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Author Topic: Cogmind  (Read 3439 times)

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Offline Asid

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« on: March 23, 2018, 12:24:34 PM »

Cogmind is a sci-fi roguelike epic in which you play a robot building yourself from components found or salvaged from other robots. Explore a living, breathing world through turn-based tactical combat, or sneak, hack, and fly your way to victory.

Official Site: Here
Forum: Here
Steam: Here
YouTube: Here


Alpha Launch Trailer


Experience sci-fi tactical combat and exploration in a procedural world that combines traditional roguelikes with an immersive modern interface like no other. Build yourself from components found or salvaged from other robots. Attach power sources, propulsion units, utilities, and weapons to become a slow tank bristling with weapons, or a fast-moving flier zipping past enemies before they even have time to react, or a stealthy sword-wielding assassin/hacker, or whatever else you can come up with from the salvage you find. The situation can quickly change as you lose components and rebuild yourself from enemy remains. You are the Cogmind. Discover what that means as you explore a living, breathing world ruled by robots.


•   Build and modify a unique robot from parts found, or enemies defeated
•   Dynamic character development without XP/grinding
•   Dozens of robot classes, each with unique behavior within the ecosystem
•   Procedurally generated world combined with hand-crafted content
•   Seven different animated endings to uncover
•   ASCII evolved: Most advanced terminal interface ever
•   Thousands of particle effects and SFX
•   Fully destructible environment


Although currently in Early Access, Cogmind is mostly complete. There are over two-dozen map types, nearly a thousand items, thousands of sound and particle effects, multiple plot lines, hundreds of hand-made locations and encounters, thousands of lines of dialogue, and seven different animated endings to discover. That said, there are many plans to continue expanding the world with features and content, so for now we'll just call it EA :D

(Cogmind has been in full-time development for over four years.)


Cogmind is a turn-based roguelike, very traditional in many ways (permadeath procedural dungeon crawler built with ASCII in mind...), but at the same time innovates on the genre in terms of both design and accessibility features.

•   Within you have full mouse control--and full keyboard control! Use only one or the other, or both, and all common roguelike movement methods (mouse, numpad, vi, arrows) are enabled out of the box, no configuration required. Mouse users get drag-and-drop inventory management, and the keyboard is even faster with its multiple command schemes and built-in automation features.
•   Stealth play is just as viable as straightforward combat, using hacking and information warfare to outsmart the Complex. The lack of an XP system means you only have to use whatever means you can to reach new areas and find new gear to advance.
•   The world is alive with many types of robots, most of which are actually not hostile to you and have their own duties to carry out.
•   Map objects are labeled as they come into view, making for less tedious play and allowing you to instead focus on tactics and survival. A large number of other options and useful features are available to customize the UI.
•   While the most skilled players can reliably win the default mode, easier difficulty settings are available for those with less experience, or less time on their hands :) (advanced players can also attempt to take on the extended end-game!)
•   Accumulate knowledge across multiple plays, collecting info about previously used items in the ASCII art gallery (over 800 pieces of art!), and collecting lore about the world as you discover its inhabitants and guess at their potential motives, and true capabilities. While there's a rich story to uncover over many runs, know that it doesn't get in the way if you prefer to just strategize and min-max through your roguelikes.
•   Take on built-in Challenge Modes for a different kind of experience, or to prove just how good you really are.


Not every game is for everyone, so there are a few things to point out that may affect your interest in Cogmind.

•   No Hand-holding: Although very accessible and there's both context help and a quick tutorial to teach all the fundamentals, Cogmind invites you to explore a completely unfamiliar world. Observant players will come to internalize many of that world's rules naturally, and as you reach new areas you'll also discover in-theme explanations for everything, seamlessly integrated with the lore. As part of that process you'll often be faced with the post-death challenge of figuring out where things went wrong and why, until you eventually reach a point where you can see danger before it even materializes.
•   Rampant Item Destruction: Every item in Cogmind can be destroyed, and many of your items will be destroyed. At first this may be discouraging, but once you figure out the basics you'll generally be replacing old and broken parts with much better loot even before you lose it anyway. Building and, more importantly, rebuilding, is a vital part of the experience and what keeps the game dynamic and interesting throughout. Adaptability is key, and amazing comebacks are commonplace.
•   No Classes, Skills, Etc.: Unlike many other roguelikes and CRPGs in which you may form a sort of attachment to your character class and the levels, stats, skills, and equipment they've acquired over time, Cogmind is defined almost purely by items. And as mentioned those items will be destroyed, so there's not much chance to form that kind of attachment. However, this also leaves room for great flexibility during a single playthrough, flexibility you might want or need to rely on to maximize your chances for survival depending on what locations you visit.
•   A Different Kind of Game: As a whole Cogmind is quite different from pretty much everything out there, a fact that turns some people off, but others rather enjoy it for that same reason. It can also take a little while to get into, but once past learning the basics and how to reliably overcome early-game areas, the world and its opportunities really open up.
•   Not Suitable for Small Screens: Due to the game design, the screen is always divided into a minimum of 80x60 spaces that make up the "terminal grid." This means when played on a physically small screen, such as that of a laptop, each space will be relatively small and some players could have trouble comfortably seeing the details. Zooming is not supported by the engine. You can test what Cogmind will look like on your screen of choice here: (Note that ASCII mode is easier to see at smaller sizes, but it's understandable that three-quarters of players prefer the default tiles mode anyway :P)

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Offline Asid

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Re: Cogmind
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2018, 03:14:05 AM »
SITREP Saturday #16: Business as Usual

More achievement icons! We've got the final pass on two new categories here.

Special Challenges are probably not quite as obvious...

...whereas Progress-related achievements are more basic and numbery.

I've been talking about achievement "categories" for a while, but haven't gone into detail about what that actually means. Each achievement belongs to a certain category that gives a general idea of what type of achievement it is, determines the color scheme of its icon, and also enables it to be filtered along with others of its category via the in-game UI. There are so many achievements that after I'd formed a tentative list it seemed best to divide them up logically to aid both organization and understanding.

