Update #15: April 20

We're wrapping up development! We're looking to publish the full-release game on Steam sometime within the next week or so, so be ready. We've been hard at work cramming-in as much polish and juice as we can before we all graduate and go our separate directions (more on that later). Also, a fun side-note, it's officially been 1 year since our first blog post! 

Game updates:

We have begun the achievement implementation process, so for our full release players will be able to earn a variety of cool game achievements for their feats of strength and stupidity. Dylan made some really cool UI symbols that Hayden re-purposed into achievement icons. Below is a sneak peek at just a few. 

Achievements.JPG

We've also made small changes to balance, created a save system to keep track of your progress, and have done a lot of work the game's UI. Below is a tiny taste of the UI that we've been improving over the last few weeks. Dylan's been doing some great concepts and Ben has been turning those concepts into reality. 

Screenshot (26).png
victoryScreen.PNG

Jeremy's been helping us fix bugs, but has also been going real hard at making some super cool VFX. Projectiles and explosions mostly... And a bunch of really juicy stuff that you can find by playing the game!

Bass.gif
Buzzer.gif
Hellfire.gif
RoverSlpode.gif

And Our 3D artists (Bryan, Nate, Tyrone, and Ruohan) have been hard at work finishing up the assets in our game. These are a few object from what we call the Mining Kit. These items will be scattered around the planet's surface telling stories of the old civilizations that used to mine there. 

Capture.JPG
Capture3.JPG
Capture2.JPG

In addition to all this visually beautiful work, the engineers have been hard at work fixing bugs, tweaking AI, and optimizing our game. The designers have been occupied with game testing, level polish, gun balancing, and making the experience rewarding in single-player. We've reduced enemy health and added a few more tweaks that makes the game 1. beatable, and 2. fun for those playing solo. 

We're also working to add more scenes that will bring the player further into the universe we've created for them, as well as give players clearer instructions on how to play the game now that we have the full game loop implemented. We've also created Steam Trading Cards, but need to hit a certain threshold of sales before they enable us to implement them. 

We also added a neat little feature where dead players can now move their spawn beacons. This gives players something to do while deceased, and can create some pretty funny griefing opportunities. 

moving beacon.gif

We've done a whole lot more on the game over the last few weeks, so please go check out our game, it's only $1 on Steam and the price will raise once we fully release so we'd recommend getting it sooner rather than later. 

Team updates:

Some of you might be wondering where we're all going after we graduate in two weeks. Stephen, Eric, Isaac, Ben, and Bryan are working/ will be working - for WB Avalanche here in SLC on a new, amazing game that will be announced later this year. Karan will be moving from WB Avalanche to Wargaming (World of Tanks) in Chicago. Jeremy will continue working at Rockwell Collins making some phenomenal war vehicle simulations. Hayden is headed to Austin, TX to be a Program Management Intern for Blizzard Web & Mobile. Dylan is heading over to local indie studio Parallel Plaid. That's all for now, but many others will be getting jobs as we go along, so we will report more in our next, and last Update. 

Update #14: March 29th

So if you follow us on Social Media, are part of our mailing list, wish-listed ORE on Steam, or are generally in the loop of things you should already know that ORE is in Early Access on Steam! We released it a week or so ago and you can go download it for just $1.

In other news, the team spent last week in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference meeting people, learning new things, and generally returning exhausted and sick. We also showed ORE at the BYOIndie party and supported some fellow classmates that showcased their game Logout at the Intel University Showcase. We teamed up with a local media group and played some ORE, so check that out here as well as a short podcast interview. We also have new videos up on our Video page, so check those out.

That's about it... except for...

Warning: since this is a dev blog, I'm about to dig into some Steam publishing details that might be boring to many of you "creative types," but we learned a lot recently in the Early Access-publishing process so I'm going to mention a few things to clear the air. 

