Siralim 3: Early Access Report #1

Wow! It’s been almost three weeks since Siralim 3 hit Early Access on Steam. The time has flown by for me… probably because I’ve spent just about every minute of my days reading and implementing feedback, adding new content, and fixing bugs. So far, I’ve released over 60 patches for the game, and I don’t plan to slow down any time soon.

I want to start by thanking everyone who has submitted bug/crash reports, and for remaining patient while I fix those issues. Luckily, there are hardly any crash reports anymore, and the bugs are now really minor and generally unnoticeable to most people. That means that I can spend more time adding content and quality-of-life improvements to the game!

Here’s a quick glimpse of what has been added to Siralim 3 in the last few weeks:

  • Prophecies: repeatable, end-game quests that you can complete while enjoying other content.
  • Nemesis Creatures: mini-bosses that can spawn anywhere in realms, and drop extra loot and exclusive items when defeated. Each Nemesis Creature has a special “affix” that grants it a unique bonus in battle, forcing players to adjust their strategies accordingly in order to win.
  • Talisman effects: these items can be upgraded indefinitely in order to confer a bonus to you and your creatures. You can unlock an additional Talisman power after you upgrade them to rank 100 – those powers aren’t implemented yet, but that’s what I’m focusing on right now!
  • Adjustments to the death penalty to make it less frustrating while maintaining tension.
  • Adjustments to the breeding system to make it feel more rewarding.
  • Adjustments to the arena to make it feel less random and more skill-based.
  • Countless quality-of-life changes, balance adjustments, bug fixes, and more!

My current priorities are to implement rank 100 powers for all the talismans in the game, as well as to start using a new compiler to build the game so that you’ll never run into any performance issues, even if you collect 5000 creatures and 100,000 items! (Yes, I tested those numbers specifically).

After that, I’ll start to work on additional content including Nether Bosses, God Bosses, Avatars, Tavern Brawls, and much more! In the coming weeks, I’ll also release the game on Steam for Mac and Linux.

I’d also like to return to my old schedule of writing a new blog post each week. I have plenty of good ideas for topics that I’m excited to share with everyone, so stay tuned! Until then, I hope you’ll continue to enjoy Siralim 3.

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Siralim 3: First day of early access was a success!

Siralim 3 has been available on Early Access for a little over 24 hours now. Since then, hundreds of people have played the game and contributed their valuable feedback to help make the game even better.

While there’s still plenty more minor bugs to squash, most of the really bad stuff is fixed now, so I’ve decided to take a little break and write this post to thank everyone for playing the game! It has been my pleasure to work with many of you toward solving problems and establishing a framework for future improvements.

However, I don’t think it’s quite enough to write “thank you” in a post and then call it a day. I want to give all of you early adopters something special. How about a Singular Creature?

Use the code “EARLYACCESS” (mind the caps, and exclude the quotes!) to receive a Singular Pitwraith Redeemer Egg. If you don’t know how to redeem a code, check out this guide.

For those who don’t know, Singular Creatures are extremely rare versions of normal creatures. They have a unique color palette that you won’t find anywhere else.

Again, thank you for playing Siralim 3. I hope you’re enjoying the game so far – but there’s plenty more to come!

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Siralim 3 has entered Early Access on Steam!

I am very excited to announce that Siralim 3 is now available for Windows on Steam Early Access!

You can purchase the game, or read about it here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/841770/Siralim_3/

Please report all issues to our forums: http://thylacinestudios.com/forums/index.php

More platforms will be added over time, but we don’t have an ETA for any of them yet. For now, enjoy! I’m eager to hear your feedback and add more content to the game.

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Siralim 3: Starting Creatures

In just a few more days, the seemingly-endless wait for Siralim 3 will come to an end and you’ll be able to play the game in Early Access on Steam!

As any Siralim veteran knows, one of the first things you’ll do in the game is choose your characters’ class, which also determines the creature you’ll start with. I’ve decided to reveal these creatures ahead of the game’s release so you can figure out what class you want to use. I’m very happy with how all 5 classes turned out, and I think players will find that all of the starting creatures are both fun and powerful in their own ways.

Enough talk – let’s get on with it!

 

Ottum has the “Elimination Process” trait, which does the following: After this creature attacks, it attacks a random enemy 2 times. These extra attacks deal 50% normal damage.

Mumu has the “Revolt” trait, which does the following: After this creature attacks or is attacked, it afflicts the enemy with a random debuff.

Emlai has the “Release the Cure” trait, which does the following: After this creature attacks or casts a spell, it recovers 25% of its missing Health.

Ugat has the “Karma” trait, which does the following: After this creature attacks or is attacked, it gains 35% of its lowest stat.

Aja Birku has the “Dimensions” trait, which does the following: After this creature manually casts a spell, it casts another random spell that belongs to the same class.


Each class’ starting creature intentionally synergizes with that class’ respective perks. The goal for each starting creature is to give you some immediate idea about the playstyle of each class. In addition, you’ll receive a second creature during the game’s tutorial, and each of those creatures was carefully-selected to synergize with your primary starting creature as well.

