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Played this and the prequel as part of the recent bundle. Spoilers, obviously.

Liked: The meta stuff re: the framing device. The story being a flashback recontextualises the generic "correct" choices as Myx's wishful thinking, which is a neat trick. The player can predict and dread what is going to happen but they're helpless to stop it, since the past is immutable. The one "fake" choice where the text continues without input was very effective, perfectly timed to catch the player off guard. The tone and characters are much improved in MBM than in PUQFFAL imo. The prequel has some tonally strange moments (eg Myx's hunger and introduction), while everyone's motivations are constantly clear in MBM.

Disliked: The more obvious meta stuff. This is mostly tied to Digit, but the other characters eg Pip do it on occasion as well. With Digit it seems to be an intentional character trait which imo might clash with the tone later down the line.

Misc: Digit says "You're restricting nature" at some point, which should be "Your restricting nature".


Wow, you get it. You're the first person to give the games a dose of any kind of constructive criticism, and I have lots of respect for that (it's insanely hard to come by right now). Thank you so so so much :D


Note: First of all, since you thought this game was better than PUQFFAL (like me), I highly recommend you to NOT play the third game's demo (Although it sets up foreshadowing for later on disguised in something very familiar to slice-of-life stories, it really lacks depth atm. I blame it on not having enough time lol)

Now, thank you for writing what you liked, helps me know what possibly went right :3 (It was also awesome learning what a framing device was)

And a super thank you for writing what you did not like!!

I thought to use *tones* to shape the feeling of each of their stories as time goes on, hence the tonally strange moments for the first game as Pippy's character is more strange in general.  However, now that you bring it up, I do wonder if this idea will not go in my favor (for all the characters) as you say... I have always thought that Myx's intro was a lil odd, but then again, odd she is on the surface level. Ah, we'll see.

Interesting... I had planned to redo/remove some of that obvious meta stuff in the final final release, but it's nice to hear it from someone else. This especially goes for that one scene with Digit saying the creator didn't finish the game in time; they were there as a placeholder during the winter game jam as I almost truly did not finish on time and I had actually planned on ending it there (so yep, it was more of a joke that I left in). Other than that one scene, you might be correct with those clashes ;)

And thank you for catching the grammar mistake!! I can't thank you enough for writing all of this ><


Re: Tones and Myx. I think the key is what events are factually confirmed vs those tainted by the viewpoint character's interpretation. Myx being hungry enough to try eating someone is part of her introduction and therefore exists outside of Pip's perspective. It's a comedic scene that's resolved quickly, but might be questionable given later reveals (imo Myx will probably be the most divisive character which is not a bad thing, but means she needs to be handled more carefully). This is opposed to Pip always seeing the good side of people even when it is a terrible idea, since the player can see things that contradict her viewpoint. 

Re: Meta Stuff. Yeah I expected as much, being a leftover from time crunch is understandable. Direct Fourth Wall breaks tend to be very hit and miss... they're misses imo due to being a bit "cheap" and flat. Much more interesting are unreliable narrators, forced action, etc, as I mentioned in the other comment. MBM's meta moments are the gap between knowing the right thing to do/say, and actually doing it. Clicking a wholesome goody-two-shoes dialogue prompt is vastly easier than actually saying such a thing in reality, and that's an interesting thing to explore.

Pacing is imo the most important part of VNs due to the low level of interaction. Part of why I thought MBM was better written is down to this, where sections that would usually be slow instead build dread due to the framing device. The player is baited into thinking about each new bit of text and how it fits into what they already know. Obviously don't just reuse the flashback framing device, but giving the player more than one thread to think about at one time is a good idea.

This is a big long sorry. PS birds might not be mammals but they're all amniotes, which is close enough :^).


Ahhh, thanks for writing more!! I find comments like these awesome to read and think about :D

I see what you're saying about perspective vs. fact... I do believe that tone and perspective are different, and perspective does indeed shape tone. Now that I'm more awake, I remember to have thought that Myx's comedic intro had to do with her unhealthily starving herself to near insanity from staying indoors too much, something that nearly happened in MBM as well. Starvation can increase hysteria and change one's judgement/behavior as long as they are hungry for a while. (Maybe Myx should explain that more in game...) I'm not sure if that justifies her actions though? Other than her intro, I wonder if there was other moments that made her seem not "in character" (or Digit, or for any other character for that matter). I'm likely not going to change the way any of them were introduced, but as you say, I definitely will take great care of their actions and viewpoints in the future. Characters and consistency are quite important to me.

Fourth wall breaks done wrong, if they're supposed to be impactful to the story and characters can be a problem depending on how they're handled, I agree! However, imo direct fourth wall breaks, if they're not related to the story, are quite fun, moreso when they are lighthearted and add to the pacing/feeling. But again, that's just how I feel about them. 
* I just remembered that I added a bit with Digit at the very very end explaining how they felt about the situation etc., I think that's part of the issue. I guess I wanted them to have an opinion on the flashback to confirm that it truthfully happened (but maybe that doesn't go with the realistic tone of the narrative, whoops) It technically added to the story, so I removed that bit and ran through, and it felt a lot smoother. Thank you!*

Pippy and Digit are more playful in nature, which is why making them an outlet directly to the player felt right as opposed to Aq and Myx. However, direct fourth wall breaking was never meant to be part of the main story/characters' traits in the series, but more as direct self-awareness and comedy. (At least, this is part of my current plans. It majorly depends on the message and story I want to execute.) The better meta stuff I was more focused on is exactly what you pointed out! It helped direct the story :D

I agree that pacing is very important in VNs, even if there's interaction actually. Part of my issue with reading things myself is well... I don't like reading XD so maybe in PUQFFAL, things were rushed as I felt like I shouldn't have more build-up. Introduce them -> commence conflict, if that's what you thought. I'm glad that seems to be less of an issue in MBM as I'm working on my writing. (That's why the word count of MBM went from 5k to 12k, hehe.) I've always been a fan of stories that have more than one thread to think about as you call it, so I'll definitely be doing that.

What do you mean sorry? You've given me a lot of helpful pointers :D And you are right about them being amniotes... Huh, maybe reptile people exist in this universe if it's thought of in that way :3