If you've followed our Steam page since release, you might have noticed that the pricing has been a roller coaster of weirdness. And that's because we made a few newbie mistakes. First, since we believe our game is fun and polished enough to be worth money (known as "Premium"), we registered our game as non-F2P (Free to Play), since F2P games typically can never charge money after initially being released (which is why you'll see plenty of games move from Premium to F2P, but no games move from F2P to Premium). Secondly, we made the assumption that we could change the price of the game at any point to whatever we price wanted (such as $0 or $1000 if we were sadistic). And we also thought that we could apply a discount to the game at any time we want for any amount of the total price (anywhere from 1-100%). We initially wanted to do these things so that we could release the Early Access version of the game for free to incentivize downloading the game sooner rather than later. After releasing and learning the hard way that none of our backup plans for making this work-worked, the only thing we could do was drop the price to the lowest value we could, which is why it is currently $0.99 and why we currently don't have plans to make it any lower than 99 cents. Figuring all of this out was a nightmare and was especially an un-fun thing to deal with on the eve of GDC, but hey, that's game development!

Lastly, if you haven't already, please be active on our Steam discussion forums! We're looking to have conversations with people and create communities of passionate players. We want you to be involved! Help us find bugs, share what you love and what you hate, help us out! We'd really appreciate it :) We'll be wrapping up development on the game shortly, so the next Update we post will be close to our last. 

Update #13: February 15th

This is a big update since we haven't given you a look into the game progress for a while now. So I'm going to brush over a lot of stuff but there will be lots of pretty pictures!

First, we have three new characters and one more on the way! Our amazing Character artist, Isaac has been hard at work over the last three weeks crafting these based on concept art that was released a few months back by Yang Li. In the game, you'll be able to select your character and change their color. Find more concept art below or in our Images & Video tab.

We also have been modifying the weapons a great deal (more on functionality later), so our artist, Ruohan has been making some killer new gun models over the last few weeks that will be making their way into the game over the next few weeks. 

Below are four gifs of various engineering and design improvements. The first is an example of our game's fire propagation - enemies that catch on fire run away and if they run into other enemies, those enemies will catch on fire, too! The second gif is of invincibility frames that we added to the dash (soon to be dash-roll) so that players can get out of hairy situations more easily. The third gif demonstrates how our enemy AI tracking is now switching dynamically between multiple targets, in this case between the rover and player, based on multiple factors. The last improvement is with our Protector enemy who now has a melee attack that pushes players into (or near) the large zone where he shoots his projectiles. 

Water and Lava Shaders are underway for our different environments thanks to Ming and Zihao, two of our technical artists. A few more intricate shaders to come in the near future!

Here below is a bunch more work that the designers have been doing. The first four gifs in order are the chain gun (used to be the machine gun), the Hellfire (which shoots low-damage orbs of fire that leave a flame wall trail), the sniper rifle, and the Valkyrie (a very high-damage but unpredictable rocket launcher). Darrell, Stephen, and Chen have been doing great with those. The 5th gif demonstrates that we scaled-down the PvP damage so it takes a little more effort to kill your friends - the player is nearly invincible in this gif, which is not how the game actually functions, but you get the point. The last two gifs are of some of the environmental hazards Jeff, Ben, and others have been working on where we have rising lava pools and moving clouds of deadly gas. 

We've also been working on our scaling and progression systems. Firstly, if just one player is playing the game they have one-hundred percent of the game's health pool. The more we add players, the more that shared health pool is divided, so by the time you have 4 players, each player shares one-quarter of the health pool. Secondly, the more ORE you collect, the more aggressive the enemies become and the more their hostile properties scale to meet your team's performance. These two systems, plus a few more, will hopefully ensure that the game feels dynamic, responsive, and different when playing with different sets of friends. 

HealthScaling.JPG
AIProgressionScaling.JPG

Lastly, here's a bunch of environment, character, and UI concept art that our amazing artists, Yang Li and Dylan Wignall have been coming up with over the last month or so.

More updates to come soon, and don't forget that we're now on Steam! Putting us on your Steam wishlist would mean a whole lot to us!

Update #12: February 3rd

Let's get the big news out of the way quick: we're on Steam! It's our official storefront where you'll be able to buy the game once we release it here in a few months. You should especially check it out if you've been curious about the backdrop of the game's narrative.

Otherwise, we recently put out a new trailer, too. After hitting Alpha, we made a quick trailer to tease the game with some of the more recent gameplay we've been working on.