The six achievement categories:

•   Mechanics: A group of mostly basic achievements covering common useful tactics and learning about systems. Some of these serve as a way to teach (or at leas reinforce) features, too.

•   Style: Specifically play style-related achievements, like combat, stealth, hacking, etc. These are generally earned through normal play using a given style/strategy, and while some might be more challenging or require focus in a certain area, they're not difficult enough to be considered "special challenges " (another category).

•   Progress: Personal meta progress like high scores, lore/gallery coverage, and world exploration.

•   Challenges: This group doesn't have anything to do with Cogmind's "Challenge Modes," but is simply achievement-specific individual challenges ranging from Tier 1 (not too hard) to Tier 2 (hard) to Tier 3 (pretty hard!).

•   Events: Story-related elements. Basically once you've visited every location and exhausted all the branching possibilities of the plot, you'll have all of these. This category is entirely hidden, though, so these aren't achievements to be explicitly sought like a list. You've just gotta explore and use the in-game lore as clues.

•   Wins: There are a lot of different ways to win the game, whether achieving unique endings or simply winning by overcoming other challenging scenarios, so these get a whole category of their own.

Death and Taxes

So we've come upon another little speedbump on the way to Beta 6: tax season xD

Taxes have gotten more complicated this year--I have to file in two different countries now, so this'll be annoying. I could try to push Beta 6 out before the second country's deadline, but I'd rather not because the release shouldn't be about just achievements, so it's going to take longer than that!

Just a heads up that there's still lots to do on the list.


I heard from someone this week mentioning that POLYBOT-7 "really helped them understand Cogmind better," so maybe it's worth checking out for that reason, in addition to the fact that it's just an interesting different way to play a modular robot :)

In case you missed it, I released that game[] last week for 7DRL.

Since then I've also been working on a proper in-depth postmortem about its development, which you may be interested in checking out seeing as POLYBOT-7 is a very experimental alternative approach to the concept of Cogmind. The first two parts are already on the blog:
Part 1: Preparation[]
Part 2: First Days with UI, Aesthetics, and Mechanics[]
There are tons of details and diagrams/images in there--here are some excerpts:

The source code evolution of all my projects since 2011, which share the same code :P

Redesigning Cogmind's UI layout to meet new needs:

Alternative item color schemes:

In related news, one of our Cogmind experts (surprise surprise it was GJ) won P7 on New Game+++++ mode, which requires winning six times in a row, each run harder than the last.

Next time more on achievements, and an introduction to improvements to low-contrast mode.

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Offline Asid

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Re: Cogmind
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2018, 04:17:44 PM »

It seems I never run out of achievement stuff to show... because, well, yeah there are 256 of them xD

Here's the finalized icons for the second to last category: events and story-related elements!

Achievement work is progressing nicely. Yesterday I pretty much finished the internal framework, and also implemented most of the new related UI features (except for the main achievements UI). But I haven't yet recorded anything to share there, so it'll have to wait for a later SITREP. (We have pop-ups on the map when achievements are earned, as well as a new section next to the end game stats window if any new achievements were earned at the end of the run. All animated, of course :D)


Remember POLYBOT-7[]? Well it was quite the detour, but as mentioned before Cogmind benefited from it in a number of ways, one of those I haven't talked about yet being enhancements to low-contrast mode.

The "LOW_CONTRAST" renderFilter option I added in Beta 5 has been getting some use among players, though it was always kind of a hackish thing in the first place. Lots of Cogmind code and scripts assume the background is black, but I went in and changed that assumption in a number of places where it was more accessible. All of these improvements came as a result of efforts to polish the distinctive look of POLYBOT-7, which uses a low-contrast aesthetic by default. For example:

Path visualization is now much more visible. (All sample images are using the SLEEPY preset.)

full post here

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Offline Asid

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Re: Cogmind
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2018, 08:28:41 PM »
SITREP Saturday #23: Community 0b110
Cogmind - Kyzrati

There's been a fair amount of achieving going on in the past 10 days :)

Of our 256 achievements, so far all but 31 have been earned by at least one player. That's 87.9% of the total. At this point the highest achievement rate by individual players is around 66%.

Looking at the top of the global achievements list...

It's mostly what we'd expect, although worth pointing out it's kinda funny that The Most Popular Achievement will unlikely ever actually reach #1. Uninvited Guest in particular is an achievement that everyone will get on their first run, and technically speaking we'll always have new players joining who haven't yet finished a run to get the, um, "most popular" :P

Crack Shot and Storm Trooper are also both very common scenarios when just starting out (especially Storm Trooper among beginners who haven't yet learned how to maximize accuracy).

All these are pretty basic achievements though--all the really fun stuff is still a lot lower on the list as different players aim for different goals. We'll look at some of those another time.

I may also later add the global percentages to the in-game UI for players connected to Steam.

Speaking of achievements, remember that collage I made for the Beta 6 release? Just a fun gif related to that: To create the background I added a debug command in the game's console which creates a new window over everything and randomly fills it with achievement icons, automatically saving a whole bunch of screenshots that I could then pick from.

Trippy, eh? :D

Data Miner

As usual following a major release, I've collected a bunch of stats to share.

You can read all the details on the forums.

It'll be fun to look at achievement progress across the entirety of Beta 6 once the next release is out, but let's not get ahead of ourselves xD

Community <3

Our community has been quite active lately! (And not necessarily tied to this particular release :P)

A group of expert players have begun collaborating on a sort of detailed "complete guide" to Cogmind. There's nothing to show yet, but it's taking shape. It's also going to be chock full of spoilers.

The spoiler-free "guide" I wrote, a.k.a. the 60-page manual, has also been reformatted to a very nice PDF version for Beta 6 by Phragmented.

It's available as both a standard PDF document with chapters, and a printable booklet. You can download both here.

