Cosmic Star Heroine - All News
Friday - December 08, 2017
Cosmic Star Heroine - Review @HardcoreGaming101
Cosmic Star Heroine has been reviewed at Hardcore Gaming 101 by our own GabrielMP_19.
Developed by Zeboyd Games, the same team behind JRPG-styled indie games like Cthullu Saves the World and the later Penny Arcade: On The Rainslick Precipice of Darkness games, Cosmic Star Heroine tells the story of Alissa L’Salle, a notorious agent of the Agency of Peace and Intelligence (API), an intergalactic anti-terrorist force. The game is heavily inspired by the likes of Phantasy Star (particularly with its sci-fi setting and female protagonist) but also Square SNES RPGs like Chrono Trigger. More than just being one of the many RPG Maker clones on the indie scenes, it also seeks to expand on what a classic JRPG can be like.
Right from the start, Cosmic Star Heroine clearly wants to tell an epic story. The games opens with Alyssa climbing up a building while fighting enemies and busting terrorists to save a city. These scenes set up Alyssa as a hero that will do anything in her power to save people, a notion that will be her driving force right after her second mission, in which she and her friends Dave and Chahn recover old artifacts that have the power of controlling the minds of people. When they arrive back to the API, they discover that one of their superiors wants to use them to control the world. Who can she trust? Only a few friends.
Monday - July 03, 2017
Cosmic Star Heroine - Review @ PBA
Power Bomb Attack has reviewed Cosmic Star Heroine:
Cosmic Star Heroine Review – A Blast From the Past
Cosmic Star Heroine caught my eye through several reviews here on WordPress. It quickly became apparent where this game draws much of it’s inspiration. I was eager to give it a go and see if it could re-muster some of the nostalgic feelings of old playing games such as Chrono Trigger. I can confidently say it accomplishes this without trying to force too much onto the player. At the same time, it takes it easy on some of the deeper meanings and messages those games may have brought and focuses on keeping things fun and light hearted.
In Cosmic Star Heroine, you play as Alyssa L’Salle, a top secret agent for the galactic empire. During one of her missions with her squad, she comes upon a top secret government conspiracy. She is forced to take matters into her own hands and bravely defies the agency she works for. Ever since, she is on the run with the help of her trusted friends and allies to bring to truth to light and save the galaxy.
Prior to playing Cosmic Star Heroine, I knew I was in for a treat. Right from the get go, I was hooked and there was no turning back. This feeling lasted through the entirety of the game. Featuring an amazingly deep yet user friendly combat system that does not dare to waste a players time is highly appreciated from gamers such as myself, who can only devote so much time to gaming. The game may not feature the most complex story out there, and may suffer from some rushed pacing issues at times, but through it’s witty writing and huge cast of characters, it delivers pure, unadulterated fun.
It’s inspirations are quite apparent, yet it manages to still be it’s own entity and does well at it. Featuring one of the most addicting sound tracks out there, Cosmic Star Heroine makes it’s impact even with your time away from it. Clocking in at between 15-20 hours, there’s a chock full of things to do, and is well worth the price of admission. I highly recommend Cosmic Star Heroine. It’s a true gem that will take you back to times forgotten.
Tuesday - June 06, 2017
Cosmic Star Heroine - Review @ RPGSite
RPGSite has reviewed Cosmic Star Heroine:
Cosmic Star Heroine Review
The tricky thing about nostalgia and paying homage to the past is making sure your work also has enough new ideas to stand on its own. Safe to say I wasn’t quite sure how Cosmic Star Heroine was going to pull off this difficult balancing act. Zeboyd Games billed it as their own take on 16-bit classics such as Phantasy Star and Chrono Trigger, the sort of comparison that brings a hefty set of expectations with it. Thankfully Cosmic Star Heroine does just enough to set itself apart from the pack.
The setting for Cosmic Star Heroine is one of espionage on an intergalactic scale. The game’s protagonist Alyssa L'Salle being an agent for API, an organization poised at fighting crime and dealing with the criminal underworld. Or at least, that’s how it would appear on the surface; as soon Alyssa finds herself at the center of a massive conspiracy in which the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance.
When Zeboyd Games initially took the idea of Cosmic Star Heroine to kickstarter, they knew they were in it for the long haul. About 4 years have passed since then and a lot about the games industry has changed. Retro throwbacks are even less novel now than they were in 2013, but all the same, I think the studio has succeeded in all that they set out to do. The game has a fantastic combat system, feels distinct from its peers, and never leans on nostalgia too much. If you’re looking for a fun space adventure that’ll remind you of the JRPGs of the 16-bit era, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more fitting experience than Cosmic Star Heroine.
