Cosmoteer is a starship design, simulation, and battle game. Design a fleet of ships by laying out individual rooms and corridors, including cannons, lasers, shields, and thrusters. Battle other starships to earn bounties and use that money to expand your own ship. A dynamic crew and combat simulation makes every design decision important and interesting.
Design the greatest starship ever made using a starship designer that is easy-to-learn yet limitlessly flexible.
Build your ship by placing individual modules onto a grid—weapons, defenses, engines, reactors, crew's quarters, and more! Few restrictions and no pre-defined, creativity-limiting hull shapes mean you can create almost any ship you can imagine.
Learn the game systems by watching as your crew scramble to power and operate new modules in real-time as you add them. The Ship Designer is directly integrated into the gameplay—no need to interrupt your flow to tweak your ship or experiment with a new design.
Inspired by professional art programs, the Ship Designer has full support for Undo & Redo, Copy & Paste, rotation, and mirroring, so you can quickly and easily design giant starships. It even has a "blueprint mode" which allows you to plan for the future and design without restriction.
Every starship is operated by a crew numbering from half-a-dozen to hundreds—sometimes more than a thousand—of individually-simulated people.
A ship's crew is its lifeblood. Crew not only operate its controls, but they also carry supplies such as ammunition and power batteries to weapons and systems. When a weapon wants to shoot, the crew go pick up ammo or batteries at an ammo factory or reactor and bring them to the weapon—all simulated in real-time down to the individual people and supplies.
Crew are pretty smart and act mostly on their own, which is a good thing since there can be so many. Your crew are smart enough to figure out what controls need operating, what systems need ammo or power, and how best to get around your ship. They're even smart enough to avoid routes that are already jammed with other people.
The crew simulation is what makes starship design so interesting, because how fast a cannon can shoot or how long a shield can stay charged depends directly on how quickly crew can deliver ammo or power to it. As a player, you'll have to think carefully about how you design your ship's layout so that it operates at peak efficiency without exposing its more vulnerable (and sometimes explosive!) systems.
Every ship is part of a realistic 2D physics simulation. Ships have weight and a center-of-mass depending on their size and shape. Small ships with lots of thrusters are realistically fast and nimble, while large ships with proportionally fewer thrusters are naturally slower and more difficult to maneuver.
The position and orientation of your ship's thrusters affects its movement. Thrusters near its center-of-mass are great at pushing the ship forward, whereas off-center thrusters are effective at rotating the ship. Thrusters pointing forward are needed to decelerate, while thrusters pointing to the sides will let it strafe.
The A.I. will control your ship's thrusters, automatically determining the optimal ignition level for each thruster in order to fly your ship wherever you tell it to go.
Ships can collide and block weapons fire. The shape of a ship determines its collision properties. Weapons must be placed in locations that have good line-of-sight to the enemy, otherwise the ship will block its own shots.
Weapons obey the laws of the physics simulation. Whether or not a cannon or laser hits an enemy depends not on a roll of the dice but upon the physics of the weapon and its target.
Damage is modeled module-by-module, and each module can be individually targeted & destroyed. There's no big "health bar" for the whole ship—a ship is only "dead" once all of the modules that it needs to function are gone.
Some modules can explode causing collateral damage to the surrounding modules. This means that you'll have to think carefully about where you place your reactors and munitions. Too close to the edge and they'll be exposed to enemy fire; too far and your weapons won't fire fast enough.
Ships can break apart into multiple pieces when their connecting modules are destroyed. Usually this will be a crippling blow, but any piece that has a control room, power, and thrusters can continue to operate independently, potentially remaining a threat to the enemy.
Classic RTS-style controls make the game easy to learn. Simply right-click where you want your ship to fly, or right-click on an enemy to attack it. Advanced controls let you adjust the orientation, distance, and angle of attack.
Target your weapons to focus their fire on the vulnerable parts of enemy ships. Do you take out the weapons first, go for the explosive power core, or eliminate the command-and-control center? Every ship is different, and the right strategy varies greatly.
Command a fleet of ships, outmaneuvering and flanking the enemy to expose its weak side. Specialize your fleet's ships into roles however you see fit.
The surface of a ship is like an artist's canvas. The Ship Painter is even easier to use than the Ship Designer, requiring no drawing ability to make your ship look great.
Pick a color and texture to customize your ship's basic appearance. If you're not artistically inclined then no need to do more, but otherwise you can...
Add decals to decorate your ship. Every ship has two independently-colored layers of decals. Decals are small shapes, icons, symbols, letters, and numbers that you can stamp on your ship to give it extra visual flourish.
Painting your ship is free and has no effect on gameplay.
