you take care of yourself, your relationships, or the Empire? That’s the triangle of time that you will have to decide each turn, depending on the needs of the moment.

We have also expanded the Skills tree, now called Epiphanies, while streamlining it as well. You will pick from several high-level Epiphany groups, such as Habitus, Openness, and Predictability, and within those groups you will have to choose categories that often mutually wall each other off – you can’t be both closed and open personality, for example; nor can you be a diligent person (studious and theological) while also being robust (athletic and war-minded). You will have to choose your path, but the top-level skills lead to subskills that round out your character, and affect everything in the game from your relationships to your stats to your health to how well your Events end up!

Next, we have expanded the Scales system to actually give you a public perception of your personality, and for that perception of your humanity, honor, and piety to affect how your people and your Houses view you. You will gain traits based on where you fall on these scales, and dedicating development points to your Force of Personality in a specific scale will give you more powerful traits – but be aware, there is always a positive and a negative effect for each trait, whether you’re a despotic, lawless tyrant or a benevolent, honorable ruler!

Finally, we have greatly expanded the number of Actions that are unique to the Emperor. The initial version had 3 Actions; the release version will have over 25. They are divided into personal Actions (actions that affect only you) Governance (effect how well you do your duty as the head administrator of the Empire), Character (actions that affect a specific Character) and Special (unique and powerful Actions that can change your reign if utilized properly!)

You earn Personal Development Points by interacting with Characters and through Events, so if you don’t focus on your people, you won’t develop as a person. You have to learn how to become an Emperor by doing, not by reading books. The more you do things, the more quickly you will develop and grow your talents and skills, and the more Actions you will have access to!

There’s a lot more coming, including more Province Projects, greatly expanded House AI, greatly optimized UI for the Nexii such as the Stellar Nexus and Character Nexus, the ability to assign new governors and viceroys from a new global assignment screen, and much more! We’ll talk about those soon enough, but for now…

…thanks for your time, and Long Live the Celestial Empire!"

Steve Hawkins, Lead Developer, Alliance of the Sacred Suns

You cannot micromanage the daily affairs of each planet in your empire, and you do not have omnipotent control of the economy or military. Instead you can only wield your authority as a real emperor or empress would, by managing relationships and politics to rule through appointed officials. Some serve as your governors, ruling planets and star systems in your name.

There are no build queues to micromanage. Instead, exercising wisdom in whom to entrust with official appointments will be critical to the development of planets within your empire. But you must tread carefully, and you cannot make appointments on merit alone. The scion of a powerful House may prove an incompetent governor, but stripping them of position may have consequences far worse than a badly run colony.

You too are a member of a Great House. Your House and those of the other noble families will each employ a unique playstyle. For example, Houses with a technocratic tradition will research advanced technologies to grow their power, while those with a mercantile culture strengthen their rule through economic growth and trade.

These factors will play out differently depending on which of several available scenarios you choose. Each scenario includes unique political situations and victory conditions.

Alliance Of The Sacred Suns is built to support modding. Players can access much of the game mechanics and content through text and XML editing. We are excited to see what worlds modders will create using our politics-in-space framework.

Alliance Of The Sacred Suns is coming to PC (Steam / GOG) in Q1 2022.

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