The Negative: Devlog #20: Monster Spotlight – Tokoloshe

The Tokoloshe is a Balance monster that harnesses evil voodoo magic to manipulate its foes in strange ways. This monster can force other monsters to attack themselves, shuffle their stats, and move them all around the battlefield at will. This monster also has a few reactive passive skills that cause it to deal damage when enemies perform certain actions, such as attacking or moving.

 

Active Skills

Evil Eye: Deals a small amount of damage, or a large amount of damage if the target is in the center position.

Discombobulation: Target’s stat values are shuffled.

Jinx: Target attacks itself.

Black Wind: Deals a moderate amount of damage to all enemies and moves them to random locations.

Passive Skills

Crossfade: This monster deals 15% more damage to enemies in the middle of their column or row.

Hex: At the start of battle, afflict a random enemy with Silence, and another random enemy with Scorn.

Voodoo: When an enemy attacks, they take a very small amount of damage.

Pressure: When an enemy is forced to move against its will, it takes a small amount of damage.

The Negative: Devlog #19: Monster Spotlight – Nix

This monster is definitely one of my favorites. The Nix is a psychic ninja that belongs to the Mind class. Its skills are all about dealing quick and clever damage or surviving incoming attacks in unconventional ways. This monster’s sole drawback is that its skills are “selfish” by nature – it doesn’t do much to help your other monsters in battle.

Active Skills

Backstab: Deals a small amount of damage, or a moderate amount of damage if the enemy isn’t in the front column.

Psychic Shurikens: 6 random enemies take a small amount of damage.

Preparation: This monster gains a moderate amount of Speed, then becomes Invisible.

Smoke Bomb: Enemies take a moderate amount of damage, and the weather is changed to fog. (Note: the “fog” weather effect causes all monsters to have a chance to miss attacks)

Passive Skills

Ambush: At the start of battle, this monster becomes Invisible.

Cloak of Shadows: Your monsters are immune to the adverse effects of fog and wind.

Shadow Focus: When an ally takes damage, this monster gains a small amount of Power. This skill can only activate once per turn.

Shadow Clone: When an enemy attacks, this monster has a 15% chance to summon a shadow clone of itself. The clone swaps positions with the enemy’s target before it attacks.

The Negative: Devlog #18: Monster Spotlight – Soulcaster

Today’s monster spotlight is all about the Soulcaster, a Life-class monster that interacts with its enemies’ stats for its own benefit. This monster is extremely useful when dealing with enemies who heavily rely on buffing their stats. In the hands of a skilled player, this monster is capable of dishing out some massive damage as well.

 

Active Skills

Soul Arrow: Deals a small amount of damage. An additional 20% of the target’s Power is used to determine the amount of damage dealt.

Manipulate Fear: Target loses a moderate amount of Luck, and takes damage equal to 50% of the amount of Luck lost.

Legendary Pain: Enemies take a massive amount of damage, plus damage equal to 7% of their Maximum HP.

Dark Metamorphosis: Swap location, stats, HP, and MP with the target ally.

Passive Skills

Rend Spirit: At the start of battle, this monster steals a very small amount of MP from each enemy.

Soul Shield: When this monster takes damage from an enemy, the damage is mitigated by 15% of the enemy’s Defense in addition to this monster’s own Defense.

Soul Mirror: When this monster takes damage from an enemy, and the enemy has a higher Resistance than this monster, the damage is mitigated by the enemy’s Resistance instead.

Muted Life: When an enemy is healed, this monster steals 15% of the amount healed.

The Negative: Devlog #17: Monster Spotlight – Asura

The Asura is a hard-hitting Chaos monster that specializes in attacking multiple times per turn. While this monster is capable of dishing out large amounts of damage to one target at a time, its area-of-effect abilities leave something to be desired. In addition, despite having a couple skills that enable it to recover HP, this monster is pretty easy to take down if the enemies focus their efforts toward killing it off.

 

Active Skills

One-Two Punch: Deals a small amount of damage, and has a 50% chance to cause this monster to attack the target afterward.

Doomfist: Deals a large amount of damage to the target and moves it to the back column. If a monster is in the way, it takes a moderate amount of damage.

