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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsCogmind (sci-fi robot-themed roguelike) - BETA RELEASED
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Author Topic: Cogmind (sci-fi robot-themed roguelike) - BETA RELEASED  (Read 102451 times)
Zorg
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« Reply #1020 on: October 05, 2017, 12:00:46 am »

Sorry, i just had to bring it up. Everything else looks fine to me, only those pixels jumped into my eyes.

Good luck with the launch!  Hand Thumbs Up Left Smiley Hand Thumbs Up Right

___________________________


Edit: Bad page break. Don't miss to read the long "Prepping for Steam" posts on the last page:
https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=36249.msg1356762#msg1356762


Prepping for Steam
[Cross-posted from the devblog here--follow link for better formatting and light-on-dark style.]

Cogmind is coming to Steam this month! This was inevitable, of course, if a little later than planned as I waited to at least partially get over the serious injury which has been keeping me from making progress for months now. Anyway, here we are, with contracts signed, a store page already in the open, and a Steam build more or less done and waiting for October 16th.

It's certainly been an interesting process filled with new challenges, plus internal preparations for Steam doesn't seem to be the kind of thing people write much about, so I've decided to share my experience here.

[...]
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 12:09:51 am by Zorg » Logged
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« Reply #1021 on: October 05, 2017, 12:03:11 am »

Thanks Smiley

Sorry, i just had to bring it up.
Yes I know the feeling. I also know the feeling of having that nagging at me now, too, until I do something about it Crazy

Edit: Ooh how considerate of you, Zorg Kiss
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 12:20:25 am by Kyzrati » Logged

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« Reply #1022 on: October 16, 2017, 04:45:25 pm »

Cogmind Released on Steam
[Cross-posted from the devblog here--follow link for better formatting and light-on-dark style.]

It's finally happened. After over four years and more than 8,000 hours of work, Cogmind has just been released on Steam :D

"Released" but Early Access. Some say that as soon as you release on Steam, EA or not, that's it--you only really get one launch and the "full release" won't make as big a splash later. That's fine, since Cogmind is a very complete experience and it's time for anyone who's been waiting for this opportunity to jump in.

There are of course a lot of people who don't have much faith in Early Access games, but as long as they're interested in the concept of Cogmind I don't think it'll be too hard to win them over while we spend the coming months adding optional features and content, especially considering the amount of development already allocated to ensuring maximum polish.


Break out the fireworks! (Or missiles, depending on how you look at them Tongue)

Thanks to everyone who's helped make this possible! Cogmind has come way beyond what it would have been without as much support as everyone's provided over the years, be it financial, spreading the word, or offering feedback and suggestions. A few months back I shared a lengthy rundown of features that didn't have to happen but have certainly made Cogmind better for it, features that you all made possible.


A logo image recently put together while preparing for Steam.

Cogmind feature highlights, as it launches into the wild on Steam:
  • Build and modify a unique robot from nearly 1,000 parts, whether found or salvaged from other bots
  • Highly dynamic character development without XP/grinding
  • Dozens of robot classes, each with unique behavior within the ecosystem
  • Mechanics and environments that enable one of the most compelling stealth experiences in a roguelike
  • Extensive hacking systems--nearly 100 machine hacks so far
  • Procedurally generated world, including dozens of map types into which hundreds of hand-made areas are mixed
  • Hundreds of NPC encounters and thousands of lines of dialogue form a rich story
  • Seven different animated endings to discover
  • Fully destructible environment
  • Nearly 1,000 pieces of ASCII art
  • Huge range of particle effects like never seen in a terminal (except my other project Tongue)
  • Everything has sounds--more SFX than any roguelike, ever
  • Advanced terminal interface, with numerous built-in input options and tons of information at your fingertips

Composite demo of various Cogmind features.

Other interesting points regarding design and development:
  • Cogmind is all about atmosphere--there isn't even a main menu, the player is dropped right into the game world
  • Cogmind was designed entirely in CP437, with aesthetics conforming to limitations imposed by a two-colors-per-cell grid-based display (nothing breaks that rule)
  • There is a tileset available by default (since approximately 75% of players prefer to use it!), but even that was designed to mimic the ASCII aesthetic so as to not ruin the style
  • Despite the limitations, Cogmind's UI explores many features never before seen in traditional roguelikes
  • A niche game like Cogmind managed to raise more than $100,000 from players to fund alpha development, which was how it could keep expanding for over four years Smiley
  • To help build Cogmind I created REXPaint, a free editor now in use by a large number of artists and gamedevs

Cogmind inventory management demo with bonus ASCII destruction and repair Smiley


Alpha Supporters
I've sent out emails to alpha supporters who bought back when a Steam key was promised as part of those tiers. So check your inboxes (and spam, just in case) and email me at [email protected] if you were supposed to receive a key but did not. Note that my response time might be a little slower than usual due to a much higher volume of activity around release time.

