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 (36) - 94% of the 36 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (314) - 96% of the 314 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Oct 16, 2017
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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 (41)

July 20

SITREP Saturday #31: Speed Racer

Another week, another batch of robot hacks for Beta 7 :)



Pretty much every bot has at least some function relevant to their job, as you can see above with the map_earth hack. Same thing below in tiles mode.



As one might expect, there are quite a few hacks that target Operators, given their access to so many systems...



Almost any combat bot can be hacked to find emergency access doors over a pretty wide range.



In general I haven't been working on combat bot hacks yet--I'm mainly going straight down my internal list, on which non-combat hacks come first, but based on some code I was working on it was more efficient to jump ahead and do a few search-based hacks like this one at the same time.

Back to non-combat hacks, how about forcing Haulers to both drop their inventory and safely identify all the contents for you?



And normally a Mechanic's special inventory of backup parts can't be accessed/retrieved, but there's also a hack to decompress those if you really want to :P



Lastly, a fun still shot from a very WIP animation that's a bit more involved.



More on that one next week.

A lot of these robot hacks also tie into AI behavior in some way, so I've been messing around in that bit of the code and making occasional related updates.

For example you may have noticed that a group of Engineers repairing lots of walls in close proximity might end up getting stuck, and the cluster of Engineers can grow larger and larger as there are incomplete projects in the queue but they're all waiting for each other to get out of the way. I left it that way since it's not too common, not all that important, and kinda funny when it happens (stupid Unaware!), but an easy fix popped into my head with the new behavior update that probably won't happen anymore.

Here you can see a group of very eager Engineers, unperturbed even by an eventual Scatter Rocket Array :P



Green for Cogmind

I didn't get quite as far along with robot hacks I would've liked this week, because an entire day's worth of work was spent switching the website over to HTTPS. For a basic website there are pretty simple ways of going about this, but my site includes a separate blog, wiki, and forums, all with content dating back years, so altogether it was a time-consuming operation.

There weren't any major hitches, it just took a while to go through all the different settings and required file updates to avoid "mixed content" warnings from browsers (where you are set up for HTTPS but still have bits of content that aren't secure).

In the end we're green across the board :D



The main mistake was forgetting that the game itself targets an HTTP address to upload scores, but that address no longer existed after the update, so until our Discord community pointed this out and I fixed it we lost a few leaderboard uploads--sorry about that xD

The r/Cogmind responses to the news this week were pretty amusing :)
Amphouse: Wow, I had no idea the "hacking update" would be this thorough. :P

Outrunning Projectiles FTW

The past few weeks there's been a new community activity among the active Discord players: Malthusis is hosting seeded speedruns (by turn count), with most everyone also playing at the same time and reporting their rate of progress to the surface. These have been a pretty fun challenge, and force you to approach the game quite differently.

The speedrunning match records so far, recording the number of turns for each player to reach their final depth (or win):



As you can see it takes around 2,000 turns to win, or closer to 1,000 if you really know what you're doing (and/or also get really lucky :P). This is more or less in line with the relevant achievements, Speedrunner and Expert Speedrunner at 2k and 1k, respectively.

I've only joined in twice so far, the first time practically oblivious to proper speedrunning strategy (as a combat player, to me wheels are "fast," haha) so I got trashed. But at least reached the surface on my second attempt. I did a full writeup with images on the forums. The matches will continue off and on in the future (there are more planned for this weekend), so stop by the Discord if you're interested.

In other community news, I've decided to stop weekly seeds for now. There's more about this in the forums announcement, though since it is relevant to game design, I'll copy some of the discussion here:

It's worth noting that Weekly Seeds are fun in a lot of roguelikes but I don't think the straight up "everyone play the same seed and do whatever you want" approach works very well for Cogmind.

Where in other seeded roguelike runs players will generally be up against a lot of the same opponents on the same small maps with the same set of tools at their disposal, Cogmind maps are huge, not to mention all the different routes one can take through the world, and access to completely different strategies, so instead of players being forced to compete on a fairly level playing field, what you come up against can vary greatly depending on a lot of factors. (And that's even before we start adding in the effects of a rising alert level!)

In that light, we can why weekly seeds won't have all that much appeal, and how Cogmind is more suited to special/focused challenges with greater restrictions. We'll have to keep that in mind when thinking about how to approach any future activities :)

Wallhacks

ChromaticGray has put together a cool Cogmind wallpaper for Wallpaper Engine:



As shared on r/Cogmind:
I made it for a ultrawide 2560x1080 monitor, but it should work fine on 1080 also.

Background map moves in parallax with the mouse, the Cogmind flickers and the weapons lights up in color on mouse over (that's why you only see top right colored).

Pretty awesome! Wallpaper Engine users can get it here.

I'd really like to put together some more wallpapers myself, but despite all the ideas and potential resources to draw from, I just don't have the time right now. So many other higher priorities and it's just little old me doing everything xD. The current wallpaper set on the website is the same I introduced over three years ago with the first public alpha!

There may be other relevant discussion of this SITREP on the GSG forums.
8 comments Read more

July 13

SITREP Saturday #30: Kinecelleration

New mechanic, new items!



Last time we got a bit of a kinetic buff with the introduction of knockback, but this is a decidedly more significant boost for KI combat builds. Kinecellerators are especially effective when combined with multikinetic volleys, although they could also be useful combined with certain cannons.

As with other weapon modification utilities, while active their effects are reflected in the info mode summary.



And of course there are better ones, too ;)

Hack the UI

But most of the week was spent on the robot hacking system, which is coming along nicely. As a further improvement on the earlier hacking interface samples I've been sharing, the header for any Relay Coupler hacks now highlights the remaining value to make that clearer.



I had noticed the potential issue while creating the original mockup, but didn't see any immediate fixes so decided to leave it like that for the time being. And of course as soon as I started sharing gifs there was already a comment about that value not being clear enough, so... yeah, I put some more time into finding a decent solution :)

Automatic removal of newly-depleted Relay Couplers also comes with its own animation in the parts list.



Hack the Bots

As for the hacks themselves, I was finally able to start implementing them this week, and have finished about one-third of the total. Here are a few samples of what's to come in Beta 7...

"generate_anomaly" attracts all nearby hostiles, in case you need some company (or have other nefarious purposes)



Like other enemy alert situations, in the easier difficulty modes this also highlights the position of any notified bots.



"generate_echo" is basically an instant one-off long range sensor.



Map walls? map_walls!



Overall, I'd say robot hacking allows for some fun stuff :P



If you've missed some previous SITREPs, or are looking for a one-stop overview of the new hacking system, check out the latest blog post.



As a reminder to anyone playing Beta 6, the next weeks will be your last chance to play with the current robot hacking system before it's completely replaced by the new one. So consider doing a run where you build up a massive amount of hackware, reboot everything that's a threat, and eventually in the late-game start assimilating many of the more powerful bots to serve you :D (the new system will still include assimilation, but you won't be able to amass an army of extremely powerful bots like you can now)

Aside: Don't worry about robot hacking achievements, though--I imagine we'll eventually be getting more of those related to the new system, and the old ones will either carry over or be replaced with more relevant options. There are only a few anyway.

There may be other relevant discussion of this SITREP on the GSG forums.
0 comments Read more
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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.”
https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2016/10/11/cogmind-robot-roguelike/

“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.”
https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/05/12/devlog-watch-cogmind-fritz-tiny-wizard/

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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