Trial of the Gods: Siralim Collectible Card Game!

Thylacine Studios and JaysGames are very excited to announce that our newest game, Trial of the Gods, will be released to Steam Early Access on March 13, 2020!

Trial of the Gods is a single player, collectible card game based in the world of Siralim. Players will collect cards and configure their decks to challenge the gods to battle. The rules are similar to Triple Triad (Final Fantasy 8 and 14) and Tetra Master (Final Fantasy 9). If you’ve never played those games, don’t worry – it’s easy to learn!

Check out the trailer below:

Features

  • 100+ cards to collect that are based on creatures from the Siralim series! Each card has a unique trait that changes the way it works in battle.
  • Full-length campaign with an unlockable hard mode that is sure to challenge even the best of players!
  • Post-game content that features randomly generated battles. Win these matches to empower your cards and make them stronger!
  • Matches take only a few minutes to complete, ensuring that you’ll keep coming back for “just one more round”.
  • Gameplay that is based on Triple Triad and Tetra Master from Final Fantasy.
  • Easy to learn, but difficult to master.

Please don’t forget to add Trial of the Gods to your Steam Wishlist – not only will it allow Steam to remind you when the game is released on March 13, it’ll also help us to gain more exposure prior to launch.

The game will cost $12.99 USD on Steam. We hope to bring Trial of the Gods to Android and iOS later on as well.

Siralim Ultimate – Dev Blog: User Interface and Graphics

This week’s dev blog is unique in that I (Zack) didn’t write it this time! This post is written by Nieve, one of the primary artists who has been working on Siralim Ultimate for almost a year now.


Hi there! This is Nieve, one of the artists working on Siralim Ultimate. You may also know me as Gay Monster Aunt on Discord, or Fluffy the Wise in Siralim 3’s tavern. I’ve been helping to bring Siralim Ultimate to life with my art for a whole year now, and being a part of the team has been a fantastic experience!

So for this blog post, I’d like to talk a little about what I’ve been up to, talk a bit about the artistic/interactive direction of Siralim Ultimate and the reasoning behind a few of our decisions, and of course I would be remiss to let a blog post go by without showing a few new things off! A lot of folks on Discord have already heard me speak of some of the things here, but Zack thought it would be cool if we let the wider audience know what’s going on, since Discord is only one part of our lovely community.

User Interface

One thing that quite a few users have brought up as criticism of the previous games in the series is the user interface – how the game can be rather text-heavy, and how there are lots of menus to navigate through. This has been something of a learning process as the series has taken steps up in quality in many ways with each installment since the first Siralim game back in early 2015, and the user interface is absolutely part of this.

There are still going to be quite a few menus and such to navigate, but we’ve taken steps to make them much easier to navigate this time around, both in function and form. Let’s have a look at an average menu this time around:

In addition to the more compact font, you’ll notice that every menu entry has a graphical icon now, which is “grayed out” out while not selected. There’s a few design principles at work here: firstly, the icons just make the menu a lot nicer to look at in general. Secondly, the currently-hovered option being in color while the rest are gray helps to draw the user’s attention so they don’t lose track of what they had highlighted in the menu. Thirdly and arguably most importantly, we know that many Siralim players do not understand English as their first language (and some might not know it at all), while others may struggle with text-heavy layouts in general regardless of which languages they know. A graphical representation of what each option does in the form of an icon will help players to be able to learn and memorize each menu function more quickly so it doesn’t get in the way of their enjoyment of the game. Inclusion and access are quite important to us since we don’t want any of our players to feel left out!

To continue on that note, let’s take a look at the redrawn status effect icons:

 

Here we have the icons for Mend, Arcane, Barrier, Rebirth, Resistant, Weak, Vulnerable, Poison, Freeze, Fear, Conquest, War, Famine, Death, and Doppelganger. Compared to the old status icons, you’ll immediately notice the addition of a colored border that denotes whether the status is good or bad for the bearer – green for buffs, red for debuffs, yellow for minions. Pretty traditional colors for the most part. However, I realized while designing them that this would cause trouble for those among us with red/green color blindness, so I added another element to the border – if it fades from the top, it’s good. If it fades from the bottom, it’s bad. I also used bolder, brighter colors for good statuses and more gloomy, unpleasant ones for bad statuses, and I subtly shifted the green slightly towards blue and the red slightly towards purple just in case it was helpful. I myself am not color blind, but I really don’t want to leave behind anyone who is!

Now let’s quickly go back over one thing we’ve seen before in prior blog posts before we move on. The Knowledge Bestiary, introduced in Siralim 3, has benefited tremendously from our icon-driven approach:

The creature’s Class, Race, and Knowledge Rank are now all displayed as icons as well as the indicator for whether or not you currently possess at least one of that creature, drastically cutting down on the amount of text on each entry. Creatures with longer names such as Diabolic Commander or Wandering Abomination will no longer find their entry running over the edge of the frame! As in Siralim 3, when you obtain the creature’s card, that will also be displayed as an icon. Since I only drew them a day prior to writing this post out, let’s have a peek at what cards look like now:

Fancy, huh?

The user interface has been a very large bulk of my workload – at present my UI work folder stands at a whopping 1,135 files, all made from scratch! So naturally, we’re really hoping the big effort in polishing it up and making it more accessible pays off!

Artistic Direction

A privilege of working on so many of Siralim Ultimate’s graphical assets is that I’ve been permitted to apply my own artistic principles to the game in general. As you may have noticed in the new card icons, I’ve applied a much more consistent color theme to the five classes. Let’s take a look at the new class icons:

In prior Siralim games, some of the classes tended to be a little indecisive about which color they wanted to be. Chaos and Nature have always been solidly red and green respectively, but the other classes sort of waffled a bit. Life didn’t know if it wanted to be white, gold or sky blue, Sorcery tended to wander between purple and blue, and Death was kind of all over the place with black, grey, green and sometimes blue and purple also being used to represent it. As several players noticed, this has also (unintentionally) made us look rather similar to Magic: The Gathering’s color coding system. So going forward, I have codified Life as a sunny gold to lean into its celestial nature, Death as a sinister and subdued dark blue, and Sorcery as a regal, mysterious purple. In addition, solid white and black looked a bit strange sitting among other, more saturated colors, so hopefully this new approach looks a bit more balanced!

Just for fun, this was the first draft of the class icons I made before deciding on the color themes:

Life and Sorcery remained the same, but Zack decided he wanted something more abstract for the Chaos class, since not everything in that class is demonic or infernal in nature; for instance Bats and Cockatrices, which are normal, unchanged wild animals in Rodia, but particularly dangerous and vicious all the same. We also decided Nature was better off as a leaf, and the old Death icon was actually re-purposed as a “this creature is dead” indicator for use in battle, and was replaced in the class icon with a more monstrous blue skull instead.

I have also varied the various specialization perk icons in this regard. While they stay true to their class colors, each one uses a slightly different palette to differentiate them from the other specializations. Since those who know me from the discord server know I’m very much a dyed-in-the-wool Life Mage, here’s an assortment of perk icons taken from the three Life-oriented specializations:

You’ll notice they retain gold as the central color, with blue and red being used as secondaries, but each specialization has a different shade of gold; one being a very vivid and shiny gold, another being a more burnished brass color, and Inquisitor (which was revealed in an earlier blog post) has a more warm orange. This is a visual shorthand to the viewer that while they’re from the same class, they’re still quite different.

