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Messages - Kyzrati

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Support / Re: Any luck with Wine on OSX? [SOLUTIONS INSIDE]
« on: Today at 05:50:08 AM »
Thanks for the info vodkat, that setting requirement makes sense since Cogmind doesn't use Direct3D or the GPU at all :P

Very interesting that downscaling actually helped you! I've never heard of anyone actually using that approach since it would generally make things more unreadable. Since that doesn't increase the number of rows on the screen, but you find it more readable, perhaps you should instead use your native resolution and switch to a different font, like Terminus? Or did you try that?

As per this page linked from the System Requirements, you can't increase the font size beyond what your resolution supports, but that's not really what determines true cell size anyway--physical screen dimensions are what matters, so everything will be larger on a larger display.

General Discussion / Re: Congrats on the (imminent) Steam release!
« on: October 18, 2017, 06:50:00 AM »
I wrote a quick summary of the shield changed back in the Beta 2.2 release notes. Costs were reduced for most (almost all stats were changed--not just tweaking, a near-complete remake), but yeah hardlights are brand new and certainly a favorite for combat bots!

Ideas / Re: Challenge Modes
« on: October 17, 2017, 07:38:57 PM »
That does sound good, even better than when first proposed on the chat--extra escorts! :D

General Discussion / Re: Congrats on the (imminent) Steam release!
« on: October 17, 2017, 02:40:14 AM »
Excellent :D

It'd be a lot larger considering all the SFX, but yeah I used both compressed and lower-quality sounds because they suit the atmosphere and style better anyway.

Technically the DRM-free download is even more compact, at 25 MB, but Steam bloats it a bit.

Future updates via Steam will pretty much always be less than 10 MB though, so got you covered ;)

As Cogmind is now on Steam, we have some more players coming in, and among them are QWERTZ users. Although Cogmind can't fully support foreign keyboards, since the partial binding I included with the game for AZERTY players seems to be useful for some, attached is a new partial QWERTZ layout.

(Again, it's only partial, but better than nothing and worth a shot for those who aren't opting to use a better external solution.)

General Discussion / Re: Congrats on the (imminent) Steam release!
« on: October 16, 2017, 07:40:58 PM »
Happylisk, playing StarCraft II while Cogmind installs :P

Really though, it is about time ;). Looking forward to you getting back into it!

Announcements / Cogmind Released on Steam
« on: October 16, 2017, 06:44:59 PM »
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 :P)

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 :P)
  • 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 :)
  • 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 :)

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 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.

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 Cogmind series 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.

Stories / Re: When sneaking stops working
« on: October 16, 2017, 04:38:23 AM »
I imagine we'll see some post-end-game combat guides eventually. They'll be super spoilery, but yeah some players won't have to time to come up with these things on their own :P

Combat-wise, probably the easiest way to deal with
Spoiler: Command tip (click to show/hide)

Strategies / Re: Combat Strategy Guide: Positioning
« on: October 15, 2017, 11:34:35 PM »
This is why as a combat bot if I'm in the caves and have any need of spare parts, I'll always engage point blank. (Unless doing so will put me at some serious disadvantage, of course :P) Definitely an important tactic.

General Discussion / Re: Congrats on the (imminent) Steam release!
« on: October 15, 2017, 07:54:16 PM »
This caught my eye! How much more dev do you envision between the steam release and cogmind 1.0?  I thought the game was basically finished once it hit Steam?
Correct. The rest is basically adding optional stuff. Achievements, more challenge modes... And the story is done, but there is so much room for side stories, little branches, even some more mechanics...

The main thing I didn't do before release was implement the new robot hacking system--that's gong to be completely replaced.

1.0 is probably at least half a year away. I'll see what features get added by then and decide. And 1.0 might not mean done, either--I could still occasionally add small features after that, we'll see. Need to get the obvious necessary stuff out of the way first, and also a big factor here is how well it does on Steam. I mean I can't develop forever if it can't at least pay the bills! And technically I need to stop before revenue drops off too much otherwise how will I fund the next project xD

Though that's partly due to my refusal to play anything besides a full heavy tread combat run...
Doing that is now a lot more feasible with all the new combat mechanics to take advantage of. It's still going to be relatively more difficult than speed/stealth approaches, but you can reliably win with any major strategy now, including treads.

Man I miss the days when there were no garrisons and programmers dispatched from the stairs :)
Hahahaha, wow those days are so long gone... (also that was cheap!)