For the community of Japanese players, PlasticHeart has shared with us his guide for preparing for a flight/hover run. He then even translated Valguris' quick guide to the early game (the original is a useful read if you are relatively new to the game). Cogmind itself doesn't support translations, but from what I've seen even having the manual translated has brought in new players from Japan.

There's been a fair number of players streaming this week, including... me :). I was going to stream last week but a household emergency put a stop to that, so this week it was finally time for some Beta 6. I streamed twice, a single run spread across two days, and won it. Just barely. In epic fashion. So it was definitely worth it :D. It got pretty slow at certain points with all the talking and strategizing, but we came out on top in the end. There's a full summary of part 1 and 2 on the forums, including links to YouTube.

zxc also spent a while streaming and uploaded his 701-turn speedrun to YouTube. Speedrunning is in vogue again now that there are a couple of achievements for it :P

Probably the community news with the biggest OMG factor is that Ape3000 has continued expanding and refining his wonderful player progression graphs yet further, and they now include everyone on the leaderboards! Some more samples:

There are over 20 graphs for each player. Check your own progress on the website. (Don't bother looking at mine, because unlike most players I don't migrate my data between versions and have always started with a fresh build each release :P)

As a reminder: If you don't want to upload your score data you can still create the graphs yourself if you can run the scripts found here.

After 6 Comes 7

Fortunately there's a ton to play with in Beta 6, because Beta 7 will probably take a while.

Lots to do with the new robot hacking system (still in planning stages), but there are also some external factors at play...

Rather than working on Cogmind, I've already had to spend much of my dev time this week dealing with the new GDPR thing coming out of the EU. This involved lots of research and subsequent updating of my website, forums, blog, mailing lists, etc... At least it's a nice initiative and a worthy cause.

Anyway, yay that's mostly done at this point, but next week I'll be consumed by... taxes.

As you can see the upcoming week is going to be pretty boring :/

For this reason I'm going to skip next week's SITREP and focus on getting these and other annoying chores out of the way before really focusing on the next release. I'll still be around in chat, though, and will almost certainly stream again before the next SITREP, so maybe I'll see you there :)

Cogmind made a Top 100 indie games list . There are so many good games out there now that these lists are pretty subjective, but hey I'm not gonna complain! (Sure has been a while since Cogmind had any coverage from any major news outlet, though xD)

Today also marks the third anniversary of Cogmind's public Early Access program! With other games this might not be something worth celebrating, implying that it's taking forever to finish the game, but Ive put in over 6,000 hours of work in that time, and although it would've been appropriate to launch 1.0 last year I decided not to. For the time being I'd rather just keep making major additions to the game for free, which makes more sense to do under EA rather than "full release." After all, traditional roguelikes that keep getting updates for a long time are great, and it's hard to stop working on this when there are so many more ideas and it's "only" been five years so far :P

There may be other relevant discussion of this SITREP on the GSG forums.

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Offline Asid

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Re: Cogmind
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2018, 02:37:40 PM »
Year 5 of the Cogmind
 By Kyzrati | Published: December 5, 2018

It almost seems unbelievable, but we’re already pushing into our sixth year of full-time development!

Once again it’s time to look back over the past year at our progress, which in 2018 includes several major releases, other roguelike happenings, and our first full year on Steam. Here’s an image collage to get us started :D

Selection of images from the past year of Cogmind-related development as posted on this blog, forums, and Twitter. full mega size here

Read on

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Offline Asid

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Re: Cogmind
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2018, 02:48:54 PM »
Limited Edition Holiday Mode 2018
20 December - Kyzrati

While the great Beta 8 is still under construction, in the meantime I have something else special for you! In fact a lot of special stuff...

Effective immediately through January 1st, 2019, every day Cogmind will feature different new content, much of it with a notably holiday theme. There are 17 new unique parts, among other "gifts" :D

Unlike my normal announcements I won't be listing the content or showing any screenshots/gifs here to spoil it, but there's some really fun stuff (including new mechanics). Some of the content is randomized in case you start more than one run in a single day, though the majority of the brand new stuff is organized and defined by date. All of the special Holiday Mode content is available right from the beginning of a run though, so there's no going out and searching for it--start up and see it right away.

Much of the content for this update is actually special parts that will only exist for this release, accompanied by a number of rare or unique items that can be found elsewhere in the world of Cogmind but that you may not have encountered before. You'll be able to distinguish between the two because the former don't have unique art, instead using a common placeholder (you'll know it when you see it :P). You don't have to worry about collecting the temporary parts for your gallery (since they won't exist in future releases), although you can technically use this opportunity to help flesh out your gallery of other parts, and of course get further or to new areas with the help of some of these amazing new toys.

Technically you can skip ahead in this event by changing your system date, but in the manner that we normally treat spoilers in the community, if you do this please don't openly share advance info on future content with others in case they don't want to know yet.

Technical Points

•   This version's saves are not compatible with the original Beta 7.2 (the save version had to be increased in order to allow this update to add a bunch of content). As usual you can just finish your current run before updating, or if on Steam and it automatically updated yours you can use the legacy branches to roll back and finish your previous save/run first if you like (or do it later).
•   You CAN earn achievements while this mode is active! This might be another reason to play it ;)
•   Holiday Mode does not upload scoresheets (these runs will therefore not appear on the leaderboards).
•   Holiday Mode is incompatible with challenge modes (if any are active, the challenge takes precedence).
•   Holiday Mode ignores the advanced quickStart option.
•   Holiday Mode will automatically activate for new runs started in this 12/20~1/1 period, but requires that you've played at least 10 runs before! We wouldn't want to confuse new players too much :P. If you haven't hit the 10-run requirement and want to force Holiday Mode anyway, you can run Cogmind with the "-forceHoliday" command line parameter. Note that even then it still requires that you've done at one run behind the tutorial mode, having made it to the smaller version of the Scrapyard (technically you can get around this requirement as well by turning off the tutorial in the options, but I wouldn't really recommend jumping right in to the special mode without first having done a few regular runs to learn the basics!)
•   If it's activating automatically but you want to play "regular Cogmind" during this event period, run the game with the "-noHoliday" parameter to turn it off (or, again, roll back to the previous release via its legacy branch).

