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No problem. :) Honestly, I enjoy the game this way. Refrain from fixing it for long enough, and you might even get a Spiffing Brit or Let's Game It Out video out of it! :P

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You think you've seen easy.

My go-to start is to throw down Renewables, Science Funding, wait for People to tick once, and then fast-track Home Wind Farms. Random Events usually stop me from building it optimally, though, forcing me to buy into Societal Change. But if I can get one Home Wind Farm up and running with no more than one People card on the board, I can then throw 20th Century Industry in the garbage right at the start with zero repercussions. 

(I might have to grab one or two Ecosystem or Science cards before this, just to stave off the first Tipping Point. Again, a lot of this depends on Random Events.)

From there, it's a brief but slow crawl towards the Big Three cards that are the backbone of my economy: Biodiversity Credits, 30 By 30, and Greening Deserts.At any given point, I'm saving up for whichever of these three is the cheapest, while also buying up one of each of the +1 People cards, so I can boostrap into Carbon Negative, to fund more Industry and Ecosystem cards. 

A mature economy starts to run out of growth potential due to diminishing returns around three Carbon Negatives and 3 or so of each of the Big Three. Industry and Ecosystem both both provide industry tokens, for some reason, and tick roughly once every 10 seconds.People ticks at roughly the same rate. There's a huge surplus of Industry tokens, I'm producing negative hundreds of pollution per turn, and if I did it right, I only hit 0-2 tipping points before going negative emissions (through gameplay, I mean,not the card with that name.) 

At some point, I probably bought some extra science incubators whenever the science tokens were coming in too slowly, but I never need more than Science Funding and maybe Emissions Cleaning to get my economy off the ground. When diminishing returns start to get really bad, I'll supplement the Big 3 with whatever almost-as-good cards I can afford. Solar Subsidies, Decentralized Power Gird, Sustainable Transport 2, whatever's convenient. You might have to discard freebies the game throws at you in order to make room.

Just for fun, when I start to run out of room, I inevitably sell the windmill that's literally the only power plant on the entire planet, in order to make room for more Biodiversity Credits and Solar Subsidies. (Never any actual solar panels, though. At 1 Industry Token : 1 Pollution, those things are basically fool's gold.)

In conclusion, we are not the same.😂

Edit: I just noticed that Sustainable Transport 2 is actually pretty good mid-game before I go all-in on my first Carbon Negative. That's one of the things I like about this game. The more I play it, the more optimizations I notice in my strategy. Always be on the lookout for +2s you can make using different resources than the current bottleneck. They can speed things up significantly!

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New player here. I would love to see a way to configure the fonts. Even if it's just a checkbox that replaces all the fonts with appropriate-sized Roboto from Google Fonts. Right now, the combination of square pixel fonts and comic sans on my screen is the #1 obstacle to readability, which is friction to learning the game. Sometimes, I can have a menu open and be staring right at the info I need and the words just don't register. This doesn't happen to me in other games.

I think the #2 obstacle to readability is probably the transparent backgrounds in the menus. I realize there might be gameplay reasons for wanting to see the action while menus are open, but it would be nice if I could set the opacity myself by adjusting a slider.

But having said that, I've noticed that most of the graphics sliders don't actually do anything. Is this intentional?

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I wish the game would somehow visually indicate which upgrades you've never bought before. I feel like it would make it easier to unlock 100% of the entries in the beecarbopedia.

I found out this information is availible in the encyclopedia, you just have to look at each card description to see what they turn into. Somehow I'm still missing one Nature card, though. Maybe it gets auto-built when you fail an event, or something? I googled it. Apparently I got good at the game too quickly. I needed to let pollution pile up until I get a specific event, then succeed at that event. 

I'll just play a round and keep 20th century Industry around for a while.

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There's a tutorial collapsed in the top right corner of the screen. You need to click it to see the next objective. You can also press esc and then click keybinds to see a list of controls. 

More information here:

I'm starting to think the UX of this game is designed to maximize friction. I'm not sure why though. Sometimes you can be staring directly at the text telling you what you need to do next, and it just doesn't register.

The screenshots are giving "Enter The Gungeon but without the puns." How accurate is this?

