Hey everyone, welcome back to the Thylacine Studios Podcast. I hope you’re all having a great start to 2021! I have a lot to talk about in this episode, so let’s get started.
First, I want to remind you that I sent out the backer surveys to everyone. You should have received them in your e-mail that is associated with your Kickstarter account, or your PayPal e-mail address if you purchased something on our backer shop through our website. The due date for these surveys is March 1, so make sure you submit them in time. If you haven’t received your survey, please contact me via e-mail (zack at thylacine studios . com).
I also want to remind everyone that Siralim Ultimate will be released on Steam Early Access on March 12. This will be for Windows and Linux only – none of the other platforms have an ETA yet, it’s just too soon to predict something like that.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about what you can expect to see in the next major content patch for Siralim Ultimate. We have five new specializations on the way, along with some new arena modes, Nether Realms, and much more. I’ll start by explaining how each of the new specializations works.
First, there’s the Rune Knight. Rune Knights have access to five unique spells that no other specialization has. Each spell belongs to one of the five classes, and they all pretty much do the same thing. They deal a large amount of damage to their target, and they also activate the caster’s on-attack effects. They also utilize whatever stat their class is associated with instead of Intelligence. For example, the Chaos spell uses Attack instead of Intelligence to deal damage. The specialization revolves around your creatures casting these spells and gaining benefits based on the number of times they’ve cast them. The specialization is meant to feel kind of like a “spellblade” or “mystic knight” archetype you might be familiar with from other games. I’m a big fan of the Rune Knight – it’s very unique and adds a totally different way to play the game.
Next up is the Purgatorian. I know I just said that Rune Knights are really unique and change things up quite a lot, but the Purgatorian really turns the game upside down. The idea behind this spec is that your dead creatures are still able to fight on their own, and they’ll be much more powerful than your living creatures since all the Purgatorian’s perks revolve around enhancing your dead creatures. This spec might end up being totally broken and I might need to revamp it at some point because it changes so many game mechanics that battles are designed around. For example, one of its perks allows your creatures’ traits to be active even while they’re dead. Some other perks allow your creatures to maintain their buffs, minions, and stat modifications through death as well. The idea behind this spec is that it’s very high-risk, high-reward, since in an ideal world you’ll only leave one of your creatures alive while you intentionally kill off the others to take advantage of your perks. I’m really excited to see what builds people come up with for this spec, and hopefully, I won’t need to change too many things to make it all work well.
One specialization that is very different from what I originally announced is the Fanatic. Originally, I wanted players to be able to choose one of the gods to worship and that would confer different benefits to your creatures using the Fanatic’s perks. That didn’t turn out to work very well. It wasn’t practical to design hundreds of different perks for one specialization, and it was also really hard to think of unique ways each god could benefit this spec. So, I revamped it entirely, and I think it’s really cool now. The idea behind Fanatics is that they make great use of Avatars and Godspawn creatures. One of the Fanatic’s perks allows you to have 2 additional Avatars in your party for a total of 3 which is absolutely insane. Other perks give your Ultimate Spell Gems more charges. For Godspawn, some perks allow them to transform into Avatars in battle and utilize Ultimate Spell Gems as well. This is definitely a spec that is oriented toward the end-game, so for that reason, you won’t be able to unlock it until after you’ve obtained your first Avatar creature.
Next we have the Spellweaver. Spellweavers use a resource called Infusions. There’s an Infusion for each of the five classes, and you gain Infusions by casting a spell from that class. So, if you cast Fireball, you’ll gain 1 Chaos Infusion. Other perks have unique effects that consume these Infusions. While you have at least 1 of each Infusion, your creatures can cast a new spell called Colorwave. There’s a version of Colorwave for each class, and Colorwave does something different depending on its class. It’s an insanely powerful spell, but it also consumes your Infusions, so you need to think before you use it. This spec is designed for players who like to take their time in battle and think things through – I think it will be very rewarding to use this spec against difficult bosses, for example.
Last, but definitely not least, is the Grovetender. Grovetenders work a bit like Animators in that they gain access to a unique creature called the Herbling. However, that’s the only real similarity they have to Animators. The Herbling starts out as a tiny little… herb thing… and evolves in battle as your other creatures kind of… “water” it. Your Herbling will grow as it is healed, buffed, or when it gains stats. There are 6 different tiers for the Herbling, and its appearance changes with each tier. The higher its tier, the more powerful its perks become. For example, one of the perks is called Parasitic Fertilization: At the start of your Herbling’s turn, it casts Germinate. This spell affects a number of enemies equal to its Tier. So, at tier 6, this normally single-target spell would affect all enemies. The idea behind this spec is for your creatures to act in support of your Herbling to allow it to grow very quickly and become so powerful that your enemies don’t stand a chance.
That’s all I have to say about specializations for now. With this patch, the specializations I promised everyone will all be implemented. That means the only remaining specializations for me to add are the ones from our backers.
Next, let’s talk about some new arena modes. Originally, I announced there would be 2 new arena modes added to the game: Boss Rush Mode, which involves players drafting a team in the arena and fighting against all the games’ story bosses; and the other mode was called Spectator Mode, which made your creatures fight on their own using the same AI as enemies. Well, both of these ideas were terrible. Boss Rush Mode felt really redundant thanks to the addition of Nether Bosses, and Spectator Mode battles were really boring because it was possible for creatures to heal and resurrect each other for so long that battles could last for several minutes each. I scrapped both ideas and came up with 3 new ones instead, and I think you’re going to like them.
The first mode is called Infinite Arena. This mode works exactly like the normal arena mode, except there’s no limit to the number of matches you’ll fight and your enemies will grow stronger after each battle. It’s definitely a lot more difficult than the normal arena mode, but you’ll also earn more Glory from it. I’m planning to add a few more things to this mode in the future to spice it up, but it should be fun enough for now.
