Cogmind Alpha Access is here!

by Kyzrati on 2.6.15 , under

Two years of development on the foundation set by Cogmind 7DRL has turned the game into a great new roguelike, the first public version of which was released on May 19, 2015.

The launch was a success (it was reported in Rock, Paper, Shotgun, too!) and we have a growing community found in the forums, subreddit, and fledgling wiki.

Check out the epic launch trailer, taking ASCII roguelikes where they've never gone before!:

The full version will be out some time in 2016, but for anyone eager to join development and discuss Cogmind's future, the Alpha already provides a complete and enjoyable experience! Buy now to help make the game even better! 

This will be the last post on this blog, which will remain here for reference and to continue providing access to the free 7DRL version!
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Cogmind Returns

by Kyzrati on 22.9.13 , under

That’s right, your favorite modular robot is powering up once again, this time as the star of a commercial project by the newly formed Grid Sage Games!

In short, I'm turning this 7DRL into a bigger better game, so if you enjoyed the original, you're going to love the new one.

The game is still in pre-alpha development, but you can follow along via the new devblog, Facebook, and/or Twitter.
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Grand Finale

by Kyzrati on 9.5.12 , under

Okay, maybe not so grand, but definitely final.

Cogmind 7DRL Final is now available from the files page. What changed from fix12? Absolutely nothing!

Over the past couple weeks I've been fooling with Rogue Engine X to add some new features, and had even ported Cogmind to the latest engine version, but decided against releasing that as the final since it 1) slows the game down, 2) hasn't had enough testing, and 3) doesn't include features that Cogmind actually needs. So I reverted to the old engine, and am calling this game done. I didn't receive any more reports of specific problems, so this is it. Sure Cogmind could be even better, but it's already very playable and a lot of fun.

Cogmind fared quite well in the official 7DRL 2012 reviews, seen here, or with screenshots here. Using the 'q' key to change the log verbosity addresses the main concern found by the reviewers, that there wasn't enough combat feedback--my original intention was to keep log clutter down, and make highly detailed information optional since almost all the most important combat information you need to know is already available one way or another: whether or not you hit a target can be seen if the projectile stops on it (missed shots fire at other locations), destroyed parts are always reported, and weapons do damage in very small ranges and enemy cores only take a few shots to kill, so the 4 colors indicating damage state are plenty to know how hurt an enemy is and how likely you are to kill it.

I recommend trying out some of the other 7DRLs, since there is a rather large batch of quality games, all for free! I didn't have time to try them all out myself, but Hyrule and Drakefire Chasm were pretty neat, Kitchen Masters is worth a run for the humor, and Fragile Wrath has some interesting mechanics. There're still more I want to try, especially now that the reviews are out and I don't have to blindly test so many random games and hope they're playable...

Update 1.3.2013: Cogmind fared extremely well in the Roguelike of the Year poll, voted most popular 7DRL of 2012 and beating out a large portion of other roguelikes from the year. You can see a breakdown of the results here.
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Not 7UP

by Kyzrati on 14.4.12 , under

I made a simple sprite set for fix11, which will be out this weekend. The default 12x12 font is rather small to fit sufficiently detailed sprites, but I wanted them in there as an example for potential modders/spriters who want to make their own. (Already one spriter has expressed interest in making a set for Cogmind--if that set comes to fruition, I'll put it in the files section.)

Aside from making the game more accessible to those who can't wrap their head around an ASCII map, sprites do have one other advantage: Items are colored by rating rather than type (since types are distinguishable from different images), making comparison a bit quicker.

Here you can see some of the sprites in action:

EDIT: Fix11 was released on 4/14, followed by an even better fix12 on 4/21. The latest release can always be found on the files page (sprites are included). The announcements only went to Bay 12 where many of the players are (11 and 12), though the final release will be announced here on the blog.
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Fix11: Final Candidate

by Kyzrati on 11.4.12 , under

Apparently a lot of people are enjoying Cogmind, but it would take a lot more time to make it much better than it already is, so I'll be pausing development soon to resume heavy work on X@COM. I may come back to it at some point, but no promises yet.

The upcoming fix11 is a final release candidate; that is, it will probably be the last version to include new features for testing before "Cogmind 7DRL final" is eventually released.

So tell me what you'd like to see in the final version of the game. The changelog for fix11 currently looks like this:
  • MOD: Single-space map shifting no longer allowed via vi-keys (overlapped with part detachment--use Shift mod to jump instead)
  • MOD: Suicide/restart moved to Alt-F10 (to avoid accidents)
  • NEW: Large fonts/resolution (see README)
  • NEW: Autopathing (F4) (left-clicking anywhere on the map travels there)
  • NEW: Reswapping (Shift-Alt-r) (reverses the last swap action)
  • NEW: Undo drop (Shift-Alt-d)
  • NEW: HUD flashes heat line as overheating becomes more serious
  • NEW: More stats stored in record sheet (favorite parts, kill streaks, play time, max inventory)
  • NEW: Toggle to force cursor centering on move (Ctrl-F4) (always centers cursor on Cogmind during movement to ensure the scan window shows the item at his current position--has no effect while cursor is hidden, in which case the scan window always works this way by default)

Only easily-implemented suggestions similar to those made in previous fixes will be entertained--any wild/fanciful/complex mods will be added to my design notes, so feel free to offer those as well, but please don't expect to see them in the 7DRL version.