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It took me a while to figure out how to beat it. I was a bit surprised when removing all the polution didn't work and started panicking when running negative emissions also didn't work. I got there in the end, though. I think I had three victory conditions under construction at the time? Hard to say, since I haven't found them all yet. Overall, great game. Obtuse and stressful at times, but I suspect that was kinda the point.

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When you click the wrong button and now there's a building you don't want permanently stuck to your mouse cursor, how do you undo it? Nevermind. After playing it more, I realized that it's not an issue. No matter what you're queued up to build, you can always just interact with an existing unit.

Great music BTW.

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The core pillars of Idle Breakout are bouncing balls, buyer's remorse, player confusion, and bait. 

There's a good game hiding underneath all of that? But in order to access it, you have to trust the game by buying the things that you assumed were bad after the game has already tricked into buying the things that you assumed were good.

I would go so far as to say that the core mechanics of the game are coping with disappointment and online fact-checking, two things that we could all use a little more of, these days.

Mine refuses to give me any more leaves after the first 5. It just gives me blossoms. I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.

I see. In that case, I suppose my real issue is I thought 100% approval was the goal. Like. It's water. If people in a certain block are only getting 50% of the water they need to survive, that's a problem that will literally kill townsfolk if it lasts for more than a day or so. Anything less than 100% is a failure state. 

Or at least, that's the way water works in real life. It never occurred to me to treat overflow like a problem to be solved or a resource to be spent. I thought overflow meant nobody died this turn because we met quota and maybe went a little over. Sure, we could try bartering away some of the excess, but what if it makes us come up short? Too risky.

I feel like I'm starting to overstate the point, but if only 90% of the people have water, 10% of the people die of thirst. That's how water works. It's one of three core mechanics of IRL literally all of us learn during the tutorial level. The game's influence mechanic feels like a weird abstraction that doesn't make sense in the real world. 

Influence and money are concepts in the real world, to be sure, but killing 10% of the population per day for money seems like the kind of thing that wouldn't be feasible for very long, even by medieval standards. If the peasants didn't revolt, at some point, you'd run out of peasants.

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Unfortunately, it only offered me the card that lets you sell influence and get money once or twice at the very start of the game, when I didn't need it.

The one time I did see it offered in the late game, I skipped it because it was literally a worse exchange rate than the "2 influence for 1 gold" you get from overflowing 100 influence.

I took "increase funding" literally every time it was offered, thinking "it's free money."

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An incomplete information problem disguised as an unfolding game disguised as a civ-building card game. 

Unfortunately, even after mastering the basic mechanics, you have no knowledge upon which to base your decisions. It's a deckbuilding game where you didn't actually build your deck. It's a strategy game where the concept of strategizing is alien. It's a micro-management game where there's only a tenuous relationship between the visible representations of your units on the screen and the areas covered by those units. Even on easy, you will earn spare gold from massive population satisfaction and still need to skip turns because you don't have enough gold. 

The worst part is I'm 100% certain this isn't an accident. The game was obviously carefully designed, balanced and play-tested to capture the existential horror of managing a medieval sanitation project. On Normal, I suppose people would be dying of dysentery or sacrificing goats or whatever, and it would be my fault somehow for not putting cards on colored rectangles in the correct way. 

Overall, it's the digital equivalent of a gilded, precision clockwork mechanism tasked with smacking you in the face with a dead fish for all eternity, or at least until the gearbox winds down and you run out of gold or stars or whatever and get a Game Over. 

I'm only halfway through the second age, and I can already see where this is going. In the future, every possible structure and interface remains clogged with unusable components for permanently-stalled projects, while the deck keeps cycling and piling on new mechanics and fires keep breaking out and nothing works, all because I didn't somehow predict the need for three scribes and a foreman three turns in advance, and after I got the components together, I ran out of money to finish it that turn and had to sacrifice like three red cards at once. 

Which is all a fancy way of saying I don't understand how the game works, even though I'm long past the tutorial and I remember everything it taught me. I've learned the mechanics, but the game flatly refuses to let you wrap your head around its dynamics during gameplay. You would need to lose multiple times just in order to know what cards appear in the late game so that  you can attempt to make any meaningful decisions whatsoever about which cards to keep, use or discard at any given time.

So I give up. The quaint town of Grudziądz may keep its mysteries, for I will no longer play a hand in its people's suffering.