The other two arena modes are far more interesting. The first is called Wild Arena. At the start of a Wild Arena draft, you’ll receive a random “rule”. This rule might dictate the creatures that are available to you in your draft, or it might affect the battles in the arena itself. For example, one rule forces all creatures in your draft to belong to the Life class, and all your enemies’ creatures will be from the Life class as well. Another rule afflicts all creatures with Blight permanently, so you’d probably want to draft creatures that can heal your enemies to take advantage of this debuff. This is an extremely dynamic arena mode and should make for a fresh experience every time you play it.
Lastly, we have Masters Mode. As in, Creature Masters Mode. You’ll choose from 1 of 6 Rodian Creature Masters to play as, and you’ll fight the remaining 5 Masters in the arena. This mode is definitely for advanced players, and you can only play as Masters that you’ve already encountered on your journey. This one should be a lot of fun since all the Masters’ teams are pretty strong due to their racial synergies. You’ll also have access to that Master’s signature trait to really spice things up.
So, that’s it for arenas. I hope you guys are excited about these upcoming modes!
In other news, I’m already hard at work on some backer content. We have at least one Nether Realm ready to go that a backer designed, along with a few skins, decorations, costumes, and more. I’ll also have a preliminary set of NPCs that can spawn in realms that will have your chosen name and costume. When you talk to these NPCs, they’ll give you some treasure. I decided that they needed to give you treasure since otherwise they’d just be in the way and would become really annoying.
One other random piece of news is that I’ve made some adjustments to Nether Stones in the next patch. In general, the Nether Stones you find will be more powerful as your Realm Depth increases. Now, you can’t expect them to ALWAYS be more powerful – they’re still meant to be random, but they should be much better on average now. Also, there was previously a cap on how strong a Nether Stone could be, and that cap has since been removed. This ensures that Nether Stones can continue to grow more powerful no matter how long you play the game.
I hope to have this patch out in late February so we can test it for a few days and fix any issues that come up before the game hits Early Access. I’m also deep into the design process for the next major patch after that, and we have a lot of art done for it as well, so there’s really an insane amount of content in the pipeline. Of course, we’re also hard at work on all your backer content, and I’ll continue to add more backer content in each patch.
That’s it for this episode, and I’ll see you guys next time!
Hey everyone, welcome back to the Thylacine Studios Podcast. I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday! In this episode, we’ll take a look at everything that happened in 2020 (as far as our games are concerned), and take a glimpse at what’s in store for Siralim Ultimate in the year to come.
First off, we released Trial of the Gods, a collectible card game based on the Siralim series. This is the first game we’ve ever released where I wasn’t the programmer, and I think Jay did an awesome job on it. This game actually has a pretty interesting story behind it. I had always wanted to make a CCG based on Siralim, and I always figured I’d use the rules from Final Fantasy 8’s “Triple Triad” mini-game as the foundation for it. Well, one day, I randomly stumbled upon Jay’s page on itch.io where he was creating a game just like that. It was in the prototype phase but showed a lot of promise, so I contacted him to see if he’d be interested in partnering up, and as luck would have it, he was already a Siralim player and knew a lot about the game. That made the transition toward a Siralim-focused game much easier. Since Trial of the Gods was released, Jay has released several content updates for it as well, including an enchanting system to give it a bit more “infinite Siralim” flair, as well as a challenge mode that adds a whole new way to play the game. I think Jay did a fantastic job on the game, and I hope you all like it as well.
Later on, we launched our first-ever Kickstarter campaign for a little game called Siralim Ultimate. Needless to say, it went far better than expected. I honestly wasn’t sure if we’d be able to hit the goal of $10,000, but yeah, we managed to do that in about an hour. A month later, we had raised over $90,000 which is just insane. After the Kickstarter ended, I opened a PayPal shop on our website so people could continue backing and supporting the game, as well as purchasing the right to add their own ideas to the game. The PayPal shop has been ridiculously successful as well. So, thank you all so much for your support – I can’t tell you how humbling it is to know that there are so many people out there who enjoy the Siralim series – it has grown far larger than I ever expected, and I can’t wait to make it even better with your help.
Shortly after the Kickstarter ended, we released Siralim Ultimate to alpha testers on Steam. The alpha phase went very well. Most of the major bugs and crashes were mopped up in only a few days, and then I was able to put full focus on adding new content to the game. In fact, several Kickstarter stretch goals were already added to the alpha version of the game, most notably Nether Stones and Creature Skins, as well as standard content such as the arena, achievements, Nether Bosses, and more.
A few months later, we released Siralim Ultimate to beta testers. Beta has been amazing so far. We’ve delivered on even more Kickstarter stretch goals in beta already, including Rodian Creature Masters, five new specializations, and much more. We also released the Gate of the Gods which serves as a massive end-game progression system. I’ve also been hard at work to implement your feedback and suggestions. Thanks to everyone who has submitted bug reports and suggestions – Siralim Ultimate is a much better game with your help.
Since I just released a massive content patch for beta testers, a lot of you are probably wondering what I’m working on now. My most immediate concern is to get the Mac and Linux ports up and running. Alongside that, I’m working on getting some surveys ready to send out to our backers so you can finally submit your ideas for the game. I’ll have more details about these surveys in a future post. I’m also working on a new patch for the game. It won’t be anywhere near as large as the last several ones, but it’ll add some nice things to the game anyway. For example, I’m going to add in-game options that allow you to disable different types of floating battle text. You’ll be able to specifically hide text related to creatures taking damage, or being healed, or being afflicted with a debuff – pretty much any category you can think of can be disabled. For each of these text categories, you’ll be able to specify whether you want the text to appear for only your creatures, only your enemies, neither, or both. Regardless of how you configure these settings, all of this text will still appear in your battle history so you can go back and see what happened if you’re confused about something. This should speed up battles considerably, especially for players who rely on chaining a lot of effects together at once. I’m also working on a balance pass for master traits, god fight traits, and avatar traits. Lastly, I have a few smaller quality of life improvements in mind. I’m not sure when this patch will be ready but it shouldn’t take too long at all.
