Summary: It felt like the game has incredible potential and is an excellent rendering of D&D. As it stands, I would play it gladly: BUT I can foresee some things being problematic, which I will be adressing here.
A. THINGS TO MAINTAIN:
- Verticality: Of course, it goes without saying, since this is the main selling point of the game. It would have some minor fix (see below point #1), but overall it is a great success.
- D&D 5th ed: It is very well rendered. I've been playing D&D since AD&D 2nd ed. and played most of the game (or at least every generation of it) since the 90s and this is by far one of the best rendering of a D&D edition to date.
- Character Creation: We couldn't use them, but I created a full party and it felt good, easy and quick. I like the choices you made to give depth to characters and creation.
- UX: Everything was super clean and super easy to navigate. It's very rare that a game provide such amazing UX. I didn't read any of the tutorials (I'm that guy) and everything came naturally.
- Atmosphere: Everything felt very nice, if a little "boxy". It felt like a real dungeon.
B. THINGS TO IMPROVE: I decided to divide those by either (min) for minor, or (MAJ) for major with regards to my personal experience with the game. If pertinent, I give a suggestion. If not, it's either because I don't have any or the suggestion is too obvious.
- Camera (MAJ): Camera control in general was fuzzy, especially regarding verticality (clipping through walls and such). Fixed camera for zoom in/out doesn't help. When camera center on creatures for either their turn or "attack cinematic", it result in a lot of camera problems. Half the time I was just looking at a black screen because it was jammed through the walls.
- Suggestion: Have a zoom in/out function that's also automated, especially with non-controlled animation
- "Alt" (look) Function (min): You can see through walls with the "alt" function, so that you can see things you shouldn't be and also causing some confusion as to where you are standing in terms of the space.
- Suggestion: Restrict "alt" to a line of sight thing.
- Animation (min): Animation use of object, for example lighting the oil-fire, is not the right hand of the object.
- Tutorial Message (min): When you give tutorial message for particular item, I got them prior to actually opening the chest or getting the item, which felt weird.
- Torches (min): Torches were a nice touch, but they were kind of useless for two reasons: it's not dark enough and they don't light enough (especially in a open-area dungeon); and they don't really affected monsters (see below).
- Subpoint: Also how is Disadvantage applied with regards to light? It seems I always am at disadvantage with regards to spiders if they are not on the ground. Is light only affecting 2d plane?
- Party Composition (min): Is there a party limit of 4? Will it be possible to have hirelings? Because having a locked party of 4 but then having perma death (I have no problem with perma death) with no way of having new companions is begging for savescumming and reloading, which is never fun for anyone.
- UI (min): UI felt very drab. It is very functional and lean, and I know it's almost an industry standard to have a grey/blue-ish semi-transparent bland UI*, but it's exactly that: bland. I think this game would really get better with a design that's reminescent of a texture: rock, parchment, textile, etc. Even newer games like Kingdom Come Delivrance did it and it was very good. It helps creates better atmosphere and charm. *Witcher 3, Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty, Destiny, God of War, etc.
Also, more of a question since I know the goal of the demo was not to showcase level design or anything: will there be interesting level design with multiple paths to the objective ? By this I don't mean "climb this ladder or drop this block" in the same area: I mean, will we have access to different area and choices, with branching paths and loops, like in real D&D dungeons? One of the biggest opportunity with verticality in such a game is definitively that your dungeon can become interesting horizontally and vertically with regards to exploration. (I am refering here to "Jacquaying the dungeon" as it is commonly referred to)
Thank you very much for making this game, putting effort into and, and hopefully reading and considering what I have written.