Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #24 (Animations Done, Unicorn Training Submitted)


     A busy week with a lot of sprite making and home distractions. I'll be spending next week moving over to Florida for the rest of the summer (before coming back to Pennsylvania in August) and I'll also be catching up on E3 2015 a few days behind (praying nothing gets spoiled since I love to watch the conferences).

     Don't expect much progress until all the dust settles. Once it does, I'll be sprinting to finish the public BGP demo before July rolls around.

The latest reviews are the most interesting I've seen in a while.
   Completed:
  • All 6 Pony Animations
  • Submitted iOS Port of Unicorn Training
  • Redesigned Vinerva's Base Form (Old Version is Now Ultra)
  • Received 12 Rough Draft Original Songs
     Lessons Learned:
       Getting Unicorn Training on iOS was a major pain. It went on for 3 days when it should've took an afternoon. Apple doesn't make it easy to publish with all the hidden options in Xcode I spent a day messing with just to find the switch that allowed me to build.

     The game itself had tons of problems on the transfer to Mac. All the sprites went blurry for some reason and I had to replace each one and redraw their collision boxes. After that an in-game bug with the cupcake shop appeared and I spent a couple hours trying to figure out why. (In the end, an NPC was walking around in there triggering things the way only the player was supposed to.)

      Even after fixing all the game's problems preparing the app store pages kept tossing up hoop after hoop for me to jump through with various carefully named provisioning files, demanding screenshots they don't tell you the dimensions of, rejecting videos rendered in the wrong resolution, and not allowing me to post the trailer (which must be between 15 and 30 seconds while meeting each screen resolution for the new iDevices). In the end it was a headache, but the app is finally set to go live later this month.
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   Downloads:

Happy 1001 for Unicorn Training!
   Anticipation is building. iOS numbers are showing up and it feels like I have a new game that's about to launch. I can't go around confirming release dates until it passes review, but fingers are crossed for June 25th. Having Unicorn Training on iOS could be just the boost I need to start Battle Gem Ponies on the right track.

     With the announcement of Steam offering refund opportunities to any game customer with under 2 hours of playtime, I'm a bit worried about going up on steam just as people are trying to game the system, ultimately ending up with false sales projections and money I can't touch. I'll keep an eye on the situation for now, but hope something changes that benefits the developers who are really the only ones getting hurt by this.

    Featured:
I think there's room for more, don't you?
     Apple is now manually operating it's New Games category which may be good for me if Unicorn Training is up to snuff. I'm not expecting a feature unless I can really outshine July's competition though. It's really just a nervous wait n' see as far as how well I'll do this time.
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     Hopefully late June is a good time to release a game. E3 has time to die down, and my game may face less competition if other app devs were busy at bigtime conventions/expos for the last few weeks. Even Apple itself just hosted a conference to get people hyped up about their latest software and hardware upgrades. Even on the app store famous for getting thousands of uploads any given week, I have a real chance at standing out and quietly climbing to the top of the rankings in my category.

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