Happy New Year! 2018 Retrospective

A Look Back at 2018

2018 has come to an end, and what a year it’s been! Let’s start by looking at everything that happened this year, and then discuss what’s coming in 2019.

 

Siralim 3 was released!

In May, Siralim 3 entered Early Access on Steam. Thanks to the excellent feedback provided by our community, we launched the full game on Windows, Mac, and Linux just five months later in October. And only one week after that, we released the game on Android and iOS as well.

Siralim 3 is already the most successful game in the series by far. Not only has it earned the best reviews on all platforms (96% positive on Steam, and 4.9 stars on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store), it is also on track to sell more copies than either of its predecessors. I’m very proud of how Siralim 3 turned out, and it has been a sincere pleasure to talk with other players about the game and collect feedback to make it even better.

Following the release of Siralim 3, we also released two major content updates:

  • “More Is Better”, which added tons of new content to the game, including new Nether Bosses, a pseudo-gambling system (Shady Dealer), new items, new quests, new achievements, and so much more!
  • “Enter the Ring”, which added a progression system to the Arena, improved the Tavern Brawls system, and added new creatures and spells to the game. Oh, and let’s not forget the dozens of quality-of-life improvements that came with this patch as well!

We also hosted two in-game, seasonal events for Siralim 3 for Halloween and Christmas. These events offered new challenges to players and rewarded them with exclusive creatures, items, and more.

 

Siralim and Siralim 2 were physically released on PlayStation 4 and Vita!

This year, console players were able to purchase both Siralim and Siralim 2 in physical form for PS4 and Vita. Only 4000 copies of each game were available, and they sold out within a day. Hopefully, you managed to snag the copies you wanted before they were gone!

 

Community has never been so important.

Ever since I started developing games, I dreamed about having a growing community of players that would stick around and play/discuss our games for years to come. Five years later, I think we’re finally having some success on that end. Our Discord server has up to 450 players on it at a time, and players have been interacting with each other on social media now more than ever before. My favorite part about our community is how welcoming we are toward new players. It has been a humbling experience to watch our playerbase expand over time, and I won’t ever take that for granted.

In order to aid in the growth of our community, I decided to hire a new graphics artist who focuses solely on creating art for our social media, blog posts, website, and things like that. His name is Raleigh, and he is responsible for all the images we’ve been posting on social media this year. Holiday announcements, creature redemption codes, Creatures of the Week, and just about everything else you see on Facebook, Twitter, reddit, our forums, and our blog are all drawn by Raleigh.

I’ve also been very lucky to work directly with a few Siralim players this year.

Mario (Umaro) and Sergio are both Siralim players who wrote all the lore for the creatures in Siralim 3. They went above and beyond my expectations for this project, and the result is a breathtakingly deep volume of lore for players to read and enjoy.

Another familiar name around the community is “gay monster dad”, who drew all the sprites for the creatures we gave away for Halloween and Christmas. Originally, I had no plans at all to have seasonal events in Siralim 3, but GMD’s ideas for holiday creatures were so endearing that I couldn’t help but ask him if we could add some of his work to the game. GMD also programmed an awesome bot for our Discord server that serves as a robotic wiki that allows you to ask it questions about the game! And, if that’s not enough, he also wrote a bunch of useful guides for Siralim 3 on Steam.

“Unagio Lucio” is yet another player who has contributed some awesome new art to Siralim 3. Unagio has already re-designed the overworld sprites for Gargantuans and Spectres, and he’s working on even more as we speak. They’re clear upgrades to the original sprites, and they make for a better game.

Lastly, several people contributed singular palettes to the game. These palettes are what give Singular Creatures their unique color scheme. In particular, DragOhNite and Umaro contributed the majority of these palettes (426 and 265, respectively), and without their help, Siralim 3 wouldn’t have Singular Creatures at all.

And let’s not forget everyone who contributed to the wiki. Fairwyn came back again and created yet another wiki for the Siralim series, making this her third wiki contribution for Thylacine Studios’ games! I know a lot of people contribute to the wiki daily, so thanks to everyone who has added data to it this year!

It’s one thing to find some random freelancer from reddit to work on these games, but it’s a whole other world to have the opportunity to work with the players themselves. These people genuinely care about the game, and I think it is very apparent that Siralim 3 is a gift of love from the community itself. If you see any of these players on the forums or Discord, please thank them! The game wouldn’t be half of what it is today without their help.

 

2019 and Beyond

Alright, enough about the past. Let’s get to the good stuff! 2019 is going to be our biggest year yet. It’s almost ridiculous.

 

More Siralim 3 updates!

We still have two seasonal holidays that we plan to add to the game: one for Easter, and one for some sort of made-up summer festival. As you probably expect, these events will reward players with exclusive creatures and items.

We’re going to make some improvements to the Halloween and Christmas events as well. Originally, I didn’t get to spend as much time on these events as I wanted, so I’m going to add some new things to them and make them more interesting.

There are plenty of smaller events in store as well, and you’ll have the opportunity to unlock even more wardrobe costumes and titles in the coming months! Outside of that, I have plenty of quality-of-life improvements that I still want to add to the game.

