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.
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:
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
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”
Final Mixes on all level and menu tracks
Updated Ra track
Final Victory track updates
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!
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.
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!
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!
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
New lobby & Server Browser!
No more default Unity skybox!
Main Menu updates: Now with fewer clicks™
Neutral nodes functioning properly
Player turn order fixed
Final Victory theme
Conquest Special Event theme
New map theme?? (TBA)
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.
We’re back again! By the way, you guys can expect these every two weeks or so, each one (hopefully) full of new content!
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!
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 Discordfor 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)
The Huntress can crush you like a bug
I also heard she can do backflips
New health bars and updated map select
Conquest Elimination Mechanics
You can lose now, but extra hard
It applies to all players
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.
We are incredibly excited to formally announce Set as the fourth god in the roster of Sons of Ra. He has been in the works for a few months at this point, as after the popularity of Anubis, we wanted to make sure that he would be similarly interesting to play and thematically accurate. We spent time doing research on different gods in the Egyptian pantheon, and found a few that we thought could bring interesting mechanics into Sons of Ra. Of these, Set was the one we believed to be most well known, and who had the most distinct identity – two characteristics that made Anubis successful. With this in mind, we delved into the mythos of Set and began the design process.
Who is set?
In Egyptian myth, Set is associated with a number of concepts, but most prominently Chaos, the Deserts, and Storms. He is also well known for his rivalry with the god Horus. After all, Set’s most famous story is that of his rivalry with Horus, and the events that caused it, culminating in Set’s stealing of Horus’ eye. Specifically, he is known as the one to murder his own brother, Osiris, to take his place as king.
There was one major challenge when it came to how we were going to visually depict Set. Like many Egyptian gods, he is pictured with the head of an animal. However, unlike the others, it is uncertain exactly what the “Set animal” is. Everything from donkey to aardvark, anteater to fennec fox has been suggested to have contributed to the depiction of Set. We decided to take influence from a few of these animals, namely the donkey and aardvark, and put our own spin on them to arrive at Set’s appearance in Sons of Ra.
For his weapons and clothing, we reached more into the myth of Set and what he represented in the ancient Egyptian religion. Being seen as a trickster, usurper, and assassin, we thought Set should appear vicious and sly, so we gave him a dagger to represent this underhanded nature he is portrayed with. As god of the Deserts, his clothing is reminiscent of clothing worn by North African and Egyptian desert travelers, with a hood partially covering his eyes to again reinforce his dishonesty and trickery.
Lastly, we chose to depict him with two items that hearken back to his myths. The eye of Horus which he stole hangs on a chain around his neck, and on his forearms are golden snake ornaments that reference his association with snakes, as well as his duty protecting Ra from the snake Apophis to ensure that the sun would always rise.
Set looks like he had once held the dignity and majesty of a god, but has since become ragged during his exile in the desert. Now, he comes to offer the warring kings of Egypt power, in the hopes that their devotion will bring him back to equal or even surpass his fellow gods and enable him to claim his rightful place once more.
When we create gods, we try to distill their style down to a simple phrase or concept to guide us in development. As the God of Chaos, Set’s blessings would naturally be somewhat aggressive, and designed to cause disorder on the battlefield, so the general theme that we chose to focus on with Set was “Disruption”. His abilities would therefor revolve around thwarting the plans that the opposition has enacted, and obstructing them from establishing a foothold when used properly. Set’s four blessings are as follows:
What better way to create chaos than by turning allies against each other? When you cast Betrayal, units from within the targeted area are randomly selected to temporarily change sides and fight for the opposing team. That said, it also has the potential to affect the user’s units, so placement is important. There is also no limit to the number of affected units, so using it in a large battle has the potential to cause mass confusion. When units switch sides, they will stop to fight units of the opposing team. In other words, their former allies! This will obviously deal damage to the affected units as they fight each other, but it comes with the added bonus of stopping the fighting units in lane. This allows towers extra time to work on them, or gives you the opportunity to mount your own attack in return.
Sandstorm is the first of what we are referring to as Lane-Select Blessings. As the name suggests, upon use, Lane-Select Blessings place an effect on an entire lane, either all at once or for a period of time. Sandstorm is of the latter variety. For as long as it lasts, Sandstorm gives the user’s units in the chosen lane a boost of speed, as its winds are at their backs, while dealing damage over time to any opposing units in that lane. Fitting with Set’s theme of disruption, Sandstorm is a form of lane denial, which you can use to twist your opponent’s plans to your whim by hampering an incoming assault or forcing their hand to a desperate and immediate defense against your own attack.
Basic Blessing: Ignite
Cost: 25 Favor Cooldown: 10 seconds
Set’s first basic blessing is the familiar Ignite. Select any tower controlled by the opponent and wipe it off the face of the earth with a fiery blast. Use it to help break through to the opponent’s keep or force a further gold advantage by removing defenses as they struggle to set them up.
Cyclone has returned! Originally named Sandstorm, Cyclone was removed when Montu was reworked into Ra, but it is now back as a blessing granted by Set. Call down a vortex of sand and wind to batter enemy units in a targeted area on the battlefield.
So concludes our detailed breakdown of Set, God of Chaos, the newest patron deity to come to Sons of Ra. We had a lot of fun designing him, and spent a lot of time creating his unique look and playstyle. We feel like he has set a new bar for us in terms of quality, one that has inspired us to revisit our old work to bring it up to a similar level – especially the effects of our blessings, one of the most dynamic and intense aspects of our game.
We are excited to announce that Set will be playable in ONE WEEK at DreamHack Atlanta, from November 15-17. Please, come by, check us out, and try Set for yourselves! We look forward to seeing you there.