Limited Edition

You may notice the version number is still Beta 7.2. That's because this special release was developed using a completely separate branch of the game, as this allowed me to prepare this for you all very quickly without worrying about taking my normal (internal) steps to future proof the whole thing with good documentation and clean code. Despite the amount of stuff in here, it only took a day and half :) (Don't worry, though, I did test everything and it seems to be in working order!)

So this is technically not the same branch that Beta 8 is being built upon, and this content and other related changes made to the game to support it will disappear with the next release. There is no changelog--as far as future players are concerned, it never happened ;)


The opening area might be a bit overwhelming. To quickly get set up, you could follow these general steps:
•   Open up everything you see
•   Attach any alien artifacts (these are consumables)
•   Fill your power and propulsion slots (try to avoid using airborne propulsion, though you can stash it away for later)
•   Attach any Storage Unit(s)--there'll be at least one lying around (and maybe a special one!)
•   Collect most utilities and weapons (especially any that are clearly new and use the placeholder "holiday art" I mentioned earlier)
•   Go have fun!

Note that a small portion of the items may not be amazing, since those are randomly chosen from among existing items, but a lot of the items for each day were handpicked, especially all the special new ones.

Thanks for being a great community, enjoy the holidays :D

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Offline Asid

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Re: Cogmind
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2019, 05:17:28 PM »
SITREP Saturday #46: Extreme Bothacking
15 Jun @ 12:39am - Kyzrati

Beware, the bothackers cometh!

Hacking robots has gotten a lot more interesting since Beta 7, and although there were some buffs after that, the strategy was still somewhat lacking in the late game, at most serving as a supplementary capability rather than holding its own. So now we've got... permanent upgradable RIF abilities!

I've written a full explanation on the new system over on the blog: "Robot Hacking: Upgrades[]"

Read on

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Offline Asid

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Re: Cogmind
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2019, 01:27:11 AM »
SITREP Saturday #47: Under Siege
Sat, 21 September 2019

Introducing siege mechanics, greatly expanded scoresheets, more QoL features, rebranded difficulty modes, and more art!

Siege mode is here! Wait what? Siege mode?

Yeah, this concept kinda came out of nowhere because suggested by patrons who came up with a bunch of ideas and voted on the new mechanic they wanted to see in Cogmind. The full list and voting results are here:

I like the idea of having a "siege mode" for treads since we already have conditional "overloaded" functionality with some other propulsion, but before now treads didn't have this and it provides new tactical options depending on your situation and capabilities.

In short, you exchange your mobility for combat buffs, becoming immobile but gaining bonuses to accuracy and coverage, with even some damage resistance.

Here's a demo of some of the relevant interface bits, showing how it takes time to enter/exit the mode (and during that transition you're more vulnerable):

Read on

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Offline Asid

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Re: Cogmind
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2019, 01:27:47 PM »
Beta 9 "Wizardry"
Tue, 22 October 2019

Cogmind's 9th major beta release, "Wizardry," is a big one where you can
•   upgrade with permanent bothacking abilities!
•   become a mobile fortress with siege mode for treads!
•   pore over greatly expanded scoresheets!
•   make use of optional quicksaves!
•   enjoy tons more QoL!
•   etc! yes! more!

In the works for more than half a year, this release brings us pretty close to 1.0, at least based on the fact that there's little left in terms of "must-have" features on the roadmap.

Lots more details can be found in the release notes and sample images further below, but first, the changelog...

(Note: Beta 9 is far too large to fit the entire release notes on Steam--their system doesn't support it... so I've had to share the changelog here as an image rather than text. For a normal view of the full release notes, see this same announcement on the forums!)

Read on

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Offline Asid

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Re: Cogmind
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2019, 02:47:11 PM »
Beta 9.1 "Abominations!" (Halloween Mode)
Tue, 29 October 2019

Hot on the heels of our massive Beta 9 update, time for an extreme change of pace...

Beta 9.1 "Abominations!" fixes a few new issues from Beta 9, but more importantly adds a special Halloween event that's been in the works for a couple weeks. This event's special mode includes:

•   20 new robots, most with new capabilities and mechanics!
•   1 new hidden map, complete with boss
•   other event-specific mechanics

Saves are compatible with Beta 9 so on Steam there's no legacy branch for that release--we're all going straight to 9.1.

As with our several other special events in the past, this one is time-activated (10/31) automatically but you can also force it to activate on any day by adding "-forceMode:Abominations" as a command line parameter when running the game. (On Steam this is handled by going to Properties > Set Launch Options.) If you've done this correctly the message log will show a special announcement when you start the game.

If you want to play a regular run on 10/31 instead of joining the event, you can use the "-noSpecialMode" parameter to prevent it from activating.

(Note that Abominations mode won't activate for anyone who hasn't already finished at least several runs of Cogmind.)

Achievements are not earned in Cogmind's special modes, but you can gain new item gallery entries, and lore technically counts as well (although as you'll see access to lore and plot are very limited in this particular event). As with the Pay2Buy event from earlier this year, Abominations mode could be a good way to add rare items to your gallery that you have yet to discover in regular runs.

Content new for Abominations mode is also tweaked by your difficulty settings, a first for a special event. Rogue level is quite challenging, but anyone good at the base game should be able to win as well. That said, the pure chaos of it will make Abominations relatively challenging in all difficulty settings compared to the base game, but... !!!FUN!!! :)

I could entice you with more details about the event, but I'd rather the announcement itself stop short of spoilers. Just know that WEIRD things will happen in this mode, and it's not bugs, just try to be observant and figure stuff out ;)

If you don't mind spoilers and just want to read and know everything, I've written in-depth coverage of this mode, both its content and the entire design progress, over on the blog:

Not long after today's release, around 9pm Eastern Time, I'll be streaming one or more Abomination runs, if you want to stop by to check out the mode and hear me rant about its design as I try to fight my way through it :)

Testers think it's a really fun mode, and I've already played through a good four runs and defeated the hidden boss in one of them, so we'll see how successful I am on stream :P (Anyone who's missed the stream can find it on YouTube the day after.)