Sunday - May 21, 2017
Cosmic Star Heroine - Review @ CGMagazine
CGMagazine has reviewed the retro J-RPG Cosmic Star Heroine:
Cosmic Star Heroine Review – Fun for Retro RPG Fans
Evaluation by comparison is one of the most straightforward strategies a critic can employ. It’s also one of the least nuanced. I say this knowing full well that I often do it myself, so I’m not pointing any fingers here; there are only so many ways to approach reviewing a video game, after all. I preface my critique of Cosmic Star Heroine, a retro-styled JRPG styled after a particular pair of SNES and Genesis classics, with this statement because it doesn’t simply draw inspiration from those games—it explicitly demands to be compared to them.
The next Phantasy Star this is not, but Cosmic Star Heroine is still a worthwhile detour for the retro-inclined RPG fan.
Wednesday - May 03, 2017
Cosmic Star Heroine - Review @ GameSpew
GameSpew has reviewed Cosmic Star Heroine:
Cosmic Star Heroine Review
Anyone that truly knows me will corroborate that I consider the amazing PlayStation One RPG Suikoden to be one of the greatest games of all time.
It kick-started my love for a genre that has unfortunately started to feel more and more alien to me in recent years. Battle systems have become increasingly action based, storylines borderline passable, and the soundtracks have got more cinematic but less memorable. It’s a sorry state of affairs if you’re an old-school 2D RPG fan to be honest. Zeboyd Games’ Cosmic Star Heroine bucks the trend though; it has all of the qualities that an old RPG fan like me looks for, and even better, it doesn’t break the bank.
For a start, it looks like an RPG from yesteryear, and I mean that as a compliment. Cosmic Star Heroine’s pixelated environments and characters are just dripping with detail and ooze personality. With its futuristic setting, Zeboyd Games have been able to let their imaginations run wild, conceiving all manner of wondrous technologies, creatures and constructions, but yet have still managed to keep them fairly grounded. There’s variety but also consistency, giving credence that every facet of what you see on screen exists in the same world.
On the balance of things, Cosmic Star Heroine’s excellent combat system and well-executed retro stylings make it a must for those who hold the classic JRPGs of the past close to their hearts. It’s a shame that the story doesn’t grab you as much as it should, as otherwise, it would stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the greats. But it is what it is, and that’s still a bloody good 2D RPG with hours upon hours of quality gameplay to offer.
Tuesday - April 25, 2017
Cosmic Star Heroine - Review @ Pixelkin
Pixelkin has reviewed Cosmic Star Heroine:
Cosmic Star Heroine Review: A Modern Classic RPG
We’re supposed to “reach for the moon” in our goals. That way if we fall short we’ll still land among the stars. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given that the nearest star is several light-years farther away than our moon. But the point is sound.
Zeboyd Games’ moon is represented by classic, beloved 90s Japanese RPGs such as Chrono Trigger, Suikoden, and Phantasy Star. It’s a big reason I backed the game on Kickstarter several years ago. To take on some of the best RPGs in gaming with an indie budget and two-person development team is a daunting challenge. While Cosmic Star Heroine falls short in some ways, it still lands among the stars as one of the best games I’ve played this year.
I encountered a few annoying bugs that caused me to get stuck in the environment, or stop responding (without freezing up) in the middle of combat. The game has since been patched and hopefully all these issues will be cleaned up. Despite a few bugs and my disappointment with the story, I loved Cosmic Star Heroine. The art style is perfect, and it provides a catchy soundtrack, unique combat system, and memorable companions. Even without the nostalgia, Cosmic Star Heroine is a solid RPG that proves that sometimes the old ways are best.
Friday - April 14, 2017
Cosmic Star Heroine - First Impressions @ Kotaku
Kotaku's Jason Schreier written down his first impressions of the Sci-fi J-RPG Cosmic Star Heroine:
Cosmic Star Heroine Is Like A Cross Between Phantasy Star And Chrono Trigger
If you’re one of the many JRPG fans upset that Sega gave up on proper Phantasy Star games after the Genesis, here is a game for you: Cosmic Star Heroine, a new RPG that channels all sorts of beloved classics, from Chrono Trigger to Suikoden.
