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.
This past Wednesday I released live to the world version 0.12.0 of Cosmoteer, and oh boy was this a big release! It's got new weapons, new defenses, a new game mechanic, and some great user interface improvements!
Probably the most exciting new feature is missiles. Missiles are long-range homing weapons that do high damage in an area-of-effect wherever they hit.
Unlike the other weapons, which require line-of-sight to their target, missile launchers can be safely tucked away on the sides of ships, thanks to the missiles' own homing and obstacle detection systems.
Similar to the cannons, missile launchers require their own kind of munitions -- that is, "missile parts". These missile parts are manufactured in a "missile factory" and then each missile part is hand-carried by the crew to the missile launcher.
Each individual missile is made out of four individual missile parts, and each crewmember can only carry one missile part, so it takes a lot longer to load a missile launcher than it does to load a cannon.
If you take a close look at the missile launcher itself, you might notice that there are only two possible locations for doors, and they're on the sides of the launcher instead of in the rear as one might expect. The "in-fiction" justification for this is because crew have to be able to reach the missile tubes to load them and therefore the only place the control panel could go was against the back wall. But there's a also a game design reason for this: I like to make different ship modules have various different sizes and door access locations so that you, the player, have to think more about the layout of your ship. I want designing a good ship to be a lot like solving a jigsaw puzzle, trying to get all the pieces to fit right. If all modules were the same size, it would be a lot easier to design a perfect ship.
Point Defense Systems
While very powerful, there is one major disadvantage of missiles: They can be shot down by the new "Point Defense Systems" that were also added in 0.12.0.
Point Defense Systems (PDS) are tiny automated gun turrets. They can't damage enemy ships, but, unlike other weapons, they can shoot down incoming missiles that come too close to them. PDS fire rapidly but are fairly inaccurate, and so it is often a good idea to cluster several PDS together to create a "wall" of gunfire which can shoot down almost all incoming missiles.
A ship without any PDS will be very susceptible to long-range missile fire from enemy ships.
The missile launcher isn't the only new weapon in 0.12.0 -- it also adds the "Electro-Bolt". This is a short-range weapon that fires bolts of electricity. While this electricity does little damage to enemy ships, any systems that get hit by an electro-bolt will be drained of some of their power. As such, electro-bolts are an effective counter against enemy energy weapons (laser blasters, ion beams, and other electro-bolts) and shields (when the electro-bolt hits the energy field it's treated as-if it hit the shield generator itself), but not effective against projectile weapons like cannons and missile launchers.
Version 0.11.4 added a feature where reactors and some other modules would cause collateral area-of-effect damage when destroyed. 0.12.0 extends this feature such that these modules also often start fires on the ship when they are destroyed. Additionally, cannons can also cause fires when their super-heated ammunition rounds are able to penetrate inside enemy ships.
Once a fire starts, it will continue burning until the module that is on fire is destroyed or the fire is put out. While crew can still walk through fiery areas, they do so much slower than normal and, worse yet, have a chance of being killed.
If a fire is not put out quickly, it is likely to spread to neighboring rooms. Fire spreads through open interior spaces and doors, but it cannot spread through walls or armor, or over exterior structure. Because fire will spread through doors but not walls, it may not be such a hot idea (pun intended) to put doors everywhere you can, because you will be helping fires spread faster.
In order for your crew to put out a fire, your ship must have a Fire Extinguisher, preferably one close by to the fire.
Your crew will automatically go pick up a fire extinguisher, bring it to the fire, and use it to put out the fire. Fire extinguishers only have limited use, so it can help to have several fire extinguishers handy to put out big fires.
A Conveyor Belt is a transportation system that helps crew move around large ships more rapidly. The conveyor belt moves only in one direction, and as long as a crewmember walks in the same direction as the conveyor belt, they will move 50% faster than normal. But if the crewmember walks in any other direction, they will go at only 1/4 their normal speed.
Because a conveyor belt only helps movement in one particular direction, it is not generally advisable to put them in 1-wide corridors, because any crew returning down the corridor will be slowed down to 1/4 speed, as well as impeding the speed of everyone else trying to go the "correct" direction. Conveyor belts are however often great for ships that are large enough for double-wide corridors, so that one side can travel in one direction and the other side can travel in the opposite. Crew are generally pretty smart about pathfinding and will almost always use the correct side of a double-wide corridor.
Because crew are pretty smart about picking the fastest path to get from point A to point B, you can also use corridors as a form of "indirect control", influencing the paths that crew will choose to take to and from their destinations.
Aesthetic Armor Pieces
For the past six months or so, Cosmoteer has had a little 1x1 triangular half-sized armor piece. Since it's half the size of regular armor, it doesn't have great protective value, but it's nice when, for aesthetic reasons, you want to make a ship with semi-rounded corners or diagonal edges. Version 0.12.0 adds several new shapes of armor to give even more aesthetic variety to ship shapes:
The first of these is an even-smaller quarter-sized triangular armor piece that's useful for adding details or for when you want a pointy tip on the front of an odd-width symmetrical ship.
The other two are both 1x2 triangular armor pieces (which are mirrors of each other) that are useful for making gentler or sharper slopes than the 1x1 triangular armor. There's two of them because, unlike the 1x1 triangle, there's no way to rotate a 1x2 triangle so that it looks "flipped" either horizontally or vertically.
For a long time, players have been asking for an easier way to create symmetrical ships, generally a "Mirror Mode" that would cause any changes on one side of the ship to be reflected on the other side as well. I'd been somewhat resistant to this idea, simply because the game already had a "copy & paste" feature that supported mirroring when pasting. However, watching videos of the game Navalia, which does have a mirror mode, convinced me that it was a feature worth spending a couple days to make work. And so 0.12.0 adds a mirror mode to Cosmoteer's ship designer, which works with all ship construction tools (including copy & paste!) and is available in both the floorplan designer and the exterior painter.
Lastly, I want to mention that Cosmoteer now has official support for "mod packages". This isn't actually a new feature of 0.12.0 (it was launched in 0.11.7), but I haven't talked about it yet.
Cosmoteer stores all of its game data inside easy-to-edit text files in its "Data" folder. These text files allow almost all game rules to be tweaked and for new ship modules and weapons to be added. However, until mods were introduced, player-created additions to the game required destructively editing the files in the Data folder. This made it hard to install (and uninstall) mods, and any game updates would erase any changes made by mods.
The "mod packages" introduced in 0.11.7 solved both of these problems. Mod packages are self-contained folders that contain special code to "edit" the base text files in-memory after the game is loaded without actually modifying the files on-disc. Since each mod has its own folder, and the text files in the base game aren't ever actually modified, it's very easy to install and uninstall mods.
Cosmoteer even has its own "Mods Manager" for installing and uninstalling mods and turning them on and off:
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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