I really enjoyed my first game. Trying to balance the two sides seemed easy at first, but it quickly spiraled out of control, just as I'd hoped it would!
Overall, it seems like a pretty great game. Here are a few thoughts, some of which belong on mantis.
- The tutorial could use some more direction, but I think that's on the way anyhow. Specifically, late game, some of my buildings started to get taken over by bandits, the other faction, or no one. I'm not sure how that happens exactly. Also, the buildings have HP, and I assumed that meant they would be destroyed at 0 HP. Apparently, they are just abandoned and ripe for the picking by another faction.
- It must be emphasized that when one side is overwhelming the other, you must not only buff the weaker, but smite the stronger. Even knowing this, I found myself reluctant to harm either side. Every gaming instinct I have urges me only to help my dudes, not harm them. Even though they are fighting each other, I still think of both sides as "mine." It's a very fascinating dynamic that I'm eager to explore further.
- The pop count seems to count buildings as well as dudes. I didn't notice that until late in the game. While I'm thinking about it, it would be great if when you mouse over the pop for either faction, a breakout detailing unit count would be exceptionally helpful.
- When you're leveling up stuff, the pop up tells you what will be added to the thing's stats, but not what the stats are currently.
- The woodcutter is just labeled "wood" in the menu. It took me a bit to realize what it actually was.
- I didn't have any trouble getting started with the basic supply chain. It seemed fairly obvious based on what the tool-tips and tutorial tells you. If I noticed a chronic bacon shortage - a crisis in any culture - I just added more pig farms and butchers. I guess some units could be simplified (such as combining the pig farm and butcher, etc.), but that may make the game too predictable.
- I think it was just because I was playing the tutorial, but it seemed awfully slow early on. Later in the game was more exciting, but I pretty much had stuff setup like I wanted, and I just kinda breezed through the last 40 or so turns (a single button for this would be nice). It might be better in my case to set the turns to a smaller limit. Speaking of which, will shorter games have their scores adjusted in any way?
- When you're watching the pieces move, the sudden snapping of the camera from one dude to the next is kind of disorienting. Maybe a very fast pan would be better?
I'm really looking forward to see how this shapes up. The various unimplemented features look really compelling, and should add a lot to the game. I'm sure more will occur to me later, and I'll append them here as necessary.
- When a building is selected, it would be nice if the valid placement positions were highlighted.
- It would be cool if the dudes made various battle/movement sounds. When you plop a woodcutter down, a brief sawmill type sound would be great. And so on.
- Rename woodcutter to sawmill. It might fit better on the menu, and is more illustrative of what the building actually does.
- Your game profile level: when does it advance? Where do the points come from exactly? A mouse over tooltip on the main menu could tell you how far you have to go for the next level.