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Introducing the first Cogmind wallpapers. ASCII on your desktop even when you're not playing roguelikes!

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Shortly after designing and implementing the animated ASCII title screen, I figured we finally have enough material to put together a few Cogmind wallpapers. These are now available for many common resolutions over on the Cogmind website's media page.

Here's a test of the first one while on a recent workcation in Japan.

So far we have five different designs, the simplest being nothing more than the ASCII title logo itself. Probably the most interesting are those that combine the title with a set of ASCII weapon art. The weapons were chosen from among those I've been showing intermittently over the past six months (though I still haven't gotten around to doing any art showcases here on the blog--so many other things to write about...).

columns_1440x900
A variety of ASCII guns and cannons. Get the size you need from the media page.The weapons shown here are only a small portion of those you'll find throughout the game.

radial_1440x900
Another version of ASCII weapon wallpaper. Get the size you need from the media page.

I should eventually add a few that show more in-game content, but good ones would require a lot more work, and not enough of said content exists yet. For now there are two partially-implemented factory maps for those who desire a full screen of sci-fi green ASCII.

factory10_1280x1024
One of the factory wallpapers featuring a section of procedurally generated factory. Get the size you need from the media page.

Feel free to drop any ideas for other wallpaper designs followers may be interested in.

In other news, Cogmind was just honored with a spot among Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Best PC Games of 2015 (roguelikes category). Unexpected at this stage, but very welcome!

Comments
salejemaster
salejemaster

Love the first one with the guns and the one with just the logo. I normally prefer plane black background on my desktop but these are nice bcus they are non obtrusive :P

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Kyzrati Author
Kyzrati

I normally use a pure black desktop myself as well, just to avoid any distraction, so these follow a pretty minimalist design. Even for the full-screen maps I darkened them a *lot* as you can see, almost to the point of background noise. The lone title's a good choice for a mostly blank desktop that still reminds you need to play Cogmind later :D.

I'll be making more at some point. Maybe a collage of particle effects (which unlike these would very much *not* be subtle =p). Definitely some more maps once there are more locations in the game, and they're more fleshed out--the one I used is actually an incomplete algorithm. Maybe some robot breakdowns into components.

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salejemaster
salejemaster

Looks super sexy on my desktop check it out :D Oi58.tinypic.com

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Kyzrati Author
Kyzrati

Awesome to see it in the wild, thanks for sharing! :D

How did the colors get muted like that? Is that an artifact of stretching, or did you re-save it or something? (Or is it just the screenshot that came out funny for some reason? Doesn't seem to be, since the rest of the desktop colors look normal.)

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salejemaster
salejemaster

Hey, you're right I just looked more carefully and when I put it on desktop the colors are poorer...I even re-downloaded the image to make sure its the correct resolution but its the same again I have no idea why...weird

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Kyzrati Author
Kyzrati

Interesting, so you've already downloaded and applied the same image resolution as your desktop... Just did some research on this, and apparently Windows *re-compresses* PNGs when used as a wallpaper! Which is ridiculous because I already made them perfect quality yet extremely tiny PNGs via a special algorithm.

Apparently it doesn't do this to JPGs (just tested and confirmed), meaning that to get perfect quality we have to use that format. Tried it out on a 1680x1050 wallpaper and the size went from a tiny 21kb to 400kb, but the result does look almost perfect by comparison.

I'm going to convert and re-upload all the wallpapers today. Will post when they are ready.

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Kyzrati Author
Kyzrati

Many thanks for reporting this! I've now converted all the wallpaper downloads to JPGs. Unfortunately that means larger files, but now they'll actually look more or less like they're supposed to (extra cool =p).

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salejemaster
salejemaster

Well I'm happy to have helped even if by accident :D...grabbing the new version

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Kyzrati Author
Kyzrati

Haha, yeah, I was looking at your desktop shot and was really wondering what was going on there, then drjd24 uploaded his which also had quality issues... Glad *someone* mentioned something so I could fix it early on! Wouldn't want those sitting around like that forever on the site...

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drjd24
drjd24

I've been not-watching watching this for a while (if that makes any sort of sense), and these wallpapers look amazing. You've earnt my vote and watch!

Heres what it looks like in "the wild": ;)
Tinypic.com

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Kyzrati Author
Kyzrati

Yay, another shot from the wild--love to see these being used! (That was kinda the point of making them =p)

And glad to have converted you from not-watching watching to full-on watching :D. Things are looking pretty good, and yet there's much more coolness on the way. Too bad there won't be a Mac version, but maybe you also have a PC or can emulate one? (Cogmind works fine in an emulated environment, which sounds funny because the game itself is an emulator of sorts.)

Just today I finished an in-game ASCII art gallery, which is like these wallpapers but times 100 :D

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drjd24
drjd24

A wineskin port would be lovely, but CrossOver works great :D It will be emulator-seption! And theres no hope in hades that the game will be for mac? :'(

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Kyzrati Author
Kyzrati

"Emulator-seption," hahaha!

There is pretty much zero hope for a native Mac build, sorry D: (unless for some weird reason the game is insanely popular and it becomes cost-effective enough to pay someone else to do it; "weird" because it's a niche game targeted at a non-mainstream audience).

I don't like to suggest the use of emulators, or force players to take that route, but at least the engine is technologically simple enough that it won't encounter problems, so that option is always available.

By the way, as I replied to salejemaster, there was a problem with the wallpapers I uploaded before--the issue seems to affect Windows machines more, but you might see a quality improvement if you get the new version (had to switch from PNG to JPG).

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drjd24
drjd24

Have faith in your game? But in all seriousness, this is going to be an amazing game. It looks retro (like really retro) but it has a very modern feel. This is something that games try to do, and fail miserably at, but your game looks right on track. Is it running on your own engine? or something secret :o

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Kyzrati Author
Kyzrati

Haha, I am extremely confident in the game, at least that it will be well received in the target community. But beyond that, from a realistic business perspective I can't assume that it will take off like other games that appear more accessible. If I could make that assumption, I could invest even more in it. We'll see in a few months time when I launch the alpha campaign I'm currently planning.

And you nailed it--I'm trying to make something as retro as possible feel as modern as possible :D

It's my own engine, yeah, something I put together about 4 years ago, built on top of a personal library of code I started about 10 years ago. Now I can focus on making a game and don't have to worry about all the little technical details, *unless* I try to port it =p

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