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.

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The Roguelike Celebration 2018, what an event... I missed version 2017, but was very happy to make it this year, and even had the opportunity to speak on something I've always wanted to give the community: A guide to getting into roguelike development.

How to Make a Roguelike turned into a pretty good talk, one that I spent dozens of hours putting together:

While I of course brought up many of my own projects, including Cogmind, a lot more of it covers other cool projects and serves as a general guide for how to get started.

Here I'm talking about the importance of having a core mechanic:

Josh Ge @ #roguelikecel 2018#roguelikecel 2018 - Core Mechanic" width="1200" height="734" />

Just this week I also released a text version of How to Make a Roguelike, for those who would rather skim the 5,500 words and 84 images rather than watch me ramble through 27 minutes of cool roguelike stuff ;)

How to Make a Roguelike image collage

So that's what I've been up to for the past month, but about this new release...

Originally the next planned release was Beta 8, but 1) I already had a bunch of confirmed RIF features-to-be, 2) did the whole Roguelike Celebration trip which is going to push back the Beta 8 release date, and 3) really wanted to start streaming a new dedicated bot-hacking run and would prefer that it be fairly different from the one last month.

So early this week I suddenly decided to put out a quick 7.1 and give you all the RIF features now. Better than keeping them on hold for a bunch of other unrelated content, eh?

Beta 7.1 has technically been available since Tuesday, though we're just getting the release notes now. Let's see what's up...

Cogmind Beta 7.1 "RIF+" (0.10.181023) changelog:

  • NEW: RIF adds precise real-time alert level readout to HUD
  • NEW: RIF automatically detects nearby Garrison Access points
  • NEW: Garrison Access automatically open for Cogmind with RIF upon stepping adjacent to door location
  • NEW: If RIF installed, alert level no longer increases passively while inside a garrison
  • NEW: Garrison exits automatically open if Cogmind has RIF installed
  • NEW: Manual indicates BRIGHTNESS renderFilter can be used to increase brightness as well
  • NEW: Weapon cycling (' or [CYCLE] button) treats all guided, melee, and datajack weapons as separate options
  • MOD: While RIF installed, Unlock Access hack at Garrison Access always has a 100% chance
  • MOD: -8/Materials Garrison Access is always lowest security level
  • MOD: Relay Coupler [Swarmer] base value increased 40%
  • MOD: Operator purge_threat hack cost dropped from 20 to 10
  • MOD: A certain 5-letter bot that starts with a G (spoiler) now has the Disruption immunity
  • MOD: Non-hostile Researchers are not alerted by distress calls
  • MOD: Researchers ignore Datajack attacks against both self and allies
  • MOD: Thermal Generator effect description adjusted so it's harder to mistake for a type of heat sink
  • MOD: Tactical HUD mode energy readout displays both values separately even when stationary and movement turnwise deltas are identical
  • MOD: Non-zero ambient heat display is shown outside Tactical HUD mode as well, if applicable
  • FIX: Enumerate(Coupling) terminal hack gave no results [Valguris]
  • FIX: Dropped salvage would not remain in map knowledge if Cogmind stepped out of view prior to any FOV update [Valguris]
  • FIX: Melee sneak attacks were impossible against Researchers [GJ]
  • FIX: Loading a "Fragile Parts" run wouldn't apply the rules in subsequent sessions beyond the first [GJ]
  • FIX: -exportRobots command line argument inaccessible in release build [Raine]
  • FIX: Tactical HUD mode energy readout failed to show inventory-stored energy when stationary and movement values are identical [Trione]
  • FIX: Easiest difficulty mode didn't reduce the number of Garrison Access machines by 1 as intended
  • FIX: Drone Bay info in parts list sometimes didn't reflect correct number of remaining drones

RIF Updates

The Relay Interface Framework was only just added in Beta 7, bringing with it dozens of new hacks to pave the way for new playstyles. But the initial design focus there was primarily to expand the robot hacking system, with only partial thematic integration with the rest of the world.

