Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #1 (Scope Setting)


     I have an upcoming Mobile Game Design course for my Junior year at the Pennsylvania College of Technology and the project I'll be working on is this Pokemon style game featuring ponies. The Ponymon Dawn/Dusk ROM hacks inspired me to tackle turn-based combat, multiplayer networking, and fixing everything that bugs me about the main Pokemon games (mainly the grinding and brainless AI). There are only mock-up images right now but I'll be putting out calls for pre-alpha testers once something actually exists in Unity.

     Development is off to a good start and things are becoming clear as the design document gets filled in. Of course I took a couple days off for Christmas with family, but got right back into development and I'm about 50% done with the game design document now.  I should be nearly finished with it by next week so I can start drafting ideas for ponies and tweaking the document for game balance. Things like items, moves, and abilities will be planned out once I have a set number of pony designs and I know their strengths and weaknesses.

Get a bunch of sales data from my other games and a list of progress for Battle Gem Ponies below.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Next Game: Battle Gem Ponies (Competitive Turn-Based RPG Adventure)


     It's finally time to start this... I've been wanting to make this game for so many years and now I'm free to give it my all! Battle Gem Ponies is the name of the game and it's about making little super-powered horses with gemstones on their chests fight each other for sport. I plan on releasing it before I graduate college in Spring 2016 and having it available on Mobile and PC platforms for $4.99.

     This is the dream game I've wanted to make for years. The success of this game will determine if I'm cut-out for a career in indie game development so I'll be putting everything I've got into making it the most awesome game it can be.

Get a full description of the game and a bunch of details below.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Dragon Souls Prologue Status Report #5 (What Comes Next?)


     With the action prototype project out of the way I was able to get my thoughts down in written form this week and start seriously dreaming up my next game. It feels great. A huge weight has been lifted as I'm finally set free. I can do the thing I want most now and start living the dream of making a truly awesome game. That game will be revealed in the next post and I'm excited to finally pull back the curtain covering what I spend all day, everyday, thinking about.

     Check below the break for a week's worth of sales, paycheck news, leftovers from my high school Pokemon project, and hints of what post-Christmas surprise I'll announce on Friday.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Dragon Souls Prologue [CANCELLED]


     I know this must come as a shocker for those following my gamedev adventures, I mean, really the decision came out of nowhere Tuesday night. I finished up the HUD and stared at it. I pulled up the icon and stared at that too. I finally gave into the voice that kept saying "This isn't going well." and imagined how much happier I'd be if I could just start my dream project that I've put off for 5+ years. Something I could spend a year or more on rather than rushing it out before school starts again.


I am cancelling the production of Dragon Souls Prologue indefinitely.

     You can catch a full breakdown of lessons learned and what I was thinking below the break. Just know that I'm working on something much better now. The thing I've wanted to do since I fist learned programming. A game that does everything I wish Pokemon would do.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dragon Souls Prologue Status Report #4 (Convention Ready)


     I officially predict that I will not make the game in time for the Christmas close-off. I'm now aiming for January 9th - 11th. A lot of things were occupying my time last week. Between finals I was in a frenzy to get all the facts together and plan my trip to my first ever convention, which is also the first time I'll be presenting my games to a huge crowd. Sure I'll have the experience from my school's BYOC party in April, but BronyCon will be a totally different beast.

     One of the big things I did this week was make a DeviantArt account in order to be more social with my target audience (people who like ponies and RPGs as much as me). Check out a link to that along with some sales data below.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dragon Souls Paused For Finals Week (Huge Leaps In Progress From Now On)


     I've mostly been doing non-Dragon Souls stuff this week but since school is officially out for Christmas I have a whole month to focus on gamedev. Most of this week's progress has been me speaking with folks on social media and reading/watching as much stuff as I can about presenting at conventions (BronyCon in particular).

    My biggest  accomplishment for Dragon Souls was getting all the enemy sprites in and animating them all. Everything is looking good so far and it's time to start coding how everything behaves. I'm glad the scope is really small this time around because I still want to start my RPG project more than anything. My wish will be granted the very first day of class in January and I couldn't be any more excited.

