Cosmic Star Heroine - All News
Saturday - April 26, 2014
Cosmic Star Heroine - Interview @ RPGamer
RPGamer interviewed Bill Stiernberg of Zeboyd Games to talk about his funded kickstarter RPG Cosmic Star Heroine, and his opinion of the gaming industry.
JS: With Breath of Death VII, Cthulhu Saves the World, and On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 and 4 in your development library, you guys are now working on Cosmic Star Heroine, which was Kickstarted. Please tell us a bit about this game.
BS: It is a couple of things. It's a futuristic sci-fi game, but it also has a heavy spy and espionage element. I think that is cool as it is not just another space opera type game that you see in a lot of sci-fi RPGs. It's really got as much in the spy, espionage, Metal Gear Solid like conspiracy stuff as it does sci-fi. I think that is really fun as it gives us a chance to get out of the whole swords, and shields, and forest themes that many of our other games have. Rain-Slick 4 was kind of an exception because we got to do this sort of hellish under-hell/over-hell universe that is taking place in another plane of existence. Finally, with Cosmic Star Heroine, we get to do these other planets, these other alien species and technologies, and laser beams and stuff, and that is really exciting. Plus, we are finally jumping into this whole Chrono Trigger-esque style of presentation, and that is something I have always wanted to do. Chrono Trigger is definitely an inspiration, but I have really just been building upon the stuff I've been doing since Breath of Death. I am not trying to make it look exactly like a certain genre, or game, or even era. Yes, it is '16-bit' but, I have really just been taking the stuff since Breath of Death and kind of layering it on and learning from the previous games.
JS: What do you think of the games industry's current status, specifically with regard to RPGs, and where do you think it might be headed?
BS: The status right now, or at least where it has been for the last couple of years, the development of JRPGs has really moved onto the mobile systems for the bigger companies. A lot of the popular RPGs you can play right now are on the PSP and DS, now 3DS and Vita, and it is has been that way for awhile since RPGs are very big games. So, to have a massive production value as Final Fantasy XIII has, only so many companies can afford to take that risk on what is becoming a more narrow market. So, if you enjoy those games, I hope you enjoy playing portable, because that is where they are. Obviously there are some exceptions like Xenoblade Chronicles, but the majority of them have gone to handheld. I think, what I hope we will see in the future, is more embracing of the PC market. I know Square Enix is starting to dabble in Steam releases, by releasing their older catalog on Steam. Hopefully that means they will start releasing their actual RPGs there, and other companies will follow suit, like how Dark Souls is on Steam. A really cool company Carpe Fulgar, is a localization team that works with a lot of Japanese companies to bring their JRPG and JRPG-styled games to Steam as well. So, hopefully that opens up the floodgates for a new market for these games so they can succeed. I think a lot of small studios are tackling JRPGs as well, as it is sort of an under served market on console and PC.
Thursday - April 24, 2014
Cosmic Star Heroine - Post-Funding Update #29
Zeboyd Games posts information about the game length, side quests, and E3 in the latest post-funding kickstarter update for Cosmic Star Heroine.
Estimated Length, Better Sidequests, More Variety, and E3
Based on our current plans for the game's main story & sidequests and our previous experience on our other games, we're guessing that Cosmic Star Heroine will be in the 15-25 hour range (depending on difficulty chosen, playstyle, and how much optional content you complete) making it our longest game ever. Of course, this is just a guess and we'll have a better idea when the game is nearly done but we think it'll fall somewhere around there.
In particular, we've really been focusing on improving the optional content in the game. Many of our optional quests in our previous games could scarcely be called that and consisted primarily of bonus caves filled with a few enemies and treasure chest. We definitely want to avoid that so we're making sure that all of the sidequests in the game have a story and/or character significance and aren't just a way to get extra loot.