General Discussion / Re: Congrats on the (imminent) Steam release!
« on: October 15, 2017, 07:15:02 PM »
It's... Happylisk!!! Man I've been wondering where you were--didn't realize you were simply avoiding burnout all this time. (Or recall, since I guess you did mention it before!) Just yesterday I was thinking about the fact that we're headed for Steam and Happylisk was still nowhere to be seen :P

You're going to love what Cogmind has become with all the content filled in.

Mmm, tournament... What the last tournament taught me was that it takes a lot of work to run a good tournament, and since I'm the only guy on this project it's really hard for me to do that without pausing development for a while. That's why we haven't been doing big events like that anymore (though I'm really glad we did that one!).

I was hoping that someone else / others could take the reins on that and handle it as a community-run tournament. In fact, Raine even has a database mostly set up that can run queries on our scoresheets on the site, so it's easier than ever for someone to get the data necessary. I'll talk to her about it.

I could do it myself after 1.0 and assuming my head is completely better, but certainly not now :(

I am not a big fan of steam, although it would be convenient to have the game update itself, if it would cost you any extra I will just continue to use the DRM free download link.
Nope won't cost anything extra, redeem away :) (automated updates are honestly a really nice thing to have--I never use Steam either but after my experience getting Cogmind set up with them, I admit that as a player I'd love to have games that automatically get new features as soon as they're released...)

Competitions / Re: Weekly Seed #97 [Beta 2.2] [Seed: QuantumSigixShield]
« on: October 13, 2017, 01:02:19 AM »
Nice! Research branches always scare the hell out of me, but what a comeback (seems like you could've handled the earlier Testing escape opportunity a little better in hindsight, but researchers are scary and influence decisions like that :P). If you'd remembered the Reconstructor earlier that probably would've changed a lot, too. Easy to forget things like that since they don't come into play a whole lot.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Great writeup.

Stories / Re: When sneaking stops working
« on: October 12, 2017, 06:39:20 PM »
Ooh, Joshua is finding his way into more dangerous places :)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

But yeah once you make it in there the "sneaking game" is mostly over! There are still ways to stealth/speed your way out, but the general reason to visit there is to... you know. And that means being prepared for serious fights.

Thank you! I should've dropped the update message in this thread as well xD

In the future I'll definitely be more careful about updates that may affect this system.

Ah yeah, I put info about this in the Beta 3 release announcement (as a note under the "Update ASAP" section). There was a change in code in Beta 3 that didn't account for people actually using the commands.cfg, and adjustments to some core commands at the top of the file (made for the Steam release) messed up others in the file. And yeah, you're right the underlying cause is a name syncing issue.

It seems there may still be something newly wrong with the commands.cfg, even in Beta 3 with a fresh copy--DDarkRay has encountered an unconfirmed oddity even after making a new set, though I haven't had time to look into that since the build is frozen for Steam release right now.

Either way, start with a fresh commands.cfg and try that.

(This system overall is definitely still experimental since not many people have used it and reported back, though it's possible we do have a new development here which needs to be addressed. Any more information following a reset is welcome!)

Update 171013: It seems to be working fine, although in Beta 3 it may no longer be possible to delete non-rebound commands from commands.cfg and still have it always work. I'll have to test this later and see what's up, but for now at least using a complete copy and doing rebinds seems to be working as expected.

General Discussion / Re: Improving the Tutorial for New Players
« on: October 11, 2017, 06:23:11 PM »
Heh, in the end just about any given thing will be ignored by a portion of players. Plenty of tutorial messages go unread, too (although I believe more are being read since I extended their flash duration to be somewhat annoyingly long :P). The only way to ensure they read messages is via really intrusive stuff like modal pop-up boxes, but I never wanted to go that far because it ruins the rest of the experience.

General Discussion / Re: Improving the Tutorial for New Players
« on: October 11, 2017, 09:11:41 AM »
Yeah the trapped situations are fine as is.

Technically the cave-in event in the Mines should almost always dig the player out eventually, plus there's the derelict that warns about carrying a Mining Laser for that reason.

Any time the player truly gets stuck surrounded by earth or walls early on without a way out could be considered funny roguelike business, and it'll probably only happen once unless they're totally careless later on :)

(I can see how it could be cause for some confusion for first-timers, but not sure that really needs to be addressed specifically. In any case, with Steam we'll have more fresh players interacting with the game and can get a better sense of what's important.)

General Discussion / Re: Improving the Tutorial for New Players
« on: October 11, 2017, 08:24:48 AM »
Ah yeah, something about the wait command would be good. It could be mentioned as part of the energy recovery situation, but it does have it's other uses... No other explicit situation where it would be extremely appropriate?