     On a side note, I have a DeviantArt account so I can finally leave comments there and tell people how awesome they are. You can also find some of my high school bored-in-class drawings that got me where I am today.

Now it's time to get to work! I want a playable game by next Friday!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dragon Souls Prologue Status Report #3 (Approaching Prototype)


     It's finals week so the stress to finish the semester strong is on. Last thing I need now is to repeat any courses. I'm getting ever more excited to start my next RPG in January, but Dragon Souls needs to exist first. Not only is it going to lock-down the trademark I paid so much for, but it's grid system will be used in my next game's overworld. It's also supposed to show how I have plans for future games that don't all involve multicolored equines. This game just needs to be out.

     By the looks of things I won't be making the December 22nd deadline, but who knows. Maybe  I'll be really productive over winter break.

Get some sales data, convention plans, and other news below.
(Spoilers: I'm moving to Florida in July!)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Experimenting With Dragon Souls Prologue


     I learned a lot about how 2D Toolkit's TileMaps work. I now know how to set the origin points to place character feet on the center of a tile, make it so no tile's coordinates are below zero, have objects with a lower Y value layer over things with a higher Y, and efficiently snap objects to the tile they need to be on. The objects are supposed to slide smoothly when moving and pause at the center of an adjacent tile if they stop.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dragon Souls Prologue Status Report #2 (Setting Up)


     Development is underway! I am seeing the pieces come together as I try new techniques I want to perfect in future games. Things like smaller/sharper sprites, smooth controls, and clean general organization.

Check out some sales data below!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Dragon Souls Design Document & Sprite Drafts


     After a nice Thanksgiving break post-Unicorn Training (not much progress, but lots of dreaming), I'm finally ready to start Dragon Souls Prologue. I wrote up the design document to finally get things out of my head and into the logical world. It's complete rule-wise but details may change as the game comes together.

    The game design document is the big paper where I describe in vivid detail exactly what game I'm going to be making and how to go about making it. Because I'm working alone, I only have to make it clear for me and my future self.

Get some design info and sprites below.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Dragon Souls Prologue Status Report #1 (Ideas)


     Unicorn Training released a week ago (Get it here!) and another project is already underway! It's full steam ahead as I try to make another game before app stores close for the Holiday frenzy. This is also the beginning of my new blogging schedule where I only post twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays). I want to do Status Reports on Tuesdays so I can show weekend sales (which I assume are more interesting) and I'll do weekly posts on Friday showing the most interesting developments on whatever my current project is. This report will stand in place for this Tuesday's so don't expect any updates until this upcoming Friday.

Here's week one of Dragon Souls Prologue and a new Yotes Games!
Check out Unicorn Training sales data below!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Next Project: Dragon Souls Prologue (Arcade Hack n' Slash)

Dusty old doc from before Unicorn Training...
    It's finally time to talk about this thing. This game I've been trying to make since I first learned C++ in high school. Back then it was called Dragon's Flux, but now... Dragon Souls. Trademarked. Actually, I'm just holding onto the trademark since it isn't set in stone unless I provide proof of use in commerce within the next 4 months. It was a really good name that describes the theme perfectly and before Yotes Games was even a thing I saved up to buy the name "Dragon Souls" as the name of my own video game series.

     Sadly, like Unicorn Quest, I'm not able to make this huge RPG adventure just yet. Especially with school in the way. Instead I'll be pseudo-introducing the game's protagonist and world rules. I say "pseudo" because unlike with Unicorn Training it's going to be very unrelated to the actual game series in terms of gameplay. This is a fast-paced action title with one mode and one rule: Survive.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wrapping Up Unicorn Training


     Even a week after launch it's still not over. I severely underestimated the amount of testing needed for a game this complex. Bug fixes have been flying up all week at the drop of a hat as I hear about a bug from someone at least 3 times a day.

    Each time I think I'm finally done, but something else pops up as soon as I get ready to start my next project (the ever stacking amount of schoolwork doesn't help either). If something pops up I have o fix it because I don't want to leave a broken project behind. I want this game to have a long sales tail so it needs to be considered good in the long run.