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I don't understand why you're calling it a "bodycam FPS." The camera isn't on the player's body. It's clearly on their head. Exactly like every other first person shooter on the market. You even have the "look down sights" mechanic. I guarantee police body cams don't do that. And is that the opsive run animation at 0:43? This is literally just a normal FPS! Just call it an FPS. The camera positioning is industry-standard. Stock, even.

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What a nice mini-version of Enter the Gungeon! My only complaint is that the very first thing I did in the game was to somehow make a rapid-fire shotgun that shoots bees and bouncy bullets and is strong against everything, which kind of makes everything else you ever do in the game a huge letdown. If all runs had equal access to all parts, I'd be good.

I love how it's for Godot. Quick question: do the enemies collide with each other the way they do in Vampire Survivors? Or do they just sort of slide past each other, so if you kite the swarm in a circle a few times, they all collapse into a single stack of enemies occupying a single tile in the game world?

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Do the enemies collide with each other? If so, how does it remain performant? Does it leverage DOTS? Burst? Jobs? ECS? 

The whole innovation of Vampire Survivors wasn't the gameplay design, it was the implementation. Thousands of enemies all colliding with each other, to the point where tidal waves of bats would suddenly bulldoze werewolves into the player.

Looking at these gifs, I see very sparse ground-based enemies and large swarms of airborne enemies that don't collide with each other.

Can you please explicitly tell us whether or not "large swarms of enemies bumping into each other" is a feature you delivered?

Because that's pretty much the killer feature that made Vampire Survivors special. It's the secret sauce. Everything else in the game is just a bunch of remedial action game mechanics and basic UI elements that I either already know how to implement in Unity, or could easily look up.

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Wait, so the "unreleased super nintendo game" wasn't part of the "found game" lore? That is to say, the idea of Basilisk being a game that was started and then not released isn't a part of the backstory they made up for Basilisk 2000?

I'm so confused. I thought the core concept of Basilisk 2000 is a haunted rom of an unfinished game that we, the players, are picking through to get spooped by the ghost or whatever. I thought the text description of the game on this site was ARG-style backstory. 

I guess you're telling me it's meant to be literal? Basilisk 2000 is sincerely meant to be a "spiritual successor" to a game that never came out in the first place? What does that even mean?

Edit: No, wait. Now that I've read the description of the original Basilisk, I can see that it actually is what I thought the description of Basilisk 2000 was saying it was. I think the real problem is just that it says "snes" in the description. It's a red herring, and it's not supersceded by anything later on the page.

Granted, I read the description wrongly. That much is clear. But even re-reading it now, it comes across as really vague. It's not always clear whether the phrase "the game" refers Basilisk or Basilisk 2000. I came along (and hadn't previously heard of either game) and thought Basilisk 2000 was purporting itself to be a Unity wrapper for Basilisk.

It's just a big linguistic mess of a description. There's two real games about two fake games, and they drop a phrase like "the game," apparently trying to compare the new real game to the old real game couched in a framing device of describing how the new fake game relates to the old fake game??? and now I've gone cross-eyed.

As a person over thirty, nothing takes me out of these "found footage" horror games quite like when a project pretends that the SNES could run a game that had Playstation 1 graphics. Why? What do you gain by getting a detail this significant wrong by a whole console generation? 

Yes, the SNES had Mode 7 graphics which allowed for some limited 3D effects, including scaling and rotation of sprites, and later on, the SuperFX chip, which allowed for a small number of flatshaded polygons. It absolutely did not have bloom, 3D shadows... no lighting of any sort, really. 

The most it ever got used for was flat 2D maps viewed from a 3D angle like in Chrono Trigger, or flat-shaded full 3D games leveraging the Super FX chip like Starfox.

You would never, ever see a SNES game with fully-textured 3D models like this. That's a PS1 thing. The N64 would later add gourad shading and texture interpolation. Then the PS2 tied it all together with larger texture sizes and better lighting and interpolation. At some point, Doom 3 on PC introduced the concept of normal maps, and from then on graphics were basically a solved problem, and the console wars became mostly all about optimization, middleware, content, and more powerful hardware, rather than any visible innovation in graphics display techniques.

Not everybody is old enough to remember this history, but googling it is not hard.

Seriously, why not just call it a Playstation game!? I get that older technology = scarier, but you can get in that general ball park without committing to full-on anachronism. I feel like I was just watching a movie and I saw a Roman centurion wearing a wristwatch.

