Update

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. 

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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. 

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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!

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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. 

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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. 

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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 #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.

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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...

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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. 

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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!). 

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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...

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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. 

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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

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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!