After getting the initial mechanics in place for the first alpha, I had a lot of fun just flying around trying not to crash. For about 5 minutes. Then I added an enemy ship to avoid, another 5 minutes of fun. Then I had it shoot at the player, plus five minutes of fun too. But the more I kept adding, the actual fun part for me began to stall, despite adding new enemies and so on.
Instead of revisiting the mechanics and rules I darted off into the wrong direction: Adding polish and getting lost in a non-important feature creep. While the thought of "diet RPG-mechanics" seemed enticing at first, it was just another attempt at finally making the game fun for more than five minutes. Plus the whole thing was too big for a solo pet-project anyway.
Recently I realized that I was trying my best to implement a skinner box without noticing it, trying to give rewards to the player for just enduring the sub-mar mechanics, much like Diablo III. And that's not what I want my games to be, not even my first one. I want the player to enjoy themselves while playing, to provide them a meaningful experience and not steal their time time by getting them hooked on some kind of "one more try"-cycle, fueled by a gameplay mechanism on top of a bland game. To me, that's not what I want to spend my time with making. I despise all the Farmvilles and Candy Crush Sagas and all the others that don’t want to engage with their players in a discussion rather take their time and money away from them.
So thank you all who were following my progress and played the darn thing for a couple of minutes. I am returning to the basics, trying to come up with something simpler and smaller. And something, that's actually more meaningful than an arcade shooter trying to get you addicted.
I'll put the last development version of the alpha up here and call the disaster "released".