Jacob's Island - (Fantasy)(Adventure)

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Geckos
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Jacob's Island - (Fantasy)(Adventure)

#1 Post by Geckos » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:08 am

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Jacob's Island floats high above the wreckage of the old world.
You play Kenna as she struggles to cope with being the last human in a world now filled with magic and monsters.
Will she drown in the memories of her life from another time,
or embrace the fantastical opportunities that await her at the Academy of Ancient Magics?



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Kenna, the main character.
Kenna is as much a mystery to herself as she is to those around her. Thanks to near lethal brain damage from cryogenic freezing, she has strong opinions, but no ideas as to why.


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Esmerelda, the Manticore:
A reluctant princess, who's passion tends more towards the path of a warrior than that of a mage or royalty. With a relaxed nature that can only be born of someone who fears nothing, she regrets but accepts that her fate is sealed by her blood.



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Eric, the Alicorn:
Simply, good. He has no aspirations beyond becoming a healer, and helping people. He knows that in doing that he is already achieving greatness. Unintimidated by either royalty or the ressurection of long dead races, he simply intends to follow his path, and save as many lives as he has power to do so.


ner_port.jpg
Nerina, the Sea Nymph:
The daughter of royalty, from a nation where the dance of power is on a razor's edge, Nerina navigates political waters with the ease of one born in them. While the school may be a far departure from the entrenched conflict of the courts, she rarely drops her guard, and always acts with the warmth, eloquence, and siren's charm only becoming of a princess of the Sea Folk.

Side characters:
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Re: Jacob's Island - Fantasy, Adventure, Romance (Demo up!)

#2 Post by khnachi » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:40 am

oh!!gorgeous art..!
and the story looks interesting :mrgreen:
*le stalks*

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Re: Jacob's Island - Fantasy, Adventure, Romance (Demo up!)

#3 Post by Azura » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:28 am

This looks yummy.

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Re: Jacob's Island - Fantasy, Adventure, Romance (Demo up!)

#4 Post by Geckos » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:58 am

khnachi wrote:oh!!gorgeous art..!
and the story looks interesting :mrgreen:
*le stalks*
Azura wrote:This looks yummy.
Try the demo out, and let me know what you think!
Feedback is greatly appreciated.
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Re: Jacob's Island - Demo up

#5 Post by khnachi » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:51 pm

• Very nice looking sprites, and unlike most vn sprites your sprites have a very wide variety of poses, this is actually the first time I put much attention to the sprites body language rather than their expressions, like how most of your characters speak through there body language more than the expression does(or maybe that's just me) two thumbs up for that! and the bgs looks very pretty, btw
•the gui is nice and all but I did have a hard time at first in locating the options on my first try of the game.
•the story looks interesting especially with that ending--ugh more please!
yah and I did find some typos:
"gae-face"conversation with Zex
"noise-nose"conversation with gargoyle
•overall, I really enjoyed the demo, and I'm really looking forward to this games release. Goodluck! :mrgreen:

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Re: Jacob's Island - Demo up

#6 Post by Nuxill » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:27 pm

I'm still waiting on a Mac demo. Any idea when you'll be able to upload it?

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Re: Jacob's Island - Demo up

#7 Post by Obscura » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:17 pm

I think I'm halfway through the demo, so some thoughts before I forget:

ART
This looks great! The sprites are very lively and animated, and Zex is so adorable. Congrats on creating an entire believable world out of thin air. My only quibble with the art was that for some reason the thickness of the lineart for the sprites would change from pose to pose? Like Zex would have very thin, crisp line art in one pose, and in the next pose, it would be very heavy around the arms. It was a small thing, and normally I'd just let it go, but it bugged me enough that I felt the need to say something about it. It could be just me though.

STORY
I like the directness of the writing. The characters are colorful. My issues, which you can take with a bag of salt:
There is a lot of "introduction" stuff going on in the first chapter. I think personally I'd try to cut more of that out and focus more on something that creates more tension for the main character. Like why it's so important to solve the mystery of who she is, why they're so interested in her, etc. etc. You want to create a burning question, something that the player itches to have answered. As it stands I feel there's not enough tension. Of course, that's a personal preference and it might be that I'm not a slice-of-life kind of player, just my .02.
Overall this is a pretty unique and cool-looking VN. Interested to see where this goes. :wink:
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Re: Jacob's Island - Demo up

#8 Post by CheeryMoya » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:10 pm

Played the demo yesterday night when I was finally able to get it out of the .zip D: I had to extract each part of the game folder by folder because getting the whole thing out would take 5 hours... you'll need to find a way to compress the filesize (removing the .psd files in there might also help) by the time the game's complete.

