Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#31 Post by joyceallday » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:24 pm

Oh gosh, I never comment on these things, I pray this works. I feel like a grandma rn.

I loved this game! I usually stray from games with concepts that don't immediately intrigue me (not a big fan of pirates etc) but man this made me feel bad for my prejudice. I totally didn't get that there would be different endings, though, I guess I got a friendship/romantic-y one? Suppose I'll just have to play it again. :D

The only (negative) criticism I could come up with is one already given, but I'll repeat it anyway - an epilogue would've been cool! Or an ending with a more definitive feel to it that gives the reader a bit more closure. And I wish it were longer! Though that's not a complaint; think of it as an ode to how surprisingly fun this was.

The voices (only heard at the start of battle scenes, right?) were not at all how I imagined them but they work. Especially Felix's! Felix'? X.

Another thing I didn't expect to work but did was the battle system. It didn't feel too out of place (as much as I love RPGs, I don't play too many visual novel/strategy fight combo games) and was a lot more fun than reading about swords and attacks time and time again! This combined with a little voice treat at the start made it a super fun addition that set the game apart from most other games here, I think.

Not sure if a spoiler:
my memory is absolutely horrid and I'm terrible with names, so I totally might have encountered them, but..... who's Remy?

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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#32 Post by Aleema » Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:23 am

The good news is that I've written epilogues and will upload a version with them soon. :)
joyceallday wrote:The voices (only heard at the start of battle scenes, right?) were not at all how I imagined them but they work. Especially Felix's! Felix'? X.
I know what you mean. I had certain ideas for their voices in my head, but when I got actual auditions for the characters, it changed. Felix is a perfect example, and probably my favorite voice to cast because it was so delightful to be taken by surprise by a voice I never expected to cast, but works so, so well.
joyceallday wrote:Not sure if a spoiler:
my memory is absolutely horrid and I'm terrible with names, so I totally might have encountered them, but..... who's Remy?
Different paths have different information. I don't want to spoil you. :P (Unless you want me to.)

And it's great to hear that the battles weren't intrusive. Starling and I were originally worried that we put too many battles into the game and that it would disrupt the flow of the story. We did include the option to turn off battles, just in case. Starling so did not want to include that option, though. She was so proud of the battle system that she wanted it to be mandatory. :mrgreen:

Thank you for the wonderful review.

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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#33 Post by Noekony » Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:04 pm

Yummy game! It has its pleasant taste. Thank you!

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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#34 Post by jais100 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:07 pm

This game was absolutely amazing! The dialogue had a very realistic feel to it. The plot was great. I liked seeing the relationship grow between the two leads. The only thing I disliked about it was that it ended. I liked the battles but I also liked the fact there was an option to turn them off.
I thought I would not enjoy the relationship between Ishara and her sister's fiance but the dynamic was actuallly great. It wasn't I love you because you look like your sister or any of that. It seemed like a genuine connection which is really hard to write and develop without being tacky. The other love story was really cute with Louis and Ishara's friend :) I really hope you would consider making a sequel if you have the time because I really want to know what happens to Ishara and her new love interest :D after the end.
The game was beautiful. Great Job! :lol:

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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#35 Post by Heiden » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:50 pm

I drew fanart :oops:

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j38 ... anart1.png

I really liked Ishara and Felix's relationship and how they grew to like each other over the course of their journey. :)

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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#36 Post by Starling » Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:34 am

^Ahhh! Thank you Heiden! Yay more fanart!

I'm glad you really enjoy the connection between those two.

^^You'll have to thank Aleema for that, I argued to not have that option since I think it takes away the integrity of even having the battles in the first place (also I think it affects the pacing to turn them off) but alas, probably for the best, I was overruled. I'm glad you liked how things developed though!
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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#37 Post by xxxSakura » Sat May 02, 2015 7:54 am

That was such a beautiful game! *u* Just finished acquiring all four endings and I would have to say that Felix way too adorable, it's practically illegal! Love the little banter and bickering within the scripts between Ishara and Felix, I thought you handled their relationship growth pretty well.