Some issues that prevented me from playing more than a few minutes, in roughly the order I encountered them:

-There's some weird grey vertical lines in the intro section that I don't think are supposed to be there. I thought they were some sort of Space Elevators in the distance until I realized they were flickering on and off. Now I suspect they're graphical anomalies as the pure blue sky tiles jitter back and forth against a grey world background. There's probably a way to fix it involving the sky sprite import settings, but it might be easier to just make the Unity world sky blue. (Everything with a hyphen is a deal-breaker.)

- Intro section is far too long. I guess the water is pretty, but you can't do anything here, so it's just a waste of the player's time. What's the point?

- I couldn't jump in the intro section. This is annoying, since a long empty intro section is the perfect place to learn the controls.

- Even after I could jump, I couldn't see what the controls were. Later, I saw that they were on the page under the game. THIS IS POINTLESS. PUT THE TEXT ON THE SCREEN IN THE GAME! Ideally in the sky in that long, pointless intro section.

- Space, S, and F? No, no, no. Don't make up your own control conventions for a bog-standard 2D platformer. Please just use the same controls everybody else uses: either WASD + Space + Shift (American-style) , or Arrow Keys + Z/X/C (Japanese-style) Fun fact: you can implement both at once and they will coexist together. There's no need to make up your own weird control schemes when everybody else already knows these two classic keyboard control conventions! Innovate through mechanics. Game verbs. Aesthetics. Not key choices.

- After dropping into the dungeon and gaining the ability to jump, sometimes it just doesn't work. The player character keeps running in place in one spot without moving when you let go of the move buttons. In this state, you can't jump or attack. You have to wiggle back and forth to break out of it. It happens infrequently enough to be difficult to say what causes it, but frequently enough that it made me want to stop playing. This bug really surprised me. I thought after years of development, Corgi Engine was more solid than this.

- Player attacks are too short-range. You can walk up behind the first basic worm and attack and it will always miss because the worm is too fast somehow.

- I'm not sure what the dash is useful for. Every time I used the dash, it made me hit an enemy. You should make it so that if you're coming out of a dash, and the player is overlapping an enemy, the dash continues for juuuuust long enough that the player lands behind the enemy instead of on top of them. It's Coyote Time, but for dashes. Fun trivia fact: Dead Cells swears by little tweaks like this.

Overall: Please contrast the first two minutes of this game with the first two minutes of other indie platformers such as Cave Story, Cuphead, Celeste, Trine, Momodora, or Shovel Knight. (Not menus or cutscenes, the first two full minutes of gameplay.) Especially note the rate at which the player learns new things about how to play the game.

I mean, even mashing random buttons didn't teach me anything, because you'd secretly disabled the jump and attack functions for that first scene! That's just aggressively anti-player, and a terrible way to make a first impression. 

You ought to have me fighting harmless enemies that bounce around but can't die or hurt you in that opening section, while the controls are written in the sky. Maybe some ledges to jump on and coins or crystals to collect. Just so it feels like I'm accomplishing something while I learn the controls. 

Good luck. I think you can do better than this.

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No problem! :D  Glad I could help. But if that's the case, I'm afraid I'm going to have to add more more criticism...

The game I am critiquing on itch is out of date!

(Have you met my friend Builds?  Nightly Builds?  He's great at making sure all the feedback you get reflects the current state of the game.  And as a nice side effect, he makes people know your game's not dead and is still being worked on so it doesn't fall off the hype train before it even leaves the station.)

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Sorry, let me re-structure that as me telling you about the problems. Solutions in parenthesis.  That way it's easier for you to ignore the suggestions and focus on the feedback.

The #1 cause of death is because I didn't realize how much damage I was taking, or when, or why.

(I think the industry-standard fix for this is standard for a reason.  Visual and audio indicators on the player character, not on some life bar far away from where you're looking.)

The #2 cause of death/taking damage is because my character would change directions on its own when I left go of the left thumbstick. I'd move forward to the correct distance to attack, stop moving, and press the attack button, only for my character to face the wrong way on their own so the attack would miss and the enemy would hit me and I'd die. 

(Again, there is an industry-standard solution for this.  Proper thumbstick deadzones (Analogue inputs must be > ~0.2 or ~20% of max possible input in order to "count") would prevent or at least reduce this.)

