Posted by Data in Cortex Command - November 2nd, 2006

So, continuing on the topic of what will change in the wake of our recent playtesting sessions:
Gold digging and collection is a core mechanic in Cortex Command. The yellow metal represents the ‘resource’ which is supposed to give the game its RTS-esque element. With it, players finance their mining operations, including the defense from – and offense against – rivals.

In the context of the story, gold is actually the reason these space-faring frontiersmen (represented by the brains) have traveled so far to the planet [insert name here], which is game’s setting. In the story’s relatively far future, humanity’s money currencies are all backed 100% with tangible gold reserves, after having finally learned the repeated painful lessons of using pure paper currencies (which are only backed by the issuing governemnt’s percieved ability to tax its people).

Ok, let’s not get too sidetracked on economics and philosophy: Gold collection is part of Cortex Command. The way it was originally concieved, the process involved using your controlled Actors to dig up gold from the ground, carry it to a waiting rocket, and throw the gold into said rocket. Then, the rocket was supposed to be flown off the top of the map, symbolizing that it was being delivered to the huge space station/ship/city-state orbiting [insert planet name here]. Only then was the gold amount added to the player’s spendable funds.

Needless to say – and obvious if you have played the test builds – this process is far too tedious and un-fun. It was just too much work to do it all, hauling gold back and forth… and the game’s still rough locomotion and controls didn’t help with the frustration factor. Not only that, the carried gold’s weight was acutally added to the actor’s total, making him even less mobile (can’t jump as high with the jetpack if you weigh more)

It was as if, in Super Mario Bros., you had to go empty your pockets of the coins you collected into some piggy bank in some remote location. And the more coins you carried, the less high you could jump! Fun? Probably not. And it just isn’t in CC either.

So, we got rid of it. Now, all you need to do to collect gold is to dig it (one verb, instead of four). It gets magically added to your total funds. Specifically, each time a gold pixel hits an actor of yours, it makes a little subtle *poing* sound and your funds are incremented by one ounce. As i think you’ll see in the forthcoming test build, gold collection is considerably more rewarding with this change.

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20 Responses to “Big Changes, part 2 – Gold Collection”

  1. Yon - # November 3rd, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    Is it possible to make rockets carry unneeded equipment back into space?
    Without goldhoarding there isn’t too many reasons why to keep the rocket in one piece instead of going kamikaze crashing for random kills.

    Can you tell me what is the progress on the one keyboard control sceme(i need it to play with my friends, they’re mystified by my magic modding powers).

    ONE MORE THING(not caps). What is your opinion on the Wii virtaul consule service? I think this game could get much more exposure from being on it(even without a price tag would be better if you want it to stay freeware).

  2. Data - # November 4th, 2006 at 11:45 pm

    Don’t worry guys, we’re still working things out and experimenting. Don’t judge it before you try the new build. Worst case, if we find during playtesting that people prefer the old way, or just don’t like the new way, we’ll either change it back, or change it to something new.

    That’s the beauty of open development like this. We constantly listen to the players (you), and try to make the best darned game we can!

  3. ToonyMan - # November 3rd, 2006 at 2:18 pm

    You know you need a level select function.With different GameModes too.GameMode examples: Deathmatch, There is no Gold and you start with x number of people with x number of supplies in a random location in the selected level.Conquest, like the normal game mode except that there is 3 or 4 bases and you can take them over for double gold and supplies.Normal(No Name),it’s the ussauly mode.
    Levels could be very fun if there was lots, is you get bored of one, do another! Different gamemodes have different levels.
    Better level maker, if you have a public good level maker, there would be a lot of levels to play.
    I like the new gold idea too.(
    (^b-^)b (me with thumbs up)

  4. Data - # November 3rd, 2006 at 2:33 pm

    Toonyman: yeah the scene selection screen is in the works for the main menu… It’ll actually point down on the planet (or moon! with lower gravity) where the currently selected scene is located.