Those of you migrating from DRM-free to Steam can import your settings and metadata as usual. After installing via Steam, open the Steam-installed local files and copy over your old Cogmind /user/ directory into the new one. That's it. It will automatically update from then on for subsequent versions.

A little Beta 3 was put out last week to coincide with this Steam launch, so anyone not on Steam will want to update manually. See the announcement for notes on that.

For those of you who bought ages ago just to support development and are only now being reminded you own the game but never registered your copy, therefore your name doesn't appear in the supporters list (or more importantly the art gallery if you bought that early), go back to your original download email and use the linked form to register. There are still quite a few unclaimed items in the gallery, mostly because a lot of you probably didn't notice the form link (just a couple quick fields to fill out, otherwise I don't know what name you want to use!). After some time on Steam I'm going to have to reallocate remaining unclaimed items to other players!


Purchase Options
Although Cogmind is now available on Steam, it will also always be available for sale from my website as well, and the DRM-free version will continue to receive the same updates (though technically the two versions are slightly different packages).

In the near term, however, as has been indicated on the buy page for a little while now, direct purchases will NOT include a Steam key.

A big part of the reason is to encourage purchases from Steam to help push up the overall review score. Everyone playing Cogmind on Steam please take some time to leave reviews! They're vital for encouraging more sales, and more sales is how we're going to get more features!

Further down the line this key policy could change, but it depends on a lot of factors and we'll have to see how things play out. So if you haven't bought Cogmind yet and are interested in doing so to play on Steam, buy from Steam. For a DRM-free non-Steam version instead buy direct here.

GOG I'm not sure about, because despite proactively expressing interest in Cogmind they haven't responded to my later emails, so for now I've decided to shelve that route.


Coverage
There hasn't yet been a whole lot of advance press coverage about Cogmind's Steam release, partially because I requested that most influencers hold off on their coverage until on or after the actual release date, though I'm still not sure what kind of reception we'll see since Cogmind is pretty niche, after all. Some pre-release happenings:
  • Purely coincidentally, leading up to this release PC Gamer published an article full of praise for Cogmind, and despite his short time with it the author did a great job of understanding and conveying the essence of the game.
  • Well-known roguelike let's player Aavak has started a

    which has been pretty popular.
  • Two Credits has a quick summary of the launch news, but otherwise there's not much out there just yet.
Gonna have to rely on word of mouth and continued updates to get attention! :D

If you have any favorite LPers/streamers you'd like to see try Cogmind, or a reviewer who's opinion you'd like to read, let them know! I've already written to several, but I can't possibly find them all (and I imagine lots probably won't notice my email anyway, but if some of their fans let them know that can be even more powerful than me self-promoting my way into their inbox).


Cogmind combat demo with particle effects.
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« Reply #1023 on: October 17, 2017, 01:17:14 am »

I'am always amazed by the visual quality of this game Smiley
Congrats for the release  Hand Clap
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« Reply #1024 on: October 17, 2017, 09:09:01 am »

Congrats on the release! Smiley  Based on the comments, many people have already played it

Does that mean you won't be reporting exact financial numbers?  Of course, it's possible to do in a          Blink Noir  "careful"  way.  Grin  For example, (at least as a percentage) how many people got it now that it is Steam compared to before. 
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« Reply #1025 on: October 17, 2017, 01:27:14 pm »

Rexpaint looks cool.
Congrats on your release!

Any chance of a follow up episode to http://www.roguelikeradio.com/2015/10/episode-109-cogmind.html ?
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« Reply #1026 on: October 17, 2017, 03:57:31 pm »

Thanks all!

Congrats on the release! Smiley  Based on the comments, many people have already played it
For sure, since I released the alpha a couple years ago and thousands bought that to help keep development going! Only now can be publicly see everyone's logged hours (so many lost over the past two years xD).