Wall-climbing is just plain unresponsive in the following situations:  

- When trying to wall-jump off the bottom of a floating island you can just barely reach

- When trying to go from a wall you're ascending onto the top of a platform that's just one tile away from the ceiling.

- Both at once is absolute hell. 

Are you trying to be Spelunky or Dead Cells?  Because right now the wall jumping feels sometimes like sometimes one, sometimes the other, depending on subtle differences in the player's timing, rather than the height of the jump being attempted.  It feels bad.

(These are legal jumps, well within the range of the max jump height, but sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.  If you can detect when the player is likely trying to do these jumps and somehow fudge the rules so the player ends up where they expect to, like some sort of wall jump version of Coyote Time, it will make the game as a whole feel fast, fluid and responsive, but it might be as easy as simply not pushing the player away from the wall when they jump.)

Collecting treasure was annoying.  Collecting treasure should be fun! They're both hard to see because of all the slime and grass covering them up, and there's no feedback when you collect them, which would give a quick cheap jolt of "I did it right" dopamine. 

(Sound effect & number or spinning coin animation disappearing into the sky upon collection.  Draw the important collectible coins on top of the unimportant slime, blood, and grass special effects.)

At the bottom of the dungeon, the GUI sometimes covers up the action.  Enemies, chests, and other important gameplay entities are obscured by the HUD, and unlike the rest of the level, the player can't make the action visible by dropping down lower. 

(Just add a layer or two of solid dirt to the bottom at level generation to fix this.)

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Nice work!  This is a good, solid base for a roguelite platformer. 

The theme is kinda generic at the moment. It needs a gameplay gimmick, a novel aesthetic, and an emotional core in order to really suck the player in. The sooner you add those, the better, because they're the kind of thing you want as your pillars of game development.  Once you figure them out, they should inform all of your creative decisions.

Gameplay suggestions ranked in order from most to least important:

> My Xbox controller is a little old, and the thumbsticks tend to rattle a little bit when I let go of a direction. Make sure you have "dead zone" in the middle of the thumbstick. (I.E. the character won't switch direction unless absolute value of the input > 0.2 or so.)

>I'm pretty sure you are using "Coyote Time" for jumps, because I didn't feel like I was constantly falling off of ledges when I jumped, but the bottoms of walls need an equivalent of Coyote Time but for for wall-climbing.  It was WAY too hard to catch the bottoms of some floating islands and start a climb.

>I'm unsure if the above is the reason why, but I had trouble climbing walls sometimes. It feels less responsive/intuitive than Megaman X. That's a benchmark you should seriously be aiming for.  Less involuntary X movement when jumping off of a wall or more rapid change from the automatic movement to the player's input would fix the problem.

>At the bottom of the dungeon, the GUI sometimes covers up enemies at the bottom of the level.  Just add a layer or two of solid dirt to the bottom at level generation to fix this.

> Give the player feedback when the player character takes a hit, even if it's just them turning white for a frame and playing a sound effect.  (Needs to be different from the sound when the player hits an enemy because we're never not hearing that sound.)

>I dislike how the gold disappears behind slime, weeds, etc.  You should render the gold on top, just like you would enemies, because the gold is a functional gameplay mechanic!  GUI > Enemy projectiles > Enemies > Player > Collectibles > NPCs > Chests/Boxes/Pots > Interactive objects (lifts, moving platforms, buttons, etc.) > Dynamic decorations (blood spatter, debris, etc) > Collidable walls/floors > Static decorations (furniture, statues, etc.) > Background walls > Distant Parallax backgrounds

> Likewise, a  sound effect when you pick up gold would make collecting gold feel more fun.  Juice it or lose it!

> Whirlwind attack, while kinda fun to pull off, is no better than using your basic attack, because the enemies get knocked back, so you need to drain your entire magic bar just to kill one enemy who you could easily stab three times instead.  (Maybe this could have a place in future versions if there's dozens of mobs swarming you in a room?  But in the first dungeon, it's useless.)

Yes, these suggestions are "polish," but they're polish that affects the core gameplay.  Remember, Miyamoto spent ages perfecting Mario's jump before doing anything else!  You should, too.

Good luck! :)

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Thank you.  That's what I needed to hear.

Good luck with your other games.  I recognize that art was attempted here.

