Hey Alex, we exchanged a couple messages before. I work with Forgotten Empires, the team that put together Age of Empires: Definitive Edition. I am glad to be an early supporter of Neolithic because the game you are putting together has a ton of promise. I have a strong interest in early Near Eastern civilizations so I want Neolithic to be as successful as it can be.
I spent about a half hour playing and have some initial feedback. I had other commitments that prevented me from playing longer, but I hope to spend more time with the game soon. I have broken up by feedback based on topics. I am sure you are planning to address most of these in time, but I wanted to still put them out there. My focus was not on the game content but on the initial experience of using the interface and doing game actions (more a usability-focus).
Usability/Clarity: - No tooltips when scrolling over items/actions. I am sure this is something you will eventually add but just wanted to call it out that having to click a building or item in order to see what it is is obviously not ideal.
- No reason was given for 'red' implaceable objects being implaceable in many cases. I noticed sometimes red text would tell me the object had to be near water or a road, but the font tended to blend in with some of the terrain, making it illegible without moving the screen. Other times, no text appeared but simply the object was highlighted red.
User Actions: - It is really hard to select individual villagers, especially since they hang around buildings so it is easy to accidentally select buildings when you want to select the villagers. I noticed drag-clicking around them avoids selecting the building, but selecting individual villagers is still tough. Not sure if the selection box for villagers is just too small.
- Placing a building requires multiple clicks (click, click, drag, click, actually). Click building type, then click and drag it to a location, then confirm. This makes sense for roads and farms, but the extra steps are redundant for anything else. Most RTS's and city builder games instead use a simpler and more efficient system where you click the icon of the building you want to place and then click where you place it. For roads and farms, you hold down the left-mouse button and drag, letting go of the mouse button when you are finished. This is a much better system and the industry standard so I recommend you incorporate it.
- I could not add villagers to construct a building or farm after placement. For example, I sent one villager to build many farms. She apparently could only plant so many so there were wasted furrows. I attempted to select the other villagers and send them to act on the furrows, but they simply interpreted my command as a movement command rather than a directive for them to do something with the farms.
- Typo in Start Farming message "Don't forget to tell your peopl"
- In general, I recommend a more formal tone, including less use of contractions, in instructions. This is not a huge deal but if you want Neolithic to be seen as on par with other professional titles, and you evidently have the language skills as a native English speaker, go for the more formal tone. For example, rather than "While some of your people get the crops in" use something like "While some of your people collect crops." If you have a text file with all your language strings, I can help proofread and convert some of them to more formal English.
Again, I'll spend more time with Neolithic in the future and I am glad you are so open to receiving feedback and giving us an early opportunity to check out the game. It has a ton of promise and I look forward to seeing what else you have put together in further playthroughs. Thanks again.