Hi there, guys,
I'm sorry to have been away for as long as I have, but there's been a lot going on. It doesn't bear getting really deeply into right here and now, but suffice to say that it involved a torn tendon in my thumb and a house move or three, which I've mostly gotten past. Regarding Airik the Cleric, I have a few things to say.
First and foremost, I really commend the creator(s) of this game for what they've got so far. This game definitely has a lot of promise and, while you can tell it doesn't take itself particularly seriously (as demonstrated by the banter between Airik and Scout), it's still great fun to play. The first time I tried playing I had some trouble finding all fifteen crystals, but the second time I got luckier and found a pair I hadn't seen on the last playthrough. The boss is nice and predictable, overall..not hard, not wickedly easy. I will love it when you're able to explore other places besides just this one cave; after all, the power-cube door is not yet unlocked and I'm really curious as to what's through there. People shouldn't really be complaining about the sound effects; no, they're not going to blow someone away, but they'll definitely do what's needed, and then some. If they're touched up later on, so much the better, but I think the important thing for a demo to establish at this point is mechanics, not perfection.
A few small points of critique I'd like to make, however. First of all, I'm not sure how much I enjoy not knowing where items are. Most of them so far have been -fairly easy to track down, but a couple were a little off the beaten path. It would be nice if there was some sort of audible marker (either voice feedback or just a gentle tone of some kind) to denote an item's location. It doesn't need to be accurate (no sense giving us absolutely every piece of info unless some items are going to be dangerous), but still. I was just a touch frustrated hunting for sky crystals in the cave. Next, contenuity. I wish the game would remember where things are. For instance, when I tried to go back to the temple whilst crystal-seeking, I was hitting a stone wall despite the "look" feature specifically telling me there was a temple. I also noticed that even though there was supposedly a group of market people to the north, I could in no way interact with them. The guards fall into this area as well; it strikes me that once you have permission from them, you shouldn't be bothered anymore unless new conditions arise. I'm sure this will be ironed out, however, it's just something I mentioned.
Those are really the only two issues I have with the game. Obviously I will be hoping for slightly deeper sounds and natural speech one day, but if I don't get either I still think the game might be worth playing, particularly if there are a whole slew of areas. I'd love to be able to play a game like this for literally hours before finishing and, for myself at least, I like the notion of a slightly darker game with similar mechanics. The price you've quoted on your website is more than reasonable, and if not for the fact that I don't know how big a difference there'll be between the demo and the main version, I would probably pounce immediately.
As regards active vs. turn-based combat, the game does seem to lend itself to active combat, and I think that would probably be easier with your current engine. I do like turn-based combat more, by and large, but it would probably require some sort of overhaul. Whichever system you use, you'll be able to make it work. For what it's worth, if you -can do good turn-based combat, that's my vote; if you can't, or if it's just a pipe dream, go with the safer real-time combat and let that be that.
I hope that what I've said here has helped in some small way. I have many years of experience with audio games in general, and like to think of myself as both tough-minded and fair. Please try to disregard some of the harsher things earlier posters have said...some people have zero appreciation for the hard work that goes into making a game, and miss the point of releasing a demo in the bargain, so I hope you aren't put down by some of the results you've gotten.
As a side-note, folks, I have a laptop now and it runs Windows 7. I want to lend my voice to games if I can, but I don't know how. If there are any of you out there with voice talent experience, please send me a private message explaining what the process is, how it works and all that jazz. I'm fairly good with computers, but this angle is one I've never touched before. Thanks.