Edit: I deleted my posts because I realized that they added no value to the discourse about this game.  I can't fix the pandemic by getting angry about the pandemic.  Sorry again and good luck with your games

For what it's worth, I thought removing the PS1 filters when she's outside the game was very clever.

That's the most incoherent plot I've ever heard of in my life.  Literally nobody alive today remembers Ugh Ughhson, the world's first human caveman.  If people in the future are "losing their place in the afterlife" just because nobody remembers them, then all humans have always been losing their places in the afterlife all along.

I don't remember what the exact text of the event is, I just described what it does.  The text was something like "Fewer beesitters are being born for some reason."  So I cranked up the number of beesitters to compensate.  Then all the bees died at once. 

The player experience was indistinguishable from "Beesitters randomly stop working for no reason" because all the nurseries suddenly sat empty.  Adjusting the sliders did nothing.  The game just decided it was time for my colony to die.  I feel like I did everything I could and it was ineffective. 

I'm sure this is by design, but I don't understand why you chose to design it that way.  I was trying to beef up my numbers so I could start working on Honey, when suddenly the game decided to kill my colony.

Do you get what I'm saying?  I had a ton of nurseries and a ton of beesitters, and the game suddenly announced the event and killed my colony.

I get the impression the description of the beesitter-killer event was deliberately vague about the cause because it's not designed to have any counter-play.  If this is not your intended design, please explain how a hive with 30 beesitters could avoid this event or account for it after it pops up.  What was the player expected to do differently in this situation? 

I needed more nectar so I built more nurseries because bees provide nectar.  There's literally no other way to get more nectar that I know of, other than by building more nurseries.

I'm honestly more upset by the fact that it name-drops The Stanley Parable but without doing anything that The Stanley Parable was actually famous for.  Not that it would be as special if another game did the same sctick, but I mean come on.  If you're not at war with the Narrator, it's completely unrelated to The Stanley Parable.

Well now this "Beesitters randomly stop working for no reason" event keeps killing my population numbers for no reason.  If the goal of this game is to subtly educate people about Colony Collapse Disorder, then good job, you knocked it out of the park.  On the other hand if the goal of the game is to actually be a fun strategy game where you build and research a thriving beehive, then I'd like to please be able to turn this event off from the main menu.

(Seriously. Population crashed from 70 to 6.  Absolutely nothing I could do about it.  The game just decided it was time for my colony to fail now.)

Oh, thanks.  I thought Resources told you how much Resources you have.  Or had something to do with stockpiling Resources.  I kept thinking, since the door is structural, it would be under the same menu category as Nursery and Workshop.  Looking at it now, I realize you had the ++ integrated into the icon.  Maybe consider renaming this to "Resource Production" or something similar?  I know short words look nicer, but this game throws a lot of concepts at the player at once that aren't handled the same way they are in other RTS games.  When you can't use existing tropes or genre conventions, you should be as specific as possible.

Role didn't make much sense to me, either, the first time I saw it.  It has a picture of a bee.  But you don't use it to build  bees?  You use it to build rooms.  Rooms don't have a role.  They have furniture in them.  After playing the game a bit more, I eventually understood that "Role" is short for "Rooms that require a bee to have a specific role in order to use them."  Except that the Nursery also lets you change a bee's role, or at least lets you influence the role distribution of newborn bees.  I'm not sure what else you could call it besides Role.  Maybe Job?  But that doesn't really change things.  If I think of a better solution to this, I'll let you know.

But on the subject of the radial menus, this is probably the most important suggestion I can make:  Don't make the player fight their own muscle memory when learning new systems!   Every single time I opened a menu after researching something, it felt like everything I'd previously learned went right out the window because now the things I have to click on are in a different place.  It's friction.  It's a reason players would churn out before learning the game.  And you'll never personally experience this for yourself because you made the game, you're not learning it from scratch the way a new player would.  You'll just have to take my word for it that this makes learning the game more uncomfortable than it needs to be.

The solution: Radials should display all the hexagons that will ever be there, and the ones the player doesn't have access to are just blank or greyed out or invisible.  That way, as the player builds understanding of games systems, they are also building muscle memory.  If you only listen to one suggestion from my post, please listen to this one.  It's the biggest obstacle to learning the middle of the game right now.

