Siralim 3: Runes

If I could only change one thing in Siralim 2, it would be Runes. While the core concept is interesting enough, this system has a few flaws. First, the effects of runes were poorly balanced. Many of these items were useless, while others were so powerful that they were must-haves. Runes also didn’t stack in your inventory and saw very little use in post-story content, which caused players’ inventories to constantly clog with dozens of runes that you’d clearly never use. Aside from all of that, runes simply weren’t that interesting. I hope to address these problems in Siralim 3.

Runes

Runes now stack in your inventory. This should make them much easier to manage. In addition, there are now 50 runes for you to find, and most of them have different effects than they had in Siralim 2. Here are a few examples:

Ith Rune – Your creatures’ Critical buffs now also work with spells.

Yar Rune – Your creatures’ Taunt buffs now also cause them to automatically Provoke at the end of their turns.

Zar Rune – Enemies’ Blight debuffs now also cause any buffs they gain to be converted to a random debuff instead.

If these feel too niche for you, there are a few basic ones as well, such as the Aen Rune which simply increases your creatures’ Health by 10%.

Runewords

You can equip 5 specific Runes to form a “runeword”. Runewords give a very powerful effect to you or your creatures. For example, you can equip the AenKihMulRuhZar runeword which translates to “Light”. While this runeword is active, Surathli will sometimes join you in battles to support your creatures. There will be dozens of different runewords for you to discover. Note that not all combinations of runes will form a runeword.

To prevent players from constantly swapping out their runes to form new runewords without any thought, there is a now a small chance that your runes will break when you unequip them.

Artificer

The Runemaster from Siralim 2 will return in Siralim 3, but this time he’ll be known as the “Artificer”. You can trade your unwanted runes to the Artificer in exchange for knowledge of a new runeword. The Artificer also allows you to choose from the list of runewords you’ve discovered and equip the necessary runes automatically. The Artificer also has one other function that will serve as a rune dump, but that’s related to another system that I will reveal in a later post.

Siralim 3: User Interface

Siralim has always been a complex game, and with these complexities comes a major hurdle for me as a game developer: designing a user interface that provides players with adequate information to play the game to its fullest potential while maintaining ease-of-use. It’s taken me some practice, but thankfully, Siralim 3 has a much more accessible user interface than its predecessors.

I’ll start by saying that no single user interface is going to make everyone happy, especially with a game like Siralim. We need to keep in mind that players of all ages and gaming experiences will try this game (you’d be surprised at how many players are over the age of 60), so while you might want the informational equivalent of a Wiki available to you at every point in the game, I don’t think that’s necessarily what Siralim needs. There must be a balance to provide players with as much information as possible, but it has to be presented in a way that isn’t overwhelming. That’s why, for example, I will never add access to the game’s library to the battle menu. There’s always going to be a more elegant solution instead of that – one of which you’ll find toward the bottom of this post.

The goal of any user interface designer is to minimize the number of “nested menus” that players need to sort through in order to get where they want to be. For example, how many buttons do you need to press to equip a creature with an artifact? How many buttons do you need to press to attack an enemy in battle? For obvious reasons, the fewer times a player needs to press a button, the better.

Aesthetically, I still want to maintain the old-school NES/SNES user interface style of a black background with white text. After all, Siralim is meant to remind you of those games. I don’t think it’s appropriate for a classic-inspired game to have a decorated interface for no apparent reason. So no, there still won’t be any scantily clad succubi peeking out from behind your creatures’ health bars like you’ll find in a game like Diablo 3. It’s just not that kind of game.

Let’s start with the very first screen you’ll see when you start the game and get past the Thylacine Studios logo.

I know, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out such a simple control scheme, but isn’t this infinitely better-looking than the primitive white-on-black screens found in Siralim and Siralim 2? This is the first game element that any player sees, and I think the old one had an immediate, negative psychological effect on a lot of players that made them say to themselves, “Damn, this game is cheaply made”.

The biggest change to the user interface is the main in-game menu, so we’ll discuss that next. Let’s take a look at a few screenshots.

Excuse the weird look of the castle – it’s just a chopped up version of Siralim 2’s castle right now, but it’ll be entirely different soon enough. Anyway, this is the first thing you’ll see when you press Q to open the menu. Not much has changed here, but you’ll notice that the resources are now presented a bit more consistently than before. In addition, when you choose any of these menu options, instead of another menu popping out to the right of the main one, the options will simply change in the original menu instead. Here’s what happens when I choose “Character”:

Immediately, with one less press of the button than before, you have some quick access to your character’s information. You can scroll up and down using the W and S keys as before, but you don’t have to press E again – the panels on the right simply change as you “hover over” one of the menu options.