After beta ends, we’ll launch into Early Access on Steam. At that time, anyone will be able to purchase the game, even if they didn’t back the game on Kickstarter or through our PayPal shop. I still don’t have an exact date nailed down for Early Access yet, but it will most likely be in late February or early March. I don’t have an ETA for mobile and console releases at this time, but the plan is still to have those ready for 2021.
I know this year has been really bad for literally everyone – there were no winners in 2020, that’s for sure – and I hope this next year turns out better for all of us. Thank you all for sticking with the Siralim series and for putting so much trust in Thylacine Studios to deliver a great gaming experience. I can’t wait to release even more content for Siralim Ultimate and to get a finished game into your hands as soon as possible. I hope you all have a safe and happy new year!
The Siralim Ultimate beta test has begun! Beta keys have been sent to all backers who purchased one. Check your spam folder – if you don’t see your key in a few hours, let me know. If you’re already an alpha tester, you don’t need to do anything. Enjoy the game!
Hey everyone, welcome back to the Thylacine Studios podcast! In this episode, I’m going to reveal the roadmap for Siralim Ultimate’s beta phase.
As you know, beta testing begins on November 12. If you’re already an alpha tester, nothing will change for you – you’ll be able to use the same Steam key for both alpha and beta, so you’ll be able to play the game like normal. If you’re waiting on a beta key, expect to see it in your e-mail by around 1pm or 2pm EST. The e-mail will contain all the information you need to learn how to activate your Steam key and start playing the game.
While we’re on this subject, I just want to thank all of our alpha testers for the valuable feedback they provided over the last couple months. With your help, the game is extremely stable right now, and honestly, I think from a gameplay perspective, it’s rock-solid as well. The only major complaint I saw during alpha testing was regarding realm properties, and after making a few adjustments to those, I really haven’t seen any core gameplay elements that players are unhappy with. That’s great news, since it means I can spend all my time on adding new content to the game rather than having to go back and re-do old gameplay systems.
So, with all of that said, let’s talk about what you can expect to see during beta testing. Now, keep in mind that I might not have time to fit all of this into beta – if that’s the case, you’ll see the rest of this content show up early on in the Early Access phase instead.
First, I’m going to add the Mailbox decoration to the game. Actually, I’m almost done with this one, so you can expect to see it very soon. The mailbox has two functions: first, it allows me to send you guys items and messages. When you load your save file, the game will retrieve messages and items from our server and you’ll be able to collect them by interacting with your mailbox. Generally, I’ll hand out items for special events or to celebrate things like the game’s launch. The other function the mailbox has is that it allows you to input codes, or passwords, or whatever you want to call them to receive items. You might be familiar with this functionality if you played Siralim 3 – it’ll work exactly like Blanche, where you input a code and you can receive an item. I’m planning to make the mailbox a lot more interesting than Blanche’s password system was, though, and I’m hoping to use it a lot more frequently. I have some fun ideas to weave backer content into it as well, but that’s a topic for another time.
Next, as you might have guessed based on our last major content patch, I’m working on the Gate of the Gods. The Gate of the Gods allows you to challenge any of the 21 gods to a fight. These are all really challenging fights, and you can choose the difficulty level you want to fight them at. In order to challenge a god to a fight, you’ll need to collect keys to the Gate of the Gods by either defeating Nether Bosses and collecting their key fragments, or by completing a new mission that rewards you with keys. After you defeat a god, you’ll gain Mana for it just like a normal creature. The higher the difficulty level you chose to fight the god at, the more mana you’ll receive. After you reach 100% Mana, you can summon that god’s Avatar, which is a creature that looks exactly like that god and has a really powerful trait. In addition, Avatars have an exclusive Ultimate Spell Gem. Ultimate Spell Gems only have 1 Charge, but they recharge after each battle. If you’re strategic enough, you can find ways to build your party around these Ultimate Spell Gems and allow your Avatar to cast these spells multiple times in battle. You can only have one Avatar in your party at a time, so you’ll need to choose wisely. Unlike in Siralim 3, there isn’t any infinite progression planned for Avatars – I don’t want them to get too out of control and make your other creatures obsolete this time. However, I will probably add some additional rewards for the Gate of the Gods in the future. Oh, and I almost forgot: you can fuse your Avatars as well!