As for Cendre, I had this little bubble of irritation for her initially because of how naive and, I don't know, one-tracked her mind was, but by the end I was taken aback by
how fast she was to shed her noble skin in an attempt to take to the seas with her sister
. It wasn't so swift that it was unbelievable, though.
I also felt sad when she died
so I guess she's grew on me after all. :lol:

The battle system was awesome! I accidentally triggered the voice function but I had skip mode on, so I deactivated it. It was still pretty neat though (my favourite move was Louis' Charge and Tal's Full Assault - bleeding :twisted: ), so kudos for the coding!

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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#38 Post by fioricca » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:39 am

Ohhh my gosh! I thought I was going to play this for one hour or more but before I know it it's my bedtime! I'm at the point where the party split up after defeating Lord Braque, and Cendre enjoying herself. The story so far is beautiful, the writing gripping and the battles made everything fun. I thought the battle system was simple but so cleverly designed! When Ishara and Cendre were first stranded I knew this was going to be a heart-wrenching VN but I never expected what I got... ;__; I know I'm super late in playing this but I'm so glad I picked it up, it's so wonderful. I'm sad that I have to get some sleep because of work but I know tomorrow I'll be looking forward to joining Ishara and company again. Congratulations on an amazing release and consider me a fan!

I love what you did with the voices by the way, they were perfectly inserted to accentuate all the right parts. I think the only problem I have was with the battle interface -- it's difficult to tell changes, especially when I'm hovering over which character to heal. I got used to it eventually and forgot the problems amid the gripping story but a clearer interface would have helped. Maybe if all characters had a black overlay layer except for the one that's on hover? In terms of story, the only jarring element I'd have would be the tiger cub -- the realism of the events pertaining to all the other characters sort of clashed with the unrealistic behaviour of the tiger cub but I'll just pretend I never watched NatGeo Wild. :P

All in all, this was soooo fun, and it's been a really amazing experience. Looks like there are plenty of positive feedback about Felix (loved his intro, definitely seems like an interesting fellow) so I'm looking forward to see how that unfolds. Ahhh I just cannot stop gushing about this, this! Was! So! Good! /applause

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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#39 Post by Aleema » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:24 am

Thank you for such warm feedback. :) It's nice to know the game is still getting new players. And thank you for the suggestions on the interface! Little tidbits of info like that help me become better at design.

I know I was stretching it with the tiger cub ... Would it help if I said it was a fantasy breed with horns or something? xD

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. Cendre's path was unplanned, so I'm glad that others are enjoying it. You don't have that much more to the story, so I hope the ending that you get doesn't just ruin everything (as endings sometimes do).

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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#40 Post by fioricca » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:28 am

Okay, I was so curious and wanted to finish the route badly so I played a bit at work. (Don't be like me.) The battle with Wray was really hard, but after around 10 tries I managed to defeat him!! (>o<) I wasn't sure whether to take Cendre earlier but am I glad I did because her shrieking was really useful. |D After seeing the ending, I'm wondering if she'd still live if I didn't take her with me but how else am I going to defeat Wray and his stooge?? Hmm.

The ending felt rushed and weird to me. Wray leaving and honouring some chance deal was confusing, and left me asking why his attitude seemed to take a 180-degree turn? The act of holding Cendre hostage in front of Ishtara did not seem premediated, like maybe Cendre slipped or something and so he was able to grab her and put a sword at her throat. His goal would be to recover the freed nobles and kick Ishtara off the ship; killing Cendre did not accomplish any of those, and instead he left sullen before meeting his end. It was very confusing to me, which dampened the ending. I also felt that there could be better dialogue between the sisters -- a lot of time was devoted at the start of the story to show how much they hated each other, and the wrong impressions that they have, that Cendre's "save the passengers!!" drama felt inadequate to resolve that part. I'm left wondering if some dialogue that fleshed out more of how they feel towards each other, maybe a reference again to how "I'm your first mate!!" or something could have worked better? I understand the urgency of the situation, but it felt weird anyway. :S

I suspect though that this semi-satisfying ending is because I haven't played other routes yet, so I'll have to replay this game again when I can. p(^o^)qワクワク

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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#41 Post by Aleema » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:57 am

Maybe try another ending and see how you like it, but honestly, YES, the endings were rushed. I literally wrote them the last day of the challenge.

