Just a short update: I have been working very hard to get a build ready to put in front of people. All of the late effort has been around bug fixes and balancing so that you can play the game for a reasonable amount of time (mind you there is still no win condition). I have also added some temporary tutorial / help text to guide players, until I figure out something more elegant for walking the players through the game. I am very close and will have something ready by the end of the coming week.
Mentally it’s been really taxing though. The game clearly has big problems. The main issue is a lack of clear progression. Too many things available to do from the get go and it can be quite daunting for a new player. There also needs to be a better way to reward the player for smaller bits of progress. In a typical run-through you won’t be cash flow positive for a long while and that can be quite discouraging.
The challenge I have right now is that I don’t want to sink a whole lot of time building a progression system, juiciness, and presentation, if the core game sucks. And I’m just too close to it now to be able to judge it properly. I need to get it in front of a few people and get feedback. I’ll be keeping this a closed alpha for the time being.