Ooh yay! So I can answer you, after all. XD Ok well, first of all, some of the ways you interpreted the characters (especially Liam) were pretty much exactly how I intended them to be (and quite a few people missed this), so I was really happy when I saw comments such as this:
"Liam's friendship ending was the tie breaker. There is something a little creepy about him. He is so close to being a character that would make you uncomfortable [...] I think Liam's good ending might be my second favorite scene. There is a little more creepy in this one, but it is offset by how cute everything is, especially when Josh is embarrassed. I love that Liam doesn't care that everyone is watching. If anything, I imagine he probably enjoys it more when others watch cause it makes Josh squirm a little more."
Personally, I was a little sad when a few people said they found Liam's post-prologue ending unrealistic/cheesy, though I understood where they were coming from. It's easy to view it that way when you take the scene at face value. However, this is what I actually intended:
I actually view that [Liam's romantic ending] as a lot more sinister than most people might. XD; He confessed in public and then guilt-tripped Josh almost immediately afterward, more or less clinching a positive response. In that kind of situation, it's easier for Josh to get swept away and not stop and think "Wait, do I really love him?" And Liam knew this and calculated it perfectly so that he also showed up after weeks of Josh not seeing him. The reason why he doesn't do this in the bad/friendship ending is because up to that point, Josh hadn't been showing him as much of a positive/romantic response, so he began to realize that it would be hopeless--hence him getting drunk/tipsy so he'd have the courage to confess and finally end things. At least, that's how I thought of it. D:
So yes, that made me very happy. Also, re: the backgrounds, Auro did actually paint over all of them like so:
They weren't simply photoshopped, though I can see why people would think that way. You kind of have to do a double-take when you look at the BGs, I think, because there are times where it looks very painted and times where it looks very much like a photoshopped photo.
Ok now for some of the negatives...
And the whole idea that a planet runs on love is a bit silly, but forgivable since the rest of the game is so wonderful. I feel like the story could have done without the alternate planet needing energy plot. It's not really that important so feel free to skip this if you don't agree. This next part is just me thinking aloud. For example, people could know that there are actors playing the parts of characters in visual novels and in the future, that's a popular gimmick. The whole industry in the future can be based on this since it sells well. Perhaps it feels more immersive. Girls buy crazy virtual reality devices so that they see and feel what Lilly* sees and feels.
We realize that the backstory, if it really counts as one, is pretty weak. We took a "Monsters Inc" approach to it. The main reason for this is that I wanted there to be a reason for why they were acting, but one that wouldn't set up a huge overarching plot. I wanted to keep the story simple so that I could realistically finish the entire script in a month. Given more time, I would have loved to have a more complicated storyline and a better reason for the characters doing what they were doing. Also, quite a few people have said that the change from prologue to post-prologue was way too abrupt and confusing at first. I didn't really think about it at the time, but you're all right about that. I don't know if we'll be making another game with such a huge plot twist, but if it happens, I'll try to have more foreshadowing and make it a bit more gradual instead of sudden. So thank you for that!
While it is fine to do that, what would have made the game phenomenal and stand out from others is that if the choices you made earlier also had a visible impact on dialogue or story later. They don't have to drastically change the story, but it gives the game some reply value and feels like my choices matter more than just getting an ending.
Again, this was due to our time constraints. ;_; In our other game, Break Chance Memento, there is actually a variable list that keeps track of *every decision you make* in the game. Even seemingly minor conversational options will have repercussions later, either big or small. The other characters remember what you've said so even if you trigger a good/bad ending, if you've made certain choices, they will still influence the ending even if the general idea/what happens is the same. This is something that's very important to Auro and to me, but unfortunately the time constraints on RisAmo made this not possible. I quite literally finished writing Laura's route a mere 7-8 hours before we released the game. ^^;;; If/when we do an extended version of RisAmo in the future--where we're not bound by such time constraints--that is probably the first thing I'd add in.
Aaaand to answer this other comment you had:
I kinda of wonder what happened to Josh and Liam after Liam cuts ties with him.
I like to think that Josh and Liam both end up happy even after this happens. Maybe a few years down the line, once it doesn't hurt so much anymore, Liam can come back and be friends with Josh again. Do I think they can ever be *best* friends again? No. You don't simply *get over* a deep, 10-year one-sided love... But Liam is strong and confident enough that I think he can eventually be happy with someone else and in the end, he's just happy to see Josh happy. In all the post-prologue routes, Liam quits his job (as a waiter/busser) at Ristorante. I think that this is his way of distancing himself from Josh. So even though he is a little obsessed with Josh and very much in love with him, he doesn't cause trouble once Josh goes for other people. He even helps out on the Josh/Ethan route. The bad ending is just a worst-case scenario where he has already quit, but Josh is still being insensitive/oblivious and clinging to him "because they're best friends". Liam, knowing that they can't be together the way he wants and hurt by this, finally ends things instead of just fading out of view slowly. I imagine he would need a very long time to himself after that because he's normally the type that just laughs things off instead of showing how he really feels. The bad ending is probably the most genuine/honest you ever see Liam in the entire game. Josh would also need a long time to get over it, but he's naturally more optimistic, so I think it would be much easier for him. So yeah, the bad ending is just terrible for Liam. :C It pained me to write it and I'm glad (and yet also sad) that so many people have responded to it like they have.
So there is that! I really, really appreciate you taking time out of your day to fill in the survey in such a detailed way--especially giving us good constructive criticism about the things you didn't like so much. We both take the survey responses very seriously and try to see if we can incorporate players' suggestions in later projects. Since this is our first finished project ever released (and done in such a short amount of time), there are surely mistakes and things wrong with it, but we hope that everyone can look forward to our next game(s).