Does that mean you won't be reporting exact financial numbers?  Of course, it's possible to do in a          Blink Noir  "careful"  way.  Grin  For example, (at least as a percentage) how many people got it now that it is Steam compared to before. 
Yeah I'm not sure yet what I can and can't say, but I've never seen anyone give out numbers because presumably that's against the contract. I can do something similar to what others devs have done before, though. As you know I'm always interested in doing writeups that help other devs.

Maybe one day! (In which I can explain reasons why Cogmind did not hit the dates mentioned, which is always good for a laugh for those who go back and listen to that one Cheesy)

I'm sick a lot (allergies and related problems) so it's hard to find opportunities for interviews and anything with audio. Haven't even been able to stream for months Sad
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« Reply #1027 on: October 17, 2017, 09:53:23 pm »

Congrats on the release! CoffeeHand Thumbs Up Right

Time to use that steam code you sent me Wink
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« Reply #1028 on: October 19, 2017, 12:48:34 am »

Yeah, I sent out sooooo many keys Tongue

Glad that even those who bought direct from Steam are also leaving nice reviews for Cogmind, 100% positive so far and already approaching the "Very Positive" threshold on day 3, but still need more reviews!
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« Reply #1029 on: October 19, 2017, 10:16:38 am »

Does that mean you won't be reporting exact financial numbers?  Of course, it's possible to do in a          Blink Noir  "careful"  way.  Grin  For example, (at least as a percentage) how many people got it now that it is Steam compared to before. 
Yeah I'm not sure yet what I can and can't say, but I've never seen anyone give out numbers because presumably that's against the contract. I can do something similar to what others devs have done before, though. As you know I'm always interested in doing writeups that help other devs.
Yes, I've read quite a few of your posts. SmileyHand Thumbs Up Right   I'm always interested in not necessarily just numbers but how things went along the development of the game.
Actually, I've seen one dev (here on TIG and twitter) giving exact numbers and others more along the lines of "made over X amount". Wink  Of coures, for "numbers" we can always follow steamspy.  Grin


Yeah, I sent out sooooo many keys Tongue

Glad that even those who bought direct from Steam are also leaving nice reviews for Cogmind, 100% positive so far and already approaching the "Very Positive" threshold on day 3, but still need more reviews!
So, you're shooting for Overwhelmingly positive, eh? Smiley  At this rate it's more like a matter of time rather than if.   SmileyHand Thumbs Up Right   Oh, do you know the requirement for that? 
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« Reply #1030 on: October 19, 2017, 10:41:34 am »

So, you're shooting for Overwhelmingly positive, eh? Smiley
As if anyone who follows this topic is surprised by that  Wink
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« Reply #1031 on: October 19, 2017, 11:15:32 am »

Of course! Smiley

I was mainly wondering about this:
but still need more reviews!   Hand Any KeyMock AngerHand Joystick
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« Reply #1032 on: October 19, 2017, 11:37:13 am »

"I invested four years of my LIFEBLOOD into this! NOW WORSHIP ME!"
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« Reply #1033 on: October 19, 2017, 12:14:44 pm »

"I invested four years of my LIFEBLOOD into this! NOW WORSHIP ME!"
Ah, right! Makes sense now. Smiley

Hmmm, is that an actual quote?  I sort of remember seeing it before! Grin  Or might be remembering a different devlog? Shrug
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« Reply #1034 on: October 19, 2017, 10:25:12 pm »

Hm, I wonder if exact numbers are okay. I don't really know, just noticed that lots of people avoid them. But that could be mostly just because they don't want to talk numbers themselves. Anyway, yeah I'm interested in documenting so maybe there'll be some kind of post. Still lots to do here in the near term though...

Oh, do you know the requirement for that? 
Yeah it's like 95% of 500 reviews or something. Either way, the important part is the 500, which is quite a lot. I mean 50 isn't too hard with a launch boost, but reaching 10 times that is going to take some time as you trudge along the long tail.
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« Reply #1035 on: October 19, 2017, 11:43:43 pm »

Hmmm, is that an actual quote?  I sort of remember seeing it before! Grin  Or might be remembering a different devlog? Shrug
Not unless it's one of those "original thoughts that wasn't original but based on a half-forgotten memory" things. I certainly wasn't quoting Kyzrati Tongue

Quote
Anyway, yeah I'm interested in documenting
This just in: top athlete professes to liking exercise.