Watching trailer, you probably saw a glimpse of the game's boss there at the end. Jeremy, one of our phenomenal technical artists, took a sprint to prototype our game's boss encounter and came up with a really, really cool fight. We can't wait for you guys to see it once you get your hands on the game. Also huge thanks to Isaac, our character artist for designing a beautiful boss in less than four (very stressful) days. 

From the video you also get a glimpse into two of the game's three environments: lava and swamp. Well, some of you might remember that before those two even existed, we had an ice environment that we used for all of our public demos. Well, there were a ton of problems with that kit when dealing with readability, visual variance, etc., so we put it on hiatus. We had an idea for another environment kit (well, we've had tons of ideas) that was more industrial kit that we used in our internal testing space environment, which you can see it in some gifs posted in previous updates. This kit also had similar problems, so we're planning on combining the two into an industrialized tundra with lots of massive canyons and crevasses. Should be way cool. Dylan has done some concept art for this new environment posted below.

Co_Canyon1_Tweaks.png

Sorry this post is a little short, but more information to come soon, we promise. Keep updated here, or by signing up for our mailing list!

Update #11: January 11th

It's been a little over a month since our last update, and in that time we had EAE Play Day and the notable holiday lull that happens every December. Check out our Images & Video section for a new video that shows some game capture of the build we debuted for EAE Play. Otherwise, to talk about EAE day a bit...

24879869_10103997968211629_8326471256964878074_o.jpg

It was great! We had a massive turnout with around two-hundred-and-fifty people that played the game over the course of four hours. 

24883296_10103997968031989_7437754708234285408_o.jpg

Below is a picture of what the space looked like before opening it up to the public. 

We gave out a ton of business cards, and were even selling ORE shirts! If you'd like a shirt, shoot an email over to contact@couchcosmonauts.com and let us know what size you're looking for (we're out of Smalls!). 

24883248_10103997968141769_3918037556001119310_o.jpg
Capture.PNG

For those unable to attend here's the lowdown of the game as it stands. We have two levels: one is an arena-based level where players survive as many waves of enemy hostiles as they can and collect as much ORE as possible; the second is a linear-level where players lead the rover across a hostile alien swamp biome and collect ORE along the way. We have four different types of enemies and nine vastly different weapons. Players have the ability to outfit their characters with different colored armor and select two crazy weapons to bring with them on missions. There exists a countdown clock that ticks-down to the implosion of the alien world, so players only have a limited number of attempts at levels to collect enough ORE in order to fight the game's final boss - which is how players will ultimately win the game. We have an unlock system that grants access to even crazier weapons based on player performance and progression, and at the end of each level players are dolled-out awards based on their performance ("Most Cowardly" is my favorite!). We are really looking forward to expanding and clarifying these system a whole lot more in the future. Which brings us to the final discussion of this long blog post: the future.

 Our EAE Play poster painted by the phenomenally talented Yang Li. 

Our EAE Play poster painted by the phenomenally talented Yang Li. 

We've roadmapped out the next few months of development. We're going to be really, really busy. The first and biggest thing we'll be working on over the next month is crafting a boss battle to end the game. We're also recrafting the Ice and Swamp environment kits to be more alien, distinct, and cohesive, as well as remaking the game's guns to look more interesting and to fell more unique, zany, and epic. We'll be amazingly busy crafting and testing our game's levels (of course), reworking some enemy AI to be more dynamic, and designing better UI systems. We're also going to be working on a tutorial level to help guide players into the game's rules and structure. The next big event we are preparing-for is GDC 2018 near the end of March, so we're full-steam-ahead getting ready for that. And, believe it or not, but all that stuff I just mentioned is only a small snippet of progress that we'll be making over the next few months before launch. (Do you have an actual release date yet?) No, not quite, we're probably going to go hard and fast once we're ready to publish - so be ready! However, I will divulge that we're preparing for an initial release sometime between late March and early May, so it's coming up. There are still a few things in the air that could cause us to delay release or even release earlier, but we'll let you know here first. 

