Cobalt May Well Be Out This Friday

By John Walker on December 13th, 2011 at 1:30 pm.

I'm most looking forward to the deflecting.

Mojang’s first foray into the world of being a publisher is about to happen. As developers OxEye told us back in August, Cobalt, the running, jumping, rolling, shooting, throwing, dancing, hacking, rolling, flying, sliding, climbing, looting, deflecting, racing, piñata-ing, passing, scoring-em-up was always aiming for its first public alpha to appear before the end of the year. And that, according to the EDGEBORG, is going to be this Friday, so long as Mojang can “tie up a few loose ends”. So, it may yet slip, but it’s clearly going to be soon.

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30 Comments »

  1. JFS says:

    Oh yes! It’s got that beautiful lighting…

  2. yhalothar says:

    “… so long as Mojang can “tie up a few loose ends”.”

    - not this Friday, then.

  3. youthful cynic says:

    Sweet, I’ve been following this for ages and it looks so much damn fun.

  4. Suits says:

    Curious to see, if it can hold up long term

  5. Crainey says:

    I had no idea that the game was coming out as early as Friday, am I the only one startled by this?
    I mean sure I saw the game play at Minecon etc though I didn’t think it was actually going to be released soon.

  6. BathroomCitizen says:

    This game is on my “Gosh, this makes me curious!” list.

  7. drlemon says:

    Waitasec, how exactly are the Minecon attendees going to get their codes..?

  8. Blackcompany says:

    I love and admire the indie scene. I really do. I am glad it exists, and I hope indie devs continue to push the boundaries of “games” as far and in as many directions as they possibly can. At every opportunity.
    .
    That said I genuinely wish they would lay off the platformers. Do something new, or daring. Platformer seems to be the FPS of indie gaming these days. Every dev makes one. Probably they are a great leaping off point, a place to start earning income and what not. I understand that and by no means to I want to see indie games fail.
    .
    I just wish we would see indie devs doing something…different. You know. Another Bastion would not be remiss. Something a little bigger, maybe, a little more ambitious or daring. Not knocking the indie scene and man am I glad they are here. Just worried that at the same time they are really oversaturating the market with platformers and that they may well push their own bread and butter creation onto the backburner to be ignored some time soon.

    • Dominic White says:

      You do realise that you’re lumping all of the indie scene under one banner, right? The entire idea behind being indie is that you get to make the games that you want, for freeware, to sell, for donations, etc. If people want to make platformers, then they’re going to make them. They’re not going to make another game for you because you’re grumbling.

    • The Tupper says:

      @ Dominic White

      I see your point, but from my perspective (as someone who really only takes notice of games if they’re offering something truly distinct), the seemingly endless release of platformers is tending to make me zone out. I’m sure that I risk missing out on something special, but there’s just so much white noise around, y’know?

    • Blackcompany says:

      Don’t mean to grumble. I understand they are making the games they want to make. Except, all those games seem to be conveniently the same game, give or take a tweak or two. At some point I think we must acknowledge the potential for overcrowding the market with a single genre or type of game.
      .
      At which point the ‘game everyone wants to make’ becomes the ‘game everyone is tired of buying’ (aka the ‘FPS Syndrome’) and indie devs fade from the market and even possibly the industy.
      .
      I fully support indie devs and their desire to do their own thing. I cannot imagine, based on much reading and research, that working for a big dev house is much fun. By all accounts it is not. So please, carry on with the ‘making the games you want to make’ whether everyone likes them or not. But also understand that about the 50th time someone makes ‘an indie platformer’ people are going to yawn, click refresh and hope another article has been posted about something new and interesting.
      .
      Supply and demand is a simple fact of life. And is unlikely many people will demand the 51st platformer in a year’s time, whether its what others want to make or not.

    • Reapy says:

      I think that a big reason for this is the ‘ease’ of making a platformer, it makes a good first game that doesnt seem overwhelming. I’ve been on and off working on a platformer in XNA, and with the help of XNA and the easy to understand idea of a 2d drawing space, I’ve been slowly learning my way through all the hurdles of game development.

      I’ve been coding business apps for about 10 years now, but I’ve never written a game, and there are just a huge number of concepts and pitfalls to understand, even with XNA’s fantastic framework to get you started.

      So, even if you come up with a nice engine, you are left with creating assets that make up your game. They call it ‘programmer art’ for a reason, getting something as pretty as say braid, takes an artists eye that in itself is a skill developed over years.

      However, I feel like a side view sprite game is easier to draw than an isometric or overhead view. There are lots of ‘walk cycle’ tutorials and things to learn from on the web so you can get basic animations going without much experience and time.

