I like space themed games, especially those featuring space battles. What I see in the videos looks technically competent and you have a solid foundation.
I believe I see what appears to be am lacking "playability": what is the quirks and uniqueness of the game and mechanics? Currently you send ships out that line up and fire away until they or the opponents are gone, which seems a bit tactically dry.
Keeping with the slow-paced nature of the game, tactically your job is to control the circumstances of combat before it begins. Heavies should run out to the front and take damage because their armor will soak up most of it, while missile or artillery frigates fire from behind. Lights have the easiest time either quickly reacting to enemy movements or flanking enemy formations : it is totally not obvious, but there is a damage bonus when attacking from the side or behind. As the battle continues, you might observe the morale and health of your squadrons and withdraw ones that have taken too many hits or are about to rout.
The gameplay is lacking right now because the AI doesn't currently think in any of these terms: it just keeps making ships and throws the at you. I also need to tune the systems a bit more so that the advantages of using unit A over unit B are more obvious.
It seems to suffer from the 2D in 3D syndrome, where you have a 3D space but everything still seems to happen on a 2D plane. Is this to make the interface easier for the operator?
It makes things easier, but it's a bit of a symptom of two things conflicting:
*Retro 3D : I like this art style and have gotten pretty decent at executing it.
*Minimalism : only add elements when they add interesting choices. I don't feel like the third dimension adds a lot to the gameplay either in HMRSA or Homeworld, so I will keep it out until I can think of an interesting use for it.
The current plan is to limit the 3D into three planes: above, below, and in the middle, but even with the simplified structure I'm not sure how I want to use it.
From the videos it seems to be difficult to have a large overview of the scene, and there seems to be a need to zoom back and forth quite a bit.
The minimap is pretty lacking right now. When you bring it up, you will not only get a map (which I should probably go ahead and do in 3D as well, so it matches the camera perspective) but interface that will let you select any unit you own or any outpost you have captured. The objective of the interface is to allow you to make any kind of gameplay action without moving the camera. Sins of a Solar Empire is my source of inspiration here, because they've done such a good job with the interface.
Though the visuals are highly stylised and your own, particularly in the last screenshot, it still seems very information-sparse. I would also like some more zest to the presentation by particle and light effects to emphasise the drama and scale of the space confrontations.
I'm curious what other information you're looking for, maybe tooltips to tell you what things mean and what's going on? UnityGUI is not the greatest at easily providing a rich GUI, hopefully something that will be fixed in 3.5 but might force me to create my own or use a community-made GUI library.
There could be more particles, and a lot of the more interesting visuals (exploding ships, muzzle fire, etc.) aren't implemented yet. The one set of particles I'm looking to implement soon are ones that will fire if you are causing extra damage from flanking, or are using weapons that penetrate armor when hitting armored targets. Hopefully this will make these systems more obvious and accessible. You can notice now but it's quite subtle: your battleships seem a lot less invincible when they've been hit by a few volleys of artillery fire.
Thanks for the feedback.
Thanks for the advice! The skyboxes are indeed one of the things that doesn't fit so well and which I haven't bothered with too much.