Edit: Actually the no-energy-to-move scenario is an okay argument for having the autoWait config setting to on by default... Then if they try to move it just waits to recover instead. Doesn't do a very good job of teaching the player though, so probably better to just leave it off.

General Discussion / Re: Improving the Tutorial for New Players
« on: October 11, 2017, 08:02:25 AM »
Yeah, it could be indirect like that, but it's still somewhat difficult to detect when it really matters as there are a lot of relevant situations.

An even more indirect method that fits more with the tutorial approach would be to warn them as soon as they attach and activate such a high-energy part, for example the ECM. Then they'll know to look out for it, or at least when the time comes that they're out of energy, they'll have a prior explanation as to why that may have come to pass.

Too late to add into the game now before the Steam launch, in any case, but that sounds like a good candidate for a new tutorial message in the next release.

(Note: Also perhaps some kind of warning when per-turn energy drain is clearly in the negative and will run out in X turns unless something is toggled or the situation changes.)

General Discussion / Re: Improving the Tutorial for New Players
« on: October 11, 2017, 07:01:43 AM »
1) Some people don't really understand the use of matter. It's true that you can always right-click it, but for some reason, it's not really considered an "item", so people don't really think that you can examine it. I think a tutorial message explaining the use of matter would be helpful.
Yeah, I can see that, and it's a very core item so the redundancy would be worth it.

2) Sometimes a player can be really confused if they're carrying an item that costs a lot of energy, and didn't think a particular item would cost so much energy. As a result, they couldn't move or attack or even equip an engine anymore. A tutorial message pointing this out would be appreciated.
This one I'm not as sure about if only because it's rather hard to detect effectively, and also borders on the side of giving strategy advice which the tutorial intentionally avoids. It would be more appropriate if I added that strategy-related help system built to detect changing situations and make suggestions, though that would be rather involved and not something I want to invest in in the near term.

3) While examining "heat" stat of an item, it doesn't explain what heat can do. I think it would be great to have a small description saying that high heat is bad.
Excellent idea! Will do.

4) Chain-reaction explosion is really cool, but it's often not understood as to why it happens. I think it's sufficient to have the log could mention that an EM weapon hit the power source and triggered chain-reaction.
Nah that's intentionally something left for the player to figure out. It's not vital information in any way, so better left to discovery. (Though players who investigate their EM weapon context help will of course learn this more quickly :P)

General Discussion / Re: Looking forward to the Steam release!
« on: October 10, 2017, 06:20:00 PM »
Hi DanielCoffey! Yep, all about immersion and not even a main menu just straight into "you're a robot, go do robot things" :)

I definitely hail from the age in which pretty much all games had a lot of love put into them (and it showed), whereas today there's so much money in the industry that the goal is more often to just maximize profit and create things for the widest possible audience. At least the recent indie resurgence has gotten back to the original spirit in a lot of ways, with accessible tools enabling a greater number of individuals and small teams to tackle bigger projects.

On a separate subject, when I put Cogmind on my Steam wishlist I did notice an oddity...
I don't know much about Steam algorithms, other than the common complaint that they rarely work well. Maybe that particular one hasn't yet been solidified until the game is actually on sale? I dunno. Even that result is at odds with what you can see at the bottom of our respective store pages--already #1 for each other on our "more like this" list :P

Thanks for your support, and I hope you enjoy it!

Announcements / Re: Cogmind Beta 3: "Steam"
« on: October 09, 2017, 08:19:16 AM »
Hopefully, as long as I have time. There aren't as many "new" things that I can show for this one though, which is something I generally prefer to do (include some new stat categories or talk about something new).

One of my thoughts was to wait a bit and compare Beta 2 with Beta 3/Steam.

In any case, this is technically a "pre-release" Beta 3, since only the DRM-free players have it so far. The official date of the release is 171017 :P (I'll be switching over the leaderboards to Beta 3 before that, though.)

Announcements / Cogmind Beta 3: "Steam"
« on: October 09, 2017, 03:37:58 AM »
It's the most minor major version release yet! :P

Beta 3 is here, and while unimpressive in and of itself, there are several good reasons for us to advance that number (as opposed to the original plan to just bring a 2.3 to Steam):
  • We're going to Steam with this version, and it would be nice to have the next batch of stats be able to distinguish more clearly between pre- and post-Steam, rather than awkwardly straddling the transition.
  • Any initial issues and/or little features or adjustments specific to Steam, made in the near term after release, are better handled as minor updates to a new "this is Steam" major branch.
  • Betas 2.1 and 2.2 together added the equivalent of a major release's worth of updates anyway.
Also, Beta 3 was going to go out simultaneously with the Steam launch next week, but since it's ready now there's no real reason to wait on it, especially since it fixes a pretty nasty bug added by 2.2. Oops :P