Which class do you plan to play first?

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Siralim 3: Goodbye Otherworldly Sigils, Hello Tavern Brawls!

I have some good news, and some good news. Which would you like to hear first?

“The good news, Zack! The good news!” you cry out, oblivious to the joke.

Alright. The good news is that the concept of Otherworldly Sigils didn’t really work out the way I wanted them to. They’re an interesting idea, and something I might revisit in future games, but they just don’t work very well in Siralim 3. There are countless reasons for this cancelation, but here’s the biggest one: they made me, as a player, feel conflicted – on one hand, I’m supposed to be handing out these Sigils to other people to help them find rare items or creatures. On the other hand, those same people are going to fight my team of creatures, and I need to make sure they die so that I can get rewarded. I could remove one of these two elements so we’re left without this conflict, but then the entire system feels really dull.

So why is this good news? Because we don’t want bad features in Siralim 3, right? We want to remove the bad and replace it with good. Hence, Tavern Brawls.

The Tavern in Siralims 1 and 2 was always pretty much useless. It housed the gambling dwarves and had a few NPCs to talk with for some roleplaying flavor, but outside of that, there wasn’t much going on. Thanks to Tavern Brawls, you might find yourself spending more of your time there than ever before.

So, first things first: you’ll need to unlock the Tavern. You’ll do this fairly early on in the game since it’s part of a story quest. After that, you’ll be able to complete in Tavern Brawls!

Each day, when you enter your Tavern, you’ll see 5 different NPCs that are modeled after other players who are also competing in these brawls. For example, one day, you might see Zack (a white cat, obviously) the Drunk (my carefully-chosen title that I unlocked earlier on in the game) with his team of Singular Diabolic Horde enjoying a beer or five with his favorite bar wench. You can challenge him to a fight.

In Tavern Brawl fights, your creatures will be scaled to level 100, as will their artifacts. Your perks, runes, cards, talismans, and other fluff is ignored for these fights – fair is fair, after all. Similarly, your opponents will all be level 100 as well. The goal here is to make these fights require careful thought and strategy, rather than allowing you to out-level or overpower this content entirely.

After you defeat all the brawlers for the day, you’ll earn some Bar Vouchers which can be exchanged for exclusive Spell Gems, among other prizes. These spells all interact with a brand new debuff: “Drunk”. I won’t reveal what this debuff does, but I’ll leave you with the names of two of these spells: Tartarith’s Bangin’ Bourbon and Yseros’ Godly Gin. I expect that players will be able to build entire teams that center around this new “Drunk” debuff.

In addition to winning some Bar Vouchers, your team will also be added to the pool of possible enemy encounters for future brawls. Similarly, after a certain period of time, old challengers will be removed from the pool in order to keep things feeling fresh. That way, players will always be trying to come up with new strategies to make these brawls more challenging for other players. If your team manages to beat all the enemies with ease on Day 1, they won’t necessarily have the same luck on Day 2. You’ll probably need to create several different teams in order to counter what other players throw at you.

Everyone will face the same challengers each day, so if you’re having trouble against a certain opponent, my hope is that you’ll strategize with your fellow players on Discord, our forums, social media, etc. It’s a tavern, after all, so what could a little social interaction hurt?

One other small feature I’m considering is allowing you to write your own line of dialogue that players will see when they challenge you. I’m hesitant to do that, though, because I know there’s going to be that one guy who links to a porn site or something stupid like that. I’ll see what I can do, though.

I was planning to announce this stuff on April 1, but yeah… no one would have believed me. Not even close. Either way, this feature won’t make it into the game before it is released for Early Access, but I wanted to announce this early on so you can all adjust your expectations accordingly.

So, what do you think? Are you excited for Tavern Brawls?

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Siralim 3: Singular Creatures

During your journey through the innumerable realms of Siralim 3, you’ll encounter over 700 different creatures that you can add to your collection and use in battle. In many ways, collecting these creatures is the main point of the game, and it’s been that way ever since the first Siralim game. In Siralim 3, however, when you encounter any of these creatures, they have a very small chance to be a “Singular” creature.

A Singular creature is the same as a normal creature, except it has a unique color scheme. Outside of that, Singular creatures have no benefits over normal creatures and are merely intended to give players something to hunt for even after they’ve completely filled out their bestiaries.

Here are a few examples of Singular creatures compared to their normal counterparts. Singular creatures are on the right, while normal creatures are on the left. Note that these palettes also affect each creatures’ overworld sprites, but those are not shown in this post.

 


Acquiring Singular Creatures

Normally, when you extract a core from a Diabolic Commander, you’ll receive a “Diabolic Commander Core”. But if that Diabolic Commander is Singular, you’ll receive a “Singular Diabolic Commander Core”, allowing you to summon a Singular version of that creature at the summoning brazier. You always have a 100% chance to successfully extract a Core from a Singular creature, even if you don’t have the Knowledge necessary to extract a normal version of that creature.

Creatures that hatch from eggs also have a small chance to be a Singular creature.

