Taking a quick break from our final polish before the big release (and from our Dev Log progress reports) to look back at some of the spells / special abilities that we've created so far in our shmup. Here we have a few of the very first spells we implemented, so they are pretty basic ones, mostly taken straight from our childhood playing DnD. But already they helped to turn Cosmonator into something more than just a simple shoot-em-up, adding some RPG-style elements to the gameplay.
The first spell here (top left) is Firewall; granted - not super original - but every RPG needs to have one and Cosmonator shall be no exception. (Firewall clears the screen of weak to medium enemies, but doesn't really do a big dent against tough targets like strong turrets or minibosses). On the right is Barrage, which is already slightly more interesting: your ship releases a flurry of missiles, but the trick is that each missile inherits the traits of you normal passive missiles. So if you have homing missiles, the missiles are all homing. If you have ion missiles, each missile will have a chance to disable the weapons system of its target. Etc. So this spell becomes super powerful in the hands of a missile specialist.
Spells all have icons (left) so you can quickly scroll through them in your spell sidebar and also so you can see what spells you currently have active, and how long they have to cooldown if you've used all your charges. In the main gif above you can see the Shockwave spell, which here nicely illustrates the 'gem augment' function of spells (i.e. you can upgrade some spells with gems, a rare currency, making them more powerful in special ways or sometimes completely changing what they do). In the first shockwave that is cast, it's just a normal shockwave that does damage to nearby enemies; the second shockwave shows off the shockwave gem augment upgrade feature: it also repulses bullets away from you. Really useful in tight corners or during difficult boss phases.
Top left: Parasites! They go out and eat enemies, doing damage over time; when no enemies remain they come back to you and defend you, ready to attack anything that approaches. Top right - another super basic classic: Fireball. The bread and butter of a high-DPS magic user.
Here are some more examples of all the different spell icons - as you can see there are quite a lot (over 40 spells in total, so far, and we are continually added more :). In the gif above the player casts the Mark spell, which marks a target enemy for a while (that red laser line) so that all your homing projectiles target that enemy and additionally, that enemy takes an increased percentage of damage while it is marked. Super effective against bosses.
And this is what the spells shop looks like, with a detailed breakdown of a single spell's description and statistics on the right. Some spells are locked at the outset of the game - you need to master special class upgrades in order to unlock them.
(By the way, yes, it's a spaceship that casts spells. Why is a wizard allowed to cast spells and a spaceship not? Have you ever seen a real wizard? Maybe there is a wizard inside the spaceship. This spaceship can cast spells and that's just the way it is.)