Chakra: This monster recovers a moderate amount of HP and MP.

Barrage: This monster attacks the target, then attacks 2 random enemies for 50% normal damage.

Passive Skills

Crush Punch: After this monster attacks, the enemy takes a small amount of damage.

Remorseless: This monster has a 20% greater chance to deal critical damage with attacks.

Many-Faced: When this monster is healed or gains a stat, it has a 35% chance for the effect to be duplicated.

Fury: When this monster attacks, it has a 50% chance to attack again. This effect can only occur once per turn.

The Negative: Devlog #16: Monster Spotlight – Jotun

On Facebook and TwitterI asked which of the following monsters you wanted me to reveal today. The choices were between Jotun, The Deceived, or the Alchemist, and you chose Jotun! If you’d like to participate in the next vote (coming in just a few days), remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Jotun is a Chaos monster that makes use of a terrain effect called “magma pools”. Magma pools can appear underneath a monster in battle, causing them to take damage over time. Monsters can move away from these pools, which of course costs them their turn. You’ll need to decide if your monsters’ safety is worth stalling the battle longer.

Active Skills

Eruption: Deals a small amount of damage and creates a magma pool at the target location. If this skill is used on your own monsters, it deals no damage.

Volcano: Deals a moderate amount of damage to all enemies, plus 20% damage for each magma pool on the battlefield.

Molten Reflection: This monster splits into 2 separate monsters. Each one has 35% of the original monster’s HP.

Firestorm: Deals a large amount of damage to all enemies. Each position on the enemy’s side of the battlefield has a 30% chance to erupt into a pool of magma.

 

Passive Skills

Lava Spawn: This monster receives healing over time from magma pools instead of taking damage from them.

Molten Shield: While this monster is standing in a magma pool, it takes 15% less damage.

Incinerate: This monster deals 5% damage for each consecutive time it has attacked or used a skill on the target.

Ashes to Ashes: This monster deals 5% more damage for each magma pool on the battlefield.

 

The Negative: Devlog #15: Monster Spotlight – The Crestfallen

On Facebook and Twitter, I asked which of the following monsters you wanted me to reveal today. The choices were between Pyromancer, The Crestfallen, or the Astrologian, and you chose The Crestfallen! If you’d like to participate in the next vote (coming in just a few days), remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Even though The Negative is a very different game than Siralim, and these games take place in very different worlds, I like the idea of tying all my RPGs together with some easter eggs. I don’t want players to feel like they’re missing out on anything major by not playing an older game, but I think the people who have been with us for a while might appreciate the subtle nods to past games every now and then. The Crestfallen is a good example of this.

The Crestfallen belongs to the Life class, and has a set of skills that are very unique compared to those of other monsters. Most notably, The Crestfallen cannot equip any items – instead, it receives a large, passive boost to all its stats. Of course, if you don’t like that play style, you’re welcome to get rid of the skill via monster fusion.

 

Active Skills

Cleave: Target and the enemies surrounding the target take a small amount of damage.

Sword Dance: Deals a small amount of damage to the target, then this monster moves to a random location.

Blade of Judgment: Deals a moderate amount of damage to the target. This skill is used repeatedly until it misses. This skill has a 100% chance to hit the target, and this chance is cut in half each time it is used during this monster’s turn.

Blade of Mercy: Deals a moderate amount of damage to the target. If the amount of damage exceeds 50% of the target’s Maximum HP, the target is killed.

Passive Skills

Abstinence: This monster cannot equip items. In addition, it has 35% more Power, Defense, Speed, and Luck.

Sweeping Blade: When this monster moves, it attacks a random enemy.

Riposte: When this monster is attacked, and the attack deals less than 20% of its Maximum HP, this monster counterattacks the enemy.

Soulstealer: When this monster kills an enemy, it gains a large amount of Power and Luck.

 

Do you know whose soul might be inhabiting this sword?

 

The Negative: Devlog #14: Monster Spotlight – Glumroth

Glumroth belongs to the Void class. This cute little guy doesn’t do much at the start of battle thanks to its low Speed (made worse by one of its passive skills!), but is capable of gaining a huge damage advantage over his opponents thanks to his many sources of Power gains and his ability to decrease his enemies’ Defense.