In both the main story & the sidequests, we want to avoid the game just being a series of town, dungeon, boss, repeat, and will have more interesting scenarios. In particular, Final Fantasy VI is a big inspiration as situations like Defending Narshe, the Opera House, the Raft Escape, frequently changing party lineups, and more helped to add a lot of variety to the traditional RPG format. And yes, we're planning on having at least one multi-party dungeon as well as a turn-based hacking mini-game. :)
Finally, we just wanted to let everyone know that we're planning on sharing some gameplay footage for the game during E3. Please be excited.
Sunday - March 09, 2014
Cosmic Star Heroine - Kickstarter Updates
Zeboyd Games has two more kickstarter updates for Cosmic Star Heroine. The first update is once again about the games battle screenshots.
Cosmic Star Heroine - Battle Screenshot WIP 2.0!
We've been tweaking the battle UI since the last screenshot based on various feedback you all gave us and thought we'd share the results.
We shrank the portraits a bit so that they wouldn't draw as much attention away from the action and then we swapped their position so that we could add another character slot to the time bar. We redesigned the name/description bar so that we'd have more space for text. Finally, we made the numbers in combat slightly smaller (we think it looks better this way).
As usual, this is a work-in-progress and so the layout and art is subject to change between now and the game's release.
The second update asks what battle UI do you prefer.
Which battle UI do you prefer?
Last update of the day, I promise!
Based on today's feedback, we've made a possible version 3 of the UI.
Besides the obvious change with the time bar, we also moved the ability name to the left & we made the ability cursor a little bigger & easier to see. Oh and we fixed an error that we had missed (Clarke's Health & Energy bars were flipped).
Thoughts? Which do you prefer?
Monday - March 03, 2014
Cosmic Star Heroine - Post-Funding Update # 23
In the latest post-funding update for Cosmic Star Heroine Zeboyd Games released a new screenshot to show how combat works in the game.
Cosmic Star Heroine - Battle Screenshot
Since we haven't shared any screenshots for Cosmic Star Heroine recently, we thought we'd show off the battle user interface. We think it's a big improvement over our previous games in both form & function. And hey, you might be able to guess on some of the combat mechanics from this screenshot! Standard disclaimer: work in progress, subject to change before the game comes out. Also, the location shown isn't actually going to be in the game; we just use it for testing various things (and it's good for avoiding spoilers too!).
Thursday - January 23, 2014
Cosmic Star Heroine - Podcast @ Racketboy
Racketboy has a new podcast with Zeboyd Games about the studio's past games, and their recent kickstarter success Cosmic Star Heroine.
Bill Stiernberg is one half of the indie developer duo Zeboyd Games, the studio that has released titles like Cthulhu Saves the World, Breath of Death VII, and the recent Penny Arcade games. They are currently working on Cosmic Star Heroine. John sits down with Bill in his Houston area home and office to discuss his work with Zeboyd Games, retro gaming, his gaming collection and gaming habits, and his views on the direction and future of the gaming industry. The pictures seen above are a few Bill graciously let us take of his gameroom and work area.
Monday - January 20, 2014
Cosmic Star Heroine - Results of the 11th Vote
Zeboyd Games has posted a new post-funding update for Cosmic Star Heroine with the results from a recent character Vote.
Results of the 11th Character Vote
We just finished tallying everything and the Cyber-Insect has won the Backer vote for the 11th playable character! For those interested, the ranking went...
#1 - Cyber-Insect
#2 - Spider/Snake Hybrid Alien.
#3 - Robo-Pet.
#4 - Sentient Plant.
#5 - Bird-Person
#6 - Toxic Goo Monster.
With the exception of the Toxic Goo Monster which got noticeably fewer votes than everything else, it was a pretty tight race. There was only about a 20 vote difference between ranks 3 & 5 for example.
We'll be sure to share more details & art for the Cyber-Insect character soon. :)
Thursday - November 14, 2013
Cosmic Star Heroine - Interview @ The Vita Lounge
The Vita Lounge interviewed Bill Stiernberg, and Robert Boyd of Zeboyd Games about their successful kickstarter RPG Cosmic Star Heroine.
