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-Spoilers abound!-

It's a cute game, and I like there's an ending that's a poly one, but I didn't really enjoy that the game presents what are basically illusions of romantic options in order to do it. I understand the idea, but I genuinely just... did not like Burdock as more than a friend character? I wanted to romance Malik, the game makes it seems as if that's possible, but what it really is (if you're not a bad friend and don't neglect one person just because you're not interested in them, of course), is that your 'romance' of one character is seen as just the less important 'prelude' to the poly ending. Some games are made with a distinct romantic entanglement in mind, and that's a good thing! Having a game where the 'true' ending is the poly ending, I think, is a really great thing. But without knowing that that's the sort of romance game I'm getting into, it sort of feels like my options were to romance a character I didn't want to romance, or don't get an ending with the character I wanted to anyway, and know that eventually the 'right' thing will happen and they'll all get together anyway. I do like that neglecting a friend is deservedly Bad Ending'd, but especially when it amounts to essentially a handful of days next to years of friendship, it feels rather... slanted, to actually penalize the player for what is essentially just not wanting to sleep with one of the friends (since you cannot interact with them past a certain period without being at least physically involved with them).

I think if, perhaps, it was possible to keep interacting with a friend without it becoming something more than friendship, it would feel less like being led on a leash while still preserving the poly-ending as the True ending. As it is... yeah, it kind of just feels like a penalty for not wanting to sleep with both friends. Which, I'll also note, I'd  avoided doing at first because the game doesn't make immediately obvious until you've already done it that sleeping with both friends would even be a good thing. You don't tell either friend that you've already begun 'something' with the other friend before you do it, or the person you've already been involved with once you sleep with the other friend, and it just sort of happens to be that they're okay with that and it all works out. Not.. a great way to start a relationship.

Again- it's a really cute game with some very nice ideas, but ultimately the execution just felt... a little off? and a little uncomfortable, for me.

Hi! First of all, thanks so much for your feedback-- I really appreciate reading it and I  appreciate your being kind about it!


You bring up a lot of great points; and I understand how it's easy to feel how you do when playing a game like Tomai.

However; I also think it's important to keep in mind a few things about the dev process and about Ivan (the writer) and I (the artist) as game creators.

Ivan and I only had this game in production for 3, maybe 4 months? Most of the production was done in just 1 month; so a lot of our "branching paths" are pretty linear. This isn't new to either of our style of game making; as I often make linear games and Ivan makes more-or-less linear games. I understand this style of visual novel can sometimes be annoying or frustrating to players; but we were on a really limited time and budget and just wanted something playable that conveyed our story!

Our games are not about you as a player, but you as someone helping lead Tomai (or any of our main characters, really) thru his life. This game is about Tomai, his wants, his needs, his confusions-- and how you as his guide affect his life.

No where on the game page for Tomai does it state there are "romance options", it only states that there are R-18+ scenes. This was on purpose! We also never stated that the game was poly, because we didn't really feel like there was a need to? We've also never sold Tomai as a dating sim because it's really not... It's really just a game about a set of characters we really enjoyed writing-- we had a story planned for them and wanted to give the player some options to explore the world.

I do think your feedback about essentially "having to get physical" with either boy is fair; in the future we will be sure to add a yes or no menu before those kinds of options-- I think we, as game devs, unfortunately assumed that the player choosing "R-18" at the beginning would, in combination with Tomai's characterization, would make extra choice unnecessary/not fully in line with how he would act as a character but I see now that it's still as necessary as ever! And in the non-R18 version we will do that as well. (In the PG-13 version, you just smooch!)

I think we'll also consider a patch to add some dialogue about having slept with the other friend. We can def work that in.

Ultimately; I think it's important to keep in mind that this game is for players who want to or are comfortable being poly (at least in a fictional sense). If you're not and don't want to be-- that might be why you're feeling uncomfortable? But this is my assuming-- so please correct me if I'm wrong! Not every game is for everyone, unfortunately.

Lastly, I wanna make sure you know there are friendship endings with both boys and a amends ending as well! :D I think all the endings are really worth checking out for their own reasons.

On a side note; I'm very sad to hear you didn't like Burdoc-- as he is my favorite and a character I really relate to. ;v;

Anyways; that all said-- thank you again for your feedback and I hope some of what I've said clears up some things about our game for you! Thanks a ton!

Oh no! I do like Burdoc very much, I promise! He seems like a very sweet boy, I just didn't like him as a romantic option? I use this term quite loosely, as I did before, though I'm at a loss since that how they're usually described. But, seeing the three of them together, looking past my issues with how they get there, they do fit together very perfectly. I don't think he was a poorly made character at all!

I'm not uncomfortable with the poly option at all (I'm a little poly myself actually, haha), though I can understand why you'd think that.  I actually really like what you were going for! Poly couples get a bad rep far too often, especially non het poly couples, and I think the idea here was really really nice. And, once I worked out what kind of story it was, it felt very natural and sweet for all of them to end up together.  It's more like, due to the way the game flowed, it felt like a penalization for not going that way no matter what (despite the few things I pointed out about how it doesn't exactly feel honest in the moment to do so), and a bit unfair toward the player/protagonist for just the idea of him liking one differently than the other, or just not wanting to entangle with both without full understanding. But! Once I realized why that would be (they ALL like eachother!) it made more sense, but until the realization of what I was supposed to do to get a Good ending, it felt quite awkward that they'd respond that way (to the player/protag liking one differently), and still awkward to try and ""romance"" (again, for lack of a better term in the genre) them both.

This is all a lot of words on my part, haha, but I do want to say that actually taking into consideration how much (or little) time you had to work on this does change my perspective. I can see why things like I'd previously mentioned would be non-thoughts with such a small time period! And I should have thought of that to mention in my points, in all fairness. I also should have taken care to better explain that the linear idea of the game was good! Sometimes people have set stories/variations in mind and want to tell them, and I lied that! Honestly, my only discomfort with the linear quality is  due to the lack of being able to say 'no' while still spending time with friends in other routes, and the lack of honesty if you choose to say yes to both! Without those things coloring the playthroughs around them, I really wouldn't have a problem with there being a 'set' ending or idea of what the character should do. Quite the opposite- I would have really liked that the 'true'st feeling ending is the one where they're all together!

I was already really looking forward to your other projects, but I feel EXTRA good about it, reading your response. It really did clear things up! I'll definitely go back and get the rest of the endings now, since I feel a bit better about the game after this. :) Thank you!

Hey hey! :D I'm happy to hear all of this! (And thanks for explaining some more stuff too, sometimes things just get confusing in text, ya know?)

I'm happy to hear that my reply helped give the circumstances surrounding this game some more clarity-- and like I said we are definitely taking what you said into the future with us. For now, Tomai is a bit too set in stone (with some CG's and the like) to do TOO much tweaking with the current build-- but we WILL have some extra stories that will be released with the base game once we both get some time. (None of them will involve choices; they are just fun stories to click thru and learn more about everyone.)

I really hope if you happen to see the updates for those that you'll check them out because I think they will speak about/address some stuff you've talked about! I know they're just side stories-- but they are all canon and lots of fun. ^u^9 One will be specifically about Tomai's, Malik's, and Burdoc's past together and how long they've known each other and how long they've LIKED each other too.

Which again-- I wish we could have fit a bit more into the base game but we just had so little time! Agh! That's why we did our stretch goals though-- so we could add stuff that would not only be fun but also clarifying.

Anyways-- I'm totally rambling now. Thank you again for your feedback and for taking the time to read my reply-- it means a lot to me that you did and I'm pumped up to hear you're looking forward to our other projects! <3

That all sounds great!! I can't wait.