The Negative: Devlog #13: Monster Spotlight – Totemancer

The Totemancer belongs to the Chaos class. As its name suggests, this monster’s primary goal is to summon a wide array of versatile totems to aid your monsters in battle. While this monster’s innate skill set is more than capable of holding its own in combat, I expect that creative players will come up with even more interesting combinations with other summon-based skills.

Totems are unique compared to other summons in that the player cannot control them directly. Instead, at the start of their turn, they perform a specific function and then their turn ends immediately. Much like other summoned monsters, totems inherit stats from the monster that summoned them.

Active Skills

Totem of Fire: Summons a Totem of Fire. At the start of its turn, it deals a small amount of damage to a random enemy, then skips its turn. Only one Totem of Fire can be active at a time.

Totem of Earth: Summons a Totem of Earth. At the start of its turn, it heals one of your monsters for a small amount of HP, then skips its turn. Only one Totem of Earth can be active at a time.

Conjuration: Deals a small amount of damage to all enemies, plus 10% more damage for each summoned monster fighting on your side.

Totem of Storms: Summons a Totem of Storms. At the start of its turn, it uses the Conjuration skill, then skips its turn. Only one Totem of Storms can be active at a time.

 

Passive Skills

Salvaged Mind: At the end of battle, this monster regenerates a small amount of MP for each summoned monster that is still alive on your side.

All For One: This monster has 5% more Power for each summoned monster fighting on your side.

Totem of Frost: At the start of battle, summon a Totem of Frost. At the start of its turn, it decreases a random enemy’s Charge by 25%, then skips its turn. Only one Totem of Frost can be active at a time.

Horde: Your summoned monsters gain Charge 5% more quickly for each summoned monster fighting on your side.


Note: I’ll be gone until next Tuesday, which is why I decided to post this monster spotlight ahead of time. Have a good weekend!

The Negative: Devlog #12: Monster Spotlight – Spirit

The Spirit is a Life monster with a skill set that focuses on manipulating the battlefield in unconventional ways. Most of its skills change their effects based on the stats of other monsters in battle. In addition, it capitalizes on having high Resistances, which work closely with the Defense stat to mitigate a large amount of incoming damage.

Active Skills

Mortal Coil: Deals a small amount of damage. The damage is based on the target’s lowest Resistance.

Ancient Gift: Target gains a large amount of Power, Defense, Speed, or Luck – whichever is highest.

Decrepify: Enemies lose a small amount of Power, Defense, Speed, or Luck – whichever is highest.

Soul Blade: Deals a large amount of damage to the enemy with the lowest HP.

Passive Skills

Pierce Soul: This monster’s attacks and skills deal damage as if its targets have 15% less Resistance.

Magic Shell: This monster’s maximum Resistances are 75%. (The maximum is normally 50%)

Resilience: This monster has 15% additional Resistances. 

Impunity: This monster’s Resistances cannot be lowered.

Attack animations look really weird when they’re looped over and over again.

The Negative: Devlog #11: Monster Spotlight – Pontiff

The Pontiff is a highly-versatile monster that belongs to the Life class. This monster’s skills all have different effects depending on whether you use them on an ally or an enemy.

The Pontiff is capable of dishing out a high amount of damage while also offering buff support, stat boosts, and most prominently, healing. This monster’s main weakness is that its skills cost a high amount of MP – so while each skill is quite powerful, you’ll need to use them sparingly… or simply stock up on mana potions.

Active Skills

Flagellation: Deals a small amount of damage to an enemy, or recovers a small amount of HP for an ally.

Declaration: Enemies are afflicted with a random debuff, and allies are granted a random buff.

Determination: Enemies lose a small amount of their highest stat, and allies gain a small amount of their lowest stat.

Judgment Day: Enemies take a large amount of damage, and allies recover a large amount of HP.

 

Passive Skills

Divinity: After this monster uses a skill, it gains a Barrier that absorbs damage equal to 15% of its Maximum HP.

Belittle: When this monster damages an enemy, the enemy loses a small amount of Power.

Unstifled: This monster is immune to Silence.

Inspiration: When this monster heals an ally, the ally gains a small amount of Power.

Apparently, looping this monster’s attack animation makes it look like it’s trying to get its groove on.

The Negative: Devlog #10: Skill Design

The Negative offers a lot of skills for players to experiment with: there are over 120 monsters to collect, and each one has 4 active skills and 4 passive skills. While some monsters might have a few skills that are borrowed from other monsters, the game still has over 400 active and 400 passive skills. And that’s not even counting exclusive skills that are granted to monsters via unique equipment!

