That's the problem, those statements don't mean anything, and anybody who has years of experience designing games is aware of this.
In a nutshell, this is more of an "atmospheric interactive experience" than a full "game"
It's not, though. That's like standing outside of a house, and saying that the house has nothing in it before you walk inside. The other dozens of people who have reviewed the game have given explicit descriptions of their gaming experience. For example, you say...
because there is no sense of progression, no goal to work towards, no winning or losing.
But that's no different than saying, "there's no coins, there's no double-jumping!" So what? Those just aren't things IN this game. When you go outside for a bike ride, do you expect to win or lose? No, you just want to get excercise, enjoy the wind in your hair, watch the sun set, and hope you don't accidentally crash and kill yourself.
Look at it this way: you win if you get to the end and enjoy the experience of getting there. You lose if you don't feel anything when you play the game. Just because the game doesn't explicitly spoon-feed it to you doesn't mean it's not there. And sense of progression? Here are a couple quotes from reviews of the game:
The pacing, in my opinion, is perfect: slow and contemplative to start, it gradually speeds up, and introduces in stages the myriad details that make the game shine.
The beacon will occasionally take a branching path that is out of your reach, and you would have to rely on the light from blue and red crystals just as often to progress.
his interesting concept gives way for some really neat ideas (too many for me to go through), while Chevy gradually increases the challenge waiting in every level.
he difficulty was perfect for me - just as an area started to get frustrating, I'd beat it.
Very nice mood and polish. I love the graphics, and the gameplay is progressively more and more difficult. i haven't played to the end at the moment, but i did get pretty far.
How can one deny, after reading all those comments (many written by seasoned game developers and reviewers), that a sense progression does not exist in this game? I'm forced to disregard such statements because of their contradictive nature, and assume that the people saying them merely, to continue the metaphor, didn't "go in the house". If you didn't feel these things, you most likely just didn't play the game, you merely scratched the surface and are formulating an unfounded response. Judging a book by its cover, so to speak.
I'm very glad you enjoyed the game, especially the aspects that I pushed the hardest. But it is naive to break the definition of "game" down into a distinct set of qualities, and judge every game based on those qualities in respect to all other games. Rating systems like the YoYo one are primitive and amateurish in this way, which most likely has a lot to do with the amount of clones, reproductions, and generally uninspired games in this community.
just that the majority out there expect "more" & with what you`ve given looking & feeling so damn nice
You're definitely wrong here. You say majority, but realize that Yoyo games does not represent the majority. In fact, I had barely even received a single bad word about Beacon until I came here, which is why I've been rather disappointed so far. The Game Maker Community doesn't have to encourage innovation or anything, but judging creations so intensely with a grading system far
outside the game's representative design? It's like punishing people for trying new things, instead of giving them helpful and creative feedback, or simply opening your mind a bit when you play a game.
I'm not arguing to defend myself or my game, I'm arguing because if you honestly believe those things about Beacon, you're most likely digging yourself a hole as far as your own creations and interpretations of games go. Beacon was my largest success by far over the internet, and has earned me more praise than anything else I've made to date, and I'm arguing because to simply refuse
to see and believe the aspects of Beacon that got it such an overwhelming response is just denying yourself a possible chance at the same thing in the future.
I've been designing games for years
now, and I know exactly where Beacon has faults, and how it can be improved as a game. And it is not because it is not a "game" (a naive and silly thing to even say, this is about as intellectually stimulating as Kongregate comments...), and it is not because it lacks "gameplay" or "fun". Those sentences don't even mean anything, those are just YoYo Games categories that can represent a myriad of different things based on the game and audience, and should be considered on a case-to-case basis. Don't ask whether or not "Beacon has gameplay", ask yourself "What is Beacon's gameplay, and where does it lie? What are its merits, and what are its faults?"
I'm no professional game designer, but I know that if you want to make something that reaches out to people beyond this community, expanding the way you think about games and thinking more deeply when making design decisions is an excellent place to start. If you guys were just gamers, I wouldn't be writing all of this, but you're all potential game developers, and some of you have promise I don't want to see wasted.