@ Anne: Thank you for the honest feedback! I try to address all your points without writing a wall of text...
Art stuff - The sprites may stay the same if I can continue commissioning from one of the same artists. The circumstances have changed a bit, and - as everything else - the budget is a consideration, but we'll see. As far as the GUI goes, I was aware of some of these issues and don't worry; when I get the resources for a redesign, I promise they'll be addressed.
(If you are still accepting commissions, I may even come knocking on your door
Big fan of your previous work.) Thank you for letting me know about the volume and typo, however. I'll get these fixed as soon as I have time.
Stats - I tried to clarify this in-game as you raise the combat stat, but combat measures a lot more than simply your hand-to-hand fighting ability. It also measures your ability to impose your will on others, battle-strategy, and overall assertiveness as a ruler. Also, please keep in mind, that the Princess has been taught basic lessons throughout most of her childhood. This is important with regards to the intelligence stat-raising because the game assumes that the MC would know most of the more basic things already. That being said, most of the knowledge she gains this way is supplemental to what she knows.
With regards the the more specific spoiler-y things: You can pretty much blame the Queen-Regent for not being allowed to take part in the negotiations or investigate Bianka. Haha... Mother is very protective of her baby girl and wants to make sure she's ready (read: put off till the last minute) before letting her daughter take such an active part in the affairs of the kingdom. You'll notice that the only times MC is allowed to make important decisions during the demo is by her leave. This DOES change though... and I promise that it will be possible to take a far more proactive approach to managing your kingdom in the full game.
So much for avoiding that wall of text.
The demo covers a little less than 1/4 of the full game, with regards to playtime. From a writing standpoint, it's probably closer to about 1/8 or less. Once the consequences of your choices play out and you start focusing on one love interest, the game starts unfolding in many different directions.
@ reveris: Sorry about the late reply. I had to get away from the game for a few days... just for the sake of my sanity! Thanks for the feedback, though.
Also ngl for a second there I wondered if we could try to seduce our brother's widow but my mind is just too trashy and this isn't that kind of game haha.
Full disclosure: This made me laugh far harder than it probably should have.
Your criticism of the lack of politicking and romancing is perfectly fair. Initially I had wanted to include more of both in the demo, but I eventually decided not to for one big reason: story flow. There might have been a way to pack more in there without the writing quality suffering, but I didn't trust my ability enough to risk things coming off as too rushed or too contrived. I included as much as I could while letting events unfold in - what I consider, at least - an organic way.
I actually tried to do more with Bianka, but it came off as kind of redundant and made the outcome even more predictable. I suppose I could have tried to find another way to incorporate it, but it seemed like the effort would be better spent elsewhere, tbh.
Hmmm... I'll definitely keep your thoughts on role-playing/choice in the back of my mind while moving forward. The span of time covered in the demo doesn't lend itself well to being too obviously "evil," but for the full game, it's definitely a possibility. Keep in mind though, that this DOES mean more branches, more dialogue, more consequences, and overall, a LOT more work for everyone involved.
But in places where I can do it without anyone coming across as too cartoony? I'll try. More role-playing is what I'm all about!
THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS, EVERYBODY! Hope you are enjoying the demo so far!