Update #10: December 3rd

So this is awkward, it's been nearly three months since we last posted an update. While this is partially due to the strain of production as we begin to transition into Alpha, we're also really looking forward to surprising people with all of the progress we've made since September. If you've been watching our dev streams on Twitch, you probably have a better idea of the state of the game, but still won't grasp the full picture. So, this might be mean and make things even more awkward, but I'm not going to show you all of the progress we've made in this update. HOLD ON... I'll still show some, but the rest will be saved to surprise people who come and play our game THIS COMING FRIDAY, December 8th, at EAE Play Day up at the University of Utah. There will be prizes for those who collect the most Ore, which might or might not mean free t-shirts. For those who can't make it, don't worry, we'll post a post-EAE-Play-Day update and show you all of the new stuff we've made in the form of a gameplay video.

So, to get on with the update...

RoverSystem

First let's talk about the Rover. Our concept artist, Dylan made the "Chomper," which was then modeled and textured by Jeremy, one of our technical artists. Our lead artist, Bryan will probably go back for another pass on it in the future, but otherwise this thing looks pretty dang cool. We also changed up the way in which it works. So instead of it being stationary or following a set path, players now go up to it and tell it to follow. Once players lead the rover to a hotspot, the rover automatically begins to mine and players will then protect it against alien creatures. Big shout out to Karan, our lead engineer, for making the rover work so smoothly!

Our artists have also been hard at work making some beautiful new scenery. These are snapshots of some unfinished swamp and lava environments. We also have an ice/tundra environment that has been shown in previous playtests, and we'll be working on a few more in the future. You might also notice a bit of new UI in the top-right corner of the screen. This static level UI will show three things: the amount of tries you have left before the planet explodes, the Ore that the rover has collected on this surface-run, and the Ore you've gathered previous to this run and have stored in the bank. Again, this UI will change (very soon, actually) but it's a start!

Speaking of UI, we have some pretty cool Menus in the game now, too. 

mainscreen1.jpg

Yang Li has been concepting some real good menu and navigation pieces and we've slowly been turning them into reality. While I can't show them to you yet, you can see them in game on EAE Play Day next week, and can check out more recent concepting in our Images & Video section

Guns.jpg

We've also made a TON of crazy new weapons that players can unlock and use. We've even been tweaking the old ones to feel more unique, balanced, and substantial. Darrell's been doing some great design work, Dylan's been making some crazy concepts, and Ruohan's been modeling the guns. 

These changes, and a whole lot more, will be shown off at EAE Play Day this coming Friday so please come out and play the game! We also have a Mailing list you can subscribe to to recieve email updates on the game, so if that's your thing then please subscribe! Otherwise stay up to date here for more reveals and keep an eye on our Twitch page for dev streams!

Update #9: September 9th

Yoooooo we've been busy prototyping over the last two weeks making some off-the-wall stuff that either we dreamt up or was suggested to us by fans and playtesters. WARNING: what you see below is in no way polished or refined - they're prototypes, meaning that each one is only meant to be a rough proof of concept.

 This is the Auto Rover, meaning that it moves around a level on its own. We liked this concept since it provides us the ability to craft level-flow more precisely and actually improves the pacing by taking that agency away from the players. We have a lot of other ideas for this bad boy, but we'll be deciding in a few weeks if we want to keep it as a feature. 

This is the Auto Rover, meaning that it moves around a level on its own. We liked this concept since it provides us the ability to craft level-flow more precisely and actually improves the pacing by taking that agency away from the players. We have a lot of other ideas for this bad boy, but we'll be deciding in a few weeks if we want to keep it as a feature. 

 Eric, our AI engineer, has been working on recrafting our enemy AI. Before this upgrade, each individual enemy would lock onto a specific player and not relent until that player was dead. Now they switch to whatever player is nearest. We'll keep you updated with more AI stuff in the future. 

Eric, our AI engineer, has been working on recrafting our enemy AI. Before this upgrade, each individual enemy would lock onto a specific player and not relent until that player was dead. Now they switch to whatever player is nearest. We'll keep you updated with more AI stuff in the future. 

 Another fun spin on the rover was giving the players the ability to drive it. While this concept is still in need of a lot of polish, it was fun driving the rover ourselves and gives us the ability to make large, open maps for players to explore. 

