Hey Raft Developer,
I absolutely loved your game and wanted to give a quick review of what my experience was, some things I'd suggest and a few glitchs/bugs I ran into.
First off I totally understand the game is in it's alpha stages and anything I suggest doesn't reflect any negativity on your effort on your project.
I absolutely love the idea of having items float by and being obtained various ways. Swimming out being a danger to reach items was something I never really bothered with since the hook was more than enough to keep me from danger. I can see in the future that you will allow DIVING to pick up items below the surface which is only a possibility if you go out to swim but for now swimming is something I ignored.
The usability of the hook and fishing rod and potato farm greatly decreased after a few minutes.
1) The Hook
The hook got me a few items early game, after a few item catchers were set up (Around 6) I started using the hook as an "afk item catcher" while I jumped out to swim on the other side for items (this was something I did to increase efficiency and also to add some excitement to the game during my 2nd play through). By the time I hit around 10+ item catchers I stored away my hook. I think it would be very interesting to see broken raft parts floating by and the only way to get them is with the hook. The hook ATM can catch anything that runs into it, so it would be interesting to see the hook having to DIRECTLY hit on to the floating part to be dragged in.
2) Fishing Rod
The rod is very basic right now, I was able to test that I needed about ~5 fishes to survive enough to just start a potato farm to be self sufficient to sustain myself. I would suggest that fish gives a protein bonus for eating them. The bonus could be something like gathering faster, swimming faster, attacking faster or all of the above lol. Later on you can implement different fishes with different bonuses (for instance adding a day and night cycle then having fish up an Anglerfish to giving you a glowing bonus for light source at night, unrealistic but just throwing it out there.)
Very great item, but I also tested this and in about a few farming cycles (about 15 potatoes) I also didn't need it anymore as palm trees were my go to source of food and water. Potatoes in reality is a starch and helps you feel fuller longer, so it could give a buff to slow down hunger for a short duration. It could be at least used late game. I also think reducing the harvest to 2 potatoes and using 1 to seed it would balance it out a bit more. Requires a few more farms and more foundation to keep them around.
I actually did not expect to able to grow palm trees on the raft and how overpowered / important they were to the game. Most survival game actually do depend on trees or wood a lot so I totally understand the idea behind it. This game also depends on a TON of wood. After I made around 10+ item catchers and my simple potato farm and 2 water sources I started my second floor with palm trees. First floor being pillars and foundation enough to hold the second floor up. I started protecting the pillars by putting foundation on the exposed side so that the shark would attack that and i'll have plenty of time to add a new one as the shark attack time is super low.
Around after ~12 palm trees. I became self sustaining with water and food all the while being able to gather wood and thatch. By this point I already think I finished the game as there's nothing else to build. I could make the raft bigger but I don't really see the idea behind it. I am slowly making it bigger and bigger. I will post up some images later but for now i'll show what I've done so far.
- Swimming while still on the raft, had to jump while on the platform for it to stop.
- Food disappearing after being cooked
- Walking up to a freshly made second floor automatically killed me (happened 3 times already and wasn't due to hunger or water, also kept my survival at 100%, never below 50%)
- Items stopped spawning after "long" period of play, had to save to menu and load up again.
User friendly updates
- Definitely the Wheel for the hammer needs an update, it's not very smooth. Usable atm as there's no real threat in the game that requires 100 APM lol.
- I feel like there NEEDS to be a UI change when your getting really hungry and really thirsty. I've died 8 times already from just focusing on making my raft bigger but forgetting to eat. Most games have vision blurring or taking HP damage, screen shaking something like that. So far I haven't noticed if HP decreases from not eating, I just basically DIE when I reach 0 and it's pretty frustrating lol. This is definitely the most important thing I feel like needs an update on.
I did see some posts about requesting for Multi player but the game is so basic right now there's really no need to push for that. I mean I pretty much finished the game in ~1hr or so. Doesn't make sense for you to push to code in multiplayer for someone to play together and finish it in what should be 1/2 that time.
I just died again via hunger and thirst, no that I didn't have any food or anything, I had like 18 chest full of coconuts lol. Just that there's no UI indication of being hungry or thirsty, I Was so focused on making my 3rd floor of the raft.
Anyways TY for reading if you did!