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.


8 thoughts to “The Negative: Devlog #10: Skill Design”

  1. one thing that i am curios to know all the monsters will have a “negative” theme or some will have a “positive” aspect? the grimore has a more neutral look by the looks of it.

    1. They’ll generally all have a fairly creepy vibe. There are a few animated objects such as the grimoire and even an enchanted bell, but there’s nothing particularly happy or cheerful.

  2. I am so guilty of looking for combo’s that just annihilate the enemy as soon as the battle starts or one spell/action is performed.

    But in order to get these combos going, you had to build the right combination of creatures/artifacts/and spellgems. So , in that way you had to think a lot up front in order to not think at all further down the road. Kind of a trade off in that way. I hope there is room for these combos in the Negative…but I am not expecting Siralim 3 hahah.

    Even-pacing and interactive would be awesome. I love your designs in Siralim 1/2. Very excited for this project to take off.

    1. Thanks for the response! Yeah, Siralim was more about having a strategy before the battle even began, while The Negative is a healthy mixture of both before- and mid-battle strategy.

  3. Looking so forward to this game without knowing to much about it.

    I have had one wish all my life when it comes to monster collecting games and thats infinite randomly generated monsters.

    Monster 1 with 8 skills and monster 2 with 8 skills and the available combinations (8^8) from that breeding and then all “children” could breed with anothers 8^8 children and so on.

    That might be a bit tricky but think about the possibilities πŸ™‚

        1. I should also point out that the game will already have a “monster fusing” system where you can give an offspring any skills from the parents that you want in order to create your own, custom monster.

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