I'm considering enabling "basic" tileset support (separate glyphs for map objects--not full-color solid sprites), but I would need confirmation that someone with the experience and skill is 100% going to do it before committing the necessary time, since it would require some nontrivial code changes to implement under the current system.

Fix11 comes with a simple modding guide for those who want to play with the game (as opposed to play the game :).

Fix11 also comes with a lot more font sizes, so you can let Cogmind spread across your entire screen--I know one dude is playing on his TV, so this should help him, along with anyone else who prefers fullscreen mode. The more stylish fonts also look cooler and are more readable at larger sizes.

Check out one of the huge fonts on my screen (definitely click on this to see it in all its massive glory):

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Cogmind Tournament Results

by Kyzrati on 10.4.12 , under

The first official Cogmind tournament came to an end on April 8th, 2012. Scores were accepted from any fix version (through the latest fix10), and a total of 16 Cogminds participated.

Seeing as how there have been more than 1,000 downloads in the couple weeks since launch (no doubt with some overlap due to all the version releases), a lot more of you have been playing, so it's too bad we didn't get a few more record sheets. I'm sure a good many Cogminds are still shy since the game is admittedly rather difficult, but with only 10 levels, making it an easier game would have detracted somewhat from its replayability. (About me: I hail from the heyday of true video games, which were hard as hell and actually presented a real challenge rather than simply being a form of entertainment.) And as Aoi has proven, it's not impossible to escape the Overmind's subterranean city!

Enough introduction, on to the scores...

You can see how each player did by checking out their specific record sheet below (Note: Columns are sortable by clicking on headers).
TOP 10:

'Mind Score Level
Aoi 23795 Surface (record)
Micha 23472 8/Research (record)
Tarran 18371 8/Research (record)
gimlet 13415 6/Factory (record)
Jesse Houston 12656 5/Factory (record)
AlStar 11404 7/Factory (record)
badger_pl 6669 6/Factory (record)
a.f. 6236 6/Factory (record)
Toaster 6233 6/Factory (record)
Euchre Jack 5959 6/Factory (record)
Congratulations to all the winners!

Notable Achievements:

Achievement 'Mind Description
Terminator AlStar Highest robot kill rate
Researcher Euchre Jack Best prototype identification rate
Hijacker AlStar Highest rate of Hauler interceptions
Power Monger Euchre Jack Most power source slots
Roadster Jesse Houston Most propulsion slots
Flyboy Jesse Houston Most flight units
Executioner scelly9 Most weapon slots
Escapist Euchre Jack Traveled furthest in shortest amount of time
Underdog mtadd Traveled furthest with weakest peak rating
Skirmisher Euchre Jack Highest rate of tactical retreats
Rambo scelly9 Lowest rate of tactical retreats
Ninja scelly9 Lowest kill rate for distance traveled
Scavenger Euchre Jack Highest percentage of salvage recovered
Euchre Jack took a surprising number of the achievements, and scelly9 managed to take both Rambo and Ninja with his huge number of weapon slots in the early game. It would've been easy for someone to knowingly take a given achievement through very intentional play, but no one knew about the list beforehand but me. Ties were broken in favor of whoever submitted first.

Special Mentions:
Aoi - Honorary first Cogmind to escape to the surface
Orb - Honorary first Cogmind to reach Research
Dariush - A lot of the early fixes were updated based on suggestions by Dariush; also thanks to gimlet, AlStar, Micha, and others on Bay 12 for all the other ideas that helped make Cogmind even better!

For the curious, I've uploaded my own record here (score: 12147). I haven't had much time to play myself, since I've spent most of my free time coding the fixes, and that one game took me a week to finish! I didn't do much point farming, and by the end I had to start sprinting just to end my game in time--definitely a bad idea if you're not built for it... Got trapped and shot to pieces:
Yes, that's 2 Behemoths, 5 Programmers, and 3 Sentries; who knows what else was around the corner :)

Even though the tournament is over, keep sending in your scores and I'll add them to the high scores page, which will be updated indefinitely. (Future score charts will carry version numbers if/when changes begin to affect fairness/gameplay.) I will probably hold another tournament in the future, the frequency depending mostly on if/how much more development goes into Cogmind.

Fix11 is mostly done, and will be available soon.
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Fix2... Fix3... and so on

by Kyzrati on 27.3.12 , under

There have been a couple new bugfixes uploaded over the past few days. Scores from any post-7DRL fix version are valid for the competition, since they don't include any content modifications, but you really should get the latest version to avoid potential crashes.

Most of the players are hanging out over in the Bay 12 thread, so announcements have been going there. There you'll also find strategy discussions, and some more insights into the game.

Some were finding the game a bit difficult, but the early levels shouldn't be too hard at all once you learn how to play. To show how easy it can be, I recorded a quick run of levels 1-3 (HD highly recommended):

I didn't even play very carefully in that run, but beyond level 3 is the Factory, where the game finally starts to get a little tough and you might have to start making some harder decisions... Level 8 and beyond is for the pros, but I have yet to see anyone make it quite that far.

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