dixie_flatline's concise new-player beta feedback (version .965b full)
Going to try to keep this short!
Great game. Love it. Seriously. I see it as a great neo-retro old school designed 2D survival game with some Day-Z in there priced well at $10-$15.
1) The flexibility of the character creation system
2) The crafting system is very complex and well put together
3) Nice and difficult (I find most modern games way too easy)
4) I'm a big fan of the combat. It's almost in a weird in a way, but killing some is such a more brutal experience just by reading the great (semi-randomized) text descriptions than it is graphically killing someone in like, Dishonored for instance.
Could use improvements:
1) The UI could use another make-over. IMHO there are too many buttons. These could be better organized and condensed. If you are reading Dan I recommend getting a gamer buddy who has never played your game and being there while he plays it for the first hour or so. And don't help him at all. Just get his feedback. I think there is just a better way to organize the UI that you could find with another revision or more polish.
2) You are probably working on this, but length: a longer main plot would be good. I played the demo once, got about half-way to the Glow. Bought beta. First game on that got to the cabin, died there. On my third game looks like I'll finish the plot. I'd recommend increasing the dimensions of the map, and placing the Glow in the NE corner not the SE corner. And perhaps randomizing the area in which the cyro facility and the cabin (urn place).
Minor game balance changes / possible tweaks:
---actually you know, I should probably put more time in the game. Nothing totally stands out for me to say here.
-- okay 1) A small 'health bar' on each item, on the right hand border of the icon for the item. A simple %100 green bar down to 1% red bar to show an item's condition. This would take out the tedium of having to go through your inventory and ground items all the time to see which has the highest condition. Instead you could just see it a glance and swap things much quicker.
2) greater penalities for using items in combat, or conversely a chance that some uncommon 'medical' trait enemies are able to take pain killers.
Be awesome to have but would take a lot more work:
1) A nemesis. A antagonist. Like for instance: plot let's you know that there is a bad-ass tracker hunter killer dude after you right at the start of the game. He's out to kill you. He has a personality. He'll track you down. You got to get to town (or finish the plot) before he gets to you, or failing that, be sufficently powerful for when he does eventually get to you, you'll be able to get him. This one add a lot to the tense atmosphere of the game. Randomize his position at the start of the game a set number of hexes (i.e he's 50 hexes away from one random direction from the start). Make the dude super-strong.
2) More stuff. I'm sure you are busy :)
General suggestions on your game:
1) I think it would really pay you back $$$ to spend more of your time-budget on geting word of this game 'out there'. Getting some press. I pride myself on knowing tons of indie games but only luckily stumbled across this one. Gaming press would be great, but even if you just posted on some forums where people who like your game may be. Maybe this will just come with time though, and if you get it on the big distribution systems like Steam.
To sum up:
Keep up the good work. For myself I'm so much more excited to play this game than some unoriginal mainstream game, like Crysis 3 for instance. I'm sure this game will be a big success if you keep plugging away at it.