Soft Announcement: Siralim 3!

Well, I don’t think I can go one more day without talking about it, so here it is: Siralim 3 is in active development! So active, in fact, that it’s only a few months away from being ready for Steam Early Access. Yes, our next so-called “small game” turned out to be the massive Siralim 3.

I am only posting about Siralim 3 on this blog, our forums, and on Discord for now, because I don’t have a lot of screenshots or even title screen art to show off yet. I’ll probably make an official announcement on social media at the end of the year. For now, I really want to start talking about the game with our most dedicated players to get feedback on how to make it the best game it can be. I’ll be posting frequent development updates on the blog and on these forums, and creating several posts to try to gather focused feedback from you.

At the beginning of this year, I announced that there would probably not be a Siralim 3, simply because Siralim 2 was the best Siralim game I could make. I had no more ideas to make it better. I didn’t think it needed anything else to be what it was intended to be. After taking a few months off and focusing on other projects (mostly Learn Kana The Fun Way, and especially The Negative), I’ve realized how much can be improved upon. Words cannot express how excited I am about this game.

Here’s a list of just some of the things you can expect in Siralim 3 when compared to its predecessors. It’s not in a very organized order, but hopefully, you’ll enjoy reading it anyway:

– A new story with all new quests. The story is a lot more light-hearted than it was in Siralim 2, but also more well-written and detailed. It’s not intended to blow your mind as if it was Game of Thrones or something like that, but it should make you laugh quite a bit and at least keep a smile on your face. I’ll discuss the story in more depth later. There are 16 story bosses planned, and tons of secret bosses for you to find later on.

– A new user interface. The main menu is now a lot easier to navigate and has tons of new quality of life improvements. On average, it’ll take 2-3 fewer “E” presses before you get to where you want to be. There are also tons of other small improvements, such as the ability to scroll the map in all directions while you’re in a realm. Oh, and a big one… you can now view information about any creature in battle now, including their stats, artifact, and spell gems.

– All new NPC and player graphics. 24 new songs to replace the old ones. Over 80 new sound effects for the user interface. Revamped graphics for some of the uglier creatures in the game (I’m looking at you, Mr. Vortex). The music and sound effects are composed by Josh instead of Tim this time.

– A lot of the bloat was cut from the game. Rituals are gone. They weren’t fun and didn’t add anything to the game. Power Balance is gone. What was I thinking when I designed that, anyway? Castle upgrades are now handled differently. They were merely an illusion of choice before. The Altar of Blood is gone. The most interesting punishments are now part of the base game (such as Strife and Gloom), while most others are no longer necessary because other aspects of the game take care of these features already. The Chef is now found in realms, so you don’t have to worry about going back to your castle every time you want a buff.

– Breeding has been revamped, and Gene Strength is gone.

– Post-story content is absolutely insane. There’s so much to do and so many things to unlock, and the content is both rich and diverse. I’m particularly excited about the new Sigils system – it’s definitely the best thing that has ever happened to this game series. Nether Creatures and especially Avatars now work a lot differently than in Siralim 2.

– Artifacts are revamped. They don’t have levels anymore and have fewer property slots, but each property is now more powerful. You can also unlock powerful new enchantments for them by participating in post-game content.

– Auto-cast properties on Spell Gems are gone. In their place, I’ve added 11 new Spell Gem properties.

– Runes have been overhauled. There are more of them to collect, and they stack. If you equip the correct runes, you can form a “runeword” which unlocks powerful new effects. The Runemaster will help you figure out which runes create certain runewords, and allows you to quickly swap out your runes with others in your inventory to create the runeword you want.

– There aren’t any new creatures. The skins that were added to Siralim 2 are now obtainable creatures called “Itherian Creatures”, and are extremely rare. Think of them as “shiny Pokemon”, except they have unique traits which makes them a lot more valuable and interesting. This decision wasn’t made out of laziness; I just think that 700 creatures are already too many so I’d rather focus on making each one more viable and interesting instead.

– New perks for each class. Each class will feel much more distinguished from each other in Siralim 3.

– Lots of battle changes. Traits and spells that modify stats now do so based on the creature’s original stats at the start of battle, so your creatures won’t gain stats exponentially anymore. I’ve also tried to reduce the number of times your creatures can attack or cast spells in one turn by rebalancing spells and traits accordingly.

– Tons of polish and quality of life improvements. Faster movement speed is now unlocked before you even leave your castle for the first time. The mobile version has new touch controls that allow you to tap and swipe instead of using the on-screen controls (but you can always go back to using the classic controls if you want). There are now some new visual effects when you do things like summon a creature or when a god speaks to you. The gambling dwarves now have custom-drawn interfaces for their games. There are now tutorial windows that appear to explain new features as you unlock them. I’m also adding over 80 new sound effects to the user interface to make the game feel more satisfying. For example, forging an artifact now has a custom sound effect. It’s little things like that which will make the game feel much better. I’m also optimizing the game quite a lot – I expect Siralim 3 to run very well on mobile devices compared to Siralim 2.

FAQ

Q: When will Siralim 3 be released?
A: I’m targeting late March for a Steam Early Access release on Windows.

Q: What platforms will the game be released on?
A: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and PlayStation 4. I really want to try getting it on Xbox One, but it all depends on how much time I have because I’m also working on The Negative.

Q: FAJSFAOWEIRW WHY NOT VITA, I HATE YOU
A: Siralim 3 is made in GameMaker Studio 2, which does not support PlayStation Vita.

