Dear DD Team!
Please consider this open letter as constructive criticism of a former fanboy. I found this game by watching "WTF is..." from totalbiscuit (youtube).
I really loved your game, after playtesting it for several hours I bought it because I deemed it worthy of support.
However, I liked the downloadable beta much more than the current version, which makes me wonder if you don't try to put too much change or options into that game.
From a designer's point of view I'd say that many people love DD because it's easy to play without much preparation, and that's exactly what you're taking away from this game atm.
I do understand the need for longterm-motivation and it's great that you're really trying to make use of the community's input and ideas to make the game enjoyable, but the direction the development is taking the game makes it, in my eyes, less perfect.
- The weird right/left clicking through a bunch of options combined with the hidden "Adventuring"-button is a bad design choice, but I think that will be fixed anyway.
-Taking items out of a dungeon and reusing them adds unnecessary complexity to the game but does not add enjoyment. Same is true for other options, like an insurance, etc.
-With the downloadable beta it took me 3 clicks to start playing the game, I didn't get the feeling I was unprepared nor have I needed additional help to master the dungeon. It looked bad, but from a designer's perspective it was great!
- A visual cue on a player's game progress (village) is always a good idea, but only if you know the total progress of the game (has already been posted in this forum). Also, if the visual progress adds so many functions to it, it doesn't feel like a hidden progress bar, but as a developer's tool to fill the screen with options.
- I miss the motivation to run through every dungeon with every character or at least, play some character's at all. If there is no reward (like the additional pile of gold for every 2 classes that master the dungeon, which was innovative and motivating) this could at least be done by visualizing the dungeon with pictures of the classes that have mastered the respective dungeon. And/Or tell the player, how often he succeeded with a certain dungeon (Like in Majesty, which had a very cleverly designed map. Not Majesty 2, mind you!)
- A minor issue: Poisonous manaburn plants that cannot be burned and give you no reward, not even XP are just an annoyance rather than a fun way to play around, as they just hamper a player's movement. My judgment here may be a personal bias rather than profound design criticism
- The dialogues are awesome, keep doing those! If you start taking yourself too seriously, the game will lose some of its appeal.
In short: I'd rather you scrapped most of the stuff that adds complexity. Don't try to make it a "real" game too much. Remember, you started this with the idea of a 10-minute-dungeon run.
Wish you a lot of success with your game, I'll be looking into it again when it's finished and be playing the downloadable beta in the meantime