7.1 gives a RIF-installed Cogmind some new capabilities that really help highlight the fact that you sorta become part of Complex 0b10. Strategically speaking, the RIF buffs tie the framework even closer to alert management and Garrisons. RIFfing was already connected with these elements since hacking bots has no effect on alert at all and you can hack Operators to lower alert, plus you get Relay Couplers (and the initial RIF) from Garrisons themselves. But as you can see in the changelog there are now even more Garrison connections.

For one, you can now "sense" nearby Garrison Access points (essentially like Zion-integrated terminals when you're imprinted), and when you approach them the door automatically opens.


New RIF Garrison Access interactions

While inside a Garrison, you'll also no longer cause passive alert increases over time. As long as you can deal with the locals, Garrisons almost become a safe spot for you! This is doubly true once you have the RIF installed and can use couplers to take out bots relatively silently via hacking.

It's also easier to leave whenever you want to, since none of the Garrison exits will be remotely locked when you try to use them.

Outside Garrisons, one of the major new features is that with RIF you get the precise alert level updated in real-time! A new red entry appears on your HUD, as you can see at the top of this screenshot taken from my stream this week after raiding several Garrisons :P


Alert-level readout

"Influence" is the specific number usually converted to a more understandable (and mechanically meaningful) alert level. You've always been able to see this mentioned in your scoresheet ("peak influence"), but this is the first time it's shown in game alongside the alert level conversion. Every action you take which affects it is reflected here. (I can smell the cheese now...)

Halving the cost of the purge_threat hack on Operators is yet another alert-optimizing buff for RIF users :D

Taken together, all these new mechanics could make RIF even more desirable for a number of hybrid builds, not to mention simply make pure bot-hackers much more reliable. Whole new strategies will be born from this.

Oh yeah, and by request the lone Garrison Access usually found on -8 is now forced to security level 1 so that RIF is that much more accessible early on (like other interactive machines at that depth it used to have a 15% chance to be SL2, which could be hard to hack open).

If you want to see how a pure RIF build is put together and deals with challenges, this week I started that new stream and it's been great so far:

There's a summary of the run here. Part 2 will be streamed next week.

But I Don't Wanna be Researched!

Another hacking-relevant issue to tend to was Researcher behavior, as they didn't much like you datajacking them or their friends, which is unnecessarily harsh if you're going to go through the trouble of using RIF over other strategic options that doing so closes off. So they'll now completely ignore datajack use and are fair game for manipulative hacks.

On a related note, non-hostile Researchers won't be alerted by nearby distress calls, which could similarly have pretty disastrous consequences when a Researcher just sitting behind a wall suddenly pops out and scans you without warning.

Other Stuff

Weapon cycling is the main related UI feature that got an overhaul (the partial implementation included with Beta 7 was apparently broken anyway). For Beta 7 Remote Datajacks became solo-fire weapons, so there was a greater need for the weapon cycling command/button to do something other than simply toggle everything off and on. Now it'll actually cycle through projectile, guided, datajack, and melee weapons, also treating each datajack and melee weapon as a separate option.


The system built for 7.1 is a lot more robust, as you can see here ;)

There were a number of other things in recent weeks I've told people are coming "next release," but note that means the major release that will be Beta 8, not this little surprise release xD. I did include a number of fixes with 7.1, stuff that I just happened to have already done, but there's still plenty more on the docket, as well as a backlog of other feature requests and basically tons of stuff to do overall!

Beta 7.1 saves are not compatible with previous versions, but even if you're on Steam and have autoupdates enabled, Beta 7 is still available via its own legacy branch and you can roll back to finish a run in progress first if you like.

Cogmind Beta 7 "Hack the Planet"

Cogmind Beta 7 "Hack the Planet"


Fat changelog? CHECK. Lots of new toys to play with? CHECK. It's time to hack the planet! The all-new robot hacking system creates new ways to play, and...

65 Robot Hacks

65 Robot Hacks


Getting into the details of dozens of robot hacks under the new system, looking at effects, distribution, and design.