Taking a step sideways from classes, let’s have a look at race icons! These are new to Siralim Ultimate, and are a shorthand used to represent each race. Here’s a big handful of them:

Oh my, did I sneak a few icons for races you haven’t met yet in there? Why yes, yes I did. Have fun figuring out which icon belongs to which race! Here’s a hint: five of these icons are races yet to be revealed. The rest are all races you know and love. Good luck!

Race icons aren’t just for the Bestiary though – besides being a useful shorthand to reduce the amount of text, they’ll show up in a few other places too. As mentioned in a prior blog post, Reaper traits like to finish off monsters that are on low health. When targeting a low health monster with a Reaper, their icon will show up in the targeting reticle so you’ll know for sure that you have an opportunity to use the Reaper’s special attack. No more flubbed guesswork getting you punched in the face by an angry and still very much alive Troll!

Castle Decorations

Besides iconography and interface work, the other main bulk of my workload is spriting up all the various decorations you can use to decorate your castle. This is a huge undertaking, and I do mean HUGE. At the time of writing, I have sprited over 450 decorations, and that’s significantly less than half of everything that needs to be done before launch!

Most furniture comes as part of a set – each class, god, and major event gets a set. That’s thirty sets, not counting other sets that aren’t tied to anything in particular, and generic decor that doesn’t belong to any particular set! Standard pieces that every set gets at least one of include: Seats, Thrones, Tables, Lamps, Columns, Altars, Large and Small Paintings, Tall Wide and Small Plants, Statues, Rugs, and Banners. That’s a minimum of fifteen pieces in every set, so multiply that by thirty sets, and that’s 450 pieces! That’s just a funny coincidence with the number earlier – a lot of the pieces I’ve sprited don’t belong in a set, or are extra pieces in each set. I’ve still got fifteen more “standard” sets to complete, and that’s all before I start adding extra pieces to each! …has the word “set” lost all meaning for you yet? Just me? Okay.

Needless to say, there will be an absolutely tremendous variety of decor for you to put in your castle, and you can mix and match different sets and pieces to your heart’s content. Let’s take a look at some of the pieces I enjoy doing the most, plants and paintings:

You might notice some of the frames on the paintings are fancier than usual. These are Rare Paintings that are a little more challenging to get your hands on!

Decor pieces can be obtained from all kinds of places – in regular loot dropped by monsters or found in treasure chests, from god shops, from various accomplishments and achievements, and more!

As a treat, let’s take a look at some of the sets I’ve finished so far. Again, to note, these aren’t reflective of the castle’s layout at all, but were mock-ups I put together to make sure the tileset and furniture pieces worked well together.


Aeolian’s tile and furniture set. Many of you may know Siralim has its inspirational roots in Dragon Warrior Monsters for the Gameboy Color, a monster catching RPG that took place in the realm of GreatTree, which was a kingdom based out of a gigantic tree. In homage to that, now you can have a GreatTree all of your very own.

 


Arr, matey! What would Friden’s tileset be if not a nautical/pirate themed set, complete with piles of plundered booty here and there? Having a kingdom based out of a ship is a concept I’ve not often seen, but I hope your timbers are sufficiently shivered all the same.

 


Erebyss’s set is sure to add some gloom to your rooms. I was going for a sort of quiet, dark old cathedral vibe with this one. Erebyss may be the Goddess of Darkness, but as we all know she is far from evil, so the set leans more towards being fancy and subdued while still having some energy to it. This is one of the first sets I completed quite a few months ago now!

Closing Words

Working as part of the team on Siralim Ultimate has been a fantastic experience for me – I’ve worked in quite a few development atmospheres during my life, and this one has by far been the smoothest, most welcoming and nicest I’ve ever been in – which is another extension of just what a nice community we’ve managed to build over the years. This has allowed me to not just give it my all and feel genuinely proud my work and excited for the joy it will bring to our players, but also be a part of the development process even though Zack is the only one handling the game’s actual code. There’s enough trust and comfort that we frequently bounce thoughts and ideas off each other, which has several times led to us all coming up with even better versions of what we were working on.

I hope what I’ve written and shown off here has brought you excitement, joy and maybe even a little inspiration – as an artist, giving folks such things is what I live for. And remember – everything we’ve shown so far is just a taste of what we’ve got for you all – there’ll be plenty to discover for yourselves when the game is eventually done!

Nieve, signing out. Good fortune to you all!

 


Please note that nothing mentioned in this blog post is finalized. I reserve the right to change or remove anything mentioned in this post at any time. If you’re reading this post after the game has already launched, your best bet is to forget everything you just read because very few of the things I write about will remain untouched in the final product.

Siralim Ultimate – Dev Blog: Inquisitor Specialization

In this week’s dev blog, I’m going to reveal the Inquisitor specialization. This specialization focuses on reacting to just about anything your enemies will throw at you. There are also a few perks that allow you to use healing effects for offense purposes. In many ways, Inquisitors are much like Sorcerers in that they are proficient at shutting down their enemies’ tactics, but they do so in a very different way.

 

Inquisitor Perks

Please note that the numerical values shown for each of these perks is not final yet. Any values shown in {brackets} increase as you level up the perk, but for the sake of clarity, I’ve provided you with their maximum values already.

If a buff or debuff is different in Siralim Ultimate compared to Siralim 3, I’ll make a note of it below each perk’s description. Otherwise, you can assume the buff/debuff works the same way that it always has.

Censure  – Your creatures deal additional damage equal to {20%} of the healing they’ve received in the current battle.

Chastise – Your creatures’ healing effects deal damage at 25% effectiveness when applied to enemies.

Miracle – After your creatures are resurrected, they deal damage to all enemies equal to {15%} of their Maximum Health.

Lay to Rest – After an enemy is resurrected, they take damage equal to {25%} of their Maximum Health.

Divine Strength – After your creatures are healed, they gain Attack and Intelligence equal to {25%} of the amount of healing received.

Shining Force – After your creatures take damage that sets their Health below 35%, they gain Rebirth.

  • Creatures with Rebirth are resurrected with 30% Health when they die.

Contrition – After an enemy attacks, they have a {50%} chance to be afflicted with Scorn.

Judgment – After an enemy casts a spell, they have a {50%} chance to be afflicted with Silence.

Begrudge – After an enemy casts a spell, that Spell Gem is sealed.

Heresy – When your creatures attack, they deal 50% more damage for each minion the target has.

Defy Evil – Your creatures deal {50%} more damage and take {50%} less damage from Chaos and Death creatures.

Admonish – At the start of battle, enemy Sorcery creatures are afflicted with Silence.

Berate – At the start of battle, enemy Life creatures are afflicted with Blight.

Castigate – At the start of battle, enemy Chaos creatures are afflicted with Scorn.

Rebuke – At the start of battle, enemy Nature creatures are afflicted with Fear.

  • Creatures with Fear cannot gain stats.

Condemn – At the start of battle, enemy Death creatures are afflicted with Vulnerable.

  • Creatures with Vulnerable take 50% more damage from all sources.

Please note that nothing mentioned in this blog post is finalized. I reserve the right to change or remove anything mentioned in this post at any time. If you’re reading this post after the game has already launched, your best bet is to forget everything you just read because very few of the things I write about will remain untouched in the final product.

Siralim Ultimate – Dev Blog: Relics of the Gods

Welcome back! In this dev blog, I’m proud to reveal a new feature that serves as a long-term source of end-game progression in Siralim Ultimate: Relics of the Gods!

Note: I’m in the middle of a family emergency right now, so I apologize for this post being much shorter than the others. Even so, this particular feature is fairly complex, so I think it is best described as concisely as possible anyway.

