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

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With the Beta 6 achievements release out of the way, Beta 7 is well underway and will be bringing a much-expanded robot hacking system! But first, we have lots of progress updates to catch up on over the last month...

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

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

A number of other players have been contributing data as well!

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.

Ape3000 is now also including global lifetime rankings across a number of categories:

  • Achievement%
  • Lore%
  • Gallery%
  • Time played (h)
  • Number of wins
  • Best speed run (turns)
  • Best speed run (minutes)
  • Lowest score win
  • Best part rating
  • Peak influence

For example:


There are also alternative versions that include only Beta scores, or only Beta 6.

Many thanks to Ape3000 for putting these together!

Guides

Our community has also been quite active lately in terms of guides!

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.

Then Pimski translated PlasticHeart's flight prep guide from Japanese to English, so if you're interested in how to get a flight build up and running, check that out! Certainly don't ask me, because I am a combat player even when it's a bad idea xD. That said, flight builds are generally an easier way to learn more about the mid/late-game, and how you'll probably get your first win if you haven't already.

I've been doing a bunch of streaming over the previous month as well, which includes some wins, challenge modes, and other fun stuff. All streams were uploaded to YouTube.

Robot Hacking

So about that robot hacking system, I've finally completed the design phase but it's going to be a while before the entire thing is implemented. Here's a first look, though.

The first rough mockup I did of a potential UI for the new system.


The second WIP mockup has already started looking quite different as I got a better idea of what information is most important and how to present it in different circumstances. I noticed it was kinda fun to see how the idea was changing as I played with it, so here it is as a time lapse:


That's still just a mockup--more changes are likely before I piece that bit together. (Also note that as a mockup, the contents themselves will not fully make sense and aren't quite realistic, so don't try to read too much into it :P)

I haven't needed the UI yet since none of the hacks themselves have been implemented, but the system's foundation is getting pretty solid. First up was adding the new mechanics for getting access to robot hacks in the first place. I'll be covering the system and its design in more detail later on, but know that you'll not have access to most hacks unless you do... this first:


You'll also need to collect this new type of hackware!


Still a long way to go before this collection of features is done, but it'll be worth it.

Seeing as I'm retiring the old robot hacking system, may as well share a shot of its spreadsheet calculations that I used to aid in its design some years ago:



This is common in design, to have spreadsheets where you can enter hypothetical values and see how they affect outcomes. I'm by no means a math whiz, but predictions like this make the testing and balance effort go so much more smoothly. Without something like this, grounding the design in too many guesses would be a recipe for wasted dev time!

The new spreadsheet I've already put together has a larger and more complex data set :P. It helped me set all the base values earlier this week--now I "just" have to code all those hacks...

I've decided to keep the old Parse hack, and it'll be expanded and redesigned, so say goodbye to this old window :P


Other Features

In other features, a little glowing `@` marker will pop up to show the direction of Cogmind when offscreen.


No one asked for this, probably because the map will never hop around on its own without your explicit command (and there's also always the commands to recenter the view), but I can see it occasionally being helpful to know this. In particular while working on hacking ideas I saw one new potential situation where it could become useful, so put this system together yesterday.

And as someone who never uses the Evasion window (it's useful! just not the way I play), I needed someone else to remind me that it still contained a modifier for "Cloaking," even though Cloaking Devices were repurposed and based on the actual part name associated with that mechanic it should be called "Phasing," so that's fixed for Beta 7:


Note that as of this week over on our Roguelikes Discord we now have three #cogmind channels instead of two. There are just too many deep spoilers, too spoilery even for the regular hidden "spoiler" channel xD. This will allow people who don't want to unwittingly learn about all the extended end-game content to still have a place to talk freely about the many other branches.

Fun Stuff

There has been some recent talk of putting Cogmind's lore into a markov chain generator to see what kinds of things could result, and although interested I didn't have any time to play with it myself. Then a couple days ago Raine did just that and shared some results with us. Pretty funny stuff...

It's fun guessing where each piece of this new "lore" originated.


That's some nice tech...


And this sounds like a different game entirely xD


Unfortunately some of the others, including some good ones, can't be shared without clearly spoiling parts of the game :P

Cogmind is currently 10% off through July 5th, both on Steam and DRM-free from the site.

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