Something that is difficult when writing multiple endings is to keep each one different from each other, but I have to remember that each ending, no matter what, is going to be THE ending to someone's story. We were discussing this a few years ago ... should some romance characters have tragic endings in dating sims? And my conclusion was no, not unless you really, really want to bum some of your players. It looks good in the grand scheme of things: a variety of epilogues, good diversity, more incentive to replay, etc. But if your first playthrough happens to have the "he cheated on you and you broke up" ending? Welp. I think I fell into that trap, is what I'm saying. I agree with everything you've said.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. :)

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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#42 Post by Fox Lee » Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:58 am

I don't have the time I wish I had to write about this game. I've hardly played ANY of the NaNoRenO entries so far, and now it's YuriJam I barely have any time to write about the ones I HAVE played :\

I really, really, really enjoyed this game! Every time I start playing a game with a tough lady protagonist, especially one with romance potential, I'm pretty much assuming that it will be handled poorly. That she'll wind up being defined more by her insecurities than her abilities, and she'll constantly need to be saved so her love interest can "prove" himself, and she'll secretly just be bitter than nobody treats her like a lady because that's all she really wants. Ishara is not this. Ishara is excellent. She certainly has vulnerable moments, but none of them felt like a betrayal of the ferocious badass we're presented with at the beginning. Wonderful, wonderful job on that note. I also really enjoyed her relationship with Tal (I would have loved seeing a romance between them, but I guess that wasn't to be :\).

You did excellent work with the atmosphere - how you used sounds and perspectives and camera bob to convey the presence of "water" in a bunch of different forms. I almost felt like water was a character, if that makes sense - as if it was as important to the story as some of the actual characters were, anyway! ^_^; I've lived around waterways and boats all my life - just moved back to the lakeside suburb where I lived during high school, and where my parents still live - and the way you handled the seas/rivers/oceans in this game was just perfect. Your scenes took me right back to a hundred grey mornings looking out over a sullen ocean, and it was really quite moving.

The game was a lot longer than I expected (oh my gosh I didn't even realise there was a Cendre route! GUAAAAARGH now I have to play it again even! ;_; ) but it never got dull. The combat was well-handled too, a really nice simple system that was relevant, without intruding too much on the narrative. I really enjoyed jumping between perspective characters too! I feel like a lot of VNs would be more interesting if they weren't so committed to having only one POV character. What you did, having Ishara as the main POV character but letting us see her from the outside occasionally, worked really well.

I was SO RELIEVED at the ending.
I really thought I was gonna be punished for trying to take on the final fight with just Ishara, but I couldn't imagine sending Felix along at that point - both for his own safety, and because after everything that had happened it just felt right for Ishara to prioritise her family's safety at that moment. But then OH MAN she totally came through like a god damned BOSS. Of all the things that seemed incidental or just for character building, I never expected Felix's knot trick would be Checkhov's Gun, so I damn near laughed out loud when she pulled it off. Ahh, that made me so happy! XD

I think it's partially because all along I enjoyed how decisive Ishara is - she doesn't always know the best thing to do, but she still makes the call, because otherwise what? Let somebody else decide how you live and die? Hell no. That made the ending I got seem very "real", to me; somebody else might have wasted time looking for a way out, but Ishara saves everybody because she makes the call.
Unfortunately I also got a crash when I tried to take the other path for the final battle. That really is too bad, I wanted to see what differences there were ^^;