Relics of the Gods

This isn’t a simple feature to explain by any stretch of the imagination, so I’m going to try to describe how relics work without rambling on with too many details:

  • Prophecies (infinite, repeatable, randomly generated, end-game quests) now reward a new type of currency when you complete them: Piety. The amount of Piety that you’ll earn is based on how difficult the Prophecy is.
  • Save up enough Piety and take it to Elize. If you’ve played previous Siralim games, you already know that Elize handles your Prophecies for you. Now, she also has a shop.
  • Spend your Piety at Elize’s shop to unlock a new relic of your choice. There are 21 different relics to choose from – one for each god. Eventually, you’ll be able to unlock them all, so just choose whichever is your favorite at first.
  • Your creatures can equip these relics, meaning you can have up to 6 relics in your party at a time – one equipped to each creature. You can equip and un-equip them at any time, as long as you’re in your castle. There’s no cost or penalty for doing so.
  • Relics are, essentially, skill trees that you can attach to your creatures. The creature that has a specific relic equipped gains that relic’s properties.
  • You can level up a relic by spending even more Piety at Elize’s shop. Each level gives you 1 skill point to spend on that relic’s skills. Each relic typically has around 7 or 8 skills. These skills have a maximum level, so eventually, your most powerful relics won’t gain any more skill points.
  • You can think of relic skills as miniature versions of creature traits. They’re powerful, but also niche, so you’ll need to build your party around them to take full advantage of them. For example: Ice Shards – After a Frozen enemy thaws or is killed, this creature deals damage to all enemies equal to X% of the Frozen creature’s Maximum Health.
  • After a relic is “maxed out” in terms of skill points, you can still continue to level them up to gain Synergies. Synergies grant your creatures permanent stat boosts. The stat (Health, Attack, Intelligence, Defense, or Speed) depends on what relic your creatures are using. For example, Azural’s relic grants a boost to Attack, while Zonte’s relic grants a boost to Intelligence. Synergies affect all the creatures in your party.
  • Synergies replace the generic stat-boosting perks from previous Siralim games.
  • Relics can also be Awakened, allowing the relic to take on a life of its own. Each relic can be awakened up to 5 times. Each time a relic is awakened, it unlocks an additional benefit for that relic. For example, after you’ve awakened Wintermaul, Great Hammer of Azural for the first time, the hammer will take on a life of its own and attack enemies in battle as if it were an extra creature in your party. Awaken it a second time, and it’ll cast Frozen-based spells on enemies. And yes, relics have their own attack animations.
  • How you awaken a relic is something related to a feature that I have yet to reveal.
  • If you ask politely on Discord, Nieve might be willing to share some visuals to accompany this dev blog.
  • Dry your tears, druids. I’m aware that you don’t have 6 creatures and can’t equip 6 relics. There’s a solution for that in the form of a perk.

Please note that nothing mentioned in this blog post is finalized. I reserve the right to change or remove anything mentioned in this post at any time. If you’re reading this post after the game has already launched, your best bet is to forget everything you just read because very few of the things I write about will remain untouched in the final product.

Siralim Ultimate – Dev Blog: Sorcerer Specialization

In this week’s dev blog, I’m going to reveal yet another specialization in Siralim Ultimate: the Sorcerer! I know the name of this specialization doesn’t seem particularly interesting to players who have been playing this series for so long, but I’m pretty excited about the way it works from a mechanical perspective.

This post is also a great time to show off some of the changes made to various buffs and debuffs in the game. Let’s get right into it!

Sorcerer Playstyle

In short, the Sorcerer is a control-oriented specialization that focuses on manipulating the battlefield to your benefit. If your enemies aren’t able to attack, cast spells, or otherwise take a turn, how can they ever hope to defeat you? What I like about the Sorcerer is that many of its perks feel very “deliberate”, in that you won’t need to rely much on random chance in order to take your enemies down. Instead, you can plan your strategy around these perks in order to capitalize on them and ensure victory.

Sorcerer Perks

Please note that the numerical values shown for each of these perks is not final yet. Any values shown in {brackets} increase as you level up the perk, but for the sake of clarity, I’ve provided you with their maximum values already.

If a buff or debuff is different in Siralim Ultimate compared to Siralim 3, I’ll make a note of it below each perk’s description. Otherwise, you can assume the buff/debuff works the same way that it always has.

 

Blink – After the order of the Timeline is determined at the start of battle, your creatures are moved up the Timeline {3} positions higher.

  • Note: “Timeline” is what we’re calling the “Action Queue” now.

Comfortable Proximity – When your creatures take damage from an enemy, they take {10%} less damage for each creature between the two creatures on the Timeline.

Deep Freeze – After an enemy takes damage from a spell, they have a {15%} chance to be afflicted with Frozen.

  • Frozen creatures are unable to act until they thaw, and have a 25% chance to thaw at the start of their turn. This chance doubles after each of their turns.

Fade – After your creatures take damage that exceeds 15% of their Maximum Health, they gain Invisible.

Flabbergast – After your creatures deal damage with attacks or spells to an enemy directly below them on the Timeline, that enemy has a {20%} chance to be sent to the bottom of the Timeline.

Gravity’s Void – When your creatures damage an enemy, they deal {15%} more damage for each other creature between the two creatures on the Timeline.

Mental Fortitude – At the start of battle, your creatures gain Shelled.

  • “Shelled” is simply “Shell” as you remember it from the previous games. Many buffs/debuffs were renamed so that they make more grammatical sense when you’re reading about them in trait descriptions and things like that.

Perplex – After an enemy takes damage from an attack, they have a {15%} chance to be afflicted with Confused.

  • Confused creatures have a 50% chance to attack or cast harmful spells on their allies.

Psychic Scream – After an enemy casts a spell, they have a {50%} chance to be afflicted with Silenced.

Ruin – Your creatures deal 1% more damage and take 1% less damage for each debuff each enemy has.

  • For example, if each of your enemies have 3 debuffs, that’s a total of 18 debuffs, meaning your creatures would deal 18% more damage to them and take 18% less damage from them.

Singe – After an enemy attacks, they have a {50%} chance to be afflicted with Scorned.

Solidarity – When your creatures deal damage, they deal {10%} more damage for each consecutive ally that is adjacent to them on the Timeline.

Spell of Roots – At the end of an enemy’s first turn, they are afflicted with Snared.

  • Creatures with Snared are stuck at the bottom of the Timeline until they break free. They have a 10% chance to break free at the start of each creature’s turn.

Spell of Slumber – At the end of an enemy’s second turn, they are afflicted with Sleeping.

  • Creatures with Sleep cannot act until they either take damage or this debuff wears off.

Spell of Stone – At the end of an enemy’s third turn, they are afflicted with Stone.

  • Stone replaces Stun from previous games. Creatures with Stone cannot act until this debuff wears off. They also take 50% less damage from attacks and spells, and 100% less damage from all other sources.

Please note that nothing mentioned in this blog post is finalized. I reserve the right to change or remove anything mentioned in this post at any time. If you’re reading this post after the game has already launched, your best bet is to forget everything you just read because very few of the things I write about will remain untouched in the final product.

Siralim Ultimate – Dev Blog: Will of the Gods, Realm Instability, and More!

In this week’s dev blog, I’m going to talk about the core gameplay loop in Siralim Ultimate – specifically, what you can expect to find in realms this time around. In addition, I want to talk about how I’m approaching the game’s difficulty in Siralim Ultimate and how it differs from previous games in the series.

