Sins of the Prophets (SotP) is a total conversion mod for the PC game Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion that transforms the game into a Halo-themed experience. It's a real-time space strategy game, focused on empire building and space combat. Huge fleets of ships clash in the gravity wells of planets, asteroid fields, and massive structures. Our mod redresses all of that in Halo garb. In a match of SotP you could defend Reach from the Fleet of Particular Justice, discover a massive Forerunner structure that gives you advanced technology, then amass a giant space empire, only to lose it all to the Flood. The skirmish style of the game allows for some of Halo's sandbox appeal to translate well into the mod. The space combat is brutal and fast - an element of the Halo story covered well in the books, but hasn't yet been fully realized in a game or film.
This project has been accomplished in part thanks to its many dedicated Quality Assurance Testers, colloquially known as Playtesters - which we're looking for more of! Without our Playtesters we wouldn't be able to put out quality releases for everyone to enjoy.
Quality Assurance Testers, perform a vital role in game development, testing, tuning, debugging, and suggesting detailed refinements that lead to higher quality and better playability of the finished game. The job involves playing (i.e., testing) the game in a systematic way, analyzing the game’s performance against the designers' intentions, identifying problems, and suggesting improvements. In effect, they act as the game’s first audience, reporting on playability and identifying any aspects which could be improved. They are responsible for assuring quality in the final product and for finding flaws in a game before it goes public.
Please understand that playtesting is not all fun and games! You're getting early access to newer (incomplete, sometimes totally broken) internal versions of the build for the price of lots of your free time. This is volunteered unpaid time, and we'll be asking you to potentially spend it playing in ways that you may or may not find fun. Specifically, you could be testing competitive multiplayer balance in matches against other highly skilled testers, or focusing your efforts on particular bugs and balance changes. When you're done testing we expect you to give us feedback, and that often means writing out your experiences and opinions on them - sometimes there's more writing and talking than playing, and that might just not suit your style.
We take development of the project seriously, though we do love to bullshit during the process. You should only volunteer if you feel passionate about our project, and won't lose interest in a short period of time.
If you're interested in becoming a Playtester, and helping us build the next release of SotP, you'll find a list of questions below. Please copy and paste them into an email, write responses to them, then send the completed form to:
*Provide if available
Have you mastered any other languages aside from English; for example Spanish or German?
Experience With Playtesting
Have you ever been a QA Tester (Playtester) before - if so, what experience do you have as a playtester?
Have you ever been a QA Tester for Slugfest Studios, or Sins of the Prophets before?
Have you playtested for other Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion mods - if so, which one(s)?
Experience With Gaming
How familiar are you to the RTS genre of games?
What is your favorite game?
What are your favorite genre of games?
When playing games, what is the average difficulty (Such as Easy/Normal/Hard/Legendary) you play on?
Dedication of Time
How much do you play video games on a regular basis? (This can be on a Desktop, Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo console)
How long do your play sessions last on average per week, in hours, when playing video games?
How often do you finish the games that you start? For example, if playing Sins of a Solar Empire, some matches can take hours to complete; do you typically play until victory is achieved, or quit to start new matches when bored?
Sins of the Prophets
Where, and when, did you first hear of Slugfest Studios, or Sins of the Prophets?
Have you ever played Sins of the Prophets before?
What is your current impression of Sins of the Prophets?
Have you ever played Halo before? If yes, how long have you been playing the Halo series?
How familiar are you with Halo canon - What is the name of the class of ship attacking the Pillar of Autumn, in the beginning of Halo: CE?
Have you ever played Halo on PC? If so, which Halo; Halo: CE, Halo: Custom Edition, Halo 2 Vista, Halo: Spartan Assault, or Halo: Spartan Strike?
What are the specifications (current hardware) of your PC?
What is your Network Speed; can you handle large (i.e: several gigabyte) downloads?
What is your technological understanding or knowledge; more specifically, do you know how to install a game on your own, without someone watching over your shoulder?
Do have any prior experience using Git or SVN-based programs or repositories?
Have you ever used VoiP programs; i.e Discord, TeamSpeak, Skype, etc?
Why do you think you'd be a good playtester for the mod and what do you think you bring to the table that other applicants do not?
Do you have any experience with modding games? If so, what games, and what experience?
Do you have experience in game development? If so, what did you do?
What do you envision as your contribution as a playtester to Sins of the Prophets?
If you had a magic wand, and could change one thing about Sins of the Prophets, outside of universe setting, what would you change?
How willing are you in assisting us with our goal of World Domination alongside 343 Industries?
Hey Bornstellar, what's up! Long time, no see.
We're mostly all on Discord nowadays - if you check the side bar, by clicking the menu icon on the top left of the website next to the SotP logo, you'll see an option to join our Discord server.
Come join into the conversation over there.
I believe that was the general idea to do; I've wondered for some time what we were using for the actual colonize ability, and didn't realize it was vanilla until recently. We have, I believe, a separate model for the D20 Heron, those big dropships from the Spirit of Fire, we could definitely use them for the particle, though as a model it may put unnecessary stress on the game. That said, I think colonizing happens rare enough where it wouldn't pose a optimization issue, I mean we already use the phantoms, spirits, seraphs, pelicans, longswords, etc, for planetary invasion particles... So why not use the D20 Heron for colonization, make something for the Covenant, and implement?
Or, rather than the D20 Heron, as it's only known to be used by the Phoenix-class support vessels, use the D96-TCE Albatross - though, that would require a new asset be made.
I'm heavy into economy throughout any given match, and having a strong economy in Sins also means you typically can have a pretty powerful military in the mid-late game, but you're weak for rushes early-mid match, so you've got a bad Achilles Heel when that's your focus.
It works for me though, because if you're smart about it you can turtle for a while, while your economy bubble builds up.
The way to do it is to have a very small initial fleet that is all about fast and efficient expansion, that can take early game unoccupied worlds very quickly, that you can then bolster with upgrades that will boost your economy, like better population centers. This small fleet means you're not really going to be able to defend yourself outside of tactical structures like MAC/Hangers/Patrol Stations, and so when you're on the defense (which you will be) you need to be focusing partially on turtle-ling either some of your inner colonies so you don't get completely swept over, or building a good external defense line on some of your key boarder worlds where you can push an enemy to attack you at.
Basically, don't get any fleet upgrade until you hit the point where you absolutely need a fleet, because fleet supply upgrades (not capital ship slots, but fleet supply specifically) eat away at your economy, as there's a meta surrounding it where you now have to actually monetarily and resource-wise supply your fleet. At later upgrades you might be eating away 50 - 70% of your potential economy just to have a larger fleet, and you might not actually need that larger fleet because you're just focusing on tech early game, unless you're being rushed.
Pushing the civilian tech tree forward, building trade stations, resource extractors, upgrading your planet population upgrades, and making sure every planet has a resource boost structure like a Springhill helps massively push your economy upwards. By the time you're entering the end game your enemies may be spending everything they have to fight you, while you have strong defenses that they can't push through, and you can pump ships out that are fully upgraded because you've had the resources to upgrade a build ships the whole match.
This strategy works for me pretty well, but as I said before, it leaves you weak early - mid match, and you can definitely get trashed by even moderately sized fleets if you're not ready, because you really don't have a major force to defend yourself until late game.