1. Did you have any technical issues when running the game?
No, everything ran smoothly. The menu system for the daily planner was missing visual feedback for choices made, but I am assuming that is because it is a work in progress.
2. What character is your favourite?
Farris. I like that he is practical, collected, and always appears to be in control. He’s also cute and sweet. He seems like he's going to be a grounding force in the game.
3. Is the plot interesting?
Finding out that one's spouse is gay and that one is living a sham marriage is not new, but what I haven't seen explored before (in a game, at least) is a woman deliberately going into that situation after having been deceived, and trying to make it work for everyone involved. This originality is a big draw to the game for me. I felt like the beginning was muddy, but it started to get good once Esther started talking specifics of living arrangements with Farris and Virgil. It's that problem-solving, seeing the reactions of the characters to the situation, and seeing what kind of unexpected problems that will happen that makes me want to play.
4. Are there any spelling or grammar mistakes? (Use of non-British spelling and terminology counts as a mistake)
Many. I caught a misspelling of bizarre, tongue, a missing word from the phrase "scared out of his wits," and improper punctuation. After the first few errors I stopped writing them down because I think the script would be better served being proofread and run through a spell checker.
5. What do you think of the audio?
The beginning track sounded appropriate, it was quaint and cozy, but the post-fight scene track less so. I think what you want in that scene is “revelation”, but instead it sounds like the music that plays when a party of adventurers in a fantasy game gears up for an epic boss fight.
6. Is there anything else you'd like to say?
I’m more interested in stories than formulas, and prefer my slice of life alongside a developing narrative, so this is my kind of game. Here are miscellaneous notes I took while playing, in no particular order:
- The title is compelling and the reason I decided to give it a try. A++ here!
- I found the dinner scene frustrating because of the BG used. I am assuming that you wanted to focus on a small detail to avoid having to show a static image of the characters while they were talking and to emphasize the close domesticity of the scene, which I think was the right move, but something about it is off to me. Maybe it’s a lack of a focal point, or that there isn’t much that is interesting to look at. The cake is the closest thing to a focal point, but it is placed so high up on the screen and cut off at the top that the viewer’s eye ends up sitting on the empty space on the table instead. The result was that I felt like I was trying to follow a conversation while staring at the floor.
- Farris' sprite is endearingly adorable (and looks like James Potter, but in a way I'm willing to roll with) but Virgil has a perpetually child-like, frightened look to him because his eyes are so large.
- I find Ver to be kind of an awkward and unbelievable nickname. (Apologies to any actual Ver's out there.)
- I think it's appropriate that Virgil and Farris' sprites move closer to each other when they argue, but it looks silly when they literally sit on top of one another. I'd keep them close but not overlapping.
- I like the way the exposition is handled at the beginning. It comes across as a natural conversation and tells the player everything they need to know. Most games don’t handle exposition so well, so this stood out. On that note, the dialogue in general was pretty well written.
- I like that Farris views himself as abnormal, yet carries on his relationship with self-acceptance and authenticity. Esther’s immediate acceptance struck me as odd at first, but the game hints at a reason for that, and having her accept what is happening to her in that moment allows the plot to move on, which is a good thing.
- “I may not understand you, but I didn’t understand the things I was transcribing either. I did that diligently. I will be a good wife.” I found this a powerful line that expertly summarized both her character and her outlook on the situation!
- I thought it was sweet that Farris donated his parachute for the wedding dress, and was a strong expression his feelings for Esther are genuine.