Q: How much will it cost?
A: Same as Siralim 2. $4.99 for mobile devices, and $14.99 everywhere else. There will be no paid DLC this time aside from the soundtrack.

Q: Is The Negative still in development?
A: Of course! However, it looks like it won’t reach Early Access until the end of 2018 at this point.

New App Icons for Siralim and Siralim 2!

At some point in the near future, we’ll be rolling out a new update for Siralim and Siralim 2 on most platforms to give them some new app icons. These were created by the same artist that drew our Siralim 2 title screen, Janette Ramos.

While these icons don’t necessarily use an art style that is consistent with their respective games’ pixel art, I think they represent the games in a much more professional light than their older counterparts. The first thing players see before they purchase a game – especially on mobile devices – is the app icon, and it’s safe to say the old ones weren’t doing us any favors toward reaching new customers.

As you can probably see for yourself, this artwork is hand painted. Janette has done an excellent job with these new icons, and we’re excited to work with her on future projects as well! I wonder what this next one is for?

Introducing Our New Merchandise Shop!

You’ve been asking for it, and now it’s finally here: a merchandise shop for Thylacine Studios’ games!

Choose from over a dozen shirts and hoodies (in the colors and sizes of your choice!) featuring your favorite Siralim and Siralim 2 characters. We also have coffee mugs, mousepads, and posters available that feature the official Siralim and Siralim 2 title screen art.

We plan to add many more products to the shop over time, including phone cases, laptop decals, notebooks, calendars, seasonal/holiday accessories, and much more! Want to make a request for something you’d like to see in our store? Feel free to contact us.

Click here to check it out!

 

The Siralim Card Game That Never Was

During the development of Siralim 2, we also began working on a physical, collectible card game based on the original Siralim video game. Ultimately, the idea was scrapped for reasons that won’t be discussed here. However, a lot of people have expressed interest in a potential card game so I thought it might be interesting to show off the prototype.

Before I begin, I want to reiterate that this card game will never be released. It’s possible that a digital version of it might happen someday, but I have absolutely no plans to release anything like that for now. This post is merely to show off the prototype for this game before it was ultimately scrapped. The entire game was designed by our former graphics artist, with concepts taken from Siralim and Siralim 2 including creature traits, artifacts, and other key gameplay elements.

Let’s start with a brief explanation about how the game is played. The Siralim CCG (Collectible Card Game) is a 1 versus 1 card game that pits your creatures against those of your friends. To win, you’ll need to defeat all of your opponent’s creatures. Just like in the video games, you’ll need to create a party of creatures that work well with each other based on their traits, and equip them with suitable artifacts in order to gain an advantage over your opponent.

There’s one creature card for every creature race in Siralim 1. For example, instead of having multiple creatures that belong to the same race such as the “Diabolic Henchman” and “Diabolic Observer”, the CCG instead only has one creature to represent this race: the “Diabolic Horde”. Your deck will contain exactly six creatures of your choice, along with an accompanying artifact card for each one.

Next, you’ll need to fill out your deck with a bunch of items and spells to attain a total of 50 cards in your entire deck. While many of the spells work similarly to those found in Siralim and Siralim 2, the items were created from the ground up – specifically for the card game! Some items are used to empower your creatures with increased stats, while others are used to cure a debuff or recover some of your creatures’ Health pools.

Once both players have their decks built and are ready to play, a coin is flipped to determine who goes first. Both players take turns iterating through the four main phases of gameplay until one player runs out of living creature cards.

The first phase is called the Replenishment Phase. Most actions the player takes – including attacking or casting a spell – requires a certain amount of Energy. During this phase, the player’s Energy is restored. In addition, certain “Beginning of Turn” effects can occur at this time. For example, true to their functionality in Siralim, the Troll causes damage to a random enemy creature.

The second phase is called the Draw Phase. During this phase, the player draws enough cards to hold a total of seven cards in their hand. Simple enough.

Next comes the Main Phase. This is when the player can choose an action for each of their six creatures. Creatures can attack, use an active ability (trait), cast a spell, or simply do nothing at all. Generally, each creature will only have enough Energy for one action per turn, but certain spells and other effects allow some creatures to take multiple actions per turn.

Lastly, we have the End Phase. Nothing too exciting happens here – some “End of Turn” effects occur and that’s about it.

Attack damage, spell damage, and the effectiveness of certain traits and items are affected by the creatures’ stats. There are four stats in the Siralim CCG: Attack, Health, Speed, and Intelligence. These stats are listed in order from top to bottom on the left side of each creature card.

Attack – determines attack damage.

Health – when a creature runs out of Health, it dies.

Speed – determines the order in which the creature attacks during the Main Phase.

Intelligence – determines the potency of spells the creature casts.

 

As I said before, both players take turns attacking, casting spells, and using items on their creatures until one player’s party is completely wiped out, with the surviving player being the winner. Some effects require the use of tokens (to symbolize the game’s debuffs: Poisoned, Asleep, Blinded, Cursed, and Confused), while others make use of dice to calculate effects that deal with randomized numbers.

…and that’s about it. There are a few other minor details associated with the game, but that’s pretty much the gist of it. For that reason, this card game didn’t turn out to be anywhere near as fun as the video games, which is one of the many reasons why this project was cancelled. It’s entertaining enough for a few matches, but it’s definitely not something you’d want to play in the long term.

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of some other cards. Notice how the creatures were all designed to work the same way they do in the video games.

See you next week!