I think I gave you the impression that I think there’s too much stuff in the game. That wasn’t my intention. Let me try again: I feel that I was overwhelmed by the following, happening all at once:
1 - No compass movement on a large environment (this was the biggest “offender”)
2 - Suddenly finding myself on a location (Crew Quarters) where I found mention of a lot of people, and their little characteristics that make them human. Understand that there were a lot of things to be examined in that room and that I didn’t examine them because I didn’t want to be bombarded with the little characteristics of people I had no idea existed yet.
3 - In a room, finding a description with lots of objects, and then a white line, and then “You can see a wardrobe” (surely you can find some better formatting). Then opening the wardrobe and seeing a box. Then opening a box and being bombarded with all those names, diferentiating small things in the box. Then, whenever I "look"ed, I would see “You can see a wardrobe (in which is a jewelry box (in which is X’s things, Y’s things, XY’s things, etc))” in the description.
4 - Having to navigate an unwieldy computer interface in the IF prompt.
1 - I think you should really consider allowing NSEW movement. Maybe make it toggleable. Maybe optional. Maybe integrate it somewhere, I don’t know. But it’s a huge drain on my mind, when I’d rather be focusing on the game, story and characters.
2 - You don’t have to change this, of course. It’s the crew’s quarters - it’s the best place to do exactly that. Maybe if I’d gone south instead of north when I started the game, I’d have seen the other cryo pods, and checked them out, and got little background information. In fact, if it weren’t for the non-compass movement, I’m sure I would have explored a bit more.
3 - Formatting needs a bit more work. As it is, the wardrobe stands out in such a way that it feels like it’s the only object you implemented. Considering it’s competing with a lot of scenery you can interact with (even if it is just examining), that’s unfortunate. And getting all those jewelry descriptions on the “look” description is also overwhelming. This is all just formatting. Maybe if these little things were taken care of, I wouldn’t mind all that jewelry so much, although my reaction might have remained the same: “Oh damn. Now I have to examine all of these.” I would suggest spreading them out a bit more, not having all that in a single location… but that’s only my suggestion, and of all of the suggestions I’m giving it’s the least important.
4 - It’s sometimes unclear how to use computers. For instance, it was a while before I realised that I could interact with the displays next to the cryo pods, looking up information in them. And it was still a while after THAT that I realised I could initiate procedures. Now, after all that, I’m already a bit thrown and not as receptive as I was when I first started the game. Then you throw at me a computer in which you bunch together lots of files, in a way that makes them as confusing as the jewelry box, and I don’t even know whether I should “click” the files’ name, “touch” them… “reading” the unlocked file in the computer gave me the same response as “examining” it, which was, in fact, the last straw before I stopped playing. I also think I had some difficulty accessing the “Shared” folder, but maybe that was just because I didn’t know the verb. There are many ways to walk around this problem, and I would suggest two - but there are more, naturally.
a) Seriously consider using menus for the computer interface.
b) If you want to make a VR environment, consider making it more VR. If you want the player to use the IF prompt and this feel as though he’s in an alternate reality, then have him walk around. One room for documents, for instance, another room for whatever.
The thing is, at the moment you have a strange mixture of “VR” and “desktop”. It doesn’t really work.
Other than that, you can go wild, if you like, with, say, graphical representations and use of mouse… Glulx certainly allows that. There are many ways around this one.
To wrap it up, I don’t think there’s too much stuff in the game, and I’m not sure I’d like you to remove details and characterization. I just suggest you rethink some things, especially the formatting. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the quantity of information, I was overwhelmed by it coming at me all at once. Formatting is an unsung hero.
EDIT - I had a thought, which you may or may not agree with, but here goes - if you want to encourage a playing stile where “use” is more important than the other verbs, why not consider adding a keyword system? Doesn’t have to be entirely keyword-based, but if you want to empashize that objects can be “examined” or “used” and little else, a keyword system is your friend. For starters, it clearly guides the player towards the right frame of mind. Otherwise - trust me on this - most IF players will start “wearing” the goggles you meant for them to “use”, for instance.