But, it was totally worth it! I'm sorry if I never made it obvious but I've been watching this project for a while. Hopefully this textwall will satisfy orz

Admittedly, the premise is typical of fantasy stories: Protagonist is taken out of their regular world and plopped into a new and unfamiliar land. It's the execution that matters most though, and your writer definitely knows how to keep it interesting. Out of the cast that we meet, my favorite is definitely Peter ❀◕ ‿ ◕❀ He is actually a really decent guy damn that shirt is hot.
That part where he was like "I hit on homophobes to mess with them" was the thing that definitely sealed the deal for me.
And Kenna, she's got spunk! What a great protag man, even when she has no idea what's going on she's not letting everyone push her around that easily. These characters are great.
At the same time, I feel like I got to know them too early. The pacing needs work and scenes change too quickly without much transition. Right now it seems like these are separate events cobbled into a game one after another without much explanation as to why the cast is doing it.
When Kenna blacks out in front of Basolith, Eric, and Es, we're transported almost instantaneously to the hospital room. An ellipses break when the background goes black would help more than you'd imagine. And when Kenna and Zex go balcony jumping... wait, why? Her head was hurting so she decides to overexert herself? The scene where Kenna meets Es goes almost too easily for someone who doesn't want to talk as well (that could be intentional though, Esmerelda is just trying to put up a tough front but she really just wants a friend :'D).
As for visuals, this was total eyecandy. The images actually took up more space than the audio which I find ironic (it's usually the opposite), but with all the animation it's to be expected. Multiple poses! Blinking! Zex's tail is so fun uwu I love the painterly style you have going on here. If I have a main gripe though, it's that some of the CGs still look like WIPs as some parts don't have clear outlines to define each shape (if they are indeed still WIPs, please regard this >_>). It's a bit odd to see areas without lines and others with clear lines unless it's intentionally blurred. Also echoing Obscura on the thickness on some of the sprites.

I liked the music choices, though the song on the title screen seemed strangely out of place like there was going to be a fight or something? I can't think of the word at the moment >_> I'd also like to note how the music was used. Sometimes the songs would carry on from scene to scene, and some part would benefit if it were silent. You'll want to find some sound effects too;
when Peter was knocking the actual game going "KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK" distracted me from the narrative for a while.
Most of the GUI hasn't been customized yet, but I think that the textbox could afford to be a little wider. I remember towards the end of the demo there were bits that stretched the textbox up and that's something that can easily be avoided. Some of the colors for each of the speaker's text were hard to read like Zex's and Esmerelda's too, try black if you're going to keep them like that.

I think that's about it for now, I really enjoyed playing this. khnachi already pointed out any typos I saw. I'm looking forward to more progress, good luck and keep at it ≧◡≦

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Re: Jacob's Island - Demo up

#9 Post by Geckos » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:18 pm

khnachi wrote:• Very nice looking sprites, and unlike most vn sprites your sprites have a very wide variety of poses, this is actually the first time I put much attention to the sprites body language rather than their expressions, like how most of your characters speak through there body language more than the expression does(or maybe that's just me) two thumbs up for that! and the bgs looks very pretty, btw
•the gui is nice and all but I did have a hard time at first in locating the options on my first try of the game.
•the story looks interesting especially with that ending--ugh more please!
yah and I did find some typos:
"gae-face"conversation with Zex
"noise-nose"conversation with gargoyle
•overall, I really enjoyed the demo, and I'm really looking forward to this games release. Goodluck! :mrgreen:
Thank you for telling me how you liked the game! I am glad that the sprites spoke through their bodies more than just their faces; it was a good bit of work but I think it paid off in helping show the character's personalities.

Was the text for the menu too small to read? do you think adding a "Menu" option to the save/load/skip/prefs area would help at all?

