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.






My first game. An unfinished C++/SDL fangame: Pokemon Adventure.
8 directional movement, all Pokemon can follow, huge new region.
I got as far as an interactive overworld you could walk around, a Pikachu
that follows you, a battle screen, and a working menu system before giving up.
It was going to have "revolutionary" fully animated 3v3 Final Fantasy style battles.
I was actually planning to apply to Nintendo with a demo of this running on 3DS.
Silly high school me...
I was prepared to code and animate all 600+ Pokemon and
thought it could all be done before graduating high school.
I wanted customizable trainer cards, girl trainers in short skirts,
day/night cycles, animated trainer sprites, and online matchmaking.
Overambitious? What's that mean to a teenage me?
I also have a folder of 44 scanned papers that I drew notes and ideas on.
Lots of trainer sketches, written code, and tile sprites.
This was the map of  the Fornta region.

   Completed:
  • Received First Payment (From Google)
  • Dragon Symbol Silhouette
  • Watched Unit 4.6 Tutorials
  • Cancelled Dragon Souls Prologue
  • Started GDD Of Next Game
  • Mock-up Screen Layouts
  • Decided On Protagonist Designs
  • Mock-Up Game Icon (Version 1, Posted Below)
  • Rough Draft Icon (Version 2, Will Post Friday)
  • 2 Pony Test Sprites
  • Name Of All Game Locations
  • Rough Draft World Map
  • Rough Draft Region Map
  • Re-Read Bulbapedia Pages To Deeply Understand Every Aspect Of Pokemon Battle Code, Stats, & Overall Balance.
  • Looked Up Tons Of Pokemon Competitive Strategies On YouTube (Starting With Verlisify)
     Lessons Learned:
  • Making A Rushed Game Just To Claim A Trademark I Paid For Twice Just Is Not Worth It.
  • I Need To Start Thinking About Localization Now. 
  • I Should Incorporate A Language Select & Grab Text From Documents Outside Of Scripts.
  • When My Game Comes Out Reviews Will Focus On The Adventure And Mention The Multiplayer. The Metagame Will Be What Keeps Fans Going Long After, Pushing Word Of Mouth.
     The very first payout has arrived! I'm $300 richer! Minus $70 for a GoDaddy Bookkeeping subscription that I'm using in case my next game goes well and the IRS comes hunting. I can officially say I get paid to make video games now! Next step is to make that monthly number bigger so I can survive on my own and keep making games.

     I was right about assuming the money exists on the 20th. It took 2 days to get into my bank account and there may delays on weekends. If you're a Google dev, assume your pay arrives on the 20th to avoid trouble.

    As for Amazon, I was sent an email saying my first payment would be issued on the 28th (about $20) and will appear in my account within 5 days. I'm mentally placing that as getting paid on the 5th of the month two months after the app was sold. Now things are getting messy. Heck, I even heard that people with games on the Nintendo eShop get paid quarterly based on when they submit. That could be 3 months with no desperately needed income for an indie!

     I'm glad I'm finally learning all this payment stuff firsthand. You really need to budget properly to account for the delayed income going on from so many different sources. And it'll only get crazier when I release on more platforms with my next game!
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   Downloads:








    I'm making about $1 a day off Unicorn Training and it's ranking dropped past 100, burying me under everyone else. It's lifespan was about 2 months but those 2 months were the most interesting of my career so far and I'd call that a good start. I finally have a bit of proof of my potential which boosts my self-esteem and drive a bunch.

   With Dragon Souls out of the way I have some time to look into the Samsung SDK and get that working for my next game's release. I'll try to get Unicorn Training all set in January before school starts back up. I'm going all out with it's multiplatform release. If you have a smartphone with the latest firmware (for online match support reasons), you'll be able to play it.

    Featured:


     I put my Dragon Souls is cancelled speech on Gamasutra in hopes of getting more eyeballs on this website while I develop the next big thing. If it worked, I hope it turns into more word-of-mouth for Yotes Games. My future success depends on people investing attention as I grow into a startup. I got editor approval so it's a wait & see to know if my little story affects someone. That's what these kinds of blogs do for me anyway.
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     It's been a week now and I have yet to feel tired from working on my new project. It's a new feeling because since Fish Feaster I've always felt like I was doing a labor of love. Now it's just the love part as I act out of passion. I am compelled to give this game everything I've got no matter how long it takes. As the GDD is shaping up I get even more excited because the exact scope is becoming clear. The game's vision is getting more detailed by the day.

Ideas for an icon, overworld music, and a panel started here.
     Things are still in their earliest stages for the next game. I'm still organizing the nicest game design document I've ever written and it's currently 60+ pages long which is a record length for me. I still have all the rough draft work I made on a whim for this project to start with so I will have tangible things to talk about by Friday. Over the weekend I made some mock-ups to help flesh out the details of how combat will work. So many ideas have been replaced by better ones recently that I have a lot of writing to do to get the facts straight.

Expect a very lengthy announcement post on Friday.

Details coming soon...

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