Siralim is a creature-taming RPG with Roguelike elements, and is now available on the Vita. We spoke with Zack Bertok from Thylacine Studios to find out more about the game.
Hi Zach, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Can you tell us about how you got into developing games and Thylacine Studios?
Hey, thanks for the interview! Like many other developers, I’ve wanted to create games since I was very young. Eventually, I found the time and money to fulfill this ambition so I founded Thylacine Studios. Siralim is our first and only game, but there’s plenty more to come soon!
Today we are talking about your game Siralim. What exactly is it?
You’re the ruler of your own kingdom called Siralim. In short, your duty as king or queen is to explore randomly generated dungeons called “realms” and complete quests. Along the way, you’ll collect creatures to fight for you in battle. You can equip your creatures with enchanted artifacts to grant them new abilities and powers. On your journey, you’ll also find tons of different spells and unique items to allow you to customize your team even more. As a reward for winning battles, you’ll receive some resources. You can invest these resources into upgrades for your castle to unlock new rooms and NPCs, such as a blacksmith, enchantress, a creature egg hatchery, and even a battle arena.
What sort of gameplay can gamers expect to experience in Siralim?
There’s not much of a story to be found, but the depth of gameplay is where Siralim truly shines. There are over 300 creatures to collect, and each one has a unique ability. You can fight with 6 creatures in your party at a time, so it’s fun to come up with interesting combinations. Dungeons and quests are all randomly generated and there are no level caps, so the game can be played forever and you’ll always have something new to do. There’s plenty of room for customization as well. You can enchant your creatures’ equipment using hundreds of different crafting materials, collect spells, upgrade your castle, and much more. Where it lacks in flashy graphics, Siralim makes up for it with deep gameplay.
What made you want to bring the game to the Vita?
Siralim is heavily inspired by Dragon Warrior Monsters for Gameboy. It was such a great game to play on the go, and I’m hoping fans of DWM will be able to appreciate that same nostalgic experience when they play it on their Vitas.
Do you have an update for EU Vita owners on Siralim’s availability, or is that door firmly closed?
It’s coming to Europe for both PS4 and Vita, hopefully before the end of February. There’s no official release date yet, but it’s definitely coming soon!
Did you have to make any compromises to get the game running on the Vita?
A lot of recoding was needed to get it running as intended. Siralim has already been available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android for about a year now, and out of all the different devices I’ve tested the game on, the Vita is the weakest by far from a hardware perspective. There was a lot of FPS volatility at first, so I had to optimize the code with Vita in mind. You wouldn’t expect a game with such old-school graphics to have issues, but it was the calculations behind the scenes that were causing problems. Vita also wasn’t compatible with our save system, so that needed to be rewritten as well. Fortunately, everything turned out well in the end and the game runs very smoothly now!
What games have most impressed you on the Vita?
Soul Sacrifice, Dragon’s Crown, and Muramasa Rebirth are my favorites so far. Unfortunately, there haven’t been too many games that I’ve gotten overly excited about. I think the Vita is an awesome device, though, so I’m really excited to see if Sony does anything with it over the next few years.
Is there anything upcoming for the Vita that you think looks good?
I’m really excited about Darkest Dungeon. I’ve played it a bit on PC, but I think it would be way more fun on a handheld device like Vita.
What’s next for Thylacine Studios? Siralim 2?
Yep! We’re working on Siralim 2 now. I’m hoping to start public beta testing in a few months for Windows, and after it’s released we’ll roll it out to all the other operating systems and platforms, including Vita.
What do you think is the best Vita model, the OLED or the Slim?
Definitely the Slim! I think it’s an upgrade over the older model in every way.
We would like to thank Zack for his time with this interview! Have you picked Siralim up yet? We will have a review soon!
This interview first appeared in our March issue of The Vita Lounge Magazine. Stay tuned to our magazine for more exclusive and magazine first content soon!