Cosmogelica Dev Update 2/15/24

Howdy! Coming at you with an update to how Cosmogelica's development is going! This isn't a build release yet (soon, hopefully! I know it's been a while since I updated the game) but this post should help show what's been going on, because it's been cool!

Pretty Pictures

First, let's see some more screenshots of the redone graphics I've been working on, which visually represents what I've been doing to the game lately. (Note: These screenshots are from the stage editor)

I've been working on redoing all the sprites for daytime and nighttime graphics, as well as adding a color blending system similar to Shield Cat, which allows me to further set the mood of the stage.

In night-time stages, the color blending makes Monica and enemies darker, but they're illuminated by the bullets and other light sources.

The menus have also been updated and standardized, all with the theme I introduced in the previous post. I think it looks quite nice and polished now!

Enhanced Music

Since I'm enhancing the graphics, I also wanted to enhance the music to match. Previously, I was using 2A03+VRC6, but am now testing out 2A03+VRC6+MMC5+FDS using DN-Famitracker. Music isn't exactly something I can post to an itch update, but I posted a couple posts on Mastodon showing off what the enhanced music sounds like.

I won't be putting this music in the game until I've done all the songs like this, so the songs aren't varied in quality. However, this new method allows me to create a much richer soundscape while still maintaining that oh-so-retro feel. I wish Famitracker derivatives would add stereo support, but I don't think it's meant to be lmao

Gameplay Video

Here's a video of the game with the new graphics in action. I've got more to do, but a lot has been done already! (Note: This video does not have the new music in it yet)

Here you can also see the new ship enemies, as well as the updated ground turrets. I've also significantly improved the player blaster. It feels a lot more powerful now! In addition to that, I've changed how the bullets are presented. They also still need a bit of work, but they're looking quite nice so far. Overall, everything is much improved!

New Character: Riley

Cosmogelica will have 4 playable characters, and I've drawn the 3rd one now. Meet Riley! It is a squirrel rabbit hybrid who uses it/they pronouns. The different characters have different stats, and Rileys is increased movement speed, which can be both a blessing and a curse. At the time of writing, I haven't fully implemented it into the game yet, so I can't guarantee if it'll be playable in the next build. However, I hope you are still excited to see it!

Loads of Refactoring

I've been doing a bunch of refactoring of the code and cleaning stuff up. The original version of Cosmogelica was very bespoke, and wasn't really designed to be upgraded. I've been adding stuff to that code, but it's been really difficult. Therefore, I decided to just go in and rewrite a bunch of stuff. Did you know that there was still code in there that would determine the color palette of the next stage? Because yea, all of that legacy code was still in there, despite it not being used.

I  learned a lot about how to set up projects and how they should be set up in a way to allow me to expand them, even if they're supposed to be just little quick things, just on the off chance that they aren't.

What this means is that the Type A (Lives) Type B (Fuel) and Type C (Glass/One Hit Death) are now able to be brought to other game modes. The 20 Phase Challenge has been replaced with a mode that lets you do 1 Stage, 2 Stages, or 10 Stages in one of the above modes, each of which having its own high score. This means it's quite easy for me to put different game modes in, and allow players to experience the game in a way that makes it fun for them. I'm especially excited for the 10 Stage mode, as stages will be presented in an Act 1/Act 2 Structure, so essentially 5 Zones in total. This represents a typical game length and will allow players to play a full game, while maintaining the randomized nature of it.

All this restructuring and refactoring means it's more likely I'll be able to bring back the linear/story mode. In fact, in the video above, this is demonstrating a linear stage (though some elements are still picked randomly, as I haven't quite nailed it *all* down yet.) I don't want to fully promise the story mode to be available when the game comes out, but it's looking more likely by the day. The restructuring and refactoring allows me to add all kinds of game modes and challenges, while keeping the options simple and easy to understand.

This should help add replayability to the game, letting players come back to it and have it feel fresh, or to challenge themselves on story mode until they beat the game. I'm also thinking of introducing some kind of linear single stage mode, where you play one stage again and again to see if you can get the high score. I haven't quite worked out how that'll work, but it sounds fun and I'd like to give players goals to work towards too, in addition to the arcade mode where you play as long as you can. This way, all types of players can enjoy the game.

Early Access Closure

A little while ago I discontinued early access. You can still access dev builds of the game by joining my Patreon, but otherwise, the game is not available to purchase for early access anymore. I have upcoming plans that I'll announce later, and having it in EA would interfere with those plans. If you did purchase the EA version, thank you!  Quite a few people did, and your support is greatly appreciated. You'll continue to have access to builds and updates as expected. I also removed the demo, as I announced I would a while back. You can still download it from Sonic Fan Game HQ's SAGE 2023 site, but it doesn't represent the current state of the game, which is why I removed it.

That's It For Now!

I feel like there's only so much I can say about the refactoring I've been doing, but basically like: What I've been doing to the graphics above? That's what I've been doing to the code too. Now I've been working on adding new stuff, and it's easier than ever to do so. The game's quite on track now, and I'm excited to bring you further developments in the future. Thank you for supporting me and Cosmogelica, and hopefully I'll be able to get that new build out soon! First though, I have to finish these stages with enemies that I'm working on, as I don't think it'd be much fun to play just a single stage lmao (I have 3 stages done, but only one stage has enemy placement)

I'm sure there's some other new stuff I put in that I forgot to mention, but so it goes. I've been doing a lot!!!

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