Some special UI QoL unique to this event to be aware of: On-map labels for Matter are filtered out the first time you attempt to label (using the normal label filter features), due to the excessive amount of Matter that will eventually appear on the map... You'll see ;)

Sadly the new leaderboard database isn't yet complete so we won't have a contemporary leaderboard for this event, but one can/will be put together retroactively once they're up and running (so submit scores now as usual to be included in the data).

Even if you don't want to play Abominations mode, I strongly recommend you upgrade your Cogmind version to 9.1 as soon as possible since it fixes a nasty new potential crash bug introduced in Beta 9 that can occur if you use a lot of quickloads under certain circumstances.


Addendum: It's been ages since I reminded players to leave Steam reviews, and it really shows since they're pretty rare these days and for a long while we've barely been making any progress in that area towards the next goal. (Again, no paid DLC is planned for Cogmind, but free DLC in the form of a large update is totally an option :D. Patreon has been a great help in sustaining development, but it hasn't reached that level yet!)

Thanks everyone for your support!


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Re: Cogmind
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2019, 12:22:49 AM »
Beta 9.2 "Robotic Riches"
Tue, 12 November 2019

With 9.2 Cogmind gets Rich Presence on Steam, an explicit colorblind option, Abominations mode improvements, yet more scoresheet updates, plus the usual bug fixes and more.

Although a much smaller update compared to the full Beta 9, there's a fair amount of stuff in here, with good reasons to update. Release notes and sample images below!

Cogmind Beta 9.2 "Robotic Riches" (191112) changelog:

•   NEW: [Steam] Supports Rich Presence, sharing current build, location, and status with friends
•   NEW: [Steam] Option to deactivate Steam Rich Presence (advanced.cfg: disableSteamRichPresence)
•   NEW: Options menu "Colorblind Adjustment" setting to modify certain color schemes to be more colorblind friendly
•   NEW: Option to display remaining integrity in item/robot popup labels (advanced.cfg mapLabelsShowIntegrity)
•   NEW: Option to fully highlight visible cave-in areas rather than the low-distraction default (advanced.cfg highlightCaveinAreas)
•   NEW: Manual explicitly mentions "Ctrl-Alt (Hold)" also highlights areas that can cave in
•   NEW: Manual explicitly documents "Ctrl-+/-" as global volume up/down commands
•   NEW: Scoresheet records current movement-related variables under Cogmind header
•   NEW: Scoresheet relative alert level percentages now also recorded on a per-map basis
•   NEW: INVERT renderFilter variable
•   NEW: [Abominations mode] Explicit log message when Paradox Anomalies repair Cogmind parts
•   NEW: [Abominations mode] Final boss also has unique parse text
•   MOD: [Abominations mode] Fire/Sundering Anomalies won't appear until -7/-8 respectively
•   MOD: [Abominations mode] Negative Anomaly effects no longer applied to themself if affiliation modified via Field Lobotomy Kit
•   MOD: Complex 0b10 capable of remotely opening blast doors under certain additional circumstances
•   MOD: Scoresheet Parts and Peak State lists now align part names taking into account any prefix
•   MOD: AI combat pathfinding and targeting behavior updated, less likely to be blocked by non-combatants
•   MOD: "More Dakka Please" achievement condition more specifically requires kinetic projectiles
•   FIX: New pushing algorithm for machines releasing parts might unnecessarily destroy parts under special circumstances [Valguris]
•   FIX: External issues likely caused by Steam cloud for runs played across multiple sessions could cause incomplete scoresheet achievements list [Valguris]
•   FIX: A8 manual hacking code wasn't reported in message log in a certain scenario, even though properly received [Valguris]
•   FIX: No longer able to enter Proximity Caves directly via large 0b10 bases [Valguris]
•   FIX: Possible crash under extremely rare circumstances involving a controllable ally attempting to attack Cogmind [Gitida]
•   FIX: New scoresheet game number tally incorrect for Rogue mode if previously played Adventurer or Explorer mode [Solar Sloth]
•   FIX: Part autopairs weren't remembered between maps [Benjamin]
•   FIX: New scoresheet system wasn't handing out score threshold-based achievements for current run, instead based on previous run in same session [5taquitos]
•   FIX: New scoresheet "Challenges" subsection did not list applicable challenges [sideriver81]
•   FIX: Field Recycling Units could be used to refine matter into even more matter [NikolayAg]

Saves from earlier versions are incompatible with Beta 9.2, but even if you're on Steam and Cogmind automatically updates, Betas 9/9.1 are still available via their own legacy branches and you can roll back to finish a run in progress first if you like.

Read on

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Re: Cogmind
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2019, 11:30:14 PM »
Annual Review: Year 6 of the Cogmind
Tue, 3 December 2019

Our sixth annual review is up!

As usual for annual reviews this one is only available on the blog , and includes topics like dev hours talk, a quick overview of the major releases and special events this year, new milestones reached, and musing on finishing, or not finishing, 1.0 in 2020 (something we gotta do for every new year, right? :P)

There might be a hint of things to come, things in the not-so-distant future...

IndieDB is also voting for GotY again , so if you could, I'd appreciate if anyone can spare a moment to help Cogmind take its place in the Top 100 this year :D (might as well keep the five-year streak going!)

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Re: Cogmind
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2019, 01:16:51 PM »
Beta 9.3 "RPGLIKE"
Mon, 16 December 2019

Introducing "RPGLIKE", this year's Winter special event and all-new optional way to play Cogmind, with a completely different progression system and other significantly game-altering mechanics!

