Really cool to see you oldtimers are still around!
If you're perhaps not planning some kind of stealth (using the binary crouch system you currently have), I'd suggest trying out a similar system to Exanima's - an "analog" crouch where tapping and holding the button makes a difference in how much you crouch.
I absolutely love it in E. as it allows for some fun emergent gameplay. You can duck and evade, it allows you to change attack height/level unexpectedly, and it also adds a bit of velocity and therefore power to overhead attacks.
Also if you already have some kind of attack debug visualization, it'd be cool if players could toggle it on. (like Warband has those arrows showing which side the opponent is attacking from, I would love to see how the game determines which of the four directions I'm trying to attack from. Deadzones and all that. I'm still having trouble to do that reliably.)
Appreciate you giving the game a go and the feedback.
We're both fans of the Exanima combat system and the crouching mechanic definitely adds emergent gameplay there with all the elements you described. Making the crouch "analog" isn't an issue, but we also implemented a dodge (SpaceBar) that has you duck under or lean away from incoming attacks. Stealth is something we're still undecided on, but very interested in exploring (e.g. for ambush scenarios).
In trying to model a relatively realistic combat system we decided to put footwork at the basis of all moves. This means that whenever an attack is initiated, the upper body and lower body animations are paired and played on top of each other. So any attack can be paired with any kind of footwork - and this is where we want most of the emergence to come from. For instance, you can take a small step forward, or a big lunge (if you hold shift and the direction).
We have an attack debug visualization and will include it in the options menu in an upcoming patch that gives you some minor options including your suggestions.
I would be careful moving to Steam anytime soon, and risking poor reviews.
It's very rough, and I'm having difficulty understanding the combat - but loving how the character falls
We're not going on Steam anytime soon for that reason.
Combat currently takes a bit of time to get the hang of, but it'll be improved upon and made more accessible going forward. Would a tutorial be of help here?
I posted a gameplay change suggestion onto your forum. Pls send your thoughts/replies.
I'll be replying there!
Thanks everyone for the support and feedback, it's been awesome!