Another fun spin on the rover was giving the players the ability to drive it. While this concept is still in need of a lot of polish, it was fun driving the rover ourselves and gives us the ability to make large, open maps for players to explore. 

 So we have three temp levels in the game and we made a level select system to be able to switch between them. It's still not perfect and we'll have to expand on it when we have more levels, but it demonstrates the diegetic direction we want to be going in for elements in games that are typically interfaced-with using UI.

So we have three temp levels in the game and we made a level select system to be able to switch between them. It's still not perfect and we'll have to expand on it when we have more levels, but it demonstrates the diegetic direction we want to be going in for elements in games that are typically interfaced-with using UI.

 And lastly what you see here might be pretty confusing at first. We made a weapon tier system where as you collect certain amounts of Ore your weapons grow in size and power. So whereas a normal Mine Launcher isn't nearly as large and only shoots a single mine per trigger-pull, this upgraded Mine Launcher is huge, has a greatly increased fire rate, and spawns three mines per trigger pull. We prototyped this in order to give players tangible rewards throughout the level and to emphasize progression, but it will definitely change in the future. We made similar effects for all of the weapons, although nothing is set-in-stone yet. You can look forward to a lot of weapon changes coming soon. 

And lastly what you see here might be pretty confusing at first. We made a weapon tier system where as you collect certain amounts of Ore your weapons grow in size and power. So whereas a normal Mine Launcher isn't nearly as large and only shoots a single mine per trigger-pull, this upgraded Mine Launcher is huge, has a greatly increased fire rate, and spawns three mines per trigger pull. We prototyped this in order to give players tangible rewards throughout the level and to emphasize progression, but it will definitely change in the future. We made similar effects for all of the weapons, although nothing is set-in-stone yet. You can look forward to a lot of weapon changes coming soon. 

Those are about half of the systems we worked on over the last two weeks, the rest not being as easy to show or as fun to talk about. We're currently in another prototyping sprint that will end in about two weeks, so look forward to more news and rad Gifs. 

Update #8: August 26th

We're all back! Well, almost all of us... Our designer, Sarah Cotner died. Just kidding, way better: she got hired by Blizzard Entertainment as a full-time Designer! She's now working on World of Warcraft (her favorite game ever) at her dream company and we here couldn't be happier for her. Way to go, Sarah! Besiiiiides her, we're all back at work and going HAM at the game. 

First, we're starting this Fall development cycle by taking a massive step back and looking at our core systems critically. After all of the amazing feedback we've gotten and ideation that's taken place over the summer we are going to spend the next four weeks prototyping new features that improve most of our old ones. We're really exploring what makes the game fun and finding different ways that we want to craft our experience. After these four prototyping weeks we will hopefully have all the systems in place we need to make a great, rounded experience, and can spend the following months refining those systems. Likewise, the art direction is also being evaluated and will take a bit of a turn as we adapt it more to the tone, theme, and functionality-needs of the game. Get ready for big changes, because that's what we're making. We've also updated our sites (including this one!) so check out some new concept art and videos. 

CrewPic.png

Going hard

until we die...

Update #7: July 19th

Get ready, this is a long one! So we've been super busy over the last 5 days. As mentioned last week, we've been preparing our game for a submission to a Tencent indie game competition and have made a ton of progress. This will also probably be the last sprint we do before our team reconvenes next month.  

To start, we massively changed how players pick up items. Players previously had to look directly at an item with a 45 degree grace angle and stand at a distinct distance in order to pick up an item. Now players can pick up items without looking directly at them and the tolerable distance of pickup has been increased. We've also moved the pickup button from B to LT so players' thumbs spend less time off the right thumbstick. We have also made it so that items will never overlap when dropped, and instead maintain a certain distance away from any other item.

We also dramatically changed the mining system of our game. Whereas players used to drop an automatic drill on a hotspot, wait unarmed, and have to pick it back up after a couple seconds, we've now made the drills function on a manual system so that players never have to put them down, and are always armed. With this new system players use these manual drills to gather Ore from hotspots by repeatedly tapping the A button. 