Thanks for letting me know about those typos! I'll make sure to fix them for when chapter 2 comes out.
:3
CheeryMoya wrote:Played the demo yesterday night when I was finally able to get it out of the .zip D: I had to extract each part of the game folder by folder because getting the whole thing out would take 5 hours... you'll need to find a way to compress the filesize (removing the .psd files in there might also help) by the time the game's complete.
Ooo, yea. Sorry about that. I'll make sure to work on that when I release chapter 2.
But, it was totally worth it! I'm sorry if I never made it obvious but I've been watching this project for a while. Hopefully this textwall will satisfy orz

Admittedly, the premise is typical of fantasy stories: Protagonist is taken out of their regular world and plopped into a new and unfamiliar land. It's the execution that matters most though, and your writer definitely knows how to keep it interesting. Out of the cast that we meet, my favorite is definitely Peter ❀◕ ‿ ◕❀ He is actually a really decent guy damn that shirt is hot.
That part where he was like "I hit on homophobes to mess with them" was the thing that definitely sealed the deal for me.
And Kenna, she's got spunk! What a great protag man, even when she has no idea what's going on she's not letting everyone push her around that easily. These characters are great.
It's really great to hear your reaction to the characters. While the writer really develops their personalities through the story, they're still mah babies. I am glad to see some favoritism on Peter, as so far most people leans towards Zex for his goof-ballery.
And oh yea, nobody is going to be pushing Kenna around.

At the same time, I feel like I got to know them too early. The pacing needs work and scenes change too quickly without much transition. Right now it seems like these are separate events cobbled into a game one after another without much explanation as to why the cast is doing it.
When Kenna blacks out in front of Basolith, Eric, and Es, we're transported almost instantaneously to the hospital room. An ellipses break when the background goes black would help more than you'd imagine.
Thanks for letting me know! just an extra click on the black screen with some ... you think? the writer and I are still new to pacing; we are open to suggestions.
And when Kenna and Zex go balcony jumping... wait, why? Her head was hurting so she decides to overexert herself?
I can agree with that. Maybe just an extra line or two detailing her thought process might help for that scene. Thanks!
The scene where Kenna meets Es goes almost too easily for someone who doesn't want to talk as well (that could be intentional though, Esmerelda is just trying to put up a tough front but she really just wants a friend :'D).
As for visuals, this was total eyecandy. The images actually took up more space than the audio which I find ironic (it's usually the opposite), but with all the animation it's to be expected.
Haha, I had to think about that for a minute. Yea, there will be quite a few more songs added to the game before long. That also probably has to do with the large resolution of the game. I'm glad that you liked the animation.


Multiple poses! Blinking! Zex's tail is so fun uwu I love the painterly style you have going on here. If I have a main gripe though, it's that some of the CGs still look like WIPs as some parts don't have clear outlines to define each shape (if they are indeed still WIPs, please regard this >_>). It's a bit odd to see areas without lines and others with clear lines unless it's intentionally blurred. Also echoing Obscura on the thickness on some of the sprites.
That's fair. If the CGs look too unfinished I can put a bit more work in them; for the most part it was me experimenting and rushing to get a demo out. For the most part, backgrounds aren't meant to have lines, but I know that some figures are missing lines once you get away from the face.

The thickness on the sprites is actually my art before and after I got a nice new tablet. I will make a note of this and try to fix it for chapter 2!

I liked the music choices, though the song on the title screen seemed strangely out of place like there was going to be a fight or something? I can't think of the word at the moment >_> I'd also like to note how the music was used. Sometimes the songs would carry on from scene to scene, and some part would benefit if it were silent. You'll want to find some sound effects too;
when Peter was knocking the actual game going "KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK" distracted me from the narrative for a while.
I actually received a comment about that before. If it's distracting, I can definitely look for some sound effects to replace that bit. There are also a few other scenes where I could try to add in little tid-bits.

Most of the GUI hasn't been customized yet, but I think that the textbox could afford to be a little wider. I remember towards the end of the demo there were bits that stretched the textbox up and that's something that can easily be avoided. Some of the colors for each of the speaker's text were hard to read like Zex's and Esmerelda's too, try black if you're going to keep them like that.
I think for those scenes I will likely cut down on how many sentences are allowed into the box; I have had some complaints that anything over 3 sentences and it gets to be a bit much. As for the text color, I'll make theirs darker again. I'm trying to give each character a distinct text color so you don't get the sentences confused if you happen to not read the name-box.
I think that's about it for now, I really enjoyed playing this. khnachi already pointed out any typos I saw. I'm looking forward to more progress, good luck and keep at it ≧◡≦
Thank you very much for the feedback! It's greatly appreciated, and it is nice to know that our characters and world are being enjoyed.
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Re: Jacob's Island - Demo up

