Experience sci-fi tactical combat and exploration in a procedural world that combines traditional roguelikes with an immersive modern interface like no other. Build yourself from components found or salvaged from other robots. Attach power sources, propulsion units, utilities, and weapons to become a slow tank bristling with weapons, or a fast-moving flier zipping past enemies before they even have time to react, or a stealthy sword-wielding assassin/hacker, or whatever else you can come up with from the salvage you find. The situation can quickly change as you lose components and rebuild yourself from enemy remains. You are the Cogmind. Discover what that means as you explore a living, breathing world ruled by robots.
!!! ALERT: SPECIAL MODE DETECTED !!!
It's that time of year again, when all sorts of fake things appear on the internet... But I've become a fan of using this opportunity to make crazy unprecedented things that are true, so Cogmind is going P̶a̶y̶2̶W̶i̶n̶ Pay2Buy! Well, for a day, anyway ;)
Get the latest Cogmind update and fire it up on April 1st, and anyone who's past the tutorial starts and has been playing the regular game will automatically have new runs start in Pay2Buy mode!
I'll talk about that more below, but unlike last year's event, I've combined this one with an actual release, which includes a number of fixes for Beta 8, as well as some balance-related tweaks. There's also a bit of new content as well:
AFD 2018 was a last-minute joke implemented and deployed in just an hour on 2018.4.1. This year I put a good bit more time into it, spending several days over the past week building some new UI features, designing and balancing systems, and surprisingly increased Cogmind's core code base by 0.6% for Pay2Buy alone (excluding all the other work that went into bringing you Beta 8.1).
So what's this mode all about...
The Cogshop is open for business! No, this isn't the Merchants Guild expansion I've touted as one of my Patreon goals, it's a new AFD mode that significantly changes the Cogmind experience.
Skip this section if you want to go in blind, or read on for more details.
In Pay2Buy mode there are no parts lying around, and no salvage from kills, either. In a few very rare cases items may still be available via the usual special means, e.g. Relay Couplers, but for the most part you'll have one source of new parts: the Cogshop.
Access the shop by clicking on the Buy button in the bottom-left corner, or via the number '0' on your keyboard. There is no item info available for shop items--there wasn't enough time to add that, although I did add the short item stat summary after each one so you can reference that to help make purchasing decisions.
Earn CogCoins by doing almost anything that raises alert, i.e. get in fights -> earn coins -> buy parts -> get in more fights (or go around sabotaging machinery as your source of revenue ;)) and so on.
Eventually you might notice there's a bit of a market economy going, with you as its only customer :P. Prices will fluctuate a bit, more so depending on what you do and don't buy. Item types you don't buy will get lower in price, while those you do will get increasingly expensive.
There are also Loot Boxes! Because of course there are :). If you've got coins to spare or want to take a risk, test your luck and buy some. You might also see some special discounts or other shop-related announcements as you play.
Interestingly the Pay2Buy experience is kinda like typical character creation at the beginning of a run, as well as ongoing throughout the run, only with even more control than you normally have. It's a pretty unique Cogmind experience :D
As for other AFD-related tweaks, you do not have access to any Storage Units, but start with ten inventory slots for free, instead of the usual four. Your score sheet at the end of the run will include a full list of all of your purchases, and the prices you paid. And in a very first for one of our Cogmind special events, score sheets can actually be uploaded! (assuming you have the option enabled) Of course they won't be included in the regular leaderboards, but Pay2Buy runs could get their own dedicated event leaderboard, at least for those who play in the near term.
AFD 2019 normally autoactivates for new runs on 4/1, but if you want to play on another day, rather than having to change your system time like before, I've added a new option you might prefer, the "-forceAFD2019" command line parameter. (In Steam this is Cogmind > Properties > Set Launch Options...) If you don't want to play this special mode on 4/1, the "-noAFD" switch will block it.
