The Negative: Devlog #23: Just checking in!

While I’ve been busy working on Siralim 3, Maarten, Tim, and JC (who is also working on a lot of Siralim 3 stuff!) have continued to work on new graphics, music, and sound effects for The Negative. While I don’t have any huge news to report in this devlog, I figured everyone might appreciate a status update on how the development cycle is going for The Negative.

As of a few days ago, Maarten completed work on all the monster sprites. There’s over 140 sprites total, including summoned monsters and things like that. They’re all animated with both attack and idle animations. JC has been working hard on skill effects for these monsters – each monster can have 4 active skills, so all of those require their own particle effects and sprites. In addition, many passive skills also require animated effects, so there are around 800 total skill effects in the entire game. That’s an absolutely insane amount, and yet JC is already about 80% done with these. He also finished all the buff and debuff effects, as well as battle ground effects such as pools of lava or circles of healing.

While JC finishes up the skill effects, Maarten has started working on the in-game environments. He’s starting with the Depression environment, which has a lot of snow, ice, and forgotten ruins. Each environment is made up of several sub-environments to keep things fresh for the player – our goal is to ensure that players won’t see the same tileset more than once every 10-15 hours. And when you do start seeing repeated tilesets, my hope is that the random generation will be so good that you’ll barely recognize it anyway. I’ve discussed this goal with Maarten quite extensively and we’re confident that we can pull it off. It’s going to be awesome. Oh, and each environment also needs its own town graphics since each environment also has its own distinct culture and lore. People who live in the Depression environment will live in very different houses than those in the Anxiety environment, for example. They’ll dress and act differently too.

One slightly frustrating part about developing The Negative is that there won’t be much to show you in the way of screenshots for a pretty long time. I decided that we should focus on creating monsters and skill effects first, so while there’s a lot of smaller bits of art to pass around, it’s almost impossible to show you what the actual game looks like since there are no actual environments or tilesets yet. But don’t mistake that for a lack of progress – the game is coming along very well and I am incredibly excited to continue working on it.

There’s still a ton of work left to be done, and I honestly don’t even know when we can expect an Early Access release at this point. The goal is still late 2018, but this game is easily the largest and most ambitious project I’ve ever created and I will take as much time as needed to make sure it’s absolutely perfect. In the meantime, you’ll have Siralim 3 to enjoy very soon!

The Negative: Devlog #22: Monster Spotlight – Wickerman

Moving forward, the devlog schedule for The Negative will change to every 4 weeks, rather than once per week. In turn, the devlogs will be a lot more detailed and will contain more pertinent information about the game outside of simple monster spotlights. Additionally, I’ll be announcing a new game soon which will have its own set of devlogs to fill in the gaps between the ones for The Negative.

The Wickerman is part of the Balance class and is one of the most useful disruptors in the game. This monster’s skills focus on turning your enemies’ positive effects into negative ones, and can even turn into quite a powerhouse thanks to its “Draw Power” skill.

 

Active Skills

Effigy: Deals a small amount of damage, and deals a small amount of damage to a random enemy.

Coalescence: Your monsters’ HP is redistributed so that each one has the same percentage of HP.

Draw Power: This monster’s stats are set to the highest of each of your other monsters’ stats.

Convergence: Enemies’ HP is redistributed so that each one has the same percentage of HP.

Passive Skills

Trickery: When an enemy damages one of your monsters with an attack, it has a 7% chance to heal them instead.

Despoil: When an enemy gains stats, it has a 15% chance to lose them instead.

Deface: When an enemy gains a buff, it has a 15% chance to gain a random debuff instead.

Misfortune: When an enemy is healed, it has a 15% chance to take damage instead.

The Negative: Devlog #21: Monster Spotlight – Coercer

The Coercer belongs to the Mind class, and I’m sure you can take a guess as to what its skills revolve around – convincing enemies to do your work for you! This monster doesn’t have a single skill that damages, heals, or buffs your monsters directly – instead, it forces its enemies to it for you.

Keep in mind that its skills also work on allies – for example, it can coerce an ally into healing your own party as well!

Active Skills

Telekinesis: Target deals a small amount of damage to a random enemy.

Kismet: Target increases your monsters’ Luck by a moderate amount.

Hidden Power: Target heals your monsters for a moderate amount.

Mind Rattle: Target deals a moderate amount of damage to all enemies.

Passive Skills

Mana Burn: When this monster uses a skill that targets an enemy, the enemy incurs 20% of the skill’s MP cost.

Clumsiness: When an enemy uses a Healing or Mana Draught, it has a 20% chance to use it on one of your monsters instead.

Self-Loathing: At the start of each enemy’s turn, they have a 10% chance to attack themselves.

Coerced Coexistence: Enemies’ healing effects are split between all enemies.

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.