With RPGLIKE mode you'll be able to
•   raise levels!
•   select from a range of permanent upgrades!
•   repair your core with protomatter!
•   and keep your parts intact indefinitely!

This mode plays with the concept of making Cogmind a little bit more like other traditional roguelikes, though combined with Cogmind's unique content opens up quite a few new strategic horizons.

Lots more info and demos below, but first, the changelog--with all the work put into 9.3 and the resulting decent-sized changelog, you'll see that "RPGLIKE" is essentially a semi-major release masquerading as a minor version update :)

Cogmind Beta 9.3 "RPGLIKE" (191217) changelog:

•   NEW: Special event for Winter 2019, automatically activates between 12/17 and 1/1 (inclusive) for anyone who has played at least 10 runs
•   NEW: Command line argument "-forceMode:Winter2019" (or "-forceMode:RPGLIKE") to enable the Winter mode from 2019, regardless of system date
•   NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Cogmind does not evolve, instead uses leveling mechanics with an XP system enabling free-form assignment of permanent upgrades
•   NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Gain XP by exploring and/or raising the alert level
•   NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Start with much higher core integrity, but only one of each slot type (can upgrade immediately in Scrapyard)
•   NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] 90% of incoming damage to parts instead transferred to core, thus losing parts is relatively rare
•   NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Use Protomatter to restore integrity of core and parts
•   NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Storage units do not exist and Cogmind starts with no base inventory, optionally expand capacity with level upgrades
•   NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Dynamic build type analysis always shown above parts list, even before activating showBuildType advanced.cfg option
•   NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Fewer Relay Couplers spawn, but all that do have double their normal value
•   NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Extra "RPGLIKE" section in scoresheet containing mode-specific stats
•   NEW: "Alternative Rules" section of manual describes all previous special modes/events and how to access them
•   NEW: Mouse movement pathfinding and running via keyboard both stop on spotting a hidden door or phase wall
•   NEW: Keyboard mode pathfind to cursor (Shift-Alt-g in examine mode to set, same key outside examine mode to continue approaching if stopped)
•   NEW: Ctrl-Alt in keyboard mode also highlights path to most recent keyboard pathfinding target, if still valid
•   NEW: Pathfinding directly to an interactive machine automatically initiates hacking on arrival
•   NEW: Scan window shows faint map label buttons while no object info loaded
•   NEW: Item labels outside FOV remember which are Faulty or Rigged, include this status in label name
•   NEW: Item labels both within and outside FOV also reflect the "Non-functional" status (marked as "Broken")
•   NEW: Option to always close robot/item info windows instantly rather than animating the close (advanced.cfg: disableInfoWindowCloseAnimation)
•   NEW: Option to adjust movement interval for running and pathfinding (advanced.cfg: movementDelayInterval)
•   NEW: Option to have parts list always sort destroy-on-removal parts like Processors to the top (advanced.cfg: partSortSeparatesDestroyOnRemoval)
•   MOD: Running via keyboard stops before reaching corners and doors rather than continuing one space past them
•   MOD: Running via keyboard now supports layout-based autostopping on diagonal movement as well
•   MOD: Removed disablePersistentScanInfo/disablePersistentAccuracyInfo advanced.cfg options, both now default behavior by necessity
•   MOD: Keyboard running behavior matches mouse pathfinding when approaching stairs, allowing a run to exit a map if recently confirmed the exit action
•   MOD: All Gyrokinetic Inverter overweight penalties increased from 30 to 40
•   MOD: "Perfect Aim" achievement description specifies accuracy bonus from utilities only
•   MOD: Class name modifier "Mechanic" renamed to "Machinist"
•   MOD: Unidentified parts no longer display their integrity in Scanalyzer lists
•   MOD: Sorting inventory by type or integrity groups all unidentified parts together
•   MOD: Allies reactivated via Datajack no longer recalled automatically for subsequent "attacks"
•   MOD: Updated some major NPC parse text
•   MOD: Temporary allies gained via streamctrl_ hacks no longer follow to other maps
•   MOD: Dormant bot systems no longer accessible for RIF hacking purposes
•   MOD: High Security dispatch composition expanded to deal with a wider range of threats
•   MOD: More time to explore W base, tweaked composition of later attacking squads
•   MOD: [Pay2Buy mode] Hotkey for opening Cogshop change from '0' to '9'
•   MOD: [Pay2Buy mode] Cogshop windows displaced from bottom/left edges of map view to avoid covering intel markers and exit labels
•   MOD: Special game modes now override challenge modes, rather than the other way around
•   MOD: Toggling special modes or challenge modes via command line or advanced.cfg will not apply the effect unless game started for a fresh run (no saves)
•   MOD: "-forceMode:" command line argument's mode name no longer case-sensitive
•   MOD: "Challenge Modes" list in manual moved under new section "Alternative Rules"
•   MOD: Simplified Hacking immunity context help accessed via robot info page
•   MOD: All achievements are allowed to be earned regardless of active challenge modes or special modes
•   FIX: Holding cursor stationary while using 'f' to retarget a previously targeted robot that moved displayed incorrect base hit chance [Valguris]
•   FIX: Ejecting Relay Couplers from a just-opened Garrison Access might not be able to create the Couplers in some layouts [Valguris]
•   FIX: Any type of damage that didn't destroy a door could cause a malfunction, instead of just EM [Valguris]
•   FIX: Unpowered/Broken bots could still have active parts which might cause side effects [Valguris]
•   FIX: Controllable ally names might be the same if allies of same class acquired on different maps at the same depth [Valguris]
•   FIX: 0b10 Decoders attached to a hostile could give Cogmind info [Valguris]
•   FIX: Crash while pathfinding to a distant location and using keyboard to order nearby drones to RETURN and have a Drone Bay with free space [Valguris]
•   FIX: Hostile Programmers assimilating Protectors converted them to non-threat faction, causing Cogmind allies to stop targeting them [Valguris]
•   FIX: Warlord outpost in caves might have two Commanders, both of which could offer an escort in rare cases [CaptainWinky]
•   FIX: Crash in rare layouts while closing hacking window when that target machine is indirectly destroyed by the hack itself [CaptainWinky]
•   FIX: Abominations update began allowing Cogmind to use autoswapping to swap in unidentified parts [core_nxt]
•   FIX: Crash during a certain special event if player had specifically muted Prop audio levels, or had system audio off at the time [MitchellFJN]
•   FIX: Terminal dynamic key increased difficulty of hacks with negative chances of success, sometimes noticeable with hackware or Operator allies [Joshua]
•   FIX: Part autopair validity may not always be checked correctly, potentially even crashing on attempting to leave the map [Driana]
•   FIX: Becoming enemies with Zion after imprinting could still allow for terminal network hard line cut in 0b10 [Finestep]
•   FIX: Post-streamctrl_high behavior of Operators unusual [Benjamin]
•   FIX: "Winner's Signature" achievement was still possible if scanned by any Researcher, rather than only in a certain map [sideriver81]
•   FIX: Comparing different Datajacks showed a numeric difference next to their effect even though irrelevant to player [aperiodic]
•   FIX: Any potential [C]-type Relay Couplers unattached but in inventory on acquiring Crosswire RIF ability became usable from inventory [Pimski]
•   FIX: Crash on a Worker following deconstruct_machine orders on a Network Hub [Xii]
•   FIX: Beta 9.3 prerelease bugs hunted down by: [Terminus, Zyalin, NikolayAg, Tone, Xii]
•   FIX: Stopping a running/pathfinding movement in progress was not completely reliable
•   FIX: Potential crash if a Core Expander used while any info window open
•   FIX: Temporary allies gained via overwrite_iff hack or Autooverride RIF ability would follow to a new map if exited quickly enough after hacking