The Teleportation Shrine

The Teleportation Shrine works pretty much the same way as it did in the previous Siralim games. The only difference is that it’s a lot easier to use.

Here’s what happens when you approach the Teleportation Shrine in Siralim Ultimate:

  • The realm depth menu will appear immediately. You no longer need to choose the “Teleport to a Realm” option, so this is a simple quality-of-life change that removes a key press. Simple enough, but it’s the little things like this that we’ll all be thankful for after we’ve played the game for hundreds of hours.
  • The realm menu is now all-encompassing. You’ll start by choosing a Realm Depth, just like you’ve always done in previous games. Afterward, you’ll be able to choose which type of realm you want to visit (Cutthroat Jungle, Azure Dream, etc) which costs resources, or you can simply choose a random realm type which doesn’t cost resources.
  • From this menu, you can also adjust something known as Realm Instability. This is a new feature in Siralim Ultimate, and I’ll explain more about that later in this post.
  • After you select a realm type, you’ll teleport to the realm of your choice. Easy enough.

Everything’s a Sigil

Sigils have changed drastically in each new Siralim game. Despite these changes, I’ve been really happy with how they’ve worked in every game so far.

In Siralim 1, Sigils immediately sent players into a boss fight. Unlike other fights in the game, Sigil battles were hand-designed to make them more challenging than normal battles. There was a Sigil for every single creature in the game, so these items added a lot of content for players to enjoy.

In Siralim 2, Sigils worked the same as they did in Siralim 1, except these battles also had randomly generated properties associated with them. These properties changed the way these battles worked – for example, certain properties gave enemies various buffs or stat boosts to make the fight more difficult, but also more rewarding. They also weren’t hand-designed, which made them feel a lot more random.

In Siralim 3, Sigils could be inserted into the Teleportation Shrine before you teleported to a new realm. These Sigils had randomly generated properties just like they did in Siralim 2, except these properties affected all the creatures in that realm. These realms were called Itherian Realms, and they were easily one of the most well-received features in the whole series.

In Siralim Ultimate, there is no longer a distinction between a “normal” realm and an Itherian Realm. All realms now have randomly generated properties associated with them. For that reason, Sigils do not exist in Siralim Ultimate.

At the start of the game, realms won’t have any properties because that would make for some frustrating early game battles that rely too much on luck. As your Realm Depth increases, however, realms will start to gain additional properties. Starting at Realm Depth 20, for example, realms will have 1 randomly generated property. At Realm Depth 30, realms will have 2 randomly generated properties. The number of properties will continue to increase as your Realm Depth increases until realms have a maximum of 6 randomly generated properties at a time.

Additionally, all realms starting at depth 50 have yet another property, and this one isn’t randomly generated: “Enemies are Fused”. As you can probably guess, this simply means that all your enemies will be fused with another creature, which will impact their stats as well as give them access to an additional trait. Enemies will all be fused from creatures that belong to a certain race in each realm. For example, one realm might contain enemies that are all fused with random Angel creatures, while another realm consists of creatures that are all fused with a random Fiend creature. That way, you’ll have some idea about what you’re going up against in battles rather than feeling compelled to inspect your enemies to read their traits in every battle.

You can view a realm’s properties ahead of time at the Teleportation Shrine before you commit to traveling to that realm. If you want to get rid of a certain property for whatever reason, you can pay additional resources to re-randomize these properties until you’re confident that you can handle that realm.

Moving Everything Into Realms

I want to add more random events to realms. The goal is to make them feel a lot more dynamic and unpredictable from a gameplay perspective.

One great example of this is that Pandemonium Tokens no longer exist in Siralim Ultimate as you know them. Instead, you will now sometimes find “Pandemonium Statues” in realms. These have the same effects as tokens, but you’ll be forced to use them in that same realm rather than at your leisure.

Remember how you’d sometimes encounter a “special room” when you used the Teleportation Shrine? One room offered players a bunch of treasure chests, for example. Those rooms (including plenty of new ones) will return in Siralim Ultimate, but now you’ll find portals in normal realms that lead to these rooms.

The Divination Candle is no longer used to create Charm items. Instead, you’ll eventually find this candle in each realm you visit. You can use it to attract creatures to that realm. Overall, the functionality of this candle is still the same as it was in previous games, but there’s no longer a need to mess around with a bunch of menus to do what you want to do.

Another interesting addition to realms is that, occasionally, a realm will be invaded by a race of creatures. For example, the Great Pandemonium might get invaded by Golems while you’re playing. While the invasion is active, the Great Pandemonium will have a lot of creatures that belong to the Golem race running around. Creatures that are part of an invasion have an increased chance to drop their Cards.

Talismans

In Siralim 3, players upgraded their Talismans by completing an Itherian Realm and then talking to an NPC to increase their Talismans’ ranks. Itherian bosses don’t exist in Siralim Ultimate, so the Talisman upgrade system is a little different.

After you complete a Realm Quest, you’ll earn a certain amount of a new type of currency called “Energy”. You can collect Energy and take it to an NPC in your castle to upgrade your Talismans that way. Your chance to upgrade a Talisman is always 100%, but the cost to upgrade a Talisman increases with each additional rank.

As you might expect, this new system makes the game flow a lot better.

Realm Instability and the Will of the Gods

In Siralim 3, players were able to adjust the game’s difficulty by speaking with an NPC in your castle named Casual John. CJ allowed you to greatly increase your enemies’ damage, defenses, and give them additional traits. In exchange, players were given increased rewards for defeating these enemies.

CJ is one of my biggest regrets about Siralim 3. When players feel the need to “max out” their difficulty settings with CJ, it greatly limits the amount of creativity players can use when assembling their party of creatures because fewer party compositions are viable at that point. In addition, when your enemies are modified to deal 10,000% extra damage, it leads to an “all or nothing” mentality wherein players feel obligated to create a team that can one-shot enemies before they get a chance to take a turn.

So, CJ is dead, and has been replaced in Siralim Ultimate by two new features that are not only more interesting, but should also incentivize players to be a little more creative with their party compositions:

  1. As I mentioned earlier in this post, Realm Instability is a new game mechanic in Siralim Ultimate. At the Teleportation Shrine, you can now choose a number between 0 and 5 that determines a realm’s instability. Each number adds an additional property to the realm. The catch is, you won’t know what these properties are until you’ve already used the shrine and entered the realm. The higher a realm’s instability, the better your rewards for defeating enemies, opening treasure chests, completing Realm Quests, and more. Realm Instability is also known to cause some other strange things to happen, but you’ll have to discover what I mean by that yourself.
  2. Another feature that I’m really excited about is called the Will of the Gods. There are 21 gods in Siralim Ultimate, and each one will request that you use a certain trait in your party. For example, Surathli might request that you use the Firewound Angel’s “Pyre” trait in your party. While doing so, you’ll earn increased rewards in realms. The more of these traits you use at a time (up to a maximum of 10, because I also don’t want players to feel like the game is forcing them to play a certain way), the better your rewards. Each god’s requested trait will change each week (measured in real time), and all players will have the same trait requests. The goal of WotG is to inspire players to think outside of the box and try out some new traits that they otherwise wouldn’t ever use. And, since all players will be asked to use the same traits at the same time, I’m hoping that you’ll interact with each other and try to figure out some interesting party combinations together. Obviously, Will of the Gods is largely an end-game activity since players won’t have access to too many traits early on.

