Thank you for playing my game, and I am super happy you liked it.
I agree that the consequences in the game could have been higher, but for the jam I kept them really low. I chose to do this because I would make sure that the players in the jam get a feeling of the whole game, and they did not only play the beginning of the game. I believe for a lot of players this is a really weird game, and if I a had made it too difficult, I believe that a lot of players would have stopped playing the game really fast. But if you plays the newest version of the game, I have made it harder and the life choices has higher consequences.
How this game is programmed is a bit complex, but you can say that the game is hard coded. For example do you have to learn the basic knowledge before you can have a social life. This actually gives the player an option to try to live a life were you never learns to talk, walk... and this means that you never will get a social life, you will never be able to go to school, you will never get an adult life, and you will also have a hard time surviving.
I have tried to make the story line depend on what you chooses to do in your life. So you can keep living a super simple life and never get a wife or kids, or you can get 10 kids and then leave your wife. But some choices is a bit more hard coded, for example is the jobs you can get a simple list of better and better paid jobs, and the only thing stopping you from getting a job is if your knowledge level is too low.
I have sadly never played Firewatch, but I do know what it is. And another fun fact is that I hated the music I made for the game, and have changed it in the newest version of the game. But perhaps I just have heard the music too much under the development of the game.
And one more weird fact about the development of this game was that I actually started making a completely different game for the jam, but it did not really worked, so I decided to make something different. And it meant that I the last 3 days worked really hard to make this game. But okay I can sleep when I get even older.