Welcome to the first of many development blog posts for Siralim Ultimate! Each week, I’ll focus on one main feature of Siralim Ultimate and take a deep dive on its related game mechanics to give you a better idea about what to expect. I’ll also try to end each blog post with a list of frequently asked questions that some of you came up with on Discord and social media. My goal is to make Siralim Ultimate’s development process as transparent as possible. With all of that said – enjoy!
In today’s post, I want to talk about the way creatures are acquired in Siralim Ultimate. But, before I get started, I want to talk about what I dislike about the way creatures are acquired in the previous Siralim games.
Extraction, Cores, and Breeding
In Siralims 1 and 2, players used the “Extract” command on an enemy to hopefully obtain a Core that belonged to that creature. The more damage the enemy had taken, the greater your chance to obtain its Core. This Core could be taken to the summoning brazier in Siralim to summon the creature contained in that Core. In Siralim 3, this formula changed slightly – the chance to obtain a Core was no longer dependent on how much damage the enemy had taken, but instead it was based on how much Knowledge you had about that creature.
This system has a lot of problems. Here are a few:
- Many players preferred to create teams of creatures that could defeat enemies before they even took a single turn in battle. This means that some players never had the opportunity to Extract from an enemy because they killed the enemies at the start of battle. This caused some players to intentionally weaken their team to ensure that they wouldn’t kill enemies too quickly, which feels really bad.
- Extraction consumed your creatures’ turns, which feels awful when you’ve fine-tuned your entire team to work together in a specific order. Aside from that, it sometimes feels tedious to scroll down to the “Extract” command and then target a specific creature to obtain its Core. This might seem like a minor issue, but it really does interrupt gameplay when you’re “in the zone”.
- Cores had no other uses outside of summoning creatures. Many players had thousands of Cores in their inventories, and they didn’t serve any real purpose. Outside of the gameplay issues this presents, it also impacted game performance, bloated save file sizes, and much more.
- The system simply wasn’t interesting. It was a glorified Pokemon catching system with the added step of summoning the creature in your castle.
There are plenty more issues with the Extraction system, but the point of this post isn’t to convince you that it needs to change, so let’s move on.
Another way to obtain new creatures (especially in Siralim 3) was through the breeding system. Players could either find breeding recipes to obtain a certain creature, or experiment with their creatures and see what they could come up with on their own. I like this system a lot. It’s reminiscent of Dragon Warrior Monsters which is what Siralim is inspired by, after all.
(To be clear, this is a screenshot of Siralim 2’s breeding system in action.)
The problem is that there wasn’t a very good “secondary effect” for breeding. Heredity just isn’t interesting. And, to make matters worse, most players don’t understand how Heredity works anyway. It’s an extremely complex game mechanic, which is fine… but the reward just isn’t that noticeable, so why bother figuring it out? The end result is that breeding feels like it was very much forced into the game. That’s why I replaced it with the new Fusion system (which you can read about in my original announcement post for Siralim Ultimate), which I’ll discuss in a future dev blog post.
The Summon Meter
With all of that said, here’s how you’ll primarily obtain creatures in Siralim Ultimate:
At any time, you can open up your Creature Bestiary to view information about all the creatures you’ve discovered in Siralim Ultimate. You can review their stats, traits, read their lore, and much more. But, aside from all of that, each creature now also has a “Summon Meter” next to its name. After you kill an enemy in battle, the energy in that Summon Meter will increase. Most creatures will fill their meters up to 100% after only one kill, but some others (particularly event creatures and things like that) might take a few extra kills.
(See those meters that say “0%” next to each creature? Kill those creatures to fill up the Summon Meter and you can summon that creature!)
Once the meter reaches 100%, you can visit your summoning brazier in Siralim and summon that creature. At that point, the meter will reset to 0% again, and you’ll need to kill that creature again if you want to obtain another one. Alternatively, you can leave this meter at 100% in order to gain bonus Knowledge whenever you kill that same creature again. This incentivizes players to keep their meters at 100% instead of making them feel obligated to summon the creature without another thought.