#10 Post by Geckos » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:25 pm

Nuxill wrote:I'm still waiting on a Mac demo. Any idea when you'll be able to upload it?
The Mac version is up now in the main post. I also added that the mac/linux version have not been run through at all, so there may be issues with them. (Hopefully not!)
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Re: Jacob's Island - Demo up

#11 Post by Geckos » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:32 pm

Obscura wrote:I think I'm halfway through the demo, so some thoughts before I forget:

ART
This looks great! The sprites are very lively and animated, and Zex is so adorable. Congrats on creating an entire believable world out of thin air. My only quibble with the art was that for some reason the thickness of the lineart for the sprites would change from pose to pose? Like Zex would have very thin, crisp line art in one pose, and in the next pose, it would be very heavy around the arms. It was a small thing, and normally I'd just let it go, but it bugged me enough that I felt the need to say something about it. It could be just me though.
Yea, that's just hardware change in the middle of drawing the sprites. Since it's distracting I'll definitely try to remedy it and make the lines even. Basolith's sprite (who is the biggest culprit of this) is actually going to be remade.

STORY
I like the directness of the writing. The characters are colorful. My issues, which you can take with a bag of salt:
There is a lot of "introduction" stuff going on in the first chapter. I think personally I'd try to cut more of that out and focus more on something that creates more tension for the main character. Like why it's so important to solve the mystery of who she is, why they're so interested in her, etc. etc. You want to create a burning question, something that the player itches to have answered. As it stands I feel there's not enough tension. Of course, that's a personal preference and it might be that I'm not a slice-of-life kind of player, just my .02.
I think that's fairly accurate; I definitely trust your judgment after having seen your work ethic and motivation for success. I'm currently trying to get the writer to make an account and join us, so we'll see how that goes :D

Overall this is a pretty unique and cool-looking VN. Interested to see where this goes. :wink:
Thanks for taking the time to have a look! Hopefully it does not disappoint.
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Re: Jacob's Island - Demo up (Win, Mac, Linux)

#12 Post by Nuxill » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:12 am

Thanks for adding the mac version! I can't play the game right this second since I'm bogged down with work, but I am excited to try this out.

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Re: Jacob's Island - Demo up (Win, Mac, Linux)

#13 Post by Aseret » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:30 pm

WOW just finished playing and I absolutely loved it!!
I was really immersed in their world of fantasy :D
I loved the music and felt that it suited the game and played at the right moments. The visuals were incredibly stunning. I was so impressed with the backgrounds, CGs and the character art. Each character was diverse in both their art and their personalities (including the protagonist). And yeah, I not only loved the expressions the characters had, the different body poses/movements were such a great plus. I loved the various types of races and the setting of the story as well. The story and the writing really has me intrigued and wanting more :)
In terms of critique, the only thing that comes to mind is the screen where you save and load stuff (I don't know the name of what it's called), the font and size is kinda small. Also, when you have to pick a choice of what you want to say, the font for that is slightly too small as well.
Overall, such an amazing game! Any estimates of releasing the full version of this awesome game? Like an estimate release date or something of the sort?

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Re: Jacob's Island - Demo up (Win, Mac, Linux)

#14 Post by Geckos » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:52 pm

Aseret wrote:WOW just finished playing and I absolutely loved it!!
I was really immersed in their world of fantasy :D
I loved the music and felt that it suited the game and played at the right moments. The visuals were incredibly stunning. I was so impressed with the backgrounds, CGs and the character art. Each character was diverse in both their art and their personalities (including the protagonist). And yeah, I not only loved the expressions the characters had, the different body poses/movements were such a great plus. I loved the various types of races and the setting of the story as well. The story and the writing really has me intrigued and wanting more :)
In terms of critique, the only thing that comes to mind is the screen where you save and load stuff (I don't know the name of what it's called), the font and size is kinda small. Also, when you have to pick a choice of what you want to say, the font for that is slightly too small as well.
Overall, such an amazing game! Any estimates of releasing the full version of this awesome game? Like an estimate release date or something of the sort?
Sorry for the short reponse, I m out of town, on my phone and it wont function properly to let type more
Thanks for taking the time to play the demo. I will take note of the text being too small in those areas and make sure to enlarge it for the next release.
Once we finish putting in chapter 2 we will have a better idea of when we think we will releaase the full game.
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Re: Jacob's Island - Demo up (Win, Mac, Linux)

#15 Post by bellice » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:35 pm

One question before I try out the demo: Is this strictly GxB or is there a GxG option as well?
I tend to avoid the frustration of not being able to decide what my character is into.

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