So, first of all, it was nice seeing you guys at Momocon and playing a mission! I hope that you've seen some sales from the venture. I was the blue haired catgirl as you may have guessed by my avatar.
Moving on, Feedback feedback, Come and get your feedback!
I think I see what this game is aiming to be, and I dig it! My advice and suggestions will be along the lines of trying to make that as successful and nifty as possible. I'm sure some of the things I'm going to suggest are already planned for the future, but nonetheless, let's take it from the top.
Large scale suggestions:
Character creation: This one is a big one for games like this, and this game is no exception. One of my favorite things about games like this is sending a unit of my own characters/Friends/The closest approximation of characters from games/movies in to fight. Naming characters, being able to tweak their appearances and growth, all important. There at this time unless I'm overlooking something doesn't seem to be differences between the dude, the lady and the robot, which is fine in my opinion. But being able to customize their appearance would be pretty nifty. If in no other way than being able to access a color slider on their clothes and hair would be a start. Also, Tip for something that would set you apart a little, once you have a character creation system, try not putting too much on the way of Gender stuff on it. Let people pick a lady voice for the big buff solider guy if they want and vice versa. If you offer a few clothing options, offer similar types to all the soldiers. the graphics are light duty enough that the "Woman" sprite could just as easily be a slim man, and it'd be keen to be able to define the characters with less "Lebels" as to what they are.
Character building (Story): Right now the characters are a little bland, which is fine at this early stage, but I'd really love to see one of these games where characters could get their own little miniarcs, opportunities for them to show a bit of character in game. Like perhaps as part of the character creation idea, have quirks, little things the characters like that they might be able to find on missions that'll give them a small XP boost at the end of the mission if they bring back. For example, if a character as the quirk "Smoker" they get an XP bonus if they bring home some cigarettes after a mission, which could play into expanded things like if they DON'T get their cigarettes for too many missions they get the shakes and take a small aim penalty. Furthermore, groups that go out together building relationships is a great touch, from a story standpoint have the characters form friendships, rivalries, love interests, ect. Have them have small stat boosts when they are on mission together. Have them temporarily get a major revenge stat boost if a friend falls in battle. These things help identify these little people we're moving around on the screen as more than just a set of numbers and actually cause us to have an attachment to them, and helps flesh out why we care about seeing their plight through.
Character building (Stats): I like the skills so far, though I do wish the Mission participation bonus was a little higher, I appreciate when even my units on the bench can get some small XP while out of the action, having things for them to do around base would be another opportunity for them to have character interaction, as well as keep them from getting too far behind. Some non-combat skills would be pretty cool to see as well, even if it's just one tree.
Plot: I know that it's an alpha and that right now you're working on the system itself, that said, a little more context for the story than "We were on the surface, now we're not." Would perhaps act a bit of a stronger hook. Perhaps each update put out a new story mission, and between time let people cut their teeth on randomly generated ones for loot and the like. A more diverse cast of NPCs would also be welcome as at the moment there's not many and again, for someone who comes to games for plot more than gameplay, it doesn't draw one in as strongly as actually having people with their own hopes, dreams, and desires. I'm sure this one is in the works though.
Player character: Who are we? There's nothing wrong with being a blank slate character, but at the same time based on the way there are characters that are talking to you it's always been a little strange to me to not have some level of personalization in my avatar. File this under "Plotty things that I'd love to see and have ideas about, but might be outside of the project's scope"
(All these character bits, I'm sure you can tell I'm more towards being a writer)
Mod support: I talked to you about this at the booth a bit, and while this game is in alpha, it's perhaps a little early to think TOO hard on this, but at the same time, if the game is built from the ground up with the idea that modding is a planned feature, you can keep it in mind for your designs and make sure there's room for it, and tools for players to use in the future, perhaps provide a guide to modifying game files to tweak things. Things like map makers, item makers, scenario makers. Making these things easy to work with will help the community that comes to enjoy your game help your game thrive by putting out it's own content. If you'd like some examples, look at the wide variety of XCOM mods, or, for something in the more indie Scene, take note of Xenonaughts (Also inspired by Xcom) both have rather extensive modding communities, to the point where XCOM2 was designed from the beginning with the modding community in mind.
Weapon Variety and traits: A little thing I enjoy in games like this are small distinguishing things on weapons, be it little marks that make it a bit different, small statistical changes that make this shotgun just a hair different than the other shotguns of the same type, or familiarity bonuses for characters that stick with a particular weapon for a few missions, these things help bring character to weapons beyond just black and white stats. This may or may not matter to you, but I find it a little more fun personally.
This one I'm not going to elaborate so much on, just bullet point some things I'd love to see.
Melee (Weapons and skills)
More grenade options
Weapons designed to fuck up cover
Small tweak to the Line of sight settings so that a solider will peek around a wall they are huddled next to?
I encountered a situation that seemed a little silly to me. It looked a bit like this...
I'm next to the guy basically, the top of the box while he's on the side, and he still had cover against me, that seems a little silly to me.
The tutorial seemed to sort of short out on me, I went in with the Tactician lady and it seemed to behave itself up until after she used her "Murder everyone" skill, after that it sort of just kept giving her turns and the enemies didn't react or get turns. Not sure what was supposed to happen there.
This is where I'll leave this one. If I have more ideas later, I'll post them.
Incidentally, if you need a writer, I'm a writer :)