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A few days ago i purchased Astroneer and played it for the first time. It is indeed a little gem that i very much enjoyed playing. the inventory and resource management is quite unique and it works very well after getting used to it. 

there are a few points though where i see room for improvement:

  • Navigation: i found it's easy to get lost on longer journeys (with vehicles) and i think it would help to add a few tools to mitigate this, like GPS locator with satellites (need to launch one first) enabling a top down map view. and perhaps another beacon type that allows linking with others over large distances (like tethers) for underground with the ability to give them a name (or mark them in another way) such that one can connect to the beacon network and switch it to a mode where all beacons show the nearest way towards a searched beacon along the networks connections. 
  • Progression: its great to have a steady progression but i fond it to be a little too linear with little alternatives. especially early on i felt like there is only one way to progress leaving me not much options as what to do next. that is a little too restrictive. on the other hand once iron becomes available unlocking the chemical factory and shredder/trading post can be build is available suddenly everything becomes available at once. and at that point the sudden increase in material types of which most have no direct or a single blueprint using them only - it is spam to some extend.
  • Research: it's a nice feature but it's quickly over making the many samples having no use once everything is researched. and that is not intuitive because landing on new planets the research samples from there have sadly no further use. therefore i'd suggest to have additional "local" bytes about the location one the research station was build in. those could be used for geological surveys giving local biome for resource types (which would require resources placement, frequency and deposit size different through the various biomes), enabling use of special equipment to easier locate specified resources in the surveyed biome. some planets/biome should come with unique hazards and there should be "local" only blueprints that help against those hazards. researching special debris could also highlight (or spawn; could be completely buried) special wreckage with great loot.
  • Resources: resource acquisition is definitively a fun factor as it changes with progression but on the long term it could use more variety: for one resources in hard rock shouldn't be specific to the resource type only (like lithium) but rather depend on the biome & planet & biome - that way some resources could be placed in the starting location yet be unavailable/scarcely-available without higher tech. mining with dynamite should also be possible and even required for some resources to add to the mix: maybe this would produce large rocks that do not fit into the inventory and thus need a different transportation method. generally for some resources there could be different sources of how to get them: e.g. from two different minerals, one rare and through smelting, one more frequent but requires chem lab. another thing is deposit locations: as high mountain tops offer a little gameplay challenge to get up there some planets might contain some resources only there. 
  • Planets, Hazards & Oxygen: it is great to discover new planets but after being on most of them i find all planets are still quite similar (especially underground) apart from their look and resource distribution. it would definitively help to have more planet/biome specific hazards like on the Arid planet and it shouldn't be restricted to the surface. for example on a planet close to the sun daylight can be too hot to survive on the surface. in some caverns corrosive gasses might present an interesting hazard requiring special protection (and therefore more progression) - so atmospheric composition could perhaps differ between surface and caves? that said oxygen should be part of the atmosphere and O2 system should differ on each planet accordingly. on earthlike air filters should last infinity and be enough to breath on the surface, requiring tethers only for caves. then there should be different types of O2 production: air pumps (require oxygen in the air) and generators (even using resources?). note: currently there is also an exploit: a large platform provides oxygen and can be moved by via mouse effectively allowing for infinite wandering without tethers (and to transport a lot of stuff along, like large research samples and mounted storage. very powerful early on).
  • The winch: a great feature but not useful when it becomes available. gameplay would definitively be enriched if it could be better integrated. if there was a small variant that would be available around the same tech level as the small buggy it could be used to haul large research items. it could also see action against hazards: combined with some other lure item it could be used like a fishing rod against sandworms (who knows what valuables they might have eaten).
  • power generators: there should be an upgrade in the later game that makes them turn on an off depending in the needed energy, conserving resources. that would make them more useful and encourage me to build them.

i am very excited about February release and hope the game will be extended further on with DLC. actually i wish there was more stuff i could buy to support the game and its continued development further.

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