Having seen @Aviox's stellar report, I shall endeavour to produce a similar list of feedback and notes from my first time playing through. I'll talk through my thoughts while playing the game and offer any criticisms and feedback as they come to mind. Then, I'll flesh them out below.
Section 1: Opening the game -> Finishing it
- Tried clicking all the buttons, lol. They all work (good job)
- Suggestion: Clicking the version number could give you a changelog
- Did not realise I had to click but did not take me long to figure it out
- Suggestion: Have in the bottom right-hand corner a LMB icon or controller A icon depending on what clicked play.
- Super ominous intro screen, like the wind in the background. I don't know whether this appears every time you start the game, so maybe Esc or Controller Y to skip, and make that apparent. It might be there, but I didn't want to skip this.
Into the world
- Arrow keys? Hmm, I'd have preferred WASD, but maybe gameplay leads towards arrows more. Okay
- Ummm. I died? That didn't feel great. Very confused. I went left (randomly because of no markers) and enemies spawned. I instantly ran away and moved towards the right (Actually a great mechanic if that was intended to make me go right. If I had to run to safety to avoid the wolves, that'd be awesome! However, I met a dirt blockade and died surrounded by enemies.
- Okay, he explains (the dad?) that he saved me, but that wasn't apparent. It looked like I died and would have to start again
- Okay, so I figured out by trial and error that I can press either Space or Enter to move the conversation along. Arrow Keys and Mouse were really not doing it for me, but now mouse doesn't work, so there's that possible inconsistency with the intro text
- Love this art and music!
- In the house, I just found "randpa's workbench". Haha, I think there's a typo here unless his name really is randpa
- Good text colour indication to show the importance of the command to meet him
- I placed the turret in on the other side to see what would happen it still worked, but not as intended. I'm worried that you could place it somewhere completely different and not trigger the next lesson to remove the turret, leaving the player stuck.
- Suggestion: Don't allow this for your first turret, or at least until you figure out how to remove them.
- Looking like a long walk, so I was experimenting and found that shift dashes! Cool! I hope this is taught later in case players don't find this.
- This mountain view!! Looks like I'll go to the town, then on towards that volcano.
- In the case of the bees, the suggested tower location is useful. In future, I don't want it anymore. I now understand that I can place towers against enemies coming towards me to block them off
- I paused the game to type this, and noticed controls glowing. Thanks! I also noticed Shift to dash is not there.
- Suggestion: Add Shift to Dash on the controls
- I assume the Go to Next Level button is for testers. I'd remember to remove this in the release
- My turret wasn't very low at all, but okay, let's rebuild it. Thanks for the lesson, though
- Very satisfying how the music changes with enemies
- Ooh, a health potion, sneaky. I almost didn't see it (if that's intended, great). If I had moved towards the top, I would have missed it completely, so I hope it's just a reward for exploration, as I can easily miss it while trying out the walk to the brewery again.
- Suggestion: Make the path go downwards first so the health potion can be seen if that's what you intend.
- Aww, I can't save the health potion. Oh well.
- Bug: The health potion in the brewery disappeared after I picked up Arnie(?). I never had a chance to drink it (not that I needed it, but still, it shouldn't disappear)
- It's nice seeing my path of destruction on the way back, but it does feel a bit long... until the town is on fire!
- Haha grandpa seems awfully calm when walking, only to be panicked in text
- Can't go back, nice story touch to explain the lock
- Ok, so did some experimenting before going further. The closest turret is recalled. That wasn't obvious without testing. Probably fine, but maybe Grandpa could explain that briefly.
- Ooh, a bit of conspiracy here, trying to incite a war
- Turned to stone? Why? Interesting...
- Ahh, here's the shift to dash
- Rechecked controls and noticed you can plug in a controller, so I did so, but the cursor stayed and interfered a bit with the menu.
- Bug: Cursor interferes with the controller menu. Hide cursor and its effects when a controller is plugged in.
- Bug: Controller Start to open the menu, but the same button does not close the menu. I am forced to use B.
- Boomerang! Seems like Aviox had some impact on this haha
- Suggestion: Never told how to use the boomerang. Please do? Oh. It does, but later than I expected. Why show the bases before telling me how to use my new weapon? I would instead have Arik tell me about the bases, pan to them (excellently, might I add), then give me the boomerang and release me to see this popup.
- Ayy! Villagers!
- Suggestion: Hmm, this fight was way easier than the bees earlier. Only one at a time. I'd probably prefer the tension of having to use one turret in one place, one in another, rather than just walling them off
- Damn Chief Tain. "Your father's head is mine", geez. Sounds pretty evil haha (love the entire story btw)
Off To Find A Troll
- Troll spy looks like he's wearing a barrel while walking away?
- Ok, so it says I should recall my turret, but it doesn't seem like I should until the bees arrive.
- Suggestion: Have this dialogue line to recall the turret after the bees arrive, and give a bit more time from the bees to allow for repositioning
- The first time crossbow positions were suggested, they were useful (as I didn't know that bees could travel over water). The second time, it was more annoying
- A key? Ok, let's explore. Cool... coins... that have no purpose yet. Should I be excited?
- Suggestion: Have the player experience somewhere where they need coins, before giving the coins to them. That way, there's a sense of accomplishment, rather than indifference.
Section 2: Thoughts
I don't think there is enough threat in fights. The game is currently too easy. I know, the difficulty is very random and subjective, but I feel like a few key themes are present for everyone. The meta (Most effective tactic available) seems to always be to place your turrets and stand back a bit. There is no danger to the character as the enemies swarm the turrets, and when one is destroyed, I just make a new one no problem. A slicer and crossbow pair can kill everything with ease, even bees, as they will still go for the slicer. In fact, I was writing this during a fight.
More experimentation should be incentivised. Don't tell the players how to play more than once. Maybe if its a new turret, but don't suggest locations every time.
The boomerang, while it sounds nice in principle, is effectively useless. I've never consciously used it, leaving my turrets to stand and attack for me. I would say actively attacking spawners while the enemies are distracted may be a way around this using that hammer (as Aviox suggested)
The dash mechanic seems useless in combat. I've never needed it and only use it as a tool to walk a bit faster. I think a sprint function would be better - pressing the button causes a (dash at first if you want, but then a) sprint phase which continues until you stop moving.
Love it! It's great as it is!
I admit, this is a longwinded report, but I hope that some of this is useful!
Thanks for letting me play!