500 reviews for a traditional roguelike... ok, I can see why you're pushing now. I'll claim my steam key and leave a short positive note later!
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« Reply #1036 on: October 21, 2017, 09:40:05 am »

Hm, I wonder if exact numbers are okay. I don't really know, just noticed that lots of people avoid them. But that could be mostly just because they don't want to talk numbers themselves. Anyway, yeah I'm interested in documenting so maybe there'll be some kind of post. Still lots to do here in the near term though...
I'll look over the Steam NDA before releasing my game (soon-ish), but my guess is that if you want to be strict they'd prefer not to have anything released.  If everyone released their numbers then people would find out that Steam is making $h!tload$ of money. Or it might be one those things to cover their ends legally in case there are some ramifications of someone relesing numbers. Then they can say that they weren't allowed to and could discredit the numbers.

One common way of releasing sale figures seems to be mentioning number of copies sold which tends to include other stores as well.  If the game is released on desktops, then the majority is (obviously) Steam sales but console and/or mobile figures could be included for some.  I wonder if those situations are also be a violation of Steam NDA.


Oh, do you know the requirement for that? 
Yeah it's like 95% of 500 reviews or something. Either way, the important part is the 500, which is quite a lot. I mean 50 isn't too hard with a launch boost, but reaching 10 times that is going to take some time as you trudge along the long tail.
Oh, I see.  Yeah, I know that small percantage of people tend to write reviews so to get to 500 will need a lot of players.  The positive reviews like help but I wonder how many people wait out the EA and only get the game after full release.  Maybe you could use that motivation to finish faster. Wink


Looks like you got your first negative review. Shocked   It's in Korean but the translation I checked give a very "cryptic" meaning.  Maybe it has to do with the game so you might be able to interpret it. Smiley
Quote
장점이라곤 특이하고 깔끔한 그래픽이랑 타격감뿐
솔직히 타격감 하나는 로그라이크중 단연 원탑
그래서?

TRANSLATION SITE #1
A unique and neat graphics and a blow
Frankly, one of the logs is a hit
So?

TRANSLATION SITE #2
unusual and that benefits pitchers neat graphics.
And I feel most wontap logs
So?
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« Reply #1037 on: October 21, 2017, 09:42:07 am »


Hmmm, is that an actual quote?  I sort of remember seeing it before! Grin  Or might be remembering a different devlog? Shrug
Not unless it's one of those "original thoughts that wasn't original but based on a half-forgotten memory" things. I certainly wasn't quoting Kyzrati Tongue
Yeah, it was likely a "memory mashup".  As humans, I'm glad we have PERFECT memories! Grin

Quote
Anyway, yeah I'm interested in documenting
This just in: top athlete professes to liking exercise.
Quote
Why work when you can get paid for doing what you love? Wink
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« Reply #1038 on: October 21, 2017, 01:29:46 pm »

Looks like you got your first negative review. Shocked   It's in Korean but the translation I checked give a very "cryptic" meaning.  Maybe it has to do with the game so you might be able to interpret it. Smiley
Quote
장점이라곤 특이하고 깔끔한 그래픽이랑 타격감뿐
솔직히 타격감 하나는 로그라이크중 단연 원탑
그래서?

TRANSLATION SITE #1
A unique and neat graphics and a blow
Frankly, one of the logs is a hit
So?

TRANSLATION SITE #2
unusual and that benefits pitchers neat graphics.
And I feel most wontap logs
So?

It's unfortunate but he is just a troll reviewer trying to be funny or something. None of his reviews are honest/serious.
His review is actually positive because the correct translation should go as thiis:
"Postive points: unusual , clean graphics and good feel (aka game juiciness)  are the only positive points.
Honestly for a roguelike, the game feel is amongst the best.
so what?"
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« Reply #1039 on: October 21, 2017, 07:27:07 pm »

Yeah, it's just a troll. He negatively reviews a ton of really good games just to do it. Whatever Tongue

One common way of releasing sale figures seems to be mentioning number of copies sold which tends to include other stores as well.  If the game is released on desktops, then the majority is (obviously) Steam sales but console and/or mobile figures could be included for some.  I wonder if those situations are also be a violation of Steam NDA.
Yeah that's what I've seen everyone doing over the years, and I'm sure that's fine (even some major indies do it).
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