     In terms of publishing experience, I finally have a concrete list of useful app stores to upload to. I also made a set of screenshot resolution templates for all of them. The artwork this time around was pretty good, so the next project should be a hit in that department. It's playtesting that needs to be kicked up a notch the next time I make an RPG.

     I also need to design a new control scheme, which brings me to my next project. I'm trying to make a small game within 4 weeks that uses a grid-based movement system that should feel much more solid than Unicorn Training's wonky collision boxes and movement.

    If I finally clear out the last of the game's bugs I can get started on that.

Get the (hopefully) bug-free Unicorn Training on Google Play!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Unicorn Training Weekend Sales


     It's an early status report but I'm sure some of you are as interested as I am in seeing how well Unicorn Training did on its opening weekend. It's doing better than I expected and my inner flame burns brighter than ever knowing that I have a real chance at being a successful indie developer! I don't see me making enough for a Macbook just yet, but I can expect my first ever payment from Google to come in next month!

Catch some rankings and numbers to satisfy your curiosity below the break.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Press Kit Trouble (It'll Have to Wait)


     I took a look at Pixel Prospector's list of indie dev press kits and starting thinking of ways to organize my game stuff in a professional way as practice for when I try to get big-time game journalists' attention. I thought that using the presskit() program would be as easy to use as Blogger has been for running this website, but it turns out to be more complicated than that and may even cost some money to run over the years. It's basically not something to be handled in the middle of a school week and I'll have to put it off until I have time to look into making a great game press kit.

     Making something nearly as nice as Shovel Knight's on a budget of zero is harder than I thought it would be.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bugs... Bugs Everywhere...


     The release of Unicorn Training came with the expected nervous waiting for something to go wrong. In this case, many things. Being that I've never made a game this complicated, I had exponentially more bugs post-launch than I'm used to (with games like DragCore). I had some shaky internet access all weekend so there were lots of moments where I wondered what could go wrong next. The feeling disappears when I upload a new patch, allowing me to rest easy with the feeling of having a game that works. Too bad it's not permanent because I know there are some things wrong with the game that can't be changed due to the way certain systems were designed.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Join Yotes Games on Google Groups For Early Access!


     I was inspired by this Gamasutra article to get serious about using Google Groups for public testing. It may not be useful at the moment but having a playtest group / forum ready to go will benefit me in the long run. My upcoming game will be pretty community dependent as I try to make a competitive turn-based RPG. I'll need hundreds of Alpha and Beta testers to get it just right. Having tons of people involved in testing will help out marketing wise too as people spread the word.

     If I ever release a public demo or give out early access codes, it's going to be to people in one of these groups. Yotes Games Exclusive will be for the few I choose to help me find things like game breaking bugs or play through spoiler filled story moments that I don't want the public to see. Yotes Games Playtest will be wide open for anyone to find, share, and post to. This is where I can get feedback on balancing and what people like, dislike, or get confused about. This would be the stable build I push onto YouTubers who want to play an early version of the game.

If you want access to public playtest builds of my future android games, participate in exclusive download code giveaways, or post on a forum that I will read regularly:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Status Report #64 (Unicorn Training Released!)


     A huge weight has been lifted and anticipation took it's place. All that's left to do now is wait and see how many people download Unicorn Training next week. It feels incredible having this much experience behind me and my confidence as a game developer has finally bloomed to where I feel I truly belong with the indies I've been looking up to. I'm proud to have Unicorn Training in my portfolio and I can't wait to get started on what's coming next.

You can download Unicorn Training on Google Play!
You can also check out the status report below the page break.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Unicorn Training is Available NOW!!


     It's finally here! Unicorn Training is up on Google Play (and so is the free version!). If you don't believe me, check out the games tab or the header icons on yotesgames.com! The full version costs $1 and profits will help me buy a Mac so I can port to iOS someday. Thanks to everyone who kept this project alive by following my disorderly antics and boosted my morale enough to continue working even when I felt like just dropping everything and moving on.

