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Feedback from letting 2 of my kids play though (Caleb, 13 & Devon, 10).  There is a video/commentary from Caleb's second-ish playthough (I'll email you a link to it.)  Some notes from watching both of them play:

  • Too easy to skip things accidentally in the tutorial, Devon had to do it a couple times through.  Caleb died the first time in the tutorial because he pressed WADS too quickly without reading the screen.
  • First death always happens quickly.  Devon didn't understand getting hit by an enemy at first (it's not in the tutorial)  2nd play through he didn't understand that if he moves up to an enemy it will attack him immediately.  4th play though he got to the second level.
  • Caleb is starting to pick up the game and play through as different character.  Still trying to get the hang of each character, but has only played each once once or twice.
  • "How do you use a potion?" "Oh, it's automatic." "Why did that potion refill my health?"
  • "How much of this stuff can I blow up?  Will I find anything if I explode the walls?"  Proceeds to use bombs to no avail.
  • Caleb says it reminds him of Hack/Slash/Loot but different.  Same style, but a lot more interesting in that you choose different characters that do different things.

Andrew (16) was watching his brothers play and said "That looks like a really good game for being in Beta."  Put that on your box cover :D

They both like the game through and are likely claiming 2 of your remaining downloads (I told them they could keep playing as long as they didn't hijack my computer.)

Yesss this is so awesome! A lot of that is great exploratory stuff that I wanted to be part of the experience of learning it. Like being able to blow up a bunch of the level if you want (there aren't any secrets that you can't see when the level loads). It might be good to revisit attacks/attacking in the tutorial too though, but it also might just be something you learn on your first playthrough or two. The idea is you play it, get owned, but you always know what went wrong or at least have some idea. I think I still need to refine that a here and there, so this is super helpful feedback. They're of course welcome to beta keys! Also tell them they'll be in the credits, too ;)

Also got your email with the video and will watch that this weekend. Ugh also the bug you found is one that happened to me recently too. When you attack the bat  he doesn't have the ability to just not move backwards if his way is blocked, so he'll just default to backing over the enemy who is blocking. Should be easy to fix but definitely not optimal.

Thanks for all your help and thank Caleb and Devon for their help as well!