Okay I've just completed my first successful playthrough of this game, and I've got a fair few things to say (bear in mind I am in no way a professional voice in game design - this is just a few personal observations of mine, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt).
*Note: I will be comparing Voidship to FTL a bit as that seems to be the key influence.
Firstly, what I find great about this game. The interactivity of the fights, especially whilst in RTS mode, is highly enjoyable as opposed to the way Faster Than Light handles them (for all it's achievements, the excitement and 'dynamism' of encounters in FTL is something to be desired). This aspect goes hand in hand with the ability to customize your ship: being able to fly your progressively growing in size starship is a really neat experience, especially as the conflicts you find yourself in become increasingly challenging and hectic, whilst still maintaining to be manageable. As well as this, the fights do not become boring due to the challenge of dealing with randomly generated space stations, and the satisfaction of obliterating them to pieces afterwards.
However, it is not without it's faults (which is to be expected of a demo). This point of criticism may just be a 'me thing', but I find the wasd controls to be a little bit awkward to use, and the firing to be a janky. For example, when holding mouse click my lasers sometimes cut out for a second. This doesn't impair gameplay though, and is mostly just a mild annoyance, which is reprimanded by the inclusion of an RTS mode - and a very appreciated inclusion at that, with its smooth movement and attacking animations. But there is also some lag, in particular when you first enter a new zone, regardless of what mode you play in, so some optimization is definitely needed on your part there.
One major gripe I do have with the game though is the restriction on building space for your ship. It is apparent you can only place modules within three blocks of the central headquarters, which is a very disappointing limitation in my opinion, though I imagine it can be easily fixed, so please do :)
Another thing I would like to mention also is the repetitiveness of non-hostile encounters. The 'courage' one for example, whilst a nice little 'ah ha!' moment when you first realize you've got to go in yourself, does wear a little thin on the tenth time you find it. The 3 button one too suffers from the same predictability. Obviously this is just a demo, a small sample of what the game will be, but a little randomization or fresh encounters to spice things up would go a long way in improving the overall experience.
And finally, the difficulty is all over the place. This may be a draw to some, and I suppose it is unavoidable to an extent due to the random nature of the rogue-like genre, but fights vary wildly in their challenge, and luck seems to be the major factor that determines your success. And this also highlights the seemingly 'not at all a challenge' of aging crew members. Not a single one died from the beginning to the end of the demo, and new members practically grow on trees: every saved colony gives you the chance to pick up another for free. For the main unique mechanic presented, it really doesn't play that much of a role at the moment, so some tweaking on the immediacy of it is recommended.
Now that my particularly long complaint section is over (apologies for that), it's time for my long-term list of things I would love to see added to Voidship.
- Multiple headquarters available in order to allow for a small fleet of ships.
- A grapple gun that can drag ships towards you (perhaps the number of thrusters increases the difficulty of towing in an enemy ship?)
- Carry over between playthroughs. For example, found technologies could remain unlocked, so as to provide a feeling of progress despite a lost playthrough.
- Objects such as meteors being present during fights, that could potentially be dangerous or drop resources if destroyed.
- Character portraits that change depending on age. I would suggest three variations, to most efficiently represent three stage of life: young, middle aged and old.
- And a more clearly defined story and lore.
All in all this appears to be a very promising title, and I cannot wait to see what places it goes to in the future. You've really got something good here, and I hope you find my feedback mildly useful.