This event/mode is focused around an "RPG-ish" progression model, envisioning Cogmind as if it were more like a lot of other traditional roguelikes featuring a leveling system but without rampant item destruction :P. While it's still possible to lose parts, it's not very likely, and many of your abilities can also be gained from the upgrade mechanics, altogether allowing you to create sturdier builds with more permanence.

At its core Cogmind is about mitigating loss and adapting to changing situations (including losing your own capabilities!), so naturally this mode is seemingly the "anti-Cogmind," turning the game on its head. As one of testers put it "this mode definitely feels like other games," so for those out there who are looking for a new/different traditional roguelike maybe not quite so radical in terms of strategy and tactics as regular Cogmind, this mode might be for them/you. You can possibly play it as a break from the sometimes stressful regular mode, or even switch to RPGLIKE altogether, as it's meant to be a permanent gameplay option from now on, and will continue to get more updates as necessary if people are into it.

Progression aside, one of the key features of this mode that allows you to retain your build is the automatic damage transfer: 90% of incoming damage to your attached parts is instead transferred to your core. This does mean your core takes a lot more damage than usual, but in RPGLIKE mode you'll have more core integrity and you can also restore the integrity of both your core and parts using the new Protomatter item that you'll sometimes find among the salvage of newly fallen bots.

Again, overall this is going to be quite a different Cogmind experience, but one that might be more enjoyable for those who prefer to have more attachment to their build, or rely on certain rare parts for much of their run without having to worry about protecting or replacing them, among other benefits.

RPGLIKE: Upgrading

In this mode you start with 600 core integrity instead of the usual 250, and also only one of each slot type for a total of 4 instead of the usual 7. But right away in the Scrapyard you can allocate an initial amount of XP to upgrade your build, which you could liken to "character creation" at the beginning of a run in many other roguelikes. You can add more slots right away, but it's not required since there's no limit to what you can upgrade when--all types of upgrade are available immediately!

You won't encounter the usual evolution interface as you play, because you can gain levels and apply upgrades at any time, or even save your XP to upgrade later if you want (for example to save up for something more expensive, since individual upgrades become increasingly expensive as you specialize in them).

Here's what it looks like to raise a level and choose some upgrades:

Rean on

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Re: Cogmind
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2020, 12:21:37 AM »
Multiplayer Cogmind is here!
Wed, 1 April 2020

Are you stuck at home?

Want to play some Cogmind but with extra social interaction?

How about taking on Complex 0b10 with a friend! Don't worry, NO REAL FRIEND NECESSARY, we'll provide one for you!

Welcome to Cogmind Beta 9.5...

This April 1st, just fire up a run and leave the Scrapyard to join forces with Player 2 on the adventure of a lifetime :D

Use the superior firepower of TWO COGMINDS to teach the Unaware that they should've stayed a safe distance away from you.*

*WARNING: This process is known to attract a lot of attention.

Your brand new friend comes with
•   new AI behaviors
•   most of your same capabilities and will evolve and manage their own build and inventory
•   over 600 lines of situational dialogue to keep you company on the way

More info about this special release after the changelog...

Cogmind Beta 9.5 "Player 2" (200401) changelog:

