Normally I don't post (which explains the textwall) but I'd really like to thank the developers of this game. While a little rough, it sits right around the sorts of games I enjoy a lot, and I'll probably revisit it for some time.
First, I'd like to congratulate you guys on making a game with the D3 flashlight mechanic that doesn't feel anywhere near as frustrating; after the BFG edition rollback on that design element, I wasn't sure anyone would ever explore that particular balancing act again. There were definitely places where I was alternating between being able to see what was running toward me and trying to put the bullets in it, and it was tense in a way I liked!
Second, I'd like to point out that I noticed the canceling. It makes the axe feel a lot better (especially compared to whatever unreliable cooldown boost it gets from hits), but you might want to look at how it interacts with the coachgun; I was canceling the flak cannon's firing sequence early enough that I think it wasn't updating the counter for loaded shots, and even with the raise sequence adding some slowdown it still ended up just feeling straight better than the semi shotgun (I did notice that the regular shotgun's reload was being appropriately applied when canceled).
I'd also like to suggest that a way to test out the different weapon upgrades and spells and get a feel for what they do before committing to them completely would probably make everyone's life easier, though I get the sense that this uncertanity was intended to be part of the experience; I do get that every upgrade and spell can probably do whatever since there's such a vast amount of different ammo and enough ammoless options that you probably always have something that might do the job.
On that note, it's worth pointing out that the weapons that arrive later in the game I ended up leaving by the wayside for many reasons;
-The earliest weapons I had the most time getting to know and getting used to. You do what you know works.
-Weapons spread down at the far end of my number row were so out of the way that it was easier to pull out, say, the shotgun as a panic response instead of the flamethrower even though the latter is purely stronger
-For some reason almost every single game defaults to the mousewheel running through the buckets backwards of the way I intuit them and thus that stopped being a reliable way for me to change weapons early on, seeing as that particular control seems hardbound.
-I try to use ammo I see so I can go back and get it if I need it, but the crossbow kept giving me back my bolts and while this was greatly appreciated and interestingly unique I actually started ignoring its very common ammo because I never seemed to need it and therefore forgot the weapon was even there to an extent.
-I didn't immediately understand what made the laser gun better than, say, the crossbow or the magnum for example, and while I eventually figured out that it seems guaranteed to put painframes on nonbosses this came way too late for me to be attached to it.
-Once upgraded, early-game weapons compete much better with late-game weapons that aren't upgraded and would take much more resource to upgrade, and sitting on that much unrealized potential power would end up very uncomfortable; add in that spells are also competing for the same upgrade resource, and it's easy to excuse away a late-game weapon as seeming unremarkable even though it didn't get a fair chance.
Much of this does come down to just how I play, however, and it's fair to say others would express themselves very differently in this subject. For contrast, it's also notable that I ended up using your dynamite way more frequently than most of the games I've played that have hand grenades in them (even games with offhand use!) and as late as the rockets were introduced I felt they were strong enough to warrant infrequent use (though the lightning staff really makes Quake look kinda weenie in comparison so it was my go-to murdercannon).
Difficulty seemed spot on even though I finished the game with about 30 lives, and while it personally irritates my completionism a lot that I probably missed about a third of the game's secrets it definitely seems like the game would be fairly beatable passing up every one (though I also feel like you'd have to do that intentionally considering how some secrets are telegraphed or even just placed).
Before I forget, the workshop level selection doesn't seem to serve much purpose if you can't go back to levels you've already beat and can't jump around to levels that aren't directly next. If there's no choice in the matter, save the level blip art for the loading screen and/or the single stage selector and just let me get to the action faster; there has to be a better way to deliver "this level is coming up" than having to poke a menu before you can go (the teleporter is already fairly out of the way of the other shop elements so it's not even like accidentally entering is a big hazard, though I get you want to make it clear that that leaves the workshop).
Actually, on the topic of the single stage selector, it just dumps you in with whatever your current run has equipped. If you don't want to add any stop-ups to fast entry and play, you should probably make play outside of a campaign extremely standardized i.e. if I just started a new game, I can still select the final boss stage for single stage play and give him a what-for with more than just the knife and the axe. The other option would be to open the single stages to your game's pretty expressive system of upgrades (maybe based on what the player has already experienced equipment- and skill-wise to match the single stages being pickable based on what has been experienced), but what you have at this particular instant seems to be a bit sketchy.
Last, a couple not-so-glaring bugs. The BFG ammo didn't seem to be capping properly; I could have a normal maximum of 10, use 1, and pick up a large ammo for a total of 13 (and remain unable to collect ammo again until at 9 or less). Additionally, after completing a playthrough, I started a new game immediately, and lo and behold because the game (rightly so) detected that I had failed to retrieve my autoturret before leaving the last stage (technically true!), it gave me a minigun in the next one... to fight bats with. Which worked because the loot drops gave me SMG ammo. Heh.
Again, this game is so much of everything I like and forgoes so many of the things I do not, while still challenging my expectations and keeping me from being completely and placidly comfortable. I deeply appreciate your hard work.
Post edited October 21, 2018 by AcidLead