We've also massively altered the deposit and reloading functions of our game. Similar to our previous mining system, players used to have to drop their weapons and wait unarmed when depositing or reloading on the Rover. Now, both of those abilities are tied to an AOE zone system where players only have to step into the correct zone in order to trigger a deposit or reload. This new system means that I can go gather Ore armed with the drill, come back to the Rover, and deposit my bounty by standing in the Deposit zone, all the while having the ability to fire my weapon and defend myself against enemies. Another small change is that we've also tied this AOE reload system to players holding drills so that they can sacrifice some of their tank to refill the guns of nearby allies. 

Another large change is our character orientation system. Now the direction that a character faces and aims is tied to the direction that character is moving (the direction the player is holding the left thumstick). Players can use the right thumbstick to gain greater control over aiming or if they want to move and shoot in separate directions - however their character will move slower. 

In addition to these three massive changes we've also done a ton of tweaking and balancing. Characters can now dash (clicking-in the left thumbstick) while holding weapons. Enemy health has been reduced and character health has been increased. Enemy respawn rates have greatly increased. Weapon ammo capacity has been greatly increased. The capacity of the Rover's tank has increased from 10K to 25K. Mineral hotspots now disappear when exhausted. We changed the Ore color to green for improved readability. WE MADE ICE SLIPPERY! We altered the lighting of both scenes. We increased overall weapon damage. We increased the rate of fire of the Chemical Rifle. We gave all items glowing outlines so they're easier to see. We fixed the Mine Launcher indicator. We altered the behavior of the Mine Launcher Projectiles. We altered enemy behavior so that the swarming enemies explode sooner and the crawler enemies only have a single, reliable attack. And we did a whole lot more. Check out the video below for visual representations of pretty much everything mentioned above. 

We made a massive amount of progress and the game now feels buttery smooth. But we still all look forward to tearing it apart again next month!

Update #6: July 10th

So it's actually been a busy week here. First, we went and showcased our game at Salt Lake Gaming Con 2017, so a huge thanks to everyone who came out and supported us! We also got word from Ming Zi, one of our amazing Technical Artists, that the tiny and virtually unknown company she works at, Tencent will be having an indie game competition here in the near future and will offer the winner technical support and financial aid. So using much of the feedback we got from both the EAE Launch Party and SL Gaming Con we are going to get a few of our most dedicated staff together and have a quick development sprint over the next week to improve our game and make it ready for submission. We're also preparing ourselves for other events coming up in the future, such as the Las Vegas Game Arts Conference in September, and the quickly approaching Independent Games Festival deadline in October. We're also looking to be at PAX (west) and Terminus, so overall we're planning to really start getting out and going to as many events as possible here over the next six months. Feel free to let us know if we missed any or if there are any you'd like to see us at! Here are some pictures from last weekend's Salt Lake Gaming Con. 

Update #5: June 5th

Hey everyone, 

So as you might have noticed, communication here has been pretty lax over the past couple of weeks. There are a couple of reasons for this, and we want you to know that it's absolutely not because we've lost interest in the game or feel as though we don't owe you guys. In truth, many of us are taking a bit of a break from development over the summer. As mentioned before, a good chunk of our staff are off at internships at AAA game studios creating the next multi-million dollar best seller. Many others have returned home to spend some time with family and friends. And some of us have been fortunate enough to get part or full-time jobs here in Utah as well. Ben, Jeremy, Isaac, and Bryan - four of our phenomenal artists/tech artists - are doing some amazing 3D work at Rockwell Collins, a company that specializes in military simulations. Hayden, Stephen, and Tyrone are all working at the GApp Lab on the University campus making therapeutic games and apps. Dean just got a job at castAR doing QA work. The general idea here is that many of us are taking this summer as a time to develop and refine many of our disciplinary skills. And, as mentioned in previous posts there are still a handful of our crew who are here in the office making strides on the game. Jeff is often in the lab getting company logistics figured out and reaching out to otherworldly forces that can help support the game. Dylan is always churning out some crazy cool concept art and developing ideas for where our cosmonauts will land in the future. Regardless, we'll all be back in August to work on the game and are going to be even more motivated to finish strong having already been approved on Steam Greenlight! We promise that we'll keep updating all of you guys with more info as features and prototypes are developed, it just won't be on a weekly basis.  