Unlocking New Realm Types

One common point of confusion (and sometimes even frustration) for Siralim 3 players was that different realm types are constricted to certain realm depths until after you finish the main story quests. For example, you can only visit the Cutthroat Jungle at realm depths 1 through 3, so you can’t access a more difficult version of this realm until after you finished the story. This meant that if you wanted to grind favor ranks with a certain god, you were probably wasting your time on extremely easy content that also wasn’t giving you a satisfying amount of experience points, resources, and items.

In Siralim Ultimate, the story will still be told in a similarly-linear way. However, after you travel to a certain realm for the first time, that realm type will be permanently unlocked for your character and you’ll be able to either randomly access that realm at any depth, or cast an Alteration Spell at the Teleportation Shrine to choose that realm manually. That way, players will still be eased into new realm types over time, but they’ll be able to grind in these realms at any realm depth if they choose to do so.

Difficulty In Siralim Ultimate

Everyone has a different opinion about how difficult various parts of the game should be. There’s no way to please everyone and to do exactly what they want, but I’m pretty sure I have a better plan in mind for Siralim Ultimate’s difficulty than I did in previous games.

Certain pieces of content are simply meant to be more challenging than others. Some players think that every single battle should be challenging. I disagree. I think that would make for a really tedious game, and you’d feel burned out before you’d finish the main story quests. I think what makes Siralim so much fun is that, later on in the game, you can blast through a realm in under 5 minutes and have some really nice rewards to show for it. Something about the way realms are set up has a “zen” appeal to it in that you can pretty much zone out, listen to music or watch Netflix, and make some decent progress in the game whether you have 10 minutes or 8 hours to play.

On the other hand, if everything is that easy, the game will feel unsatisfying. Why should you bother thinking about your party composition when you can blow through the game without thinking about it? My solution is to break off each piece of content and decide how difficult it should be, and then balance the game around these labels accordingly. Optional fights should be the most challenging – that way, they won’t interrupt players who are trying to relax. Plus, there’s something to be said about having some control over the way you play – if you intentionally pick a fight with an enemy you know is overpowered, it won’t feel as frustrating when you get your ass handed to you.

I could babble on and on all day about my philosophy on game difficulty, but I’ll spare you my prattle and break down each piece of battle-oriented content Siralim Ultimate has to offer and show you how difficult I intend each one to be. I’ll rank each type of battle on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the easiest and 5 being really, really hard.

  • 1: normal battles in realms
  • 1: ??? (unannounced content)
  • 2: nemesis creatures
  • 2: optional battles in realms (such as Yseros’ quicksand portals that lead to a mini-boss)
  • 3: story boss battles
  • 3: arena battles
  • 4: nether crucible battles
  • 4: ??? (unannounced content)
  • 5: super boss battles (such as Lord Zantai and the Pandemonium King/Queen)
  • 5+: god battles
  • 5+: ??? (unannounced content)
  • 6: treasure golem (you’ll see why)
  • Varies: tavern brawls (I’m hoping to do a better job at offering players a diverse array of easy brawls and hard brawls this time around)

The nice thing about the Realm Instability and Will of the Gods features that I mentioned earlier in this post is that they’ll allow you to adjust these difficulty values across the board. While Realm Instability only affects realms, the Will of the Gods will be relevant for almost everything I listed above.

 


Please note that nothing mentioned in this blog post is finalized. I reserve the right to change or remove anything mentioned in this post at any time. If you’re reading this post after the game has already launched, your best bet is to forget everything you just read because very few of the things I write about will remain untouched in the final product.

Siralim Ultimate – Dev Blog: Animator Specialization

Recently, I asked on Twitter and Facebook which specialization I should reveal first: the Animator, the Trickster, or the Sorcerer. The Animator and Trickster were clearly the most popular choices among the three options, but the Animator managed to win by a narrow margin in the end. And honestly, this might be one of my favorite specializations in the game, so I’m really excited to share this one with you.

Before I get started, I’d like to explain a few things about how specializations work in Siralim Ultimate.

Specializations versus Classes

In previous Siralim games, players chose from one of five classes for their character: Chaos, Death, Life, Nature, or Sorcery. Each class had several unique perks that changed the way your creatures behaved in battle. It’s a totally fine system, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. So, rather than making any massive adjustments to how this class system works in Siralim Ultimate, I simply decided to add more options for you to choose from. Now, character classes are called “specializations”.

There’s a whopping fifteen specializations for you to choose from at the start of the game. Each one comes with its own starting creature. Some specializations are a bit more difficult to understand than others, so I’ve assigned a difficulty to each one so that new players can choose beginner-friendly specializations, while veterans of the series can experiment with more challenging specializations if they want. To be clear, however, the “beginner-friendly” specializations are no less powerful than those that are tuned for expert players.

Each specialization comes with a unique wardrobe costume and title. And, if our Kickstarter performs well enough, I’d love to add a few specialization-specific side quests to flesh out each one. And if the Kickstarter does really, really well, I have a few additional specializations in mind that I’d like to add on top of the promised 15.

Even after you’ve chosen your specialization, you can switch to a different one later on. You’ll unlock additional specializations by reaching a certain favor rank with each of the 15 original gods. Changing your specialization is as simple as visiting your castle and talking to an NPC after you’ve unlocked additional specializations. When you change specializations, the game will remember your previous specializations’ perks so that you don’t need to re-allocate your points every single time you want to switch things up.

Unlike in the previous Siralim games, your character no longer has a level. The only thing your character level did in Siralim 3 was grant you perk points, which seems like a bit of a waste. Instead, you’ll now gain a perk point each time you complete a Realm Quest at your highest-ever realm depth.

That’s pretty much all I have to say about how specializations work from a game mechanics perspective. Now, let’s take a look at the Animator specialization!

The Animator

 

Playstyle

Animators have access to a unique creature called an Animatus. While the Animatus takes on the appearance of a Nightmare Golem, its stats and trait are much different from the normal version of this creature.

The Animators’ perks all focus on creating the perfect version of their Animatus. Think of it like a Frankenstein type of thing. Your Animatus will grow more powerful based on your actions, and it will even steal benefits from your other creatures to ensure that it is the biggest powerhouse in your group.

If you played a Death Mage in Siralim 3, you might be familiar with this concept already (in the form of “Saia”). However, unlike the Death Mage, the Animator is 100% dedicated to its creation and offers far more customization to make your Animatus feel like you built it yourself.

Perks

Please note that the numerical values shown for each of these perks is not final yet. Any values shown in {brackets} increase as you level up the perk, but for the sake of clarity, I’ve provided you with their maximum values already.

Animatus – A unique Nightmare Golem joins your party. This creature can be upgraded and modified via other perks. In addition, Undertaker Glokta will join your kingdom and provide services for you to enhance your Animatus.

Endowment – At the start of battle, your Animatus fuses with a copy of the second creature in your party.

  • Note: this means that you can’t fuse your Animatus as you can with other creatures. This perk is interesting because it allows you to quickly change what creature your Animatus is fused with, so you don’t need to commit to a particular fusion long-term.

Molecular Betrayal – At the start of battle, your Animatus steals {50%} of your third creature’s Attack, Intelligence, Defense, and Speed.

Cogmind – At the start of battle, your Animatus steals your fourth creature’s non-Ethereal Spell Gems.

  • Note: You’re probably wondering what an “Ethereal” gem is. Those are simply what we’re calling “Temporary” Spell Gems from the previous games.

Damnation’s Edge – At the start of battle, your Animatus steals your fifth creature’s innate trait.

  • Note: notice the word “steal”. This means that your fifth creature’s innate trait will be replaced by a “dud trait” that doesn’t do anything for the rest of the battle.