Now enjoy that game I promised!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Unicorn Training Submitted! (Look For It Starting Tomorrow)


     Unicorn Training is ready for launch! I sent it to Amazon & Samsung for approval and it will release on those stores next week. The Google Play version of it will be posted at midnight tonight and go live soon after (about an hour or two). I also set up accounts on SlideME, GetJar, and AndroidPIT (android stores with a lot of international traffic) so people can find Unicorn Training there too! I'm counting on this being my most professional, polished, and popular game yet!

     Both the paid version and the free demo are sitting in Google Play waiting for me to push the launch button at midnight tomorrow. I've never been so hyped for my own game launch before and I'm really excited to see what happens next. I finally have an RPG in my portfolio!

Come back tomorrow for a direct link to the game when it's up!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Unicorn Training Trailer


     I couldn't find any public domain trailer music that fit well so I spliced together a couple in-game songs to use for the trailer score. I wanted to show the best parts of the Beta video as well as a few extra action shots in 90 seconds and I think I hit the mark perfectly! I'm hoping this will be enough to show off the fun parts of the game and convince some people to get the full version. Now it's just a matter of getting the apps up so the trailer can link directly to the stores it's on.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Unicorn Training Promo Material


     If by some miracle from the shining heavens Unicorn Training takes off and gets featured on an appstore I'll need to submit art at certain resolutions for them to put on the storefront so people can click on the pretty art to be taken to my app info page. I made them for TriGrid, Candy Shop Catch, DragCore, and Feed The Plant so it's nothing new. I'm only getting better at it.

     I've finally realized the importance of having nice contrasting colors and sharp pixels. Without something telling the eyes what the boundaries are and where to focus it looks like some amateur MS Paint mock-up. I want my banners to stand out on the app store and look as good, if not better, than anything next to it. If I expect people to actually pay for this, I need to go the extra mile.

Get some pretty promotional art below!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Unicorn Training Appstore Screenshots

After slaving away for days it's done!
     I took a nice chunk of time to capture 10 perfect screenshots for Unicorn Training. These are the prettiest game images I've gotten for anything I've put up by a long shot. I put a lot of time and love into these things and the results make me proud to call this my game's best face-forward. I'll see to it that the feature / promo art is just as visually impressive.

    I set the game's camera resolution to 1136x640 and made it so it will shrink or stretch the image to fit any device's screen. This is an important thing to add because I want all the HUD elements to be visible even on the weirdest of screen sizes. The screenshots are supposed to show off the game's features and convince people that it's worth their attention. I'm hoping these screenshots will be impressive enough to convince folks to watch the trailer, read the description, and ultimately pay a dollar for the full version.

You can take a look at all the screenshots below the break!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Screenshots Delayed: Resolution Issues

Your first four screenshots are what will really sell your game.
That's why I'm still carefully capturing mine.
     I made a mess. The thought never came to me, but resolution issues have come back to haunt me and I've had to remake the same couple screenshot sets 3 times now. I'm still working on them going by the new camera settings that I have to use alongside the Unity screen viewer. The way the game is set up, the camera has a different resolution than the device it's on so I had to find a camera resolution that looks good on any screen within a certain range.

    I thought I was fine just using a set aspect ratio in Unity but that only applies within Unity and not on actual devices of varying screen sizes. It's a total headache and the best solution I've found so far is to use the biggest resolution I know of for my camera screen size and shrinking it to fit on everything else. Out of everything I tried those results looked the best so I locked that in code.

This nightmare of minor details are going to be carefully considered when working on my next game.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Status Report #63 (Unicorn Training Beta)


     It's almost finished.... It's almost out into the world and I'm almost ready to take another step towards who I want to be. Keep an eye out for Unicorn Training which I plan to have up on Google Play on Friday, November 14th! That's next week! Crazy exciting.

     With that being the case I'll be doing my big blog post schedule change soon after Status Report #64 (which is cool because I love the N64) and it'll feel like new beginnings all around. I'm not sure when I'll be doing a full website color scheme change, but keep an eye out for that too in the coming months. As for content to see now, look no further than below the page break.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Making Unicorn Training Screenshots


     I'm working on making the best possible screenshots for my game right now, but it's going to take some time since school gets pretty busy on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. I only have 2 so far but I've planned out 8 more and have a strategy to make them look perfect in all resolutions.