So far I’ve played three hours of Cosmic Star Heroine, which came out yesterday for PC and PS4 (with more platforms to follow). It’s a little rough—there are some weird bugs, and my game soft-locked once—but it’s charming and funny, to the point where it might actually take you away from Persona 5. It centers around a super-spy space agent named Alyssa L’Salle, who finds herself battling against a giant conspiracy and sets out to save the galaxy (as you do). And it’s been in development since mid-2013, when it was Kickstarted with an estimated release date of, uh, 2014.
As you get more party members and combat gets more complicated, fighting battles start to feel like looking over a big chessboard, deciding when to use each action to do the most damage before an enemy can take you out. Do you want to waste a hyper turn healing or gamble that you can win before your party members lose all of their health? Do you want to use Alyssa’s strength buff on Chahn to do fire damage or Dave to take out those robots with electricity? On the tougher difficulty modes—I’m playing on the hard “Heroine” difficulty—this can get really elaborate, challenging, and fun.
So yeah, I recommend Cosmic Star Heroine. The finicky little bugs can get annoying—for some reason on PS4, the game is ultra-sensitive when starting conversations and will continually restart dialogue after you’ve Xed out of the box—but I’m quite enjoying the game so far.
Tuesday - April 11, 2017
Cosmic Star Heroine - Release Day
The J-RPG Cosmic Star Heroine will be released today:
ABOUT THIS GAME
Alyssa L'Salle was one of the top secret agents at the Agency of Peace & Intelligence on the Planet Araenu. But when she uncovers a horrible conspiracy, she has to go rogue in order to save the day! Can Alyssa save the galaxy when everyone (and everything) is out to stop her!loading...
- The best of classic and modern RPGs!
- Brisk pacing that respects your time! Save anywhere!
- No separate battle screen! Battles take place directly in the 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 SoundWorks (Dust: An Elysian Tail, Precipice of Darkness 4)!
- Over 100 minutes of music!
- Multi-character combo techniques!
- Innovative turn-based combat system that focuses on flow & strategy!
- Your own spaceship! Recruit new agents to help your home base grow!
Thursday - March 02, 2017
Cosmic Star Heroine - Release Date: April 11
Cosmic Star Heroine will be released on April 11:
Cosmic Star Heroine is coming out on April 11!
Cosmic Star Heroine Release Date - Official Press Release
We are pleased to announce that Cosmic Star Heroine will come out on April 11th for Playstation 4 and PC! The official price is $14.99 USD.
The PS4 version of the game will be cross-buy with Vita. The Vita version will not be coming out on April 11th, but will be released soon after. It was a tough decision to make, but we felt the Vita version needed some extra time to polish up and we didn't want to delay the other releases further.
The PC version is currently available for pre-purchase on the Humble Store which will give you a Steam copy plus a DRM-free copy. The game will also be available for purchase directly on Steam once it releases.
We will continue to release portions of the game to Steam beta testers in segments as we make final preparations for release. If you are in the beta, please inform us of any bugs you discover to help us ensure a smooth launch.
We're super excited to finally be releasing Cosmic Star Heroine and hope everyone enjoys the finished game! This is by far the biggest, most sophisticated game we've ever released so we hope it meets the high expectations many of you have for it. Thanks again to all the people who have supported us in our Kickstarter, through feedback, and through kind words. We're almost there!
Friday - June 03, 2016
Cosmic Star Heroine - Launching this Summer
@Gematsu they announce that Cosmic Star Heroine will be available this summer and have released a trailer for E3.
Cosmic Star Heroine will launch for PlayStation 4, PS Vita, and PC this summer, developer Zeboyd Games announced. It will cost $14.99 and support cross-buy on PlayStation platforms.
Wednesday - December 02, 2015
Cosmic Star Heroine - Kickstarter Update #61
The release date of Cosmic Star Heroine has been pushed back to early 2016 and you can see the game at the Playstation Experience 2015:
Cosmic Star Heroine at Playstation Experience 2015! Beta plans!
Cosmic Star Heroine is going to be at Playstation Experience this year! Not only that, but this will be the first time that we'll be showing off the Vita version publicly. There's a new article about the game up on the Playstation Blog and if you'd like to help spread the word, here's a link to the Playstation Blog article on Twitter.
As you may have guessed with tomorrow being the start of December and the beta not having started yet, Cosmic Star Heroine has been moved back to early 2016. We're very pleased with how the game is turning out, but underestimated the amount of time necessary to make it. We know how disappointing it is to back something on Kickstarter and not receive it by the estimated date and are working hard to finish it up and get it in your hands as soon as possible.