  5. Heavy Stylus - # November 3rd, 2006 at 5:07 pm

    Nice one! That’ll make a big difference to the game. Now I can get on with killing instead of breaking my droid’s legs trying to get back to my rocket with my hands full of gold…

  6. Lee The Awsome - # November 3rd, 2006 at 8:12 pm

    NO PLZ DONT ME AND MY FREINDS LOVE TO FIGHT FOT GOLD dont make it go way btw add me on myspace (Tater Salad)

  7. Ias - # November 3rd, 2006 at 8:34 pm

    Awesome! 😀

    But please please, leave the option for 2 players on one keyboard, I have soo much fun playing this game with my brother.

  8. RustyBadger - # November 3rd, 2006 at 8:49 pm

    Oh, I really enjoyed the mining and taking back to the rocket 🙁 I thought being able to spawn a rocket in the base might be a good idea tho. Eh well I’ll have to see how the new system works.

  9. Fat Zombie - # November 4th, 2006 at 12:12 am

    Very cool. Makes the process a lot smoother. However, what shall we do now with those rockets? What purpose does the starting one serve?

    Can there be some other purpose made for them, mebbe? Also, forthcoming test build = WIN.

    Thank you!

  10. The Punisher - # November 4th, 2006 at 12:29 am

    Why!!?!?!? WHY!?!?!?!!?!? You should add it as a option!!! I lIKE IT!! I LOVE IT!!! WHIT THIS (sorry) SHIT!!!! THERE WILL BE NO FUN!!!!!!!!!!! WHY?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!? WHY!!!??????????????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????????

  11. The Punisher - # November 4th, 2006 at 12:29 am


  12. Ikkonoishi - # November 4th, 2006 at 7:39 am

    What I think might work is some sort of anti-gravity beam projector that if you threw gold or old weapons into it they would fly off into the sky. Then you could have little weapon based courier rockets that you launch into the sky, and they would seek out and fly up your beam. That way the enemy still has a chance to keep you from collecting if they want to, and you have an extra location to guard (the beam projector) other than just the brain jar.

  13. Morduin - # November 7th, 2006 at 2:17 pm

    Thats a step in the right direction. You have a nice system going but for a more fast paced action game it just takes too long. I think the next good thing to do would be a repair tool… This game is very promising but needs a lot of tweaking.

  14. anonymous - # November 9th, 2006 at 11:44 am

    I don’t like the way one shot can kill you that just seems moronic and you need to have an army of clones for it to work.
    also please don’t change the 2-player keyboard, it is the best fun eva.
    ps I think that in stead of a rocket dropping from the sky you should have it coming out of a tunnel thingy in the ground. actually why not forget space entirely and have the base being in the planet core. that way you have an excuse for huge digging machines and underground fights way cool game nevertheless but consider the underground idea for inspiration play “Motherload”

  15. Data Realms - Dev Log » Blog Archive » New Build! Gibs galore - # November 27th, 2006 at 8:22 pm

    […] Gold collection has been simplified, more info here […]

  16. SAH - # November 28th, 2006 at 2:18 am

    Ohh, thank god. Collecting gold was a hassle before.

  17. Anonymous - # December 2nd, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    Why not have two gold pockets?

    The space station and the mining platform.

    Digging fills up the mining platform’s gold, but the mining platform can only carry so much. This is why you build a rocket which will carry gold and then launch it into space into the unlimited bank account of the space station. This means you don’t need to worry about the rockets until your operation gets bigger.

  18. lolz - # December 8th, 2006 at 8:36 am

    off gold topic: how do u beat the cpu??? cpu should have a base too, defending 24/7 its not fun

  19. Data - # December 8th, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    The cpu will have a ‘base’ soon. The status quo is just something thrown together. There will be several different scenarios.

  20. Zack - # March 18th, 2007 at 2:52 pm CLICK THIS LINK ITS A DROPSHIP IDEA I HAD FOR DATA