So first off, this seem like an cool concept, and I wish I could give a higher score, but there's still a lot of actual content missing, and i score based on what's uploaded, not what it could be! But that will come!
Ideas / Food for thoughts of what I'm seeing from your demo.
So the big one. I think your game is going to go in one of two major directions. Either cards are going to be equipment / spells that scale as the game goes up (like most rogue-like games), OR I only have the cards i have in hand to work with. Going rogue-like makes for longer games, going with a limited hand makes for faster games. So it depends on what kind of game you're working with.
It feels like this game wants 2 modes right off the bat. A hardcore/realtime mode, with the enemies coming, and you have to actually work with your timing and pick the cards realtime. I think this mode needs a lot more thought to play out, but could be really unique as long as the odds aren't constantly stacked again you. A lot of successful rogue-likes utilize level-up / skill-up systems so that your deaths aren't entirely meaningless, and the more the play the stronger you get. Some rogue-likes just aren't very fun because the luck curve is too great.
The 2nd mode is a casual mode, same premise as the hardcore mode, except that when enemies come on screen, they stop immediately, allowing the player to chose a card, once the card is selected, the game continues with said action.
Intermissions/time to upgrade. Again it comes to scaling. How do players get buffs. Here a couple different ideas.
- Upgrades via deaths/time played
- Upgrades at set intervals that establish levels
- Upgrades via cards from defeated enemies
- Gameplay gives tokens used to buy more cards for your deck, or skills, or unlocked additional effects (I put this here, but this is basically the formula for pay to win games).
- Depending how you use the cards, players need some way to process everything, right?
1) Right now shoot feels useless, I never have more than 1, and it almost guarantees i'll take damage. When i have 2 though and it goes though all enemies on screen, it feels great.
2) Having a deck shuffle animation is fine, except that I can be caught with no cards, mid shuffle with enemies on screen and no way to attack or defend. This animation probably needs to happen much faster, and enemies shouldn't spawn while I'm shuffling, or at least they spawn on screen and wait, or something.
3) The current draw system is draw 5 + draw 5, these leaves awkward situations. As is, at least when an enemy I should probably get a card draw up to a cap. This gives me some wiggle room for choices, and lets me build up stores of say shoot to spam at my leisure instead of being stuck with 1 and taking lots of damage with no kills.
4) Shields need a timer
Specific Ideas that I think will be easier to program, but still lets players have extended games
1) When using a card, the animation could briefly slow down game time
2) You have your base deck of offensive defensive spells, but enemies still drop look like normal loot, like in rogue-like games. These items add spells, shields, heal, magic damage and points to your current pool, this way, you could have a sort of base set of cards, but then natural progression through the game still allows the players to bulk-up without actually having to change their deck. (Cards could evolve graphically when the player reaches certain stats to help keep the game from feeling monotonous). Dagger Stab -> Dagger Thrust - > Dagger Slash - > Cutlass Stab -> Cutlass Thrust -> Cutlass Slash -> You get where I'm going with this, and if could even correspond with the name of the weapon currently equipped. But this formula could be applied for all the base cards.
3) This introduces the idea of being able to have different characters, each character has 75% the same identical base deck, with just 1 or 2 cards different to that character.
4) You get items from enemies, but you also get XP. Leveling up (In just that game instance) could unlock duplicates of cards you have, more slots, more max cards, bigger spells.
5) possibly an autosave, or save features at certain intervals I've played rogue-likes for hours sometimes. I think the base structure I'm proposing of per-game items to let the player scale, might allow for some pretty long runs, and well, people have to poop, lol.
6) bosses at set intervals with specific mechanics (in hardcore mode, they could either stop for boss fights, or the bosses just keeps reappearing over and over like they are taking an action then charging.
7) The sketch like has a really interesting quality. Maybe as you develop the sprites and visuals, you keep a sketch version of everything, so we can play the game with full-on graphics, or in sketch mode! if you go tablet and google play store, that could be a donor unlock, if you go steam, it could just be a milestone unlock.
8) I've got a ton of ideas for this since I play a lot of rogue-likes. :) And I hope that you're going to make this browser & tablet friendly.