Another major system I’ve been working on lately is the addition of Rodian Creature Masters. Each creature race has its own master, which is an NPC you’ll find in realms that uses creatures from that race. When you talk to them, they’ll challenge you to a battle. These are fairly challenging fights – they’re easier than Nether Bosses, but they’re still pretty tough. A master will spawn in every single realm, and the type of master that spawns is based on the creatures that can spawn in that realm – so for example, if you want to fight the Angel master, you might want to visit Surathli’s realm since Angels normally spawn there. There are a lot of achievements for defeating masters – in fact, you’ll earn an achievement for every single master for each kill up to 10 kills. In addition, each master has a chance to drop a race-specific trait material. These materials are really, really strong. A lot of you will probably end up building your entire team around them if you want. They all incentivize you to create a team of creatures that belong to that master’s specific race. As an example, the trait material for Apocalypses causes your Apocalypse creatures to act as if they take 2 turns at a time. That’s a really useful trait since it pretty much doubles the effectiveness of all your Apocalypses’ traits since their traits grow more powerful based on the number of turns they take. Each master also has an exclusive wardrobe costume for you to unlock, and these are all ridiculously cool because they’re basically sets of armor that are made out of body parts of creatures that belong to the master’s race. If you’ve played Monster Hunter before, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Speaking of wardrobe costumes, after you defeat a master enough times, you’ll also unlock the ability to dress your character up as any creature from that master’s race. A lot of you have been asking for this for a long time now, and now you’ll finally be able to turn into a Dryad Raincaller or a Twisted Devil or whatever else you want. But that’s not all! Each time you defeat a master, you’ll also earn Mastery for that master’s race as well. Each point of mastery not only makes it easier for your creatures to kill enemies from that race, but it also empowers your own creatures from that race as well. There’s a cap of 50 Mastery per race, but that means you’d need to kill each master 50 times to hit the cap… so yeah, there’s realistically not a cap. Well, ok, I’ll probably regret saying that. Anyway, the final thing I want to mention about masters is that they’re entirely optional. There won’t be a realm quest to kill them, so you’ll never feel obligated to kill one if you don’t want to. There will be a Prophecy for these, but that’s it.
I’ve also been hard at work on new specializations. I’ve already designed the perks, Nieve has already finished the icons for the perks, and JC is working on costumes for them. I’m slowly chipping away at implementing them, and I will definitely add at least a few of them during beta. Some are really complex, while others are extremely straightforward. I think you guys are going to like them. They open up a lot of new playstyles, and some of them make you think about the game in a whole different way. You won’t be able to start the game as these new specializations because I don’t want to overwhelm new players with the ability to choose from 25, or even 30 specializations, so you’ll need to unlock these by completing a Project instead. Easy enough.
Creature Accessories are on the way as well. We don’t have too many yet – maybe 50 or so – but they look great so far. One example is a fiery aura that can be placed behind your creatures. I want to stress that accessories are just for looks, but they look really great and I think you guys will have fun customizing your creatures with them. You probably won’t find accessories in normal loot – they’ll probably be given to you as rewards for doing really crazy things, or maybe I’ll add a few to some of the game’s shops.
Another thing that I want to work on is adding more Nether Realms to the game. I think there are only what, 1 or 2 right now? Maybe 3? I don’t remember. I have plans for at least 20 more, so I’d like to start adding a few of those whenever I can to shake things up. I’m sure you guys are sick of running into the same Nether Realms over and over again.
Lastly, I want to talk about something that is probably kind of boring for most of you, but it relates to the Mac, Linux, mobile, and console versions of the game. For some insane reason, GameMaker (the engine that Siralim Ultimate was created with) updated to a new version that pretty much changes the way the entire engine works. It’s ridiculous, really. It’s like learning a whole new game engine. Luckily, it will try to convert old games to the new version, but Siralim Ultimate is absolutely massive – far larger than the average game made with GameMaker, if not THE largest game – so this is going to be a ton of work to get everything running smoothly and to iron out all the bugs. Normally, I simply wouldn’t upgrade GameMaker to the newest version so I could just ignore this issue entirely, but until I do this, I can’t release the game on any platform other than Windows – it’s a long and boring story about why that’s the case, but that’s just how it is. So, I’m going to need to take some time – hopefully only a week or so – and get all of that working. At that point, I can finally release Mac and Linux ports for everyone. I’m sorry for the delay on these – I definitely would have had them out by now if it weren’t for the issue with GameMaker.
Anyway, I do have a few more surprises planned for beta, but I’m not 100% sure if I can make them happen yet so I won’t reveal what they are just yet. That should do it for this episode. I hope you’re as excited as I am about what’s on the horizon for Siralim Ultimate! I’ll see you guys next time.
Hey everyone, welcome back to the Thylacine Studios podcast. Last month, I released patch 0.4.0 for Siralim Ultimate. This massive patch includes nearly 1700 achievements, a new type of currency that can be spent at a new shop offered by the gambling dwarves, a loot display filter, tons of new prophecies, quality of life improvements, and much more. The patch also includes a balance pass on all the traits, spells, relics, perks, and status effects in the game. In total, the patch notes were around 400 lines long.
The next patch will be a bit more focused. I’ve already implemented most of your suggestions, and all the most time-consuming things are done now. The codex, tutorial messages, and achievements are by far the most time-consuming things to add to the game, especially compared to how impactful they are in terms of content, so now I can finally focus on adding some real content to the game. That’s what I want to spend the rest of this episode talking about.
The highlight of our next patch includes Nether Bosses, and here’s how they’ll work. After you finish your main story quests – that is, after you’ve defeated the boss at depth 63 – every 5 realms you visit, you’ll be guaranteed to receive a realm quest that asks you to defeat a Nether Boss. To do so, you’ll need to find a portal in that realm that will take you to the boss’ chambers. Many of the Nether Bosses you’ll encounter are “remixed” versions of the story bosses you’ve already fought, while others will come from Siralim 2 and 3. You’ll definitely see some familiar faces in the mix. For example, Shackler was a fan-favorite boss from Siralim 2 – everyone agrees that it is the most well-designed boss in the series and provides countless hours of fun on his own, so I wanted to bring him back for one final round in Siralim Ultimate.