Here’s a better, animated example using the “Creatures” menu:

The Library interface is now sorted much better as well. Now, each library book has been categorized as either a “List” or a “Guide”. Lists include things like the creature bestiary, the spells you’ve discovered, and your breeding recipes. Guides are informational and serve as a reminder of how certain game mechanics work.

One of the most commonly-requested features is to allow players to view detailed information about their creatures and enemies in battle. Therefore, in Siralim 3, the “Inspect” command is now a lot more useful:

This new feature allows you to view the stats, traits (yes, even the temporary ones you can sometimes acquire mid-battle), artifacts, spell gems, and many other things about any creature in battle. You’ll also notice that when I targeted the Yeti, there’s a + next to the “Inspect” text. This means that, since the Berserker Fiend (Chaos) is inspecting the Chillbreeze Yeti (Sorcery), it’ll deal extra damage to it. There’s a + next to all the command text, including attacking and casting spells. That way, it’ll be easier for you to choose the best target based on the enemy’s class. Similarly, you’ll see a “-” sign next to the text if your creature’s attack will deal less damage due to a class weakness.

Siralim 3: Breeding!

The breeding system is very different in Siralim 3 than it was in Siralim 2. While the process itself is largely consistent between the two games, the underlying mechanics are a lot different. In this post, we’ll explore how the new breeding system works, introduce a new type of item, and discuss some changes made to eggs.

The Breeding Process

Just like before, you’ll visit the breeding master and select two creatures you want to use for breeding. These creatures can either be of your own choosing or based on the breeding recipes you’ve collected during your travels.

Breeding does not cost any resources, nor does it cost Power Balance since PB does not exist in this game. This means that, other than the loss of the two creatures used, breeding is completely free of charge.

When you finish breeding, you’ll be given an egg, and the parents will disappear forever.

Goodbye, Gene Strength

Gene Strength does not exist in Siralim 3. While I like the idea of each subsequent offspring growing more powerful as you continue to breed your creatures, it was very difficult to balance this mechanic correctly. At the start of Siralim 2’s development cycle, players said that creatures did not gain Gene Strength quickly enough. After making several changes to make GS feel more satisfying, however, it’s clear that balance became an issue. It either allowed players to mow down difficult content without any regard for their party composition, or it caused them to hit a brick wall at some point and prevented them from progressing unless they took the time to breed their creatures.

But don’t worry – there’s a new way to boost your creatures’ base stats in Siralim 3. Remember the “Pill” items from Siralim 1? They’re making a return to Siralim 3, only with a new name: Tomes. These ultra-rare consumable items boost a chosen creature’s base stat by 1. For example, a Tome of Luck can be used to increase your Berserker Fiend’s base Luck by 1. Since creatures gain stats based on a percentage of their base stats when they level up, it’s easy to see that these are very powerful items.

I’m thinking about adding some way to acquire Tomes outside of finding them as rare item drops, but I haven’t figured out how I want to implement this idea yet.

Hello, Heredity

Heredity is a new property that is passed on to creatures through breeding. You see, in Siralim 3, creatures have a level cap of 50. Only by breeding, and subsequently increasing your creatures’ Heredity values, can your creatures surpass this level cap. Each Heredity point increases a creature’s level cap by 10. It’s not very difficult to gain multiple points of Heredity at a time, so you won’t be obligated to breed very often unless you really want to.

The amount of Heredity gained each time you breed is based on how close parents’ levels are to their own level caps. Therefore, it’s optimal to breed creatures together if they’re at their maximum level.

I like Heredity because it gives players an incentive to always try new creatures and party compositions while still maintaining a balanced game. It also provides a means to continue strengthening your party over time, although it does so more indirectly than Gene Strength once did.

I’m sure you have a lot of concerns about this new system. Won’t it be annoying to level up your new creatures each time you breed them? And even more annoying to manage your creatures’ artifacts and spell gems each time you hatch an egg? The next section discusses how these problems are tackled, but if you really hate this new system, there’s a New Game option to turn off Heredity entirely. Don’t do that, though. The new system is fun, I promise.

All About Eggs

First of all, since rituals are not in Siralim 3, you don’t need to worry about completing one in order to hatch your eggs. Simply pay some resources and you’ll be able to hatch an egg instantly.

Eggs now remember the artifacts and spell gems their parents had equipped. When you hatch an egg, you can choose to immediately equip the new creature with either of its parents’ items or none at all. It’s a very simple process that makes breeding a lot easier than in Siralim 2.

The offspring also inherits 50% of each parents’ experience points. This means that if you breed two level 50 creatures together, the offspring will hatch at level 50 as well.

