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I see your point. I'll think about it more. It's not that hard to implement but it will have limited usability since the habitats are periodically destroyed by the agents and currently there is no way to mitigate that except for using bait habitats.
Oops, forgot to release 0.9 here... Gonna release 0.10 today :)
Anyway, about your question. Why would you want to retain a host and not use it? ATM they're not that different, there are no hosts that are much better than the random one you pick on the street. Assimilation does not mean they become friendly, it means that they are now biologically more compatible with the parasite. As for its desirability, the base game is indeed heavily geared towards replaceable hosts (though assimilating hosts allow you to play pretty much the same host for the majority of the game).
Okay, I've had to play it myself to remember :) Follow the tutorial, you need to evolve brain probe 2 before you will receive a goal that says enter the sewers. I'm finally starting to work on the next release and hoping to get it on Steam.
Well, it's mostly data that is baked in by the engine I use. I have a native version, too, but still, I wanted to know can you compress the data manually before releasing HTML5 version on itch.io?
Do the itch.io webservers support it? I can't find any info on that. My JS file is at 7.2 MB now and I'm having doubts as to whether it's a good thing to have the user wait until it loads up.
> It took me a while to get that evolution can kill people even without depleting their energy because (I assume) it lowers their underlying stats, which you can't see until you get to Brain Probe 3. But there are plenty of warnings about that.
Yeah, there's a message about your host degrading, that should be enough.
> Didn't grasp straight away that evolving a better biomineral doesn't upgrade your existing formation(s).
Interesting, evolution does not change anything automatically except brain probe strength and habitats count.
> It also took a few plays to realise how to get into the sewers. At first you don't even know it's a possibilty, whereas in later playthroughs I would pretty much try to head down there the second I evolved brain probe. Which, again, isn't necessarily a bad thing - a lot of the fun for me was in discovery and "emergent gameplay" - figuring out little things like storing weapons and smartphones in the habitats, or going after a specific person by letting your current host die in the sewers then (hopefully) riding a dog to hunt for the right human, so you don't have to leave any bodies behind.
Okay, this one I've heard already - I've added a specific goal to enter the sewers, will be there in the next release.
> Maybe it'd be possible in future iterations to add challenges that can be solved with combat, but have other possible solutions as well. For example, objectives like the ship could be guarded. To get past, you could just kill or invade a guard... but it might also be possible to walk in if you're camouflaged and your host has security clearance. Each has their own potential risks, etc.
That's a cool idea. Hitman style disguises are definitely interesting and tie in into some things I've been thinking about, I'll write it down for later. I like the example, too. Actually getting into the ship could definitely be an challenge in itself.
Thank you for your feedback, I'll answer point by point.
> In terms of other issues, I noticed that the map always seems to have a "?" point of interest marker at 0,0.
I'll keep an eye out for it. Could be a bug, there's only one event marker that should spawn in the wilderness but it's location is randomized.
> Also it's possible through bad luck/timing to create a habitat, enter it, and already have the Group there waiting for you.
That's intentional :) The Group knows about you from the start so if you're not careful enough, there could be a situation like this.
> On the random comment side, I died to ambushes several times - but it gets much easier to survive them once you realise that the blackops agents don't start alerted to your presence (apparently they either can't see your host in the dark or don't mind random civvies showing up at their ops).
Currenly implementing a habitat growth that will warn you of ambushes (right now the game only does that on easy difficulty). You're correct, they're not fully alert giving player a chance to survive. But they will burn the habitat anyway, reducing your max energy so it's not a total win in any case.
> They're also the only real reason combat body features are useful. For pretty much anything else keeping a low profile makes much more sense. That isn't a criticism though.
No, you're right. Combat evolution is in need of a revamp. I'm thinking of making a separate combat-heavy gameplay mode and moving it all there so as not to confuse anyone.
> I like that there are lots of sub-objectives, including hidden and non-essential things like finding the original host and developing dopamine control.
> I also like the horror feel. Learning your victims' names through brain probe is a nice touch. And I like that the game doesn't tell you how to play - I started off trying not to kill people but that obviously makes life much more difficult - the safest way to play is be paranoid, stay out of sight, and murder dozens of people by starting up evolution in the sewers then running their bodies into the ground. It all really forces you to think like an amoral alien body-snatcher.
The sewers in this city probably have whole mounds of bodies hidden :) Glad you like it! The possibility of a non-lethal playthrough never leaves my mind but it's pretty far until I get to it. The next release will focus on sounds, music and some fixes. Were there any parts of the game that you were confused about and spent significant time figuring out?
Hmm, weird. If you enter the lab/facility/military base, you should be right on top of the sewer cover (since you enter via sewers). Otherwise more covers should spawn, too. Check the browser console for any suspicious messages :)
EDIT: No, you're correct. I missed that due to the new area generator. Will fix this in the next release or hotfix.