Forged By Pain – Your Animatus shares the damage it takes with your sixth creature.

Dancing Blade – Your Animatus’ Artifact takes on a life of its own, giving your Animatus a {25%} chance to attack a random enemy at the end of each creature’s turn.

Dark Anima – Your Animatus’ Spell Gems take on a life of their own, giving your Animatus a {25%} chance to cast one of its spells at the end of each creature’s turn.

Anguish Through Awareness – Your Animatus starts battles with {3} random buffs.

Desensitization – Your Animatus has a {60%} chance to ignore debuffs.

Thrive On Death – After your creatures are killed, your Animatus gains {50%} of their Attack, Intelligence, Defense, and Speed.

Death and Decay – After an enemy is killed, your Animatus casts Corpse Explosion.

  • Note: Corpse Explosion is a spell that deals damage based on the number of dead enemies.

Gray Matter – Your Animatus gains {5} Spell Gem slots.

Forbidden Magic – Undertaker Glokta now sells items that allow you to boost your Animatus’ base stats.

  • Note: these work like Tomes from previous Siralim games. However, you can only give a creature a total of 15 of these items, so you’ll need to choose the stats wisely.

Masterpiece – Undertaker Glokta now allows you to change your Animatus’ race.

 

Animatus Customization

Your Animatus can be customized in several different ways. Undertaker Glokta is an Animator-exclusive NPC that you’ll find in your castle. He sells all kinds of different items for your Animatus, and provides a number of interesting services as well. One such service is the ability to change your Animatus’ skin. Here are a few skins that Nieve has come up with:

 

Aside from that, Glokta sells items that allow you to boost your Animatus’ base stats. There’s a limited number of these items you can feed to your Animatus, but you can reset them at any time and feed them new ones if you’re unhappy with your original choice.

Lastly, for the sake of opening up more opportunities for you to build your party around the Animatus, Glokta also allows you to change its race.


Please note that nothing mentioned in this blog post is finalized. I reserve the right to change or remove anything mentioned in this post at any time. If you’re reading this post after the game has already launched, your best bet is to forget everything you just read because very few of the things I write about will remain untouched in the final product.

Siralim Ultimate – Dev Blog: Battle Improvements, Minions, and More!

In this week’s dev blog, we’ll discuss some of the improvements made to battles in Siralim Ultimate. Please note that this isn’t a definitive list – there are dozens of additional battle improvements to be found in this game, but it’s difficult to fit everything into a single post. There are many other additions that you’ll be happy to discover yourself after you play the game. With all of that said, I hope you enjoy this post!

Important note: the animations in this post contain outdated creature sprites. As I promised before, the final game will include all-new sprites for these creatures. Also, please note that these GIFs are rendered at 30 FPS which makes them look quite a bit worse than they do in-game.

Battle Improvements

Attack Animations

Spells have always had their own unique battle animations to make them stand out from each other. But what about attacks? Up until now, attacking a creature simply caused their sprite to flash a few times. Needless to say, that’s kind of boring.

The first step toward solving this problem was to create attack animations that work just like spell animations. Nieve managed to draw an attack animation for every single creature race in the game. I’m sure it was a lot of work, but the result was definitely worth it. Here’s an example of my Berserker Fiend attacking an enemy:

The attack animations change colors based on the attacking creature’s class. For example, Berserker Fiends belong to the Chaos class, so their attack animations flash red and yellow. However, if you fuse your Berserker Fiend with a Dragon Soldier, the resulting Berserker Fiend’s class will be Sorcery. In that case, the creature’s attack animation will instead flash purple and pink to denote that it came from a Sorcery creature.

And More Animations

But that’s not all! Now, when your creatures attack, cast spells, defend, provoke, or take damage, their battle sprites will react accordingly.

 

For example, here’s what happens when a creature casts a spell:

 

 

Well, that was anti-climactic. It looks much better in-game – again, these GIFs are rendered at 30 FPS (half the game’s actual frame rate), so they don’t really do the animations justice.

While these animations will feel very basic, they do a great job at making it feel like your creatures are actually performing their actions in battle. As a result, battles are much more satisfying than before. Even when you’re fighting battles using Turbo Mode, it’s very satisfying to watch all the creatures on the battlefield (including your own) move around as they take action.

Better Readability

The battle UI now shows all kinds of useful information that will help you make better choices in battle. For example, when you’re choosing a target to attack, the battle selector will tell you if a target’s class is strong or weak against that of your creature. Let’s face it: none of us actually think it’s fun to memorize type strengths/weaknesses in monster catching games, and while it’s a bit easier for a game like Siralim where there are only 5 classes to memorize, a friendly reminder is always welcome.

As you can see, my Thrasher Fiend’s class is weak against that of the Skeleton Cannoneer that I’m targeting, so the “Attack” text appears in blue along with a sword icon followed by a minus sign. If I had targeted a Sorcery creature instead, the text would have been red with a sword icon followed by a plus sign.

Some creatures also come with their own, custom UI elements to help you use their traits more effectively. For example, creatures from the Reaper race have traits that kill enemies with 35% health or less. In previous games, these traits were difficult to use because it was hard to determine if an enemy was below 35% health or not. In Siralim Ultimate, an indicator will appear on the UI to tell you which creatures interact with your Reapers’ traits.

Action Queue… err, Timeline

The Action Queue is now called the “Timeline”. It just makes more sense.

In other news, you can now view all the creatures in battle on the Timeline rather than only the next 6 creatures.

The Mighty F Key

As you already know, Siralim Ultimate sports a brand new keyboard key for you to press: the F key.

 

While the F key is most often used to sort your inventory (and other interfaces) on the fly, it also helps out quite a bit in battle. For example, while you’re holding down the F key in battle, you can view the enemies’ “parents” that were used to fuse the resulting creature. Holding the F key also shows players the duration of all creature buffs and debuffs.

More Powerful Macros

I’ve added a ton of new conditions and actions to the Macro system in Siralim Ultimate.

Most interestingly, however, is the addition of the “AND” action.

Now, you can create a macro that looks something like this:

If this creature has < 50% Health AND…

If this creature has Berserk, attack a random enemy.

This means that you can link multiple conditional lines together to make your macros even smarter than before!

And yes, you can have multiple “AND” lines in a row and they’ll work exactly the way you’d expect.

One More Thing

Many players create some truly ridiculous combinations with their creatures’ traits, perks, and spells. In some cases, one creature’s actions might create hundreds or even thousands of instances of floating combat text, which makes some battles take a really, really long time. In Siralim Ultimate, after too many messages have been displayed, the game will automatically resolve the rest of the turn so you can move on with your life.

 

Buffs, Debuffs, and… Minions?

New Buff and Debuff Icons

Nieve drew all-new icons for buffs and debuffs for Siralim Ultimate. They’re much easier to read than before, and they also have uniquely styled borders so you can easily determine which of these conditions are buffs and which are debuffs.

Speaking of Buffs and Debuffs…

Most of the buffs and debuffs from previous games have been overhauled. Many of them are now much more straightforward, but more importantly, some of the less-useful buffs/debuffs are now far more powerful. Here are a few examples:

Berserk – Berserk creatures deal 50% more damage. [Previously, this buff also caused the creature to take more damage… so was it a buff, or was it really a debuff in the end?]

Blind – Blind creatures cannot choose their targets when attacking or casting single-target spells. [Previously, Blind gave attacks a chance to miss. It wasn’t very useful in general, and didn’t work with spells at all.]

