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First impressions (spoilers)

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Ok this thread is just my first impressions of the game. I haven't been playing long. . .and in fact all of my play to date is currently documented day by day in the arts and lore forum. Since this game is in beta, and the developers obviously read and take the forums quite seriously I feel like I should give my critical opinion of the game. Please don't tar and feather me for saying negative things, overall I love this game :). Nothing here is a "suggestion" per say, so I felt it should go in the general discussion area. . .but if its moved to the suggestion area I won't get angry and stomp around screaming :p

Ok the controls are clunky. . .and hopefully unfinished. For a keyboard and mouse game it lacks a lot of keyboard utility. Obviously there is a need for hotkeys for inventory item use, and the expansion and shrinking inventory setup just seems off. There seems to be no utilitarian difference between what is in the bottom and what is in the top line of items except that I can't always see the bottom one.

Also it seems there should be a "use" button so that you can swing your axe/mining pick without clicking a target. Or a functionality to walk up to grass for instance and pick the grass.

Instead I have to click on everything. . .and click and hold instead of just click once as well which seems strange. . .

On another topic it feels like research comes far too quickly. Maybe I just have a lucky starting location or something, but the graveyards should either be more dangerous or not re-spawn the items. It almost feels like an exploit raiding the graveyard every few days. I have run into the ghost, but it didn't kill me or make me any more wary of digging up graves. This is the type of game where it feels like unlocking each new upgrade should be an adventure unto itself, especially since you keep your research between lives. I feel more like I should stop exploring for awhile to raid the graveyard to get about 240 research points every few days (more if I spend the time doing other things locally like clearing spiders). If I wasn't documenting my play that is probably what I would have done.

So what works in this game? Why do I love it so much? There are two things that keep me coming back for more:

1: The atmosphere is amazing. The art, music, and sound effects all have the feel of being in the midst of a Tim Burton film, and I love it. Also because the areas are so open for exploration and the atmosphere so creepy it is very easy to create your own story for poor Wilson.

2: The element of surprise. From the first time I whacked a spiders nest (I died) to the first time I ate spider meat (I died) to when the trees came alive (I died) this game keeps surprising me :) I feel like there are new things to discover around every corner, and they are probably all going to kill me. . .it is awesome :)

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I think you can play this game solely with the mouse, but you can't with just the keyboard. It's not that it lacks an "action" key to swing the weapons around, it's that you wouldn't hit anything even if you could swing it. All actions are based on hovering specific items/monsters on the map, not by merely being near them.

What I'm saying is that it would take a mayor rewrite of the code to make a keyboard exclusive interface, and I'm not sure it would even be worth it. Misclicking on an enemy while you are running for your life adds a lot to the dangerous atmosphear and adds realism and randomness to the combats. I think that a key to swing around your weapon would take that away.

Regarding research, I've read several times that the devs aren't happy with it entirely, and I have to agree. But I haven't been able to come up with a better way of doing it so I don't complain :p but it's a thing that bothers me while I play. We should make a brainstorming thread to see if we can come up with something better.

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Because of the functionality of it I do play entirely with the mouse.

I agree that the weapons things adds to drama in combat, but there are times when the need to click everything is frustrating in ways it shouldn't be.

Every break a rock behind a tall tree for instance? Did you have to then make an axe and chop down the tree just do you could pick up the rocks?

This would be solved if you could walk up to items and press a button (space for instance) to use them. This could be context sensitive. Next to a tree holding an axe? Space chops it down. No axe "it looks all piney" Walk up to grass space picks the grass, next to items space picks them up. It would be very similar how the mouse click works now. It would be a design choice as to whether or not it would work on enemies. (space swings the spear) But i think it should.

You still would need the mouse to do things like move items in inventory and drop carrots on the ground, but things would feel smoother to me with added keyboard functions. In a game like this I don't want to be thinking about the controls, they should be smooth and natural.

As for the research I haven't been playing long enough to have good ideas. I was just a bit put off when i discovered the respawning graves made my previous research exploits seem meaningless. Because of this I am sure there are many more research exploits that I will find throughout the game. . .science should be hard. Making your first log armor should be a great victory I think.

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Every break a rock behind a tall tree for instance? Did you have to then make an axe and chop down the tree just do you could pick up the rocks?

Nop, I used the keyboard arrows keys to rotate the view an pick it up :D But there are time not even this let's you pickup small things behind large one.

There's constant talk in the suggestions subforum about how to improve the controls. swing by and join the discussion ;)

The research point values of the items are constantly tweaked with every build, but grave items do seem overpowered right now, though. I've built a research machine (and a whole camp) right next to a cemetery, FOR SCIENCE! Cheaply renewable items shouldn't grant so many points. Actually, gold was nerfed greatly in the last build, both in research point value and in how much the Pig King gives you.

But let's head over to the suggestions subforum to address this matter ;)

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:) I had figured out how to rotate, but reading the controls was a big help. I still think they are clunky, but now I know how to drop just one item. Thanks for that feeding the rabbits was becoming frustrating.

I'm avoiding the suggestions subforum, and most of this subforum for now actually. I still haven't lived longer than 8 days at a time or explored the entire island so I want to avoid spoilers where I can. After I've done a lot more and figured a lot more out on my own I will start reading the forums more and you can expect me to drop by the suggestions forum :)

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