Brian Sharon: First off I’d like to congratulate the both of you on a successful Kickstarter campaign for Cosmic Star Heroine. Looking back on the process, what was the experience like?
Bill Stiernberg: It was a lot more work than it seemed at first. We had been watching and studying the various successful (and unsuccessful) Kickstarters for a long time. We had many long discussions about what works and what doesn’t for a Kickstarter page, and how campaigns are run, and what pitfalls there can be. Coming up with reward tiers and adjusting them was a lot of work too; rewards that are realistic to do and ship without killing us on time and shipping and other costs, then constant tweaking before the Kickstarter launch. Building the page was tons of work, I had to create a ton of custom assets for it and try to lay it out professionally.
We scrapped a number of things and added others, rearranged the page, and rewrote sections quite a bit. Finally, the video was somewhat challenging – we knew what we wanted to say, but explaining it well and try to be concise and not messing up on video is its own challenge! Thankfully Marc at Inlight-10 Productions did a great job recording and editing the final video. Once launch, Kickstarters remain a ton of work – you have to keep interest up and answer backer questions and tweets and so forth. Then you sit and watch the funding with a mix of excitement and stress. Our first day did super well, which took some pressure off, though, thankfully. So now we’re onto making the game, whoo!
The term JRPG was once nearly synonymous with quality, but today has fallen to become a dirty word of sorts. As fans of the genre, how do you feel about the current state of JRPG’s?
Bill Stiernberg: Well, the past several years could have been better for the genre. The HD-consoles have made it difficult to produce big-budget console JRPGs, and so you see many of the really good ones show up on the handhelds in the past few years. So they’re there, and there are many great ones. But we’d all like to see more show up on consoles and PC as well. Fortunately, it seems that more JRPG style games are showing up on digital platforms, both on consoles and PC (Steam) of late. I think going forward less “big” genres will find a lot of success that way.
Wednesday - November 13, 2013
Cosmic Star Heroine - Post-Funding Update #16
Zeboyd Games has posted a new post-funding update for Cosmic Star Heroine with news that pre-orders are now open if you missed the kickstarter.
Pre-Order Option Now Available! New Playable Character Vote Soon!
We know that some people wanted to donate to our Kickstarter but missed the deadline or were unable to do so for various reasons, so we've teamed up with the Humble Store and are now offering the option to preorder the game directly from our website. Preorders come in two options - a basic option that just gets you the game as well as a special edition option that gets you some of the goodies that were available during the Kickstarter (Digital Soundtrack, Art Book, Strategy Guide, Wallpaper, and Forum Avatars).
We're also working with the Humble Store to distribute the Steam codes of our previous games to everyone who donated at those tiers and hope to have those all out later this month or December.
Finally, we're planning on starting the vote for the new non-human playable character soon, so if you have any ideas you'd like to pass on, now is the time!
Saturday - November 02, 2013
Cosmic Star Heroine - Update #13, Kickstarter Funded
Zeboyd Games has posted a new update for Cosmic Star Heroine to announce the game is funded and give thanks to all that backed the game.
The Cosmic Star Heroine Kickstarter has finished with over $132,000 raised from over 6400 backers! Thank you everyone!
Thursday - October 31, 2013
Cosmic Star Heroine - Update #12, PS4/Vita & Music
Zeboyd Games has posted a new update for Cosmic Star Heroine about the PS4/Vita game option, and gives a preview of the games music.
European PS4/Vita Game Option! Music Preview!
We're pleased to announce that European Kickstarter backers at the Game Tier ($10) and higher levels will have the option of getting a copy of the game for the PS4 & Vita!
Also, we're happy to share with all of you a preview of one of the city themes in the game from Hyperduck. You can download it here. Note, this is still a work-in-progress & is subject to change between now and the game's release.
Less than 48 hours to go! Thank you again for your support! Be sure to spread the word to all your friends!