     An app's screenshots are what sells it so they need to be perfect representations of the best qualities of my game. they have to be interesting, unique, and informative of mechanics. Expect a big post containing them all tomorrow. I'll be working on them until then.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Unicorn Training Tested (+ App Description!)


     The game runs great on both tablets and phones! All things point to go for final app compilation. Unicorn Training is on it's way to an appstore near you! I'm going to scramble to get release info ready to go. Look below the break for my rough draft of the app description and leave a comment about what you think.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Unicorn Training Gameplay (Video #19)


    I put together a gameplay compilation and put it on YouTube for all to see! If my Trailer doesn't turn out right I can just use this for my appstore listings instead. Either way, I want people to see what the game looks like before making a purchase decision. I want people to be glad they bought my game and feel like they got their dollar's worth.


     This was recorded in Unity with Open Broadcast Software and edited with the Lightworks movie editor. The result was much sharper than my attempts with Windows Movie Maker.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Learning Lightworks Movie Editor


     The picture about is chaos, but it works. I'm using Lightworks to put together the last two development videos for Unicorn Training (some gameplay and the trailer). It's messy, but everything does what it's supposed to and the tools I serch for are where I'd expect them to be. I can tell I'll get comfortable with it as I play around more today and tomorrow. It looks messy because I don't know the best optimization yet as I do with Unity. Once I figure out what everything does and which tools I like the most the windows will be streamlined to my needs and the videos I produce will get better and better. Heck, I'm just glad to have footage that isn't blurry or muffled for once.

Expect a gameplay video tomorrow!
(Watch the tutorial I'm going by here.)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Unicorn Training Is In Beta!


     I finally did it!! My dev task list is clear of additional features and bugs to fix! Unicorn Training is effectively done being "developed" and only needs to be tested on some actual devices over the week. I guess this is what you'd call beta. Unicorn Training is in BETA!! Which means the launch is bound to come next week and I couldn't be any more excited/relieved/proud/victorious.

    I'll be working on trailer footage and putting a gameplay reel together for tomorrow. After those I'll do some final testing on multiple devices before wrapping this up, making a free version, testing that, then sending both versions out for review to be put on as many android appstores as I can reach. For those of you who stuck around for the whole ride, thanks.

    I've been at this for about a year now. Th idea came to me during DragCore's development but I didn't get started until February when I wrote the announcement post. I remember how excited I was to make my first RPG adventure, and it was every bit as challenging as I expected. What I didn't see coming were the cutbacks I had to pull to finish this thing, but in the end, I'm better at this than ever and I'm ready to start fresh and get it right.

    Clover's training is almost over and so is mine. Let's see what I can do with this title under my belt! I aim to get this out by next Friday, November 14th!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Crunch Time To Get A Quick Game Out


     The race is on to get started on my next game jam style project. I want a free smaller game finished before appstores shut down for winter holidays. That means it has to be up before the 20th since they usually stop accepting and reviewing submissions around the 22nd. If I want to ensure my place when most companies are rushing out Christmas apps, I need to be completely done with my game done and submitted by December 10th to get on stores like amazon, Samsung, and GetJar. Google Play lets you upload whenever you want, but may still close off uploading for Christmas.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Status Report #62 (Finishing Touches To Unicorn Training)


     It's soon to be trailer week as I finish up some last minute things with Unicorn Training. Game breaking bugs have been turning up all week and I've been squashing every one I could find. Next week will be all about the game trailer, a gameplay compilation, and bug testing before making a free version of the game and putting both on the appstore waiting list before next Monday. It's really the home stretch now!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Musical Transitions In Unicorn Training


     Another small touch was added to the game that makes a huge difference. I smoothed out music transitions from scene to scene and replaced all the placeholder music with the final soundtrack, courtesy of OpenGameArt.Org. It took a while, but I finally found a soundtrack that fits decently. The selection of free stuff is alright, but it's impossible to find stuff that fits perfectly this way. I'm really excited to have custom made songs for my games in the future.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Balancing Unicorn Training