In total, there will be 35 different Nether Bosses for you to encounter. They won’t be chosen randomly – you’ll fight each one in a certain order until you’ve killed all 35, and then you’ll be asked to fight the first one all over again. So, because you’re only able to fight one every 5 realms, you’ll need to fight your way through 175 realms to see them all. But it doesn’t end there. Each time you re-fight a boss, its trait will grow more powerful, up to a maximum of 3 times. As an example – and I’m just making this up for the sake of demonstration – imagine you fight Kiichi for the first time. Her trait might be “Enemies always have Bleed”. The next time you fight her, her trait might read “Enemies always have Bleed. Enemies take damage from Bleed twice”. And then the third time you fight her, her trait might read “Enemies always have Bleed. Enemies take damage from Bleed twice. Enemies’ Bleed damage is based on their highest stat rather than their Current Health”. So, the point is that each time you re-fight a Nether Boss, a new challenge will be added to the mix to keep things interesting. So, as I mentioned earlier, it’ll take 175 realms to encounter each boss, but since there are three “tiers” for each boss, it’ll actually take 525 realms to truly see everything there is to see with this system.
As far as rewards go: after you defeat your first Nether Boss, you’ll receive a new decoration for your castle – actually, it’s an NPC. This NPC will serve as a new shop where you can buy legendary crafting materials for your artifacts. After you defeat a Nether Boss, a new material will be added to this shop. And each consecutive time you defeat the same boss, a new material will be added – so in other words, each Nether Boss has a total of 3 materials for you to unlock in this shop. Since there are 35 Nether Bosses, you can unlock up to 105 new legendary crafting materials.
But that’s not all! Remember when we unlocked “Creature Skins” as a Kickstarter stretch goal? I’m going to add those to the next patch as well. All the story bosses and Nether Bosses will have a unique skin, and after you defeat the Nether Boss enough times, you’ll be able to purchase their skin from the Nether Shop.
Of course, there will be tons of other skins for you to unlock outside of Nether Bosses. It’s simple: sometimes, while traveling through a realm, an enemy might have a skin equipped to it. When you encounter one of these enemies, an animation will play to show you that this isn’t just a normal creature. After you kill it, you’ll unlock that skin, and then you can equip your creatures with that skin whenever you want. The only restriction for skins is that they can only be equipped to a creature that belongs to that skin’s race. For example, if you unlock a skin for the Familiar race, you can’t equip it to one of your Fiends, but you can equip it to any creature that is a Familiar.
One more thing I wanted to mention about Nether Bosses: Nether Bosses will drop keys that can be used to challenge the gods at the Gate of the Gods. I’m not actually going to implement the Gate of the Gods in the next patch, but you’ll still be able to earn these keys for now. The higher your Realm Instability, the more keys you’ll earn – that way, players will have an incentive to crank up their Realm Instability. Otherwise, you’d probably turn it to zero when you knew you’d be fighting a Nether Boss. If you don’t know what the Gate of the Gods is, don’t worry about it for now – you’ll learn more about it soon enough.
Oh, and if you’ve been playing Siralim Ultimate for a long time, you’re probably past realm depth 63 by now. It would be really boring for you if you’re able to take on enemies at realm depth 1000 right now, but then your first nether boss starts at depth 70, so to alleviate that issue, you’ll simply start encountering Nether Bosses every 5 realms starting at your highest-ever depth. For example, if your highest depth is 1002 after the patch is released, you’ll encounter your first Nether Boss at depth 1005, then another at 1010, and so on.
I also have an idea in mind to make some content a little more difficult. It’s not some mind-blowing idea that will totally change the game, but I want to start experimenting with giving hard enemies like Nether Bosses more health. It’s not really fun if you can enter a battle and wipe out an enemy in one hit, thereby allowing you to ignore their trait entirely. So, I’m going to try to give Nether Bosses enough health that you’re probably going to need to endure a few hits from your enemies and actively try to counter their traits. I can extend this idea to all future content as well, such as the Rodian Creature Masters, World Bosses, god fights, and much more. I would also like to go back and re-visit the story bosses and adjust their health accordingly to make the difficulty curve a bit more smoothly. Now, I know this sounds like a simple change, but if I simply increase enemies’ health and leave it at that, certain traits and other effects will be extremely overpowered. Most players know that they could just use the Bleed debuff and pretty much ignore this health increase. So, I need to go through all traits, spells, perks, and other effects to make them work with a creature’s health *before* it’s adjusted with this new difficulty system. That’ll take some serious work, so this is a surprisingly big change, but I think it’ll make the game a lot better in the long run.
As you can imagine, all of the things I’ve mentioned in this episode will take a lot of time to implement – after all, I have over 200 traits to implement for Nether Bosses and their corresponding material rewards, and adding skins won’t be an easy task by any means. But, I’ve also been hard at work on this patch for the last 3 weeks… So, right now, I’m hoping to have this patch released by late October – hopefully in another 2 weeks. But of course, it’s always hard to estimate things like this, so don’t take that as a definite release window. Much like with the last major patch, I’ll probably have this one up on the test branch before it’s fully released.
Hey everyone, welcome back to the Thylacine Studios podcast! I know it’s been a while since the last episode, but I’m going to start churning these out a lot more frequently from now on now that the dust has settled with the Siralim Ultimate alpha test. Speaking of which, that’s the topic of today’s episode, so let’s get started.
We’re about one month into alpha testing and so far, everything is going very smoothly. The game is now in an extremely stable state, and all known crashes and major bugs are fixed. There are still some minor issues that I have fixed for the upcoming patch, but the game is fully playable and there are no known issues that will prevent you from enjoying the game. For that reason, I’ve been working hard on adding new content and features to the game, as well as implementing suggestions from our players.
In the last couple weeks, we’ve implemented some major new features to the game, including:
– The arena, which serves as an alternative game mode that allows players to unlock exclusive creatures and items
– Tutorial popups to explain game features as soon as they’re unlocked
– The Codex, which serves as an in-game guide to explain core game mechanics. It also includes a reference list for traits, spells, realm properties, and more
– Wardrobe costumes that can be found or purchased. These change the way your character looks
– Siralopoly, a mini-game that can be played to earn items
– Tons of quality of life improvements and minor balance adjustments
In particular, the Codex and tutorials took up a lot of time to implement, as did all the bug and crash fixes. Moving forward, I can dedicate more time to adding features to the game. The next patch is going to be the largest one so far. Let’s talk about a few of the things you can expect to see in patch 0.4.0. Before I begin, please keep in mind that what I’m going to reveal in this episode isn’t final – some of these things might be adjusted or removed entirely before the patch is released. My goal is simply to give you some idea about what I’m working on right now.