I must be not getting something.  The very first thing the tutorial tells you to do is make an exit.  I click on cells, I build new cells, I left click, I right click... I click all over the place... and it never shows me anything to click on to "make exit."  All my bees are apparently going to starve to death in their own hive because the game tells you to make a door but it doesn't teach you how to actually make a door.

All right, I just had a decent run, by which I mean my RNG was uncanny.  4 missile systems by area 2 and plenty of pulse launchers before the end boss.  I couldn't get past the second to last boss, in part because I tried to practice aiming the energy weapons.  I don't want to give you the impression that missiles are OP, because then you might nerf or remove them rather than fixing all the unusable weapons, but everything other than missiles is pretty much impossible to aim, especially against a fast moving enemy bobbing up and down, which is pretty much all of them by area 7 or 8.

What exactly is the intended gameplay experience, here?  Right now it feels like you're bobbing around taking carefully timed shots with your cannons at the start of the game, which only works if you get right on top of the enemy and maybe nudge an expendable block into their core or only thruster if the opportunity presents itself.  Then you get missiles if you're lucky, or a wall of random trash guns if you're not, bind them all to 1, and do drivebys on the enemy until you've worn them down enough that you can afford to slow down enough to actually aim at something important.  All too often, though, you'll end up trading hits with the enemy, which is NEVER a good trade past area 2 or 3, because all the enemies have crazy amounts of armor and/or horizontal speed you could never in a million years find or buy by the endgame, let alone that area.   They you get to the Island at the end, and obviously it's an OP crazy-pants over-the-top boss like in FTL, but it has so many layered shields that even missiles are useless, so you need to use the pulse weapon that passes through shields and hits blocks.  But since that weapon functions like a cannon in terms of how well you need to aim and time it, you basically are a sitting duck for the boss, plus you're trying to use a skill you've long since stopped using for most of the game.

The real problem is the core combat loop.  Assuming I don't have crazy good missiles, shields, and movement, to the point where I can kite the enemy along and pick off shields and weapons systems until it's safe to drift close enough to take out thrusters, there's just too much going on at once.  In my head, I need to somehow keep track of my cooldowns, the enemy's cooldowns, the speed the enemy ship is currently going, the speed I'm currently going, whether or not my guns are aimed at the enemy yet, and in order to look at all that stuff at once on a big screen monitor, I'd need eight separate eyeballs that can swivel independently.  And that's with me binding everything to 1 and just mashing right click whenever I think I have a clean shot.  If you want me to somehow World of Warcraft hotbar individual weapon systems and use them strategically?  Popping their shields with a bank of shotguns or machine guns and then firing a penetrating horizontal laser into their core?  That's basically impossible.  I know one dude I have ever met in my entire life who could keep track of that much complexity in realtime, and he solves mazes instantly by looking at them.

Each individual part of this game is great, but the sum of its parts is just a frustrating, borderline unplayable mess.  It has amazingly deep systems, but you bought that depth with way too much moment-to-moment complexity for a realtime game.  You get these split seconds in which you can fire, and you have to set those moments up, and if any one of like, five different dynamics isn't as well-aligned or timed as you thought it was, you miss.  Meanwhile, the enemy basically never misses unless I'm out of range.  It's like you picked a core mechanic that was easy for a computer to do but hard for a human.

Fortunately, there's an easy fix for all of this.  A way to make all this agony go away, make the game more accessible, and you don't need to develop persistent systems or dumb the game down in order to streamline it.  Are you ready for this?  This is gonna blow your mind.  All you have to do is change a single number.

Double the turret rotation speed.

You're welcome.

Wow.  Seriously?  The enemy island values are fixed based on the level and the generation is completely random?  That's astonishing.  It really goes to show how eagerly the human mind assigns value to random noise.  I was so sure adding a shield caused the opponents to get shields early, for example.  Now that I know that's not the case, let me play some more and see how I feel about the experience.  I was second-guessing things that weren't an issue.

That said, RNG shouldn't make it impossible to win.  (Yes, even in a roguelike, assuming progression or learning the game's systems aren't a deliberate part of the intended player experience.)  Just about the only mechanic I didn't learn on my first run that reached stage 8 was that those energy weapons that bypass shields are probably what I need in order to stand a chance against the last boss.  (Later on, I sort of guessed that you might be doing the FTL thing of a weapon type being impractical and under-powered most of the game but then pretty much necessary for the last boss, but I haven't made it to the end since then.)

