It takes 1 day to fully animate a single pony. There has to be at least 50 ponies for the game to feel interesting enough. I'd like for there to be 100 ponies for this first game to stay competitive with the others on the app store. Each pony has an ultra form that will require it's own animation set. That's about 7 months of just drawing all the characters.
Bugs can (and will) pop up and often set me back 2 days. I'll need about a month before launch for a final beta test and marketing hype. I have yet to even start the process of combat balancing which could take weeks longer than I think it will since I've never done it at this scale before. I'm almost guaranteed to run into issues with the online features.
At this rate, Battle Gem Ponies is almost certainly being pushed back to a May 2016 release. I'm kidding myself if I think it could live up to the vision by November. Since it won't, I refuse to force it to. I'm going to restructure plans to take all the extra time I'll need into account. Battle Gem Ponies should be truly ready for launch by the summer of next year.
Check below the break for an updated demo release schedule.
Hopefully this one will be more accurate...
· Mid June - Pre-Alpha V2:
· 6 ponies, a limited selection of moves, and basic battle features, all nicely animated.
· Access quick random battles on the title screen.
· Mid July - Pre-Alpha V3:
· A small overworld to explore. (with NPCs, caves, a town, wild ponies, and trainers).
· Gamepad support, customizable stats, battle weather, pony abilities.
· Basic leveling system. (Learn moves and raise stats as level rises)
· Portrait screen orientation option and tons of polish.
· Early August - Pre-Alpha V4:
In preparation for BronyCon, the game should be really far along.
· 3 more ponies, 4 ultra forms, an inventory system, and a lot more moves.
· Shared screen multiplayer and working PvP setup menu.
· An early section of the adventure mode and a simple cutscene system should be running.
· Polished to target render. This is the big vertical slice to show everyone.
· Release during BronyCon so attendees can try it.
· Try to get a playable build in the Baltimare Arcade.
· Late October - Pre-Alpha V5:
· At least 50 ponies total. (May be cut to 25 and their ultra forms)
· Most items functioning. (Including battle items)
· Wild pony capturing.
· Fancier cutscene system.
· More overworld features like swimming, fast travel, and special NPCs.
· Early December - Side Project:
· My senior capstone may end up being a Facebook "battle only" spinoff.
· Basic online PvP with unique ranking and progression system.
· Think of this as Pokemon Stadium minus the 3D. (And completely free)
· Early February - Alpha:
· All 100 Ponies should be fully implemented.
· Online battling. (Including special weekly matches)
· All moves and other battle elements should be functional.
· With all the main elements in place, only story and balancing should remain.
· Mid April - Beta:
Preparing for release!
· The game is finished, but I'll be looking for last minute problems and getting all the ports in order.
· Open for public testing, playable up to just after the first maven. All data will be wiped and all test builds will disappear in May to make room for the real deal.
· Approx. May/June 2016 - Gold/Release:
· I graduate and bet my career on this game.