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!