Sons of Ra Devlog: January

What’s up Gamers? 2020 is finally over, and 2021 came out the gate swinging. On our end, we’re trying not to dwell on all that, so it’s time for some updates.

We are happy to announce that you’ll be able to play Sons of Ra in the Steam Festival: February 2021! For us, the most exciting news of all is that this demo will feature our brand new Online Multiplayer!

We had another test this past weekend, and we think that things are just about ready for you to try. We have a few larger problems to tackle before then, but one more test oughta do it! …Hopefully.

Psst… you can sign up for that last test here

Look at all those lobbies!

Once again, thank you to all of our Testers! Every one of you has really helped us with your time, your bug reports, and for humoring us by trying out weird situations so we can take notes. Thank you so much for helping us bring Sons of Ra to a larger audience.

Sekhmet has full functionality, and we are getting all the artwork done for her blessings right now. Her Ultimate, the Huntress, looks suuuuper cool. Check it out below:

Ignore the weirdness with the unit. That’ll be fixed soon.
Happy Huntress 🙂
Sad Huntress 😥

CHANGELOG

  • Art
    • Animations for The Huntress
    • New Blessing art for Sekhmet’s Battle Hardened and Isis’ Immunity
    • New Sun Tower finalized
    • New dust particles for collapsing keep, destroyed towers
  • Online
    • Massive performance upgrades
    • Numerous fixes with blessings and units
      • Betrayal was a paaaiiiinnn. But it’s good now.
    • Improved matchmaking and support for “quick join”
  • Music
    • Final Mixes on all level and menu tracks
    • Updated Ra track
    • Final Victory track updates

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Our main online tasks to work on are client/host desyncs and what we’re calling “ghost lobbies.” There’s still smaller bugs that will need our time eventually, but those are the main focus right now.

As for gameplay, Sekhmet is on the home stretch, and we’re excited to show you her full power soon!

The Steam Festival starts up on February 3rd. We cannot wait for you to play our game and tell us what you think!

Peace.

Sons of Ra Devlog: Mid December

Hey again! Last weekend, we held our first ever online test over on our Discord Server. We had a ton of fun and found an enormous amount of bugs, which poor Jeff cried about and then fixed, like the champion he is.

Thank you to all of our Testers who participated! You guys are awesome and gave us some great moments.

Shown above: The Sneakiest Spearman in all of Egypt

As for art, Mark has been hard at work on getting things up to snuff. Our Sun Tower has been looking a little drab recently, so we decided to upgrade.

Designed from the ground up and inspired by the Pyramids of Giza, the new Sun Tower is actually the first time a pyramid has been present in Sons of Ra! What took us so long? I have no idea, but check out the sketches below, and our most recent animation tests!


Sekhmet is coming along nicely, and her God Head is nearly complete. Just needs some colors!

There is no reason at all to use the comparison block here, but I think it’s cool, OK??

Changelog

  • Models
    • Sekhmet has a head now! Her keep is gonna look super cool.
    • The Sun Tower is no longer 2 vague rectangles
      • Enter the pyramid! Taste the sun!
  • Online
    • Packet clustering for improved performance
    • Numerous bugfixes, including proper currency syncing between players
      • That means no more infinite priests, you silly sausages
    • Game Timer fixed between players
  • UI updates
    • Online UI
      • New lobby & Server Browser!
      • No more default Unity skybox!
    • Main Menu updates: Now with fewer clicks™
  • Conquest Bugfixes
    • Neutral nodes functioning properly
    • Player turn order fixed
  • Music
    • Final Victory theme
    • Conquest Special Event theme
    • New map theme?? (TBA)

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We’re going to be taking a short break for the holidays, but you’ll hear from us again in the new year!

2021 brings with it the release of Sons of Ra, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring you the project that we started so many years ago. Thanks for sticking with us through 2020, and I’ll talk to you all again in January.

Peace!

Sons of Ra Devlog: End of November

We’re back again! By the way, you guys can expect these every two weeks or so, each one (hopefully) full of new content!

