**slight spoilers below**
Tibault here (Theo Southgate) - the writer for DMR :) the devs forwarded on your amazing comments and I just wanted to personally thank you for taking the time to write out such a detailed review and for your extremely kind feedback. This project was my own initial concept and it was a pleasure to bring it to life, and I love hearing that you have had so much enjoyment with it :)
While writing, I particularly focused on trying to make Lee a relatable protagonist, one that isn't just a cardboard cut-out or a Mary Sue, but someone with flaws and feelings and who makes mistakes and learns from them, because I feel strongly that if you don't have a connection with the MC then it's very difficult to see the world through their eyes. I'm really glad that this came across for you while playing.
I also believe it's important to address certain topics that are often avoided in media like this because they're difficult to talk about - homophobia, racism, mental illness, religion, and toxic masculinity being just a few of the ones featured in DMR - but in order to be better to ourselves, and as a society, it's necessary that we address them in an educational way, and I believe stories are an excellent medium to do that. With DMR being based in the Old West, it was a perfect opportunity to bring some of these under the spotlight, while doing my best to make it as historically accurate as possible.
I also think that sex is only one part of a developing relationship as opposed to a 'goal' or an ending; hence why in some of the relationships it appears earlier than others, and in some not at all. Each relationship is different and there's no fixed timeline of when or how these things need to happen, and I also think ensuring the character growth and emotional connection develops in a new way each time helps to keep each route feeling separate and fresh, as this is a replayability issue I encounter in a lot of other VNs I play. (btw Bill is my favourite too! I'm a sucker for a bad boy ;))
I do like your comment about the Cartwright continuity thing, and I agree actually that in hindsight that he could have been portrayed slightly differently during his 'antagonist' arc in Jed's route. You bring up some interesting points and it's certainly something to look into - his struggle with his inner sense of justice is very much hidden under the mask entirely throughout that route, which is something I overlooked. Thank you for taking the time to come up with some suggestions, I really love the passion you clearly have for the game and it warms my heart as a creator to see it :)
Genuinely, I just want to thank you for the review, it really does mean a lot to me to see that you are playing and enjoying my work, and taking the time out of your life to let me know about it. It's appreciated, and I'm humbled by your very kind words.
I very much hope that you enjoy more content from me and the team at Argent/Gallium Games in the future :) <3