Keep in mind that leveling up takes a lot longer in Siralim 3 than in previous games, and each level is more impactful. So don’t worry – you won’t need to come back to your castle after every realm just to breed your creatures. Each point of Heredity will last a pretty long time.

More Breeding Recipes

There were over 1000 breeding recipes in Siralim 2, but there are nearly 6000 recipes to collect in Siralim 3. The main benefit of having so many recipes is that you are more likely to create a brand new creature that you’ve never seen before when you choose the parents manually.

For Siralim 2, I created all the breeding recipes by hand. In Siralim 3, I used a different process: controlled random generation. Don’t worry – every player will have the same breeding recipes, but they were created by an algorithm this time around. The result is that each recipe actually makes a lot more sense than they did in Siralim 2. Warning: the information below is intended to explain how I programmed the breeding recipes and might be pretty dense. If you don’t understand it, don’t worry – it’s not something you need to know in order to play the game.

To create breeding recipes that make sense, I started by tagging every creature in the game with certain keywords based on their physical appearance, functionality, demeanor, and much more. For example, most Efreets were tagged with words like “FIRE”, “CASTER”, “RED”, “ORANGE”, “EVIL”, and “DEMON”. Yetis were tagged with “BEAST”, “MACE”, “WHITE”, “BLUE”, “ICE”, and “LARGE”. Some creatures that belong to the same race have different keywords. For example, the Frostfire Efreet also has the “ICE” keyword, while none of the other Efreets have that word.

Next, I assigned each creature an internal “tier” from 1 to 5. Tier 1 creatures have up to 15 different breeding recipes, while tier 5 creatures only have 1 or 2 breeding recipes, meaning tier 5 creatures are much more difficult to obtain than tier 1 creatures. In addition, tier 5 creatures require tier 4 creatures to breed, tier 4 creatures require tier 3 creatures, and so on. You can only extract cores from tier 1 and 2 creatures, so you’ll need to do some serious breeding if you want to acquire creatures that belong to a higher tier. The goal of this system is to give players some really rare creatures to strive to obtain. It’s also worth noting that there are far more tier 1 creatures in the game than tier 4 or 5 creatures, for example. Of course, you won’t ever see what tier each creature has since this has no relevance to players.

Finally, I created an algorithm that determines which creatures can be bred together to create new ones. For example, the algorithm will start at tier 5 and decides to create recipes for the Snowsting Yeti, a tier 5 creature. It will scan through all the tier 4 creatures in the game and determine which ones have keywords that have some matches with the Snowsting Yeti’s own keywords. The idea here is that the two parents should share common attributes with their offspring, even if they belong to an entirely different race. Once the algorithm finds suitable parents, it adds that breeding combination to the list of Snowsting Yeti recipes. Once there are enough Snowsting Yeti recipes, the algorithm will move on to the next creature until there are recipes for every single creature in the game (with the exception of a few special creatures that don’t have any recipes at all).

Some basic code output from the breeding recipe generation algorithm.

Siralim 3: Story, NPCs, and a discussion about general gameplay!

As you might expect before we dive into the details about Siralim 3’s gameplay systems, we should talk about the story and the game’s characters first. At the end of this post, I’ll also talk about a pretty big change coming to the way the game “feels” when you play it. Let’s get started!

The Story

Although the game is called Siralim 3, you won’t be ruling over Siralim this time around. Instead, you’ll take charge of the kingdom of Nex, one of Siralim’s closest allies. You see, as you might have noticed in Siralim 2, the king was kind of an asshole. Those bosses he mercilessly slaughtered were simply trying to protect the world from his mad ideals. His people, including his most trusted friends, were loyal to him only out of fear. But after a while, bullying his own kingdom wasn’t satisfying anymore. He decided to attack and invade other kingdoms, not caring whether they were friend or foe. Countless kingdoms succumbed to the king of Siralim’s wrath, and as it turns out, Nex is the only remaining kingdom in Rodia that hasn’t been completely annihilated. But the hour of war is now upon us in Nex, and we must rally our people to try to fend off the attack.

You’ll start the game in Nex, which is under attack by a preliminary force of Siralim’s army. While the people of Nex are quite familiar with summoning and using creatures in small-scale battles, a century of relative peace has left your kingdom with its guard down. Very few of your people will survive the attack, and even if you manage to fend off the invaders, re-building your castle requires time that you don’t have to spare. If you manage to repel the attack, waiting around for recovery is not an option. You need to take the battle to Siralim and destroy the king and his army once and for all.

