Feedback after 20+ hours
I've put 23 hours into this game according to Steam. I've done numerous restarts and I've escaped twice. The game is good fun. Here are some thoughts and feedback from me.
The hatchet desperately needs some tweaking. I think it should be a one-hit kill on hunters. Getting into melee range on a hunter is incredibly risky, especially since he's usually got buddies with him. When hit with the hatchet, bots go into their retreat mode, backpedaling away for 50 meters or so. As far as I can tell, while they're doing this they are immune to further hits from the hatchet, whether that's by design or simply because they're always just out of range (the hatchet is also very clunky to wield) due to backpedaling. Either way, it makes the hatchet functionally useless. I don't even bother picking them up anymore.
The squire/mayor (heard him called both and don't know which is the official term) also needs some revamping. The idea of a hulk who guards the little hamlets, forcing you to sneak through them if you want to loot anything, is great. The problem is after the early game the hamlets are nearly always cammped by hunters, who themselves necessitate sneaking, making the squire's presence pretty much irrelevant.
Balloons. I think they're one of the brilliant little touches this game has. I absolutely loathe them, but in a good way. It's not that they're hard to avoid -- they're really not. It's that they're basically floating area denial weapons who's movements cannot be predicted. Give the bot up top a rifle so he can plink at us, and let us shoot out his searchlight, forcing him out of action for a minute or two while he repairs it. I'd waste large amounts of rifle ammo on this purely for spite.
Speaking of ammo, it doesn't seem to stack in inventory, which means when I unload that rifle I found that has one shot in it, I've now given up a 2x1 inventory space for a single round of ammo. Please allow us to stack ammo until we've got full stacks of 6/2/10.
I feel like the little wooded copses on the islands often don't give enough cover for how much underbrush is present. From a distance they seem like they'd be ideal places to hide out, but once you're in one it's challenging to find a spot that makes you good and hidden, much less one with a usable vantage point.
On the technical side of things the game runs like a peach and I haven't had any crashes or anything like that. The only hiccup I've seen is that when I escape and the victory screen with the stat tally pops up my mouse cursor is restricted to a very small area, small enough that I can't actually click the button at the bottom to end the game. I have to alt-tab out and kill the task. Aside from that only tech problem is some texture flickering here and there, mostly on rocks. But not surprised by that, considering the alpha state and all.
An item suggestion: a trowel. One use, should probably be quite rare, allows us to dig a hole that we can use as a stash. Preferably one the bots won't notice. I've taken to stashing device pieces in houses somewhat near the boats and more than once I've come back to get them only to find hunters camping the place. I'm not sure if that was just the luck of the draw or if the hunters noticed I was putting loot there and decided to hang out, but if it was the latter it was brilliant move on your part and seriously inconvenient.
A later development suggestion: a perk system of some kind would be neat. Maybe one perk point per 5 device pieces recovered, or one per piece with varying costs. Something like that. I can think of a million little things that could be perks. Slower vitality drain, faster reloading or guaranteeing a full reload, bleeding stopping when you hit one health instead of killing you, making the smoke from device pieces more visible or a different color (the white plumes can be hard to see against the white foggy background, turning it royal purple or something would be aces). Little stuff like that.
Last but not least, I just want to say that I find this game very relaxing. I'm not sure if you're going to take that as a compliment or if you're going to be horrified. But it's true. Skulking around watching bots through binoculars and planning my next move is very relaxing.
Thanks for making this game and thanks for reading all this. Greatly looking forward to seeing whats coming down the pipe.