Lastly, Singular creatures are a great opportunity for us to host events and give them away as prizes to the winners. Since they’re so rare, players will be glad to receive one in return for participating in a contest, event, or even a holiday. For example, during Early Access, players will be given a free Singular creature just for helping us test out the game.

Breeding With Singular Creatures

When you breed two creatures together, the offspring will always be Singular if:

  1. The first parent you chose is Singular, AND
  2. The offspring is the same creature as the first parent.

Credits

Singular creatures wouldn’t exist without a few members of our community who created the palettes for us to use in conjunction with our shaders. Below is a list of people who contributed to this project, along with the number of palettes each person created. You can find an NPC in the library that attributes these credits just as they’re listed below. Since DragOhNite contributed the most palettes, he was asked to name this NPC.

A huge “thanks!” goes out to the following people:

DragOhNite – 426

Umaro – 264

bluequakeralex – 14

Gladiaterux – 10

Lumiriss – 9

DreamPrestige – 1

Zapzilla – 1

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The Evolution of a Game: How Siralim 3 Was Born

For Thylacine Studios, last year was meant to be what is called a “growth year” in the business world. My goal was to devote most of my time to The Negative while I worked on a few smaller projects on the side. One of those projects is called Learn Kana The Fun Way!

… and I probably won’t be making anything like that again. I don’t even play puzzle games. I hate them. RPGs are my niche, both from a gamer’s perspective and a developer’s perspective, so I’ll probably stick to that genre from now on.

Another smaller project I had up my sleeve was tentatively titled “Siralim 2.5” – a sequel to Siralim 2, but not. The idea behind this game was that I would take Siralim 2 and radically change some core game systems that I thought could use some work. The changes would be drastic enough that I wouldn’t be able to simply release it as a content patch for the original Siralim 2 for fear that it would upset a lot of players. For example, I wanted to streamline the chef/cooking system since it turned out to be nothing more than an annoying chore for most players. The entire concept of Power Balance also started to feel like a mistake to me, so I wanted to remove that as well. But Power Balance is a huge part of the game, so that would take some serious restructuring and re-balancing to get things right. I also thought it might be nice to change all the NPC and player sprites, since let’s face it: they’re ugly. These are merely examples of some of the things I wanted to do for this not-quite-a-sequel.

But then, I also decided that Sigils could be more interesting. What if, instead of spawning a single battle, they created an entire realm for the player with a set of random properties? This could serve as the bulk of the end-game content for players. And in order to keep things interesting and allow players to always feel like they’re progressing, I could add a new type of item called Talismans which players can upgrade forever to continue gaining new benefits.

And you know what? The user interface could use some love. The base of the code for the UI was created when I had only been using GameMaker for about a month, so I was very limited with what I could do with it. A good example of this is the sound/music volume options – you’re presented with a list of 11 options numbered from 0% to 100% in intervals of 10% in order to select your volume. That’s ugly and unintuitive. I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal back then, but looking at it in 2017/2018 makes me realize just how awful it really is. So hey, Siralim 2.5 should probably feature a revised user interface as well.

Ah, and another thing that I count as a mistake: auto-casting spell gems. Players simply stack as many “Cast On Hit” or similar properties on all their gems, then mindlessly rush into every battle without caring about the party composition of their enemies. Personally, I was so lazy that I stacked 6 Djinn Pyromancers with as many “Cast At the Start of Battle” gems as possible, allowing me to steamroll my way through all of the game’s content. Good luck removing those properties without seriously upsetting 90% of your players, though.

I spent several months continuing to tweak systems like the ones I just mentioned before I realized something: I have almost a whole new game on my hands now. Slowly but surely, I’ve tweaked or overhauled almost every single aspect of the game: artifacts, spell gems, breeding, nether creatures, avatars, realms, gods, and so much more. The only thing that’s missing is a new storyline. And you know what? That could have been better in Siralim 2, so let’s fine-tune it as well in Siralim 2.5. No, no, let’s re-write it entirely, and add all new bosses, and…

And suddenly, I realized that I had accidentally created the plans to develop a full sequel to Siralim 2. That same day, I contacted the necessary people to get a whole new soundtrack, sound effects, graphics, marketing assets, and more… and then I started grinding away at the programming end of things.

Things have snowballed quite a lot since then. For example, early on in development, I decided that I should find a writer to create lore for every single creature in the game. That’s over 700 creatures. And I didn’t want some short, generic Pokedex descriptions like “Springtime Aspects often startle people by throwing coconuts at them”. I wanted some fleshed-out and interesting lore for players to really sink their teeth into – I wanted it to be something players could sit and read for hours. In the end, it was Umaro (an active member of our community) and his friend who stepped up to the plate and wrote over 55,000 words of lore for the creatures in Siralim 3. They completely exceeded my expectations on this front, and I cannot wait for you to read what they’ve come up with.


Siralim 3 is just around the corner for Steam Early Access, and late May seems to be a very likely release date. I can’t wait to share this game with you and improve it with the help of your feedback. Thanks for your patience and continued support!

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