The biggest addition to the game will be the achievements system. There will be at least a couple thousand achievements added to the game in the next patch, and more will be added as I add more relevant content to the game. All achievements increase the amount of Piety you’ll receive from all sources. Most of these achievements should be rewarded retroactively, but some won’t be – that’s an inevitable part of alpha testing. However, I am 100% sure that there won’t be any achievements that you’ll permanently miss out on, regardless of how much progress you’ve made during alpha testing.
One of the biggest concerns I’ve heard from players is how realm properties work. Everyone has a different opinion on them, but I want to talk about my plans for them in the future. First, I think realm properties are great. I’m not going to remove them – they’re here to stay. But, I recognize that Siralim can sometimes have a sort of “zen effect” on players where it’s fun to just grind through 50 realms while you zone out and listen to music, or watch a show on Netflix or whatever, and realm properties sometimes keep you on your toes “just enough” so that you can’t fully zone out and get into the flow of the game. So, here’s my plan. I’m going to change Realm Instability a bit. At 0 Realm Instability, realms won’t have any properties at all. Of course, that also means they won’t give you any item bonuses. Each point of Realm Instability now adds a normal property and a hidden property to the realm. So, in other words, you can now remove or minimize the number of realm properties there are. I really like this change because it also makes each point of Realm Instability much more impactful – right now, there’s not a very noticeable difference between each one, and this will definitely solve that problem. In other words, this solves problems on both ends of the spectrum. There are some smaller changes coming to realm properties as well – for example, I’m removing the “Player Can’t Gain Gems” property entirely.
I’m also going to make a big change to the way Item Bonuses work for realm properties. Currently, your Item Bonus simply increases your chance to find items. For example, if you have a 1% chance to find a certain item, and you have a 300% Item Bonus, you’d then have a 4% chance to find that item instead. In the next patch, however, I’m going to make this Item Bonus also multiply the quantity of loot you’ll receive. As an example, a normal treasure chest contains 3 “units” of loot – so in other words, the game attempts to roll for each item 3 times. If your Item Bonus is 300%, treasure chests would contain 12 units of loot instead. However, I’m also going to reduce the amount of item bonuses you receive from each property since this change would make it far too easy to obtain items, so it’s unlikely you’ll actually see an Item Bonus of 300% or higher in the next patch. Anyway, the goal of this change is to make realm properties more appealing – I feel like the biggest issue with the way they work right now isn’t that they make the game more difficult, but that the reward isn’t as noticeable as it could be.
Lastly, I’m working on a full balance pass of the game’s traits, spells, perks, and relics. Almost everything will be buffed rather than nerfed, and in particular, I want to make relics feel a bit more useful for spell-heavy teams – right now they focus too much on attacking. I want to point out one specific trait that will be completely revamped in the next patch to give you all a heads-up: Anomaly. Anomaly is a disaster of a trait. It never really cooperated with the game’s battle engine, and it has always been riddled with bugs and inconsistencies. Aside from that, it’s insanely overpowered and there’s not much that I can do about it in terms of simply adjusting a number and hoping for the best – the trait needs to be overhauled with a totally different effect. Now, I’m sure a few other traits will be revamped as well, but I know that a lot of players use Anomaly so I figured I’d mention that so you can adjust your current team accordingly to prepare for this patch. Also, Animators are getting some serious love – I might have gone overboard with the buffs I’m giving to this specialization, but hey. Keep in mind that this balance pass is just a minor one – I’ll do several of these balance passes until the game is fully released, so if you see something that was nerfed too hard, buffed too hard, or ignored entirely, feel free to submit a suggestion on our forums or Discord and I’ll happily take a look.
Outside of all of that, I’ve been working on implementing player suggestions. There are a lot of them, and not all of them will be accepted, but you should know that I’m working on them every day. There will also be tons of new creature graphics, sound effects, decorations to collect, and much more. There will be several new prophecies, too.
There are countless other new features and adjustments coming in the next patch, but that’s all I can think of for now. As you might imagine, the scope of this patch is far larger than any patch I’ve released for Siralim Ultimate so far. For that reason, you shouldn’t expect to see it released until late next week at the absolute earliest – but the week of the 20th is far more likely. I know that’s kind of far off, but it’ll be worth the wait. I’ll probably release another podcast episode sometime next week to give everyone an update on my progress so you’ll have a better idea about when to expect this patch.
That’s all I have for this episode! Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next time.
The Siralim Ultimate alpha test is finally upon us! You should have received your key via e-mail by now. Be sure to check your spam folders. If you still haven’t received one, let me know. If you ordered multiple keys, you’ll receive a separate e-mail for each one.
The UI is in good shape but there’s still room for improvements. One major thing I have in mind is that shops and other UIs that require the player to spend currency need to show how much you have – some still don’t.
Not all creature sprites are revamped yet and we’re using Siralim 3 sprites as placeholders. Some of the revamps are still just placeholders as well – any race that doesn’t have unique poses for each creature is not final.
NPC sprites and specialization character sprites are very much a work in progress.
Some creatures don’t have dialog yet when you summon them.
Steam Achievements aren’t implemented, but the game is tracking your progress and you’ll be awarded these achievements retroactively once they’re implemented. Not all of them will be retroactive, but the important ones are. In other words, you won’t permanently miss out on any achievements by participating in alpha testing.