      Couple this with awesome 2d physics engines like box2d/farseer and you can get some pretty complex interactions without too much up time.

      When you want to make a game you have ideas, and you want to play with the game engine and tweak settings and write in new little things to do, you don’t want to spend time figuring out why you can’t get your character to look at the mouse cursor because you have to figure out what arctan2 does or any other number of behind the scenes things that must be done.

      All those things come together is why you see many 2d physics platformers, its the easiest and most sensible approach to get started. There is SOOOOOOOOO much behind just getting the game to work, it is easy to dream up crazy ideas but very hard to execute them.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      If all you’re noticing are indie platformers, then you’re zoning out a little too far already. I recently posted in a “Best 10 Indies of 2011” thread, and the list I came up with was “Bastion, Frozen Synapse, Binding of Isaac, Cthulu Saves the World, SpaceChem, Don’t Take It Personally…, Balloon Diaspora, English Country Tune, Minecraft, and CRIME ZONE.”

      All of those games are fantastic, and exactly one of them has as much as a ‘jump’ key. (Minecraft.)

      Keep your eyes open!

    • Jibb Smart says:

      I can understand 2D platformer fatigue, but I wish people would differentiate between 2D platformers and platformers in general when they express their fatigue. 3D platformers are very different, and a rare sight these days — especially in the indie scene. “Platformers” used to have “3D” implied for the considerable period of time between Super Mario 64 and the relatively recent indie boom.

      I, for one, would love to see more 3D platformers. Maybe you wouldn’t, but most people who say “stop making platformers” actually mean “stop making 2D platformers”, and I don’t want other developers to get the wrong message.

  9. clapperdude says:

    Why have a paid ‘pre-alpha’ when you are backed by a publisher?

    I don’t care for the paid unfinished trend as it is but it at least makes more sense for a dev w/o money. Get my game tested while we get some money to keep making it. Yea I get that. But a dev that already has money backing and plenty of exposure possibilities?

    • Matt says:

      You shouldn’t be so surprised – this is the same company that is making a digital CCG with purchasable virtual cards.

    • Purlox says:

      That isn’t true. Cobalt is published by Mojang and guessing from their page they probably also helped them in some other way. So I certainly wouldn’t say it was developed by Mojang.

      But you are right that the CCG is developed by Mojang, if you mean Scrolls.

  10. cloudkiller says:

    It is just me or does anyone else wish the whole Mojang team would spend the next few years working on Minecraft and possibly even a Minecraft sequel? I’m not excited about Scrolls or Cobalt. I want more Minecraft. I’m thinking monthly updates that fully explore everything the game has to offer. Every six months or so release a for-pay DLC that adds something big to the world to keep money flowing. Then, when version 10 or so hits, announce Minecraft 2 and release it one month later.

  11. Wulf says:

    Definitely looking forward to this. There aren’t enough games which star robots as their main character. Or werewolves, for that matter, but I digress.

    This does look appealing and I definitely like the aesthetic. And I’m eager to see what they do with that rolling mechanic that was shown off in their trailer.

    Going to pick this up Friday, I think.

  12. MythArcana says:

    Stop me if I’ve seen this marketing scheme from Mojang in the past, but didn’t we just wait two years for a release of an unfinished product already? How many years will this little ditty be in beta and still not finished beyond its release date? I’m curious, but not a big fan of their work ethic and policies for “finished” products.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      It’s not being developed by Mojang.

    • MythArcana says:

      I realize they are not developing the game, but it leaves me with two possible end results in my mind. Either they end up distributing someone else’s finished game while Minecraft remains in development or they end up with a shelf stuffed with perma-beta products up for sale.

      Minecraft remains unfinished. They could have had that thing in the bag over a year ago and moved on properly, but the console factor prevailed. Now I just wonder if this will be a haven for unfinished products like the Isle of Misfit Toys.

    • TheGameSquid says:

      What’s more concerning is that this is being sold as a pre-order for an incomplete product THAT’S BACKED BY A PUBLISHER.

      Doesn’t make sense to me whatsoever. I’m all for the concept of Alpha pre-orders, but only when used in the right context. This just doesn’t make any sense.

  13. GreyLord says:

    Is it still multiplayer focused?

    :(

  14. Frank says:

    Oh. Since when has next-gen.biz been sporting the EDGE magazine logo?

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  16. JohnnyMaverik says:

    So are they selling this Alpha version or just releasing it? IDK man, now Mojang are rich and publishing I’m not entirely sure the whole releasing the unfinished product for sale to fund the rest of development angle really flies.

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