•   NEW: Unique AFD mode for 2020, automatically activates on 4/1 for anyone who has played at least three runs
•   NEW: Command line argument "-forceMode:AFD2020" (or "-forceMode:Player2") to enable the AFD mode from 2020, regardless of system date
•   NEW: [Player 2 mode] Join forces with Player 2, another Cogmind with most of your same capabilities
•   NEW: [Player 2 mode] Adds a special interface displaying Player 2's class and movement data, with persistent access to their loadout (toggle w/'9' or LMB)
•   NEW: [Player 2 mode] Cogmind and Player 2's core integrity levels are linked
•   NEW: [Player 2 mode] Multiple smarter AI behaviors for Player 2
•   NEW: [Player 2 mode] Over 600 lines of situational dialogue
•   NEW: [Player 2 mode] 1 new unique superweapon
•   NEW: List of item schematics during manual hacks darkens any that are already known
•   NEW: Option to block achievement earning while in challenge modes and special modes (advanced.cfg: onlyRegularModeAchievements)
•   NEW: Manual "Difficulty" section includes explicit subsection for Rogue setting
•   NEW: Manual part list data visualization descriptions further clarify meaning of heat mode values
•   MOD: Part autoreplacement feature compares items based on based on current integrity rather than percent integrity remaining
•   MOD: Part autoreplacement feature never swaps in known faulty or broken parts
•   MOD: Advanced option "ignoreAscendConfirmation" no longer prevents warnings about leaving allies behind
•   FIX: Size 36 fonts had become unusable on 4K screens [mudshark]
•   FIX: [RPGLIKE mode] Pressing '0' with an open ally order list would open RPGLIKE upgrade menu [NikolayAg]
•   FIX: [RPGLIKE mode] Protomatter might have a negative value under some conditions [Terminus, Rumbl3]
•   FIX: Part autoreplacement feature was sometimes making undesirable swaps with regard to relative integrity [sunqingyao]
•   FIX: Automatic waypoint recall for guided weapon attacks had stopped working [Valguris]
•   FIX: Changes for RPGLIKE mode broke Sensor Arrays and Visual Processing utilities, allowing them to stack [Kerapace]
•   FIX: Beta 9.5 prerelease bugs hunted down by: [CaptainWinky, Xii, lsend]
•   FIX: [Pay2Buy mode] Hotkey for closing CogShop was still '0' rather than the newer '9'
•   FIX: New "Broken" prefix for non-functional parts did not automatically update until part changed in some other way
•   FIX: New "Broken" prefix for non-functional parts was included in log messages regarding that state change
•   FIX: [Abominations mode] Abominations more effectively switch between propulsion modes when more than one available
•   FIX: Since AI modifications to support autonomous weapons, disarmed combat bots might continue chasing targets rather than fleeing after loading a save
•   FIX: Regular map exit warnings were not displayed if attempting to exit while somehow already on top of stairs
•   FIX: Starting XP for RPGLIKE mode was added to score data even outside that mode

Saves from earlier versions are incompatible with Beta 9.5, but even if you're on Steam and Cogmind automatically updates, Beta 9.5 is still available via its own legacy branch and you can roll back to finish a run in progress first if you like.
"Player 2"

The key theme for this update is a new event and special mode, "Player 2," featuring your very own buddy with which to take on Complex 0b10. And they will mostly definitely be with you until The End because you can't leave a map without them, and your cores are permanently linked! When you take core integrity damage that same amount is applied to their core, and vice versa.

So you've got to look out for each other and it can sorta feel like an escort mission, although both of you can kick robot butt, and exactly who is escorting who might change from time to time :P

Fortunately they're not exactly helpless, with the ability to seek out and attach new parts they need or want, often in a fairly smart way overall. Just like you they can also increase their inventory size and carry spares, and may even be willing to share if you're in really bad shape ;)

Read on

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Re: Cogmind
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2020, 12:12:08 PM »
Beta 9.6 "Friends Forever"
Mon, 13 April 2020

Cogmind's new "2-player" mode turned out to be a lot of fun, and after playing it a bit more I'd already come up with a growing list of other ideas that fell under "low-hanging fruit" for improving your friend's AI to make the mode even better. So rather than waiting until Beta 10 to include these features, I figured might as well release them now as Beta 9.6 while some players are still enjoying the company of another Cogmind!

Cogmind Beta 9.6 "Friends Forever" (200414) changelog:

•   NEW: [Player 2 mode] Added dedicated "Player 2" section to scoresheet with 15 new entries
•   NEW: [Player 2 mode] Player 2 better understands the tactical use of launchers when conditions permit it
•   NEW: [Player 2 mode] Player 2 can now swap parts from ground into a full inventory to improve type and quality of spares
•   NEW: [Player 2 mode] Player 2 much less likely to stack utilities that won't benefit from it
•   NEW: [Player 2 mode] Player 2 tendency to use heat sinks as armor toned down
•   NEW: [Player 2 mode] Player 2 part loss also contributes to alert level reduction, as per the Cogmind mechanic
•   NEW: [Player 2 mode] 2 more dialogue situations (total = 83)
•   NEW: [Player 2 mode] More dialogue lines (total = 660)
•   NEW: AI-controlled bots with a large energy-based volley may proactively deactivate one or more weapons if it will enable them to fire immediately
•   MOD: [Player 2 mode] Player 2 no longer considers wasting turns on smaller integrity upgrades when rebuilding from salvage
•   MOD: [Player 2 mode] Increased frequency of Player 2 dialogue
•   FIX: Beta 9.6 prerelease bugs hunted down by: [CaptainWinky]
•   FIX: AS-neutralizer No. 17b applied effect across entire map rather than limiting to specified range [Valguris]
•   FIX: Scoresheet "Unauthorized Hacks" tally higher than intended [Valguris]
•   FIX: Part info comparisons with a part using a manual tag misaligned the values by one row [Pimski]
•   FIX: Scoresheet history log message for bump-rewiring detected and displayed incorrectly
•   FIX: autoActivateTreadsOnAttack option caused inactive treads to appear active on automatically switching back to core propulsion on a move after attacking
•   FIX: [Player 2 mode] Potential load issue under certain conditions

Saves from earlier versions are incompatible with Beta 9.6, but even if you're on Steam and Cogmind automatically updates, Beta 9.5 is still available via its own legacy branch and you can roll back to finish a run in progress first if you like.

Player 2

Player 2 is now more likely to put together better builds overall, is smarter about launcher use, wastes somewhat less time rebuilding after a firefight, and now actually know how to turn off some weapons in their volley if they're starting to run low on energy. This was originally a bit of a problem during longer confrontations when Player 2 had large energy-based volleys and might end up doing very little attacking, but now for example they can turn off one or more weapons if it'll help them increase their attack rate and improve the outcome of skirmishes.

For example, see in this test how they start off firing both of their Nova Cannons but eventually switch to sometimes firing one in order to keep hitting targets:

Read on

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