Tuesday - October 29, 2013
Cosmic Star Heroine - Update #11, Lauren Gambino
Zeboyd Games has posted a new update for Cosmic Star Heroine introducing Lauren Gambino one of the npc's in the game.
Cosmic Star Heroine Character - Lauren Gambino
We will be sharing some more character artwork for Cosmic Star Heroine as time goes on - for today we wanted to post a high-res piece of the character Lauren Gambino:
Lauren Gambino - Informant who likes to play the government & the criminal underbelly against each other. Also sings in an indie band. Expert at poisons & debuffs. Weapon: A pair of force daggers. Strengths: Cunning, Ailments.
Wednesday - October 23, 2013
Cosmic Star Heroine - Update #10, Character Masteries
Zeboyd Games has posted a new update for Cosmic Star Heroine with information about the games various character masteries.
List of Character Masteries
We thought it would be fun to share the list of character masteries with everyone. Speculate away!
Alyssa: Bojutsu, Leadership, Gadgets
Chahn: Gunmancy, Friendship, Medic
Dave: Hacking, Tech Support, Hipster
Sue: Punching, Zen, Suavity
Arete: Biochemistry, Robotics, AI Processes
Clarke: Dance Assault, Charisma, Glitch
Z'xorv: Assassin, Mitigation, Salivary Warfare
Orson: Ectoplasmoids, Suit Specialist, Naturalist
Lauren: Betrayal, Deception, Songstress
Finian: Arsenal, Tactics, Basic Training
Note, names and details are subject to change between now and the game's release.
Sunday - October 20, 2013
Cosmic Star Heroine - Update #9, Art Book
Zeboyd Games has posted a new update for Cosmic Star Heroine with information about the games physical art book.
Physical Art Book
Since the question has been asked, we would like to let everyone know that we are going to be aiming to make the physical Cosmic Star Heroine art book a high quality product that any gaming fan would be happy to have on their shelf. We won't have a page count until the game is finished, but we won't be skimping on quality or quantity. Full-color, hardcover, lots of content (including some smaller sections that cover our previous games), etc. Plus all physical art books obtained through the Kickstarter will be signed.
Thursday - October 17, 2013
Cosmic Star Heroine - Update #8, Gameplay Details
Zeboyd Games has posted a new update for Cosmic Star Heroine with new gameplay details about buffs, leadership, and friendship.
First, characters will only be able to have a limited number (probably starting at 3 though in a few rare cases, you'll be able to increase that) of buffs active at once. If an additional buff is cast on a character beyond that amount, it'll replace the oldest active buff. In our previous games, there was no limit to the number of different buffs you could stack on a single character.
Second, most buffs will have a limited duration of X number of turns (although there are ways to increase that turn count). In the past, most of our buffs lasted for the rest of the battle.
Now let's talk a little about two of the more buff-heavy masteries in the game: Alyssa's Leadership Mastery and Chahn's Friendship Mastery. Although both masteries focus on supporting the party in various ways, it was important to us to make sure that each one felt unique & went well with each character's personality.
Alyssa's Leadership mastery is very active for a support mastery. She's meant to actively lead her party in the thick of battle rather than hanging back from behind. Here are a few of her Leadership abilities...
Lead by Example: Passive. Whenever Alyssa defeats an enemy, the party restores some HP.
Cheer Up. Buff: Target ally regains some HP. They also get a bonus to all Stats for 1 turn.
Confidence: Passive. Alyssa gets a +10% bonus to all stats as long as no one in her party has been defeated in this battle.
All-Out Assault:Special Effect. All ally attacks & abilities deal 50% more damage this turn.
From the Shadows. Buff. Party gets a boost to Cunning for 3 turns.
In contrast, Chahn's Friendship mastery is much more of a traditional support mastery. Through her giving nature, she actually becomes more powerful the more she helps other members of the group. A few of her Friendship abilities include...
Fortify Mind: Buff. Increases magic defense. 4 turns.
Best Friends Forever: Buff. The Best Friends Forever buff does not expire. Other buffs on this character last for 2 additional turns.
