As I said in my OP, the start of the game, especially build 1, felt like a template of a story that the creator wanted to tell. But released it before they sat down and fleshed out the whats whos and whies.
Which lead to the stuff I've commented above and the issue you mentioned as well.
Rotshild said that there is a good chance of a rewrite/fleshing out happening for the start of the game so now we can only hope. That would be a good thing mostly for their sake. Not everyone is gonna stick around with a story if the intro is not that interesting and has glaring issues. The promise of it being better later is not enough for everyone.
I don't know what happened behind the scenes, but my assumption is that TTOF is a mix of a passion project and a learning experience for the dev(s). They are passionate about the story they want to tell, but also use it as "go with the flow and learn along the way". I mean, they are not even sure yet if the story will have multiple endings or not.
Reading their responses to various comments they seem to be very respectful and capable of taking in both the positive and the negative feedback to improve the game. I even joined their Discord to report the bugs I've seen and was informed that they were swiftly resolved.
Based on that I think the project is in good hands and it'll get refined and improved as they go along. We all have to start somewhere. If they use TTOF to practice this format of storytelling, then so be it. That only means their potential next game will start much better.