It’s important that each active skill is versatile, satisfying, and fun to use:

Versatile: for most skills, it’ll be pretty easy to find at least a few other skills that synergize with it well. But the most powerful skill combinations will need to be obtained by fusing your monsters together. This provides players with a sort of “end-game meta-game” in which careful planning and strategy are rewarded.

Satisfying: each skill has unique art and sound effects. Most skills also utilize particle effects to make them feel more impactful and lively.

Fun: if a skill is cumbersome for players to use, or is particularly frustrating when an enemy uses that skill on the player, the skill should be redesigned.

And from a broader point of view, I also want battles to feel interactive and even-paced. One of the things I dislike about Siralim and Siralim 2 is that a lot of players ended up seeking out combinations that allowed them to mash the confirmation button over and over again without thinking about what they’re doing. In The Negative, each battle will hopefully be more difficult, interactive, and rewarding thanks to more balanced skills and back-end math.


I’ll leave you with a few examples of active skills. Note that the monsters you see in these GIFs aren’t the same monsters that will use the skills I’m showing off – they’re merely there as placeholders for now.

Blood Sword: deals a large amount of damage to the target, and deals a moderate amount of damage to the user.

 

Hellcry: deals a small amount of damage to the target, then deals a small amount of damage to 2 random enemies.

 

Blood Bolt: deals a small amount of damage to the target and heals the user for 50% of the damage dealt.

 

The Negative: Devlog #9: Monster Spotlight – Breeder

In The Negative, the Life class monsters aren’t quite how you might expect them. There are no frolicking unicorns, devout priests, or holy idols to be found here. In this world, there’s a fine line between Life and Death.

Today, we’ll take a look at the Breeder, a Life class monster that demonstrates my point rather well.

Pretty ugly, right?

As you might expect, this monster is a summoner… with a twist. The Breeder’s main goal is to give birth to a small army of explosive fetuses. Unfortunately, the Breeder must die during child birth if it’s carrying triplets.

Yeah, I don’t know. This is getting awkward. Let’s take a look at the Breeder’s skills.

 

Active Skills

Gore: Deals a small amount of damage and afflicts the target with a random debuff.

Birth: Summons a fetus bomb on the other side of the battlefield. If the fetus bomb is not destroyed in 2 turns, it explodes, dealing a moderate amount of damage to all enemies.

Foster: Summoned monsters recover a large amount of HP. (Keeps your fetus bombs alive if your enemies try to dispose of them!)

Last Word: Deals a massive amount of damage to enemies, then kills this monster.

 

Passive Skills

Final Sin: When this monster is killed, it explodes, releasing 3 fetuses bombs on the other side of the battlefield. If the fetus bombs are not destroyed in 2 turns, they explode, dealing a moderate amount of damage to all enemies.

Undeath: When this monster dies, it has a 35% chance to be resurrected with a moderate amount of HP.

Urgency: Summoned monsters gain Charge 30% more quickly. (Meaning the fetus bombs will explode more quickly!)

Living Nightmare: This monster takes damage over time. In addition, at the start of battle, if this monster’s HP is less than 50%, its HP is set to 50%. (Since HP doesn’t regenerate between battles, this monster’s other abilities would cause it to always be dead. This skill helps to alleviate this issue.)

 

The Cycle of Life

When the Breeder dies, it gives birth to three beautiful baby triplets.

These little guys don’t do much. You probably didn’t do much when you were born, either.

But give them a few moments, and if your opponents aren’t quick enough to dispose of them…

BOOM! Massive damage!

The Negative: Devlog #8: Monster Spotlight – Slitherwig

Today, we will reveal the Slitherwig, a monster from the Void class!

 

The Slitherwig is a monster that specializes in preventing enemies from using their skills by afflicting them with the Silence debuff, or by simply burning their MP. This monster also has a few support-oriented skills, similar to those of the Grimoire, to restore your monsters’ MP. Perhaps more importantly, however, the Slitherwig is capable of removing enemies’ buffs.

Active Skills

Vertigo: Target takes a small amount of damage and is afflicted with Silence. (Silence prevents the afflicted monster from using skills)

Mana Burn: Target loses a moderate amount of MP.

Fray: Target takes a small amount of damage. The damage increases based on the amount of MP the enemy is missing.

Nullify: Removes a target’s buffs.

Passive Skills

Brain Fog: Enemy skills cost 10% more MP to use.

Leech Mana: When this monster decreases an enemy’s MP, your monster with the lowest MP gains that MP.

Interruption: When an enemy tries to use a skill, this monster has a 10% chance to interrupt it.

Feedback: When an enemy’s buffs are removed, the enemy takes a small amount of damage for each buff removed.