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I've been playing the game some more and it's gotten to a point where I just can't anymore.  RNG just plays such a huge role in whether or not you have the parts you need to make a viable island.  Twice in the last day, I started a new game to find three forges.  Every enemy ship always has better weapons, defenses, and movement than you, no matter what you build.  If this only affected the enemy island design, I could sort of see it.  Sure, it's weird that you can replace all your stone with dirt or un-equip most of your weapons to weaken a boss, but it also seems to scale with stage somewhat, and maybe the enemy needs an advantage in raw numbers to compensate for their lack of brains.  But where I lost all hope was when I discovered that the quality of your island affects the loot that drops.

Having trouble finding horizontal movement items?  Just get your lateral acceleration down to 20 or so, the game will start dropping them.  Not finding any weapons?  It's because you foolishly equipped the few weapons the game gave you, so it decided that you had enough weapons and stopped giving them to you.  Just cut yourself down to a 2x2 brick with one cannon, two thrusters, and the warp drive.  Of course, one false move and you're dead, but that's basically the way the start of the game plays anyway.  Oh, you took a hit and died?  Better esc to the title screen and start over.  Otherwise you'll end up with no lives left in the late game when you need them.

What ever happened arbitrary challenges?  Whatever happened to RNG actually being random?

The more I play this game and the more I start to understand how it works under the hood, the more angry and frustrated I get.  I love the concept and the core mechanics seem fun.  Building your base is fun.  Getting loot is fun.  The combat is fun when it actually works.  But it feels like every time I'm just starting to enjoy myself, I get screwed by RNG or physics.  Maybe if you could see the cooldowns on each block so you know when the enemy's about to fire, or maybe if you were allowed to buy as many of one item as the enemy can buy, it would be less infuriating.  Or, hell.  Unlocks.  If I were getting pop-ups that say "You've unlocked <name of item,>" maybe I'd be able to tell myself that RNG in future games would be less shitty than RNG in the game I just played.  Maybe that's why roguelites do it in the first place, I don't know.  

What I do know is two of my favorite games are Shellcore Commander and Enter the Gungeon, so you'd think a game that combines them would be the best thing ever.  But so far it's been pure torture.  Looting mechanics are supposed to drip-feed the player dopamine, but all I'm getting on my end is pure cortisol.

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Seems like every single run ends in an infinite battle where I can't kill the enemy and the enemy can't kill me.  Both ships lose their lateral thrusters and then the enemy cannons itself back and forth off the sides of the screen.   But because the cannon range is so short, the shots can't actually hit you, so it just keeps recoiling back and forth off the side of the screen where you can't see it.  You can't hit it, and it can't hit you.  Infinite nothing gameplay.

NONE of the decisions I make while building my island prevents this outcome, and piloting the island is always a total crapshoot, so there's literally nothing I can do to prevent this.  One time I stuck my core on a healing block just to see what it did-- not even altitude could kill me!  It takes a game with potential and makes it unplayable, since I literally never know when the game's going to suddenly throw itself into an unwinnable state.

Why not do what all base-building games do and give the core a small ammount of basic gameplay juice?  In some games this would be resource generation-- here, it should definitely be lateral movement.  Not fast movement.  Not good movement.  Just enough that you can maybe try to pursue some sort of change to the game state when the enemy decides to troll you with an infinite cannon recoil loop. 

Seriously, I can't even get through the first area without this happening.

One thing I can tell you from personal experience: Don't just record gameplay!  It doesn't work.  Instead, look at trailers for successful games (Indie and AAA) and copy what they do!

Overhauled my screenshot production process and took some more recent ones.  I really don't know what else I could be doing wrong.  The landing page is definitely the weak link.  People apparently go to the twin stick shooter genre page, see the animated gif, click on it, find out that the game is pretty much exactly what the animated gif made it look like, in a landing page that you guys claim is excellent... and then they leave without buying.

What am I doing wrong?


That's just mean.

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I don't mean the adage is false.  I mean any person who ever said "I will personally pay you for this game by donating, but only if you make it free first." is a liar and a fraudster.

I brightened up the header on the landing page and tweaked the favicon.  It's still a dark page, by design, but I think this made a difference.