I am not a fan of ambush spawns either. The ambush spawns in Prelude 2 are the only ones present in the game. I felt that it was okay in this situation because 1) only three, fairly weak, enemies could pose a problem to you, 2) I wanted to give a bit of a shock with the added monster units, and 3) there is some warning given in the text; though, I can see it not being specific enough.
In regards to the houses in Prelude 3, I haven’t quite figured out the best way to edit tilesets yet. I did create a snow village tileset by editing the palettes; however, I didn’t like how it looked in Municro as it is the “walled city.” At that point, I figured it could make sense for Municro to have funky, walled housed.
Yes, the bonus that Shine provides is pretty underwhelming. The light magic bonuses will likely be changed in a future build.
I found your character assessment interesting. The Winifred vs Joseph argument you brought up was something I never actually considered. It was always Brett vs Joseph in my mind. Joseph could fill a lot more use on a team than I initially thought. I will certainly keep this in mind.
I will say that many of the White Lion characters like Caspian, Travis, and Winifred will have opportunity to become party staples in a story arc that happens after Chapter 10, which is not in the current build (in-progress). There will also be less perspective switching going forward. I did draw a lot of inspiration from FE 7, 8, 9, and 10 for this project…
I don’t think I answered your question regarding the Silvan choice. You get a Speed Wing if you turn him into Rinto as a reward, and you get nothing otherwise. Basically, choose to play with the Speed Wing or without. You will receive a different reward in Chapter 13 (not in current build) if you choose to let Silvan go, but this does not have an effect on the available chapters.