Gamplay and Story improvement ideas

Hi, guys! Thank you for making this fun game. I’ve thought of a few things that could make it better, perhaps. Lemme know what you think.

Gameplay/UI

Most offensive spells seem geared more towards causing debuffs than anything else. How about having Spell Protection function as spell resistance vs. all spells cast by the enemy? Or making it similar to the Necromancer’s Black Mirror ability? How about having a defense vs. spellpower check or something to resist debuffs? One or both of these would be rather nice, and it would make +defense items useful even to a berserker fiend who has a stronghold and siren oracle already in his party. As things stand, debuffs utterly kill my party and I have no way to defend against them.

Perhaps add the ability to teach a creature one or two spells, which may automatically proc in given situations, much like the Nature Priest’s reactionary healing ability. These might proc 5-15% of the time on a creature’s turn. It could be a thaw spell (to counter freezing in self or others, obviously), or a minor elemental bolt, or a minor healing or barrier or something. This allows a bit more customization beyond the inherent abilities of creatures and imparted abilities of items. Creatures could have their own magic stat for spellpower (and proc chance) for these autofire spells, or else could use the character’s spellpower. Shrug.

It is not readily apparent that I am supposed to use the Q and E keys for everything. Please either add something saying so on the startup screen, and/or make the Enter key also work like the E key, and backspace work like Q. Plus, arrow keys. If someone had a broken left hand, playing Siralim would be very hard. (Although as a leftie, I do appreciate that the key setup is in my favor for once! :slight_smile: )

Having only two lines of text at a time means that I need to mash the E key far more than necessary in order to move the text along. Why not a larger, taller, message box on the left side of the screen instead of a thin one at top?

It doesn’t make sense for merchants to accept all resources in equal measure as currency. I recommend introducing real money in some fashion, and perhaps also not having merchants in rather dangerous realms where they may be killed. Or gambling dwarves, for that matter, though power dwarves who can teleport at will belong there as much as anywhere.

It would be cool if the number of citizens I have recruited to the kingdom contributed to the game beyond simply being a means of completing a duty.

Story

So, the king dies. There is apparently no queen. I am the only heir. And in this situation, I just now start learning magic and summoning. Who is taking care of the day-to-day affairs of the kingdom? Laws, economy, war, etc.? Why did nobody train me before now to prepare me to succeed my father, the king? And am I the only one in the kingdom capable of summoning creatures? Who is controlling the creatures that roam the castle? They all are sentient and capable of speech? That’s… unsettling. Isn’t it degrading that I put mine in a stable if they are able to speak and advise me like the ones in the castle? No human guards, either, really. Also, why do I have two knights as primary counselors? No wizards in the throne room? Also: why is there no throne? These things don’t make sense.

Here are some ideas to make it make more sense.

The king dies of old age, something not even resurrection scrolls can fix. Which is fine, since resurrecting a member of the royal family is punishable by death, and the resurrected person must forswear the crown for himself and any descendants he produces after resurrection.

The queen – a character missing from this game – will run the day-to-day affairs of the realm as regent. She was the power behind the throne all along, anyway, since her husband was off questing and playing hero. She may occasionally give quests based on the needs of the realm at the time, such as having you surrender a creature of a specific type or any creature of a given level or higher to permanently be a soldier either within the castle or abroad. Such a quest would give pretty big bonuses, of course, due to the time investment. Other quests may be for specific construction rituals which modify the not-yet-shown town in some fashion, such as constructing mines or whatnot.

The queen herself has no knack for magic at all. There should be a wizardly advisor, and perhaps keep one of the two advisors a knight.

The King actually tutored you in your youth in the ways of magic. While magic of the mana-and-scroll variety is accessible to anyone with the brains and education to learn it, some restriction exists on summoning. Here are possibilities:

  1. A covenant with the gods allows a unique gift to the royal line to have one, and ONLY one, summoner at a time, who must be the official monarch of the realm. (This means your mother is your regent, but you are the true titular monarch.) As such, while you may have been schooled in magic prior to this point, only upon your father’s death can you summon your first creature. This option does nothing whatsoever to explain the creatures running amok in the castle, however.

  2. Any mage can theoretically summon one and only one creature; summoning and controlling multiple requires a special and rare artifact or ritual or both. The artifact could be a misc item that stays in your inventory personally after your father dies. If you go with the ritual route, you were baptised in the goblet of power in your infancy and your father performed a ritual that imbued you with a unique gift of magic befitting the heir-apparent and future monarch. This ritual approach is compatible with the covenant with the gods approach above.

