The Siralim Ultimate beta test has begun! Beta keys have been sent to all backers who purchased one. Check your spam folder – if you don’t see your key in a few hours, let me know. If you’re already an alpha tester, you don’t need to do anything. Enjoy the game!
Hey everyone, welcome back to the Thylacine Studios podcast! In this episode, I’m going to reveal the roadmap for Siralim Ultimate’s beta phase.
As you know, beta testing begins on November 12. If you’re already an alpha tester, nothing will change for you – you’ll be able to use the same Steam key for both alpha and beta, so you’ll be able to play the game like normal. If you’re waiting on a beta key, expect to see it in your e-mail by around 1pm or 2pm EST. The e-mail will contain all the information you need to learn how to activate your Steam key and start playing the game.
While we’re on this subject, I just want to thank all of our alpha testers for the valuable feedback they provided over the last couple months. With your help, the game is extremely stable right now, and honestly, I think from a gameplay perspective, it’s rock-solid as well. The only major complaint I saw during alpha testing was regarding realm properties, and after making a few adjustments to those, I really haven’t seen any core gameplay elements that players are unhappy with. That’s great news, since it means I can spend all my time on adding new content to the game rather than having to go back and re-do old gameplay systems.
So, with all of that said, let’s talk about what you can expect to see during beta testing. Now, keep in mind that I might not have time to fit all of this into beta – if that’s the case, you’ll see the rest of this content show up early on in the Early Access phase instead.
First, I’m going to add the Mailbox decoration to the game. Actually, I’m almost done with this one, so you can expect to see it very soon. The mailbox has two functions: first, it allows me to send you guys items and messages. When you load your save file, the game will retrieve messages and items from our server and you’ll be able to collect them by interacting with your mailbox. Generally, I’ll hand out items for special events or to celebrate things like the game’s launch. The other function the mailbox has is that it allows you to input codes, or passwords, or whatever you want to call them to receive items. You might be familiar with this functionality if you played Siralim 3 – it’ll work exactly like Blanche, where you input a code and you can receive an item. I’m planning to make the mailbox a lot more interesting than Blanche’s password system was, though, and I’m hoping to use it a lot more frequently. I have some fun ideas to weave backer content into it as well, but that’s a topic for another time.
Next, as you might have guessed based on our last major content patch, I’m working on the Gate of the Gods. The Gate of the Gods allows you to challenge any of the 21 gods to a fight. These are all really challenging fights, and you can choose the difficulty level you want to fight them at. In order to challenge a god to a fight, you’ll need to collect keys to the Gate of the Gods by either defeating Nether Bosses and collecting their key fragments, or by completing a new mission that rewards you with keys. After you defeat a god, you’ll gain Mana for it just like a normal creature. The higher the difficulty level you chose to fight the god at, the more mana you’ll receive. After you reach 100% Mana, you can summon that god’s Avatar, which is a creature that looks exactly like that god and has a really powerful trait. In addition, Avatars have an exclusive Ultimate Spell Gem. Ultimate Spell Gems only have 1 Charge, but they recharge after each battle. If you’re strategic enough, you can find ways to build your party around these Ultimate Spell Gems and allow your Avatar to cast these spells multiple times in battle. You can only have one Avatar in your party at a time, so you’ll need to choose wisely. Unlike in Siralim 3, there isn’t any infinite progression planned for Avatars – I don’t want them to get too out of control and make your other creatures obsolete this time. However, I will probably add some additional rewards for the Gate of the Gods in the future. Oh, and I almost forgot: you can fuse your Avatars as well!