Ignore all references to achievements, titles, accolades, and things like that. They’re all going to be combined into one system and will work differently than in previous games.
Tutorials and game guides aren’t implemented yet but they are a priority. For now, if you have questions, feel free to ask around on Discord or our forums!
When you’re decorating your castle, don’t stack decorations on top of each other for now. It’ll cause problems.
Mac and Linux versions of the alpha version will be available in the coming weeks.
Just because you participate in alpha testing on Steam doesn’t mean you need to choose that platform for your digital copy key(s). You can test the game on Steam and then choose a totally different platform when the game is released if you want.
Streaming and content creation is allowed and encouraged.
Your save files will not be wiped out after alpha finishes.
Expect multiple patches per day for the first few days of alpha testing. After that, we’ll slow down the rate of patching as I work on adding more content and major features to the game.
As for backer rewards, we’ll send out a survey toward the end of beta testing to collect your information. For now, enjoy the alpha test!
I hope you’ll enjoy the game! Thank you so much for your continued support. I can’t wait to hear what you think about Siralim Ultimate!
Hey everyone, welcome back to the Thylacine Studios Podcast. In this episode, I want to talk about the roadmap for Siralim Ultimate and how all the different release stages will work. I also want to give you a glimpse of what to expect with the alpha version of the game.
As you probably know by now, we’ll release the game to our alpha backers on August 10. By the way, it’s still not too late to buy alpha access to the game, so if you’re interested, check out the PayPal shop on our website at thylacinestudios.com. Alpha will take place on Steam only, and will start out only available on Windows for the first few weeks. Later on, after the game is more stable, I’ll release it for Mac and Linux as well.
I can’t give you a definite time for when you’ll receive your key – I need to send them to everyone manually, so that makes it difficult to predict when you’ll get to play. I’ll start sending the keys out around 1pm EST on August 10, and I’m hoping it won’t take longer than a couple hours to send them out to everyone. If you purchased alpha access via our PayPal shop, you’ll receive the key at the same e-mail address you used to make your purchase. If you’re a Kickstarter backer, you’ll receive your key through their messaging system.
As for what you should expect in alpha… a lot of bugs and crashes, of course, but I’ll be aggressively patching the game during the first week or so to make sure you don’t hit some horrible roadblock that prevents you from playing. The full focus, especially during the first couple weeks, will be on bug and crash fixes – I won’t be adding any new content or making balance adjustments during this time. In fact, I probably won’t add any content at all during alpha. I don’t know how long alpha will last because it all depends on how smoothly things go and how many issues come up during this time.
Content-wise, alpha includes all the main story quests, along with a healthy amount of end-game content including prophecies, god relics, projects, Nether Stones, and more. All 15 of the original specializations are fully implemented as well. You’re not going to run out of content during the alpha. In fact, there’s already more content than there was in Siralim 3. Don’t forget about fusion, too – I can guarantee that you’ll spend hours upon hours looking at all the different combinations of creatures you can make. One thing the alpha probably won’t include – at least not at the start – is a tutorial system. In Siralim 3, there were a bunch of popups that would explain game mechanics to you, and those aren’t implemented yet in Siralim Ultimate. There isn’t a libary system yet either. It’s not ideal, but I don’t think any of the game’s mechanics are that incredibly complex that you won’t be able to figure anything out, so I’m not really worried about that.
Once the game is stable, we’ll move toward the beta phase. Your alpha keys will still work during beta, and I’ll send out keys to all the beta backers during this time as well. During beta, I’ll focus on quality of life improvements, balance adjustments, and some content. The goal of beta is to make the game feel good to play. This phase will be all about polish. I might add a few new pieces of content as well, such as new specializations.
A few weeks before beta ends, I’ll send out surveys to backers who purchased the right to work with us to design custom content, like creatures, costumes, spells, and things like that. You’ll have plenty of time – at least a few weeks – to submit your answers, and by this point you’ll have been able to play the game for at least a couple months so you should have a good idea about what you want me to add to the game by then. Most content will have a deadline for your submissions, but some of the larger-scale pieces of content such as specializations and custom realms will be more flexible since that will require a lot more back-and-forth communication with me.
Next, we’ll enter Early Access – again, only on Steam. During this time, we’ll have a lot of new players trying out the game, many of whom have never played a Siralim game before, so it’ll be interesting to get a fresh perspective on the gameplay. I’ll continue adding new content during this time. My hope is that all the promised backer content and stretch goals will be implemented during Early Access aside from a few features. I know the roguelike mode won’t happen during Early Access – that’ll come after launch. I’m pretty sure everything else will be added in Early Access, though.
After the game leaves Early Access, I’ll start working on the roguelike mode, the mobile ports, and finally I’ll work on the console ports. I have absolutely no idea when any of those things will be finished – it’s impossible to even guess a quarter in 2021 right now, but I’ll keep you updated. At no point during development do I plan to wipe your save files. There might be a bug or crash or something that wipes them out, but that’s the only way you’ll lose your progress.
I’m really excited for you all to finally test out the game. I’ve been playing through the story quests to make sure there aren’t any massive bugs or crashes, and I’m so happy with how the game feels already. During these final few weeks prior to our alpha launch, I probably won’t release any more podcast episodes so that I can dedicate all my time toward the release. After the alpha is stabilized though, you’ll definitely hear from me again. In the meantime, keep an eye on our Twitter, Facebook, subreddit, Discord, website, or forums for updates. That’s it for this episode, and I’ll see you guys next time!
Hey everyone, welcome back to the Thylacine Studios Podcast. In this episode, I want to talk about some of the online features in Siralim Ultimate and how I’ve decided to change the way they work based on player feedback.
