Maybe you should download version 18.104.22.168, which introduced keyboard controls. Made a big difference to how much I enjoyed the game, and I liked it when it was just mouse control.
I did, and I experimented with mouse, button, and keypad controls for feedback. Either way, movement is choppy and every other bullet sails over the enemy's head when they are within 10 feet of the character. Croshaw needs to revamp how bullet trajectory is calculated in his game. I noticed an inconsistent delay between shots, and this was on a "fast" computer.
I hesitate to criticize the game for bland environments and crude character design because this is just a beta, but I really hope Croshaw hires someone to redesign them. The minimalist design with silhouette characters could work well but it needs to be revamped and expanded. Out of all the random dungeons I entered in the game (12+), one was a park, one was made of cinderblocks, and 10 were blank-slate office buildings. In each case, I encountered the same 3 monsters, 2 of which are Japanese horror archetypes and one visiting from Silent Hill. If there was another, it was not memorable enough to distinguish.
As for the writing, I'm really not sure how I'd talk if I was on a three day quest to save the world from an other-worldly horror while fighting demons. Plus, the character is writing, not talking. The way people express themselves in writing is usually different to how they would speak.
That's true, but to get right down to brass tacks, Ben Croshaw is a very one-dimensional character writer. I have read his work. Short stories on Fullyramblomatic.com, as well as excerpts from Mogworld and JAM! All his characters are singularly focused ("singularly focused"=/="determined") and there is an omnipresent, awkward tension between his characters at all times. His stories, even the short ones that flow well ("Mr. M and Mr. S" comes to mind), are ultimately grating. Writing fiction is very difficult, but nothing worth doing is easy and Ben Croshaw is the last person who deserves a "pass" for not improving his method.
I played Croshaw's game for nearly 2 hours, not just because I wanted to be thorough, but because I like the concept: A sci-fi noir where you utilize scarce resources to uncover clues to your enemy's nature (and consequentially the method of your salvation)--clues which change randomly to encourage logical reasoning. The death clock feature and how the towns/options change to reflect man's impending doom is meant to provide a sense of urgency. But even as the towns transformed and my character slowly went insane, I was bored.
Pointing and clicking at crude, lumbering 2D silhouettes isn't fun.
Most "encounters" (the narrator describes a random event he's stumbling upon) are nearly indistinguishable from each other.
There were no difficult puzzles to solve. Story completion revolved, intentionally or not, on clicking toe-tag monster silhouettes in virtually identical dungeons, over and over again, to stumble--RANDOMLY--across clues. The clues are used to solve a very boring type of logic puzzle (set theory?), maybe the only puzzle in the game.
I would recommend Croshaw consider doing three things:
(-) Remove silhouette-clicking as the focus of gameplay.
(+) MAKE branching narrative paths the focus of gameplay, a-la "Choose Your Own Adventure"
(...) As it stands right now, you click monsters until they die and the narrator describes fleeting events of little consequence to collect random clues. Flip it around. Make decision making in random but carefully constructed encounters paramount. ***Make those choices up the probability of more intricately designed encounters/dungeons appearing*** so that combat and level design is INTERESTING instead of repetitive.
(-) Downplay combat
(+) Implement puzzles
(...) As it stands right now, the game isn't fun. It's bland and repetitious nature doesn't hold attention well enough to get into the story because all your time is wasted clicking shadows and starting over. Make shooting/hacking-away less prevalent in moving the story forward. Make puzzle and mystery-solving more important in moving the story forward. Straight-up "logic puzzles" aren't fun for most people, avoid those. Make solving puzzles involve attention to detail in the narrative and the environments, and provide MEANINGFUL REWARDS for the player solving them (exp. points AND plot progression).
(-) Focus on writing the narrative(s)
(+) Recruit an artist
(...) Write those branching narratives, have someone else detail the characters and environments. Provide only the design concepts based on your narrative.