Cursed – When Cursed creatures deal damage with attacks or spells, they take damage equal to 100% of their target’s Attack. [Previously, this didn’t work with spell damage.]

Taunt – Creatures with Taunt automatically Provoke at the end of their turn. [Previously, Taunt increased the chance for a creature to successfully Provoke. This buff should be much more useful now.]

 

Of course, there are plenty of new buffs and debuffs for you to discover as well…

Rebirth – Creatures with Rebirth are resurrected with 30% Health when they die. Then, this debuff is removed.

Bomb – At the start of a creature’s turn, its Bomb detonates, dealing damage to the creatures equal to 80% of the afflictor’s Speed. Then, this debuff is removed. [Remember “Bomb” gems from Siralim 3? It’s a debuff now!]

Disarmed – Disarmed creatures lose all benefits from their equipped Artifact. [Disarmed has always been a thing, but now it is considered a debuff instead of some arbitrary event that happens in battle.]

Debuffs, Bosses, and You

In previous games, bosses were immune to debuffs such as Stun, Scorn, and Silence. In Siralim Ultimate, bosses aren’t immune to debuffs at all – instead, certain debuffs will be much less powerful when applied to bosses. For example, Scorn doesn’t prevent bosses from attacking – but it does reduce boss attack damage by 50%. Bosses also have a much higher chance to break out of action-impairing effects, such as Frozen and Snare. This change will make debuff-oriented builds much more viable for all parts of the game.

 

Buff/Debuff Duration Consistency

Buffs and debuffs now have consistent durations. In previous games, one trait might afflict the Burn debuff for 6 turns, while another would afflict Burn for only 3 turns. This was unnecessarily specific, and wasn’t even relevant in most cases. In Siralim Ultimate, most buffs and debuffs last for 3 turns, while a few last for only 1 turn. You can still increase or decrease these durations using traits, perks, and things like that, of course.

Minions

If you’ve played Siralim 1, you’ll have a pretty good idea about what a “minion” is. Remember Dire Wolves? Spiderlings? Splinters? They’re back and better than ever in Siralim Ultimate!

Minions work a lot like buffs, except they’re not classified as buffs – they’re classified as minions, and they have a few subtle differences you should know about:

  1. Most Minions can stack multiple times. For example, if you have 3 stacks of Dire Wolves, they’ll deal a lot more damage than if you only have 1 stack.
  2. Minions don’t have a duration. Instead, each Minion stack has a fixed chance to go away at the end of your creatures’ turns. For example, each stack of Dire Wolves has a 25% chance to go away at the end of a creature’s turn.
  3. Typically, the function of Minions is much more complex than that of a buff.

Here are a few examples of the Minions you’ll find in Siralim Ultimate. Please note that these effects are not final and will very likely change before you get to play the game:

Dire Wolves – After this minion’s master attacks, each Dire Wolf deals damage to the target equal to 80% of its Speed. Maximum of 5 stacks.

Famine – After this minion’s master attacks, it decreases the target’s Maximum Health by 30% of the damage dealt. [Remember this guy, as well as the other three horsemen from Siralim 3?]

Doppelganger – All of this minion’s master’s actions are repeated an additional time.

While several traits and spells interact with Minions, there’s also a specialization that players can choose from called the Necromancer. Necromancers specialize in Minions, and the goal is for players to feel like they’re controlling a massive army in battle. I’ll dive a bit deeper into how specializations work, and I’ll start revealing the perks for these specializations in a future dev blog.


Please note that nothing mentioned in this blog post is finalized. I reserve the right to change or remove anything mentioned in this post at any time. If you’re reading this post after the game has already launched, your best bet is to forget everything you just read because very few of the things I write about will remain untouched in the final product.

Siralim Ultimate – Dev Blog: Spell Gems

Welcome to the first dev blog of 2020! In this post, we’ll take a deep dive into how Spell Gems work in Siralim Ultimate. Much like Artifacts, Spell Gems will have some serious quality-of-life improvements compared to how they worked in the previous games.

New Spells

First things first: there are over 100 new spells for you to use in Siralim Ultimate! Most of these are a bit more niche than the original spells, and I hope they’ll unlock new and exciting play-styles for you to try.

Here are five new spells that you’ll see in Siralim Ultimate – one for each class:

Schism (Life) – Enemies take a moderate amount of damage. This spell casts a number of times equal to the number of times your creatures have resurrected in the current battle.

Madness (Nature) – Target and the caster take a devastating amount of damage.

Flood of Darkness (Death) – Enemies that are Cursed attack their allies at random.

Reverse Polarity (Sorcery) – Target’s debuffs are converted to random buffs.

Blastwave (Chaos) – Enemies take a small amount of damage, or a massive amount of damage if they are Burned.

Goodbye Mana, Hello Charges

The old mana system never really worked out at all. Most creatures had such small mana pools that they could only cast 1 or 2 spells per battle, while others had such low mana that they couldn’t cast certain spells at all. It also felt strange that mana didn’t increase as your creatures leveled up while all other stats did… so while your creatures might someday have 5 trillion health, they’d still have the same ~25 mana that they started with at level 1. Overall, the mana system was virtually impossible to balance in order for it to “feel good” to play with. Therefore, the mana stat has been removed from Siralim Ultimate in favor of a new resource system for casting spells: Charges.

Each spell gem has a certain number of Charges. The more powerful the spell, the fewer Charges the gem probably has. After a creature casts a spell – whether manually or automatically – a Charge is consumed. When a Spell Gem runs out of Charges, it can’t be cast anymore until you replenish those Charges.

Charges do not replenish after battle. Instead, they will fully replenish when you leave your current realm. You can also sometimes find some in-realm objects and events that will restore your creatures’ Charges. Aside from that, there are plenty of traits, spells, and other effects that interact with the new Charge system to allow you to regenerate your Charges in battle. For example, the “Arcane” buff now causes the next spell a creature casts to consume no Charges, and then the Arcane buff is removed.

The goals of the new Charge system are as follows:

  1. To alleviate the issues with mana that I mentioned above.
  2. To give players incentives to use some of the weaker spells in the game since they have more Charges and are probably more suitable for auto-casting teams.
  3. To balance automatic casting and give players incentives to manually cast spells in some cases, rather than relying on auto-casting at all times.

New Spell Gem Properties

The following properties from Siralim 3 no longer exist in Siralim Ultimate:

  • Decreased Mana Cost
  • Supercharged (too many people thought that a bug was deleting their spell gems thanks to this property)
  • Costs X% Health Instead of Mana
  • Chance to Refund Mana

And here’s a list of new properties that you’ll find in Siralim Ultimate

  • +X% more Charges – this one is self-explanatory.
  • Defense Penetration – this causes your spells to ignore a percentage of the target’s Defense, which is relevant for damaging spells and stat-reducing spells.
  • Singular – this causes the spell’s potency to increase for each empty spell slot the caster has. With this property, it might be worth leaving a few slots open in order to cast more powerful spells.
  • Cascading – this causes the spell’s potency to increase for each Charge that is missing from a spell gem. In other words, the more you use a spell, the more powerful it will become.
  • Magnetic – this causes the spell’s potency to increase for each creature you have fighting on your side that has the same spell equipped. For example, if your Berserker Fiend has the Rend spell equipped with the Magnetic property, and 3 of your other creatures have Rend spells equipped as well, your Berserker Fiend’s Rend spell will deal much more damage. The other creatures with the Rend spell do not need to have the Magnetic property attached to their gems.
  • Cast After Attacking: if you played Siralim 2, you’ll remember this one. As you can probably guess, this property gives your creatures a % chance to cast the spell after the creature attacks. This property was removed in Siralim 3 because auto-casted spells were deemed too powerful, but thanks to the new Charge system, this won’t be as much of an issue since auto-casted spells do consume Charges. Aside from that, auto-casting is just fun. It’s satisfying to attack an enemy and then immediately barrage them with a few spells to finish them off.
  • Cast After Defending. Self-explanatory. Read above.
  • Cast After Provoking. Self-explanatory. Read above.
  • Cast After Healing. Self-explanatory. Read above.