Update ASAP

If you're currently playing Beta 2.2, I strongly recommend you update now. ...Here I was trying to be nice and have multislot parts all gain automatic immunity to severing, without realizing that the way said immunity was handled meant that this across-the-board change would completely prevent multislot parts from being dropped as salvage at all. Across the board xD

So for Beta 3 I expanded the implementation to support enough nuance that multislot parts can keep their newfound immunity and still drop. But this also means that in 2.2 you'll have more trouble acquiring these parts (i.e., good luck trying to salvage double-slot treads and heavy armor).

Note: Saves are compatible with Beta 2.2 if you want to transfer over.

Note: If you were using the manual key rebinding system, or had even activated it, before updating you should delete your /user/commands.cfg, then apply your rebinds again after the updated version creates a new one. If you don't this your Escape key won't give access to the game menu. I wasn't aware anyone was really using this system and a change made for the Steam version sorta borked one of the command entries, making it read the old settings file incorrectly. (I'll have to be more careful with that next time, because obviously people are using the system!)

New Scoresheet Default

From Beta 3 Cogmind will now default to uploading scoresheets, instead of requiring manual activation. This will allow us to see data for more players who never bother to look at all the options, and it's also pretty normal these days for games to collect play data (without even an option to deactivate it...). As usual there is no personal information collected--it's just your run statistics and some of your option settings, and you can see everything transmitted in your scoresheet text file.

Note this change of defaults won't affect any of you who are using an existing options config file from a previous build (in fact, for all old players who never activated it, it will remain off). It'll only upload by default for new players/installs, and it can still be deactivated manually in the options menu, as before.

I imagine this will result in a lot more Anonymous (default settings) submissions, so going forward I'll probably be excluding those from the leaderboards (set a player name!), though all scoresheets will still be on record for data analysis.

Steam Integration

In my recent blog post I talked about the process of preparing for Steam, including the dedicated Steam build, where you can read more about the details. But where Beta 3 is concerned I'll mention here that although Cogmind is not compatible with the Steam Overlay, you can however use the standard method of uploading screenshots.

F12 (or PrtScn) will take a screenshot and allow you the option of uploading it as with the Overlay:

These screenshots will even be tagged by location:

And everyone's screenshots, including non-Steam players, will use new more descriptive file names:

Note: The Steam and DRM-free versions are actually not identical--the latter isn't capable of hooking into Steam to take advantage of its features like screenshot uploading (and more in the future, although Achievements will be available to all players regardless of platform).

Cogmind Beta 3 (0.10.171017) changelog:

* NEW: Basic Steam integration
* NEW: [Steam] Overlay-free screenshot uploading via standard Print Screen key
* NEW: [Steam] Screenshots uploaded to library are tagged by location
* NEW: F12 also takes screenshots (in addition to PrtScn)
* NEW: Scoresheet records include "Steam" indicator under Options
* MOD: Scoresheet no longer contains "X=" string
* MOD: Leaderboard submissions on by default (can still be manually deactivated in options)
* MOD: Screenshot filename format changed from simple counter to "cogmind_[YYMMDD-HHMMSS]_[LOCATION]"
* MOD: Core Stripper buffed
* MOD: [Steam] No download email reminder when new versions are available
* FIX: Opening info for a map object while in kb mode, then toggling off that mode and closing the window, would cause cursor to jump [DDarkRay]
* FIX: Multislot part sever immunity added in previous update also indirectly prevented them from being salvaged [GJ, lsend]
* FIX: Subatomic Replicator could cause a subsequent crash if used on a certain plot item which was then picked up [lsend]

(Yes, that's all there really is. If you want to have fun reading a long changelog go check out Beta 1 xD)

Hi Palikka! This isn't a bug. Notice how it only happens in this small part of the game. There's a mechanic behind it, but yes it's not completely apparent, more so if you haven't found the relevant lore (you may run into someone inside the base who talks about it).

Announcements / Re: Cogmind is officially "Coming Soon" on Steam!
« on: October 08, 2017, 06:25:00 PM »
So soon xD

There won't be achievements on launch--didn't have enough time to prepare those. They'll be one of the first things for development to focus on after the launch, though. The preparations will take longer than normal, too, since Cogmind will have its own integrated achievements UI that non-Steam players will be able to use as well.

Come to think of it, considering that's a confirmed major feature I should probably add it to the FAQ roadmap...

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