> Another thing that we need to stress is depth.
Agree. I'd like to compare this game to Dwarf Fortress. In Dwarf Fortress, there are multiple ways to solve a problem like a seige. For example, you can go old fashioned, just a simple drawbridge, you can go through a trap hallway, or you could go large and make a drowning chamber, or a minecart shotgun, or even a magma drop.
> There also has to be a good tutorial
This I don't really agree with. I think there should be an in-game text-only help manual you can leaf through with some basic programs offered in game to get you going on the D-CPU. I feel this fits in more with the 1980s era computers like the C64, where you had a programming manual, some basic tutorials, and that was it. Bonus points if you set up an in game BBS-like system where people can post code snippets. This doesn't have to fit in with the game's cannon, but I think that would be pretty damn cool to access it from the in game monitor, as opposed to getting a "move forward by pushing W" hand-holding tutorial. especially if we're given a command prompt like the apple2's PRODOS, or commodore BASIC.
Would this alienate some of the less hardcore potential players, yeah, probably. but the ones that seem to be interested in this seem to be mostly interested in the flight, programming, and exploration aspect, and far less casual gamers. Plus if there are so many Let's Play games of Dwarf Fortress, Aurora, and games that aren't "easy" to get into, that means that there is probably a market for a game like that.
Something that I feel is needed to focus on right now, is developing the computer control and the associated UI to control it from within the game. Once the devs have that part done, that would give us as players enough to tool with to keep our interest as a pre-alpha.