The new system is easy to understand, convenient, and ties in with the Knowledge system to make for a smoother, more streamlined gameplay experience. As you might have guessed, this means that the “Extract” command has been removed from battle. In addition, “Core” and “Egg” items do not exist in Siralim Ultimate as they are no longer necessary with the new system.
Other Ways to Acquire Creatures in Siralim Ultimate
That’s not the only way to obtain creatures, of course. There are over 1000 creatures in this game, and it would be ridiculous to expect you to wait around for your favorite creature to spawn so that you can kill it and summon it. Here’s a brief overview of how you’ll obtain other creatures as well:
- There are 21 gods, and as your Favor Rank increases with each one, you’ll be able to purchase new creatures from them. Each god will eventually offer 10 creatures, so the gods will account for 210 creatures in total.
- Each realm has new objects that cause you to fight against a certain creature race. For example, you can now find Im Caves in Meraxis’ realm which will pit you against creatures from the Imler and Imling races. This means that if you want to obtain some Imlers or Imlings, you should visit Meraxis’ realm for a guaranteed chance to fight against them and fill up your summon meters for those creatures. Each realm has anywhere between 1 to 3 of these race-specific objects, so roughly 200-250 creatures will be easily obtainable in this way.
- Some creatures must be purchased, such as the Alementals from the Tavern or the Constructs from the Arena.
- Some creatures are obtained by completing side quests – most notably, this is how you’ll obtain all the Godspawns in the game.
- The rest of the creatures in the game (roughly half of them) must be obtained using the new “Summon Meter” system.
- There are a few other ways to obtain some rare creatures as well, but obviously, that would be a spoiler.
What do you think about the new system for acquiring creatures in Siralim Ultimate? I think it will take a lot of tedium out of the game and provide for a smoother, more satisfying gameplay experience. As an added bonus, it will cut down on inventory clutter with the removal of Cores and Eggs.
I’m keen to hear your feedback and answer any questions you have about the new summoning system. I’ll post the most frequently asked questions and answers at the end of next week’s blog post as well.
Most of these questions are related to the Kickstarter, since that’s the only thing I’ve posted about so far.
Q. I’m afraid that the game will be imbalanced if players are allowed to design their own traits and spells. What do you have to say about that?
A. Players won’t be able to blindly design a trait or spell with the guarantee that it will be implemented. I’ll do my best to make sure everyone gets what they want, but I won’t sacrifice the game’s balance for it. I’ll work with backers to ensure that their creations fit well with the game and won’t completely break it. Nothing to worry about!
Q. Will you launch Siralim Ultimate on consoles at the same time as on Steam?
A. No. Console launch will come long after the Steam release. I’m the only developer and programmer for these games, so I can’t possibly handle a simultaneous launch, especially since consoles are so much more difficult to work with. Steam will come first, and then mobile, and then the consoles – one at a time. I know that’s not what some of you want to hear, but it’s the only realistic way to handle a game launch as a one-man band. It’ll cut down on bugs and make for a better game in the end.
Q. What about physical rewards, such as art books, plushes, t-shirts, etc?
A. I’m not planning to offer physical rewards for this Kickstarter campaign. I want all the money to go directly toward the game. It’s what the players deserve. With that said, I respect that some people want to get their hands on some Siralim merchandise, and I will definitely keep that feedback in mind as I continue to expand our merchandise store in the near future!
Q. Will you offer any exclusive in-game content to backers?
A. No, because it feels really bad to miss out on exclusive content and I want everyone to have access to the same game content regardless of whether or not they backed our Kickstarter or not.
Please note that nothing mentioned in this blog post is finalized. I reserve the right to change or remove anything mentioned in this post at any time. If you’re reading this post after the game has already launched, your best bet is to forget everything you just read because very few of the things I write about will remain untouched in the final product.