Okay so

basically

Online

With Steam Invites!

It may not look like much, but you can invite people through Steam and play the game with them, completely over the internet!

We still have a lot to test, and that’s where you come in! Head on over to OUR DISCORD and click on #announcements. Follow the instructions and react to the most recent post and we’ll send you a private key!

Sign up for the online test on our DISCORD

This is a little bit less organized than how we normally do things, and that’s because things are gonna be a lot more broken than usual. THE TEST WILL ONLY LAST FOR 4 HOURS: 1:00pm – 4:00pm PDT on Saturday, December 12th. Check out our Discord for more info (Yes. That one is also a link).

Okay, so now that that’s out of the way, regular updates.

Conquest is coming along nicely. To everyone who joked about a Sons of Ra Battle Royale, we actually brought that up during our design meeting, and have started using some ideas from the genre in the most recent update. It’s definitely different, but it’ll make conquest much more interesting to play.

Sekhmet’s abilities are being worked on. We had a design discussion as a group and we think we have a grasp on what will work best for her. She definitely has the most unique passive for any God we’ve created so far, but it’s been super interesting to theory-craft. Functionally, the blessings exist now, but we want to actually give them some visuals before we talk too much about them.

We can share Sekhmet’s Ultimate though: The Huntress (name still WIP). You get to summon a super unit with super strength who runs around and just destroys EVERYONE. Check out her design so far:

And look! Isn’t she rigged just perfectly? (Please don’t take away my Maya license)

Changelog

  • Sekhmet’s Ultimate
    • The Huntress can crush you like a bug
    • I also heard she can do backflips
  • UI updates
    • New health bars and updated map select
  • Conquest Elimination Mechanics
    • You can lose now, but extra hard
    • It applies to all players
  • Conquest BOSS???
    • Still a secret. You’ll find out soon™
  • 2 New Songs
    • Sekhmet’s theme SLAPS
    • Literally I cannot wait to show you guys
    • We also have one made for something unannounced


Next update is in the middle of December. We’re revamping a bunch more old assets and artwork, getting online ready for the test, and should be able to share the results of that test with you! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you then.

Peace.

Sons of Ra Devlog: Mid November

Hello! As we reach the final stretch of development, we wanted to share what we’re working on, what’s to come, and what you can expect from Sons of Ra.

To kick off our brand new developer logs, we’re announcing the identity of our newest God, Sekhmet! Sekhmet is the warrior goddess who smashes everything and everyone who stands in her way.

Extremely aggressive, she has abilities that focus on offensive unit play, even sending her own avatar of destruction onto the battlefield to dish out damage.

We also redesigned our existing keeps (still in progress) and they now have pillars! Our old keeps were designed over two years ago (!!!) so this change was a long time coming.

See?! Pillars!
Slide between the new keep on the right, and the old keep on the left!

Changelog

  • New Keep
    • Colors!
    • Heads!
    • Pillars!
  • New God Sketches
    • Sekhmet is revealed!
    • Seh has sords an doesn’t afraid of anything
  • Sekhmet gameplay design discussion
    • New blessings coming to you soon!
  • UI updates
    • Tutorial has updated assets
    • Text boxes allow for different sized text (for localization)
  • Conquest Elimination Mechanics
    • You can lose now
  • Behind the scenes boring legal garbage

We’ll be posting again at the end of the month, where we will have more updates to Conquest, get our online mode in a fully testable state, and getting Sekhmet’s ultimate blessing ready for action!

SONS OF RA DEVLOG 9

IT’S COARSE AND ROUGH AND GETS EVERYWHERE

Following the polish seen last week in the sound, particles, and UI, we returned to developing new major features, namely a new playable map. Since the beginning, we always wanted to give each map unique environments and we finally started. We knew we wanted a desert environment to sell the ancient Egyptian theme but couldn’t think of a good context for playing this type of strategy game in the sand. One person suggested simply putting the map on a sandstone slab; however, our advisor pointed out that one of the first recorded board games is from ancient Egypt: Senat. The team loved the idea and Mark quickly went into creating designs and mockup for a senat-inspired version of our board. After that, the board was finalized with the new path design and more detailed textures. The environment followed quickly, using the stone slab suggested as a base and creating sandy hills and rocks as background pieces.