  3. Common law or custom or religious doctrine (see covenant above) outlaws anyone but the monarch to summon, or other such limits exist. While any mage is able to summon, only the monarch may do so legally. This means any rogue mage you come across, whether hostile or not, should be executed on the spot as either guilty of treason or blasphemy or both.

  4. Any mage with access to a brazier can summon creatures. They are an integral part of not only your army, but the armies of other realms.

As it stands, Siralim has limitless gameplay of a style somewhat similar to Pokemon, but it lacks a storyline and your character lacks motivation and, well, an identity. How about introducing a rival empire into the mix who can send foes against you in either a special mode (which calculates battles on a larger than 6v6 scale) or ambush you in the realms? (See suggestion on queen drafting some of your creatures.) Perhaps you have an evil brother or sister as a rival claimant to the throne who likewise has both an army and the ability to summon creatures. This makes sense if all the royal line has the summoner’s gift. If your powers are divinely granted, perhaps other deities bless rival realms and the conflict is as religious as it is political between different kings.

Another thought: have barrier and invisibility work against spells and indirect attacks (like the Servant Hunter’s glaive). If the glaive hits half as hard as it does against the primary target, then check half the Servant Hunter’s attack vs. half the secondary target’s defense, instead of halving the damage done against the primary target.

This seems a bit like the new system showcased in this thread: https://forums.thylacinestudios.com/t/1102.

It is not readily apparent that I am supposed to use the Q and E keys for everything. Please either add something saying so on the startup screen, and/or make the Enter key also work like the E key, and backspace work like Q. Plus, arrow keys. If someone had a broken left hand, playing Siralim would be very hard. (Although as a leftie, I do appreciate that the key setup is in my favor for once! :) )

I think it says so on the start-up screen (it should be black with white text), though I haven’t read it in a while since I discarded it and I don’t know how to get it back (if you can).

I like that it uses Q and E, having only six keys in a small area to do everything is really nice. I wouldn’t use Enter and Backspace but it could be an option. Note that you can rebind keys in-game, though.
Also, I’m right-handed but I really wouldn’t like to play the game with the arrow keys. I’m way more used to the WASD control scheme since that pretty much what every other game uses. And arrow keys on laptops mostly suck! They are too small on mine so I really hate using them.

About the story, those are some pretty cool elements! I don’t know if the sequel will feature a strong storyline or if it will keep it light for the player to imagine it themselves, but I would definitely pick some ideas in what you said! I particularly like the first two options. The second one makes more sense with all the creatures wandering in the castle, but I prefer the “divine gift” idea as it makes the player more special.

@Zack: Not really related but I’d like it if we were able to go outside the castle and build things there. Also, have you ever thought of creating some sort of mines? They would let you create resources without battling. I am on a brimstone and crystal shortage at the moment due to heavy transmuting sessions (I only want a Topaz Attunement, why are you so mean, RNGesus?!) and it would be nice to generate some resources—not much to not break the balance of the game, though.

@Gavin: As Lethrblaka said, you can rebind the keys in the options menu, and the controls are displayed at the start of the game. As for how abilities interact with each other, that’s pretty much a limitation to the way the game was coded. Siralim 2 will feature a more flexible codebase, so buffs like Barrier will be able to absorb splash damage and things like that.

@Lethrblaka: Missions will take care of extra resources when you need them. You can instruct your creatures to raid a kingdom and target a specific type of resource. And yes, there will be a story this time around. Nothing too heavy, but I think it will still be pretty fun. The story involves 10 unique boss fights that put more focus on strategy than stats/overleveling/getting better items, so it should be a refreshing break the normal game.

Good reading :slight_smile:
@Zack, …here’s another one with a taste for siralim, hungry for more… Bring on the buffet

The proposed invasion system could’ve been coupled with a set of surrounding locale maps with resource sites.

1 2 3
4 x 5
6 7 8

(where ‘x’ is the castle, with 8 ‘regions’ around it)

The invasions might simply halt resource production until dealt with?

Further development could’ve utilized an offensive effort, to take the battle to the enemy, raiding their base of operations & effectively halting invasions for 24-72 hours…

(shrugs) ::slight_smile:

Looking forward to s2, merry Christmas 2015

Well, now I’ve come back to Siralim after letting it simmer for several months. I saw a few improvements and whatnot, and then noticed Siralim 2 was out. I looked at a Let’s Play, somewhat skeptical, but it looked good.

30 hours in, and I’m loving it. I love the way the shade boss on 19 (Shackler) messes with your head. This game has been expanded and streamlined in wonderful ways. Still some room for improvement, but this is much better. Well done, guys!