Sharing: Passive. Whenever Chahn places a buff on an ally, she also gains that same buff.
Economize: Buff. Reduces MP costs by X points.
All in all, the mastery system & related abilities are proving to be very fun to design. We could make some really interesting characters just by using a single mastery, but when you take into account that each character will have 3 masteries to choose from, plus further customization through things like equipment, there should be a ton of fun depth to explore with the various characters. :)
Monday - October 14, 2013
Cosmic Star Heroine - Update #7, Game Funded
Zeboyd Games has posted a new update for Cosmic Star Heroine to announce the game is now 100% funded with 17 days left to go.
Cosmic Star Heroine FUNDED!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
Hi Everyone! WOW! Cosmic Star Heroine reached the $100k funding goal this morning, thanks to all of you! Thank you all SO MUCH for your support and enthusiasm! We couldn't be more excited -- watching the funding goal finally be met is incredibly motivating. We cannot thank you enough!
Feel free to continue spreading the word!!!
Sunday - October 13, 2013
Cosmic Star Heroine - Kickstarter Updates #5 & 6
Cosmic Star Heroine has posted two more updates over the last two days. Read below for the links and a brief description.
Update #5 - "New Screenshot - the mutated forest of Rhomu!"
Hi everyone! We're posting a new screenshot of the game today!
To contrast the city / street screenshot posted earlier, we felt like sharing an image from one of the more forested alien worlds in the game.
The planet Rhomu was wracked by war, forcing the population to flee underground. The planet surface remained uninhabited, allowing the now-mutated flora and fauna to overtake the abandoned industrial complexes that once dominated the landscape.
We hope you like the new screenshot, and thanks again so much for your support! We're almost at the $100k goal line!
Update #6 - "What if Cosmic Star Heroine exceeds its goal?"
$100k-$200k: We would most likely use this extra money for additional time at the end of the development cycle for extra polishing and non-essential but fun extra features. We would also be able to give more money to Hyperduck for use on the soundtrack - the $100k initial goal should get us a soundtrack on par with the last game they scored for us (which had an excellent soundtrack - check it out!) but of course, we'd love to make the Cosmic Star Heroine soundtrack even better.
$200k-$300k: At this stage, we would consider the possibility of hiring additional part-time help for programming & art, thus allowing us to do more with less time. Of course, this is dependent on us finding the right individuals who do high quality work that fit the game and who would work well with us.
$300k+: At this stage, we could consider getting the game localized in other languages and maybe look into some voice acting.
Also, if we end up with enough money left over after making the game, we would like to do some free post-release DLC.
Thursday - October 10, 2013
Cosmic Star Heroine - Update #4, New Reward Tiers
Zeboyd Games has posted another update for Cosmic Star Heroine with information about new reward tiers.
New Reward Tiers! Lower NPC Tier Price!
We've made some changes & additions to the reward tiers that we hope you'll enjoy!
First, we've changed the NPC tier to now be $1,000 (previously $1,500). It no longer includes the Design Tier rewards but we think the lower price makes it more attractive than it was before.
Second, we've added a Physical Cosmic Star Heroine Art Book tier at $350. This reward has been added to the $3,000 tier and the new $2,000 tier and you can also add it to existing tiers for $350. Note, we can't change the description of the $3,000 tier on the page since there are already backers, but all existing $3,000 backers will get the physical art book as well.
Finally, we now have a new Assassin Tier at $2,000. This tier makes you (or an appropriately augmented alien or cyber version of you) an elite assassin in the game. In short, you'll be a super-hard boss in the game. We think we'll handle this similarly to the Fiend battles in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne - at some point in the game, players will have a chance to activate the "Elite Assassin" side-quest and once that side-quest has been activated, these extra hard bosses will start appearing at set points throughout the game as they try to eliminate Alyssa.