Crafting a Spell Gem

Much like Artifacts, Spell Gems will no longer be found from sources of loot such as treasure chests. Instead, players will craft and modify Spell Gems at the Enchanter. At the start of the game, you’ll only be able to choose from 15 types of Spell Gems to craft. During your travels, you’ll acquire blueprints that will allow you to craft new Spell Gems.

Crafting a Spell Gem is the only way to acquire spells in Siralim Ultimate. The goal of this change is twofold:

  1. I want to give players more control over the spells they can use earlier in the game. In previous games, players were at the mercy of finding random spells in treasure chests, which caused the start of the game to feel very hit-or-miss depending on how lucky you were. Even the luckiest of players still didn’t have access to a lot of spells until much later in the game, which made the early game feel more boring than it should have felt.
  2. I want to mitigate the amount of inventory clutter. In Siralim 3, some players amassed thousands of pages of Spell Gems. At that point, how can you ever hope to sort through them to find what you want? Aside from that, this caused some massive performance issues for players who never grinded their gems to get rid of them.

Upgrading a Spell Gem

Spell Gems now have “Tiers”, and they work similarly to how they do for Artifacts. Spell Gems start at Tier 1, and you can upgrade them to Tier 15 by spending Crystal at the Enchanter.

Tiers are a bit more straightforward for Spell Gems than they are for Artifacts:

  • At tiers 5, 10, and 15, you’ll unlock a new slot that can be used to enchant the gem with a new property. Unlike Artifacts, Spell Gems don’t have different types of slots, so you can enchant them with whichever properties you want.
  • Each tier determines the potency of the gem’s properties. This system is meant to replace the “reforging” system for Spell Gems, effectively eliminating the need for players to rely on luck to obtain the best values for their gems’ properties.
  • At tiers 5, 10, and 15, the gem’s icon will also change to make it look more prestigious and powerful.

Enchanting a Spell Gem

This works the same way as in Siralim 3: you’ll take your spell gems to the enchanter, and she’ll add whatever properties you want to your gems in exchange for crafting materials (dust).

Disenchanting a Spell Gem

Again, this works exactly the same way as it did in Siralim 3: this function simply allows you to remove a property from a Spell Gem.

Grinding a Spell Gem

You can grind your unwanted Spell Gems and receive some resources in exchange for them. I’m not sure if this feature will stay in the game for release, because you won’t have as many unwanted Spell Gems cluttering your inventory this time around as you can’t find them in the wild anymore.


Please note that nothing mentioned in this blog post is finalized. I reserve the right to change or remove anything mentioned in this post at any time. If you’re reading this post after the game has already launched, your best bet is to forget everything you just read because very few of the things I write about will remain untouched in the final product.

Happy New Year! 2019 Retrospective

A Look Back at 2019

I hope you all had a fantastic year! This year was another busy one for us. Let’s take a look at what happened in 2019, and then talk about what we can all look forward to in 2020.

 

Siralim Ultimate was announced!

The latest installment of the Siralim series was announced last month, and I can’t wait to dive deeper into all of its features in upcoming blog posts. This is our most ambitious game yet, and I’m very excited for players to try it out in just a few months from now.

 

Siralim 3 was released on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4!

This year marked the first time we’ve ever released a game on Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. Playing my own game on a Nintendo platform was a childhood dream come true. I was very happy to be able to get our cross-platform cloud saving functionality working on the Switch as well.

I also did an AMA on /r/NintendoSwitch. You might find some of those answers interesting if you’re into that kind of thing.

 

Siralim 3 was released in physical format for PlayStation 4!

Limited Run Games once again helped us out by publishing physical copies of Siralim 3 on PS4. Hope you managed to grab a copy for your collection before they sold out!

 

 

We launched a new merchandise shop!

Earlier this year, we revamped our merchandise shop and launched a whole new line of products, including mugs, phone cases, posters, and much more! Keep an eye out for Siralim Ultimate merchandise in the near future as well.

 

Project Bestiary started and ended

We started a podcast about monster catching games called Project Bestiary. The podcast ran for a total of 20 episodes, but I decided to put this project on an indefinite hiatus so that I could dedicate more time to making games. I still haven’t decided if/when the podcast will make its return, but I hope everyone enjoyed it while it lasted! The episodes are still available on the Project Bestiary website, so check them out if you haven’t done so already.

Project Bestiary

 

Creature of the Day started and ended

Every single day on Facebook and Twitter, we posted a “Creature of the Day” image that featured a randomly-selected creature’s lore, stats, trait, and a custom drawing of that creature. Now that the year is over, however, I have decided to stop releasing Creatures of the Day. I’m afraid that such constant spamming annoys a lot of people, not to mention it clutters our social media pages and makes it difficult to find important information such as game announcements. While I’m sad to see this feature go away, I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted!

Image

 

What’s in store for 2020

Siralim Ultimate Kickstarter

We’re going to launch a Kickstarter for Siralim Ultimate in early 2020. All the proceeds from this Kickstarter will be fed back into the game to add even more content and polish to it. It will also give players the opportunity to add their own ideas to the game!

 

Siralim Ultimate will be released on Steam, iOS, and Android!

This game is shaping up to be absolutely massive. It’s going to have more content than all three of the previous Siralim games combined, and I know you’re going to love it. And with your help, we’re going to make it even better.

We also look forward to bringing Siralim Ultimate to consoles in 2021.

 

Trial of the Gods: A Siralim Collectible Card Game

Yes, we finally have a name for our upcoming digital card game: Trial of the Gods! Jay and I have been play-testing it for a few weeks now, and it’s an absolute blast to play. We’re almost done with the trailer, so you can look forward to that in just a few weeks from now, as well as a full feature announcement. We’ll also have a few blog posts dedicated to this game before it releases on Early Access. We’re currently targeting early February for Early Access on Steam. It will make its way to iOS and Android later in 2020 as well, but we’re still not sure if it will come to consoles yet.

 

And a quick note about The Negative

Right now, my full focus is on development for Siralim Ultimate and Trial of the Gods. For that reason, The Negative is once again on the back-burner so I can fully dedicate myself to my other games. I realize this is disappointing news for some people, but the truth of that matter is that I’m still not 100% satisfied with the direction The Negative was heading in. I’m going to need to re-visit it at a later time with a clear mind and try to re-think some of its core gameplay mechanics. This is an extremely personal game for me as it’s a gamified representation of my own philosophies and ideals, so it’s very important that I do it all the right way.

Just to be clear: The Negative is not canceled.

 

Thank you!

I can’t thank you all enough for yet another year of your support. It is absolutely humbling to watch so many players interact with each other and discuss their love for the Siralim games. Your passion is what drives me and the rest of the team to work as hard as we possibly can to continue delivering deep, engaging gameplay experiences to you.

I hope you and your family have a happy and safe New Year! 2020 is going to be our biggest year so far, and I can’t wait to show you all the amazing things we’ve been working on.

– Zack Bertok