Welcome back to “What’s New at SunSpear Games” with our first update of the New Year! I hope you all had a restful holiday and that your 2023 is off to a great start!
Our new year has begun with a flurry of exciting additions with even more on the way.
In our last update we talked about the economic changes we were testing in the build, available to anyone with Alpha access (check out how to get access here). With over two months of solid playtesting and feedback, we’re happy with where we’ve landed so far. Game length is comfortably within our target duration, and we’ve seen players adapt to the changes with new openings, more varied strategies, and positive feedback overall. We wanted to smooth out the pace of the game and did so by providing more levels to the upgrade paths. The intention is to allow for more clearly identifiable early-, middle-, and late-game phases, and to allow various units and tactics to have their moments to shine. This allows newer players to get more comfortable with each of the varying tiers of units and showcases different units throughout the game, offering players valid strategical alternatives instead of trying to rush the strongest, highest-tech units on the battlefield. If you’re in the playtest, you’ll see we’ve added more tech structures for players looking to go deep into the game’s tech tree.
We are feeling pretty good about these updates, and we would love to hear what you think! We are still making some general tweaks, and have a few debates going on internally (e.g. ether and ether production), but things are moving in the right direction. We have a wonderful community of testers actively playing our alpha and providing valuable feedback. If you’re interested in joining, please check out our discord here!
With the Immortal reworks introduced in the second half of 2022, we saw our godlike commanders reach a whole new level of awesome and fun. There’s always room to improve, so we have given two of our Immortals a little more love to make them feel as distinct as their counterparts. Those two Immortals are Xol, the Prophet of the Hunt, and Ajari, The Arash of Deliverance.
We’ve introduced Xol as our first “temporary hero,” summoning Xol herself, and allowing you to summon her onto the battlefield and control her for a short duration. Her summon ability was used primarily for worker harassment, and that was effective, sure, but eliminating defenseless workers is hardly becoming of a big-game hunter. So, to demonstrate her prowess on the battlefield, she now collects ‘trophies’ from enemies she defeats. Trophies are an in-game stat shown to the controlling player, like Mala’s Blood Bar. As Xol gets more trophies, she levels up, improving every attribute of hers on subsequent summons (her damage, speed, HP, etc.). Xol also has received a buff to her empowered attack (every third attack). Her attacks now gain additional damage based on a percentage of the enemy’s maximum HP. This means that the larger the opponent, the stronger the empowerment!
Ajari has received a subtle, but important, change! We’ve been happy with the effect of her ultimate “Salvation” – allowing a player to protect their entire army for a duration and warp them elsewhere – however, in playtesting we’ve seen the previously saved units continue to follow their most recent command. This led to some frustration around an entire army being saved, only to instantly march back towards the battlefield and finally be eliminated the second time around. We’ve resolved this by adding a brief stasis for all units affected by Salvation. This will ensure Ajari’s units stay alive during the spell by providing a window to issue a new command to the units.
While we’re on the topic of some of Creation’s leading ladies, we have some special, never-before-seen art of Ajari! The game is still in Alpha, so we are always looking for ways to enhance the art and style of the game. While what you see in these updates may not be the final renditions of what you see in-game, I’m excited to share this awesome art with you all! I hope you’re all as eager as I am to continue watching our world and its characters develop.
We are looking to make IMMORTAL: Gates of Pyre a game that welcomes all players, and our Co-op PvE plans will help deliver on that promise. Currently, we have 2 prototype co-op experiences available, and we’ve been spending a lot of time working on refining them and our future PvE modes. Updates to the primary missions have been rolling out over the past few weeks; let us know what you think – what you like, what you don’t, even entirely new suggestions!
As well as the new tech buildings mentioned earlier, we have introduced some additional animations to fan-favorite units such as the Ichor! We’ll be closely monitoring how they perform in the playtest, but we’d love for you to let us know what you think of them when you see them in-game.
Come Join Us
Staying in touch with all of you while we’re in development is key for us – so come on down! Our Community Builder Kwame (aka temp0) has opened his “office hours” and will be available to hang with every week! If you have ever been interested in content creation, come join him every Thursday at 2 pm PST/5pm EST/11pm CET in the “creators’ corner” on our discord. He’ll be joining with Tom and Ashley to host the community town hall & playtest on Fridays at 11am PST/2pm EST/8pm CET, where they can answer your questions and you’ll be able to play with other devs and playtesters.
2023 is going to be a great year. I can feel it! Thank you for taking this journey with us!