We thank you all for your support, and remember: we love you <3 

Update #4: May 12th

So as you probably already know, this week we've been busy putting the game up on Steam Greenlight and managing all of the resulting consequences. If you haven't yet voted please do so here. Since last week, we've made a new trailer for the game specifically for Steam Greenlight, recorded our first video dev blog (these will improve over time), and will be working on more video content for the future including brief insights into weapons, enemies, and more. We also pushed our first Facebook ad that's been generating some good traffic.

Isaac made the Rover move independently of the characters, which might become core to the gameplay in later iterations. Ben hooked up his awesome main menu to the game build, so players are first presented with a legit main menu before entering the game. Jeremy has been looking into creating exaggerated readability techniques for the game so that certain actions or elements that are currently difficult to see are modified in a way that makes them more apparent. Jeff has been working on refining small bits of our latest build to send off to notable Twitch streamers so we can get the game in the eyes of more people. More on that coming soon. Darrell and a few others have been refining design ideas of how our game could evolve further, taking inspirations from other twin stick shooters like Livelock and Helldivers, as well as from multiplayer co-op games like Overwatch and Magicka. Hayden's been busy updating the Crew page of our website so if you'd like to get to know the staff better feel free to read a bit about us and gander at the overwhelming beauty of our faces. He also slightly changed the Images & Video page of this site to be more organized. 

And lastly a quick update on our Greenlight campaign. We're currently sitting at almost 550 Yes votes in just 4 days - exceeding our expectations. Talking with some other EAE games that have been published on Steam, they were been able to be approved from less votes over a longer period of time, so at this point we are pretty sure that we'll be Greenlit here in the next few weeks. 

For the most part, though, this week has been somewhat of a working-break with most of our crew being out of the office recovering after finals and initiating summer plans. Thanks for reading!

The Day After...

So it's been a full day since launching our game on Steam Greenlight, and so far we're doing really, REALLY well. A big thanks to everyone who up-voted, commented, and sent the word around to friends. We love you all. One thing we haven't seen too often from Greenlight projects are the actual statistics of how those projects are doing, so we're going to actually share that information with you all. 

Day1Greenlight

First of all we've reached nearly 400 Yes votes and are almost 20% of the way making it into the top 100 games currently on Steam Greenlight. For those not quite knowledgeable about the Greenlight process, we don't have to be in the top 100 to be published but it's a really good sign nonetheless. So far these numbers are great and we're on track to making it into the top 100 by the end of the month. 

Another note about this info is the ratio of Yes/No votes. We're currently sitting pretty close to the Greenlight average of 2:1 Yes/No votes, but there have been many games in the past that have been Greenlit while having a worse ratio. Check out this page on the game, Subaeria whose ratio was 1:1 and still got Greenlit in less than a week!

To conclude, we here at Couch Cosmonauts HQ thought it would be cool to show all of you the Greenlight progress in real-time. Big thanks again for helping us out and feel free to spread the word! 

Update #3: May 4th

So this week has been pretty calm around the studio. After the madness of our EAE Launch demo we are slowly putting the office back together and gaining momentum on future plans. We have a BIG announcement this coming Monday (May 8th), so stay tuned for that. Otherwise we've been working on a couple other things, namely the big thing on Monday, but some other stuff, too. 

First of all, to back up a bit, we're happily celebrating the summer departure of a handful of our staff who were fortunate and hard-working enough to land internships with some premier studios. Karan and Eric, two of our our engineers, got internships at Avalanche and Insomniac respectively. Sarah, one of our designers, heads off to Irvine, CA in a week-or-two to work with Blizzard on World of Warcraft. Ming and Ruohan - a married powerhouse of tech art and art - are going back home to China where they will be working for a large mobile games company and an art outsourcing company for Naughty Dog. We'll miss all of them and hope that they enjoy their summers working for larger, more experienced game developers and return with a breadth of knowledge and wisdom to share with the team. The rest of the team (17 of us) will be around SLC working on the game by creating unique features and testing ideas to present to the whole team once we're united again in August. 

