Thank you for that video, it was very informative and gave me a window into how a new player would approach the game and the hurdles they might face trying to figure out the game's more difficult to explain mechanics.
I've played through the demo so many times and am so connected with what the game expects from me that I kept thinking while watching your playthrough "Why isn't he bouncing off projectiles to create shortcuts?" Then it dawns on me, why would he know that stuff? Ha.
I think I'm going to create a "How to play" tutorial level and make it accessible from the main menu in the final build. I'm pretty anti-tutorial but it really doesn't make sense to just leave new players completely in the dark, and a playable separate area that explains the basics would probably be a big help to new players.
As for the difficulty, the Demo is actually quite a bit harder than the final game, I'm not trying to make a super meat boy type experience. Things will be more forgiving (at least in the first level, which the Demo represents) in the final build. Also, the Demo is almost a year old now, and there have been a lot of tweaks to the raw mechanics in the player's favour.
On checkpoints; I have never actually played Ori, and when I came up with the idea for dropping your own checkpoints I thought "Boy I sure am smart, no ones thought of this yet!". Little did I know, it had been done. Oh well. : )
The intention is quite different though. I don't like the idea of inching through a level, not worrying about dying because you'll just respawn very close by. I want you to feel like you're drowning, always keeping an eye on the bottom right, hoping for the flash of the checkpoint indicator to bring you sweet reprieve, and when it does it's like a gasp of air and you can relax... but NO, now you have a choice to make, where to pop the checkpoint, where is safe, what is safe, can you ever really be safe?
And now you've waited too long and a projectile has hit you and you've lost all progress, or The Wanly eats your checkpoint and chooses for you where the checkpoint spawns, like life, if you don't make decisions in life, life makes them for you.
The Wanly is life, or death, or something, it's a metaphor for something. Maybe.
...Anywhoo, thanks for the input
When you boot up the final build you'll be greeted with this screen.
So yeah, Gamepad is defiantly the expected interface for the game. I wouldn't even know how to make a twitchy, tense, 2D platformer work well with keyboard controls, they're kind of a token control option in the game. Everything was optimized and built around a Gamepad being the controller.