 

Siralim 3 is coming to consoles.

We’re bringing Siralim 3 to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in 2019! I am very excited about the Xbox and Switch ports in particular, because this will be the first time I’ve ever released a game on either of these consoles. I don’t have an ETA for these releases yet, but I’ll announce a release date as soon as I can.

 

The Negative – Kickstarter and Demo

You didn’t forget about The Negative, did you?

For those who don’t know (or remember) what The Negative is: it’s our most ambitious game to date. It’s a dark, evocative RPG that is all about capturing monsters. It’s going to be very different from the Siralim games, but it will still have the depth of gameplay and chunks of innovation that you’ve come to expect from us.

My goal for 2019 is to have a demo version of The Negative ready for you to play. I’m hoping to have one full environment ready for you to experience. You’ll be able to walk around, fight enemies, complete a few quests, and see how the game plays. It’ll probably be more of a technical demo rather than a full gameplay demo, but I want to give you something to try as soon as I can.

Alongside the release of the demo, I’m also going to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the game. Honestly, The Negative is going to be completed whether the Kickstarter is successful or not, but I’ll use these funds to make the game even better. For example, I really want to add voice acting to the game, so that will be the primary focus of the Kickstarter. The success of the Kickstarter will also determine how much post-launch content I can add to the game.

Also… I’ve completely reworked the design of the game since I first announced it a couple years ago. If you followed along with my development blog posts for the game, you’ll have to forget everything I told you about The Negative. It’s going to be a much better game than I originally planned, and unlike any other game you’ve played before.

 

Blog posts will return!

I will start posting regularly on the blog at thylacinestudios.com again. Early in the year, I’ll write one general game development post per week. Later on, I’ll write even more posts to discuss the reworked version of The Negative along with some other surprises that I can’t talk about just yet. I’m working on some other things behind the scenes that aspiring game developers might find useful as well.

 

More is better.

Creature of the Week? That’s not going to be enough anymore. From the first day of January 2019 onward, I’ll post a Creature of the Day on our Facebook and Twitter every single day of the week. This all-new format includes more details about the creatures than ever before, including their lore, trait, and base stats. There are over 750 creatures in the game, so those should last us for quite a while!

 

All-new merchandise.

Raleigh is going to design some awesome new Siralim merchandise for us to sell. There will be new t-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, mousepads, posters, and much more. All of these products will feature hand-drawn art based on Siralim creatures and characters!

 

And so, so, so much more.

There’s plenty more in store for 2019, including at least one major thing that I’m dying to tell you about, but I can’t quite yet. I want you to know that we’re firing on all cylinders now, and you can expect new content and games to come out at a much faster pace with higher quality than ever before.

 

Thanks For Everything!

Outside of the people I mentioned in the “Community has never been so important” section above, I’d also like to thank the following people:

JC Malapit, for his work on Siralim 3. JC is working on The Negative now, and you can see the fruits of his labor in the screenshot I posted earlier in this post.

Josh Queen, for producing the amazing soundtrack for Siralim 3… with plenty more to come in the future.

Tim Bongiovanni, for his work on The Negative’s soundtrack. I can’t wait to share some samples of his work with you!

TouchArcade, because I still think they are one of the major reasons the Siralim name was able to become popular enough for the games to be successful. TA still support our games to this day, and we are grateful beyond words for their help.

Jason Walsh, for being a great friend and fellow developer. Outside of releasing his own game (Monster Crown), he’s also going to play a really big role in some things that are happening in 2019 for us – but unfortunately, I can’t talk about any of it quite yet.

All the content creators who create videos, write guides, and post fan art on our forums and Discord.

Everyone who we’re lucky enough to interact with on our social media platforms, our forums, and our Discord server. I can’t even count the number of days I’ve felt burned out and frustrated, and then someone sends me a quick “thank you” message via e-mail to pick me up and make me want to crank out another 12 hours of work.

And last, but absolutely not least, I want to thank you. If you’re reading this, you’re who drives Thylacine Studios to make more games. You’re the best.

 

Happy New Year! We can’t wait to make 2019 our best year yet.

– Zack Bertok

7 thoughts to “Happy New Year! 2018 Retrospective”

  1. Glad to see you get the success you’ve deserved all this time, Zack. There’s a community that supports you, but it was your passion and willingness to engage with that community that enabled it to grow. Great work, man.

  2. Zack. You support iOS mobile gaming without all that free stuff shenanigans and I will continue to support you while you do.
    I also buy the Steam versions just to help you as I tend to play on my iPad more these days.
    Your passion about your games is shown in your posts in the various gaming forums and there is a small and dedicated mobile gaming community that will always support you.
    I sincerely hope that 2019 brings you success and good fortune

  3. About the Kickstarter campaign, make sure you advertise it! There are several I would have participated in that I found only after they were finished, since I only saw Kickstarter for X is Un/Successful on game media sites. I will definitely back The Negative based on all the great work you’ve done!

  4. thank Zack, i played 800 hours siralim 3 the only game i played so much its final fantay X, my first final, i’m so excited to know that are planned more expansions of siralim 3 and i’m so curious to see the negative. i think i’ll play almost 400-500 hours 🙂

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