Wednesday - October 09, 2013
Cosmic Star Heroine - Update #3, Linux Support
Zeboyd Games has posted a new update for Cosmic Star Heroine with news about Linux support, game rewards after Kickstarter, and LV-Up system ideas.
We're happy to announce that Cosmic Star Heroine will be coming out for Linux! We'll work out the details over the coming months but for now, know that if you pick the Computer version of the game, you'll get a Linux version in addition to the Windows & Mac versions for both Steam and DRM-Free.
Several people have asked us about this so yes, the "Digital copies of our previous games on Steam & a digital copy of the complete soundtrack to Precipice of Darkness 4" rewards will be given out soon after the Kickstarter ends.
We've been asked how the LV-Up system in the game will work. With the LV-Up system, we have 3 main goals:
- Easy to understand.
- Make each character feel unique.
- Give the player freedom to customize characters.
Saturday - October 05, 2013
Cosmic Star Heroine - Kickstarter Updates #1 & 2
Cosmic Star Heroine is the next kickstarter this week to get a few updates. So scroll down for the links, and info.
Hi everyone! Day 3 and we're already more than halfway to $100,000! Thank you so much!
It was brought to our attention in the comments that the playable cast could use more non-human characters and we couldn't agree more. Therefore sometime after the kickstarter has concluded, we'll present a few different possibilities for a new non-human playable character and give all of our backers the chance to vote on which one they like the best. The character with the most votes will be added to the game as a fully playable character in your party!
Of course, we're welcome to suggestions on who this non-human character should be, so if you have a cool idea that you'd like us to use, feel free to let us know in the comments! :)
After the kickstarter ends, everyone who gets a digital copy of the game will be sent a survey to find out which version (or versions if they've earned more than 1) they would like. You can choose between...
Console Version - Get a digital copy of the game for the PS4 AND Vita (the game will be cross-buy so buy once, get both versions)
Computer Version - Get a digital copy of the game for Windows AND Mac. Backers who choose this option will get both a Steam code AND a separate code for a DRM-free version of the game. This is an improvement from our original plan where you had to choose between the two.
In addition to this improvement, we've also added the opportunity for backers to add additional digital copies of the game to their rewards (beyond the second copy you get at the $40 tier) by adding an extra $10 per copy to the reward tier they've chosen. Note, due to a limited number of PSN codes, there is a limit of 2 copies of the console version per backer total (this including copies gained through the $10 & $40 tiers). There is no limit on how many copies of the computer version a backer can request.
Wednesday - October 02, 2013
Cosmic Star Heroine - A New Sci-Fi/Spy RPG
Cosmic Star Heroine is another kickstartrer asking for $100,000 to release on the
PC/Mac/PS4/Vita. It's describded as a turn-based RPG , and inspired by Chrono Trigger, Phantasy Star, and Suikoden. Bold words indeed so check it out if your interested.
Cosmic Star Heroine is a turn-based sci-fi Japanese-style RPG from Zeboyd Games currently scheduled to come out in 2014 for the PC, Mac, PS4, and Vita!
Alyssa L’Salle is one of the galactic government’s top agents and always manages to save the day! But when she accidentally uncovers a dark conspiracy, her own government outs her as a legendary spy and the people’s champion! Sure, now she has hordes of adoring fans but every villainous organization she’s ever crossed in her career knows who she is and is out for her blood! Can she save the day once more while she faces her greatest challenge… Everyone!?
- Good old-fashioned classic turn-based RPG!
- Save anywhere! Minimal grinding (unless you want to)!
- Brisk pacing that respects your time!
- No separate battle screen! Battles take place directly in the dungeons & areas that you explore!
- 2D visual style straight from the height of gaming's 16-bit era!
- Animated cutscenes reminiscent of the Sega CD & Turbo Duo era!
- Soundtrack by Hyperduck (Dust: An Elysian Tail, Precipice of Darkness 4) inspired by the genre greats!
- Multi-character combo techniques!
- Intricately designed encounters make each new battle its own challenge!
- Your own spy headquarters! Recruit new agents to help it grow!