You are a bounty hunter, traveling from sector to sector, hunting down renegade enemies and destroying them.
Earn money for every enemy vanquished. Use your income to repair and upgrade your own ship, growing bigger and more powerful with every victory.
Explore a galaxy in search of bigger and more powerful enemies. As your own ship grows in size and power, you will soon be able to defeat even the strongest foes.
Expand your fleet by purchasing additional ships. The galaxy will crumble before your almighty armada!
Play in a creative sandbox mode if being a bounty hunter isn't your cup of Earl Grey.
Design ships with unlimited funds. The only limit in Creative Mode is your imagination! (And the power of your computer.)
Pit your designs against each other and import designs from other players, competing to be the master designer.
Or just turn on the A.I., sit back, and watch massive fleets annihilate each other! (Great for hosting A.I.-controlled tournaments!)
Everything you should expect from a great PC game, including customizable controls, windowed and borderless display modes, support for high-resolution displays, no mandatory locked framerates, and dozens of other options to tailor the game to your own preferences.
Attention to accessibility issues wherever possible in order to support gamers of all abilities. Every single control and mouse button can be remapped, the user interface can be made twice as big, and colors that convey meaningful information can be freely changed.
Unobtrusive tutorials that don't interrupt gameplay and are easy to dismiss or turn off altogether. There's no special "tutorial level" you need to play through—the context-sensitive tips are built-in to the main Bounty Hunter mode.
A mods manager makes it easy to install and uninstall mods created by the Cosmoteer community. A powerful modding framework lets mods change literally any part of the game data, opening up a universe of possibilities beyond the base game.
Given the lack of updates for the past couple of months, you'd be forgiven for thinking that I had stopped working on Cosmoteer. Thankfully, you could not be more mistaken!
I've actually been working on one of the biggest new features in the history of Cosmoteer: Multiplayer!
Those of you who have been following Cosmoteer for a really long time probably know that the original prototype versions had support for multiplayer in which players could design ships and battle them with their friends. But I realized that having to support multiplayer was dramatically slowing down the development of Cosmoteer, including development of singleplayer-only features. And so I removed multiplayer support from the game's code, hoping (but not expecting) that one day I would be able to bring it back.
Well, that day has arrived! I am incredibly proud and excited to announce that multiplayer is returning to Cosmoteer!
In this first version, multiplayer is a simple team-versus-team battle of up to 8 players spread across two teams. Each team has a certain amount of money (configured by the host) to spend on a fleet of up to 5 ships per player (or fewer, as configured by the host). Then the game starts and the players control their own ships, attempting to destroy the other team's fleet. The game ends and one team is declared the winner when either the other team's fleet is sufficiently destroyed or the timer runs out.
You can play with anyone on the same LAN (Local Area Network) as you, and you can also play with a friend anywhere else in the world by typing in the host computer's I.P. address. (There is not yet a public online list of games, but I hope to add that soon.)
This is just the beginning! This first version lays the coding foundation for more improvements to come. In the long term, I may add entirely different game modes, such as multiplayer co-op and creative modes. In the near future, I plan to add:
There's lots more details and plenty of other fixes and improvements in the full changelog.
You may be wondering why I've chosen to bring back multiplayer given the fact that I originally removed it because it was slowing down development too much. Wouldn't bringing back multiplayer cause all future development to become a lot slower?
Thankfully, the answer to that is mostly "no", and the reason for that is that I've taken an entirely different approach to implementing the multiplayer code.
The original implementation of the multiplayer code required that every single change in the state of the game (such as a ship firing a weapon, a ship moving a millimeter, a crew person walking a foot, or a bullet hitting an enemy) be synchronized among all players by sending packets over the internet. This was a huge problem for two very important reasons:
The new multiplayer code uses an entirely different approach that's called "deterministic lockstep". Essentially, this approach requires that two computers running the same version of the game with the same initial battle setup and same player inputs will simulate the game in exactly the same way. (Not even off by a millimeter, or else the butterfly effect will cause bigger and bigger errors until the game desyncs.) There are two big advantages to using deterministic lockstep:
There are, however, some important disadvantages to using deterministic lockstep:
While these downsides are significant, none of them are deal-breaking, and are certainly preferable than the problems caused by the original way I implemented the multiplayer code.
All in all, getting multiplayer working again was a pretty huge undertaking -- one that I wasn't even sure I could pull off -- but in the end I think it has proven to be well worth it. And I'm looking forward to playing a ton of Cosmoteer multiplayer as a result!
Last week I released version 0.11.0 of Cosmoteer. It, and version 0.10.7 before it, add some significant new features and improvements to the game's user...
Cosmoteer 0.11.2 has been released! It fixes several crash bugs.
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