Having played the latest version of parpg I've gotten a pretty good idea of where things are going - and I can see there is still plenty of room for improvement.
The current in-game camera is (IMO) pretty annoying and detracts from the game. When moving around the map you are limited to the area of the map that you can see, you can explore further around the map but your character will go off-screen and the camera wont follow them - you have to use the mouse to pan along the map if you want to see the rest of it.
That's me (Player Character [PC]) on the map:
Now I've clicked to go to a different area of the map:
Notice how the only thing on the map that has changed is where the PC is on the map. Sure, it makes sense that the buildings and things don't move. But it would be good if the camera was fixed relative to the PC so that as I move, so does the camera allowing me to see more of the map as I move. Instead, this happens:
Where am I? I'm back where I was in the last screenshot. Somewhere far off to the right. I was about to move up a little bit but when I went to click an arrow appeared and moved the camera in the general direction of the mouse (Top left). This time the camera moved, but my character didn't.
I think this is a major gameplay problem concerning player movement. It would be a more enjoyable game if the camera moved relative to the character. I hope those screenshots have helped me convey why. Also, sorry for being so critical.
If you have no intention of changing the camera, or you want to keep it as an option for the game, I think having a shortcut to centre you (The player) back onto your player character would be handy. Otherwise it's a bit annoying when this happens:
In the above image, the camera has scrolled really far away from the map altogether - which coincidentally is where the PC is located. This happened to me when I was first giving this game ago, the camera scrolled really far off while I was taking a look at the item/carrying menu. It took me a bit to figure out what had happened. I thought the game had stuffed up and all the graphics had disappeared. After figuring out the camera had simply panned finding my character wasn't too
much effort, but it would have been easier if I could press something like "Ctrl F" and find myself centred on my character once again.
So yeah. A fixed camera would be a really, really nice addition. Please?
The menu at the moment is pretty basic, but I like the basic idea behind it:
I've seen the mockups on the blog: http://blog.parpg.net/2011/02/notebook-inventory-character-creationview-mockups/
How is the implementation of this coming along?
It's still too early for me to make many solid opinions on this part of the game because I haven't really had any need to use the menus much beyond holding a package for the as-yet to exist Pekko - who according to the wiki is actually dead.
(No wonder I never found him!).
I think it would be nice if there was a shortcut key for bringing up this menu instead of having to click the bag button. Maybe just press "Tab" or something, but keep the option to click as well.
It would be cool if I could equip things like armour, clothing, weapons, etc by dragging and dropping them on the avatar in the items screen.
How long will it take to make it bigger and add things like a desolate waste land, woods to explore (Full of mutated pine-trees?), rivers to cross, caves to explore, mutants to kill, animals to hunt?