However I did play through v. 0.012 and after a few months of missing out the progress you guys have made is astounding! First the good: I noticed right away the new starting menu and it makes the game feel so much more...well, like an actual game; very professional. I also noticed at the start the addition of the sky above and the ocean below, which is beautiful and makes it feel more like a real world.
Also the enemy robots look a lot cooler in that their eyes seem brighter; more beady and sinister and that definitely adds to the feeling that they are dangerous right off the bat. While I'm on the subject, I noticed that the enemy robots cause damage on destruction and I think that is an excellent addition to the combat mechanic. Up until now the rocket jump hasn't been very useful, but now I have to use it all the time to avoid damage; perfect! Furthermore, another thing that allows you to be more strategic in your fights was how the explosion would damage other enemy robots, and that's awesome!
In the pendant room I couldn't help but notice that the pillar puzzle was missing. I must confess that I did find it a little too easy, since all you had to do was pull each lever once. However at the same time I can't help but feel like the absence of a puzzle here does not prepare the player to deal with more of them later in the game, nor does it project the impression that the pendant is valuable and critical for the queen to stay in power. At the same time though, this is the period in the game where the player is just getting the hang of things and you could say it's better for them to have as few distractions as possible.
All the way back in v 0.010 I noticed that the music for the first meeting between the girl and the robot was kept the same as in v 0.009, and I had something important I wanted to say about that. During the course of playing v 0.010 a couple of times I found that music starting to grow on me; it didn't sound sad anymore but heartfelt and tender, and this told me something interesting about my impressions. As a tester, I'm inclined to compare new versions of the game to the ones I've already played, rather than looking at the new version as a whole and without such bias as a brand new player would, so that's something to keep that in mind when you're reading my opinions.
In v. 0.010 I noticed the new signs in the town and the awesome new enemy, the silver robot. But I must state that I had a little trouble my first time around with the puzzle to let me through the gate to fight him. At first I tried to shoot the silver robot through the hole and not the flipper to open the door, and I suspect new players would have the same problem; but at the same time that's part of the fun of solving the puzzles, as I quickly found out in the red-circuit puzzles. That level was awesome, but at the same time I felt a little unprepared for this one; none of the other puzzles leading up to this one were quite this complicated, that is, the complexity of the puzzles didn't seem to increase gradually to this point, but at the same time, it doesn't necessarily have to. The one that really had me stumped for a long time was the puzzle with the one with the two barred doors that you had to shoot the flipper to open. First I couldn't tell I could hit the flipper from the side, and second it took me some time to figure out how to get the robot all the way through and still open the door on the far side of the room. Even now, I'd have a hard time remembering how to do it again. It was therefore a humorously ironic twist when, in the big fight with robots coming out of the walls, that there was a bypass to that puzzle completely! That fight was great! First it makes you go back half way, then the girl has to do some quick thinking and fighting with the giant crusher, then the gold robot has to fight his way back to protect her! That was epic! That series of catacombs was also great in the fact that you got to see the backstory of the game as you went along; no text or dialogue, just like you wanted. On the one hand it seems a little blatant like you're telling the whole story at once, but I suppose it's as good a place as any. Maybe the mystery can be made to last longer if the paintings are a little more spread out through the game.
There was only one major problem I had with this version of the game, and it might just be a problem with my own computer. Everything got slowed way down, and it slowed down more at different places and under different conditions, like if I was outside or if there were a lot of enemies around, but it wasn't completely consistent. The only way I was able to play it was on fastest graphics settings but it was still pretty slow. I'll try to make a play-through video so you can see exactly what spots had the most slow-down and which spots were fine. The lag was so extreme that it interfered with the sound effects, causing them to go out of sync with the animations, the most extreme example being the first meeting cut scene where you would hear the robot kneel or the pendant activate long before you see it. The elevator and enemy destruction sound effects had similar problems.
There were only two small graphics issues I found, the first being a black line down the center of the girl's face when viewed from the robot's perspective, and some floating houses in the background near the bell tower, which also didn't seem to make a sound when I pulled the string; I figured that's coming later. Also, not as much of a graphics problem as an aesthetic observation, some of the grass and plants on the ground have a funny "Easter egg" color to them that makes the scene look less realistic; I think darkening up their color like the trees would help with that.
I didn't have a lot of other issues with the gameplay but I would like to point out how, in the town when the girl is on top of the little tower of gold blocks, I can see way up under her skirt from the robot's perspective; makes me really uncomfortable but I'm not sure if it's something that can be helped. ):}_ Also there were a few times when I was able to kill enemy robots from a distance without them raising their shields, making their defeat easy and I'm not sure if that's what you wanted or not.
The last thing I can think of is that I loved the little church. I checked out the backer's tombstones and there was a little red "batman" thing behind one of them; I'm not sure whether you are going to keep that there or not; it doesn't seem to be something I can interact with. Also, I noticed that some of the stones weren't filled in yet. I think I was one of the backers that was supposed to be able to do that, but I'm not really sure if or how, so let me know.
You guys are doing a phenomenal job! Keep it up! I can't wait to see how this ends.