Glumroth also has a few very powerful passive skills, including some that deal damage to all monsters on the battlefield (including your own monsters!) and healing himself based on the number of monsters damaged. Perhaps most importantly, Glumroth has the unique ability to disable a piece of an enemy’s equipment – this is especially useful when an enemy is wielding a piece of unique gear that grants it an annoying, powerful skill.

Active Skills

Blood Feast: Target takes a small amount of damage and this monster recovers a moderate amount of HP.

Devour: Target takes a moderate amount of damage. If this skill kills the target, this monster recovers 50% HP.

Stomach Acid: Enemies lose a moderate amount of Defense.

Belch: Disables a piece of the target’s equipment for the rest of the battle, and creates a poison pool at the target’s location.

Passive Skills

Insatiable: When this monster is healed, and the amount of healing exceeds its Maximum HP, 20% of the amount it would have recovered is instead gained as Power.

Gluttony: At the start of battle, 20% of this monster’s Speed is converted to Power.

Noxious: At the start of this monster’s turn, it deals a small amount of damage to all monsters.

Voracity: When this monster deals damage, it recovers 1% HP for each monster damaged.

The Negative: Devlog #13: Monster Spotlight – Totemancer

The Totemancer belongs to the Chaos class. As its name suggests, this monster’s primary goal is to summon a wide array of versatile totems to aid your monsters in battle. While this monster’s innate skill set is more than capable of holding its own in combat, I expect that creative players will come up with even more interesting combinations with other summon-based skills.

Totems are unique compared to other summons in that the player cannot control them directly. Instead, at the start of their turn, they perform a specific function and then their turn ends immediately. Much like other summoned monsters, totems inherit stats from the monster that summoned them.

Active Skills

Totem of Fire: Summons a Totem of Fire. At the start of its turn, it deals a small amount of damage to a random enemy, then skips its turn. Only one Totem of Fire can be active at a time.

Totem of Earth: Summons a Totem of Earth. At the start of its turn, it heals one of your monsters for a small amount of HP, then skips its turn. Only one Totem of Earth can be active at a time.

Conjuration: Deals a small amount of damage to all enemies, plus 10% more damage for each summoned monster fighting on your side.

Totem of Storms: Summons a Totem of Storms. At the start of its turn, it uses the Conjuration skill, then skips its turn. Only one Totem of Storms can be active at a time.

 

Passive Skills

Salvaged Mind: At the end of battle, this monster regenerates a small amount of MP for each summoned monster that is still alive on your side.

All For One: This monster has 5% more Power for each summoned monster fighting on your side.

Totem of Frost: At the start of battle, summon a Totem of Frost. At the start of its turn, it decreases a random enemy’s Charge by 25%, then skips its turn. Only one Totem of Frost can be active at a time.

Horde: Your summoned monsters gain Charge 5% more quickly for each summoned monster fighting on your side.


Note: I’ll be gone until next Tuesday, which is why I decided to post this monster spotlight ahead of time. Have a good weekend!

The Negative: Devlog #12: Monster Spotlight – Spirit

The Spirit is a Life monster with a skill set that focuses on manipulating the battlefield in unconventional ways. Most of its skills change their effects based on the stats of other monsters in battle. In addition, it capitalizes on having high Resistances, which work closely with the Defense stat to mitigate a large amount of incoming damage.

Active Skills

Mortal Coil: Deals a small amount of damage. The damage is based on the target’s lowest Resistance.

Ancient Gift: Target gains a large amount of Power, Defense, Speed, or Luck – whichever is highest.

Decrepify: Enemies lose a small amount of Power, Defense, Speed, or Luck – whichever is highest.

Soul Blade: Deals a large amount of damage to the enemy with the lowest HP.

Passive Skills

Pierce Soul: This monster’s attacks and skills deal damage as if its targets have 15% less Resistance.

Magic Shell: This monster’s maximum Resistances are 75%. (The maximum is normally 50%)

Resilience: This monster has 15% additional Resistances. 

Impunity: This monster’s Resistances cannot be lowered.

Attack animations look really weird when they’re looped over and over again.

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.