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.