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.
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (35) - 88% of the 35 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (185) - 96% of the 185 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Oct 16, 2017
Developer:
Publisher:

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Cogmind is already a very complete experience, fully playable, balanced, and generally free of bugs. Thousands of players have been enjoying Cogmind since its pre-Steam alpha debut in 2015. But rather than a full release I've decided to use Early Access to indicate my intention to continue fleshing out the world even further with extra features and content.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Likely at least six months because there are a good many fun extras I'd really like to add, though there is no strict deadline as it depends on how much support there is to continue with what has already exceeded four years of work.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“With the main game essentially complete, there are a ton of optional features to begin exploring, some specific confirmed plans including built-in achievements, lots more challenge modes, more ambient audio, and a more nuanced robot hacking system.

In addition there are plenty of secret potential extras, but I can't promise or talk about them here :)”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Prior to Steam, many players have already logged hundreds of hours of play, as there's quite a lot to explore:
  • Nearly 1,000 different parts to attach, all with their own ASCII art
  • Dozens of robot classes, each with unique behavior in the ecosystem
  • Dozens of procedural map types, many embedded with hand-made areas
  • Extensive machine-hacking capabilities (nearly 100 hacks so far)
  • Hundreds of NPC encounters, thousands of lines of dialogue
  • Seven animated endings (lore and story are done!)
  • Everything has sounds--more SFX than any roguelike, ever

On the technical side Cogmind is extremely stable, with extensive automated testing and a team of private testers keeping release builds almost entirely bug-free. (Even players running on Linux/OSX via Wine also report a flawless experience.)”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“No price change is currently planned on exiting Early Access.

However, if enough time is invested in extra content before full release, among other factors, an increase may be considered.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“The open development process will remain the same as it has been since 2015, with frequent progress updates interspersed with release builds, and direct interaction with players to collect feedback and refine new features. Cogmind wouldn't be what it is today without the very community that enjoys it and aims to help make it an even better, smoother, more exciting experience.

A majority of feedback so far has come through the forums (http://www.gridsagegames.com/forums/), chat server (https://discord.gg/9pmFGKx) and r/Cogmind (http://www.reddit.com/r/Cogmind/).”
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Recent updates View all (17)

January 12

SITREP Saturday #10: Rainbowmind

Beta 5 is more than half-complete at this point, and will be out with the next couple weeks. Still plenty more little features to work on, but all the major stuff is out of the way!

All the Colors

The bulk of this week was spent on a new system of render filters to enable players with specific needs to make visual adjustments to aspects including brightness, saturation, and contrast.

They can do things like create a low-contrast effect, e.g. this one called "Sleepy"

(you might want to open these full size to see them more clearly)

Some ASCII combat in Sleepy mode:


UI interaction in another low-contrast mode, "Autumn"


Of course filters might just be for fun as well. Unless some of you would like to seriously switch over to "swap mode" which reverses the foreground colors for a very different look:


Swap mode in action:


I think swap mode looks even better when combined with one of the low-contrast filters:


Over on the blog this week I covered this system in more detail, including additional demo images and an overview of its implementation. Check out the full article: "Color Customization."

Edge Case

I've also added an option to show the map borders. For now it's off by default however, and only available in the advanced options, because although experienced players can and do figure out invisible map bounds indirectly via other UI features (you may have seen me do this on stream before...), there are a few cases where knowing the bounds can be somewhat spoilery for new players who haven't yet discovered certain areas before.


I also went ahead and created a different style specifically for when the the swap filter is active:


Wiki

Raine has been doing a great job of importing all our item export data into the wiki. Of course everyone has access to their own item gallery and data exports, including HTML and CSV formats, but the wiki will be good for linking, its sortable tables, attaching public discussion to particular parts, and maybe eventually a bot in the chat channels.

Anyone who doesn't mind can now spoil themselves silly with data, browsing hundreds upon hundreds of items... for example this subset of energy guns:


Each item type has its own box that includes relevant fields for that category.


7DRL

Remember that Cogmind originated as a 7DRL, and still lots of people play that free version as well. One of Cogmind's best players, GJ, went back and legitimately beat it, becoming one of only two known players to do so, and the only one to do it without the old cheesy mining tactic :P



The 7DRL version wasn't all that balanced towards the end, so if you can kick modern Cogmind's butt and want a different kind of challenge as well as a chance to see a lot of today's items and concepts at their fledgling stages, check it out.

While we're on the topic of 7DRLs, this year's challenge is just around the corner! Any of you participating? Every year I want to, and have tons of ideas piled up from false starts that didn't make it beyond the planning stages because I'm too busy, but I'm hoping this year will be different :P
3 comments Read more

January 5

SITREP Saturday #9: Secrets

2018 is off to a great start...


Content

Content! After a couple releases getting up to speed for and after the Steam release, we are finally in the swing of things and it feels great to have been adding new content for almost the entire week. The thing about content is that I always avoid talking spoilers, so I'll have to just give hints and tiptoe around much of what I've been up to :P

I added a dozen new items. New items need art!


Some more examples of what's coming:

I'll say that (aside from one) these are special items you won't find just lying about. (But that also implies...)

Some other mysterious mechanics and animation work...






Another important focus of this week's work was to partially redesign the mechanics surrounding "imprinting" (if you know what that is). I'll talk more about that come the Beta 5 release notes, but for now just know that it got a lot more strategically interesting.

Projecile Spread

I also added a new mechanic that allows me the option to force multiprojectile weapons to spread their shots if appropriate. The ability for builds to stack targeting computers in order to overcome accuracy-based spread mechanics and concentrate multiprojectile volleys on a single target was always a bit of a limitation on some of the weapon designs. Now I can force even a weapon firing "accurately" to randomly spread its projectiles within a designated arc of the target.

I mainly added this feature to enable one of the particularly cool new weapons, but this also made it possible to go back and fix a couple of other weapons which were never quite good enough due to the design limitation. (Previously I couldn't very well make numerous individual projectiles too powerful given that you could easily create a super powerful totally imbalanced weapon with just some targeting.) I'm certainly not converting all multiprojectile weapons over to the new system, just a few special ones that needed it in order to be improved.

It's not a widely used mechanic, but when it's applicable the line-of-fire indicator will let you know with a little cone reflecting the potential spread area.


One weapon in particular which was always a neat concept but in my opinion never really worth using is suddenly going to get a lot more fun :D


More Streaming

After posting the last SITREP I went off to stream the conclusion to the weekly seed, unfortunately losing one floor before the end :/. My fault really, stupid mistakes were made (also giving in to the desire to just blow everything to hell xD). So many pretty launchers...

You can find a quick writeup on the forums, and I also uploaded it to YouTube as Part 2.

Next week is... more new stuff!
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Reviews

“Cogmind is an impressive merging of old and new school game design.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“Cogmind is a wonderful thing, carefully and intelligently constructed, and with a gorgeous ASCII aesthetic.”
Adam Smith, RPS

“Cogmind swaps the traditional fantasy setting of most turn-based adventurers in favour of science-fiction, and finds plenty of interesting features in the mix.”
Graham Smith, RPS

About This Game

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.

KEY FEATURES

  • 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

PROGRESS


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.)

      

ROGUELIKE?


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.

WARNINGS


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: http://www.gridsagegames.com/cogmind/ui_preview.html (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)

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP3+
    • Processor: 1.8Ghz or faster
    • Memory: 500 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Anything
    • Storage: 30 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Minimum resolution: 1272x720. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED TO first check how Cogmind will look on your screen of choice here: http://www.gridsagegames.com/cogmind/ui_preview.html (there is no zooming!)
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