Another major system I’ve been working on lately is the addition of Rodian Creature Masters. Each creature race has its own master, which is an NPC you’ll find in realms that uses creatures from that race. When you talk to them, they’ll challenge you to a battle. These are fairly challenging fights – they’re easier than Nether Bosses, but they’re still pretty tough. A master will spawn in every single realm, and the type of master that spawns is based on the creatures that can spawn in that realm – so for example, if you want to fight the Angel master, you might want to visit Surathli’s realm since Angels normally spawn there. There are a lot of achievements for defeating masters – in fact, you’ll earn an achievement for every single master for each kill up to 10 kills. In addition, each master has a chance to drop a race-specific trait material. These materials are really, really strong. A lot of you will probably end up building your entire team around them if you want. They all incentivize you to create a team of creatures that belong to that master’s specific race. As an example, the trait material for Apocalypses causes your Apocalypse creatures to act as if they take 2 turns at a time. That’s a really useful trait since it pretty much doubles the effectiveness of all your Apocalypses’ traits since their traits grow more powerful based on the number of turns they take. Each master also has an exclusive wardrobe costume for you to unlock, and these are all ridiculously cool because they’re basically sets of armor that are made out of body parts of creatures that belong to the master’s race. If you’ve played Monster Hunter before, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Speaking of wardrobe costumes, after you defeat a master enough times, you’ll also unlock the ability to dress your character up as any creature from that master’s race. A lot of you have been asking for this for a long time now, and now you’ll finally be able to turn into a Dryad Raincaller or a Twisted Devil or whatever else you want. But that’s not all! Each time you defeat a master, you’ll also earn Mastery for that master’s race as well. Each point of mastery not only makes it easier for your creatures to kill enemies from that race, but it also empowers your own creatures from that race as well. There’s a cap of 50 Mastery per race, but that means you’d need to kill each master 50 times to hit the cap… so yeah, there’s realistically not a cap. Well, ok, I’ll probably regret saying that. Anyway, the final thing I want to mention about masters is that they’re entirely optional. There won’t be a realm quest to kill them, so you’ll never feel obligated to kill one if you don’t want to. There will be a Prophecy for these, but that’s it.
I’ve also been hard at work on new specializations. I’ve already designed the perks, Nieve has already finished the icons for the perks, and JC is working on costumes for them. I’m slowly chipping away at implementing them, and I will definitely add at least a few of them during beta. Some are really complex, while others are extremely straightforward. I think you guys are going to like them. They open up a lot of new playstyles, and some of them make you think about the game in a whole different way. You won’t be able to start the game as these new specializations because I don’t want to overwhelm new players with the ability to choose from 25, or even 30 specializations, so you’ll need to unlock these by completing a Project instead. Easy enough.
Creature Accessories are on the way as well. We don’t have too many yet – maybe 50 or so – but they look great so far. One example is a fiery aura that can be placed behind your creatures. I want to stress that accessories are just for looks, but they look really great and I think you guys will have fun customizing your creatures with them. You probably won’t find accessories in normal loot – they’ll probably be given to you as rewards for doing really crazy things, or maybe I’ll add a few to some of the game’s shops.
Another thing that I want to work on is adding more Nether Realms to the game. I think there are only what, 1 or 2 right now? Maybe 3? I don’t remember. I have plans for at least 20 more, so I’d like to start adding a few of those whenever I can to shake things up. I’m sure you guys are sick of running into the same Nether Realms over and over again.
Lastly, I want to talk about something that is probably kind of boring for most of you, but it relates to the Mac, Linux, mobile, and console versions of the game. For some insane reason, GameMaker (the engine that Siralim Ultimate was created with) updated to a new version that pretty much changes the way the entire engine works. It’s ridiculous, really. It’s like learning a whole new game engine. Luckily, it will try to convert old games to the new version, but Siralim Ultimate is absolutely massive – far larger than the average game made with GameMaker, if not THE largest game – so this is going to be a ton of work to get everything running smoothly and to iron out all the bugs. Normally, I simply wouldn’t upgrade GameMaker to the newest version so I could just ignore this issue entirely, but until I do this, I can’t release the game on any platform other than Windows – it’s a long and boring story about why that’s the case, but that’s just how it is. So, I’m going to need to take some time – hopefully only a week or so – and get all of that working. At that point, I can finally release Mac and Linux ports for everyone. I’m sorry for the delay on these – I definitely would have had them out by now if it weren’t for the issue with GameMaker.
Anyway, I do have a few more surprises planned for beta, but I’m not 100% sure if I can make them happen yet so I won’t reveal what they are just yet. That should do it for this episode. I hope you’re as excited as I am about what’s on the horizon for Siralim Ultimate! I’ll see you guys next time.