We haven't finalized the price but we're leaning towards $15. Given the quality & the length (around 20 hours of tightly paced RPG goodness), we feel this would be a great bargain for players and give us good potential for success. On Playstation, the game will be cross-buy (PS4+Vita) and PC will get you Windows+Mac+Linux.
Other than some of Dave's Enviro-Hack variations, the art & animation for all of the playable character abilities is done! This includes the two-character combo abilities. Program abilities should be done later today and item abilities will be finished soon thereafter. Then, the main thing left to do is enemy animations and we'll get started on the beta.
For the beta, we're planning on rolling it out in two stages. The first stage will contain the first few hours of the game, up to the point where you first gain access to a world map. This includes a town-like area, one small intro dungeon, and two larger "dungeons" (the demo we've shown off at places like E3 includes part of one of these larger dungeons to give you an idea of size). Then with the second stage, we'll make the entire game available. We think this method will work well - give backers a nice taste of the game early on (and an opportunity to give general feedback) but not overwhelm backers with a constant string of content updates to the beta - play the start of the game and then play the entire game a little later.
We're expecting to have the first stage of the beta start in January! Thank you for your patience; we hope the wait is worth it!
Thursday - October 22, 2015
Cosmic Star Heroine - Kickstarter Update #59
Cosmic Star Heroine is making progress - the new Kickstarter update:
228 maps! Mastered Music! New Character Animations!
All maps have been created and the grand total is 228 maps! That's over twice as many as our biggest game to date (PA4 with 113)! Cosmic Star Heroine is meaty!
We also received the mastered audio files for all the main music for the game! It comes out to 51 songs and just over 100 minutes of music! And this isn't counting the cutscene-specific music. Seriously high quality stuff here; if you haven't checked out the previews that HyperDuck has shared, you should get on that.
Currently, we're working on finishing up menus & finishing character abilities in combat (both visuals & functionality). We're also shortening some existing animations to speed up combat. We're getting there!
Here are some of the new animations!
Last time we tested, Vita version was doing 50-60 fps and we had map transitions down to around 3-4 seconds so about 2-3 seconds of loading. And of course, there are no load times for combat. We're pretty pleased with how it's performing so we're probably going to stop here for the time being, with maybe a final performance sweep during the beta. And thanks to all the Vita optimization, the game performs great on stronger hardware (basically instant loading for everything on my PC).
If you pledged for a design goal and haven't talked to us about that yet, please message us as soon as you can.
That's it for today! Onward to beta!
Wednesday - August 26, 2015
Cosmic Star Heroine - Last Dungeon finished
According to this tweet the last main campaign dungeon of the upcoming turn-based RPG Cosmic Star Heroine is finished.
Sunday - February 01, 2015
Cosmic Star Heroine - New Reddit AMA
Zeboyd Games hosted a new Reddit AMA eairler today for Cosmic Star Heroine.
We're currently doing a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). Even if you don't want to ask us anything there (since you're always free to ask us questions here), feel free to check out the AMA for our answers to questions about Cosmic Star Heroine & our older games. :)
Thursday - January 22, 2015
Cosmic Star Heroine - January Update
Zeboyd Games posted the January update for Cosmic Star Heroine that contains some new new screenshots, and talks about game difficulty & Trophies/Achievements.
We're busy working on inserting content into the game at the moment. By our latest estimates, the main game should take between 10-14 hours to complete, plus an additional 3-6 hours for major side-quests. Unlike our previous games, side-quests won't just be "Go into non-descript small dungeon & fight a few monsters for loot" and in fact, all of the playable characters except Alyssa has a side-quest that's connected to them. We're having a lot of fun with these (including some homages to some of our favorite games) and hope you will too.
Tuesday - December 30, 2014
Cosmic Star Heroine - Kickstarter Update
Cosmic Star Heroine is another funded kickstarter I stopped covering for a while, and the games developers have continued to post various updates.
The latest update of interest is a new game-play video.
Note: This is still a work-in-progress. Most sound effects aren't in the game, treasure chests have jokes instead of actual items (since we figured in a demo setting where you can't save your progress that'd be more fun), and there are various things we plan on polishing up between now and release. Still, we think it looks & sounds pretty cool already and it'll just get better. Hope you enjoy it! :)
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!
Information aboutCosmic Star Heroine
Developer: Zeboyd Games
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2017-04-11
· Publisher: Zeboyd Games