Only one scene really bugged me, story-wise -
the scene where everybody is sure that Felix is drowning, and Ishara jumps in to save him, only to have him save her. The characters talk about how strange it is that he didn't die, but I don't recall it ever being answered. If he was just lying about his swimming ability earlier, that makes the scene where he says he can't swim pretty hard to stomach, since that would mean he nearly got both himself and Ishara killed in aid of the lie. The result was that this particular scene felt a little bit forced, just for the sake of Ishara needing a rescue, and that was frustrating given the otherwise very high calibre of storytelling. Was this addressed later, and I just didn't notice?
Oh, also - I spoke a little about the game on a podcast I do with some friends (http://dlc.invincible.ink). It is a very unknown and unimportant podcast in the grand scheme of things, but I thought you might like to know anyway ^_^;
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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#43 Post by Aleema » Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:48 am

Wow, another review! It is my lucky day!

I really appreciate everything you said about Ishara's character and similar characters. I wanted to play around with Tal's relationship a bit, perhaps include an unrequited love angle with Ishara, but ... the game would have definitely ballooned in size. 2 different arcs was too many as it was. And it's really nice to hear that the atmosphere triggered something so personal for you. That means a lot.

If you can recall the bug crash, maybe I can fix it. (you're probably busy, don't worry about it, it's my job anyway, haha) It probably has something to do with a weird battle bug. I'm sorry. You couldn't hit "ignore" and keep going? The ending that path provides would answer your question about Felix surviving underwater so long. (Which just brings up more questions than it answers, really. I wish I could have spent more time on this story. Le sigh.)

In case you never get around to playing, the answer:
Felix is actually an ancestor of water folk who can breathe underwater. Originally, he was supposed to be an ancestor of the real, historical Ishara (who was saved by her manservant, who was magical and gave her water breathing to save her life). It kinda felt like incest to have the ancestor of Ishara falling for someone named Ishara, though it wasn't, but anyway, I didn't include that bit. xD
And I do appreciate linking the podcast! Listening right now. :3

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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#44 Post by philip » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:17 pm

@Aleema-

Well this won't be an in depth review, as I just opened the story for the first time this afternoon. Started playing through and after maybe they fifth (or so) battle scene, it said "game over". Guess I'm not the warrior that I thought I was! Anyway, I really enjoy the story; the characters are well defined; everything about the art is wonderful. I can tell that I have a lot of work to do, as I have probably not reached an ending on my first attempt. Not a problem, I will enjoy going back and exploring some more. My biggest regret is that I only did one save, so I've got to go waaay back there and then proceed forward. I have definitely learned my lesson and will save more frequently! A very professional job!

You mentioned being rushed to get completed because of the time constraints; I think that it's a wonderful game that can stand on its own as is. However, if you were so inclined, it would be interesting if you were to go back and flesh out some of the places where you were less than satisfied on your first time through.

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Re: Ishara: Bane of the Seas [Adventure][GxB][NaNoRenO2015]

#45 Post by Hachiko » Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:46 am

I love the characters' developments in this game - and how choosing who to be with would make a huge impact and could potentially change their outlook on their lives, yet, unfortunately leaving the other to remain ignorant (either you rekindle your relationship with your sister and "fix" her views, or teach Felix to be more honest with himself and that there's more to life than kissing-ass with the bigwigs.)

The battles were a nice touch along the 'pirate theme' and the voice acting, yet the lack of CGs weren't exactly a downside seeing as it 'wasn't-that-type-of-VN' and the writing alone proved to be sufficient.

One of my minor 'complaints', along with everyone else, was there really wasn't an option to save Ishara's childhood friend. I know he was too deep into the rabbit hole, but ahh, I had hoped maybe she could have crossed paths with him earlier... it'd be interesting to see more of his backstory, from his perspective!

The music choice was great as well. I was wondering what the song name is playing at the start? It has this sad, flute-sounds but the title music seemed to changed after I open it some time?

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