Alliance of the Sacred Suns - if CK2, Stellaris, and MOO3 (Emrich Edition) had a strategy baby


Hey everyone!

My name is Steve Hawkins, and I’m the developer of a 4X/GS indie strategy game called ‘Alliance of the Sacred Suns’. We recently completed the game’s .7 milestone and we will be launching a Kickstarter soon! Here’s some basic information. If any of this seems at all interesting to you, you can get a lot more information at our website:

I’d love for you to check it out!

Here is a screenshot showing off some of the graphics:

Alliance of the Sacred Suns (AotSS) is a game unlike many that you have ever played. It is foremost a grand strategy game, with 4X elements, but also character and House management. We call it a 5X – the 5th ‘X’ being ‘eXist’. You are a character in AotSS, and if you die, the game ends… so tread lightly, your Majesty!


AotSS is a grand strategy game that takes place in the year 3050. Over 1,000 years ago, an alien race known as the Xyl came to Earth through a stargate that humanity had unwittingly built from wreckage that had been found 40 years prior. The Xyl used the stargate to attack Earth, and in the process nearly destroyed humanity. Earth was decimated, and only a small group of colonists escaped through the hastily reprogrammed stargate, to a part of the galaxy tens of thousands of light-years away. As the last remnants of humanity, they colonized a terran-like planet, New Terra, and seeked to rebuild civilization. For almost 500 years, humanity was allowed to grow and flourish, and the Terran Alliance was born, in an attempt to protect humanity from another such attack. Slowly, new races and sub-races evolved as humanity spread further and further from the warm core of Neo-Sirius and New Terra. But all were part of the Alliance, and peace and prosperity were the order of the day. Weapon research gave way to terraforming, economic enlightenment, and prosperity for any and all of the Alliance.

Until the Xyl, who had hunted the last humans for half an eon, finally found them and struck again.

Not equipped to wage full-scale war like their ancestors, the Terran Alliance was mauled, across planets to stars to provinces. One by one, whole provinces went dark, consumed by the Xyl. Finally, with the Xyl prepared to attack and defeat New Terra herself, a virus was developed that stopped the Xyl and ensured humanity’s survival – for the moment.

Enraged at the Terran Alliance’s inability to protect huge swaths of humanity, many of the far rim colonies and systems decided to break away and form their own civilizations, with their own cultures. At home, to prevent anarchy, the Great Houses rose to protect what was left of the Alliance and, to mollify an increasingly restless population, reformed the Alliance as the Celestial Empire, with the first Emperor, Magnus I, ordained to begin the reformation of humanity.

It is now almost 500 years since the Second Xyl war. With increasingly weak emperors and empresses, rising Houses who would claim their own part of the Empire, a stagnant scientific community that has lost technology from a thousand years ago, you are born. You are different from all other heirs… you have unexplained psychic abilities that allow you limited control over men and their motivations, but you also know one other thing:

The Xyl are coming, and unless you can rebuild the shattered Empire, develop technology to wage war, and lead your greatest people towards this goal, they will finish the extinction of humanity.

Welcome to your Empire, Your Majesty.


