Announcing Our New Game, “The Negative”!

 

I am pleased to announce Thylacine Studios’ next game: The Negative!

 

A mockup image containing a few objects and NPCs you might find during your travels.

 

The Negative is an evocative RPG with a dark, gritty, and gothic undertone. Players take the role of a nameless plague doctor as they wander across an infinite, procedurally generated open world in an attempt to conquer an evil force known as The Negative. Along the way, players must capture and employ the skills of enemy monsters to fight for them.

 

Battles are turn-based. You can take up to 4 monsters with you to fight your enemies.

 

Thematically, The Negative is all about conveying emotion; not only through its storytelling methods, but also in the environments and enemies themselves. I’ve broken down the concept of negativity into 7 main categories: depression, rage, jealousy, pessimism, guilt, anxiety, and grief. Almost every aspect of the game relates to one of these emotions in some way – there are 7 different environments to explore (and re-explore), each of which is modeled after one of these seven emotions. This means that, with a few exceptions, we won’t be using any generic environment types you might find in other games, such as a “fire world” or “forest area”.

 

You can move your monsters around the battlefield to gain various advantages and exploit your enemies’ weaknesses.

 

The Negative definitely isn’t a happy game, and it’s unapologetic in the way it casts players into a lonely, desolate world where all hope feels lost. In most cases, players will often find their efforts feeling like they’re taking an allegorical “one step forward, two steps back”. In that way, it feels a lot like real life. Happiness is cyclical, and The Negative honors that fact in every way it can.

 

This is the inventory screen. You can heal your monsters, resurrect them, and much more here.

 

I have plenty more information to share with you, but it’ll have to wait. Check back next week to learn more about The Negative! I’ll leave you with a small FAQ.

Q. When will The Negative be released?
A. It’s too soon to tell. I have probably 70% of the game coded already, but there’s a lot more work to be done, especially in the art/music department. My best guess is an early 2018 beta release on Steam Early Access. While we’re waiting, I’ll possibly release at least one smaller game to sate your appetite.

Q. What platforms will The Negative be released on?
A. Definitely Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and Playstation 4. I’d also like to release this game on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, but it’s too soon to tell if we can make this happen. If any other major platforms enter the market between now and the end of The Negative’s development cycle, I’ll gladly consider those as well.

Q. What about Playstation Vita?
A. I’m developing The Negative using GameMaker Studio 2, which no longer supports Playstation Vita, so there’s no way this is going to happen. Sorry!

Q. How much will it cost?
A. Right now, I’m thinking $19.99 USD is a fair price, but that’s not final. The mobile (Android/iOS) version will likely use a different payment model.

Q. What are the controls like?
A. The game supports keyboards, gamepads, and mice. You can play the entire game with just your mouse, which actually works really well!

Q. Will there be any post-release content? Expansions? Sequels?
A. Yes, probably. If it happens, this content will be delivered and priced in a way that no other game has done so before. I’m excited to experiment with my own payment model, but it’s too soon to announce any specifics on that!

Q. Does The Negative have multiplayer?
A. No, there are no plans to add multiplayer content for now. There might be some online-only events, but nothing like trading or PvP battling.

Q. How does The Negative compare to Siralim?
A. It’s completely different in almost every way. You still capture monsters and fight with them, but everything else is completely different.

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18 thoughts on “Announcing Our New Game, “The Negative”!

    1. Nope, there isn’t anything like that in this game. Instead, you’ll be visiting other towns and villages which are randomly generated.

  1. Thanks for all the tasty details. I like the addition of mobility to battles. I also like that you are going to use creatures/capturing creatures as the main vehicle for combat in this game. You are great at this 🙂

    If possible in a future blog – I am really interested in hearing about how you will make the “one step forward, two steps back” model fun for players. If a game can make this fun, you have a helluva game on your hands.

    1. That will be revealed in either the next blog post, or the one after that! Very excited to talk about that concept since it ties into the game mechanics really tightly.

  2. This sounds pretty awesome indeed! ^.^
    I really like the visual style and setting you are going for with this one as well. Also plague doctors are cool! 😉
    Though I am a bit worried about that “One step forward, two steps back” part.
    I hope the game will still feel rewarding to play and won’t be overly punishing, regardless of the dark athmosphere.
    Many people love them, but personally I don’t have the heart for games like “Darkest Dungeon”.

    Still, I am very excited about this project of yours and will play it as soon as it is available for sure! 😀

    1. The “one step forward, two steps back” part was more referring to the story than anything else. There’s a pretty steep death penalty as well, but I don’t think it’s bad enough to genuinely upset anyone when they die. It’s something I’ll probably adjust a lot based on feedback, though.

      1. I see, thanks for the response.
        I am very interested in hearing more about the planned gameplay features! ^-^

  3. This looks very interesting. I’ve always like turned based fighting games like sonny 1 and 2, and if it’s anything like that then the additional ability to capture and construct your own team seems very promising. I can’t wait to hear more of this game.

    Also, if you could get it released on Xbox, consider it sold for me.

  4. Will the plague doctor’s gender be variable? Even if the choice is meaningless or not really referenced in the game, it’s still appreciated for connecting with the character on a basic level. That aside, how is the story going to be told? Through NPCs and interactions, or is this going to be closer to a dark-souls story telling form where a lot of it is inferred from what’s going on around you?

    1. You won’t be able to choose a gender because you don’t really need to – the character is an extension of yourself, and gender isn’t referenced one way or another throughout the game. You are meant to assume that whatever is hiding beneath that costume is you. Or it can be a bunch of circus gnomes sitting on each others’ shoulders – it’s up to your imagination.

  5. This sounds very cool. I’ve liked both Siralim games, and so I have faith that this will be good too. An extensive RPG with procedural generation is the zenith of games for me.

    The poster above me mentioned gender choice, and it reminded me that this is also important to me. Female playables please.

    Thanks and good luck.

    1. Gender is completely irrelevant in this game. You can pretend your character is whatever you want (it’s meant to represent an avatar of yourself anyway) – the game never calls you out by a particular pronoun or anything like that.

  6. Hi, I’ve played Siralim 1 and 2, and I can’t wait for another game from you!
    I love the art, it’s much simpler than Siralim 1 and 2, but it’s definitely an upgrade, and it looks much better (I’m a sucker for pixel graphics).
    I’m very excited to play this game in its full glory. Cheers and good luck in making The Negative!

  7. 20 bucks pricetag is more or less a premium for indie game. While I do realise that making games cost money and i love both siralims to death, will Negative be just as packed with content as both of your former titles? It seems for me like this one is more “story driven” and not as bonkers in terms of mechanics as Siralims. And that might be a deal breaker for me, cause while i do enjoy a good, dark story, i tend to focus more on technical aspects and (re)playability of the game.

    1. There’s a ton of content in The Negative. I just haven’t revealed any of the post-game content yet, which is where most of the crazy stuff happens. As far as customization goes, I think it might have the same amount as Siralim, but it’s tough to compare since the games are so different.

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