This is rapidly becoming my favorite WIP game. I’m delighted by how you’ve framed choosing which faction to support. There is no “right” choice. There’s no “righteous but unwise” choice contrasted with the “politic but cold-hearted” choice. There are only choices and depending on what your character values most and what they’re willing to compromise on, any choice can mean any number of things. That’s hard to do and so far you’re doing it crazy well. There are no real villains, just people working to advance their own goals and I love that. I don’t much like Adriana and Baltasar, because they’re making problems for me and have priorities and values that clash with mine, but I can recognize that within their own cultural and moral and personal framework they’re doing what they think is the right thing. They’re not being obstacles AT ME.
I’m enjoying the world building as well. A lot of game writers lean hard into inventing fantasy-versions of things that have an exact real world equivalent, like having a Righlls rule over a Casrovov with help from a Reedslid instead of just having a king rule over a kingdom with help from a parliament. I think that makes things unnecessarily difficult to parse on the fly and if there are more than three unexplained, wholly invented terms on a page I tend to bail. You don’t fall into that trap. The new terms you introduce are explained as they appear, they’re for things that either don’t have real world equivalents or are used to highlight culture clash and they aren’t so numerous that I have to keep navigating to a glossary to remember that “Nyarlathrah” just means “priest.”
I know it’s not a “romance game” but the romance! It’s so good! I’ve played through with Izzy, Cormac and Pan (haven’t noticed any bugs or typos in any of the playthroughs, btw) but guys. GUYS. Sangarinus is a precious awkward angel baby deer and I will not hear a word against him. I want to squirrel him away on the island and have him do woodworking and stay home with our 12 tall children while I’m away trading and raiding. He is my favorite. Like, to the point where I find myself being more conciliatory than I would otherwise be toward the Castulians because I don’t want any friction. And all the other romance options work to complicate things too! If you’re playing a character who would like nothing more than to be absorbed into the Castulian empire but you also really want to romance Cormac, that’s a source of tension. If you want to throw in with the Iskendi while romancing Pan, that’s a problem. It makes the replay value really high if you want to see how things go if you plow full speed ahead toward one goal with a complimentary love interest (reject the Iskendi/Pan, join the Iskendi/Cormac) versus conflicting loyalties.
Also, I just went through the tumblr and apparently Sangarinus rehomes stray cats because he worries about the barrack’s hounds bothering them. He is a 6 and a half foot tall super-soldier who carves figurines of baby animals and rehomes stray cats in his spare time. I refuse to believe that this character was not intended to be everyone’s favorite.
Tldr: You’re great and I’m looking forward to the next update.