Even the gods no longer believe in the king of Siralim, and they regret placing trust in him to use the Nether Orbs for good rather than evil. As you might have expected, they’ve come to you to help Nex overcome this war. They will serve a much larger role in this game than they did in Siralim 2, and their personalities are now a lot more fleshed-out and interesting.

 

Sidenote: if you choose to be a queen in Siralim 3, the antagonist will be the queen of Siralim instead of the king.

NPCs and Castle Upgrades

Well, spoiler alert: most of the people of Nex will die within the first 10 minutes of the game. You had a blacksmith, but he was beheaded. The tavernkeeper was eaten alive by horrible Nether Creatures. And the enchanter? Well, you don’t want to know what happened to her.

In previous Siralim games, you could unlock these NPCs and other features by completing castle upgrades. However, that isn’t how it works in Siralim 3. Instead, you’ll meet and recruit these people during your travels as you seek out a way to destroy Siralim. Some of these people simply might be looking for a kingdom to join, while others might be under attack or give you a task to complete in exchange for their undying loyalty. Others might even be defectors from Siralim.

From a gameplay perspective, I think this will make the game flow a lot more smoothly. The castle upgrade system in previous Siralim games presented an illusion of choice; after all, when would you not want an enchanter in your kingdom? Aside from that, rituals made this system feel even more cumbersome, so those are not in Siralim 3 at all. Now, you’ll simply unlock these NPCs as you progress through the game’s storyline. After moving in to Nex, many of these NPCs will have side quests for you which will unlock even more of their potential. For example, the blacksmith will give you quests that, upon completion, unlock new artifacts for him to craft.

A Classic Game

In some ways, Siralim and Siralim 2’s progression feels kind of cheap. For the most part, you and your creatures leveled up every battle or two, and while resources may have been scarce early on in the game, you probably had so many later on that you didn’t know what to do with all of them. Aside from that, the levels of your creatures didn’t seem to matter that much – a level 300 creature could fare pretty well against a level 350 creature.

In Siralim 3, leveling up will take a bit longer than before. Don’t worry, the pacing of the game will remain the same – I’m not going to make it more of a grind or anything, but I want each experience level to have more of an impact on your successes and failures than in previous games. Aside from that, creatures will gain stats exponentially when they level up. For example, in Siralim 2, each level simply granted a creature +20% to all of its base stats. In Siralim 3, each level grants a creature +20% to all its base stats as it did before, plus an additional amount equal to a function of its level. With the help of these changes, leveling up should feel a lot more rewarding and impactful.

You’ll also find that the resource system is more balanced than before. Power Balance has been removed from the game, so there’s no need to worry about that anymore. In addition, Power is now considered a normal resource just like Brimstone, Crystal, Essence, and Granite. Each resource will still be used for different things, and I am trying to make sure that players value all resources equally.

Another major change is how the death penalty is handled. In Siralim 1, you lost a percentage of your total resources when your party was wiped out. I don’t really like that since it had a tendency to increase the game’s difficulty simply because you died. That feels really inconsistent to me. That’s why in Siralim 2, the penalty for dying was a loss of Power Balance. But not only is Power Balance not in Siralim 3, it also caused players a lot of frustration because Power Balance was so tedious to maintain. The worst part about both of these death penalties is that because of the way the math works out, these penalties either annoyed players or players simply didn’t care about them at all, so they were happy to recklessly charge into a realm without considering the consequences of death.

Instead, here’s how the death penalty works in Siralim 3: every item you acquire in a realm (aside from resources) will be added to a “Pending” category in your inventory because they’re all tainted by Siralim’s corruption. These items cannot be used while they’re “pending”. After you find the Teleportation Shrine and teleport to a new realm or back to Nex, the Teleportation Shrine will dispel the corruption from these items so you can add them to your inventory. If you die in battle, the items will be lost forever. This death penalty will add a bit of tension to the game because if you find an extremely rare item a realm, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to keep it if you die in battle. And since enemies now continuously spawn in realms, you can’t try to cheat the system by clearing out all the enemies and then opening up the treasure chests. This death penalty only applies to realms past a depth of 10. Huge thanks to Umaro on our forums for this idea!


What do you think of Siralim 3 so far? Are you excited? As always, if you have any suggestions for the game or want to talk about this post, please leave a comment here or check out our forums!

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 (Edit: changed my mind!), 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.

Excited? Let’s talk about it! I’m open to any suggestions or feedback. Take a look at our forums and let’s make Siralim 3 the best game it can be!

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 about Nintendo Switch?
A: Siralim 3 is made in GameMaker Studio 2, which does not support Switch either. That’s Nintendo’s fault, though. Maybe someday!

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!