     Until now all enemies had the default amount of experience point value and magic cost / power was pretty unfair. Now those values have been tweaked to a point that feels more natural. Enemy HP was altered too. The game feels legitimate and easier to play this way. Aside from the basic balancing I also have been hunting for more game crashing bugs (I found so many!) and should have everything clear to go so I can finish this once and for all over the weekend.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Unicorn Training: Intro & Ending Text Scenes


     One of the last additions to the game are these black screens with white text that appear only once per save file after first starting and when all dungeons are beaten. The intro ones are about Clover longing to explore and the ending is the message above foreshadowing the Unicorn Quest game to come. As I said when this whole redesign got started, the game mirrors my desire to get started on something grand and fantastic but is held back because there's still some training to do before handling an adventure across Equica.

    There's not much else to post about because a lot of my time this week has been eaten by exams, homework, and fixing game breaking bugs. If I keep it up I know I can power through and get this game out soon. For now, it's back to grinding away.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Unicorn Training: Last Week of Development! (Birthday Goal)


     The Unicorn Training project is coming to an end and I'm predicting this to be the last week I spend adding things to the game. Next week will be all testing and I can have this thing out weeks before going home for Thanksgiving break. It's been a wild ride and really helpful for me to realize the importance of thinking design decisions through instead of having them just to have them.

I turned 21 today and I absolutely feel like a much smarter person than I was a year ago. 

     As for what's on the horizon, I'm waiting for my Gaming & Simulation instructor to return fro a trip to ask if I'm allowed to combine my Mobile Gaming class project with my senior Capstone class one in order to have an extra semester's worth of concentration. If all goes well the stars will have aligned to allow me to make the best game I'm capable of producing.

     This upcoming RPG means the world to me and its success will determine if independent game development is a career path I'm capable of following. I'll be giving it every bit of energy I can to ensure it does more than well.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Unicorn Training: The Music Hunt


     The game is just about done now and needs some tunes! A visit to my go-to public domain song sites filled that spot up quickly. My game's audio component is finally complete! I wanted the game done in time for my birthday, and development-wise I pretty much did it, but there's final testing to do before putting it on the app store. Now that the placeholder tracks are swapped out, my game has all its elements together.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Spring 2014: Extra Time To Focus


     With this project wrapping up and the spring semester approaching I find myself daydreaming about dedicating a year to my mobile project. My schedule was thrown out of whack but I can make the most of it. I was planning on having a really easy semester as my last at school but thanks to my rewrite I'll be doing most of that this spring instead. I was planning on dedicating lots of time to a certain couple classes I'm dreading but I can use the free time to get my next game out faster instead.

    I have a feeling that once I start my turn-based RPG I'll rocket through development on passion fuel. I've been itching to do it for a year now, even years if you count my first attempt at making a game (a dead project called Pokemon Adventure written in C++). If I'm as productive as I'm predicting I can have it out late November of next year at the earliest.

     As you can see above I've kept all the leftovers from my first Pokemon project and saved anything inspiring me for the new one. That includes a few mock ups I put together when I couldn't contain myself. I'm really eager to put everything I have into it as soon as Unicorn Training is done for good.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Status Report #61 (Unicorn Training Crunch)


     Unicorn Training is wrapping up and I'm ready to push it out into the world and see what happens. It's not my masterpiece, but it is my first baby. Having made this I truly feel like a game developer. I now understand just how hard it is to make all those dreams come to life. I know I say it every day now, but I really can't wait to get started on something new so I can put my new knowledge to the test. Hopefully I can start fresh mid-November.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Unicorn Training: Open House Crunch Time!


     Open House is coming up this Sunday and I want Unicorn Training's beta to be playable! It's super crunch time as I try to get as much done as I can so I can upload the beta to Google play and have it on my tablet for Penn College guests to play. I'm especially excited to see more kids play the game now that all the flashy stuff has been added to it. I'll finally get to see just how pick-up-and-playable my first adventure really is.

