Trial of the Gods: Siralim Collectible Card Game!

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

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

Check out the trailer below:

Features

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

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

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

Siralim Ultimate – Dev Blog: User Interface and Graphics

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


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

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

User Interface

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Fancy, huh?

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

Artistic Direction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Castle Decorations

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

 


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

 


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

Closing Words

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

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

Nieve, signing out. Good fortune to you all!

 


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

Siralim Ultimate – Dev Blog: Inquisitor Specialization

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

 

Inquisitor Perks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Creatures with Fear cannot gain stats.

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

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

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

Siralim Ultimate – Dev Blog: Relics of the Gods

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

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

Relics of the Gods

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

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

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

Siralim Ultimate – Dev Blog: Sorcerer Specialization

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

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

Sorcerer Playstyle

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

Sorcerer Perks

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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