When I started working on Siralim Ultimate, I envisioned a game that would be ever-changing. The idea was for there to be so many moving parts in the game that you could play it non-stop and never run out of things to do because there would always be some new event to keep you occupied. I still like that idea and plan to move forward with it, but some of the features that I planned to have online components have turned out to not be so great. I feel like I was forcing online functionality into features that didn’t really need them. So, I want to talk about what those features are and how I plan to change them in Siralim Ultimate.
First, you might remember that I revealed “World Bosses” a couple months ago. These were supposed to be giant bosses that would spawn on a timer. The timer would be contained on a server, so every single person playing the game would have their game invaded by the same World Boss at the same time. Then, players would all find the World Boss and defeat it which would help to fend off this “invasion”. After the World Boss was defeated by enough players, everyone who participated would receive a reward.
In the end, I don’t think the online functionality for World Bosses really needs to exist. I don’t want players to be at the mercy of the game deciding when you can fight a boss. And, imagine if you happen to be asleep or at work or school while a certain World Boss spawns, and by the time you’re able to play the game, it’s gone. That would feel pretty bad. So, I’ve decided to remove all online components from World Bosses.
I haven’t designed the specifics about how you’ll encounter them yet, but World Bosses will still be huge creatures that you’ll fight that have unique mechanics associated with them. These bosses take up all 6 creature slots for the enemy, and each slot contains a different body part. That might sound kind of weird, so I’ll give you an example. Hydranox is one of the World Bosses you’ll encounter in Siralim Ultimate. It’s a giant hydra that is so large that it takes up the entire battlefield, so it doesn’t have room for allies or anything like that. It’ll start with 5 heads, one for each slot, plus a body which consumes the remaining slot. The body is immune to damage and buffs the heads, and increases their stats and provides support for it. When you kill a head, two more spawn in its place which means they can now attack, cast spells, and employ all other effects two times. When you kill those two heads, three new ones will spawn. And when you finally kill those three heads, no more will spawn. Since there are 5 head slots and each one can have up to 3 heads, you might be fighting 15 heads at once if you carelessly mow them all down at once with area-of-effect spells. So, the optimal strategy for fighting this boss is to tackle one “head slot” at a time.
I feel like I rambled on a bit too much there, so if you’re still confused, don’t worry about it – the mechanics of how each fight works will be better-explained in-game. Anyway, some of the rewards you’ll earn from World Bosses include exclusive spell gem recipes (5 will be available from each boss), exclusive trait materials for your artifacts, cosmetics, and much more.
So, that’s how I’m thinking World Bosses will work now. No more online functionality – and I think this feature will be better off for it.
Next, I want to talk about Tavern Brawls. A while back, I asked everyone to fill out a survey regarding Tavern Brawls. The survey was very short and simply asked players how much they enjoy Tavern Brawls as they are in Siralim 3. Over 700 people replied to the survey, and your feedback is pretty clear: most people hate them. And those of you who don’t outright hate them simply don’t care about them one way or another. In total, less than 10% of players said they like this feature. Unfortunately, Tavern Brawls are also one of the most obnoxious things for me to handle from a coding perspective, and there are so many little bugs associated with them even in Siralim 3 that I feel like it’s all held together with bandaids and chewing gum at this point. So, it’s impossible for me to justify spending so much time on a feature that the majority of players dislike. I have a really cool idea in mind that will replace Tavern Brawls – it won’t feature PvP elements at all, but I think you’ll like it. It’s still a little too early to announce the specifics about this yet, but I’m extremely confident that most of you will enjoy what I have in mind. I recognize that some of you really enjoyed Tavern Brawls, and I’m sorry that this feature won’t make its way to Siralim Ultimate. It was a nice experiment, but it just proved that any form of PvP in the Siralim games is a bad idea. I won’t even get into all the flaws with Tavern Brawls right now because that’s not the point of this episode, but it’s something I’ll take a deep dive into at some point because I think it’s a pretty interesting topic to explore from a game design perspective.
Lastly, let’s talk about Siralim Ultimate’s Event Calendar. For those of you who don’t know (or simply forgot), there will be an in-game calendar that is tied to real-world time. It lists all the events that will happen in the game. Siralim 3 had a lot of events that rewarded exclusive creatures, materials, cosmetics, and more. These events were very well-received, but I didn’t like the fact that there was no way for players to see when an event would happen. A lot of people would check Facebook or Twitter several days after an event ended only to find out that they missed out on a wardrobe costume, and that’s a big problem to me. So, in Siralim Ultimate, there will be a calendar that will tell you when an event is coming up. I’m even planning to add optional push notifications to the mobile version of the game so that you can opt-in to reminders about events on your phone.
Anyway, so far, I’ve repeated what you already know about the calendar. The big change I’m planning for this, however, is that I don’t want to tie any exclusive creatures to events anymore. In Siralim 3, there were 4 major holiday events that offered 5 or 6 exclusive creatures. It was fun, but again, it felt so bad to miss out on those creatures. So, for all events in Siralim Ultimate (including the holiday ones like Halloween), rewards will mostly be cosmetic in nature: creature skins, decorations, things like that. There also might be a few exclusive trait materials for you to acquire because I don’t think that’s as punishing as missing out on a creature, but I’m hesitant to even do that. I think time-based rewards should all be cosmetic. And, I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I also have an idea in mind to allow players to manipulate the calendar in case they missed out on an event – but I’m still not ready to announce specifics on that.
So, that’s pretty much all I have to say about online functionality in Siralim Ultimate. I think these changes will make for a much better experience for everyone. Whether you agree or disagree, I want to hear your thoughts about it. The game isn’t even in alpha testing yet, so there’s obviously plenty of time to iterate on things like this to make it as player-friendly as possible. Thanks for listening (or reading!), and I’ll see you guys next time.