     There's tons of bugs to fix and loose ends i=to tie so I'm just going to get to it now. Expect details on how it went next week!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Class Schedule (Project Schedule Change)


     I did my class scheduling on Thursday and the fact that I forgot about semester exclusivity existing threw my entire school plan into chaos. I was counting on all my senior year classes being the easy stuff but now a lot of ones I was planning to get over sooner rather than later are scattered over the next 3 semesters.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Unicorn Training: MORE Save Bugs & Features


     I'm really treading on eggshells here with these saves because I found even more variables I missed, a bunch of mismatched file types, and even file some naming convention mistakes. While I was at it I changed up a few other features involving save data.

     Now whenever you die there is a penalty of losing 20% of your current experience points (up to zero) and pressing the quit button exits to the game's menu while save will allow you to quit and come back to the room you last entered. I even put an erase button on the main menu so players can erase old saves because I noticed that once all files were full there was no way to start a new game.

    This stuff allows players to use the pause menu's Go Home feature, escape from battle if they retry, or leave a boss room and come back with items. With these features out of the way I can do the final additions (music, then scripted intro and ending) and finally be done with this thing so I can watch other people play with it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Unicorn Training: Cleaning Up The Save System


     Things are as busy as ever. School is back full force and I spent most of the day either in class or in a textbook. I used my few hours of gamedev time sprucing up the save script and rechecking it for important data values I overlooked (there were a few). As of tonight the save system works great and is easy to edit. It' important to get this down now because my mobile project is going to have a ton of variables to keep track of.

Hopefully more gets done tomorrow!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bug Hunt, Scripting Saves, & New Video Editor


     Yesterday was all about fixing bugs and testing the data save features. I made another disembodied script called Saves to go along with Globals that handles all the save info in a central place. With this I can focus on saving the game at certain points rather than on the fly like I did with DragCore which caused some minor performance issues. I was surprised that there really wasn't much data to keep track of for this game. I hope my future games have data this easy to manage.

     I also got to try out Lightworks which I will now be using instead of Windows Movie Maker. Unfortunately I'm not able to transfer the edited file project to it and remaking the whole thing is more trouble than it's worth. I'll just take it as another lesson learned and make future videos with this free professional tool. For now, I just recorded some gameplay (using my phone as a controller instead of a trackpad) and played around with some ideas for the official trailer.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Unicorn Training Development Video #18 (Alpha 2.0)


     I could spend a couple paragraphs explaining all the details and things I added to the game overnight, but I think a gameplay video will work better.

     This video is actually a recording of an edited project in Windows Live Movie Maker so there are a lot of skips, blurry visuals, and some lag throughout. If I can get the file to compile into an uploadable form without Movie Maker crashing I'll reupload a higher quality version. Until then...


(Click YouTube Link!)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Status Report #60 (Dungeon Select, Brainstorming, & File System)

I'm accomplishing a crazy amount of stuff this weekend!
     My development checklist is getting shorter! This coming week might just be the last for development! Once I'm in final testing I can rest easy and prepare for launch! Since I don't even have to wait for Apple this time I can do it whenever I'm ready. Amazon and Samsung might take a week but there's really not much to stop me from releasing in early November. I can finally get feedback from people I don't see in person and see what the world thinks of my first game.

    Look at all my business stats after the page break!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Unicorn Training: (Load & Save) File Select Menu


     A file select screen exists! Players can have their save data occupy one or all of the available slots. Player will select a file then push the forward arrow to act or push the back button to return to the previous screen. In the end, it's a lot more elegant than what I had in mind a few weeks ago. I scrapped the idea of custom file names to save time on a virtual keyboard even though my school maze project had me make a keypad with similar behaviors.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ideas For Building Characters (Mobile RPG)


     I spent a lot of time looking at a bunch of Pokemon theories (non-creepypasta ones) that explained a lot of logic games in the game's world. things like how the world came into existence, how one monster can become another through generations of breeding/mutation, and why there is a limit to how many moves can be used. It's a way to get me thinking about how to make my own world full of characters that don't feel like generic stand-ins.

    You can see a few standout videos I saw on Gnoggin's YouTube channel and catch what I took away from the experience as a gamedev below the break.