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The ability to control time is one of many optional skillsets that Cosmonator has in his quest to take on the alien scourge. Here's a quick overview of some of the game's Time Control spells!

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The 'Time' spell school (one of several distinct magic schools that are available to learn and master in Cosmonator) is one of the game's areas that we really still hope to do a lot of work on in future updates. It's also a challenging and fun area for us, as first time game devs, because you can really mess around so much with the game's physics in interesting ways and introduce some crazy elements into the gameplay.

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(Left: Time Slow makes weaving between bullet patterns more manageable. Right: Enemy explosions as well as neutral objects like the bullet casings from your own chaingun cannon are all slowed by Time Slow's effect, meaning that signs of carnage will abound during the spell's duration.)

In its current state (released but awaiting further updates), the game has 4 Time Control spells. They are: Flash (freeze time for a brief moment), Time Slow (slow everything around you down for a while), Time Sphere (creates a field around the player which slows down enemy bullets that come close), and Time Warp (slightly slows down all enemies and enemy bullets for a long period of time). All of these spells affect everything around you - enemies, bullets, etc - but you yourself, as well as your bullets, missiles, and all other spell projectiles or effects / explosions, are not affected. This means that you can move around and shoot / dodge / cause chaos as normal, while everything around you is either slowed down in some way, or frozen completely.

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Time Sphere: brings bullets and fast-moving enemies almost to a complete standstill when they come close to you. Be careful - if you stay in one place too long, you'll eventually be faced with a slow but impenetrable wall of bullets!

The most interesting of these 4 Time Control spells is Time Sphere. For the duration of the spell, anything that comes close to the player is slowed; the closer it is, the more the slow effect. That means that if you move around carefully, bullets will almost never hit you. Also, if you have the deflect spell (which deflects all bullets that are close to you), you can use Time Sphere to assemble a huge amount of bullets very close to you - they will move so slowly that they almost don't move at all- and then use deflect to deflect the lot of them, right before they'd hit you. A bit like Neo in that classic moment in The Matrix. (If your Deflect spell is additionally upgraded with a special gem augment, then those deflected bullets will all do damage to enemies that they hit, so this defensive manoeuvre can actually be quite a powerful offensive move!)

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Left: The Orbital Destroyer boss gets destroyed in slo-mo. Right: Bullets that are normally super fast and very hard to dodge - like those pink-red laser beams from this miniboss laser turret - become easy to evade when time is slowed down

We have been planning / playing around with the idea of somehow creating an additional Time Control spell that reverses time, but this is something we've quickly realized is really tricky to pull of, from a development point of view. (The most obvious way would be to continually save a number of recent states of all the countless in-game entities, in order to revert to a single saved state at a given point in time - which would require an insane amount of memory to be used and recycled.) Perhaps we'll end up simply reversing the state of the player entity, so that it's possible to negate damage right after it was inflicted - however this is not super exciting, compared to actually reversing the flow of ALL TIME. If there's anyone reading this with ideas or thoughts, or dev experience in this regard, hey, feel free to comment! :)


(Here's a full gameplay trailer, if you're curious to see more of what Cosmonator has on offer!)

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