NO option to save the game makes it borderline unplayable for anyone with an actual life. I've played games written 'back in the day' and even they offered the option to save your place and retrrun to play later.
If you want to eliminate the 'save scum' practice - fine. There are procedures used by several games to do just that. not having any save option at all is ... beyond arrogant
Ok, first of all - sorry your experience is hindered by the lack of save. But let me back up a bit. Project Warlock was meant to evoke the old school classical games vibe - this is something that is a no brainer at this point.
The most obvious inspirations that are brought up are worn there on the sleeve - Wolfenstein 3d, Hexen, Duke Nukem. But the less obvious one - and one having profound influence on me as a kid - was Contra. One life - you died, then it was back to the level start. Now i realise that some people might not find this enjoyable, but there is literally nothing in Project Warlock that was conceived as means to anger the players for the sake of angering them. I wanted to evoke the emotion - fear, anger, frustration and finally exhilaration i felt as a kid when playing that title. And the exhilaration would never have been there had you just skated through the levels with occasional reload.
For me - and a lot of people who played Project Warlock - the way you feel after beating the level after numerous repetitions is just different then going through it once with the safety net of a save. But i am not judging whether the other option is bad. I simply went for that other feeling. And made sure that the levels are short enough to not be too bothersome. Alright - there is some nasty surprises, but these are there to get your blood pumping. So again - the "lives" system is coming straight from the Konami classic. And as for your progress - it's not lost - since every time you visit the workshop you save your progress. Of course it's a bit different with higher difficulty levels, but these are picked consciously.
We were monitoring all the discussions since the launch of the game and the most vocal opponents of the "no save" thing were people who never played the game, but decided to speak their mind on the subject. But this is either a non-issue or a a way less problematic one for people who actually played the game.
Obviously it is for you and i respect that, but adding an option to save right there in the game would impact every single player's experience and opinion on the game. Since - once you have an option - you just use it. And i didn't want to sacrifice the old school Contra vibe and for that reason made the choice to not include the manual saving. Hope this clears the thing a bit. And once again - i am truly sorry you didn't get to enjoy the game because of that choice.