I played the first demo a while back and I have to say, I'm loving all the edits and improvements you guys made with this new demo! Felt as engaging and fresh as my first time through. This is definitely one of my favorite visual novels on the site.
The new "date" with Phoenix (I like to think it was a date, even though MC didn't haha!) was adorable; I really felt like we got to know Phoenix well (that blush! so cute).
Pectin's background and character art is incredible as always, I find myself pausing the game just to look at the detail of everything and the gorgeous color scheme! I remember seeing a post-it note on the right wall of the computer desk graphic. that says “TODO today: work eat sleep," which made me smile. :')
Not sure if these are new updates or not (working off of my memory right now), but I really like the text animation—how each line of text pops up like in a conversation with breaks—as well as the new background music, how it's perfectly timed. So good. That cake party with MC's coworkers was adorable and the conversation with Joyce about sarcasm made me laugh out loud.
A couple comments—I know how much effort you two put into this game and it's already pretty incredible, but I figured I'd leave them here in case you're interested.
- Add transitions when switching to different locations? For ex., in the beginning, the scene switched immediately from the computer repair shop to teal’s bedroom, and it felt a bit jarring
- Inner dialogue is edited down, and improved from before yay! but it’s still a little too heavy, feels like writers are point-blankly telling us what MC is going through rather than actually show it in action and let the reader experience is. I know that the novel deals a lot of MC’s self-reflection about their life and career but clicking through lines of them just talking to themselves still drags a bit.
- If you don't want to condense the text, maybe consider adding more activities? or even just spread out the inner monologue and disperse it here and there in different scenes.
- Skin color variation for MC customization would be awesome!
- Snow’s pronouns—I noticed MC referred to Snow as "they," and Zen referred to Snow as "he." (I played the new demo about a month ago so not sure if this is still the case.) I was wondering if Snow goes by both he/him and they/them pronouns, or if that was a typo.
- Joyce’s departure feels out of place, especially right as MC is forming a relationship with phoenix. Joyce’s points about perpetuating loneliness are are true and apply to MC, but with the timing of the events—how MC is starting to branch out right when Joyce drop that bombshells—it doesn't really make sense. Maybe if MC was getting doubtful again or closing themself off, and then Joyce gave us the talk, it would flow more smoothly.
(these are all notes I scribbled down while playing the game a while back hahaha! hope they're readable)
Still amazed by the incredible work you two put out in this game! I really enjoy reading all your dev logs and seeing all the detail that goes into a game like this. I think MC's story is one that a lot of students and people can relate to, and it's a important one to be told. <3 Thanks again for all your hard work! I'm so excited to see what's in store for Part 2.