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The map design itself deviates from the other maps in some key ways. It is another two lane map, limiting the tactical options of each player but making defense much simpler. The switchbacks give the defensive advantage to one player in one lane and the other player in the second lane, forcing players to balance both lanes carefully. Finally, the map is significantly smaller than previous maps. So far, maps have been 36 x 24 grid squares in size. This map is only 30 x 18 squares. This decreased size will allow games to be faster and make good tower placement crucial for a strong defense. It will also allow the camera to be closer to the map, showing the units and towers in more detail.

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WE GOT A TRAILER

We now have an official gameplay trailer on our YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/sMRLvYJgSj4)! We’ve been working on it for a couple of weeks, initially for internal use but later polished for a marketing release. We plan to release more marketing and work-in-progress videos on our channel over the course of development. So make sure you subscribe!

SonsOfRa_intelinternal

IN CLOSING

There are plenty of features currently in development that we’d love to talk about now, but they need some additional work before being shown off. Our current goal is tackling the larger features needing to be tackled between now and release. Hopefully in the next few weeks we should be talking about new gameplay modes and/or features while continuing to polish and improve the quality of what’s currently here. See you all next week.

Sons of Ra Devlog 1

Back Into the World

Welcome! This is the first official devlog from Pharaoh Hound Games for our game, Sons of Ra. We’ve been somewhat silent on this front since our time as a class project came to a close, as only a few of us, myself (Jeff), Mark, Michael, and Joe (Brown) were able to stay on board, and we’ve been BUSY working hard to make this game the best it can be. Now that we’ve become more established, we decided that we wanted to be more consistent about updating you guys with our progress and keeping you on the inside track so you can see all the awesome stuff the team is working on. So, let’s dive in!

Rebirth

For anyone who has seen or been involved since our early days, you would know that our game used to be known as The Two Powerful Ones. After much toil, feedback analysis, and external testing, we decided to re-christen our game Sons of Ra. Along with this came a number of rebranding elements, even for PHG as a whole, to give us a more established look. Said elements are already present for you to see on our site and social media!

 

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Patron Deities

Sons of Ra has, from the beginning, included a mechanic referred to as “blessings”, powers of the gods that the players can invoke to turn the tide of battle. We have taken this mechanic and run with the thematic elements of it to create the “patron deity” system. Now, before a match, each player will pick from a selection of gods to pledge to in return for access to a unique set of powers based upon that deity’s domain. For instance, Montu, aspect of Ra and god of war, has a set of blessings that focus on offense and using the power of the sun to bolster your attacks. Each patron offers an “ultimate” blessing that is expensive and game-changingly powerful and a “signature” blessing, which are both unique to them, as well as two basic blessings that can be seen present in the ability sets of multiple deities.

 

Base Expansions

During our first few months of development, we saw in matches that if players did not choose to use currency-based towers like the Temple and Mine, they were effectively handicapped and frequently were at a disadvantage. We felt that this was negatively affecting gameplay, so we chose to embrace a new system. Rather than choosing which towers to bring into battle, players will have access to all towers from the start. However, the Temple and the Mine have had their effect increased, and will be available as base expansions instead of as towers. Base expansions provide strong passive bonuses to the player in exchange for a large investment of gold and favor. There are two expansion slots which can be used by the player they desire, either for two different expansions or two of the same. There are plans to add two more types of expansion, which we think will lend themselves to some really cool playstyles.

 

In Closing

These are the biggest changes and updates that we are ready to talk about at this time. There are plenty of things that we did not have time to note, like UX and FX improvements, but we will be including these things in future updates when there is less major information to discuss. If all goes according to plan, next week’s devlog will also have some really exciting stuff to talk about, so we hope to see you back then!