I know the game is not yet finished, but I would still like to give you some feedback, since I will not support your game via kickstarter:
The game looks quite cute, but the roguelike part really puts me off, especially with the (for me) quite frustrating first boss.
- The combo kill enemies is quite a good idea giving some extra reward for good play!
- However, it could be a bit frustrating for new players since this is (almost) the only way to gain life (and blue energy cristals). If you are a not so good player and will lose life, you have a hard time to get life again. If you are allready a good player you will not need the life which is dropped.
- The combo timer should be more in the mid (instead the runes), since it is important to see during combat, the runes are NOT!
- Having enemies like the bear do not fit the combo system, UNLESS there are several small other enemies around you can hit! Having an enemy which is only vulnerable after some time and needs 2 hits, just always blocked combos especially in the narrow areas where the bear appeared.
Having some big enemies can work, like it did in Bug Butcher (it has a nice combo system), but only with lots of small stuff around, or when the enemy spawns smaller enemies.
- Maybe I did not come far enough with the first boss, but the boss enemies need some way to make combos, else this system goes to waste during boss fights.
Owl/ Energy System
- First a bug: When you die with a special owl out you will have that owl selected in the ring menu on respawn (even though it does nothing special) it should go back to the normal owl on the ring menu instead.
- There should be some stun on the owl or anything, when throwing her into a wall, just to discourage doing it. The owl is important for you, you should have to take care of him.
- In a game which is has a combo score (and is about going fast (especially with a speedrun challange)), having to pause the game to select a special attack (and after that pause the game again to select the normal attack!), is not really fitting!
There has to be either a fast way to throw in enhanced attacks between normal ones, OR activating the special owl should be an activation for some seconds (costing only 1 energy not one per shot), such that you at least do not have to switch back, because you do not want to use up all your energy.
- The ice owl at the moment can be used to "stunlock" a boss for some time, just using up all your energy. This is kinda lame AND makes it even more annoying to have to pause the game for switching owls, since it most likely would be possible to use frost, normal, frost, normal, frost, normal, frost normal ... to deal more damage during stun lock, however, it is just too annoying to play in this way.
- The runes just have really small effects and are almost not recognizeable. I think this would be ok, when they would stack! I mean having the possibility to enhance a rune, when getting the rune a second time.
- I often got runes 2 or 3 times and it was just a total waste (not even gaining gold back when trashing them). Having the ability to stack runes 3-5 times could make it a lot more interesting, and it would be ok to have such non remarkable runes.
- The Phoenix tear should give 2 health. Having 1 ability slot locked for just 1 health is a bit annoying (but may still be necessary when you are not a really good player...).
- With phoenix standing for resurection it would make it a bit better to be used when you die only not when dropping low on health. Then the 1 health only gain would also be a bit more understandable.
- The compass is kinda just a useless item. You only need it to backtrack rooms you allready visited but could not pay for the raven, however, the rooms with the visited not opened chests should be noted on the map anyway. (Else you just have to draw a map for yourselve to note them and having to do that is again just annoying not any improve in gameplay...)
+ It would also help to have the special effects (which are caused by the runes) have some visual hints:
- Like the owl getting some (blueish like in street fighter alpha 2) shadow behind her (showing the normal speed) when she gets a speed up through runes.
- The owl having some redish sped lines (starting at the end of her normal fly) showing the extra distance her attacks gained.
- The extra coines gained by your runes should glitter some more/in a different color.
- The exra combo time gained should be a 2nd circle (maybe even over the other) in a different color, showing the extra time you have thanks to it.
Of course I can't know exactly how the unlocked abilities will look like, however here is what I expect:
- I expect a way to dive in water (and swim faster).
- I way to fly (in the high rooms).
- A way to let some plants (in the mine arrea) grow.
- A way to go jump onto the "background" elements (gained before flying), since these background rock elements just look so prominent.
- I think the background rock jumping ability will be quite interesting and I really hope that is planned!
- Having growing plants would be a bit less universal, but would still fit and would not feel to artificial. (Having plants as level element is expected anyway).
- The flying will just make other more interesting abilities useless (and is expected/boring).
- Diving is also just something expected and it feels a bit constructed and limited.
- I would prefer the game a lot more as just a nicely constructed metroidvania instead of a procedural generated roguelike.
- The demo area did not felt different, during different playthroughts, even having looked at one lets play everything seemed the same during my first play allready...
- Also there was never a room which felt "clever". Nothing felt bad and the overall game does feel good, but there was just never a great level design.
-There were quite a lot of boring dead ends, even the enemies were not near enough to make a combo in there.
-Additional unlike rogue legacy there were quite a bit of unlinked one way paths, which you had to backtrack.
- Some clever shortcuts were also missing. Of course there are the teleporting statues, but having natural shortcuts, like in Dark Souls 1 or in Xanadu Next just feels A LOT better than artificial teleporting points.
- I am not a really good player, so for me the boss was just too good and too frustrating as a first boss. Having to evade and aim at a boss is ok, but the first boss having no predictable pattern and just evading your shots (when you have cooldown on them) is no fun, especially when you have to repeat the whole level again to get another try.
I do not want to have to read on the internet on how to beat a boss in order to be able to beat him. However with only 3 lives and the boss being able to take so many hits, you will need to experiment, which would be fine, but not when having to do the whole level again. This is worse than in the souls game. And here unlike there, all enemies before the boss just have their patterns, so one would expect the boss have the same game logic, however, he did not! And by the time you learn that, you are allready dead! If there would be an enemy type around before with the similar evade pattern, that would be ok, however you have absolutely no clue, when you first see the first boss.
I wish you a lot of luck with the game, it has some interesting elements, but in the end it will be just too much repetition for me. I know people want replayability and a lot of hour per dollar, but in the end it is just never an equally good experience as something shorter which is handcrafted.