As for progress on the game, we have implemented a title screen into the build so it is a complete demo experience. We're also in talks with a handful of local game dev companies about coming out and presenting our idea to them in order to gain industry-level feedback and criticism. Hayden, a producer, has also been hard at work making our first game trailer. In addition, we're about to start our live-stream dev blog where we actually show ourselves playing the game, take some questions, etc. We'll hopefully have more news on that on Monday as well.

We'll also be shifting workspaces  soon so there has been some prep and planning for that, we're in the stages of legally forming our corporation, and we've been continuously expanding our presence online across various platforms. Speaking of which, we'd like to extend a huge thanks to the phenomenal donors that have contributed to our Patreon account - we're already past our first goal and about to reach our second so things are looking great!

That's all for this week but make sure to keep an eye out for our Facebook page on Monday to hear the big news!

Update #2: April 28th

So this week--as you might know if you've been keeping up with our social media stuff--we demoed our game at the EAE Launch Party held on Wednesday. We had somewhere near one hundred people over three hours come and play our game and we got a ton of really, really rewarding feedback. The team is extremely excited to incorporate the feedback we got and create something even better than we already have. 

BUT as you all may also know, we here at Couch Cosmonauts are Masters students, and Summer cometh soon. Because much of the team will be busy with internships and new job opportunities over the summer, we will not be making game-changing progress on the game over the next few months and will probably not be posting as many Facebook posts and updates. Yet many of us still in town will still be working on improving the game. Two handfuls of our designers, artists, and tech artists will be in town over the summer and will independently develop features towards the improvement of our game. We'll certainly update everyone with a few of those as they come along. 

Now to the demo feedback. Generally everyone who played the game had fun and would comment on how beautiful the game visually looked. But because we didn't make explicit tutorial levels the learning curve of our game was set pretty high in order to understand all of our game's mechanics. In the future we will work on creating better ways to teach the game to new players and slowly build their shared understanding of the game's systems. 

We also learned that some of the game systems just aren't very fun in the current iteration. For instance, having to go to the rover and drop your weapon in the right spot and then wait for it to refill just isn't rewarding for the player and doesn't create the sense of suspense that we intended. So we'll be seriously evaluating many of the core systems of our game and possibly doing some trimming and tweaking. 

While we learned a lot of how we could improve, we were also overwhelmed with positive feedback and excitement. We have been considering it for a few weeks now, but after receiving the demo feedback we are now pushing to get our game Greenlit on Steam ASAP. It's not up on Greenlight yet, we'll let you know when it goes live, but we're in the prep stages of getting publishing on PC sorted early so we aren't scrambling later. We also want to do this prior to Steam changing their publishing process since we have no real clue as to what it will entail in the future. 

Update #1: April 20th

First, you might be asking what's the difference between this site and our Facebook page. This site is a development blog where we can talk in greater detail about the stuff we're making. Whereas Facebook is a place to generate traffic, this site is the ultimate place that we direct traffic, because this is the site where everyone can get to know us, our game, and our process. This being our first weekly update post, we'll attempt to update and post things as often as possible, with most of the content coming post-August. 

As far as the game goes, we're currently polishing and tuning the game specifically for our upcoming demo event at the "EAE Launch Party." This has been a two week endeavor and we're stoked to present everything we've made to the public in just six short days. 

This week, part of our art force is focused on various animation polishing including animation state blending, quad and hexapedal enemy movement, and weapon refinement. We're also working heavily with the refinement and creation of different particle effects such as snow and explosions. And of course they're fixing and working on various things as we see fit. One of our resident concept artists, Dylan, is hard at work painting a new forest environment so we can start pondering how our next level will look aesthetically.

Engineering-wise, our Lead Engineer Karan is entirely focused on creating a smooth, bug free experience for demo testers, and thus most of the engineering team is solely tasked with bug fixing. There are, as always, some unforeseen things that engineers will also have to work on, but primarily they're fixing and polishing so we are technically prepared for next Wednesday. 

And lastly, our Design team is hard at work playtesting and bug-searching. They're also studying how fresh users play our game, and how to direct play through unobtrusive methods. One of our designers, Sarah, is currently ironing out the enemy behaviors for the demo event so that we have new and interesting enemies to showoff and so that players have more things to shoot!

Speaking of which, here's a sneak peek at an enemy, Isaac made last week that you can look forward to meeting at our demo event!