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Cohorts (Standalone Version) Alpha Test Released!
We spent quite a long time discussing pricing and marketing strategies today.

It's still not finalized, but I believe we are going to go with this sort of model:

1. Purchase Game plus Starter Module (small, get to know the game module) for $X.
2. Purchase Modules, plus all related module content for $Y, which includes any updates or upgrades to the module.
3. Purchase Online multiplayer 12 month pass for $Z.
4. Purchase Community Edition 12 month pass.

If you purchase multiple game modules, you don't need to purchase additional multiplayer time. Multiplayer access gives you access to all modules you've purchased.

Community edition pass gives you access to the Game Master tool, which you can use to create your own modules. These modules can then be uploaded (and sold) to anybody else with community edition pass.

Any thoughts or comments on this would be appreciated.
Status Update - Aug 25, 2017

Last week I had suggested that we’d have the full gamut of character and agents actions up and running for this release. Sadly, we did not achieve that goal. We did get much of it done, but the covert operations did not make it into this release. We did however get a remarkable pile of work done and I expect that everybody is going to be very pleased with the new features that are available for Alpha Test 7.

Over the past few weeks I have met with a number of the alpha testers. I gave them a chance to play the game, ask questions and give us feedback on the state of the game. I’m happy to say that there were plenty of positive comments, but we also got some very solid critiques and suggestions as well.

The biggest (and most consistent) complaint is that the game is complicated and players need more real-time help to give them an idea of what they should be doing. On the good side, for those testers that said they didn’t know what to do, also said that once they understood what they should be doing, they found the game was well designed to help them play.

Delivering an interactive help-system is no trivial task. I am also concerned about trying to implement something like that before the entire User Interface (UI) is finished. So, as a compromise, we will be releasing some game videos that show how to use the UI and to show what features are available. I am also planning to release either a number of small videos or a few longer videos with an index to tell you where to find specific information in the video.

The suggestion that I liked the best was to provide a mechanism for players to be awarded badges (or something similar) for achievements like, killing off 50 different types of monsters, achieving a level 31 character, achieving an effective level of 50+ in any skill, etc. My plan is to develop an online leaderboard that will track all of these achievements so that players can compete for who can meet the achievement and who can meet the achievement in the shortest number of turns.

Lastly, I am sad to say that Trevor, one of my co-op students, is going back to school today and I won’t get to have him around to give me constant feedback on my design choices. Trevor has been our lead tester and co-designer on Veil of Entropy module. Hopefully he will be able to carve out some time to continue on the project over the next four months, but I suspect his work-load at school might prevent that.

As always, if anybody has any questions, comments or concerns – I am available at your convenience.


Alpha Test 7 - now available for download!

Visit Facebook group "Cohorts Game System" for more details.
Also, updated versions of the game's Rule Book as well as the Veil of Entropy module's spell book have also been uploaded to the Facebook group "Cohorts Game System".
Status Update - September 1, 2017

September 1 already. Damn.

This past week was interesting from a development perspective, but we have little to show in the way of ‘something new’ for the Alpha Testers to see.

While we were looking at implementing the covert actions, it became clear that we needed to work in some of the discovery features of the game. And, since we’re putting that in, it also seemed like a good time to start installing the framework to support multiplayer mode as well. Sadly, this is turning into a huge task. I’m not sure we’ll have it finished before our next scheduled Alpha Test release on September 15. In fact, I know we won’t have it ready.

So, until we finish getting these new pieces in place, there won’t be any new Alpha releases. I’m disappointed that we won’t keep to the schedule, but I am more than a bit excited to be working on this aspect of the game. As a nice side benefit, the “end turn” feature is going to be even faster than it is now. I expect it to be significantly faster!

That’s about it for now I suppose.

Enjoy the weekend.

Status Update - September 8, 2017.

Hey there Cohorts fans! It's Friday, so it must be time for an update.

First, my apologies to the testers that got messed up by absentminded modification to the game server. I am expecting to have the problem rectified today with a new release of Alpha Test 8. Sadly, there isn't much to show in this new release, other than the fix to my own blunder.

Second, not much else to talk about. Except that we're madly working towards some changes that will be the corner-stone for the game's discovery and the multiplayer engines. Visually, not much to see, but behind the scenes - it's pretty damn exciting!

Lastly, I've got a few interesting 'tasks' on the go that might lead to some very interesting news. I don't want to spill the beans just yet, but whether these tasks come to fruition or not, I'll let you all know what I was working on.

Take care of yourselves and try to have a great weekend.

Alpha Test 8 is ready for download.  I've included links to the downloads.  I've not tried this before, so I have no idea if it will work.

Game download:!Al-hFkEL9nZw-3QHU3Iix4bq8dxY
Installation instructions:!Al-hFkEL9nZw-3zRlRZYmz1qd4Dp
Sample video made by one of our devs:


Status update – Sept 15, 2017

For those of you counting the days, this should have a been an Alpha Test release day.  But, as I mentioned earlier we’ve undertaken a task that is going to force us to delay our next release.  The task is going well, but it’s huge and we’re working our way through it.  I will be sure to keep you apprised of the when I expect to have the next release, as soon as I know.

But, aside from that, we’ve got some pretty big news to share!

Cohorts is available for download (to a closed group of people) in the Microsoft Store!  Even though it’s still in Alpha Test, we were able to meet all of the requirements to get the game published.  The version of the game that is in the store is Alpha Test 8.

Now that the game is available through the Microsoft Store, I will no longer be posting links to the game via Facebook.  Anybody that wants play will need to be included in the game’s closed distribution list.  If you want in, send me an email from your Microsoft account.  I’ll add you to the group and you will be able to get the updates from the store as they are published.

I hope you all have a great weekend.



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