Really cute and positive-minded game!
Here is a bunch of random feedback. Just brainstorming...
- After completing a couple of hive, what is my incentive to keep playing? I would like some challenges, or some bosses to beat!
(Challenges could be optional. There could be a list or tree of challenges, any of which could be achieved on purpose or by accident.)
- Perhaps some kind of a story or journey, where I can place each new hive on a different part of the forest, and each part of the forest has a specific challenge to meet / threat to overcome.
- How do I know what could be improved about my hive? Perhaps show me efficiencies of current cells, so I can see which ones are performing better or worse. Then I can try to work out why!
(For example, this could be achieved with a heat map, so I can see which cells are efficiently hot, and which are inefficiently cold. It might help to flip through the different heatmaps for each different type of cell.)
- Similarly, let me compare the performance of different hives, so I can see if there is something about the current hive that could perform better (has performed better elsewhere).
- The spots on the exits are very small, so it's hard to see how many are taken and how many are free. Maybe extend the dots into bars, so they are larger and easier to see? (Or some other way of showing when they are over capacity. Maybe they could turn red when they are full.)
- Since the queen is the boss, perhaps she could give occasional instructions (challenges) which could yield a reward if they are achieved within the time period.
- Consider tweaking the menu: After a click it opens in a circle. How about after sub-click, the next circle appears centered around the clicked item, rather than centered around the original point.
- A recreation cell, which is a place where idle bees go to. This might be useful to 1. see how many idle bees there are, 2. position idle bees so they are near to where they might need to be in future, 3. give the hard-working bees a little break.
- If you wanted to simplify the game, you could skip the construction of empty cells and let specific cells be created directly. (Although empty cells might still be needed to extend the hive into new areas.)
- Building lots of the same type of cell becomes tedious. How about right-click on a cell to build the same thing as the previous?
Ah I see now that it's Shift-click. This was introduced right at the start of the tutorial, but that was a bit too early, before I needed it. I did eventually see it in the Settings (and the second time I started a new game.) Perhaps the optimum time to teach this to the user would be when they have just built 4 identical cells.
- Offer keys '?' or 'F1' to pop up a list of the keyboard/mouse shortcuts.
- Fighting the bear was not very exciting. I couldn't see anything happening. Some possibilities: 1. add some scary music, and 2. show a progress bar for the bear's attack, and a progress bar for our defence. Whichever one fills first will decide the outcome.
- I feel I have too much freedom in how to arrange my hive. How about bonuses for putting certain cells in certain places (like Scrabble or Infinitode have)? Then I would have to think a bit harder about where I want to put stuff, to make the hive optimal.
Advanced levels could have lots of obstructions, so it's more challenging to lay out the necessary shapes.
- Ideally the mouse wheel would zoom into the place where the cursor is pointing, rather than into the center of the screen.
- When spawning a new queen in a new hive, my system reports a lot of memory is consumed. Perhaps it might help to ensure the old hive is freed from memory and garbage collected, before spawning the new one. I'm on Linux. "ObjectDB instances leaked at exit (run with --verbose for details)"
- You told me that all cells are equidistant (bees travel equally fast no matter the distance). Would you consider changing that, to make positioning more important? ^_^
For example (and just for sharing) the following game Islanders is a curious redux. It increases the player's score for creating layouts with good proximity. And it doesn't even use any actors!
- Rendering: The bees are cute but their colours are sometimes similar to the cell behind them, so I cannot see them clearly. How about a thin border around each bee? Like cell shading, which seems popular in games these days. (Maybe a transparent grey outline, which would contrast with the white jelly and also with the black beeskin.)
- Rendering: Light diffusion would really help to make the bees and the cells look more real. Not easy to implement though.
- Rendering: I think the Depth of Field option looks odd because the projection is isomorphic. If you could switch to perspective projection when zooming in, the DOF might look better.
- Rendering: When completely zoomed out, you could switch to a top-down view, with no projection. (I am not desperate for this. It's just a thought.)
For example, the video game Carcassonne offers a perspective view mode and a top-down view mode. Players can choose whichever they prefer.
Thanks for the fun game! Interested to see where it goes in future.