I liked the cute, minimalist visual style and the simple controls. I did not understand the story or find it compelling (I almost quit playing a few times part-way through, but I did play to the end). I think spending some time editing the dialogue could greatly improve the story and this game overall.
Recent community posts
My strategy is less business-oriented, but it has provided great information and motivation to create more. For reference I have around 200 views in 2 months over 3 titles. They are all free browser-based games. I have been emailing personalized links to people I already know. It serves a dual purpose: in addition to game feedback I am able to reconnect and share what I've been up to since we last spoke. It's also good feedback because it's not all coming from the lens of "game developer," which is primarily what you get from the most active itch.io members. A lot of people who might be fans of your game probably have no interest in making their own games, they just want to be entertained. Figure out what those people what in a game
I will add that I have not reached the stage of selling yet, but I am using user feedback of in-progress work to guide future development. It is giving me confidence that when I eventually DO try to sell something, it will be something that people want because it has components that people react very strongly to (in a positive way). If you show your friends and they're all like "meh," maybe you haven't built something that *can* sell, even if you get it in front of all the eyeballs $600 in facebook ads can buy you.
You can remedy this by following the public-facing steps No Time To Play suggests, but I wouldn't underestimate the power of your personal network. People who know you are more likely to candidly offer critical feedback without worrying about offending you. I say this as someone whose very first piece of feedback on the first version of my original game from the itch.io community (which was and still is classified as a prototype - fate of project unknown) was a one-star rating with no text. I decided, hm, maybe the itch.io community isn't really into the kind of games I want to make, but whatever, I can still easily share this link directly with people who already know and respect me enough to give me real, constructive feedback.
I made some of the improvements my friends and family suggested after that very first one-star version of the game and I started getting unsolicited feedback from the itch.io community. This is still very much a work in progress, but I'm quite pleased with the attention I have received after iterating for only 2 months.
Thank you for the feedback! I agree that the first version did not have much challenge.
I removed collision between the player and the sticks and stones, so accidentally kicking them isn't possible anymore. I also added a lot of scenery, which results in a (small) challenge for the player since some of the sticks and stones are now partially obscured by the game world.
I would also like to help with proofreading, but I am unable to access your game. I clicked the link and clicked Download Now, and I've been watching an infinite "Loading" animation ever since.
Thanks for sharing! I do not think I understand this game, but I did find clicking the water wheel to be somewhat relaxing.
I think I encountered a few bugs, too. I upgraded the pond to Stage 5 and the bamboo to Stage 3, but I'm still seeing the "Unlock" messages for those parts of the garden.
The Zen Challenge at the temple was kinda fun once I figured out what it means to avoid the distractions.