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Author Topic: Cogmind Expansion, Price Increase "Coming Soon"  (Read 1190 times)

Kyzrati

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Cogmind Expansion, Price Increase "Coming Soon"
« on: March 10, 2024, 09:49:25 PM »

It's finally time! For 1.0? No, of course not (that we hit it back in 2017 is just a poorly kept secret), what I mean is raising the price to better reflect what Cogmind is: hundreds of hours of content and lovingly-crafted roguelike adventure and storytelling. I don't explicitly advertise the worldbuilding's diversity and surprises, since that is best left to discovery, but it's been enough to challenge and entertain some folks for even thousands of hours. (Cogmind's screenshots represent only a small fraction of what you'll really find out there, for the reality you'd have to check out spoiler sections of the community, or some videos/streams.)

And the scope continues to grow.

I've dedicated more than the past decade of my life to full-time development of Cogmind. Just me, since it's not like this could support additional folks--it can only barely cover frugal old me :P. I will hopefully, likely, continue to do so for the next couple years. Content is planned out even beyond that, but who knows if it will still be sustainable by then?

That said, as stated before I've never wanted to declare 1.0 then release all my expansions as DLC. Even though that technically makes a lot of business sense and would be significantly more sustainable, I think it leads to a worse player and community experience overall. Instead, I chose to start a Patreon some years ago to help keep the lights on. Although paling in comparison to what DLC would bring in, that has worked out well enough, so once again a special thanks to all of you patrons!

To the point at hand, Cogmind's price will be going up next month. There's only a relatively small window within which to do this without conflicting with other Steam events, and that period is April, so April it is. The new base price will be set to $24.99, and no don't expect that to mean deeper discounts going forward. The price isn't being raised to allow for greater discounts, it's being raised simply to raise the price :P

Some may question the idea of a price increase during "Early Access," but don't worry, the price will likely go up again (!) later and Cogmind isn't really Early Access, anyway, we're waaaay past that. Yes that label does keep some people from buying in since they're skeptical of anything marked EA, an unfortunate side effect of all the poorly planned or executed projects that don't manage it well. Cogmind could've completely skipped Early Access to begin with, or stop development at any point, and be fine in terms of completion.* (Cogmind was publicly released for over two years before coming to Steam in the first place! The date on the Steam page is not Cogmind's actual release date, though many informational sites will assume and repeat that...) We'll open the gates to those folks eventually, but the next couple themed expansions cover at least four more betas before that's even a consideration. The third still-to-come major expansion could be released before or after that threshold (still undecided), it's essentially just a pure marketing decision when to use the "1.0" label.

*that said, I'm super happy, as I'm sure others are, that we've finally been in development long enough, with enough new QoL and engine features, to support map zooming and full UI upscaling--that was BIG

Some historical metrics, for context:


For more historical info and graphs, you can also check out my annual reviews, one from each year for the past 10 years so far.

As for the next expansion, to focus on an important new location, it has technically already begun in part as a portion of Beta 13, and much more than that was completed last year, but that version detoured off into the map zoom and UI upscaling features arena so that more people could join us on this ongoing journey. With all of the new folks on board now, it's time to get this train steaming into exciting new territory again.

We're soon to increase the number of items in Cogmind by nearly 7%, a nice chunk considering we're already over 1,000, along with new maps, new factions, new abilities, yet another large increase in the number of encounters... the works. It'll be like Cogmind alpha content injections all over again, said in the strongest attempting-to-contain-my-hype tone possible :)


So yeah, in summary, price going up next month, and fun new releases coming, too, but... those not quite next month :P. They won't take forever, though--we'll be seeing somewhat faster releases down the line!

Oh yeah and there's still one more discount coming up later this week, so before the increase in price.

Memestrike

Since even after using an abbreviated version of the Beta 13 release notes we still hit Steam's length limit, I didn't have a chance to append any community stuff to our last announcement, so I'll just do that here...

MrMesh shared this wicked painting of a Cogmind scene--such a lively piece that also captures some great details! (via Roguelikes/Cogmind Discord)


A pair of awesome meme videos also dropped recently, including one titled "The Cogmind Beta 13 Experience" by Youngster (not very spoilery, but fun and nicely done!) and another dubbed "Cogmind Slander" by u/dogawesome, which is a good summary of a lot of Cogmind experiences, and in that sense it contains a lot of spoilers, but probably makes relatively little sense to anyone who hasn't actually played, or moreover played a lot. There's a huge number of lore and content references in there though, for those who can relate ;)

After releasing some patches for Beta 13, I also streamed the late-game portion of a run I had started on my own. It was fairly chaotic as usual, by choice :)

Some map-wide sterilization may have occurred prior to the start of the stream, and we know that in Cogmind destruction often begets ever greater levels of destruction, so yeah, continued remodeling was in the cards for a while.


We later used a hidden spoiler area to switch to 100% stealth for the remainder of the run (okay, except for the times our friends murdered everyone...)

That run was able to temporarily take 6th place since the leaderboards were reset for Beta 13, but has already been pushed down to 10th as more folks finish up their first runs with the new version, and at only 64k will probably not even sit within the top 20 for too long :P
« Last Edit: March 14, 2024, 07:32:07 PM by Kyzrati »
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames | Patreon

Baxter

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Re: Cogmind Expansion, Price Increase "Coming Soon"
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2024, 07:26:15 PM »

This game is well worth the full price. I’m a relatively new player, with only about 50 hours clocked, but already it’s one of my all-time favorite games. A labor of love, and a joy to play. Never have I had so much fun dying in a game. ;).

Thanks for all your work on this, Kyzrati. I very much look forward to what comes next!
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Kyzrati

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Re: Cogmind Expansion, Price Increase "Coming Soon"
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2024, 01:02:30 AM »

Hey Baxter, up to 50 now, eh? Enough to have seen a fair amount of things, but still a lot of wild experiences out there waiting :D

I'm super eager to start sharing the meatier parts of this expansion into new areas of the world, just hope we can keep the funding going long enough to see multiple more after it!

Aside from Patreon, this project is still funded in good part by bringing in new players, so I'm quite curious if there are still enough folks out there who would be very interested in a game like this and both willing and able to support its further development at this price. We had plenty such supporters back in 2015-2016 (excellent funding before joining Steam!), but it's been a long while now...

My strong aversion to DLC makes the path harder yet, but if we can keep it up for nearly a decade as we have, adding a couple more years is not out of the question :)
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