Beta 8.1 brings with it a fair number of Exiles tweaks, if you remember them from their explosive Beta 8 debut ;)
Yes, as many in the community feared, I did nerf their Firepult just a bit, but it's still an amazing and terrifying weapon. More importantly, Master Thieves are a good bit scarier now. They're still a challenge that can be overcome, but... you really would do better to not attract them in the first place. (I also changed up the dialogue just bit so that it makes sense they can still come after you if you went all evil murderer in the lab.)
You know that scenario where the Exiles have prematurely departed? Well there's a new potential reward in that case, and a clue about where to get it...
There were various other EX tweaks as well, mostly small stuff.
One of the other big changes under the hood is probably not so big to most players, but the entire turn system has been replaced with a new type of queue. I'll be covering this more on the dev blog later, but the main impetus was to prevent free corner peeking, which a tiny handful of players were taking advantage of as an optimal tactic made possible by gaming the original turn time system. Now the system is more fair, and directly related to movement speed, rather than specifically when during a turn the move action is taken.
In the process of making the above change I also optimized the turn queue handling, which will speed up the game by up to 10% in some scenarios.
Beta 8.1 includes a bunch of fixes, as usual (mostly to new stuff), and as part of my debugging work I finally added an engine-level visualization so I could see which subconsole is currently receiving mouse hover messages:
This helped track down a particular new bug that wasn't highlighting the current schematic at a Fabricator, for example:
It turns out this bug was caused by a separate Beta 8 fix for a completely unrelated issue xD
Another addendum, looking at the usage of static, procedural, and hybrid maps, is currently available to patrons here.
In good hardware news, I successfully cleaned out my dev laptop, as well as recovered all parts taken by Recyclers that escaped from the Cogmind source in the process.
Zyalin has shared some cool new fan art, this piece titled "Storage Jammin'"
It depicts a beat up Cogmind build rampaging through Storage, indeed a dangerous map with very tight confines. Also of course there are friendly drones nearby :)
JackNine did another cogmic in his style:
Over on the forums muxecoid started a poll for the most hated combat enemy class, and Hunters won by a fair margin. Swarmers came in second place.
Although there's no "official" support for it beyond answers I hand out when interested people occasionally ask about superficial mod support, a number of people have actually modded Cogmind. Most recently Ape3000 has shared their mod that mixes ASCII with graphical walls from the tileset. Here's a sample of how that looks:
As for myself, on my Twitch channel I've been streaming a bunch of 7DRLs for reviewing lately, but will get back to Cogmind soon. In fact, it won't be this week because I have family visiting, but next week we're gong to play with Pay2Buy mode! As usual the videos will be up on YouTube afterwards.
So far patrons have been submitting suggestions for my Cogmind TODO list prioritization, to decide which major QoL system they'd like to fund for Beta 9, and also more recently for the new item/mechanic they'd like to see in the next release. These things are collaborative so we'll be doing some voting in April.
Well my near-term plans have somewhat changed due to this whole Pay2Buy event. I was originally planning to release a Beta 8.1 with fixes and some new hacking content, but Pay2Buy got big enough that it pushed back the other stuff (and 4/1 is a hard and fast deadline, after all xD), so my earlier 8.1 plans are likely being folded into Beta 9 instead (along with all the other Beta 9 stuff).
So the next release will likely be Beta 9, though it's too early to say when that'll happen since there's a lot to do. That said, Beta 8.1 is pretty big for a "minor" release, and the new mode adds yet another layer of replayability, so I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks of it.
Beta 8.1 saves are not compatible with previous versions, but even if you're on Steam and Cogmind automatically updates, Beta 8 is still available via its own legacy branch and you can roll back to finish a run in progress first if you like.
Beta 8 has landed, with a new advanced faction bringing autonomous weapons, supersonic drones, time travel...
The latest annual review is here, talking features, dev time, sales trends, 1.0... lots o' stuff! 2018 was big, 2019 will be too :D
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