Thanks everyone for the kind words in regards to the gameplay video we posted last week. Since we've received many questions about the game since then, we decided to put together a FAQ that collects some of the major details about the game.
Cosmic Star Heroine FAQ
When will Cosmic Star Heroine come out?
In 2015 when it's good & done and when it's been approved by all platform holders.
What platforms will Cosmic Star Heroine be released on?
PS4 & Vita. Windows/Mac/Linux via Steam & other PC distribution sites (like Humble Store). Also Xbox One.
Will you release Cosmic Star Heroine on other platforms besides those?
Possibly, but if we do, we won't be adding any platforms until after we've already released on those.
Will you sell a physical version of the game?
From what we've heard, it's become much easier to do this now that Retro City Rampage released a physical PS4 copy of the game. With that said, there's no definite plans in this area at the moment, but we'll definitely be looking into it at some point.
Will the game have cross-buy & cross-save on the PSN?
It will definitely have cross-buy (buy once and get both the PS4 & Vita versions). We'd like to get cross-save working as well, but we haven't actually done so yet.
How much will Cosmic Star Heroine cost?
Most likely $10 or $15.
Can I preorder Cosmic Star Heroine?
The Windows/Mac/Linux version of the game can be pre-order from our website (http://zeboyd.com) via the Humble Store.
How long will Cosmic Star Heroine be?
We're guessing it'll be in the 15-25 hour range (longer than our longest game to date). We'll have a better idea close to launch.
How many playable characters are there?
11 total. You'll be able to use 4 characters at a time. Non-active party members will still gain XP. Some sections of the game will mandate the use of certain characters, otherwise, you'll be able to freely pick out of the characters you have available (Alyssa stays in as the leader).
Who is making Cosmic Star Heroine?
Bill Stiernberg at Zeboyd Games (Art, Animation, Map Design)
Robert Boyd at Zeboyd Games (Code, Writing, Gameplay Design)
Chris Geehan at Hyperduck Soundworks (Music & Sound Effects)
Dan Byrne-McCullough at Hyperduck Soundworks (Music & Sound Effects)
How much music is in the game?
We're currently planning on over 40 different songs in the game, not counting cutscene audio.
Yes, the game has a number of Sega CD/Turbo-CD inspired cutscenes a la the Lunar series.
What's the general story premise of the game?
Alyssa L'Salle is a top secret agent for the galactic empire. While she's on a mission, she discovers some information that the government doesn't want her to have and so the government reveals her to the world. Will she be able to save the galaxy while everyone is out for her blood?
Will you be stuck on one planet for the entire game?
No, there are 3 main planets that you'll be adventuring on in Cosmic Star Heroine - Araenu (kind of a cyberpunk vibe), Nuluup (nature & magic), and Rhomu (surface ruined by war with people living in underground cities).
How linear/non-linear will the game be?
Similar to the JRPGs of old, there will be linear sections of the game, as well as more non-linear sections where you'll be able to freely explore. We have a number of fun optional quests as well that tie into character & world development and many of which take place in areas you don't visit during the course of the main plot.
How's combat work?
Combat takes place directly on the exploration maps (no separate battle screen). No random battles; everything is pre-set and some battles can be avoided if you manage to sneak past the enemies. Battles once won tend to stay won, however if you leave a dungeon and return, some battles will respawn (in case you want to get more XP & money).
In combat, there's no MP. Instead, most abilities you have can only be used once until you use a Defend/Recharge move to restore everything. This encourages the player to not just spam the same moves over and over again but instead think on how best to use their whole arsenal.
Two other features closely govern combat. One, as you choose abilities, your character's style score goes up and as that goes up, your abilities become more effective. There are also a few "Burst" abilities that you can use that will spend all of your existing style points for one massive effect. Two, every X turns, your characters will go into Hyper mode and abilities will deal double damage and ailments are more likely to work. Plan in advance to take advantage of hyper & style for combat success.
Will there be multiple character combination abilities like in Chrono Trigger, Phantasy Star, Suikoden, etc?
Yes. Alyssa will be able to perform 1-2 unique combination moves with each other character. We set it up this way both to make Alyssa more unique as the leader & because having every combination of 2 characters result in unique combination moves was overwhelming with so many playable characters.
How does the base building part of the game work?
At one point in the game, you'll gain access to a spaceship that will serve as your headquarters. Certain NPCs can be recruited to work for you and may enhance your headquarters in various ways or give your main characters bonuses in combat when equipped as support personnel.
How's the ability system work?
Each character can equip 7 main abilities & one defend/recharge ability at a time. Characters will also gain ability enhancers that they can equip to certain abilities to increase their potency or add effects. Abilities & enhancers are automatically learned as characters LV-Up.
In addition to innate abilities, characters can take advantage of "programs" that act as additional abilities. Which programs are available depends on the shield they have equipped and the character's Hackitude stat.
How does the equip system work?
Each character can equip a weapon, a shield, an accessory, and a support personnel. Equipment improves stats, gives the character passive abilities, and in the case of shields and their programs, gives the character additional abilities.
How do stats work?
In addition to HP/MaxHP and your Attack power (based on your weapon) and Defense power (based on your shield), there are 4 main stats for characters in the game.
Physique - This determines the damage that your physical-oriented attacks do. It also affects your HP growth and your defense against physical attacks.
Sparke - This determines the damage that your magic-oriented attacks do. It also affects your maximum style effectiveness (100% at 0 sparke, 200% at 100 sparke) and your defense against magic attacks.
Hackitude - This determines the damage that your tech-oriented attacks do. It is also necessary to unlock more programs (based on which shield you have equipped).
Cunning - This determines the success of ailments & the power of items. It also affects your ailment resistance & gives a small bonus to turn speed.
How do ailments work?
Whether or not an ailment succeeds is not random. Based on the ability used and the character's stats, a certain amount of "ailment damage" specific to that ailment is done - if this brings the target's related "ailment HP" to 0, the ailment succeeds. What this means is that if an ability fails to inflict an ailment on the target, that effort isn't wasted but instead makes it easier for future attempts to succeed.
Ailments in the game include stun (skip a turn), charm (may target allies), vulnerable (takes double damage from the next attack), enrage (targets the last person to hurt them & lowers area attack effectiveness), and disarm (lowers attack power for their next move). There is also a set of 3 ailments that are specific to different enemy types - Poison (Organic only, takes damage every turn), Rust (Robotic only, takes damage & lowers speed), and Curse (Astral only, lowers stats).
Why weren't there very many sound effects in the demo video?
Because the game isn't done! The final game will have sound effects in battle, actually useful items in treasure chests, and in general, be more polished than the demo we showed at Playstation Experience.
How hyped should we be for Cosmic Star Heroine?