Developer KatHawk Studios is working on Alliance Of The Sacred Suns, a 4X strategy game with grand strategy and RPG elements set in the “on the brink of collapse” interstellar empire. Even in space, no one could escape the quarrels and struggles of noble houses.
The game is published by Hooded Horse, a publisher with very specific niche strategy games on PC.
In the latest Alliance Of The Sacred Suns development post, the developers have updated the community on how the game handles tutorials. Any kind of strategy game has a learning curve, but based on player feedback from the last third beta tester, the current education system wasn’t right for the job.
The previous implementation of an educational system, as acknowledged by the developers, was buggy, but also required a lot of reading.
KatHawk Studios has taken a different approach for players on board, taking suggestions from player feedback. The game will now have tooltips, an encyclopedia and a help UI that pops up the first few times with an option for the player to turn it off later.
Also, the manual tutorial is now completely scrapped. Instead, there is a “quick start” sequence that you can play that walks you through the concepts of the game, and gently guides you through the primary learning tasks – the initiatives. Initiatives can be completed at any time, but there are so players learning the ropes have an idea of what to do.
Strategy games need some kind of tutorial, but it also shouldn’t stop players from doing things their way – that’s the allure of strategy games to begin with. Learning through failure is fun, but the game should ensure that it made clear what players should learn from it, so it’s not an exercise to frustrate.
Or in the devs’ own words from the post:
“In this genre, people don’t like holding their hands, but they want to have all the tools available to learn at their own pace, so we’re going to listen to people!”
The full blog post goes into more detail about other areas that have been improved since the previous beta test. Although it mostly makes sense to people who have played the beta version.
Alliance Of The Sacred Stars will launch sometime this year on PC (Steam).