  • Top – level management – you have Action Points that are finite and vary from turn to turn. You can do almost anything, but you can’t do everything
  • You are the Emperor – you are a character in a game that has hundreds that you will interact with. If you die, or are deposed, the game is over
  • Multiple layers of strategy – from a traditional 4X-type (exploring and scanning new systems, colonizing planets, establishing outposts, building militaries and trade) upwards to developing your Great House and managing the other Houses that all have specialties that you can only take advantage of if you are on friendly terms with them, to discovering and reaching out to other breakaway human civilizations, to your ultimate goal of uniting the Celestial Empire against a final attack by humanities’ oldest enemy, the Xyl
  • Dynamic character relationship model – you can affect your relationships with Actions that you can take against characters, from giving a speech to challenging them to having them executed. Of course, they have relationships with others in the game too, so consider the knock-on effects of anything you do…
  • Great and Minor Houses – Houses limit what you can do as Emperor. Houses own territory, armies, etc. and if you piss them off, they may even try to usurp the Empire. Build alliances to allow characters with special talents and traditions to develop the Empire the way you want. For example, if you want a strong economy, you need good miners to ensure your factories run at full capacity, so you’ll want House Ilioaia (who has a strong mining tradition) on your side so you can appoint their members as viceroys of high-mineral planets… and so on.
  • Don’t micromanage, create a Project! Unlike traditional 4X games, you don’t make build queues, you create Projects to get things done, from colonizing a planet to throwing a celebration to upgrading a logistical region. You must assign an Administrator who gains power and influence from this post, and determines how smoothly your project will go! Assigning characters to Projects is a great way for them to earn power and influence… but take care that they do not gain too much, especially if they are of a House that hates you…

Anyway, I’ve followed this community for a while, and I thought this would be a game that many of you would be interested in at this point in its life-cycle!

Thank you for your time!


Hey, nice to see you here. I bought your game a year or so ago, probably because subjected to some Rubin Ruined My Wallet effect.
I have yet to have a computer to launch it, though!


Best of luck with this. Hmm the @BrianRubin effect must have been strong with this one as I also bought it a year ago but haven’t tried it yet because…cough…backlog…cough…but will do soon; it was probably good to let it bake a bit more anyway I imagine.

Looks great so hope it all comes together for you (and us!)


That looks really cool, Steve! I’m going through your living manual right now, which reads actually like an extended director’s commentary or developer diary. I’m really looking forward to trying this when it gets into 1.0 territory!



Ha! Well, now you have another excuse to get a computer!


Yeah, it’s come a long way in the last year, and I think it will take an even larger leap during .7 development! But there’s quite a bit of game in there already; check it out!


Thanks, Tom! That means a lot to me. Please remember that the manual is far from complete (I really must get back to updating that thing). Also, if you want a press copy, even at this stage, I’d be happy to provide you a code for one!


Sure, but as the game is progressing through development, it’s a great introduction to the nuts and bolts of what you’re trying to do. Especially these last two bits:

That stuff is speaking my language!





I was wondering when this would surface here.

There’s an interesting explorminate thread on this game.

I shall be buying it at release.


Haven’t bought it yet but plan to.


I’ve been casually following this for some time, and also plan to jump in at 1.0.


Ok, so here’s my question. I don’t know how far back in gaming you go, but the whole Action Point thing was tried by MOO3 (Master of Orion 3) in their initial design and testing - I believed they called it Imperial Focus Points though. They ended up ripping it out because it just wasn’t fun to those that tested the game (this is also why the game seemed so schizophrenic upon release because they ripped out a core aspect of game play that the game was designed around and the game never recovered - but that’s another story). Players just didn’t like being limited and letting the AI do so much.

So can you make this fun where MOO3 failed? And how can you do this?

PS - Thanks for fixing and standardizing the game fonts. Previously they were inconsistent and all over the place and a bit jarring - a minor thing I know but it was really bothering me :) And yes, I’ve been following this quite a while before your posting here :)


The title of the thread seems to implicate he’s aware :P

I personally see nothing wrong with the concept of AP in a game like this. Many modern boardgames limit the number of actions you can take per turn “artificially” and it works, so it’s probably more about balance than anything else. For me, this is a more appealing concept than yet-another-4X.


Hoo boy, this sounds great on paper. Rooting for you guys!


Awareness is one thing, fixing it is another. I’ll be interested in hearing the answer.


It’s actually my favorite feature in Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm. Not every game player is also a micromanaging control freak.


This does sound very interesting, good luck @Texashawk!


Sounds very, very interesting. Empire growing, with a focus on in-depth politics? Count me in.


Certainly a fine premise, but we’re all nervous because this is treading ground where other, bigger developers have sank into the mud!

I’m certainly rooting for you, @Texashawk.