"Repeatedly click the Button"
It really is a nice sims game, but honestly, by not providing instructions, hints, or indications left it to be just what you wanted to avoid. You simply click and hope you get somewhere. Many of the characters do not develop any new speech patterns significant to their increasing liking of you different from other characters. And honestly, all you really had to do was spam them with gifts to get them to the highest heart amount. There wasn't much of an award for doing so.
As for the career paths, I gave up simply because I didn't understand where I was going to stop. It was quite irritating just waiting for anything to happen.
Also, while I was trying to get strictly only career points from places that had no encounters with other characters, I could still see my heart counts going up. I'm not quite sure if this is a bug or because of the career I chose.
I mean, I understand that you don't want to give anything away, but with all the combinations of actions you can do, it simply feels like throwing darts in a room blindfolded, hoping for an outcome. The only thing I really understood was the dating aspect of the game. Even the slightest hints from dialogue with other characters would have been nice, so I had some grasp as to what I should do.
Honestly, it is a beautiful game, and the music is absolutely lovely. I just wished the gameplay didn't feel so tedious. Events, more fleshed out characters and relationship brances, career and clothing choices affecting the way others talk or build a relationship with you(I'm not sure if you did this or not, because you mentioned before all your actions affected the game, but I was able to max out all the hearts with all the guys while sticking to the emo/goth look and spending a lot of presents. Then again, in the end, all of them ended up angry with me...)would be good for a complex game. I know that it's very hard though to incorporate all that in a game, but a less monotone/more random aspect of the sims would be nice.
I'm sorry. I know that this was released about two years ago. Forgive me for giving such late critism. You've probably already improved a lot doing these games.