Robot Hacking, Take 2

Robot Hacking, Take 2


Designing an all-new robot hacking system from the ground up to create a new play style, or augment existing ones.

Out with the Old

Out with the Old


Beta 6 stats, community guides, and a new robot hacking system begins taking shape.

Comments  (0 - 10 of 62)

Please seriously consider selling Cogmind on GOG, there are not many sci-fi roguelikes there.Thanks...

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Kyzrati Creator

Oh sure I've considered it. But after they asked me whether I wanted to put Cogmind on GOG a while back I said I needed more time and they haven't replied to my emails since :/

I'd love to hear back from them, but stopped bothering for now since I already sell DRM-free direct anyway.

There's a page for Cogmind on GOG here: Gog.com

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Probably the coolest and most clever use of Ascii ever? Going to be keeping my eye on this one.

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Kyzrati Creator

Thank you, coming to Steam next month! Had to take a little break due to an injury, but getting back into things to make the next leap now...

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Kyzrati Creator

Thanks :)

Need to post another update actually, but I've been gone from IndieDB for a while because they blanket blocked my IP range :/

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Lets push this project into the top 100 indie games of the year! Don't forget to vote people!

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Kyzrati Creator

So yay, we did it, Top 100 :D

Thanks everyone for your votes!

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Kyzrati Creator

Cogmind made the top 100 last year, and that's before it was even released, so I'd be disappointed if we couldn't do at least that well now that so many are enjoying the alpha!

I appreciate any votes to help make that happen :D

(I imagine the top 10 is currently out of our league, being a niche game still in alpha, but I think 100 is completely doable.)

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HOLY ****. Like, usually I wouldn't go for profanity and caps lock to voice my opinion, but the latest round of gifs are seriously good.

I haven't really played a roguelike of this old style since I sank hundreds upon hundreds of hours failing at Nethack. This revitalizes my love of this genre.

Like... in the mainstream, roguelikes have been being updated and reworked for current sensibilities by taking the ideology of the old school and applying it to new things. FTL for instance checks a bunch of roguelike boxes but is still a totally different beast. Permadeath, random generation, hard decisions and that high learning curve. It's a great game and probably my favourite to come from this permadeath resurgence.

This looks to checks all the same boxes, but it looks like it applies that ideology right back into the source genre? And with all the style and panache available. It's looks like everything I loved about old terminal rpgs, but what I imagined them to be rather than what they were. And I love that. The full gamut of colour and the incredible UI are wrinkling my brain with anticipation.

Goddamn I am psyched. Keep up the amazing work!

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Kyzrati Creator

Thank you for the kind words (including the profanity, sure =p), and yep, the difference here is I'm more or less doing the reverse of what everyone else is doing. Good way to come up with something unique, eh? ;)

With regard to what you "imagine," that's exactly where I'm coming from! When I started working on this the whole idea was to produce this world I was imagining where the interface really comes to life, kind of like a mash-up between roguelikes and Hollywood terminal UIs (but where everything actually means something!). This approach doesn't make much sense with fantasy, the traditional roguelike setting, but with sci-fi it's a natural fit.

My brother was watching the (unreleased) trailer in his office recently and some co-workers came by and thought he was programming on some awesome new terminal, haha.

Alpha Access launches next week Tuesday if you're interested :D. The announcement will probably come to IndieDB a little late.

I just added that composite gif today since there wasn't anything yet showing off the tileset, and I have that one as the new lead gif for the updated website (not yet live).

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Finally some new art for #screenshotsaturday! A few of the parts coming to Cogmind Beta 8 :) T.co

Nov 10 2018

#Cogmind SITREP Saturday #39: "Artlike" - Art. Lots and lots of art. Some by me, most not :) Steamcommunity.com T.co

Nov 9 2018

Oops, that wasn't supposed to happen. T.co

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Teacher scraps together printed Cogmind manual using leftover office supplies. How appropriate :P T.co

Nov 8 2018

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